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  1. Worlds Apart...That's the way I like them!

    Saturday, September 29, 2012

    Mixing my worlds gives me anxieties.  I don't like for my comedy friends to mingle with my real world friends, nor my real world friends to mingle with my surfing friends, nor my stupid day job friends (my day job friends aren't stupid...just the jobs are stupid) mingling with my comedy friends. I like to keep my shit separate, but equal.  Some people are really good about cross pollinating.  I am not one of them.  My husband doesn't even come to my comedy shows.

    To be honest, I'm a different person in each of my worlds.  I'm fucking out of my mind in the real world, a little guarded in the comedy world, fucking out of my mind in the work world (I like to push the boundaries as far as possible) and hyper competitive in my anything athletic world.  When a person wants to cross worlds, I make sure that I do everything to not let that happen - which leads me to lying.  A lot.  For example, I give wrong dates for comedy shows, or just not give the dates at all.  If you are not a comedian, you probably don't really, really get comedy.  So...if I"m talking about comedy or doing comedy, I only want to be around comics.  I don't have the patience to explain shit to non comics, nor listen to ideas on how to make my jokes better from someone who thinks that Larry the Cable Guy is pure genius.

    On the flip side, most comics can't hold down a real job, therefore they don't understand the bullshit that comes along with office work.  Most successful comics have never held an office, they tend not to be able to relate to 9-5 bullshit.  They think that all offices are full of  Dwight and Michael Scott high jinks.

    I am crazy- aggressively competitive in the athletic world.  I was raised in a family where athletics meant everything and academics meant something.  I have no problem challenging a world class athlete to a foot race or tennis match or push ups.  I talk trash like nobody's business.  You won't see this part of me in any of my other worlds.  It's probably not so becoming.  If I were to play any type of game with a group of comedians, I would never get booked on any show ever again.  I'm out for blood when it comes to sports.

    Miss Bean
    broken foot
    Now that I think about it, there are two people who cross over with no issues and without giving me an anxiety attack...that is my two dogs.  Sir Calvin Broadus II, Vice Mayor of Yorkville and Greta Maria Frijoles, aka Miss Bean.  They are the only two that travel with me everywhere.  And, they are both dicks.  Maybe that's why.  Calvin and Beans are always welcome in any of my worlds.  And, only them.

  2. By Lisa Harmon

    My brother and I were just babies when the 70’s were getting underway.  I was three, he was a newborn.  We were raised in a time when “parent” was a noun – not a verb, like it is now.

    As two kids being raised in the 70’s, there was a lot of television and junk food involved.  Both my brother and I had incredible sweet-tooths, gulping and chomping down as much sugar as we possibly could.  I was a chocoholic.  My brother preferred sugary candies, like gummy worms and sweet-tarts.  He would go so far as to eat actual sugar cubes, or tear open the sugar packets at the diner and swallow the contents.

    In elementary school, sometimes my Grandmother would give me a dollar for lunch.  A slice and a soda were seventy-five cents, so that left a quarter to buy a candy bar.  Back then we had only a few candy bars (compared to now).  My favorite was called $100,000 Bar (now known as a Hundred Grand Bar in its current, less tasty configuration).  There were also Hershey Bars, Snickers Bars, Charleston Chews, oh and those delicious Ice Cubes – melty little chunks of chocolate that were unlike anything else!  As Dana Carvey’s old man character might say, “That’s the way it was, and we liked it!”

    My brother and I chomped our way through cereal and Saturday morning cartoons.  We ate cookies, cakes, ice cream and candy.  Lots and lots of candy.

    And then, in 1978, the greatest thing that ever happened, happened.  It was announced that a new candy bar was coming out.  We were beside ourselves!  The candy bar gods had decided that we were finally ready for a new configuration of chocolate, caramel, and peanuts.  This was HUGE.

    You must understand, times were different!  First of all, new candies NEVER came out!  It never even occurred to us that there could be new candies!  I don’t think it occurred to anybody till the guy that had the idea for this one.  That’s how huge this was!  There were no new candy bars!  Also, back then, candy bars didn’t come in varieties!  A Snickers bar was a Snickers bar and that was it!  Now there’s Snickers, Snickers Dark, Snickers Caramel, Snickers Peanut Butter, Snickers Almond.  Back in 1978 we had like four candy bars all together!

    Well of course we lost our minds!  We ran down to Phil’s Hot Corner to buy the new Reggie Bar – named after some guy from the Yankees named Reggie Jackson.  It was a big hit with us, and apparently with everyone.  It was a hugely successful candy bar launch.

    It was around this time that the seeds of the Emergency Candy Release Program were planted.

    After that, more candy bars started to come out.  Every time I saw something new, I had to get two of them.  One for me and one for my brother.  He did the same.  We tried Hershey’s Cookies & Cream, Whatchamacallit, Toffifay, Skor and more recently Pretzel and Coconut M&Ms, just to name a few.  It went on this way for years.  Finally, when the group had grown to include his girlfriend and my boyfriend, my brother named it The Emergency Candy Release Program.

    Now, so many new candies come out all the time it is no longer exciting, and the sheer volume of new candy makes the Emergency Candy Release Program untenable.

    But I’ll never forget, and neither will my brother, or probably anybody that was a kid in 1978, the greatest event of all time – the introduction of the Reggie Bar!

  3. I Don’t Have OCD

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    By Rhonda Hansome

    Despite the fact that obsessive compulsive disorder behavior is frequently associated with above average intelligence, I don’t have OCD.  After I lock my door, I push it to check that it’s securely locked.  While at my door I check my bag for my wallet, water, tablet and cell phone.   Noticing my cell absent from its designated purse pocket; I unlock the door, trudge to the bedroom and unplug my elusive phone from the wall outlet, where I charge it nightly.  On the trudge back to the door, I dismiss irrational thoughts about the possible negative side- effects of regular exposure to the radio frequency radiation emanating from the multiple electrical devices that surround my bed in an orderly arc.  I make a mental note* to google the radiation blocking properties of silver mesh curtains as I lock the door and push it to check that it’s securely locked. 

    I pause before the locked door just long enough to confirm that I did indeed make a pre-travel bathroom visit.  Satisfied I’ve preempted a race between my bladder and the erratic MTA schedule, I quickly unlock the door to confirm that the bathroom light is off and securely lock the door again.  Don’t get it twisted.  My electric bill is no joke!  Two months ago my bill did an Olympic style $10.00 jump that was supernatural in timing.  How could my bill from the previous month, two weeks of which I’d spent trolling for guest spots in the comedy clubs of LA, be so high?  My letters, 22 in all, to Con Edison board members, vice –presidents, several CEO’s and the Consumer (non) Protection Agency demanding an explanation of how with a two week absence from home my bill was higher than ever, elicited the same response; which coincidentally echoed the reply of the utility representative I harangued for an hour and a half: “You were notified in writing of the scheduled rate increase.  To save on your bill always unplug your appliances when not in use to prevent costly vampire electrical loss.”

    Dear Reader** I eat by candle light not for romance, but to save on my bill.  I sweat through non-air conditioned New York summers to save on my bill.  I say I don’t have a microwave because, much like a long gone heart throb, it warms while stealing your soul.  Truth is I don’t have a microwave, say it with me now: to save on my bill!  Con Edison raised my electric rate to legitimate rape and consoles me with vampire tales??!!  Did I digress?   I say all that to say I don’t have OCD.  I do have a helpful routine around locking my door, in which I engaged just before leaving for Israel almost two weeks ago.      

    Much to my delight, the September 19th performance of The Rhonda Hansome Comedy Divorced & Bitter Tour in Tel Aviv was a tremendous success!   The post-performance reception lingered way into the night as I was showered with congratulations and duo-cheek kisses.  I rubbed elbows and took photos with the (English speaking) audience whose diversity included the struggling owner of a three table restaurant, doctors, the Israeli predecessor of Madonna, “security” specialist, a vineyard owner, artists, actors, musicians of every type and the Israeli successor to Martha Stewart – a handsomely flamboyant  tall drink of water.  Delicious details of my first trip to Israel lurk in a future Thursday blog. 

    Suffice it say I returned home safe and as sound as you can be after rising at 4:00AM for an 11 hour flight and a transcontinental time change.  I gathered my mail, lugged my suitcase up three flights of stairs and addressed my door.  “Hello Door!”   What’s this?  The door looks (almost) closed…  Hmmm.     I touch the door and the engaged lock grins mockingly as the door swings open.   How could the lock be closed without the door being locked?  Am I hallucinating from jet lag and dehydration?   OMG, have I been robbed?   Since the brownstone in which I abide changed owners (two months ago when I was the only tenant left in the building) my clean organized apartment has been denied any and all storage space in which she previously luxuriated.  She now appears to be auditioning for the TV show Hoarders.

    Stifling a rising sense of WTF, my tired eyes probe every room, seeking signs of tampering among my islands of clutter.   My TV and other non-portable radiation emitting devices are in place.  I check my closet.  No one has absconded with my clothes.  Maybe they noticed the patches and repairs needed and went for my jewelry.   A quick perusal of my dusty box (insert your own dirty joke here) revealed that all that glittered was the gaudy oversize costume jewelry I’d left there.

    Then it hit me.  My new landlord - make that landlady, when informed I was leaving for a trip abroad, requested my key, in case of emergency.  I thought, in spite of my nit picking boundary issues, don’t antagonize the broad.  So I gave her the emergency key to help establish rapport.   Now with zero signs of emergency - two texts and a phone call later, I had shredded bits of rapport whirling through my brain.  I spoke to her without yelling “Were you in my apartment and left the door unlocked?”  In my head that last sentence was in bold all cap letters followed by several exclamation points.   Yes, she’d opened my door for some reason that sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking and was surprised the door wasn’t locked.  Yeah, tell me about being surprised the door wasn’t locked.

    *I love making mental notes because they don’t have the guilt inducing staying power of an actual hard copy “to do” list.

    **BTW I thank all three of you for your support and insightful comments on my blog.


    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    by Helene "What the hell are you doing with your life?" Gresser

    Dudes, I am sorry, my blentry is late and I am trying to solve some issues here in lovely, beautiful, adorable, ever-affordable New York City. I am not remotely funny today. I am the least funny person in this library, where the woman who mouths every last thing she is reading on her laptop (with an audible whispery sound that drives one with ADD to murderous thoughts) is soon replaced by MAN WITH EVERYTHING IN A SEPARATE PLASTIC BAG who must read one inch from his paper with a magnifying glass while simultaneously sticking his finger up his left nostril. Then there is the dude who is only listening to his iPod and leaning WAYYYYY back in his chair. Why is he here? Why is he here?? Stop it! You will fall backwards! I can only concentrate on you not falling backwards, now, iPod-man.

    I will report back next week with thrilling updates and annoying tics and stomach-churning tales of woe and gloom and despair and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.

    That is from a "Hee-Haw" song and sketch. If you do not know what I mean when I say "Hee-Haw," then you are either under the age of 40 or have led a life that is not tied to a boob tube. If you do not know what I mean when I say "boob tube" then just shut up. Shut up and stop snickering at the fact that I said "boob."

    I need to rent a room and I have two cats. Do you know what that means? That means trouble. That means it is extry-hard finding a room, since approximately half of New York City is allergic to cats, and another quarter HATES cats just because they are cats, so all that is left are stinky weirdos and cat-hair-covered abodes and pervs.

     I am convinced that the room I rent will be secretly wired to a video camera and the antics I plan to participate in will be viewed by my pervy roommate/landlord/stinky-person. The thought of sharing a bathroom with a stranger skeeves me to no end. See how New York I've become? I used the word "skeeve." Look it up. Or just say it out loud. It will tell you its meaning via its sound. Skeeeeeeeeeve. Shudder.

    Now I need to get back to discerning the scam artists from the creeps on Craigslist. And I need to get far 'way from Mister Nostril McRustlebags and Tilty O'Ipod and Lips Whisperington.

    I love NY.


    p.s. Nostril McRustlebags just stuck his hand into his shirt,scratched his chestle region with his toothpick, and came back out to stick it in his gaping maw. This is awesome. I want to stay here forever. Here in this library, with all my comedy material writing itself. O why, why-o did I ever leave Ohio?

  5. Where Will This Road Go?

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    During my penis-free era, I created a penis-free zone which I sometimes point out the locations of during my stand-up.  Last week, I shared a penis-free fantasy here.  I sent someone a penis-free hug. It’s become a thing.  

    So I thought it might be fun to brainstorm the idea …  and see what comes up.    

    Make penis-free cookies.  


     Enjoy some penis-free soup.                                  
    Use only penis-free paper products.                                                                                                   
    Take a first class penis-free flight somewhere.



    Buy penis-free at holiday time.      
    Design a brand of penis-free jeans.        
    Enjoy my penis-free thoughts.

    Now that I’ve had this much-needed, penis-free era and expressed it over and over and over and over in poetry and plays and stories and comedy, maybe I’ve made room for a penis-ful time somewhere down the road. 



    Or … maybe not.  Keep tuning in.                     



  6. Do As I Say Not As I Do...

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Don't eat junk before dinner.
    Don't drink.
    Don't smoke.
    Don't leave dishes in the sink.
    Always use sunscreen.
    Don't cut your own hair.
    Study for tests.
    Stop farting/burping.
    Do homework.
    Listen to your mother!
    Don't procrastinate.

    You get the picture.   It's the last morsel of hypocrisy that warrants explanation.

    Don't read 50 Shades of Grey.

    There.  I've said it.  Please don't tell my best friend (SINCE THE FIRST GRADE), Marygrace, about this.  Please.

    Here's how I fell prey to this little nugget of nonsense.

    With all of the hullabaloo over 50 Shades, I had decided that I was above...yes...above reading this formulaic series of foreplay and fornication.  Marygrace agreed.  We had dinner at her house several months back and were kvetching about how women were going ape-doodoo over this mindless mush.  Marygrace lamented that her book club was reading it and how it had pained her to attend every gathering.

    "Oh, Mayr, I'm so sorry you have to put up with that.  I WILL NEVER read that.  Don't go any further, Mayr.  Just abstain until they're finished with it."

    Of course, she couldn't leave the group.  We all know what PTA moms can be like... Every town has them.  A gaggle of women who stand in the park, ostracizing the moms who aren't pulling their weight at the tricky tray, whispering about who's child had an outburst in class distracting their poor genius child.  Don't get me started.

    I thought that it might be a hoot to do a video parody of 50 Shades with my cat and a British male reading an excerpt (my Mac has text-to-speech and the snarky Brit is just fabulous).  But I couldn't find an excerpt anywhere online.  So I downloaded a copy into iBooks... Strictly for RESEARCH and in the name of comedy. 

    It was easy.  I found an excerpt a few pages in, transcribed it, video taped my cat, set it to music, and voila!  I had my parody.  And I forgot about the book.

    Until...I had to take my son to the doctor 2 weeks ago.  The receptionist told us that the doctor had an emergency and would be slightly longer than she thought.  My son sat quietly "reading" on his Kindle Fire and I sat staring at my iPhone without solid 3G connection. I flipped through the Apps.  I couldn't play my tiles on WwF against Donna or Andrea.  No DAMNED 3G!  What to do.  What to do. I flipped to the iBooks app.

    And there it was.  Staring at me.  Taunting me.  Begging me to dip my toe in the pool.  I tried to resist.  My breathing quickened.  That burning curiosity.  My palm was twitching around the hard Otter box that protected my iPhone.  I couldn't take my eyes off of it.  The receptionist slid the window opened in only a way that a receptionist could open a waiting room window.  Her eyes darted from my son to me.  From me to my son. 
    "The doctor's going to be about another 30 minutes.  Is that ok?"
    I blushed crimson and forced a whisper, "Yes."  Oh yes.

    My inner goddess danced knowing that I was about to enter into forbidden territory and there was no turning back.
    In the bathroom.
    On the couch.
    On line at the grocery store.
    In the bedroom.
    In the car.
    In my classroom during my lunch break.

    I curse myself with every swipe of the page.  Infuriated that I've been sucked in to no gal's land.

    And Friday, it came to an end.  My friend, Maria, came into my classroom at the end of the day as I was finishing the final chapter and asked suspiciously, "What are you doing?  It looks like you're up to no good."

    I bit my lower lip.

    "Bleh.  I'm reading that stupid book 50 Shades of Grey.  I started the damned thing and now I have to finish.  I can't wait until it's done.  I heard there are 2 more, but I just can't."

    Maria shook her head in disappointment and left me alone to finish the last pages of the 1st book.

    It's Monday.  I'm in the middle of the 3rd book.   Please.  I beg of you.  Do as I say, not as I do.

  7. Amy Loves Investigation Discovery

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    Investigation Discovery is the Discovery network's murder mystery channel.  I am incredibly grateful for ID because I watch a SHIT TON of murder shows. 

    Yesterday, I watched approximately 8 hours of ID.  A few of the shows I had seen previously, but sat through them anyway.  I probably have seen every episode of every show *at least* once.

    Here is a list of the amazingly titled shows:
    • "Happily Never After" - hosted by Susan Lucci 
    • "Who the *&$@ did I marry?"
    • "Deadly Women"
    • "Very Bad Men"
    • "I Married a Mobster"
    • "Scorned: Love Kills"
    • "Deadly Affairs"
    • "Sins & Secrets"
    • "Behind Mansion Walls"
    ....and the list goes on and on and on and on.....

    These shows are AMAZE-BALLS, yet none are nominated for an Emmy.  I mean, the acting alone, is worth a second look from the Emmy committee. I think that ID rotates the same group of actors for each show...and, wow, that's some great acting.  Oh, and the hair and make up folks...fucking brilliant!  I especially like how the wigs are normally not placed on the actor's heads properly and you can see the actors' actual hair sticking out.  Oh, oh, and when the actors obviously go off script during heavy dialogue scenes, it brings a tear to my eyes each time.  It's almost like I am watching a Mamet film.

    Come on Emmy committee!  Give these shows a chance!  I kind of want to start a "Party of Five"-like campaign to get all of the shows noticed.  But, instead of trying to keep the shows on the network by sending network execs cans of ravioli, we send butcher knives and boxes of ACME rat poison to everyone on the Emmy committee. 

    Together, we can make this happen.  Let's do this!!  Attica!!


    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    By Lisa Harmon

    You guys know the old joke “I just got a dog for my wife.  It was a good trade.”  Ha ha ha, men are so hilarious you almost forget what big babies they all are.

    Well I got a husband for my Mom.  Not exactly.  It’s just that I now have a husband and I don’t have my Mom.  Oh Mom is still alive and everything!  Just she doesn’t live in Queens anymore!  She’s all the way down in Florida, the Sunshine State.  She lives in a place where everybody discusses what they had for lunch in great detail. 

    We have always lived in Queens.  Queens is just like those poor suckers who live across the street from the beach.    Oh!  So close!  You almost made it!  You almost made it to living on the beach, you’re only across the street! 

    Of course being across the street, you may as well be across a ten lane boulevard or one hundred ten lane boulevards, you’re not on the beach!

    That’s Queens!  Oh, you almost made it, so close!  So close to Manhattan.  But you’re in stupid Queens.  So sad!

    It isn’t just losing, it is coming in second.  Second!  That means, if just one Saturday night we worked instead of taking the night off, we might have made it!  Damn!  I hate second!

    But I digress.

    I remember around the time of my wedding (eight years ago), my Mom said something that really stuck with me.

    My Mom always encouraged me to get a good education, work, and take care of myself.  She never suggested I should marry, or that I had to marry or that me being married was something she desired.  She just wanted me to be self-reliant.

    She never asked for grandchildren either.  She probably already knew the answer to that one.

    What my Mom said was (I am paraphrasing) I  know why people want their kids to get married.  I asked “why”?  She said, because they don’t want their kid to be alone when they die.  They know they’re getting old and they don’t want to flat-leave the kid.

    Wow, heavy stuff. 

    Now my Mom’s in Florida.  Which is not exactly around the corner.  And now I’m thinking about what she said, and I realized, a husband for a Mommy is a RAW DEAL!

    I’ll give you my husband and you give me my MOMMY!!!!!!

    Getting a husband instead of a Mommy is like getting a dishwasher to replace a puppy.  Not exactly the same.  Kind of not even close!  It’s like, the CEO is leaving the company, but the stoner kid from the mailroom is taking over.  I mean he’s totally cute and do-able but all he knows how to take care of is motorcycles, not HUMANS!

    My husband doesn’t look at growths on my skin and tell me if its cancer or a mosquito bite!

    My husband didn’t get the glass out of my foot on labor day weekend when the doctors were all closed!

    My husband didn’t run over at 6A.M. when I was in excruciating pain to wait for the ambulance with me!  (He was already there, but he yelled at me when I threw up – a Mommy would never yell at a sick person!)

    My husband isn’t smarter than Web MD, Wikipedia, Google, and AskJeeves combined!

    In short – I think I’m trying to say


  9. ( o )( o ) 8=====> (LoLz)

    Friday, September 21, 2012

    Sorry for the title, I didn't know what to put so my go to is internet symbol genitalia.

    I'd like to get really Oprah on your ass right now and share my favorite quote. I think it warrants its own blog entry because, to me at least, it's a very powerful combination of words.

    "If you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it's stupid."-Albert Einstein
    HOW FUCKING GOOD IS THAT QUOTE?! It speaks to the notion that people are really affected by and can sometimes base their self worth around how other people perceive them. It's hard not to do, but I realize as I get older that you are completely capable of controlling how you feel about yourself if you just punch your current perspective in the face and rearrange the thoughts in your head. You are wonderful... Yes, you reading this. You are a wonderful human being. I just thought I would remind you because you need to be reminded. No homo.

    XOXO, Krystyna

    I had the opportunity to interview the very hilarious Rob Delaney for Splitsider. Stand up extraordinaire and the first person ever to be crowned "Funniest Person on Twitter." Follow him on Twitter if you aren't already, I promise its worth it @RobDelaney. You can read the article here:

  10. SSF El Al Security

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    By Rhonda Hansome
    I'd heard about Israeli airline security.  They are trained to notice the most subtle changes in body language, like pupil dilatation, shift of breathing pattern or the slight adjustment of an underwear bomb.  I arrived at the airport and in my haste bypassed the restroom - big mistake since I'd had a tall drink of water just before leavind the house - and headed straight to El Al security.  The highly trained officer requested my passport and studied my every gesture.
    I don't know what I looked like as I considered his scientifically worded questions, but my bladder was doing the Macarena. 
    He asked, "Did you pack a weapon?"
    I wondered, did I pack a candlestick?  That works for Col. Mustard in the library.  Did  I pack a frozen leg of lamb?  Blunt force to the head then eat the evidence!  What does a comedian reply when asked, "Did you pack a weapon?"  I said, "Only my explosive personality!
    He said "Follow me."
    I was pretty worried, but with very little cause.  He led me straight to the ladies room where I really needed be, handed me my passport and said, "Have a good trip!"
    Those El Al security guys  are good...

  11. And the loveliest of all was the unicorn.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    by Helene Growly Bear Gresser

    Funny, for an insomniac, I sure hate this time of night. Specifically 2:45 a.m. It is the time of night when I feel the solitude of my life and question all my choices that led me to be here. Why am I single? Why did I choose a zigzag approach to a career destined to leave me penniless in my old age? Why am I smoking inside my minuscule apartment when I hate the smell of smoke on things, especially myself? When did I give up on trying to keep organized? Why do my exes always seem marry or at least settle down with the next girl after me? Why haven't I written my ubiquitous one-woman show yet? Why did it take Tom Wopat to inform me of the meaning of "ubiquitous?"

    I have isolated myself for a few months now -- I am not promptly returning phone calls from friends, I have not made enough effort to head outside and get sun and air, I am letting things slide further and further into disarray -  I am in my "cave," as I call it. It is especially cave-y at 3:00 a.m. Manhattan is strangely silent here in my Upper East Side/East Harlem-esque neighborhood. One does not wander far alone outside, unless one wants to tempt fate by walking near Central Park in this stillness. It's fine at dawn, almost bustling. But here I sit, getting as dark as the night outside, in my mess, writing this, feeling slightly nauseated from the newly-acquired Camels habit and my looming responsibilities. I paw feebly away at my invisible cave door, looking for a shaft of light, a way out.

    It's there. I know it is. I can hear some voices on the other side. Sometimes the clawing wears me out so I retreat to Facebook and Twitter and search for signs of Out There. Maybe these other night owls or Australians or British or Californians can draw me a map. Or they might show me some blueprints that reveal the magic button that unlatches the entrance to Out There. Maybe a text, usually the sexy-text, will shine a beam - but that ray of light always seems so short-lived. So quietly electronic. It's not the Sun. It's bluish-greenish and dings softly, and then stops, eventually, always too soon. I strike another match and light my nicotine torch.

    This morning I read a couple of pieces by Mandy Stadtmiller, a comic and writer and blogger like me (except she is well-known and far more successful.) In these writings I saw that she, too, wonders at her status as a friend, and questions her choices and is filled with self-doubt that can paralyze or lead one to drink to blackout levels, or have meaningless sexy-trysts, or feel ugly and ignored and alone. I happened to read these pieces because a friend on Facebook said to all his Facebook friends: Read This Now. What struck me to my very core was the second piece that he told me, specifically, to read, after I had praised the first.

    Stadtmiller wrote: "...When I was getting divorced and was blacking out from drinking too much and sleeping with strangers and thought I was completely worthless except for my crazy stories in 2006, a comedy writer who I had never even met in person, Evan Gore, emailed me one day and said, “Keep going. You’re doing everything right."  I think of that email to this day. (Happily, Evan and I did finally meet and he even helped me load up my U-Haul from LA to San Diego a month ago. Thanks, Evan!)
    His two-sentence note was another version of telling me, “You are valuable, Mandy.” It was telling me that unconditional love was possible outside of the often brutal, many times crushing and reactionary world of conditional Internet attention followed all so often by the swift “you-should-die-and-are-worthless-and-ugly” backlash of modern-day Internet communication....”

    Evan Gore is the Facebook friend who told me to read Mandy's blog.  He is the older brother of someone I've known since middle school,  someone who came back into my life a few years ago at a high school alumni event, and who, like his older brother Evan, knows just what to say to make the cave door open and let the Sun in.   (I will have to write another blentry to describe my wonder and awe for such people as the Gores.  How do they do it? Where did they learn it?) Dan Gore is also the person who would help you load up a U-Haul to move to San Diego, when all other friends have bagged on you.  Dan came to the rescue in big and small ways for our alumni events, just by saying "I'll be there to help."  And then he actually did what he said he'd do.

    Monday night he sent me a clip from the film Bridesmaids to remind me of what my friends are for. My friends are there, wrestling me, biting me on my ass, telling me to SNAP OUT OF IT, get my ass off the couch, and open my eyes. You see, the cave has no door. I just had my eyes closed tight, shutting out all light, and all friends, and he comes in with nine puppies and slaps my face with my own stinky ciggie-hand, making me laugh.

    Jesus, I think, how wonderful is that Sun? And to mix my metaphors: like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I wake to find my friends and family standing around me, all smiles and furrowed brows and concern.  A few of my comic-buddies have heard me talk of Dan, and we came up with a nickname for him.  He is a unicorn. The Unicorn.  The Hebrew Bible uses "re'em" but the King James Bible translates it to "Unicorn:"

    "...To his firstborn ox is [given] glory. His horns are the horns of a re'em. With them, he will gore peoples together [throughout all] the ends of the earth..."
    Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 33 

    (Thanks, Wikipedia and -- I am not religious, but c'mon, how often does one come across a Unicorn. It makes you think things. And LOOK, it uses the word "GORE!" It is a sign.)

    "You've got a friend in me," says Dan. And he'll listen to me when I tell the ugly parts of living this life, this choice-pile I've made for myself and called home,  and he says "Keep going."  I don't quite know how I will begin, but now that I once again see the cave door, I can at least crawl to the light and get my Vitamin D and gather my strength to walk, then maybe even run, into Out There.

    You've got a friend in me

    You've got a friend in me
    When the road looks rough ahead
    And you're miles and miles
    From your nice warm bed
    You just remember what your old pal said
    Boy, you've got a friend in me
    Yeah, you've got a friend in me

    You've got a friend in me
    You've got a friend in me
    If you've got troubles, I've got 'em too
    There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you
    We stick together and can see it through
    Cause you've got a friend in me
    You've got a friend in me

    Some other folks might be
    A little bit smarter than I am
    Bigger and stronger too
    But none of them will ever love you
    The way I do, it's me and you
    Boy, and as the years go by
    Our friendship will never die
    You're gonna see it's our destiny
    You've got a friend in me
    You've got a friend in me
    You've got a friend in me


  12. Indulge Me... (My "She So Funny" Fantasy)

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    We meet a couple of times a year and discuss group goals, make decisions, take on tasks, and eat together.  Someone takes some sort of minutes of the meeting.  If motivated, we do a pot luck and bring dishes to one of our apartments; if not, we eat out.


    We perform together to roaring audiences.  Not necessarily all of us in one show though sometimes all of us.  The She So Funny alumni and guest bloggers make appearances as well.  We are fantastic, and people want our cards to book us for paid work as a group for all kinds of parties and events.
    Our name is catchy and clever.  So of course our t-shirts and tank tops with the name on the front and website address on the back sell in abundance after each show.  It is common to see people wearing our shirts in a variety of colors.
    We send out press releases.  People read about us in Time Out New York and local papers, and we draw larger crowds each time we perform together.  We are contacted to be interviewed on The View, Comics Unleashed, and various other shows.

    Our She So Funny calendar fills with our group shows.  We even do tri-state area mini road trips.  We blog about the trips from all of our different points of view.  The blog is sponsored by women’s studies programs, comedy clubs, and retailers.  We have cash flow from the blog.                 

    We are contacted about a book deal.  They want to make a collection of selected writings from the She So Funny blog.                                                          

    The reviews are in.  We are sizzling!     

    Aaaahhh.  That was good.