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  1. I'm Not Yelling by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Sometimes I hate Gloria, my GPS. On my way to work this morning she told me to get off 278 in Queens to make my way to the Pulaski Bridge. Too late after exiting, I realized Gloria was up to her old tricks. Gloria had placed me in the 6 lane midst of a less than 2 mile artery, not moving.

    Did I mention I was on my way to work on a TV show?
    Did I mention I got up at 5:30 this morning?

    I sat in traffic watching Gloria's screen increase my estimated arrival by the minute. 10 minutes later when the cop car in front of me peeled into the oncoming lane, I thought I should follow him, but I thought again and watched my ETA grow later and later.

    I surreptitiously dialed the "emergency number" and on speaker, advised the casting office that I was stuck approaching the bridge. I sat in traffic for another 10 minutes.

    When a random car peeled down the oncoming lane, I did the same and inched my way to the Pulaski Bridge and then Gloria instructed me to merge onto 278 to head into Brooklyn.


    After the bridge and fuming at Gloria, I drove left, right and left, rumbling over cobble stones and found my way to the address where I was to park my "picture car" and told the 1st person I saw wearing a Walkie-Talkie that I was #10. I was almost a half -hour late and the Production Assistant I was talking to had no idea where I was suppose to be. With a heavy french accent the petite brunette, who looked entirely too good at 8:30 am, got on her Walkie-Talkie to find the PA who knew where I should go.

    When she got no response, I ambled over to the breakfast tent, where I decided to leave my Ketogenic Diet in the dust. I dug into grits and potato laden hash with gusto. More than 3 weeks of no alcohol, no bread, no sugar, no rice, no potatoes or ANY carbs, I'd lost almost a half pound?
    F#@k That Diet!

    Frenchie the beautiful PA, approached the array of chafing dishes on display and began to fill to-go plates. In between selections she checked her Walkie-Talkie, and eventually said a van would take me to a different location. Okay... I'm a picture car and a van is going to take me to another location?

    When the van pulled up, Frenchie handed me 2 to-go plates and says, "Give these to Sean." I got in the van. The driver got out of the van, telling Frenchie he needed to get breakfast. I sit in the van. The driver makes HIS breakfast selections and returns with a to-go plate. We rumble over a few cobble stones and he stops the van, gets on his Walkie-Talkie to whosoever, "Anyone else to pick-up?

    We sit in silence. 

    I check my watch. It's almost 9 am! He checks his Walkie-Talkie. Thank goodness there's no one else to pick up and we proceed left, right and left over cobble stones. I think if my Mother was alive, she'd never believe that I showed up for work almost a half-hour late; not HER Rhonda. I look at the 2 to-go plates on my lap and ask. "Where's Sean?"  The driver doesn't know, wouldn't know, shouldn't know because he's a DRIVER. He pulls up by a fence and points to a PA, "Ask HIM where Sean is."

    The PA happens to be holding a to-go plate, "Do you know where Sean is?" He responds, "Sean who?" Of course, I don't know Sean who, Frenchie didn't tell me... "Can you call for Sean on your Walkie-Talkie?" "No, I'm with the 1st team." 

    "I just want to make sure anybody looking for #10, knows I'm here in the van." 
    He says, "You don't have to yell at me."

    But I wasn't yelling 
    I was too tired to yell
    Too anxious to yell

    I know I wasn't yelling because when he said, "You don't have to yell at me.", I really wanted to 
    I didn't.

    The rest of the morning in an empty dusty warehouse in Redhook, I changed into and had my picture taken in 3 different coats while I waited for yet another PA to summon me into position as ambiance, what I call background or what you might call "extra" work.

    I was never positioned on camera and we were dismissed by 1 PM. 

    Not a bad day after I stopped beating myself up for not leaving earlier than 7 to get to Brooklyn from the Bronx by 8 AM. But I had to write this blog to stop thinking over and over, when I yell - 
    I YELL!!!
    I wasn't yelling at him.

    I love being on stage at Broadway Comedy Club, but I canceled my midnight spot there tonight, because I have a 5:30 AM report time as background on a movie shooting in Queens tomorrow. 

    I'll have to leave home at 4 AM and go to sleep right now. 

  2. Gun & Sugar Tricknology by Rhonda Hansome

    Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Tricknology alert!

    Do you visit or live in 1 of the 45 states where 
    (with or without a permit & or license) 
    of a gun  is legal and you carry a gun?

    If you are Black and visit or live in an open carry state, 
    Please Don't Carry The Gun! 
    There is NO WAY a black person with a gun (some might add candy bar, football, bible or Skittles) in an open carry state, can have an encounter with police, over zealous neighborhood watch P.D. wanna be, or fellow gun carrier & have it end well. Okay, maybe 1% of the time all might walk away unharmed... in my dreams.

    Speaking of tricknology, I'm currently on a "fad" diet. I know it's a fad because it was promoted with rows & rows of butter, 

    (Yes I Said Rows) 
    of butter, cheese & meats on a "YOU CAN EAT THIS" list shown on the Dr. Oz Show.

    For 2 weeks I've consciously eaten No Sugar. 
    I say consciously because SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE, even in bacon.

    So give me a shout if you know a good sugar-less bacon, because on Keto I can eat handfuls of that! 

    In the past 2 weeks 
    I've eaten more meat than I've had this entire year. 
     I've had No Starches like pasta, rice, potatoes or legumes
    sometimes known by their less exotic name - beans. 

    On this (Ketogenic) plan, no "diet" or "low-fat" food is allowed & carbs are kept low to none.

    For the past 2 weeks I've consumed Eggs, Cheese, Butter, Olive Oil & Coconut Oil - purported good also for hair & skin BTW; Meat & Fish cooked in/with Butter, Olive or Coconut Oil, String Beans, Leafy Greens & Asparagus dressed with Olive Oil; even Coffee WITH Coconut Oil, Butter & Heavy Cream - AKA Bulletproof Coffee.

    I'm a gullible naive victim of tricknology... for at least another 2 weeks because I'm giving this crazy diet a month.
    Yes that's me on the train eating 
    cream cheese stuffed celery.

    Leave the gun at home when you come to see me tomorrow - Sunday at Don't Tell Mama

  3. One night I had a wonderful dream.  My son and I were being affectionate, hugging, snuggling cheek to cheek, and he said in my ear, “I love you, Mom.”  I felt so happy.  It felt so real. 

    The next night I was going to a reading from the NYC Writing Project which is connected to the program where I work.  They had held a program for teachers who identify as writers.  At the end, they were having a reading at KGB Bar on East 4th Street.  I wasn’t part of the program, but I wanted to hear the writers and support the NYC Writing Project.  The reading was free.  That helps.  I invited a few people, but only one planned to join me.  Somehow from the way he expressed himself, I got the feeling he wasn’t that into going and would not show.

    I took the 4 train which is an elevated outdoor train in most of the Bronx before it goes underground at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse.  I texted my son and told him about the dream and how good it felt.  After I rode several stops, a woman ran on screaming and then ran out another door.  My heart started racing, sure someone was after her or that a rat was involved.  I’d be screaming like that if a rat was near me.  So I was frantically looking to see what the problem was.  She got back on and sat down.  Suddenly she was up and screaming again.  She went into another car of the train.  Next to where she had been sitting was a pigeon, alive and well.  I laughed with relief that it was just a pigeon.  It seemed harmless compared to what I feared.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have felt so calm if I were feeling followed by it, but compared to a human attacker or a rat, it seemed so innocent.  It chose to ride the train.  It walked around mostly under the seats.  I began to see things from the pigeon’s view and assumed the bird was scared.  The train wasn’t crowded, but things could get hysterical if the pigeon started flying around.  One man tried to grab it.  Maybe it was to set it outside at the next stop, but I didn’t know the man or if he’d hurt the bird.  I was glad he didn’t catch it.  

    At the next stop, the bird seemed confused by which side the doors opened on.  When people came in, the bird cautiously stayed away, so it remained on the train.  I was having anxiety for the pigeon.  I don’t love pigeons or hate pigeons.  I just didn’t want any sadness that could be prevented.  It was for my sake as well as the pigeon’s that I needed to do something.  It walked under the seat of the man who had tried to grab it earlier.  The man didn’t realize.  A woman near me laughed.  I told her not to let him know the bird was there.  The bird went to the door as if it knew that the door would open.  But I knew on Burnside Avenue the other side would open.  The bird seemed to be a walker, and I was afraid that the time it would take would get it caught in the closing doors.

    I got up and when the doors opened, I stood in the doorway holding it open and motioning the bird with my paper to come this way.  The bird decided to trust me, I guess, walked near me and out onto the platform which was still outdoors.  I felt good about that.

    One of the things that felt good was I felt I had power to do something.  I struggle with depression, so feeling that way is significant to me.  During my marriage, asserting my personhood would inevitably lead to an argument or some passive-aggressive silence.  After a long time, living like that takes its toll.  So this experience was not only good for the pigeon; it benefited me too.

    The reading was fantastic.  My friend didn’t show, but I was kind of ready for that.  The pieces shared were great.  One woman read about her mother’s thighs.  The closeness and love made me recall baths with my mother, me trying to count the freckles on her back.  The closeness with my own precious son.  I deeply miss the genuine relationship we had.  During the reading, I grabbed a napkin and my pen.  In the very dimly lit place, I drew.

    A few days later, at the subway station, I stood in front of the booth to add money to my MetroCard.  When given a choice, I still prefer a person over a machine.  At my feet was a crushed bill.  I picked it up.  There was no one on line in front of me, so whoever dropped it was gone.  It was a $20 bill. 

    See how connected this all feels to the last blog I shared?  More next week.

    FYI:  I'll be performing comedy Wednesday, Sept. 21, 8pm at the Village Lantern (NYC), 167 Bleeker Street, in Sarah Garner's show!  No cover charge. 1 drink min. Would be glad to see you there laughing if you can make it.

  4. Hair Today Gone Tomorrow By Rhonda Hansome

    Saturday, September 10, 2016

     I want equality with men,
    but not male pattern baldness!

    To See Rhonda Hansome  
    Tell A Venue Near You Or The Organization You Belong To
     To Book Her!

  5. I no longer have my second job which allowed me to survive.  My main job doesn’t pay enough if it’s the only salary in the house though I get medical benefits from there.  So my evenings are freed up, and I am available for paid comedy and acting gigs, proofreading on a freelance basis (have lots of experience), and posing for those who draw and/or paint.  Photographers, on a case-by-case basis.  Please keep me in mind.

    So though I’ve had more free time, I have significantly less money.  Either way, it’s not easy. 

    There were several times* a few weeks back that I felt the universe was letting me know to have faith.  One morning I went to Arthur Avenue (the Bronx’s “Little Italy”) to deposit two small checks I received in the mail that were supposed to be directly deposited but weren’t.  I went before work because I couldn’t risk a check I sent out to bounce.  I needed to hand it to a teller during banking hours so it would get credited right away.  I assumed the bank opened at 8am but was wrong.  I had to wait until 9am. 

    I sat in a small park and had my coffee and donut.  I often eat small amounts many times a day.  At half a donut I was full.  I figured I’d take it home. 

    It was obvious that a suffering economy has found its way to that area which once seemed to be able to stay above a lot of the city’s problems.  There were homeless people in the park.  One man was looking in the garbage for food.  I don’t know how our society has become numb to this.  I haven’t.  When I was growing up, rents were do-able even for poor working people.  We may have crammed a lot of people into the apartment, but it beat sleeping outside.  The occasional person who was homeless was referred to as a bum.  They often were napping on a park bench.  It was assumed alcoholism was the cause.  The churches and the Salvation Army were able to care for such folks.  It wasn’t a class of homeless people.  The struggling public wasn’t asked for money all day.  I remember as a kid reading about homeless people in Ireland.  By the time I was halfway through college, homelessness was everywhere in NYC.  The train cars smelled of unbathed bodies.  The homeless were blamed for their situation.  Those who cause this do not ride the trains and see the consequences of their deeds.

    On my way out of the park, I went over to the man searching the garbage and offered him my little paper bag.  “There’s a half a donut in here if you want it.”  He looked surprised when I spoke to him which I think meant more to him than the half donut.  He thanked me and accepted it. 

    I walked back over to the bank.  Still had to wait five minutes.  I looked in store windows.  Bought a five-dollar scratch-off instant lottery ticket.  Did my banking, then scratched the ticket.  It won me $20.  When very broke, that is very helpful.  If I weren’t so broke, I’d have given part of my profit to the man in the park.  It’s typically the poor who give to the homeless.  It’s not for a tax break; it's for a tiny break from the suffering.

    * Since I am rarely brief, I will share the other special times in another blog entry.