Jonny Approved: Everyone's Favorite Lounge Singer
I tend to cringe when people ask me what I’m doing these days. 99% of the time, they are asking about my chosen profession, a subject I’ve never been too thrilled to discuss to begin with. I’d rather be discussing the great new tacos I had at a local dive, or the hilarious sketch from last week’s SNL, or my ongoing obsession with 70s game shows. My ultimate goal in stepping away from a full time job was to simplify my life, but in some cases, like discussing what I do for a living, things have gotten complicated.
My big fat freelance life leads me to all sorts of jobs in all sorts of locations, but the vast majority of the time, my trusted Honda Civic is getting me there. This past Saturday, I found myself working a wedding in downtown Dallas where I stayed until all the drunken former frat guys and their slightly more responsible wives found their Ubers and set their sights on watering holes elsewhere to continue the party. I usually try to avoid all popular areas on Saturday night, but driving through Deep Ellum was the quickest way to get home. As soon as I hit Main and Good Latimer, I realized I was in for an anxiety-riddled drive.
Every time I hit the road, I feel like I’m playing a game of Frogger. You know Frogger. The game where an amphibian with suicidal tendencies opts to jayhop across dangerous traffic and streams with bobbing logs to eat flies. But in my game of Frogger, I’m not the green guy. No, I’m the slow and steady guy driving the car in lane four who hopes that going the speed limit and obeying traffic laws will help him avoid having Kermit splat against his windshield. Driving around Deep Ellum past midnight on the weekend was a severely stress-inducing experience for Grandpa Jonny. There wasn’t enough Sure from aisle 6 to keep the sweat at bay as I navigated the Death Race 2018. Fortunately, I escaped the perils of traffic unscathed, but I shall always remember that while it’s not easy being green, it’s even more difficult to survive Dallas drivers.
Watch: It’s good to point out early on in the Update Revival that I rarely watch TV. I cut the cord years ago, and I’m not one who feels constant hunger to binge watch anything on Hulu and Netflix. I have a slate of about 5-6 shows that I kinda/sorta keep up with, so don’t judge me when I give you blank stares about the latest episode of (insert your favorite show here). With that said, let me give a strong and ecstatic endorsement of one of the most creative shows on television, The Good Place. The show is so creative and different, leaving a challenge to discuss it without giving spoilers. The premise of the show involves four recent additions to Heaven, which in the show, is “The Good Place”. Ted Danson plays Michael, the guide/host/concierge of the Good Place. It’s a really wild concept that I never thought would last past a few episodes, but I just finished season 2 and the show has continued to provide new twists and turns I never saw coming. The unpredictable plot along with slick set design and superb acting make it totally binge-worthy. Oh, and the hilarious writing leads to witty dialogue and amazing recurring gags and jokes. Oh, and Ted Danson has never been better. Do me a favor? If you decide to watch the show, please contact me after the Season One finale. You’ll understand when you get there.
Listen: Selfish plug. My buddy Steve and I have been having a ton of fun making music together. Steve and I met in the First Unitarian Church choir and he is a really fine pianist. He asked me to stop by his house a while back just to play around on some music, and we found a great chemistry. Those first few “jam sessions” have led to quasi-serious rehearsals and some actual gigs! Last weekend, Steve and I decided to lay down some rough tracks so we can share our music with you and hopefully entice some spots to have us perform live. I encourage you to bookmark our page and keep track of where we’ll be performing next. Our website is www.jonnygreer.com. I say OUR website because Steve actually does all the work and humbly lets me have headlining status, stroking my ego along the way. Hope to see you at one of our gigs soon. I’m sure Southwest will have some great offers for those who want to fly in.
Read: It’s Black History Month, so each week of February, I’ll be suggesting a book written by an African American author. This week, I suggest reading Cornel West’s 1994 book Race Matters. While reading the book, I had to continually remind myself that it was published over two decades ago. I’m about to use that dreaded word again, but I find the book to be as timely as ever. Here is a passage from the Epilogue of the book:
“We are living in one of the most frightening moments in the history of this country. Democracies are quite rare and usually short-lived in the human adventure. The precious notion of ordinary people living lives of decency and dignity – owing to their participation in the basic decision making in those fundamental institutions that affect their life chances – is difficult to sustain over space and time. And every historic effect to forge a democratic project has been undermined by two fundamental realities: poverty and paranoia. The persistence of poverty generates levels of despair that deepen social conflict; the escalation of paranoia produces levels of distrust that reinforce cultural division.”
West has a hopeful outlook and is a strong proponent of community involvement on a local level to create long term progress in our country. How does one get involved? I would encourage you to vote in your local elections next month. Also, support your local print media by subscribing to them online, or the old fashioned way by taking the paper at home. Stay informed, know what is going on in your community and speak up with your vote. Be the change you want to see.
And Finally: Postcards. Over the last few years, I’ve been sending postcards to friends. Snail mail certainly isn’t en vogue, usually just a collection of catalogues we didn’t sign up for and bills we pay online. I’ve always loved getting postcards and I love sending little treats to friends to brighten up their mailboxes. I was SUPER bad about sending them in 2017, but I’m ready to get things started up again. So, if you want to get some postcard love in 2018, send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise sporadic love. At least that’s what my Tinder profile says.