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  1. by Helene "Bossypants" Gresser

    I saw the ad on Craigslist: $300 for a room - FEMALE ONLY - in the Gramercy Park area. "Too good to be true," I thought,"What's the catch?" Because there's always a catch on a cheap room in Manhattan, especially in a nice area such as Gramercy. And later in the post, there it was; the Catch: 

    "You must be assertive and bossy and like a maid to do your cooking,cleaning, and laundry for you. I want to be a maid and need a referral for jobs." [I am paraphrasing slightly as the original post has been removed. Dun dun dunnnn! That was the ominous sound effect I just heard in my head.]

    Oh mah gawd, YES.  S/he wants a dominatrix, or at the very least, the most bossy bitch to command her/him to do my bidding. I can do THAT. Right? Right??

    Or can I?

    I responded immediately:

    "I saw your ad for a room -- I could easily help you get a maid's job and references. I am assertive, and I need a place to call home soon -- I have lived in NYC for many years, have two jobs, and am responsible and easy to live with. I can be bossy if you like that, as I have been in management positions and know how to be a boss. But I'm not a jerk, nor mean-spirited. I can, however, tell you exactly how to clean well, as I've also cleaned houses professionally at one time.

    My cell is xxxx-xxx-xxxx. Call me if you are interested."

    What the hell am I doing?

    S/he wrote back this afternoon:

     "Thanks for replying.. as stated I am looking for a roomie who is super bossy and could use a maid.  Someone who when they get home.just wants to.lounge around and not.b bothered with cooking., cleaning or errands that I can take care of such as laundry., dry cleaning., picking up groceries etc..or other menial things.
    I have.had.many replies but haven't met the right person yet., I want a girl.with a certain personliyy she should be assertive and ready to.speak her mind and demanding at the same time.  Someone who can set the rules and expects them to be followed., who wants and desires everything her way or the highway.
    I'm very obedient and want to live with someone who wouldn't be shy about that or using me for what I'm offering as I want full experience.of.being a.maid.
    Please tell ne.more about you and if this situation would fit you.  Hope to hear.more., if we match I will send pictures and set up meeting for u to see the apt.

    Okay--- weird use of punctuation (a period and THEN a comma? Some spelling weirdness. Then random periods scattered throughout?) But that did not stop me from responding, in what I thought was an appropriately bossy manner:

    "Girl, or Boy,
    You can have the cooking and cleaning, I can tell you exactly what I like and be demanding and bossy, no problem! You sound like a dream. Here's my picture. Let's talk about it more. Call me. Soon."

    I mean, what the hell do I have to lose? My dignity? Being bossy was not a tough request. But would this person want MORE? Like sexy times or whipping or nakedness whilst cleaning? Is this person a sociopath looking to turn my skin into a coat? Will I be in a deep stone well at some point, rubbing lotion on my flesh, while he prances around hiding his junk in his thighs? Will she take an ax and give me forty whacks?

    I just want to check this situation out. Who doesn't want a willing "maid" to clean, cook and do one's laundry, and lie around eating bonbons while these things are being done to one's exact specifications? For 300 bucks a month I could live very well, be taken care of, and maybe have some fun with it. But am I willing to be a dominatrix? My friends have always told me how bossy I can be, I once had an ex-priest call me a bitch to my face, and some people even say "YES MOM " in response to my tone when giving instruction -- which I've always hated. Not because I hate moms, or my mom - quite the opposite - but because they always said it with such disdain for my supposed advice/guidance/helpfulness (or so I imagined.)

    My nature is to be a people-pleaser, which is exasperating, as I have nurturing tendencies that seem overbearing to some. Being deliberately and bitchily commanding and domineering is not something I'd come to naturally, in a non-sexy situation, or even in a sexy situation. What type of character will I truly have to be?

    I am not one who likes to dominate in sexy times. I like a dude to take charge, and when I've been occasionally requested by a guy to get all medieval and throw him around I have had to repress giggle fits. But - BUT - this is some cheap-ass rent we're talking here. Should I expect to be asked to dress in leather gear and a helmet and brandish a nightstick? I might find that fun. Or really exhausting. Or use it for material. Or get so into it that I try some dungeons in town and make a secret living at it.

    I'll have to get in better shape and practice my best bitch voice. I am shining my lace-up boots and getting ready for our first meeting. I'll be sure to let someone know where I am going and when - maybe my guy will have to accompany me to the building and wait outside in case things get weird.

    But I like weird. Don't I? Do I? Shit, I better stop being unsure and hone that Bossy Girl to a fine edge. I gotta live somewhere, and for cheap. But just how much weird will I want to play out for this cheap?

    Damn. This could be good. But if I end up on the cover of the New York Post you'll know I made the wrong decision.

    Or did I????? Shut up and shine my boots, bitch. Make me Eggs Benedict afterwards - AND DON'T LET THE HOLLANDAISE SEPARATE!!!

    Heh. Heh heh. Bwahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa! Ahhhhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!


  2. Free-Roaming Vagina*

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012


    “See, you actually desire to lick a vagina.  I can’t say I really desire to suck a dick,” I told my buddy.  “I have to really be into somebody to want to do that, and even then, it is to give him pleasure and not because my tongue actually craves to feel the ripples of some wrinkly dick.”

    We laughed.

    “Do you think that means I'm gay?  It’s not like I ever longed to have a vagina that way either.” 

    “I always thought you were heterosexual.  I don’t think you chose it.  Given how many men are assholes, I don’t think you are happy about it.  You just are it.”

    “I guess.  Sometimes I wonder if I was meant to be heterosexual.  I don’t think I’m homosexual either.  I think I’m nomosexual.”


    “That’s right.  No-mo’-sexual.  And I don’t mean it like ‘no homo’; I mean no mo’!...



                                                                                                             “…at least for now.”


    My buddy gave me half of his challah bread from Trader Joe’s.  It is just one of many nurturing things we do for each other.  I munched on challah bread as we watched some of the weather warnings and election headlines.

      “Just when I am enjoying total freedom to listen to what my vagina and I want, I have to worry about the Mormon church running the country.”

    “I can’t believe he could win.”       

    “Yeah well Bain Capitol owns some of the voting machines.  Why is that allowed?”

    “That’s the problem right there.  They allow that which should never be entertained for a moment.”

    “You aren’t allowed to enter a sweepstakes if a family member works for one of their subsidiaries.  But you can own voting machines and run for president.”

    My buddy shook his head.  His father fought for this country, and not for the likes of Romney to take over.


    “I don’t know what I’ll do if they get in power.  They can’t say ‘vagina’ but insist on ruling vagina.  I don’t understand how someone, who clearly didn’t pass high school biology in any meaningful way where you learn about ovulation and ‘that whole thing’ that doesn’t shut down at will, is permitted to run for presidency.  Aren’t there educational requirements?  They test teachers and expect them to know all kinds of shit.  The super of my building had to pass a test in English in order to keep his job that he was already doing.                                                       
    I want the president who isn’t afraid of women and who respects us enough as adults to make our own decisions about our bodies.



    I think it is reasonable to expect a president of our nation to know how the population grows and what is needed to have a healthy population.  Certainly forcing rape victims to love babies is not the path.  What I know about this Republican party is they are not comfortable with truth telling, with most non-white people, and with free-roaming vagina.” 










    *self-determined; acting on the exclusive wishes of its biological owner to engage in sexual activity, to not engage in sexual activity, to have babies, to not have babies, and all things vaginal.

  3. Nipped in the Bud. Sandy's Coming.

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    By Samantha DeRose

    For once in my life, I decided to be ultra-prepared.  No, not for the hurricane, sillies.   For my blog.

    It’s Saturday and Sandy’s Coming (if you knew that my mother’s name was Sandy, you’d be equally as grossed out as I was when I read that headline on Huffington Post).

    I decided to go out last night, Friday, (I know, you’re reading this on Monday, if you have power…St. Patrick’s Day if you just got power back) after a week of the plague (see last Monday’s post) and with a blown out back from coughing so much.  Yep.  My bad back and I decided to hit Stop & Shop for emergency supplies at 8pm. Without a list.  Without a clue.

    Guess how much was left at the store.  You’re right.  Not much.  But what was there, I got, muthuh fukkuhz!  Here’s what I gotz.

    4 gallons of Stop & Shop water
    5 six packs of Stop & Shop bottled water
    1 box S&S Honey Crunch Os
    1 box S&S Cinnamon Crunch Squares
    1 box S&S Check Squares
    1 gallon Sunny D
    2 bottles Arizona iced tea
    1 loaf bread
    1 jar peanut butter
    1 bunch bananas
    1 bag apples
    1 four pack AA batteries
    1 twelve pack AAA batteries
    (D batteries all gone.  I can rig the AAs and the AAAs I bought to fit in the flashlight, right? If not, they will DEFINITELY be used for something else.  CONTROLLERS FOR THE XBOX, PREVERTS!)
    1 box Duraflame colorful flame logs
    2 packs of 6 battery operated tea lights
    2 flameless candles (glittered for Christmas)
    2 bottles Coke
    2 bottles Diet Coke
    1 package Pop-Ems sugared doughnuts
    1 bag S&S pretzels (pink package for breast cancer)
    1 bag gluten free pretzels
    1 box gluten free bagel chips
    2 packages Starbucks Iced Coffee mix
    2 boxes Parmalat milk
    1 bag dog food

    I also went to Home Depot this morning and asked for a generator.  The man in the orange vest laughed at me.

    I also went to Sports Authority and asked for lanterns.  The boy in the red shirt laughed at me.


    OK.  It’s now Sunday (Monday if you have power…Easter if you just got power back).
    I checked facebook for some disaster prep tips and here’s what I did today. (PS.  I’ve spent almost $400 prepping for Sandy… and by the way, today’s headline was equally as disturbing, considering my mom’s name is Sandy).

    -Turned on the extra chest freezer
    -Cleaned out my refrigerator (broke my heart to throw away that jar of something with the fuzz on top…ok… those jars of somethings)
    -Went to Acme and bought more water (There was none on the shelf, but I found a cart full of water, looked around for about 10 seconds for the cart’s owner, grabbed a case, threw it into my cart, and ran.)
    -Bought Milo (to flavor the water because I hate plain water).
    -Bought 12 cans of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni and Mini Ravioli
    -Bought cheese 
    -Bought 4 bags of Doritos (to add to the four in my closet at home)
    -Bought Halloween candy (because if we run out of cheese and Doritos, I'm hitting the Peanut M&Ms, my Bitchezzz!)
    -Went to AC Moore and bought 12 jars of candles (After smelling all of the candles – the only candles that they had left – trust me, Blueberry Oatmeal scent does not smell as tasty as the name implies… I did manage to shove an elderly woman aside and grabbed all of the lilac scented candle jars out of her wrinkled paws…and might I say, delightful!)
    -Returned to Sports Authority to see if a shipment of lanterns had arrive and was laughed at again.
    -Filled gallon zip lock bags with water and froze them (this reminded me of the time that my best friend, Marygrace, and I, on a hot summer day, when we were way too old, took zip lock bags, filled them with water, bent over, suctioned the bags to our heads, stood upright, and then pissed our pants looking at each other with our hair floating up into the bags of water, a la Medusa, on top of our heads.  I would not recommend doing this if a new neighbor just moved in next door and you are trying NOT to set an impression that two escaped mental patient live in your house)
    -Cleared the entire basement floor of everything (as my boys’ bedrooms are in the basement, I do not care to discuss what I cleared off the floor)
    -Put water bottles and laundry detergent bottles filled with water into the extra chest freezer (Proof that hoarding does pay off.  I don't know why I don't throw empty laundry detergent bottles away.  It's an illness.  But an illness that came through for me.)
    -Found and sanitized coolers (I’ve using one as a barrier in my yard –for six years - so my dog couldn’t escape through the hole in the fence)
    -Found the sump pump
    -Talked to my Aunt Bonnie from Florida
    -Emptied the water from the last storm out of the sump pump -Replaced the hose on the sump pump with my garden hose (the original hose was cut during the last storm because someone, frustrated that it kept kinking, said “Why on earth would anyone need a hose this long?”  The same person didn’t understand that, by placing a shortened hose just outside the house – and not into a sink or down the length of the driveway far away from the house– the water just seeped back into the flooding basement)
    -As the spray nozzle was corroded onto the hose, I solicited the help of my next door neighbor (Dad) to dislodge the nozzle
    -Gathered wood for my fireplace. (Now, this seems like a simple task.  Given the bad back, I decided to only gather twigs and leave the heavier logs (heh) for the kids to haul in.  So, I walked across the yard carrying an armload of twigs.  Pre-tty simple, eh?  Except!  Except for the moment that I stumbled on the remnant of a dog bog, lost my balance, and pinched my left nipple between two twigs.  If you need a little perspective on pain, imagine a long,  hot needle piercing through the nip and jolting all the way down to your nether girl part… because that's where the pain went.  To Madge!  And it doesn’t go away.  And I sleep on my STOMACH (and nips for matter!))

    Suffice it to say, I’m having a large drink and those frozen zip lock bags of water were needed slightly earlier than expected.

    Be safe everyone.  School's canceled.  Sandy’s coming.

  4. Halloween Whores

    Last night, I went to a birthday party in New York City.  It just happened to coincide with the "Saturday before Halloween"...aka, "Ladies dress like whores night".  Everywhere you turn, there is a slutty pirate, slutty nurse, slutty Power Ranger, slutty name it, slutty, slutty everywhere.  Don't get me wrong, I think the female body is something to be admired, but come on!  Ladies, let's attempt originality once in a while.

    Oh Ricky, you're so fine.  You're so fine you blow my mind!
    I am a 4'11" cracker and I prefer to dress like a man on Halloween.  There is nothing sexy about me, so I take advantage of it on Hallo's Eve.  One year, I dressed like Andre Agassi...brilliant, I might add.  This is me dressed as Ricky Wells...a dude I went to high school with.   This year, I wanted to go as a slutty Steven Hawking, but couldn't get my hands on a wheelchair - a necessary prop for the costume.

    I'm slutty!


    All I am saying is, ladies, let's try something different!  Instead of trying to get laid on Halloween, have a good time.  Explore other costume options...maybe take a second look at the Frankenstein costume in Ricky's.  Just freaking go for it! 

  5. The Accidental Closer

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    By Lisa Harmon

    My comedy career is progressing along like a slug across hot tar.

    That may be because I don’t do any of the business comedy stuff, like incessantly pestering bookers.  After an email or two I let it drop.  I feel that anything beyond that is probably considered stalking.

    Despite my distaste for stalking others, I do care about my act and I keep trying to make it better.  I’m thick as sh*t though, so it takes a while.

    Recently in my “career” I have acquired a new title:  accidental closer. This happens when I’m on a show, the actual headliner bails, and then I end up closing the show.

    This is not a good thing.  Being the closer really puts the pressure on.  If you’re the last act, you’ve got to deliver the goods or you look like a real chump.  No one’s coming behind you to fix that mess!

    I don’t mind going last.  I’m always willing to take any spot in a show, open, check spot, whatevs.  The problem is, I showed up at the beginning of the show.  Hours ago.  I’ve been sitting there since before the show got started, and now, nine comedians later,  its close to 11 P.M.  At 11 P.M. somewhere inside me a switch gets flipped.  And the switch says, I WANT GO HOME AND PUT ON MY PJS RIGHT NOW AND I CAN’T SIT IN THIS LOUD-ASS BAR FOR ANOTHER SECOND, NOT FOR LOVE NOR MONEY! 

    But each time, I did sit there, because I was booked, and each time, I died a little on the inside, because deep down I knew, its time to give this shit up and be comfortable at 11 P.M., like a normal old person.

    Despite the unending NOISE somehow  I’m drifting off into sleep and the next thing I hear is:  LISA HARMON!

    I jump up, thinking Oh God, fuck you!  My eyes are bloodshot, my head is swimming, I’m half asleep.  NOW you want  me to tell jokes?  I was fresh at 7 P.M.  Fine at 8 P.M.  Raring to go at 9 P.M.  Still standing at 10 P.M.  11 P.M.?  Sorry I’m closed right now.

    I sleepwalk up to the stage and the damn loud applause is pissing me off.  All night with the clapping and yelling.  I can’t take it.  And I yell at everybody.  It’s worse than if they had woken me up at 8 A.M.  A raging torrent is unleashed.  Anger, frustration, exhaustion, the futility of this set - it all comes out.  I’m really angry at that point.  I rant and weave in some bits to use up time.

    When I get the light I’m so happy to get the hell out of there.  I get offstage and then everyone tells me how hilarious I was.  I can’t believe it.  When I tell my jokes in a normal tone of voice, I don’t get the response I’ve been getting just from yelling at people!  I yell at them for twenty minutes and they love it!  What about my brilliant one-liners?  That’s the funny stuff, for crying out loud!  Yelling and ranting, that’s a pain in the ass!  It takes too much energy to be angry.*  I just want to tell my clever little jokes, like my idol, Rodney Dangerfield, who never had to raise his voice onstage.  Why, why, why, does everything have to work out the exact opposite of the way I want it to?

    If I had known how much people love getting yelled at, I could have had a much more lucrative career as a dominatrix.

    *I think John Cleese may have said this.  And he should know about playing angry.

  6. I only really have one near-death experience to date, which isn’t too bad although it makes me feel like a loser. This experience happened on my very first night out in New York City. Go figure. I should have known it was going to be a bumpy ride after that.

    The year is 2007, little fresh-faced bright eyes me had just transferred out of Penn State University (main campus… aka Disney Land for young alcoholics) in hopes to get better acting training and intern for Saturday Night Live. I had only been into the city for high school field trips to see musicals and give homeless people my money.  The day following my move-in to my 5 feet by 9 feet (I kid you not… these rooms were so fucking small I was so sad) dorm room in the middle of the hostel floors of the YMCA on 47th street, I sadly sat on my bed, friendless, starring up at my Dave Matthews Band posters and cans of Red Bull. I knew not a single soul in NYC except for a few high school friends that were already established living in the city. I didn’t want to walk around the streets for fear of getting lost (this was pre-smart phone era) and I was so drenched in a depression coma over the idea that I had a LOT ahead before I could call this place home and feel established here that I was bed-ridden.

    Then, a knock on my door. HOLY SHIT A FRIEND?!

    It was a gorgeous tall beautiful blonde girl named Ashley who is now one of my best friends. This was my first time ever meeting her and she said “Hey… wanna go out?”

    $&#@!&%#()!YES)#$*!OMG OK!*@#$)*$)@#PLEASE LOVE ME$*#)

    She knew a girl who knew a girl who knew a  guy who was a club promoter who could get our 19 year old selves into some crazy places. Please keep in mind that up until this point, the coolest thing that I had ever done was shotgun a beer at a frat house at PSU. I had never done drugs or been around them and certainly have never stepped foot in a NEW YORK CITY CLUB HOLY SHIT SO EXCITED!!! We got dressed, thankfully I had raged in a Forever21 weeks prior and had a plethora of hooker dresses and cheap high heels. It was about 10:30PM (an OUTRAGEOUS hour to leave the house), we hopped in a cab (first time ever hailing a cab) and went down town to a place called Pink Elephant in the Meatpacking District. My brain exploded, there were all these hotties walking around, limos, people yelling at other people, and then this shady club promoter named Rishi. He sucked but at the time I was in awe of him and his “power.” We walk up to the door and were instructed to just give the door man our 19 year old IDs as Rishi whispered to the towering black man with sunglasses on. We walked in and my brain re-exploded. Hands down the coolest I’ve ever felt. We had bottle service, were dancing on the tables, taking photos, being all like “No, YOU look totes GORGE OMG” (I was the girl that I now hate).

    After an hour or two of dancing, we met this man with a heavy Jamaican accent. We didn’t know his name, which just appropriately dubbed him “Jamaica.” How racist. So Jamaica offers to take Ashley and I to Marquee. I had read about this place, it’s co-owned by P Diddy or Poofy Doofy or whatever the fuck he decides to call  himself this month. It took us .5 seconds to ditch Rishi and go with this guy. He walks us down the block to this club and we go inside and our jaws drop. This place is insane, we got VIP drinks and dance for hours. (I think it’s vital to note that months later, Ashley came back to this club and made out with Chad Kreoger of Nickelback. I have vowed never to let that go).

    Then, Jamaica asks, “What to go to a hot karaoke spot?!”


    He walks us to his extremely fancy car and my conscious chimes in, asking me if that’s the greatest idea in the world. The answer to that question is of course, no. No, Krystyna, getting into a strangers car in NYC after partying and drinking all night is NOT A GOOD IDEA YOU TURD. Oh well, did it anyway.

    Ashley is in his front seat, I’m in the back. We are texting each other because we both have a bad feeling. And then, I look out the window to realize that we are driving over a bridge. At the time, I didn’t know exactly what that meant but I did realize that we were going in the opposite direction of my small but comfy and safe dorm room.

     I asked Jamaica, “Hey… uh, where are we going?”
    “The best Karaoke spot in town”
    “Which is where exactly?”
    “Well, it’s at my house!”

    Whoa, what bro?! We politely asked him to drive us back into the city and he said no. After which, I texted Ashley asking if I could dial 911. This was it. We were DEFINITELY going to get raped. Legitimately raped and murdered. I went to call 911 and he knocks the phone out of my hand asking what I was doing. Ok, yep, absolutely going to get raped. Like, 100% chance.

    When you’re horrified for your life AND drunk at the same time, it’s a weird balance of emotions because  a part of you is trying to plot how to escape and the other 87% of you is trying not to barf. Very confusing. So we pull up to his house in what I now think had to have been Queens. He gets out of the car and says, “c’mon guys! Just one song and then I’ll take you home, I promise! You just have to sing ONE song with me!!”

    “Fuck. No,” said me.

    “Ok, if it’s just one song!” said Ashley as she walked up the stairs with this man into his house. I couldn’t let her die alone and convinced myself that when he tries to force himself onto our bodies, I will key him between the clavicles with my old house key because that’s fool proof. He kept saying “Just ONE song!!”

    Ashely and I get into his apartment, we walk into his living room where there is, in fact, a very elaborate karaoke set up. We dart for the bathroom.

    “Ok, so I’ll grab his legs and you punch him in the face?!?”
    “Krystyna, no we just gotta sing ONE karaoke song and then he will take us home! He said so!”

    Jesus Christ. We walk out of the bathroom to see that Jamaica has already set up the karaoke and hands us both a microphone. He asks us what song we want to sing.

    “Oh god, he’s going to kill us while we sing. That’s his creepy sexual fantasy,” I thought. We told him to pick a song. His choice? ‘Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me.’

    So we fucking sing this fucking retarded song, crying, looking out from the corner of our eyes for his murder weapon. It was a sad and very hilarious sight to see. He looked on as we sang and finished the song and then he said…

    “That was great! I will take you guys home now.” To which, he did. We lived to see another day. Unfortunately it was a day of vomiting but also a day of thanks, for our body parts were still intact and no one had entered us that was not welcome.

  7. No Pictures Please

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    By Rhonda Hansome

    “I’m very sensitive.”  That’s what a gorgeous, tall drink of water murmured as he held my gaze in an intimate embrace.  Hmmm… a handsome, well dressed, (did I mention tall?) sensitive man; who isn’t gay?  My demure lady nether parts burbled a coquettish; “Whoo hoo!!!” as I executed a perfect emotional swan dive into the limpid chocolate pool of his eyes.  It turns out that pool was pretty shallow.  But no he didn’t lie. He was very sensitive (which he clarified three weeks later) about his own needs!  But My Dear Reader* I digress…

    I too am sensitive.  From the age of 5 to 11 (prime candy consuming years) if I ate chocolate, thought about eating chocolate, or looked at someone indulging in the sensual revelry of a Hershey’s bar; I’d have a life threatening asthma attack.  For those unfamiliar with asthma’s attack, think drowning without the playful buoyancy of being surrounded by water.  My asthma vigilantly skulked about my formative years and single handedly, while oh so passive aggressively, halted (running, jumping, squealing and) just about every exuberant, childhood activity with the simple caveat, When You Can’t Breathe – You Die!

    Thankfully I out grew asthma’s vise grip but she left her daunting calling card, a residual lifelong sensitivity to: cat dander (every really close friend of mine has SEVERAL cats), arbitrary allergens (airborne 13 months of the year), bouts of hay fever (striking whenever I don’t have a tissue nearby) and random bug bites invariably producing a hideous bulbous swelling.  That’s right Dear Reader at a moment’s notice, a bug bite gives me 1st place win in the Quasimodo Look-Alike Competition.  Which brings me to today’s blog.

    A mosquito bit me earlier this week.  What for any normal person would be an innocuous, albeit annoying violation of epidermis; for me became an increasingly itchy, swelling, (infected looking?) entity.  It took up residence on my left forearm and then with no discussion or warning subleased my under-eye area!  

    Yes that’s right. Barging into my incredibly busy, but perversely inverse ratio income generating life an appearance altering health issue raised a truly, ugly head.  I’m clinging to the slippery fringes of (ageist/sexist) show business as it is.  Now I’m doing a weekend of shows on Long Island, with a puffy eye, a gimpy arm and not a stitch of make-up on my face.  Suffice it to say children and pit bulls ran from me in terror.  However, the audience at the Bellmore, L.I. Brokerage Comedy Club, loved me. I attribute it to the authentic looking, pre-Halloween scary clown mask they thought I was wearing… After the second show Saturday and dead tired from the drive during which every quarter mile, I checked the prodigious, non-stop growth of puffiness under my left-eye; I finally arrived home at 2:00 AM.  I set the alarm for 5:00 AM.  Why?  Because I still have to pack for my trip that morning to L.A.!

    Yes Dear Reader, I wanted an hour or so of sleep before I leapt into my last minute packing dervish.  You’ve heard of “Beauty Rest”?  In a fitful 2 hour nap I experienced the world’s first case of “Ugly Sleep.”  The alarm rang and my mirror cracked with the image it reflected.  Under my left eye was now a bloated, soft tissue condo threatening my eye with eviction.  I threw a few things into a suitcase, mostly the pre-bug bite “sensitive skin” make-up I’d blown a 100 bucks on so I could delude myself I was worthy of walking among the preternaturally beautiful women of tinsel town.

    I got to a nearby slaughter house - I mean hospital emergency room by 6:45.  I don’t know why the sign said EMERGENCY, since the intake clerk told me to take a seat and wait for (I kid you not) EZ CARE to open at 7:30 AM.   I waited and calculated just how late I would be for my 10 o’clock ride to the airport. 

    Well the doctor who drew the short straw and was on duty saw me and got me out of EZ CARE with just enough time to be a half hour late for my 10 AM ride to the airport.  Clutching an industrial size bottle of antibiotics, I made it through rush hour traffic, airport security and onto the plane; where I sat for two hours waiting for tech support to clear the aircraft.  No problem.  It gave me plenty of time to realize that I would be back in NYC before the 40 (generic, because that’s the way I roll) Keflex antibiotics, would dismiss the swelling occupying my body.

    Sitting on the tarmac, I felt a disturbing resignation envelope me as I realized I’d be in beautiful people L.A. with my scary clown mask face on display to new and old acquaintances alike.  With Halloween still days away,  what could this show biz babe do?  Don dark sunglasses and wave the paparazzi away with a condescending, “No pictures please!!!”

    *Will one of you three folks make me a star already???

  8. MY JUNK

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    By Helene "I GOT THINGS TO DO" Gresser

    I am smoking a cigarette and then am going to eat. I've had coffee brought to me by my guy (yeah, I know it's sickening to constantly chirp about how great my guy is, but it's been a LONG time, a LOOOONG dry spell, so suck it up and let me chirp), a hand-rolled ciggie made from spare tobaccy sitting around in butts and rolled in ciggie paper - yes, we're that poor and desperate in the wee hours - and a jelly doughnut. And I've gulped my Adderall and Pristiq and Abilfy, so I won't freak out or cry or space about how much stuff I need to get done in the next few days. It works. It all works. And now I am shaky and need to mangia, so I will go to Subway and get a tuna sub and then probably have no time to write more bloggy blog before I need to get on the train and do a set tonight at 6.

    I will attend to writing duties later. Forgive my sporadic entries today. I did get a lot done - arranged for movers to move my hastily stored crap from an expensive storage unit in Da Bronx to a less expensive storage unit in Queens next to my guy's shop. I paid for the new unit, called the Bronx place and told them I'm coming for my junk, and my Guy (now he's capitalized) agreed to let me use his spare shop space to sell whatever crap I don't need, so I will lighten my load and live more simply and move into some room I rent, hopefully not from some loud, drunken roommate who eats my peanut butter.

    My Guy is talking to me right now, telling me happy stories, and I cannot concentrate. I'm going to get off the computer and eat lunch with him. More to come, later. Likely much later. Life is happening right now. I need to attend to that.


    Addendum: It's now 2:25 a.m. I am smoking, just scrubbed a tub that will not yield its scum to my orange-scented cleaner, and I am mulling over my rambly set earlier tonight whilst watching Body Heat on the boob tube. I am also wondering why I did not buy TWO packs of ciggies from the cheap underground ciggie guy in Queens. My smoking disgusts me, but I am not stopping. I cannot stand the smell of stale smoke on my clothes and hair and fingers. I am coughing a weird phlegmy cough lately. Maybe I will stop soon. For some reason, I am finding the chain-smoking oddly comforting, despite all the medical issues I know it can cause. I cannot drink to excess because I get killer hangovers, I don't like getting stoned too often, nor do I view my Adderall as something to be taken for a fun high. I split my tablets in half to make it last longer because it cost so damn much without insurance. So the smoking is my vice of choice. I feel the need to be a little naughty, a little self-destructive, to soothe the constant panic thrumming through my nerves. I suppose it is childish and stupid, as well as repulsive to many, but I don't give a damn. Not right now.

    I haven't yet cried about being suddenly without my safe little apartment, have not lost my stoic resolve to get my shit together and find a cruddy room to live with my cats, and with a stranger making funny smells in the kitchen. New York hasn't kicked my ass so hard that I am ready to leave town, though I had contemplated moving to another city for other reasons not so long ago. This town likes to play hardball, and I can continue to be a player as long as I can steal bases and bunt. I like the freedom that I have, but am well aware of the weight that debt and lack of security adds to my hunched shoulders. I walk past Madison Avenue windows and see my curved back and furrowed brow in the reflection as I glance at sparkly Louboutin shoes and Dennis Basso furs. I contemplate Botox and massages and Pilates and know I cannot afford any of these luxuries. Fuck it, I might as well smoke, I think. At least for now. Just let me be a little bad. I've been so damn good all my life, so very careful to please others, so very self-conscious, so very accomodating. I kind of enjoy the occasional look of disgust and the lady who HOLDS HER NOSE as she passes by my little cloud of stank. That's right, I think, hold your damn nose. I am fouling the October air with my pollution stick. Deal. 'Cause I can deal with the city spitting in my face. For now, at least.




    A student told me she had sex with a young guy she met after not having been with anyone in a long time (nothing as long as my P-F* era), and the condom slipped off at the very end. Three weeks later, the guy calls her saying his penis burns. He wondered if she had had anything. She thought he did. He went to the doctor and learned it was a urinary problem. She is going to get checked anyway next week. This reminded me of all the problems that can come from one penile encounter.

    I avoided a service turn-off by paying Con Ed a chunk of money. I confuse them. They wanted me to commit to a payment plan. I hadn't signed it and I had sent them more than a payment plan payment but not the full amount owed. I sent what I could. I'm not trying to confuse them. I'm trying to survive with the comfort of gas and electricity. They wanted me to call them and tell them my intentions. I didn’t call. I have nothing to say other than when I have money, I'll send you some. It's not like I have money and am playing games. Over the weekend, I paid them another chunk. That should shut them up for a while. Now my dentist has sent me more envelopes requesting payment than I can keep up with. And the cable company is up my azz. I'm not trying to say they shouldn't get their money. They should and they will. But I'm on a hamster wheel here. The dentist has never had my life experience. A roof and food has to take priority over whatever boat purchase he might be making.

    I had nothing scheduled this past weekend which was nice. No time pressures. Just a nice chunk of time to use as I wish. I'm free to think aloud. I stay up until sleep gets me. I enjoy a long hot shower and truly appreciate the consistent heat, water pressure, new ceiling, fresh paint, and not having to be concerned about anyone else needing the bathroom. A hot shower warms me in my chilly apartment. This building used to be so well heated that I'd strip when I'd get home. Now I don't want to take off my jacket. I try to embrace all the good moments. Taking out four bags of garbage makes me feel like a good husband to myself.

    Speaking of which, I discovered my ex has a facebook page. What struck me was his "About" section. It tells of when he went to Spain and to France. He doesn't mention all the years growing up in and having his first unhappy marriage in Puerto Rico, then living about three decades in New York which includes the time he had his second unhappy marriage. He doesn't mention being a parent. It just struck me how he has to edit the truth out of his life, leaving tidbits as if they were the core. He lives the kind of hell one creates when they cannot be honest. He was distracted about 90% of the time. He diagnosed himself with A.D.D. though I believed he was L.M. & F.O.S.**

    I’m happy to see my butt exercises are working. Have to work on the belly and arms more. I am really relieved that my body does respond to whatever efforts I put into reshaping and toning. When I saw my once-was-nice butt in the mirror some years ago, I was frightened. I hadn't realized how it was changing for the worse and how I had to work to maintain what I once had. I remember feeling when I lost control of my life that I also lost control of my body's size and shape. It was depressing. It felt easier to tackle my body than everything else at the time. I got rid of weight first. I still didn’t like that my butt wasn't up where it belongs and that my belly protruded more than my butt. It was such a physicalization of everything wrong.  Things are looking better now.  It’s metaphorical and literal.  My life’s a poem.

    After putting my dog on glucosamine, he is much more bouncy again on his walks. It warms my heart. He made a new dog friend. The other dog was young and accepted all of my dog's advances as the innocent playing it is. My neutered 12-year-old dog, after about thirty seconds of getting to know the other dog, was humping the other dog's face. A bunch of young, pants-below-the-ass men gathered and were quite impressed with my Luigi. They didn’t think that Luigi had it in him. I couldn't help but wonder if I'd get such newfound respect if I began humping someone's face on the corner. When I pulled him away from the young dog, my Luigi continued his gyrations in the air. There was positive audience reaction. My Luigi, of course, has no idea what all the fuss is about. The fuss intensifies if the other dog is male. This concerns people who should be that concerned about their own employment and education. But somehow the possibility of my dog being "gay" is of monumental importance to the local dudes. On occasion, I have entertained the troops by telling them, "My dog isn’t gay or straight. He just doesn't concern himself with all that. If he likes the dog, he wants to do humpy as part of their friendship. He doesn't care if it’s a boy or girl dog. It's a warm body." Though I was not trying to be funny, just hearing a different view had them laughing. Once when I was walking my dog, he and another dog began sniffing each other with wagging tails. The other human asked if mine was a girl. After he learned it was a male, he scolded his dog. "Whattaya sniffing? He has what you have." I said, "Oh they don't think like that. Those are human's hang-ups." A few seconds of silence, and then the man said, "It's not a hang-up!" It was time to say goodnight and move along to a nice non-judgmental tree.

    My apartment needs way more attention than I've been giving it. I still have all my kitchen stuff in the middle of my living room from when they put in a new kitchen ceiling. Ugh. At one of my jobs, we are preparing for a program-wide election event. The timing makes it challenging because I'm getting acquainted with new students, and adult students are not always up for special events. Plus space has been a problem we had to creatively work around. It is taking more mental energy than I'd like. I have Law & Order marathons to watch.

    Last Tuesday, 10/16/12, I was a featured poet at a reading*** in Brooklyn for the Brownstone Poets reading series. I was honored to be asked to feature by Patricia Carragon. I like the man I co-featured with. The reading went very well though it was the night of the second presidential debate which probably accounted for a modest turnout. The quality of those who came to listen felt very good. Patricia is an enthused host which keeps it alive. There is usually inherent reward in getting myself out there.

    I need to get back out to the comedy stage. It's been too long. That nourishes a different part of me. Also, I've been kind of stuck in terms of writing new comedy material, so hearing others' efforts can get me in motion again. Sometimes when I hear stuff that churns my insides, I come up with material in response to what I heard. So even a comedy open mic can be helpful … if not in terms of comedy, at least in terms of motivating me to once again question my heterosexuality.


    **Lacking morals and full of shit
    ***I blog about my experiences on the NYC poetry scene at so please stop by.