A Visit from Saint Vitus* December 10, 2014

The following poem is based on a true story. Believe me, I would not make this shit up. My apologies to Clement Clark Moore.

A Visit from Saint Vitus*

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house;

Our family was anxiously awaiting the Klaus.

All together up North, almost in the U.P.;

We were all having fun, and laughing with glee.

When all of a sudden it came to a stop;

“It’s time to go, kids,” said my hubby (their pop).

So the kids started packing, and put on their caps;

They’d have to wait a while for their long winter’s naps.

Though months had passed since we had this plan,

Right at the last minute their mom said, “No, Anne.”

I will schedule my own plans, and disregard yours;

And with that ballsy move, my jaw dropped to the floors.

I’ve scheduled a train trip, she smiled with glee;

So I’ll need the kids just a bit ear-ly.

See this is what happens when you deal with divorce;

And sometimes the rules are hard to enforce.

We thought of the kids, so they left on vacation;

They’d meet with their mom, up at some gas station.

My husband would travel and meet her half way;

But little did he know he needed a sleigh.

A snowstorm broke out, so the roads were pretty slick;

In fact the whole ride almost made him real sick.

When out on the Honda there arose such a clatter;

Dan checked out the car to see what was the matter.

He couldn’t drive home, of that he was sure;

He just knew more crap he had to endure.

His ex had been safe; no snow did she find;

And now he was stuck, just sitting on his hind.

But now it was Christmas, and strangers are good;

“I’ll give you a ride,” one said, “Up to the ‘Nort Wood.”

Dan hopped in his truck, and he gave us a call;

“I made it,” he said, “But it’s still a snow squall.”

“This stranger can drive me, but only so far;

You’ll need to come meet me, so get into your car.”

Then I left with my brother and his now ex-wife;

Out into the snow; ‘cause that’s Sconnie life.

We made it past Peshtigo, then out in the county;

We charged through the storm like a Canadian Mountie.

The snow came down hard –  it was really hard to see;

“Charge on,” I said. “We must find my hon-ee”.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a tiny strip club, and we let out a cheer.

We knew this was the place – we weren’t idiotic;

Besides, their Christmas lights spelled out ‘EXOTIC’.

The only business open across many miles;

A nice place to stop and admire some smiles.

We came to a stop and picked up my man;

He was now safe and sound in my brother’s minivan.

As we left the parking lot I swore I heard a shout;

It must be Saint Vitus – of this I had no doubt.

More rapid than eagles his dancers they came;

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Bambi! now, Crystal! now Lola and Brandy!

On, Ginger! on, Tawny! on, Portia and Candy!

To the top of the pole! to the top of their laps!

Now dance away! dance away! dance away for those chaps!”

Our night wasn’t over; we headed back on the road;

And we came upon strangers who needed to be towed.

We quickly stopped the car; we hopped out to help;

One, two, three – PUSH! We said in a yelp.

Their car now was free – we had done our good deed;

Then we bid them adieu; and told them not to speed.

We finally got home – we’d survived the ordeal;

Who knew what else the night would reveal.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard a falsetto;

The prancing and pawing of each little stiletto.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Vitus came with a bound.

He was dressed all in leather, from his foot to his head,

And his tiny g-string was just held by a thread.

He was more like a Farley and less like a Swayze;

His Chippendales days seemed just a bit hazy.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And started to gyrate; and then he would twerk.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he started to strip —

“Happy Christmas to all, and don’t forget to tip!”


*Saint Vitus is the patron saint of dancers.


I Spent Christmas in Vegas January 4, 2013

Yes, the holidays were a bit unconventional this year. After spending a weekend celebrating Christmas with my family, my husband and I jumped on a plane for Vegas on Christmas Eve. Not only was the price right (a $25/night resort hotel room!) but I could hit the after-Christmas sales while my husband hit the poker tables. If I was lucky maybe he would slip me a twenty for some extra dance lessons with Johnny Castle.

Now I must preface this by saying that I love Vegas…so overall the trip was a success, and I would do it again. The decorations at The Venetian and The Bellagio were particularly wonderful, plus the food, shopping, entertainment, etc. kept us busy.

But who am I kidding; you don’t want to read about that. You want the juicy Vegas stories. Now I am too old and too married to wake up with a tiger in my room, and most of my Vegas “sinning” involves overeating and overshopping, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t taste some local flavor.

Okay but first, church. (Just bear with me here, please.)

Things started out a bit rocky when I attempted to attend midnight mass. I decided that since we were in Sin City, it couldn’t hurt to earn some extra credit. So we attended services at a huge cathedral complete with the Bishop of the Las Vegas Diocese presiding. If anyone has seen extra sinniness, it’s this guy.

Now if you know anything about Catholic mass, you know that Christmas celebrations are usually around 90 minutes. But when the bishop is involved, there’s a whole lot more pomp and circumstance and even costume changes (i.e. Bishop Beanie vs. Bishop Mitre, for example). Tack on another fifteen minutes for incense swinging alone. It took 45 minutes before we got to the Gospel, and I was ready to pass out. Apparently a day of dehydrating flights and a stuffy, packed seat in the balcony do not mix. Faced with the possibility of falling unconscious into the mothball-laden fur coat in front of me, I chose to leave early for some fresh air and water. Not a good start.

Thankfully, things picked up the next day. After rehydrating and getting a good night’s rest, my husband and I hit the strip for a 3-mile run. The sights and decorations on the strip were enough to distract me from my heavy breathing, plus the “adult literature distributors” were not out yet, eliminating a huge obstacle. Usually there are about fifteen in a row, so that would have been tricky. Good for my mileage (and my Spanish usage), but tricky.

Now onto Fremont Street.

The first Fremont Street performer we encountered was a bikini-clad man dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Even though I am from a small town in Wisconsin, this was not shocking to me. After all, I love me my drag queens. The Drag Queen Bingo episode of Sex and the City alone made me want to move to Manhattan immediately. Those gals are bee-yoo-tiful and can teach me a thing or two about concealer. However, this was no RuPaul. Instead, he looked exactly like the super creepy serial killer transvestite from The Silence of the Lambs. I was relieved that the fur shrug he wore was actually a real garment and not a little dog named Precious. He had nice legs though, I’ll give him that.

After swiftly making it past Buffalo Bill, we decide to spend our $10 meal credit at the swanky café at Binions. I was about to bite into my BBQ beef when in wheels Mr. Gangrene, proudly displaying his infected and smelly foot for all the diners to see. He was soon removed due to several complaints from patrons. He obviously had some mental problems and probably a good case of diabetes, so I felt sorry for him. On the other hand, I could not feel sorry for another man I encountered.

I’m talking about The Flosser.

As in “I just had a meal of corn-on-the-cob, popcorn and Butterfingers, and this may take a while, so I am going to get all of this gunk out of my mouth by flossing in the middle of the street.”

The real kicker was, he wasn’t by himself. And it’s not like he was with some other disgusting slobs or a strange band of dental hygiene enthusiasts. He was with his wife and two kids, and they just stood there while Dad took care of business, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. And by all accounts they looked like a normal, non-Honey Boo Boo type of family. Who apparently thinks it’s okay to chuck food particles from your mouth onto the street.

Lastly, what would vacation be without a little embarrassment?

Now if you know me, you know that I hate being the center of attention…unless my hair is perfect and I’m wearing a really hot outfit, then it’s okay. Thank goodness for the pretty dress, otherwise a stunt person would have been nice during my wedding. I don’t want to be that person pulled on stage for a private dance at the Chippendales show. I don’t want the stand-up comedian talking to me; I am an audience member, and I prefer to stay invisible, thank you very much. I did not fork out 20 bucks to become part of your act; I paid so you could entertain me.

So imagine my horror when suddenly my husband becomes part of the pre-show entertainment at Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. Since I was sitting next to him, the huge auditorium spotlight also shone on me, so in my book this still counts as personal mortification.

I knew we were doomed when the French “street performer” took one look at my husband (from 10 rows down) and said, “Ah, zere he ees! My friend!” and then promptly booked it up to us. My husband must have some sort of audience participation appeal; he was also chosen to be the “enemy spy” on board at the Star Wars ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (And by the way, he loves seeing stand-up comedians and would probably also love talking to one during a gig. It figures.)

Well I will not ruin the surprise for you in case you ever see Mystere, but let’s just say it involved lots and lots of popcorn and the entire audience laughing at my husband. All I could do was sit there and say, “Wow. I am really embarrassed for you.”

As for the rest of the week…I am just sorry we had to leave before we could see MC Hammer and Tone Loc perform together at the Riviera. That would have been sweet.




My Long Weekend To-Do List: Epic Fail November 26, 2012

Ah, the holidays. A time to spend with family and friends. Perhaps a time to travel. For me, a time to make an unrealistic list of all the things I’m going to accomplish with my extra two days off so I can ignore it and then curse myself on Monday morning. This past weekend was no exception. Let’s just say that Steven Covey would be deeply disappointed.

(And speaking of disappointed, for a split second this weekend I was doing a Charlie Brown victory dance when I saw the Twitter alert that read “Ryan Braun is now following you.” Then I found out that it was really a Twitter account called “Ryan Braun’s Hub”, which is not affiliated with Ryan Braun himself at all. Really upsetting. However, later in the weekend I was followed by someone called “Queen-o-Swagg” which totally made up for it. How could you not get excited by someone who was “Bawn a Philippines, Grown Inna Cali, Bred by Jamaica”? I for one cannot wait to hear what Ms. Swagg has to tweet about.)

Anyway, here’s what really went down on my long Thanksgiving weekend.

List Item: Drop clothes at thrift store, drop jewelry off to be repaired, drop off drycleaning

Actual Result: None of this got done. However, I did manage to shop at Kmart at 10:30 pm on Thanksgiving, followed by the midnight opening at Younkers, topped off by a 1:30 am Wal-Mart visit. Then I slept 3 ½ hours so I could get up for JcPenney and Menards on Black Friday. Why yes, I did get the $8 small appliances and the $5 glass canister set, thank you.


List Item: Finish Twilight: Breaking Dawn so I can go see the movie already.

Actual Result: Read about twenty pages and then read last Sunday’s New York Times that I still had not finished. I was then perhaps a bit too giddy with the prospect of having the house and the television all to myself, so I caught up on the last two Glee episodes. I also may have watched episodes of Revenge, Arrested Development, How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives. By my calculations I will be done “catching up on shows I’ve always wanted to watch” in about the year 2036. That’s what happens when you are held hostage by Netflix. And sadly this doesn’t even count the 90 minutes I’ll never get back from watching What to Expect When You’re Expecting.


List Item: Clean up sun porch

Actual Result: Coffee table in sun porch is now full of paper piles I need to sort through, courtesy of my famous “reshuffling” maneuver. That is, I took piles of crap from one room (making it look clean) and moved them to another room. The living room looks fantastic though.


List Item: Put clothes up for sale on Ebay.

Actual Result: The clothes are still sitting there in a pile in the hallway. I got a little distracted by other clutter and ended up listing fourteen decorating books instead.


Sadly, this is not even scratching the surface of my long list. To make matters worse, while going through those decorating books I found some good ideas for organization, so I added them to the list. I now have things to do like “Put bars of soap in glass canisters”.

It’s a good thing I got that canister set at Menard’s.  Boo-yah! Cross it off the list!

P.S. On the plus side, I did work out three times and actually lost weight over Thanksgiving weekend. Woot!