Death Sucks

But is a bittersweet, necessary, little dipshit.

Can you imagine what would happen if we never died? Actually, yeah, it’s probably pretty easy. Just watch any modern Wolverine movie. He’s a super happy beam of light, isn’t he?

Psych! Just a little joke us living folks like to make. Turns out, he’s pretty forlorn. No matter what he does or is done to him, he can’t seem to die. And that’s a heavy burden to carry.

Then again, so is the burden of knowing that by loving others, you run the risk of somehow losing them in the future. And then you’ll have to endure the sadness and the pain from that.

death cartoonSee what a little dipshit Death really is? It’s a lose/lose.

Briana, you’re normally super upbeat and cheery and like to talk about rainbows and puppies. What’s going on?

I’m still plenty upbeat and cheery. I’ve just lately been reminded through losing loved ones of my own (all of our own) pending mortality. For a planner and achiever like myself, the anxiety of wanting to get everything done that needs to be done before leaving this earth combined with my desire to live in the moment while also making investments and planning for a better future is enough to make me go screaming face first onto my balcony.*

*Note, I live in a garden apartment. I mean I literally want to walk out screaming then stand there safely, with my usually quiet neighbors wondering what all the fuss is about then remembering we don’t know anything about each other and have a policy to leave each other, for the most part, alone so everything would go back to normal shortly thereafter.

So what’s my point in writing this? I don’t know. I don’t think there is a point except to say that death sucks. I attended two funerals of loved ones recently, both of whom had been struggling trapped in their own bodies for a long time. Death was a weirdly welcome visitor for these two folks. I know they’re no longer struggling. I know in many ways that we lost them years ago. But that doesn’t mean that as I stood there looking at what remains of their temporary earthly soul-housing, hi-fiving the crying people next to me while saying, “WHEW! What a relief, amiright?!” Au contraire, bittybear. It was freakin’ sad.

There’s a finality to saying goodbye. There’s finality to the funeral service- no matter how it’s done- that brings about the recognition that you’ll no longer have normal access to this person, no matter what they meant to you. There’s a finality to thinking that you, too, will pass and that everyone you’re here with at this moment will do the same. It’s overwhelming, to say the least. You start wondering if you’re living your life right. You start wishing you had spent more time with whoever passed. You start looking at the loved ones closest to you and holding on more tightly while recognizing it’s unreasonable to spend every waking moment together reminding them that you love them. That’s not what life is about and that’s not always the most accurate way of showing your love. Love is an action verb. It means more than simply saying it. It means showing those you love that you love them by living up to your own potential, beaming your light as brightly as you can, and being able to share that with others. It means bringing light to people- however you can, near or far. Sometimes you can bring light through your words and acknowledgement. Sometimes you bring it through staying true to who you are in a difficult situation. Sometimes is any number of possibilities in between those two things.

Because when you’re gone, your legacy continues through the amount of light you’ve imparted on others. They think about not only who you were and how you affected them, but who they’ve lost before and how they can learn to shine more brightly in remembrance of those who’ve passed and in reverence of the strange luck that has allowed them to continue to be alive.

When you’re younger, you have no sense of it really. Nor should you. Please, parents, do not start telling your kids at young ages that they’re going to die someday. That feels like it’d only end up being traumatic. But as you get older, every doctor’s appointment and strange test result, no matter how common it may be in others, can come as a shocking reminder of how frail health can be and how flippantly we seem to dance in and out of this existence. Combine that with the realization that you have and will continue to lose those you love, and there’s really no simpler way to say it than… Death sucks.

Then again, nothing worthwhile every came easily. Ships won’t get damaged if they stay in the port, but that’s not what ships are for. A smooth sea never made for a skillful sailor. Diamonds are as a result of years of intense pressure. And Wolverine’s life is depressing.

So as much as death sucks, it also weirdly gives us all inspiration to shine more brightly and live more fully. That little dipshit.


Just Asking

Sometimes I’m able to pull off cool stuff (with the help of friends, of course). Over the years, I’ve been consistently surprised at the number of people who are shocked by whatever shenanigans I’m able to put together. mother may i

But I live by a very simple policy that often allows me cool opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. That policy is this: Just Ask.

Years ago, even though I had already implemented this policy in many different projects, I was working on something important to me. And I was nervous about inviting important people to see my important project. I felt like maybe they were out of my league and maybe I’d be overstepping boundaries by inviting them. I’m not big on “frontting” as the kiddos say, which sometimes means I don’t invite people to things they’d be more than happy to come to.

But a very close friend at the time put a very clear insight on why it’s important to “just ask.” He said, “The worst that could happen is that you ask and they say ‘No.’ But if you don’t ask, they’re already saying ‘No.’ And there’s a chance, when you do ask, that they might actually say ‘Yes.’ So you really can’t lose.”

Articulating this so specifically helped me solidify how important that policy really is in my life. Though I had an intuitive feeling for that idea, I can remind myself of that simple idea whenever I feel myself hesitating. By not asking, the answer is already “No.” So I might as well take a chance that I’ll hear a “Yes” and ask.

That’s probably why I hear more Yes-es than the average bear. I do a whole lot more asking.

A Year Ago

back in timeA year ago, I got some news that surprised me. Someone tried to tell me I wasn’t good enough for something. Well, the truth was, they did tell me that they didn’t think I was good enough for something. He basically told me I didn’t make the cut.

After I got over the initial shock since I found the assessment completely unfounded, I thought about the deliverer and I thought about the actual outcome of this news and its impact on the rest of my life. I realized that the deliverer wasn’t someone I admired who’s opinion I needed to listen to and the outcome I thought I wanted was absolutely unnecessary to the goals I had in my own life. Another outcome would have allowed me to check off a box that didn’t need checking in order to prove I live up to arbitrary standards of a system that’s becoming more archaic daily.

But rejection is never fun no matter what perspective you can later spin it into. It can bother you. And, despite the fact that I am now more relieved and well-aware that world is not one I want to be a part of, this one still bothered me for a while.

I mean, you want to get in an invite to the party even if you have no intention of attending.

So I was going to write a whole article in response going into detail about all the things I’ve done in the year since this day. But when this day neared, I lost my edge to write a vengeance-filled post bragging about all my accomplishments. First of all, it’s not really my style. And secondly, I just didn’t care enough. The truth is, this mattered so little to me by the time the day came and went, that I just let it go and forgot about it. I was too busy actually doing the things that I love to take time out of my day to focus on telling people that I’m doing the things that I love.

And when I realized I missed my chance for my year-later response, I couldn’t find a shred of me that really cared. It all felt so long ago and my life has been progressively getting better, more fulfilling, and happier since that day.

When the issue comes up, of course I’m candid and honest about how I felt about the whole situation. But the underlying truth of the matter is that I care about it a lot less now that I thought I would. Which, for the most part, is liberating. But a little part of me still wishes I were angry so that I could let their rejection continue to fuel me.

But I’m not angry. While initial frustrations and rejections can make for good tinder for a fire, they ultimately cannot sustain the flames. They can provide a little help making it burn brighter, but they flare up and burn out quickly. It’s the thick logs and constant care that keep a fire burning. For me, those thick logs are my own passion for creativity and storytelling, and the constant care is the diligence and consistency with which I approach turning my passion into a daily, viable reality.

To put it bluntly, I realized that the best way to show ’em up is to show ’em you don’t even need ’em. Cuz you don’t.

Show Me The Goodies

Listen, I’m open, people. I love new ideas and get extremely excited about the possibility of working on all sorts of new and enticing projects with passionate people.

But I’m at a point in my career (and life) where I don’t have time for empty promises. I don’t dislike people who make them, because I know most empty promises are not made by people who realize they’re empty. And many times, they may not be.

show me the moneyBut a whole lot of times, they are.

My point is simply this: Let’s be reasonable with each other people. If you’re going to ask me to take a meeting with you, and you pick the date, place, time and venue and are pitching your idea to me, I need to see some goodies that I get out of it before I’m enticed. That’s not because I’m selfish or an asshole. That’s because I’m busy and it’s human nature.

I’ll probably love your idea. I love most ideas because I’m just generally a fan of ideas.

But if you don’t have anything in place- no structures, no commitments, no tangible way of making the idea into a reality or not even a blueprint for how to get started- why should I care?

Again, not because I don’t care about you… but because I’m busy and have lots of ideas of my own. Because we’re human. And we need to know how something will serve us and make us as individuals better or more fulfilled. Otherwise, I’ll feel like you’re wasting my time. And I don’t have the luxury of time to waste.

So if you want someone to be as excited as you are by your project, actually show them something what they’ll get out of it. Show them what you’ve done, what you’ve already got in place to make this idea a reality, or show them your enthusiasm for having them on board and why it’ll be so good for everyone involved.

And for god sakes, pay for their coffee/meal/drink. If they’re giving you time to listen to your idea, have the courtesy to show them that small respect for their time.

Otherwise, they’ll walk away and be like, “Cool. That was an idea someone else had about a project they’re obviously really excited about and I don’t know why I should be too and not sure why I left work and drove 45 minutes to pay for my own lunch and listen to someone else’s idea and don’t know why I should be involved at all.”

Believe me. I know from experience.

Military Pals

I’m very close to a lot of military people. I talk about one in particular, and I have a father who served in the Air Force and a Grandfather who was active duty in the Navy during WWII, plus a lot of my closest friends in college were in the Army ROTC program. I was so close to these guys, in fact, that I wrote them a special segment in my college magnum opus, Xavier: The Musical:

When people first read the script, they were like, “There’s no way you’re gonna get these guys to do that. They’ll be insulted.”

In reality, my Army friends were like “How come we don’t get to sing along too?”

I think about my military friends a lot. Their discipline and commitment are inspirations to my own work. I think about them even more on Memorial Day. There are a lot of people I never knew who have given the ultimate gift of their lives to a bigger philosophy so that others may continue to pursue their own happiness. There are even a few I do know. And I am grateful to have known them and let their sacrifice remind me that life is short and beautiful and we should all be so lucky to know what gives us a feeling of purpose in this life and have the opportunity to pursue it.

So thank you, military friends young and old. Thank you for your service. And thank you for your sacrifice. And thank you for inspiring me to keep doing variation on fart jokes, since you guys seem to really love ’em.

Tonight, I beat you, Resistance.

…you minx, you.GoTS4trailerDanyDragon

Even though I pride myself on my productivity, I’ll be the first to admit that it can be hard to convince yourself to make time to write. I talk a lot about “Resistance.” It’s a very real energy that fights very hard against you being creative. Even though it’s a great tool to recognize what you’re scared of (and often, therefore, what you should attack head-on), what I often fail to talk about is just how difficult a struggle it can put up.

I am usually good about making time to be creative. I am not often good about taking advantage of it. There are various external and internal factors that come into play before I sit down feeling inspired.

But some days I do it. Even if it’s not perfect and it’s not as good as I hoped and it’s not as much as I hoped… I get it done.

And I always take time to remind myself how good it feels when I slay the dragon. So that I can be reminded of that feeling the next time Resistance tries to convince me to be distracted. I remind myself how good it feels at the end of the tunnel, and I push through.

So don’t forget that sometimes, when you’re fighting the good fight, you get tired. And that’s ok. You can retreat and recoup for a minute. But don’t you ever ever ever ever ever let that minx get the better of you for good.

Ice Ice Vengeance

Alright stop. Collaborate and listen.

Or read.

Whatever you get the point.

Long before I was an aspiring young hip hop artist and freestyle rapper, I was but a mere high school student in speech class attending a private Jesuit school in Indianapolis. I used to do speeches I thought were hilarious. I showed how to properly paint nails by asking the notoriously mean assistant dean to let me paint his nails pink. I wrote silly skits with friends and pretended my mic was going in and out of speeches during really important parts. I did shit I thought was hilarious.Rap singer Vanilla Ice in 1991. (AP Photo)

One of the attempts I made at hilarity was when I tried to have all of the lyrics of “Ice Ice Baby” memorized to deliver as an extemporaneous dramatic monologue reading to the class. This is before my years of improv and my years onstage. I was nervous. I wanted to be funny. I was 16 and really invested in this being hilarious. I listened to the song on repeat for hours. I looked up the lyrics and went out of my way to memorize it. I remember putting specific verses on repeat while driving on spring break in order to get it down.

And the day of my speech, I brought up a cheat sheet in case I forgot.

And I failed.


I memorized parts of the song, sure, but I was so nervous I didn’t trust myself and looked down so much I screwed up a lot and lost my place. It was uncomfortable and far from funny for everybody. I remember looking at a note a person who shall remain unnamed wrote to someone else. It said simply “What do Briana and unfunny have in common? Everything.”

To be fair, that was the meanest things got in my school. And I bet if I had confronted him about it, he would have apologized. I went to a really nice school and had, for the most part, really nice classmates. Yeah we were all teenage assholes, but we weren’t terrifying bullies.

But still, because I was so invested in making that performance where I failed and I was so convinced deep down in me that me rapping that was hilarious, I didn’t give up. Shortly after the speech I put my memorization in to hyperdrive and had that song down within the week. I didn’t get the chance to redo my speech, but I began making it my go-to karaoke song. And I began to let my inner entertainer loose and go crazy with the performance because I knew it so well. My senior year, I showed off my skills in the Black Student Union talent show, enlisted a friend to do the background vocals and performed the hell out of the song in front of a huge audience wearing a colorful dress with shoulder pads that I found at a local thrift store. I got a screaming standing ovation.

By the time I got to college, I would bring tiny podunk karaoke bars in Cincinnati  to a halt after performing the song. I go nuts whenever it’s played. I did it once at a beer festival in St. Louis and was immediately bought three drinks. I did it in a bar in Toronto and was given a shot and hugs by a gaggle of strangers. I did it a couple months ago in Santa Monica at a wine bar and had a man beg me to leave my boyfriend to be with him afterwards. (Spoiler alert: Didn’t work.)

What I’m saying is… I annihilate this song now.

And I’ll be honest, every time I do it, I still think of that epic fail in speech class when I was 16 years old and that passive aggressive note I saw on that guy’s desk afterwards. And every time, there is an angsty teenager inside me going “Take that, [insert guy’s name here]. Ya dick.”

Sometimes it’s ok to fail. In fact, often it’s ok to fail. Let the failure be a teacher and your frustration fuel you to new levels.

And once you stop giving so much of a shit, you too can become a local karaoke comedy rock star.

Yo man let’s get outta here. Word to your mother.

Earth Day Shmirth Day

I’ve got a thing against today. I’m not a fan. Every year, this day has a weird energy for me. And it has for a long time.

sad-earth-climate-changeGrowing up Unitarian Universalist, this was like the only “Holy Day” we celebrated. UU’s (as they’re called) are big fans of the earth so they make a big deal of earth day.

As I grew up, I started noticing some strange things always went down on this day. I went through a strange period of my life- years- where this day had particularly strange significance that I’m not going to go into here and now but rest assured if I told you the story you’d be like, “Huh. Weird.”

One year I was convinced I got over the strange day and ventured out into LA. That day, I had my newly upgraded phone stolen and very nearly got into 3 accidents to and from an event.

Last year, I thought for sure I broke the curse. I stayed in, had a very relaxed day, and didn’t make any rash decisions. Only to realize I bought tickets for a festival that I had to cancel 3 weeks later because of a different engagement and, despite having bought travel insurance for the tickets, ended up losing $150 of my investment.

I don’t like April 22.

But I’m feeling different about it this year. I feel like last year for many reasons was the end of an era. So far, 2015 has been a whole different experience for me socially, career-wise, and romantically. Some sort of shift took place. I don’t yet know what it is (because are we really ever able to see these things as they’re happening when we only have pieces of the puzzle but no real picture yet of how they fit in?), but I know it’s happened.

So I’m still taking it easy today. And after years of this day having a strange energy around it for me, I’m not looking to tempt the fates. But I do feel like I’m slowly emerging from a whirlwind tunnel that’s been taking place and always come to a head this day. I’m calmer than I’ve ever been about it. And actually genuinely excited and intrigued to see how it will all play out.

I’ll keep you updated.


Bringer Culture

Not long ago I did a late night show on a late weekend night. I don’t want to get too specific because, although elements of this story are directly aimed at specific people, I’ve always found being more general in your frustrations is more effective for understanding  how they can affect your own life and happiness rather than simply blaming others for being dicks.

Anyway, not long ago, I did a show on a late weekend night for a some total dicks.

I booked the show through an outside source, talked to the main guy who was running it about expectations, and then actually ran into him the week before the show at a comedy rap battle (where I annihilated onstage and he did so poorly he and his opponent were both deemed losers and their spot was given to someone actually worthy of moving on).

The show was a hard sell. It was a holiday weekend. It was in the valley. It was at 10:30 pm and it was $15 cash at the door. For a comedy show.

scam-artistThe only person I was able to “sell” that to was the man I date and that’s only because he’s like in love with me so he likes to support me even during B.S. shows. Everyone else I invited was out of town or got (understandably) too drunk to want to come to the valley at that hour and spend $15. Even my guy was pretty shocked at the price. He doesn’t mind paying to support me but I wasn’t seeing a dime of that money and I don’t like him paying more than $5 or $10 for anything. It was, after all, a no guarantee’s comedy show. For $20 we could have gone to one of the major comedy venues in town and seen some of the best comics in the world drop in.

But nevertheless, he paid it and I apologized to the booker (because I’m midwestern) for not having more people out there. He was rude and ignored me and acted like I was really being unreasonable.

There were only 4 comics including the host who showed up to perform. One was the man who booked the show, one was another guy I guess was also running the show who I’ve seen around town, another woman, then the host. That’s it. So you’d think, if we’re going to do an hour or so show, it would be pretty evenly spaced out on how much time we get.

I should note- I almost thought about not going. I didn’t want to leave my place on the westside super late to go to this because I was afraid it was going to be yet another shitty experience. I had a gut feeling these guys were dicks and wouldn’t respect me or my time at all. But I thought better of it, put down the delicious wine I was drinking, and gave up an episode of Game of Thrones to go do this show in the hopes it would be a really positive experience.

I got 4 minutes.

Four. Minutes.

I was told I’d get the light at 3 minutes and I had to get off after that.

I accidentally ran the light and did a whopping 5 minutes. But I had them laughing the whole time, so whatever.

The guy who actually booked the show went up after me. He did 20 minutes. He did not have 20 minutes worth of good material, but he stood onstage and talked for over 20 minutes. Then the next comic, the other girl, went up. She got a whopping 5 minutes, too, even though she was also really funny.

And then the last guy got up. And he talked. And talked. And talked. And talked. And eventually, after talking for a really really long time, he asked how long he’d been onstage. The host told him 38 minutes. He laughed and kept talking for at least 5 more minutes. My guy and I were tired and wanted to leave. It was way past midnight, we’d been up since 6 am working and doing lots of different stuff. So we did the “faux pas” of not “supporting the show” and left while he was still talking and the show was still technically going on. I tried to keep my face calm as I looked at the guy who booked me. I smiled and said thank you. He made eye contact yet still managed to ignore me.

I was shaking with anger as I walked to my car.

Here’s the thing. I get it. So called “bringer” shows, where you book 30 comics most of whom have never done comedy shows so they’re able to bring everyone they know who will sit through 3 hours of shitty comics interspersed with decent ones who are friends with the host while they pay exorbitant prices for tickets that their friends don’t see a dime of… suck. They suck. Also too many free shows in LA suck. A comic I’ve seen in the scene wrote a great piece about it. The best show I did recently was a tiny theater down the street from the shit one for a friend of mine who’s young and wants to book good comics and puts up shows every couple months. He brings a great, really supportive crowd who are happy to pay a little money and they divvy up the money at the end and split it amongst the comics (who all have about the same amount of time… about 8-10 minutes). That’s a great motherf***ing show. I make like $10 and feel like a king. Or a queen, depending on how much you care about royalty political correctness.

My point is this- stand up show culture in LA is weird. I don’t know exactly what the answer is. But I do know that there is a gross underlying culture perpetuated by a bunch of dicks who act like your job as an up and comer is to pay your dues to them, the so-called gatekeepers. And I also know it’s only a matter of time before we all see that these dicks won’t make it. Not because they outright lack talent, but because they’re dicks and nobody wants to work with a dick.

I certainly don’t. And as angry as I was, I’m also grateful. It was a reminder that I don’t want to waste my time with people like that in any capacity. I would have much preferred to stay at home and watch an episode of Game of Thrones with my boo while drinking cheap wine and passing out. That would have relaxed and recharged me. And I could have been more creative and happier the next day, not pissed off and tired and writing two new additions to my “NEVER WORK WITH AGAIN” list.

My friend Natasha and I have been working a lot together recently on a number of different projects. Her work ethic is part of what draws me to her. One of the things we talk about is how we only really want to create cool stuff with people we like to be around. Because that’s what it’s all about.

I did the show with dicks party because I felt obligated. I felt like the more I get onstage the better I’ll become. The more people I meet the better network I’ll have to “make it.” The more dues I pay, the more people will respect me. But I learned that night that most of that isn’t true or isn’t necessary. Everyone trajectory is different. Of course, more stage time will make you better, but sometimes you reach a point of diminishing returns. If you’re not respected as a comic (or even as a person) it won’t matter who well you do in this scenario. You’re nothing more than a person who didn’t “bring” enough people for the bookers to talk at for 45 minutes and take money from.

You don’t have to do everything. You just have to do what you love and what brings you to life. For me, that often means staying at home to write and hang out with the imaginary friends in my head. Or spending a day blogging and catching up on the events in my life. Or reading. Or getting tipsy off red wine and watching Game of Thrones on the couch with my man. These are all things that fill my well of creativity.

Feeling guilty for not providing enough audience for a bunch of dicks… does not.

So thanks, you dicks, for reminding me of what I love to do and what I no longer want to waste my time on.

Lesson here: Every dick can be a teacher.

Don’t Blame The Joker, baby…

pimp…blame the game.

Comedians take a lot of heat. We take risks constantly and perform in all sorts of environments- hostile and friendly.

But what we risk more than anything is often being honest. Which can translate to “being edgy.” But I’m not talking about edgy in the overplayed “let me cuss a lot and offend everyone here possible” way. I’m talking about in the way that we say something that people really want to laugh at because it rings so true to them, but they don’t want to laugh out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings.

Let me start with saying I’m not a fan of any comedy that hurts feelings. I am, to a fault, a comedy person who likes to bring people along and not hurt feelings. I say  “to a fault” because it sometimes means I won’t be the most memorable comic of the night. I won’t be the person who pissed you off or who shocked you. I’m learning how to make my style of stand up comedy really sharp so I can be that… but it’s a process. And I refuse to become something I’m not just for the sake of being “memorable.”

But I digress. What I was saying was that sometimes, people say things that ring true to them that bring out some issue or problem that they can’t address directly. And oftentimes, they cloak it in a joke.

Now, I could get into a deep philosophical discussion about comedy as a means to an end and as a constant and necessary way of human expression. I would start there and delve further into the nature of political comedy and why comedians, no matter what their intention or actual political leanings, tend to get viewed as more liberal. I could even delve further from there into my own journey with comedy- with my roots and interest in politics and how and why it changed throughout the years.

But I ain’t got time for any of that right now. So I’ll get to the point.

And my point is this: If you don’t like the type of humor somebody spouts, don’t support stuff they do. But don’t demonize them into something or someone they’re not. They’re a person with an opinion. And odds are, they’re testing to see if material will even work and people will be receptive to them. And as long as they’re getting audiences to listen to their opinion, they’re going to keep saying and exploring it further. If they don’t have an audience, they would eventually stop saying it. But as long as they can find support, they’re going to continue saying whatever they want.

And they’re allowed to. A comedians job is to find their voice and to connect with audiences. It’s also part of the description to be an exaggeration of who you really are and what you really believe. The exaggeration is where comedy comes in. It’s the difference between the seasoned pro who spends his set yelling while making the audience scream with laughter and the terrifying amateur who scares everybody in the room and comes across as a crazy person. They’re job is to hone in that persona and that exaggeration. Their job is to sell a style. And your responsibility is to support it or ignore it. They’ll become louder or eventually shut up depending on what you decide.

But it’s not your job to get mad at them for saying things. It’s not your job- or anyone’s- to demand apologies for having opinions. All people have opinions. Just because comedians cultivate an audience to listen to them doesn’t mean they have any more or less responsibility to agree with you. They only have a responsibility to their own voice and to their art. If you don’t like what they say, stop listening. But don’t demand us to stop having opinions.

It’s especially difficult for comedians in a world where everything can be taken out of context and twisted. Context for comedy is everything. And if you take time to pause and think about what was said, why it was said, and how it was said… you’ll be able to have a more honest understanding of the situation.

I think sometimes when something controversial is said or brought up that hits a nerve in society, we should examine why we are bothered by that nerve rather than get upset that we have nerves. It’s an opportunity to define who we are and what we are, not an opportunity to shame someone for expressing themselves.

So don’t hate the playa’s baby. In face, don’t hate anyone or anything at all. Hate is harmful. Love is power. Love them playas and know why they playin’ the game so you, too, can love dat game doe.