Friday, December 31, 2010

In Retrospect

Wow, the year has come to an end and I had my share of struggles and minor victories. Even as I write this, my throat is sore and I have a nagging cough. In the last few weeks, you may have noticed a decline in the volume of material that I have produced and perhaps even a decline in the quality as well. This I can attribute to just being sick and having less times as work has picked up.

I want to first of all thank the regular readers and contributors. I also want to ask for forgiveness for not being very active in leaving comments, especially lately. As I get more time, I promise to be more engaging. I have been inspired and have learned alot from the many bloggers that have very unique points of views.

I'm always curious to know why people blog in the first place. Think about it. 99.99%of the Bloggers here have to do something besides blogging to "pay the bills". I'm no different. So why then do I blog?

Here is my blogging story. Before I blogged I was and am a great fan of stand up comedy. I think it's one of the purest art forms that there is. In my early 20's I used to go to "Tortilla's" in Montebello,CA. to watch the comedians tell jokes. Sometimes I would even go by myself and just enjoy the performances.

I saw many great comedians there. I saw Felipe Esparza, (Most Recent Winner of Last Comic Standing) Alonzo Bodden, Jeff Garcia, Willie Barcena, and countless others. On Several occasions a little known boxer named Oscar De La Hoya would frequent that place. It was bizzare to go to a dive bar and see his lamborghini in the parking lot!
True story: I took a piss in a stall right next to Oscar De La Hoya.

I remained a fan of comedy. Many years passed and I would buy comedy c.d's and DVD's and see comedians on the internet but that was it. Then one day I went on a business trip to Philadelphia and while I was there, my girlfriend (that I lived with at the time) left me. I came home to an empty apartment. It was pretty traumatic but I had my family for moral support. I ended up living with my sister for a while until things got better.

During this time I had more time for myself and I asked myself, "What do I enjoy most? I concluded that it was comedy. I joined Meet Up and joined a stand up comedy group. I studied stand up more and I eventually wrote a bunch of abstract one-liners until I had a routine. I began performing at several opem mikes. I would get nervous and do shitty but I enjoyed it.

At one open mike, a pretty known local comedian saw my routine and said he liked my stuff. The next time I saw him he said he would pay me if I wrote for him. I was making money writing jokes! Hollywood here I come. I got paid several times and then it stopped. I don't know why. I then got lazy and stopped performing. Meanwhile that comedian is very active and performs all the time and has mad connections.

During this time I was also very interested in writing monologue jokes like I do on this blog. But before putting it out, I had to see if I could do it. I looked at the jokes of other comedians that do monologue jokes like Conan, Letterman, and Bob Zany. At first it was very difficult and time consuming.

The NY Times used to have a blog called Laughlines that would allow writers from all over the world submit jokes and if they liked your stuff, they would post it on their site and since they are The NY Times, the exposure was huge. I sent in my stuff and at first I wasn't chosen. But then I became a regular and this gave me confidence that I was o.k. Then some business guy/gal at the Times decided to end that blog. It was a sad day. But I had gotten used to writing on a regular basis. Thus this blog.

I still wanted to do jokes but I wanted to add personal stories and observations as well as videos and pictures. The site is stll evolving but I'm constantly looking to not bore the reader. In the future I plan on adding more stories and perhaps do joint projects with other bloggers. I'm open to suggestions and feedback.


I'm glad the new year is here. 2010 was filled with financial hardships. unemployment,depression,insomnia, and laughter. At the same time, tragedy is the flipside of comedy. Even in the midst of my depression, I sought refuge in humor. When I had my health scare, I relied on humor to get me though the day. Things are getting a little bit better. I'm working. I still have this blog and I still have the desire to create. I will also get back to stand up comedy as well and I'll try my best to add more videos as well.

Why blog?
Instead of answering that question directly, I'll answer by way of an illustration.
A while back I attended an open mike at the Gypsey Den in Santa Ana, CA. It is a coffee shop. The open mike was pretty much just musicians on their guitars that played from their hearts. I was inspired to witness these performers put their hearts and soul into every lyric and stroke of their guitar for 5 minutes. It was a small place and the crowds wasn't that big. On top of that, they weren't paid. The reward was in something unseen. I blog for the unseen. May you continue to laugh and ponder in 2011.


  1. Great post, Israel. I enjoyed learning the background of your work with comedy. I know when a person is sick it is hard to keep up with blogging. I hope you are completely well in the new year.

  2. It's not unseen. It's seen and appreciated by all your readers and people who stumble upon your blog and say "I like the way this guy thinks." Blogging is ridiculously rewarding and often times super frustrating, but it no matter how benign you consider posting to be, it changes your life whether you intended it to or not. I'm so glad you blog! I'm so glad I found you! May 2011 be the year you always look back on and smile with pride and satisfaction.

  3. I have friends who've worked in stand up and in fact, have another BLOG friend who's just started out in the field himself, so I find it fascinating as someone who used to go to comedy clubs every week and enjoyed the hell out of it, that someone has the giant cajones to get up in front of people, all alone, and do that stuff. It must be terrifying. And Exhilarating too. So all the best for your future comedy endeavors, you crazy man. ;)

    As for blogging, I've been doing it for about ten years now with various blogs. It just became, for me, an extension of a social life. I like the interaction and the fact you can say what you want on a blog - things you might not say out loud in real life - and the world gets a glimpse of not only the real me from inside my head, but a more exaggerated and social me, who's less introverted than the real me. Mainly though it's just fun let's me write and share banter with other bloggers. What's not to like?

    Um, sorry this ended up being so long :) Happy 2011, dude!

  4. I am also a lifelong admirer of standup comedy, Israel. I have always favored edgy practitioners who push the envelope, tell the truth and shake up polite society. Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Dangerfield, Andy Kaufman, Sam Kinison, Bobcat Goldthwait and Louis C.K. are are few favorites that immediately spring to mind. You're right, Israel, humor is our salvation when times are tough. You have a great blog and I wish you nothing but the best of times in the coming year!

  5. You're right about everyone having their own reason for starting a blog but it's all great because we get together as a community and support each other. I enjoy listening to your jokes and your stories, it brightens up my day.

    I hope your new year will be prosperous!

  6. Great post! Thanks for the background on your life in comedy, it's been an interesting ride for you eh? I have a friend who lives in D.C. and he recently started doing stand-up himself. He'll post his gigs on FB for us to see his act. He's quite funny! I admire anyone who has the cojones to get up in front of a room full of strangers and try and make them laugh! You need to take your show on the road and come to Houston! The NY Times? Wow! Impressive! I wrote some short essays in the New Yorker. (random yay for me! lol) Glad you're feeling somewhat better and hope you are completely "flu" free soon! As for why I blog, under the suggestion from my therapist, I decided to try writing my feelings down in hopes of trying to figure out what was/is wrong with me. I'm also a freelance writer. My aspiration (one of them anyway) is to be a published author. So I write to hone my craft. Originally, I started this blog back in 07 but didn't really give it much attention and soon forgot all about it. But back in August, I went through a very rough period and was homebound for a few weeks. I started writing again and I remembered this blog and so, I made myself write in it every day. And let me tell you, it's the BEST thing I could have done for myself. It saved me. I'm really glad you found my blog and I found yours! Your insight and jabs and suggestions have been a tremendous help to me, and I just wanted you to know that. I wish 2011 to be a magical and prosperous and healthy year for you (mind, body and soul). FELIZ ANO NUEVO!!!!

  7. great post and one excellent pic on top

    happy new year

  8. Belle- It's true felling shitty makes it difficult to blog but I tried chugging along.
    Autumn- Thanx for such kind words. Knowing that someone appreciates your blog is motivating.
    Shady - It's good to have your contributions on this site.
    Ditz - awwwwww
    Yvonne- Gracias and I'm glad that writing has given you so much. Keep it up.
    Sharaf- Thanx Brother. I'm glad you found the site.

  9. Veg. Assassin - It does take balls to get up on stage. In general, I too am pretty introverted and I'm with you 100% that blogging allows you to bring to life thoughts that are there dormant.