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  1. This Bronx Gal Thanks You, Daniel Hauben

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017








    I'm a teacher again.  When I have lots of days off, I start to find it hard to believe I teach classes of adult students.  Today, Tuesday, was the first day of the new cycle.  Aside from getting to know each other and each other's names, we spoke about the stigma of The Bronx, why our borough has "The" in front of it, and we read and wrote about excerpts from Daniel Hauben's Inches From My Easel.  It is a beautifully uplifting experience to experience the words of someone who sees the beauty and humanity of where you call home.  These are some of his paintings.







    In a Bronx-phobic society, I am grateful to Daniel Hauben, his vision, and his passion, and so are my students.  This isn't the first class to whom I introduced his work.  His paintings make my heart smile.

    So I guess I am a teacher.  But I'm the kind who is more like a coach, a sister, a friend, a neighbor.  

    This site is called "She So Funny" and I'm often quite serious (the multi-faceted person inside the comic), so I'm going to include the humor that truly comes from not necessarily funny life circumstances.  This video includes a bit about me as a teacher.  It is about a minute and a half.  (I don't know how to make it end after that bit.) 

    Remember, my students are adults.




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  2. Sting Of Celebrity Death By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, January 12, 2017


    In December the Grim Reaper furiously worked celebrity deaths like he had to meet a quota, but he sauntered into 2017 with little fanfare and snatched a superstar from my heart. Just a few years ago I heard my celebrity crush was ill…

    If he has a quirky charm AND is prone to unpredictable outbursts – I’m fascinated! I’m a sucker for a “Bad Boy”. A lack of father love and ensuing abandonment issues give me a lifetime pass on my poor attachment choices.  


    For years I’ve been enthralled by his majestic capacity to perform, which is only eclipsed by his lightning speed ability to strike fear and abject terror. A beloved entertainer AND known murderer, my “Bad Boy Crush” is star of Sea World

    Bull Orca Whale - Tilikum!
    You can understand my shock and dismay when I learned Tilikum was sent to a medical pool. Through the cooperation of an anonymous source*, I acquired an extract of Tilikum’s medical file. With only the best intentions, I present this confidential excerpt:

    Dr. Jennifer Melfi   Thursday, March 22, 2012   New Patient Intake Session 1

    For the 3rd time in fifteen minutes the gruff park attendant, Colleen, quizzed me on the safety instructions. As I arranged myself in the blue nylon hammock suspended over the orca medical pool, I recited: “1, Maintain the required distance from the patient as specified in Judge Welsch’s court order. 2, In the event patient becomes agitated, volatile or violent, yell help!”  

    Satisfied with my response Colleen hefted a bucket of fish onto the nearby platform and, with a practiced underhand toss, lobbed a bullhorn at me. It landed on my files and set the unwieldy net hammock rocking. Colleen swaggered off to a corner of the empty stadium and stationed herself under the sun-bleached Dine With Shamu sign; giving me privacy with my patient and giving Colleen the opportunity to smoke her cigar. I picked up the bullhorn, steadied the hammock and began.

    Dr. Melfi: Good morning, Tilikum.

    Tilikum: (No response)

    Dr. Melfi: (Turning on the bullhorn) Good morning, Tilikum. I’m Dr. Melfi.

    Tilikum:  How you doing?  My friends call me Tili.

    Dr. Melfi: Friends like Anthony Soprano?

    Tilikum:  Yeah, it was Tony got word to me about you. Said you don’t judge and you might be able to help.

    Dr. Melfi:  Do you need help, Tili?

    Tilikum:  (Shrugging) Who knows?

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, what’s bothering you?

    Tilikum:  Nothing.

    Dr. Melfi:  Nothing? Then why am I in this hammock?  I’ve got problems with heights, this life vest is itchy and…

    Tilikum:  I miss my work… the cheering crowds, star billing… (Sob) I miss My Chum.

    Dr. Melfi:  (Reaching in the bucket on the nearby platform) You miss these bits of fish?

    Tilikum:  No, Dawn! (Quietly) I miss Dawn…

    Dr. Melfi:  Your trainer?

    Tilikum:  I called her, (Sob) My Chum.

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, you killed her.

    Tilikum:  That’s no reason to punish me. Jeez! First they censor my routine then ban me from performing at all. I need my work. I’m an artiste!  

    Dr. Melfi:  You’re a serial killer!

    Tilikum:  So I’ve done a little killing on the side.

    Dr. Melfi:  Three dead human beings is “a little killing on the side?”

    Tilikum:  Hey, I got nothing close to Tony Soprano’s numbers! And the official report said that naked guy found dead on my back died from hypothermia.  (Shuddering) Frankly, I felt violated.

    Dr. Melfi: How do think the audience felt seeing you kill your Chum, Dawn?

    Tilikum:  Doc, they got what they came for. My act is pretty exciting, all that kissing and hugging a beautiful blonde. And the synchronized swimming is a real crowd pleaser. Don’t even mention our ballet duet.

    Dr. Melfi:  Your ballet duet?

    Tilikum: (Sternly) I told you not to mention that!

    (I discreetly cast my glance toward the Dine With Shamu marquee in the distance. Colleen is nowhere in sight. A faint wisp of cigar smoke hovers in the dank air like a mocking smile. Tili shifting his 22-foot mass in the 8 foot pool beneath me commands my attention)

    Dr. Melfi:  Yes, Tili!

    Tilikum:  As I was saying Doc, the crowd loves all the rehearsed tricks, bells and whistles. But what does that ticket really purchase?  It buys the ever-present thrill that I might drop the Shamu mask and be my authentic self, a Bull Orca KILLER Whale! It only takes a moment to leave the training and friendship behind, grab the fragile mammal beside me and… dive to the watery calm below…  dragging the pale hairy hunter who captured me at the age of two, clamped firmly…

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, you are in pain.

    Tilikum:  Whoa, stop the presses!

    Dr. Melfi:  These months of isolation have been hard on you. You’ve lost a ton of weight.

    Tilikum: You think?  I’m down to 10,000 pounds Doc, just skin and bones! I think Colleen’s been hiding meds in my herring. (Withering disdain)  Herring?  I should be eating sea lions. I’ve got no energy, no appetite. I haven’t had a live dolphin in decades. Do you know what it’s like for me here in eight feet of water!?? Take a bath in your kitchen sink!

    Dr. Melfi: Tili…

    Tilikum:  And I’ve been having these dreams Dr. Melfi…

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, our time is up.

    Tilikum:  Since when is thirty-five minutes an hour?

    Dr. Melfi:  Since 2009! (Quietly) And this bullhorn is killing my eardrums.

    Tilikum:  What’s that, Doc?

    Dr. Melfi:  I said this might take some time. Do you have insurance?

    Tilikum:  (Menacing lunge) After twenty years of jumping through hoops I’d better have insurance!  (Less menacing) Colleen will handle the paperwork.

    Dr. Melfi:  Same time next Thursday?

    Tilikum: (Turning away) If I’m in the mood.

    Thanks to my anonymous source*, this is all I am at liberty to share.

    I can’t explain my attraction to Tili’s looming strength and seductive vulnerability.  I knew “Bad Boy” Tili and I will never work together. Who ever heard of a stand-up comic opening for a Bull Orca Whale?

    “It was a great show ladies and gentlemen. We both killed!”

    I’ve ditched my online course in whale training. Tili’s gone but not forgotten.

    Tilikum c. Nov. 1981 -Jan. 2017 R.I.P.


    *Colleen Ebbets

    I'm around town. Come see me one place or another.

    7:30 Fri. Jan.13th
    Fun Size And Venti 


     

    8 PM Sat. Jan. 14th Block "B"
    Diverse As Fuck Comedy Festival
    Nuyorican Poets Cafe
    236 E. 3rd St. NYC




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  3. Updates of Sorts

    Tuesday, January 10, 2017






    It is so hard to go back to work after being off for many days.  Once back in the swing of things, it will probably feel good.  I like my teaching job.  There are many good things about it.  Unfortunately, the salary isn't.  I am always in need of additional income.  Preferring it not be from another teaching job, I'm putting it out there that I'm an experienced and very good proofreader, an experienced fine artist's model, creative writer, actress, and stand-up comic. The Divorced Divas of Comedy are available to do divorce parties and other celebrations.  My dear readers, if you know of anything or anyone, please connect me.  Thank you.

    The ASPCA commercials are breaking my heart.  I can't give money.  I owe lots of money.  I can't even adopt a dog or cat at this point.  And I'd like to, an older one whose chances of adoption are less than the young ones.  I would still like to be adopted myself sometimes, so I really can relate to their plight.  Plus it is so beneficial to a human to love an animal.  This human could use such benefits.  I recently went into a store where I sometimes shop, and I told the man, "I really came in to say hello to the cat."  He pointed out where she was, and she and I had our few minutes.  I must need it because I have become closer friends with many animals in the neighborhood since my Luigi had to go to Heaven.

    In December 2016, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Laughing Buddha Bar Show at Bunga's Den.  I had a great set and enjoyed every moment of it.  The room was packed.  I stayed for the whole show as I usually do, and I liked the whole experience.

    The next day, I was part of an anthology launch reading and celebration with the Riverside Poets.  They make me feel so appreciated as a poet.  Then all the delicious free food at the celebration really helps when I'm so broke and hungry. It always feels special to hang out with people I see only once or twice a year.  



    A cousin who I have yearned to be connected with, but didn't feel able to, contacted me for my December 21st birthday.  It felt really good.  I responded. However, I feel guarded as his sister tried to discredit me with the Bronx Council on the Arts when she realized one of my winning entries in one of their competitions was a nonfiction slice of my childhood.  I think she feels in charge of the victimizing family tradition of not talking about the family.  I believe she was passed that torch, and she took it.  It horrifies me that she's a therapist and would do such a thing.  She even implied when calling them that she was my therapist. Lord have mercy.  I would have thought that a CSW would know that abusive families with a lot to hide typically make everyone feel like it is wrong to talk about your life and that they convince others that the abused are liars.  But as is typical of me, I had overestimated her.  

    Also in December 2016, I was honored to be a part of Lehman Stages' storytelling production of Bronx Tales at the Lovinger Theatre.  We were six storytellers.  We are residents of the Bronx, some are natives of the Bronx while others came here from other places.  These are all our true, approximately 10-minute stories.  

      

    I very much appreciated working with our director, Dante Albertie.  He helped me shape my story.  He appreciated real and my commitment to the truth.  I needed that.

    If you'd like to hear the stories, here it is.  The first storyteller is hilarious in his depiction of other characters.  All the stories are riveting.  If you want to go straight to mine, I'm 28 minutes and some seconds in.  It's called "An Introduction of Sorts."  





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  4. Reality Check Redoux* By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, January 5, 2017


    I walked the two blocks home from Kumquat, talking to myself. That’s nothing new, what with the seven voices vying for attention in my head.  I was trying to process what just happened.  If my mother (God rest her soul) had done what I’d just done would I have been embarrassed? 

    9:00 PM
    I marveled at the number of white faces crowding the Brooklyn “A” train as we passed Nostrand Ave. I exited the gentrification express and made my way up the M.C. Escher staircase at Utica Ave. station . If I survived the steps, I’d treat myself to a quick drink, an appetizer and call it a night.

    Successfully topside, I saw a martini in my future.  The restaurant, Kumquat (not the real name) is of the new breed Bed-Stuy eateries with real flatware and not one sheet of plexiglass between me and the server. I have 6 receipts from Kumquat offering a 10% discount on future meals (weekends excluded)  stuck on the refrigerator with a magnet that reads, 



                                                    "All these years and still a fox.”  

    It figures I’d be here mid-week without my discount. No biggie. I’ll have a drink, a snack and be home in no time. The hostess seated me and I waited … and waited. I scanned the room, no wait staff in sight. Earlier this week, Daylight Savings snatched an hour and tonight in Kumquat, time was still evaporating. I did the craned neck - index finger at half- mast gesture and got the distracted attention of the hostess. 

    “Are there any waiters on duty?” 

    “Yes, she’ll be right over.”   

    “What’s the soup of the day?” 

    “I’ll go find out.”

    You’ll go find out? It’s almost closing time, and you don’t know the soup du jour?

    I ignored that voice grumbling in my head. I cleared my phone, of fifteen emails, and decided to forgo my drink by the time the hostess returned and announced,

    “Black bean with kale, how does that sound?” 

    “Good”

     “So that’s what you’ll have?” 

    I nodded yes. Three emails later, my waitress appeared.

    I’m Kira, would you like something to drink? 

    When I came in, I did, but now?  More head grumbling.

    “No thank you Kira. I’ll just have soup. The hostess may have put in my order.  She mentioned the black bean with kale.”

    “I’ll put that order in for you now.”  

    Sounds like more waiting. I  picked up my phone to quiet the restless toe tapping in my head. Two emails later my soup was on the table. It was indeed black bean and kale, but mammoth chunks of chicken jostled for room in the huge white bowl. I’m not complaining because a mass of smoked poultry lurked under every piece of kale. If I were still a practicing semi-vegetarian, I’d have been outraged by the surfeit of fowl in what had sounded like a hearty vegan potage.  I forged through the gumbo with gusto, but pieces of chicken relentlessly mocked me from the enormous bowl. 

    After seating two men, the hostess passed within arm’s length and noticed my finger again at half-mast. 

    “The soup had chicken, lots and lots of chicken.”  She paused, perplexed.  “I’m not complaining.  It’s just you said black bean with kale and the soup had lots of chicken.” 

    She fixed her face and said, “Yes, there’s chicken in it, but that’s the way it’s written up ‘black bean with kale.” 

    “No problem, I’ll take my check.” 

    Bam! Kira materialized at my table.

    “How was the soup?” 

    “Actually it was very good, but there was a lot of chicken in it.  It was more like chicken with black beans and kale.” 

    “There’s chicken in it but that’s the way it’s written up, black bean with kale; anything else?”

    “No thank you Kira. Have a good night.”  

    She placed the check on my table and went into hiding. $6.00 for a giant bowl of soup, 53 cents added for tax.  No problem. Just above the 10% discount incentive was the suggested gratuity: 16% leave $1.08, 20% leave $1.20. To spite the “Blacks are bad tippers” stereotype, I went all out and left $1.25 on the table. I’ll pay the hostess at the door with a twenty and get on home.

    Well, she’d been at the door when I rose from my table, but where was the hostess now? No Kira, either, so I approached the bartender.

    “I’d like to pay my check.” 

    Her face said, “This is not my job”, her mouth said, “I’ll get your waitress.”   

    I checked messages until Kira returned from the hidden world where servers… well, hide.  From behind the bar she handed me two 5’s, three one’s, returned my receipt and went back into hiding. The receipt total read $6.53 and I had thirteen dollars in hand. I have math anxiety, so several times I used my fingers to confirm, I was short forty-seven cents. I offered the bartender my receipt and the money.

    “I’m short forty-seven cents change.” 

    She sighed, “Since the waiters don’t carry nickels and dimes they just round up.”

    That’s when one of the voices in my head, Penny Pincher, shouted “What the fuck???  That bitch just took money out the cash register. Don’t tell ME there’s not forty-seven cents in there!!”  I ignored Penny’s outburst and quietly said, 

    “I’m short on my change.” 

    She sighed,  “I’ll call your waitress.”

    When Kira appeared bar side, I calmly said,

    “I’m short forty-seven cents change.”
     
    I kid you not, Kira tilted her head and said.

    “We round up.” 
    Now I’ll admit I’m still catching up to the 21st century, but when did rounding up your bill become the norm? 

    “You round up without mentioning it to the customer?”

    Kira set her jaw, veiled her eyes but not her incredulous tone.

    “You want me to break a dollar?” 

    Penny Pincher began stomping her feet, rocking her neck and looking for the nearest exit out of my head; to throttle Kira. 

    I calmly replied, “Yes.”

    For a reality check,  I complained to the bearded brother sitting at the bar. 

    “I’m short forty-seven cents because they rounded up.  I just want my change.”  

    From behind a shield of beef, lettuce and bun, he murmured, “If that’s what you want.”

    Penny Pincher ignored the hint of dismissal dripping from his burger. In an effort to rile up the other voices in my head Penny started to chant, “It’s my money!  It’s my money!”  Kira appeared before the other voices could pick up the mantra. She counted out forty cents in coins and with a sullen thump placed them AND a dollar on the bar.

    “This is yours.”

    “I gave you a generous tip.”
     
    “Did you?” 

    Kiri shot down my feeble attempt to reason with a wait person I would likely encounter again.  
    Seven cents short, I pushed Penny Pincher AND Kira’s dollar aside. I palmed the forty cents and made my way into the night.  

    Did I miss the news flash - Restaurants Agreed To Round Up Your Bill?  Who gets the profit?  Is it shared by the staff or go straight to the owner?  And why did Kira ask befuddled,

    “You want me to break a dollar for you?” 

    “Hell yes, bitch, if it means I get MY MONEY!”


    Penny Pincher shouted from her corner of my mind where she sat washing pennies plucked from rest room floors.
    Come see me make funny
    7:30 PM Friday Jan. 13th 


    *Redoux = Re-purposed from May 2013 (Hence the ancient Blackberry)
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  5. Hello 2017

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017














    my comedy was judged by those who refer to a vagina as two sad stage curtains. how do ya think that went?

    a sex offender is preparing to rule my country.

    hello 2017.

    for the sake of our collective self-esteem, I'm including this wonderfulness.





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