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.