Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

About five or six years ago, I was riding as a passenger in a car where the driver noticed an immigrant-looking woman walking with two small children on a long, empty sidewalk. The three of them were by all indications neither near their starting point nor their destination. The driver made a joke. I didn't laugh.

I immediately thought of my mom. She’s Filipino, having moved to the United States shortly after marrying my dad in 1969. For several years, Mom didn't have a driver’s license, and would have to run all her errands on foot. This was especially difficult when my dad, who was in the Navy, was on a months-long deployment in some ocean. She had no choice; she had two young children to raise. Shit had to get done. Groceries had to be bought. Kids had to be taken to school.

My memories of this time are scant; she got her license when I was in about 3rd grade. But one that does stick out: When we lived in Springfield, Missouri, we rented a small two-bedroom house with no air conditioning, which over the Summer Mom decided was intolerable. So we went, by bus, to buy an air conditioning unit from a department store.

Have you ever tried to lift an air conditioner?

I have no memory of the sales people or which store we bought it from, but I can only imagine what they were thinking when they saw my tiny 5”1’ mom and me—all of six-years-old—lug that unit into the parking lot and off to the bus stop.

Then up onto the bus. Then down off the bus, for the long walk back home.

I often wonder what it was like for Mom, moving to an entirely new country, not knowing anyone, not having any family nearby, responsible for two kids, with my dad gone for months at a time. But I know this: she never once hinted to my sister and I that it was hard on her. She was always loving, supportive, and positive.

She’s definitely been a hero to me, and the best Mom a son could ever have.

Happy Mother’s Day, Norlina P. Simmons

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

NYC Trip Update II

I'm posting this from the train station in the Woodlawn area of the Bronx, sitting on the steps pretending like I'm a New Yorker. Everyone here seems to be coughing, sniffling and hacking, so I fit right in. This Goddamn cold hit me the day before I left for the Big Apple, and hasn't left me since. It's been more committed to me than any of my last three girlfriends. I'm starting to fall in love, I think. What's a good engagement gift for phlegm?

The last seven days haven't gone exactly as planned, but what a whirlwind. Upon arrival at the apartment of fellow comedian Devin Barnes (and his beautiful girlfriend Ashley Hughes) my body told me: "It's time to sleep for about a week". I had a temperature, cold sweats, a sore throat, and congestion. Devin asked me if I wanted to rest for a couple of days. Yeah, right. I'm in NYC. No stupid fucking cold is stopping me. It'll probably be gone in a day or two, anyway.

(Author's Note: that last sentence was repeated by me every single day of this trip. I'm now pretty sure I'll have a antibiotic prescription in my future)

I'm on the train now. It's packed. Where are these people going at 10:38 at night?

I've only performed twice this whole trip. I really thought I'd get on stage more, but shit happens. More importantly it's been eye opening seeing the comedy up here. It's just...different. I'm based in Florida, where most of the crowds are either rednecks or octogenarians that are a broken hip away from death. They want simple, easy to understand jokes. Here in New York, you can write complex multi-layered bits and the crowds actually get it. I'm like in heaven.

Shit, I need to hit "Post" because I'm about to lose service in some damn tunnel. I know these statuses are weird and unevenly written, and I swear, the moment someone pays me for this shit I'll worry about that.

I love you all. Make me famous.


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

NYC Trip Update

I'm currently at about 30,000 feet in a Delta airplane the size of a tube sock. I hate everybody in here. I'm sitting on the aisle and fantasizing about tripping everyone that walks by. If we crashed it would suck because I would die, but everyone else getting killed would take the edge off.

Okay, I know I sound bitter. I'm on three hours of sleep. Plus, I have not been sick in two years and NOW my dumb ass body decides "hey, why not pick up a hacking cough so everyone on the plane loves you?" Yeah, trust me, if I died no one on this plane would shed a tear.

In case you're wondering, I can post this because I paid for Internet access for my phone. OF COURSE I had to pay. Just like I got charged $25 for checking one bag. I'm pretty sure on my next flight there'll be a pay toilet. They'll also announce "due to worsening economic conditions, we no longer pressurize the cabin. For your convenience, we do offer oxygen for $30 per hour. Please enjoy your flight".

I'm on my way to New York City to perform comedy. And they just announced I have to turn my phone off. Don't rob my house.