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  1. Appreciating you, my readers

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013




    Hello Readers,

    Have I told you lately that I appreciate you?  Well I do.  I have been blogging here weekly since August of 2012 which was sixty-six blog entries ago. 

    I was absolutely elated when Joanne Filan, a comic I admire, asked me to guest blog for her one week.  Then when she read it, she asked me if I cut it because it was finished or because I was trying to stay within the guidelines in terms of word count.  She offered me the following week as well to continue the story, "My Penis-Free Era."  I embraced the opportunity.  There was "My Penis-Free Era Part 2" and then even a part 3. 

    Other projects started happening for Joanne which were going to require much of her time and energy, and I was offered the Tuesday slot in She So Funny.  The offer was such a needed boost.  The idea that some people want to hear what I consider thought-worthy felt great.  At the same time it forced me to see that many who had surrounded me preferred me silenced or at least edited for their comfort.  In so many ways, I'm finally getting my life more suited to me.  Plenty of work ahead, but I'm more there than ever before.  Each day, I am grateful to be given more time to make things better.


    Regarding being a blogger here, my average weekly views have pretty much held up.  So I wondered if we can double it with your help.  If you copy from your browser, paste, and send the link to someone you think will enjoy my style of sharing, they might become a regular reader, and I would certainly consider that a gift.

     
    
    On December 22nd at 6pm, I'll be participating in an event called Dance of the Word.  I'll be reading poetry.  There will likely be belly dancing, music, and other poets.  If this sounds good to you, mark your calendars.  12/22/13 at 6pm, Cornelia Street Café on Cornelia Street near West 3rd St. 
     
     
    
    
    Since I will be having many free evenings in December, I'm going to try to book some comedy shows as well.  It's overdue.  Then I hope some of you will mark your calendars to come out to laugh with me.

    I'll keep you posted on my performing schedule.  Thank you for coming back each week.  Remember to bring someone with you. 
     
    I'll leave you with this -- of course the marriage didn't last; it was a mixed marriage; the odds were against us; he was male...
     
    
     
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  2. Happy Thanksgiving! By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, November 21, 2013


    Hopefully this greeting will dispel 

    the repulsion which is, for many, 

    historically associated with 

                  Thanksgiving...




    ...And Happy Hanukkah!

    Rhonda Hansome is a director, writer and actress. See her as Carey the Casting Director in Episode 2 of Black Actress.  



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  3. On Friday, I was part of Bob Quatrone's 4 Horse 22 Poetry Reading at Cornelia Street Café in the Village (NYC).  Bob curated and hosted and had fun with format.  I was so glad to be there right after work on a Friday.  It was a great way to end the week/begin the weekend.  I rode downtown from the Bronx with someone whose company I value.  Another woman who works at my day job and feels like a new friend was expecting to attend the reading.  I was looking forward to her arrival. 
     
    Since doing stand-up, reading my poetry feels so much easier than it used to.  I don't have to memorize it unless I want to.  I don't have to be funny.  Stand-up is truly the most challenging type of performing that I've done so far.  I've been in plays and films, posed for fine artists, read my prose and poetry at many venues over the years, teach adult returning students which really keeps me on my toes, but as far as being expected to perform for a group, I find doing stand-up like wearing ankle weights compared to most things. 
     
    I enjoyed the line-up of readers very much.  My friend showed up a little late, and I was so glad to see her.  By then I was on my second drink and a side of fries to help me be sure I'd be able to read.  A poet who I was consulting with on a project came over to tell me something, and, in that short conversation, I learned something about someone else (or at least what she had claimed about herself) that made my jaw drop.  It wasn't particularly negative or positive, just very surprising.  The poet who shared this didn't do it for the purpose of gossiping as much as to tell me why she'd be uncomfortable working with that person. 
     
    I enjoyed reading very much.  I had to notice that my hands were not trembling, my voice was clear, the audience was really listening and enjoying.  The ankle weights were off, and this was just fun.
     
    photo.jpg                                                                                                    
     

    After the reading, there were many warm exchanges, support of my work, contact info shared, and I was reminded of why I should be doing this more often than I do. 
     
    One of the other features asked me to join him and his guests.  They were looking to have a drink somewhere else.  The poet who invited me is someone I only know from the poetry circles.  We know mutual people from the same circles.  However, this night I learned so much more than I knew.  Again, none of it felt like it was for the purpose of gossiping or bad-mouthing as much as it felt like someone needing to get a load off and perhaps get a reality check.  I know what it is like to be in an internal prison.  Just hearing reactions from the outside can be so validating and freeing.
     
    Aside from it being a night of poetry and of learning the back story on a few people, I was also struck by the two who, along with the other poet, invited me to join them.  The woman was from Hawaii and the man was from London.  I think they live together in Hawaii, not sure.  But they are indeed a couple.  There wasn't enough time to get to know each other well, but she definitely made an impression.  Before we even left Cornelia Street Café, she held me by my arm firmly.  It was as if we'd been connected before that night.  Then in the street, she held her man's arm on one side and me on her other side.  It felt fine to me.  I did wonder if she was bisexual and wanted an involvement of that sort.  Her man seemed to be a pleasant person upon first and only impression.  Frankly, I'm glad I don't have to think about all that (unless I want to think about it, of course), and that they were only visiting NYC.  I'd enjoy hanging out with them, but I don't know that I'd want to play that way. 
     
    At some point while we sat at a table in another place, she reminded my poet friend that she was a Reiki master.  Then she put her hands around my head.  I closed my eyes, and I could feel the heat from her hands though she didn't touch me.  After about a minute, she said that she felt blockages and removed ship nails from my head.  She said they seemed like long nails used in a ship. 
     
    In a metaphorical way, it makes sense how she described my blockages.  I know nothing about the Reiki practice.  She didn't directly do anything to my body and she didn't charge me, so I try to be open to different ways of feeling better, lighter, clearer, freer. 
     
     
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  4. I'll See It Soon By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, November 14, 2013


    I've been looking for a place to live since 
    August 1st 
    when I came home from touring with the rock musical
    Date Me Do Me Dump Me
    in which I played The Bar Owner.


    I am so grateful to all who have extended themselves to me during this 3 month odyssey


    during which it felt like I was having my own personal 
    Mercury In Retrograde

    Mercury Retrograde is not a crisis. It is merely an inconvenience, [unless your landlady has decided she wants to take over your apartment ASAP & you have to move & find a place within your budget, and THEN it is an incredible pain in the ass!] albeit one that occurs three (and sometimes four) times a year. Moreover, while its retrograde (Rx) period lasts for about three weeks, its stationary periods often create havoc in our lives, and the “shadow” periods that precede and follow it affect us as well.
    ... Debra Anne Clement  Italics mine!

    This Saturday I expect to see a legal sublet, the monthly cost of which hovers near my budget. The owner has not asked me to fill out forms or even requested my credit score, which is                                                                    801!!!
    By the way, during the past 3 months I've discovered that my 801 credit score plus my annual earned income combined with a                                                   
    will get me a ride on an "A" train running on the "F" line to West 4th St. where it becomes a "6" train stopping at alternate local stations to 59th St. where it will then run express to hell. 


    Today is Thursday. Let's see what Saturday brings.

     Rhonda Hansome is Carey the Casting Director in episode 2 of Black Actress by Andrea Lewis (Degrassi) and produced by Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl) See it NOW, then tweet about @RhondaHansome



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  5. My friend and co-worker, Richard, was nice enough to attend the poetry reading that I wrote about last week and tape me on his phone, so I could have something on line of me reading my poems.  How hard could it be?  Well, we saw each other at work on Wednesday afternoon.  After classes, we sat together and hoped it would be a simple procedure to transfer the videos to my email.  After he fiddled around for a while, this is pretty much what happened over the next few hours.
     
    I don't know how to do this.  See if you find Kitty and see if she can help.  Kitty's here.  Do you have a Dropbox?  Then I can drop them in my Dropbox and send them to your Dropbox.  So I open a Dropbox account, but I don't know what my address is.  Maybe it is simply dropbox.com, and I'm making it more difficult.  I am a lost child in a community of installs, pdf's, links, upgrades, downloads, shared folders, external drives, sync-ing computers... Waaah!  I never really learned to program my VCR or which remote control controls the volume on the TV or the DVD player or how to forward a text.  Forget Dropbox.  I can put it on Picasa.  Can you get them from there?  I don't know.  I think I have a Picasa account too.  Why is it all so complicated?  Here sit at my desk.  You can look at the videos.  Oh look!  There's something to click on to upload it to YouTube.  I hope it works.  Kitty, I'll find out tomorrow.  I can't stand it anymore.  Can I get them off my phone now?  Yes, Kitty said they are now living on Picasa.  Did you see them?  Yes, Richard, I did.  This has been so exhausting that I didn't even mention that I saw them and like them and am glad I will eventually be able to put some on line.  Thanks for taping me. 
     
    Then a few more tomorrows went by.  Yesterday (Monday), I faced it all again because I wanted to include some of the poetry reading here.   I ended up staying after work for more than an hour. 
     
    Some of the poems are fun, some sad, some hopeful.  Here's a few. 
    "Just Another Feminist Moment in the Neighborhood"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLI_AN8wJRQ 

     
      
    "1/3 Twinkie Too Much"   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaSnIS_GOvk 
     
    A relatively new person in my life who was at the reading commented to me on my early life and specifically on the cousin in the Twinkie poem.  She described the cousin as a mean-spirited girl.  She does not know how much that helped me.  I realized what a huge part of my problem was in my development.  It wasn't each experience as much as it was how it got handled or didn't.  That cousin was always described as good.  It was based on politics (who the cousin was born to) and not on who she was.  Public image as opposed to a real personal relationship.  I was often compared to her as if she were a better person than I which was truly twisted.  I was born into a family war zone in many ways.  The older I get, the clearer it all becomes. 
     
    Validation goes a very long way.  I have felt that since I was a child angels on Earth have appeared to help me through my hell.  This woman is very soft-spoken and intelligent, easy to be with and feel close to.  Those qualities remind me of my mother's best.  My mother was very different than most, and unfortunately she suffered much.  When she was able to be an active mother, she was so special and often so different than all the other women in my family.  I was lucky to feel/know her love though our togetherness was way too short and interrupted. 
     
    On a hopeful note, I closed the reading with this poem that I've been changing and adding to on and off for years.  "Creating a World..." (poem in progress)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVUlfek-cm4
     
     
     
     
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  6. Win A Prize! By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    “Be careful what you wish for.”  
    That’s what my Mom said, all too frequently to my adolescent ears.  Her sage pearl cast my way.
     I didn’t have a clue.

    Dear Readers, all three of you know the path of hot coals I’ve trod in my return to stand-up.  

    You know that ‘back in the day’ I was in all the hot NYC comedy clubs: the original Improv, Catch A Rising Star, Comedy U, New York Comedy Club, Stand-Up NY and Dangerfield’s. 

    Every night, yes I do mean EVERY NIGHT, I played a variety of (paying!) Long Island or Jersey gigs; when not in Vegas, Atlantic City, the Catskills or touring with major musical acts like Diana Ross, Anita Baker, The Pointer Sisters and Aretha Franklin.  

    That was then.  This is now.

    What’s happening now, you ask?

    What’s happening besides the fact that my landlady is taking over my apartment and I need an affordable* place to live?  Well here’s the short list.  I’m still looking for: 
    A manager, 
    Paying gigs, 
    &
    A reason not to smoke crack with the alcoholic 
    Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford
      
    Be that as it may… 
    This week I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of some fantastic sets while working out new material at Gotham, Broadway and Greenwich Village comedy clubs.   


    AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO PAY $$$ TO GO ON STAGE!!!

    Yes Dear Readers, if I don’t celebrate the small victories, I’d just lay crying with my face pressed to the bathroom floor tiles.  Which brings us up to today’s blog, 

    ‘Being careful what I wish for.’

    I saw an electronic newsletter (is there any other kind?) circulating, which featured humorous recipes submitted by comics. Stand Up & Cook looked sleek, was funny and pissed me off because I had not thought of it as yet another social media way to promote myself and my brand.  Complete disclosure, I have no idea what my brand is and wouldn't recognize it embroidered in red on my chest.

    Anyway, week after week I saw names both familiar and new promoted via 
                                                  Stand Up & Cook 
    and week after week I wondered and silently screamed, “Why not me?” 

    And then I got the email asking me to contribute a recipe so I could be featured in the Stand UP & Cook newsletter.  Cue the angels singing, sun shining through parting clouds and a fleeting moment of gratitude. 



    I did not create the newsletter. I Just submitted My Mother-in-law's Spaghetti. 

    For your entertainment, click the link below for the post.

    Find all the typos and win a prize!

    First reader to reply on this site, this week, with the highest number of typos wins a
    Super Special Secret Surprise 
    Prize.

    Thanks for being here for me, whoever you are.

    *To be eligible for 'affordable' housing requires a yearly income of at least $22,000. 
    I need $10,000 more income to inch close to that figure. Got any leads?  Call me!

    Last week Rhonda Hansome was told she "is a phony, presents a false front to the world, needs to reinvent herself and meet someone who could really help her." Rhonda 
    being extremely impressionable AND having low self-esteem has begun paperwork to change her name to Queen Shadenfreude.  Queen Shadenfreude will only entertain the intentions of a royal head of state, Fortune 500 mogul, or a high level drug kingpin. 




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  7. WoMen In Black

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013


    On Saturday, November 2, 2013, I was one of three poetry features at a poetry reading at the Riverside branch of the NY Public Library.  The other two were Evie Ivy and Penelope Maguffin.  Both are women I know from the NYC poetry circles.  We decided to dress in black.  There's a kid in me who loved the idea of matching colors with the others.  I don't have sisters, so this was a nice taste of that sort of thing.  We are each seasoned, lived, and with lots to poem about.
     
     
     
    When I look at the above photo, I find it interesting that we all have long hair.  Most of my adult life, I kept my hair very short. 
     
        
      I'm in the green with the shortest hair in the photo.  It was easy.  I could comb my hair with my hand.  But during my separation, the guy who cut my hair well had to leave for a job with a pension.  He left what he loved, as so many have, out of fear for his older years.  I began to let my hair grow.  And grow.  It is more work, but it is my chance to enjoy having long hair.  As a youngster, I didn't like my hair.  Times were different and less types of looks were considered attractive, and I was as brainwashed as any other Barbie-owning American child.  I must insert here that before having any Barbies and Kens, my dear mother, a unique individual, sent away for a Barbie-like doll with a different name, and her hair was coarse.  I remember having such mixed feelings about the doll's hair.  Yet I knew deep down that my mother got me a doll whose hair was more like mine and hers.  I had trouble liking it in the age of Dippity-Do, Sun-In, ironing hair, using juice cans to set it straight, and doing whatever to get it long, straight, and, if possible, blonde.  Such wasted energy on not liking what one has.  Now I enjoy my hair and the freedom to do whatever I want with it.  Every now and then, I entertain the thought of cutting it again, but when I see the photo of the three of us, I'm glad I can still pull off this long-hair look.  
     
    The other thing that comes to mind when I look at us being introduced by David Elsasser, is WoMen In Black.  We send poems out into the world for those open to them.  The movie would be different than Men In Black
     
    Evie suggested we rotate for our reading.  I liked that, and Penelope decided to jump into it with us.  It turned out so well.  Considering it was a library and not a bar, and I was totally sober, I had so much fun.  The mic was good, so I didn't have to project my voice.  I was able to speak in a conversational way.  I had dug up old poems and edited them.  I read very new poems also.  Some were sad, touching, serious, but most were funny at least in part.  So there was laughter and applause.  The rotating helped keep it alive and moving.  Evie, me, Penelope.  I've heard a lot of Evie's work in the past but much of Penelope's was new to my ears.  We each enjoyed the experience so much.  The audience was soooooooo appreciative.
     
    One of the people who approached me after the reading asked me where I read.  I said, "Wherever I'm asked," but I'm not out there as much as I'd like, and I went on to explain that I also do comedy and have two jobs to just exist.  Her reaction is what I loved.  She said what a shame it is that such a gifted person has to work so much to exist and not work as much on her craft.  Later it occurred to me that the man I had a child with and gave so many monogamous years to never said such a thing to me.  As high as I felt from the wonderful event, I am so capable of sinking fast again.  So I've been actively re-running the reading in my head.  I work at feeling decent.
     
    A man named Fred, who I have met a few times before at another reading series, came over to me and asked if men really are such jerks (I think he said jerks.  If not, it was something along those lines.)  We talked for a while, and I said that I like mature men and that it had little to do with age.  I didn't need to explain anything to him.  He understood already.  He's not incapable of imagining life as someone other than himself.  He even said how much he doesn't even realize until he hears a voice like mine.  I'm so okay with that.  He can't realize everything without hearing from us.  He hears.  He lets it in and doesn't argue the validity of my reality.  That speaks worlds about him.  Sooooooo, of course, he's married.  Add to that, he behaves like he's married.  I like that in a person. 
     
    A co-worker and friend, Richard, came to the reading to tape me since I don't have any video of me reading my poetry.  He enjoyed the whole thing.  I won't see him until Wednesday, so I am not able to include a video here today, but I can share a poem.
     
    Urban Goddess
     
    She's an urban goddess
    has a woman home
    rounded, shaped as a dome
    stretch marks
    worn as badges
    veins and bellies bulge
    talking and singing and laughing
    abound; spontaneous shimmies
    occur.  A home
    menstrual flow celebrated
    welcoming fertility and maturity
    women's periods   
    like the phases of the moon
    not altered but respected.
    A home -- girls safe, clits
    protected as they were
    physically designed to be.
    A home -- boys and men welcome
    to love, not rule.  She's
    an urban goddess.
    Let her in.
     
     
    (c) Mindy Matijasevic
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