I am not the ray of sunshine I once thought I would be.

Still pretty tense, y'all. Finding moments of relaxation, which is good. Getting lots of different input from people. The places I find it easiest to be are places where I am alone or with people who could care less whether I am edgy or not. There seems to be a faction that is pushing for myself to cheer up, and soon. That doesn't make it better. I think I have to stop going out for social occasions for a while. I'm just not that good with people. And I think this edginess is going to go on for...god, I don't know. I hope not too much longer.

I am trying, I really am. When the renovations are done and the drywall dust doesn't cover every available surface with a fine, powdery reminder of the state of our home, and the tradesmen are gone, having FINALLY done something right, (we hope), and my things can get unpacked for the first time since May, and I can settle and have a sanctuary, I expect things to be much, much better. I know my work as a comic is proving very challenging, but I am becoming fairly certain that much of my delicate state is due to the upheaved and chaotic living environment.

I am on my way tomorrow morning to the Caravan Farm Theatre, to work as Front of House for their Halloween show. It's a week long gig, and normally I would really be looking forward to the gettin' outta Dodge and into the woods for a bit, but I want to stay here and do shows. It's only a week, but the momentum is the momentum. I wrote so much new material this past week, I'm dying to try it out. I have no idea how it's going to go over, it's definitely different than what I've done before. Dirtier, more confessional. I'm pretty scared. Which, of course, leads me to believe it's the most important direction for me to take. Always do the scariest thing. (Unless you are being approached by a bear, or are accidentally hanging from a tree branch growing out of the side of a cliff, in which case the least scary thing is probably the right thing, you can't do without fear entirely).

Just then I sort of hated myself for being glib right after being sort of deep. I feel cheap sometimes when I lighten things up. Weird, since it's my JOB to make light. What a freakin' connundrum I am to myself.

Here's a strange thought that just went through my head...lately I am really reminding myself of myself as a little girl. So serious and shy and worried.

People have been asking why I have to get edgy and aggressive to go further as a comic. I don't know, but I think it's a bit of defense. Defense against the strange world of misfits that is comedy and their (our) barbed and insecure ways. Defense against my own desire not to be too vulnerable. My sensitivity, I think, is both my greatest gift and my biggest stumbling block. It is what gives me the eye for minutiae in the world, my keen sense of human nature and my compassion, but it is also what makes me nervous, and overly ready to think that people think the worst of me. It keeps me worried. I am working on these things. I need, I think, to find a new therapist and talk to someone. A good friend reflected back at me the other night that there are many factors contributing to my current state and perhaps I needed to pay some of them a bit more creedence than I do. And give myself more time for things to even out, and etc...you know what I'm going to say, since I'm pretty sure I always say the same thing.

Sometimes I feel like I have grown and evolved and learned a thing or two in my near 35 years, (ay yay yay), and sometimes I can't believe I haven't learned a damned thing. I always want thinking of things to mean they are automatically implemented. Alas, not so. I am realizing some things may take a lifetime to even come close to sinking in. Some things may continue to challenge me for 35 MORE years. So. Today is today and we'll see about tomorrow.

I know one thing for sure. And that is comedy. That is the only for sure thing right now.

Another friend told me that if I really felt I needed the edginess to be a better comic, fine, but that if I was edgy in my friendships I would regret it. Basically I feel like what she was saying was get happy or lose friends. Which, in the moment seemed true, but now is kind of pissing me off. Like, I am having a time of it, and that's how it is, and pushing me to be different isn't going to be effective. I need to go through this time. I know it. I realize it's not entirely pleasant for everyone all the time, me most of all, and that I am not my effervescent, makin' friends everywhere I go self, but...I don't know. People go through stuff. And if the friendships I have can't weather this transistion, then I don't really know what to do with them.

I am very torn about being alone vs. trying to make myself be with people. It seems like maybe it's an unhealthy cycle to just be by myself all the time in order to not foist my crap on people, but I think I need a little love, too, sometimes, but I also kind of want to be alone all the time, but etc...circles, circles.

I could use the hugs, though, I really could, even if it seems like I don't want them. It's just that they'll likely make me cry, because a lot of the time, that's what the edginess is - a monumental effort not to cry. I don't know any other way to keep the tears at bay.

I feel very, very strongly in my heart and in my gut that even though this time is so challenging, and a bit ugly, it's a very important time to pay attention. I have such a visceral feeling that if I work through what I'm supposed to work through right now the other side is going to be very, very rewarding. So, I guess I gotta do it my way and accept the consequences and rewards as they come. Because, inevitably there will be lots of each.

I'll leave you there, in an effort to get more than four hours sleep.




It has happened y'all. I found two grey hairs. And I know they are new because they are short. And I have to assume that if there are two, there are more. And I wasn't even looking for them. Well, I wasn't looking for the first one, but I was looking for the second one. Then I stopped looking. Oh, man. I've been so pleased at not having grey hair. But they are new, and I have to assume they have to do with all this new worrying. So. Let's get ourselves together, shall we selves? And calm the fuck down. I don't want to start coloring my hair again. It's a pain. And cancerous. Serenity now, fuckers!


Full of self indulgence and swearing. Pathetic, actually.

I have come to the conclusion that nobody reads this anymore. Thank God! Thank you God! (I am learning to follow instructions, especially my own.)

The strains of Willie Nelson and friends singing "Goodnight Irene" is making me wistful. It is an interesting state to be mad and wistful at the same time. Why am I mad? I haven't got a fucking clue. Except maybe the broken iPod. It tried to leap to it's death off of the Burrard Street bridge the other night, just at the moment it was being of tremendous solace to me, of course, and instead of making it off the bridge and into the water it just crashed to the sidewalk and now it's maimed. I think I heard it say, "I'm hurt real bad".

I seem to feel mad in combination with pretty much any other emotion I'm having at any given time. I wonder if this is just what I'm like. This whole unmedicated thing, it's weird. I don't want to go back, but I'm definitely alarming myself with all the damn feeling of things.

I'm mad that television sucks and is irritating when you can hear it from another room.

I'm mad that I'm almost 35 and have...er...nothing but a fat ass to show for it.

I'm mad that I just wrote that. What a stupid thing to write!

I'm mad that I have to shed so much to move forward with one thing. The sound of closing doors all around me.

I'm mad that I repeat myself on this stupid blog and don't even know it. I mean, I must.

I'm mad that I'm not funnier than I am.

I'm mad that it's raining.

I'm mad that the only person I've ever been sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with is unavailable to me in that capacity.

I'm mad that I could make a list about what I'm mad about for hours.

I'm mad that I probably have to take the greyhound this week. I, as you probably know, am NOT a fan of the greyhound bus. And now that I am no longer dulled by chemical bliss it's even worse.

I'm mad that I'm so much more neurotic than I thought I was.

I'm mad that my neuroses and my anger aren't interesting. (Why are you still reading? Wait. That assumes that someone is reading, when, in fact, we earlier ascertained that no one reads this stupid thing anymore.)

Fuck. What am I doing.

I just needed to write something because I'm totally going mental. All this time on my hands to spend alone and write comedy, it seemed like a good idea, but I'm turning into a total freakshow. It's possible that communal living is not such a good idea for me. People touch your things, and dogs and children make things sticky and hairy. It's cheap, you say, so suck it up. I fucking KNOW why I'm doing it, but that doesn't mean it's easy for me. So fuck off.

Huh. Oddly, it feels very very good to say that. *spoiler alert* I'm going to say it again.


Wait, I think now I need to add to it.

First shut the fuck up, then fuck right off, and on your way to fucking off take out the fucking garbage and don't touch any of my fucking stuff on the way, fucking fucksack fuckery fuckfuckfuckfuck.


By the way, if you are still here, this is likely going to go on for at least a few more paragraphs.

It's possible that I'm mad all the time because I hardly eat anything and my blood sugar is low low low. And if I hardly eat anything, you ask, (fuck you, I say), why am I still such a fat fucking slob? I DON'T KNOW. I ride my bike, I walk everywhere I go, I fuck...nothing. Still sitting on an ass as wide as two asses. (Now is likely not a good time to critcize my poor simile making skills.)

Hm. I just took a call from my good friend Todd Allen. That guy has a way of making it impossible not to look at things with a bit of a rosy spin. What a guy. He made me laugh and suggested that everyone is neurotic. I asked if he thought that when everyone comes home and finds that something of theirs has been moved, like, an inch, do they immediately move it back in a slamming it down kind of way and feel bile rising in their throat and a desire to punch the wall?

The inside of my head is a minefield.

Oddly, I had a really sweet day. It has come to a point where I have to actually be in the middle of something enjoyable to be enjoying anything. Like, as soon as the enjoyable thing is over I'm let loose into the wilderness of my brain again.

I'm really thinking it has a lot to do with blood sugar.

I can't wait until I can always afford groceries. I don't think a constant diet of toast and mr. noodles ever did anyone any good.

Where is my afterglow?! I am being cheated out of wallowing in the joy of moments gone by. Either that means I am spending too much time worrying about the future, or I am solidly in the present. Which is supposed to be a good thing.

What defines a crazy person, I guess, is my question. If I can boil down all my thinking into one sentence. That's what I wanna know. Naturally, because I'd like to detect my own levels of craziness. Boy, narcissism, anyone?

I'll tell you one thing, I am uncovering more of my true nature each and every day, and my true nature is a rank, self serving bitch. And, interestingly, my true nature allows me to not care if I'm a rank, self serving bitch. I just want what I want. So get outta my way, lady on the skytrain who smelled like rotting fruit.

Please, please, God, let me find a way to the Okanagan that doesn't involve me, a bus, and OTHER PEOPLE!! Other people. Ich. They make me hold my nose and not want to touch anything. I can tell I'm going to become a bubble person. I don't mind dirt created in my own environment, or clean dirt, like in the country, but I don't like city dirt, and I really don't like germy, sticky, slimy, stinky, crusty dirt. If my face doesn't stop making the expression it is currently making I am going to become an old sourpuss before my very eyes.

My head hurts. I'm going to make some mr. noodles and toast. Oh, what a meal!


Unrelated but possible existentially related piece of information to follow - Someone very, very special to me gave me a gift yesterday. A wooden Buddha statue. Thin Buddha, not fat Buddha. Anyway, he gave it to me because he has seen me not at my best lately and thought it might help to keep me calm. I am moved each and every time I look at it. Even if I have just had a swearing jag, I look at it and see the love it has been infused with, and I am calmed for a moment. Which, I believe, was the point. It's very soothing to have a reminder that one is loved. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever given me. I am quite grateful, actually, and am thinking right now that perhaps I should spend more time with Buddha and less with iBook. Now there's a thought.

As ever, thanks for listening.


do it

hey. patient friends. no real post tonight. just wanted to remind you that if you look slightly to the right of these words -> you will see something that says "Riel's Upcoming Shows". if you click on that it will bring up my myspace page, which has all my standup dates and times listed. check 'er out. there's lots. and y'all keep asking when you can come and see me. so...now...come and see me, bitches! put yer proverbial money where your proverbial mouth is. especially come wednesday the 18th to yuk yuk's when i'm doing the competition and the audience response counts for so much of the score. i kind of want to go to the finals. i think it's going to be an awesome lineup at the finals and i want to be a part of it.

oooo...i'm taking cold medicine and i'm a bit woozy. anyway, come see my show.



Ah, the rollercoaster. She is coasting. And rollering. Have been moody as hell lately. Lots of factors. Relearning who the real girl is, having gone off my celexa/citalopram...SSRI...Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor...anti anxiety meds. I like being off them, because for sure I feel like myself again. I don't think I really thought I didn't feel like myself, but I knew there was a fog in my brain. (Not a frog in my throat, which is why I sort of quit smoking pot). Anyway, the fog in my brain has lifted, and several things have returned to me which I was forgetting lived in me. Like my body image is a bit screwy again. Definitely looking at myself with a much more critical eye. And I am a moooody beeyatch. Yup, for sure. Easily tipped into a funk or, more likely, an inner monologue tantrum of epic proportions. There is a lot more swearing and several more revenge fantasies in my brain. And the anxiety. Back. However...I like it better. It's weird, because I thought if those things came back I would immediately want to run back to the meds, but I don't. I LIKE being myself. And I like being in a different place, with new life skills and goals, and new coping mechanisms. It's a like a whole new challenge. We'll see in a couple of months if the bitchiness smooths out, but, if it doesn't, I think maybe I'm okay with that. I just want to work.

I suspect I could really pick this whole thing apart, this rollercoaster, and lots of my current emotional state could be attributed to external issues. Like the chaotic state of our apartment. Having my stuff packed and the walls open with fiberglass hanging out, and dust everywhere, and shoddy tradesmen, and not having my own space, free of garbage and intrusions....it's making my neck muscles pulsate. Anyway, it's an interesting time. I'll tell you this much, it's making me a better writer and a better comic. I need the nerves. Plus, being bitchier makes me less social, which makes me concentrate more on the work. I suspect a cull of less thick skinned friends is in the offing. Not purposely, but I have a feeling some people will just slide themselves out of the picture.

Had sets last night at Yuk Yuk's and the night before at Darby's. Oh, LORD, do I love being back. I want to get on at the Funnybone, the newest Vancouver club, but it's big, and I have some work to do. I think I must be evolving in some way, because yesterday when I told Sean Proudlove that I want to do the Funnybone, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "You're gonna have to work a lot harder". Instead of getting uptight or upset about it, I was, like, "Yah, no kidding". Because I do. Because he didn't mean I have to work a lot harder at everything in the entire world all the time, he wasn't saying I don't work hard, he just meant, if I want to do rooms like that, then I am going to have to dedicate myself to the craft for real. And he's right. And I am. So. Hopefully by the end of March I will have a solid 30-45 minute set. I think it's a realistic goal. I mean, I can do a pretty tight 10-15, with lots of leftover material, but I'm going to have to start pushing to book longer sets, so I can see how it goes. And hosting, I'm going to have to start hosting. All the stuff everyone else is doing. It hits home when I see where the guys are now who started at the same time as me and just put their heads down and didn't get derailed by personal tragedy or theatre in the countryside.

So here it is. My life. Harder, but better. So, maybe easier for all it harderness. Anyway, just getting used to myself again. It's an interesting war, Art.