Nov 26th, 2013 by theurbanerma
* Republished from The Urban Erma March 2011
A close friend recently hosted a “Game Night” and all of us who attended were charged with bringing our favorites. Rising to the challenge, I brought a goodie bag full of old school: dominoes, cloth and wire jump ropes for Double Dutch, and a sack full of classic metal jacks. You heard me. Jacks! Yeah, I took it there. You can’t get metal jacks anymore. You see, now we care about children choking on small metal objects, in my generation not so much. I’m not saying parents ate their young back then, but they didn’t see the need to over protect us from toys made with lead, asbestos, mercury, or depleted uranium.
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Nov 20th, 2013 by theurbanerma
The Big Named Car Service That Advertises on TV that I normally use recently doubled their price for a trip to the airport so I called The Small Local Neighborhood Car Service instead. Spoiler alert: It was a mistake.
Nov 13th, 2013 by theurbanerma
A popular joke in my act is about my first-ever Brazilian wax being done by A Very Angry Russian Woman who – as she’s ripping off the strips of cloth and my dignity – says to me: “In my country, I was gynecologist.” She didn’t really say that but humor is born out of pain. And getting a Brazilian wax was an excruciating and yet instructive experience.
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Nov 7th, 2013 by theurbanerma
I toyed with naming names but The Who isn’t as important as The What: piss poor customer service from corporations that should know better. But for clarity let’s call the relevant players My Bank, The Vendor, and Me. I paid a bill online but due to a website error I was double billed. I contacted My Bank and they said there was nothing they could do. An electronic payment is not like a check. You can’t request a stop payment. Once the funds are approved it’s out of their hands. I called The Vendor and they said there was nothing they could do either, because they did not yet “see” the money in their system and most likely wouldn’t for up to 72 hours. And poof just like that over $1,000 of my money was gone off into the ether.
Oct 29th, 2013 by theurbanerma
I casually mentioned that I was at The Library the other day and the person I was chatting with looked at me and said, “The library? Why?” They seemed genuinely surprised that I would voluntarily go. I could see they thought The Library was somewhere you went as a kid only because somebody made you. My conversation companion said, “Can’t you just download books now?” Of course I can, but The Library is not just books.
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Oct 9th, 2013 by theurbanerma
Human beings dream of the type of time travel we see in the movies – well, maybe not in Primer. That film succeeded in making time travel look complicated, dreary, and so not sexy. Although we don’t yet have a machine, drug, or app to traipse up and down the timeline at will, we can travel to the past through memory. I took such a trip the other day when I walked into my parent’s bedroom, saw my Mom cleaning out her dresser drawers, and suddenly I was six-years-old again.
Oct 2nd, 2013 by theurbanerma
When I was a kid I thought adults had all the answers. Then I grew up and realized that they, we, don’t know anything. We’re all making it up as we go along. Welcome to life. Welcome to social media.When I was a kid I thought adults had all the answers. Then I grew up and realized that they, we, don’t know anything. We’re all making it up as we go along. Welcome to life. Welcome to social media.
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Sep 22nd, 2013 by theurbanerma
I learned how to jump Double Dutch late in life. By late I mean 12-years old. In the hood, that’s way late. If that were old enough to drive a car it would’ve qualified me for handicapped parking. It’s not my fault. As a kid I listened to a lot of AM radio and consequently didn’t know how to keep a beat. You need rhythm to jump Double Dutch or the rope will literally trip you up.
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Sep 18th, 2013 by theurbanerma
I’ve been getting a lot Facebook messages lately from young single women of color who desperately want to be my friend: Dora, Rosalind, Baha, Kate... It’s like the bad old days of penis enlargement emails and Nigerian royalty inheritance scams. Why is this happening? Is the Facebook Privacy & Security team on vacation? Oh, right: What privacy and security? I forgot that free social networking companies are in the business violating my privacy and selling my security to the highest bidder.
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Sep 10th, 2013 by theurbanerma
So, I’m casually flipping through The New York Daily News last week when I saw an old familiar face: Ray Garvey. The headline read: “‘Fame’ for Brooklyn’s ‘great guy’: Athlete, cop, actor, funnyman.” Ray was being posthumously inducted into the Brooklyn Softball Hall of Fame. He was only 52-years-old when he died from cancer. Funny, I never thought I’d get to the point in my life when the phrase “only 52” would come out of my mouth. As my eyes welled up with tears I thought: Has Ray really been gone for three years? I remember going to the wake and it seemed like a New York City comedy industry Who’s Who. It was only fitting. Not only did Ray have many friends but he’d also given opportunities to a lot of people. I was one of them.
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