Thursday, March 03, 2005

It's 4:20 Somewhere

Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
Inspired by Karsh's entry about the snicker's actress. I felt compelled to look a guy I know from Second City that appears in many commercials. The actor's name is Ali Faranakian. Ali is a Second City alum and I have met him more than once. We first met when I was performing in a spoof musical entitled The Roof Is On Fiddler. David (another black SC alum) introduced us and the three of us got high on the firescape at the Improv Olympic.

I have run into Ali a few times since that first meeting. He is one outrageous cat. Iranian by birth, he had a hard time going to school in the 80s. Kids can be cruel especially to a brown kid they think may have something to do with kidnapping some Americans. The idea is absurd but I believe it shaped the course of his life. Ali is not an angry man. He is the exact opposite. I have never met someone so positive. When you speak to him you may think that he is reciting some Tony Robbins psycho babble but this brother believes every word. Second City is full of comics which brings with it cynicism. Comics can be some of the most negative people on the planet. Comedy is the tragedy of others. Most Second City people that know Ali regard him as an eccentric (and that means a lot come from these crazies). Many doubt his os-so-positive attitude. But critics have not stopped Ali. He believes that if you work hard and think big, you will be rewarded.

Ali is by no stretch a big star but he works all the time. Not a day goes by that I don't see him in a new commercial, or a tv guest spot, or a role in a major theatre production.

I bring this up because I am trying to grab onto the optimism ring. Most people would probably see me as a positive person. If they could have only met me when I was a teen and young adult. I really did buy into the notion that everything turns out well in the end. I didn't even associate with people that thought otherwise. It was around 29 that I realized that the sun doesn't always come out tomorrow. Well, it may come up but it may be overcast. It was at this age that I realized that I was capable of failing. Then fear entered my world. I was always close to fear but never a friend to it. My optimism kept me safe.

I have been trying to shake off my cynicism. The positive Pip seemed to get more done and be less stressed. I vowed two weeks ago to think positive and not to sweat the small stuff.

I have studied Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. My favorite is Buddhism that teaches that we will constantly fluctuate between Heaven and Hell, sometimes several times a day. The last couple of days have been trying and glorious.

The other day I overslept. No biggie but I wanted to get a lot of things done and I started off behind. There was no time for breakfast just a cup of black tea with milk and sugar. I had to mail off some press releases so I made my way to the post office. I was just about to stick the bundle in the mailbox when I noticed that I forgot to put the return address labels on the envelopes. Damn! I pulled out my pen and began writing the address manually on all thirty envelopes. It was a hassle but not a big deal, a happy ending.

I left the post office and boarded a 22 bus and headed happily to FedExKinko's to have my Straight & Nappy posters duplicated.

The nice man at FedExKinko's told me that he couldn't find the file on the CD-Rom I brought in. Damn! I left FEK's and placed some Straight & Nappy postcards around a few Lakeview haunts. I was heading back to FEK's when I got a call about a job possibility. Hurray!

Then I ran into my friend Matt. We talked and off I went to Jamba Juice. Since the poster/CD-Rom incident things were going well. The woman messed up my "Razz-a-matazz" by making it too watery. Boo! She had to add some more ice and sherbert to fix it. Since this increased the volume I ended up with an extra large instead of the original size I ordered. Yeah!

I taught my improv/comedy writing class at the high school. Teaching inner-city teens is heaven and hell all day long. Some days are mostly hell. Some days are mostly heaven. Yesterday and today was the perfect blend (95% Heaven/5%Hell).

When I returned home from teaching there was a check waiting for me. It was from Heaven Sent. They manufacture detox formulas.

Back in December I was hired to work seasonally at a boxy retail store. I was told to come in to fill out paperwork (W-4s, Direct Deposit, proof of citizenship, etc). At the end of that meeting I was told that I had 24 hours to take a drug test. What?! I had been a habitual post smoker for years. I was not always baked but I did it...a lot.

What was I going to do. It was already mid-afternoon on a Friday. The place was out of the way for me by public transit so I needed to go later that day or early on Saturday. Saturday was out. It had to be that day.

I rushed up to a head shop on Belmont and bought some Xtreme detox drink. It cost $30 but it came with a %300 money back guarantee. I think you know how this story ends. I didn't pass the test. I couldn't sell boxes because I smoked weed.

I went to the company's website to find out more info about this guarantee. There was info on the bottle but the web information was more detailed. I did everything they asked including notarizing my letter. I figured most people wouldn't go through the hassle of asking for their money back but I did.

The irony is that I had promised myself in December that after my current pot stash was gone that I would not buy again for at least three months, maybe longer. I needed to let my head clear and I wanted to get more motivated.

I did stop (buying) when my weed ran out. I have smoked with some friends and a couple of times at home with my roomie but I still haven't made a purchase (for myself).

What a surprise when I got home to find that check. The check was in the amount of $90. Yeah! I could buy some weed with that. Just kidding.

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