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  1. This Bronx Girl

    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    I’m one of those New Yorkers who never had a self-defrosting refrigerator.  Though tonight I again realized it does eventually self-defrost.  The ice builds until the freezer door can’t close.


    Then the ice melts all over the place.  Eventually, it is defrosted enough 
    for the door to close again.  That’s as self-defrosting a fridge as I’ve ever had.

    Here and there, I’ve been approaching messes in my apartment that I 
    haven’t approached in years.  Amazing the things I find.  Some goes to P.O.T.S. (Part of the Solution).  It’s a multi-service center that also houses people when needed.  I bring clothes, perfumes, books, magazines, household items, etc.  They are so appreciative.  I’m so glad to bring things there, knowing they will get a second life. 

    When I was a child, my new clothes all came from shopping bags that 
    others gave away.  The butcher’s wife gave us bags from her relatives, my cousin’s clothes were passed along to me, and my mother’s cousin’s clothes as well.  I know what it’s like to hope so much that something in those bags will fit right and be something I like.  So it is with real pleasure that I can pass things along as well.

    The last time I was there and stacked books on a shelf, a man saw a title, 
    and in a delighted voice, said, “Poetry!”  I interpreted his tone and thrill as more over the fact that I’d bring poetry there than the actual poetry.  I just smiled.  I didn’t say, “Of course!  God/dess doesn’t distribute intelligence and talent just to those with money.  I know this for a fact.”  I just left knowing at least two people felt good – me and that man.

    Mark your calendars, people.  September 13, 2019 comedy show on City 
    Island.  Next time, I should be able to tell you the line-up.  It’s going to be real goooooood.

    *Not my fridge, but close enough.

    Love to CGG-M 

  2. Various Things

    Friday, June 14, 2019

    Hi all.  I was led to believe that this past week I’d be working on set of a 
    project in its final stages that began last summer.  However, the director never scheduled it, and that worked out just fine.  I was sick half the week and am finally feeling on the mend.  Thank God.  At this point in my life, when I get sick, I worry that it’s indicative of something awful.  But I think I’ll be okay.  I am grateful.

    A number of you have asked me about the “Mob Mentality” show and 
    where you can see it, etc.  I will share info as I get it.  Right now there’s a hold on that because the cinematographer had to leave town.  Not sure if they are replacing him or waiting for his return.  If you’d like to see their Facebook page, here it is:

    Next Friday, June 21st, the Bronx Council on the Arts is having a celebratory event for the Bronx Memoir Project vol.3.  I have a thin slice of memoir in there.  I may be asked to read it aloud.  I was welcomed to bring one guest.  I asked my darling Frida, who I miss. 

    We used to work at a job together.  She was a very caring and helpful counselor where I taught.  The “passionate” and “sincere” attract each other.  (See last blog  She said yes!  Yay.

    My memoir material is not usually funny, and for sure, the slice in this anthology is not funny.  For those who think a comic can make anything funny, I doubt I’ll live long enough to be able to do that.  The only family members who ever made it into my comedy so far is my ex-husband and my Grandma’s plans to get me married off.  I don’t have the ability at this time to use my childhood traumas as comedy.  If it’s still hurting, it’s not funny.

    I’ve seen aspiring comics try to use things as material when it was not ready.  Not funny.  I’ve seen aspiring comics get angry at the audience for not finding their unsatisfied hard-on funny.  I was in a show with someone who yelled at the audience, “I’m horny.”  I saw the women look concerned.  I felt disappointed that the person who booked the show had this guy up there.  I have a good friend who doesn’t take the stage but is so funny.  When he’d have an unsatisfied hard-on, he’d tell me about the conversation he had with his penis.  THAT was hilarious.  It showed he took responsibility for his own arousal, no one in an audience would’ve felt uncomfortable, and it was fuckin’ funny.

    If you appear as "Unknown" in the comments, please include your name in the comment.  Thanks.

    Can't seem to fix the font problems a few paragraphs up.

    Love to CGG-M 

  3. Do It With Passion

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019

    When I saw this, I was immediately reminded of a place I once worked as 
    an instructor. 

    As time went on, it became apparent that my students were very happy in my class and made much progress.  The administration saw that and gave me more classes.  However, they were mystified at my success with my adult students.  Yet, I was not welcomed to be on the staff development committee for years even though I expressed interest.  That changed toward the end of my time there when we had a director who was able to appreciate me.  I didn’t doubt that the staff could create lesson plans and curricula; it was the relationships with students that needed attention in my view.  Most of the teachers welcomed and enjoyed what I did.  Some administrators (who also taught) looked very annoyed.  Some didn’t attend.

    Eventually I was mocked by administration for being “passionate” and 
    “sincere.”  Yes, you read that right.  Everything my students loved about me apparently annoyed some admin people.  It should have been a good experience working at that place, but at best it was a very mixed bag.  My joy was with the students.  They were generally so appreciative.  Seeing them excited about learning and creating with the written word thrilled me and them.  I approached many administrative tasks with equal enthusiasm, but there was often resentment.  Yet they seemed to like the good results.  Whether it was calling students or making a celebration or working on a committee for a project with our parent organization or planning a staff development session, I like to do my best.  Otherwise, it feels meaningless.  Plus when I sign my name to something, I like to feel proud.  If that’s a problem, that is sad.

    I guess my point is I don’t know how anyone in the helping professions can 
    do a meaningful job without sincerity and passion.  For those depending on sincerity and caring, it is a nightmare to find neither.

    In the acting part of my life, if there is no passion and sincerity, bye, bye.  They are not interested in phony baloney.  It’s so disturbing that the education field would accept (and sometimes prefer) anything less than sincere and passionate.

    Since I also do comedy, and comedy often comes from unfunny shit, here’s a clip of comedy about this crap.  Enjoy.

    Please plan to come to my comedy show on City Island on 9/13 @ 7:45pm.  
    Ten bucks to enter.  Basket or jar passed around for the comics.  Lots of laughter and intelligent comedy.

    Love to CGG-M 

  4. ain't twenty no mo'

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019

    Did a ten-hour day doing background work for “In the Heights.”  I’m glad I did it, but man, it’s hard on the body.  Arrived before 11am.  Went to wardrobe, hair, and make-up.  Hair people liked my hair the way it was.  Make-up people too.  That felt good that I do some things right on my own.  The wardrobe people gave me a t-shirt more suitable for the scene.  I was a protester at the way refugees are being treated upon arrival in this country.  But after hair, make-up, and wardrobe, I waited all day in a cold, air-conditioned auditorium, in seats that were hard to sleep in, before we finally shot the scene in the early evening.  It is known as “hurry up and wait.”  They fed us breakfast and snacks (we went out for our lunch).  But this went on for about eight hours before shooting.  I felt it.  I need the money and like the film and the people I interacted with, but dayam, it was hard on my body.  I ain’t twenty no mo’.

    The director was a nice man.  He seemed very fair and a people person.  
    When we were shooting and doing run-throughs, he and all the assistants were good to work with.

    The mob show I’m cast in lost their cinematographer due to a personal 
    emergency requiring him to leave NYC, and things are on hold for the moment.  I believe he was the camera man at the audition, and the vibes were really good.  Sorry he won’t be the one I’d be working with.  I am looking forward to playing Gina Ferrari when things are rolling again.  A Brooklyn Italian who probably voted for the orange one.  I love an acting challenge.  Plus the truth is that the things she says are things most of us have unfortunately heard in our youth.  Someone’s got to play that character, and I’m glad to be cast.  I hope things get rolling again soon.  It’s so much more interesting to be a character than to be background, but I do what I have to. 

    That photo shoot I had two weeks ago was pleasant to do, but I don’t love 
    the results.  I think she does, but her needs were different.  In photos, I don’t love my hair.  In person, it looks silvery.  In photos, it looks white.  Maybe if it didn’t have other meaning, I’d feel differently.  This one is one of the better ones and is acceptable while small.  I received it larger and saw every single flaw.  She didn’t want me to wear much make-up and she wanted my hair the way it is because she was going for mature.  I guess I have an image in my mind of how I look and don’t easily accept the effects of aging. 

    It’s not just the hair; it’s the weight gain and extra chins and warts…  At 
    this point my best buddy would say something like, “Great personal ad.”  And I’d say, “Call me,” and we’d both crack up.  

    love to CGG-M <3 

  5. Reminded

    Saturday, May 25, 2019

    I admit, on an ordinary day where I’m just running to the store or doing laundry or whatever, I tend to go around looking crappy.  In my younger years, I would not have even gone to the lobby to check the mail without fussing with make-up, etc.  But in later years, it feels like a vacation from street harassment to just look plain to unattractive.  I get to walk around as a person.  No one expressing lust or hostility or lust and hostility as I get a prescription filled, take out garbage, get a slice of pizza.  It feels rather peaceful.

    Then again, if I run into someone I haven’t seen in a long time, I sometimes feel like damn, why couldn’t I have looked good today.  Why can’t I look good and have peace?  Oh yeah, the patriarchy.

    Yesterday I was meeting with a photographer who wants to expand her 
    work to include mature people.  She liked my look with my silver hair and wanted to photograph me.  I’d receive new head shots and a small payment for my time.  I’m lucky that over the years, most of my photos have been free. 

    So yesterday, I looked good and headed out toward the D train.  A male 
    voice from behind me:  “I like your hair.”  As he was alongside me, I acknowledged him with a nod.  He continued, pointing to the gray hair in his own beard, “I like that gray.  Be proud.  With all we been through, we earned it.”  And he continued on his way.

    I had to smile to myself.  It didn’t feel like harassment even though he 
    probably wouldn’t have said that to a gray-haired man.  It didn’t feel lustful and dangerous.  Nothing about his tone or his movements felt threatening.  Some older men are more aware and sane than their younger selves.

    I met the photographer at the High Line near 9th Avenue.  We had a good 
    session.  She was very enthusiastic which helped me get it up.  When I’m not engaged with anyone (like on the train ride downtown), I tend to live deep inside, and my face looks sad or angry.  It takes inner work to not look that way.  Her enthusiasm helped.  I’ll receive the photos in about a week.  Looking forward to it.

    I got back to my Bronx in the evening.  I picked up food and was heading 
    home when another older man (this one more out there than the earlier guy) who was sitting on his stoop, said, “Hello sexy mama.”  That didn’t feel the same as the earlier man’s words as it isn’t something one should say to a stranger.  I normally would’ve zipped past.  This is someone who I see regularly in the neighborhood, so I nodded hello with a bit of a sigh.  I’m tired of fighting, but I would’ve preferred it if he’d just have said “hello.”  Then he added, “I know you were fine in your day because you’re still fine now.” 

    I felt he was using restraint and keeping it clean.  He is probably a better 
    version of himself than he must’ve been in his younger years.  I didn’t feel concerned that he’d be following me or any of that.  That’s a big difference from how it felt when I was younger.  However, the whole thing reminded me of how much less mental privacy I have outside when I look good.  I’m usually not up for it. 

    Happy birthday to my mother in Heaven.  5/25.  You live inside of me.  I have a candle 
    burning for you today.

    Love to CGG-M every day! 

  6. I'm "A Mobster's Wife"

    Tuesday, May 14, 2019

    Hey people.  The series I’m cast in shoots a scene I’m in next week.  Exciting!  Then another scene in June that I’m in.  I play a mobster’s wife.  LOL.  It’s funny to me because I don’t want to be anyone’s wife in real life, never mind a mobster’s.  My ex was problematic enough.  I like being my own wife.  She’s great.  Not in the housework department, but that’s not the most important thing.

    This Friday, I am going to be working on a sizzle reel that began last 
    summer.  We thought we were done shooting, but more is needed.  I’m glad we are going to see this to completion.  I’m dying to see the footage and use it in a reel.  I cried on camera when we shot last summer.  The scene was with my angry “son” and it echoed much of real life, so it was easy to cry.  It actually would have been harder not to cry.  I received a lot of praise for my acting, but I felt compelled to tell them I was actually reacting.  The director told me that was what good acting is.

    I admit I haven’t been on the comedy stage in a while.  I also haven’t 
    written new material in quite a while.  I have to work on that. 

    Lots of challenges in my life.  Trying to just blog about the positive.  But 
    things are not just hunky dory.  I’m grateful for many things.  But I have many challenges.

    To all those who are feeling depressed, limit how much news you watch.  
    Put on a game show or a comedy or turn off the tv.  It’s toxic to have a narcissist in the White House supposedly leading the country.  I know this on many levels.  Seriously.

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, mark your calendars for 
    September 13th.  I’m putting together a comedy show on City Island.  It’s a lovely area of the Bronx – a fishing community. 

    I would love to see you there.  Details to come.  Laughter absolutely 

    With appreciation, Mindy

    Love to CGG-M 

  7. Things Are Happenin'

    Sunday, May 5, 2019

    Many of you know my good news, but for those of you who don’t …

    My role is a recurring one.  I feel encouraged.  I also feel blessed because 
    the director is definitely a special person.  When auditioning, her presence allowed me to do my best.  From the moment she said hello, I felt her spirit like sunshine warming me. 

    The last time I had a director whose presence made me feel like that was 
    at a teaching job.  I was lucky to have her for four years.  I may have done some of my best work at that job when she was there.  It’s something about feeling appreciated.  It makes a huge difference.

    Last night I had an interesting interaction with someone I’m connected 
    with on Facebook but never met in real life.  He lives down South but grew up in Manhattan (NYC).  He does comedy.  I do comedy.  I didn’t know he does comedy when I saw his post that he wanted to do a documentary on a topic I believe is crucial.  I was reminded of a book from many years ago.  I responded to his post about the book.  He very excitedly responded back that he had loved that book, forgot about it, and thanked me for reminding him.  Later he private messaged me. 

    Well, he has friends in Manhattan, and he heard my name numerous times 
    as a comic.  So when I commented on his post, he had recognized my name, and I am flabbergasted!!!  He wants to coordinate something down South and wants me to be a part of it. 

    I feel so validated.  When I started out in comedy -- maybe I just 
    connected with folks who I’m not in sync with, but I felt like an outsider.  I felt like I’d landed in a male locker room.  One talented woman chose not to work with me because she “didn’t want to upset the guys.”  If Richard Pryor allowed upsetting the whites stop him, we’d never have heard him.  Others backed off without being so honest.  Another would introduce me at a mic as a “feminist” in a tone that sounded like a warning.  Some young guys were threatened and unkind.  Several mature men told me that as you rise up, that shit doesn’t go on as much.  I was grateful to hear that and thrilled to feel supported.

    Some uptight people  didn’t like my language.  I’m rated R.  Maybe R+.  Other folks (audience members) told me they liked how I talked to them and not at them.  My adult students liked that about me as well.

    My experience doing comedy was different than some others.  I had been 
    a teacher of adult students when I began, I had already been a poet, writer, and actress, and comedy was an avenue of free expression to me.  I wasn’t in need of laughs as much as in need of expressing certain things.  Of course I made it funny.  Laughs happened. 

    I'm not in comedy to do knock-knock jokes.  I have shit to say.  I don't pick on people who society has already squashed -- that doesn't make me laugh.  If it doesn't make me laugh, I don't use it.  Shedding light on the oppressors is where my material lies.

    Hearing that I’m being spoken of in other parts of the country is exhilarating!!!  

    (love to CGG-M)