Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good Decision/Bad Decision

I sometimes feel sorry for people who drive.

Walking home from the gig last night, I came across a church in Calgary called St. Mary's...which looked gorgeous under the moon. I never would have seen it had I not walked the 80 blocks from the show to the hotel.

I also would not have had the walk-in-the-dark-with-no-sidewalk-into-oncoming-traffic-on-a-six-lane-street experience, but a quick fence hop later, and things were fine. Except I was in a graveyard. No zombies, sadly.

I also seem to have a nose for finding comedy gigs. Partway into my walk to the Broken CIty show, I found the Comedy Cave two blocks from my hotel (doh!). On the way back, I came across the Elbow River Casino which hosts a Yuk Yuks show.

Walking a place really helps you get to know it better. The only downside is overpasses and fatigue--which leads to bad decisions.

It's been a busy weekend. I hosted a wrestling show Saturday, headed down to Calgary Sunday, did the show Monday, and have a conference presentation today. I DID miss Karaoke though--got back to the hotel too late.

I've learned over the weekend I have a game I like to play called Good Decision/Bad Decision. Basically what you do is you deliberately make choices that put you in a tough spot and then try and figure your way out in a way that minimizes the consequences.

The best part about the game is it's fun for people on both ends of the self-esteem spectrum because you can play the game as a way of building self-reliance or as a subtle form of self-sabotage.

Happy Playing!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Upcoming Comedy

Come to My shows...

Monday, September 28 - Broken City, Calgary
Tuesday, October 6 - New City, Edmonton
Monday, October 12 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

One of the problems with having a busy life is you don't get to write blog entries about how busy you are.

Then by the time you have time to sit down and write stuff out, it doesn't seem as exciting.

Ah, the existential angst of blogging.

The October New City Show theme is Time Travel. If you can do it, jump forward a week and let me know how it went.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Suicide Girls Article

My latest Suicide Girls article is up. You can read it here. There are mysterious squares all over it, at least on my computer.

Head on over and solve the mystery.

In other news, this article is fantastic. Except for the fact that it's about baseball and I didn't write it. But it's funny and makes some great points.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Editorial

A Facebook friend of mine posted this note. If you're too lazy to look (or not on Facebook), here's the short version: it's on marketing.

I found it kind of a downer.

This isn't a personal shot against the fellow who posted the note. I don't know if he personally subscribes to this mentality (He DOES refer to it as "Lies and Truth"). Heck, I don't even know if he wrote it himself or if he found it somewhere else and forgot to credit his source (Assuming a source could be found--not always such an easy thing on the internet, I've noticed).

Here's my problem with it.

All of the things in the note may be true. My beef is with the unspoken subtext: that success is measured by sales and popularity.

I have nothing against fortune and fame. I am allergic to many things, but you will find neither 'bling,' nor 'mad bitches' on that list. I would love to be rich. I would love to be famous (*).


I also think adopting sales or popularity as a benchmark for success is a great way to make yourself miserable. Because no matter how good your product, no matter how great your marketing plan, such things are largely out of your control. Yes, you can put yourself in the best possible position to succeed, but there are no guarantees.

To paraphrase something some editor said in a I once read book somewhere (**): "I can tell whether or not a book is good. I can't tell whether or not it will sell."

As I said, I don't have any moral objection to fame and fortune. I do have an objection to putting my sense of personal satisfaction in the hands of others.

Because you can't MAKE yourself commerically succesful. You can't MAKE yourself popular. That sort of status isn't something you can take. It's something other people give you for their own reasons in their own time.

As long as you are measuring yourself by outside standards, you are at the mercy of other people. You are tying your happiness to the mast to a ship that is not yours to captain.

Fuck that.

I know who I am. I know the standard I've set for myself, both as a performer and a human being. I know when I've done right and I know when I've fallen short whether there are 500 000 people watching, 15, or no one at all.

All things considered, I would rather have the 500 000. The more people I can reach, the better, especially if they're showering me with gifts, adoration, and cold hard cash. I want those things.

But I don't need them to tell me whether or not I'm successful. And neither, I suspect, does anybody else.

Because whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, I think that is something that deep down, we already know.

(*) More precisely, I'd like to be famous for eight months, with an option to renew if I decided I liked it. But now we're splitting hairs.

(**) With that phrase, I officially give up my right to bitch about other people's lack of citations

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slow Ride

No exciting developments on the professional or interesting story front for a while. I DID however spend close to forty minutes yesterday imagining myself as the backup quarterback for an NFL team (I'm unspecific on which one because I haven't decided yet--New England would give me the most press, Green Bay is a sentimental favorite, but Atlanta apparently has a lot of attractive, educated women) who saves the day after the starter is injured.

Yep, clearly, NFL football season has started.

Time spent imagining the actual game: three minutes.

The rest was spent coming up with clever one-liners for post-game interviews.

Here's a sample:

INTERVIEWER: A storybook debut for you tonight on Monday Night Football, Dan. But what's your strategy next week against that tough Steelers defense?

DAN: I can't speak for my teammates, but I plan to call in sick. I'm thinking 'flu-like symptoms' or 'undisclosed lower body injury.'

INTERVIEWER & MILLIONS WATCHING AT HOME: Ha ha! This guy's great! Let's subscribe to his blog (In my fantasy I still have a blog. Although I have taken the liberty of making myself taller, younger, and more athletic, in every other respect, I am EXACTLY the same person and still have time to write and do comedy).

INTERVIEWER: Well, congratulations on your win.

DAN: Thank--cough, cough, sorry tickle in my throat--Thank you. (falls down clutching his leg) OWWW, MY GROIN!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to compose my Hall of Fame induction speech. It'll be better than Jordan's (*), that's for sure.

(*)On a side note, my favorite basketball player, John Stockton was also just inducted into the basketball hall-of-fame. I appreciated him because he was relentlessly hard-working, smart, made the people around him better, and socially awkward--not unlike your humble correspondent. He was ahead of the curve on booty shorts.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Rage Of The Runaway Bride

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, September 7 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, September 26 - OSCW, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton
Saturday, October 17 - OSCW, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton
Saturday, November 21 - OSCW, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

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

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

I spent most of Saturday moping.

It was neat.

I used to get those feelings all the time this combination of sourceless unease and vague angst, kind of a 'what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-I'll-never-achieve-my-dreams" ball in the stomach. It didn't feel as strong or as intimidating as it used to. It was more like seeing an old friend.

So I ate Fruit Loops, watched wrestling DVDs, meditated, checked out some music and got enough work done on my comedy, writing, upcoming presentation for the CIRS conference (See? I can do Grown-Up Work too!), and other odds and ends that I couldn't get too mad at myself.

But Saturday night, ahh, Saturday night...

It was the Night of the Rage of the Runaway Bride.

Have you ever see a woman in a gorgeous wedding dress storming alone down a downtown street clogged with drunk partiers, homeless people and club doormen amidst a backdrop of nighclubs, Donair shops, and Money Mart loan places? It's an incongruous sight.

Here's what happened:

I was standing in line outside a bar with a bachelorette party. The bachelorette party was in good spirits, talking tipsily about their upcoming celebrations when out of nowhere this woman in a very nice wedding dress storms past screaming into her cell phone: "YOU RUINED MY WEDDING!! YOU DESTROYED IT!!!"

GIRL AT BACHELORETTE PARTY: (to the bride-to-be): This is NOT a good omen.

The bachelorette party reacted to her plight with the sort of compassion and nurturing for which tipsy young women are famous...they waited until she was out of earshot and started making fun of her.

But all of them had a nervous look in their eyes as they did so, like pilots joking about plane crashes. You could see it in their eyes. "If we laugh at it, maybe it won't happen to us."

Meanwhile, I went after the bride, partly because this looked like the sort of situation that called for a dating expert/crisis line worker and partly because I REALLY wanted to know what was going on.

She was quite far ahead of me at that point, but fortunately, a group of people eating at an outdoor patio saw me rushing past, noticed my suitjacket, leaped to a wrong-but-helpful-for-me conclusion and yelled, "Hey are you looking for a bride?"

I was.

They directed me around the block. I sprinted around the corner after my blushing blog entry-to-be...and skidded to a halt like a cartoon character.

There in front of me was the whole tableau. It looked like a painting: Newlyweds in Watercolor. In center foreground was our bride screaming at a young man in a tuxedo for "Dancing with HER at my wedding!" In the background left, a quartet of young east Indian men, oblivious to what was going on and yelling drunkenly at each other in their native tongue, and--and this is what made the piece for me, folks--off to the right, sitting surreptitiously on the curb at a polite, but still-within-earshot-distance of the unhappy couple, a woman in a bridesmaid dress with a bouquet in her lap and a cell phone in her hand, furiously texting play-by-play updates of the goings on back to her friends.

That's when I noticed something.

I wasn't moping anymore.


As a post-script to this story, I ran into the bridesmaid later that night and chatted with her for a bit. As we were talking, the newlyweds came by again, this time holding hands.

So the story had a happy ending after all.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fire Drill At The Office Today

I got to be the fire marshall and wear the red helmet and vest. My authority was undermined somewhat by the fact the helmet has a pretty bow on it.

Ahh...Office Full Of Women. Don't ever change.

It wasn't quite this link, but it was close.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, September 7 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, September 26 - OSCW, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton
Saturday, October 17 - OSCW, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton
Saturday, November 21 - OSCW, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton

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

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