Monday, July 27, 2009

The Other Good News (Dan Writes Poetry)

As regular readers know, I like to walk places I haven't walked before.

What I don't like is overpasses. And underpasses. And weird turny-roads. And hills that lead to indeterminate destinations.

I ran into all of these this morning walking home in the blazing sun with no sleep from the Folk Fest. I knew where I was. I could see where I wanted to go. And in between those two points...a labyrinthine swirl of bridges, and under- and overpasses. Lanes here, lanes there...it looked like of Dream Theater's Systematic Chaos album cover.

The good news is, I made it successfully.

The other good news is it inspired me to poetry.

I've entitled the following Haiku "Walking From the Muttart to Jasper Avenue On No Sleep Under The Killer Sun."

Hot, Tired, Pissed Off
I wish I were dead right now
Cars speed to oblige

It isn't as powerful translated into English (tired is two syllables, purists). Read in the original language, it looks like this:

Fucking Fuckery
Fucking Fuckety Fuck FUCK!
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

Love In the Time Of Diverse Male Facial Hair...and Bicycles

Bastet convinced me to volunteer for preparations at the FolkFest (Edmonton's Winner and Still Champion in the Category of 'Most Diversity in Male Facial Hair') this year. It was an easy sell, mostly because it's something I hadn't done before and I love doing new things.

But I wasn't expecting this.

We ended up on two different crews, which means apparently we aren't supposed to hang out on site. Ours is a forbidden love, sort of like West Side Story. We are unable to publicy consummate (that may be the wrong word) our love without kicking off a riot.

Which should be hot. Unfortunatley, when I was finally able to sneak away from my post to see her, she was unavailable because, according to her. "I have to go with them so they can get me a bicycle."

Huh? Also, W, T, and F?

So my volunteer 'opportunity' is for 12 sleepless hours of mud, sun, rain, and bugs, and hers involves...delivering papers? Rescuing ET from the government?

There's something about this whole situation that really befuddles The Rock (4:03). And by 'The Rock,' I mean--'The Me'.

My last vision of Bastet this morning was her blowing kisses at me from the back of a pick up truck while I held open the gate.

Oh well.

Maybe she'll give me a ride on the handlebars.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, August 3 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Tuesday, August 4 - New City - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, August 22 - OSCW August Action, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Duck Two, Watch the Awkward

It was once said in the wrestling community that the bad guy wrestlers are decent, human beings, who go home to their wives and families after the show while the good guy wrestlers with their egos are the once most likely to get out of control.

Whoever said that never met Heavy Metal, and the tag team of 1 and 2 (not their real names). Bad guys all and, well...interesting chaps to hang out with.

Here's a story.

It was after an OSCW show. Like most OSCW shows, after the show we went to a karaoke bar. From there we moved to a bar called the Purple Onion. For those of you who don't know, the Purple Onion is the bar where self-respect goes to die...naturally, it's Heavy Metal's favorite place in the Whole Wide World.

There were five of us there, this night. Myself, Heavy Metal, 1 and 2, and a woman we'll call Miss Elizabeth.

Of the five of us, 1 is the most dangerous partier, because he is a devoted, married man. So when he does get a chance to "play in the off-leash park," he tends to get out of control. He also has a bizarre habit of vanishing like a ninja(*) when he drinks. Tonnight he was amusing himself by lifting me onto his shoulders and giving me airplane spins in the middle of the bar...probably not a good idea considering how much we'd both had to drink. Meanwhile, a drama was playing out at our table involving...

Miss Elizabeth. She is a fascinating woman, combining the qualities of 'total sweetheart' and 'complete trainwreck.' On this particular night, she was in the midst of a falling out with...

...Heavy Metal. You've met him in this blog before. For today though, all you need to know is that he was not speaking to Miss Elizabeth, making for some extreme social awkwardness. Fortunately, Miss Elizabeth had some comfort in the big-hearted form of...

...2, the tag-team partner of 1. Tonight, he was providing both a ride home and a shoulder to cry on for Miss Elizabeth as well as being a good friend of Heavy Metal. His loyalties torn, he was an unhappy man.

At the end of the night, we stumbled out of the bar into the Alberta night. At that point two things happened.

I said something I intended to be sweet and supportive to Miss Elizabeth. She responded by bursting into tears and running off down the street. Whoops.

At that moment, 1 decided to pull his ninja vanish. He loped off in the other direction.

2 went after Miss Elizabeth. Heavy Metal and I set off in pursuit of 1.

We caught him, frog-marched him back to 2's car, and shoved him inside. Miss Elizabeth was already in the back seat.

Now 2 was going to be stuck driving a drunk 1 and a distraught Miss Elizabeth home. And he knew exactly who to blame.

"I don't know what you said to that girl, but thanks for coming out, Dan," he told me. "And thank YOU, Heavy Metal, for this enchanting evening. I'm going to remember it--and your part in it--for a long long time. I only hope one day I can somehow repay you for it."

2 isn't sarcastic often, but when he is, he lays it on pretty thick.

The words were barely out of his mouth though when 1 exploded out of the car. I caught him and tried to muscle him back inside, not easy considering he's a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than me.

"I can't go back there, man," he exclaimed, like a Viet Nam veteran who had hit his breaking point.

"It's okay," I told him from beneath two-hundred-plus pounds of rubber-limbed behemoth. "2 is just going to give you a ride home."

"Yeah, but...some chick is in the back seat crying."

I folded 1's legs back in the car and reached for the door before he could pop out again.

The last thing I heard before the door slammed shut was 1's voice.

"Awwk--waaard."

Good times.

I guess.


(*) I actually followed 1 after he vanished once. In twenty minutes, I had a rape whistle blown in my face, my crotch grabbed, and a chill run up my spine as 1 turned to me at one point and said completely matter-of-factly, "I want to punch a cop in the mouth."

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, August 4 - New City - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, August 22 - OSCW August Action, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Suicide Girls Article up (PLUS: Bonus Self-Indulgent Angst!)

New Suicide Girls article is up. It's on commitment and you can read it here.

On a completely unrelated note, I forgot about the anniversary of my brother's death.

Except maybe I didn't.

Over the past few shows, I've felt compelled to talk about him on stage. In keeping with my new attitude towards comedy, I'm going with it.

I'm conflicted.

The jokes about losing someone are not getting huge laughs. It's understandable. It's an awkward subject.

And yet when I DO do the bit, invariably someone will come up after the show and tell me about someone they've lost and how glad they are that someone is talking about it.

Which feels good somehow.

Losing someone suddenly is like being inducted into a secret club. No one who hasn't experienced it can really hope to understand how it feels. But no one knows who's in the club or not. There are no secret handshakes or membership rings.

So now I'm not sure whether to keep talking about it or not. Is the awkwardness by the rest of the crowd worth the reactions for the few people in the crowd who DO relate? It's like telling a joke about wrestling or another subculture. Not everyone gets it, but the people who DO get it, really get a lot out of it.

In other comedy news, the August 4 show is a theme show like the zombie show. The theme is religion. I like these shows because they force me to explore topics I might not otherwise devote time to.

Expect Buddhism jokes.

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, August 4 - New City - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, August 22 - OSCW August Action, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Things Dan Loves About Comedy (part 13 923)

More and more, I'm starting to realize what I love about comedy.

It's never the same show twice. No matter how carefully crafted your jokes, no matter how polished your set, the magical thing about live comedy is that you have very little control over a whole lot of big and little things that can completeley change the tenor of the show.

I'm starting to embrace that lack of control. In fact, I'm starting to love it.

I used to meticulously word my jokes and have a set list prepared for every show. The important thing to me was that those jokes got told. I was trying to "get my shit in," which is how the wrestlers describe a performer whose priority is cramming his moves into the match regardless of whether or not it makes sense in context of the match or whether the fans want to see them or not.

It's embarassing to admit it, but I almost want to do comedy like an old-school wrestler. I want to be a worker. I want to go up with an idea of how I might start and a finish in mind, but everything else I do up there is based off reading the crowd and seeing what they like.

And the only way to learn how to do that well, is to do it...sometimes badly.

I've already started. I'm loving it. It feels more like what comedy is. A show for these people at this moment. When that moment is gone, it's gone. You can't put it on a DVD. You can't rehearse it. It's what makes live comedy great...the chance of seeing something you can't see on a DVD or a tv special.

The jokes aren't important. I'm not that important.

The show, that's the important thing.

I don't know if this new approach will make me a star. Showcase and television sets are mostly about not wasting words, about sticking to the program. In fact, I'm worried this will actually HURT my chances.

But the more I think about it, the more it feels like the right approach. Because it's what I love, and finding something you love is a precious thing.


Upcoming Comedy
Friday, July 17 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, July 18 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Sunday, July 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Tuesday, August 4 - New City - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, August 22 - OSCW August Action, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Searching for Dawn/Adventures in Babysitting

Saturday night was surreal.

The plan was to meet Dawn for drinks and dancing to celebrate her last night in town.

It never happened.

We connected over a series of phone calls...me just missing her...her just missing me...and all the while my night became more and more surreal.

I had left the bar we had originally planned to meet at when two women pulled up in a shiny red car and asked if I wanted to hang out. One of them was a complete stranger, the other was a supporting cast member from this story and I hadn't seen her since.

When I hopped in the car, I discovered there was another player in the game...a six month old child.

We drove to Whyte Avenue and went for a walk. I immediately enlisted the baby's services...he was my New Wingman for the night and we walked up and down the street hitting on women to the amusement of his mother and her friend.

Afterwards, I exchanged near-misses with Dawn and met up with some of the MPW and OSCW wresters and we bounced from bar to bar for a while. Domestic Partnership, the 'gay' tag team were there. Apparently they never read the memo about living their gimmick because for 'gay' guys they were both doing exceptionally well with the ladies. Although I can't help but think it was a little gauche for one of them to actually WEAR his championship belt in the bar.

We also got the latest development in a drama that cannot be talked about on a public blog out to protect the guilty, but I really wish it could. It's got all the elements: sex, booze, tears, text messaging...everything you need in a great wrestling love story except a happy ending and a climactic three-way hardcore dance for the championship(*).

In another surreal moment, the movie Aliens was playing at one of the bars, which shouldn't matter except that I had just been talking about that movie with Bastet.

In hindsight, if there's one lesson I would like readers to take from my experience, it's that you should come to my comedy shows, read my articles and make me a star.

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, July 7 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Wednesday, July 15 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, July 16 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, July 17 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, July 18 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Sunday, July 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, August 22 - OSCW (AFTERNOON SHOW AT 2PM), Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.



(*) I'm thinking of rephrasing that last sentence. As one wrestler might put it: "Awwkwwaaard."

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New Suicide Girls Up

You can read it here. It's on the importance of holding to your limits. Which is odd, because as important as I think it is to be able to walk away from a bad relationship, I think when you have something good, it's equally important to show that you aren't willing to run at the first sign of trouble.

That gives me an idea for an article...

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, July 7 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Wednesday, July 15 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, July 16 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, July 17 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, July 18 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Sunday, July 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, July 11 - OSCW Rumble Aftermath (AFTERNOON SHOW AT 2PM), Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Upcoming Dates

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, July 7 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Wednesday, July 15 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, July 16 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, July 17 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, July 18 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Sunday, July 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, July 11 - OSCW Rumble Aftermath (AFTERNOON SHOW AT 2PM), Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wedding Season

Wedding season is in full swing. At the bar last night, there were nearly half a dozen bachelorette parties in attendance. To amuse myself, I made it my mission to get my picture taken with each and every bride to be. I imagine they will show up on BUBBA's Facebook page and some point.

The last couple times I've gone to the bar have felt odd. I'm having as much fun as ever, but I'm finding it less satisfying. Maybe it's because of where I started--two years ago, I was too shy to even step into a bar or nightclub without feeling crippling anxiety. Now I'm perfectly comfortable grabbing a bachelorette's bubble-wrap fake boobs.

Trouble is, I don't really have a lot of alternatives to going to the bar on weekends. What else is there? Going to the movies is nice, but I don't feel I'm really DOING anything, growing, or learning from the experience. Similarly, whenever I stay home I feel I'm stagnating.

I realize not many people consider going to the bar a form of personal development, but it really is. As professional wrestler Chi Chi Cruz put it, "Partying builds character." You learn about yourself. You learn about other people. You make good decisions and bad decisions and reap the consequences.

Maybe partying is less satisfying than it once was. But it's still more satisfying than doing nothing. So until I find something else--such as writing a hit song called "Existential Angst in this Club"--I guess I'm going to have to force myself to go out and engage in inappropriate behaviour with Hot Chicks and Strangers.

All things considered, these are good problems to have.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, July 11 - OSCW Rumble Aftermath (AFTERNOON SHOW AT 2PM), Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.

More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

(Wrestling Thoughts) Domestic Partnership: A New Twist on an Old Routine

The upcoming OSCW show has me thinking of wrestling and how refreshing it is to see new twists on tired gimmicks.

For example there's a tag team on the indy scene right now called Domestic Partnership made up of Deryck Cross(e) and Bobby Fletcher. They work the "bad guy of ambiguous sexuality gimmick", which is as old as the hills, hearkening back to Gorgeous George, down to Adrian Adonis to the Genius, to Goldust to Billy & Chuck and a million indy workers looking for cheap and easy heat.

But when Domestic Partnership does it, it works, and to me, there are two things that set them apart.

a) They MIGHT be gay, but they can DEFINITELY kick your ass
A lot of times the 'gay character' is played as cowardly, and physically ineffectual, with an offense of eye pokes, slaps, and effete back scratches. Problem is, it makes it very hard to use them except as comedy characters because nobody can come out of a match with them looking better than they came in. If the good guy beats the gay character, it's no big deal since the guy is an effete wimp, and if the good guy loses, he looks like a complete buffoon. Domestic Partnership are credible as ass-kickers so there's no shame in losing to them and beating them is an accomplishment. It gives them a nice versatility so you can use the characters in anywhere on the card.

B)They aren't Pro-man, they're ANTI-WOMAN
DP spend a lot of time running down women, which I don't remember seeing any other gay characters do a lot. It's something that sets them apart from the rest of the ambiguous sexuality pack (always a good thing when being a memorable character is your bread and butter) while making them more despicable. Bleeding heart liberals (yes, some of us watch wrestling too) like myself feel uncomfortable booing a character based on his sexual orientation. But Domestic Partnership aren't just possibly gay...they're MISOGYNIST gays, so I can boo them guilt-free to my politically-correct heart's content.

Kudos to them for taking an old gimmick and making it fresh and memorable.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, July 11 - OSCW Rumble Aftermath (AFTERNOON SHOW AT 2PM), Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.