My Mind's Playin' Tricks On Me




"Do not fight the last war ... Guerilla war of the mind."

The 33 Stratgies of War 



I sit alone in my four-cornered room staring at candles...

Oh, we're back?

I've neglected this thing for too long, even though I tell myself every time that I won't do it again. But like the Godfather, just when I thought I was out ... they pull me back in. It's been a while, so this post is going to pretty much going to be stream of consciousness. 

Bruh ... I'm going to die some day. 

I always knew that, but I'm starting to feel a real sense of urgency with things these days. Maybe it's because I want something to happen with this TV writing, comedy and taking over the world thing. Maybe it's because I turn 30 in February. Who knows. But regardless of the reason, I have a fire lit up under me to get everything that I can out of life right now. 

I've had a few potential close calls a few times in my life, and more than ever I have a sense of calm about death, like it's nothing to be afraid of. You know how whether you're about to get your shots, take a test, worried about how you're going to come up wth some money, or are having anxiety over anything that you don't want to do, the buildup is always the worst part?

The end result is always relatively pain free, but you kill yourself with the stress and anxiety of the buildup. It's all a form of resistance, but when you live in the moment and control what you can control, nothing can really touch you. 

My standup has really been taking off these past few months, just in terms of noticeable growth. I did a spot at The Comedy Store not long ago and felt like I really leveled up. I leveled up mainly because I'm really starting to feel comfortable in my skin onstage. I went through a stint where I was bombing left and right and I would go home like, yo... WHAT IS GOING ON?! I know I'm funny. I know these jokes work. 

It's because I wasn't present. I was there, but I wasn't THERE. That's the difference between just reciting some words and telling a joke. For me, it was the difference between bombing and killing. I heard something a little while ago that changed my comedy. They said to have success onstage, your aim should not be to get laughs, it should be to GIVE laughs. 

That means opening up with no bullet proof vest over your feelings and give the crowd your heart and soul without worrying about being too cool for school. And if they don't like it, they can put the burner to their dome and pull the trigger six times  then it's on to the next one. This has given me a lot of freedom onstage and in life. 

So at The Comedy Store spot, I said some off the cuff jokes that killed more than my writtens and talked to the crowd in a way that kept them engaged.

It all comes down to beating that resistance, man. When I go onstage unaffected by any variables, completely outcome independent, I can't lose. 

I'm making some good contacts in the wonderful world of TV writing and have gotten some votes of confidence from people who know what they're talking about. I'm also going to do a web series next year with my homie since high school and comedian extraordinaire, Terrence Smith. So I'm excited about that. 

No gatekeepers, no waiting for the green light, just being an ass on camera with one of my best friends. We're going to make magic. 

But with all that said, I feel a shift coming on, hence the quote at the top of the page. Everything around me is changing. 

I've plateaued where I'm at now, so it's time to let the old me die to get to the new me, that can get a little farther. Wash, rinse, repeat. 

I think that's the only way you're allowed to make progress in life. Like, if I want to hit six figures, I can't have the mindstate of a five figure earner anymore. If I want to be a headliner, I can't go about my craft like an open mic'er. I've already made those shifts mentally, but I think the only way we level up is when we are willing to fully and completely let our old selves die. 

I've changed a lot the past 3 years, but I want a lot, so I gotta keep elevating. 

I don't know what I'm saying anymore, so I think I'll close it out right here. I'm making a last minute trip to Vegas tomorrow to see my homie Justin Patterson do battle in his first televised pro MMA bout. Maybe I'll clear out my bank account and put it all on black at the Roulette table while I'm there. 

When I get back you're going to see a lot more of me. I'm starting a Life The Rough Draft Vlog, so now people can see and hear me run my mouth, instead of just reading my rambling. 


Peace and blessings 



You're Playing With My Emotions--Why I've Never Solved A Single One Of My Wife's Problems

I’ve been sleep deprived lately—something I’ve come to accept as part of my life. My night owlism is at an all-time high since I began working from home, various libraries and outdoor spaces.

But with the lack of sleep comes prophecy. I get little moments of insight where the voice behind my ear says something that I don’t just know is true, but I feel it. The other night, between episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Luther, I came to realize something about my time spent with the lovely Jamilah Jeezy.

This something that I realized pertains to the glory days in good ol’ Virginia, when hard decisions revolved around which beach we’d be drinking wine at. It pertains to the dating days, when we’d browse Blockbuster (remember them?) and laugh at offensively horrible movies like The Watermelon Heist, en route to discovering slept-on gems like Dogma and Idiocracy—during the college days of trying to find something real in the world. That something, the little bit of prophetic wisdom that came to me while binging on Netflix, couldn’t have been more relevant during the early married days, when we both began learning that real is what you make it, and the very things that “they” say you have to do to be happy in life, are the very things that make you unhappy.

That little something is especially relevant today, while we’re in the city of Angels chasing and living the dream. The bit of prophecy that I discovered the other night which I’m unnecessarily belaboring was this…

I have never, at any point in my life, been able to solve a single one of her problems.

Not when she was batting her eyelashes and trying to get chose, not when she graduated from Down Ass Chick 101 into girlfriend territory and not even now, when we slit our wrists at the altar and told God that we’d be together forever. At least I think that’s how it went—I was also sleep deprived and stressed at the wedding. But I do remember she walked down the aisle to music by the sexy ageless wonder, Sade.

Chew on that for a second, though. You might be thinking, but Rone, aren’t relationships all about solving each other’s problems and making each other whole? Again, that’s what “they” would have you believe, and exactly what is going to keep you unhappy.

When I say I’ve never been able to solve a single one of my wife’s problems, I don’t mean that I haven’t exponentially changed her life for the better, and let her know that life is, in fact, worth living—that goes without saying. I’m a G Boy.

What I am saying is that in my years of being with her and in other situations of field research with other relationships and dealings with women, I’ve learned that it’s in a woman’s nature to express her issues in a way that, when they hit my ears, seem sound like insurmountable obstacles that spell doom around the corner.

Why do they do that? Because they’re crazy.

I’ve also noticed that in these situations, it is in a man’s nature to jump into problem solver mode and tell her what she’s feeling and what she’s not feeling and how to fix it.

Why do we, myself included, do that? Because we’re crazy.

Not in the same way that they’re crazy, though. God had some fun with that creation. But we’re crazy because we expect our ladies to communicate, feel and solve the same way that we communicate, feel and solve. Finding out that all women are crazy was the best thing that ever happened to me. It kept me from taking mine back to the store, thinking she was broken, and allowed me to regroup and recalibrate, so that I can get through to this other being that I’m choosing to share a life with.

When I say that women are crazy, it’s because they’re crazy to me. When in their natural habitat, amongst other women, they tend to understand each other’s communication styles, but if I didn’t know any better, I’d be doomed to a confused life.

In the early days, I would jump in with solutions before Mrs. G even got three sentences in. I know that when I come to someone to vent, I’m typically not just practicing my talking, I want some solutions, so that I can stop doing what I’m doing and feeling what I’m feeling.

What I learned is that cutting her off immediately with solutions, or trying to engineer her emotions, I’m doing the woman perceived equivalent of her nagging me.

Don’t forget to do X, because blah blah will happen

Are you going to do X? You know how last time blah blah happened

Why are you doing X? Have you thought about doing Y?

Her coming with a thousand questions or criticisms when I’m in chill mode, or when I have something under control makes me want to jump out of the window and try my luck with whatever happens on the way down. However, at the root of a nag 9 times out of 10 lies a good intention.

So even though I think I’m following the natural order of operations by providing solutions off the bat, it probably evokes the same feeling of a nag.

Any dude that has been with a woman long enough has gotten his head bitten off for providing solutions during one of these moments. It’s actually a rite of passage to learn not to do that.

The reason for this is that a woman’s level of comfort with emotions faaaaar exceeds a dude’s level of comfort with them. So while it might seem like she’s having a meltdown, she might just be having a Tuesday. Whereas if I was to vent my frustrations in the same manner, there might be a legit reason to be afraid.

It makes perfect sense.

A little girl infant recognizes from the very first time that she pees, that a lot of things with her happen internally. Her reproductive system for the most part revolves around organs that she’ll never see with her eyes or touch with her hand. For that reason, among many others, she learns to look within and find some comfort there. She adapts to sharing very intimate things with parents, doctors and trusted people really early in life. So it becomes easier to trust and believe in those gut instincts and come back to a sense of grounding after allowing herself to experience a wide range of those emotions in any given moment.

The first time a baby boy pees, there’s a good chance his pee got on someone else. By the age of six, he’s been hit in the nuts at least twice, if he plays outside enough. He takes more credence in the end result of exploring the outside, rather than exploring what happened inside of him on the way to that result. With his reproductive system, what you see is what you get. Because he looks at the world from outside in, he probably isn’t as comfortable with the inner workings of everything. It’s all about results, results, results. Because of that, he doesn’t have as many colors to paint his emotional portrait. 

So if he sees someone FEELING to that extent, his reaction is going to be “Whoa, something is wrong. Let me help you with that.” 

What he might not realize is that by getting it all out (rubbing one out, if you will), she’s able to re-center and help herself. On the flipside, he wouldn’t bother exploring those feelings on the way to his decision, partially in fear that actually feeling them would cloud or prevent him from making his decision. 

No one is necessarily right or wrong, but understanding this can save some arguments and headache.

One of my uncles put me on to a strategy that saved my life. It’s simply this:

Do you want me to help you solve the issue or are you just venting?

This way, he can proceed accordingly, without having to worry about being blindsided and stepping on a landmine. They both have their place, so it helps him, and since adopting it, helps me making sure the conversation doesn’t backfire. Solving and venting both have their place. 

So while I have HELPED my wife solve plenty of her problems, I’ve never solved a single one. Solve mode typically leads to missing each other’s point of view, without knowing why. So while my guidance has its place, I’ve found it helpful to weigh whether she needs me to step in or needs me to give her the emotional space to save herself. 

And with that, it’s nap time. 


The Summer Of The Fist

One summer some years ago, my friends and I lived by a simple creed. It was a way of life that kept men honest, righted misunderstandings, built camaraderie and provided plenty of entertainment. 

This newfound way of life during that long, hot summer, came to life any time one of my band of misfits uttered the following four words: 

Get the boxing gloves. 

You’re running a platinum mouth, knowing you’ve got a gold heart? 

Get the boxing gloves. 

Someone threw out the obligatory promiscuous mom joke, when another someone wasn’t in the mood for that noise? 

Get the boxing gloves. 

The origin of the boxing gloves, like that of Spiderman, teaches that with great power, comes great responsibility. You see, we were all friends and family, so we had no interest in truly harming each other, but sometimes, when words and reason don’t work, the almighty gloves were summoned to set the nature of the animal kingdom back on track. 

The man who wields the gloves must do so with integrity. 

We started using the gloves when two of my friends were getting into an argument about some girl that they both knew. One friend was G-Checking the other, basically saying that he was letting this girl, who he had no attachment to, run him around in circles. The other friend took issue to the claims of simpdom and the jokes were starting to hit a little too close to home. 

So after driving around aimlessly for hours, because that’s a good time if you’re under age growing up in the Denbigh area of Newport News, Va., one of us got the idea to they settle this with the fisticuffs. 

Since we were all friends, we decided that the best way to go about it is to get a set of boxing gloves. So some time after midnight, we made a trip to Super K-Mart and bought the gloves. 

They did battle, if you could call it that. Neither friend had any training and never really played organized sports, so it basically boiled down to wild head hunting until they got too tired to remember why they were mad in the first place. 

But like Pops said in Friday—you win some, you lose some, but you live, son. You live to fight another day. 

After that night, getting the boxing gloves became the go-to move to settle any disputes. So when you have too much testosterone, mixed with too much heat, you’re going to get a lot of those moments. 

I had to put the gloves on after using a few too many adjectives to describe my friend’s magically delicious sister. The boxing gloves were summoned a few times over money disputes. My little brother even got in on it when a cousin came to town for a visit. He scored a first round TKO after I told him that the right hook would be open when he ducks under my cousin’s wild haymakers. 

Through the bruised egos and hurt feelings rose a unique brotherhood, weaved together under the respect of manhood and executed through the power of the gloves. 


The Limp Handshake Haiku

Shoulda came with it

Your hand almost snapped in half

Serves you right. Ha-Ha!


When Keeping It Married Goes Wrong

I had to check my sweet Mrs. Graham the other day. 

I hadn't spoiled her in a while, so I decided to use a gift card and take her to this fine dining establishment in my hometown called Applebee's. Not sure if they have one of these in your town, but if they do, you should definitely check it out. Top notch stuff.

Anyway, it was the day before we were set to fly back out to SoCal, so we were talking about things we wanted to do once we got back to life. 

That's when it happened. 

She told me to remember to clear my colon since we had a long flight in front of us.  

I clenched my paper Applebee's napkin in my hands, composing myself, so that I wouldn't snap. We've been leveling up in our relationship lately, so I guess she forgot that we were 28 and not 68. I had to let her know we'd probably have a good 30 years of those kinds of conversations, so for now, refrain from getting familiar with the happenings of my large intestine. 

Once we're in the adult diaper demographic, then maybe It'll be time to seek her guidance on such matters. But that day is not today. In terms of being married and bored, I'd much rather talk about routes to work: