Movie Review: Burt Macklin: Raptor Wrangler

This time, it's a World

Where the Dinosaurs are made up and the Plots don’t matter

Today, I finally got off my ass and saw maybe my most anticipated movie since the first Avengers. Burt Macklin: Raptor Wrangler

He's so excited to be so close to Burt Macklin: Space Pirate

Featuring: Totally Stoked Raptor

Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s easily in the top ten, possibly in the top five. Re-watchable to the max, full of great one liners and timeless scenes, plus Dr. Mother-fucking-Ian Malcolm:

biggest sin of the new movie: no nods to Malcolm. I could rant for several paragraphs about this, but other bloggers have done it better and sooner, so I'll consign myself to this one little paragraph that no one will read unless you're hip to the alternate text game, in which case: Kudos, you Person! YOU, uh, Found a way. To the alternate text.  Glad to have you.

into everyone’s pants

I first saw JP at a Drive-In Theatre (google it, children. I don’t have time to undo faulty parenting) and It excited, thrilled, and straight up terrified me.  I remember hiding behind my parents’ seats in the car, peeking out and just loving the Hell outta the ride. I had tons of the toys (with that rad “real skin” on the dinos), crossing them over with the X-men, Star Wars, and Ninja Turtles for an epic mega battle every chance I could. I loved Jurassic Park.  Dearly. So what did I think of this in-continuity, mega budget re-boot?

This is gonna have more spoilers than a TGI Friday’s parking lot, so hold on to your butts.

So the movie kicks off with the settled-down Cheryl from Archer’s kids going to the Park for the first time.  Iron Man 3’s sidekick and his pervy older brother go to Dinosaur Island to meet up with their Aunt, my #4 Celebrity crush (Behind Aubrey Plaza, Zooey Deschanel, and Anthony Mackie); Opie’s Hot Daughter

Good God

Good. God.

Blind Village Girl is busy and cold and doesn’t like hugs yet so she dumps the kids on random cranky British assistant, who is soooo obviously gonna get eaten later.  The kids, being A) capricious, and B) in a movie, quickly sneak away to explore the park on their own. NOTHING BAD COULD COME OF THAT, RIGHT?


Anyway, we meet the other analogs for the characters from the first movie: Newman and Nick Fury are replaced by Sloppy-Hipster-Meta-Nerd and Fired-Guard-From-Orange-is-the-New-Black.  There’s some promising chemistry here, mainly because, Just like Microchip in the first movie, no one puts up with Meta-Nerd’s shit.

Our John Hammond analog is Indian Clive Palmer and HE. IS. THE BEST.  He spouts witty aphorisms and actually inspiring maxims, flies Helicopters shittily, and is 100% going to die.


Fun Rich Billionaire introduces us to our main antagonist: SplicedMutatoSaurus:  a Dino created from the DNA of *REDACTED*….Oooh, mystery.  Right away we can tell that Tyrannosaurus PlotDevice is Mega Intelligent and probably gonna fuck a lot of shit up, so Daddy Starbucks sends Lady in the Water to go and get our only hope:  Burt Macklin, FBI.

Clever Girl

clever girl

Macklin is cleaning a motorcycle and drinking a glass bottle coke, so he’s clearly the hero and going to save us all.  A short sexual tension and misogyny filled convo later, and we meet his team of awesome raptors.  Tan Douchey Kingpin shows up and is our B-Villain for the film. He’s appropriately awesome and terrible.  Then lots of shit goes wrong, dinos get out, people get eaten, and Jimmy Buffet drinks margaritas….listen you know the action movie formula, I’m not going over every detail.  Just know that Johnny Karate and Gwen Stacy fight dinosaurs with kids who can hotwire Jeeps and survive 300 foot falls.  It….it’s honestly pretty great.

Also there’s a Monster Dino Whale, and Star-Lord rides a motorcycle through a jungle with a pack of raptors.

I don't even care if it's fan service this is everything.

I don’t even care if it’s fan service this is everything.

The movie is full of awesome, nostalgic nods to the original, great comedic moments, and horribly cheesy dialogue; so in that, at least, it feels like an appropriate successor. The main issues of the movie are the lack of Women characters and the McGuffinSaurus, both of which feel hugely weak to me considering how much money this was destined to make and the history of the franchise.  BDH does great work here, and she makes Claire into a true badass. I know a lot of people were complaining that she wore heels through the whole thing, but it was actually BDH who insisted on it. She said she thought it gave Claire a real power and strength, and I think that’s fine. She’s the true star of the film and the only character that actually has an arc of any kind.  Pratt is, expectedly, really fun as well. The action is strong, the cgi is good enough….it’s just that pesky plot that blows chunks.

All told; the stellar cast saves the day here from hackneyed writing and one-dimensional directing. Plus the unbelievable score from John Williams is just as good as you could hope.  I’ll probably see it again. A couple times.  Also: The way they beat the Indominus and the Mufasa moment for our beloved T-Rexy both made me giggle and clap like a ten year old

Jurassic World is not without it’s problems. The sequel needs at least twice as many women, and maybe a few different punch-up writers, but overall I had a great time, and will now dream of having a pet raptor until I die, so I guess thanks for that? Bonus points for the token black guy making it to the end. Maybe the next movie they should let him pick a team because the fat white dudes the park was staffed with sure weren’t very helpful.

Here’s to the sequel:




Heat Wave, or My Next Graphic Novel

Today, I am in Perth, Australia.

not pictured: about a hundred strip clubs and sex shops

Perth, City of the $24 Entree.

I grew up in a place that had all 4 seasons.

This may sound foreign or even imagined to some of you, but we had Autumn with beautiful colors spreading across the forests and towns. We had a Winter Chill that, while occasionally accompanied by a powerful and deadly blizzard, was made bearable by fireplaces, cocoa, sledding, and songs.  Our Spring was definitely Spring; flowers, rain and a renewed sense of excitement at the World to complement the renewed beauty of the natural wonders of our tiny, yet colorful town. AND we had a nice, hot summer that lasted EXACTLY AS LONG AS SUMMER SHOULD LAST.

It was Lovely.

This is Bullshit.


a picturesque sunday morning jog in Australia, circa 2014

It.  Is.  So.  Hot.  Walking out of the airport feels like actually descending into Hell from Alaska. I fully expected to find the Devil waiting for me in a Ranger Hat and Crocodile Tooth Necklace, ready to hang me by my nips and shove boomerangs up my ass for all eternity.  Hell, Id’ve consented if He gave me a bottle of water first. I don’t know how the locals do it..


Turns out, they Don’t.

There is of course the slight possibility that I’m being a big baby and blowing things out of proportio–nope. NOOOPE.


Do people live in that Purple space? HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE IN THAT PURPLE SPACE?

Now, a quick bit of research will tell you that Australia’s heat-waves have been gradually getting worse, and that some scientists think deaths are even going to quadruple in the coming future. Now I think it’s all pretty obvious what’s-a-going-on here…and hold onto your wagging fingers, climate-change-deniers, I’m about to hop to your side of the crazy train for a moment:

Australia is on top of a Hellmouth.


Now for those not in the know, scholars (read: Buffy the Vampire Slayer) have defined a Hellmouth as “an area in which the barriers between dimensions are particularly weak, allowing the creation of portals between Earth and several Hell dimensions.”

This makes perfect sense.

The implications of a Hellmouth are that demons and other Hellish creatures can permeate the boundaries usually put in place to prevent them from affecting things or interacting with people on Earth. This is actually a popular fan theory in regards to what the fuck was actually going on with the island on LOST.


Kills me every time.

Thinking for a second about the possibility that demons have been sneaking through and gallivanting around Australia for years now just explains SO much: the Heat, The terrifying flora, and all the horrible little creatures that want to kill or destroy you in every way possible


SO. Australia’s barrier against the forces of Hell has been torn down (aren’t they below the hole in the ozone? OH MY GOD HELL IS ALIENS).  The country of reformed, lovable convicts is overrun by demons terrorizing the land and owning the Fox Network.  Who do we turn to?  Who will help this imperiled nation in their direst hour??? My friends, I present my suggestion:

The League of Extraordinary Aussie Gentlemen

For you non-comic-book-inclined folks (or those who only saw the dreadfully awful film), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was an amazing comic book written by insane hobo Alan Moore, in which several legendary figures from Britain’s supernatural past, including Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo, and Dracula victim Wilhemina Harker banded together to save the realm from various threats. It is a series so chock full of literary references and easter eggs that there is a full, college sized annotations page to make sure you don’t miss any. It is an amazing series, go buy it. Now let me steal it for my shitty blog:


Who’s in the League?

A strong League must have a strong roster. Most hero teams are comprised of 5 types members: Tacticians, Blasters, Bruisers, Infiltrators, and Scrappers (or the Wild Card). Each serves a separate purpose and is equally integral to the team. A true League needs one of each, and I know just the Aussies for the job. I’m going to build this team as if it were going to be a comic book or movie, so buckle in and hold tight to your suspension of disbelief. Here we go…

The Tactician: Julia Gillard


Mina Harker meets Buffy meets get the Fuck out of my office, mate.

The Tactician is the leader of the group, the big brain…and truly, right up there with the badassery of a Captain America or a Cyclops you’re gonna find this Cunning and Daring ex-Prime Minister. Villains beware.

Suffering from Pneumonia as a child in Wales, the doc straight up said “Move to Australia or Die, girl” (I may be paraphrasing), and the new climate was quite a fit for this natural badass.  Gillard actually runs a lot of parallels to the actual League’s Tactician, Mina Harker.  Both are strong female role models who don’t back down to some dick trying to assert their misogyny. Neither shies away from admitting their awesomeness.  Both wear bitchinhats.

Sure, like any politician, she’s not perfect, but who wants a superhero with no flaws?


Ok I take it back that’s awesome

Now let’s just add in a conspiracy theory backstory where Abbot and Rudd got her ousted through nefarious means and you’ve got all the makings of a sweet revenge story, and a secret organization tasked to return Australia to it’s former glory, out of demonic hands. I already want to read this.

The Blaster: Steve Irwin


This was listed on his site under “Glamour Shots”

After faking his death in 2006 to go under cover for the good of his nation, Irwin helps to assemble the league and is the first to fully realize it’s important, with his natural optimism and ability to remain positive.  A Blaster’s role on the team is Range Support (Nemo fills this role in Moore’s comics with his submarine and many guns).  The Croc Hunter can use his superpower of animal communication to sic all the various nasties of Australia onto the baddies, and serves as our comedic relief.

The Bruiser: Ned Kelly


With the power to grow just the rockin’est beard

This fuckin’ guy.  Man.  Alright, a bruiser is the team’s muscle, the tank, the fuck-you-you-shall-not-pass-usually-played-by-a-pro-wrestler member.

Now for my American readers who may not know the story, Ned Kelly was a lot like some of our early American gangsters/wild west gang runners, just with a dash of pure fucking crazy pants thrown in.

The son of an Irish convict, Kelly got into trouble with the law at 14 for stealing pigs and beating up some old guy, and running the hell away. Overtime he and his gang became highly wanted outlaws, with some viewing them as murderous madmen and others viewing them as a Robin Hood and his Merry Men due to his Irish-Immigrant status and standing up to the establishment.  I suppose these people decided to ignore the whole “giving back to the poor” aspect of Robin Hood’s story, but whatever.

The Crazy part of Kelly’s legacy is the armor. He began first by wearing an Iron mask, then graduated up to a full DIY suit of armor that his whole gang wore, which basically looked like they were wearing trash cans…but it worked.  The armor was bullet-proof, and they had an almost full day shootout with the police and several hostages that took a freaking cannon and a company of militia to stop.  Kelly was shot 6 times (including 2 in the groin) and more times in the armor (no bullet ever penetrated it), brought in, and eventually hanged.


The Kelly Armor, or “Homeless Iron Man”

Here’s where it gets nuts.  Kelly was buried somewhere in the jail. In 1934 they didn’t keep any records on where the remains of executed prisoners went.  In later years, the skeleton was found and given to the National Trust, but the skull was stolen.  Here’s where the League comes in.

Kelly’s skull is attached to a robot body, with the iron mask still around it. His brain patterns resurrected and used as our team’s tank.  Like Mr. Hyde in the original League, our bruiser is not a good person, but he gets the job done. Also like Hyde, maybe all he needs is a team and someone believing in him to come around.  Mainly though this is about a badass zombie trash can cyborg fighting demons, and I think we can all get behind this.

The Infiltrator: Hugh Jackman


Alright, alright bear with me here.  Hugh Jackman is, obviously, a huge movie star, a lauded Broadway performer, and an all around nice, family man.  Though he may play one of the most famous superheroes of all time, not an ideal choice for a real life team.

…or IS HE?


Captain Colonial

An infiltrator has to be able to get the jobs done the the rest of the team cannot…and something this team has in common is there are a lot of places most of them cannot go. Gillard is way too high profile, Irwin and Kelly are both supposed to be dead…Who doesn’t want Hugh Jackman around?  Where can the most charming Aussie alive NOT go?  He is perfect for this role in the group, and with all his X-movie training, he’s gonna be able to hold his own in a scuffle.  Mainly though this is about Wolverine teaming up with a badass zombie trash can cyborg fighting demons, and I think we can all get behind this.


And, Finally

The Scrapper: Crocodile Dundee


an international treasure

Let me be clear. We’re talking about the character here, not the actor.  For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume he’s a real person, and that Paul Hogan played him in the movie adaptation.  The real Dundee wouldn’t sign off on the film, so as far as the world knows, he doesn’t exist.  The two best implications here are:

A) He’s still living somewhere in the outback like a beast, not having moved to NYC or Vegas like the sequels.

B) If he didn’t sign off on the movie we can assume the movie took heavy liberties to make their chick flick work….the real Dundee therefore must be even more of a badass.


Now THIS…this isn’t a knife either. Hold on a second let me get my stuff

A scrapper needs to get in close and handle the situation.  Dundee has tons of survivalist know how and is super handy with a knife, a boomerang, and a lady in need of some panty-dropping.  Plus I imagine he voted against Gillard, so those interactions are going to be golden.

Alright, somebody get this to every comic company and every movie studio and get back to me. I’ll just be here having heat stroke in this chair.  aaaaaand BREAK.

LeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen (1)

One Nation, Under God?

THIS. This is important. And Disturbing. Watch it.

People always seem surprised to find out that I am both a far left-politically-minded person and a Christian. I promise this is going to be relevant to the video haha…at any rate, people tend to associate liberals with atheists and conservatism with religious minds, and I think that is a poisonous way to view things, that has probably been carefully constructed.

“Socialism” is maybe the dirtiest word you can say in America, and you’re immediately discounted by most people the second you say it. This is most DEFINITELY a carefully constructed poison injected into our culture. 

Here’s the thing…I understand the logic for not being down for socialism. It requires too much trust when too many people are too evil. That’s fine. It wouldn’t work. As the video states, however, there’s no reason we can’t THINK about it and change it and implement aspects of it to make things a lot more fair and balanced in this hideously unfair and unbalanced nation.

Back to the Christian thing. I want to clarify my viewpoint. I call myself a Christian because I believe we should all try to live our life more like that man. I believe in God, I pray every night and day. I do not, however, believe that Christ was an actual person who walked the world, but a metaphor for the way we are meant to live. I am a Christian because those stories move me and I fully believe that is how we should live.

IF you call yourself a Christian, HOW COULD YOU NOT support a more socialistic society? Christ gave everything of himself to anyone who needed it. He kept nothing. Everything he did was for the sake of everyone else. Treat others the way you want to be treated. SO. If you call yourself a Christian and support the insanely intense Capitalistic mindset we have right now then I call you a liar. The only reason anyone could be so violently opposed to economic reform is if they know it will cost them money, even if it is to benefit those in need. Volunteering at the soup kitchen every Christmas and driving away in your lambo is not enough. You are not a Christian, you are just afraid. 

I just am constantly upset by things like this, seeing these preachers who keep million dollar mansions and ten car garages, or senators who constantly quote the Bible while opposing national health care and voting to give themselves a raise each year…You’re doing it wrong. You’re not a Christian. You’re a greedy, frightened hate monger who enjoys being in the one percent, and networks like Fox News are poisoning the minds of well meaning Christians using scare tactics and defeatist attitudes. Hell, Fox is run by Rupert Murdoch, one of the most evil men to ever live. Go google him for a few hours and come back to me, seriously. 

I digress. The only way we will EVER get change is if we people at the bottom raise our hands together and fight for change, but the media works really hard to keep us infighting and believing that change is impossible, or even evil. “We deserve what we work for, how dare they try to take our money”. YES. We DO deserve what we work for. How about you let us actually get it?

A quick edit: I realized that this post could potentially be read as damning of atheists or some other religions. Allow me to apologize for that and clarify: no belief system, from Christan to Atheist, is any better, worse, or more or less important. It’s the valuing human life and equality that matters. Apologies if I did not make that viewpoint clear.

Take a Damn Breath, Dammit.

Fringe has slain me.

It has been SO much harder than I thought it would be to keep up with my writing while operating on 11 at all times here. Wake up. Eat Granola. Walk to theatre#1. Get into costume #1. Flyer for a few hours. Walk to Theatre #1. Grab Props, walk to theatre #2. Frantically flyer for 20 minutes. Perform Show #1. Walk to Theatre #1. Change into Costume #2. Skype Girlfriend briefly while eating sandwich. Flyer for 2-3 hours. Load in. Perform Show #2. Load out. Change into Street Clothes. Mingle, schmooze, mingle, schmooze. Walk home. Skype Girlfriend. Sleep terribly. Repeat process.

There’s not a lot of time for much else, especially if I want to allow my brain decompression time amidst all that chaos. The largest benefit to all the insanity is that we’re already on the final week. Time flew by remarkably fast. I feel like I barely got to see any shows, which is the saddest part. I saw a few amazing things, but missed a lot of shows I really wanted to check out.

This happened. It sold out. Welcome to Fringe.

The final week means less stress and less frantic running about, thankfully, so I hope to actually find some time to write and reflect on the month. Knock wood. For now, enjoy this clip of my friends Kai’s and Tessa’s show, SexyTime! :

Eat Mor Wordz

It’s amazing how much insanity one opinion from one fast food restaurant has caused.

Every single social media outlet over the past week or so has been inundated with everyone having to take a stance on the issue. I realize the irony in pointing this out in a post where I am essentially revealing my personal stance, but I am hoping that I am going to do so in a way that is different, and make a few different points than what we’ve all been hearing.

Just to, at first, make my stance clear: I don’t support intolerance. I first learned of the restaurant in question’s viewpoints nearly a year ago, and haven’t eaten there since…but I did so quietly. I was angry about it at first, but I quickly let it go because it is not something to be angry about! Everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe and eat where they damn well like, so there’s no reason to go around making people feel bad for eating a fucking chicken sandwich. There’s too much to be actually angry about in this world.

Like how these guys have more money than all of us.

For anyone who cares to read, I’m gonna lay this all out for you. Please keep an open mind, heart, and ear.

1. Chick-Fil-A is NOT evil.

Intolerance does not always mean maliciousness, in the same way that misunderstanding does not always mean stupidity. The higher ups on the chain at the restaurant are adhering to beliefs they have held their whole life, and, I imagine, have never had a reason to truly question. How many older people do you know who hold strongly to a belief or ideal that our generation views as outdated and/or silly? If you answered zero, you either know too few people or you are a liar. I understand that this is an issue that goes beyond silly or outdated, but that does not invalidate the point I’m making. The company heads are misguided and confused, but not evil.

This shit happens all the time in comics. READ MORE COMICS.

Beyond that, a company this big is comprised of thousands of people. THOUSANDS. There is simply no way, statistically, that every single person in that company thinks gay people shouldn’t get married. Hell, the Chick-Fil-A my girlfriend eats at has gay employees (Yes, I am dating someone who still eats there. You know why? CUZ IT DOESN’T MATTER). At any rate, the point I am making here is that it’s dumb to call this giant, faceless corporation evil, because it isn’t a sentient thing…it can’t be inscripted with that qualifier anymore than we can say that a rock is charming.

Not that Rock.

So now that we can all chill out on that particular point, lets move on to something on the other side of the fence:

2. Chick-Fil-A IS Wrong.

YES. We have free speech, and freedom of religion. You can say, think, and feel whatever the Hell you want. You can also still be wrong.

We all agree that the Nazis were wrong. We all agree that the KKK are wrong. CLEARLY these are extremes, as Chick-Fil-A is not killing anyone, or burning property, but this IS a civil rights issue. This whole thing started when CFA catered an event where “Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage (TM)” was a central topic. Then Joe Q. Public got wind of the money CFA has donated to groups that actively seek out continued rights denials for the LGBT community, and all Hell broke loose.

Now, CFA, like any corporation, donates lots of money to charity. The WinShape group, who handles the majority of CFA’s donating, does give money to anti-gay rights organizations. Not tons of money, but stil it happens. They’ve also donated to Gay-Conversion Therapy studies. They’ve ALSO donated MILLIONS to fostering children in need of homes, and scholarships for employees, and camps for kids. Do the good deeds outweigh the bad? No, in the same way that the bad deeds do not outweigh the good; they are independent of each other. Good and bad do not cancel each other out, they simply both exist and we have to look at both and decide for ourselves where we stand on the issue.

Neither man is good, neither is bad. Both are Muppets.

Perhaps the biggest problem with all of this is…

3. Anger Won’t Solve Anything

You could hear the rabble rousing when the news stories started. You’ve not been able to un-hear it since. EVERYONE is so damn MAD. Liberals are pissed at CFA’s hateful viewpoints. Conservatives are pissed at the liberals’ ignoring CFA’s free speech rights. Green folks (My Party…sigh…) are pissed at ALL corporations regardless. Everyone else is pissed that they have to keep reading this shit.

But Anger won’t help.

Here’s an interesting thing: for all the rage people have been slinging CFA’s way, have you seen them get angry ONCE? Nope, you sure haven’t. Have they responded with rage, or defiance, or hatred? No. They have simply calmly restated where they stand, and reaffirmed their beliefs. Even amid losing sponsors and even losing CITIES, they haven’t gotten angry.

Because, in their mind, WE ARE PROVING THEM RIGHT.

Think of any argument you’ve ever had. How often has yelling changed the other person’s mind? When your buddy said Lost in Translation sucked, and you said “Fuck you dude you just didn’t get it. I’m out!”, a week later had his mind changed?

No, because that movie was a turd.

The point I’m trying to make here is the old “you catch more flies with honey” argument. All the rallying and name calling and knife throwing we’re doing against CFA is not going to make them take an honest look at what they believe, and the people affected by it. It’s simply going to make them see themselves as a modern day Job, taking on God’s trials and tribulations and holding fast to their beliefs. People who feel they’re on the righteous path tend not to listen. THAT GOES FOR BOTH SIDES OF THIS ISSUE, BTW.

We all need to lessen our anger and open our brains. No one’s mind or viewpoint will ever change while someone is rabidly barking the opposing view at them. CFA is operating based on how they believe God wants them to, based on what it says in the Bible. Now, the Bible is a book supposedly written by God and dictated to man. However, it was written by a bunch of different men…and we all can agree that at time, power corrupts. Now, if you had the power to write a page in the book of God’s word…what are the odds that ALL of these men were acting on “The voice of God”? There is a lot of good stuff in the Bible, but there is a lot of bad stuff too. I am a faithful person, I believe in God, I pray. I also believe the Bible should not be the basis for your faith, and I believe that anything in there that borders on hatred…well, you should just throw that right out, sir or madam.

If we all calm down, and look at ourselves, and think about how people should be treated, one day I KNOW we can live in a better world. When we can allow science and religion to coexist, and even see how one can make the other more beautiful (it works both ways!), we will live in a better world. When you can make the observation that some people are born attracted to the same sex, and some people are born a different color the same way we’d make the observation that that dude has blonde hair, or that door is big, we will live in a better world. When we can stop talking about race and gender and sexual orientation because everyone accepts it all as the norm, we will live in a better world.

If we can ditch our anger, and speak calmly and freely and openly, we can learn a lot more about each other and the world around us. Maybe we can even make the Chick-Fil-A execs seee the error of their ways. If not, then maybe their children, or grandchildren, and then one day we’ll have a Chick-Fil-A float at a Gay Pride Parade. And then I’ll feel comfortable to finally go back and get my beloved 8-piece Chicken Nugget with Chick-Fil-A sauce.

Until then, it’s a fucking restaurant. chill out, dudes.

Edinburgh, Day One

It’s the smell of a place that first brings you back.

As soon as I stepped off the plane and inhaled every inch of this city flooded back into my brain; places I completely forgot existed, paths to landmarks I was sure I had forgotten. With the smell of rain on cobblestone it all immediately came back to me.

Pictured: Edinburgh, every month of the year EXCEPT Fringe

Smell is the sense most closely associated with memory. With the tiniest sniff a whole wealth of memories can come rushing back into your brain. This is not always a good thing, and is why I stay the Hell away from White Castles

…I don’t believe in regret, but I look to the future. Just like my bowels.

But in this instance it was lovely. Way better than the plane to Paris, where I was sat next to a man who I am sure hadn’t showered in, possibly ever. (BUT HEY, France, AMIRITE?) My bus ride to the city was peaceful, just me and one other passenger on a double decker bus, riding through the Scottish countryside. Scotland really is a beautiful place; the rolling green fields, the ancient cities; cosmetically unchanged, yet thriving, and what I’m certain is the real world Aerie from Game of Thrones.

Yeah, c’mon. Try to take our castle.

After a half mile hike uphill with my 50 lbs of luggage, my backpack, and guitar, I made it to our quiet flat on Glen Street. The conditions are cramped, but it’s silent and dry, which in Fringe-time is a pretty sweet find.

It’s been raining all night, and after a quick jaunt to the pub to meet up with some other performers and kick the fringe into gear, we are damp and sleepy, But ready for another go at this Spaced-out Punisher we call the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Thanks, Frank!


Paris. Ugh.

A City of Assholes

Bad enough to have a 2 hour layover, but it has to be in Paris. Now, I know there are TONS of people who would be THRILLED at this prospect. I am not one of them.

French is one of the only foreign cultures that I just never had any interest in. I mean, I dig the art, and I dig ALL food, but beyond that it’s not for me. I’ve never looked at a picture of France and thought “Man, I GOT to get there!”. Ireland and Scotland call to me, Australia’s fauna was enough to make me long for the land down under most of my childhood. Dubai and Tokyo appeal to me because of their futuristic builds. Germany and Belgium have breweries I’d kill to tour. Almost every major city has SOMETHING that appeals to me. France has self righteous snobs who don’t bathe.

Zut Alors! I have no sho-waire!

Ok. So CLEARLY I’m embellishing for comedic purposes, and I am not so Xenophobic, Pig Headed, and dumb as to relegate every person in France into some tiny stereotype. And I’m sure THEY would never do that to me.


Basically I’m just saying there are a million other places in the world I find infinitely more exciting, appealing, and entrancing. Like Palestine.

One more hour, then off to Scotland. Thank God.

The Shoooowww is Ooooveerrrr

Here I sit, as the Winnipeg Fringe Festival comes to a close, and with it; all opportunity for laziness, rest, and sleep. Tomorrow morning I’ll be on a plane to St. Paul, then to Paris (ugh…Paris), and finally to Scotland Tuesday morning. Following that, the rest of the month will be a shit-show.

Winnipeg flew by. I didn’t even really get a chance to see many shows, most days were spent sleeping, writing, and working out. It felt a bit more like a vacation then a Fringe, but I suppose that’s alright, as Edinburgh is going to tear me open and feed me to the sea. Or the lions. Or the Sea Lions.

My imminent end

We had a nice run here…a few sold out shows, great crowd reactions…Winnipeg has the best theatre goers in the world. We ran out of merchandise halfway through the run, and, since we’re doing a fairy tale show, started selling swatches of “the Emperor’s New Fabric”….AND IT SOLD LIKE HOTCAKES. It’s not that they didn’t realize they were paying us for air–it’s that the fans here are truly good people, and wanted to support us on this money-devouring trip to the UK we are now embarking on. It was awesome and touching to feel that support. Edinburgh will offer none of that.

There shall be 2,500 shows…but the fans shall only attend those featuring C-List Television Stars! MWAHAHAHAHA

Last night we performed in the annual “Secret Midnight Cabaret”, an event not listed in any of the Fringe guides or programs that nonetheless sells out every year within 10 minutes of going on sale. It is the coolest thing we do all year. A selection of acts from the Fringe participate, usually the acts that are mainstays and very well known or the brand new acts that are getting the best buzz, and collaborate and inter-mingle and put on a themed hour-hour and a half of fun for the patrons lucky enough to get tickets. There are no lights in the room, so attendees are given flashlights, and the performers use the entire space, with acts taking place everywhere from the stage to the bar top to the exit doors.

The theme this year was “Sweat”, which we interpreted by having Patrick run in place for literally the entire show. While drinking beer. He’s not feeling so hot today, but he’s nearing folk legend status with the people here in Winnipeg; each year he’s done some kind of physical exertion mixed with drinking act for the cabaret, and it’s creating a mythical aura around him.

Yeah. This guy.

At any rate, that beautiful cabaret signals the end of the Winnipeg Fringe, so now it’s time to prepare for a month of non-stop go go go go go GO. Which I suppose is all well and good; keeps me on my toes and keeps the days moving quickly, so i can get back home.

Who wouldn’t want to get back to this?

I realize this post was less funny than usual. Take this with my apologies.


Oh Canada, you are ..the…Canadaa….I don’t know the words…

A few nights under the belt above the US border.  After adjusting my body to the new location and settling in at our dear friends’ house we debuted the show to fanfare and fumbled lines, which, if you’ve never seen Sound & Fury, is really where we excel.  A nearly sold out crowd of super-fans who’ve been waiting all year for the new show was such a lovely way to kick off the Winnipeg Fringe.

If you’re not familiar with the Theatre Fringes, it’s basically a combination of 1/3 theatrical expermentation, 1/3 performance proving ground, and 3/3 PARTY.

I know what most of you think when you hear “theatre people” and “party” in the same sentence.

Also: Vanilla Vodka and Backdoor Bragging

But that’s the beauty of Fringe. It is (for the most part) Theatre folks minus divas plus alcoholism. It’s a blast.  Clearly that’s not to say that there isn’t misplaced drama and Undesirable Cuntiness (TM), but it’s kinda rare. At the very least you can spot it from far off, like a weepy, self-absorbed Tyrannosaurus, and avoid it in your proverbial Jurassic Park Jeep of…going to another bar…

Pictured: the cast of Our Town

For the Uninitiated, here’s a quick run-down of the Bad and the Good you can expect to find at a Fringe:

The Bad:

  • Trite re-imaginings of Shakespeare in modern settings. “It’s Midsummer, but set in AFGHANISTAN!” (read alt-text on TRex Pic)
  • Fresh out of High School “playwrights”, emboldened by their pre-graduation awards/adulations, parading around like the next Wes Anderson with their shitty “think-pieces” about Rape, War, or Pharmaceutical Medicine.
  • Awful comedians by the score
  • Awful “burlesque” shows by the score
  • hundreds of people who take themselves too seriously
  • shows that use phrases like “naked” or “dirty” or “sexi-fied!” in the title and sell out every single f’ing show without actually having any material of merit or intelligence

ahem…OR intelligent, entertaining, shows sick of not making money that decide to hop on the bandwagon…

But Wait, You Guys!
The Good!

  • Brilliant, Introspective pieces from overlooked and undiscovered artists that reinvigorate your interest in theatre and Inspire you to work harder at your own art/life.
  • Exciting new acts that re-imagine what theatre is and can be.
  • A community of artists, all working hard and struggling to make it in this business we love so dearly, and helping each other and supporting each other along the way. The friends you make at Fringe will be your biggest supporters and will be genuinely excited for your success, something that feels sorely lacking in the professional theatre world (not that fringe artists aren’t professional. We get paid, yo).
  • Excellent undiscovered comedians.
  • Excellent, beautiful, alluring burlesque and dance acts.
  • Beer. Fun. Booze. Fun. BeerBoozeFun. Fringe is a party. Everyone is here to work hard, build an audience, get good reviews and make money so we can do it again next year. ALSO they’re here to get down. Fringe is a community, and most of the people involved only see each other at the next fringe. It’s like constantly having a high school reunion every couple of months, so partying will ensue.

Every Fringe has a totally different feel to it, as well. Hollywood fringe…feels like Hollywood. Maybe because Hollywood is “home” at the moment for me, i don’t really feel like a fringe is happening, it just felt like a few weekends of shows. Adelaide, Australia’s biggest fringe, is a Carnival of Chaos and Fun. It is non-stop good times, and quite literally a carnival, complete with rides, games, and a freak show.  Edinburgh, Scotland, where we are headed next, is a work fringe. You have to have a completely filled up schedule and spend every waking hour working on building your audience or you’ll be performing for techs and the castle walls

Yes. We will be performing in a castle.

Winnipeg, sweet Winnipeg, is not as large as Adelaide or Edinburgh. It’s not as insane and vibrant as Adelaide or Hollywood, or as ball-breaking as Edinburgh or Hollywood. It is, however RAD AS HELL.

Pictured: RAD AS HELL

Winnipeg is like a giant family reunion. We go around the world doing these festivals, but a lot of the people we see in Winnipeg we really ONLY get to see in Winnipeg, and Canadians are some of the best people in the world (No offense to all the other awesome people. Except France) .  So it’s just a good chill time with friends and extended family, boozing and seeing shows, enjoying poutine and backbacon. It’s the perfect buildup to the stress-fuck that will be the Edinburgh Fringe. So I’m gonna enjoy the remaining week and a half, relax with some Fort Gary Dark, and Enjoy the company of some awesome folk. Like these guys!:

Open, Ye Gateway to the Friendly Skies


Those beacons of the future. Pristine and shining ports for giant metal birds to transport us somewhere far away. Home to hustle and bustle, the master and mistress of older generations; now dejected park bench denizens, witnesses to the apathetic army birthed of the 90’s and today.

Shangri-La of the weird motherfuckers.

Pictured: One “Sexy Bitch”

Henry Rollins once said that Airports always look like they are full of hired extras, so we can better enjoy our tedious layovers and fear of dying in a ball of fire in the air. It is now ALL I can think about.  Being at Los Angeles International I’m sure doesn’t help curb the oddity of it all.  Really the people here at the airport are an extension of what’s on the streets: Dudes like me; bearded, hollow eyed, and sleep deprived. Asians wearing surgical masks, to avoid Smog Plague. Hilton-Lohan-Kardashian-What-the-fuck-everrrr-clones who all look like they’re ready to weep due to having to sit on dirty seats so close to Other People.

And this. A lot of this.

L.A. is, and I don’t think I have to tell any of you this, strange.  I love my city but sometimes certain things give me pause.  When the security officer tonight assumed I was from Canada because “Only the Canadians smile at you”, he followed said assumption by mercilessly mocking Canadian Hockey and asking if I came to town to look at the Stanley Cup. This, while hilarious, makes me shocked that anyone smiles at us. We treat friendliness with disgust and ridicule, it happens all the time, it’s the American Way (TM). It’s one of the things I DESPISED about NYC, but for as much as I profess my love of LA, it’s here too.

And I know you’re a security officer, but dude…The only time I have EVER seen a Canadian get truly riled up was after their hockey team was besmirched.  It’s like tickling a baby wolverine; Cute and sweet at first but then your face is mauled off and your team still loses the next year.

The Kings’ movie will have 100% less Kurt Russel and 90% more shankings

Going to Canada this time is a completely different feeling than the last two times. The excitement of a new place is long gone, replaced by a feeling akin to returning to University to lead a workshop or play in an alumni show—Excitement at seeing my awesome friends and nostalgia for places filled with fond memories, but ultimately it’s work (though pleasant work), and not home. After years of searching for what “home” meant, finding it has caused me to miss it terribly when I’m gone.

The waiting. Ohhhh the waiting. I arrive at my gate a full hour before pre-boarding, not too many people around. I don’t have a seat assignment yet, but am assured by the (thankfully) sweet-natured flight attendant that I will be called up in half an hour or so to rectify this.

Fast forward one hour.

The plane is sold out. Oversold, even, with a stand-by list as long as Chile

It’s long, you guys!

They start making announcements about all passengers having to check their carry-ons. I start to sweat. This is the issue with traveling with a guitar–You cannot check it. Unless you want two vaguely-guitar-looking pieces.  I have encountered this issue a few times before, and it always sucks. The attendants always treat me like a spoiled brat who won’t help the process, and I have to fight every ounce of my kindly mid-western upbringing and BE a spoiled brat. Otherwise I will end that flight one guitar short. And they always begrudgingly find a place for it. My guitar has been in more cockpits than I ever will be, seen more of the sky and the ocean. Also it’s prettier than me.

Everyone has boarded the flight now. It’s me, 5 stand-bys, and three other confirmed flyers like me waiting for our seats.  First to arrive, last to board.  A metaphor.  I ask one of the attendants very patiently if we can accommodate my guitar, she asks my name and tells me to hold on and walks away. Oh God. I’m gonna have to miss the flight. Then I’ll miss my flight to Winnipeg, Miss the shows, make enemies of the other guys and the fringe in general, then I’ll have to backpack through Saskatchewan, never staying in one place too long, A Bill Bixby for a new gen—she’s back. She gives me a ticket and a smile saying: “It will be fine. There will be PLENTY of room for you”. I SWEAR she winked.  I walk down the aisle and check my ticket……

FIRST CLASS, BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my first upgrade. It is everything I ever imagined it could be. AND YOU MEAN TO TELL ME. That if I have money and pay a hundred bucks more EVERY time. I can fly a whole flight without my knees feeling like they are full of rocks?!?! AND i can ACTUALLY sleep?!?!  THIS is what all you rich people/business dudes (and dudettes)/ lucky bastards have been enjoying all this time?!? How can I EVER go back to Coach ever again! This is unfair! Holy Kites! (“holy kites” is a registered trademark of Shane Adamczak/ Zak Adams) Now, I used to fear flying, but i could learn to RELISH this!  Also that whole fear of flying thing starts to fade after a you do it a bunch of times and realize it’s not city folk magic and is actually pretty safe, and Indiana trained your brain to be dumb.


Now here I sit, at my THREE HOUR LAYOVER in Minneapolis, Minnesota, birthplace of who gives a shit, knowing full well that I’m a broke-ass ho and it may very well be YEARS until I can again loll in the lap of luxury, stretch my legs, and fly Aspirin and Vodka free.  That Flight attendant, with one good deed, ruined airfare for me, possibly forever.  Maybe the Security Guard had the right attitude.  Ah well, ’tis better to have loved, no?  Now I’ll board this shockingly small plane to Winnipeg, grin and bear it, and dream of sharing the cockpit with my trusty song machine.  Onward to Fringe-ing!