Get on the Mailing List!

Sign up to the email list & receive the free Health and Symptom Tracker

First Name
Email Address *

 5-day Sale! All CDs $9.98 (even the new one!), and 1-cent shipping!

- CDBaby
- ebay:

Ends Dec. 4.

It's here! My 6th CD!

Half parodies, half originals, 100% funny. Need tips on choosing a beverage? Traveling to China? Getting away from someone who won't stop talking? Why this CD is practically a public service announcement. Without all that boring useful info.

Find the new CD here:
iTunes (review it, preview it, buy it, put it on your wish list!)
- Amazon (review it, preview it, buy it, put it on your wish list!)
- CDBaby
- bandcamp (these orders actually come to me, and I ship them, so if you want a signed CD, go here)

- Shazam
- Southern Fried Filk (mail order/ at filk conventions)
- Dodeka Records (mail order/ at filk conventions)
- 150 other places: "Totally Average Woman" is on Spotify, Rhapsody and 150+ digital services!


Coming soon: Music videos!

Click to read the story!

What is health?

Is health just "not being sick?"
Or is it more than that?

According to the World Health Organization, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This definition was adopted in 1948. And I think it still applies.
For me, a big part of being healthy is being happy and spending time with people I enjoy, and doing what I love.
I just got a huge dose of all of that this past week.
I went to Los Angeles to work on my upcoming CD of funny songs.
It was a happily exhausting 8 days- long hours in the studio followed by evenings of tweaking material and working out logistics for the next day.
And the amazing thing was, even though on the outside it would appear I was under a crazy amount of stress, I felt great. In fact, I had zero physical pain the entire trip.
How can I be unhappy when I'm working with massively talented people who I really enjoy hanging out with, and singing my ridiculous songs? I can't!
And somehow, my happiness level affects my pain level.
I like to think everyone has something in their lives that is creative and fun, that you get "lost" in and lose all sense of time because you're happily engrossed. I hope you do!
The new CD is set to officially come out in June.
You can pre-order a copy now and get a signed copy before the rest of the world, postage free!
(Upgrade and get your name in the liner notes!)
Here's the link:

I had a scare about 7 weeks ago: my lab tests were quite bad, and my rheumatologist wanted to have me go back on immune suppressants to protect my vital organs (especially my kidneys).

Now I'm what you might call a "bad patient" ("non-compliant"). Rather than doing what I'm told, when I'm given a prescription for something I do NOT want to do, I go home and think about it, research it, and see if there is *any* other possible option. It was during my rumination that a friend called me to tell me about a nutrition plan she had been using to detox and slim down. I had nothing to lose (well, 15 pounds), so I decided to try it.

Since I was doing it alone (no friend/ partner doing it with me), I decided to make the internet my "accountability partner." Yes, the whole world. I started a vlog (video blog). Every day, I went onto youtube to talk about or sing about how I did that day.
<SPOILER ALERT: I feel SO much better! All the constant discomfort in my shoulders (sometimes labeled Fibromyalgia) that has plagued me for 20 years has disappeared. And I'm 6 pounds slimmer. So, I'm staying on the plan. I kinda like being comfortable in my own skin!>

Here's my vlog (around day 7, I started including little songs-of-the-day. The posts about farts were quite popular. Well, it *is* the internet):

This Thursday, I'm attending

I started a vlog (video blog) on youtube 20 days ago, after beginning a nutrition/ detox plan.
After a couple posts, someone commented "include some music!"
So now there are new song snippets in most of the videos.

Then someone said "use better lighting!"
So now there is better lighting in most of the videos
(sometimes it's 4am and I have no makeup on, so I use the "bad" lighting").

Then someone said "fart on camera!"
So, now there is... no, no farting on camera.
A fart song though. Well, just a verse.
I chose quality over quantity.
Also songs about sleep, having zero problems, and a couple other topics.
(my youtube channel: )

Bunch of shows coming up!
Some are my laughter- best medicine program, and some are just good old comedy shows.
One of them (Dec. 2) is even ONLINE! Worldwide, I believe, and pay what you like. Check out the "shows" page for more details!

My blog was nominated for "Best Health Blog of 2013" Care to vote? Vote here:

Best health blogs 2013
Vote for the best tips (and add your own!) here:

survey now closed. Results coming!

The idea sounded as weird as a tin foil hat, but it worked.

I got a pair of yellow safety glasses to wear for the hour or so before bedtime, to block out the blue light generated by lamps, TV, and computers. The blue light makes your brain think it's daytime, and stimulates you to stay awake. It was the best $8 I've spent in a long time!

My husband uses them too. I've had insomnia most of my life. I've tried attivan, trazadone, benadryl, ambien, meditating, relaxation exercises and tapes, breathing exercises... Nothing really helped. Well the attivan helped temporarily but then I developed a tolerance, had to take more, and then I started losing all my short term memory. So I quit taking it.

I am generally doing well now with the insomnia- meaning it's a non-issue presently (knock on wood). I now take magnesium and valerian and Klonopin. And the yellow glasses are the real cherry on top. They really work. Try it- it's a LOT cheaper than ambien!


<iframe src="" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Bowflex Insider has published my article on "The Power of Laughter!"

A new interview with The Singing Patient and hosts Pam Lontos and Mr. Positive, talking health, humor, and overcoming adversity.

If you follow my blog, you already know May is Lupus Awareness month. Kind of desperately needed, as the only thing most people know about lupus is from House MD ... "it's never lupus." So I've been writing some posts for Lupus Awareness Month:

Is lupus contagious?

Defending the lupus diagnosis (yes, people with lupus are being "undiagnosed" and I have a bunch of conspiracy theories about that):

As well as "What is lupus?" "Is lupus genetic?" and... more coming.
In other news, I'm still writing new songs. Recent topics include insomnia, trying to get diagnosed, and an allergic drug reaction. If I keep this up I'm going to have to make a new CD.

The best way to stick to exercise is to make it FUN! My idea of fun is dancing. Any kind of dancing. Right now I'm taking tap dance lessons. I am definitely finding that it's much easier to be consistent about getting exercise if I'm learning a skill and if it's fun. More on this thought here:

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:

If you follow my blog, you already know about my recent medical adventures. In an attempt to deal with my severe insomnia, I tried a new medication and was severely allergic to it, so I had to go on... Prednisone! If you've heard my prednisone song ( ),you know I'm not a fan, to say the least. But sometimes it's a necessary evil. Even a life saver.

In chapter one, there's a day-by-day diary and some awesome pictures of my gnarly rash.

Chapter two, the aftermath, has some before-and-after pictures of my face. This is your face. This is your face on prednisone. I kind of can't believe I posted that awful picture of myself. Go look now before I have regrets and remove it.

The Great Bowel Movement
So there's this website called "The Great Bowel Movement" (not kidding- it's for IBS and Crohn's- awesome, right?). A writer there just wrote a really nice review of my book {excerpt: "To anyone looking to find a companion, a laugh, and some things you may never have thought about when it comes to being your own best advocate, I would without a doubt recommend “How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This”."}

In other news, I've been taking a little time off of doing live shows and focusing more on writing songs. I've written songs about blowing my nose, a tribute to my husband's ex-girlfriends, and about being totally average. I have a bunch of other ideas in the hopper, but one never knows which ones will actually turn out decent. It's kind of like cooking. Or so I hear. I don't really cook. I burn stuff then make a salad.

I *love* the name of this website!

"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."


read more:

Just got the word that "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?" has been published in Thaiand.

I wrote an extensively researched paper on Thailand (formerly called Siam, and they have more than 18 kinds of bananas!) in 3rd grade. Foreshadowing or premonition?

It's been a week. How are those resolutions going? Going well, I hope. But if not..
Here's a thought: Do over!
Chinese New Year is February 10.
New year in many South Asian calendars falls April 13-15.
Jewish New Year is in the fall. So... to paraphrase what my Grandfather would say when he wanted a beer ("It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" ... actually now that I think of it, he said "it's noon somewhere"- but I digress...), my friends, "It's always New Year's somewhere!"
You can always start over.

(In case you're wondering, my resolution is to watch fewer crime shows and more cheesy movies. So far, pretty good. Thank you, Hallmark channel).

Another approach? You could just stop making resolutions and instead create a "good things jar." Here's a nice idea that's been circulating around a lot this week:Take a clean, empty mason jar (or spaghetti sauce jar). Every day you write on a slip of paper something good that happened that day- something that made you smile or laugh, or that you are proud of. Put the slip of paper in the jar. At the end of the year, you get to enjoy those wonderful things all over again.

I'm featured in the new book, "What is Laughter?"- a nice compilation of many people's thoughts on that simple but profound question. Compiled by Lexie Brockway Potamkin

The great thing about First Night Morris is, there are so many great acts.

The troubling thing about First Night Morris is — there are so many great acts.

So when the Sheridan-Hausman MG team heads out to celebrate the new year in Morristown, it requires careful planning and a family vote on which acts to follow. This year, the common theme was comedy for most of the night.


I have this app on my iphone that tells me the sunrise and sunset times. I was so excited to note that in just 7 days, the days will turn around and start getting longer by about a minute a day. So I posted something on facebook, only to be corrected - apparently winter solstice isn't for another 2-3 weeks. What?

Oh, see, the sunset will be a minute later here in New Jersey in 7 days, but apparently the sunrise will also be a minute later, so the *day* isn't any longer. But I'm not up at sunrise (who can stay up that late every night?). So, in my reality, the daylight will last a minute longer. I guess I'll be having that little winter solstice party by myself on December 13.

The local access TV show "Horses Sing None of It" is filmed in New Jersey by the same fine folks who put on the Minstrel Coffeehouse series in Morristown and other events at the Folk Project. The episode with me (and host Ralph Litwin) was filmed last summer and is still making the rounds. So for those of you in Eastern PA who are missing me (sorry, haven't performed there much lately!) here's the info on an upcoming broadcast:

'...Horses Sing None of It!' show is scheduled to be broadcast on

on Service Electric Cable TV, Allentown, PA (airing in 84 towns)
9:30 PM Thursday, Channel 50

This guy's article may be funnier than the CD he is reviewing (Sick Humor). He really gets it.

"While she generally claims her most significant influences as “Sesame Street, camp songs, and commercial jingles for beer and breakfast cereal”, in this case, the source was more organic. Ulrich admits: “I kept having to put the uke down and go pee. In a jug. Well, it was obvious.”"

read the article

Comic singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich attempts video humor for Morristown film festival

By Sharon Sheridan

All it took to get comic singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich comfortably on stage was a near-death experience.

She already had musical ability – she majored in music at North Carolina’s Brevard College – and the songwriter’s bug. “I used to get in trouble with my music professors because I was writing songs in the practice room that weren’t ‘real music.’”

But she didn’t perform. “I had horrible stage fright.”

Then, in 1993, she got sick for the first time. Really sick.


"Need a quick pick me up? Grab “How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?” and read the Table
of Contents. You will find such gems as “You Can't Hide Your Money in an Air Mattress”, “Give a Man a
Rubber Chicken and He Will Laugh for a Day” and “What I Learned by Being a Lousy Athlete”
Order your copy and read it today, even if your only chronic condition is life."

read the whole review:

Need a premium/ giveaway for your customers?

Do you do exhibit tables and need more humorous and/ or medically-themed merchandise for your table?

I've had numerous people ask me if my CD "Sick Humor" is available for a discount if they buy it in bulk. The answer is YES. e me for a price list.

I had *such* a good time performing for Charla de Lupus.

Support groups for illness have come a long way since I first darkened their doors in 1994. Used to be all we were allowed to talk about was drugs and lawyers. Now the conversation is much more open, patients really helping other patients. I've had the pleasure of performing for lupus patients, myositis patients, MS patients, as well as nurses, home health care workers, hospital volunteers, and physicians. I never thought when I started out at 4 years old asking repeatedly for a guitar that this is where it would lead, but it's absolutely where I am supposed to be right now.

It must be, because I'm not the only one having fun at these shows:

“Carla was AMAZING! She’s hilarious and full of energy! She connected with the audience and made our teens and parents from Charla de Lupus/ Lupus Chat® Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery feel special! It was a night to remember! A night of laughter and no worries!! Everyone loved her sense of humor and was able to connect to her songs because it was about their own experiences with lupus! She was so funny and I laughed so hard but yet it touched my heart. Everyone is still talking about it and we hope to have Carla again for our annually comedy night next year!”       
             Lillian Mendez - Program Associate for Charla de Lupus / Lupus Chat® Program at Hospital for Special Surgery
“Carla "The singing patient” is a great performer & comedian. She makes living with lupus seem like nothing. All her songs related to me in a way and had me laughing in my seat.”
           Melvin P. - 14 yr old –Charla Group Teen Member   

Got a special event coming up? Need a singing patient? Want a keynote talk that's empowering, or just some medical comedy? You found me. E me!

On May 5, I presented the workshop "Laughter- The Best Medicine?" at the Toastmasters District Conference in Morristown.

This workshop teaches people the benefits of laughter and humor, and how to incorporate healthy humor in their lives.  Through funny songs, jokes, and a little lecture, I tell my story of recovery from catastrophic illness and how pivotal laughter was in my recovery. Laughter can improve the quality of life for everyone, sick or not.

Here are some comments from the evaluation forms:
"Encouraging! Inspirational Examples."
"Great songs."
"VERY entertaining."
"Best workshop I have seen at the conference."
"Well done- very enjoyable!!!"
"Perfect presentation. Engaging, funny, positive."
"This was very informative and entertaining."
"Speaker blended humor well to talk about a serious subject."

Interested in having this workshop for your civic group, church, fellowship, health care group, or corporate event? e me!

A new episode of the Wellness Journey, including a 30-minute interview with Carla, is up here. We talk about the benefits of laughter and how I become the Singing Patient. Listen here:

I just filmed a segment for the TV show "The Revolution," which airs on ABC! The theme was "Laughter is the Best Medicine," and in the same segment as me was Matt Iseman, who is not only and actor and standup comic, but also an MD (former MD, it seems)- and he has also been a patient. So the segment is focused on the benefits of laughter, and in my part, I'm being interviewed briefly by Ty Pennington, then I get to sing about a minute of "What If Your Butt Was Gone." Tune in! It's a great show about improving your health, your style, your diet, your perspective. One of the other co-hosts is style guru Tim Gunn. This show airs May 3.

Article about Carla's music career (esp. the early part):

"While comedic singer-songwriter and guitarist Carla Ulbrich may be more at home in your crusty chronicler’s “Comedic Cuts” series, to not include her in “Girls Rock” might incorrectly imply that she should be taken less seriously than other gals with guitars.  Truth is Ulbrich is dead serious . . . about putting a smile on your face...."

"I find myself wishing I’d read Carla Ulbrich’s medical memoir several years ago when I began dealing with a complex of health issues. In How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This? Carla, also known as The Singing Patient, outlines realistic coping strategies and supportive advice along with anecdotes of how she deals with several autoimmune diseases. Her unique approach is sincere and instructive...

Carla Ulbrich earned the right to tell her story, and this authority wrapped in friendly humor makes her medical memoir that most accessible one that I have ever read." read the entire review here:

"I find myself wishing I’d read Carla Ulbrich’s medical memoir several years ago when I began dealing with a complex of health issues. In How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This? Carla, also known as The Singing Patient, outlines realistic coping strategies and supportive advice along with anecdotes of how she deals with several autoimmune diseases. Her unique approach is sincere and instructive...

Carla Ulbrich earned the right to tell her story, and this authority wrapped in friendly humor makes her medical memoir that most accessible one that I have ever read." read the entire review here:

"Carla Ulbrich is one woman who knows when to decide that feeling sorry for yourself won’t heal you.   In her book How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This, she writes about navigating the healthcare system and coping with long term health challenges.  She knows that a sense of humor can make all the difference in the world.  In addition to her book, she wrote a collection of funny songs she wrote while dealing with lupus, fibromyalgia, kidney issues, strokes and bankruptcy as a result of her illnesses. 

How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This isn’t a memoir.  Instead it is more of a book of essays of all the things that helped Carla keep sane as she navigated through the health system and dealt with challenges – some from her health and some from trying to find the help that she needed."  

read more:


This has nothign to do with medical humor- just humor. Dating humor, to be specific. Joe (hubby) was organizing his cassettes (remember those?) and found this unreleased version of "Love Connection," which I recorded in Nashville in 1998 with a really hot band. Very jazzy version. So... 14 years later (!), here it is! Stream it or buy it at

"Before I even begin to tell you why I loved this book, I want to take a minute to thank Carla Ulbrich for writing it!!!!  My mom is staying with me while she recovers, and we spent a lot of time this last week sitting together reading Carla’s book.  This book is about the only thing that made her really smile or laugh all week.  For that I am more grateful than you can imagine!!!!"

read the rest here:

Alongside some other really great books, including "How To Be Sick" (a Buddhist approach), Carla's book is featured in IG Living, a magazine distributed to people living with immunoglobin disorders, and the health professionals who care for them.

"Nothing to Say" from "Horses Sing None of It" local access TV show:

"Ulbrich said that the hardest part about writing the book was “deciding whether or not to out myself as having lupus.” She added, “I didn't want to be the girl with the scarlet L, the poster-child for lupus.” ...

When she was in the hospital, Ulbrich wrote parodies of songs. She said laughter is important. Ulbrich's CD, “Sick Humor, The Lighter Side of Illness,” was recorded five years before she wrote the book."

read more:

You asked for it! You wanted me to post more Singing Patient medical songs on youtube so you could share them with friends on facebook, etc. 2 new ones are up- See them all at


In this segment from Oct. 7, 2011, Carla discusses her book, humor, health, illness, wellness, and does 3 song snippets.

"Support Group Appreciates "Sick" Humor" news article on

2 more blogtalkradio interviews are up:

Personal Best with Kristin Tews (scroll to Sept 13):


"From My Mama's Kitchen," also recorded on Sept. 13, 2011

news article here:

After competing and winning at the Club and Area levels in 2 Toastmasters contests- The Humorous Speech Contest and Table Topics- Carla advanced to the Division level, where she competed in both contests again On Sept. 12.

Results? Carla took 2nd place in the Humorous Speech Contest, and 1st Place in the Table Topics Contest. Carla now advances to compete in the Table Topics District contest at the District Convention on Sept. 25. Thinking about attending? It's in Central New Jersey.

In addition to the Saturday night Humorous Speech Contest (Carla is not participating in that contest, but it is sure to be entertaining!), and the Sunday morning Table Topic Contest (Carla *is* in that contest), there are workshops and on Saturday, meals, and the chance to hang with other toastmasters. Public Speaking is Americans' #1 fear, even before death. Toastmasters makes speaking not just possible, but fun. Register at

Had a great chat with Trudy of Living With Hope radio on Sept. 9.

Archived here:

In July, Carla competed in 2 Toastmasters contests in her club: The Humorous Speech Contest and Table Topics. (Table Topics is when you are asked a surprise question and you have 1-2 minutes to give a cohesive answer). She won both club contests and advanced to the Area contests, held on August 24, where she won both contests again.

Carla now advances to compete in both of the Division contests (Humorous Speech and Table Topics) on Sept. 12.

Some people ask why in the world Carla would join Toastmasters- isn't she already comfortable in front of an audience? "Yes, but ... preparing a cohesive, speech with a logical train of thought is a whole different ball of wax when compared to getting up and just introducing a song, playing it, then introducing another completely unrelated song, playing it, etc., until your set is over. I have yet to learn the art of writing a great speech, but have at least so far, in the trying, gained new respect for great public speakers."

Thinking about joining?

Talking about the book. This has not aired on FM yet, but you can get a sneak preview of the whole thing here!

"How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?" is an easily read collection of Ulbrich’s personal experiences liberally peppered with a charmingly twisted wit, wisdom, refreshing candor, insight and clever musical ditties set to common melodies anyone can sing. They serve to illustrate her journey through severe health crises which would send most of us sprinting to the nearest shrink, clamoring for the latest, greatest, and fastest-acting mood altering substances known to man. How does she do it? With humour.

read the whole review here:

Today at Somerset Toastmasters, Carla competed in 2 contests: The humorous speech contest and the Table Topics contest. For the humorous speech contest, Carla gave a prepared speech between 5-7 minutes entitled "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?" For the Table Topics contest, none of the contestants knew the topic ahead of time, and were let into the room one by one and given the topic, then were to speak 1-3 minutes on the topic- which in this case was "vacations." Carla won both contests and will advance to compete in the area contest on August 24.

Carla's book earned the Lupus Foundation of America's Education Committee Seal of Approval.

Very pleased to be on a short list of books to earn this seal.

Carla's book (How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This?) is now in 32 libraries.

Maybe it's on a shelf in a library near you.

From Workwise, a nationally syndicated column by Mildred Culp, PhD "Becoming a professional patient is essential if you have a health condition that impacts your ability to work. Carla Ulbrich, the singing patient at Romantic Devil Records Inc., in Somerset, N.J., incorporates this concept by applying project management and relationship skills to her recovery from lupus, an autoimmune disease. These principles ring out in her songs and lively book, “How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?” (TellMe, $14.95)." Read more:

Blogger Joy Corcoran (of "Chronically Inspired) writes:

"It's a very funny but thoughtful collection of essays about navigating the health care system and learning to cope with long term health challenges. A sense of humor, a sense of self and a lot of funny songs keep Carla Ulbrich sane as she deals with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, kidney failure, 2 strokes and bankruptcy..."

(

Article on getting the best possible care from your doctor, featuring quotes from The Singing Patient (me).
Top 10 Annoying Things to Say To Someone Who's Just Been Diagnosed:
brief interview
... by one of my former babysitters, apparently. Hopefully she'll forgive my not remembering, as apparently I was asleep.
Well, as you can tell, now that the book is completely edited and out, I'm out of the kitchen (where I wrote most of the book- no, I wasn't "cooking books") and back to my old tricks: traipsing about the country playing here, there and everywhere. March brought me to San Francisco, where I played for Consonance (A science fiction music convention), KKUP, KJFC, and the Mudpuddle Shop in Niles, as well as geeky tourist fun at the Intel Museum and Musee Mechanique. I popped down to L.A. for a quick viist with friends and a short appearance on KZSB, and even more fun taking an aerobics class from Richard Simmons! Back to Niles to retrieve my sneaker (doh!), then fly to Seattle to play for the magical, incredible Moisture Festival. Back home, right back to guitar teaching, then a book event at the really nifty Clinton Book Shop, and a day at the inspiring Arts in Healthcare Conference. I unpacked a week after I got home. And now I'm packing again. Convention in Florida coming up, then zipping through North and South Carolina and doing the dreadful 800-mile drive home by myself. Which is why I'm a bit desperate to figure out where I left my ipod. Cheers, all- and thanks for all the wonderful comments on the book!
See the MP3 page on this website for audio of this review
The book is reviewed in this month's "Humor Connection," the newsletter for the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.
Carla will appear on Sirius XM's Doctor Radio Feb. 23, for a half hour segment. It will air live at 8:00am, and re-air at 8:00PM.
Listen to an hour-long podcast of Carla discussing her book on Inoculated Radio:
I'll be doing a book singing/ reading/ concert tomorrow at my favorite hangout, Elements Wellness Boutique in Westfield, NJ.
Listen to the interview from 1/23 on WLRN: Folk and Acoustic Music with Michael Stock Listen here:
"How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This?" is now available on Kindle!
I'll be live (via phone) on the air with Rabbi Bulka of Ottawa, Canada, Radio station CFRA at 9pm (same time zone in Ottawa as New York):
Nice feature article about me and my book in the Miami entertainment paper today:
Here I am in the reviews, right between Dave Barry and Jack Sparrow:
To my surprise, a couple places are shipping my book out already, even though it's a couple weeks before the official release date. It's like some babies that arrive a couple weeks early- seems they just couldn't wait to get out into the world! Get your copy of the actual book "How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This?" now at either of these stores (will ship right away!): Direct from the publisher: Other fun stuff to do: Read the table of contents and first chapter here: Hit "like" and share the link on your facebook profile to tell your friends about the book:
Thanks to everyone who came to my 2 shows Morris County First Night- we had two packed houses. And apologies to those who were turned away at the door after we filled up. We had a fantastic time, and Joe was his usual excellent Klingon self. The show was written up in the Morristown Green newspaper: My resolution is to stop reading the comments section on the Yahoo news articles. I should save a lot of brain cells just making that one change. Hope your new year is great.
Under "5 books to make you laugh"
I'm #14,587 in Books on, and the book isn't even out yet! (Someone tells me that is the top 4%, and that may be true. The book started at below 500,000). Thanks, everybody, for pre-ordering my humorous manifesto! Keep crunching- we'll make more.
It's finally becoming reality- the final book has gone to the printer, and it is available for preorder at,, and! Official release date is Feb. 1, 2011, but I believe the preorders will be delivered sooner than that. Check out this gorgeous cover: I will admit, when Carla first contacted me regarding her book, I wasn’t interested in reading about someone going through illness or major health challenges. For whatever reason, I didn’t delete her email. I reread her email, checked out her website, read more about her book, I was completely taken with her amazing outlook on life, her tenacity and her passion. I emailed her back and asked if I could review her book. I wasn’t disappointed. Carla talks to you honestly, on every level, in her book. She also does it with a fantastic sense of humor. Carla recants her journey through illness, from discovery, traversing the health care maze and dealing with friends and family. Throughout the book she also injects all of her crazy thoughts, ideas and opinions with great wit. My favourite chapter, one that everyone can relate to, sick or not is Chapter 3, That’s Inflammatory! What Not to Eat if You Have an Autoimmune Disease, as well all have to eat. Part 8: But I Like Eating Crap! is my favourite section. I too want to become a reformed crapitarian! No spoiler alert here. You have to read the book. Click on the above link for a chance to enter the contest and win a free copy of the book!
Wooh! I got 10 copies of the advance version of my book. Advance copies have no cover, no pictures, no graphics, just the text. But what this means is, it's going out to reviewers, and it's becoming a reality. For years I've wanted to write a book to share with everyone the things I found helpful in dealing with nasty chronic diseases, to offer some hope, some help, and a bit of humor. Being able to laugh in a tough situation is a wonderful gift, and I wanted to share it. And soo, I will finally be able to do so in book form! It is currently schedule to be released Feb. 1, 2011. "How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This? Facing Illness with Humor, Creativity, and Grit." (That's grit, not grits...)
I've had this notion for years that I'd write a book about my adventures as a patient. Over the past year, I thought about it more than usual, and boom- a book deal fell into my lap! It's a small press doing interesting books. My book, which I've been secretly working on since fall of 2008, is slated to come out in early 2011. It's a collection of humorous essays such as "You Can Biopsy When I'm Dead: My 15 Least Favorite Medical Procedures," and "Top 10 Annoying Things to Say to Someone Who's Just Been Diagnosed." I've gathered a few pictures for possible inclusion in the book, ranging from attractive to mildly humiliating. My famous $40 wig will hopefully make it into the photo section. It has been copy-edited (they fixed my typos and grammatical errors- I made a lot so the editors would feel needed). We're entering the final phases- final revisions, graphics, biz stuff with the publicist. I'll keep you posted on the expected release date as we make more progress on these last bits of business.
The premiere of my one woman show, "How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This?" at TaDa Theater, off broadway in New York CIty, was a big success! It was a short show, clocking in at around 20 minutes. This was a toe-in-the-water test for the material, to see if the general public would want to see a show about illness. In the past I've limited my "sick humor" material to about 3 songs in a 60-90 performance of general comedy. The good news is, they really enjoyed it, so I'll be expanding the show to an hour! It's a mix of comedy and music, and a little bit of uncommon sense. Give me about 6 months to finish writing the long version, then watch for some full-length performances of the show.
One-woman show premiere! "How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This?" New York City Thurs., May 6, 9pm Emerging Artists Theatre presents…ILLUMINATING ARTISTS: New Work Series Tada Theatre 15 West 28th St., 2nd Floor Between Broadway/5th Avenue $10 Admission Advance Tickets & Exact Showtimes at This is a humorous show including comedy and songs, about surviving illness- and the medical system!
"Duet with a Klingon" is in Dr. Demento's "Funny 25" of 2009. In fact, it's #5 for the year.
from me and tony romeo
Leftovers is back- temporarily! I unearthed a partial box of Leftovers CDs in my garage. If you've ever seen my garage, you understand how easily a small box could get misplaced. Of course, I know you haven't ever seen my garage, because I won't let anyone in there, lest they never make it back out. Box Sets are back! Because there are 8 copies of Leftovers, Box Sets are also (temporarily) back! OK, there's no actual box- it's just a great deal: get all 5 Carla Ulbrich CDs for $50 including shipping. Until I run out of Leftovers.
The new CD, "LIVE FROM OUTER SPACE," is on the ballot for the Grammys! It's in the comedy category, along with 50 other artists, including Jonathan Coulton, Capital steps, Kathy Griffin, Paula Poundstone, Jeffrey Ross, Christopher Titus, Ron White, Jonathan Winters, Rodney carrington, Cledus t judd, Weird Al Yankovic, Steven Colbert, George Lopez, Dane Cook, Stephen Lynch, Nick DiPaolo, and Patton Oswalt. Nominations, where they narrow the field further, down to 5 in each category, will be announced Dec. 2, 2009. Approximately 7000 people are voting members of the academy. The actual Grammy awards will be presented Jan. 31, 2010.
I'm just home from a long fabulous trip that involved a medical convention (for patients), a filk convention (science fiction music convention), a folk venue, and a general interest science fiction convention, with 2 days of sightseeing on the Pacific Coast Highway squeezed in. And lunch with Dr. Demento. I'll try to be brief because I haven't had much sleep and that means lots of typos. The Myositis convention was wonderful. A gathering for patients with a rare autoimmune disease, it is often the first time many of the attendees have ever met anyone else with the same diagnosis. I was the kickoff presenter, and I sang songs and talked about keeping a sense of humor and removing blame and shame from our situation. Wonderful bunch of people, and a very meaningful day for me. Conchord was the "filk" convention in Woodland Hills (L.A. area) where I was guest of honor. A small but very charming music convention, they sang me a birthday dirge to the tune of volga boatman. It's a must-hear. They treated me wonderfully, and I was delighted to hear some great new songs from Kathleen Sloan and to finally hear Kathy Mar. Highlights on California's hwy 1 include going under the golden gate bridge for a very strange view of it, and checking out the park on the south side of the bridge. the one of the north side is also very cool. We stumbled upon a beach made entirely of pebbles somewhere on that highway. We saw some folks doing what I guess is called para=boogie-boarding? parasurfing? You use a kite-like sail to propel you along the water on a small surfboard. We hiked into a state park and saw some giant redwoods, and did the 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach (didn't see any beaches made of pebbles at the place actually called pebble beach, a golf resort area full of pricey mansions and a nature reserve). On "bird rock," there are bunches of sea lions and seals. Very stinky, but supremely cool. I have pictures. Finally, we landed at Fencon, a general interest science fiction convention in Dallas, where I was one of the guests of honor, along with Paul Cornell, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Keith R A DeCandido. There were many other guests, including Tom Smith, Luke Ski, and the dashing and talented Joe Giacoio. I was at the very first Fencon in 2004, and I have to say I *love* the programming there. A great mix of writing, music, art, costumes, and extremely well-run. It feels like a party, but without the guy with the lampshade on his head. Oh wait, there was one of those at the masquerade. If you've never been to a science fiction convention, this is a great first one to try. About 700-800 attendees, it's not too crowded, but plenty going on. I'm home (for now) and back to my 2 days a week of guitar students, my dog, and some fruits and vegetables. I've had enough road food!
This is mostly non-medical humor (except for the bits about coffee enemas and tombstones). Mostly just a bunch of silly songs and jokes recorded live in concert at the XM radio performance theater last summer. But laughter is the best medicine, so if you want to get your mind off your troubles (unless your trouble is with Klingons), this may be just what the doctor ordered. Here's what's on the CD: - Let it Go - The Force Is the Force - My Love - I hope you’re happy - Duet With a Klingon (live, featuring my husband, Joe, as the Klingon) - Bad Song Ideas - Big Hit Medley - One Good Song - Scrambled Eggs - It’s Never Polite to Ask a Girl How Old She Is - We Don’t Need a Walmart - If I Had the Copyright (The F word Song- bleeped) - Duet with a klingon- studio cut plus some comedy bits. I had great engineers, so the sound quality is fantastic. And a really talented illustrator, so the graphics are awesome. Buy it here! Click this text to add to Cart $12.98 Buy it here! 6/1/09 Morristown Green
The CD is mixed, edited, and mastered! Now working on graphics. I have the fabulous Debbie Ohi doing the art!
Hard at work when time is available on editing last summer's Live at XM radio concert into a CD. Have to remove some previously released songs, cut it up into separate tracks, and find the balance of guitar, voice, and audience. Aiming for summer '09.
I took a 4-week standup comedy class at the Stress Factory (great comedy club in New Brunswick, NJ). We graduated Sunday. This is a great thing to put on your bucket list! I'm at the end.
I've decided to go back to teaching 3 days a week so i can fund all these great projects I want to bring you- the Live CD, the leftovers CD, the book tour. I love teaching- I've taught guitar over the years at 2 stores, my basement, 2 colleges, and 2 summer camps. Currently I'm finishing up a beginner's group class (done through Franklin Township) and offering ongoing private lessons at Lou Rose Music in Edison, NJ and Golden Age Instruments in Wesfield, NJ. Lou Rose is a great shop for sheet music, accessories, beginner guitars, and of course lessons. Golden Age is filled with fantastic high-end guitars, both vintage and new. Both are one-store, owner operated businesses (not franchise chain stores). If you're interested in lessons, I've got just a few spots left. e me.
Sometimes the "next right thing" to do is really obvious. This is one of those. I have been griping about the state of our health care system for years now. Well, here are some people who are going beyond just griping and actually trying to change it, to envision what a healing, affirming, affordable, fair health care system would look like. I jumped on board and will be attending (as a student). "Thinking Outside the Box" healthcare system design intensive in Baltimore Maryland, Feb. 2-5. School for Designing a Society
I'm keeping a lighter performance schedule in '09 so I can focus on several projects I want to complete. Meanwhile enjoy this goofy little video I put together ("Duet with a Klingon") for a song on my upcoming Live CD- coming out in Spring 09 (I hope!)
I was a contestant in the Williamsburg Live Song Contest in November. For anyone outside of Brooklyn, this is not in Virginia, but a neighborhood within Brooklyn. I didn't win, but I made the top 9 (of 150 selected to compete), and the guy whose song I liked the most won. A lot like the time in 1998 or so when I was in a live song contest at Eddie's Attic with 25 other acts and I heard this duo "Lo-fi Masters." I said to myself "Those two should win. Of course, I want to win, but if they don't make it at least to the top 2, those judges are deaf. Well, they won, and shortly after that one of the guys left the duo. The other guy went on to release a few albums and date Jennifer Aniston. Yeah, John Mayer. How much is that other guy from the "lo-fi masters" kicking himself right now? Oh, yeah I made it to the top 4 that night. And a few months after that I was playing at Eddie's and John was working the door. (The record contract took a little while to come about).
Carla Ulbrich LiVE! XM15 is proud to present Carla Ulbrich live from XM Satellite Radio Performance Theater before an audience. Get ready for Carla unleashed - one hour of PG-13 comedy. And you may find this performance on a CD sometime in 2008. Eastern Time: Tuesday Aug 19, noon, Friday Aug 22, midnight Don't have XM? Not a problem! Go to and listen on the internet for free!
What a thrill! I'll be singing a song or 3 in the "Licks and Laughter" concert at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention (CAAS) at the Music City Sheraton in Nashville. The convention runs from Wednesday night through Saturday night, July 9-11. Also in the Licks and Laughter concert- the affable Antsy McClain of the Trailer Park Troubadours, and Todd Hallawell, a Winfield Fingerpicking Champion. Maybe a 4th person... we'll see! I attended this convention several times before ever getting on stage last year (also for the Licks and Laughter concert). Chet was quite an icon, quite the country gentleman, and quite an entertainer. No wonder there is both an appreciation society and a convention. Like fingerpickin'? check out Be there or be... somewhere else!
Hey I'm headed South to do some shows in Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, and North Carolina. I'll also be enjoying 10 minutes of fame on TV with "Good Morning Arkansas!" No, you can't call in and vote me off, but you can tune in and see just how many pounds the camera adds... The Aiken Uu and Louisiana hospital fundraiser are "Sick Humor" shows The others will be a mix.
StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!
Me and Joe spoofing the Snickers commercial. No animals were harmed or fed chocalte in teh making of this video.
I had a beautiful time playing for the Bedside Harp Salon (meeting)- these folks go to patients' bedisdes and play for them. They are an amazing bunch of folks. I am in awe of caregivers who put themselves out on a limb all day long, every day, usually for not the biggest paycheck. God's hands and feet. I played my ridiculous songs about waiting room and IV needles and a disappearing butt for God's hands and feet. I believe God has a sense of humor. (I think I frequently test that sense of humor...) The Avalon Nudist festival was really fun. Such nice people. I once again left my clothes on (except my shoes, but I'm always taking my shoes off- I'm a lifelong nudist from the ankles down). My beau won the rising star song contest (interesting name...) there that weekend as well! it really is beautiful in PawPaw, WV.

To get on the mailing list, check out the signup box in the top left corner of this page.

To book Carla for your event, please e mail or call:


RSS feed