Comedy Revolution in CT: Comedy@Carmines

Carmine's the best night in townMy friend’s dad, who came from war-torn Estonia, would sometimes say, “I love a good revolution!” He often said this right before downing a shot of vodka.

I can’t handle vodka, but I can handle the truth. I’m not impressed with the way comedy clubs and shows are run in my general area. The market is saturated. There are too many comics and not enough audience members, who justifiably balk at steep ticket prices for questionable talent. Where should you spend your comedy dollar? In a cramped club, where it’s too dark to see the food you didn’t want to witness anyway, and where the staff treats you like cattle? Plus, you had to buy a ticket for this great experience, along with (likely) a two-drink minimum!

The beautiful bar area of Carmine's

The beautiful bar area of Carmine’s

Carmine’s Bar/Grill/Stage (389 Main Street, East Hartford) is doing things differently.

Carmine’s offers monthly professional comedy showcases for NO COVER CHARGE. Carmine’s philosophy is to charge no cover, but still PAY the entertainers. Once you experience this beautiful, spacious restaurant, with foodie-grade cuisine and friendly staff, you’ll want to return. You will enjoy the same caliber of comedian at Carmine’s professional comedy showcases that you would at any comedy club or showcase in CT, but you will not have to pay for a ticket! In addition, there are no drink minimums! (As if my Estonian friend’s father would have cared! Cheers!)

The next FREE showcase has been scheduled for Saturday, December 5 at Comedy@Carmine’s. Mark your calendar. Don’t miss the next great show in the comedy revolution!

Headliner Josh Spear has been on Last Comic Standing, NBC’s Today Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Direct TV’s Artie Lange Show and is a veteran of the biggest stages in NYC including Caroline’s on BroadwayRich “The Claw” Cyr has, in a relatively short span of time, made his mark producing and performing in comedy clubs and showcases up and down the East Coast. Nutmeg Chatter did a piece on him here:


And of course, don’t forget FREE COMEDY ON FIRST TUESDAYS at Carmine’s. There’s always a fresh and fun batch of upcoming and professional comedians!

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Bush & Kush & Other Incongruities

Jeb Bush recently did an interview entirely in Spanish with Jose Diaz-Balart, revealing intimate things he never discusses in English.

Jeb Bush and Jose Diaz Balart


A friend gave me a lovely passage about butterflies as spiritual messengers, and I thought, “How come I only get moths?”


When you find that one person at a party who seems to want to listen endlessly to you, move away. They’re obviously crazy.


Jeb Bush definitely was into the kush at a young age. Notebook doodle he did in ninth grade: “Cannabunkport….Yeah I Can! Ferry Leaves At 4:20 LOL”


I dreamed I was a French used car salesman and my dealership was called “C’est La Vehicle.”


What’s more ironic than a militant feminist with a shaved head and hairy pits?


I saw Sandra Bullock in Gravity and was left wondering why anyone in space requires a bra.


I have found that my way actually quite often involves the highway.


If The Human Centipede had been set in the American south: “Hey, y’all! Y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all.”


They’re saying Shakespeare smoked pot. So in ninth grade, when I called him The Bud, I may have been right.


When is a cougar like a cheetah? When she’s on Ashley Madison.


I really hope the world doesn’t come to an end, now that I’ve finally discovered boy shorts.


Some people do lousy things because psychologically, they’re assholes.


Shakespeare after bong hits: “Now where did I put that last sonnet?”



Some polls are showing Bernie Sanders is actually ahead of Donald Trump! So why does the media only focus on Trump? Only his hairdresser knows.


The mother bear who kept swatting her five cubs out of the above-ground pool in New Jersey? She was just trying to have a little adult swim.


Whenever a big story breaks, such as Sarah Palin saying we should all speak “American”, I wonder what the media is trying to distract us from. Besides my dangling preposition.


As a child, my goal was to one day be welcome in every family’s living room. Also their bathroom.


I watched “Working Girl” again. What a great movie. Lots of people get frustrated during that scene where Melanie Griffith is vacuuming topless in the next room. We’re all straining our eyes trying to see what brand of upright she’s using.

Working Girl Vacuuming


When taking the high road, keep a low center of gravity.


Scientists are finding more polar bears dead from starvation then ever before at the Arctic Circle. It’s a jungle up there.


The demise of this country began with Casual Fridays.


The introduction of processed foods gave the human race a 9-to-5 gut.


I wonder if Neanderthal Man was the inventor of paper towels.  Neanderthals eventually starved, so they were never thought of as having any Bounty. And they had started dating Cro-Magnons, aka The Quicker Picker Upper.


How much different would the French Revolution have been if Marie Antoinette had actually said, “Let them smoke weed, then eat cake”? I mean, with all those pastries they’ve got over there? There wouldn’t have been a revolution.


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Comedy at Carmine’s Bar/Grill/Stage (East Hartford CT)

COMEDY Continues at Carmine’s Bar/Grill/Stage; MONTHLY OPEN MICS ON FIRST TUESDAYS (next show is 11/3/15), AND MONTHLY SHOWCASES COMMENCE Saturday, 11/14/15

East Hartford, CT (October 10, 2015) — Writer/comedian Joanna Rapoza continues to produce and host comedy shows at Carmine’s Bar/Grill/Stage, 389 Main Street, East Hartford, CT. Free open mic shows occur on the first Tuesday of each month (at 8pm), with the next show being November 3rd. Based on performance in the open mics, comedians will have the opportunity to be in monthly paid showcases which commence Saturday, November 14th (8pm). Joanna Rapoza hosts headliner Dame FK and feature Ricci Hector. Lineup subject to change. There may be adult comedy at open mics and showcases.

Signup for performers on 1st Tuesday open mic begins at 7:30pm; showtime is 8pm. Each comic gets five minutes. There will be no cover charge for open mics. Food and drink specials will be available.

Carmine’s Bar/Grill/Stage is an instant favorite among folks both near and far since opening earlier in 2015. Their fresh-from-scratch cuisine and services are also available for off-site catering. More information is available by visiting their website at, phoning them at 860-206-4580, or emailing them at

Joanna Rapoza, a Glastonbury resident, has a popular blog (“RangeleyMoose Droppings”), and performs stand-up comedy at clubs and events in the tri-state area.

Carmine's 11.3.15 snipped

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How About Some Head Shots?

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GA & Headshots 097

Photo credits to Chris D’Alessandro 7.30.15

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I’m Too Sexy For My Car

When I saw the beautiful new BMW that my attractive friend recently bought, it made me realize that I’m too sexy for every vehicle I’ve ever owned.

My first car was a double hand-me-down: a tan-colored 1970 Ford Custom (4-door automatic), owned initially by my father, then by my brother. The Custom was essentially a stripped-down cop-car. It was built like a small tank, and it was about as sexy as Andy Griffith.

They really were cop cars

Ford Customs actually were police cars for towns like Mayberry that couldn’t afford the luxurious LTD or Crown Victoria

My second car was another hand-me-down, but only owned once, by my brother. It was a beige, 2-door 1980 Ford Escort, upon which I first learned to drive a standard transmission. I remember bucking and jerking around an elementary school parking lot, trying to get the hang of “the stick.” I’d been at it for a month, but only around town, when I decided to visit a friend in Albany. Initially, I got stuck in rush-hour traffic in Hartford. I remember feeling the blood rise up my neck towards the crown of my head as I worried how I’d do in the stop-and-go flow. I actually drove well, and flew up towards Albany. But when I got to the toll booths at the NY state line, I lost my nerve. I bucked, jerked, and screeched all the way towards a very frightened toll booth worker, as the driver of a tractor-trailer behind me laid on his horn, because, apparently, he’d had about enough. (Hey, Brother Trucker from my past, that helped so much. Thank you.)

I bought my third car brand-new: a gunmetal gray, 1990 2-door standard transmission Nissan Sentra. It looked like a stripped-down BMW, if you squinted your eyes, and then shut them, and then imagined a BMW. It was a fine car, but I had an unpleasant purchasing experience at a slimy dealership. I won’t say where (mostly because I can’t remember), but it was in Hartford. The car ran great, and I finally sold it in the summer of 1999, to an Indian guy, who used a screwdriver as a stethoscope on the engine while it was running to make sure it was “healthy.” While I stood in the rain. And was eight months pregnant. (My response was, “What the hell are you doing? Either you want it or you don’t. Let’s get out of the rain.”)

When my son was very small, I drove us around in a white (4-door automatic) Oldsmobile Cutlass (a late 90’s model), that we purchased very cheaply from my husband’s Aunt Mary. It rode like a sailboat, and had a plush, red velvet interior. We cruised back and forth to Maine a number of times in that vehicle; it was like pulsing around in a giant womb. We eventually sold the Olds to a trailer park couple in Eastern CT, and they were so excited, I think they were planning to move into it.

The next car was another hand-me-down, albeit a very nice one; I loved that lavender-ish/silver 1992 (4-door automatic) Acura Vigor. They don’t make those anymore. It had been my in-laws’, it had black leather interior, and it was luxurious. I eventually had a minor fender-bender with the Vigor, and because it had depreciated so much, it was (heartbreakingly), totaled. (Part of being “too sexy for one’s car” includes it being officially totaled in a minor accident, which happened to me not once, but twice.)

Next came an immaculately maintained, dark purple (4-door automatic) 1998 Honda Accord sedan from Manchester Honda. It had relatively low mileage and was coming off-lease, previously owned by a curmudgeonly salesman with a three-mile commute to work. This was my first pleasant car-buying experience. The dealership had (and has) a “plain and simple” approach, offering their lowest, non-negotiable (and decent) price. (BTW they did not pay me to say this. But I will mention here that Manchester Honda also has a great service department. And that if they’d like to pay me for saying nice stuff, I’m open to it.) I don’t quite remember the disposition of this “eggplant” colored car. It may have gotten traded in for the purchase of one of the family cars; no one can seem to remember.

Enter the next car, which also got totaled in a very minor accident. It was a hand-me-down from my husband, a silver Honda Accord Hybrid (2002, 4-door automatic), which they also don’t make anymore. It was a lovely car. It was hit by a low-life in Hartford next to a construction site where a policeman was asleep, standing up. The cop appeared to be staring straight at me as the accident occurred, but claimed not to have seen it. The other driver didn’t yield to my right of way, and his jalopy lost its bumper as it rammed into, then backed off my car. It was pretty obvious who was at fault. If I’d had a gun, I might have shot someone that day, or later, on the day when my insurance company dropped me because the case had been mediated for so long. Definitely not sexy.

My current car is the only other car besides the Nissan that I bought new. But hey, it’s a humble 2012 Honda Civic sedan. And it’s brown. And it’s automatic transmission. And my bike rack has scratched up the trunk something awful. But I don’t care, because…I’m used to being too sexy for my car. I wouldn’t want to ever be upstaged by my vehicle.


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Thank You For Not Deleting This

Whenever I see someone overcompensating, I want to smash every single window in their house.


If I had a better memory, I suspect I’d be a lot less forgiving. #forget&forgive


New York is supposedly the city that never sleeps, but I do think some sections are in a medically-induced coma.


I wonder if retired prostitutes have residual pain from phantom penises.


A friend said he “got a cat, or as they call it in China, ‘livestock’.” So I asked him if it was free-range.

Mia mad


It would be fun to get a dog and name it “Zombeh”. People would constantly ask, “Oh, do you mean Zombie?” And you’d always just say, “No, it’s Zombeh.”


Subway should’ve told Jared he could look at the kids’ menu, but no ordering. It makes so much more sense now when you think of how he kept saying, “What’s not to love about smaller portions?”


I’m very excited that I lived to see the first black president, and now, maybe, I’ll see the first Jewish president. What’s next, black and Jewish? #LennyKravitz4prez #GoHisWay


I found a sesame seed on my clavicle. That’s what I get for eating crackers in bed.


Some people deserve to be hosed down with kindness.


I notice I’m a little funnier when I’m slightly drunk. Then again, I’m slightly drunk, so what do I know?



Physicists know better than anyone that the secret to a long marriage is the power of inertia.


I have a bullshit-detector in my back. If something’s going wrong, or if I feel I’m getting pushed into a situation I don’t like, my sciatica acts up. It’s as if my unconscious mind is trying to say something to my conscious mind, because my conscious mind is asleep at the wheel. (My sciatica is also aggravated by Andy Griffith reruns.)


My son went to Rocky Neck with a female friend, and I was going to ask if he had sex on the beach, but I’d rather not know if they’d been drinking.


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Because That’s How We Roll: Survivors of Homicide’s 6th Annual “Roly’s Run” (Saturday, 9.20.15, Torrington CT)

Yesterday was the 5th Annual Survivors of Homicide’s charity golf tournament, which took place at Avon’s Blue Fox Run. I was honored to be asked to emcee the awards banquet for this fine fundraising event.

SOH golf tourney program 7.25.15 001

I could not have met a kinder, more life-embracing group of people, and I was honored to be invited back to speak at next year’s ceremonies, which will also likely be the last Saturday in July (of 2016).

Many of the holes had memorials for lost loved ones.

Many of the holes had memorials for lost loved ones.

I would like to mention in particular SOH event organizers Art Jensen and Jessica Pizzano, who ran a hugely fun and successful tournament and banquet. Thank you for including me, and I greatly look forward to future events.

soh golf tourney organizers 7.25.15

I met so many lovely people yesterday, but among them was a great lady named Rose Lagasse. She lost her son in 2008. The 6th Annual “Roly’s Run” takes place on Saturday, September 20th, in Torrington, and honors Roland Lagasse’s memory, as well as raises funds for SOH.

Roly's Run flyer 001

Please consider taking your chopper out of the shed and/or passing the word to your fellow motorcycle enthusiasts about this event. I guarantee if you participate, you’ll feel great, and make new friends. For Life.

the keeper

For more information about Survivors of Homicide, please visit their website by clicking HERE.

SOH LOGOsandy hook

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