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  1. Life in spite of Legionnaires

    Saturday, November 30, 2019

    Legionnaires is no joke.  I’m still dealing with it.  I’m not contagious as it’s 
    not a person-to-person thing.  Man oh man.  Just from all the resting, my body is de-conditioning.  When I walked to my voting place some weeks ago and walked back, I had Charlie horse almost everywhere including my gluteus. 

    Allowing myself to sleep as long as I can allows me to have many dreams.  
    Unfortunately, they have all been disturbing.  But better they get expressed than just stuffed inside.

    I had felt very hopeful for over a week of feeling much better.  Then I 
    caught a cold (which given the situation, doesn’t feel like just a cold), and I’ve been coughing so much.  My chest and rib area muscles are sore from all the coughing.  Lordy, Lordy.

    For Thanksgiving, I turned down two invitations from friends because the 
    holiday is too depressing for me.  I stayed home and pretended it was just a regular day.  That was the least problematic way for me to go this year.  The last time I accepted an invitation for Thanksgiving, I felt like I brought my depression with me and couldn’t contribute good spirit to the event.  I didn’t want to do that again.  Glad it is behind me.

    On a brighter note, for my friend Judy’s birthday, we went to see a 
    staged reading of “The Panic Defense” by Sam Affoumado.  It was very intriguing and well cast.  It was about the dangers of being gay, bi, trans, etc. in our homophobic society.  We were both glad we went to see it.  I love being with Judy no matter where we go.

    The next day I had plans to meet up with my poetry pal Robert Gibbons, a 
    very talented writer and good human being.  But I don’t feel good every day, and that day I didn’t feel well so I cancelled.  I miss out on much, but I have to listen to my body. The day after that, I didn’t get to a poetry workshop I had been attending.  More missing out.  I have to get better already. 

    I make plans with my hopeful self and then sometimes wonder why I made 
    plans.  I think what did I get myself into?  Climbing up train steps is so difficult, but I take it slow.

    Last Sunday I was in a Brevitas poetry festival at the Bowery Poetry Club.  My friend Mindy Levokove was in it too, and I was happy I’d be seeing her.  Additionally two friends attended.  Bernie, who had been a co-worker and office-mate at my last job, was there and enjoyed the whole event.  It was good to see him again.  Richard, a playwright and former co-worker of mine, also attended.  He enjoyed some of the event.  He stayed for my part of the reading and left before the event was over.  I understand that too.  The reading was three hours long, so if it doesn’t appeal to you, it feels very long.  I get it.  I was glad to be there and to be a part of the whole Brevitas community.  I connected with many people that were new to me.  I saw many who I don’t see often.  I have two copies of the anthology where five of my short poems live.  We had food and drinks afterwards and were able to talk to each other.  One of my favorite moments was when I said hello to Angelo Verga, and he took my hand and kissed it.  It’s really nice to be treated like that.

    In the pic below, not everyone remained until the end, so it is only part of the bunch.  I'm bottom center.

    The next day, my best buddy Bob helped me with many things.  One thing 
    was he drove me to a local shelter where I donated ten bags of my too-small clothes and five bags of my books and magazines.  That’s a lot of stuff out of my cluttered apartment.  Yay!  Thank you, Bob!

    The day after that, I went for a mammo.  (No comedy about that yet.) 

    Then that night, I performed comedy at the Producers Club.  The host, Micheal O'Rourke, introduced me as “the Queen.”  J  I admit I had a great set.  The audience members high-fived me when I stepped down.  I was pretty thrilled.  I met comics I didn’t know before.  A comedy friend, Mark, came to the show to support, so afterwards we went for coffee and talked lots about doing comedy.  I enjoy that as much as performing especially because we are on the same wavelength about things.

    I even made it to a poetry workshop at my friend David’s house the next 
    night.  I was very glad I went.  It was the night before Thanksgiving.  I brought a poem about killing a cockroach.  They had a good time with it, and I received helpful feedback.  We went to dinner afterwards at a Thai restaurant.  David and Jessica surprised me by treating.  I didn't expect that but truly appreciated it.

    The three days following, I’ve been home and trying to feel better.  Oy. 

    I have more to share, but next time.  Enjoy your long weekend.

    Big love to CGG-M!  

  2. Healing & Performing

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    The last time I saw my doctor for the Legionnaires, Thursday, I was 
    almost in tears when I told her I didn’t know if I was going to survive this.  She turned to me with a loving face and gentle voice and said, “You ARE surviving this.”  I looked at her and tried to inhale her.  I said, “I am trying to take all your positivity in.”

    She is an infectious disease doctor, and I would recommend her to 
    everyone.  She’s a human being and speaks to patients like they are as well.  I feel so lucky to be seeing her.

    On Friday, I received a surprise – a bag of food from Fresh Direct.  It was a gift.  It took a while to find out which angel sent it.  I was deeply touched and so grateful and teary-eyed.  She had researched on the Mayo Clinic website which foods would help my immune system fight this shit.  An amazing gift. 

    On Saturday, I worried that accepting a booking for Sunday night may 
    have been a mistake.  Saturday was also the day of my last antibiotic.  That day I slept more than almost any day.  I’d get up for a few hours and then go back to sleep.  This happened three times.  When I’m sleeping, I’m not doing anything bad for my body.  Lots of healing can take place.

    The next day, I woke up feeling better than I have felt in over two 
    months.  I went out for breakfast with my best buddy.  That night I performed in Randy Epley’s Comedy Dungeon show at Jazz on the Park Hostel.  The hardest part was the staircase in the train station.  I was glad I got there, performed, and watched the rest of the show.

    The next day, Monday, I again woke up feeling decent.  That evening, I 
    went to support Eddie Messanelli’s show at Otto’s Shrunken Head on 14th Street.  His new co-producer and co-host is Esteban Tino Romero.  I just wanted to watch the show.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Got to see people I hadn’t seen in a while and meet new people.  Eddie lives not far from me, so he gave me a lift home.  That really helps.

    Today, Tuesday, I, thank God/dess, again woke up feeling pretty okay. 
    had worried I wouldn’t feel well after the antibiotics were over.  I am so grateful I seem to be pretty okay.  Other than going to a few nearby stores, I stayed home today.  Wasn’t too productive, but the night isn’t over.

    Those of you who want to laugh and have a good time for not a lot of 
    money, I will be performing at the Producer’s Club on Tuesday, November 26th at 9pm.  Doors open at 8:30.  Only $5 cover.  Two VERY reasonable drinks minimum ($2- $9).  For this show, I do need a few guests.  Please make room on your calendar.  J

    Big love to CGG-M 

  3. In Spite of Challenges, Moving Right Along...

    Wednesday, November 6, 2019

    Well folks, I don’t know how well or not well I’m doing.  I know I’m not as 
    okay as I was before all this Legionnaires shit started.

    But moving right along, I’m part of the following and hope you’ll be 
    tempted to attend –

    Comedy Dungeon Show, a Randy Epley production, this Sunday, Nov. 10th 
    at 8:30pm, and it is FREE!  You can bring food and drink (yes, even alcohol), and have a seat and watch a free comedy show with visitors from other parts of the country and world at Jazz on the Park Hostel, 36 West 106 Street near Central Park West.  B or C train to 103 Street.

    Brevitas Festival of Short Poems, Sun., Nov. 24th at 2pm.  $10 cover 
    includes a copy of the anthology.

    See You Next Tuesday Comedy Show, produced by Hope Gutierrez, 
    Tues., November 26th at 8:30pm.  Only $5 cover!  Two very, very reasonable drinks minimum.  A bunch of funny people to tickle your funny bone at the Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street.

    Winter Comedy Show, produced by me, Mindy Matijasevic, Saturday, 
    December 28th at 8pm (arrive at 7:45pm).  The Artist, 249 City Island Avenue, City Island, Bronx.  Only $10 cover.  No minimum.  Jar or hat passed around for contributions so I can pay the comics.  Featuring Jillian Thomas, Shelly Colman, Ken Watter, and me.

    Much love to CGG-M

  4. To the Doctor & Beyond...

    Friday, November 1, 2019

    Well, I wish I can say I’m fine, but I’m not.  At least not yet. 

    I saw the infectious diseases doctor again, and she and I both thought it 
    was a good idea to give me another round of the killer antibiotics.  Plus she wants me to get a spirometer to exercise my lungs and get them back to capacity.  I like her which says a lot since I don’t like going to doctors generally.  But I needed my best buddy to take me.  When it comes to this stuff, I am like a five-year-old needing her mother.

    The legionella bacteria could be coming from my own faucets.  It is hard to know what to avoid because I don’t know where I got it.  I believe the Dept. of Health will be checking. 

    Proceeding with optimism, I will be in a poetry reading on November 24th 
    at 2pm at Bowery Poetry Club.  It is the celebration of the Brevitas anthology, full of poems 14 lines or less.  $10 admission for the public includes a complimentary copy of the 2019 anthology.

    On Saturday, December 28th at 8pm, warm up at the winter comedy show 
    at The Artist (formerly the Starving Artist Café) on City Island, which will be featuring:

    Jillian Thomas 


          Shelly Colman         


    Ken Watter 

    (probably without Elmo)

     & me 

    It is only $10 cover and NO minimum though they do sell light fare and 
    scrumptious desserts.  Later, a jar or hat is passed around welcoming contributions for the comics.  Laughter absolutely guaranteed!

    Big love to CGG-M