Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jiu Jitsu Is A Lot Like Comedy

Tuesday I was flat on my back, flailing like a landed fish as I tried to draw breath with a two hundred and fifteen pound man sitting on my chest and thinking: Wow. This is just like comedy.

More precisely, learning jiu jitsu is a lot like learning comedy. In both cases, you suck at first, you keep sucking for a lot longer than you think you should, and when the unexpected happens in the middle of performing, you feel completely clueless as to what to do about it. The irony of comedy and jiu jitsu is you end up in the worst positions when you're new, which means your worst situations happen at the time when you have the least skill and experience to deal with them (*). You leave the venue depressed and frustrated with yourself, having been confronted in no uncertain terms with the fact that you really don't know what you're doing.

And yet you can't wait to go back for more.

Just another reason I'm grateful for my comedy experience. It's taught me persistence. It's forced me to learn how to deal with my own emotions and negative thoughts.

Most of all, it's taught me that not everything worthwhile comes easily and that even on nights when you feel like you're never going to get it, you're still learning things and making progress, whether it feels like it or not.

Comedy is like jiu jitsu. Sometimes you're the guy kicking ass and sometimes you're the guy gasping for air with the two-hundred pound monster on your chest--and you never know which is going to happen from show to show.

Which is it going to be?

Well, as it happens, I'm at The Comic Strip next week from September 28 to October 2.

Come down and find out.

(*) I'm thinking of YOU, Thirsty Turtle Pub back in the fall of '05. That wasn't so much like having a two-hundred pound man sitting on you. It was more like having a two-hundred pound man sit on you, hit you with a pipe, have his friends kick you in the nether regions and then a witch doctor coming by and sucking out your soul through your nostrils.

Wednesday, September 28 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, September 29 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, September 30 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, October 1 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Sunday, October 2 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, October 8 - Private Function, Edmonton

RCW Rise of the Legends tour featuring former WWE tag champions Demolition
Friday, October 14 - Rimbey Community Centre, Rimbey
Saturday, October 15 - Glengarry Community Hall, Edmonton

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kidney Stones, Babies & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Busy Busy Busy.

Application for Grad School continues. A lot more hoops to jump through than I expected.

Also there have been some new distractions:

Distraction One: A brief hospital visit for some extreme pain in my back which turned out to be a kidney stone. Oddly enough, as soon as I found out it was kidney stone, the pain bothered me a lot less. By normal pain standards what I was experiencing was excruciating, but I've had kidney stones before and by kidney stone standards...I'll take the pain I was feeling with a smile because it could have been a lot worse.

Distraction Two: I have a nephew now. He is adorable, and having him in my life has made me do a lot of reprioritizing.

Distraction Three: I have started training in Jiu Jitsu. There is a tournament in a couple weeks and I'm considering entering.

Why not? I've been training for a whole month.

And of course I have my years of pro wrestling watching to fall back on which has given me a significant advantage even when my training partners are clearly wrestling wrong what with them grabbing the wrong arm and refusing to slow down and work the crowd and forgetting to call the next spot.

Still, I plan to sneak into the tournament grounds and slide a folding steel chair under the mats. You never know when you might need a little insurance.

On the other hand, there is this....

I've been choked out by a six week old infant. That is not what we would consider a good start. In fairness, as anyone anyone who has tried to get past his legs to change his diaper will attest, he's got a heck of a guard.

Wednesday, September 14 - Goodfellow's Pub, Edmonton
Wednesday, September 28 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, September 29 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, September 30 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, October 1 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Sunday, October 2 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, October 8 - Private Function, Edmonton

Saturday, September 17 - RCW Collision Course
Saturday, October 15 - RCW Rise of Legends (Featuring former WWE tag champions Demolition)

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Upcoming Stuff - Comedy & Wrestling

Wednesday, September 14 - Goodfellow's Pub, Edmonton
Wednesday, September 28 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Thursday, September 29 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Friday, September 30 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, October 1 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Sunday, October 2 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, October 8 - Private Function, Edmonton

Saturday, September 17 - RCW Collision Course
Saturday, October 15 - RCW Rise of Legends (Featuring former WWE tag champions Demolition)

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Friday, August 12, 2011

On Falling & Flying

Sheesh. Was going to take on the subject of the late Jani Lane in my next Metal & Dust entry, but Chuck Klosterman beat me to it.

Speaking of links, this one is also hilarious. John Stamos, you are my new hero, despite your uncanny resemblance to the lead singer of DeSousa Drive.

It's been a heck of a 24 hours: great yoga, magical night of salsa, good comedy set, a potluck to say goodbye to a co-worker...

and there's more to come this weekend.

I feel as energized as I've ever been. The Attitude has been helping a lot. I'm energized these days, more than I have been in awhile.

But I'm also--at least at this moment--very tired.

That's the eternal dilemma. I get so much out of bringing energy, trying to bring happiness and a good attitude to things. The results are great.

But there are also times I just want to crash, to let myself go, and just let myself be supported for awhile.

I hate the thought of being a drain on anyone. I know I'm not, I know there are plenty of people who are happy to be there for me, that WANT to be able to be there for me.

All I have to do is ask. All I have to do is let myself go.

But sometimes I can't ask.

This post turned out different than I expected when I started writing it. Fatigue dampens my mood, it seems.

No problem, I'll face my fatigue the way I'm willing to face the other things in my life. I'll acknowledge it, embrace it, and make it a part of me.

Two hours until jiu-jitsu. Then Codependents Anonymous meeting and a Boy's Night Out. And the rest of the weekend promises even more possibilities.

Falling can wait. I've got flying to do.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, August 22 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A Quick, Comedy...Update

I'll be hosting the Hit or Miss Night at the Comic Strip in West Edmonton Mall on August 22.

See you there!!

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, August 22 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In Which Dan Nearly--But Not Quite--Has Two Large Women Getting Into A Physcial Altercation Over Him

I don't remember whose idea it was to return to the Thompson Inn.

Maybe it was no one's idea. Maybe it was just something that germinated in our collective unconscious, a subliminal compulsion that slowly blossomed into the front of our minds.

Or maybe it was mine and Heavy Metal's idea. Who can remember such things?

For those of you who need a refresher, The Thompson Inn is where the wrestlers stayed on the 2010 tour. It is a hive of scum and villainy--blood on the walls, broken locks, broken beds...drunks and addicts stumbling up and down the hallways.

It's also where I learned the Howson Partying Secret to maintain a spotless reputation on the road: 1) Party in OTHER people's rooms 2) Show up on time the next day.

It seems to have worked so far.

Did I mention we nearly got thrown out of the place last year? What do you have to do to be thrown out of the Thompson Inn? Only professional wrestlers know for sure.

In 2011 we stayed in a different place, the LAKEVIEW INN & SUITES, which I am writing in capital letters as a plug for them since without their generosity and help being Trapped in Thompson would have been a lot more unpleasant.

It's also a really nice place. Very homey and great staff.

The bar in the Thompson Inn...not so much.

No description can do justice to this bar. Picture the worst bar you've ever seen in your life. Now imagine that bar being sacked by Vikings and repainted with several chipped and peeling coats of Despair. Now add in a zombie apocalypse. Then take away all of the zombies except for a handful...the ones too slow to get any brains.

That's the bar in the Thompson Inn.

How could you NOT go back?

Past the drunks clustered outside. Through the door and into the establishment proper--a stage and dance floor on one side of the room, the bar on the other, clusters of line-faced drunks dotting the the area like the raisins in a slice of raisin bread.

And that's when I became the belle of the ball.

I was approached by at least three older, drunker, native women, three times my size.

Did I say approach? These were more like assaults. No flirting. No back and forth. Just a storming of the sexual ramparts, grabbing at me and incoherent mumbling.

Maybe the zombie analogy is more appropriate than I first thought.

But do you know what?

I had a great time.

One of them pulled me onto the dance floor. The dancing was fun; the conversation and inappropriate groping of my parts, less so. And yes, I played up my horrified discomfort, mostly to amuse the watching wrestlers.

But secretly--in those moments when I wasn't fending off her advances or looking over at my friends to see if they were taking any pictures--I enjoyed dancing with her.

Yes, she was drunk. No, she wasn't particularly attractive or likeable.

But I have a theory that all women are sexy. You just need to look for it.

And you could find it in this woman too. Just a spark, when we were dancing of the person maybe she used to be or could have been or maybe could be again. I looked in her eyes and saw past the alcohol and the years and the disappointments. I saw past my own prejudices, preconceptions, and judgements and recognized...well, a person, just like anybody else, someone who wants to be happy.

In that moment of human connection, dancing with her became fun. I stopped worrying about what my friends thought. I stopped caring about how I looked.

I enjoyed the dance.

This might be a cute story if it ended there, but it didn't.

After the dance, she continued to pursue me. Telling her I had to go didn't work, peeling her hand of my wrist didn't work.

I ended up weaving through the group of wrestlers like a basketball player coming off of a screen, finally buying myself a few seconds by ducking behind the six foot eight ZACK MERCURY (*)

I managed to find a seat. She managed to find me.

I was at a loss. I had tried everything. Assertiveness. Physical disengagement. Zack Effin' Mercury. What was left for poor Dan Brodribb?

The answer was about to arrive, and arrive it did like thunder.

It came in the form of yet ANOTHER overweight Native American woman.

It came--although I didn't learn her name until later--in the form of Muriel.

She powered between me and my assailant like a bulldozer, clamped her arm around me like a vice, turned to the other woman and said in the clipped First Nations accent:

"Hey. You messin' wit' my boyfriend?"

For a second they started at each other. I had a moment of giddiness--oh my god, they're going to fight over me.

This could be AWESOME.

Two gigantic Native American women throwing down amidst a group of wrestlers over the affections of the ring announcer...that is a visual on Big-Jess-Getting-Shot-With-Fireworks levels of unforgettable.

Alas, it was not to be. After a few moments of intent staring, the first woman slunk off like a jackal abandoning a zebra carcass.

I was relieved, then realized Muriel's arm was still around me.

Oh shit.

Had I gone from frying pan to fire?

Muriel drew closer, looked up at me...and winked.

"You look liked you needed some help," she whispered in my ear.

Oh, I did, Muriel. I did. And I'm not too proud to accept yours. Thank you from the bottom of my ring announcing, Buddhist, stand-up comic, relationship blogging heart.

Some may call the Thompson Inn hell, but for tonight, I had found my angel.

(*) My first Zack Mercury Experience was sitting next to him in the passenger seat of a rental truck, careening down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere while he simultaneously drove, texted, set up his ipod and mixed himself a protein shake without once looking at the road. He's a fun-loving, laid-back guy, which is why it came as such as surprise to me when he once told me something so on-point about my personal sense of self that I lie awake at night staring at the ceiling thinking about it to this day.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, August 22 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Which Dan Writes A Hung Over Blog Post In Sentence Fragments

Went to the bar last night for the first time in quite a while.

Well, unless you count Friday.

And every night on the Manitoba trip.

Never mind.

Best received line I used last night: "You`re really weird." Most confusing line used on me: "You look like an intellectual."

I don`t even know what that means.

The world has come a long way since "what`s your sign?"

Also, Captain Hammer climbed onto the roof of a building. Not a slow climb either. He scrambled up there like a spider monkey. It was damn impressive.

I was about to follow him up when the police car appeared beside me.

Probably for the best. I am not nearly as agile as the Captain.

The female cop taking Hammer`s information after he came down didn`t seem to know whether to ticket him or ask him out. She took his phone number in any case. I imagine it could go either way.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dan Says The Sweetest Things (Part 2)

Keep in mind this happened at my 20 year high school reunion talking to a woman I hadn't seen in decades.

WOMAN: (in the midst of an impassioned debate about relationships): So let me ask you this, just for a guy's perspective. How do you get and keep a guy's attention. Like what does a guy think, when he comes home, he's watching TV and the woman comes out dressed in sexy lingerie.

ME: Depends if he's F***d her already or not.

After writing this down, I'm not sure if I should be plugging my dating advice blog, but for the record, the other guys at the table agreed with me. Well, the single ones did.

The ones seated beside their wives were oddly silent.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

The Attitude

Now this is more like it.

I’ve been spending the past couple weeks grappling with the post-tour malaise I talked about here. The tour really brought into focus how empty of motivation my life has been lately. There isn’t as much going on as I’m used to and the stuff I am doing…I like it, but I just hadn’t been feeling the same passion. I’ve been lethargic, listless, and uninspired.

No longer.

Why? Because I remembered something I had forgotten.

The passion doesn’t come when the right thing comes along. The right things come along when you’re passionate.

Stressful as I find them, transitions are a natural part of life, especially for someone like me who loves the climb, but never wants to spend too much time on the same mountaintop. But to go from mountain to mountain also means passing through the valleys. It means taking the time to wait and see which height calls to me next.

But you can bring passion to the valleys too.

The secret isn’t to find something that motivates you. The secret is to have the motivation first and bring that to the things you do, even the little things.

This has been a good week so far. I’ve accomplished more in the last couple days than in the last few weeks combined. Some of them are big things: Finished three or four Gateway Boyfriend articles. Charged ahead on my application for grad school. Put in a volunteer application. Took a leap forward on some projects at my day job. Read all nine hundred and fifty-some pages of George RR Martin’s new novel in the bookstore. (Okay, that one might have taken more than a couple days. But I finished it less than a week after it came out. Anyway, you have your accomplishments and I have mine).

Others are small things: Bought groceries and dropped off a food bank donation. Cleaned. Rehearsed comedy. Promoted the Gateway Boyfriend. Made myself pancakes.

But it doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. What matters is that I brought the passion to them that I’ve been letting slide.

The motivation’s back, baby. I’m fired up.

Instead of looking outside myself for something to bring me joy, I’ve just looked inside myself and found it there all along.

I’d like to take credit for this transformation, but the truth was, I had a lot of help

- A discussion with my father about the Attitude (you’ll have to ask him about it).

- Conversations with the Edmonton Buddhist Meditation group.

-Some back hallway advice from Dino, the manager of The Comic Strip.

- Phone calls with friends--Dawn Dumont, Captain Hammer, the Slayer, and the drummer from my own band.

- A conversation with Vasalissa on Monday. We were talking about a completely unrelated subject, but something she said--not an easy thing to say, either--was what it took for all the pieces fall into place.

- Being at my 20 year high school reunion, which happened this weekend. Seeing all these faces again and hearing the stories and seeing the way so many of them are living their lives helped too. We’ve gone in many different directions (or perhaps not--80% of us became teachers, it seems) and it’s hard not to be optimistic when you see how people have evolved, yet still remained true to themselves. As my old social studies teacher wisely remarked, “You move and change within your core, but your core remains the same.” There were a few teachers there. One was the woman who taught me English every year but one from grade six until graduation. She was the one who helped nurture my writing--so if there are any spelling or grammar errors in this post…well, it’s her fault now, isn’t it?

Maybe it’s coincidence, but already things seem to be looking up. Comedy is picking up for September and October. Dawn and I are going to see Wicked on Thursday.

In celebration, I’ve decided to mark down the Dating for Shy Guys book by 40%. The sale isn’t going to stay very long--my avaricious nature won’t allow it--but if you’re thinking of picking the ebook up for yourself or someone you know, now’s the time to do it. The link is here.

In the meantime, I’m excited to see how things play out. There are thing not yet begun. There are things not yet finished. I don’t know what‘s going to happen next.

But I know, whatever it is, I’m ready to do it.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


“The high-wire is life: All the rest is waiting.”
-Karl Wallenda

Being back from the tour has been an adjustment.

When you're on tour, something new and interesting is happening every moment. There's a new town to visit, a new crisis to be averted, new people to meet and new parties to attend.

And of course there are the shows.

Performing for a live audience is its own high. It's also like being part of a secret society in that only the people who know what it's like know what it's like. Each moment in front of a crowd is amazing because there is only that moment and then it is gone. You can REPEAT a joke, but you can never tell it twice because each time is unique. Every second on stage or in the ring is JUST that second. Once it's experienced--whether you're a performer or part of the crowd--you can never get it back.

It's a lot like sex in that respect.

It's also a lot like sex in that it is awesome.

It also means now that the tour is over, it's been an adjustment period going back to my regular rhythm. The pace feels so much slower. The level of intensity and focus required feels so much less. The parties are nice but they aren't...well, they aren't wrestling level parties.

I've had these sorts of 'show-biz hangovers' before. When you have a great show or a great tour, it's hard to go back to buying groceries, paying rent, and doing taxes. Last night you were a star, and today you have the same problems as anybody else.

I can see why show-biz types go crazy. Once you get a taste, it's hard to stop.

This week I'm working overnights. For the last couple nights I've been staying up later to acclimatize myself. It's strange being awake when the rest of the world is asleep. You're alone. Nothing to do, but go for walks, pace the apartment, and read, watch TV, or play videogames.

But always that restless feeling, like you're waiting for the rest of the world to wake up.

Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about.

Because that to me is what life offstage feels like most of the time. As rewarding as it is or as fun as it is or as happy you are or how much you love the people you are with, it always feels like life's color and volume is turned down just a couple notches. It feels like all the things you do--working, sleeping, eating, socializing--could really be summed up in one word.


Waiting for colour and sound to come back.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wishing Manitoba The Best In It's Future Endeavours

Continued from Part 1

I am safely home. The tow truck arrived at nine o'clock, we had the tire changed by nine fifteen, and were on the road at nine twenty.

We Cyndi Laupered it through Manitoba. We dealt with one rainstorm and ran out of gas twice. Since gas stations in this part of Manitoba all close at night, we had some problems. Once we were saved by a couple Good Samaritans (I'm not sure what Good Samaritans were doing in The Pas at three in the morning, but I'm glad they were there) and the second time we were close enough to town and it was close enough to the gas station's opening that we only lost a few minutes.

The citizens of Manitoba are good people, even if the province itself seems to hate us. Or maybe it loves us so much that it wanted us to stay...wanted us to stay, well this clip says it all.

Once we were out of Manitoba it was smooth sailing. The only hard part was staying awake.

The drive took us twenty-one hours.

All in all, I had a great time. There are always lots of adventures to be had on tour, and even though the best of them I cannot tell another living soul who wasn't there, it will be nice to take those memories out of the Vault of Secrets I Keep and look at them once in a while before quietly putting back with a smile (although some of the photos may have made in onto Facebook, if you know where to look).

The people were also great. Whether it was people I've known for years and considered friends like BIG JESS and HEAVY METAL, people I've met but don't always get to spend a lot of time with such as AJ SANCHEZ, TOMMY LEE CURTIS and MENTALLO, people I've never met before like ZACK MERCURY and RTD, being on tour together always brings out something in people you haven't seen before, so you always go out feeling a little more connected to people than when you went in. And of course there are the people we meet along the way: fans, the strangers who helped us out, the staff of the Lakeview Inn in Thompson who were fantastic during our times of trouble, and so many more. You don't know someone (or even what they're 'ca-caple of') until you've been on the road together.

Thank you to all of you. You are all Tough Guys in my book. I will see you next time, but for now, I am happy to be home and am relieved to be able to finally wish Manitoba all the best in its future endeavours.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dan Says The Sweetest Things

Hanging out in a nightclub parking lot with wrestlers and hot girls.

DANNY DUGGAN: Is anybody cold?
HOT GIRL: Not me.
DAN BRODRIBB: Great. Then you can loan me your jacket.
HOT GIRL: Wow, you're a real gentleman. What do you want next, my soul?
DAN BRODRIBB: Young lady, I've been talking to you for nearly an hour and I have yet to see any compelling evidence that you have a soul.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Trapped in Thompson

This time when I woke up this morning, I knew exactly where I was.

On a mattress on a garage floor in Gillam, Manitoba.

This wasn't part of the plan.

Nor was it the update I planned to write. The story I wanted to tell was either the great Gillam Wrestling Basketball Invitational, the Dauphin Pants-Off Dance-Off or the Triumphant Return to the Thompson Inn in which Dan got to watch two intoxicated and rather weathered-looking older women nearly get into a fight over him.

Those stories may come later.

But for now, I am trapped in Thompson, which in the scheme of things is an upgrade from being marooned in Gillam, but still not ideal, given the circumstances.

Both are wonderful towns with wonderful people and great places to put on shows.

Still, Thompson is a town with zombies. At least that's what we joke about when we see the way some of its population shuffles around the town, seemingly oblivious to other people, cars, or street signals.

Gillam, on the other hand, is kind of like the moon, if there was a Legion hall there--isolated and desolate, a town that is barely a town at all and exists only by the grace of Manitoba Hydro.

The tour was going smoothly until the trip to Gillam on the last day, when the wheels came off--literally. One of the cars--the one that was to take us back home--blew a tire on the gravel road to Gillam. Unfortunately, the boys didn't realize the tire had blown until a hundred and fifty kilometers later. The rim was torn to pieces.

The car made it to the show on the donut. The show itself was fantastic, capped by the Supreme-Adonnas riding to the ring on tricycles they found backstage.

It was only after the show that things got a little sticky when it occurred to us we were about to attempt to drive back to Thompson in a vehicle with only three good tires.

On a narrow gravel road, mainly populated by speeding trucks. Over two hundred and fifty gas-station free miles north of the next town.

Did I mention none of our cell phones had service that far north?

They didn't.

Did I mention the forest fire warning?

Well, there was.

We ended up spending the night in Gillam and headed out early the next morning, hoping the car would make it.

It didn't.

We were less than twenty kilometeres out of town when the tire blew.

The back-up plan was to ride in the back of the ring truck with all the equipment. IT was not a plan I liked, since dust had proven its ability to get into the truck, and I wasn't keen on being thrown around in the back of a trailer filled with steel supports breathing in dust and forest fire smoke.

Still, I was making myself a little nest in one corner of luggage, entrance cloth and ring padding when the bus arrived.

The Greyhound from Gillam to Thompson right on schedule.

All of us except for two guys jumped into the bus and we rode back to Thompson in style. And from the way the bus bounced over the roads, I'm very glad we didn't go through with Operation: Ring Truck. Meanwhile, The Supreme-Adonnas drove the ring truck back to Thompson.

We owe that bus driver big as well as the staff of Lakeview Inn and Suites who let us stay past check-out time and were patient with our endless phone calls and questions as we tried to solve our dilemma and let our loved ones know what was going on.

Which brings us to where I am right now: writing this entry on a hotel computer while I wait for the tow truck to bring the car back to us. We've already picked up a tire and rim from Canadian Tire and are going to make the change ourselves if the dealership is closed by the time it gets here.

I am optimistic.

But the Sports Entertainment Gods are fickle.

If you don't hear from me in a few days, you might want to take a trip up to Thompson, Manitoba.

Could be you'll find a few new zombies shuffling around.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What Do We Call This?

Man, I thought as I opened my eyes this morning. That was one refreshing sleep.

I wonder where I am

Yesterday had been a heck of a day.

There was the ten hour overnight car ride that turned into thirteen, singing songs to keep ourselves awake. By the time we got to the show, I had been awake for nearly thirty-one hours.

There was the first shows of the trip on a carnival midway in the Winnipeg heat, where I got to referee HEAVY METAL vs. DANNY DUGGAN and picked up some refereeing tips from the Honky Tonk Man and others.

Then it was time to pick KEVY CHEVY up, who had somehow managed to find himself standing alone in a field on the side of the highway.

Things get a little blurry after that.

I remember firecrackers going off, as the wrestlers attempted to demolish a model boat KEVY CHEVY had bought. Colored lights and sparks blasted past cars and into the sides of buildings and at least four hit BIG JESS who ended up on the ground. As Heavy Metal said the next day as we were all piecing the fragments of the previous evening togehter like particularly inept CSI Unit technicians, "You really can't explain in words how funny it to watch a grown man hit with roman candles until you see it yourself."

I remember AJ Sanchez and another wrestler offering to take us to a place where we could get a shower, and being the only one who accepted the offer, showering in a darkened building.

I remember riding to the club and HEAVY METAL jumping out of the car at red lights and giving posters advertising the show to other cars.

I remember going to a club and Kevy attempting a karate kick that ended up at shin level and trying to tear off his shirt with less than picture-perfect success.

I remember being so exhausted I just wanted to go to bed. I was ready to sleep in the car, but I couldn't find anybody but referee IAN SMALLS. I looked around the club for what felt like hours, finally said, 'screw it, I'm sleeping in the car' and went out to find everybody else already in the parking lot waiting for me.

Everyone piled into Big Jess' car except me, who jumped in with AJ. I figured since AJ was the person who knew where he was going, I was sticking with him.

Big Jess was supposed to follow us, but at some point we lost them, possibly because we made some stops along the way that may or may not have been completely necessary.

I felt bad for the Boys, but was congratulating on my cleverness. I, at least, would make it to the place we were staying--wrestler Bobby Jay's house.

When we arrived it was dark. I staggered down the stairs and crashed on the bed, noting in the back of my mind that the layout of the basement was different from what I remembered.

Bobby Jay must have done some renovations, I thought vaguely as I lost consciousness. But at least I ended up in the right place. I felt bad for everyone else, but what could I do? Hopefully they found somewhere to spend the night.

It was only the next morning that I discovered I was the one at the wrong place. Instead of being at Bobby Jay's house, I was at AJ's. To add insult to injury, AJ dropped me off at Bobby Jay's house the next morning where I discovered everyone else already there.

Guess they found the place after all--except for Ian, who ended up sleeping in the car.

A night this legendary deserves a name, and for those of us on the tour, it already has one.

We call it 'Day One.'

God help us all.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Sunday, June 19 - Winnipeg Manitoba
Monday, June 20 - Dauphin, Manitoba
Tuesday, June 21 - Swan River, Manitoba
Wednesday, June 22 - Flin Fon, Manitoba
Thursday, June 23 - Thompson, Manitoba
Friday, June 24 - Gillam, Manitoba

Information on tickets and showtimes, as well as other details on CWE can be found here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Conversations At A Comedy Club & Upcoming Wrestling

DAN (to Drew Behm, who was MCing): You're doing a good job getting the crowd goin.
DREW: Yeah, they're a hot crowd.
DAN: I hate good crowds. Cause I know then if I bomb I have no one to blame but myself.

In other news, I'm off to Manitoba for the CWE wrestling tour (this may mean delays in answering Gateway Boyfriend questions and getting out ebooks for the next week or so). For those of you who want to come along, dates are below. Check out the CWE website for ticket details.

I can't remember if I've shared this on the blog yet, but I'm looking at getting my Master's in Counselling which means I'm taking a bunch of psychology courses.

I've been enjoying it. It's been years since I've been in school, and I'm enjoying the challenge of learning how to write academic papers all over again even if it's stressful at times.

Of course, my experience in the pro wrestling world may be costing me marks. Here's a tip for you workers out there looking for a post-secondary education. If you're ever asked on an exam "What is Psychology?" the correct answer is NOT "Sell the arm."

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Saturday, June 18 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sunday, June 19 - Winnipeg Manitoba
Monday, June 20 - Dauphin, Manitoba
Tuesday, June 21 - Swan River, Manitoba
Wednesday, June 22 - Flin Fon, Manitoba
Thursday, June 23 - Thompson, Manitoba
Friday, June 24 - Gillam, Manitoba

Information on tickets and showtimes, as well as other details on CWE can be found here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just When I Thought I Was Out...

...the NBA pulls me back in.

With the retirement of Jerry Sloan this year, I thought I was done with basketball. The Jazz I used to cheer for are no more--different players, different uniforms, different coach.

Should have known better.

I wasn't into the Lakers-Celtics finals last year, either. Two unlikable teams and the games weren't very well played either. It was an exciting series, but not a well played series.

And then the Decision happened, and somehow the Miami Heat made the Lakers and Celtics look sympathetic. That's some solid heel work there, especially since they didn't do anything criminal or that hurt anybody. They made themselves bad guys through the force of their own personalities.

Pro wrestlers would be proud. In the wrasslin' business, it isn't whether you win or lose or whether you're good or bad, it's whether or not people are interested enough to come see what happens to you.

Unfortunately, in my case, the Heat thing DIDN'T make me interested in watching the actual product. Coupled with the fact, I have no teams I really know well--aside from the aging Spurs--meant I didn't have a lot of interest in basketball this year.

And then this years playoffs.

Let's just say I'm interested now.

Some fantastic games in the earlier rounds, including the Grizzlies surprising upset of the Spurs and awesome seven game series against the Thunder-nee-Sonics, Chris Paul's heroics, and the Lakers getting swept.

And of course the finals, which have been fantastic. There's drama in every game, I have a team to cheer for (Dirk Nowitzki? Never thought I'd see the day), and more importantly, they're giving us good basketball games as opposed to the seven game fuck-up-athon of last year.

Right now the story is LeBron James' seeming disinterest. He disappeared in Game 4 and his performance in Game 5 was lacklustre by his standards. This isn't the first time it has happened either. He disappeared against the Celtics last year, and I seem to remember similar things happening at other points during his Cavs run.

I have a theory about LeBron James. I think he's been so good all his life that he isn't used to losing. So when he is losing he doesn't know what to do or how to respond.

Either that or the Mob owns his ass and he's points shaving. Stranger things have happened.

The funny thing is, I like LeBron MORE now, not less. I believe there are two kinds of sports fans in the world--fans who get behind underdogs or fans who root for favorites. Some of us watch to see Goliath kick some ass. Others watch in hopes of seeing a David rise from the ranks.

I'm an underdog man all the way. In any game where I have no real preference who wins, I will inevitably cheer for the team that is losing (Go Bruins).

I find LeBron the Unstoppable Basketball Juggernaut boring and uninteresting. But LeBron the guy with crunch-time metal issues. That's something I can identify with. as much as its possible for me to identify with a six foot eight millionaire African-American world class athlete.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still cheering for the Mavericks. But LeBron James just became interesting enough to me that I want to know what happens with him next.

Once again, pro wrestlers would be proud.

Monday,June 13 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Saturday, June 18 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sunday, June 19 - Winnipeg Manitoba
Monday, June 20 - Dauphin, Manitoba
Tuesday, June 21 - Swan River, Manitoba
Wednesday, June 22 - Flin Fon, Manitoba
Thursday, June 23 - Thompson, Manitoba
Friday, June 24 - Gillam, Manitoba

Information on tickets and showtimes, as well as other details on CWE can be found here.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

RIP Kenneth Barr

I learned today that IDIOM Pictures' owner and director Kenneth Barr has passed away. He was 37 years old, same age as me.

I first worked with Ken on REROUTE. It was my first experience in film. I was 'killed' by a shotgun blast in a west Edmonton parking lot in November. I remember Ken's direction for the last shot of the sequence: "Corpses, please stop shivering!"

I'm sure anyone who worked with Ken on his projects can tell similar stories of working on a shoestring budget for long hours and yet somehow, coming out if it with a great experience and even better stories. Ken was passionate about what he did, and that enthusiasm was contagious.

In addition to REROUTE, I worked with Ken on THE ACADEMY, a story recounted on this blog previously. Ken also directed the MPW MADNESS TV series.

Some of my best memories are me, the late RIPPER, and KEN in Ken's apartment filming the bumpers for the MPW show and overdubbing commentary. Ripper and I would do hours of ad libs. I've always been both hopeful and terrified outtakes of those sessions might show up somewhere. Hilarious and inappropriate, including an impromptu Gangsta Rap video.

It's strange for me to think of the three people in that apartment, two of them are now dead, both much too soon.

My thoughts are with Ken's friends and family at this difficult time.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

In Which Dan Is A Lousy Feminist Ally, But Avoids Being Murdered With A Blunt Object.

Slutwalk is a Very Important event.

The intention behind it is to remind people sexual assault is not the victim's fault because of the way she--or he--dresses. It's a worthy cause and Vasalissa and I went to show support.

But as worthy a cause as it is, and as important as it is to give survivors of sexual assault a voice, I learned that my addiction to comedy is stronger.

After the speeches were over, the woman hosting the event asked anyone who had something to say to come up and address the crowd, which was several hundred strong.

I was already stepping forward when Vasalissa grabbed my hand to hold me back.

"Don't you dare," she hissed.

"Come on," I said. "Just a couple of new jokes..."

"I will beat you to death with this umbrella," Vasalissa said.

In conclusion, my fear of being bludgeoned to death is stronger than my addiction to comedy which in turn is far, far stronger than my desire to be a respectful feminist ally.

Although in my defense, I really think there's something to those new jokes.

Come to the Comic Strip on the 13th of June and see.

Monday,June 13 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Socks Enter One Sock Leaves

My sister's washing machine is like the Thunderdome.

Nice to have a back-up sock. It doesn't match any other socks in my drawer, but that's never stopped me before.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Rapture: Is Anybody Else Still Here?

According to sources, the Rapture was supposed to happen on Saturday where God was supposed to take the righteous to Heaven.

Either it was postponed or the righteous are thinner on the ground than one would hope.

I tease, Christians. Although most of the Christians I know were skeptical about the whole raputre thing too. Something about “not knowing the hour.”

I find most religions cool. There’s something amazing about the way we’ve found so many different and creative ways to explain the unexplainable and to give purpose to our lives. I’m not sure which--if any of them--is the One True Way, of course. I practice Buddhism myself, but the absurdist in me would love it if it was something nobody expected so Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Atheists, and the world’s other religious people could look dumbfounded at each other in the afterlife: “So the universe is actually the shell of a turtle being led by a team of mice? Didn‘t see that one coming.”

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of atheist blogs. I really like atheism. They make a great case for themselves and the appeals to reason, rationality, and skepticism really warm my heart. There’s a place for faith in the world, but blind belief is no substitute for critical thinking skills.

Some atheists go beyond arguing why atheism is good and start making claims that religion is harmful. Which is fine, except that their arguments get a little less rigorous, the terms get less operationally defined, and the tendency to use anecdotes and historical cherry-picking becomes a little stronger. If you’re going to challenge the existence of God or gods on rational, scientific, and skeptical grounds, you have to apply the same intellectual rigour to your claim that religion is harmful.

I don’t even know how you would make that kind of a study. First you have to define your terms--for example, is it religious belief that is bad or religious institutions? Do Church-Once-A-Year-For-Christmas folks count as religious? What about people who go to church for social or political reasons but don‘t really believe? What harmful behaviours do religion bring about that are not present in secular institutions? I can‘t figure out how you would isolate those variables.

But I hope they find a way.

Because while many of us with religious backgrounds tend to get defensive when atheists start attacking religion, but the more I think about it, the more I think they’re doing us a favor.

If our religion, whatever it may be, is harming people, then I think we as religious people have a duty to do something about it. I didn’t get into Buddhism to hurt myself or people around me. So if there’s something that we are doing badly, I think we should want to know about it and address those problems.

Let’s face it: many religious organizations DO have problems. Over the years we’ve made mistakes in the name of religion on both large and small scales. There’s been violence, sexual abuse, financial misconduct, mental cruelty, and bad fashion sense…the worst excesses of human nature. Worse, instead of dealing with those problems, we’ve often tried to ignore, deny, downplay, or justify them in the name of whatever we happen to believe.

That’s not okay. Bad things are still bad things. It’s easy to blame religion, but I don’t think religion is so much the cause as a convenient excuse. But there’s no excuse for some things, and no church or set of beliefs will shield us from the moral consequences of our actions.

That’s why I’m glad the louder elements of the atheist movement are there to point things out when we fall short. It would be nice if religious institutions were better at seeing their own shortcomings and policing themselves but sometimes it’s hard to stay objective when you’re on the inside.

Most religions I know of extol the value of gratitude. I think the people we should be most grateful for are the ones who see the world differently than we do, regardless of whether those differences are religious, political, or over the musical and cultural contributions of Lady Gaga. Through them, we see the world with new eyes.

That’s why I’m hoping the Rapture doesn’t happen and the Faithful aren’t taken up to Heaven.

Whether we realize it or not, we need them right here.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Metal and Dust: GREAT WHITE

Great White would have been more appropriately named Very Good White.

There were a lot of ‘white’ bands in those lazy, crazy high school days of the eighties: Great White, White Lion, Whitesnake, White Wolf, White Heat…I want to say White Tiger, but that was a brothel investigated by a badly disguised Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China. White was a probably the most popular band descriptor out there, with ‘king’ being the only possible competition (King Diamond, King’s X, Kingdom Come).

In the annals of the ‘white’ bands, Whitesnake would probably win Best Overall Career, White Lion would take the One-Hit-Wonder category (Though technically White Lion had two hits --’Wait,’ and ‘When the Children Cry’). Great White would place in both categories, but at best as a distant second or third.

That‘s Great White in a nutshell--Always very good. Never very great.

Yet at the same time, until I felt they went a little too far thinking they were blues musicians on ‘Hooked,’ Great White was one of the bands whose albums were no-brainer purchases for me. My two favourite Great White albums (Shot in the Dark from 1986 and 87’s Once Bitten) probably would have placed in my top 10 albums for those two respective years. ‘Psycho City,’ ‘…Twice Shy,’ ’Recovery: Live’ and their self-titled debut were reliable guests in my boom box, and even ‘Hooked’ isn’t so much bad as it is “not really what I wanted to hear.” Over the years, it’s even grown on me a little bit.

Great White was reliable. They delivered good stuff.

And by good stuff, I don‘t mean ‘the same album over and over.’ ‘Great White’ was an aggressive straight ahead metal album. ‘Shot in the Dark’ was poppier and more keyboardy. ‘Once Bitten’ was bluesier, but also heavier--kind of like a shotgun wedding between Led Zeppelin and Dokken. ‘Twice Shy’ turned up the Led Zeppelin influences which peaked on ‘Hooked.’ ‘Psycho City’ was a return to ‘Once Bitten’ territory, only with a nod to all they’d learned along the way. Each album was distinctive though, with it’s own sound. Yes, they were all clearly Great White, but they were also different enough that I never felt the band was repeating itself.

They also did a lot of cover songs, both well-known and obscure, and unlike a lot of their contemporaries, they weren‘t ashamed about it either. They did Led Zeppelin better than Led Zeppelin and their biggest hit was a cover of Ian Hunter’s ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy.‘

Very good. But not great.

They aren’t alone. Thousands of bands fall into this category. Thousands of bands and millions of people.

We worship the great. But what about the very good? There’s lots of them out there. They’re most visible in the entertainment industry where greatness and fame are the only things we have to remember people by--the bands, the stand-up comics, the actors, the writers.

But they’re in our lives too. People who are very good at what they do….whatever it may happen to be…but ultimately, not good enough to be recognized for it. Not charismatic enough to make an impression on enough people or not original enough to break any new ground.

Just…very good.

Maybe that’s why I listen to ‘Once Bitten,’ nearly two and a half decades later. Maybe, it’s my way of paying tribute to Very Good-ness, a way of remembering those who will not be remembered. Maybe it’s a way I comfort myself against the fears of the possibility--no, the likelihood--that most of the things I do, even the very good ones, will one day be gone and forgotten.

Or maybe I just like the music.

They aren’t called Very Good White for nothing, you know.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Thoughts On A Canadian Election

Election in Canada on Monday. I woke up to see the results and found myself staring at a full page picture of Osama Bin Laden’s face.

I didn’t even remember him being on the ballot.

The lesson: when you’re glancing at the front pages of newspapers, remember to check the date.

Thoughts on the election proper:

--The Conservatives--who won--ran a good front-runner campaign, that is to say, they managed not to beat themselves by saying or doing anything stupid. They also went negative a lot, so I knew who they were against, but I didn’t have an idea what they stood for. That strategy doesn't do much to win over new or undecided voters (It sure didn’t on me), but if you’re already in the lead, it’s probably the safe bet.

And it worked.

--The New Democratic Party came in a very respectable second place in a classic Life Imitates Pro-Wrestling Scenario, decisively beating a veteran former champion with name recognition (the Liberals) and unexpectedly taking the champion to the limit and establishing themselves in the voters‘ minds as a legitimate contender. If they can stay over for the next few years, the rematch should draw big money (and votes). I also thought they ran a great campaign.

In fact, they seemed to be the only people running a campaign.

Maybe it’s the circles I travel in, but I heard nothing much from the Conservatives (possibly deliberately, as they were playing not to lose). But I heard nothing from the Liberal Party either (the big losers this election, along with the Bloc Quebecois which was nearly wiped out).

But the NDP were professional, they were glitzy, and most of all, they were everywhere. The internet. Print media. Phone calls. Mail-outs.

Now as an NDP supporter (this election, at least), I was happy to see it and see them do well, but since I am the type of man who cannot resist inspecting the gift horse’s dental work, I can’t help but wonder about one thing.

And that one thing is money.

How was it that the NDP campaign was so much more visible than the other parties? Sure, maybe the Conservatives were deliberately keeping a low profile, but what about the Liberals? They were in no better political shape than the New Democrats going into this election and yet I never saw anything from them. Did they just give up on Alberta?

I can’t figure it out. I just keep thinking about money.

I’ll be curious to see the fundraising numbers for the political parties and how much each spent over the course of the campaign.

-The third thing I think about is the disappearance of the Liberals and the Bloc. The lion’s share of Parliament is divided between the right-wing (and rightier all the time, it seems) Conservatives and the even-leftier-than-the-Liberals NDP.

That’s a strong ideological split. I’m hoping that’s just the way the election played out and not a sign of things to come. A lot of the American political blogs I follow have devolved to people parroting party lines past one another, demonizing and blaming the other side and worrying about winning vs. losing.

I would hate to see that divisiveness take hold here. It’s nice to have people who agree with us, and it’s nice to have someone to blame for our troubles, but those things alone wouldn’t bring happiness and prosperity to the night manager of an Olive Garden, let alone a country.

I think we sometimes overestimate how much power the “people in power” actually have and underestimate our own. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from listening to my 68 year old gold-panning friend’s geology lessons on cross-country drives it’s that time and change are inexorable. Sometimes it happens quickly. sometimes it happens slowly. It always happens though, even if it doesn’t happen when we want it or how we expected it. Actions have consequences and just because you don’t see them or they don‘t show up right away, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Some days I find that idea frightening. Other days it gives me hope. But it never fails to motivate me.

Regardless of our political affiliation and whether or not those people are in power or not there is always something we can do. We can raise funds, write letters, make phone calls.

More importantly, we can choose the way we live. We can choose the way we treat others--family and friends, strangers, and yes, even those we dislike or who disagree with us. We can forgive ourselves and others, let go of resentments, and do the best we can with the gifts and temperament we were given to reach our potential, whatever that may be and however others might choose to judge us.

In short, we can be the best people we know how. It’s all we have the power to do, but in doing that,, we can accomplish a lot of great things along the way.

Oh. And check the dates on those newspapers.

You never know.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In Which Dan Tries Yoga & Hears A Ghost

They say yoga fosters spiritual development.

I thought it was an excuse for women to dress up in colorful, yet comfortable outfits. As if they needed a reason.

I tried yoga for the first time on saturday, bending (ouch!), stretching (ow!), and breathing (aaaaaahhhh!).

And as I breathed in and out, as I allowed the spirit to flourish within me and the light to flow from the tips of my toes to the top of my head...I heard the voice of my dead brother, as though the act of doing yoga had enabled me to make a spiritual connection with something long gone.

For an instant, I felt his presence, reaching across the gossamer curtain between the living and dead to give me a message from worlds beyond. His voice, like he was right there beside me spoke a single word.


Yep. That sounds like my brother all right.

Dan's writing on dating and relationships can be found at
Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Odds N Ends

-Stumbled across this article from last October and felt sad.

I've read the Journal most of my life. From the full color comics as a kid (They used to let kids draw the comics front pages) to the sports section when I got older (I used to cut out baseball stats and paste them in a scrapbook) to the books and entertainment section (Dad and I used to fight over the paper, even when I was a young adult).

For a couple years, I even ended up writing for them, which was a dream come true.

Everything changes, I guess.

-In other news, I came across this quote the other day in a novel called Dark Hollow. I had to smile, because it makes me think of relationships I've known. I may have been in some of those relationships myself.

“Men are so stupid, so self-absorbed. Each of them thinks he’s different, that this ache, this emptiness inside him, is unique to him and him alone, and that it somehow excuses whatever he does. But it doesn’t, and he blames the woman for somehow holding him back, as if without her, he would be better than he is, more than he is. And the hunger grows and sooner or later, it starts to feed on itself and the whole sorry mess falls apart like muscle and tendon separated from the bone.”

“And don’t women hunger too?” I asked.

“Oh, we hunger all right. And, most of the time, we starve.”

-John Connolly

Ahh, human nature. It always keeps things interesting.

What Connolly doesn't say is that men (and women) can grow up too. Maturity may not be as dramatic and--in my case, at least--it comes in fits and starts, but we can all get there. And once you've made peace with that emptiness, it seems to go away on its own.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)

Dan's writing on dating and relationships can be found at
Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everybody Needs A Comedy Cornerman

Everybody needs a comedy cornerman.

Well, unless you don't do comedy I suppose.

I hate taking paper on stage. Partly it's because I use such small notes, I can't read them well onstage, but mostly it's because it's a personal challenge to myself. Some comics can bring notes onstage and still connect, but I have a tendency to hide behind my notes or keep the piece of paper in my hand, which is distracting.

Last night, I had a lot of specific jokes I wanted to work on. I didn't want to forget any, but I didn't want to bring paper onstage.

Enter: the comedy cornerman.

I recruited BEN PROULX to watch my notes for me and yell out reminders of which jokes I was supposed to do.

It worked well, although it might need some tweaking.

Next time, I'll have my comedy cornerman sit in the audience. That way instead of sounding like he's reminding me of my jokes, maybe it will sound like a rabid fan making joke requests.

What can I say? I like feeling more famous than I actually am.

That said, I should also give him a towel. That way if the jokes bomb, he has something to throw in.

Dan's writing on dating and relationships can be found at
Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Mountain

Sometimes it’s like travelling a road that winds around a mountain.

There are moments it feels like you’re going in circles. You look over see the same scenery.

What‘s going on? you ask yourself. I thought I was past this part. I’m walking and walking, but not getting anywhere.

Look again.

The path winds around the mountain, but it is also going upward. Sure each time you come around, the scenery looks similar, but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice you’re seeing it from a slightly different angle.

Sometimes you come around to the same scenery. Sometimes you may find yourself cut off and needing to backtrack or descend before you start moving up again.

It doesn’t matter. That’s still progress.

Keep climbing.

There are a lot of us on this mountain and we all need each other.

Dan's writing on dating and relationships can be found at
Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bad Stuff Is Awesome

I'm mystified at how few people acknowledge this.

Why did Tiger Woods cheat on his wife? Why does Paris Hilton do drugs? Why does Charlie Sheen act so Charlie Sheen-y?

Closer to home, why do we and the people we know do self-destructive things even though we know better?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've spent most of my life hanging around with degenerate show-biz types--your rock musicians, your stand-up comics, your professional wrestlers--and believe me, when it comes to self-destructive decisions, nobody does it better. I may have sampled a few of those behaviours myself.

I've also seen the damage it's done. I've also seen the difficulties people have in trying to change--or in other cases help a loved one change.

We know doing drugs is bad. We tell ourselves it's not a good idea to eat junk food or smoke. We realize cheating on our partner's might not work out so well.

And the question we have is: I know these things are bad, but I keep doing them?

I'll tell you why.

Because Bad Things are also awesome.

Sex with Someone Else is awesome.

Getting drunk is awesome.

Junk food is awesome.

I'm not saying these things are good for you. They aren't. I'm saying it is pretty hard to make a change--or tell somone else they should change--without admitting that many of the bad things we do are also awesome.

Think about it. If these things sucked, we wouldn't have to convince ourselves or others we shouldn't do them because we wouldn't be doing them in the first place.

If sex with a new partner wasn't awesome, we wouldn't do it.

If drinking wasn't fun, we wouldn't do it.

If french fries weren't delicious, we'd be super-sizing the broccoli order with our combos.

Trying to pretend these things don't do something for us is dishonest. Worse, when we call people who do these things (and sometimes that person is ourselves) bad, we are making it harder to escape. Because our bad things don't judge us.

Beer will never yell at you.

Food will never titter about your weight.

You can't feel guilty and have an orgasm at the same time (Believe me, as a Professional in the Art of Feeling Guilty, I've tried) and new shoes will never nag you about your credit card statement.

Unfortunately, this is where the trap is sprung. Because often the things that are awesome lead to other things in our life sucking.

New stuff is awesome...but being in debt sucks.

Junk food is awesome...but feeling unhealthy and sluggish sucks.

Things that suck are no fun. So we turn back to the awesome thing...

...which leads to more suck.

So we run back to the awesome...

...which leads to more suck...

And the cycle continues until the awesome stuff isn't even that awesome anymore, but facing the suck is so much worse that we need it just to keep from feeling bad.

Or maybe it doesn't. Heck you can maintain an awesome-suck truce for years, either by keeping them in an uneasy balance or by riding the awesome highs and enduring the crashing lows. And let's face it there's a certain thrill riding the roller coaster of suck and awesome; it's like being in a passionate, but unstable, relationship--where would the thrill of getting back together and wild make-up sex be without the agony of being evicted because she threw your guitar through the balcony window.

There are lots and lots of reasons to stop these kinds of behaviours. We can acknowledge how they affect us and our families. We can remind ourselves how they damage our lives. We can even pay attention to how we feel when we're free from them.

But to pretend we don't sometimes like doing these things?

Let's not kid ourselves.

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Jess Is A Ladies' Man & The Vito Situation

Big Jess is a ladies man.

At the bar after the RCW show in Leduc he was talking to a young woman and her boyfriend physically grabbed her and steered her away.


Big Jess must have some powerful man mojo to inspire that kind of fear in other guys.

Maybe he's been reading my book. But when you're that good, maybe you don't need it.

AJ Sanchez was there this weekend and found a clip on the internet from the CWE tour of The Pas last January.

I'm most delighted that there is footage of my intro of Big Vito. Vito is a most interesting person and got on my case for most of the tour because he was particular about the way I introduced him.

Finally in Flin Flon, I got on the internet, wikipediad his credits and wrote them down. On the last show in Le Pas, I channeled my inner Chris Jericho(Check out this clip if you don't know what I mean) and read them all out including Vito's German toughman victory and his (accidental) pinfall of Mitsuhara Misawa in Japan.

It took nearly the entire length of Vito's intro music (especially since in my tribute to Jericho's "armbar" speech, I kept repeating "ECW!") It was Danny Duggan who insisted I include "and most importantly XWF" at the end--I guess you always want to save the best for last.

I don't know what makes me more proud. The fact that I did it or the fact that Nate Bush, Vito's opponent that night, had to leave the ring and hide his face he was laughing so hard. "Every time you paused, I thought you were done and then you just kept going," he later told me.

Anyway, AJ pointed out that the end of my intro is on the clip HERE (around 5:09). Thank, AJ for tracking it down. I am delighted to see my moment of glory survived in a form other than just a memory.

Tuesday, February 1 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Busy Week

Next Heart Way Meeting is Tuesday, February 1

As well I'll be doing comedy at the Bus People show at the Hydeaway in Edmonton February 1

This weekend also marks my return to wrestling.

Jan 28 - RCW New Year's Retribution, Leduc
Jan 29 - RCW - Wetaskiwin.

In honor of my return to wrestling, I was thinking of posting another wrestling story from the good old days of wrestling.

Then I rememebered. Tomorrow, THESE will be the good old days.

Enough old stories. This week, we create some new ones.

Hope you'll be a part of them.

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Join The Heart Way Support Group on Facebook here.