Thursday, December 16, 2010

No Time To Blog

Why not, you ask?

Well...I've been doing work. Very important work. For example, just yesterday I was trying to think of my favorite disease-themed songs from the eighties. I came up with "Spreading the Disease" by Queensryche, "Leper Messiah" by Metallica, and my favorite, the nearly-forgotten " Malaria" by LA Guns. Then I got distracted trying to remember if Infectious Grooves was late-80s or early nineties and wondering if mental disorders no longer recognized as disorders qualified as diseases so I could include Def Leppard's "Hysteria."

And that led me to wondering about a "Bad Boys in the title" themed playlist ("Bad Boys" by Great White, "Bad Boy" by Lita Ford (technically this came out in 1990), "Bad Boys" by Whitesnake, "#1 Bad Boy" by Poison, and "Bad Boys Running Wild" by the Scorpions topped the list--with "Good Girl" by the Bullet Boys tacked on for contrasts sake) which led me to wondering if Wham! had a song called "Bad Boys" or if I was confusing it with Duran Duran's "Wild Boys". As it turns out they (Wham!) do.

Also have been having dreams lately. First there was the one about living in the remains of a flooded city and trying to piece the history together. Then there was the one about the retired senior citizen hitman tracking down a woman who got away to apologize.

And just last night I had a dream about doing a comedy show in which the headliner made a joke about how mad carpenters got when people mis-used hammers as toy guns. And during my set I used the tag line "In space, no one can hear your blue balls."

Which I kind of think is a funny collection of words and I'd like to use it. It's not often in comedy you start with the punchline and then try and write a joke to fit it, but I don't have to explain my creativity to you, man.

Oh. And I have yet to find a Christmas present for my mom.

So as you can see, I am extremely busy man and have no time to blog.

None at all.

Not even a minute.

See you at the show December 20 (The Comic Strip). Next Heart Way meeting is January 11.

Monday, December 20 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

First Heart Way meeting of 2011 is January 11 at Woodcroft Library. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail for registration.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

December of the Year Of Our Lord 2010

Can't believe it's December already.

Seems like just a moment it was January and I was riding in a van through a snowstorm at 3am with AJ and JJ Sanchez, and Cliff Corleone.

And 2010.Weird.

I thought we'd have a Mars colony by now.

Maybe next year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

An Open Letter to CFL Announcers

We've noticed one of you has fallen in love with the term "YAC Yards" and is using it profusely throughout your broadcast, pronouncing it Yak-Yards.

There are two reasons you sound stupid doing this.

1 -YAC stands for "Yards After Catch." So what you are saying is Yards After Catch Yards." Which is redundant.

2 - You are a grown man.

Please stop embarassing yourself.


The Brodribb Males

Monday, December 20 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

First Heart Way meeting of 2011 is January 11 at Woodcroft Library. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail for registration.

Made The Paper.

An article about love and self-deprecating humour. And there's a picture of me in my sweet, sweet, Transformers t-shirt.

"For Love and Self-Deprecating Humour" should be on my family coat-of-arms.

Article is here.

Monday, December 20 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

First Heart Way meeting of 2011 is January 11 at Woodcroft Library. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail for registration.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reading Abstience

I'm on the fourth day of my book absitinence experiment.

In that time, I've bought three pairs of jeans, a tshirt, several dozen songs on itunes, and barely resisted the urge to pick up a PS3 and several games.

Maybe it's time to go back to the library...before I go broke.

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

First Heart Way meeting of 2011 is January 11 at Woodcroft Library. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail for registration.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dan vs. The Future

Vasalissa got me an ipod for my birthday.

I spent the next hour digging through CDs stressing myself out trying to decide which songs needed to go on it IMMEDIATELY. I ended up with piles of "Yes", "Nos", and "Unsures" blocking the entire apartment.

It was strange. One moment I was indifferent to the fact such technology existed, the next I was tying myself into knots deciding which songs had to go on it RIGHT NOW!!!!

I'm already thinking of getting a machine that will transfer music from casettes to some kind of electronic form.

Because music isn't just music. It's pieces of memory. Each CD I picked up, I wasn't holding a piece of plastic, it was the soundtrack to part of my life--here an all night drive to Manitoba with a couple of pro wrestlers; there's my student teaching experience; hey, look, this is the novel I wrote fifteen years ago or my taekwon-do workout music; the night shift at a video store or the hospital or the Support Network; the first girl I kissed; the first girl I WANTED to kiss and so much more.

It's more than music. It's my life.

Meanwhile, I've decided my addiction to the printed word has become unmanageable. As a small experiment, I've decided to go a week or so without reading.

I'm already experiencing pangs of withdrawal.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Bungee Jumping, Elk Calls, and the Last Few Days

Today: Found a hole in the butt of my jeans.
Saturday: Bungee jumped for the first time.
Last Thursday: Dawn demonstrated her elk call in a loud bar which caused the bouncer and waitress to run over an look at me suspiciously.

Tonight: Heart Way Meeting.

Bungee jumping was fun. As a meditator, it's always interesting to watch you mind and see when you felt fear and how bad it was.

For me it wasn't bad. I had a moment of second thoughts waiting for the appointed time but it wasn't too bad. I was calm, cool and collected.

Vasalissa, on the other hand, was excited enough for both of us, bouncing up and down and barely able to contain herself.

We went to the top, got our instructions. I remained calm, even as they were strapping me in.

Even as the jumpmaster told me to go...

...even as I ran for the jump-off point.

..until the moment I reached the very edge, at which point I had an "EEK!" moment, curling backwards, pulling one foot in the air and going up on my tippy-toes like an elephant confronted by a very ferocious mouse.

Physics, however, would not be denied. I was carried forward off the edge by momentum, but that split-second hesitation meant I took to the air in a most dignified pose.

The fall was a rush. Terrifying, but cool.

As I bounced upward at the end of the rope, I thought, "That was pretty cool. I thought I'd be more scared."

Then I WAS scared as I reached the top of the bounce and fell again.

Nobody told me about the bouncing.

Once I got used to it, it was fun. Elevator drop in the stomach, the stop and bounce upwards, the feeling of weightlessness at the top of the bounce (WHEE!) before you fell again.

When I was finished, I watched Vasalissa jump. Her take off was much more graceful than I.

Afterwards, walking through the mall (We bungee-jumped in a Mall! We're Xtreme Mall Rats!) she looked around at the shuffling, shopping masses and said, "Don't they know what we did? I just want to grab them and shake them."

I remember that kind of excitement from mountain climbing. The first time I went with my sister-in-law, I remember walking back into the tourist center, looking at everyone else and thinking "these people have no idea of how it feels to be alive."

For the record, it feels awesome.

Last Heart Way meeting of 2010 is November 9 at Woodcroft Library. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail for registration.

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Time Share Babies, Flirt Rust & The Heart Way

My girlfriend and I have come up with the idea for Time Share babies. Twenty-six couples. One baby. Two weeks out of the year.

It's parenting for commitment-phobes. And if you start to miss the collective baby, you can always check the little bundle's progress on the communal Facebook group.

I think it's a great idea. It takes a village after all.


Dawn's back in town and we went out to the bar a couple nights ago. I've had a girlfriend for six months and I can no longer flirt. This really bothered me.

DAN: I can't flirt anymore. See that girl over there. I couldn't hit on her if my life depends on it.
DAWN: Why would you want to? Your girlfriend is way prettier than she is.
DAN: (mournfully) Doesn't matter.
DAWN: And here I was starting to believe there were still good guys out there.
DAN: I'm romantically unarmed. I've lost it, Dawn. But you know what? You're right. I have a great girlfriend. What does it matter that I've lost the ability to walk up to a strange woman and tell her she has pretty eyes. My seductive abilities have atrophied, and I DON'T CARE!!!
(A Hot Brunette at the bar next to DAN looks over at this)
DAN: (touching Hot Brunette's shoulder) I do care, baby. I just tell people I don't because I get scared inside.
Hot Brunette gives a tight smile and hurries away with her drinks.
DAN: She deserved better than that. That was a poor effort.

Dawn and I have also came up with a sketch about a woman getting drunk and picking up a guy at the bar when she's still hooked on someone else.

DRUNK GIRL: You're cute. What's your name?
GUY: Derek.
DRUNK GIRL: No it's not. You're Steve.
GUY: But...
DRUNK GIRL: Your name is work at my office....and you DON'T have a girlfriend...and you love me and think I'm pretty and want to have my babies.
GUY: I...
DRUNK GIRL: Make out with me now, Steve.

Dawn and I really should have our own show.

Last Heart Way meeting of 2010 is November 9 at Woodcroft Library. Email thegatewayboyfriend@gmail for registration.

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Odds and Ends

Saw a 4 year old dressed as a firefighter this halloween. Which was appropriate because his mom was SMOKIN'

Lines like these are why I'm the Gateway Boyfriend, folks. Do not try this kind of awesomeness at home.

In other news, my girlfriend has decided next year she wants a dog costume with black robes, a powdered wig and a gavel so she can go as a "judgmental bitch."

She's pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why Did I Create The Heart Way Support Group?

The final Heart Way meeting of 2010 is Tuesday, November 9.

A few people have asked me why I started the group.

Good question. The answer is stunningly unsurprising.

It started because of a girl.

In December of 09, I had a hard break-up. I’ll spare the details. They aren‘t all that exciting or dramatic. It was a break-up--no worse (and in some ways a lot better) than any other, but for whatever reason it hit me harder than most.

I don’t know why I had such a hard time after the break-up, and maybe I never will. Grief is funny like that, I‘ve learned. It never quite hits you the way you expect at the time you expect.

This one was a bad one. I was prepared for the emotions, but not the intensity of them or the way they would come out of nowhere like a storm out of clear blue sky, swamping me just when I thought I had made it to still waters.

It was the most excruciating few months of my life.

Yet in another way, it was also one of the best.

Because in that time, a time in which I felt unable to help myself, people were there for me. Friends and family. Co-workers. Lovers past and present. Even complete strangers.

It was humbling. I had nothing to offer them in return…and still they were there.

The Heart Way is my opportunity to give something back, to be there for others the way others were there for me.

It’s a chance to be in the room with other folks, men and women, young and old. Single, married, divorced, widowed, or anything in between. It’s a chance to look into another person’s eyes, to hear their voice, maybe feel their hand on your shoulder and realize that we have more in common that we might at first think.

I don’t care if one person shows up. I don’t care if twenty people show up.

If nobody shows up...that’s fine too.

For me, in some ways, who comes isn’t the point. The point is being there.

I believe everybody deserves a happy romantic life. And I will do my part to help.

Next meeting is November 9 at Woodcroft library.

My email is

If you need somebody, that’s where I will be.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Bobcat Goldthwait is playing this weekend at The Comic Strip. I suggest you check them out. Local Jordan Chyzowski is middling, and if last night was any indication, he's looking sharp also.

Bobcat was scheduled to perform this Thursday through Saturday.

He showed up every night this week to work on material. He also watched all the other comics and paid attention to what they were doing.

That's inspiring. Here's one of the most talented guys I've ever seen and out of dedication or love he's still out there perfecting his craft.

If you haven't seen Bobcat lately or only know him from the Police Academy movies, you owe it do yourself to check out his stand-up.

There are recent clips here and here.

In other news, finished editing a short story. One more go-over and it goes off to market.

Preparations for the Pure Speculation festival on the 22-24 continue. Hope to see you there.

The next Heart Way Support Group Meeting is October 5. Email for registration or details.

I will be appearing at the 2010 Pure Speculation festival at the Radisson Hotel in Edmonton, Oct 22-24.

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at
and learn how to get Dan's DATING FOR SHY GUYS book.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Heart Way Group Update

I announced this at the meeting tonight, but for those of you weren't there...

November 9 will be the last Heart Way meeting of the year.

You can still reach me by email at should anything come up for you.

Blog postings shall continue on the regular schedule at

See you in the New Year

Friday, October 01, 2010

Five Days Left...

until the next Heart Way Meeting.

Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30pm at the Woodcroft Library Program Room.

Email for details.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Academy

This morning at the library I opened the entertainment section of the Journal and got a surprise.

Right there on D3 was a promo picture from 'The Academy.' Ryan Burke's blood-streaked face stared menacingly out at me. And there, out of focus in the background, trussed up and hanging from the ceiling.

"HEY!" I chirped in delight. "That's ME!"

To which I was reminded. "Shhh, you're in a library."

How dare they shush me. Don't these people know who I am?

I remember shooting that scene well, mostly because the ropes tightened over the course of the day to the point it cut off the circulation. It took several weeks for the feeling to come back into my right thumb.

But it was fun. When I think of the Academy I remember goofing around with Vic Hoon in the auto yard where I shot my first scene and talking about mutual acquaintances from taekwon-do with Christian Garon.

It wasn't the first time I worked with Kenneth Barr. I appeared in another movie he did called 'Reroute.' He was also involved in the MPW Madness television show which was my first job in the wrestling business.

I have a lot of fond memories of the Madness show. The shows themselves, but also watching the show at one in the morning at the Locker Room sports bar with the rest of the wrestlers. Times have changed and it's been a long time since I've seen all of those guys in the same room, but back then were some of the most exciting and fune times of my life and I smile when I think of them.

And of course there was working with my broadcast partner, the late "Ripper" Trevor Grimolfson. The two of us had a great time shooting the intros and outros, although if I ever run for public office, I'm definitely going to be paying Ken through the nose to make sure the blooper reals never surface.

Good times. Great memories.

'The Academy' will be playing at the Edmonton International Film Festival this weekend. The festival goes from today to October 2.

Monday, September 27 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Tuesday, October 5 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton

The next Heart Way Support Group Meeting is October 5. Email for registration or details.

I will be appearing at the 2010 Pure Speculation festival at the Radisson Hotel in Edmonton, Oct 22-24.

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Heart Way Meeting Support Group

The Heart Way is a support group for anyone looking to improve their love life. Whether you're single or attached, hooking up, breaking up, or ready to give up, The Heart Way is here to offer support as we work on becoming accountable for our own romantic happiness without guilt or blame.

There is no charge but donations are gratefully accepted.

WHEN: 7PM, Tuesday, October 5

WHERE: Woodcroft Library Program Room - Edmonton

Space is limited. Email to register.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seattle and Updates.

Monday, September 27 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Tuesday, October 5 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton

The next Heart Way Support Group Meeting is October 5. Email for registration or details.

I will be appearing at the 2010 Pure Speculation festival at the Radisson Hotel in Edmonton, Oct 22-24.

Check out Dan's writing on relationships at

Went to Seattle last week.

Let us not talk about the awesomeness of the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.

Let us not talk about how I am awesome, navigating the city on foot, on streetcar, bus, monorail, and train. Let us also not talk about me disco dancing in the streets to amuse a boatload of tourists.

Let us not talk about the hotel buffet breakfast in which I ate a shocking amount of candied bacon.

Let us not talk about my two sets at the Comedy Underground, a comedy club which is most appropriately named--sort of a medieval dungeon meets Blair Witch House...if the Blair Witch owned a Mitch Hedberg poster.

It was a great atmosphere and the shows were a lot of fun.

Let us not talk about Vasalissa and her funny, sexy self. I am lucky to have such a girlfriend. Singing Wild World and roaming the streets of Seattle. It is great to have someone I can share all the parts of my life with--even the weird stuff.

Instead, let's talk about what is important--that we were not murdered.

Not by the freestyle rapper. Not by the street poet. The closest we came to death was when in trying to avoid a shockingly aggressive fundraiser for Amnesty International or something, we nearly fled into oncoming traffic.

In other news, an editor for a new fiction magazine contacted me about a short story, so I'm working on that as well as preparing for the 2010 Pure Speculation Festival. I'll be hosting the Friday night jam session and participating in a book round table discussion.

Very Exciting.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Favre The 13th

Yesterday Brett Favre was reported retired.

I posted "I'll believe it when training camp ends" on my friend's facebook.

Sure enough, today he will play if he's healthy.

The last few years Brett Favre was playing with Green Bay, I used to think of my relationship with Brett like a woman dating a jerk (*). He hurts you, promises never to do it again, builds your hopes, then lets you down at the most crucial moment. The NFC championship overtime game against the Giants (2:40 tells the story) was the end for us.

I had a whole future for us...defeating the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl and cementing our legacy forever. Instaed he did the equivalent of proposing, being a saint all the way up to the wedding, and ditching me at the altar in front of my friends and family. Only I had already booked the honeymoon trip so I gave the tickets to a bridesmaid I didn't really like anymore but only invited because...well, I just HAD to, okay...and then she went on the trip and had a fabulous time and now I have to hear about it and see pictures and it's gone down in history as the GREATEST MOMENT OF ALL TIME IN HONEYMOON--ER, SPORTS--HISTORY!!!!

When it comes to football, Brett Favre is to his fans what Lucy is to Charlie Brown.

Screw you, Brett Favre. Screw you, New York Giants,David Tyree, and refs that couldn't tell holding when they saw it, and screw you, New England Patriots (**).

Okay, I'm over it.

Now, the annual Brett Favre saga (He's retiring, no he's not, he's retiring, no he's not, and--oh--did I miss training camp again this year? What an uncanny coincidence!) has become the NFL version of the Friday the 13th franchise: always the same, and each installment shittier than the last, yet strangely comforting.

I never thought I'd say this about Brett Favre, but it's nice to know there's someone you can always count on.

(*)I am the woman in this analogy. I don't know what this says about me.

(**) Amazing how sports trumps my Buddhist practice. One bad throw into coverage > years of carefully crafted equanimity.

Heart Way Update

The first Heart Way meeting was last night. Thanks to all who came out.

It was kind of like being on a first date with a whole bunch of people instead of one. There are things I loved and things I wished I'd done differently.

The thing I was most happy with was the people who came. The group will live and die on people's ability to be genuine and to listen to others and the people who were there last night showed a lot of both. I was inspired by their willingness to put themselves out there.

Next meeting is September 7. Email for details or answers to your questions

In other news, The Gateway Boyfriend is now on twitter. Follow me at

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Giant Robot Dinosaurs

It's strange how seeing the words 'Giant Robot Dinosaurs' on the front page of the newspaper headlines can brighten my whole day.

My favorite part of the article is this:

A group of investors, who Suess says prefer to remain out of the spotlight for now, spent millions of dollars on the park. Suess won't reveal their identities, but said there are "common elements" with the ownership of Goose Hummock Golf Resort.

"The gentleman, in particular, that is kind of the primary owner -- this is his vision and his dream."

Mysterious isolated park celebrating its grand opening...Giant Robot Dinosaurs...

What's not to love?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to round up my best friends: a sexy reporter, her ex-husband--a disgraced former hotshot paleontolgist, a wisecracking visible minority, a smarmy laywer, and a plucky twelve-year old girl and her computer genius kid brother.

I hope we can get there before the park closes for the night.

This will be the best long weekend ever. I can't imagine how anything could possibly go wrong.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Computer Hobos

Upcoming Wrestling
OSCW - Saturday, September 4, Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton (7pm) (contact me for ticket information)

Upcoming Meditation Instruction
(Contact for more information)

Saturday July 31, 2010 at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street
Saturday September 11, 2010 at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street Contact for more information.

Dating Stuff
Dan Brodribb's Writing on Dating and Relationships appears at
The Heart Way Support Group's next meeting is 7:30pm, Tuesday, August 3 (Register at

This afternoon found me pushing my computer down the street in a rusty, found shopping cart (*). I looked like the World's Most Technological Street Person. Only with nicer shoes. And hands unblemished by years of hard living.

Perhaps I just looked like what I was. A man too cheap to spring for a taxi for a two block trip.

All the files I needed were saved. Hooray!

I find it funny that just the other week I was worrying about the death of CDs and cassettes (long time readers won't be surprised). Should I update all my music to electronic format before they became unplayable? Cassettes are moving parts. Cassette players are moving parts. Surely they can't last that much longer.

Turns out my goddamn cassette player outlasted my computer. Two computers, if I'm not mistaken, and since the last computer I bought was nearly a decade ago, that's saying something.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life Lessons from the Digital World

Yesterday I got back from a wonderful weekend refereeing the entire OSCW show (next show September 4) with the New Girlfriend (Oh, I didn't mention her? I'll come back to that as soon as I come up with an appropriate pseudonym for her) to discover my computer had crashed, taking with it my pictures, my music, some stand-up comedy stuff and some writing for this blog.

I'm most distraught about the pictures and the music. The comedy and writing stuff sucks, but I have faith in my ability to produce more.

But it was not the timing I wanted.

I'm grateful for a couple things though. That my sister and mother had bought me a laptop recently. Except for the brand-new stuff, most is backed-up on there.

I'm also grateful because it's a reminder of how quickly things can change. It's a reminder to try and appreciate things.

It's also a reminder to back stuff up.

Oh and I have stories for you. Many many stories.

Hopefully some of them make it up here. Sometimes I'm so busy living I don't have time to write things down.

Which is disappointing as a writer, but all in all it's not the worst problem in the world to have.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time for a Change of Heart?

(pulling away curtain)

Here's what I've been putting together for the last little while. First meeting is August 3.

I am both excited and nervous. What if nobody comes? What if TOO MANY people come?

I'll deal with that when I get there, I guess.

If you know someone who might be interested, I'd love it if you'd pass this information on to them. Email for the group will be at

The Heart Way

The Heart Way is a support group for anyone looking to improve their love life. Whether you're single or attached, hooking up or breaking up, The Heart Way is where we work on becoming accountable for our own romantic happiness without guilt or blame.

There is no charge but donations are gratefully accepted.

WHEN: 7PM, Tuesday, August 3 & Tuesday, September 10
WHERE: Woodcroft Library Program Room

Space is limited. Email to register.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Well...It's Been Awhile.

Upcoming Wrestling
OSCW Summertime Slobberknocker - Saturday, July 17, Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton (7pm)

Upcoming Meditation Instruction
Saturday, July 17 - Strathcona Public Library (10 AM)

Dan Brodribb's Writing on Dating and Relationships appears at

Well. It's been awhile. And now I have that Staind song stuck in my head.

Lots has happened in my personal life and we'll go into that another day.

As far as other stuff, you haven't missed much. The most excting moment was crashing the after-party of an aboriginal film festival with Dawn Dumont.

Dawn bonded with one of the actors from Twilight over excercise regimens. I ate cake and danced holding hands in a circle while wondering if singing the words to "NDN Car" out loud made me a racist. In fairness, I was the only white person there AND the only one who knew all the words. I don't know if that makes it better or worse.

Afterwards we danced at a gay bar, which was fun. Gay bouncers are so polite.

Most of my energy has been spent on the Gateway Boyfriend blog these days. Check it out if you haven't already. I'll have an announcement up there shortly about something cool I'm doing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why Trying To Convert People Is Stupid

The other day I met a dogmatic, close-minded individual who wouldn't shut up about his belief system and how the world would be better if everyone believed what he believed.

The weird part as, he was an atheist.

There are plenty of religious assholes out there, but when you're talking about 'religious assholes' I don't think the 'religious' part is the problem.

I've never understood why religious people OR atheists would feel the need to convert anybody. If what you're saying is true, what difference does it make whether or not other people believe you? I believe in gravity, but I don't feel the need to prove it's real to anybody. I figure gravity speaks pretty clearly for itself.

The other reason I don't like people trying to push their spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) on other is...well, most of our beliefs sound kind of stupid when you say them out loud.

I know mine do.

Whenever anyone asks me to explain Buddhism to them I always front-load it with the rational stuff, but the weirdness still sneaks out.

PERSON: So what is Buddhism?

DAN: Well, you know it's a way of looking at the world and trying to reduce the suffering you cause for yourself and others through meditation, compassion, and a moral life.

PERSON: Okay, so how do you do that?

DAN: Well...we meditate. And we try to live a good life. And, you know, be compassionate.


DAN: Well, because in doing so we reduce the amount of suffering for ourselves and others and free ourselves from the negative karmic consequences that we *cough*accumulatedinpastlivesaswetravelthroughthesixrealmsincludingtheHelloftheHungryGhosts*cough*

PERSON: What was that last part again?

DAN: Well, you know, consequences...freedom from suffering....

PERSON: No, explain the part about the six realms again. And I believe I distinctly heard the words 'Hell of the Hungry Ghosts.'

DAN: Well, it's kind of-sort of metaphorical. And...look the Tibetans came up with that part, okay? They're not even real Buddhists. It's more like Himalayan Voodoo Buddhism.

PERSON: So what IS real Buddhism?

DAN: Can we go back to calling atheists stupid? That was way more fun.

I would make a terrible evangelist.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review of My Short Story

Well, kind of.

Interestingly, the scene the reviewer refers to is my favorite scene in the whole story even though it has nothing to do with the plot.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dan vs. Dan's Brain

The last time I hooked up with a woman something interesting happened. The moment she made it clear she liked me, Dan’s Brain piped up.

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She’s just lonely. This will never work out.

Now that isn’t so interesting by itself. Except that I remembered something. The last time I found myself hooking up with a woman, the moment she proved beyond a doubt she liked me, I had this thought:

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She‘s just looking for a reason to justify breaking up with her long-distance boyfriend. This will never work out.

And the woman before that, after she had made an impressive sacrifice on my behalf:

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She just doesn’t want to hurt you. This will never work out.

And the woman before that:

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She’s looking for someone to rescue her. This will never work out.

Which brought us to this conversation between me and my Brain.

DAN: So just to recap: I have never hooked up with a woman who actually liked me. They all just THOUGHT they did. And every time they did something to show they liked me, that proved the DIDN’T like me.

DAN‘S BRAIN: Exactly. Aren‘t you glad I was there for you?

(DAN stares daggers at DAN’S BRAIN)

DAN’S BRAIN : Would you believe I did it because I love you?

(DAN’S BRAIN edges for the door)

DAN’S BRAIN: Come on, man. We still got each other, right? Lobes before hoes.

DAN (chasing his brain around the apartment with a rolling pin): Lying, conspiracy-theory motherfucker, I‘ll kill you! I could have been MAWWIED!!!!

EVERYONE READING: Does Dan even OWN a rolling pin?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Solution

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, May 4 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton
Wednesday, May 12 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton

Other Appearances

Saturday, May 29- OSCW - Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton

Meditation Instruction (all at at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street Edmonton)

Saturday, April 24
Saturday, May 8

Monday I volunteered for a research study at the University. I consider it a non-scientist's contribution to advancing the frontiers of knowledge.

The technician swabbed my chest with alcohol and went to apply the sensors to my chest, but to no avail.

DAN: Everything okay?
TECHNICIAN: It will be fine. The solution is to apply more alcohol.
DAN: I've tried that one a few times. I've had mixed results, myself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Updates and Referee Pics

Upcoming Comedy
Wednesday, May 12 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Tuesday, May 4 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton

Other Appearances

Saturday, May 29- OSCW - Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton

Meditation Instruction (all at at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street Edmonton)

Saturday, April 24
Saturday, May 8

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Referee Update

I made my referee debut last night for Edmonton's Old School Championship Wrestling.

I refereed the dark match (or as I prefer to call it, the "Reverse Main Event") between Red Money and Scott Steel, a match between Memphis Raines and the Arabian Executioner (which due to the promoter's handwriting looked like "The Ambien Executioner"--a great gimmick just waiting to be used, I think), and Big Daddy Kash vs. The Cremator.

Memphis Raines provided the best description of the referee's psychology I've heard--"The pro wrestling referee is the Last Man in the World who still believes wrestling is real."

It was a dream come true. In fact, the promoter had to pull me aside after the first match to tell me "don't smile so much."

ME: I can't help it. I'm having fun.

Next OSCW show is Saturday, May 29.

Let the Cremator beware. There's a new Sheriff in town.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Women Want Lying, Self-Obsessed Psychopaths"

Upcoming Comedy
Wednesday, April 21 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Tuesday, May 4 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton

Other Appearances

Saturday, April 17 - OSCW - Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton

Meditation Instruction (all at at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street Edmonton)

Saturday, April 24
Saturday, May 8

Making my debut as a pro wrestling referee tonight. I am excited beyond words to uphold the time-honored and proud tradition of objective, competent officials in professional wrestling as well as being treated with the respect and dignity that comes with my station.

In other news, I laughed out loud at this paragraph on Susan Walsh's Hooking Up Smart blog:

"Peter Jonason of New Mexico university conducted a study of 200 male college students to determine why narcissists, risk-seekers and liars have not been made extinct due to their undesirable traits. Of course, what he found is that women want self-obsessed, lying psychopaths."

Did he use those exact words? Because I would have loved to be see THAT Power Point presentation.

Slide 1 - Picture of Freud.

Peter Jonason: "Freud asked: 'What do Women Want? Here at New Mexico university, we've found the answer.

Slide 2 - Jonason clicks several times, each click bringing a famous serial killer onscreen , before bringing the presentation title swooshes into the middle of the frame (One word at a time, accompanied by 'tire-screeching sound effect)

Jonason: (reading the title with great triumph) Women Want Lying, Self-Obsessed Psychopahs.

Awkward silence

Peer #1: Pete, just out of curiosity, did you practice this presentation in front of your wife?
Peer #2: Is that really how you spell 'self-obsessed?' I always thought it was two 'double-s's.
Peer #3: Wow. Nice Font.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Gateway Boyfriend (Dating for Shy Guys Update)

Well, I've taken the first step.

So far, it's just a blog. But I'm hoping it will make a difference.

It's called the Gateway Boyfriend. It's about dating and relationships. I've learned quite a bit on the subject over the last few years.

I don't pretend to know everything. But I do feel it's time to try and give something back.

Especially since I've read a lot of what's out there for advice, and while there's plenty of great stuff, I think there's a lot of writing out there throwing judgements or blame around, promoting a Sexual Cold War mindset, suggesting people are 'missing' some magic ingredient that is keeping them from finding whatever it is they are looking for, and I don't think that's particularly helpful.

You can find the blog here. So far, if people only read one post, I'd prefer it be this one.

The Dating for Shy Guys ebook will eventually be made available through it, and I'm eventually hoping to offer short term phone support, schedule and long distance plan permitting.

I would like to say I'm doing this for unselfish reasons and giving back and blah blah blah, but the truth is, I'm hoping that by focusing on giving to others, the Universe will see fit to reward me with True Love, Inner Contentment, and Serenity.

Unless that is too much to ask from the Universe, in which case I will reluctantly settle for sex, fame and money.

I would like to run the site and provide the services on a donations basis, but a lot of it will depend on how much setting everything up costs not to mention all that business stuff I know nothing about...just thinking about it makes me cringe, so it will probably be a Great Learning Experience and Excercise in Building Character.

The new blog will take up some writing time which means less blog updates on THIS site for the time being. And I'm not linking the new blog to my Facebook page, since it's not so much about self-promotion as it is about helping people. If you're intersted in such things, go to the page. If you aren't, I see no reason to clutter up your notifications page.

If you want to help, check out the blog and make comments or ask dating/relationship related questions. And if you know people who are having dating/relationship/sex issues, send them my way with their questions. The more I can get a grasp of where people are at and what they're looking for, the more helpful the site will be.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Buddha Shakin' and updates

Apologies for the lack of updates. Most of my writing time is chewed up by new projects I'm working on (a novel, and stuff for the hopefully upcoming Dating for Shy Guys website)

For those wondering what California was like, it was a lot like the Manitoba tour in that so much happened every day, it was hard to keep up with. It's a strange quirk of my personality that often the most interesting, meaningful and adventurous things that happen to me are the ones I DON'T write or talk about, but there you go. I know what happened, and the fact that it did is good enough for me.

I will say this about a Buddhist monastery. Some say the Catholics have think complicated services with all their stand up/sit down/shake hands/give money/stand in line and eat bread, but the Buddhists have them beat. There's standing up and sitting down. There are also bows, bells, and enough hand signals to confuse a third base coach.

One of things this particular tradition believes in is something called Working Meditation--which was cool. I did many things I wouldn't normally get a chance to do, working in an eco-friendly kitchen, hauling fallen trees and piling firewood, learning how to cook in a second monastery that had no hot water, starting fire in a wood burning stove, and others.

Oddly enough, the place I found most stressful was the kitchen even though most of the jobs I was given there were among the easiest ones I had to do.

As always, I blame Dan's Brain:

DAN'S BRAIN: I can't believe they gave me a job this easy. They must think I suck at everything. Everyone else has got a cool job and I'm stuck on cracker-arranging detail. And why did they give me such detailed instructions? They must really think I'm useless. Oh of the crackers is broken. Where do I put it? They won't let me waste food, but this is also supposed to look good. AUUGH! They gave me this super-easy job and I can't even do that right. Novice monks can do this job. I'm a comedian/writer/pro-wrestling announcer/salsa dancer and may very well have had more sex in the last four years than everybody else in this kitchen combined and yet when it comes to putting Vegetable Thins--a rather optimistic name for a cracker, by the bye, since these things are neither vegetable nor slimming--on a sheet of orange tupperware I can't even measure up to a second string candle-jockey. I SUCK at Buddhism!

My brain is an unusual place.

Upcoming Comedy
Thursday, April 8 - Yuk Yuks, Edmonton
Wednesday, April 21 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Tuesday, May 4 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton

Other Appearances

Saturday, April 17 - OSCW - Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton

Meditation Instruction (all at at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street Edmonton)

Saturday April 10
Saturday, April 24
Saturday, May 8

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Short Story Excerpt

An excerpt from my short story, "The Girl Who Feared Lighting" has been posted on the Black Gate website. They even got someone to illustrate it, which I have to admit, makes me feel pretty good.

Go here to check it out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Update from Bend, Oregon

It's hard to turn the comedy habit off. Sean Lecomber taught me the trick of looking for local businesses with funny names to make fun of at shows that night. I'm not here to do comedy, but the habit persists.

Today's winners--a store in Madras called Bi-Mart (Never figured Jefferson County to be so progressive) and Yakima, Washington actually has a store called Hispanavision. I don't know if it's an optometrists or a TV store, but either way, I found it amusing. I wonder if there's a Gringo-vision somewhere (Our motto: We don't see colour...or privilege)

The country is beatiful. I'd describe it, but I'm not that kind of writer. The amazing thing has been watching it change as we head south. There's been mountains (My favorite mountain name--"The Mountain that Walks," site of the Frank rockslide), the trees and lakes of idaho, scrubby hills, river basins, the "Oregon outback"...there is more to this country than New York, Los Angeles, and Vegas.

It helps of course that our geologist is explaining the features of the land as they go by. He sees the Earth like I see (*) people, noticing the ways different parts relate and shift, looking below the surface to see what lies beneath.

The really interesting thing about the land is that it isn't static. The Rocky Mountains look like they'll be there forever but in 25 million years--not that long in Geology time--they'll be gone. The earth beneath our feet, is always changing, whether or not we realize it.

My favorite part of today has been the few moments of solitude I've managed to get--the porch of a restaraunt, a few minutes in the washroom, the passenger seat when everyone else was in the drugstore. It's weird because I was on the Manitoba tour less than two months ago and while there were a lot more people and a lot more activity be it driving, the show, or just general debauchery, I never really felt any need for time apart from the rest of the crew, unusual for an introvert like me. Different people? Different energy levels? The alcohol? Not wanting to miss anything? Who knows with these things.

The geology of the human heart changes much quicker than moutains, I guess. How the earth must shake its head when it looks at us.

Tomorrow we hit California. I imagine this will be my last update for a while.

(*) Or more accurately 'listen to.' Except that isn't exactly right either. Basically, I kind of--I don't know how I do what I do. Or more to the point, I don't know how to explain it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update From A Motel Room In Bonner's Ferry, Idaho

I never knew this place existed.


So far it's been a lot of driving through a country both familiar (Hello, Red Deer, Okotoks, good to see you again)and less so (Hell's Half Acre, Bonner's Ferry) Idaho).

So far the coolest thing has been one of my travelling companions who has more than a passing interest in geology. He'll look at the same landscape as the rest of us and see something completely different and deeper, noting the way rocks and water have carved their way over the course of millions of years. There's something cool about people who just perceive the world differently, that pick out things the rest of us miss.

Which I suppose could be a metaphor for this whole trip.

Later, Skaters.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Strange Things Afoot

Tonight at The Comic Strip will be your last chance to see me live before my California trip. Unless you work with me, in which case you'll see me tomorrow.

Excited about the trip. Today I got travel insurance, which I've never done before. It was about as exicting as you'd expect--except that it was something new, so naturally I enjoyed it.

I ate potato chips for the first time in a while on Friday night and woke up with a hangover-y headache feeling. If I start eating healthier, is that going to be par for the course? Cause I don't like not having options.

Oddly enough, Saturday night I drank and DID not have a hangover the next day. But my voice sounded awesome. I love how my voice sounds after a night of moderate drinking. Since having a good voice is important for a day job, I wonder if I could write off doing tequila shooters the night before every shift as Professional Development.

Oh yeah. And I've been having visions. Which is weird because I don't believe in that stuff. My current Policy on Visions is: "As long as it doesn't affect my everyday functioning, I see no reason for alarm." I don't know what it says about me that my policy towards the Unexplainable is the same as my attitude towards nookie, substance abuse, and climate change but there you go.

Wednesday I am off to California. In honor of my trip (and the Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper concert I'll be checking out at the end of April), here's some travellin' music for the legions of adoring fans crying themselves to sleep awaiting my safe return.

May all beings be sexy.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dumpster Diving

you would think the CBC showcase (did the jokes I wanted, went well, haven't heard anything yet, thanks for asking)was the most exciting thing I did last night.

It wasn't.

After the show, I went dumpster diving with a lesbian.

That's not a metaphor for something dirty. That's exactly what I did--digging through a dumpster in my showcase clothes with a group of people that included a pregnant woman, a very nice couple, and assorted others.

It was fun.

Part of it is the joy of experiencing something new, of being introduced to a world you didn't know existed.

Part of it is the thrill of learning. I love learning new things, even though I am often stressed about doing them badly which leads me to be cautious about what I take on. Sometimes I think I love learning new things in spite of the fear. Sometimes I think the fear is what makes learning them worthwhile.

Half the joy (and the stress) of the new laptop has been setting it up. I was at the computer store the other day and was contemplating buying a router so I could get wireless access at home...not because I want home internet access (In fact, I prefer to have limited internet time. Otherwise cyberspace has a way of seducing me for hours and keeping me from doing things that need doing), but because I wanted to learn how to set it up (**)

Another part of the excitement of dumpster diving is the rush of Bucking the System. As I've started to think more beyond myself, I'm becoming more interested in Making a Difference in the world. My dumpster experience felt very anarchist and revolutionary.

(A friend and I were commiserating about this Fighting the System stuff, and how our temperaments are so ill-suited to it. His comrades get him all worked up, but when push comes to shove, he ends up making friends with all the people they're supposed to be angry at. We're both too genial to be revolutionaries (**))

And of course, now that I know how to dumpster dive, I have one more skill that will help me survive the Apocalypse--assuming the apocalypse doesn't interfere with corporate North America's shipping and receiving schedules(***).

Yay me.

(*) After that, I would build a time machine, and go back to the time a friend of mine had laptop troubles and fix it for them, pausing just long enough to high five my younger self on the way out the door saying "Knock it off with the feelings of inadequacy, you sexy motherfucker. We have got this shit COVERED."

(**) Some would make the argument, that genial people make the most effective revolutionaries what with our ninja empathy, non-judgement, and quiet dedication to changing hearts over looking good to the people who already agree with us. The problem is, it's the loud, visible folks that get the press and the adulation. Saving the world is nice and all, but if it doesn't bring you chicks and glory, what's the point?

(***) I'm almost willing to give capitalism a fighting chance. Have you ever noticed that t doesn't seem to matter what fires, floods, or earthquakes happen in the world, the latest blockbuster movie always seems to open on the scheduled release date? Misplaced priorities aside, consumerism gets shit done. It might be the wrong shit, but it gets done.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upcomng Shows

Including some last minute bookings at The Laugh Shop on Whyte Avenue this weekend...

Upcoming Comedy
Thursday, February 25 - The Laugh Shop - Edmonton
Friday, February 26 - The Laugh Shop - Edmonton
Saturday, February 27 - The Laugh Shop - Edmonton
Wednesday, March 3 - The Laugh Shop - Edmonton
Monday, March 8 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 13 - OSCW The Union
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

For the record, I won't be personally appearing at the OSCW shows. I will be leaving to drive down to California on the 10th and won't be back until the 24th.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CBC Showcase

I'm showcasing for a CBC show at the Laugh Shop next week: Wednesday, March 3.

Normally I'm nervous about these things, but for this one I'm oddly at peace.

Maybe it's the way I put my set together. Instead of doing the jokes audiences typically like best, I've decided to do the jokes I like. So Buddhism and Feminism is in, displacing a lot of my traditional "showcase" material.

For whatever reason, I'm less worried about "giving them what will make them want to hire me" and more about giving them an honest look at who I am and letting them make up their own minds.

For ticket information contact me or call the Laugh Shop at (780) 476-1010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mojo Settin'

Upcoming Comedy
Wednesday, February 10 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Saturday, February 20 - Private Function - Okotoks
Monday, February 22 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Tuesday, February 23 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Wednesday, March 3 - The Laugh Shop - Edmonton
Monday, March 8 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 13 - OSCW The Union
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

I've been quite proud of my mojo lately. Even though I'm not in the market for a relationship, for whatever reason, I seem to have Magic Woman Attracting Powers.

I was bragging about this to Dawn at the bar (*) one night. She, of course, had heard this story from me before, and the guy next to her was trying to buy her a drink, so she had other things on her mind.

At that moment, a cute Goth chick shyly approached me. Dan Mojo Rises Again!!!

CUTE GOTH CHICK: Hi, I'm Cute Goth Chick
DAN: (putting extra bass in his voice, sultryness in his stare, and puffing out his chest...also glancing at Dawn to see if she was watching (**)) I'm Dan.
CUTE GOTH CHICK: (indicating Dawn) So...are you and her...together?
DAN: (smiling reassuringly at this poor woman, who is clearly awed to be in his presence) We're friends.
DAN'S BRAIN:(singing)I'm gonna get some Goth Love, I'm gonna get some Goth Love...
CUTE GOTH CHICK: Oh. Then would she be free to go out with me this Saturday?
DAN'S BRAIN: *needle scratching across record noise*

God damn it.

The Mojo Giveth, and the Mojo Taketh Away.

(*) Also bragging to her about it over the phone, at her place, at my place, in the car...

(**) She wasn't. But she did have the line of the night, which was: "Why can't I stay this drunk ALL the time?"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Question Of The Day

Well...actually, Sunday night/Saturday morning, during a semi-drunk conversation with Bubba.

"What do you do once you've accomplished everything you set out to achieve for yourself?"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dan Loves His Family (The Unexpected)

Upcoming Comedy
Wednesday, February 10 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Saturday, February 13 - Get Yo' Heart On Comedy Night at The Common - Edmonton
Monday, February 22 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 13 - OSCW The Union
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

My family bought me a laptop!!!

I am flabbergasted.

My sister stopped by yesterday while I was getting ready for a date(*) and dropped it off. I didn't ask for it. I'm not sure I NEED it--though I can see it coming in damn handy now that I have it.

I think it was the gesture, more than anything.

I have a good family. They always come through when expected. But an unexpected kindness at an unexpected time...that means a lot.

I've noticed a lot of that lately. Over the last little while, I've received a lot of unexpected kindness in surprising ways from surprising (and not-so-surprising)sources.

What gives it more meaning is that those acts of kindness have come now, at a point where I'm feeling I don't have much to give anybody in return.

It's tough, leaning on people. It's easy to feel embarassed or weak or even resentful. But as I touched on in this article, I think there is something to learning to receive without being expected to pay it back, 'deserve it' or 'earn' it somehow.

It's strange but learning how to receive is helping me understand more what it means to give.

I'm looking forward to putting it into practice.

"O Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life"

-Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

(*) I mention this because it is likely going to be my last date for a while. I still love the "meeting new people" aspect, but despite my efforts to mix it up in terms of personalities and process, I feel like I'm piloting through the first three levels of a video game over and over. There's only so many different things that can happen and once you've experienced them all to the point they become predictable, it's hard to stay passionate about playing.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dan In Pictures

Got some new promotional pictures done last week. I'll be spending a while sifting through the options and seeing what I like.

If you're my friend on Facebook, you can see them here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Public Commitment

Winter malaise is upon me in full swing, exacerbated by some recession-induced uncertainty in my chosen fields and whatever mysterious goings on are taking place down there in the Blind Spot (*). It's deceptive because even though I'm doing fine, it doesn't FEEL to me like I'm doing fine. It also doesn't LOOK like I'm doing fine because I'm actually opening up to people--saying what I actually feel instead of saying the "right things."

It's a giant step forward, though to the untrained eye, it looks like two steps back, followed by a total meltdown.

It's tough for me, because I hate feeling weakness. More accurately, I hate other people knowing I feel weak. I'm supposed to be the one with the answers, damn it. And if I don't have the answers, I need to at least be able to fake enough certainty that people don't notice.

Anything less is unmanly.

Come to think of it, I also am equally uncomfortable feeling confident. Or more accurately, I uncomfortable with other people knowing when I feel confident. I worry they'll think I'm arrogant or cocky.

And that's why I'm doing this publicly.

For some time now, I've made a commitment to do at least one thing every day that makes me uncomfortable. It doesn't have to be a big thing--but it has to be something that forces me "feel the fear and do it anyway.(**)"

It's been awesome.

But lately, I've noticed something. Two somethings, actually.

1 - I only experiment when no one I know is around. The only times I will face a fear anyone other than strangers is if it doesn't contradict my social role in that setting, whether it's Sarcastic Guy, Shy Awkward Guy, Good Listener, Serial (sometimes Parallel) Philanderer, Dutiful Boyfriend (okay, that only happened once, but I worked my fucking ass off at it), Damaged Goods, Tantric Practitioner, Office Clown, Humble Just-Happy-to-be-here Comedian, Flirty Salsero, Sage-Beyond-His-Years Buddhist, Rebel Teacher.

I can do a lot of things in a lot of situations. But once I'm in the box, I don't easily step out...possibly one of the reasons, I keep my social groups seperate. I rarely introduce women I date to friends or family. Crisis work, salsa, Buddhist, comedy, and writing are all kept carefully apart like food items on a plate.

2 - The great majority also happen under controlled circumstances. There's risk, but no real danger, because I always leave myself an out. If the situation is uncertain or I'm in a new environment, I default to Pleasant But Quiet mode.

It's time to cut away those two somethings. I faced a lot of fears, but they were the henchmen. We're looking at two of the Boss Fears in my psyche, two of the Big Bads: Fear of Letting People See Me For Who I Am, and Fear of Abandoning Control.

I've come a long way. But until I start taking risks that MEAN something, I'm not living. I'm only practicing.

I've practiced long enough. I'm ready.

What I'm ready for, I don't know.

But whatever it is, I'm looking forward to it.

(*) The hardest part is the waiting to see what will unfold. I've always felt that the best way to find out what's going on is to Do-Something-And-See-What-Happens, and while I'm not 100% resisting that urge in this case, at least I'm taking smaller steps in various directions and seeing how each one feels instead of powering full-speed ahead into what I think I should want and hoping momentum will carry me through.

(**) Previous examples include running naked through my neighbourhood, asking the clerk at a woman's lingerie store if she had anything in my size, the Great LRT Experiment, and a couple other things I'd be better off not mentioning.

Dan Has His First Wrestling Match

Upcoming Comedy
Sunday, January 31 - The Druid - Edmonton
Tuesday, February 2 - New City Comedy Olympics - Edmonton
Wednesday, February 10 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Saturday, February 13 - Get Yo' Heart On Comedy Night at The Common - Edmonton
Monday, February 22 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

Okay, it was an arm wrestling match, but still.

It counts dammnit. It was at the New City Comedy Olympics. I was the heel and called it all, and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out--Neil Rhodes shooting a pin on himself during the heat segment notwithstanding.

It was fun to be the bad guy. I called the fans idiots, stalled on the lock-up, cheated, and got booed and everything.

New City is a fun room. Each show is a theme, so there's always a fresh challenge and an opportunity to explore something new.

The other reason I like the room is the crowds are a little more on the fringe, which means my pro-feminism, gay-is-interesting-not-scary stuff gets a nice welcome (as do any Lord of the Rings or Spider-Man references). Most rooms, the audience laughs because their perspective is being challenged. In New City, they laugh because they can RELATE.

It's a good feeling.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Mystery Of The Moment

Upcoming Comedy
Sunday, January 31 - The Druid - Edmonton
Tuesday, February 2 - New City Comedy Olympics - Edmonton
Saturday, February 13 - Get Yo' Heart On Comedy Night at The Common - Edmonton
Monday, February 22 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

Sometime in the night, I open my eyes to find find myself face to face with a cat.

The cat vanishes into the darkness before my muscles finish twitching, but already I’m reaching out with my senses, circulating my awareness, in that indescribable way that feels to me like ceaseless, shark-like motion, but produces the optical illusion of stillness to anyone watching.

I feel my body, settling into an unfamiliar mattress. I feel my skin and muscles, clenched against the cold.

There is another person sleeping behind me. In another moment, I felt nails on my skin, movement beneath my body, gasps and moans. And of course, leading the way, my heart, savoring the blend of emotions that makes every encounter feel like the first time. There was surprised delight at her aggressiveness; the joy of give and take; a flicker of performance anxiety; a glow of healing and being healed; the expansive sense of awed wonder at how each woman is so different from every other; the reverence and gratitude for being able to share this moment with this person.

But that moment is gone. Now there is this only this one.

The breeze from the fan. My shoulders and chest note the presence of the blanket, comfortable, but not quite thick enough to fully warm me. In my throat, rawness from a cough I picked up last week. In my heart…

Access Denied

In this moment, my heart is unavailable. It resides in what the Vipassana folks call a dead zone, a temporary blind spot in my awareness. Whatever‘s there, I can‘t pick it up.

I probe again, but the blind spot remains. The darkness is impenetrable, but gentle--there are things here you are not yet ready to see.


But some moments are. Each moment will be as it will be--some filled with joy, some with pain, some with mystery, some with unfathomable sadness--and they are all equally precious.

I close my eyes and await the next one.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

From Russia With Love On WTF? Weekend

Upcoming Comedy
Sunday, January 31 - The Druid - Edmonton
Tuesday, February 2 - New City Comedy Olympics - Edmonton
Saturday, February 13 - Get Yo' Heart On Comedy Night at The Common - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

Less than 24 hours after telling Captain Hammer I was absolutely, positively, without-any-question sick, tired, and done with the bar scene, I found myself dancing delightedly with Dawn Dumont and a comic-in-training in a bar I never knew existed to a Russian-language version of OSCW champion Eclipse's entrance theme.

It's been that kind of a weekend.

Seriously. A lot of things have happened over the last couple days, and the one thing they've all had in common is that it was in the complete opposite direction of what I expected--and in some cases--intended. And in some cases, when I adapted and changed my mind to the NEW circumstance, that new circumstance took another unexpected turn.

Nothing has become predictable anymore. I no longer know what is going to happen.

It's thrilling.

Back to the bar. It was the same as any other club, but somehow the fact that everyone there was Russian made it novel and new. They are expressive dancers those Russians. And very tall. Tall, blocky men. Tall, slender--and very beautiful--women, a sizable percentage of whom were unquestionably off-duty strippers (*). I wonder how Slavic rappers talk about their "shorties," when their "shorties" are five-ten.

And of course Dawn.

There's no way I can really write about the chemistry Dawn and I have when it comes to our friendship--just the right combination of funny and supportive. A former boyfriend of hers was jealous at how well we got along (a story I often make her retell, partly for the self-esteem boost, and partly because she tells it with funny voices).

And there we were--a Native American woman and the guy whose only experience with Eastern Bloc culture was playing the part of "Soviet Goal Judge" in the acclaimed film "Sure-Shot Dombrowski."

We danced. We fell in love with our own reflections in the bar's mirrored walls. We made fun of Russians ("Was it hurtful when Tom Cruise gave you the finger in Top Gun?"). We lost and found her cell phone. We screamed along with everybody else when the DJ stopped the music (On purpose or Russian technology?)and everybody in the bar sang the chorus even though we had no idea what we were saying.

Simple things. Little things. Things that can only made better and more hilarious by a soundtrack of Russian-language hip-hop.

Who could ask for anything more?

(*)You know what seeing strippers doing normal dancing in a normal club reminds me of? Being a kid and seeing your teacher at the grocery store. It's kind of a surreal feeling. It's like: Fantasy Object, what are YOU doing out here in the real world?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Rules Are Different In Show Business

Upcoming Comedy
Tuesday, February 2 - New City Comedy Olympics - Edmonton
Saturday, February 13 - Get Yo' Heart On Comedy Night at The Common - Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling
Saturday, March 20 - OSCW One Year Anniversary

Comedy Olympics are at New City on February 2. I have no idea what the events will be, but I'm looking forward to representing salsa dancing/pro-wrestling announcing/writer/comic Buddhists everywhere.

Yesterday's Druid show was fun. A woman ran onstage, threw her arms around me and kissed me thrice, and several other comdedians set I was good, so the Demons of External Validation were duly satisfied.

That said, I find it hard to accept credit for good shows because when I'm performing well, it feels so effortles. I don't feel I deserve anything because it doesn't feel like I'm really doing anything.

After the show, I had a conversation with one of the comedians who I consider one of the nicest guys in show business. And after that conversation I looked back and thought, wow.

He was talking about how tough it was on him to maintain a relationship while being a touring comedian with his girfriend living in a different city, despite how much he loved her.

DAN'S SOLUTION: Why don't you cheat on her?
NICEST GUY IN COMEDY: I am morally opposed to cheating. I would never cheat on my girlfriend. I was sleeping with another woman for a while, but I was honest with her [the other woman]. I said, 'as soon as I tell my girlfriend I love her, it's over between us.' And I stood by that.

And this is a conversation between two men who are generally regarded as being among the more CONSIDERATE guys in entertainment.

The rules are different in show business, folks. Don't ever say you weren't warned.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Social Nomad

Went out dancing with Dawn on Friday night, with the wrestlers after the show on Saturday. Starting flirting with girls, more practice swings than anything else, just trying to see where I was at.

I keep forgetting that I'm GOOD with women. I don't know how or when that changed, but it surprises me every time.

One girl was a corseted redhead. Partway into the conversation, she cut me off and pointed out her husband sitting in the corner.

And her girlfriend.

And her other girlfriend.


As it turns out, this woman was polyamorous, which is something I've always wanted to know more about, because the concept intrigues me

It makes me wonder if I could do it.

In the past, I've found dating more than one person at a time exhausting, but if they were also dating each other...heck, maybe it would even be EASIER than dating one person because they would be able to get from each other some of the things that I might not be so good at providing.

On the other hand, it would mean being part of a GROUP.

I don't do groups well.

One of the consequences of the decision I made back on November 24, 2005 to take responsibility for my own happiness instead of expecting the world to hand it to me is that I've become a bit of a social nomad.

Part of it is I've never been comfortable with cliques, organizations, collectives, or communities, no matter how much I agree with their mission statement or like the people in them. I don't know why.

And part of it is, since I've started making a concerted effort to be inclusive rather than exclusive in my approach to the world, I just don't fit very well into most pigeonholes. I'm monogamous at heart, and yet I am most succesful in those relationships when I am either dating other people or seeing myself as 'single.' I'm too offbeat to be truly mainstream, but I'm too traditional to fit into most alternative subcultures. I'm too nerdy to be cool, but not quite nerdy enough to pass as a nerd. I get restless among the stay-at-home-and-watch-a-movie crowd, but I'm not adventurous enough to hang with the thrill-seekers.

It's a rich, but rootless existence. I can get along with almost any scene, but never really feel at home in any of them. And I imagine it makes me tough to deal with though, because I'm never quite exactly the person people expect me to be.

I'm okay with that. Oddly enough, not being fully comfortable anywhere helps me feel more comfortable EVERYWHERE.

A scene in the movie 'Almost Famous' captures this fully, when teenage writer William Miller--overwhelmed by the frustrations of the road and the pressure on him from all sides, cries out: "I want to go home."

And Penny Lane looks at him and says:

"You are home."

It's a good place to be.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dan Shows Apprecation

Bastet and I exchanged things yesterday.

Everything is going to be fine.

This post isn't about me though. It's about the people who have supported me throughout through a time that for whatever reasons hit me a lot harder than I expected (*).

Dawn Dumont has been great. I don't think I could do it without her. Captain Hammer, my friends, family, and co-workers...all have been great.

But the thing that gives me the most hope, has been the outpouring of support from women with whom I've been previously involved. It's reassuring on so many levels.

I shouldn't be surprised. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's pick good women.

They've gone on to do some great things. I like to think I helped with that in some small way. They certainly helped me. And the fact that they have gone out of their way to stand by me now reassures me I must be doing something right.

It also makes me look forward to my future with Bastet. Not only is she too important to me to lose(*), she has a lot to offer the world and herself--maybe more than she herself realizes--and I don't want to miss any of it for the world.

So thank you all.

Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for what we shared when we were together, thank you for your support now, and thank you for being an example of how things work out for the best. Most importantly, thank you for keeping in touch.

I love you all.

(*) In fact, I think one of the reasons, I've been having a hard time with this break-up is I've been trying to rush the grieving process, so I can bring her back into my life. But she's not ready, and I'm not ready, and quite frankly, that pisses me off at the universe a little.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Support the Need for a Candian National Suicide Prevention Strategy - Sign the e-petition

I'm not generally a big fan of using Facebook/Blogger to advance a cause, but this one means something to me so I hope you take the time to have a look and click on the petition if it so interests you.

Hello All,

Below is an email from a gentleman named Rodney constructed to help raise awareness around the issue of suicide. Rodney lost his son to suicide a few years ago and is determined to try and prevent any future losses from happening by raising awareness.

Rodney is an amazing example of how resilient people are.

In addition to his email campaign, he is currently working on getting Shoppers Drug Mart to make a Health Watch pamphlet on Suicide Prevention and how to help someone who may be suicidal – these would be available in Shoppers Drug Marts nationally if he is successful. He is also trying to engage CN (the company he works for) in taking some of the Suicide Prevention training we offer.

You can also find the links to the CASP e-petition and postcard petition information on our website by clicking here:

From: rodney
Sent: January 17, 2010 5:00 PM
Subject: FW: A worth while e-mail with great memories -revised

We all know someone whom has lost a child, parent, grandparent, relative, friend, or co-worker to Suicide.

This e-mail is in memory of all those people that have taken their life's way to soon!

I ask you all to sign the petition and send it to our Federal Health Minister (postage free)

You able to do this in two ways:

a) by supporting the on line petition or

b) by e-mailing who will send you the post cards to distribute in you community or

c) you can print the sample below

Include below is the meaning of the Kites which is on the face of the post card.

As we all have received many e-mails saying send this to 5 or 10 people and something great will happen .

If can participate in this e-mail you will be Rewarded with Great memories, knowing that you supporting the families that have lost a loved one to suicide and by helping start a program that will give hope for the future of suicide prevention .

We can make the World a better place to Live in!



Suicide is a major public health issue in Canada and in spite of our alarming suicide rate Canada remains one of the few industrialized countries that still does not have a national suicide prevention strategy. In 2004 the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) published its Blue Print for a National Suicide Prevention Strategy. While provinces throughout Canada have used this document to establish provincial suicide prevention frameworks as well as receiving international recognition this document has yet to be acknowledged by the Canadian Government. Canada must join other countries such as the U.S.A, U.K., Australia, New Zealand and many other European and Asian countries and establish a national suicide prevention strategy.

CASP urges the Government of Canada to take immediate action and move forward on establishing a national suicide prevention strategy. All Canadians can play a role in suicide prevention. CASP invites all Canadians demonstrate their support your in suicide by participating in an on line petition. To register your support for a national suicide prevention strategy and urge the Government of Canada to take action go to

CASP has also started a mail in post card campaign that asks the Minister of Health for the Government of Canada to also take action on this important public health issue. Copies of this post card can be downloaded from our website. To have copies of the post card mailed to you for distribution in your community please contact our office at
Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Ricky Ortiz Nearly Killed Us (Twice)

A lot of people have been asking for road stories from the CWE trip. Trouble is, there are too many of them, even once you weed out the inappropriate ones. In seven days, I got seven months worth of stories.

There were some classic moments(*). All of the stories deserve to be told.

Whether they WILL be told is another matter.

But here's one to start with. In accordance with my "I Try To Make No One Look Stupid Other Than Myself" (**) policy towards blog stories, I've changed the names of the men involved and tried to leave out any identifying details.

So without further ado, I present to you the story I call:


Dory was driving the van. Bruno was in the front passenger seat. And neither of them was getting along.

The disagreement had started over one of the most sacrosanct of wrestling's time-honored road traditions: the Wrestling Name Game. The point of contention was Dory playing the name 'Ricky Ortiz.'

"Ricky Ortiz!" Bruno sputtered. "You can't use Ricky Ortiz. You gotta use guys that were in the Fed."

"Ricky Ortiz WAS in the Fed," Dory protested (***).

"Yeah, for two minutes. We need guys who have been in the fed for at least THREE MINUTES."

"He was in the World Wrestling Federation," Dory said. "He was on ECW."

"Yeah, but is he in the WWE Encyclopedia?" Bruno demanded.

The rest of us huddled in the back of the van and waited to see how it would play out. They didn't come to an agreement, but eventually the game continued.

Later, perhaps as a peace offering, Bruno offered to relieve Dory from behind the wheel.

I can't speak for everyone, but I was nervous at this prospect. We were in the winterlands of northern Manitoba. Bruno was from Florida, via New York. And these were not good roads.

Dory looked hesitant, but he was tired, and no one else was volunteering to take over.

He agreed, pulled over, and he and Bruno switched places.

There is some debate over what happened next. Here is my recollection:

Second One: Bruno puts the van into gear and slides away from the side of the road.

Second Two: The van starts to slide towards the center. Bruno over-corrects sending us towards the ditch.

Second Three: Dory reaches over from the passenger seat and steadies the steering wheel.

Second Four: Bruno says, "I got it man."

Second Five: Something starts dinging. Bruno says, "What's That?"

Second Six: Dory says: "You need to put on your seatbelt."

Second Seven: Bruno reaches for his seatbelt. As he drags it across his body, he swerves the van to the right.

Second eight: The van goes into the ditch with a hearty FWOOMPF.

We were stuck for about a half-hour before we were able to be on our way, and that should have been the end of the story, except that the promoter, wondering what the delay was.

BRUNO: Tell them we had to stop so I could take a shit
DORY: We got stuck in a ditch..No, Bruno was driving.

Bruno was beside himself: "I told you to tell him I was taking a shit! You don't stooge out one of the boys like that to the head office! Also...RICKY FUCKING ORTIZ?!?"

Tensions were running high between Bruno and Dory for the rest of the day, mostly because they were being egged on by the rest of the crew. Wrestlers (and wrestling announcer/comedian/buddhist/salsa dancer/writers)are natural shit disturbers and can't pass a fire without throwing gasoline on it, just to see what will happen.

At one point, Dory's brother, Terry, joined the fray ("Hey, Bruno. Heard you guys ended up in the ditch this afternoon. What happened?"), which wouldn't be important, except for what happened next.

After the show, we all piled into the vans and started the four hour drive back to our hotel. For reasons which are a story on of its own but too involved to go into here (short version: Everybody was annoyed with a particular individual who is not a part of this story and didn't want to ride with him), a musical chairs-esque switch of seating arrangements occurred leaving Bruno travelling in a different van from Dory, Terry, myself, and several others.

Terry was driving. Dory was in the front passenger seat.

Less than fifteen minutes out of town, karma made its move.

Terry, who had taken such delight in Bruno's misfortune, was driving dangerously close to the side of the road.

DORY: Hey, Terry, maybe you should drive on the road.
TERRY: I am driving on the---

For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, Dory's van--through no fault of his own--was in the ditch.

We clambered out of the van and starting pushing. All except Dory, who slid into the driver's seat to steer.

That's how the other van found us. The van carrying Bruno.

Bruno sized up the situation--the van hopelessly buried in the ditch, six members of the crew freezing by roadside, and most importantly, Dory sitting dejectedly in the driver's seat.

Before his van even came to complete stop, he burst out the passenger door in an explosion of trash talk. I've never seen a man so delighted at another's misfortune.

Have you ever seen an Ed Hardy-wearing 230 pound Italian-American dance a jig of unbridled glee on a northern Manitoba roadside by the light of a stuck van's headlight beams?

Me neither. But I'll tell you something. It was damn close.

(*) I got to train with wrestlers! In the ring! I did squats and pushups and three-quarters of a bump (I was supposed to land on my back; I made it as far around as my head before gravity drove me noggin-first into the ring canvas.)!

(**) Remind me to tell the story of the time Heavy Metal half-succesfully convinced me a cell phone photo of a plume of smoke from a Flin Flon Factory was a "Snow Tornado."

(***) For those of you wondering, Dory's right. For Your Fact Checking Pleasure

Monday, January 18, 2010

Triumphant Return

Got back into town yesterday morning at 6:30am. Went to bed until 7:30pm. Got up and went to the Druid for their weekly Sunday open mic and then back home to bed.

The trip went well. If you're my friend on Facebook, the photos will be up tomorrow. And if we're not friends on Facebook, feel free to add me. I'm easy that way.

The tour was physically and emotionally unrelenting, which was a good thing. Some people go on trips to unwind. I go to push myself. I find plenty of relaxation and contentment in my day-to-day life. I find if I find my regular routine stressful, that's a sign it's time to make some changes.

There were so many stories on this trip, I don't even know where to begin. I was planning on posting a running diary, but so much was happening I didn't get a chance to write anything beyond quick notes (not to mention the fact internet access was hard to come by--heck, over half the crew couldn't get cell phone reception). It was so busy and we were so isolated from the outside world, that I didn't find out about the Haiti earthquake until three days after it happened.

Thanks to the folks who helped get me booked on this trip: Heavy Metal, Eclipse, and Danny Duggan. Thanks to the people who were on the trip. I had a blast, learned a lot, and look forward to applying what I learned in the shows to come.

Speaking of which,

Next OSCW wrestling show is this Saturday at the Hazeldean Dome. Main event is Heavy Metal vs. Eclipse in a Hair vs. Title match. Come see what Heavy Metal learned on the road, Juanuary 23 at 7:00pm.

Talk to you all soon. May All Beings Be Sexy.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Operation: Tell-My-Mother-I-Love-Her (the Please Don't Die Tour)

Off to Manitoba for a week! With Heavy Metal, the Kevin Bacon of Bad Decision Makin' and Rolls Royce of Unwise Life Choices! Still reeling and feeling decidedly unsexy from the loss of a relationship (and not handling it as well as I'd hoped, quite frankly) and looking to get my mojo back by any means necessary!

Nothing good come can come of this.

Except possibly entertaining stories.

Manitoba tour, I dub thee the Please Don't Die Tour, or Operation: Tell-My-Mother-I-Love-Her.

Here are the dates:

Sunday, Jan 10 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Tuesday, Jan 12th - Gillam, MB
Wednesday, Jan 13th - Thompson, MB
Thursday, Jan 14th - Flin Flon, MB
Friday, Jan 15th - The Pas, MB

More info at the CWE website.

And Edmonton fans, lest we forget:

Saturday, January 23 - OSCW New Year's Glory, Edmonton

Probably won't post much until my return. In the meantime, for your entertainment pleasure, enjoy the sounds of Winnipeg, Manitoba's finest cultural export here and here.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Google Cell Phone

I don't normally jump on the technology bandwagon but I'm thinking of getting this Google cellphone.

I'm hoping that everytime I've gone too long without contacting my family, I'll go to put a number in the phone and it will go:

"Did you mean: "Your Mother?""

Thanks Google.

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, January 05, 2010

The Tiger Woods/Brit Hume Flap

I'm a Buddhist so you'd think I have something to say about this, but the only thing that really blows my mind is...

Don Imus is on OUR side?

I have to admit, I didn't see that one coming.

Other funny stuff on the incident here.