Uncle G’s 420 Reviews: Uncle G’s Corner (#07) “MEDICATED MOMENTS”

WARNING! WARNING! (age 21+ Cannabis)

16 February 2018
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews – Uncle G’s Corner (#07) “MEDICATED MOMENTS”

Words and Street Lamp Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Seeing how this is an archival website, I’d like to introduce to my newer 420 readers, a series of essays I did for a non-profit pro-cannabis website out of New York City, some years ago. One that I’ve been involved with since the year 2011. The webmistress is the wonderful Arlene Williams aka Ganja Granny. I love her to death! The website: Green Ribbon World.

Please note … regarding this republishing. We’re going back in time. Six years ago. I was married for the second time. This past February (2017) that union was dissolved one day shy of us being a couple 22 years. No resentment or hard feelings. I’d rather look forward more than backward.

Editing: Versions 2.0 … my aim is to clean up any remaining typos and grammar errors. The originally published essays could be found on the Green Ribbon World website. When finally done (this could take some time) archiving all the past essays published, I’ll start writing new ones. In a way, I already have done so: Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews.

Uncle G’s Corner
Number: 7
August 2011

Topic: Medicated Moments – The “let’s go to a play” Experience

Driving there as we were getting close, I had this bad feeling in my gut. Think neighborhoods. Think plays. Think New York City. Are you thinking? OK, follow me.

Broadway is known for its theater. The best shows, starring the best performers. For productions that for whatever reasons are not currently on the great white way, those are said to be located; off-Broadway. Nicer than saying it still needs a little work and thus is not ready for the big time just yet. Or maybe never will. Other plays, perhaps due to the lack of investors they had, or that they simply weren’t that good, the more off-Broadway they were.

Completing the set-up, if I may. Here it comes.

Freneticore Presents
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds
Performance: 19 Feb 2011

Should this have been in New York City, you’d find it in New Jersey. Rimshot, please.

Exit 105 if one believes in fate. But this was Houston. Highway 45 heading south towards Galveston. At exit whatever, make a left. A few miles into the hood we go. An old part of Texas settled in the early 1800’s.

The theater we were going to call home a building that one might guess, use to be some kind of warehouse. First impression anyway. And like just about everything else over there that surrounded it, major renovations were needed. This part of Texas has indeed seen it’s better days. Even the main theater sign, could have used a refreshing coat of paint. Arriving, we parked on the side of the building. Was pretty much well-lit up. About the same as us (pot humor — don’t you love it).

My eyes looked all around. Potholes. Broken concrete. My wife’s like; are you sure this is it? My inner voice kept repeating; “great…..just great.” For this was just the beginning. Next, a nauseating feeling in the stomach, followed by a trip to the land of total disappointment. So buckle up.

My pretty wife and I were the first patrons there. And it appeared at least for a while, that we’d be the only ones to arrive. As eight o’ clock approached (show time), a few people did start showing up. Then more. Most dressed rather casual foregoing the proper attire for an evening like this. I’ve been to plays in the past. In New York City. On Broadway. And also downtown from where I am now; The Houston Theater District. Guys typically wore suits & ties. The misses and I dressed nice, and like just about everyone else, more on the comfortable side. This was a rock musical after all. In total, maybe 40 to 50 people showed up. Add the cast and folks that worked the theater. I’m guessing somewhere around 75 there, either in front of or behind the stage.

So, after sitting in the car a while, we went inside. There was a box office set up, on the right hand side. An employee was there. Glancing back and forth I could see the lobby was just that, a lobby. Nothing special. Like the sign outside, it too could have used, a fresh coat of paint. Dirty white walls. And not much furniture. Was mostly barren except for a few fliers made from Xerox paper, scattered here and there.

They had an official program for the show we were about to see. Nothing out of the ordinary. Plays usually do. This one here, nothing fancy/glossy. Not like that promotional postcard they had. The cover for Wayne’s album; Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds. Showed what they called a war machine, attacking a ship. Cool drawing. Science Fiction Fantasy. I so dig that. And like I said, this was printed on nice looking, glossy card stock paper. Too bad, the program that I was holding, was nothing like that. In my hands instead was a few pieces of white regular twenty pound printer paper, folded together that someone higher up in the organization, must have assumed would do the trick. Not even color ink. Another cost saving decision. Let’s have; a generic playbill. Grade schoolers could have done better here.

Our tickets were 15 bucks a piece. So they had a limited budget I’m sure. It stated in their ad/promotion that the City Of Houston gave them some cash. Were they talking loose change? Here’s three quarters, and two nickels. Now beat it! Sure could not have been much. What appeared as a serious lack of funds, reflected on everything. Think of the movies of yesterday when you heard; “Let’s put on a show!” The Little Rascals did this. In a run down location. Props were trash they found scattered around. Shields used for a sword fighting scene were actually garbage can lids. Need I say more?

In the lobby, they had beverages you could purchase. Pepsi / Diet Pepsi / Doctor Pepper…all in a can. Yours for two bucks each. At least it was cold. I did see one beer can; Lone Star. Texas proud I guess. And one bottle of whiskey. No shot glass. No cups that I saw anywhere in sight. Not even plastic ones, as I would expect from what I have seen so far of this establishment. Maybe one just took a drink of the intoxicating liquor, right out of the bottle? All that shared bacteria. Yum yum! The girl who two hits ago had a sore throat. Congratulations, so do you now. Then again the bottle could have been there for looks? Sure did look like a display of what they were offering. Purchased soda for ourselves, and threw a dollar in a tip jar. He looked needy.

Finally, we were let in. Ends up they were experiencing some kind of difficulty. The show started late. When called, like cattle, we all proceeded through the tall black, swing open and close, black door. A few steps to the stage, and seating. Think small. Theater seating. A hundred seats maybe? Not new looking. A dark red fabric covered the seats. Had that broken down, well used porn theater kind of look. Stale smell in the air. At least the floor wasn’t sticky.

We had front row seats. A three seat setup, on the left side of the theater. My wife took the inside aisle. I in the middle. And this younger heavyset woman, on my right. A complete stranger. And strange she was. Had her phone out so she could text the entire time. Add the word annoying to her description. Made these suppose to be sexy, suggesting sounds to a guy that was working the play throughout the evening. My wife and I just looked at each other. WTF? Sounded more like a cat with a huge ass hairball caught in its throat. Too funny. Meanwhile, the one my seat neighbor publicly lusted after, was busy working. Stagehand. There he was in front of us, on his knees, hooking up a speaker I swear I saw in a stoners bedroom, back in the 1970’s.

The stage was bare. Two projection screens in the background, where they used still images to help set the mood. Over the years, I’ve seen rock bands do this, and frankly much better. Porcupine Tree does a cool projection show. For one, the imagines they project, tend to fit the screen behind the band. Music synchronized perfectly. This one here, sometimes the pictures didn’t fit right. Was crooked a little. More icing on the cake. Now envision still being stoned and sitting there watching this all unfold before your eyes? From all we have seen and experienced so far, it is hard to conceive that things could get much worse.

Up to now, patrons of this event have not seen anything visual representing the play they were about to see, but for the official cover drawing that Jeff Wayne used for his project. The second time I mention this. Not to say I have not witnessed a lot since our trip coming here started. Much has happened between us getting ready to see the play, to where we were now.

Before walking out the door at home, we smoked weed. Not a huge amount. Folks are allowed an alcoholic drink or two right and be within the legal limits to drive safely. With pot, enough to get a light, pleasant buzz. We were out for the evening. To see a play. This is cool, right? Ever since making that exit off Hwy 45, it’s really been one buzz kill, right after the other. Still, there was hope. That is until the play began. Very quickly dreams were crushed that anything good was going to happen throughout the rest of the proceedings.

On top of all my other complaints, or as I see them, observations, one main one was directly right in front of me as I sat there dumbfounded as to what I was witnessing. Did I mention that the stage wasn’t elevated? I actually did see plays in New York City. I saw Godspell twice. It was the free wine at intermission that I liked best. They had an elevated stage. Had to walk up a few stairs to have the guy playing Jesus whose now playing bartender, come over and fill up my cup.

The straw that broke the camels back. I tell myself; I say self, we’re never coming back here again. We fled as a matter of fact, right after the show ended. No looking back when driving away. Foot on the gas. But I digress. Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of HG Wells War Of The Worlds has just begun, with sounds hitting my ears, being played out of a badly operated sound system. Everything was coming out of the right speaker(s). To make it even worse, mostly re-recorded music/speech/vocals. Imagine hearing parts of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of HG Wells War Of The Worlds, being performed by a lounge band in a Holiday Inn Hotel. No Justin Hayward. No David Essex. And no one even attempting to sound anywhere as good as them. Why bother? Just make it up as you go along. That seemed at times to be the approach.

So here on a wooden floor, right in front of us, they proceeded to give this a go, as only I’m sure, they could. Did I mention that this theater’s history, is dance? Lots of dancing. Wish I’d had known beforehand. Might have given me a clue as to what was to come. I would understand advertising that stated it was their own interpretation of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds. If I would have been informed of that, I would have stayed home. Could have played Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds on the stereo, medicated, and with the misses, had a much better time.

In this performance, maybe ten dancers/performers or so. More female than male. Not a bad or good thing. Just an observation.

They had a Martian. A guy in what looked like a really used, sports mascot, head to toe suit. Furry, and having a horribly bad hair day. A suit that I’m sure would be deemed by Major League Baseball, to be not appropriate for use in front of a live crowd, ever. A character not in the original story if I remember it right. The Martian’s did send out mechanical scouts. But I don’t recall beings. Not a human being like this wearing a prop probably gotten from a Salvation Army store. Discounted. Priced to go, I’m sure. See what I said about making shit up.

Check this out. Super unexpected. Girls did what seemed to me, and more than once, lesbian dances. It’s how I interpreted it. Lots of rolling around on the floor, and touching. At one point, three of them wore red/pink bodysuits. Very tight. Tight enough, we now got; cameltoe. Think anatomy class. And I remember reading on the postcard promoting the play that it was family friendly. No children in this audience. A good thing. I can only imagine if there was; Mommy….why is that ladies right nipple, sticking out more than her left one? In which Mom replies; too much dry ice, Dear.

Like a real Broadway type play, there was an intermission. All of this activity ceased, giving one a type of reprieve, and the time to form an updated opinion of the nights’ affairs, so far.

Question. Could this play be it’s so bad, that’s it’s good? Think the classic 50’s horror film; Plan Nine From Outer Space. A movie that by regular movie standards, is terrible at best. Lite up a joint and the jokes write themselves. Funny how that is. One can make a film and later on have it appreciated for being something the filmmaker never intended it to be. And that’s OK. Remember; Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes? As many people will tell you that movie sucked, that will tell you it’s good. There really is magic in the movies.

There were periods of the first part of this play, that I laughed harder than I have in ages. Because it’s so horrendously terrible. A build-up of one horrible thing, after another. And here, the silver lining. The awful barren stage look. Add to that, the terrible acting. Even worse singing when not pretending with the prerecorded vocals. And I sensed they really didn’t know the lyrics they were doing lip synchronization too. Hard to believe any of the performers were fans of the album, before getting involved with this.

I’ll admit this crap, was unbelievably funny. But not laughing in their faces so to hurt their feelings. A benefit of the doubt, we can say the performers were trying. Some harder than others. Besides, it’s not polite to be in public and have bad manners. At least, not on purpose. Unless they deserved it. In which these thespians didn’t. They were just in a bad production. Management of the theater should take responsibility. It shocks me that no one during rehearsal just stated honestly, that this really sucked. It’s a bad presentation of what really is a cool play. This includes real special effects as one can look up on the Internet. Google it. The biggest special effect this play had, was dry ice. And way too much of it. Like they didn’t know how to shut off the machine. Or they were purposely trying to cover up the whole state of stinky affairs they had going on. Someone should have punched the person who signaled this play to start this evening. “Ladies & Gentlemen” — pow.

I have to admit, the second part of the play was better than the first. Could be because the realization that this was as good as it gets, applied. There was a standout performer. A lady; Ekanem Ebinne. Played her part well. Sang well. Not a huge part. Seemed to make it her own. Everyone else made me laugh. Of course, we know that wasn’t their intention.

The play ended. People applauded believe it or not. We got up, and as I said before, immediately walked to our car. My wife commented on the way home, that she liked the dancing parts. Think I replied with; my balls itch.

Here’s my short review; absolutely dreadful. A misrepresentation of the actual play. End of review. See, I said it was short.

Disappointed? Sure. But it was a night out. We don’t get a lot of those. The words, “weird experience” sums it up nicely. I bet we’ll never forget the evening. That’s for sure.

In the theater’s advertisement, it reads: …..”will thrill and entertain you with a new take on the timeless classic.” That could very much apply to the real Jeff Wayne’s Musical World Of The Worlds. Unless Freneticore meant a new take, on a new take? From the HG Wells classic book to the Orson Welles famous radio production in 1938, to thrilling movies, to Wayne’s musical. Which this wasn’t. One leap after another. And they did end up taking something from me; my money. Maybe that’s the only “take” these folks at Freneticore were going for?

Oh…..when we got home, the misses and I got totally wasted smoking hydro. And laughed. This time, out loud.

Onward through the fog…..

Uncle G

Music played while typing: Yes – Fly from Here (album)

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Intro to Uncle G’s Corner (#01)

08 Aug 2017

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Intro to Uncle G’s Corner (#01)

Words and Red Ashtray Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown

Twitter @GBrown0816

Seeing how this is an archival website, I’d like to introduce to my newer 420 readers, a series of essays I did for a non-profit pro-cannabis website out of New York City, some years ago.  One that I’ve been involved with since the year 2011. The webmistress is the wonderful Arlene Williams aka Ganja Granny. I love her to death! The website: Green Ribbon World.

Green Ribbon World (website)

Please note … we’re going back in time. Six years ago. I was married. That one came crashing down in which I was awarded a divorce, one day shy of us being a couple 22 years. No resentments or hard feelings. I wish her well. This is growth. Can’t say I felt that way about wife #02 only months ago. Life goes on. Other aspects in which other parts changed as well. Time stands for no one.

Editing: Versions 2.0 … my aim is to clean up any remaining typo and grammar errors. The original published essays could be found on the Green Ribbon World website. When finally done (this could take some time) archiving all the past essays published, I’ll start writing new ones. In a way, I already have: Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews.

Gary “Uncle G” Brown (08 Aug 2017)

First Published on Green Ribbon World: 21 March 2011

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Intro to Uncle G’s Corner (#01)

Uncle G’s Corner_Subject: Introduction Part Two

Part two? So where’s part one you ask? Hint. I was already a guest blogger. Right here in Green Ribbon World. Just somewhat recently. I touched on how cannabis helped me get through a difficult medical treatment. After I submitted that to Arlene, we started talking about how maybe I could become a regular contributor. Something monthly, or bi-monthly. Needless to say, the both of us really dug this idea. Wonderful conversations followed. And for the first time, we talked on the phone. Everything up to then was e-mails and such. We found/introduced ourselves on a website called; Daily Buds. Regular communication back and forth ever since.

Feel free to quote me anytime; Ganja Granny is one of the coolest females to walk the planet. Never met a better activist. She truly cares about people. Therefore, I find it an honor and a privilege, to be a part of such an awesome website. Thank you, Arlene!

When we discussed my participating on her website, we talked about names for whatever we would call my column. “Uncle G’s Corner” was the favorite. Here’s how the words “uncle” and “corner” won out.

Besides Ganja Granny, I bounced names back and forth with my pretty wife. One evening, we smoked a bowl and then having a conversation, focused on the word; uncle.

What came to our minds was that one relative, just about every family has. Perhaps he married into the family. Regarding character, he appears to be a total opposite of everyone. The guy marches to his own drummer. Works hard. He gets along with people fine. The kids all like him. Now, take it a step further. This is the one in the family, whose a pot smoker. Most of the family has known about his use of weed now for years. At gatherings, it would not be unusual to hear a certain Aunt say out loud when the uncle was suddenly missing from the festivities; “Bet he’s off doing some of that wacky weed. Everyone knows he smokes pot.” If all around ear shot wasn’t aware of this, they were now. The fact is, no one really seems that concerned. Not that everyone talked publicly about it. Like it was a good thing. Kept kind of like a family secret. The man always comes off like he could hold his own. And the Aunt who enjoys making public announcements such as this, she’d have three lit cigarettes going at once. Be drinking coffee, all day. She’d pour the hot beverage into a saucer. With each hand, she grab a side, and bring it up to her lips. You could hear her slurp. Certainly out of the two family members, the most annoying was actually her.

So that’s how we decided on “uncle”. They tend to have experience. Been around the block more than once. Might even be able to offer some good advice, from time to time.

Now why the word; corner? I grew up in New Jersey. Several times in the mid to late 1970’s, I visited New York City. Always for pleasure. Saw a bunch of kick ass concerts at Madison Square Garden. Sometimes, I purchased concert tickets on street corners. Had to be extremely careful. Hustlers and con artists were a plenty. One highlight was seeing Led Zeppelin in 1977. Yeah, wow! That’s a whole story by itself. More an adventure. One day perhaps I’ll type it out, and have it posted on here. Should be entertaining.

Besides buying concert tickets on street corners, one could also find reefer. Sometimes, whoever selling it, would wait until you were within earshot, and then throw a rhyme at you. Something like this; “Got some weed. Best in the city. Get a 10 buck bag. It won’t be shitty.” If you looked at the dude, he’d smile at you. I’m going by memory. Am sure the rhyme was much better than that. And back to the dime bag, the count usually wasn’t that good. Hopefully, you don’t remember scoring this. Enough weed to make a couple pin joints. If you were lucky. Care for a little weed with you rolling paper? When that’s all you could find. Had to be good enough. Beat having nothing. Not all times the count was lousy. Accounted on who was on the corner selling the stuff. Most times, it was what it was, and you took what you could get.

So I picture the street corner being back in New York City. For the reader, could be anywhere U.S.A. In your mind, try to make it nice and clean. After all, if you’re going to hang on the corner for a spell, then it might as well be a cool place to chill out some.

The corner should have a cool street light. Antique looking. Maybe a garbage can somewhere close by. A fancy one. Can’t have any garbage in it. That could smell bad. Could also bring flies. We don’t need any stinking flies on our corner. Not mine! And certainly not yours, nor one we share.

I liked the idea of having a phone booth. Not the kind smelling like urine, on a hot summer day. What a very unpleasant smell for the nose as one would walk past that. And if it didn’t smell like piss, then odds were hanging at the phone booth, were the prostitutes. They stand there, pretending to be talking on the phone, while all the time, just searching for the next ‘John’ to come by. On this corner, none of that happens. And there’s a phone booth. It’s an older, cool looking one. As it should be.

My corner is neat, and for the most part, tidy. Nearly complete. But one thing is missing. Something to sit down on would be nice. Getting older, and don’t need to be standing up all the time. Something better than sitting on the sidewalk. I know, brick steps. From an apartment building. Right there near the corner.

Please allow me to introduce myself. If I could use my real name, I would. Seeing how this is a pro cannabis website, and how cannabis is still illegal where I reside, “Uncle G” is me. I’m a proud cannabis user. But I’m careful who I let know that. Hopefully, we’ll all see a day when that will change. Decriminalization. It be about time, huh? For now, medical purposes are fine. Many aspects of this, still need work.

If the law states it’s OK to consume cannabis, then that should reflect on all aspects of everyday life, including the job site. Going to work high, isn’t cool. Understandable if companies would want its workers to refrain from doing that. Being home and smoking a doobie on your off time, should be perfectly fine. Companies in the States where medical cannabis is legal, should drop the marijuana pee tests, and stop firing its employees for having cannabis in their systems.

I first started smoking weed back in 1973. I was twelve. Nothing I’m proud of. I had a serious lack of adult supervision in my teenage years. Ask me now, and I’ll tell you that one should be at least 18, before using cannabis. I think the body should fully develop first. I read the brain can still be forming, up until the early twenties. Something to take into consideration.

This coming August, I’ll be fifty years old. Am very happily married. I’m a blue collar worker. My wife works with autistic children. For the most part, we have more bills than money. Like the saying goes; life throws you lemons, throw them back. That’s not right. You make lemonade. I have 55-gallon drums of this shit. In a tall glass. With ice. And to go along with it, some smoke. Life’s OK.

Writing for Green Ribbon World, I’ll be reflecting on my past experiences using cannabis. I’ll also be making observations, and or giving opinions as to whatever that is going on at the time, be it public or private, provided I have some interest in it and feel like going down that road. Feedback is encouraged. I’ll do my best trying to respond.

Here’s my major spin. I’m an everyday cannabis user. Lately, pretty much since the middle of 2009. But not a full fledged stoner. Some know the difference. Others will tell you there is no difference. I, of course, have an opinion about this.

I throw into the general conscience that an everyday, average, cannabis user, can live a wonderful, productive life. Excel in business. Make an honest living for themselves. Be happy at home. Handle as much responsibility as necessary. And not just be a fuck up. In this case, that can be defined as a totally unproductive adult human being, living with Grandma. Getting high, 24/7. Bongs and video games. It’s been depicted in movies, more than once. Most are comedies.

When the descriptive words, “pot smoker”, come out in conversation, people usually respond with a smile. That’s what they are projecting on the outside. You see, some folks across our Country, really love and respect the plant. Others, not so much. Inside, they successfully created a different mental image. The potheads pictured, would be grown, adults. Some of the ones casting judgment will imagine them in their underwear. Just because they are losers, don’t mean they have to be unattractive. Look, it’s a pretty blonde stoner, in a G String.

Contrary to belief, a large section of the cannabis community, are mature and responsible. Take care of themselves.  Or being in a family unit, have others who rely on them for the basics of everyday living. True, every blue Moon they might have their stoner moments. Under the influence of cannabis, anything could happen. I got several of those stories. Could it have been the side effects, of the weed you think? Scientist has proven, and I bet had a good time doing so, that cannabis has side effects. Are they as bad as alcohol, or many pharmaceutical drugs? Opinions vary.

I am a pot smoker. I’m not a drug addict. I smoke small quantities of cannabis nowadays, on a daily basis. No chemicals added. Grown naturally. Let the plant dry out, and stuff a little of it in a pipe (don’t forget the screen). Get out your source of fire. Bring pipe to mouth. Lite, and inhale. About seven seconds later, here comes that pleasant euphoric feeling. Keep repeating. You’re now high! Some will say that’s a separate side effect, all it’s own. Can be very enjoyable. Nothing to feel guilty about, and certainly nothing worth going to jail, or paying large fines for.

Speaking for myself, I’d wish those fighting to keep cannabis illegal, would instead realize if only just for a second, that the general public using cannabis for whatever reason, is one of the lesser evils one actively participating in this society, can do. Yes, some use it for recreational purposes. And no, I don’t believe it’s a gateway drug. It’s a weed. Good folks in general, people you would leave your children with, will tell you they have medical issues, and how cannabis helps them cope. There are lots of these stories. In neighborhoods, and on the Internet. I have one myself. We’ll talk about this, and many other things regarding the wonderful world of cannabis. In the meantime, toke up, and enjoy whatever it is you like about the plant. I sure will.

Till later,

Uncle G  (submitted 21 March 11)