Oye

I wonder what it must be like to be the president. And I don’t just mean President Obama, but I have a feeling they’ve all had similar experiences.

What must it be like to have clear vision and ideals that you’re trying to get across?

In my performing career I dealt with rooms of drunks and four year olds, so that’s probably the same as it is with Congress. I dealt with name calling as a kid with glasses and was chubby, so it’s probably not far off from the media. But I grew up in (at the time) the whitest suburb in the nation so thinly veiled racial stereotypes in 2013 when the man has already served four years; well I just want to give him a cookie.

I can only picture myself in grade school, learning about the history of the United States and seeing the portraits of all the men who have led this country. It’s inspiring. And as you age and develop your own point of view, I think you hold onto that ideal that you might be able to do great things for what really is a great country.

But man, once you hit that office and face all the BS and day to day, well I just would be under the desk or curled up on that rug with my thumb in my mouth by lunch. Everybody criticized George Bush Junior for taking all the time off, but maybe that’s the only way that you can make it-go ride your horsey.

I don’t pay attention much to politics. I look at the headlines and I watch the Daily Show. Because I need the humor with it. I am a smart guy and if I paid too much attention it would just drive me nuts. There’s not enough yoga poses created to relieve that stress.

But I think about something I heard Dennis Miller say once, and I’m paraphrasing, “hey I didn’t vote for the guy but he’s got the job and I’m going to support him.” I don’t know which president was working at the time, but I think it’s valid no matter who. He’s elected, he’s got the job, let him do it. Does anyone follow a janitor around all day telling them they missed a spot?

Maybe Hillary could be next. Maybe she’s smart enough to be able to play them, and cry when she needs to. Not that she’d need to, but it would get all those old farts to shut up. Meantime, man, give the guy a break. Look how gray he’s become.

 

With Great Power Comes Great Responsiblity

Ok, I probably should not be using a quote from the movie “Spiderman” to introduce the topic of today’s blog. For one, the seriousness of what I’m feeling is not on the caliber of what a crime-fighting, web-slinging hero faces. Also, Spiderman is not real and I need to stop getting my life philosophy and inspiration from the movies, no matter how brilliant and philosophical things that Yoda says be.

I Got Picked for the Team

But having been selected for Freshly Pressed has put a lot of pressure on me. Ok, it’s not Freshly Pressed’s fault, nor the  generous editor that selected me, nor the wonderful people who viewed, liked, commented and are following me. Ok, maybe it’s Freshly Pressed’s fault but I don’t feel bad any time I blame an inanimate object or concept. They can’t sue me.

I’m just faced with the numbers: I went from 22 followers to 114. My best day was 146 views, yesterday was 1314. I’m as “giddy as a schoolgirl” like Scrooge says, but now I’m questioning what to write about. Last week, I would get up, get coffee and take a long walk until something funny formed in my brain. But my entry to Freshly Pressed was chosen because it was funny and heartwarming and it seemed to resonate with a lot of people. I don’t know if I can be that relevant every day. I don’t think I’m that deep. You people just made me up my game and I wasn’t ready. Thought I was, turned out it was easier when I was just thinking  a few of my friends were looking.

When I was a kid I was chubby, short and wore glasses. I always got picked last for any sport. I joined Freshman football and was second smallest of all the recruits. Although devastating, it meant I had nothing to prove. When I was eighteen three things happened: I lost weight, I began to exercise and learned yoga, and I started to juggle. I became fit, coordinated and could do cool stuff. This was exasperated by learning gymnastics. Suddenly I could do cool stuff on the beach as well. People assumed I was coordinated and said things like “I bet you’d be good at that since you’re so good at balance.” They hadn’t seen me skate. My ankles give out faster than a political candidate changes their position.

I love exercising and couldn’t imagine a day without it now. And I looove writing and am excited by the attention I received the last two days. It’s been a great push to make me want to practice the discipline I’ve talked about so long and finish my novel and screenplay re-write and get back to that other screenplay I know will be my Juno.

Blah Blah vs Blogging (please don’t use this title, it will be a separate blog :))

So on the first day after getting such flattering notice, I don’t know what to write. Yesterday’s was the real first day but I had the concept for the 5 Stages of Freshly Pressed when I first got the email I was chosen on Tuesday. I flashed on the scene in the movie “All That Jazz” when Bob Fosse (as played by Roy Schneider) is editing this comedian doing a routine on the 5 Stages of Grief and I had the parody.

Then on my morning walk this morning, I couldn’t decide what to write. Do I need to be more concerned with what I’m saying? Will my new-found audience rather I wrote about the situation in Libya versus poop jokes? I have made a living at performing for 25 years, but that was in front of people. If something wasn’t funny to an individual or audience, you just take a left and try something else. If you’re not touching someone (and I mean that metaphorically not physically, I did lots of work with kids and i don’t want anything to be misconstrued, that’s just downright creepy) then you change your tactic. But now I have to write and see what you folks think after I press “Publish.” I can’t change my mind. Unless you all want to try a big live blogging Skype thing? That would be fun!

When it was just my friends and family reading I figured that they could just go “ah, that’s just Jeff and he’s having an off day.” But now it’s about the numbers! If I’m not as heartwarming and funny as you want me to be, BOOM, you un-follow me, you unlike me, you ABANDON ME. I can’t handle that. My ego has become fragile as a writer. I no longer have the stand-up comedian shell that can take drunks and four year olds telling you “you’re stupid.” That’s the four year olds by the way, the drunks say “you..you’re…bleds nose…you are. You feel me. I know it. You and me..we’re like cousins. No! Better. we’re like brothers. I love you man.”

I also was given the opportunity to re-write my blog “The Evolution of a Friend” before it was officially selected. I have the goal of continuing to blog every day and don’t have the time to re-write if I’d like to continue to eat. So it’s got to be just what’s on my mind in the moment and grammar be damned. (I do try to proof-read as best I can but my mom the ex-secretary catches things and I’m always open to criticism and suggestions on format.)

But as the sun came up (yeah I was up at 5:05am, what’s that about?) I realized what I’m good at. I got picked because I have two philosophies. I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh. I also believe the World is alternately a truly f*#ked up place and the most amazing. And…oh wait. Ok I have three philosophies. I’m sorry. See what happens when you don’t have time to re-write.

My belief is that there are a lot of ways to see bad stuff. That’s why I don’t want to write about politics because then I’d have to read all about the senseless violence and absurd policies before I commented  and then I’d end up in the fetal position, lying on my futon shaking and staring at my laptop. Also, Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” is already doing it the best that it can be done.

I believe that all of us that are intrinsically funny and see the bright side have an obligation to do so in this social climate. That’s our responsibility, to keep the light on.

So although I don’t know if I can be heartwarming every day I will try to be funny. Hope that’s enough for all of you. The performer in me doesn’t want to lose a single one of you. This is scary and entirely too much fun at the same time.

Oops

I didn’t really write about anything. I’m the Seinfeld of Bloggers. But I still have to fly back to LA today. I hope there’s something funny at O’Hare or the airport or security or the other passengers or the airlines.

I’m not too worried. I think this will be a double-blogging day. And maybe a bunch of tweets. Oh yeah, please follow me on Twitter if you like my stuff, I’m the master of under 14o characters and I want to do those more often now that I started.

Thanks for listening all. Peace out.