Tuesday, January 20, 2015

With great power.

   You've been dreaming of this day since you were a kid. Now you can't believe it's actually gonna happen. The moment is surreal. You try to play it cool and keep your hands from shaking. In your mind, you can already see the world blur past as you kick into high gear and zoom down the street. Sending women swooning and men nodding in respect.  You are experiencing this ecstatic moment because you have just been handed the keys to your very own motorcycle.

     Now please keep in mind that I'm just guessing this is how someone who is really into motorcycles would feel when they get their first one. Because that particular fantasy is not one I have ever had. I'm very fortunate in that stand up comedy allows me the opportunity to purge myself of any and all desire for thrill seeking. That being said, I can't knock someone for wanting a bike. Because here is a simple fact: Motorcycles are cool.

  Just riding one faster than 40mph automatically promotes you to bad ass status. Also, look at the stuff motorcycle riders wear. The leather jacket, the pads, the boots. All of it makes the wearer look like they are the shit. No matter how nerdy the bike owner is in real life, when they gear up to ride, it's all eyes on them.

  Which brings me to my point. Are you mature enough to handle this new found coolness? I submit that coolness is a responsibility, and not to be taken lightly. Boys will look up to you, women will want to bring your children into the world.  By being cool, you set an example for those who are cool impaired. You give them hope. Something to strive for. So in a nutshell, it all boils down to one simple steadfast rule to keep in mind. If you have a motorcycle, don't be a douche.

  What do I mean by that? Oh we've all seen or come across a motorcycle douche.  How about the guy that feels the need to ride faster than necessary on a residential street. Making a shitload of noise at 10 am and assuring that everyone on the block knows he's around. Haven't met him? What about the guy who is lying on his stomach in the seat while going 90 mph on the freeway. It looks cool but one false move and he's a top story on the news. For what? No one was even following him with a camera. 

  I made up my mind about motorcycles years ago, while hanging out with my brother. It was your average slightly drunken Saturday night, and we were debating on weather "Breaking 2: Electric Bugaloo" was better than it's predecessor. I was arguing that it was.  The scenes where Ozone falls down the stairs and is later healed by the power of break-dancing, settle that argument. Case closed. My brother was just bout to admit that I was right when his phone went off. I could hear that the guy on the other end sounded stressed, and the seriousness of my brother's face confirmed my suspicions. This wasn't a casual call.

   My brother simply says "OK", then darts to the back of the house and opens the garage door.  After doing that, he notices my confusion and says,
   "Rob crashed his bike on the freeway right around here. He was going too fast, had to swerve to avoid a piece of tire, fell off the bike and ended up skidding a few yards. Then, realizing he was in the middle lane, he walked his bike to the off ramp is on his way here."

    My natural reaction was to ask my brother, "Umm does Rob know that our mothers' home hasn't turned into an urgent care center since last night? Shouldn't one of those places be at the top of the list places to visit right about now?"
   My brother replied " Yeah, he's not worried about that. He just needs somewhere to stash his bike until he can afford to fix it. His mom would freak if she knew he hurt himself, and make him sell it."

    When Rob arrived a few moments later, I noticed immediately that his priories were completely fucked up. He came into the garage, struggling to hold the bike upright. The source of the struggle came from the fact that he only had use of one arm. His bad arm had been completely dislocated by the fall. It was slung up in a t-shirt that served as a makeshift cast, and there was an empty space in his shoulder's socket signifying where his arm should have been. Because of this, the arm dangled sickeningly lower than normal. His clothes were tattered, torn and dingy. He looked like... Well he looked like a guy who fell off a motorcycle going 85 on the freeway. The pain that read on his face was undeniable. It seemed as if a strong gust of wind hitting that arm would send him crying out in agony, but he still came over hoping to could pull a Riggs from Lethal Weapon 2 and have one of us pop his shoulder back in place like nothing ever happened. All this because he was going a little bit faster than he should have.

    Luckily for him. My cousin, who's an RN, was visiting my mother and had overheard the conversation going on in the garage. And by conversation, I mean my brother's friend pleading for one of us to do him the honor of putting his shoulder back in place, and my brother and I taking turns telling him "Fuck No!

   My cousins' arrival in the garage taught me two things that night. One, it's actually pretty easy to pop a shoulder in place if you know what you're doing. And two, my cousin is a little bit of a sadist because she was more than happy to do the honors.What resulted next was almost unbearable to watch. My cousin had to get a good grip on the arm before she made her move, so each movement sent electric currents of agony through Rob's entire body. When my cousin found a firm grip on the arm, she counted to three, Rob closed his eyes, (along with every one else in the garage besides her) and with a swift move she jerked and shifted the dislocated arm into place. Causing Rob to yell out in pain, and me to completely sober up for the evening.

   Even if you don't cause yourself or anyone else physical pain, you can still be a douche on a bike. l was with a buddy at a pretty crowded bar a few years back when he let motorcycle coolness get the best of him. He had got into the face of another bar patron whom he had wanted to fight because he felt the guy was looking at him the wrong way. ( Which inadvertently, always puts me in the bodyguard position.) Security eventually stepped in and proceeded to break up the commotion by kicking all of us out. While this situation is not the most optimal, things like this happen when you mix testosterone and alcohol, so it's not a big deal. Call it a night and go home. Only that wasn't enough for my friend. Being outraged that an establishment he visits regularly would have the audacity to make him leave, he decided to teach them a lesson.  He put on his gear, rode his bike up to the main entrance of the bar, and smoked his tires right out front where people had to walk to leave. The look of justified satisfaction on his face afterwards told me that he had no idea how much of a douche move that was. He caused a problem that could be fixed with a fan and a bucket of soap, but you would have thought he threw a Molotov cocktail through the front window.

  Long story short, To my danger loving, caution to the wind throwing, two wheel riding friends, I say this. I get it. You're cool. Try not to let it go to your heads.

- G

Friday, January 9, 2015

It is what it is...

     Guys, I promise.   I'm not getting angrier as I get older. The world is getting more annoying. It's not my fault. 

How else can you explain a guy who is riding his bike, at full speed, towards me, against traffic, in the rain?

   You mean to tell me that I am honestly supposed to be excited or even aroused by Miley Cyrus' ironically Unsexy onstage gyrating?

   So you're saying that I'm supposed to drive 90 mph all the way home, with sweat soaked hands gripping the steering wheel, so that I can see if Billy Dee Williams is gonna get eliminated from Dancing With The Stars? (A show he is WAY to cool to be on in the first place)

  I'm supposed to be ok with the guy in the elevator with me who has a beard covering 70% percent of his face but is still only projecting 5% of his masculinity?

Or be ok with the douche on the motorcycle who zips in and out of traffic at a dangerous speed cuz he thinks he looks cool?

    Or how about the stuck up, privileged asswipe who assumes it's my fucking job to keep a door open for him (or her)  to wisk though without giving me even so much as a "thank you" head nod. As if I'm a bell hop in 1965?

The answer is, yes. I am supposed to be cool with all that.

 These people are a part of my existence. They are even apart of my life experience.  I just have to learn to be cool with the fact that there is a lot of uncool shit happening around me every day. And it ain't stopping no time soon. No matter how many nights I wake up in a cold sweat, hoping it was just a bad dream that an elderly Lando Calrissian with a bad hip was made to dance the tango on National television.

It is what it is. Can't change the world around me. Can only control how I react to it.

 Had to come to the realization that no matter how many clip board bearing, hyper confident individuals that are completely blocking the entrance to Trader Joe's I come across, I gotta just let it all roll off my shoulders.

 They are all a part of the show. That's it. A continuous parade of ridiculousness. And I am privileged to have been allowed a front row seat in which to view it. Laughing at and enjoying the show is the only way to truly  prevent pulling your hair out. And since I'm already bald, pulling hair out of any other area is cometely out of the question.

 Why should I let others lack of class or tact mess up my day?

 So when I see the guy riding his bike the wrong way, instead of cursing him under my breath, I'll say to myself "That guy has got to be psychic. Cuz no one would behave with such recklessness unless they knew without a doubt, the exact day that they were gonna die. Good for him. If I see him again, I'll ask for the winning Powerball numbers.

 And as for that that Miley Cyrus? Oh she's just being precocious with her amped up sexuality. I wouldn't fuck her with 3 condoms, a coat of Lysol and a hazmat suit on, but if that's someone's taste, then Bless their heart.

 Guy with the beard. Hey at least he looks the part. And if it gets him laid, I can't be mad at it. However, I would advise that he watch at least one YouTube video on how to chop wood. Just to be on the safe side.

 Dancing with the Stars? Well that's what remote controls are for.

 Reckless dude on the bike? Hey maybe he's a retired special forces operative who has been forced to dust off his old skills in order to rescue his kidnapped wife/ daughter / or German Shepard. And it just so happens that he has to take the freeway I drive on to get to the rendezvous point.

 The point is I'm really gonna try and not let this stuff get to me. I'm gonna take it in, accept it, let it go, and go about my day.

 Besides no one is perfect. Who knows,  Maybe people are rubbed the wrong way when an obnoxious all caps laden Facebook post pops up in their timeline. And said post might just happen to mention a certain comedian who will be appearing at the comedy store the coming weekend. Maybe people could do without seeing those type of posts. Naaa. I'm trippin. Everybody's cool with that.

 To sum up. Just go with the flow. Don't be oblivious, but don't be affected.

 Unless you open the door for someone and they don't aknowloge it. Sorry. Can't budge on that one. That's just plain rude. God those people piss me off.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMMM.... yeeeah.

   Hey, come on. We've all been there.We have all had points in our lives where we begin to "feel ourselves". When we get those sudden unexplainable surges of confidence and clarity.  Where we feel as if we have it all figured out, and we have found our way in this seemingly chaotic universe. Some people experience this state of mind because a huge setback or crisis has occurred. For others, this moment is brought on by a major landmark in life. Marriage, childbirth etc. However, my moment of supreme clarity and confidence came from a strain of weed known as Durbin Poison.

 After the first hit, and subsequent painful coughing fit, everything made perfect sense. Much like Luke hearing Obi Wan's voice on Hoth, a proclamation echoed throughout my brain.
"Forget the outcome of your efforts. Just focus on the output."

  Hey! that makes perfect sense!" I thought while sitting alone and staring at the wall.

  Actually, I may have said it out loud in my moment of THC infused jubilation. I then went about making a blow hard esc blog entry about how I was gonna post often. Even if for no other reason then my own creative satisfaction.

   The only problem is, I forgot to keep doing that. Here's the thing about inspiration. It's fleeting. Life and adult responsibility have a way of dulling creative excitement. 

   Cut to - Months later without one damn entry! Well I shall make a SECOND proclamation! (Que the trumpets. )

From this day forth, I shall submit entries more often. No, seriously. For real this time. I will make no promises about entertainment quality. I will however promise consistancy. Well maybe promise is a strong word. How's about this, I'll work on it. Good enough? Well its gonna have to be Dammit!

Until next time. Which should be realtivly soon. Oh, and sorry for yelling back there.

- G

Friday, October 25, 2013

I aint scared of you Mutha F@$kas!!

        It's the mid 90's. I am up with friends watching "Russell Smmons' Def Comedy Jam. The show is a landmark in the world of Black comedy. It is responsible for launching the careers of legends such as Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker, DL Hughley, just to name a few. On this particular episode a man takes the stage wearing overalls with a graffiti- like design airbrushed across from them.   Now, I don't care what year it is, in any era, this outfit would be the object of redicule. However, the man wearing it takes the stage with nothing but absolute confidence. He takes his time getting to the mic and is not fazed by the large group in front of him. A group of people that is known for being harsh, unforgiving  judges of talent. A black comedy audience. The man takes a beat, looks out into the audience and proclaims: "I ain't scared of you muthafuckas!" The crowd loses it, and from that moment on, he has them eating out of his hand.
       The man on the mike is none other than the legendary late comedian, Bernie Mac.
Back then I didn't have plans to become a comedian but I remember being struck by his courage. He wasn't posturing. He wasn't playing a fearless comedian. He was a fearless comedian. I remember wondering "How could somebody be so sure of themselves when doing what is arguably the most frightening thing a human being could attempt?"

       Cut to, about four years ago. I'm at the Belly Room at the Legendary Comedy Store in Hollywood. The host of the show notifies me that I am going to take the stage next. It is my first time attempting stand up.  I am gripped with a fear like I have never felt before in my life. Nothing else comes close to it. My fear seems to have hit a primal level. As if someone released a hungry tiger in the room and sealed off all the exits. We're talking fight or flight time. My heart is trying its best to break free form my chest, my mouth is bone dry, and I actually have to remind myself to breathe. Although I am no fan of cardio, I am seriously considering breaking into a full sprint,  going out the door, down the stairs, and onto Sunset Blvd at full speed. But for some reason, I don't. I feel like i'm about to pass out, but my feet remain planted on the ground. My name is called, I take the stage, and complete my 5 minute set. I only wish I could remember it.

     Cut to, last night. It's a Thursday at "Flappers Comedy Club" in Claremont Ca. Same scenario. The host of the show notifies me that i'm about to go up next. Only this time there no terror. No fear. Just focus and a slight nervous excitement. Kind of like the feeling you have when sitting in a roller coster that is clicking up its first hill. Or better yet, it's a muted fear. It's still there slightly, but it doesn't concern me. Like when you seriously hurt yourself but take a strong pain killer. The feeling is still there, you just don't give a shit about it. The host of the show does me a solid. He gives me something to riff on to get the audience on my side. He makes a reference to the fact that I remind him of Carl Winslow from "Family Matters". I take the mike and jump right on that. In mock frustration, I say that I have been dealing with that all my life, and call him a low budget Mark Anthony. The crowd responds and instinctually I grab a stool onstage and take a seat, which is something I rarely do. (Which is also  ironic because I often find myself sitting on my ass any other time of day, but I digress) My set then becomes more of a conversation than an audience. I talk to the crowd rather than at them. I try new stuff that I thought of only hours before the show. When the energy starts to wain, I throw in jokes that I know will get a big response. The point is, during the set I realize that I have absolutely no fear. After almost four years of constant performing, I finally get what Mr. Mac meant when he made his proclimation to the Def Jam crowd. I am not trying to get the folks in the audience to "like me" as much as I am trying to communicate with them. To transfer the emotions I feel to them, so that we can share a moment. I leave the stage and take the time to let the realization truly sink in. It is an amazing feeling.

      I mention this because in my opinion, when fear ends, the real fun begins. When you aren't terrified by a potential response, you can drop your "social mask" and be who you naturally are. And that, I found out, more than clever jokes or snappy delivery, is what the audience pays to see.

- Much love

Monday, October 21, 2013

Steppin Up

    Hey my peeps. Been quite a while since I sat down to write one of these. Wish I could chalk it up to some worthy and noble reason. Like I was too busy teaching Cambodian orphans how to read Shakespeare. But alas, no such luck. In the past I have hesitated for one simple, specific reason. Good ol fashioned laziness.

     I don't know about you guys but whenever I sit down to attempt to do anything even remotely constructive, I find the most interesting videos on youtube. (One procrastination session let me to a riveting documentary about the harsh lives of Atlanta strippers). Another attempt to avoid working led me to discover that the movie "Blade" was on TNT and  it was virtually uncut. Who's not gonna drop what they're doing to watch a pre-prison Wesley Snipes whup up on some vampire ass?

    But I can't let my appreciation for Mr Snipes and strippers with excessive tattoos keep me from being productive any longer. A friend recently introduced me to a phrase called a "Look in the mirror moment." To me it means that if you're not getting the desired results in whatever you are attempting, dont' blame anyone else, look at yourself with 100% honesty and work the shit out.

   I did just that, and it led me to realize that my lack of discipline was just one piece of the puzzle. It was also a matter of pride. I wasn't getting the desired results form this blog and it discouraged me. It caused me to slow down with the posts. But slowing down on the posts is what was keeping me from getting the desired results. See what a vicious, Twilight Zone like cycle my laziness has got me caught up in?!

     Well I say NO MORE!! I will post on a regular basis no matter what! If I have one reader or 100,000. This is a way to unravel my thoughts, emotions, and tighen up my writing game. As long as I am able to accomplish those three goals, I will consider this blog to be a success. Love, adoration and sexual favors from thousands of blogger groupies will just be icing on the cake.

    So from this day forth, I vow to all my current and future readers that you will hear from me on a regular basis. Unless TNT is playing a "Lethal Weapon" marathon. Then all bets are off.

- GG

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reality Check

           Its a windy Saturday night. My buddy DB and I are at a bar near my place in the Valley. Decent sized spot. Could fit two hundred people in easily. Nowhere near that many folks in here tonight though. The place a has nondescript design. Which I find comforting, but has been a bit of a challenge for the owner. Every other night of the week, in the attempt to attract diverse crowds, the bar takes on a different theme. Problem is, they haven't yet set the themed nights in stone. You could come one evening expecting to groove to songs played by a hip hop station, open the door, and get hit with a screaming tidal wave of rage. Followed by blank stares from people with pale, pierced faces. Surprise! It's Heavy Metal night. This night, the dice roll in our favor. We come in and hear Hip Hop. Meaning the owner fired up Pandora on the bar's sound system, set it to the FloRida channel, and went home. There's maybe ten people in here. Counting the three bartenders. Still, everybody's conversing and having a good time. The emptiness of the place is actually adding an intimate, almost familial vibe. Like we're in a dusty, low budget version of Cheers.

        That's when I happen to notice the bartender giving "the eye" to my boy DB. Lets call her Cindy. She is a slender, short haired Brunette with a tattoo of a rose covering the majority of her back. She is also wearing a black tank top. To make sure we all know that she has a tattoo of a rose covering the majority of her back. She looks you in the eye when she talks to you, and is quick with a wink and a smile. A pro. Right now her attention is on DB. I get his back. You know, the wing-man thing. They hit it off. Seems genuine. She leaves the conversation, sashay's across the bar and announces that everyone should pony up two bucks for a shot all around. We pay. She pours. We all raise our glasses, take a shot of well - level whiskey, and celebrate a shared moment of microwave joy. All is right, and I don't have a care in the world.

        They kick us all out and DB asks to crash at my place. I suggest we watch Taken 2 under the influence of a certain substance that can purchased at a dispensary, and the second half of the evening is officially under way. During the very short drive from the bar to the house, I see that the wind is starting to kick up. Violently. Trees rock back and fourth. The sound of the wind slicing through them and slamming into the car is deafening. The wind's force causes the car to sway. This has become one of those times where the Big Guy upstairs seems to be saying "Hey buddy. Juuust reminding ya who's in charge."

        Every now and then, DB and I share a nervous glance, disguised as a carefree smile. We respond in the only way that one can in a situation like this. We both repeatedly yell out the word "DAMN!" with great emphasis. We make it to the house, get out of the car, clutch our coats and dash to the front door.

      Once inside, DB goes into my room to put the movie on. I however, have succumbed to a condition known as the "alcohol munchies" and head to the kitchen for a snack. Three steps toward the fridge I hear the wind kick up even more violently than before. Garbage cans topple, cats are probably getting tossed around.  I turn to the kitchen window for the a glimpse of the carnage, and at that moment, I see absolutely nothing. I am standing in pitch black darkness. The sound of the computer powering down in my room lets me know that the electricity is off.  I can hear DB laughing in disbelief. I'm not. I had forgotten how dark, darkness could get. Even on a regular evening with all the lights off, you still sense that the power is flowing. Now the house has taken on a stillness. The house seems to be dead. The darkness is so thick it almost takes on a form of it's own. To honestly not be able to see your own hands in front of you is an unsettling feeling. I hope that all I need to do is go to the side of the house and flip the breaker switch. But a deep part of my mind quietly repeatedly whispers " What if this is serious?" " "Am I prepared to not have electricity for a long period of time?"

         And the answer is of course, " Hell No!!" " Not at all!" If the power doesn't come back on soon, DB and I will be two large negros shivering in the dark. I've got three raggedy ass candles. And two of them have broken wicks. While churning every possible disaster scenario in my head, (including North Korean and Alien invasions) I make my way to the door leading to the side of the house. It is at that precise moment that the lights kick back on and normalcy is restored. DB laughs again and goes back to getting the movie going as if nothing happened at all. I, on the other hand am not so jovial. I can't shake the thought that if something major did go down just now, it would have caught me completely by surprise. We rely on the creature comforts that electricity brings. We expect it to be around forever, and most likely it will. But if not, I should have my shit together. I should be stocked up, locked and loaded. Ready to get my Snake Plissken on in case someone comes driving up the street in a Cadillac with chandeliers on it and tries to make trouble. (yeah I just threw added a couple "Escape from New York references. Gotta keep the classics alive). I should have food, toilet paper, medical equipment, all the stuff that would insure survival if the proverbial shit hits the fan. And I will get all that stuff. But first I'm going to heat up some popcorn in the microwave,  tun up the heater, have DB start the DVD player, and watch Liam Neeson kick some Albanian kidnapper ass. I got time to prepare for the end of the world next week. Right?

- GG

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



 The Pig N Whistle - 6714 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Head to the Pig N Whistle and get some free laughs!!!!