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At a recent comedy show there was a table of disruptive people. They weren’t heckling the comedians directly, just talking animatedly amongst themselves. This seemed odd since this wasn’t a random bar show. It was a fundraiser with tickets sold in advance. These people had chosen to be there and yet their incessant chatter created a distracting undercurrent of noise that lasted the entire show... 

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I went to the cleaners the other day and as I pulled out my last item of clothing I saw a crumpled claim ticket in the bottom of the tote bag. I used to put my cleaners tickets on the refrigerator so I’d remember them, so of course I didn’t.  My refrigerator is a jumbled graveyard of baby pictures of grown people, save the date wedding invitations for divorced couples, calendars from the turn of the century, and business cards for defunct companies. I know. My refrigerator really needs to get its shit together. So I decided to put my cleaners ticket in the bottom of the bag of clothes to be taken out. Makes sense right? A good plan predicated on going to the cleaners on a fairly regular basis... Read the Post

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In Dunkin Donuts there was a Young Woman sitting at the table next to me. She was talking on her cell phone and upset because another girl had deliberately shoved her out-of-the-way to get on the bus. And in an I-can’t-take-it-anymore moment she shoved the girl back and they got into a fight. Tearfully she said, “This happens all the time. I don’t want to fight. This is not who I am. I’m sorry. This doesn’t happen when I’m with you. I feel safer with you.”

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A View From the Bridge

The first straight play (non-musical) I did in college was Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge. That was the semester I was supposed to be taking a break from theater to focus on my studies. I only went to the audition to help out as a reader. And because I had nothing to lose I gave it my all and I got cast in lead. And so it was a wonderful surprise when my then director and former professor recently invited me to see a matinée performance of the new Broadway production of the show at The Lyceum Theater.


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I’m geeked to be working in San Francisco this summer. They say its California’s version of New York, so I feel right at home in another city I can't afford to live in. Since it’s my first time in this bucket list city – I already gotchu, Minneapolis – I intend to make the most it. My first official tourist act was strolling through The Mission. Well, actually, the first Cali thing I did was go shopping at Ross. I bought an $8 dress that probably won’t last the week, but it's pretty and it made me happy. READ THE BLOG

 

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Hey Baby Girl

“Baby Girl.” That’s what James Evans, the father on Good Times, called his daughter, Thelma. Years later it’s also how Bernie Mac referred to his youngest niece on his self-titled TV show. Baby Girl is a familial term of endearment within the African-American community. In my family I’ve had many pet names including – but not limited to – Boo, Slow Poke, Madam, and She Who Must Be Obeyed 2.0. READ THE BLOG

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One day when I was waiting for the subway, a young woman with an expensive camera introduced herself as a Columbia University graduate student in its photojournalism program and asked permission to take my picture. If it was a scam – and I always think everything’s a scam – it sounded like a good one so I said, yes. When my train came and we were about to part ways I gave her my business card hoping she’d send me one of the pictures but equally sure I’d never hear from her again. But she emailed me that night and asked if I would be the subject of her day-in-the-life class project. Again, I said, yes. READ THE BLOG


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When I first heard about Zumba I didn’t pay it any mind because I wasn’t interested in another exercise fad. Remember when hot yoga was hot? Pilates? Pul-lease. I’m embarrassed now to think of how much I weakened my living room floorboards by trying to keep up with my Billy Blanks Tae Bo tapes. But when I got an opportunity to take a free Zumba class I figured why not... READ THE BLOG @ TheUrbanErma.com

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Gee, Thanks Officer

Okay, let me start by saying that I was wrong. I was wrong because I had pulled over into a bus stop. I didn’t want to but it was the only clear space on the block (on any block) since un-melted mounds of snow take up a lot of room. But I was lost and before I drove any further I wanted to make a phone call to verify the address of where I was going, and get my bearings.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE BLOG

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Crazy Bitches Hate Jellybeans

While my aging and ailing Honda Civic is in the shop getting some impromptu but very necessary repairs I had to rent a car. At 30 minutes to closing I took what was left on the lot, which happened to be an adorable, red Fiat 500 Sport. With an aversion to calling things by a number instead of a name – that perhaps hails back to Star Trek Voyager’s character, Seven of Nine – I’ve taken to calling my Fiat 500, Jellybean. With a car this tiny, food shopping at Costco is out. However, from a parking perspective, Jellybean is perfect for New York City. But not everybody is a fan.


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