A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Interview

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an interview stacey gustafsonLast month, I received a request for an interview from Dolores Fox Ciardelli, Tri Valley Life Editor at the Pleasanton Weekly. She received a press release about my contributions to the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter Is the Best Medicine. And she wanted to talk about laughter in general, especially during Covid. Humor is my favorite subject so of course I said, “YES!”

Then asked me to reschedule. “I hate to do this, but could we possibly make our talk a little later? I was able to schedule an Insta-Cart order delivery between 11 and 1 tomorrow so I took the slot.”

This is our new normal so of course I said fine, what else did I have to do? I understand how difficult it’s been to get a food delivery. I’ve tried six times for disinfectant wipes. If you have any, Instant Message me on FaceBook.

“When humor goes, there goes civilization.” –Erma Bombeck

During the interview, I expected to chat for thirty minutes. We ended up talking for over an hour. You know that feeling you get when you talk to a person, and you immediately click and it’s instant friendship? For me, that person was Dolores Ciadelli. She made me feel at ease the moment she said, “Do you have time to talk?” Well, hey, we’re in a pandemic, do I ever have time to talk!

“Humor can alter any situation and help us cope at the very instant we are laughing.” –Allen Klein

We established a natural rapport and it was a fun and friendly experience. She got me out of my comfort zone and I shared things I never expected to share with a total stranger, off the record of course!

Here’s her story in the Pleasanton Weekly.

Valley Views: Laughing in place

Humor is proving important as we shelter in place. Comedy about the current situation is by definition dark but, wow, it can be funny.

When I heard that Pleasanton funny lady Stacey Gustafson has two pieces in the newly released “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter Is the Best Medicine,” I gave her a call. And what do you know? She was home.

This was not just because of stay-at-home protocol; Stacey is a writer and works from home. Her husband Mike normally works from home less than 50% of the time, so her household has gone through an adjustment. Their grown children, Ashley and Brock, are sheltering in their own places in Santa Clara and San Jose.

Stacey said she had taken a hiatus from writing for eight months to spend time in St. Louis helping her father, who had had multiple strokes and had to be moved into assisted living. But she was back in time to chronicle what it means to shelter at home, including trials with her dear aging dog Stanley as she struggles to provide him with the perfect diet.

Try to find humor in a bad situation.

In her first pandemic blog, Stacey notes she is totally unqualified to give medical or emergency help but what she can do is share humor.

Want to read the rest? Link here:


Bio for Dolores Fox CiardelliA Funny Thing Happened on the way to an interview stacey gustafson

Dolores Fox Ciardelli is arts and entertainment editor for the Pleasanton Weekly but what she enjoys most these days is writing a column called Valley Views where she shares her observations about life in the Tri-Valley.

She earned a degree in journalism from San Jose State in 1968, and did freelance writing as she moved around the world with her family. While living in Bangkok from 1987-1992, she edited an arts magazine and published two books with her international writers group, “Short Stories of Bangkok & Beyond” and “More Short Stories from Bangkok & Beyond.”

Upon settling back in Walnut Creek, she went to work as a reporter and editor for the Contra Costa Times weeklies, and when the Pleasanton Weekly opened in 2000, she came on board as its managing editor. When the company launched the Danville Weekly in 2005, Dolores was founding editor, writing her weekly column, Diablo Views, until the print edition became www.DanvilleSanRamon.com in 2009, and she returned to work in Pleasanton.

Suggested links to other writing by Doloris Ciardelli:

Feb. 14: Valley Views: Valentine to last a lifetime


March 27: Valley Views: Working from home is different now


April 10: Valley Views: Santa says Happy Easter


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