Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Clothing Watch 2009-2010 Season

As longtime readers know, my ability to lose items of winter clothing is unparalleled.

This year I made it to December 30 before losing my first article. On the other hand, I hit the trifecta, misplacing my hat and both gloves.

I have not had time to replace them, so I am wearing two mismatched gloves from previous winters and a hat that Bubba brought me back from South America.

If you're wondering about a South American hat's ability to retain heat in a Canadian winter, the correct answer is "Not great, but better than you might expect."

Happy New Year everyone. Best wishes for 2010.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, January 4 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Tuesday, Januay 5 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Wednesday, January 6 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Tuesday, January 19 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton

Wrestling Apprearances
Tuesday, Jan 12th - CWE, Gillam, MB
Wednesday, Jan 13th - CWE, Thompson, MB
Thursday, Jan 14th - CWE, Flin Flon, MB
Friday, Jan 15th - CWE, The Pas, MB
Saturday, January 23 - OSCW New Year's Glory, Edmonton

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Coming This January: DAN!!itoba (*)

Just learned I will be doing a tour of Manitoba in January with CWE (Canada's Wrestling Elite)

There's nothing more exciting to me than visiting a place I haven't been before and meeting new people--Except maybe performing there doing something I love, accompanied by some of the best wrestlers in the business (**). In addition to Eclipse, Heavy Metal, and the CWE favorites, there will be special appearances from former WWE stars The Road Dogg Jesse James and Big Vito.

Here are the dates and towns:

Tuesday, Jan 12th - Gillam, MB
Wednesday, Jan 13th - Thompson, MB
Thursday, Jan 14th - Flin Flon, MB
Friday, Jan 15th - The Pas, MB

For more information including ticket info, visit the CWE website here.

(*) With apologies to CAM!!ikaze for the gimmick theft.

(**) And one of whom is trying to adhere to a Forty-Day Celibacy "diet." Bring your A-game, Ladies of Manitoba.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Twists Off Just Like Lipstick!"

Went shopping for a USB memory stick today. I know nothing about them so I asked the marijuana-marinated 19 year old clerk for a hand.

MARIJUANA-MARINATED CLERK: Which one do you want?
DAN: Which one's cheapest?
MARIJUANA-MARINATED CLERK: (pointing to another option) That one's on sale.

Goodie. I reached for the sale item.

And froze.

This GSB stick was colored junior high school girl electric purple. On the packaging was written in breathless leatters: "Twists Open Just Like A Tube Of Lipstick!!"

It didn't look like a tube of lipstick. It looked like one of those discreet pocket-sized self-pleasuring aids professional women carry in their purses for trans-Atlantic flights.

I bought it anyway.

I might be cheap, but at least I'm secure in my masculinity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Silence Helps Perpetrators, Not Victims"

I have no idea where I picked up that quote, but it has always made me uncomfortable. I've always believed in letting others make their own decisions and minding my own business--but I've often worried I hide behind those beliefs as an excuse not to make a stand for what I believe is right.

Which Brings us to..

REASONS I LOVE COMEDY #1 (Being Able To Say What I want) and #3 (Surprising Myself)

The other night we had an unpleasant fellow at the comedy show. I was there on a date, which meant instead of sitting in my usual "gorilla position" where I can see both the crowd and the stage, I was in the back. I didn't think this guy was anything out of the ordinary.

But when I moved to my usual pre-show spot, I saw he was different.

The guy was grabbing at some girl in the crowd. I don't know if they were on a date, or if he had just met her there, but she didn't look very comfortable with his attentions. And he didn't look like he cared much what she thought.

He kept grabbing at her and she kept trying to push him away. If a cartoonist was to paint a thought bubble above her head, it might read something like: "This is the last time I go out with anyone I meet on Plentyoffish."

I wandered by the bench they were sitting, caught her eye and mouthed "are you all right?"

"I'm OK," she mouthed back, which judging from her body language and expression should be translated as: "I'm not okay, but I don't want to make a scene."

I'm familiar with that one. I am, after all, the man who years ago took a gay guy's phone number because I didn't want to embarrass him telling him I was straight.

I was quite irate that no one was doing anything. The whole point of having a date in a public place is to avoid these very situations. There are many things I love about human nature, but the bystander effect isn't one of them. And since I was one of the bystanders--and one of the few who could clearly see what was going on--the person I was most pissed off at for not stepping up was myself.

I pulled the MC, Mike Harrison, aside: "Man, that guy is not cool."

"I know, I know," Mike said. "I'm getting him out of here."

It was reassuring that Mike saw what was going on and was on top of things. But as I went up on stage, he was still getting people together..

The molester continued his molestations.

And that's when I took hold of the microphone, looked straight at the guy in front of the whole club and said: "I'm sorry. Is our show interrupting your DATE RAPE?"

A few minutes later, he was escorted out of the club sans woman.

I don't know if what I did was the right thing, or even if it made a difference. In crsis work, we're taught to be cautious about publicly calling people out for fear of the perpetrator taking it out on the other person later for "embarassing" him. They didn't LOOK like they were part of an ongoing relationship, so I felt pretty safe, but you never know. I didn't see what happened to the woman after, so there are a lot of unanswered questions in my mind.

And part of me felt it had to be said. Maybe to let the woman know it wasn't her fault and that she had support. Maybe to humiliate the guy so he didn't do it again. Maybe in hopes that taking a public stand might make a difference to someone watching in the audience.

Or maybe, it was someting I needed to do for myself.

It was a surprise to me that I was able to speak out. I'm not a public crusader and never have been. I don't see that changing in the future. At the same time, it was nice to know that I can speak up if I feel it needs to be done...even in front of a roomful of strangers and my comedian peers that I still feel nervous about impressing.

In the end, I'll never know what happened. I don't know if what I said was the right thing or even if it made a difference for anybody. I don't know that guy's story or if the woman was okay.

But that's how it goes. You make the best decisions you can and learn to live with the unknown.

That's not just a comedy lesson, but a life lesson. But comedy taught it to me, and that's one more reason I owe this business more than I can ever give back.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Things Dan Loves About Comedy #87 392: Comedians (And Other Funny People) Commenting On Each Other's Facebook Statuses

The Status:

"Dan Brodribb is contemplating taking Dawn's suggestion of naming his man-part "The Truth." Can you handle the Truth, baby?"

The ensuing comments:

Jeff: Mitch Fatel calls his "The Boss"
Adam: Yah, but then in intimate moments you'll be forever reminded of Tom Cruise shouting "I want The Truth!"
Dan Brodribb: Tom can't handle The Truth
Jacqulyn: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA i so dont have a comment for this. im just completely and utterly amused
Laurie: I really think that Tom Cruise would very much like to handle The Truth though. I'd be careful Dan!
Shawn Gramiak: The problem is, we all inevitably come to the conclusion that no one really wants The Truth. Because The Truth hurts. Eventually people will ask you to water down The Truth, or bend and twist The Truth to fit their own devices.
Jeff: LOL Mr. Gramiak I tip my hat to your wit.
Dana: The Truth will set you free
Adam: "You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Dawn Dumont: Don't give me credit for that - you came up with that all on your own.
Tanya: Or how about little man??
Shawn Gramiak: As long as its not Burning Man.
Shawn Gramiak: I love The Truth will set you free. However, also keep in mind that The Truth is often greatly exaggerated.
Lars Callieou: How about 'A Little White Lie'. A little white lie never hurt anyone.
Ryan Ash: your dick is brandon vera???
Shawn Gramiak: No, but Brandon Vera has sometimes been a...
Jeff: I was chatting with a guy at work and he came up with the best one yet. "Sometimes the Truth is hard to swallow." hee hee.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dating For Shy Guys Book Update

I've decided to publish Dating for Shy Guys myself as an ebook in order to maintain my most exacting standards of quality control and as a means of taking a personal stand against the ravaging of the environment caused by the printing industry.

Also, that way I get to keep all the money.

Look for more information over the next month or two.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Comedy Entrance Exam (Opener's Edition) - Question 47: Spot The Idiot

Another comic and I were joking/complaining that there should be an written entrance exam aspiring comedians should be required to write before taking on a paid gig.

Here's my contribution, a completely hypothetical situation that has NEVER HAPPENED TO ME PERSONALLY AT LEAST THREE TIMES.

Question 47: Spot the Idiot In The Following Conversation.

OPENER: (an hour before the show) This is a great set-up, but you know, we've run into sound issues in the past, so it would make me feel a lot more comfortable if I checked the mic and sound myself before the show starts.
GUY RUNNNING THE SHOW: Oh, the sound system is great, little buddy. Don't be so nervous and have a drink.
OPENER: (shrugs and drops the subject)

Spot the Idiot.

(HINT: There are two of them)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hot Chicks & Strangers

I have a couple articles I finished for Suicide Girls some time ago, but never published.

Topics are:

1. First Dates
2. Non-Monogamous Relationships

I'm going to be posting them on my Hot Chicks & Strangers blog over the next couple days.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Things Dan Loves About Comedy #2995: Comics Amusing Themselves During A Bad Show

Amateur night at a local comedy club. The audience is...less than responsive. To anyone.

The person hit hardest by this is the MC. The other comics do their five minute and are out of there. He has to go back up after each act and stare unblinkingly into the cannon barrels of apathy.

I was not scheduled on the show tonight. I was standing backstage offering support--and by "showing support," I mean, "hoping someone didn't show up so I could go on." At some point during my career, I decided the badness or goodness of the crowd is none of my business. The only thing I care about is getting up there and doing the best job I can.

Ryan Ash was the MC on this night, and he was not having a good time.

RYAN: Man, I so do not want to go back up there.
DAN: You should let me go up after the next act wearing your shirt and see if they even notice.

So that's what we did.

They noticed...although it took them a couple seconds. They even laughed.

Then I tried telling a joke about the movie "Twilight", and they shifted peacefully and went back to sleep.

I brought the next act up and left the stage.

That would be a good place to end the story.

But as a wise man once said, anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

After the next act Jon Ramcharan went up wearing Ash's shirt to tell his own "Twilight" joke.

Jon is black; Ryan is white.

The crowd didn't give a shit.

Finally, Ryan went up again...not wearing a shirt at all.

The crowd still didn't react, but at that point we were just amusing ourselves anyways.

Good times. And I'm impressed by Ryan Ash's chest hair, which is nearly as expansive as mine. Whether it is as luxurious and sable-soft as mine is something I'll never know.

Upcoming Comedy
Thursday, December 17 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Evansburg
Monday, December 21 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, January 23 - OSCW New Year's Glory, Hazeldean Dome, Edmonton

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not The End, Not The Beginning Of The End, But The End Of The Beginning

Bastet and I are no longer romantically involved. Heartache is an annual Dan Brodribb Christmas tradition it seems.

As was the case last year, I’m hurt and sad, but not as sad or hurt as I THINK I should be given the circumstances. I can’t decide if it’s denial, equanimity, or that I just don’t have the capacity to be as bothered by relationship-stuff as most people. Sometimes I wonder if the reason I put so much thought and effort into romantic relationships is to convince myself I actually want one…or at least get enough practice in that when the time is right, I can do it without screwing it up.

But that’s not entirely true either.

Because--at this moment, at least--I am still love in with Bastet. Which is doubly frustrating because I’m convinced that if I wasn’t in love with her, she would be my perfect relationship.

But that’s how Being In Love works for me. It makes me behave in ways I wouldn’t normally behave. It makes me want things I wouldn’t expect from other people. It makes me put on the other person. It makes me put pressure on myself.

On the flip side, it’s also kind of fun. It’s cool at parties and has a way of convincing you to attempt things you never dreamed possible…with surprising and delightful results.

But for me personally, I feel a distinction between loving someone and being in love with them.

Loving comes from your core. It’s something that isn’t quite thought, isn’t quite emotion, isn’t quite behaviour. It’s the place inside you where all those things meet and combine to form something stronger and wiser and more honest than the sum of its parts. Loving means making the decision to listen to that part of yourself even at times you don‘t particularly feel like it.

Being in love is different.

I don’t trust being in love. Being in love is something that happens to you. It makes you compromise values you normally wouldn’t. It comes on you at inconvenient times with inconvenient people. And it has a way of slipping out the back door when nobody’s looking, often at the times when you most need it.

Worse, Being In Love isn’t very loving. Right now, for example, the part of me that is In Love with Bastet feels like it has failed. It’s hurt and scared and angry and humiliated. And it doesn’t understand why the rest of me isn’t hurt and scared and angry and humiliated too.

So it’s pulling good memories from the past and parading them before my eyes: Look at what you had and screwed up! It’s searching for mistakes like a crime scene detective scouring carpet fibers. It’s screaming about injustice like a tabloid reporter. It’s showing me all the ways I fell short and haranguing me about what I should have done differently. It’s dredging up every fear and insecurity. At the same time it’s pointing out every flaw real or imagined it can find in Bastet, looking for reasons to be resentful or jealous or self-righteous.

It’s hitting me in all the places that hurt the most , asking me what my friends will think of me and what her friends will thinki of me, showing me imaginary slides of Bastet happy without me, having sex, falling in love. It’s connecting the dots between this and every other relationship, drawing me a picture of myself under the caption: The Guy Who Can’t Make Her Happy. It's coming up with clever, legitimate sounding reasons for me to call her and tell her That One Important Thing You Forgot To Mention.

As far as upsetting me goes, it’s doing a pretty good job.

But I’m not bothered by being upset and that’s what makes the In Love part angriest of all. Why aren’t you mad? Look at what she’s done to us! Look at what we’ve done to ourselves!

And here is my answer:

I’m not upset because I love her. I chose to love her and I choose to keep loving her. I also choose to keep loving myself.

Written down it doesn’t look like much. The In Love part of me doesn’t understand.

I don’t blame it. I don’t completely understand it myself.

Loving won‘t fix anything. It won‘t change an situation we both knew was unworkable. It doesn’t clear my confusion or lessen the heartache. It doesn’t make me a better person. It won’t change what she feels. Most of all, it won’t answer any of the questions that the In Love part keeps screaming at me.

But in my own way, I am at peace.

Because I can love.

I don’t know what I want and I don’t know what I’m feeling from moment to moment. I don’t know what will happen. But I don’t need to know those things. Love is stronger and wiser and more truthful than I am. All I need to do is to remember in each moment-even this one, which quite frankly, isn't one of my favorites as far as moments go--to make that decision to keep loving.

The In Love part of me can yell and scream all it wants, but I know now that it is lying to me. It isn't "in love." It doesn’t care about love at all. It claims to love Bastet, but it doesn’t give a shit about her or what is best for her. It doesn't even like ME all that much. All it cares about is feeling like it has won. And if it can’t have that, it will lash out, trying to make others or other parts of me hurt like it hurts in order to feel less powerless and alone.

Truthfully, it's not doing a half-bad job. I'd give it a solid B-minus. But I've suffered worse things.

And now I know how to love. Bastet opened a door in me I didn’t know was there. Somehow I found the courage to walk through it even not knowing what awaited on the other side.

I wish I could repay her. I wonder if she grew as much from me as I did from her. I hope somehow she got something she needed from me. But that's just one more thing I can never know, and ultimately, doesn't matter.

What Bastet gained from our time together is up to her. I have no control over it, and furthermore, it's not really my business.

Right now myself is my business.

So I make the decision keep loving. Not just Bastet. Not just myself.

But I also choose to love that In Love part of myself. I can’t fix it. I can’t make its pain go away. I couldn’t get rid of it if I wanted.

But I can love it.

So instead of pushing it away, each moment that it wakes screaming in me like a terminal patient or a child gripped by a nightmare, I sit quietly at bedside, take its hand, and wait for morning.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dan Uses Sports Cliches To Describe A Chance Meeting With A Beautiful Stranger

I had said my goodbyes to the pretty stranger in the LRT station and was on my way up the escalator when it hit me:


And I didn't even realize it. I missed a lay-up. Dropped the ball uncovered in the endzone. Fanned on the open net. Insert your sports metaphor here (*).

That didn't used to least not over the past few years. I don't have VH1 caliber game, but over the last few years I've done far better with women than you would think I should.

A lot of guys say you need to be tall, rich, good looking, and gregarious to be succesful with women. I am none of those things, and to be honest, I think it helps me.

Firstly, it screens out a lot of people I would be incompatible with anyways and makes it easier for me to get to know someone. When a person is rich and good-looking, it's easy to get "distracted by the pretty." It makes it harder to be yourself, either because you're nervous or because you want to impress them. It also makes it harder to pay attention to dealbreakers because well...They're rich and good-looking, damnit! I have to MAKE myself like him. Or at least make HIM like me.

Another thing I've noticed is that in general, the more people get to know me, the more they like me. I would much rather women have that experience than the alternative. Plus psychology tests have revealed that when someone is good-looking, we tend to assign them have postive traits that they don't necessarily possess. We assume they are smarter or braver or more competent than they might actually be...and there's nothing more disappointing that something that doesn't live up to our expectiations. A lot of times--through no fault of their own--those good-looking people have nowhere to go but down.

Suffice it to say, that is not an issue I deal with in the romantic arena.

With me, instead of disappointment, women often report a sense of discovery. "Wow, I wasn't sure about you until I saw the way you X, Y, or Z." I like hearing that. It appeals to my sense of fairness...I feel I've earned what they gave me.


It also means I can't and don't expect women to be throwing themselves at me. Quite frankly, I would really love for this to happen. Not forever. But just for, say, four months. I just want to know what it feels like.

Except that every once in a while--like this morning--a woman DOES throw herself at me. And because I'm not used to it, I don't recognize it.

And then I drop the ball. Or bobble the serve. Or miss the big elbow (**). Whatever.

Don't misunderstand me. The Pretty Stranger isn't the point of this story. I'm not necessarily looking for another relationship.

It's just embarassing when something I've always wanted to happen to me does, but I'm so busy believing it can never happen to me that I don't even notice it.

Oh well. I just need to manage the clock better...buckle down and give 110%...we've got a great bunch of guys here and we're focused on's all about playing a full three periods/four quarters/sixty minutes...

(*) Did you know the average man uses 10 000 words a day? 7 500 of them are sports-metaphor related. If you don't see it, you're just not keeping your eye on the ball.

(**) In honor of the upcoming OSCW show this Saturday at Hazeldean Community Hall, I've written a new article for my sporadically updated wrestling blog. It will be up later today...or possibly already, depending on when you read this.

Upcoming Comedy
Thursday, December 17 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Evansburg
Monday, December 21 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, December 12 - OSCW Above The Rest, Hazeldean Dome, Edmonton

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Nice Article

I ran across this article a couple minutes ago. It's about salsa dancing, but the more I think about it, the more I think it applies to nearly EVERYTHING worth learning from martial arts to meditation to relationships to comedy and beyond.

I am amazed at people who don't think they have to practice something to be succesful at it.

I am also amazed there are people who don't find joy in practicing. They think it's the boring stuff you have to get out of the way (or avoid) in order to get to the fun stuff).

To me, the practice IS the fun stuff.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

No More Suicide Girls

Suicide Girls and I have grown in different directions. I'm still pondering those darn relationships over on my Hot Chicks and Strangers blog.

I feel as though I'm at a crossroads with my writing. The places that want to pay me aren't interested in the things I want to write about and the subjects I'm passionate about writing on, few people are willing to pay me for.

It's not ALL about the Benjamins, but I like feeling like the things I write are worth something. I work hard at it, and I think I have valuable things to say.

It pains me to admit this, but I've been feeling uncertain the past little while. I know who I am. I know who I want to be.

But the path that will take me there is less clear.

I'm not used to feeling uncertain. It's uncomfortable.

But it also feels like the right feeling right now. So I shall embrace it like we embrace certain relatives. Grateful for it, happy to see it, but also keeping an eye on the clock.

After all, I have things to do.

Upcoming Comedy
Saturday, November 28 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Grande Prairie
Wednesday, December 9 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Thursday, December 17 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Evansburg
Monday, December 21 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, December 12 - OSCW Above The Rest, Hazeldean Dome, Edmonton