Monday, December 24, 2007

headLINES, Haircuts, and Happy Holidays

I got a haircut today. I miss my old hair. I may have a tribute to it later on in the week.

here's the latest headLINES

Finally, I wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year to you and your loved ones. I appreciate all your support.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

In Which Our Hero Is Outdanced By A Stripper

A couple other comedians were in the bar at the time this story happened and asked about it, so here it is.

Oh, hey...speaking of comedians--I am one. If you're looking to see me perform check out...

Upcoming Comedy
Thursday, December 20 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, December 21 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, December 22 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Sunday, December 23 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, December 31 - Pub 99, Edmonton

Upcoming Writing
Current Living article can be found here.

headLINES appears every Monday in the Edmonton Journal's online ed magazine. The latest headLINES is here

A Pair of Singles w/Dawn Dumont. Current Pair of Singles can be found here.

I had stopped by the pub to watch the game. At the time there were only three people in the place, each seated at their own table. One of them was a cute redhead.

I thought this was rather anti-social and I said so. Guess which one I was looking at the most when I said it.

CUTE REDHEAD: You can sit with me if you want. But you can't talk because I'm watching the game.
DAN'S BRAIN: A woman who likes football? This bears further investigation.
DAN'S LYING MOUTH: Don't worry. You won't even know I'm here.

I watched about 0.000006 seconds of the game--enough to confirm that neither of the teams playing were ones I gave a shit about and that their performance tonight would not affect the playoff hopes of teams I DO give a shit about--before yakking to my new best friend.

She turned out to be a genial sort. Originally she said she was in sales, but after a an hour or so of chit-chat, confessed she was a stripper.

DAN: No way. You're too short.
CUTE REDHEAD: I know. I wear five inch heels.
DAN: You should wear stilts.

I say the sweetest things.

I then segued into my stripper rant. Never let it be said I don't have the courage of my convictions. Change happens when we speak out.

That rocky start aside, I really enjoyed talking to her. People lead such interesting lives. In addition to her being a amiable conversationalist, she was also very nice for a) buying me drinks and b) not calling to much attention to the fact she was outdrinking me by a 3-to-1 margin. Not only that, even at five feet and change, she seemed completely unaffected by the alcohol while I was noticing the bar was shifting precipitously to starboard each time I stood.

Nevertheless, she HAD paid for my gin-and-tonics. In exchange, I decided to introduce her to the power of Dan's Super-Secret Dance-Floor Technique for Meeting Women Even If You're Too Shy to Talk to Them (DSSDFTFMWEIYTSTTTT for

Since no one else was on the floor, she was relucant, but I insisted. Finally she danced with me.

As it turned out, she did okay on her own.

Within three songs, everyone in the bar was dancing and she was being swarmed by other guys, the DJ, and even other women.

Me not so much. Not even my best moves could attract the attention of the throng. Not only that, my new friend was so surrounded by new admirers that I was no longer on her radar.

Who would have thought I could be out-danced by a stripper? Everyone, I suspect, but me.

Live and learn, I guess.

Monday, December 17, 2007

headLINES and other stuff.

headLINES is here

Upcoming Comedy
Wednesday, December 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, December 20 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, December 21 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, December 22 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Sunday, December 23 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, December 31 - Pub 99, Edmonton

Upcoming Writing
Current Living article can be found here.

headLINES appears every Monday in the Edmonton Journal's online ed magazine. The latest headLINES is here

A Pair of Singles w/Dawn Dumont. Current Pair of Singles can be found here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Latest Stuff

The latest Pair of Singles is up here. It's one of my favorite PoSs in a while.

My Christmas Living article is here.

The birth of the Christmas article was chronicled here.

ALSO: My Mom wanted me to make a correction to the article. Apparently, it was not 'Sesame Street' that made me flip out as a kid, it was 'Spider-Man.' It's good to have a fact checker.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Well We All Just-a-Wanna Be...(Dan Contemplates the Nature of His Existence "Backstage" at a Bon Jovi Concert and Plays Dance Floor Cupid)

So HEAVY METAL, MO FUNK, and I were chilling backstage during the Bon Jovi concert...

And when I say chilling back stage, I mean sitting in our seats BEHIND the stage, courtesy of ECLIPSE's ticket-buying acumen. Yep, instead of buying five seats together, Eclipse put himself and his beautiful blonde girlfriend in prime spots while placing the three of us in behind-the-backdrop hell. But what would you expect from the man responsible for the break up of the Brothers in Flight tag team. Do not trust this man

The opening band was Hedley. The music was okay, but it was hard to give them any sort of rock and roll credibility the lead singer's choice of red pants and his mincing stage mannerisms which could be charitably described as effete. We made fun of them...a lot.

For the record, there is nothing wrong with rock stars (or anybody else) being gay. There's nothing even wrong with rock stars LOOKING gay. But when if you're going with the gay (authentic or otherwise) in the world of hard rock, there is gay that Rocks (I'm thinking of Marilyn Manson, who isn't really gay, or Rob Halford who really is) and there is prancing prissily around. So this is my message to Hedley: A little less Blades of Glory and a little more Rock of Ages, if you please.

Eventually Bon Jovi came out. Say what you will about Bon Jovi, but they are one of the hardest working bands in music. I heard a story about when grunge killed the hair metal scene, Bon Jovi was still selling tickets and albums without radio or video play, solely based on Jon's tireless work ethic vis a vis promotions and interviews and putting on the best show he could. I don't like every song they've ever written, but I like a lot of them, and I respect them as much as I respect any group.

This is where I actually started to like our seats. I didn't have a great view of the band, but I had an awesome view of the crowd. Which made me realize something.

I don't care where I'm sitting when I'm at a show. The truth is, I don't want to be in any of the seats.

I want to be the guy onstage.

I spent all the boring songs looking around at the crowd and daydreaming about how I would work a crowd that big. Today Pub 99, tomorrow Madison Square Garden.

Very few people can understand the lure of being onstage, whether it's music, comedy, pro wrestling, or interpretative dance. And I can't necessarily explain it myself. But for those of us who do it no explanation is necessary. And for those who don't no explanation is possible.

After the show we went to an unnamed bar. I'm not naming it, because it was a pretty cool place and they even gave us some free drinks, but I am going to have to bash them for having the single worst DJ I have ever experienced.

If anything, he was more like an ADHD-J. I don't think he played a single song all the way through without jumping to another song--often a song that was completely different in genre and/or tempo. You can't do that! I'm trying to get my dance on!

He tried to put in a theme at one point by playing a bunch of Bon Jovi songs. That's a fine idea. You know who else plays a bunch of Bon Jovi songs in a row? Bon Jovi. The difference was, Bon Jovi knows how to pace their songs so the show has a coherent flow to it whereas this guy was randomly throwing stuff out there.

Pro wrestlers call it psychology. And if muscleheads in spandex who make their living pretending to beat each other up can figure it out, the rest of the entertainment world has no excuse.

On an unrelated note, I hate to toot my own horn, but---toot-toot--I got to play dancefloor cupid last night. I had clued Heavy Metal in on Dan's Super-Secret Dance-Floor Technique for Meeting Women Even If You're Too Shy to Talk to Them (which you can learn by either signing up for my "Dating for Shy Guys" course through Metro Continuing Education or getting two or three gin and tonics into my system.)and he had taken it and made it his own with some awesome air guitar.

Naturally, the cutest blonde in the bar was irresistably compelled to come dance with in, drawn in by the irresistable power of DSSDFTFMWEIYTSTTTT (I may need to work on that name) and Heavy Metal's own dark charisma and hard rock attitude (probably the reason Eclipse wanted to keep his girlfriend seperated from Metal at the concert--blondes can't resist the Pretty from Detroit Rock City). Sparks were flying, but they didn't seem to know how to take the next step.

Enter me, with my own subtle style of wingmanship.

With one hand I guided the woman closer to Heavy Metal's chiseled torso, with the other, I grabbed Metal's arm and placed it around the woman's shoulders. They figured it out from there.

I rule.

There's something about bringing young people together that makes me feel warm inside. Must be the holidays.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nurses and Upcoming Events (Not every title can be a winner)

Went to a party at my sister's. There were a lot of nursing students there. I learned three things.

1) How cool my sister is. I knew that already, but seeing her through the eyes of her friends was awesome.

2) Nurses talk about poop a lot.

3) There is a professional way to hold a penis.

Let me go on record as saying I see nothing wrong with the traditional way of holding a penis. If I'm getting a garden hose rammed up my urethra, an accidental hand-job is the least they can do.

On that note, here's the latest headLINES as well as what I'm up to. I'm excited about Tuesday's show as it is an audition for Shaw Cable. We'll see what transpires.

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, December 11 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, December 31 - Pub 99, Edmonton

headLINES appears every Monday for the Edmonton Journal's ed online. Current headLINES is here

A Pair of Singles w/Dawn Dumont. Current Pair of Singles is here

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dan's Schedule

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, December 11 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, December 31 - Pub 99, Edmonton

Other Appearances
Friday, December 7 - MPW Season's Beatings

headLINES appears every Monday for the Edmonton Journal's ed online. Current headLINES is here

A Pair of Singles w/Dawn Dumont. Current Pair of Singles is here

Monday, December 03, 2007


I love writing.

I love breaking down sentences and playing with the words until they express exactly the idea I want. Sometimes my sentences are economical. Other times I like tricking them out like a muscle car, ornamenting them with adjectives and adverbs and punctuation and rococo phrasal curlicues until they sparkle with extra features--Extended Special Edition Sentences, if you will.

But some days it doesn't come so easy. Below are my journal entries for one of those days.

December 2
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this far behind on a writing project. I’m writing this entry Sunday night. I promised my editor an article by Monday morning and I’m 500 words short. I worked on it a bit last night, but was feeling blocked so I went to the bar to “clear my mind and renew my creative process” which is Dan-speak for “hit on a pair of blondes at least ten years my junior.”

Anyway, I’m hoping blogging will help get me going. Or maybe it will serve as a warning to aspiring writers to get their shit in on time.

I wonder how many words I’ve written in this blog entry. Funny, I don’t seem to be blocked HERE.

December 2
What the fuck is a druther? I’ll tell you--it’s one more word towards my total.

296 words to go.

December 2

324 words to go! I’m going backwards! I’m hemorrhaging prose! And I can’t tell if what’s left is any good.

Adverbs-- Tonight we dine in Hell!

December 3

Can you use the words ‘poo factory’ in a family newspaper?

That’s what I thought.

Screw it. I’m going to bed. Monday morning means before noon, right?

295 words to go.

December 3

I can’t believe I have to get up and finish this stupid article instead of finishing my dream about learning to play Ratt’s ‘Body Talk’ on the guitar. That song rules.

295 words, etc.

December 3

Hey, that’s a pretty good line. I’m hilarious in the morning.

209 words to go.

December 3
Can you mention Santa isn’t real in a family newspaper?

Screw it. If they’re old enough to read, they’re old enough to have their dreams shattered.

188 words to go.

December 3

157 words to go. The ones at the end are always the hardest.

December 3

Whoop-a-daisy, got a little distracted there.

On the plus side, I finished my push-ups and squats, showered, rehearsed my comedy for tonight, and had time for my morning nap.

The bad news. It’s ten o’clock.

80 words to go.

December 3

I hate endings. I need to tie this together like a Christmas package, wrapping up my column-which combines laugh-out-loud funny with poignant and tender commentary on family life in the new millennium. And I need to do it in less than twenty words.

With the write[sic] words, I can turn this into a piece for the ages, which will be passed down through generations. When I’m 126 years old, I will see this column reprinted yet again, and over the whisper of royalty checks passed under my bedroom door by my wife of at least ten years my junior. I’ll crinkle my eyes and hold the words next to my heart and remember the folly of writing those words at 10:30 in the morning so many years ago.

But first I have to finish the damn thing.

18 words to go.

Finished! I hope the column will be as fun for you to read as it was a living hell for me to write.

I’d like to finish up this blog with something profound, but… I hate endings.

Happiness Is...

Happiness is thinking you are out of groceries only to discover a quintet of frozen dinners you had forgotten about in your freezer. It kind of makes me feel like bloggin’

But first, here's the latest headLINES If the link isn't working go to the Journal website at and you'll find it in the ed section.

I'm also on stage tonight at The Comic Strip. Their might be a film crew there...(for more on that see below) Show starts at 8pm. Hope to see you there.

Stuff that happened last week:

I met a Nietzche-quoting oil worker and his friend at a karaoke night. I sang Alice Cooper’s ‘Welcome To My Nightmare.’ They bought me drinks. At some point Keith Sarnoski showed up with a comedy club waitress and the World’s Hottest Saskatchewan Roughrider Fan. Good times were had, but there’s some stuff that’s a little fuzzy in my memory.

The oil patch guys DID teach me an interesting bit of trivia which I will share with you (along with the disclaimer that this is something I’m passing along from a guy in a bar--if you try it and die, I accept no responsibility for the consequences). Apparently, mixing your drinks with children’s anti-diuretic medications is a great way to avoid hangovers. That’s assuming you don’t mind spending more money on mix than you do on alcohol.

One to grow on, I guess.

I wet my beak at my first high-end corporate, opening for Lars. It’s definitely a different vibe than your normal comedy audience. Everyone was dressed up and it was a more mixed demographic. I felt I was playing comedy defense--instead of going for laughs, my mindset is more “don’t offend anyone.“ For many comedians, the Christmas corporate is the equivalent of the goose that lays golden eggs, and I don’t want to be the guy who kills one.

Going through my act before the show looking for squeaky-clean jokes, I felt like Spinal Tap doing their first concert after Nigel quit.

My performance wasn‘t spectacular, but it was competent, which is really all an opener needs to be. Lars took care of the rest.

Golden egg in my pocket? Check.
Goose still alive? Check.
Free buffet food? Check, check, and check.

Put that one in the win column.

Somebody must not have gotten the memo that I’m a lousy interview because a camera crew came into my apartment to film me for a student project.

It was fun. I always enjoy watching film crews set up their gizmos and what sits. A lot of people don’t really think beyond what they see on the screen when they’re watching a broadcast, but a lot of times what’s going on behind the camera is a lot more complex and interesting than what’s going on in front of it. Especially if what’s in front of it is Rex Grossman.

My interview skills are getting better. The problem isn’t that I’m bad so much as that I’m self conscious. I’m trying so hard to say the right thing (or at least AVOID saying the wrong thing) that often what comes out is completely uninteresting. It’s also not genuine, because I’m trying to be right instead of being me.

Being genuine means giving yourself permission to suck. It also means giving yourself permission to excel.

Let’s see how it goes.