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  1. Healing & Performing

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    The last time I saw my doctor for the Legionnaires, Thursday, I was 
    almost in tears when I told her I didn’t know if I was going to survive this.  She turned to me with a loving face and gentle voice and said, “You ARE surviving this.”  I looked at her and tried to inhale her.  I said, “I am trying to take all your positivity in.”

    She is an infectious disease doctor, and I would recommend her to 
    everyone.  She’s a human being and speaks to patients like they are as well.  I feel so lucky to be seeing her.

    On Friday, I received a surprise – a bag of food from Fresh Direct.  It was a gift.  It took a while to find out which angel sent it.  I was deeply touched and so grateful and teary-eyed.  She had researched on the Mayo Clinic website which foods would help my immune system fight this shit.  An amazing gift. 

    On Saturday, I worried that accepting a booking for Sunday night may 
    have been a mistake.  Saturday was also the day of my last antibiotic.  That day I slept more than almost any day.  I’d get up for a few hours and then go back to sleep.  This happened three times.  When I’m sleeping, I’m not doing anything bad for my body.  Lots of healing can take place.

    The next day, I woke up feeling better than I have felt in over two 
    months.  I went out for breakfast with my best buddy.  That night I performed in Randy Epley’s Comedy Dungeon show at Jazz on the Park Hostel.  The hardest part was the staircase in the train station.  I was glad I got there, performed, and watched the rest of the show.

    The next day, Monday, I again woke up feeling decent.  That evening, I 
    went to support Eddie Messanelli’s show at Otto’s Shrunken Head on 14th Street.  His new co-producer and co-host is Esteban Tino Romero.  I just wanted to watch the show.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Got to see people I hadn’t seen in a while and meet new people.  Eddie lives not far from me, so he gave me a lift home.  That really helps.

    Today, Tuesday, I, thank God/dess, again woke up feeling pretty okay. 
    had worried I wouldn’t feel well after the antibiotics were over.  I am so grateful I seem to be pretty okay.  Other than going to a few nearby stores, I stayed home today.  Wasn’t too productive, but the night isn’t over.

    Those of you who want to laugh and have a good time for not a lot of 
    money, I will be performing at the Producer’s Club on Tuesday, November 26th at 9pm.  Doors open at 8:30.  Only $5 cover.  Two VERY reasonable drinks minimum ($2- $9).  For this show, I do need a few guests.  Please make room on your calendar.  J

    Big love to CGG-M 

  2. In Spite of Challenges, Moving Right Along...

    Wednesday, November 6, 2019

    Well folks, I don’t know how well or not well I’m doing.  I know I’m not as 
    okay as I was before all this Legionnaires shit started.

    But moving right along, I’m part of the following and hope you’ll be 
    tempted to attend –

    Comedy Dungeon Show, a Randy Epley production, this Sunday, Nov. 10th 
    at 8:30pm, and it is FREE!  You can bring food and drink (yes, even alcohol), and have a seat and watch a free comedy show with visitors from other parts of the country and world at Jazz on the Park Hostel, 36 West 106 Street near Central Park West.  B or C train to 103 Street.

    Brevitas Festival of Short Poems, Sun., Nov. 24th at 2pm.  $10 cover 
    includes a copy of the anthology.

    See You Next Tuesday Comedy Show, produced by Hope Gutierrez, 
    Tues., November 26th at 8:30pm.  Only $5 cover!  Two very, very reasonable drinks minimum.  A bunch of funny people to tickle your funny bone at the Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street.

    Winter Comedy Show, produced by me, Mindy Matijasevic, Saturday, 
    December 28th at 8pm (arrive at 7:45pm).  The Artist, 249 City Island Avenue, City Island, Bronx.  Only $10 cover.  No minimum.  Jar or hat passed around for contributions so I can pay the comics.  Featuring Jillian Thomas, Shelly Colman, Ken Watter, and me.

    Much love to CGG-M

  3. To the Doctor & Beyond...

    Friday, November 1, 2019

    Well, I wish I can say I’m fine, but I’m not.  At least not yet. 

    I saw the infectious diseases doctor again, and she and I both thought it 
    was a good idea to give me another round of the killer antibiotics.  Plus she wants me to get a spirometer to exercise my lungs and get them back to capacity.  I like her which says a lot since I don’t like going to doctors generally.  But I needed my best buddy to take me.  When it comes to this stuff, I am like a five-year-old needing her mother.

    The legionella bacteria could be coming from my own faucets.  It is hard to know what to avoid because I don’t know where I got it.  I believe the Dept. of Health will be checking. 

    Proceeding with optimism, I will be in a poetry reading on November 24th 
    at 2pm at Bowery Poetry Club.  It is the celebration of the Brevitas anthology, full of poems 14 lines or less.  $10 admission for the public includes a complimentary copy of the 2019 anthology.

    On Saturday, December 28th at 8pm, warm up at the winter comedy show 
    at The Artist (formerly the Starving Artist Café) on City Island, which will be featuring:

    Jillian Thomas 


          Shelly Colman         


    Ken Watter 

    (probably without Elmo)

     & me 

    It is only $10 cover and NO minimum though they do sell light fare and 
    scrumptious desserts.  Later, a jar or hat is passed around welcoming contributions for the comics.  Laughter absolutely guaranteed!

    Big love to CGG-M

  4. A Mix of Life's Ingredients

    Saturday, October 19, 2019

    Hey readers!  I’m on the mend though I received a call from the NYC 
    Dept. of Health who needed to ask many questions because I apparently contracted the legionella bacteria.  It is the bacteria of the Legionnaires disease.  Yes, I was freaked out.  The Dept. of Health woman was reassuring that the strong antibiotic I was on works for both pneumonia and legionella (an atypical form of pneumonia).  I do feel a lot better.

    Until I get the okay from the doctor on October 24th, I am not calm about this.  I am so open to another round of the killer antibiotics if that will make me feel convinced the legionella is gone.  I may join those people who walk around outside with a mask over their mouth and nose.  I’m not contagious.  However, I am susceptible to other people’s germs.

    I have wanted to get back to my normal life and made plans accordingly.  
    Then I realized I was pushing it.  I canceled a number of plans.  However, Saturday morning I did make it to a memoir poetry writing workshop.  It is free.  It is typically very good quality, and it was four blocks away (Poe Park Visitors' Center) on a decent weather day.  The Bronx Council on the Arts provides wonderful services to the artist community.  I am so glad I went.  It was good for my head, heart, and all other parts.  I have homework!  And I am glad I have homework.  I don’t lack stories to write, but I often need a push to write them.  This is perfect for me.  It goes on for 3 more weeks.  I am thrilled.

    For those of you who like to plan in advance, I am putting together 
    another comedy show at The Artist on City Island on December 28, 2019, 8pm.  Put that on your calendar.  I deliver.  

    249 City Island Avenue
    City Island (the Bronx), NY 

    Much love to CGG-M

  5. Gratitude, etc.

    Saturday, October 12, 2019

    All of you who expressed your concern whether as a comment on the 
    blog page, my Facebook page, a phone call, or an email directly to me, THANK YOU!

    Two beautiful women sent me cards and cash.  So appreciated and needed 
    since I wasn’t able to be out there making money for quite a while.  My closest buddy lent me money and brought me tea, took me to the doctor’s more than once.  He is my unofficially adopted brother.

    I feel much better.  Wednesday was my last antibiotic.  The next day was 
    supposed to be my follow-up visit with the infectious diseases doctor but got rescheduled by them.  I think the doc was sick.  I was actually relieved because I wasn’t able to sleep the night before until 5am.  So I was on the verge of rescheduling.  Since they did it, I have no guilt about it.  I’m supposed to see her next Thursday.

    Currently I feel like the pneumonia is gone.  I am being cautious though 
    since so many people told me they thought they were ok and then got hospitalized.  I have other problems from lying around and sitting too many hours per day.  Circulation in my legs …

    The “Chinese Consulate” calls me often.  This is crazy.  I’ve never been to 
    China, I am not Chinese, and I never had anything to do with the Chinese Consulate. 

    This technological age seems to offer as many problems as benefits.

    During my feeling awful, I did the mature thing and canceled being in a 
    comedy show.  The producer was very understanding, and offered to reschedule me in his weekly show.  I think I’m ready to respond to that email.  I miss being out there.

    My cell phone service has been interrupted.  I’m hoping my internet, cable, and home phone doesn’t.  My financial situation sucks. 

    My last comedy show and three poetry readings were fantastic.  So I have lots of hope.  The host of my most recent reading told me this: 

    You did a great feature. I got positive feedback from folks there. Margo, the new WSAC board president, complimented you and your work emphatically. She said you presented the case for women’s rights and women’s situation in the society very clearly and very well; very down to earth. You were a big hit. 

    That made me feel very good.

    I’ll keep you all updated.

    Much love to CGG-M!  

  6. When 'She So Funny' Ain't So Funny

    Friday, October 4, 2019

    Hi folks.  I’m too exhausted to share the long version, but I’ve been sick 
    since 9/22.  At its peak, I had 103 temperature.  I had pneumonia.  Now after a round of antibiotics, those symptoms subsided.  However, I have some infection on my right lung.  Saw an infectious diseases doctor.  Now I’m on a round of much stronger antibiotics. 

    My best buddy has been my major support, and I am very grateful.  I hope I survive this.  I really look forward to feeling well again.

    In the meantime, I have to be aware of certain things that would indicate 
    a need for the ER.

    Love to CGG-M

  7. How It Went!

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    Ah the stressful joys of producing.  Things were going pretty smoothly for the 9/13/2019 show on City Island.  The one thing I didn’t do that I had wanted to do was make programs for the guests.  My printer doesn’t work, and my friend who would’ve printed for me was going through too much.  I didn’t want to add anything to his plate that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

    The comics were booked.  I do like my taste, so I felt confident the 
    guests were going to enjoy the show a lot.  I’d been mentioning the show in my blog for several months.  I wrote a press release (something I learned from Anne Leighton) and sent it to the City Island paper (The Island Current).  They responded right away saying they’d include the info in their September edition.  I was thrilled.  I want to get the City Island residents interested since it’s not a laborious trip for them as it is for many people throughout the city (when I say ‘city,’ I’m referring to all the five boroughs that make it up).  I was hopeful but didn’t count on the local folks to come out.  I invited people who I know from the poetry circles, former co-workers whose friendship has held up over time from corporate jobs and teaching jobs, former students (they are adults), long-time dear friends, comedy friends, etc.  I also asked the booked comics to try to bring a guest or two.  However, it’s not a requirement.  I book based on talent – call me old-fashioned.

    Elliot Glick and Monica Glick are really good people, so I was excited about bringing a comedy show to The Artist, which is their place.  Monica made a beautiful flier.  She treated each of the comics to a copy of the newspaper, so we could have our names in print for promotional material, feeling good, scrapbooks, etc.  Elliot and Monica are warm and welcoming.  They also promote the show.

    All the efforts were successful.  I believe all the seats were taken.  Elliot 
    announced that he’ll get more chairs for the next show.  J  I shared all 
    this because several comic friends are often surprised (happily) that I can draw a full audience and ask how I do it.  I think the main difference is that I invite people from many areas of my life.  I think many comics mainly invite other comics. 

    I learned early on that most comics are busy working on their own journey, understandably, and don’t necessarily go to other people’s shows.  It is the rarity when a comic goes to a comedy show they aren’t in.  I’ve done it as have some others, but I also understand that money is limited as is time and energy.  That is why I appreciated so much that Eddie Messanelli brought his wife Svetlana and came out to enjoy the show.  He even posted the next day on Facebook about how good the show was.  For those who don’t know, Eddie runs a free monthly show at Otto’s Shrunken Head.  He even brings delicious cheesecake for anyone who wants.

    But let me back up.  Earlier in the day, about four hours before the show, 
    I was showered but not yet dressed when my cell phone rang.  I felt this was trouble.  I get most of my calls on my landline home phone.  However I gave my cell number to the comics in case they needed to reach me once I left the house.  So a call on the cell is not typical, and I figured I was feeling too relaxed about the show, so here comes trouble.  It was the spouse of one of the comics saying their car was delayed.  I had to look at the clock because I was about to panic that I wasn’t even dressed yet.  Even though I live in the Bronx, I am 3 bus rides from City Island.  When I saw the time, I said “It’s early.  The show isn’t for hours yet.”  I know this person as a very talented poetry and fiction writer.  Now I learned she is obsessively early to places.  I had no idea.  I have the opposite problem. 

    I then started to wonder if I was being too relaxed and should be getting 
    ready.  True to my habits, I didn’t.  I planned on getting there at about a half-hour before we were supposed to start.

    About five minutes before I expected to leave, that cell phone rang again.  Uh-oh.  Can’t be good.  It wasn’t.  One of the wonderful comics had arranged coverage at her job, so she could be in the show.  She was just informed the person who was to cover for her broke her arm.  My comic had to go to her job.  My heart sunk to some degree.  The audience was paying for this show and I had publicized it as with four comics and I’d be hosting (and doing some material).  I wanted to live up to what I had promised.  

    It was an hour-and-a- half ‘til show time.  I began my 3-bus trip and 
    started looking through my contacts on my phone.  There are two Bronx comics on my contacts.  They are both good, they both drive, and I doubted either would be available.  One was on her way to Manhattan to do a spot.  I really didn’t think the other would be free as she’s been getting booked all over the place lately.  My 2nd bus was delayed and now I was just hoping I’d be on time for the show.  I gave up on being there a half-hour early.  I was hoping my deodorant was still working.

    By the time the 2nd bus came, it was packed, I was standing, and I was 
    texting the other comic.  She called me back and I could barely hear her.  I have a flip phone.  Stop laughing.  The bus was noisy.  I hate having to ask someone to repeat themselves and I don’t like yelling into my cell on a crowded bus.  So by the end of our communication, I thought we were clear and all set.  She actually was available but needed some time to get ready.  I told her that she’d be up 3rd so she had some time and didn’t have to be there at the beginning of the show.  Then I got a text from her.  “Is the show tonight?”  I texted back: “Yes. That’s why I’m stressing.”  So I was hoping it was all clear.  I wasn’t counting on it.

    I texted people who I knew were there already and told them one of my 
    buses was delayed but I was on my way.  I wanted them to let others know I was almost there.  I was so lucky that the 3rd bus was there when I got off the 2nd bus.  I ran.  Not an easy task for me nowadays.  The driver stepped on it, and I was at the place only about ten minutes late.  The place was almost full at that point.  Guests were texting me that they were almost there, stuck in traffic, looking for parking, etc.

    I admit, I thought it is easier to be in someone else’s show.  It is, but the 
    advantage to having my own show is I get to book it and know I am going to deliver a fun event that I can feel proud of.

    Debbie Bazza did come to my rescue and filled in with a hilarious 
    performance.  The audience loved her and all the comics.  Everyone left happy, which is what I like.  I want them to want to come back.  No one felt ripped off.  And when the hat was passed around for contributions for the performers, the audience was quite generous.

    I want to thank Iris, David, Mark, Francine, Anne, Sylvia, Marcos, Judy 
    (who also brought wine and sent a glass over to me; then also gave two guests a ride off of City Island and drove me home!), Ernest, Kathryn (who took the photo below), Jackie, Cecily, Lia, Eddie (who made sure two of my friends who showed up late got seats and felt welcomed), Svetlana, Lisa, George, Melissa, Debbie, Monica, Elliot, Hannah (who worked as the waitress for the night), City Islanders whose names I don’t know, friends of friends whose names I can’t remember (and I’m sorry if I’m forgetting anyone).

    Some of my favorite lines of the evening –

    “We don’t have make-up sex; we have make-believe sex.  She makes 
    believe I’m …”

    “Maybe five years ago when it was still juicy…”

    “Leggings go with tunic tops.  We don’t want to see camel toe.”

    Of course the comic who would not pay rent and would eat Ramen noodles because she “loooooovvvvvvveeeeeesssss shooooooooes …”

    “Games with the pussy?!  What kind of shit is that?  As much as you guys 
    play with your shit!”

    The next day a friend from college, who I haven’t seen in so many years, 
    wrote me and told me she had a senior moment.  She thought the show started at 6 instead of 8pm.  She was there, had already eaten, and was sleepy.  So she didn’t stay.  Hopefully next time, Terry!  My friend Steven who planned on being there didn’t make it because his car wouldn’t start. 

    I do feel very good that so many folks attended the show, and others 
    wanted to.  I believe we are going to do this once a season.  When I get a date, I’ll let you know.  It’ll probably be in December. 

     Mark Larsen, Melissa Diaz, Lisa Harmon, Mindy Matijasevic, Debbie Bazza