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  1. What Do You Think? By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    In between camera set-ups, while working back ground (more commonly known as "extra work") on a film not to be named, I drifted into a conversation with fellow actors. I have no idea how the conversation started but that didn’t stop me from listening as an actress of Thai extraction described how she and her husband were pleasure driving their "not great looking car" through a very upscale Long Island neighborhood.

    “The police pulled us over for no reason and asked why we were there, because we 'didn’t look like we belonged in that neighborhood.'  I told him we were just looking, and he handed me a no seat belt summons. I said, ‘Why you give me a no seat belt ticket when I am wearing my seat belt?’ He said, ‘Oh sorry, just take the ticket to the judge and I’ll explain everything.’  When I got to court the judge made me pay half the fine.  I said, ‘I did nothing wrong, why do I have to pay anything?’  ‘Come back to court if you want to fight it.’ the judge said."

      No one promises life is fair 

    A person using a legal gift card, legitimate credit card or a bundle of hard earned cash, to buy a ridiculously expensive designer item, may be subject to being detained, searched, publicly interrogated and hand-cuffed by police or in-store security, have the purchase questioned and confiscated with no explanation or apology.

    "How could police on a life alert call hurl racial slurs, taser and then shoot to kill a senior citizen after he assured them and the life alert operator (on the line with him) multiple times that he was fine?
    68 year old ex-Marine Kenneth Chamberlain was killed by police responding to his life alert going off accidentally.

    On the set I entered the conversation, saying the actress' experience reminded me that for a person of color you can never have the expectation of being treated fairly, like in the Kenneth Chamberlain tragedy.  That's when an actor vigorously denied any comparison. When I presented him with this article, he responded "You were not there, that's just one person's opinion."

    At that moment I started laughing because I realized I was not dealing with reality or even facts, I was dealing with perception.  Indeed, "It's just one person's opinion." 

    I'm still laughing and shaking my head.
    What do you think?

    By the way, speaking of my head, I just cut my hair...


    See you 8 PM Thursday Nov. 5th at Gotham Comedy Club


    Make your reservation now! Lady is the discount code:
    212-679000 or online



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  2. "On Equal Terms"

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013


    This Friday, November 1, 2013 will conclude the exhibit, On Equal Terms, honoring our tradeswomen, an installation by multi-media artist Susan Eisenberg.  I was so impacted by the lives, artifacts, stories, and art.  I hope you get there before it goes on its travels throughout the country.  It is free and showing at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC, 2nd floor.  F train to Delancey or JMZ to Essex.  Walk to Suffolk.  Make a left.  Susan Eisenberg, author of several poetry collections, will give a poetry reading on November 1st at 6:30pm.  Susan was among the first women to achieve the status of union electrician.  Though these women may have gone to school for the skilled trades, they ended up becoming soldiers, some fallen, all heroic, in a very active, unfair, and vicious war.  All for the crime of wanting to make a living that could realistically support a family outside of poverty and do the work they enjoy and in which they are trained, skilled, and talented. 
     
    If you go, you get to try on a hard hat.
     
     
     
     
    Another soldier and survivor of the battleground called "work," Melinda Hernandez, who led me on a tour of the exhibit.  Here she is explaining how the women represented in this room died.  Many were from job-related "accidents."  If you hear the stories, you can decide for yourself about these "accidents." 
     
    Stella'sHat-WEB1_edited-1 
     
     
     
    .....
     
    On Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 3pm, Evie Ivy, Penelope Maguffin, and I will be the featured poets at the Riverside Branch Library, Amsterdam Ave. near 65 St.  The reading includes an open mic, so feel free to bring something to share.
     
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  3. Hello Dear Readers
    Yesterday I cut off all my hair.
    I'm still looking for a place to live & a bra that fits properly.

    This Is A Really Short Blog

    I'm not out Shopping While Black for a $38,000 purse or a $15,000 belt at Barney's where I'd be detained or arrested for using my own credit/debit card for some outrageously priced designer merchandise made by a  poorly paid 10 year old child laborer.

    I MC'd in the Vintage Lounge at Gotham Comedy Club (& got paid) last night.  I'm on my way to an early morning call on set right now. Look for me in the background when watching TV or any movie shot in NYC.

    Please  RT #CascadingGlitches @ RhondaHansome

    Come see me at Gotham Comedy Club on Nov. 5th.

    Love you
    xo

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  4. Do You Know Where Your Vagina Is?

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013



    Years ago I worked nights proofreading at a law firm where they sent a car service to pick me up.  The driver and I were talking a bit.  I learned his wife is very intelligent and has a masters degree in education.  He said she is qualified to teach teachers.  Then he proudly declared that she doesn't work, as though that made him look good -- like a provider who had it covered.  I said, "We all don't get to benefit from her gifts."  He looked shocked.  "Her gifts!?"  "Yes.  All that she could teach teachers.  Her gifts.  And we can't receive them."  I believe he thought her gifts were between her thighs but they are between her ears, and maybe he should think about that with what's between his ears. 
     
    For centuries, the human race in much of the world has deprived all of us of the gifts within the oppressed.  We will never know how many cures could have been found if more than half the human race weren't kept from participating.  Patriarchy kills all of us and fools many into believing it benefits them.  If the only way one can feel able to achieve is by holding down another, that person has a problem, and the problem is not the other rising.
     
    Patriarchy was carried out so thoroughly that just in case anyone made it through still thinking they have value and something to share with the world, we have women on the job crushing the dreams of other women. 
     

     

    Disney Letter
     
     
     
    That was 1938.  In case you don't think we have such problems anymore, when was the last time you saw a man needing a sign like this to hang on his own genitals?

    
     
    Photo: via I Acknowledge A War On Women Exists

     
     
    If we are going to continue to allow boys and females with brainwashed minds to be legislators, we must require a proper education for them.
     
    They can begin with some technical knowledge from Wikipedia:
     
    The vulva (from the Latin vulva, plural vulvae, see etymology) consists of the external genital organs of the female mammal.[1] This article deals with the vulva of the human being, although the structures are similar for other mammals.
    The vulva has many major and minor anatomical structures, including the labia majora, mons pubis, labia minora, clitoris, bulb of vestibule, vulval vestibule, greater and lesser vestibular glands, and the opening of the vagina. Its development occurs during several phases, chiefly during the fetal and pubertal periods of time. As the outer portal of the human uterus or womb, it protects its opening by a "double door": the labia majora (large lips) and the labia minora (small lips). The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, sustaining healthy microbial flora that flow from the inside out; the vulva needs only simple washing to assure good vulvovaginal health, without recourse to any internal cleansing.
    The vulva has a sexual function; these external organs are richly innervated and provide pleasure when properly stimulated. In various branches of art, the vulva has been depicted as the organ that has the power both to "give life" (often associated with the womb), and to give sexual pleasure to humankind.[2]
    The vulva also contains the opening of the female urethra, but apart from this has little relevance to the function of urination.
     
     
    I know a woman, Alexandra Jacoby, who believes if we see the vagina as an ordinary body part, women can be approached as people.  She says about herself:  Alexandra Jacoby is not a vagina expert. She just thinks that women’s bodies are fine the way they are, and is tired of being told differently. 
     
    Alexandra is a photographer among other things.  She gathered many vagina portraits that she photographed, and, combined with some stories, created a beautiful book which can be ordered on line.*  (My vagina portrait is included in the book.) 
     
     
     
     
    *I highly recommend it as a holiday gift to a young woman/older teenager.  This is not a sex book at all.  It is the kind of gift that says you are just perfect as you are.
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  5. Girls Out Of Control! By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    When last we met the girls were out of control.  Having matured into their entitled sense of independence, my breasts were in full rebellion.  Their strategic plan of action was to hold my ability to breathe hostage until their simple ultimatum and non-negotiable demand was met. 

    Immediate and appropriate support support for breast of their class, cup and location OR literally throw caution to the wind and let the lassies to go commando!
    It was a brilliant scheme to rival the tactical maneuvers the Duke of Marlborough during the War of the Spanish Succession.

    I’d heard tales of a rite of passage experienced by both young and old at a certain bra shop; an uptown sanctuary where women reigned and breasts were held high... in esteem.  The last time I was regaled with the glories of this particular boutique, being the shy flower I am, I asked a friend of a friend, to invite me on her next trip to the bra emporium.

    Time as it will do, passed.  My knockers made my discomfort their priority.  I called a friend of a friend for the shop's exact address and a wing woman.  She advised the store was on the north east side of the street and she'd made all her major mammery purchases just that week.

    Alone, I entered the shop and roamed its length without anyone approaching.  I leaned on a counter in the back, where two young women were handling stock.  Time as it will do, passed.  I finally said, “I’d like to be measured for a bra.”  One consulted quietly with the other.  “What’s your name?”  Flustered, I uttered, “Rhonda.”  The other one left and I was told, “Rhonda, someone will be with you in a moment.”

    I was already underwhelmed with the service, when yet another youngster (anyone three, four or more decades my junior) approached, “Rhonda?  I’m Elaina, follow me.”

    I mourned the death of respect for elders as I trailed, with trepidation behind Elaina, into the heaving pink bosom of the store, the inner sanctum, the dressing rooms.
     
    I’m a woman of a certain age and I look good!

    But standing naked, I do not want a youngster scrutinizing in detail, how I’ve let my body go. However, I will allow a mature woman, while assisting me, to appreciate how well (with intermittent roller blading) I've kept this body together.

    Elaina pulled the pink curtain behind us, turned me toward the full length mirror, eyed my upper back and said with a satisfied nod, “38, I’ll get some options to help us select the best cup.”  

    I was startled, having expected at least the soft embrace of a tape measure.  
    Elaina slipped away before I could chide, I haven’t been a 38 since I was 38! 

    Elaina returned.  SURPRISE!  She miscalculated. 
    One ill-fitting bra at a time Elaina returned, to my pink on pink dressing room, with one increasing size after another.  To no avail, I tried to explain my broad back (no pun intended) was fuller than it appeared.  

    So far every brassiere fit like a straightjacket.


    Will Rhonda find a bra that meets her globes' demand?  Will her panic attacks cease if she can find an 'affordable' apartment before the Oct. 31st departure deadline imposed by her current landlady?

    To be continued...

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, and director.  Follow @RhondaHansome and get tickets now to see her stand-up, 8PM Tuesday Nov. 5th, Celebrating Women Of Gotham Comedy Foundation. Check out her trailer and support her documentary Drama Mamas The Film, honoring #BlackWomenTheaterDirectors here.



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  6. A Facebook friend posted about going through her Facebook mailbox back to 2006 and how she realized how many people blocked her though she couldn't imagine why.
     
    To my knowledge, I've been blocked on Facebook by two people.  One is a man who may have multiple personalities to a lesser degree than they make movies about.   Anyway, I shouldn't have been having any relationship with him (thankfully, we are half a nation apart and it was all on line).  It was more frustrating than stimulating in every way.  I think he reminded me enough of the worst parts of my ex, who I still needed to scream at but held back due to my son.  So while this on-line man probably got more than his share from me, it's not like he didn't evoke a lot on his own.  It just would have been kinder to both of us not to have much to do with him.  Once during one of our crazy feeling arguments, he asked me to un-friend him.  He said he was too much of a gentleman to do it and how I wouldn't understand that.  I decided it was only getting more insane, and I should cut it as a favor to both of us.  I told him I would.  Then I did.  It wasn't blocking, just un-friending.  A day or two later, he wrote me in the Facebook mail wanting to know why he was unable to post comments on my page.  I sent him a copy and paste of his request.  I'm not sure he knows what all his selves are doing.  Then all our private messages disappeared and I couldn't see his page at all.  He had blocked me in response to me un-friending him which he had requested in writing (the only way we communicated).  It was too crazy.  Though it hurt my feelings at the time, I am blessed to have been blocked.  However, he seems to have un-blocked me as now I sometimes see his name here and there on FB.  We are not FB friends, we don't communicate, so I can only imagine he unblocked me so he can look at my picture and jerk off.  Oh happy day.
     
    The other time I was blocked was the first time it happened to me, and I was so unknowing about all that stuff that I didn't know I was blocked.  I thought the other person was no longer on Facebook.  It broke my heart when I figured it out.  It was someone I'd been friends with since we were children.  It wasn't perfect, and we had periods apart, but we grew very close during her years of motherhood and then mine.  There were still problems, and most unfortunately, we weren't fixing those problems.  When I tried to address things, we'd begin but there'd be lots of denial or really just not seeing, and we'd always go back to zero.  I also probably didn't present things as well as I could now.  I also didn't accept the limitations that existed no matter how I might have presented things.  But no matter how we were dealing, we felt like family.  More than seven years ago, we had the worst break-up between us ever.  During it, she said awful things to me.  Truth was irrelevant, it seemed, and terribly out of character things were said about me by someone who I thought really knew me.  I couldn't believe the awful things she needed to believe about me.  My feeling was she needed to justify moving across the country (which she was doing to help a family member but I knew I may never see her again and neither would my son, who was close like a nephew and aunt enjoying sleepovers, Thanksgivings, etc.).  It's easier to leave someone you don't like.  She painted me as someone it would be easy to dislike.  Guilt works differently for different people.  It was terrible.  And with each cruel thing said to me, I saw it as less and less likely we will ever be able to bridge again.  I of course responded with hard responses, but mine were true and not invented.  However, they were being shot out of a cannon and not said in a helpful way.  I was under attack and responded in kind.  I have since become even more grounded in the belief that things went as they had to go no matter how painful it was and is.  The betrayal I felt was infuriating and heart-tearing.  I feel awful about the estrangement with her children, my son and just all the sadness. 
     
    A couple of years ago, she made contact.  I felt guarded but still preferred hearing from her.  I found her as confusing as ever.  I was not as open to figuring things out and all the energy that entails as I used to be and sometimes might be.  I was trying to accept a much lighter, distant something.  Like sisters who don't do well together, I still was glad to know she was alive in spite of many health issues.  We were Facebook friends though we used Facebook differently.  I'd occasionally visit her page and share something fun or positive or funny or any combo.  One day, I shared this.
     
     
    Though it cracked up everyone else who had seen it on my page, she decided I was making fun of her and of my best friend because they have spelling difficulty sometimes.  She claimed I was saying she was stupid and all kinds of stuff.  I was shocked.  My best friend does have spelling challenges and is also someone who even as a child could take apart, fix, and put back together your radio.  A genius in his own right.  He is a very open minded, growing, intelligent, talented, hilariously funny, and compassionate human being with integrity.  His spelling is a detail and not representative of intelligence; it is probably more connected to handwriting and stuttering.  He is wired differently than many; hence, his difficulties and his gifts.  She is not in the same category regarding spelling.  My buddy who really has trouble with spelling doesn't even know why she'd put herself in the same category with him.  She's what I'd consider average (not exceptionally good or bad) and makes some mistakes that, if proofread, she'd fix most of.  She has a child (adult now) who struggled with dyslexia and is bright.  She and I have both been teachers.  I assumed she knows, and knows that I know, that spelling is not a measure of intelligence.  I explained to her that everyone including my buddy thought it was so funny and that I should share it with my adult students.  I told her it wasn't meant to make anyone feel bad. 
     
    The next time I tried to visit her Facebook page, I was unable but I was not told I was blocked.  I thought she closed her account to get away from evil me.  I wrote to her son and her ex-husband who she is in contact with and asked if she was all right.  I was worried she was in the hospital or something like that.  I also wanted her to know that she should have her FB account and do whatever she likes to do, and I will not post anything on her wall if she found it so upsetting.  No response from either.  Neither cared to tell me she was not in the hospital.  I tried to not keep my heart so open if this was how it will be treated.  My buddy was able to go to her page.  That was when I realized I was blocked.  I wondered if she told Facebook that I was abusive and if they needed to see the offense.  I wondered if they agreed the capitalization joke was abusive.  I didn't know how all that worked.  I found it very teenager-ish.  I thought blocking was to protect yourself from death threats and rapists and things of that caliber.  I felt crushed that she saw it necessary to block me, the person who still cared if she was sick or injured. 
     
    Other people who know us look at me like why are you thinking that had anything to do with the joke?  From a distance, I can see it as her problem.  I had to remember when I once complimented her blouse, she responded by telling me, "So you don't like my pants?"  When I'm involved with her, it feels like she demonizes me.  I feel bad that she has the need to.  I don't want to find myself having to defend each breath I take to someone who didn't even think she should provide an example from reality to back up terrible accusations she had thrown at me.  Sometimes I don't think she remembers.  She once considered visits from me as giving her her sanity back.  We used to go out and have so much fun together.  Her laugh was always so one hundred percent.  A line became famous among the three of us when she, my other buddy, and I were going to go out for my birthday but were first in one of our kitchens revving up.  She had me hysterical laughing, and I said, "Don't make me pee in my pants on my birthday," to which she replied, "If you don't want to pee on yourself, don't invite me to your birthday."  My buddy and I still recall that and many other moments that make us relive the hilarity.  We had Mad Lib games that resulted in priceless lines -- one had Al Sharpton and Nancy Reagan in a scummy relationship together.  I'm laughing as I write this.  Memories cannot be blocked by social media, not yet anyway. 
     
    The only person I ever blocked on Facebook was a man I didn't know who sent me a picture of (presumably) his penis getting licked by a young woman.  He wrote a note offering his penis to me and letting me know its characteristics: color and size.  Isn't that special. 
     
     
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  7. Mammary Moment By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

    During my prepubescence, when Mom came home from work, I noticed her 1st order of business.  She took off her bra like she was releasing the hounds.  The contents of that engineered for strength contrivance, tumbled from her brassiere in a compelling and vaguely frightening galumph.  Freed of her restraints she'd scratch, sigh and become herself.  In quiet pre-teen moments I'd consider the industrial size contraption Mom donned daily and ponder the unknown future of my chest.

    Alas and alack, when my (two different sized) globes finally arrived they seemed for decades, too little too late.  Ahh, how time takes her toll... Who knew the girls, still different sizes AND without my consent, would began a mid-life adventure?

    Ironically their 10 year escapade had a two pronged approach: 
    1) They embarked upon a determined journey toward my knees.
    (Full disclosure, the bodacious southward trajectory of my tata's has, of late, been intercepted by the sudden expansion of my waistline.)
    2) The girls took on a heft and weight that Victoria and all her secrets couldn't sustain.


    After a decade of rebellion against Victoria's strapless, sport AND underwire confines, 
    my orbs sued me for non-support. 
    The bitches summoned attention with another crafty one, two punch...

    Like cutting off my oxygen supply was not victory enough, they then instigated a panic attack that forced me to remove in public, the so-called bra I was wearing.  Full disclosure, it was not just in public where I had to remove that offensive piece of upper underwear.  I was in high anxiety mode AND running across a six lane highway, in a futile attempt to escape the increasing pressure in my chest and my life.  Did I mention I happen to be in a full out housing conundrum? I mean full out like get me and all my stuff out of where I live and to a place I can afford.  Oh yes, thank you gentrification, now I can't afford the borough of my birth, Brooklyn.


    Good bye Bed-Stuy!

    Will the girls and I find a fitting yet affordable place to reside before Oct. 31st?  Damned if I know.

    To be continued...

    Rhonda Hansome seeks a 1 bedroom apartment, under $1000.00 a month, where she's not asked to disclose how she manages, without significant income, to consistently pay her rent on time. Suggestions?




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  8. Unprepared vs. Prepared

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Put your hand down, Mindy, I told myself.  What if he invites you to come up on stage to do your monologue?  You can't even say hello.  You pulled your teeth out when you went home for lunch after class, and you left them in the bathroom.  Here, you could make the acquaintance of Chazz Palminteri and let him hear your genuine Bronx accent, but you fuckin' left your teeth at home. 
     
    Sooo angry at myself, I tried to sit back and enjoy the rest of his talk at Lehman College in the Bronx.  He's a Bronx man, author of A Bronx Tale, and the actor who played Sonny in it.  He spoke of his life and career.  He even did a few minutes of the original one-man show from back when he was work-shopping it.  He was patient with college students' questions, allowing people to feel free to ask all kinds of things.  I was one of the few non-student members of the college community attending.
     
    When he spoke of being prepared for when an opportunity presents itself, he asked who here had a monologue prepared.  Simply answering the question, I and a few others raised our hands.  That was when my tongue ran over my gums.  Oh fuck, Mindy, put your hand down.  What if he invites you up there to perform it.  You can't let him remember you this way.  How could you not have foreseen a possible meeting?  Oh, Mindy.  Dammit.
     
    I sat and watched as he gave two young men the opportunity to perform up to a minute of a monologue.  They sounded okay, way less experienced than I, but were given credit for being prepared.  I could have cried, but I felt more steaming at myself.  I believe my Bronx accent would've felt like home to him.  My monologue is from the Vagina Monologues, and I think he would've loved it.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
     
    Woulda coulda shoulda.  That was a fucking hard lesson.  Now I keep the teeth replacements in my bag when I need a break from them.  (I do hope that the more permanent replacements, which I will be getting soon, feel more comfortable.)
     
    ...
    And now an uplifting moment from the neighborhood that wouldn't have happened without what came to be known as feminism (ya know, that radical notion that women are people):
     
    I was walking up Bedford Park in the Bronx when I saw a woman complaining to a man, "Now my fuckin' hair is messed up!" 
     
    I didn't see what happened before, but from her tone, I thought that she felt he had messed it up. 
     
    He was insisting, "It isn't messed up." 
     
    As I walked near them, he addressed me.  "Do you think her hair is messed up?" 
     
    She looked like she'd be upset with either answer as I would be in her shoes.  I cut to the real issue.  "It's only what she thinks that matters." 
     
    "Thank you, Mami.  Thank you so much," she said after she got past her surprise.  Her gratitude warmed me like a hug.
     
    I could feel the weight lifted off her chest as she had her power back. 
     
    He laughed.  He really did seem to find this twist of events very funny.  His laughter was genuine though I was not at all joking.
     
    I don't know if he got it.  The important thing was she did.
     
     
     
     
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  9. I Came In Second Place By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Last week a reality personality was pontificating on the importance of being number 1, to the youngsters in her charge. As the first and last authority in her dance studio for children she cautioned them that 2nd place might as well be last. Feeding that philosophy to the young struck me as odd.


    Then again, frequently barked inanities is an eminently telegenic quality.  That's probably why she has her own show and I'm writing a blog using words like pontificating and eminently.

    Several months ago on short notice, Alyse Kenny a preternaturally likable actress / comedian  
     asked me to fill in on her monthly StoryTalk show at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC.  

    The show was only hours away... Checking my schedule,


     I swatted the moth that flew out of my calendar and thought, 
    "What the heck!  If I can do stand-up, I must have a good 'story' in me somewhere."   

    Had I known it was a competition, I'd have typically demurred.  Hours later in Gotham's packed Vintage Room, I was a very surprised winner, with my true story about mom killing and cooking her husband!  

    Easy Dear Readers*, THAT macabre tale which thrust me into the Fall Party StoryTalking Semi-finals will grace this page some other week.  This blog is about coming in 2nd place in the semi-finals and loving it.

    In a panic I pondered my options for semi-final material.  Do I repeat my previously told story or do I come up with something new AND amazing in thirty minutes?  On my way to the door I trip on a pile, I mean file of papers, yeah gang remember PAPER files?  At my feet is a piece I'd written about my youth more than a decade ago, when I erroneously thought "performance art" might be my big break.  Since an audience had never heard it, one of the seven voices in my head said, "No time like the present!" and so it made it's debut with a few on-the-fly edits.
                      
                    For your entertainment, I present my 2nd place 'Fall Party' theme StoryTalk entry:                                                
                                                                                 
    What a beautiful fall day today!  
    I love the fall as it ushers in the holiday season.  By the way, a belated l'shanah tova!
      
    The fall fetches the familiar aromas and faces of big family dinners where you sit side by side with people you've spent your entire life, trying to avoid.  Grandma takes up her station at the kitchen sink, "Just gonna wash these few things for you.  Never know when you'll need these paper plates again."  

    It's a typical family gathering of gamblers, drunks and philanderers.... and that's just the women. There's food, dancing and Aunt Joyce is handling the betting pool.  "Alright, $200 dollars goes to the winner in ALL THREE categories, which are: 
    1) most likely to violate an order of protection 
    2) parole violation, and 
    3) multiple stab wounds - give OR receive."

    My family has a quaint holiday ritual, Domestic Violence.  One minute everyone's laughing having a good time.  Then the words that stop you in your tracks: "Mother-fucker, let's take it outside!"  As if on cue little Chantell utters her first words spoken in her tender 6 years, "Uh oh, a fight.  Dessert's gonna be late!"

    A frozen moment holds all in thrall, then Grandma breaks the spell.  She's eighty years old, but gingerly slides three pies into the oven, then glances at the gold watch retrieved from her treasure chest bosom.  "At least twenty minutes before Sgt. Delvecchio shows up, Chantell.  You know he likes his peach pie hot."

    Siblings, cousins, young and old jockey for position at the windows and doors for a good view of the fight.  Cousin Evelyn, with arms akimbo, whispers through a Johnny Walker haze; "Call 911."  And the mid-dinner entertainment has begun!

    Glass bounces to the pavement as Uncle Joe snaps his Guiness Stout bottle against the trash can lid that Tommy, my half-Korean cousin, uses to shield his slightly slanted eyes. Uncle Bobo flings open the bathroom door, his ebony face almost visible through the steam of his 3 hour shower. "What's all the noise?  Am I too late to place a bet?

    Aunt Joyce palms Bobo's damp ten dollar bill and explains the excitement.  "It's all over who does a better rendition of White Christmas, Miles Davis 


    or Kenny G."

    As somebody starts the wave, Grandma opens the window and yells, "Joe ever since you come back from Viet Nam you ain't been right by Tommy.  Now if you both don't stop actin' the fool, I'm gonna toss some hot lye on you.  Tommy you know good and well Kenny G ain't worth a trip to the 'mergency room tonight!"

    In an instant the entire throng concedes the point to Grandma's obvious advantage - hot lye from a second story window.  Joe and Tommy suddenly high-five sealing their decision to compromise on... 
                                                                                                                                  Johnny Mathis.


    When the dishes and patrol cars are all away, we patiently wait for the call from a loved one 
    who couldn't be with us this year.  
    The phone rings and I hear that familiar refrain, 
    "This is a collect call from a correctional facility.  
    Will you accept the charges?"  
    YES!  
    My sister is calling from a jail in Georgia, and I win 50 bucks! What a party! 

    I had a great time telling my story at Gotham.  The room was alive with laughter and appreciation.  I left the stage high on my preferred drug of choice, a hail of applause.  As the night wore on and the votes were tallied two TV writing giants tied and claimed top place.

     Five time Emmy winning writer, producer / director Bill Persky 
                                                                     From Seinfeld, Cheers and Will & Grace, Tom Leopold
    They were not my competition, they were an inspiration. 

                                     I came in second place and loved it!

    Oct. 10th at NY Times Headquarters Rhonda Hansome is the entertainment at the Impact Leadership 21 Summit & Awards. View & support her Drama Mamas The Film trailer here. Next time come out & vote for her!






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  10. "Masks Off" - A Gem Uncovered

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013



          
        "Masks Off"
     



    Intelligent, articulate, handsome, insightful, compassionate, kind, talented, empathetic, too young for me, handsome ...

     
       
     
     
    A side note:
     
    Hello Readers,
    Thank you for your understanding as I just didn't feel able to share last Tuesday after yet another major branch of my family tree went back to Earth/God/wherever it is we go.  Tears fill my eyes as I write this because I've loved and missed so many of my family members while we were all alive.  It's all very complicated.  My aunt Muriel who passed on last week had told me last fall that some day we'll talk about all of it.  I had wondered back when she said it if she meant in this life or after.  I doubt that could have happened even if we had had more time.  I'll try to take some comfort in her acknowledgement of there being an "it" to talk about.
     
    Mindy Matijasevic
     
     
     
     
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