Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Vacation '08

It's no secret that I love New York City, but it gets a little much after a while, and it's great to escape.

Thankfully, my sister lives in pretty much the complete antithesis of New York City -Palmyra, VA.
This little town is right on Lake Monticello, which for those of you that need a history refresher is the estate of the late President Jefferson.

There's no public transportation, everyone seems to know everyone, it's warmer (well 20 instead of 10..ooooh wee!) and I'm hanging out with two kids under 8 years old and a dog. It's a nice change of pace going to bed at 11pm instead of a show.

Last night my nephew asked my sister and I to take him caroling. This was quite the sacrifice for me, not because of the embarrassment or the chilly weather, but I was smoking a really nice Monte Cristo with my brother-in-law which I had to put down because it's a little odd for carrolers in the first place, but one with a stogie seems even more out of place.

We went to the houses that had the cool lights and sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town. We were well recieved. It made me think of what the responses would be if I did this in Queens. Here's my theories of how it would go:

Apartment 1 - door slammed in face
Apartment 2 - "We have no money!"
Apartment 3 - "Que?"

Well, I'm off to go make some sort of confectionary with a hyperactive 7 year old.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate
have great holidays and regular days to all else.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thoughts on a Fallen Friend

Four months ago to the day today my best friend Joe Powers put on one of the best performances I’d ever seen- this after a week of marathon performances.

For 8 days prior we hung out putting all time and efforts we had into being funny in terms of stand up and sketch to co-produce shows with our sketch group, The Ultimate Experts.

Joe is also my neighbor, and not unlike a sitcom stereo type there were often random drop-ins where I would find myself going about my day and then Joe would be there to eat lunch with me, or distract me with a beer.

On that night four months ago the experts didn’t have their celebration shot that we normally have together afterwards. We just went straight to partying, talking to friends and audience alike. The show we run at the Producer’s Club is a monthly (kinda bi-monthly) which takes place on Fridays at 10pm and ends around midnight. By the time we’ve cleaned up and shut down the bar it’s around 1 or 2 am and we’re all pretty high from the rush of putting on a major production.

That night Joe and I went out on the town with two other pals and had some fun moments, deep conversation, and beer – this could’ve pretty much have read like any other evening we’d shared except for two things:
1. The show was phenomenal that night.
2. Joe fell three stories onto concrete at about 5am

It’s still traumatic to write about, but it’s even worse to think about when you have the actual visual of him lying there in blood. All I could think was, “Not Joe.”

But, alas, it was Joe Powers.

He survived the fall, and after four months has been in and is now out of a coma, couldn’t move the left side of his body – and is now working with therapists to walk, couldn’t talk and is now speaking.

The mind is a really amazing thing, and how the body can heal after such trauma is truly an awesome thing to watch. It’s been a roller coaster these past four months. Joe has his good days and his bad, but he’s moving forward each day – which is something I’m very grateful for.

The thing that makes it all hard, and I’m going to sound selfish, is – I don’t have that best friend around anymore. I went from an everyday pal to a once a week mostly one-sided chat.

It’s hard to go to mics and parties sometimes because I catch myself thinking one of two things:
1. This would be a lot more fun if Joe were here.
2. I really hope no one falls off the building tonight.

Talk about awkward, like that’s not the kinda reputation any gal would want.
“What kinda gal is Sue Funke? – Well, don’t invite her to a party if you wanna walk away from it.”

Oh, that’s awful to think, but really, I just never wanna see that kinda thing twice.

I’m just glad Joe is safe now and recovering, and I hold onto great hope that there will be a day where Joe and I get to do another open mic together, take the train home, grab some tacos off a truck and watch America’s Funniest Home Videos while we discuss comedy and life.

So, what do I want for Christmas?
A hair dryer.
Oh, and Joe Powers. I’d like a fully recovered Joe Powers. I miss him very much.

So, if any of you brain surgeons out there can figure out how to accelerate Traumatic Brain Injury healing, I would really REALLY love that Christmas miracle.

And now some of my favorite moments from the August 22nd Ultimate Experts show:

Joe as Father Barnabus Dempsey

Joe and I play a couple and other dorky things from my Dungeons and Dragons sketch.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13th in the life of Sue Funke: '08 Edition

I'm playing with titles, what do you think?

Anyway, here's the slapdash rundown:

12pm- Brunch with Mr. Welch at a French place in Greenwich Village: Lovely

1pm - Time for leisurely shopping (translation~I can't feel my legs, I really need to buy some tights, a hat, some gloves.) Oh hey here's the store I have $15 credit at, I'll go here...
Oh crap, I can't find the credit : Ugh.

2pm - Call Mama Funke to let her know I'm alive/get laundry/discuss life and comedy with Mara Herron : Busy, busy, busy*

3pm - Meet fellow Ultimate Expert Arthur Carlson on the R to visit pal Joe Powers: Ramblin' on

3:30-5:30pm - Talk to my pals Joe and Art : Bittersweet

6pm -Get the tights you realize you can't continue on without/ Pick up voice recorder, it's a two show night, you should use it! : Chilly

7pm - Watch Lil' Seany Boy Show at Ochi's. It's free and you can get fountain style cherry coke, mmmm. Oh, and it's also got the gang from Don't Touch Me There hosting great comedians. :Hilarious

9pm - Perform on Family hour w/ Auntie Sara at Ochi's. I go up first, tell stories about my brother Mike and his son Chris. It's the first time I've told like 90% of the story I tell on stage. Completely forget to record it. : Boneheaded yet Blissful
(Sure, I missed recording the good story, but at least I know I can tell a good story. It'll come again.)

10pm -Show for a private Jewish High School. Surprisingly great show, cause teacher to fall over laughing with my pathetic singleness stories. :Elated..but still forgot to tape the set!

11pm -Find a bus that takes me from Amsterdam Avenue to Astoria in 15 minutes, reducing travel time allowing to go home and get to bed. : Priceless.

2am - Why, WHY why am i still awake after that long of day?

*This is taken from the Bokonist religion. A fictional religion created by my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, in my favorite book Cat's Cradle.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stand Up About Quitting Smoking

I have not had a cigarette since May 14th, 2008.

As many loyal reader's know, this is pretty great
because I was pretty freakin' addicted.

Here's a story about why I'm a little dangerous without a cigarette in my mouth...

The Funke Family Thanksgiving

As my brother wrote in the evite "When We Remember Why We Only Do This Once a Year"
...and honestly, I shouldn't eat anymore, nor should I sleep.
I ate every minute I wasn't sleeping, and slept like 18 hours a day this Thanksgiving break.

I'm glad we don't Thanksgiving everyday, but I'm very thankful for my Thanksgiving this year.

When I was awake I enjoyed children that aren't mine.
Oh man, nieces and nephews are great, but parenting looks exhausting
and that's with my brother and sister and their spouses makin' it look pretty good
because we were all able to have a ton of fun playing board games and drinking...when the kids were in bed.

My brother's house is pretty much my happy place. My sister-in-law T is an amazing hostess and makes you feel at home. She's the kinda hostess that's like, "Oh, you want cookies? Here are some fresh baked."
"Dips sound good right? Here are three amazing dips freshly made and delicious."
My brother's DVR has MASH, 30 Rock, Cheers (which I CAN'T FIND on my cable lately.) Heroes and House... we really are related.

I got to see my niece Mallory who I hadn't seen for about a year. She's two and now speaks. She's like this adorable little doll that can point to me and say my name and unconditionally love me. It's so neat that she's able to do all this now, and makes me think back to when my other niece Taylor was that age.

My niece Taylor is now 11 and probably my favorite person ever. We went into Hot Topic during a trip to the mall, which I didn't tell her, was a major sacrifice.
At 26 years old (I'm less than a week to 27 people, get psyched for the birthday blog.) I should not be allowed in such a tweeny store. But we walked in and my niece envoked Jim Gaffigan for a joke on the store's name.
She goes, "ah yes, Caliente Topic!" (to the tune of Hot Pockets) when the staff didn't laugh, she noted, "These people sure work hard at not caring."
How great is that?
I freakin' love my niece.

Time with the family was well spent, but as always, it's good to be back in NYC.
Every time I leave, I just get soooo happy to come back.
I guess that's a sign when you know you're truly home.

Well, actually, when I get home to my apartment I found cat crap on the kitchen floor and their hair all over my bed.

Oh the joys of long haired cats and home.
(I'm still happy to be back...and that I got to spend time away, with my family.)

Stand up from August 2008...

I've been busy!

Me discussing online dating....

and more on The Expertz Channel

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My New Favorite Site

Um, this site is absolutely delicious:


I highly recommend checking out the Turbaconducken.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vegas "Vacation", Part 5 - Last Night in Town...

And now the thrill conclusion, of
Sue Funke's Vegas "Vacation"

On Sunday I woke up hung over and unable to sleep. I got up, drank the Vitamin Water I procured for a measily $3(!) from the vending machine at 5:30 am, and proceeded to haphazardly fumble through my room packing my possesions.

Around 10:30ish I walked to Gina's room, which was now my room as well. The work part of our vacation was completely over. We're paying for this night's stay. We have the day to do whatever we want in Las Vegas.

We walk to the pool. Gina in her oversized glasses. Me with the glasses I got from Duane Reade one night because I thought they were super cool, only to go home and find they were High School Musical 2 brand sunglasses. Apparently my style is in the same target demographic as my niece, and I'm getting off subject...

En route to poolside we receive a message from our fellow co-workers Madeleine and Elana. They're up, and they've got confirmation - we can get tickets to see The Beatles LOVE Cirque-de-Soleil for a great discount.

We change route and meet them at the concierge desk where we quickly purchase the last 5 discounted seats - the extra ticket for co-worker Dennis.

That night walking into the show I'm bouncing. Already I'm wide eyed and feel happiness head-to-toe like a 5 year old about to get birthday cake.

The show did not disappoint.

Ok, so you really have to see it to get it, I'll never do it justice but here are my highlights
(Note: I was not under the influence of anything at the time of viewing this show, scout's honor, cross my heart, etc.)

-They play the song Octopus's Garden and the entire theater begins to feel as though you really are underwater floating with an octopus in his garden, in the shade.

-For Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds there are strands of lights lowered which flicker along to the beat of the song - sparkling as if they're diamonds scattered across the sky.

-The benefit of Mr. Kite was acted out in a manner that was amazingly fitting to the spectacle put forth in the song's lyrics.

-At the end, I teared up seeing the images of the Beatles flashed upon the large scrims.

After this purely magical experience, we went to Ceaser's Palace with another fellow co-worker (we all seriously do get along quite well) LL and her boyfriend Andrew. There we ate a lovely Italian meal under a faux sky by the Fountain of the Gods.
There was even a fake sunset.

After dinner we walked over to the Belagio to see the beautiful glass ceiling installation we had heard a lot about.
In order to get to the Lobby though we had to cross, you guesses it - a GIANT casino.
At the point I was surpassing sensory overload and was about to go into total bitch face if I had to stand by one more machine flashing lights at me. I had enough. I wanted to see art.

I walked off towards the lobby with the agreement that we'd all loop back there in twenty minutes. As I was crossing through I saw signs for many things, but the one that seemed like utopia calling to me was the art gallery they had on premises. There were signs boasting modern art from artists I genuinely enjoy and walked even faster through in hopes that in this city that really doesn't sleep, the art would be open late.
Sadly, it closes at 10pm, not 12:30am as I was hoping as I stood by the ropes at 12:15.

I walked to the lobby and to this fall installation walk-through. It was anti-climatic, but better than a casino.
Then, I heard the song Piano Man, and looked over to see a piano bar with an actual piano man singing the song. It was an ironic sight for my Long Island eyes to see, but felt like a little piece of home was in Vegas at that moment.

Not too long after that Gina and Dennis came to the lobby to inform me that everyone had caught gambling fever, but Gina. So, my roomie, Miss Gina, and I walked along the Belagio lake (sans fountains which end at midnight on Sundays) and over towards our hotel when we ran into what can only be summed up as the completion of my Vegas experience -

BOTH a Marilyn Monroe AND an Elvis Presley impersonators. Gina took my photo with them, which they promptly asked to get tipped for, they also then wanted to chit-chat with us, which got a little tiresome cause we were both exhausted and didn't really intend to spend the rest of our night discussing the weather in New York.

We truthfully just wanted to sleep, because the night couldn't have been any better than if we had asked for the best. As we prepared to crash in our seperate cloud-like queen beds Gina turned to me and said - the biggest loss of this trip is if we didn'tt spent our money the way we did that night.

Sure, I had to make every meal ahead of time for the week with every spare second I had this weekend. But all that money spent is worth the wonderful time I had.

Would I go back to Vegas?
I hope never to have to again.

I did all I needed to do there, thank you very much.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vegas "Vacation", Part 4 - Who the F is Danny Gans?

The conference room I'm in at the Mirage is across from the Danny Gans theater.
There are posters everywhere you look it seems touting his entertainment genius.
He's billed as Vegas's best comedian as well.

The clips they play of him though, beg to differ.

He's awful.
It's basically bad impressions and - he sings while he impersonates - and his album is called My Lord, My Life.

This dude's got his own theater named after him to showcase his crap - where's my theater??

So, who is Danny Gans?
My nemesis.

Vegas "Vacation", Part 3 - The Beatles Love Bar

There are some things that actually do cater to me here in Vegas.
One major one is the show Love.

I was quite the Beatles fan in my youth, at times I even styled myself like John Lennon (long hair and round glasses), and learned about bright blue eyeshadow from the scandalous Mrs. Pattie Boyd Harrison- Clapton.

Unfortunately, as much as I love the Beatles, I also really like eating and living in an apartment, so I can't really afford to see the spectacular show which is in the Mirage where I'm staying.

I was willing to go to the Beatles-themed bar Revolution in lieu of the show.
My image of the bar was a haven of Beatles music, pictures of the Beatles, perhaps even Beatles-themed drinks. (Perhaps a fun fruity drink called Octopus's Garden)

Unfortunately, the bar is really just a pink/purple lit lounge with over priced drinks and standard music playing. I did still enjoy hanging out there with my co-workers and my $13 Maker's Mark on ice.

And I must say, the music throughout the hotel, not just the bar, is really very good. There are many cameras around the hotel which have captured me dancing around. Especially in the elevator. Who knew? Elevator music can be good!

Vegas "Vacation", Part 2 - Fountains

When you're in Vegas one of the things people tell you that you simply must do is go see the fountains at the Bellagio.
Being the skeptic that I am, I'm thinking:
Ooooh a fountain. Been there, run through that. No big whoop.

Then, as I was passing it I heard the music, and saw how the streams of water shoot up in beautiful synchronicity and was quite honestly wowed.

It made me start looking at the entire town differently. It is extremely bizarre all the grandiose architecture ripped from the greats around the world, but it's also kinda cool to see it all piled up in one crazy place.

As for "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" it officially went to the point of absurdity when at the cocktail hour for work (I know I have such a tough job) one of the servers at the food station pointed to a wasabi mayo and said it was a perfect pairing with the dumplings.

"I'm not really supposed to have spicey food," I say cautiously, wantingly staring at the green mayo.

"Well, it is Vegas, whatever happens here stays here."

Apparently, it's not just actions, now it's also ailments.
I'm gonna go run through some siringes now - this really is a magical place!

...ok I'm not really gonna run through siringes, but I feel like they'd have that around here, it might be "off strip" but they have it.

I'm gonna go to my all day meeting now.
I'm wild!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vegas "Vacation", Part 1 - The 501st Choice

I'm in Vegas this weekend for a conference for work.
I love going to these work conferences. It's fun to see new cities and meet the writers I often only ecommunicate with.
But if you were to ask me to name 500 places I'd want to go visit, Vegas wouldn't be on the list. There's something about it that seemed to me to be like Midtown on crack.

I tried to get into the spirit though. Before the trip I took lessons on blackjack from one the writer's, and I booked a ticket on the "fun, sexy airline" Virgin.

But as soon as I landed here this afternoon, I wanted to turn around and go back to New York.

Maybe it was because the cab line was longer than that of JFK and it was go see fake New York that irked me. We drove along highways that advertised shows with inflated prices, hotels that all seem so excessive, and then we get to our hotel, The Mirage.

It's lovely here, but there are so many tourists, and they all walk sooo slooow.
The food is more over priced, except Orbit gum seems to be the same price, which is good.

I should also mention I don't really gamble. So the slot machines just kinda serve as a walk through headache.

In hopes of easing my misanthropic angst co-worker Dennis and I went to lunch at BLT, an amazing burger place in the Mirage. The burger was delicious, as was the beer we got in hopes of mellowing me. Now I just kinda feel like a bloated misanthrope.

Maybe I'm just over tired.
Whatever it is, I have to turn this frown upside down and find some good in this town. Cause I'm here until Monday and my goal is to have as much fun as possible.
I guess it's time to order that whore, or make nice to a business traveler.
(thanks for the advice Willy B)

I think I'll just settle for doing what I love doing when I travel. Watching local news on a comfy bed.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Debbie Says The Darndest Things

I called my pal Debbie last night to catch up and make plans to see each other because I miss my former college roommate's face. The following is a transcript of one portion of our call:

Me: So, yeah we went on a date and had a great time.

Debbie: I'm really happy for you!

Me: Don't you wanna ask me anything else about him?

Debbie: How does he feel about domestic abuse?

Me:....(laughter) I was thinking more about what does he do for a living, but I am pretty sure he's anti domestic abuse.

Debbie: Well, it's important to find out about that kinda thing early.

I think Debbie maybe watching too much Lifetime.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Do's and Dont's of Comedy

Last night I was reminded of things not to do as a comedian when booked on a show.
I will list them now so we all learn:

-Do Not arrive an hour into the show
-Do Not talk with your friends in the back loudly
-Do Not insist on doing time if the host says the show is tight and might not be able to put you up and offers you a better spot next time.
-Do Not "make fun" of a person in a coma by saying "He's dead." and then turn on the audience of the coma patient's friends when they don't find this amusing
-Do Not blame the host for your poor performance
The proper etiquette is:

-Show up on time
-Be a courteous audience member and listen. If you need to talk to a friend, whisper or remove yourself from the venue.
-Listen carefully to what the host says to you regarding the show
-Never turn on the audience
-Don't do jokes about an illnesses unless you can do so in a personal manner. Even then you toe the line of depressing the fuck out of people. The point of comedy is levity, not being a fucking offensive asshole.

It's funny but I learned that even so-called "professionals" have no idea of these basics.
It just goes to show you that common courtesy is just the best way to go in any setting, and if you lack that, you're gonna end up losing.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's Fall, and I Eat Too Much Bacon

This morning I switched from iced coffee to hot coffee,
I also wore a t-shirt, skirt and no coat and froze my ass off.
It's officially Fall!

I also have been eating a lot of bacon lately
and not at all have I been satisfied with the bacon I've eaten
I'm chasing the bacon taste when it's done to perfection -
Big Sis Jen Z and Greg make the absolute best bacon ever
they have this great pan for it, and they put a screen over the pan..

I need to get married, for nothing else but the kitchen supplies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Open Letter to My Neighbors

I've been home the past three days with flu-like symptoms, after I tried to battle off a cold all week.
I'm exhausted, running a slight fever, and experiencing more of neighbors than I'm used to.
I'm used to coming home at 11pm (or later) and passing out, waking up around 7am and leaving shortly after.

So, all this time home has really made me want to say a few things to them. But since my throat is killing me and I'm not a confrontational person I will say it all here.

Dearest Neighbors,

I'm really happy that you get to spend so much time at home. It's good to know you enjoy your apartment.

I am also excited that you, too, love Madonna. As much as I enjoy the Immaculate Collection, I really think you're trying to push me over the "Borderline" here with how often and loud you're playing it.

If there is one small favor I could ask of you, could you please move the cart you use to load up all your groceries in? It's blocking the delivery guys who are coming to my door.
Oh? The delivery guys are bugging you. Well, maybe I wouldn't be so hungry if you weren't constantly grilling. I love a cook-out as much as anyone, but you seriously have grilled food every single day, for almost every meal. I think the only reason you skip breakfast is because you're busy outside hanging out your underwear, which is lovely, but -um, still not quite clean.

Thanks so much for being my neighbor. Perhaps, now that we're in contact - I could come to a bbq? Maybe the one you are having between 7-8? Well, if not that one I'm sure there will be another at 9.

Your Neighbor,
Sue Funke

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I just want you to like me

So, I talk a lot to my friends about how I feel that most people really don't care for me. I feel it's for several reasons.
-My need to make almost everything a joke
-I'm kinda nosey and annoying
-I'm neurotic and think most people don't like me.

My pal Blythe took this color test and sent it on to me, and not only did it peg me on that, a couple of other things too.
I'm not usually into this kinda stuff, but it's interesting - check it out:

ColorQuiz.comSue took the free personality test!

"Wants to make a favorable impression and be regard..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Women's Revolution

Ok ladies, listen up! We need a revolution, and we need it now.
Keep your bras on.
Seriously, we need as a collective to stop letting men make us feel like shit. I'm tired of it. I love all you female pals so dearly, because you're not a piece of annoying crap. Yet, somehow all of you end up with guys that make you feel so less-than. It's time to stop.

Here's some tips to help lead the revolution.

1. Don't let anyone change you. - If you feel yourself going towards the darkside whenever you're around your significant other, run away! Come towards the light my sisters! Relationships should make you a better person, or help you feel good about who you are. If you've lost sight of who you are take a step back away from the man and find yourself.

2. Never let anyone put you down. - And yes, sleeping with a person that's insulted you may constitute as that coveted "make up sex", but do you realize what you're forgiving? You're saying "I accept you treating me badly". Just like people who have "yes Men" following them around don't make it - women with negative men are not going to go as far as they can.

3. You are not alone. - If the reason you stay with a guy is because of the fear of being alone, please stop and realize you're not alone. Friends are people who will always be there for you and make you smile when you need it. A lover doesn't always come with such a guarantee. Make sure to take time out to have fun with your pals.
AND being by yourself isn't such a bad thing. You learn a lot about what you like and dislike so that next time some jerkface comes along, you're more apt to spot them and send them on their way.

4. The only person that controls your mood and your actions is you. - If you say, "but he makes me feel -" Nope. You choose your mood. If you want to be sad about him, you're choosing it. Just like you're choosing your actions. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, you have a choice to let it or leave it. Personally, I'm saying leave it. There's more out there.

Now, I want to say that this decree today is spurned by not one friend's recent bad relationship, but several friends sour statuses with men, including ones of my own that are in the past. Which is possibly why I'm able to advise. I've got the wonderful hindsight kickin' in.

So, here's a mantra to remember when you're sad about something he's done.
You're the beautiful lady. You're the strong woman. You're the person that can choose whether or not you want to deal with this bull shit, and you can make it alone.
We're all a lot stronger than we think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Want My Tip Back

This weekend i was in Atlantic City for a Bachelorette Party.
Wild fun times were had.

But during this crazy mini vacation my gal pals and I took a cab from one Casino to another. The cabbie was pretty quick to get us from point A to point B so I gave him a a generous tip, $4 on an 11 dollar cab ride.*

As we get out the cab dude at the Trump hotel waved the cabbie down and pointed the next man in line over to that cab.

The man walked towards the car and the cabbie shook his head side-to-side furiously. The Trump cab dude opened the door for the man and the cabbie said, "no", and drove off.

The man was black who was about to get into the cab.

I watched this occur and kept saying, "No, that guy is next, let him in!" and when he didn't and drove off, I tried to go after the cab. Unfortunately, in heels I'm barely able to stand straight, so I didn't make it to get my four bucks back.

Ever since this happened I've been really pissed. I mean, I gave this dude four bucks because he was nice to me, and then he goes all racist and mean to someone else?

Not cool. I hope he spent the four dollars on a really crappy slot machine and lost everything he owns because it was an enchanted slot machine that can tell when someone's a jerkface and rips them off to the -enth degree.

Take that jerkface racist cabbie!

*For some reason, I often act like I'm Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven and live with the philosophy of, "It's not so much tipping I believe in, but over tipping". This may be one of the many reasons I'm broke. I'll just cross my fingers and hope tipping is good karma.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Astorian Pals

Within the past year two of my comedy pals have moved to Astoria: Joe Powers and Colin Dempsey.
On occasion these fella's and I enjoy a drink. This is a good thing/dangerous thing, because before they moved close we were known to drink more than our fair share. Now that we're in walking distance from each other, and off the same subway stop, well let's just say our livers may not enjoy us living around each other as much as we do.

About a month ago, Colin and his lady invited me and Joe over to a dinner party. Not wanting to do anything too crazy because I had plans the next day I said yes, thinking - it's just going down the block for some dinner, how crazy could it get?

Well, dinner wasn't too nuts. There were some other non-comics there that made conversation less focused on out-witting each other. A good time for all.

Until I found out about the next part of the dinner party...

"Ok, time for The Beer Garden!"

Wha? I had signed up for dinner, I could not possibly stay out late drinking at the beer garden. I politely declined and said I'd walk out with the group, but really must go home and get some rest.

"Oh come on now, just get one," Colin insisted in his thick Irish accent.

"Fine, just one," I replied.

When we got to the Beer Garden though, I realized I was in for a long night, as Colin handed me a pitcher of beer and said, "I said one, I didn't say what size that one would be."

Hours later and I'm drunk walking through the Burger King drive thru with Joe convincing the guy at the window we have an invisible mini van and need Whopper meals.

Colin's depiction of how my evening ended though is different, and false, but funny none-the-less.
Click here for picture of the three Astorian drunk comics and Colin's Story.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Still Smoke Free, Still Doing Comedy

Here's some updates with me:

I haven't had a cigarette since May 15th, 2008.
What I've learned so far- I'm a bitch.

Apparently, all of those years of smoking I was inhaling carcinogens and exhaling my bitch.
Now that I'm smoke free, I'm a little bitchy.

To hear about this and more humorous tales from a smoke-free Sue Funke, please visit my comedy schedule because I've got a lot of great comedy shows I'll be on soon in New York City!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Love TV More Than You

Dearest Loyal Sue Funke Readers,

I am so sorry I haven't been updating. There's a good reason. I'm working on a new blog that I'd love for you to check out:

I Love TV More Than You . com

It's got the current information on new TV shows and interesting tid-bits on old ones.

I will still be writing here the happenings of my daily life, but the TV blog is going to be my first blogging priority.

I love you all for reading my words.

The Sue Funke

Personal Essay

The following is a piece that I wrote for the Inner Monologues show. It's a monthly show in which a group of writers create a personal essay based on one theme. This month's theme:

Forgive Me My Wrong Doings and Deliver Me My Karma

As I lay on a local Long Island beach, my dear friend Debbie lays beside me in the sand and comments on how our mutual friend, Sam, has run into an old friend on the beach, “I can’t believe she ran into someone she knows here,” she remarks.

I bask in the sun as I retort, “It’s not at all really. I always run into someone I know when I come back to Long Island. It’s long, but narrow, you run into people you know, it’s inevitable.”

Debbie is leaning on her palms, squinting to observe the routine reunion she knows no part of in front of her. “You Long Islanders are weird,” she concludes, and lays back.

The sun grew hotter and my body sunk into the sand in a beautifully warm, comforting relaxation. As I started to drift with the ocean’s sounds I heard a familiar voice: the nasal voice of Veronica Chambers.

I have to say hello, I thought. She’s right in front of me. There’s no where to hide on a beach. Damn this skinny island.

“Hey Veronica!” I call out enthusiastically, getting not just her attention, but people within a thirty foot radius. There really is something about Long Islanders that make it impossible for us to not make a big show of uniting with each other.

“Oh my god. Sue! I wouldn’t imagine seeing you here in a million years. You’re all the way in the city. What are you doing here?”

“I’m here with my college pals,” I gesture and introduce the group.

She then launches into it. It being the one thing you fear when you run into a very old friend. The embarrassing old stories you have long forgotten, for good reason.

“I’ve known Sue for twenty years. Hey Sue, you know what story I’ll never forget? The day you, and Gina, taught me how to rollerblade.”

I shrink back. She pushes on, like the unstoppable Veronica I’ve always known. My friends listen on eagerly.

“You and Gina got so annoyed with me, because I was scared. I kept saying I didn’t want to do it and was going to get hurt. You yelled at me to shut up and finally had to bet me that I couldn’t stop talking for an hour. Then, after the hour was up I still didn’t talk and you guys begged me to talk, but I still wouldn’t and I went home crying.”

She comes up for air, and I jump in, “Now, I remember that.”

I stammer on trying to save myself, but I’m too late.

“That’s really mean!” Debbie exclaims.

“Well, to be fair, Veronica really did never shut up,” I say in my own pathetic defense.

“I was a pretty bad motor mouth,” Veronica she says as she looks over the rims of her glasses at Debbie, but the damage was done.

The sun moved and we all shifted into comfy sun spots. I lay in the sand suddenly feeling too hot to take it anymore. “Wanna go to the water Deb?”

“Yeah, I’m ready,” she says looking down at her burnt breasts.

We saunter down to the water, sucking guts and trying not to step on small children. We get to the water’s edge and stand there letting the frigid ocean lap against our ankles. Starring out at our friends jumping into and over crashing waves Debbie says, “So, you were a bully as a kid.”

My brow immediately furrows, “I-I don’t think so…Not really.” This idea of me being a bully was more jarring than the cold rushing tide that was creeping up to my legs. I think back to my early years. “Well…my imaginary friend’s name was Wussy.”

“There you have it,” Debbie said, closing her case. Smug with her own conclusion.

I never thought of myself as a bully before. It could be because from 6th grade on, I was a giant dork. Dorks aren’t bullies, we’re the bullied. But, to be fair – I wasn’t fully dorkified until the middle of 6th grade.

In sixth grade I was a chubby kid with purple glasses that were bigger than my brace face. My clothing, like always, was a little out of style. I wore leggings one year past their prime with sweaters that didn’t always cover the junk that I was carrying in my trunk. I developed early though, so I had breasts that were comparable to my belly. Basically, I was your typical awkward 11 year old girl.

The group I was running with in the beginning of the year were people commonly thought to be cool. They smoked, they talked back to teachers. I was a smart ass and smoked too, so I felt as if I belonged. I walked with them in the hallways and followed them into town for shop lifting excursions, never realizing I was always ten steps behind and the only one laughing at my dorky jokes

“What a maroon!” I’d say in response to a story about a peer’s folly.

My hilarious faulty moron insult fell upon clogged ears. That must be it. Either that, or plain ol’ deaf, or they’re crazy. I mean that is classic Bugs Bunny bonafide hilarity.

I delivered it again. This time the response was deafeningly silent. I continued to walk behind.
It wasn’t until I found a note that was meant for the trash that I realized how unwanted I really was within in my group of pals. The note had been passed through the hands of all my pals during the teacher’s reading of a Wrinkle in Time. As she read with her nose buried, her students ran amok. I would watch them from time to time, but often didn’t take part, because I really loved reading and learning. I know what you’re thinking, who wouldn’t find that kind of girl cool?

Well, apparently all of my friends. For the note that I saw passing out of the blurry corners of my four eyes landed near my feet instead of in the garbage as expected. A gasp was let out by a few of my so-called friends. I picked up the crinkled piece of paper, unfolded it and saw a picture with two round circles like a snow man and arms sticking out of it. There were glasses and straggly hairs on her head. A word bubble protruded from her mouth which encased the words

“Hi! I’m Sue”. Under this each of my pals had taken the time to agree with the drawing.

“That’s totally fatty Funke”

“She’s such a loser.”

The floor beneath my sixth grade high horse fell out. I found myself friendless. To be a cool kid, you had to put down all the other kids. Not even the losers wanted me, but I wanted them, for it was now apparent that I was one of them.

Like an olive branch stretching for forgiveness I looked over at the empty seat. At the table sat a group of girls with pants hiked way too high, over bites in the process of being fixed, hunched over, eating smelly sandwiches. I was at their mercy.

“Can I sit here?” I asked. They rapidly responded in turn:

“Is this a joke?”

“No way, you’ll just make fun of us.”

“They sent you over here didn’t they?” one said as she pointed to my fraudulent friends.

“No. They don’t even like me anymore. I realize now they’re assholes…and I’m pretty sure Colleen either doesn’t shower, it either that or she rubs shortening in her hair.”

They all giggle.

“What a maroon!” I said topping it off.

One of the girls nearly blows her milk out her nose.

Clearly I was sitting with my type of pals.

“You were pretty mean to us though.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, the first time of many. “Not only will I not make fun of you again, but because you guys were so nice to let me sit here, I’ll stick up for you next time they make fun of you.”

They took the deal. And from then on I made it my point to befriend any fellow dork I meet, and only bully the bullies away from my fellow dorks.

I’ve hopefully paid off my old bullying times by now with my Robin Hood kindness. Maybe that’s why it shocked me when Veronica brought up the story from my bully days, because in my mind, that bad karma has been erased.

From time to time though, I still may bully the wrong people, and for that I am truly sorry. To all the people I’ve bullied in vain, I swear to you, here and now, and forever - I’ll be nice to a really nice to, and stick up for, a dorky person in your name. I promise.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sue Funke, for president??

Proud to Be a Woman

Ok, so I love gossip blogs.

But, maybe the writers behind them are worth not participating in them anymore.

Perez is probably the most annoying man alive.

And, um the Jezebel woman are apparently wastes of life. Click here to read about/watch the awful turn their "feminist" conversation with Liz Winstead (Daily Show and Shoot the Messanger creator)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Life Without Air Conditioning really no life at all in NYC.

I'm dying here in our sweltering apartment.

I would've purchased an air conditioner long ago, but Pink insisted, "We'll just get ceiling fans. I've never had AC, there's no need. We'll be fine with fans."

Now, I knew we wouldn't be able to get ceiling fans installed in time for summer, but I went along with it because every time I said I was going to buy an AC, she'd go on the above rant.

How long did it take her to change her mind?

About two hours in our apartment on an 80 degree evening.
She conveniently wasn't here for the 90 degree weekend.

I've placed an order to get an AC, but keep in mind, I'm pretty broke. I had to get it off a site where shipping was minimum 2 weeks.

So far, I've taken two showers this evening in order to cool off from the thick heat that is almost impossible to sleep through.
Any other suggestions on how to get through these next two weeks are welcome.

Still Smoke Free

I had my last cigarette May 14th. I was cigarette free May 15th.

I just wanted to say, I'm still smoke free.

I'm much more bitchy, I can't sleep, and I've had to go on medication to freaking coupe with the loss of cigarettes.

But I'm smoke-free.

It's all worth it because I climbed the stairs at the Lexington station today and wasn't out of breath, nor did it take me 30 minutes.

Hooray for increased lung capacity!

I also can smell my perfume all day long.

Yay for not smelling like smokes!

I also enjoy sniffing people who have just had cigarette.

Oooh, that's a little creepy.

I'm doing the best I can here people.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

If You're Going to Party, Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair

Things you need to know about this picture:
This is a pic of Hubs
It's her birthday.
Those flowers are real.
She did that herself.
She wasn't in a bridal party, like the people sitting next to me hypothesized.
My stylish, talented pal Jen here celebrated her bday at the Brooklyn Beer Garden.

This party was a test of my love for the hubs.

See, Here are two fun facts about me:
1. I don't like traveling to Brooklyn.
2. I've got the best damn beer garden in walking distance from me.

The Brooklyn Beer Garden attempts to act like it's got history in this neighborhood that has been completely overhauled to be hipster-friendly. It was not a neighborhood of Czechs like Astoria, it was mostly Jewish and Latino.

The Brooklyn Beer Garden's "out door" section has an open roof, but the windows are nailed shut. There are also no fans. I guess this is what makes it "old timey", because it's similar to a sweat shop on a 90 degree day.

I'd complain, but no one has more need to complain than the sausage dude that was working on fryer all day.

I really can't complain either, because the company and delicious beers made the time spent there well worth it. I rolled in with fellow Astorian, Rachel, around 6pm, and ended up chatting it up with party goers until 12:30am, when a newly made pal walked me to the cab station.

Over the course of the day there were presents brought that were fun for the entire party. Most notably:
-a view finder with interesting animals, that I'm pretty sure aren't real.
-bubbles with various animal blowers

Conclusion: J-Hubs's birthday brings out the bubbly animal in all of us, and she's the flowery centerpiece of festivities.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Love My Incestuous, Gay Cats

Pink's kittens are brothers.
And as boys do, they often fight and tumble around the ground together.
But ever since we got them they had this habit that was kind of awkward to walk in on.

See, the kittens sometimes like to 69.
Pink and I didn't know what to do the first time, so we just left the room.

"Um, so, they're gay?"
"I think they might be cleaning each other."
"Cleanliness ended about ten minutes ago."

After going to the vet, Pink asked about the boys sexual deviance:

PINK: The vet said it's really bad and we have to separate them anytime we see them going at it.


PINK: I dunno, it's bad for their nipples or something.

FUNKE: Maybe the vet just doesn't understand their love. Maybe she hates gays.

PINK: What?

FUNKE: She made that nipple shit up. I think she just doesn't like homosexual behavior.

PINK: I dunno, she seemed to think it was bad for them. She just seemed real adamant about not letting them do it.

FUNKE: I bet if cats could marry people would oppose gay cat marriage, too.

PINK: I think you're taking this a little far.

FUNKE: Well, I think your vet is a homophob.

PINK: They're doing it again!

FUNKE: Don't separate them! They'll only grow up to resent you! I love you boys -no matter who you love!

Tell Me How You Really Feel...

Me: I might have a date in three weeks.

Mara: Ugh, I'm sorry.

Me: What? Come on, I never date.

Mara: But you know how it goes: awkward conversation, not being yourself. You might as well say, "I'm going to have a nightmare in three weeks."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Let's Do Dunch

Last week Pink did the food shopping.
It was awesome.
My entire fridge is full of taco makings and delicious yogurt.

As a thank you, on Saturday I decided that we'd go to lunch, my treat.
Since it was Saturday, and we hadn't spent a lazy one at home together in a long time, it took a while to motivate to leave the house (read: we got caught up watching chick flicks such as 27 Dresses).

We finally figured out what we wanted to eat, and motivated motion around 4pm to go get food.
Ahh dunch, an even bigger treat. (the dinner/lunch meal)

Where in Astoria did we travel for our fine dinning treat?
Applebee's, of course.

I really just wanted a fancy mudslide.
Pink got a fruity frozen margarita.

As you can tell from the pictures, it was well worth the trip.
"Mmm... this mudslide sure is awesome. You like yours, Pink?"


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Quitting's Easy, I Do it All the Time

So, two weeks ago, as a present for Quel's bday, I quit smoking.

I know, you're thinking, "Wait a minute, didn't you quit already?"
I got the bed bugs and things were wicked stressful and busy, and cigarettes always make me feel better..
even though somehow they make it really hard for me to breath.
Maybe, it's because I have asthma.

Anywho, I wanted to quit. I was supposed to May 1st, and that came and went.
-But I still really wanted to quit.
-But I still really loved smoking.

The week I decided to quit Lindsay(one half of the brunettes) sent me an article by David Sedaris. Now, here's a man who understands why a woman such as myself would love to smoke. He's quite the fan himself, but if he could quit - so can I.

The last cigarette I had was May 15th, a day chosen for me by Dan Upham.
"Ya gotta pick a random day and just do it. May 15th. You should quit May 15th. That would be a good day," Upham said.

I told Quel this, thinking it was a crazy statement.

"That's the day before my birthday. You can do it as a birthday gift for me!" Quel said.

I was broke, because of the smoking, and couldn't really afford a better gift. So, I decided that was a very good reason to quit.

When I smoked my last cigarette (it was after an Ultimate Experts Meeting) Joe, Art, and Quel all put their hands on me. I am not really sure why, but it was like by having their hands touch me it made it tangible. They were physical witnesses of my very last cigarette.

Week one was tough.
Week two I got really depressed.
Week three I'm now feeling as though I've lost a close friend.

Some people say, it gets easier with time.
But others
those that know me well enough to tell me the truth,
tell me I'll always want one.
The trick is not having one.

"Anytime you want a cigarette, drink milk," Quel says.

Crazy as it seems it's been helping.
I love milk now, who knew?

SIDE NOTE: My sketch group, The Ultimate Experts (Dan Upham, Raquel (Quel) D'Apice, Joe Powers, Arthur Carlson, and me, Sue Funke) are performing on Friday, June 6th at The Producer's Club.
The theme for the show is Game Shows and Weddings. All of the experts will also be sharing their thoughts and theories on D-Day and the following comics are performing: Del, David Greek, Gilad Foss, and Seth Herzog.
Email: for tickets and/or to get on our awesome newsletter list!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex and the City Movie Poster Fun

My pal Amy Carlson made the Sex and the City movie a little more realistic.
That picture of me was taken during my "white trash" photo shoot in the Hamptons.
Sing it with me now, G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Apologize, A lot, I'm Sorry

After the bedbug breakdown on Wednesday, I did a show on Thursday a couple of weeks ago.
I didn't do very well at all
and unfortunately was in front of a manager who could've gotten me paying gigs.
When it rains, it pours.

When I met with the manager I did something you're never supposed to do:
I apologized for my shitty set.

I'm an apologizer - I'll admit it.

I'm sorry!

It is my knee jerk reaction to when something goes wrong.

I'm sorry!

It might just be genetic though, because my mom and sister both have similar issues,
which they also apologize for if it is genetic.

See, when you're an apologizer, you even say you're sorry for things that you have no control over. You just feel bad for anything you have done ever.

So, I'm sorry I had that bad set and apologized for it,
and I'm sorry if this post wasn't as exciting as it could've been.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Break Down, Go Ahead, Give in.....

About a month ago I woke up with bites on my hands, arms, and legs.
Bites from a bug,
a bed bug.

We haven't been able to find them.
We've exterminated, but we don't know how they came.

I have recently spent some time at the Union Square Station,
apparently that might be the culprit.

It's quite an ordeal to have bed bugs.
All your clothing goes into bags, you lose a lot of sleep, spend a lot of money, have to move your cats to your friends place, juggle work and dropping everything you own at the laundrymat, you sleep on friends couches because the stench of the spray is awful, and when you come home you have to sleep on the floor using a trash bag as a pillow.

Yes, you go through a lot of hardship, but you (if you're me) keep telling yourself - I can do this. This will all be over soon. I'm gonna be fine, I just have to get through this.

But when it's all over and your life is finally starting to come back- You're not buying the only dress you sorta like and throwing it on in the bathroom because that's the only place you feel safe. No, you've got your clothing arranged by color and type and even bought a nice set of plastic drawers for your underwear because you went two weeks only able to find the most uncomfortable pairs and you never want to do that again. -The last thing you want is to wake up with bites.

So, on Wednesday morning, when I woke up with three bites on my arm -
I lost it.

I fell to my knees and cried. I screamed. I paced the railroad apartment not knowing what to do. Where to go, no where was safe. I cried some more. I screamed.
I got dressed and went to work.

My co-workers are actually quite familiar with my struggle, so it was really the best place for me to go. My pal Caryn Solly is a bit of a bed bug expert. Urban has also suffered the wrath of the tiny suckers. Both of them listened and sympathized with my breakdown.

"It's inevitable. Bed bugs will make you crazy," Urban offered.

Caryn held me as I sat in an office and just sobbed.

We all worked together with the exterminator to come up with a solution. I'd change my sheets, get another new bed cover, and wait.

Now, I know a lot of people will say, "Throw out your mattress!"
Yeah, um no.

They have never been spotted on the mattress. To throw out that mattress would be just fiscally ridiculous. Also, the covers should help.

Anyway, after this wonderful break down I went on auto pilot. I used the reserve brains. This was apparent to anyone who was at the New York Comedy Club on Thursday, where I bombed on stage. I was basically me from 5 years ago on stage. Uncertain of time and myself. It wasn't cause I was on stage or supposed to be funny or nerves. It was because I'm in the shit people.

I'm coming out of it, but once your in the shit fog, all you've got are the reserves. You've got basics. Sure, you know how to get to work, hold superficial conversations, you can even manage to squeak out some decent emails. But come on, you're not really there, you're thinking "Ugggggh I don't even have bed to look forward to."

Hopefully I'll be back to the real Sue Funke soon, I'll talk to people and really be thinking about the conversation, and actually focus on work and stand up ....and I'll also hopefully be back to blogging on The Sue Funke soon as well.

But for now, I'm just trying to emerge from this, forgive the inevitable pun, funk.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I’m Not Your Guy, Buddy

An Open Letter to My Male Friends:

Here’s the thing pals, I’m a woman. I dunno if you’ve realized this. Apparently not, because there’s a running theme with us which is:

“I never even thought of dating you, you’re like one of the guys.”

While I love being “one of the guys”, come on guys! I’ve been wearing dresses for a year now. What more must I do to prove femininity?! I mean dudes -I have a hair, make-up, and jewelry routine every morning. Do the other guys, too?

Even though I enjoy sporting events, and making fun of stupid girls, and hate Sex in the City (don’t hold it against me ladies, that show just sucks. It’s an abomination to women, but let’s not get “Carried Away” here.) I’m still an emotional woman who gets upset by words.

So, let’s just try this again shall we?

How about something like, “Dating you crossed my mind, but then I saw a cheeseburger… and all of the sudden we were friends.”

That would be more acceptable than, you’re never a woman to me.

I love you guys though, that is probably my downfall. I enjoy joking around about sex, watching the game with a beer, and not talking about how my day made me feel when it’s been ‘a tough one’ but rather chill out and shoot the shit. But I’m doing it wearing a dress, so I’m still a girl, and you’re still a guy… I’m not asking any of you to fall for me.

What I’m asking you though, is it to just realize that you should at least for a moment act like there was a “Oh, Sue’s a pretty gal, maybe…” crossed your mind. So this way I don’t spend our time hanging out together being all, “Wah, I’ll never meet a guy.”
And you having to say, “Nah, don’t say that. Blah, blah, blah, good person, great guy yadda, yaddi…”

And we can get back to more pressing things.. like working on my fantasy baseball league that’s tanking.

Thanks bros,
Sue Funke

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Barely Legal

As some of you who read this blog on the regular might've noticed, I haven't written much lately.
And what I left you with was pictures of my freakin' cats.

Some of you may be worried and think "Holy Crap, Sue you have stopped writing and started knitting sweaters for your cats as if they're your children. Come back to us Sue! Step away from the kittens and back to the dog side!"
And by some of you, I mean my sister-in-law.
I'm here to tell you, I'm ok T. I just love all animals, and don't worry, I can't learn to knit for shit.

I've actually been spending a lot of time writing a monologue/essay for the show Inner Monologues hosted by a wonderful author Alexis Barad. The show has a theme that all the writers use to develop their pieces. April's was Barely Legal.

Since not everyone could make the reading party, I figured I'd publish mine here.

So without too much adieu I present:

Barely Legal
(This could've also been titled:
This Is Why I Smoke Cigarettes
A Love Story)
By Sue Funke

I had my first taste of that sweet, silky smoke when I was about 11 years old. It was my father’s cigarette that laid across the Waterford crystal ashtray that had an elegant F etched in the bottom for FUNKE.

I snatched the cigarette and relit it with a lighter that was embedded in marble. I inhaled the cigarette as if I had smoked for years.
Most people cough their first time; I make this shit look easy.
I thought.

I continued to grab drags like these briefly. Running the cigarette butts up into my room and striking matches from souvenir packs to fix my habit. The guilt afterward made me an enthusiastic teeth brusher and might’ve kept Bath and Body Works in business.

It was the summer between middle school and high school that I had decided to really give this smoking thing a go. I was hanging out with a group of girls, and guys, who were just beginning their addictions as well.

I was eager to share my veteran experience with the group, “I tried smoking. It was ok. I didn’t cough at all my first time.”

I started taking full cigarettes from my dad’s pack of Merit Golds. They were an older gentleman’s cigarette, not very popular with “the guys”. I liked smoking out of the blue pack because they looked cooler. My father rarely bought the blue pack.

Finally, there came a point that the uncoolness and rarity of the cigarette situation needed to change. My friend Jill and I wanted a pack of our own. But how do we get one?

“If we had the money, I could get us cigarettes,” I told her.

I don’t know whose idea it was to steal the money from our friends’ bags while they were in the pool. It was one of those things you do before you fully understand your personal ethics. You don’t realize that you’re fucking with karma; you’re just trying to get a mission accomplished.

We had about three dollars in quarters and we walked the back roads in bathing suits with wet clothing clinging.

“I’ll go in, you stay outside, it’s more convincing that way,” I ordered her in the know-it-all manner I held myself with at thirteen.

“You think they’d call the police?” Jill asked plotting consequences in her mind.

“We’ll be fine.” I said with confidence I was pulling out of my ass. I was paranoid of getting caught, but at the same time I believed in my bullshit plan.

I took the money from Jill and walked into the tobacco shop. The old man behind the counter had seen me before, but I was just one of about a hundred kids my age around this area. We all blended together in front of his black, wide glasses.

“I need a pack of Merit Blues for my Uncle. That’s his car out there,” I pointed to a car sitting outside the store.

The guy nodded and pulled out the pack.

“He said he didn’t want to get out of the car,” I offered up unprovoked.

He looked down at me with a face that seemed disappointed in me for making him think this was a ruse.

“He’s right out there - and he gave you this money to get him cigarettes,” he inquired as he looked down at the pile of quarters in his hand.

“He pays for it out of change in the ash tray,” I said this quickly, so quickly that for a moment I believed I really did have an uncle sitting in that 70’s green Caddy.

The old man was either defeated, or more likely, didn’t want to refuse the money, “Ok.” He handed over the cigarettes and matches.

I walked slowly out. My entire face and ears burned. I could barely feel the cigarettes I was holding. I was convinced it was all a dream and a SWAT team was going to come swarming in and take the cigarettes from me.

Instead, I pushed open the door and walked out onto the sidewalk, a.k.a. base. I was safe.

Jill looked at me amazed, “You got ‘em?” she exclaimed in disbelief.

“Fuck, of course I got them,” I said as I pulled the plastic string to open our cigarettes.

We split that pack- several ways once everyone found out we had it and got it by using my balls, and their money. That was my first split pack of cigarettes.

My first full pack of cigarettes was a month or so after. My partner in crime that day was Alexis , who I had also shop lifted and took shots of vodka with on random-chance occasions. She asked her crush, Tim, to get me a pack. I gave her the money to give him. And that day, after the last school bell rang, Tim was pulling out a pack of Marlborough Reds for me.

As I smoked this pack I felt different about my smoking, before it was all the thrill of finding the way to get the cigarette. This pack was different. It wasn’t as sneaky and fun. I was getting them because there was part of me that felt like should be addicted by now. At least, that’s what all those pamphlets had told me.

As I inhaled the first cigarette from my pack I felt sick: a head-to-toe a feeling of heaviness and regret. This was not the rush I was looking for. It was the exact opposite.

The guilt ate away at my thirteen year old mind.

Who was I becoming? Only 3 years prior I was so upset with my Dad’s smoking. I was supposed to be part of the smoke free class of 2000. I had even sang my allegiance to that concept:
We are the smoke free,
Class of 2000
Two triple zero,
Everyone’s a hero
Or a she-ro
Yet I was already hooked – I mean I’m buying packs, what’s next?

Sure, I wanted to hang out with the “bad kids”. I grew up listening to Billy Joel, who didn’t want to laugh with sinners? Saints just sat around and cried. I enjoyed their stupid stunts at a close but not-too-close, friendly distance. But, was I really one of them?

The next evening as my mother cooked dinner I paced around her nervously.

“What’s wrong Susie-Q?”

“Mom, can I tell you something?”


I choked on my confession. This was where I was supposed to inhale and let it out. Tell her that her daughter was a bad ass, but I couldn’t find it in myself to tell her. I couldn’t find the words in myself. I was so ashamed, embarrassed… in shock that I was actually about to confess.
My mother stood, concerned that her youngest child was having a mental breakdown at the age of 13.

“What is it Susie-Q, are you in trouble?”

“I think I’m going to be,” I said wide eyed while my stomach back flipped at the inhalation of pork chops cooking and guilty dry mouth.

“Whatever it is Susie I can forgive you. I love you. It’s ok.”

She sat hugging me for a minute as I found the words and ultimately I blurted out, “I’ve been smoking cigarettes!”

“Well, that’s not that bad,” she said probably relieved I wasn’t pregnant.

My chin rose up and I looked at her.

“I’m not happy about it, but your father smokes, I used smoke. I’d be a hypocrite if I screamed at you. How much do you smoke?”

“Not much,” I said. “I bought a pack this week, but I barely made I dent in it. I hate it.” I pulled the pack of Marlborough Reds out and presented them to my mother.

Her face fell and true disappointment was furrowed in her brow, “Oh Susan, Marlborough Reds? Truck drivers smoke Marlborough Reds. Couldn’t you have smoked something more feminine? Like a Virginia Slim or a Cool?”

The shame I felt for my lack of femininity in my mother’s eyes would continue to be a theme through out my life, as smoking would.

Even though I promised her I’d quit, I couldn’t give up smoking, not even for a mother’s love. It was so tempting with packs around the house and high school. I started getting cartons from friends who worked at supermarkets, smoking anything they’re four finger discount could grab.

The expense for cartons though was much greater than packs, so it required a lot of money. Where does a child who’s not even legal to join the work force get money for cigs? Babysitting.

I was fourteen when Kathy moved across the street with her two children and “old money” husband. Mrs. K was a very relaxed woman, who was in her early forties and had lived a wild and exciting life before settling down with a man who seemed so lack luster compared to her jet-setting finance life style.

“Do whatever you want with the kids, here’s money for the pizza,” she handed me thirty dollars and then utters the magical words, “keep the change.”

It was wonderful tax free money that was ridiculously simple. All I had to do was not fuck up. So, what did I do? Steal her cigarettes.

She caught me puffing on her stashed Merit Ultra 100’s when she came home early from a PTA meeting. There were no mirrors in the yellow kitchen, but I’m pretty sure I turned green.

“Sue, you smoke?”

“Yes,” I squeaked as I stood with it held out toward her as if to say – “You caught me! Take it! Burn me with it! I’m so freakin’ guilty!!!”

She looked at me and nodded, then pulled another pack from her purse and sat down on the patio furniture. “Well, at least I have a smoking buddy now. Just don’t give me shit about smoking while pregnant and we’ll be fine.”

I must’ve blinked a thousand times before I sat down next to her.

“You gonna smoke it or let it fall to ash?” she said to me as she tapped her cigarette, “How often do you smoke?”

I finally realized she didn’t give a shit so I opened up to her, “Well Mrs. K, I smoke as often as I can. Lately not so much, I have this carton of Newports at home and they’re so gross.”

“Ugh, Awful! You should try something lighter.”

“I have, I really like Parliament lights, but I’m kinda at the mercy of whoever can grab me cigs.”

“Ok then, here’s a deal. You baby sit for me all summer and I’ll buy you a carton of Parliament lights every two weeks. And, if my mother-in-law ever comes over and we’re smoking, you say all the cigarette butts are yours.”

I was giving up a lot of other gigs to go solo with her, families I had worked with for years. But I would be crazy to give up on the chance for guaranteed cigs.

“Deal,” I said, but then as I sat there longer I wondered why she still had to worry about what people cared about. I always dreamed that once I turned 18 I could smoke however much I wanted, whenever I wanted. Being a blunt I just came right out and asked her.

“Kathy, why do you have to hide your smoking? You’re an adult, can’t you do whatever you want?”

“I wish. You still have to follow social rules. Sure, I can buy cigarettes, but I’m not supposed to. I’m pregnant and people are telling me how to do everything, but what they don’t get is I love smoking. I’m not saying that I love it more than my child. My life’s changed a lot over the years, and the one thing that hasn’t are my smoking habits. They’re always there to make me feel better, make me feel at home.”

And you might say I shouldn’t follow advice from a smoking pregnant woman, but I did. It was that night that I realized that I wasn’t just smoking because it was cool, or the thrill, or even the addiction. It was because it was my constant too. Maybe I didn’t cough that first time because it was part of who I was from the very beginning, or maybe it’s because whenever I was all alone and didn’t know what to do with myself, I always knew cigarettes were there with me. What I do know is, now that I can get them whenever I want as an adult they aren’t as much fun to buy. That also might have to do with the fact that I don’t have all that indispensable tax free babysitting money, or that I have ethics that bar me from stealing from friends, or the lovely pot habit I picked up in college. But that’s a whole other story.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Confession: I Love These Kittens

I have given up folks. I can't fight it anymore, this dog person - who was completely normal and in love with life single gal is now in love with the Dapper Duo.
Just look at these pictures and tell me they are not adorable:

I pick them up every morning and cradle them and say, "I love you!!!"

Like every f'in dorky cat lover I've ever mocked.

Oh, what has happened to me?

There's something so sad about loving kittens, calling them your boys, acting like they are really your kids with your female roommate who's your close pal, but not your life partner.

Pink and I have joked about being a sexless lesbian couple, but now with the kittens, it's kinda like we are. We sit around and discuss our parenting methods of the boys and talk about the funny little things they do.

They sleep with me.
I'll wake up and they're around. They wait till I come home to eat.
I'm a Mommy, but, closer to a foster one. Because ultimately they are Pink's cats.

I know them well enough to know their individual personalities, and I can tell them apart without using their collars. In person they are quite different. This picture best shows their "personalities":

On the left, we have Tux. I know this for several reasons:
  1. He's chubbier
  2. The swirl on his chin
  3. He's pushing his brother out of the picture
See, these brothers love each other, but Timber gets more attention and Tux can get bitchy about it.

The above picture is on the inside of my phone. The one below is on the front display:
Who am I??
I am a softy.

Ahem, I am also a comedian, and I've got show dates for April '08 posted.
Click here, and mark your calendars! I'll see you at the shows, I hope! :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Simple Meals for One Person

So, I'm broke and good things have come from it - I remembered how much I love to cook.
Here are three meals I've made to consume this weekend and this week.

Personal Vegetarian Pizza
1 personal pizza
1 handful of frozen spinach from a bag of frozen spinach (defrosted)
1 handful of frozen corn from a bag of frozen corn (defrosted)
3 mushrooms cut and sauteed in a pat of butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano
1 handful of low fat mozzarella cheese
sprinkling of parmsean cheese

The corn might seem weird in this recipe, but it actually adds a nice texture to the topping.

Spinach and Chicken meal
1 Chicken breast cubed, sauteed in a tbsp. of veggie oil with garlic, rosemary, thyme, organo and a dash of Ms. Dash garlic seasoning as well
1 handful of frozen spinach from a bag of frozen spinach (defrosted)
3 mushrooms cut and sauteed in tsp of veggie oil, onion powder, rosemary, thyme, oregano
1 handful of low fat mozzarella cheese

Combine all these ingredients.
Make sure not to over cook the mushrooms, they should only be in the pan like two minutes tops or else they'll burn or cook away. You want them to add more heartiness to the meal.

Spring Chicken
This is by far the weirdest experimental cooking I did today, but I'm the proudest of it because it turned out great.
1/2 can of dole pineapple chunks in juice
2 packets of apple oatmeal
apple juice
1 Chicken breast cubed
dash of apple pie seasoning

Basically, I saw the pineapple in the pantry and thought, "Man, I freakin' love sweet and sour chicken, but I can't really have the sour part anymore. I wish I could make a sweet chicken."
So I did.

I poured half of the pineapple can into the pan - with juice. Then I added some apple juice. Then I chucked in the chicken cubes and let it simmer together. I threw in a tiny bit of cinnamon and then switched to the apple pie seasoning to give it more of the apple sweetness flavor.
As I tasted it I realized that it needed to be over some sort of rice or pasta - but I didn't have any pasta or starch, so I looked in the pantry and saw the oatmeal packets and tried it out.
It was a great addition and really coated the chicken well and made the meal complete.

So, now I have lunch for the week other than pb and j sandwiches - oh and the best part, the chicken dishes took less than a half hour to prepare.

Thought I'd share because I know it's tough to figure out what to make when you're only making food for yourself -- oh and my best tip of all - buy chicken in bulk and freeze it individual, makes defrosting and cooking easier.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Eternal Happiness

On Friday night, after standing for an hour and a half through the hilarious "Don't Touch Me There" show, (It's a testament to how funny a show is, if you have to stand to see it - and after you see it standing for so long you walk out and remember the hilarity more than the discomfort - in this case hilarity won.) I went for a nice dinner with Raquel D'Apice, Joe Powers, and Rachel Parenta.

After which, we went through the rainy, snowy, slushy streets of Manhattan towards our perspective trains. Due to poor foot attire planning, Raquel left us at 1st avenue for the L train in hopes of feeling her feet sooner than never again. This left Mr. Powers, Parenta, and I to trek on towards Union Square and the yellow line trains.

On our walk we passed a Baskin Robbins with a giant sign in the front windows that made me stop in my squishy tracks: NEW REESE'S PEANUT BUTTERCUP SUNDAE AND SHAKE!
We all instantly wanted one, and thought for a minute or two about going in. But it was cold, I was poor, we weren't that hungry, so we didn't go in.

All weekend though, I thought about that sundae.
By Sunday I was no longer thinking about tasks, errands, even during conversations with Pink I would just nodd off and start thinking about how delicious that sundae would be...

So, on our weekly trip to the grocery store Pink and I stopped off at the Baskin Robbins attached to the Pathmark. I asked the guy at the counter for the Reese's Buttercup Sundae --
only to find they were out of that ice cream.


Pink's father happened to be visiting and said that he thought he could see tears in my eyes. The counter guy tried to woo me with other flavors that could be placed into this sundae, and I tried to play along, but I just couldn't settle.

So, when we got home and unpacked the groceries I sat uneasily on the couch fidgeting until finally I could no longer take it.
"I'm going to the one on Steinway."

"What about dinner?" Pink asked.

"It will be my dinner."

I walked to the Baskin Robbins on Steinway and Broadway and ordered my sundae. They not only had the ice cream, but the girl who made it did it up just like the photo that had been dancing around my mind.
Then, when I got to the cash register it rang up $5.95.
I looked in my little red wallet and saw only $5 - and all my change was in my other coat!
I looked up at the older gentleman behind the counter with watery eyes again.

"How much do you have?"
"Only 5, but I've got a credit card."
"Machine is broken," he paused and looked at me and before I could say anything else he said, "No problem. I give you a discount. You looked so happy about that sundae, how could I not?"

I thanked him several times and took my sundae back to the apartment.
And there I sat eating contently a sundae that was so delicious that I was happily full the rest of the evening.

It doesn't take much to make me happy.
Just something like this.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I Got Reviewed!!

I was Googling myself this morning, because I've got so much writing and rehersing to do,
that I figured I should probably do something that has nothing to do with either of those things
-and I found out that one of the students that attended the show at Oberlin College wrote up a review of the show.

Click here to read a review of my stand up!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Comedy, Family, Food = My Life Right Now

This blog could also be titled:
I'm Broke
Easter The Way Christ Intended - A Lazy Day of Reflection

Lots of great comedy going on right now. I've got a decent March schedule lined-up so far.
This year, I said I'd go to more comedy shows.
I have been really good at doing that.
Unfortunately, comedy somehow leads to social drinking. And social drinking leads to me taking cabs...
and that leads to me eating out of the vending machine at work and constantly complaining about how broke I am.
I don't know if my friends are sick of me saying it, but I sure am.

The fundwatch '08 is just beginning. I've still got the dreaded "t word" to deal with (t is for taxes and it's mighty frightening for me, cause I always owe money).

The brokeness doesn't just effect eating habits though. I'm also unable to spend Easter with the family in Florida this year. This won't be that big of deal, though. My family rarely gathers for Easter.

The first year I lived on my own in fact I started my lone Easter tradition - ordering in lamb, getting a good bottle of wine, and watching TV until I fall asleep.
Sure, it might sound pathetic and borderline alcoholic to you - but to me it's a lovely way to spend Easter Sunday.

My brother Mike's family orders in Chinese and watches movies. This may sound low key, but I believe my sister in law Tina may enjoy this more than Christmas.

The dedication to low key is something so rare for holidays.

Usually holidays mean: high stress family visits, the need for perfection, and extreme over eating

So, even though I'll miss out on this years Florida-Easter-Fest with my brother Matt, my Uncle Bill and my Mom at the house her and my step dad are renting for their "Snow Bird" month, at least I'll get a day of relaxation.
Even if I am broke, I intend on continuing my tradition.
And if I find myself worrying about the cash flow- well, there's always 3 buck chuck.

In other family news - Go check out my sister's book on This book is going to be hilarious. I know this, because her columns are so freakin' funny.
And I'd say that even if she wasn't my sister.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's My Brother's Birthday!

I had a dream last night about how I was walking in Manhattan and I was supposed to meet up with my friend Matt Urban.
Instead - I bumped into my brother Matt Funke!
When I woke up I looked at the calendar and realized it was Matt's birthday.
Thanks unconsciousness! You are so good at remembering.

Matt is ten years older than me.
So he's the easiest math to figure out how old he is every year.

My brother Mike is 9 years older than me.
Jen is 12 years older than me.
They're more complicated, I've got to carry one's - it gets involved.

By now you might be thinking- "My, that's a large age difference."
Sure is.

My nickname was "hole in the condom".

My parents denied this.
My mother said I was a luxury baby.
My father explained this as, "You were the kid we could actually afford to have."

Either way - happy birthday to my big brother Matt.
The best babysitter in the world - we'd get a movie, soda, pizza, and a pint of Ben and Jerry's each and hang out late.
The best influencer of music - he taught me to love classic rock.
and an all around great big brother - even though he lives in Florida, if anyone messes with me, watch out sucker!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cash Bash

Last night, I took the trek to Park Slope with Pink to go see the Johnny Cash Birthday Bash with all my pals from the Liar.

Since I'm pretty broke this year after the move, Nano, and phone this will be my big concert event of the year I believe.
It didn't disappoint.

It was a flippin great show.

I think the most surprisingly fun part of the show was when my friend Blythe and I were watching the screen and as I was about to go back to the bar all of the sudden a clip of Oscar the Grouch and Johnny Cash popped up on screen - and it was followed by a clip of Cash on Columbo - pretty awesome.

Then Alex Battles took the stage with a ton of guests to help him sing the entire Folsom Prison album. Including the Four Face Liar's own Shafer Hall.
I danced my ass off, and screamed my voice out...which could be a problem when I go to perform this week. Good thing all I have is open mics and no shows.
I should be able to get my voice back in time for the next big one -
March 7th with The Ultimate Experts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Didn't Just Lose a Phone, I Lost a Friend

I hated my old phone,
in that love/hate kinda way.

I couldn't speak on it without having it on speaker.
It would randomly decide
- "Hey, I'm not gonna have service even though you're standing next to a tower."
I would get about 20 texts then I would get the message "Texts Full".

I loved that phone though.
It had wicked fast internet.
There were pictures on that phone that were really special.
I had over 200 phone numbers.

Then, last night...

The cab driver pulls over to my apartment.
The keys fall out of my coat pockets. I grab them before they hit the seat.
(totally sweet catch)
And then I jump out of the cab.

I THEN check my pockets for
all other vital belongings.
I THEN notice my cell phone is gone.
The cab was already turning the corner.

I was saving an emergency charge card expense on blinds,
because there's a dude watching me sleep from the very-close-in-proximity-building by me.
I could not do this though,
because instead I had to buy a new phone today,
because I'm getting really grossed out by the peeping Tom.

I had about four hours of uncomfortable sleep last night
between the creep peering at me from behind the blinds
the nightmares of thinking I have my cell phone
and then realizing I didn't
over and over again.

I'm now about to go to bed though,
and I do have my windows covered.

My bedroom window is currently has beautiful drapery -
The sham from my bed set pinned with tacs.

And the dressing room/hallway window?
It's covered with a pink sheet hanging off of screws.

Take that Martha Stewart!
I'm going to sleep.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Case of Zombie Attack, Go to Oberlin, Ohio

I was fortunate enough this weekend to get a gig at Oberlin College in Ohio.
It was a really fun gig, the crowd that showed at the Cat in the Cream* were a good group of students, probably about 40 or 50 of them.

During one of our many random stops on our journey, fellow comedians Dave Minsky, Ben Kissel, and Jack Carter and I ended up in a general store to buy yet more supplies to get us through.

We walked out of the cold into a warm, happy place.

There was candy, and wine, home made baked goods, and refrigerators full of beer lined the back walls.

There were medicines, and a deli, a bunch of yummy teas, and a freezer dedicated to Ben&Jerry and their foreign pal, Haagen-Dazs.

It was pretty much the best place on earth. We all took laps around the place and marveled. (Except for Dave, who had been there before, understood it's wonders and held back watching our stupefied roaming.) Another stroll down the wine aisle revealed that it wasn't just wine in those bottles -
Oh yes my friends, there was liquor.

What does one call such a great sanctuary to all things delicious?

Gibson's Food Mart and Bakery

As I marveled at the fact that I could get everything I've ever wanted in one place, Ben turns to me and says in a low voice, "If there was a zombie attack, we should totally camp out here. The windows are totally easy to cover up and we'd have supplies for months."


I definitely would not go to the one bar in town, La Feve. Though, it would be on my short list of choices.
It's the only bar in town.

Remember how back in the Ol' West there was a saying a "One Horse Town"?
Probably not, it was over a hundred years ago.

Well, Oberlin, Ohio is a one bar town.
...with a college.

So, when the bars close down - you go to the house party.

There were a lot fun, crazy, hippie kids. Some of which even welcomed (i.e. didn't throw us out) us to their house party. It was themed "The Rubik's Cube Party". I'm still not sure what it meant - but I actually looked like I meant to be there in my little red coat.

People were dressed in different solid colors....I guess that's what made it a Rubik's Cube Party? I am still unsure.

Now, you may wonder - Sue, what were you like at the college party?
Well, the same way I was when I was in college and at a college party.
Standing in the corner -
Eavesdropping for good gossip -
Being overly critical of the music selections -
Often looking for more beers to pillage.

I'm glad to be back in New York, in my apartment,
and not in college any more

... I would still like to live in Gibson's though.

*Cat in the Cream is a student run coffee shop/venue that I may or may not have kept referring to as the "Pussy in the Jizz".

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

iPod Earbuds Confirm: My Ears are Freakish

I have lived in New York for an entire year without an iPod.

All natives understand how absolutely awful this could be. The sounds of the city are really nothing you should walk around concentrating on day in and day out.
I made it through this hard year thanks to writing comedy, buddy Tom, and alcohol.
(Can you tell it’s awards season?...I’d also like to thank all the annoying songs that got stuck in my head.)

After moving and clearing out my bank account with the cost of moving,
I was living off of oatmeal and vending machines in my budget.
But then, a magical thing occurred – I got my security deposit back.
Now, I could’ve paid off credit card debt, or tax debt that I owe Mama Funke
(…Thanks New York City!)

Instead, I bought a new iPod Nano
Like a good frivolous indebted-American.

I set a spending limit, but then went $50 over that maximum for 4 more GB
And for AIDS research thanks to “Project Red”.
I then realized as I walked out with a super cute red iPod
-that I probably could’ve given a lot more to Project Red if I went with the plain model that was 4GB less and just donated the difference.

Oh well.
I’ll spend some more money on some new songs, iTunes here I come!

I used to have a good taste in music people. I really did.
It was all classic rock, and diverse and really based in intricate sound analysis.
The first songs I buy at the iTunes store?

“Gimme More” by Britney Spears
“Feedback” by Janet Jackson

I guess this is growing up? I’m in that “I love dance music!” phase of single feminine adulthood.
I wonder if next year I’ll download a lot of Barry White and smooth jazz?

I also purchased Kanye West’s new album, which is very good –
A nice finish to his last two CD’s, I enjoy his themes, and it shows growth.

Now, I can listen to these songs everywhere I go!
Walking around town, down the streets where I live, up the subway stairs.
Oh! Wait! The f’in ear buds fell out again.

I see people all over town wearing them.
They have no where near the frustrations I have.
They don’t walk around constantly replacing them.
I’m the only one that seems to have to continuously shove them in my ears.

It’s annoying, painful, and all I can keep thinking is –
I’m a freak.
My ears are somehow differently shaped than the entire world.
I'm an elf, or some part nymph with these weird tiny, bumpy, ears.

Then, I simmer down, and become reasonable.

Whatever, there are other people who probably don’t fit the round annoying iPod mold.
These people probably just have to go to the store and buy new headphones.
Oh! For crying out loud!.
Now I have to go buy some flippin’ head phones.

~Sue Funke is an Associate Editor, Stand Up Comedian, and life long lover of music. She currently resides in an apartment that is lacking window shades, and is absolutely in enamored with her iPod Nano…no matter what it’s costing her.

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