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  1. What In The World? by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    What In The World?

    For quite some time I've felt like I'm living in the future. What gives me that vaguely queasy feeling I'm an extra* in a (can turn dank, damp, dark and dangerous any minute) sci-fi flick?  Well, I thought it would be moving walkways at the airport, or cars (for the BLIND!) that drive and parallel park themselves as they answer your phone, while screening a favorite episode of Hoarders.  To my surprise it has been my slow, but steady embrace of a lack of privacy; under the disguise of energy efficient or labor saving devices.  Please note this is coming from a woman who, in the previous century, was last to get a touch tone (land-line) phone and (with an embarrassed tone) still have one today.

    “With every coy head nod, causal hand wave and deep eye gaze, I felt he knew me.”  Carla Diana’s Opinion Page article in this week's New York Times, Our Talking, Walking, Objects, sparked my most recent bout of RP, Righteous Paranoia.
                                                                              
    I have not had the rapture Carla Diana describes, of the “emotional value” derived from interacting with Siri; or the profound bonding experience she recounts from a Roomba vacuum review:  “We have named our new Roomba Rosie. She is my new best friend.”  
                                                        
    Carla is poetic, damn near orgasmic, as she describes behavior of “robots… entering our homes in subtle ways, through countertop appliances, hand-held tools and wearable gadgets….”   Behaviors like, washing machines calling you to do laundry, a pill bottle opening its lid to offer you a dose, and a fork vibrating when you are eating too fast.  The Hitchcockian/Twilight Zone/Outer Limits implications write themselves in my italics.  Dear Reader**, when I’m eating so fast that I need a robot to shake my fork out of my mouth, (in my best Diana Ross voice) “Come see about me!”
                                                                                                             
    Of course my bottom line is that all these technological devices “serving” us will also be collecting data. If not now, soon enough our every deed and thought will be recorded and subject to possible, make that probable judicial review.  Righteous Paranoia?  I think so!  When my most “sublime experiences” are engendered by a robot, I will have lost connection to my last sense of humanity; and I beg you (in my best Diana Ross voice) “Come see about me!”
      
    Or at least come see me, 10 PM tonight at The World in the Broadway Comedy Club, NYC.  Uh hmmn, wow, this is embarrassing, but I have to cut this self-serving plug of the moment short, because my 
    AcuVibe Human Touch Heated Massager is calling me…

    Rhonda Hansome 
    10 PM tonight -  Thurs. Jan. 31
    The World
     Broadway Comedy Club 318 West 53rd St. NYC

    *Damn, not even a Lead, Featured or Day Player in my own totalitarian fantasies (we all know it is reality, but just play along for now.

    **All beautiful four (up from three) of you! BTW thanks for leaving comments.  That makes me feel like more than just Big Brother is reading my blog.
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  2. ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013


    By Helene "Night Train" Gresser


    Okay, so I completely forgot to post last week. Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is. I work many jobs, and often on the weekends, and I don’t have a 9 to 5 office job, so I will completely lose track of the days, especially lately. That is me.

    I am usually a night person. My mind tends to wake up around 10 p.m., and I want to get dressed up and go somewhere. I used to go to the fabled Elaine’s after midnight, because my fellow night-owls congregated there, and staying up until 3 or 4 a.m. and then going to the diner for corned beef hash and eggs was a normal routine. Now Elaine’s is no longer, and I now live in Bushwick, and I am getting restless and anxious at night. I can’t wander the neighborhood, as I used to do when I lived on Madison Avenue on the upper east side of Manhattan. I can’t go to my 24-hour deli and get a snack and sit on the bench outside my building smoking and drinking coffee as I watch the sky get lighter and the hospital folk walk to work.  My new neighborhood is dark and deserted of nightfolk and not a safe place to wander aimlessly.

    Last night, after an exhausting shift of tending bar, I felt the pressures building again – I want to go do something fun, talk to somebody, but where? I should save money. I am losing out on life. Stupid money. Stupid career choices. I hate this shit. – all the dark thoughts. I contemplated taking a break from performing comedy. I thought of leaving New York.  I wondered if I should just find a fucking office job with benefits and two weeks paid vacation and have some financial stability. This thought makes me even darker.

    I get home to my rented room, and my roomies are already in bed, though it is not yet 11:30 p.m. I resist the urge to call or text the guy I’ve been seeing (I need to stop calling him My Guy – he is not My Guy. If I am not His Girl, he cannot be My Guy.) I want to have somebody to talk to before I go to bed. Someone to laugh with.

    I am built for performing. Theater people, comics – we are night folk. We thrive on the community of weirdos and misfits and Charlie-in-the-Boxes so we have decided to forgo security and 401K accounts and “normal” lives. It’s not the applause and laughter that we crave – it’s our fellow weirdos. When it is midnight and I am sitting on my bed, I cannot bear the thought of turning off the light and going to sleep. Alone. With my thoughts. I have been this way my whole life. As a small child, I’d get out of bed and snuggle next to my mom and watch Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett and Tom Snyder and eat Ritz crackers with tuna salad out of a big bowl. Wide awake. Getting up early - for school, for college classes, for a 9 to 5 job – does not sit well with me.

    It’s been troublesome to have this late-night anxiety settling in. In my old apartment, I could turn on the TV, surf the net, and rearrange my shit. Now I don’t have a TV, the internet is boring me, and I am devouring books, but my stomach is in knots and my brain is racing. I cannot wait for it to be light outside. I am a vampire, but the light of day changes me into a calmer person. I regain hope, feel like things will work out, and stop the self-flagellation. But it is dark outside as I write this. That weird nausea is tickling my stomach once again.

    I have an offer to do a set this Friday.  I should just do it, despite this urge to stop for a while.  I don’t know if I am funny anymore. That’s usually when my best sets occur. When I am in the darkest of places, alone, flailing, sick inside – I can climb on that little stage and grab the mic and something comes out of me that I wasn't planning. It just happens. It might be the train ride to the venue, the text I just received, the way a beer was served to me right before I walk into the room. It might happen as I walk up to the stage – a sound, a thought, a new audience member entering the darkness to sit and watch the freak show.

    We few, we happy few.  I smoked all my ciggies and it's past midnight. I may just have to go for a stroll here in my deserted neighborhood. 


    -hmg






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  3. Very Safe Sex

                                                         by Mindy Matijasevic

     
    Last week, classes at both
    jobs started up again.  Additionally, Friday was the deadline to apply for a grant from the Bronx Council on the Arts.  I am typically down to the wire on that deadline, and this year was no exception.  I had to bring my manuscript to the 8th Avenue post  office by 33rd street at night to have it postmarked on 1/25/13.  There was much stress due to not being able to get through to a fucking human being on the phone.  When I was trying to call to find out hours, I was forced to talk to a computer and when I said “hours,” it said, “post office locations.”  After the third call, I almost threw the phone into my computer monitor. 

    One of my new co-workers has already shown himself to have an ego that won’t be able to fit in our office.  The massive pair on some people is amazing.  I’m sure he’s one of those who takes up three seats on the subway. 
     
    I will be putting together a newsletter at work on a regular basis.  This was originally the idea of Sue Machlin, a dear co-worker and friend who passed over last June in a car accident.  She and another put out the first newsletter.  For whatever reasons, they didn’t continue.  I resurrected the idea, and it’s my project now.  I’m glad.  It’s another continuing connection to Sue.  It’s creative work, and that gets my juices going.

    Having to function in the morning every day after several weeks of a very loose schedule, all the stress and beating the clock to get my submission in on time to apply for the grant, trying to reason with an a-hole in one arena and a computer in another, among other things, exhausted me.  I slept all day Saturday.  And I am pleased to say I didn’t feel one bit of guilt for it.  I needed it.  I tend to stay up late when not having to get up early, so making the switch was very difficult. 
     
    I don’t know if this is connected to getting my writing in before deadline and having a newsletter to create (which stimulates me more than many things), but I dreamt that I had sex.  I mean when I woke up, it took a few minutes to fully realize it was a dream.  I remember details.  Not every detail, but some.  I remember feeling that he was going to be done, and, after all this time that I’ve been penis-free, I was determined to make sure I’d be done by the time he’d be done.  There was no way I went through all this to be left unsatisfied.  I remember rising to him three times and (to put it cleanly) achieve what I rose for.  Later, I remember standing naked and facing each other.  He had a hairy chest.  I like men to have hairy chests.  I didn’t see his face.  He wasn’t a whole lot taller than me.  He, based on body color, may have been Hispanic, Italian, Greek, Jewish (the type who have more color).  In the dream, I knew who he was, but since awaking, I can’t remember at all.  I felt pretty pleased in the dream.  Not a bit regretful.  Maybe it’s a sign.



     
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  4. Thirteen

    Monday, January 28, 2013


    by Samantha DeRose

    As of January 26, 2013 I am now the mother of teenagers.  I’m not sure how it happened (well, I know how it happened.  I’m speaking rhetorically).

    In light of an assignment that I just gave to my creative writing class, I’ve decided write today’s blog in honor of Ethan’s 13th Birthday in the same spirit.  The assignment was based on the poem, I Remember, by Joe Brainard.

    I remember the first thought that went through my head when I found out that I was pregnant…again.  I thought that having one child would prepare me for adulthood.  It didn’t.  The thought of having another child (you) to care for while I was still emotionally a child myself (at 31) filled me with indescribable terror and elation all at once.

    I remember when I was 8 months pregnant.  The second time.  I had a cold, I lifted Ryan, coughed, and the bun in the oven (you) kicked… all at the same time.  I bruised my womb.  Thanks, buddy.

    I remember being frightened that I wouldn’t recognize what labor pains were.  I was induced with the first pregnancy, so labor came fast and furious.  I cooked dinner on January 26, 2000 and felt crampy.  I blamed it on my awful cooking.  I called my babysitter who had 6 of her own children.  She assured me, it wasn’t my cooking.  You were ready.  Two days early.  I still think your birthday is January 28.   I mean, I know it's the 26th, but I always have to think about it for a second.

    I remember so much of the delivery that I won’t write it down…for fear that anyone who reads this and is considering having a child might decide otherwise.

    I remember bringing you home from the hospital to an ice-cold house.  There had been a blizzard, the heat broke, and the contractors were beginning construction on a job that was supposed to have been finished four months prior.  They did a lousy job and the roof ended up leaking on the addition after only 2 years.  Don’t hire these people.  Forget it.  I can only remember the guy’s first name.  Mike.  Don’t hire Mike if you see his ad in the ValuPak Coupon mailer.

    I remember the way Ryan held you so carefully and lovingly when we brought you home.  We taught him how to be careful with his new puppy, Amos.  Note to self:  Getting a puppy for a 1 year-old four months before giving birth to a second child is really not a great idea.  It's an even worse idea if your house is having construction done.

    I remember how frightened I was when we had to take you back to the hospital when you were 5 weeks old.  You ended up being fine, but you screamed for about four years solid after that.  Paybacks, I know.  You’ve really got to get out of that habit of ending up in the ER.  Stitches in the nose, asthma, pneumonia, concussions, hernias (false alarm).  Come ON, MAN!

    I remember the time you came into my room and said, “Hey Mommy!  I have a talent!”  and then you proceeded to simultaneously whistle, snap your fingers, and make fart noises with your hand under your armpit.  I laughed so hard I fell off of the bed.  Uncle Arthur used to make you do your “talent” all the time to the point that you refused to even talk about it after a while.  As a matter of fact, in the last Christmas card that he gave you he wrote, “Ethan, won’t you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do your talent for me?” 

    I remember when I first signed you and Ryan up for t-ball.  The two of you sat in the field and filled your pockets with dirt for the entire season.  You ended up being quite a ball player.  I think I’m still cleaning the dirt out of the laundry room from the good old days.

    I remember when you decided to play the cello in 3rd grade.  When we asked you why, you replied, “Because it’s big and no one else plays it.”  Of course.  What other response was I expecting?  I didn’t expect you to be so good at it… I mean, it took practice (and earplugs on my part) but now you’re pretty amazing.  Now do me a favor and practice and learn one of the songs that I want you to play as a duet with your brother.

    I remember when you were just learning to talk and I overheard you whispering, “Goddammit.”  You actually used to say, “You’re a Goddammit!”  Anyway, I overheard you and your brother playing and you whispered, “Goddammit.”  Ryan then whispered in your ear, “Say it louder,” so you yelled, “Goddammit!” and he said, “Louder,” so you screamed, "GODDAMMIT!" and you laughed your little head off at the thought of making your brother happy.

    I remember how proud I was with each report card, each home run, each cello concert.  The phone calls about sassing the teachers or stealing the plastic coins from the play cash register in pre-school (every day)… not so proud… it was funny, though, but don’t tell your grandmother I said so.

    I remember the first time you said, “Hey, Toots.  How's about fixing me some dinner.”  I didn’t know whether to be appalled or to crack up.  I cracked up.  Oh, and regarding dinner.  I’m glad that your palate has become a little more sophisticated.  Ravioli and Ricotta (you pronounced it BINGOTTA Cheese) every night wasn’t really a well-balanced diet, but it kept you from shrieking.  Oh, and while we’re on the subject of food, there was the time that your dad was making you a milkshake when you were 3 and you yelled from your room, “Hurry up with that milkshake, YA BIG LADY!”

    And one to grow on… I remember telling you and your brother something difficult and being terrified of what your reaction would be.  You wrapped your arms around me, comforted me, told me that you loved me, and said everything was going to be OK.  And you were right.  Thanks for the love and smiles, little boy!
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  5. 10 Things I Hate

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    10 days of this shit
    I am in the beginning stages of the Master Cleanse right now and I am hungry.  Hunger makes me mean and ornery.  Like an old man who hates Jesus, or his wife, or Obama.  I am usually a hater of sorts, but, in this moment, I hate everything.  This is a list of what I am extra hating at the moment:


    1.  Teenagers.  They can all fucking go to hell for all I care.  I think parents should lock their kids up until they turn 25, then ship them all to Utah.  

    2.  Stuffed foods.  I'm not sure why, but any food that is stuffed with another food makes me angry.  Isn't one food enough?  Why must we stuff hamburgers with foie gras and short ribs?  Just eat the fucking burger.  Put ketchup on it, if you need to "layer a taste".

    3.  Board games.  I'd rather run a marathon than play scrabble for 1 hour.  I'd rather spent 48 hours with my parents than play Monopoly for 30 minutes.

    4.  Anne Hathaway.  Yeah, yeah, I get it.  She's a great actress.  But, did you hear her Golden Globe speech?  "Thank you Foreign Press for this award.  This blunt object that I will forever use as a weapon against self doubt".  Get the fuck out of here!!  Shut the fuck up with your pretentious bullshit.

    5.  Walking my dogs.  I LOVE my dogs, but, I am so over walking those motherfuckers.  I wish that they understood  the rules of the road (especially that a car could kill them) and how to pick up their own shit.  This would make my life a little more lazy and I would love that.

    6.  Black and white movies.  I can't stand the acting from that period.  It makes me mad.  I have a hard time watching any "old" movies.  I can't even watch reruns of The Sopranos.  There is something about it that pisses me off.

    7.  Most Comedy Club OwnersYeah, I said it.  Most club owners are failed comedians themselves and have HUGE chips on their shoulders.  They treat comics like shit and make us grovel for stage time ("oh please sir, your club is so great!  I really love performing for 5 people who can't speak English!").  I overheard one club owner say to a new comic, "No one wanted to tell Dane Cook that he was a hack.  But, I did.  Because I care about comics.  I care about you guys".  Right.....

    8.  Facebook and Twitter. I just can't get behind it.  I have never been on either and I have no interest.  If you want to get in touch with me, call or email me.  It's as easy as that.  If you want to be friends, that's totally cool.  I'm not that selective.

    9.   Hipsters.  Doesn't everyone?  Hating hipsters is very unoriginal.  And unoriginality pisses me off.

    10.  This fucking cleanse.  I am soooo hungry!!


    Hey you!  Fuck off!


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  6. THE GREATEST LOVE STORY OF ALL TIME

    Saturday, January 26, 2013


    By Lisa Harmon

    This is the entirely true story of how I met the love of my life.   A truer, stronger love than ours does not exist.

    One beautiful day in May I was enjoying a barbecue with my family. We were having hotdogs, hamburgers and lemonade. We were enjoying the warm sunshine and each others' company.

    Suddenly, I noticed a man walking down our street. I had the strangest reaction. I immediately thought “This is what everyone is always talking about, love at first sight.” On an intellectual level I tried not to get too excited, but somehow I knew that I was looking at the great love of my life.

    This man had a small wiener dog with him. I piped up “Excuse me, would your dog like a hamburger?”

    And that's how we met. Apparently, after that first burger, the dog wanted to come by our house every day, and that's how we got to know each other. He was called the Super, his dog's name was Brigitte. He was a building superintendent in the neighborhood, and actually was acquainted with my family. He was single. Brigitte was his only companion.

    We were really falling hard for each other. It seemed like it was obvious to everyone, even though we tried to keep it a secret. After spending so much time together, suddenly I didn't see the Super anymore. I called a few times, but he was always busy. I wondered what I had done wrong. My heart was breaking (even though I didn't want to admit it to myself) and I didn't know what, if anything, I could do.

    A few days later, I ran into the Super at a neighborhood hangout. A bunch of our neighbors were there, hanging out, with their dogs, just talking and relaxing.

    I couldn't control myself, so I ran up to the Super. In front of everyone there, I said, listen, I don't know what you're trying to do, but we're in love, and you can't keep us apart!

    The Super looked mortified. He literally cringed in horror. I think he wanted to sink into the ground and disappear. He was shocked by my outburst. I had really caught him off guard.

    It was at this point I realized, “He thinks I mean him! Oh my God! What a doof!”

    I yelled out, “I am talking about the dog! I am talking about Brigitte! I don't care if I don't see you for three days, but I HAVE to see Brigitte every day! She's my SOUL-MATE!”

    I know Brigitte and I were soul-mates because we had the same passions: napping, eating, and flatulence. We also liked to turn on the air conditioner and watch The Nanny which was on a continuous loop on Nickelodeon at the time. And this is how I know Brigitte was really my soul-mate – no matter how much snuggling and cuddling we did, and we did plenty, we never had sex! Not once! Clearly, we were meant to be together!

    Unfortunately, my soul mate, the love of my life, my fiance, Brigitte has since passed on to the rainbow bridge, and now its just the Super and me. But I learned a lot from my soul-mate/common-law wife and its good stuff, so I'll pass it along.

    Brigitte's Tips for Life
     
    1. Never show fear. You may only be eleven pounds, and you may face a great adversary, but you're a mighty wiener dog! Hold your ground, show no fear, and bark your brains out!
    2. Edible and inedible are random labels that people with hang-ups use. If you feel like eating some Tupperware, that's your right and your business.
    3. Leftovers – if someone finished eating already, but they have a little cheese or sauce stuck in their tooth, it is totally OK to just lick it right out of there! They didn't even know it was there! Go ahead, enjoy!
    4. Always save some biscuits for a rainy day. Put some in your bed and put some behind the furniture. You never know!
    5. Never eat the pate they serve on the Concord. It is just awful.



     
     
     
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  7. The Night Circus by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    The Night Circus

    Spread the sawdust, cue the calliope and open the tent!  Thus begins the basic bread of international spectacle: the circus and its controversy.  I’m not talking about the heart stopping perils of the high-wire or the vociferous debate about performing animals.  I’m talking about the age old disagreement regarding the absolute foundation of the entertainment… CLOWNS!
                                                               
    Some people use the term as a pejorative.  “You, are so (choose one: stupid, crazy, foolish) - you  clown! “This is serious.  Stop clowning around!”  “Pay her no mind, she’s just a clown!

    There are some poor souls scarred for life from an early childhood experience.  The trauma could have involved an unwieldy seltzer bottle, a surprising cascade of confetti or just a frightening mile-wide smile.  The common denominator, you ask?  In every case a big nose, brightly painted, floppy shoe wearing, overzealous clown.  Clowns you either love them or hate them.

    One ambitious summer I studied clowning. Through no fault fault of the instructor, I failed juggling, unicycle
    riding and whoopee cushion.  I admit my attention was divided, as I was also in a mime intensive at the time. 



                           Okay write your own joke here.  I’ll blog about mimes some other time. 

    Clowns fascinate me.  And tomorrow night, because Mister and Missus Clown (aka Mike Smith Rivera and Kelly Anne Burns) have invited me to perform, I get the honor of mixing it up with a gaggle of clowns in 
    The Night Circus.  

    Join me and a cluster of clowns in a spectacular evening of vaudeville entertainment including the music of Sir Richard Kent Green, the Fool School Academy players* and a dance party after the show!  
    10 PM Saturday January 26, Workshop Theater Company, 312 West 35th St. 4th fl.

    Reserve your ticket here and look for me after the show.  I’m the one with the big feet – really, I'm size 11!

    *Margo HAMBONE Hammond, Missus Cordelia Clown, Claire PEPPERMINT PATSY Patterson, Stephania Diana CURLY BURLY Shramm, Richard Kent CRUMP Green


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  8. Appealing to Your Eyes and Ears

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013



    I am in a financial crisis, more than the one I normally live in.  Normally I have two jobs to maintain my meager income.  One is more part time than the other and breaks for month-long and longer periods throughout the year without pay.  That 2nd job should be for extras or savings and not needed for basics, but I haven’t reached that point.  At both of these jobs, I teach adults who are returning for their basic skills.  It is very rewarding work for me.  My students and I do well together.  They love that I’m a regular person.  I love that I don’t have to be anything other than myself.
    


    I’ve had jobs that I disliked, and that feels horrible in every way.  Doing something that feels good to my insides is very important to me.  I walk to my main job, and it’s a short train ride to the 2nd job.  There’s no costly dress code at either.  Many things are good.  However, I typically have to find other work to fill the gaps.
    I have a lot of proofreading experience.  I spent four years working weekend nights at a financial firm as a proofreader (to get rid of ‘marital debt’ before separating); I’ve worked at law firms, an advertising company, a court reporting company, and for various published creative writers on a temporary basis.  I am conscientious and take pride in doing a good job.  So, dear readers, if you or anyone you know needs a proofreader, please contact me.
    Over the years, I have also posed for artists to help fill the financial gaps.  I’ve posed at art schools, private workshops, and for individual artists.  By "artists," I mean those drawing, painting, or sculpting.  As far as photography goes, I’ve done that dressed.  The only exceptions were one woman photography student who needed a nude model specifically for an assignment on shadows and how light hits the body, a videographer who uses moving beams of colored lights on the body, a woman who was photographing breasts for a breast cancer awareness project, and a woman photographer who was working on a specific project that intrigued me.  So as far as photography goes, it’s dressed or on a case by case basis.
                                                                                       
     

               
    Once again, dear readers, if you or someone you know needs an artist’s model, please contact me.
    I’m also not above clerical work, helping clean out a closet, doing coat check at an event, just ask.
    My 2nd job is starting up again this week, but I have gotten quite backed up on bills and acquired new debt to compound old debt.
    Of course, a paid poetry, comedy, or acting gig would be fantastic. 
    I can be contacted at mindyinthebronx@gmail.com.  Thank you.  I mean that.

               
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  9. Excuse List

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    My Excuse List for being Tardy for the (Blog) Party This Week:








    1)  I had to read the entire Hunger Games Trilogy.  No.  Really.  I did.  You see, I never considered myself to have any form of OCD, however, when it comes to books, I start and I can't stop.  Especially series of books.  I've had The Hunger Games Trilogy on my Audible account and on Kindle for quite some time, but dared not start them due to my compulsion to read and not stop until I'm finished... no matter how bad (or good) the content (see previous entry about 50 Shades).  Why do I have two copies, you ask (on Kindle and audio)?  Because if I have to stop reading to say, drive, vacuum (hahaha), cook dinner (HA HA!), I simply continue "listening" to a book to avoid unnecessary interruption.  Unfortunately, I had an hour to kill somewhere and I started the first book of The Hunger Games.  Yes.  I'm a little behind the masses.  I know.  But I picked it up and could not stop.  And here I am, in all my Katniss Everdeen glory.  Late with my blog.

    I am The Mocking Jay


    2)  I had to prepare for my youngest son, Ethan's 13th birthday that was scheduled, in my mind, for today.  It's traumatic, you know.  I now have two children who are officially teens.  So I ran to the stores, purchased the array of birthday booty (as in pirate's, not as in "baby got back"), purchased cards, and returned home to bake.  Fortunately, just prior to baking, I asked my sister if she and her kids would like to celebrate Ethan's birthday on Monday with us over pizza and cake and she asked, "Why Monday?"  And I replied, "Because it's his birthday?"  To which she replied, "His birthday is next Saturday."  I thought today was January 26th.  It is not.  Seems I'm very early for my son's 13th birthday, but not with my blentry.

    He is going to be VERY angry IF he finds out about this photo's appearance on my blentry


    3)  Downton Abbey.  Yes, Amy Daulton.  My Sundays are All-Downton-All-The-Time.  For those of you who are fans, you can appreciate my dilemma.  You will also appreciate this:
    A Tumblr Page of Edith with Google Eyes
    Hence, tardy blentry.


    4)  Doing someone else's job in addition to my own.  No, it's not someone I live with, but this project has been all-consuming. Nightmares and all.  I'll leave it at that.  Job trumps blentry.  Unfortunately.

    5)  Surfing Facebook and finding crap like this:
    Hyperdontia
    6)  Watching the last hour of The Casey Anthony Story on Lifetime.  Rob Lowe playing the prosecution cuts paper, covers rock, and apparently beats blentry.  (PS.  I was forced to watch this.  PSS.  I fell asleep)





    7) Rum Chata
    My household received 3 bottles of this from Santa.  It's that good.  Late blentry.


    8) Professional Development Day - I don't need to explain to certain people.
    Charlotte Danielson - apparently, the new face of education.


    9)  The Inauguration / Martin Luther King Day - I was celebrating (with #7 in hand).

    I love them
    I see where Ethan got his inspiration for his "smile style"


    10)  My dog ate my blentry



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  10. Oh, Downton Abbey!

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    My best friends. 
    Sundays are the best.  Not because it is a day of praising our Lord, nor, because it is possibly a day of drinking until blackout.  It is the best day of the week because Downton Abbey comes on, and I have my weekly pretend time.  Pretending like I am a British aristocrat, with lots of money and white people problems.  I speak in my British accent (the only word I can say is "'ELLO!") and drink wine out of a shot glass (I can't afford those adorable, crystal mini wine glasses).  Then I turn on the lights in my apartment and react in amazement (that damn electricity...don't trust it.  It will give you cancer, if you let it).  After that, I dress my dogs in their tuxedos and make them serve me mutton off of a silver platter (French service, of course).  After dinner, we retire to the sitting room (the bathroom) where everyone listens to me sing songs from days of yore.  I complete the night by having my lady maid (my dog Miss Beans) dress me for bed.  We then ponder life together (tell silly jokes and gossip about Mrs. Crawley's lady maid) before she leaves my room and retires for the night.  Oh, the sweet, sweet life of the privileged, I think to myself as I drift into slumber.



    I awake to Monday.  It can fuck itself.




    A little piece of Downton in Jersey City.



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  11. I LOVE COMEDIANS

    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    By Lisa Harmon

    Comedians, come on! Who is better than us??? I love comedians! I love ANYONE that has the guts and brains to question authority and then tell authority to go fuck itself. Come on! That's the fucking definition of being American.*

    *European-American.

    I've met some comics, you know the ones higher up on the food chain. Mostly they are pretty cool except for one HUGE JERK but keep reading and you'll find out who.

    I met Jim Gaffigan and Rich Vos but they don't count, because when I got started, nobody knew who they were either.

    Henny Youngman – talk about kicking it old school. If you doubt my comedic integrity let me ask you this:  How many teenagers said this sentence “Ma, Henny Youngman is playing Queens College and I'd like to go.”? I'm pretty sure I was the only one.  We met him afterward when he autographed a book of one-liners for me. I have no idea whatever happened to that book. It was hilarious.

    Susie Essman – Met her at a club and she was unbelievably nice despite the fact they were announcing her name when I said hi to her backstage.

    I met Colin Quinn. He was easy to meet because at the time, he was at the Comedy Cellar a lot. I had seen him there before. One afternoon my Mom and I were having lunch there. My Mom was facing the back (where the comics hang out) and she said “There's Colin Quinn!” And she bolted. She's very agile and stealthy when she wants to be. She literally dragged Colin Quinn to our table and commanded him to “Tell my daughter how to be a comic!”

    Poor Colin Quinn, he must be the nicest guy in the world. He looked at his feet and started telling me his ideas on becoming a successful comedian. How much do you love that? He's too nice! Too nice! Someday he may meet someone crazier than my Mom.  Be careful Colin Quinn!

    Caroline Rhea – she was so kind as to pose for a picture with us comics and told us to stick with it and not give up! So nice, and it never hurts to hear that advice, especially from a successful comic.

    David Letterman – yes, I met him. Because my open mic is right up the block! I babbled like a dope. He asked me my name and then kissed my hand. It's been love ever since but he won't return my calls. Was I disappointed he wasn't snarky? No. I thought I would be, but I wasn't. Also, I think there is a female hormone that makes you fall in love with anyone that kisses your hand.

    Gabriel Iglesias (Fluffy) Met him twice! How hilarious is he? I love him so much! A total sweetheart – he's a sincere and decent guy! Totally think he's amazing – so funny and not mean! I wish I was funny and not mean, but I'm just too mean.

    Jeff Ross – I met him at a comedy club party. I had just seen the special about his trip to entertain the troops, so I was in even more awe of him than usual. I used some advice an old boss gave me once: “Lisa, if you want to be an asshole, just be an asshole.” This was my moment to be an asshole! I marched right up to him and flattered him and demanded he take a picture with me (it didn't come out). He's funny and he does good deeds, and he was very, very nice to me.

    Elayne Boosler & Michele Balan – I got to meet them by stalking them at a club. Both hilarious comedians and beautiful people. Both ladies were extremely kind and gracious to me.  I loved the stories they told about working as comics.

    Jackie Mason – yes he's still alive! He was SO NICE! I met him at a restaurant in Queens. He signed an autograph and said “You're a comic! God bless you!” Or it could have been “God help you!” I'm not sure.

    Tommy Davidson – I stalked him at a show. Hilarious as always and a gracious guy.

    Chris Rock – bingo! Dick time. Chris Rock was at the bottom of the stairs. I was walking down. I smiled. I said, “Chris, are you going on?” He tsked me, and turned his head away, in apparent disgust. It's OK, I'm thick-skinned. I'm a comic. I told my husband about it. He said “What kind of guy doesn't want to talk to a pretty girl?” That's the day Chris Rock reminded me why I'm the luckiest comedian in the world.






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  12. The ending is funny, I promise.

    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Have you ever spoken to someone knowing for a fact that that was going to be the last time you ever saw that person? I haven't, until this past weekend. And let me tell you... fuck.

    My roommate's grandmother, pictured to the left, is an unreal woman and I've only met her twice. The first time was when my boyfriend, Stephen, and I drove her 2 hours from her daughter's home in Pennsylvania, to her home in New Jersey and it was instantly love. She told us all about growing up in Germany and becoming a nanny and moving to the US and meeting the love of her life. I'm the kind of person who LOVES when old people tell me stories and she loved that I loved them. Elderly people deserve more respect (except the racist ones). After all, they know more than us. When we dropped her off at her house, she showed us all the pictures hanging on her walls of her and her husband who passed away ten years ago. Ever since then, she has been open about wanting to die because with out him, what's the point? (fucking AW.) I should also mention that this woman smokes like a chimney, but with so much grace and elegance. I love watching her smoke, its what I imagine an 80 year old Marilyn Monroe would do.

    The second and last time I saw her was this past weekend. She is dying of a brain tumor and was given the "three weeks to a few months" speech by the doctors. Before moving in with her daughter, she wanted to spend a final few days at her own home and have her friends and family come to say goodbye. Stephen and I drove up to see her and spent a few hours at her house where we saw friends and family come in and out, saying good bye and crying. Everything that was coming out of this woman's mouth was the most epic thing I've ever heard. I guess it had to be, right? It's her last words to those people. She ended up being the one to comfort all of us because she knew she was going to be at peace and all everyone else could think about was never seeing her again.

    The time came to say goodbye and head back to the city and although I don't even know what this woman's first name is, I love her.  Stephen goes to hug her, she pulls him in close and whispers something profound in his ear and tells him she loves him. He cries. I get scared.

    I go to hug her, and she pulls me in close and says, "You're very lucky because you will live your life in love like I did. Always be in love and always be happy. I love you. (She pauses, and looks me in the eye). I've met you before, right?"

    Fucking amazing.
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  13. Unknown Country by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, January 17, 2013


                                                                 Unknown Country

     or Fancy Meeting You Here!

    Writing this from the main deck of Holland America’s M/S Westerdam, I am traveling south west to Cozumel.  Looking at the green-blue glorious water, I think what could be better than this?
                                                                             
    The limited phone and internet access is a blissful break in my restless Pavlovian routine of grabbing and scanning an electronic device every time a bell chimes.  The food is delicious and everywhere as is the music on this Smooth Jazz Cruise.  I have no recourse but to comply with the required agenda of eat, drink and be merry as I’m entertained by a continuous roster of musical headliners jamming, jazzing and rocking the boat all day and night. 

     Our seafaring talent reads like a Who’s Who of the smooth jazz genre.  George Benson, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Angie Stone, Rick Braun, Andre Berry and Bob James are just some of the magnanimous tune masters calling the shots as we swing and sway to the Caribbean.  What could be better than this? 


    Last night Richard Elliot blessed the stage and then burned it down with his sax.  He’s a musical magician who transformed the showroom into a melodious Mt. Olympus and in a 6° of separation situation wait for it… 


                                                                                    
    I’m in his entourage!  Well it’s really just relaxing with Richard (when he’s not wailing on stage) and getting to know his family members I'd never met like George & Vivian. 

    As surprising as it frequently seems, it really is a “small world.”  Well that’s what it felt like when George & Vivian said they were from Newfoundland. 

    Just prior to boarding the M/S Westerdam I was eyeball deep in preparation and rehearsal for the Fri. Jan. 25th presentation I'm directing in, the Unknown Country play reading series at the Workshop Theater Company in NYC.  Oil and Water by Robert Chafe is the soul touching true story of the rescue of the lone black survivor of the 1942 USS Truxton shipwreck off the coast of wait for it… Newfoundland.  

    Embarking on the Westerdam I thought I’d left the churning waters and dangerous hulking cliffs of Newfoundland behind.  Even though the incident happened way before they were born, George and Vivian Smith’s vivid retelling of their historic local legend put the world of Chafe’s powerful play right at hand. The treacherous bluffs, the violent snowstorm, the hundreds dead and the townspeople determined to save the oil caked survivors freezing along their shoreline.  

    Vivian had read lots about The Pollux and The Truxton.  She recounted how her countrymen living at that time had never seen a person of color before and in removing the oil, tried to scrub the black off Lanier Phillips.  
                                                                                    
                                                                                         
    George and Vivian had seen numerous TV interviews with Lanier and his rescuers on his multiple return trips to the area.  George in his youth was in a band and the folk song, The Ballad of The Truxton and The Pollux, was requested and sung at almost every gig.  It feels like Kismet.  What could be better than this? 

    You Dear Reader, experiencing the wind and snow danger, the life and death struggle, the Oil and Water of the Truxton’s demise and the rescue of Lanier Phillips.  FREE with your reservation.
    One night only  -  8 PM Fri. Jan. 25th  -
    Workshop Theater Company 312 W. 36th St. 4th fl  

    Make your FREE reservation here and join me as my theater alter-ego, Passion, directs Oil and Water.  Until then for me it is music, food and laughs with the super star comic on board, Alonzo Bodden.  


    What could be better that this?

    Well, since you asked… opening for any of these music acts or telling my jokes on a cruise line.  Call me.










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