Wednesday, December 17, 2014

There is No Spoon: A Pre-Christmas Story

Image courtesy of cuteimage
One of the most well-known scenes from the Matrix is when Neo is told, “There is no spoon.” We can while away an afternoon discussing what that means, but the gist of it is: reality is not what it seems. A recent mind-bender for me was opening my silverware drawer and seeing that indeed, there were no spoons. Where the hell did all my spoons go?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Life in the NYC Slow Lane

The 25 Miles Per Hour Speed Limit is Killing Me

I am a Native New Yorker. That’s not a typo. It should to be capitalized. It’s not pride in an accident of birth but it’s staying here long after many friends and family members have pulled up stakes and moved to more hospitable climes. I survived 9/11, the mortgage meltdown, and a nanny mayor who would be king. I survived a house fire, Hurricane Sandy, and the Polar Vortex. But New York City’s 25 miles per hour speed limit has got me thinking about packing my bags.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Returning to My Theatre Roots

Before I did stand-up comedy I did theatre. Being in the wrong place at the right time landed me the role of Lola Le’Dare, Hot Box Girl, in a college production of Guys and Dolls. It was my first time acting on stage and by first time I mean we are going to completely overlook my Kindergarten stint as Mother Goose.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why Do I Have to Share?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
I was standing in line at the grocery store. In front of me was a mother with her eight-year old son. He had talked her into buying him candy but his victory wasn’t so sweet. She said, “Okay, I’ll buy it, but you have to share.” Ahh, a gift with strings attached. There’s always a catch, especially when you’re a kid.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No Pizza, No Cry

If You Have to Ask, You Can’t Afford It

I’m in a quandary. I want new stores and services to come into my neighborhood, but I get nervous when they do. I can’t help but wonder, is this how the gentrification starts? Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and pale people in skinny jeans pretty much signal the beginning of the end in any neighborhood-of-color here in New York City. But Pizza Hut didn’t seem too threatening. I was actually glad to see it give some competition to Domino's, Papa John’s, and Little Caesar’s.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Born Again Workaholic: 8 Ways to Curb Your Workaholism

Image courtesy of Prakairoj
Summer is almost over. You might be on vacation, about to leave, or just coming back. Maybe you – clutch the pearls – haven’t taken any time off this year yet and don’t plan to. Take it from the woman who just took her first vacay ever: this is a bad move. You’re important but you are not indispensible. And you’re even better when you’ve had a break from the daily grind. So, from one workaholic to another here are eight ways to dial it back a notch:

  1. Cut your to do list in half, then half it again so you can see and do what’s really important. Let the rest go. It’s not getting done anyway.
  2. Stop trying to do “just one more thing.”
  3. Stop working until you pass out in front of your computer.
  4. If you set an alarm to get up for work, maybe you need to set one to stop.
  5. If you have sick time, use it. Don’t be a hero. And yes, mental health days count. (If you’re job doesn’t give you sick time, go to work, infect everybody, and force the company to change its policy. Think of it as the real meaning of going viral.)
  6. Take a real grown-up vacation, not just a weekend.
  7. Have your non-workaholic friends do an intervention. Tell them to remind you how much more productive you are after taking time off.
  8. Remember that working hard doesn’t mean working yourself to death. Dying at your desk is no way to go. And no, your funeral doesn’t count as a vacation.

Now go play. Go on. I mean it. Don’t make me get up.

The Urban Erma, the longest running column on, was created and written by stand-up comedian Leighann LordListen to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher RadioWatch the video edition on YouTube.comIf you enjoy The Urban Erma please leave a comment, Like it on Facebook, follow on Twitter, And share it with your friends. (Share it with people who are not your friends and maybe they will be.) 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vacation: No Laptop Required! A Cautionary Tale for Over-Achieving Workaholics with a Fear of Failure

Me and my Bestie
roaming the streets of Rome!
I come from an immigrant culture of color and so my parents taught me to work hard. Very hard. Work hard and then work some more. Get a job, a second job, and a side hustle. Hustle on both sides. Oh hell, just make it a 360 degree hustle.  What I didn’t learn, was how to slow down and relax without feeling lazy.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Curb Your Hostility

Image courtesy of stockimages
I recently travelled to a section of the city that I’ve never really been to before. I got the distinct impression that because I wasn't a member of the local ethnic group currently living there that the niceties were going to be nonexistent. Cold stares, rolled eyes, if I was even acknowledged at all. Did I hear even one "excuse me?" when I was bumped into or pushed past? Nope.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Image courtesy of Pong /
Okay, I caved in and went shopping for shorts at Old Navy. I’m not a big fan but they’re in fashion and it’s just too damn hot to wear jeans. I grabbed whatever was on sale and sauntered off to the fitting room. I’m a diehard try-before-you-buy kind of girl. It saves time and heart ache. Well, usually.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

*Originally posted 7/16/13
I can think of no bigger waste of time then going to see a live baseball game. To me it’s just grown men sweating in public. Yes, I know this is blasphemy especially when one lives in one of the greatest baseball cities on earth. We’ve got the Mets, the Yankees, and some (and by some I mean anyone over the age of 70) will argue that New York is still the spiritual home of the Dodgers. I know this. And I’m sorry. I’m just not that into it. So what was I doing sitting behind home plate at a minor league, Brooklyn Cyclones game? Chalk it up to the things we do for Dad.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Article in the Huffington Post: My Maya Angelou!

My Maya Angelou

The Urban Erma, the longest running column on, was created and written by stand-up comedian Leighann LordListen to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher RadioWatch the video edition on YouTube.comIf you enjoy The Urban Erma please leave a comment, Like it on Facebook, follow on Twitter, And share it with your friends. (Share it with people who are not your friends and maybe they will be.) Get her free e-books of The Great Spanx Experiment and Sometimes I Wish Facebook Had a Hate Button. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cell Phones Don’t Irritate People, People Irritate People

Image courtesy of adamr
I went to the theater on Sunday. Just before show time the house lights dimmed and the stage manager announced, “...Please turn off your cell phones.” I’m highly addicted to my phone. I’m a social media butterfly. My phone is my mobile office. It’s my third opposable thumb. And yet I did the unthinkable. I turned off my phone and put it away. There was no one I wanted to text, tweet, or talk to while I was sitting in the dark enjoying a play I’d bought tickets for. But not everyone felt that way.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Zumba By Any Means Necessary

Image courtesy of
Serge Bertasius Photography
When I first heard about Zumba I didn’t pay it any mind because I wasn’t interested in another exercise fad. Remember when hot yoga was hot? Pilates? Pul-lease. I’m embarrassed now to think of how much I weakened my living room floorboards by trying to keep up with my Billy Blanks Tae Bo tapes. But when I got an opportunity to take a free Zumba class I figured why not.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Have Wine Glass, Will Travel

Photo by 
I was a first-time faculty member at this year’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (EBWW) and I left with a respectable amount of swag: tee shirt, tote bag, and my personal fav, the commemorative wine glass. Let it not be said that the EBWW doesn’t know its audience: Women who write, love wine; and lots of it.  At the Thursday night dinner, the wine glasses had been delicately imprinted with “Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.” Every woman in the room said to herself or one of her tablemates, “Oh, I am so stealing this.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014

They Called the Cops on the Cat

I’ve never been owned by a cat. I don’t have the courage to have a creature in my house that can outthink me. And now I know, I damn sure don’t want anything that can outfight me either. One of the funniest news stories I’ve heard this year – maybe even this decade – is the one about the 22-lb house cat in Oregon that held his family hostage in their bedroom. That’s funny on its face and even more hysterical when you know the facts.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I'm Ready for My Close Up

When I got called in for a sitcom audition one of the things my acting coach told me to do was to find the M.A.C. store nearest to my audition and have them do my makeup. No, he was not suggesting that I’m heinous but there’s pretty and then there’s Primetime-TV pretty. Depending on the role it’s either go glam or go home. Actually it’s a weird combination of glam-natural; an effortless beauty that’s not all that easy to pull off in HD.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gee, Thanks Officer

Okay, let me start by saying that I was wrong. I was wrong because I had pulled over into a bus stop. I didn’t want to but it was the only clear space on the block (on any block) since un-melted mounds of snow take up a lot of room. But I was lost and before I drove any further I wanted to make a phone call to verify the address of where I was going, and get my bearings.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Crazy Bitches Hate Jellybeans

While my aging and ailing Honda Civic is in the shop getting some impromptu but very necessary repairs I had to rent a car. At 30 minutes to closing I took what was left on the lot, which happened to be an adorable, red Fiat 500 Sport. With an aversion to calling things by a number instead of a name – that perhaps hails back to Star Trek Voyager’s character, Seven of Nine – I’ve taken to calling my Fiat 500, Jellybean. With a car this tiny, food shopping at Costco is out. However, from a parking perspective, Jellybean is perfect for New York City. But not everybody is a fan. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Needed A Box

Image courtesy of Gualberto 107
Empty boxes are like the police. You never have one when you need it.

I needed a box but I didn’t want one. I knew where to get it though, so off I went to my local Staples; aisle eight, on the left. When I caught sight of the boxes I felt the prickle of tears and I slowed down. But it wasn’t slow enough to keep me from getting there. I had no idea what size I needed so I picked a large because he had a lot of stuff. And I stood there for a while in the aisle just holding the box, wishing I didn’t need it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This Is Not My Father's Bowling Alley

A friend invited me to go bowling and I didn’t just say “no,” I said, “Hells no!" You know it’s serious when you add the “s.” Why such a vehement reaction? Is it the inherently unsanitary nature of the game? You’d think so, but for some reason my Inner Neat Freak is not disturbed by the idea of sticking my digits into those dark, germy holes or slipping my feet into shoes that other people have been wearing for decades. For me, it’s a childhood thing. No, I wasn’t beaten with a bowling ball or abandoned in a bowling alley. The problem is my Dad was a fantastic bowler. And when I say fantastic, I mean great, amazing, could’ve gone pro. My Dad went to bowling tournaments and won trophies. When he stopped bowling, he continued to coach and became a league official. That’s a lot to live up to.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bad Dog, No Turkey *

*Our Dear Rolie passed away on January 2, 2014, from old age and kidney failure. If love could have kept him alive, he would be immortal. We adopted him in 2006 when he was about five to seven-years old. I'm reposting a story I wrote about him back in 2008. Please enjoy, comment, and share.  - Leighann

Dog is God spelled backwards, and like God my Cocker Spaniel has many names. His given name is Rolie, but his nicknames include Mr. Nubbins, The Mister, The Spaniel, The Carpet Weasel and, of course, His Lordship. Ironically, he answers to none of these since he's mostly deaf. My Little Old Man is about eight-years old, set in his ways, and not about to change. I, as the supposedly superior and adaptable human, have had to adjust to his habits and temperament.