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.