Carla Ulbrich: Professional Smart Aleck



Don't Bring the Kids (May Newsletter)


Don't bring the kids! Except for this Sat.
Greetings friends, fans, Klingons, spammers and the IRS- Hope all is well with you. Well maybe not so much the spammers.

Speaking of spam I recently migrated all of your e mail addresses into this program that's connected to my website. This may mean that this message ended up in your spam filter. In which case... you're not reading this right now. Hmm. Well that was a pointless thing to mention.

As you know, my songs and jokes are usually clean (as long as you don't mind a little poop humor) but I cannot control what happens when other acts are on the stage. Since there are 49 *other* funny songwriters in NYC on May 31, and I was part of this event last year, I strongly suggest you do NOT bring the kids. Unless you can afford a lot of therapy later. Don't mind swear words and a little grossing out? See ya there.

I can safely invite people of all ages and sensibilities to the show in Nutley NJ, which will be fun. The other performers on the bill are the folks who introduced me to the NJ/ NY folk music scene in the late 90s. So they get either the credit or the blame for me ending up in New Jersey. And for encouraging me in my pursuit of actually performing my ridiculous songs instead of just the "ose" I used to write ("ose" as in "ose, ose and morose").

One more thing- I started a playlist on youtube: "funny medical songs." If you think of any good ones I missed let me know and I'll add them.


Benefits of Laughter (April News)


Did you ever wonder why, given the same diagnosis, some people thrive and others don't? Learn about the traits of a survivor at a Free Show this Wed. in Wayne, NJ: "Laughter is the Best Medicine." See calendar page for details.

I recently went back to Clemson (my hometown) for a short visit. Saw the whole family, including Dad (he lives in a health care facility now; he has Alzheimer's, but he still knows who everybody is, and he is fun to visit, always happen to see me. The nurses love him, and no one seems to mind if he is wearing 2 pairs of pants, mismatched shoes, or 4 shirts. They do try to stop him from showering 4 times a day, though. You have to pick your battles...).  While I was in Clemson, I also cleaned out the attic (Mom is selling the house and moving) and I found my beloved bottlecap collection ! O joy!

The downside of this hometown visit is that while I was gone, Joe (my husband), ended up in the hospital with blood clots in his lungs (pulmonary embolisms)- and I wasn't home to take care of him - or the dog. I got home the next day. He was in the hospital for 4 days, and was quite the jokester with the nurses. They were attaching his electrodes (heart monitor) and he jerked around, pretending he was getting electrocuted. Nearly gave the nurses a heart attack, but they got a good laugh out of it. He apologized for scaring them more than he meant to, but they were laughing and said "Laughter is the Best Medicine!" (Funny, I'm doing a show this Wednesday with exactly that title.)

I was visiting him when they announced he was going to be released. Well you know how long it takes from saying you'll be released to actually being released (hours!). Luckily, it was bingo day! They bring cards around and the announcer is on the hospital's closed circuit TV calling the numbers. I won 15 times. I think there were only 2 of us in the whole building playing- 3 if you count the announcer. The prizes are all plastic things like backscratchers and bag clips, and they all say "St Peter's University hospital" on them... well, it's not the prize, it's the thrill of victory.

We were about to leave when we spotted the food cart in the hall. He stayed for dinner, if that gives you any idea what an awful cook I am. Once he was done with his cheeseburger (yeah that's what they serve in the cardio unit!) he came home to a very happy dog. He is doing fine and has a great doctor.

I'm a muppet! I'm a muppet! I've always wanted to be a muppet!

The multitalented Luke Ski put together a spoof of the muppet show for the opening of the Marscon science fiction and funny music convention. If you're a fan of the muppet show, or comedy music, or better yet, both, you will really enjoy this:


Acoustic Guitar Project


I was invited to take part in the Acoustic Guitar Project, where each musician in one of 4 cities - in this case New York, but I guess they stretched New York out a bit to include Central Jersey- gets one week to write a song using only the guitar and Zoom unit that's being passed around. Once your week is up, you choose the next musician who gets the guitar and the assignment, should they choose to accept it, to write and record a song in a week on that guitar. I passed the guitar off to Arlon Bennett.

My contribution was "Totally Average Woman." I had actually already started that song before I got the guitar, but in the rules that was allowed, as long as it wasn't completely finished before getting the guitar. I wrote another song from start to finish that week on that guitar, about blowing my nose constantly, but I'm saving that one for just the right audience. Under the Acoustic Guitar Project agreement, I cannot re-release this song myself for a year, but you can hear it streaming here:


Greetings, my far-above-average friends!


Totally Average Woman. That's the name of the song I just contributed to The Acoustic Guitar Project. I feel so ordinary now that I'm not living in a van. I'm married, doing dishes, cooking, paying homeowners' Association fees, walking the dog. I figured if some guy were to write a blues song about me, it would come out like this:

The Acoustic Guitar Project is happening in several cities. Each artist gets the guitar for a week, and has to write and record the song in a week. Then they decide who gets the guitar next. "Totally Average Woman" was a song I had started already but hadn't finished. I did write another song during the week on the guitar, but it was about blowing my nose, and it just seemed too gross to submit to the project. Not too gross for you guys, though. I'll be sure and play it at every show.

 A little news tidbit courtesy of Kathy Criscola. For some reason this what-is-wrong-with-you news story about a man randomly giving people wedgies made her think of me:

And a new review of the book from a Crohn's/ IBS website called - get this- The Great Bowel Movement.


Book reviewed on "The Great Bowel Movement" website


I LOVE this name of this blog! :D

"Four hours ago, I sat down with the book “How can you NOT Laugh at a Time Like This: Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity and Grit” written by Carla Ulbrich. The book was recommended to me in the middle of July, and I of course promptly ordered it on Amazon, however, it sat on bookshelf until this morning. I can’t explain what led me to this book, amongst the 27 others in line waiting to be read, but looking back, I feel like it may have been fate. Because, you see, this book was exactly what I needed at this moment in time."


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