Monday, December 3, 2007

Avoiding Angstmas- Globe and Mail

Originally Published in the Globe and Mail - Facts and Arguments

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Call For Submissions- ART SCHOOL

Did you ever go to art school?
Have you ever had movement or voice training? Did you have to journal your ‘process?’ Have you ever paid a teacher for a class where you just rolled around on the floor and connected to your swamp?

If you can relate to any of these questions we’re hoping that your teachers made you write journals and that you kept them because now is the time to share your stories with the world.

Sara Bynoe, editor of Teen Angst: A Celebration of REALLY BAD Poetry (St. Martin’s Press, 2005) is compiling an anthology of silly, ridiculous, cathartic, inspiring and amusing Art School journal stories. This anthology will be a collection of student’s ‘process,’ life in Art school. Be it Theatre Training, Dance, Music or Fine Art. This anthology hopes to capture the BS in artistic institutions as well as momentous events like, “today I felt the weight of my head.”

This anthology will give readers an insight into the drama of art school as well as provide insights into the process of creation and amuse anyone that has gone through similar experiences.

How can you get involved?

1- Go thought your old notebooks that your teachers made you write, your essays and even personal journals and find an entry or two that makes you cringe with embarrassment when you reread them. The cringing means it’s good enough to share.

2- Type up your old notes as you wrote them when you were in school (we’re talking verbatim). Then write a short note (100-400 words) about this experience; maybe you need to set up the situation, or comment on how you feel about this now.

3- E-mail your entry to with the subject line “DRAMA SCHOOL”

4- Be sure to include your contact info (name, e-mail, phone number, and address) as well as a short bio about yourself.

5- If your entry is chosen for the final edition we will be sure to send you a copy of the book and an maybe an honorarium.

More info at

DEADLINE April 30, 2008

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Fitness Challenge Begins at Sexy

I’m bored with Vancouver. I’m bored with the places, bored with some faces and I’m sick of my disinterest. To cure this I have proscribed myself a challenge; I will find cool things to do in this city, so help me, or I’m moving to Toronto.

Being summer and all, the first step in this adventure is to get moving before the gloom of the rainy season sets in. Vancouver prides itself on being a highly active community, but I’ve done the yoga thing, done the biking around the seawall thing, I’ve hiked the Grind (and I love it!). I’m looking for some heart rate rising activities that aren’t offered at a Fitness Underworld.

First up: Tantra Fitness
Class: Lap Dance

I’ve always wanted to learn how to lap dance but I never had the opportunity until now. As taught by Tammy Morris, owner of Tantra and a exotic dancer extraordinaire, there are basically three rules to lap dancing 1- go slow 2- keep your hands on your body at all times 3- um... I forgot the third. I was too busy slowly touching myself.

The class I took on a sultry Thursday night was comfortably full of women aged 20s-50s, half of us for the first time. Luckily Tammy is a supportive and encouraging teacher who coaxes out the tigress in the shyest of participants. Don’t worry there are no laps provided. That’s for your imagination to provide, all Tantra gives you is a chair to partner with.

I’d recommend this class for fun and for core strength, as for a cardio workout you should try out their Cardio Striptease, Booty Camp or what Tantra specializes in pole dancing. The major downside of Tantra is that classes are expensive, with the cheapest monthly payment plan at $75/ month, which is triple my boring gym plan. I did learn a lot from this class now if only I had someone to practice on.... That’s right boys, I’m single.

It looks like Vancouver may not be so boring after all. There’s much more to discover. If you have ideas for fun fitness around town post them below and they may be next on my list.

Tantra Fitness
Address : 105-1715 Cook St. (behind Bizarre Novelties off West 2nd)
Vancouver, BC., V6J 1H3 Canada
Telephone : 1-604-738-POLE (7653)
First Class for Cardio is free

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

When Life is Harsh, Watch Al 'D' TV

The following is an interview I did on Beyond Robson

I first met Al Di through Myspace, as was the cool thing to do a year ago. I'd left a comment on a friend's photo that he was in - something about karaoke- and Al began messaging me, obsessively. He pleaded with me to come to karaoke. I eventually did. That's when I began to understand the magic that is Al Di.

Born in China, 25 year old, Al Di moved to Vancouver a few years ago and began a career as a music journalist with China's Rolling Stone. Since then he has charmed musicians like Sam Roberts, Papa Roach, and Rob Zombie with his passionate, hysterical and enthusiastic interviewing in broken English. See, Al Di, LOVES music more than you can imagine. Al Di cares deeply about musicians and wants to understand how it is that they create such beauty. The result is the cutest and most random interviewing you've ever seen.

Al Di began filming his interviews for a program he calls "Al 'D' TV." Recently Al 'D' TV interviewedFall Out Boy and it made quite the buzz on YouTube.

The following is a Q and A with Al Di. He wanted me to clean up his English but I've kept most of it as it poured from his heart, because that's what makes Al Di, Al Di.

BR- Can you describe Al D TV for us?
Al Di- Personally, ALDTV is the baby of Colin Askey (my friend, producer of ALDTV ) and me. Our goal is to provide a genuine and intimate peak into the lives of the artists who create the music that their fans adore with respectful humor.

BR- How did Al D TV start?
Al Di- Colin was helping me take pictures during an interview with Panic! At the Disco. After the interview one day, he got the idea that we should start a Web-tv show. Since he is one of a few people in this world who I am admire I follow his intention. Because I trust in him.

BR- Has it been difficult to get bands like, Hot Hot Heat, Stars and Fall Out Boy on the show?
Al Di- I am a music journalist, but even though I've already have connections with those record labels, management and PR companies. It is still the first step that costs troublesome. Anyway, I just feel like after I conquer all the problems, now when I look back to those difficult problems, I don't really feel difficult at all, you know what I mean?

BR- Recently your interview with Fall Out Boy was one of the most viewed videos on YouTube, how does that feel? Did you do anything to celebrate this?
Al Di- I just talked with Colin about this thing. We are laughed a lot. We are happy the fact that we steal lots of fans from Fall Out Boy. Yeah. It's also happy to know there are tons of people appreciate our work. Which give us much more confidence to do AL D TV. We didn't celebrate this, because there are so many things we haven't achieve yet. No time to celebrate that.

BR- When not interviewing musicians, what is your favorite thing to do?
Al Di- I am inventing time machine at home now. Hopefully I will fly back to January 2007 to save my love affair. And I am on diet lately, so I spend lots of time to do exercise at home as well.

BR- What's your all time favorite karaoke song?
Al Di- You're The Inspiration by Chicago and Never Gonna Let You Go by Sergio Mendes.

BR- What are your dreams for Al D TV?
Al Di- ALDTV played on TV, so I and Colin can have decent income to enjoy the life, hahaha. We hope our pure innocent heart and mind will clarify and purify this corrupted music industry and get rid of lots of junks in the garbage can.

BR- Is there anything else we should know about you and Al D TV?
Al Di- AL D TV is all about love, peace and happiness. No bullshits!

Thanks to Al Di for taking the time to answer my questions. You can catch more Al Di at

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Eye- Wows

The first time I had it done it hurt so much I cried. Over time I've toughened up and now I think threading is THE best way to deal with eyebrows. For those of you that don't know: threading is a hair removal technique that uses a cotton thread that is twisted and rolled along the skin entwining the hairs in the thread, which are then lifted out from the follicle. The esthetician uses her hands to hold the thread and her (or maybe his) mouth to control the hair removal. The method originated in India and the Middle East and it's offered it in beauty salons all over Vancouver.

The best place for threading hands down is certainly beyond Robson, but it's worth the trip....

Silky Touch is an esthetics salon at the corner of 41 Ave and Fraser. They focus on nails, waxing, and massage but threading is their most popular service and at $5 a pop (for just eyebrows), you can't go wrong. I've been visiting them since 2001 when I lived in the Langara getto and even though I visit sporadically ( once a month or so), Seema, the owner, still remembers my name. I've been to other threaders in town but no one can match the precision and symmetry that I get with Seema.

I'm currently on a 6-week tour/trip out of town and I just don't know what I'm going to do without Silky Touch. So, please ride your bike up past Mountain View Cemetery and say hi to the ladies for me. Sorry guys, Silky Touch is a "women only" zone.

Silky Touch Esthetics, 5686 Fraser Street, (604) 676-1888, Walk-ins welcome.

Vancouver International Improv Fest

I remember in the 90s Improv was all the rage. At least I thought so, it seemed like "Whose Line is It Anyway?" was always on TV. But then what happened? Improv didn't disappear; I just stopped caring about it.

However Improv is on my mind again as I've become aware of the Vancouver International Improv Festival that's going on now and some of it actually sounds pretty cool. For instance there's going to be an improvised cartoon. Produced by Instant Theatre, this festival showcases a wide variety of improvisational styles from all over the world. In addition to showcasing some Improv's top dogs the VIIF also has it's own Festival ensemble, made up of top improvisers from all over, who work with top instructors in the day and then perform in the showcase at night. There are many shows to catch but only three days left. So get off your butts, turn off the computer and go out and see real people thinking on their feet.

Thursday June 7 shows at 7:30, 9:15 and 10
Friday June 8 shows at 7:30, 10 and 11:30
Saturday June 9 shows at 7:30, 10 and 11:45

The Festival pass is $40 and individual tickets are available.

Note: shows are at The Waterfront Theatre and the Revue Theatre on Granville Island check the website for full information.

WARNING- the website is very annoying to navigate. I hate Flash.

Dates: June 05, 2007 - June 09, 2007
Tickets at Tickets Tonight or try your luck at the door.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What's Your Number?

I've had sex. I'll bet you have too. The question is with how many people? Recently I have been reassessing my number because of something a lesbian friend of mine insists: oral counts.

I've never included oral-only 'friends' in my grand total because, well, I didn't think it counted. However, in the lesbian sex-life oral is a major component of intercourse. So, if oral doesn't count does that mean lesbians don't have sex? You bet your dental dam they do.

My reluctance to include oral probably stems from a need to keep my number at a respectable size. Not that I've been a floozy but... I remember dating one guy who told me he'd been with over 60 women in his 25-year-old life. I chose not to join this club because of his number (60 women! Yeegawds), but maybe he was counting oral in amongst his notches.

Here are some arguments for and against including oral in your final tally:

Oral should count because:
-You can get STD's from oral sex (which is the main reason people want to know their partners sexual history/number)
-Sexual activity is sexual intercourse
-Sometimes the line blurs - as in there is genital contact.
-Lesbian sex counts
-Just like the regular kind, oral sex involves positions

Oral shouldn't count because:
-Everyone's numbers would probably be a lot higher
-You don't technically loose your virginity if you have oral sex (at least that's what the kids are saying)
-It doesn't lead to procreation (and that's why we all have sex, right?)
-It didn't count for Clinton (or did it?)

Please add your thoughts and other arguments below and let's see if we can come to a consensus.

This is a blog written for Beyond Robson to see the responce go to

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Vancouver Gives me Styes... Sometimes

"I used to be the apple of your eye/ But now it seams I'm just a stye."

This is one of my favorite lines of Teen Angst Poetry. My friend Michelle wrote it when she was 14 years old about 'relationship' she was in for 1.5 weeks. I now understand why I love this line so much because sometimes, Vancouver, that's how you make me feel. Like a stye... in your eye.

I've been running Teen Angst: A Retro Comedy Night since 2001 in this fair city. This is a show where everyday people share their most embarrassing teenaged writings (poetry, journals, letters, songs, essays etc). Why? Because it's funny. And what else are you going to do with them? Really. Tonight is the last Teen Angst night until the Fall so, Vancouver, will you give my eye a sty again? Or will you attend, because honestly this idea exploding- like pimples on a 16 year old boy's face- cities across North America are copying this idea.

Seattle has the Salon of Shame, which began this past November. There's Cringe in Brooklyn which began in April 2005. Get Mortified, is, like, a teen angst franchise with shows in LA, San Francisco, NYC, Boston etc. Many small towns across North America are sparking up their own teen angst reading nights, just like stoners spark up every day at 4:20.

So, who did it first? I'll argue me- I've got the book. But that doesn't really matter, what matters is that everyone should experience the magic that is Teen Angst. So, join me tonight because I have some truly godawful poetry that will clean a stye out of your eye with tears of laughter.

Teen Angst: A Retro Comedy Night happens tonight May 31 at The Annex, 307 W Cordova Street (at Cambie). Sign up 7:30 ish Show 8 ish.
or Click here for info on the history and related shows of Teen Angst.

Bike to Work Week

As Bike to Work Week comes to a close, I have to admit that I did not ride my bike. Not even once. Sure, I looked at it, I thought about it, I wished I could ride my bike but, for me, it would have been a stupid idea.

Last Tuesday I was riding my bike to work down Yukon street by Broadway when my cell phone rang. I know, I know- but I didn't answer it. I looked to see who it was, as I was expecting an important call. Ignoring the unimportant caller I went to put the cell back in my pocket but the breeze that was flapping my jacket around prevented that from happening. The light ahead was changed to yellow so I broke with my cell phone in hand.

Having recently serviced my bike, my breaks were pretty tight. The hand my cell phone was in was the back breaks so I broke hard with the front. As I did this I thought about how I had recently commented in ION magazine's horoscopes about hipsters not wearing helmets getting hit by a car. I began to flip over my handle bars then everything went black.

A few seconds later my face was on the pavement and I was bleeding. Many thoughts raced through my unprotected brain: "crap-I'm late for work," "my face,-I'll never work again as an actor!" and "thank goodness no car hit me." I stumbled up, sore and bleeding. My knees got scraped, even though I was wearing pants, my elbow was scratched and bruised through a jean jacket and a hoodie, the back of my left hand must have skid along the ground because it was a mess. Luckily I only slightly cut my lip and I did not hit my head: my head that did not have a helmet on because I didn't want to wreck my hair.

People swarmed me to see if I was alright luckily no one saw what actually happened. I was stunned. I stumbled around and cried in shock. I called a friend who drove me to the Doctor who cleaned me up and gave me Tylenol with Codeine because "you're going to be sore tomorrow."

I'm not a very religious person but that day I was blessed. Blessed that I didn't hit my head. Blessed that there wasn't a car behind me. I received a wake-up call. I've been riding my bike around this city pretty consistently for the past year and I've become pretty cocky; thinking I can do things like talk on my cell phone and not wear a helmet. Let this be a lesson to you all. Wear a helmet. Don't even check your cell phone on your bike. And don't take your safety for granted. An accident can happen so quickly.

Instead of biking to work I've been healing. With massive handle bar sized bruises on my legs and scabs aplenty, I'm taking time to walk noticing the scenery and the many cars that run red lights. A lesson is learned, I will be much safer in the future. I just wish they made a helmet that didn't make my head sweat and wreck my hair.

photo credit Freddy Peters

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Horoscopes ION Magazine

ION Magazine got me to write the Horoscopes for the May edition which is out on the streets now. The magazine is a super hot and free glossy that gets snatched up fast so if you can't find one here they are:

You’re going to unexpectedly find yourself at a cuddle party and you’re going to like it. It’s the beginning of a whole new life for you. By May 31 you’ll find true love. It may only last a week so make it count.

This month someone will prove just how dumb you are. If you want to dodge this fate start paying attention to the world beyond your art collective. Think thrice before ordering your latte and read a newspaper. At the very least catch up on current events. Seriously how can you not know who Barack Obama is? Stop fretting about money. No one can afford to live in this city, just put it all on credit like the rest of us.

Quit eating shite. You smell like a teenaged boy after a game of dodgeball wearing wet wool. Go on a cleanse, take a shower and start walking. If you do you may finally be able to get a date.

Happy Birthday Mr/Ms Bull. If you can get through this month you’re going to have a rockin’ year. However heed this advice. I know you don’t want to wreck your hair but you and your hipster cruiser bike are going to get hit by a car. Wearing a helmet might be a good idea but it’s probably best if you just spent the whole month indoors. I don’t know how you’re going to do that, maybe you can get on creating that teleporting invention the Jetsons said we’d have by now.

This month one of your personalities is going to take over. Let it. You’ve been doing this skitzo twin thing too long. It’s truly time to drop your weaker persona; a slout (dumb slut) that spends too much time on and wants you to move to White Rock to settle down.

You are perfect. Everything you wish for will come true. Keep up the good work. Just be sure to keep your perfection on the D.L. you don’t want the other signs to get jealous.

Quit leaving the lights on when you’re not home. Global warming is all your fault.

You’re going to fall in love at the beginning of this month. Now, what I want you to do is write pages and pages of poetry about this. Write about how they smell, their laugh, how much they mean to you etc. After the new moon on May 16 your lover is going to get drunk at the Legion and dedicate a karaoke love song to your worst enemy. I want you to keep writing lots more poetry. Then send it all to me so I can publish another book.

“A gun rack... a gun rack. I don't even own *a* gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do... with a gun rack?” Find away to work this Wayne’s World quote into a conversation and your month will be party time, excellent.

Stop spending so much time on MySpace and Facebook. Go outside, get drunk, sleep around, and say what’s on your mind and in your heart. Fuck repercussions.

Your laziness has hit rock bottom. You probably figured out a way to get this magazine delivered. It’s time you pulled up your socks, put them in the wash, quit sponging off your parents and got a job. Not a job at a coffee shop or bathhouse, your resume if full of that already. Try to do one thing this month that you’ve always wanted to do. Wait, don’t try- just fucking do it.

A day or two after the full moon on May 2 you will understand the meaning of life. This will bring you great peace and happiness. Don’t let the haters get you down. Take a walk around the sea wall and repair our cities broken heart.

Belly- Psychedelic Comedy from the DTES

What do you get when you mix the Downtown East Side's missing women, Pink Floyd and stand-up comedy? Belly: a play that's at Open Studios until May 5.

Belly is a comedian/sex worker who has a psychic connection to Pink Floyd. This is a story about adversity like you've never seen. While searching for her lost lover and comedy partner, Belly attempts to heal the paranormal energies in her neighbourhood armed with jokes from the future. From the future!

Director Kris Nelson describes the show as, "absurd and surreal" with Belly, played by creator Dawn Wendy McLeod, performing a "feast of comedy styles, everything from celebrity impressions to filthy jokes." The show also features eccentric rockers A Thousand Times No who re-work some classic Floyd riffs.

I've got my tickets already and if you want some too you'd better act now. Belly closes this Saturday night but if you're quick you can get in on the two-for-one Tuesday show tonight at 8 pm.

Brownbike Performance and Screaming Weenie Productions in association with neworldtheatre and PACE (Prostitution Alternatives Counseling and Education) Society present:

Created by Dawn Wendy McLeod
Directed by Kris Nelson

April 26 - May 5, 2007 @ 8pm
2-for 1 preview: April 25, 2007 @ 8pm
2 for 1 special with talkback with members from the PACE Society, May 2, 2007 @ 8pm
Night Owl Shows: April 28 & May 5 @ 10pm

Open Studios
#200 - 252 E. 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: 604-251-1047
Little Sister's Bookstore (1238 Davie)
Admission: $10/$12

Terminal City Roller Girls First Bout

The Terminal City Roller Girls are Vancouver's first female roller derby league and this past Saturday at the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster the girls hit the track. Tickets were hard to find for this sold out event; you pretty much had to know a rollergirl personally to get in. The lucky 500 fans who made the trek watched the Black Bandidas take on the Red Rollitas who've been practicing together since the league formed in January of this year.

The rules of a roller derby are hard to explain. I'd had them explained to me about a hundred times before the bout but it all made sense I when got there. Here's how it all went down:

The two teams played three twenty-min bouts (or periods for you hockey fans). Things were a little shakey off the top, as this was the first time any of the girls competed in front of an audience. Most of the girls stuck to the rules- 'no pushing/ elbowing' - but Suzy Shameless was one blocker who demonstrated how to play tough. Other star players included Chicka Bomb, Trophy Wife, Cinderhella, Lambaster and Rollergirl (who's been on four wheels since she was four).

By the end of the third period everyone was getting into it. I was on my feet screaming Ttake her down! Go! Go! Go!" Then just as quickly as it started the Black Banditas (who are comprised of two teams The Bad Reputations and The Faster Pussycats) had won. The score... well, I lost my notebook with that information and since it's not up on their website you'll have to take my word; it was close.

The rumors are the next bout will be in August with a much larger venue with 2000 seat capacity and thankfully not in New West. I'm betting those tickets will fly just as fast as the first bout. My suggestion is start making friends with these girls now. Which should be easy since they're all on MySpace.

Comedy on the edge... of Bad Taste

This is from a Beyond Robson blog post I did. May 08, 2007

Tonight at the Soft-Core Comedy/ Variety Show, Aubrey Tennant and Paul Anthony will present the first known staging of a play written by Cho Seung Hui who killed 32 people in a school shooting at Virgina Tech last month . Apparently this 11-page piece was leaked to the Internet where the producers of tonight's show snatched it up . It's bound to be a serious glimpse into the mind (and poor grammar) of this deeply troubled kid.

Too soon? Yeah, probably.

Also on tonight's bill:
Graham Clark who is one of the funniest stand-ups in Vancouver.
Ryan LaChance (formally Sir Gimpy) who is said to "spew his hilarious wheelchair riddled rage." I'm guessing that's comedy.
April O'Peel with her appealing burlesque.
And Drag Queen, Jason Lomax will perform his infamous black-faced rendition of a beloved Whitney Houston Classic.

This is comedy on the edge of good taste. You've been warned.

The Soft-Core Comedy/ Variety Show at The Cobalt

Doors: 9 pm
Show: 9:30 pm
Cover: $5
The Cobalt - 917 MAIN ST

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Tina Turner Journey

Strength. Courage. Conviction. This is what Tina Turner is full of. It’s also what was projected in a lame-ass PowerPoint video behind Luisa Marshals in her Tina Turner show/tribute.

Strength, courage and determination were exactly what I needed to make it thought the night. First off it should be noted that I wanted, really badly, to go to this show. My friend Jamie James, who not only has one of the most awesome names of anyone I know, is a back up dancer for a Tina impersonator and gave a bunch of us free tickets to the show. In some sense of irony or being way too post-modern I had to attend this tribute show about a woman whose number one song I got wrong – just like 60% of the audience. I knew it was going to be awesome. But I had no idea I was about to embark on my own Tina Turner Journey.

First off the show was in Surrey, the car theft capital of North America, just outside of Vancouver. That should have been my first clue of where the night was headed. My friends Jason, Lucy and Daniel all piled into Jason’s 92 Civic and embarked on our hour long trek. Thanks to Google map, the trip should have taken 42 min but sadly Surrey doesn’t see the need to mark intersections and we got turned around a few times.

When we finally found the venue the Bell Stage or something we discovered that the theatre was in a high school. The best looking high school I’ve ever been in. I think it was like three years old. It was fricking huge; the school and the theatre.

At the high school we meet our friends Frano and Miranda who were similarly giddy in an ironic sense of humor. We entered into a theatre that would make professional venues in Vancouver jealous. Why couldn’t I have gone to high school in Surrey? When I did The Wizard of Oz in grade 12, we performed on the gymnasium stage and the Styrofoam rainbow fell on the munchkins. That’s shit these Surrey kids will never have to experience.

Before the show the video projected factoids about Tina Turner’s life, that we wouldn’t learn in the show.
Tina Turner is 5’4”
Luisa Marshal is 5’3”
Tina Turner’s real name is Anna Mae Bullock
Her birth date is November 26, 1939
Can you guess what Tina’s biggest hit was? 60% of you will get it wrong.
And so on.

The show:
My heart goes out to Tina and her tribulations but jeez this show was lame. Lame in a good way- very post-modern. I felt for Jamie James as he performed simplistic choreography that anyone with two years of training could have created. He was simply the best out of all of the other male dancers who were about 22 years old and looked like this was their first professional show. The girls were about 30, in wicked shape, and did a decent job.

However the highlight was the PowerPoint video background that told us Tina’s inner monologue along her journey.
“Never give up”
“You can go it”
“Reach for the top”
“Jealousy”- with Ike
“adultery” – Ike
“Calm”- when Tina turned to Buddhism
“8 Grammies”
And so on.

At intermission I decided to explore the school, since I kind of have an obsession with teen culture.

This is what I found.

A diorama of Star Wars. I can’t believe rich kids in the Surrey mega school get away with this.

I did find one diorama of “The Cell.”

After the show I had to get our picture take with Tina. And that was awesome.

Basking in the afterglow and the knowledge that Tina’s biggest hit was “What’s love got to do with it”- I guessed Private Dancer and Jason guessed the theme from Thunderdome” We Don't Need Another Hero."

Side note: This was kind of strange because Frano, Miranda, Daniel, Jamie James and I all knew each other through this play we did that referenced that song (but none of us knew it was Tina’s). In our show the main character was named Hero and had mad a lame DJ mix under the name DJ Hero: We Don’t Need Another.

The whole event made me think about all the other bands in existence who are lacking their own theatrical/dance tribute show. I would love to do one about Deee-lite. The 90s house/rave band that had the hit “Groove is in the Heart” that I will stop everything and dance to whenever I hear it.

Back at the car, proud that we made it out so far to experience whatever it was we just experienced, and creatively inspired, the Civic wouldn’t start. Oh shit. It wouldn’t start and couldn’t start. We were still in Surrey. Luckily I called Frano, who was still ogling Tina, and got him to take Lucy and Daniel home.

Jason and I waited 25 min for a tow truck. I was began to fear that I’d never leave Surrey. We entertained ourselves by looking at the grad class photos; pointing out who was popular and who wasn’t and who had the most 90s haircut even though they graduated in 2004. Sadly I don’t have a picture of this.

The tow truck driver was kinda crazy, of course and told us all about the business and how he can make up to $300 a night if it’s busy. He mostly works nights because the roads are clearer and there’s more business from cool things that are Police involved. Jason thought he should become a tow-truck driver.

When we made it to Jason’s repair shop, in Burnaby, it was already 11:30pm. The Tina show had started at 7:30. I called a cab just wanting our adventure to be over but Mr. Tow Truck who loves his job couldn’t find the necessary paperwork for Jason to fill out. His car was a mess. He turned down the seats, looked in the glove compartment, everywhere. The cab showed up and waited 15 min (not on the meter luckily) for us to finish the paperwork.

In the cab that drove us back to Vancouver smelt funny to me. I thought it was baby. Baby diaper or something. But Jason had the correct answer: barf. Which I felt we both smelt like for the rest of the night, although there was no evidence of it on our clothes.

So, that was my Tina Turner Journey. A lesson in risk taking, triumphing over adversity and living to tell the tale smelling a bit like vomit.

Jason’s car was fixed the next day after $500 worth of a new distributor. But it’s all ok because...

Big wheel keep on turning
Proud Mary keep on burning
And were rolling, rolling
Rolling on the river

Rock on Tina. Rock on Tina impersonators.

Going to Watch a Band Review

Head boppers at Richard's on Richard's watch Trans Am, April 25

When it comes to new music I'm pretty out of it. I rely on my friends in Montreal to make me mixes to keep me hip. So when a friend invited me to see Trans Am last night I figured they were some hip new thing. Actually they've been around since the 90s and with eight albums out, on Thrill Jockey, you could say they're established.

Trans Am played last night at Richard's on Richards. Enticed by their name and a bizarre video I downloaded I decided to take a chance and check them out. Now I don't often see live music. And when I do I'm regularly disappointed. Here's why:

1- I don't understand the point of 'watching' music and I'll blame that on my time spent in the rave scene. Trans Am played a pretty danceable set with their sweet drum machine, keyboard synths and computerized voice distorters. Much head bobbing and toe tapping but the booty shaking was nil.

2- I love banter. Sadly a lot of musicians are musicians and not stand-up comedians. Go figure. Performance/stage presence factors hugely into show caliber. Now I'm not talking having bands monologue or bring people up on stage but they do have to acknowledge the audience. I think this is why crowds go 'wild' when bands say "Hello Vancouver!" Trans Am was forced to banter when the guitarist broke a string. The shirtless/shoeless drummer did a satisfactory job of it, but didn't go into details about the band's border difficulties - a favorite "banter topic" that I've observed from the few shows I've been to. I suspect this could have made for fantastic banter material and very possibly won my heart.

3- Taking a chance on bands sight unsound is a risky venture when you don't have major coin to toss around. Thankfully I didn't have to pay to see Trans Am. Not that I didn't like their music, I just probably wouldn't have paid for it. I've just always found concerts more enjoyable when I know the songs or... read point number two again.

If I were to review Trans Am Band I'd give the show 3 out of 5 thingies of importance. Being that I'm no music reviewer this rating pertains most importantly to the fact that I left the house. And that a lot of other toe-tappers did too. That's what the Vancouver should embrace - that sometimes it's okay to be mildly satisfied or even abjectly miserable provided the company is good.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Celtic Kink Limerick Challenge

The following is a posting I made on Beyond Robson. I am now an official blogger.

I usually celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with a 'meh' and some token green apparel. But this year I'm thinking of taking in a night of poetry, burlesque and accordions at Ceili's Irish Pub. This Thursday, Ceili's will be hosting an event they call a Celtic Kink Limerick Challenge that will blend these art forms into a lucky clover of entertainment. Here's how it's going down:

You and your friends (or strangers for that matter) form a team and create limericks to compete against the Vancouver Limerick All-stars (local poetry slam stars RC Weslowski, Sean McGarragle, Chris Gilpin and Nora Smithhisler). Sounds simple right? Well, the challenge will be creating them while the sultry divas of Sweet Soul Burlesque shimmy and Rowan Lipkovits serenades on his accordion. Your creations will be judged by a panel of 'celebrity' judges including 24 Hours' Guts McTavish, CFUN's Jennifer Thomson, and Westender photographer Catherine Barr.

I'm not sure what the prize is but my bets are it's probably green.

The Celtic Kink Limerick Challenge
Ceili's Irish Pub, 670 Smithe Street (at Granville)
Thursday, March 15th
9 pm - 11 pm

Friday, January 19, 2007

So You Want to Write a Book? Notes from a First Timer.

Here's a link to a piece I wrote for The Tyee about compling my book: warning irony ahead.

Teen Angst Poetry

From The Tyee and my book

Category: I Will Never Love Again

I broke up with my first boyfriend, James, because he cheated on me. I went away for the weekend and he made out with another girl eight hours after I’d left town. I was so hurt. We had been together for a month, which is forever in grade eight time.

I wrote this poem in between breaking up with James and getting back together with him. I think we were broken up for three days, during which he pleaded and begged for me to take him back.

And then I thought about it… well, there isn’t anyone else that is interested in me. I like his friends. If I stay with him for a little bit more maybe I can become better friends with them. Maybe he is sorry for what he has done. Maybe he didn’t mean to do it. So eventually, I did take him back, but then we broke up two weeks later when I dumped him for his best friend.

Yes, thirteen years old and I already knew how to play the game.

James Break up Poem

My eyes are going blind
glazed over and aglow
You say things that confuse my mind
Take you back?
I say NO!

My hurt did not leave
You took my heart
You are the thieve
My forgiveness you will not get
I wish, I wish we had never met

My emotions I will now keep
If i give them to you again
I know I'll weep

I'm closed up and alone
what I know now
I wish I had known
When the time comes you will pay
I wonder- just what you will say?

Monday, January 15, 2007

“No One Understands My Pain” and some who do.

It’s hot tonight at The Annex, a crowed bar in Vancouver’s historic Gastown. Hot in a puberty kind of way, something is developing here, like a new pimple on the face of comedy.
Several people are hiding faded notebooks on their laps mustering up courage one drink at a time. As I make my way to the stage, a posse of teenagers stand at the door.
“Teen Angst, what’s that?” one gangly girl says to her pals reading tonight’s poster.
In the limelight I take the mic, “Hi, my name is Sara Bynoe and I wrote Teen Angst Poetry.” The audience cheers and laughs while the teenagers find their way to a more appropriate nightspot.
The name can be deceiving Teen Angst Readings are not for teenagers. They are for those of us who can look back and laugh at our adolescent angst.
When I was thirteen years old I penned some of the world’s purplest poems, I now know. Now most people would bury or even burn it to prevent anyone from ever discovering their embarrassing rhymes. But I am one of the few brave souls that will read this crap to crowds of strangers, in the name of comedy.
Across North America shows like mine have been sparking up like teenagers on their lunch breaks. It’s happening in Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and there could be one coming to a city near you.
Part stand-up, part reading series, part confessional and 100% hilarious, it takes place in a bar or a theatre packed with people post-puberty aged 20-40. The show includes poetry, journals, unsent letters, essays, songs, fiction and even videos. The rule is the same across the board; you can only share what you created and it must have been written before graduation.
In 2000, at the age of 20, I had the idea, nay, the calling, to share my teenaged verse with the world. After stumbling across some old poetry my high school- ex had given me, I shared them with a friend, laughed then felt karmacly obligated to share my own, which I then realized was even worse.
It began as a website; a database for the world to upload their most awful verse. Being a performer, the next step was to get onstage. I have found and forced others to do the same and to this date have hosted more than twenty Teen Angst Readings in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and New York City. In April 2005 St. Martin’s Press published a collection I called Teen Angst: A Celebration of REALLY BAD Poetry.
Poems are grouped according to themes like: “I am alone and no one understands my pain,” “Fuck you,” “I will never love again,” and “Life sucks and I want to die.” The universality of teen angst is a huge part of the appeal.
Sarah Brown, 30, is someone who does understand my pain. She organizes a show in Brooklyn, NY called Cringe. Sarah, originally from Oklahoma, stumbled across her teenaged diaries in 2001 and began e-mailing the most ridiculous entries to her friends for laughs. Her friends then spread her e-mails like gossip on bathroom walls and soon Sarah had hundreds of people on her teen diary mailing list.
“It was okay sharing it with my friends,” Sarah says, “but with people that I couldn’t see, it lost the connection.”
April 2005 Sarah organized the first Cringe night at Freddies a neighborhood hot spot in Brooklyn.
“It was really hard to read out loud,” says Sarah of that night. “The first time you get up to read you’re so embarrassed but when you see how everyone responds to it you’re like, ‘oh you like that? We’ll I’ve got worse than that!’”
People are embracing Cringe, sometimes maxing capacity at the free monthly event. Recently Spin Magazine gave the night a shout out, reviewing it with four stars out of five.
The night’s success can be attributed to Sarah herself who is a professional writer with a popular blog that gets thousands of hits a month.
“I loved the idea and wished that there was a Cringe that could happen in Seattle,” says writer and former raver Ariel Meadow Stallings, 31, who has been reading Sarah Brown’s blog for five years. “I called her and she said you’re more than welcome to do an event but you can’t call it Cringe.”
The Salon of Shame is what Ariel spawned in November 2005. The nearly free show ($5 or $1 if you bring something to read) runs every other month at the Rendezvous JewelBox. Draped with red velvet curtains this small dinner theatre adds an element of class to the crude creativity shared at the Salon. A freshman in the genre the show has had exponential success after a recent review in local weekly The Seattle Stranger.
Then there’s Get Mortified in Los Angeles. Produced by Dave Nadelburg, a 33-year-old television writer. Mortifed, as he calls it, began in 2002 shortly after Dave stumbled across an embarrassing old love letter he had once composed. Dave describes his night as "personal redemption through public humiliation."
The only franchise of the lot Get Mortified now has shows in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago. Get Mortified also seeks to stand out from the other angst shows in a few other ways; there is no host and readers audition for the show.
“We are simply not an open-mic format,” says Dave. “We work with each performer to shape their ancient prose into a unique autobiographical form of storytelling we call a ‘diagraphy.’” He crafts each piece to tell a unique tale using 100% of the original teen writing.
In Los Angeles there are two shows a month at The M Bar, a swanky little dinner theatre in nameless strip mall off Vine. I attended and performed in a show in March 2006 noticing several differences from the way I do things up North.

The Hollywood audience arrived in their designer jeans, valet parked their cars, paid the $10 cover charge and sat in a theatre with a $10 food minimum. Intrigued and excited by this profitable endeavour I sadly learned that, unlike my own, the performers do not get paid. Not even an honorarium. Welcome to Hollywood.
Get Mortified has been featured in Jane magazine, LA Times Magazine and most notably on This American Life on N.P.R. The next step is a book called Mortified: Real Words Real People Real Pathetic, published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment out November 2006.
Some sort of angst epiphany must have been brewing in the collective unconscious in the early millennium because the three main producers, Sarah Brown, Dave Nadelburg and myself conceived these shows unaware of each other.
Sarah Brown says she was only made aware of Get Mortified when they moved into NYC. Get Mortified knew about after some Internet searching for similar Googles. I became aware of all three through my publisher and from a journalist who attended my book launch in New York.
When I started my website I was unaware of anything like it, just a few old, old, old school WebPages of people’s personal teen angst poetry.
As part of their FAQ’s on their site Get Mortified addresses the similar nights issue:“Yes, we've started to noticed a few like-minded concepts sprout up across the country…We can only ask others to be considerate enough to put their own unique slant on the format.”
In Seattle, where the concept is growing, Ariel says, “I’m not willing to move it to a larger venue because the whole point to me is that it’s an intimate crowd and that you can see the faces of the people you’re reading to. To me, the value of it would be lost. I even wouldn’t want to watch a video of it, for me the whole point of it is the whole interaction.”
Back at The Annex Zack Taylor, a history major at Simon Fraser University, shares his poem “Untitled” to crowd hysterics.
“Who am I?/ What am I?/ Why am I?/ How am I?/ Where am I?”
Audiences are encouraged to shout out obvious rhymes along with the poet and in Zack’s case the ‘am I’ is echoed out. I smile. There is something bonding about this experience, sharing stories and feelings long dismissed. What began as a joke for my friends has now turned into a movement and it’s more that just teen angst recovery or catharsis.
“Your website has helped me through a trying time,” one 16 year old e-mailed me. “I really relate to these poems.”
Other teenaged fans of the movement are able to gain insight on their own teen angst and learn the valuable lesson of laughing at oneself.
It is a universal whether it’s seen as cathartic or hilarious. Teen Angst writings can be shared anywhere: a dinner theatre, a bar or your best friend’s basement. Sarah Brown’s suggestion is that, “if you read it to yourself and it physically makes you cringe then it’s funny to read out loud.” So, get digging through your old notebooks. I’ll see you on the stage.

A Saturday bus ride leads to the best ex-boyfriend story I have.

Who would have thought I’d meet someone on public transit? Well, I suppose meeting anyone is easy enough on the bus, but some one as in somebody who could be the one of my dreams (Well now, I’m getting a little bit a head of myself). Nevertheless, last Saturday I was on the Main Street bus, sitting at the back, not the far back where the drunks and thugs hang out, but the mid-back where you can safely make an exit if one of the wackos goes phycho.

I’m sitting at the back and this cute guy gets on and sits across from me, cute enough to make me glance up from my book. A few times. And catch his eye. And look away. And look back. We play the eye glance game for a while. For ten minutes or so until we both (what are the chances?) get off at the same stop. The skytrian station- as in train of the sky as in his train will take me sky high? (eew).

The Molson Indy Car race is going on near by. Laps and laps of loudness. Neer-ahh- boom- Neee-raw, neeeeeeeeeeeeeee-rah- boom.

I go to the far side of the platform to get a glimpse of these noisemakers, waste of gas and rubber entertainment. He is looking over at the cars as well, I’m sure.

Bing-bong- “The train is approaching.” We both step inside the westbound train. The eye came has evolved to the smiling round. I hear a little voice in my head; “go for it.” I open my mouth and we begin a dialogue. I don’t know about what, the cars, the train, and before I know it my life story pours out my mouth. The little voice speaks again; shut up blabber mouth, you’re the one that started it, oh what am I doing?, go for it! He asks questions, I politely reciprocate. He’s talking to me about reggae music. Red Flag. He walks me to my dance class and I, without being promoted give him my phone number. Call me. Please call me. I haven’t got anyone. I don’t want to die alone. For the next hour and a half I have a spring in my step and it’s not the floors of the studio. I did it.

These things rarely happen to me. I’ve never picked up a guy randomly on transit or anywhere, while sober. I’m really very proud of myself. Good on ya.

Monday night. He calls. Funny, I would have thought he’s call on Thursday, ya know the five-day rule. Oh ya, now it’s a five-day rule, three makes it seem like you’re eager, so five is perfect. But he only waited two. Red Flag. Ignore it. He’s interested in me! Well, who wouldn’t be interested in a beautiful, outgoing, charming, soon to be published writer/actor? I mean get in line. We make plans for the following night.

First Date
I get there late. There he is. Long-ish brown hair, not headbanger long, surfer long. Stoner long? Red Flag. Deep brown eyes and HUGE lips, like Stephen Tyler lips. I didn’t notice of how fricking huge his lips are. I wonder what he can do with them.

My opening line is classic, something like: “Hi. Let’s get a picture of Sangria.” Let’s get this party started. We talk about his travels. He just got back from Australia. Learnt how to surf. That explains the hair. He’s really into photography. Great, I love having my picture taken. His best friend is dying. Oh.

"That sucks."

"So, my family was just in town," I tell him.

Things lighten up. Somehow we talk about our exes. On the first date? That’s a little early. But then it comes out, he’s trying to figure out how much of a player I am. Oh, I must be acting. The evening is fine, he’s interesting, and cute, there’s got to be something wrong but I don’t see it.

Date 2
The firework festival is on. We meet downtown and realize that downtown is way to crazy for us. Hop on the bus and go to Kits beach. I brought a blanket and we snuggle up. He gives me a wicked back massage (really it’s the key to my heart). We ooh and awe. Struggle through a crowd of people to some nearby busy bar more chatting. He wants to be a photographer. Looking into travel photography, because he loves to travel. Well, he’s only gone on one travel trip but it was pretty good, he went to South East Asia. Cool. I guess, I haven’t gone traveling much, I’m headstrong about getting somewhere, no time to enjoy the ride. Sucks to be me. That’s it date over.

Oh yeah but his lips are really big. Soft and fun.

Date 3
Renting a movie at his house. Ok, I’m going over to his place, and you know what that means- make out time!

We go to the wine store first. He tries to impress me with his wine knowledge. He does this by telling off these boys at the store that the wine they want to buy is shit.
“Hey man, don’t get that, it’s shit.”
“K- whatever buddy.”
“No man, really I was just traveling there and ya the locals wont drink it its such shit.”
“K- thanks”
“Really, I’m not shittin’ ya, it’s pissy wine”
“What’s your problem?”
“I just have a problem with shitty wine, s’all.”
“Ok Ian, I think they’re fine with it.” Oh yeah, his name is Ian, in case you wanted to know.
I drag him out of the store before it comes to blows.
“What do you care what they drink?”
“mumble mumble”
At this point I think his aggressiveness is cute. A little scary but harmless.
Oh you! You’re so silly. Giggle – toss hair.

Next stop video store. Not much we’re interested in but then he picks up Gus Van Sant’s Elephant. Basically it’s a take on the Columbine school shootings. Neither of us has seen it, and we’ve heard some buzz. Unfortunately none of the buzz warned us that it would be so slow. Good thing we bought non-shitty wine.

As boring movies progress we end up in the bedroom. But I’m just not that into him, or its too fast or I’m scared of his aggressiveness, I escape by saying “I’m not going to sleep here, I’ve got to get home for…. something.”

On the way home I ponder this nights events, his aggressiveness, his questionable life path and his general awkwardness; is it cute or scary? I’m leaning to the latter.

Date 4
A day or two later he invites me to see this surf movie, because then I’ll finally understand what he’s so passionate about. Sure, whatever.

On the way to the movie a panhandler asks for change instead of doing the “no sorry” routine that I usually do he says “get a job” BIG HUGE REDFLAG.
“Ian, that’s not cool.”
The movie really excites him and that’s cute.
Ya, I can see the thrill of surffing, looks pretty fun.
“Oh you don’t even know the half of it. Like that one guy Greg Noll, he’s like a legend, I read that he once rode this 65 foot wave blah blah blah blah.”
And I’m nodding along, sure uh huh, it’s interesting but all over my head.
“So great so’ll you’ll hang out with me on my b-day?”
No. I’m so done with you now. Uh- yeah, when is it again?
“I just told you- next week.”
Next week- oh goodness I don’t know if I can handle this much more, I mean he’s fun to be around, cute for sure, but I’m getting the feeling that this isn’t going to go anywhere. But I feel bad for this guy, he’s new here and doesn’t have any friends.
Sure I’ll hang out with you on your birthday.

The Birthday.
Pretty much we met late (I was busy), we drank, he tried to get me to sleep with him, I told him that I wasn’t going to, he flipped out, called me names, we fought for an hour on the street (why didn’t I just go?), we left each other, he called my cell to bitch some more at me, I somehow got rid of him. End of Bus Boy. Phew.

No, not the end.

About two weeks later, I go to the theatre to see one of my friends perform, afterwards we all decide to go out for drinks. About five of us walk into this bar, and there bus boy is sitting at the bar. Our eyes lock. I nod hello. He rolls his eyes and turns away. I quickly and quietly tell my friends that “that’s him.” Who? The bus boy? Yeah, the crazy one. Oh.
He comes over with a note in hand.
“What’s this for?”
“Just read it.”
He’s hostile and people around us can feel that energy, they lean in to hear more.
Some random guy asks him, “what’s your problem?”
“This girl is a cold-hearted BITCH!”

Everyone is listening now. He rambles off some shit like how I broke up with him on his birthday (I just didn’t sleep with him- and well, should have broken up with him sooner-but do you really break up with someone you spent five dates with?). And he walks away from us.

Meanwhile all my friends have had a chance to look at the note. Bus boy leaves the bar. The random guys next to us buy me a drink to prove to me that ‘not all men are bad’. I knew that, but thank them for the drink.

After finishing my free drink I ponder my actions and realize I've learned my lesson. It's time to get a car.

Note: This was written sometime during the summer of 2004. So if you think you're the lucky guy... congrats you made it into a story!

Lock It or Lose It

When I moved to Vancouver my hippie Aunt, who drives and SUV and lives in Deep Cove, told me to “get a bike. It’s the quickest way around town.” This advice made its way through the family grapevine and my mother donated me her old Norco mountain bike (which she spray pained pearlescent pink for me), but as I was living a quick walk from school I never bothered to release the beast.

For three years it gathered dust in storage until I moved out of the Langara College getto. Being a starving artist, needing to get around the city and after dating a guy who rode a recumbent bike I was inspired to try it out. If only to get me further away from the memory of dating such an embarrassing man.

At first it was a burden; heavy, ugly, and tacky. Then one day something shifted and it did more that get me around; it got me off. I couldn’t get enough; the wind blowing in my face and my heart rate increasing with every hill. Seduced by the freedom of the open road like a teenager with a fresh drivers permit.

I discovered that my Aunt was right. What used to take up to 45 min on the bus (at the worst times) now only took me 15 min. This city is well planned for my freewheeling; traffic calmed roads, bike crosswalk buttons, and a gorgeous sea wall to cruise along. It not only got me off the bus; it saved me from Fitness World hell. I no longer had to deal with smelly people or their horrible music and I was getting buns of steel!

As honeymoon phases progress, gifts were bought: new fenders, breaks, a cute little basket. A beast no longer, my bike was something I was proud to show off to the hipsters on Main Street.
Then a moment of pure laziness occurred. As my landlord was putting in new plumbing causing trenches in the front yard I had to carry my bike down steps, through a twisted maze, and over a ditch on a rickety plank to even get to the back shed my baby slept in. I figured it was safe. It would never happen to me.

Late the next day and I went around back to grab my trusty steed and discovered an empty space where I had left ol’pinky. My helmet, which I’d left in the basket, was kindly left behind on a shelf.

My virginity of theft was taken from me in the night. I clutched my helmet to my chest and cried like a child who dropped its ice cream, knowing the Dicky-D truck was long out of site. There was only one person I thought would understand my pain; my recumbent bike riding ex-boyfriend. Once reached he scolded me for not properly locking it up- the jerk. I was a fool to think he would understand; who would steal a recumbent bike anyway?

Heartbroken, I filed a police report online but nothing ever came from it. Hundreds of bikes are stolen daily in the lower Mainland. The problem is so bad in Victoria that they have started a bait bike program there to catch the thieves. Knowing that I’m not alone was not enough comfort for me. My heart panged when I saw cyclists on the streets like a single girl feels when she passes a couple holding hands. Every time someone biked passed my house I would look up expecting it to be my bike returning home like a lost pet.

Bitterly I was back on the bus but it didn’t last long knowing that a monthly one zone bus pass costs nearly $70. I knew that my dollar could be better spent. I bit the bullet and bought a new one. No thief was gonna break my stride.

This time I’m not taking any chances. I have two locks; a U-lock through and a cable, both with key locks so no bic pens will open up these babies. I avoid my lawn labyrinth by carrying it upstairs.

This whole ordeal has been a life lesson; like riding a bike. Sure, if someone really wants to steal my bike they’ll find a way and I’m prepared for that.

Still, if you see anyone riding a spray-painted pearescent pink bike with a basket on the front give them hell for me.

Doin' it Online

“I’m new to this… and .. umm.. I don’t really know what to say.” -Firefly28

“I’m a normal kind of guy.”- KitsMan76
“I like stuff...”-LamePeeps23

Sound familiar? Well, if you’re one of the millions of people who have ventured into the jungle that is online dating it probably does. Waves of people have hit the web on sites like, Lavalife, and surfing their way through every like, love and lust. On these sites users are supposed to create a profile, post a photos and send messages to people they find appealing.
In the year 2006 couples with Internet connections are no longer a hushed happening.

So, I’ll admit it: I’ve dipped my toes into the Lavalife. Unlike some of my friends, I have yet to find my match, so mostly I just browse. But every time I go on the site, I’m not joking, EVERY TIME, I get at least three messages within 10 minutes telling me that I have the best profile/ photo combo on there.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I am not drop-dead gorgeous. I’m not bad, and I do have a decent online photo. So beyond that what’s my secret? It’s all about how you present your package, as it were. Now the dating part I have no control over because, like I said, I’m just on there to browse.

When I survey my competition this is what I find: nothing special. So many profiles are deficiently descriptive. Most start with one of three thoughts: “I hate the bar so I thought I’d give this a try”, “I hate talking about myself, but here goes” or “I am a girl who loves to laugh,” then paired with the most stoic photo of yourself. Clearly you need some help. Here are some pointers on how to create a power profile.

Find the pith. Most men, as we know, have short attention spans. Like a piece of art, most will only spend a few moments looking at your profile before clicking on to the next girl. So when you write your bio in one large block of text it’s too daunting to sort though. Help them out by breaking it up into paragraphs or bulleted points. You’ve got to hook them in with something original and fun. However, I don’t think a Mya Angelou quote is the best way to start.

Most people say they are attracted to a person with a sense of humor. So use it! This does not mean starting with a joke but writing your profile as if you were speaking to your friends or yourself in the mirror. It should be in your voice, your happiest, least jaded, and most dateable voice.

Talk about your life. What is it you do? You don’t have to be specific but cryptic people just aren’t as interesting as those with a reality. “I like stuff” isn’t going to get you a smile.
Write about your passions, you never know who else could be out there with the same pastimes or obsessions as you. Plus it can be a great conversation starter for when someone messages you. “Hey, I can do the Grouse Grind in 50 min, care to challenge me?"

If Illiteracy is doesn’t turn you on then please, for the Love of God spell-check, unless you’re looking for someone of an equivalent IQ.

With your photos be creative, be interesting, and be of decent quality so your face isn’t all grainy. It’s sad but true; most people do judge a person by a picture. Which is why I can’t stress this enough: NO CAT PHOTOS! About 5% of you have shots with your cats- think what that says! If I have to spell it out: crazy cat lady! Digital cameras are rampant these days so you should have no trouble finding someone to take a shot of you, without the cat, away from your messy bedroom.

This is not ‘The Apprentice’ but there is one thing to keep in mind. You are selling a product: yourself. Think of all the time and effort you spend getting ready for a date. Why should you put any less thought into your profile? Even if you don’t find The One online, at the very least with a good profile you’ll get some lovely compliments. Or you can just contact me and I’ll do it for you because really, I’m just there to browse.