About The Funny Times Staff

Sue   Sue Wolpert

I live in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. My front yard is a big garden. I moved the garden from the back yard when all of the sun back there was lost to the shade of growing trees. For several years I imagined moving the garden to the front, and then one fall I got it going. Most of what I do in the world arises from visions of the future that call me forward.

I enjoy working in the garden early in the morning or late in the day when the sun is at an angle. In the fall, I layer my garden bed with wood chips, shredded Funny Times order forms, leaves and then cover it all with straw. Even as I am putting it to bed for the fall I am preparing for next spring. My idea of fun is to gaze into the garden (and the world) and discover what wants to happen next.

Ray is my best friend. I met him in High School. He was playing guitar with his friends. I invited them all home after a coffeehouse and they came. Inviting people to come together seems to be a life time mission. I like to gather people together for expansive conversations. When people exchange ideas about what they care about most, the world opens up. When we get in the present with each other the way forward emerges. I am constantly inquiring into the nature of people and the world. I am like a buzzing bee carrying messages and ideas from here to there.

I’m told that I came out of the womb smiling, curious, and eager for life. All of that is still true. My life story is getting too long to tell and I would rather talk about the present and future than the past. I am an organizer and a connector who fountains with possibilities and has a passion for people and our attempts to do things together.

Life is a party and a lot of work. Work is a party and a lot of fun. I am a ruthless optimist when I am not depressed. What a mystery.

Sandee   Sandee

It was a gray and rainy Cleveland day, and I was feeling funny.  My friend had an idea; there was something she wanted to show me, just around the corner. That’s how I came to the Funny Times over 17 years ago. I came to get out of the rain.

Outside of the FT space, I’m just as driven to laughter as within it. I get a genuine kick out of life’s littlest ironies, and can’t help but see the glass as at least half full. I enjoy sliding down muddy hillsides on my rear and chasing weasels through the living room, both of which I often do with an oddly funny teen that seems to live somewhere within the house.

Karyn   Karyn

Hi Folks, I am Karyn and am rounding out 10 years here at the Funny Times.  And I must say, what a long strange trip it has been!  Or was that life before FT?  I am a born and bred Clevelander and know the ins and outs, the nooks and crannies, even the street that was in “Stranger Than Paradise”.  My 18-year-old, when not being a typical know-more-than-mom teen, often joins me on my journeys into the known and unknown be it finding a spicy Jamaican patty, a good movie or yard sales.

Working at The Funny Times is an adventure as well.  When the phone rings we never know who is calling or from where ~ I have talked with folks from all over the US, Europe, Asia and a few from the outer reaches of the Galaxy, though the humor translation device does not always work with them.  I enjoy talking with all of you, to make sure your monthly laughs arrive safely and to hear your many stories. No matter how crazy it gets, remember that we truly are in Funny Times!

Orin  Orin

Enjoys walks in the woods without the spider web interference, mud or stray rabid dogs. Listens occasionally to Tuvan throat-singing angels. Tries to overstand the Supreme Mathematics. Past accomplishments include ollieing out picnic tables, sock folding and birdhouse manufacture. Hopes to one day learn how to tie ties and sharpen knives properly. Relaxes by studying urban exploration, drinking limeade or a diet Dr. Thunder.

Sasha   Sasha

Hi!  My name is Sasha.  I like to think of myself as a social institution, but then again, how imperious would that be?  Jaded yet optimistic (and 29 years of age … until age 40 at which point we’ll reassess the situation), I am the youngest member of the Funny Times family.  Having grown up in a conservative bubble, living away from home and working at an embracing environment such as Funny Times has allowed me to broaden my horizons and question the reality that was constructed for me.  I’m now (finally!) out and proud as a transwoman, and I attended Case Western Reserve University here in Cleveland, OH, where I discovered that social progress is achieved only through hard work, persistence, and a loud voice.  Now working in the Circulation Department at FT by day and masquerading as the Dark Mistress by night (you know, in my dreams), I love to question social norms and disrupt the “natural order” of things.  Just ask anybody who knows me!  Or perhaps you have already spoken (or will speak) with me personally on the phone or via email as I take your orders, correct your subscription problems, change your address, or generally attempt to brighten your day.  Thanks for being a part of our family.  Because we’re certainly blessed to be a part of yours.

Blayne (1)   Blayne

Hi! I’m Blayne, and I deliver everything the Funny Times needs delivered, from papers, to babies, to outstanding customer service. As Funny Times first employee circa 1985, I delivered big stacks of papers to local businesses from the back of my beat up 1978 Toyota Celica. I then became a midwife and assisted Sue and Ray with the births of two of their children. I recently retired after 20 years as a midwife, and I am working in Funny Times subscription department, opening mail, answering phones, and cheerfully doing whatever else needs to be done.

I love working for Funny Times. My coworkers are all tons of fun and a wee bit nutty, and the office is always supplied with good strong coffee and plenty of chocolate to keep us motivated, if a little jittery. We laugh a lot and only swear a little. Okay, I lied. We swear a lot. But it’s all in good fun, especially when we have “swear bear” fights, or do naked jello wrestling in the back room. Okay, I lied. We don’t really do naked jello wrestling. At least not in the back room. But we do have fun, and we have the world’s greatest customers. So join us aboard the Good Ship Funny Times, where rocking the boat is half the fun.

Annie    Annie

The twists and turns in life that led me to Funny Times include the Cleveland Film Festival, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and graduating from Second City in the comedy writing program. Somehow these bends in the road landed me at Funny Times to handle the funny business.  I grapple with the data and tussle with the post office. The most rewarding part, though, is talking to the good people that love our publication- you, the readers.  Together, we will keep laughing!

LouLou

I was born exactly nine months after Pearl Harbor – September 7, 1942. It was Labor Day, which my mother found amusing. My dad liked to joke that the Pearl Harbor attack prompted my conception because he wanted to leave an heir in case he had to go to war and didn’t come back. (He was deferred from military service because of very bad varicose veins in his legs.)

I was born in Painesville, OH, graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and was a reporter for daily newspapers and a trade journal in northeast Ohio before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966. I spent a year in Vietnam as a reporter and then editor for the First Infantry Division newspaper. In recent years I have been active in Veterans for Peace, wearing my very tight 45-year-old army dress uniform in parades while carrying a peace flag. I also enjoy playing competitive volleyball and writing annoying letters to the editor. A widower, I have three terrific children: son Lou is a doorman at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia; Bridget earned a Masters degree in French literature at the University of California, Davis and DeeDee (Dorothy) is manager of the Whole Foods store in Medford, MA. Son, Lou and his wife, Melissa, blessed me with two energetic, entertaining grandchildren: Owen, 8, and Bridget, 6.

Amy   Amy

I came. I saw. I stayed.

Ari    Ari

Although Funny Times outdates me by a year, I am the firstborn human child of Ray and Sue. Growing up, Funny Times was always like an older sibling to me, stealing the love and attention of my parents away from me, and forcing me to share a room with my little sister. Funny Times headquarters was my home for much of my childhood and I have worked for the paper on and off since I was born. I’ve done almost every kind of random office work at some point or another, opening mail, answering phones, counting checks, running credit cards, and folding t-shirts in the gift shop. Recently I have been doing more work editing, and the April 2010 was the first issue that I picked out on my own. By some huge coincidence it was also the first time the Funny Times chose to print one of my stories.

When I am not at Funny Times I spend most of my time writing, rhyming, rapping, and singing songs on a very wide range of topics. Humor, Satire, Politics, Spirituality, Dinosaurs, Psalms, The Torah, Star Wars, Hippies, Peace, Love, Life, Poop, etc …

If you are interested in checking out my music, you can listen to some of it at http://www.myspace.com/hiphoprevolution. Or you could try and find me at a music festival in the summer, and ask me to sing you a song. Anyways, thanks for subscribing to Funny Times, it was really you who put me through college.

Lois2   Lois

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio into a working class family of Euro-mutts, I am the product of good people who taught me about loving life and being generous to others. I love irreverent humor and people who have deep and varied and profane vocabularies. I dislike pretentiousness and abhor private clubs. I am a terrific cook. I am a lifelong Cleveland sports fan so obviously I am long-suffering. My husband is a saint who puts up with my horrible ways and adores me for reasons that are mysterious. He is my biggest fan and a true blessing to my soul.

And, I am the kick-ass bookkeeper for The Funny Times. I balance the checking accounts with flair and pizzazz. I prepare the files for the accountants with mad skillz and elan. If you have a question about anything in the bookkeeping arena at The Funny Times, I am your go-to gal. Customer Service is my strong suit in my sweet spot. I may be a funny person, but my books are anything but funny. Bookkeeping is a serious business and I am a person that derives deep pleasure from accurately reconciled books. Go figure.

Betty   Betty

I was born on October 23rd, 1959 in an army hospital in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This may seem like a really conventional way to start a biography, but actually it explains everything about me, and how I ended up doing the job I do (which no one will ever, and I mean ever understand), meeting the person I’m married to, which led to working for Funny Times and all kinds of unconventional adventures.

Suffice it to say that being born into a military family is basically the same as being a modern day Bedouin and whether you embrace or resist it, the inner nomad is always there. I chose to embrace the peripatetic life, so after college and working as a paralegal for three years, I looked at my bedside table piled high with law and business school applications and did the only sensible thing: I bought a one-way ticket to Europe and after six months traveling around “settled” in Madrid to teach English and learn Spanish. As luck would have it, I met (on Oct 23rd no less) my future husband, a cartoonist and originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He persuaded me to move to NYC, where I embarked on my publishing career (starting off as a Fulfillment Assistant, the only funny title I’ve ever had until my recent promotion to Circulation Czarina), and we took a 9 month sabbatical trip to Africa and Southeast Asia.

When Ray and Sue were hiring in 1993, it turned out they knew my husband from high school and for Sue, as far back as third grade and my life took yet another turn, as I opened the New York satellite “office’ of Funny Times. Through them, I’ve been able to indulge my other passion, politics, giving out Dope Seed packages at conventions and anti-war protests. Most recently, the inner nomad took my husband, 9 year old daughter and me to live in Oaxaca, Mexico for two years, where I opened yet another far flung branch office and experienced political unrest, military invasion and the vagaries of the Mexican post office.