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  1. ‘Tis the Season

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015


    ‘Tis the Season

    Well it really puts a different spin on things when you learn someone would be glad if you were dead. Suddenly I don’t want to tell the world where I’ll be when.

    The sad part is the person who wrote me such a thing may not realize it, but he’s actually carrying those feelings on behalf of someone else who’d probably indeed be relieved if I were dead, so my side of things would not be heard.  Unfortunately, his way of coping typically is to externalize his problems. So I hear his voice out of others’ mouths.  A painful legacy of sorts for all involved.

    It’s also good to have a couple of cops in my life who care about my safety. They’re keeping a list, checking it twice…

    Two children in the Bronx got a shot mom for Christmas. She had the nerve to recognize her unhappiness and take responsibility for her life. Imagine the disobedience, acting like she owns her own life and has a right to the pursuit of happiness! She let her husband know she wanted a divorce. The next day, with their children in the house, he shot his wife twice. Thank God, she will survive. He was caught in Maryland and is under arrest. Neighbors said he was such a nice and quiet man. They were shocked he had a gun. Everyone seems typically safer from these nice men when they are not the wife or girlfriend.


    That still had a happier ending than the poor rich family in NJ.


    And there was the cop – yeah, the ones we are supposed to call for help -- who shot the mother of their child. She survived. He’s on bail. It’s sickening. He’ll probably have parental rights too like he didn’t try to kill the baby’s mother for Christmas. http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/yonkers/2015/12/27/nypd-sgt-shooting-yonkers/77942932/

    I knew a man who would refer to his girlfriend as “unpredictable” because she didn’t have a curfew (like one gives to children and teens). I knew her too. When she’d go out with friends, she truly didn’t know what time she’d be back. She was grown, self-supporting, and hadn’t lived under parental rules for many years and wasn’t looking to. He’d threaten her with “I don’t know if I can be with such an unpredictable person.” She’d wish he’d leave then and get a doll or an obedient dog. She knew she would feel very bad, but she also knew she’d get over it. In the larger picture of one’s life, it’s not a great loss to lose someone trying to cage you.


    So, people, New Year’s Eve is almost here. Who thinks compression stockings are sexy?


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  2. It Made Me Laugh by Rhonda Hansome

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    Terrorism is not funny.
    Mass shootings & stabbings are not funny.
    Nothing about the assault of innocents is funny.


    Not Funny

    But when I heard San Bernardino Shooter's neighbor, Enrique  Marquez Jr., had checked himself into a mental hospital, I had to laugh. I didn't want to guffaw but, it was my spontaneous reaction. A sanitarium is the only sensible destination after assisting the mass shooter of the week.


    In this artist's sketch, Enrique Marquez Jr., center, appears in federal court in Riverside on Thursday, Dec. 17

    Via the UK Daily Mail and other news sources, it has since come to light that...

    After a few drinks Enrique would often discuss terrorism

    Marquez, who cleaned toilets (and CHECKED ID's!!!) at a bar, talked of "sleeper cells just waiting to attack the U.S." BUT NO ONE TOOK HIM SERIOUSLY

    He and Syed Farook would build pipe bombs AS A HOBBY (since when is pipe bomb building a hobby!!???!!)

    If he had built the bombs at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 14th, THEY WOULD HAVE DETONATED


    A criminal mental institution seems a good place for this guy who not only bought weapons for the shooters but also had a sham marriage to a Russian woman, Mariya Chernykh, the SISTER OF FAROOK'S BROTHER'S WIFE

    Please forgive me for leaving the "3 athletic armed white guys in black running from the horror scene", reported by several witnesses, for another day. 

    I enjoy a good laugh, but this is too deep for me and (if truth be told) a bit scary because now I don't want to really know my new neighbors.


    Me & More 
    Sat. Jan. 16th @ 7:30 PM  




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  3. Merry Happy Every Darn Thing

    Tuesday, December 22, 2015


     It’s been a time of challenges and surprises somewhat more intense than the normal challenges and surprises of my life. I am not going to share that information here for a variety of reasons.

    I had a decent birthday thanks to two good friends and a nice job. And the former friend, who I missed, wrote to me.

    So, my loyal readers, I wish you a wonderful Christmas if that is what you celebrate. Happy Kwanzaa if that is what you celebrate. Hanukkah has passed. If that’s what you celebrate, hope it was good. I hope Eid was beautiful for those celebrating Eid. I really hope everyone will be safe this New Year’s. Don’t make it your last day when it can be avoided. Take a cab or just sleep where you are. Don’t make drunk decisions. As my friend, Brenda, in 4th grade, said when I called her a chicken for not running across the street against the light, “I’d rather be an alive chicken

    than a dead duck.”      

     
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  4. Talk To Strangers? by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, December 17, 2015


    I spend a lot of time, make that TOO MUCH time on social media. (BTW, look for me now on Periscope) So every few months I find myself sharing or re-posting an article that has no basis in reality thanks to the efforts of publications like:



    &

    worldnewsdailyreport.com


    So I wasn't going to fall for this Huff Post headline.


    But USA Today, Salon.com, New York Post and numerous foreign sources also reported Ehsan Abdulaziz testified that:

    He then stumbled directly onto her, saying his hand may have had his semen on it from the previous encounter or that he may have transmitted the semen from his still partially erect penis, reports say. 
    "I’m fragile," he said, per the Telegraph. "I fell down but nothing ever happened, between me and this girl. Nothing ever happened."
    Accusations of rape are always dicey for the victim, who can have (his/her) veracity, personality, dress, social media posts and alcohol consumption called into question, dragged through the mud and used against (her/his) righteous demand for justice.
    I don't know which part of the article intrigued me the most. 
    After having sex with the victim's friend, Eshan didn't wash his hands (Ewww!) or put his penis back in his underwear (Whoa!) before seeking the "well being" of the sleeping victim.
    Eshan saying he's fragile. (Don't make me laugh!)
                                            OR
    The comments section which included the following exchange:
    Angelica Booker ·
    ... This is ridiculous. I feel so bad for that girl. I mean, she shouldn't have gone home with some strange guy, but she didn't deserve to be raped. I can't imagine what that jury was thinking. Is the defense "I slipped and fell and somehow wound up inside of her" honestly good enough to cause doubt? Really?!

    Ashley Pomper · Regional Chapter and Specal Interest Group Liaison at Association Innovation & Management, Inc."I mean, she shouldn't have gone home with some strange guy, but.." ...this matters, why?
    Without negating the horror of physical assault, psychic violation and (almost certain) character rape in court; based on my own experience, I agree with the caveat 
    "Do not go home with strangers."
    I was 18 and years AND older, still putting my trust and safety in the hands of those I'd met casually. Life is a daily adventure of discovery and exploration. Don't think I've not heard the siren call of the forbidden and persons unknown. Be advised, I am thankful every day I'm alive to tell the tale.
    These statistics from RAINN  (Rape Abuse Incest National Network speak volumes:
    Approximately 4/5 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.1
    82% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.1
    47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.1
    25% are an intimate.1
    5% are a relative.1

    These are the numbers from non-strangers; relatives, family, friends and work associates. What are the chances strangers will be more considerate of your welfare?  Don't bet on it!
    I hurt every time I read of rape. I hurt for the victim and the victim's family. I hurt every time I read of false rape allegations but will postpone the discussion of numerous lynching deaths and innumerable incarcerations based on rape lies. 
    Teach our children not to rape. 
    Teach our children to value themselves.
    Said, "Please don't talk to strangers, baby"
    But she always do
    She say, "I'll talk to strangers if I want to
    'Cause I'm a stranger, too"

     Randy Newman - Have You Seen My Baby? Lyrics 
    Rhonda is an actress and director. See her stand-up this week: 
    Thursday Dec. 17 - 7:30 PM

     Saturday Dec. 19 - 6 PM

                                                      Sunday Dec. 20 4 PM

                                                    Sunday Dec. 20 8 PM

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  5. The Spirit of Christmas Inappropriate

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015


     
     
    I had been asked to do a few minutes of comedy at a holiday show on City Island. I responded, “I’d love to!”

    Then during the following days, I worried because nothing I do fits between Jingle Bells and Holy Night.  I thought I should rewrite the lyrics of a holiday song, but I didn’t. I also didn’t think it would solve the problem. I don’t tend to write G-rated comedy material. I worried until the day before the show when I was talking with a couple of co-workers about it. I shared my worry that I’d be inappropriate in the show. I also shared that the people who asked me to participate know my type of material. One of the women said something to the effect of “So, you can be the inappropriate portion of the evening.” And suddenly I felt my shoulders relax. Self-acceptance is so wonderful.

    “Oh I like that. Embracing it. I’m the spirit of Christmas Inappropriate.” They laughed. I knew I could do this.

    My best friend went with me, drove, and taped me. When at the last minute, I had needed something printed out (no working printer at home), he printed it out for me and provided the batteries the camera needed. I am so grateful. On our way to City Island, we cracked each other up so much, and I said to him, “We are definitely funnier than what’s in my set.” And as usual, we agreed that we have years and years of history, loads of reference points, and it is always very personal.

    The whole evening turned out to be much fun – the patrons, the staff and owners, the performers, the sing-along at the end with instruments for everyone. For me, the company and support of my buddy is very happifying.  Everything after that is a delightful extra.

    Dec. 12, 2015
    Starving Artists Café, City Island

     

     
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  6. Buy, Buy, Buy? By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Good News:  I made it through Boycott Black Friday and I didn't buy a thing!
    Bad News: I'm just not feeling Black Lives Matter tee- shirts





    for all, at holiday visits with family and friends this year.



    I don't want to be slave to the gross consumerism of the season. 
    Can't fault me for being thrifty when there's no discretionary 


    Know I'm grateful for every audition this past month, but not getting cast in a role 
    means not getting a paycheck. 



    And what's the upside of spending  money you don't have? 




    I know friends & family will go out of their way to gift to me.



    I really should have started my hand crafted gift projects in July 







    Not Tomorrow!!!

    Looks Like It's


    Well here I go!

    Will I at least get some material from angst and charge card shenanigans? I love that word shenanigans! Not so much angst... But I digress, come out and see me hither & yon or follow me on Periscope, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr.

    I want your gift of following, re-tweets, re-posts, likes and hearts. 


    THAT won't cost YOU a cent!

    #NotYourGrandmasComic But #YourCrazyAuntLovesMe

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, director, storyteller and stand-up. 
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  7. Happy Hanukkah Among Other Things

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015


     
     
    Hi loyal readers and newer readers. First, to those who observe, Happy Hanukkah, 2015. Second, I’d like to update you on things I’ve shared in the recent past.

    Acting: I went on that call-back audition, this time reading for the role of a cop. I was reading the sides in the waiting area. It was much less crowded this time since it was only for those returning based on the first audition. The script was originally written for a man to play this part. But instead of changing the pronoun in one line, I left it the way it was. I figured that could be interesting too – if my character were gay. I was trying hard to get into a firm mindset, that of a cop who would say “Get this scum out of here.” That’s a stretch for me. A good stretch. So I believed I had it down pretty well. I went inside.

    They thanked me for coming back. I really feel good around people like that. There were four people staring at me. I asked if they’d like me to play it to anyone in particular. One man said, “Play it to me.” Then one of the women told me she wanted me to do it flirtatiously. That stopped me in my tracks. I thought how is she flirtatious? Then I answered myself. She’s flirtatious like a dominatrix would be, I guess.


    It was an experience. I felt energized from the whole thing – the anxiety, the surprise they tossed me, my effort to achieve it, the whole thing. A couple of days later, I sent them a thank-you. I haven’t heard from them. Oh well. It’s still worth it because each time there is usually something to learn or experience that is new. That makes me better for future auditions. One never knows what the future could hold just for having met them. Their energy was so positive.

    Comedy: I had been given a developmental spot in a pro comedy show which I had shared several blogs ago. That took place on a Sunday night in November. I didn’t have to bring anyone or wait for a long time. All the things I worried about did not happen. The show was hosted by Chris Murphy.  He made me feel very welcome in spite of how difficult my last name can be to pronounce.  I had worried about all kinds of stuff based on stories I’d heard from people who have had bad experiences. The manager was very welcoming too. And one of the first people I saw in the show area was Debbie Bazza, who made me feel good. We hugged. Just seeing someone I know from the Bronx and who has always been positive put me a bit at ease. Then when I shared with her how nervous I felt, she was so surprised. She exclaimed, “You’re nervous!!? Why?! You are hilarious!” Wow. That really helped. Just hearing how someone else sees me really helped.

    I was put on about 35-40 minutes into the show. My set went well. I was so relieved. As I was getting off the stage, a man in the front said, “Good job.” It meant a lot to me.

    Chris Murphy also said, “Good job.” I appreciated that.
     

     

    I stayed to watch most of the show (before and after my set). I can’t help but compare myself to the paid “pro” comics. I like my material just fine. I like their comfort and confidence on stage. They maintain the funny for the whole time. They deal with an audience that laughs quietly. There’s always much to learn.

    I will be getting an unpaid break from my evening job for several weeks. Hope I’ll be at the open mics. Hope I’ll be able to afford it.

             

      vs. 
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  8. Biff Henderson By Rhonda Hansome

    Friday, December 4, 2015


     To quote the Pointer Sisters

    "I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!"

     Yes, I opened for them
    back in the day.

    Why am I so excited?

    I am on Periscope!

    I did my 1st Periscope broadcast last night after attending a talk with the adorably charming Biff Henderson. 
    He stole my heart when, after hearing that I was a comedian, he turned and asked me if I'd ever "done the show?"

    I thought my first broadcast would be up-close & personal with David Letterman's delightful stage manager but circumstances intervened. Instead I shared my euphoric, post Biff Henderson talk, walk down 57th St.

    At this time I'd like to thank those who watched and follow me on Periscope:
    A wonderfully talented woman I've long admired AND with whom I've had the honor of sharing a stand-up stage. 

    Thank you also to my Tweetniqs**

    So feeling like I'm in the 21st century! Speaking of being in this century, please check back for dates when these 3 new interviews go live.


    &

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, storyteller & director. See her do FREE stand-up!


    **My Affectionate Name For My Twitter Followers

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  9. An Exercise

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015








    As part of my self-discovery journey, I tried to answer “What did you like about him or in what ways did you feel a connection?” 

     
    ·        He was an artist.

    ·        He was more courteous than not to the public at large.

    ·        He was very intelligent.

    ·        He would take on new learning ventures.

    ·        Affectionate – gave it and received it.

    ·        Considered me the most fair (as in 'just,' not 'light-skinned') person he ever met.

    ·        Thought my perception was keen; often asked for my feedback on his life drawings though I had no art training.

    ·        He thought I had a unique point of view and could write a column.

    ·        If he was awake, he always said yes when I asked him to play a verbal alphabet game to help me get to sleep. It was how my mother helped me fall asleep when I was a child.

    ·        Sexually, we were quite well suited. Even after we parted, he wrote me that I was the best lover he’s ever had. (Really, it is about being well suited together.)

    ·        My cats liked him.

    ·        He’d been an abused child in a culture that didn’t identify it as abuse.

    ·        He claimed he once rescued a butterfly out of a puddle and blew it dry.

    ·        He claimed he was a communist.

    ·        He was often reading or drawing.

    ·        He was very proud of being present during the riots in Puerto Rico in the late 60s.  Showed me pictures.

    ·        He noticed and told me of something that had made my mother feel good and smile.

    ·        Together, we created an amazing baby.

    ·        He loved the sight of breastfeeding, the connection.

    ·        He gave me credit, initially, for standing up to him when it came to the baby. (That is such a mixed thing, and I’m not sure it belongs on this list.)

    ·        He paid for a comedy class as a gift he knew I wanted.
     
    ·        During a mournful (not regretful, just mournful) part of the              separation for me, he told me to write comedy.
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  10. Small Victories

    Tuesday, November 24, 2015







    By Friday, I felt so exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home after work, pour myself some wine, and just be. I loved my plans to have no plans. I needed the freedom to fall asleep if my eyes started closing. I was not up for dealing with one more thing.


    I work in a program housed on a college campus. So I pretty much spend the day in an environment largely free of sexual harassment. I can actually go through a day there without thinking about my gender except for which bathroom I use. Time like that is good for the soul.

    I was about two blocks from home and the small two-way street was further narrowed by some construction going on. Additionally, a car was double-parked, cars behind were honking, and I was expecting one to come shooting into the wrong-way lane to get out of there.

    I stepped as far back as possible and was against the construction blockades, giving the cars all the room possible. Another pedestrian was near, and, without paying attention to the traffic, he offered for me to pass him by. My eyes opened wide at the car behind him that did shoot out into the wrong-way lane, and I shook my head no. His attention was still on me and not the traffic. Then he said something about my eyes, and I actually felt a real sense of disappointment as I felt my status go from person to something decorative.  I passed him by, and he made more attempts to get my attention in that way. He originally had my attention when I tried to alert him to the traffic, but he wanted a different kind of attention. He pursued, “God bless them” (referring to my eyes), and “Did you hear me? Did you hear me?” He originally was going in the direction I was coming from, but now his voice sounded like he decided to follow me. 

     
    It is my neighborhood, I work two jobs to survive, I am tired, and I don’t want to feel intimidated on my way home from work. In a very real tone of voice, and without turning around, I said, “Please don’t talk to me like you know me.” To my great surprise, he said, “I’m sorry.” I nodded and, to keep the peace, said, “Thank you.” He couldn’t leave it like that.

    “I’d like to know you.”

    “Thank you.”

    I walked home without the feeling that he was still around. However, when I arrived to the front of my building, I turned around and looked before unlocking the lobby door.

    Maybe he heard my age in my voice and realized I’m older than he may have originally thought. Maybe he heard my sick and tiredness of it all – of being objectified, infantilized, belittled, reduced. Maybe I really have guardian angels and am cloaked with a special kind of protection. Whatever it was, it felt empowering to have words, to be able to just express what I had to say without yelling or using rude language, and for it to be respected (as much as was possible for him).

     
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