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  1. How Things Could Be

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

                                                                                                                                                       How things could be:

     
    This one lifts my spirits every time.
    
     
    This is a dream come true for a number of people.
     
    When the human connection works, wow.
     
    When religion is used for good:
     
     
     
     
    When we embrace what other creatures have to offer, love multiplies.
     
     
     
     
    When we really understand why we are here, we sometimes have to push religion out of the way in order to do the right thing.


     

    "You, you may say
    I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will live as one"

     



    Mindy Matijasevic
    December 16, 2014
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  2. Late 1/2 Blog with No Particular Theme

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014


    The Divorced Divas of Comedy show went very well.  The process was a lot of work.  The result was very good.  I’m tired.  I took it easy much of the rest of the weekend.  Didn’t even get to the open mic; didn’t try to.    

    One of the good things that happened in preparation for my performance in the show was I discovered I have more material than I thought I had.  I selected 20 minutes for the show, and that’s the longest set I’ve done so far.  It’s nice knowing I have more.  And then there are more bits still developing.  Just as with writing poetry, I sometimes think I have no more comedy to write – that I’ve said what I had to say and that’s it.  So it always feels good when I realize there’s more.

    I’ve received so much feedback on the show since much of the audience was from my guest list.  Over 90% very positive.

    I spent over an hour Sunday morning de-cluttering.  I can’t wait to be able to say my apartment has reached fine.  When I do a lot physically and when I tense up in the cold, my ribs start to remind me they are not yet done healing.

    I am very tired.

       
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  3. Along my comedy journey, I, years ago, saw Andrea Mezvinsky working on her material at Ed Tyll's open mic.  She was an experience, not just a joke-teller.  Whenever I saw her do her thing, I felt like I spent some moments in her shoes.  So it was not really that surprising to have run into her a few years later at an acting audition.  We actually auditioned together for a comedic website's skits, and I played the male character at the audition.  So, for me, it was memorable.  Only been a few times in my life where I was the man. 


    Then some later point on my journey, I auditioned for a variety show where I'd act in skits on stage.  After I auditioned, they asked me to stay in the room where they were seeing people.  A woman came in and did a monologue from the female version of the Odd Couple which I found riveting.  I had once hoped to do the other character (based on Oscar) from that play.  The actress I had planned to do it with was murdered.  So when I saw this woman, Ellen Orchid, do the female Felix character, it all came back to me.  She delivered the monologue so well, and she was so convincing.  We exchanged contact info.  Some time later, I was putting on comedy shows at the 5C CafĂ©.  I invited her.  She let me know she is also a stand-up comic, and she expressed interest in being in a show.  Then I found out she is also a playwright and a psychiatrist.  When I had an opening, I booked her.  My co-workers attended that show and enjoyed Ellen's unique mix very much as did I. 


    It is really special when I find a comedy open mic that feels comfortable enough for me to enjoy it and grow.  Some months back, I did, and it is sometimes co-hosted by Judith George, which is how we met.  Whenever she does her thing at the mic, I am laughing.  She has a dance background which sometimes mixes with her comedy, and I love the blend. 



    My Divorced Divas of Comedy idea reared its head about a year ago.  Originally it was three of us.  Then we lost one, and other things happened which left it on the shelf for a while. 

    Over the summer, a former co-worker from a teaching job contacted me telling me about an opportunity to use a theatre.  He knew I did comedy, had once attended a show I was in, and he liked what he heard.  I acknowledged it but didn't act on it right away.  Having two jobs, among other things, consumes a lot of my energy. 

    A while after that, Ellen Orchid, who was part of the original three Divorced Divas of Comedy, contacted me about trying to again do something with this idea.  I realized this was probably the time.  I contacted my former co-worker, and we went from there.  

    Though that isn't the way we became the Brady Bunch, this Friday, December 5, 2014 is our debut as the Divorced Divas of Comedy.  Some of us may be guest Divas or rotating Divas, but this Friday, we are the Divorced Divas of Comedy

    Tickets are inexpensive and need to be purchased in advance through:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/905345

    Bring a friend who needs to laugh.  Makes a memorable holiday gift.  You are welcome at 7:15 for mingling, wine, and seating.  Showtime is 8pm. 

     
    Please, dear readers, share the link to this blog with people you know.  And if you have a moment, feel free to visit and like our Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/threedivorceddivas
     
    Thanks!
    
    
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  4. Somehow, Some Way

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014



     

     
     
     
     

    After being at both jobs today, my night is being dictated by my dog’s poop problems.  I need to get him something – olive oil or stool softener or something.  He doesn’t usually have this problem.  I got home at 9:30, and I’ve had to go back out three times since – once was to the store for me.  Now he’s looking at me again in that way.  Between my jobs, my ribs, the apartment, working on material, and my dog’s needs as of late (and those are the things I can talk about on-line), somehow, some way, the show will go on!





           
         
     
     
    People have been asking me about showing up and buying a ticket at the door.  There are a number of reasons we are doing the tickets on-line.  Please click the link and go from there.  If you don’t do purchases on-line (and I totally get that), please ask someone who does shop on-line to do it for you.  They should give your first name as the one attending.  I’ll have the list of ticket holders on the night of the show. 
    Thanks!
     
     

     
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  5. On the Mend (I hope)

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014


     
     
     
     
     
     
    Well, folks, healing is going to be a very slow process.  Sometimes, I’m having a decent time of it, and I dare get some things done.  Other times, I just want something to let me sleep.  The reality that we are breakable is not a happy one.

    I was out of work for a week and a half.  Different teachers covered my class.  They were impressed with the good feeling of working with my students.  I was proud.  I wasn’t at meetings though, and no one can be my voice and cover for me in that way.  So I was feeling like things are going on without me and without my input.  Just as some people missed me, I’m sure others were thrilled with my absence.  My students were glad I was back, but I do wonder if I’m pushing it.  With my evening job, I ran out of paid sick time.  I returned last night.  Though my students there were glad, even some of them asked if I was back too soon.  Some have had fractured ribs and said they were out of work longer.

    I did get to a comedy open mic because I need to keep it going and not get rusty.  The Divorced Divas show is coming up on December 5th.  I also met with some of the others for brainstorming solutions and ideas.  So I’ve been in motion.  Sometimes too much motion.

    Next week, I have a follow-up appointment.  I’m thinking I may need something more than an x-ray.

    My best friend continues to help me with dog-walking.  But my buddy has a life too, and sometimes, I’ve had to walk the dog myself.  It becomes less of a walk and more of a letting him out to do his business and then returning home. 

    Watching the news can feel horrifying. 
     
    It makes me sometimes not want to leave my house at all.  On other levels, it makes me want to research other countries to live.
     
    1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.

    2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."

    3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

    4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids. 

    5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

    6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

    7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

    8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

    9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

    10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).

     

    Now it is 28 degrees.  Being so cold makes my body tense.  Then my rib cage hurts more.  Even with all my aching, I am very aware how much worse it could have been.  I am, among other things, grateful it wasn’t my hip or my head.

    On a more positive note, I had a blast at the open mic on Sunday night.  It was exceptional.  And there was something else positive.  Someone who I thought I was very close with for many years, and then had a heartbreaking smashing of the friendship which was more painful than most things, has been in touch.  We are occasionally in touch.  But this time, it felt different.  It feels like if one or both of us die today, we will have left things on a better note. 

     

     

     

     

     
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  6. The Flying Leap

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014


     

    I went for a walk with a co-worker friend last Wednesday.  It was late afternoon.  Though it was still daylight when we headed out, it became dark during the walk.  The ground we were on was uneven.  My co-worker had just asked me about the time early in my marriage.  I was deep into it when I took a flying leap.  Could it be any more metaphorical? 


    This time, it was a literal fall and a bit bizarre.  I was stumbling and trying not to fall, but I was losing against gravity.  I was going to the left.  That’s what made it bizarre.  Usually I’d be falling forward.  My co-worker was on my left and I tried to grab on in hopes of at least lightening the fall.  Maybe I did; I’m not sure if it would have been worse.  The street was not smooth.  I landed hard on my side.  I injured my ribs badly.  I couldn’t fuckin' believe it. 

    Some things had been going pretty well, and then this felt like a setback in some ways.

    It takes at least six weeks to heal.  The Divorced Divas Comedy Show is in less than that.  I expect to be feeling a lot better by then.  As much as it hurts, I’m supposed to breathe deeply and cough each hour to help prevent pneumonia and lung infection.

    I didn’t go to either job the day after this happened. Too much pain.  The day after that, the pain wasn’t really improving except for the shoulder area.  I was able to use that arm more.  But the rib cage area was still awful.  A friend convinced me why I should get an x-ray.  She said if it is a fracture (a crack) then it will have to mend on its own.  If it is broken, it could be doing damage to another part of me.  Since the pain wasn’t lessening, I knew I needed to go.  So I managed to take off my clothes and shower and get dressed mainly because the shoulder and arm were much improved.  Nothing is broken there.  But when I called the medical group, no one answered after more than twenty rings.  Plus I have my own desire not to go, so I decided since it was the afternoon and they may have been done for the day, I’d go the next day early in the morning with the support of my friend.  I needed help to sit there.  I knew I could get there physically, but waiting while being afraid was what I needed help with.

    We went.  The nurse had to ask me if anyone was threatening me.  (I guess because I came in saying I fell and was sure I broke some ribs.)  I said "no," but I wanted to say that if I died, some folks would be glad.  No point in complicating things.  Then she had to ask me if I drink.  Of course I drink.  I told her, "Yes but not that day." It went on:
    "Daily?"
    "No."
    "Socially on weekends?"
    "Not every weekend."
    "Monthly or less?"
    "Well, sometimes..."
    "Monthly or less?"
    Realizing there was probably no box on the form for a real answer, I said, "Monthly." 
    There are times I drink a whole bottle of wine in one night. Weeks can go by without any. Then there may be a week where it's daily for a few nights.  It's not a matter of drinking socially; I drink emotionally.  My answers don't fit in little boxes any more than I fit in a file.

    I saw a doctor on duty though it wasn’t my regular doctor.  She wanted to know if I wanted a referral also for a mammogram and a colonoscopy.  Uh, no.  I was in so much pain.  A breast flattening and ass search was not what I went there for.  To be fair, she saw how long it had been since I was there and figured she’d get some things done while she had me there.  She asked if I wanted my flu shot today.  I wanted it no day.  I told her I have never taken the flu shot.  She asked about a tetanus shot.  I couldn’t stand this when I was in so much pain.  I said, “I want an x-ray and painkillers that are strong enough to need a prescription.” 

    She sent me to the lab for an x-ray.  They said they don’t do it on Saturdays.  I couldn’t accept that after all it took to get myself there.  Then they said if I needed it today, I had to use the lab in the hospital (around the corner).  I did.  They found three fractured ribs.  The 4th, 5th, and 6th ribs were fractured in the back.  I honestly don’t think they saw everything.  I believe it is fractured in other places too, or the soft tissue is also very pained.  The doctor seemed surprised that I had what I came in saying I had -- multiple fractures.  After all, I didn't go to medical school; I just live in my body and was in it when I fell.  That, I learn over and over, doesn't hold weight with every doctor.  
     
    My buddy picked up my painkillers from the drug store.  I’ve had to take more than the dose prescribed to get any effect.  I needed something stronger to knock me out in the first few days like codeine or the date-rape drug -- without the rape. 

    I must add that I am grateful I have a friend who really cares about me and my dog (and has walked my Luigi ever since this happened), that I have insurance, and that I was able to pay the $30 co-payment (it wasn’t long ago when I would've been bouncing checks to get medical care). 

    With all my complaints and aching and paining, I am probably going to heal from this way, way faster than healing from emotional and spiritual abuse.  With that, there's no x-ray to say "Right there, that's where it is."



    The show will go on!  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/905345
     

     
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  7. For the first time ever, I learned to carve a pumpkin.  My day job had a pumpkin carving workshop for those who wanted to do it.  Being the kid I am and always will be, I definitely wanted to. 

    First, I selected my pumpkin from the ones provided.  Then I was told to make sketches.




    Next was making an opening.





    Then, cleaning it out.



    The woman below in the green tee, Kitty, was our guide.



    Now, for the creative fun.



    Besides a knife, we had some sculpting tools which broadened the possibilities.


     

     



    Now I can add pumpkin carving to my resume.


     

     

     
     
     
    (Most photos taken by Kitty Crooks.)
     
    What do a life, a pumpkin, and a niche in the comedy arena have in common?  They each need to be carved out.  Come experience what the Divorced Divas have carved out for you from our comedic take on life. 

    If you haven’t yet bought your tickets for the Divorced Divas Comedy Show, I highly recommend you do so if you plan on attending.  It also occurred to me what a wonderful cheer-up holiday gift it would make for a friend, neighbor, sibling, co-worker…  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/905345
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