Just in case you haven’t heard, it’s MY 40th BIRTHDAY TODAY!! I would like to shout out my Mom, who pushed all 10lbs 6oz of me out of her body 40 years ago today…and then she survived my CHILDHOOD! Wanda Grinner Is A WARRIOR!! To my Dad, who remains my Biggest Cheerleader even from Beyond The Grave…Thanks for Believing In Me, Otis Grinner! To my Five Siblings: Michelle, Mark, Elaina, Susan, & Ramona …I blame all of my Eclecticism, Copious Knowledge About Random Trivia, Love Of Popular Culture, and All-Around Comical Edge on YOU! Thank You! To All Of My FRIENDS…I would not be here without your Love, Faith, & Support. You Complete Me. Seriously. And To My ENEMIES…I’M STILL HERE, BITCHES!! Thank You For The Lessons.

Now…On With The Birthday Show!

  1. Smile – It’s FREE, It’s ALL NATURAL/ORGANIC, It’s EASIER to do than Frowning, and it carries the POSSIBILITY of improving someone’s day. Including your own. So SMILE.
  2. Learn About Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) & Other Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities –  Approximately 13% of children have a developmental disability, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism. On average, 1 in 110 children in the United States have an Autism Spectrum Disorder; ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, yet are on average 4 to 5 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls. Check out and “Like” the groups Autism Support Network!/pages/Autism-Support-Network/150100405892 and Autism Speaks!/autismspeaks on Facebook. And for a REAL Treat, check out my Godson Terrence Patridge, a stellar Trombonist who also has Autism. [Terrence is the center of the room, handling that Trombone!]
  3. Put On Your Favorite “Dance My Ass Off” Song…And DANCE YOUR ASS OFF!! – Choose whatever song moves you! I recommend THIS Li’l Ditty: [Note: By the time Lady Gaga gets to the first “Oh…Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh…Oh…Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, OH!” <— I’m Dancing On A Table-Top! Preferably sandwiched between two sweaty men. Preferably gay. Go ahead and judge me…I’m 40 and like Jimmy Crack Corn…I just don’t care!!]
  4. Stop Judging Poor People – Yesterday someone uttered the sentences: “We need to end the Welfare System…in its ENTIRETY,” and “At least 20% of the population is abusing the Welfare System” to me. Then he found himself backtracking when I informed him that very recently, I had been a “Welfare” Recipient. With a Master’s Degree. Then he had to start backtracking and talking about “Exceptions” and “Generational Abuse”. The Truth: He had no idea what the fuck he was talking about. And most “Fiscal Conservatives” do not. If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the “Other 98%” in this country who is working so that the Top 2% don’t have to pay any taxes on their exorbitant wealth. But keep on believing that your hard work is REALLY paying for all of those hapless folks on Welfare. Ignorance is Bliss. And the wealthiest folks in this country are COUNTING on it. [Well, at least their ACCOUNTANTS are. Rich people don’t count their own money.]
  5. Learn About Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Behcet’s Syndrome, and Other Autoimmune Disorders – There are people among you who are walking around with Invisible Diseases; at any moment, our immune systems are under attack and the consequences can range from constant discomfort to death. I am one of these People. Don’t Sleep On Us.
  6. Listen To A Song By Adele – Any Adele song will do. I Love Her. And if you don’t…well, what the fuck is wrong with you?!? Try This Brilliance On For Size:
  7. Read White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy Mcintosh – Key Reading in the Struggle To End Oppression:
  8. Check Out The RePeace Movement – I was turned onto this by Radical Activist Gabrielle Price. The mission of REPEACE: Repeace wants to create a massive demand for accountability with three simple clicks and with a new advocate for peace. Beginning in the USA all progressive people are asked to join and take three simple pledges: 1. I want to reward businesses who focus on local, sustainable, quality products and services, not on buying influence. 2. I want to reward politicians who are accountable to me, not to corporations. 3. I want to reward countries that promote and defend freedom of expression. Check them out at and on Facebook at!/pages/RePeace/148089545227940?sk=info
  9. Write A Rage-Filled Letter To Someone By Whom You Have Been Wronged – You don’t need to send the letter; in fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. And it doesn’t have to be a long letter either. Just get The Basics off your chest, then Keep Moving. Here is a Sample from my own Arsenal:

Dear So-and-So:

Thank you for the emotional abuse, betrayal, and abandonment.

Fuck You,


I have already written five of these today…and I. Feel. FABULOUS! Try it!

  1. Get Tested For HIV – This is a No-Brainer. If you have not been tested, do so immediately. Educate yourself and others about the ways that we can stop the AIDS Pandemic. And never, EVER trust your sexual and emotional health to someone who refuses to get tested.
  2. Read Something By bell hooks – She has like 10,000 books out in the world as we speak. Any one of them will do.
  3. Listen To A John Coltrane Song – Any John Coltrane Song is a GREAT John Coltrane Song. But this one reminds me of 40th Birthdays:
  4. Take A Yoga/Tai Chi Class – Get (back) in touch with your body.
  5. Eat A Mango – God, I Love Mangoes!! DELICIOUS!!
  6. Learn About LGBT Communities/Work To End Gender-Identity Bias & Homophobia – If you know me, you know that this is a huge part of my Consciousness. I’m Down With The Gays. And also the Lesbians/Bisexuals/Transfolk. If you are still spewing anti-Queer slurs and sentiments, then I don’t want you on my Birthday Train.
  7. End The War On Women’s Rights In This Country – If the U.S. Government started regulating on the Penis & Testes, there would be a Civil War in this fucking country. And there SHOULD be one behind the current assault on Women’s Rights. Bam.
  8. Commune With Nature – In whatever way works for you.
  9. Recognize That The Los Angeles Lakers Is The Best Basketball Club In The History Of The United States Of America – Or just remain in denial of this fact. But that just makes you sad.
  10. Throw Your Trash Into A Trash Can – Take some PRIDE in your environment/community!
  11. Stop Smoking Cigarettes – My dad died of Lung Cancer. It wasn’t pretty. And it makes you stink. So Stop Smoking Cigarettes. It won’t be easy. But you must do it.
  12. Watch A&E’s Intervention – Recognize how many folks become drug-addicted due to rape, childhood sexual and physical abuse, and other significant Life Traumas. Then stop judging folks in whose shoes you have never walked.
  13. Read Anything By Langston Hughes – Anything at all.
  14. Watch The Documentary Dogtown & Z-Boys – It’s a great history of my Beloved Southern California, surfing, skateboarding, and youth culture. And it reminds me of Home.
  15. Sit Down And Critically Watch A Disney Movie – Now ask yourself: “Do I really want to sit my child in front of this and walk away?!?” [Still scarred by Bambi  and The Lion King]
  16. Save PBS.
  17. See If You Can Still Do The Running Man, The Troop, The Wop, The Roger Rabbit, The Robocop, and The Cabbage Patch – I can still do ALL of these dances. And I am FORTY! If you can’t…get on your GAME, Fools!!
  18. Love And Accept Your Children For Who They Are – They aren’t born to be miniature models of YOU. Raise them to be Good People. Then allow them to be Good People in their own UNIQUE ways.
  19. Take A Walk – I’m a BIG Walker. It clears the mind and is healthy for the body. Weather permitting, I walk every single day. Keep Moving.
  20. Burn Some Incense Or A Candle – I am an Incense and Candle Whore. And I have No Shame about that whatsoever. Aromas Can Heal.
  21. Drink A Cup Of Peppermint or Spearmint Tea – Very good for throat, congestion, and stomach issues. And they make your breath smell delicious.
  22. Watch An Episode Of Law & Order – Any version of this show is acceptable. There is no excuse whatsoever for anyone with a TV to have a problem with this, as the show is on at least  5 channels at any given time during the day.
  23. Listen To A Song From The ‘80s – There are just too many Great Songs that came out of this Golden Generation (aka: My Youth). You can start with this: and move on from there.
  24. Play A Game Of Spades Or Dominoes – I don’t care how stereotypical that sounds…I like these games, and I’m pretty good at them.
  25. Read A Poem By Paul Laurence Dunbar, Maya Angelou, Countee Cullen, Or Nikki Giovanni – Or by any Poet, really. Watch a Spoken Word video on YouTube. Fall in love with Metaphor & Simile.
  26. Write Me A Haiku/It’s Not Very Hard To Do/You’re A Poet, Too.
  27. Treat Animals With Respect
  28. If You Live Near A Beach, And It Is Not Freezing…GO TO THE BEACH!! – The Beach is My Favorite Place In The Entire World. I Love The Ocean. Go There For Me!!
  29. Learn About Mental Illness – We don’t understand Mental Illness in this country. And we need to. This is Paramount.
  30. Take A Long, Hot Shower Or Bath – It will soothe your muscles and melt away stress.
  31. LAUGH!!!!! – Laughter Heals The Soul. I am Blessed to have copious Friends who make me LAUGH until my sides are sore and I almost pee my pants. THIS is how I survived to the Ripe Old Age of 40. So Laugh With Me, People!! For Forty More!!!

As Always…Grin & Bare It!



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  1. miwe3

    Love it, LG!!

  2. Leslie, you have opened my eyes today. Thank you for giving the rest of us a gift on your birthday! I am inspired by your willingness and ability to share what’s inside you–some things deep, others simpler. I hadn’t heard Adele before you encouraged me. (To be sure, I had heard OF Adele, but by no one whose taste I trust! until now) Because of your post, I will take a hot shower tonight and hope the crick in my neck will dissipate. And I’m thinking of combining #9 and #24 to write a letter to my daughter’s school telling them NEVER again to show a gd Disney movie!! And then I shall quote Cee Lo Green, as you so nicely do in the closing. I love you Leslie! Happy 40th.

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