Blog post #18

According to Wikipedia, “18 (eighteen) is the natural number following 17 and preceding 19.” It’s also the minimum number of posts I was supposed to do for this project.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me fill you in.

For the last 12 weeks I’ve been taking the Foundations in Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. This blog is part of the course. So is this YouTube video (which we made in less than an hour) and this wiki.

While I intended to use the blog to find out if I was funny, what I actually found out was that I’m really busy. Between work, the course, and working on my accreditation there really hasn’t been much time for going out and reviewing shows or developing my own material, let alone performing.

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NyQuil helps you forget about your cold (and everything else)

I’ve been battling a bad cold the last couple of days… well, maybe battling isn’t the right way to describe it. In reality, I’ve basically been sleeping it off thanks to my good friend NyQuil.

I didn’t discover the powers of NyQuil until a couple of years ago, but ever since we were introduced, I knew we were made for each other.

What started as a sore throat on Sunday morning had manifested into a cold by Sunday evening. By 8 p.m. I was miserable. I downed some NyQuil and was in bed by 9 p.m.

NyQuil not only made me forget about my cold… it made me forget about everything, which comes in handy, unless you have stuff to do or want to be able to walk the 15 feet from the living room to the kitchen and still remember why you went to the kitchen in the first place.

I spent Monday on the couch in sleepy (relative) comfort between doses of NyQuil. I took three naps that day, which I didn’t even think was possible until you reached the age of 75! And despite feeling groggy, I certainly didn’t feel many side effects of having a cold.

Why did it take me so long to try NyQuil? Well, like the legendary Bill Hicks I have a distrust of hatred of advertisers and marketers.

Bill Hicks On Marketing

If marketers are advertisers were ever honest maybe we’d believe them once in awhile.

And that’s why I think NyQuil should change it’s slogan to: “NyQuil helps you forget about your cold (and everything else.)”

“Did you mean Manifesto?” No Google, I meant to type, “Pantifesto”

WARNING: This post is rated BR for bromantic.

Robb Johannes is the lead singer of Paint, one of Toronto’s best indie bands. And he’s my friend.

A couple of weeks ago he put out a punk album as a side project, the band is called Pantifesto and the album is called, and Other Essays. You can listen to it on Bandcamp or stream it off YouTube. And you can even read a blog post from Robb on the making of the album.

It’s quite the departure from the user-friendly rock and roll offered by Paint. Although he once again shows his ability to write a hook that will stay in your head for days. The songs are simple and catchy, especially “Pink Girls vs. Punk Chicks” and “Subway Musicians Program.”

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A kick in the pants from Mike Birbigula

The other night while walking home after watching Evil Dead my girlfriend and I ended up passing a group of teenagers on the street. One particularly mouthy teenager, criticized my choice to wear blue. For the record, this is in the well to-do area near Oriole Park/Davisville Subway Station and my choice of blue was a Hockey Night in Canada toque. He then yelled out “South side!” – presumably because we were all walking on the south side of Chaplin Crescent.

Anyways, the point is, at no point was I afraid of these teenagers and truth be told, after watching Evil Dead, I was feeling pretty desensitized to even the thought of violence.

It’s anxiety and the fear of the failure that gets my blood pumping and makes the hair on my next stand up.

Enter Mike Birbigula. He’s a stand-up comic who is about my age, and has earned himself a strong following. Last year, he starred in Sleepwalk With Me, which he also wrote and directed. It’s a semi-autobiographical film and apparently he even lost 20 pounds in order to play the character based on himself.

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Being heckled, my fourth biggest fear

The Toronto Star ran an article on heckling this week, “When standup comics turn tables on hecklers,” that’s fairly interesting and veteran comic Kristen Von Hagen, offers some great points and advice.

Thankfully, I’ve never been heckled. I’ve looked out into the audience and seen people that were offended or uninterested, but I’ve never been heckled. It’s my fourth biggest fear behind dying alone, sitting in a restaurant or bar alone and never advancing in my career. It’s also a major test that I hope I could pass.

ComedyCaster.com offers some good advice in a post by Paul Savage titled, “How to MC,” that suggests rating the heckler’s comment between 1 and 10 and offering a suitable response. There’s simply no reason to respond to a minor heckle with a major putdown.

Are these pants black or a really dark navy blue?

I work in an office. And that means I need to wear pants to work. Every day.

A few months ago I bought three pairs of flat front, wrinkle resistant and stain repellent pants from Mark’s. A beige pair, a black pair and a navy blue pair.

pants

The pants are great. I love stuff from Mark’s and I’ve been shopping there for a long time. Back when it was called Mark’s Work Wearhouse, I was actually working in a warehouse. And I had a dream of opening a rival clothing store called Mark Works in a Warehouse and making a boatload of cash off of brand confusion. But alas, like my dream of appearing on the Agenda with Steve Paikin or hitting a homerun in recreation league softball, that dream has yet to come true.

I’m getting off track… so, what’s the problem?

The black pants and the navy blue pants are so close together in colour that I have extreme difficulty in telling them apart. Especially in the dim light of my bedroom and my dim-witted early morning daze.

On two occasions, one of them being yesterday, I have put on the black pants – only to realize when I got out into the morning sun that I actually have the navy blue pants on.

You’re probably thinking that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. When I wear black pants, I wear black shoes and a black belt. When I wear navy blue pants, I wear brown shoes and a brown belt. That’s just how I roll.

The wrong colour combination of pants/shoes/belt will ruin my day and make me incredibly self-conscious. So much so, that I have realized I need to eliminate this problem by donating one of these pairs of pants to charity. Now I just need to figure out which one is which.

Social farting. It’s not okay.

Government isn’t known for it’s sense of humour. And that’s what makes the quitthedenial.ca campaign from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care both unexpected and effective.

The point of the campaign is to show that social smoking is just as ridiculous as social farting / social earwax picking / social nibbling. And the videos support that claim:

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