Sorry I left that terrifying picture up for so long. I have a little pin that says "occasionally disturbs people". I think it's appropriate.

I am on my chaise, (which sounds infinitely more luxurious than it actually is), listening to the Canucks lose to the Kings. I do NOT want a television. But, oooh, I'd like to be watching that hockey game right now. Even though we are losing and doesn't look like we'll be bucking up in time to make some goals happen.

The Canucks are not on top of their game tonight and I am wondering if it's a coastal thing. I am way not on top of my game today, either. And my customers and co-workers all seem a bit...glazed. Is it because it's Christmas? Ich. Festive hasn't hit me yet. And could I ignore Chanukah more completely? Well, I suppose if I hadn't written that sentence the ignoring would be more complete.

Yeah, Christmas. There has got to be a better way.

Too many parties. We, as a society, need to band together and agree to spread our celebrating more evenly throughout the year. This is too much. The enjoyment becomes sort of high pitched and has real intent. The whole thing just kind of grosses me out, to be frank. I might make some cards or something, and I might chill out about it once I get up to the country. That feels better to me. Watching everyone consuuuuuume like a pack of starving hyenas come upon a fresh ibix carcass. (Yeah, I said ibix.) What a gong show.

In case you were wondering I am fucking crabby today. Or sad. Or fragile. Or worried. Or lonely. Or tired. Or aching. Or furious. Depends on the minute. Anxious about this time of year, and trying to pretend I'm not. Or trying to trick myself out of it. Or not entirely realizing that I'm pretending.

Ah, I gotta turn off the game and watch a movie.

Sigh. Very tepid about things today.



Booga booga

Did you know I have googly eyes? I was looking at a photo of me from Halloween festivities last night and realized why people can never tell if I'm looking at them or someone behind them. I know I have a lazy eye, and I've always known that the more tired I am the more it wanders inward, but I didn't think it looked like my eyes could roll around independently of one another, in the manner of the classic children's craft material, googly eyes. It was a strange realization, but one which I think will serve my comedy well. I mean, I have googly eyes. I'm like a big puppet. Hilarious.



check this shit out

Just wanted you to look at the upcoming shows spot. Some really fun things coming up. Like Night of the Living Dub. This Tuesday the 23rd. Check out www.urbanimprov.ca for full details.



Shows showers shows showers shows showers

Why did I call this entry that? I'm weird. But believe me when I tell you it just sounded right. I didn't agonize over it for a long time, or anything, but I have this weird thing about purity in this blog and don't edit things. Uh...much. I'm trying to learn to trust my instincts. Important things, instincts.

Had a delicious and redemptive set tonight at RIME. I love that room. I always over prepare for it and then become inflexible because I practiced so much and then tank. But I loosened up and had a really nice time tonight. Every time I do a set that I like I think, "Yeah, that's the way I should always do it." But then it doesn't work the next time and I remember that every room, every show is different. It's very unpredictable....well, I say that, but then you do kind of get to know a specific room. Like RIME. It usually has a similar vibe, people come out to that show over and over, it's really nice there. But discerning, too, so I always want to do well there. I feel like that room is kind of a comedy thermometer.

Blah, blah. Anyway, I have some shows coming up.

Upcoming Shows-

Sunday, October 14th, 9:30pm, Checkers Pub, 1755 Davie Street. Good little show, come down!

Tuesday, October 16th, 9:15pm, KINO CAFE, Cambie Street between 18th and 19th Avenues, on the EAST side of the street. Good scene, huge stage.

Thursday, November 8th, 8pm, SYLVIA HOTEL, 1154 Guilford Street at Beach Avenue (right near Denman and Davie), $5. I do 10 minutes. Very fun night, great room.

Thanks, you lot, for all you do for me. I mean it.



Bow before the Earl of Grey.

Hi. Head full of goo, can't hear so well out of my left ear. Working with the public and taking their money is very, very dangerous.

Wanted you to know I've booked some shows, so check out the calendar by clicking on the thing over there ===> that says upcoming shows.

I also wanted you to know that it took me a while to realize that it's not that I turn to this blog when I have no coping skills, but that this blog IS a coping skill. When I feel low, or confused, sad or lonely, there it is, waiting patiently for me to have a place to unravel the tangled up yarns.

So I have a kitchen table and the internet at home. Just in time for the onset of Gun In Mouth Weather season. (Affectionately so dubbed by Garnet.) Possibly this cozy little apartment will save me this grey and chilly time around.

Last night I dreamed about my bike. I dreamed I stole it back from a junkie. Probably more prescient than anything else. Since likely it's a junkie who has it. I've been walking home from work lately, it's kind of a good length of walk, and noticing all the homeless and cracked out people who seem to have really nice bikes. Too nice. We should just have free bikes in this city that you leave unlocked wherever you are and when you're ready to go you just take one that's close by. Save everyone all the tears.

Mm...back to bed with tea and crossword puzzles.



Oh, Audrey, I'll miss you.

Thank you all for your kind words of late. There is no doubt that, for various reasons, I am in a challenging time. Lots of good things and good times have happened to me and around me since I last wrote, and yet it seems as though I only turn to this blog when I have the least coping skills.

My bike was stolen two days ago. Remember my bike? The red one with a bell and a Detroit Red Wings sticker? The fastest bike in the world? MY bike. I have imbued the bicycle with too much meaning. I am mourning it for serious and couldn't figure out why until I realized that I have come to rely on it as a very pet or family member. That it represents to me an unconditional love, a trust, and all the things I have been working on and towards this year. Everything I have accomplished was revealed to me anew each time I got on that bike. Audrey was her name.

I just talked to my mum for 20 minutes, curled up on the bench seat at the coffee shop where I am writing this. Fetal positioned. I'm sitting back up now and my mum kind of cheered me up, even in the face of all this mourning going on around me. Not just me for my bike, but a lovely local woman died this week in a plane crash in Thailand and many of my loved ones are feeling the loss very deeply. My empathic ways are such that I absorb all this from the atmosphere around me and take it into my heart. I do not know how not to do that. I do not know how to keep myself for myself and not give myself away so much that I have nothing left to answer my own questions. I am currently seeking some kind of therapy and healing, some guidance so I don't have to feel like I have to make everything happen myself. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be pleased to hear them.

Last night I dreamed I was back in the hospital and it really brings into sharp relief how scared I am of the winter darkness and rain. How scared I am, really, of feeling anything, lest it undo me completely and I find myself somewhere I can not get back from. I am going to go walk on the seawall in the frigid, windy, sunshiny day with my friend's dog and see if that helps.

If anyone out there wants to just quietly hold me for a while, that would probably help, too.



Storing up my nuts for winter.

Okay. Bouncing back. Not all the way yet, but had a cry and some sushi and a nice visit with a couple of friends. Still, though, a bit miffed that I actually have to feel things. This being a human thing, I don't know. Next time I'm coming back as a squirrel.


My horoscope said that today I would likely experience agony and ecstasy. Waiting for the better half of that to kick in. Who would have thought I could feel so low when the sky is so pretty?

I am down down down today. Totally waiting for the flood of tears, totally can't make it happen. Have considered throwing the bad art I've been making at something or someone instead of crying. Anything. I am twisting in the wind today, waiting for this blackness to pass. I guess that's the new bit of things in my life. Understanding that it will pass. I fucking hope it passes, cause my heart is crumbling into dust and that dust is filling up my lungs and making it hard to breathe or think.

I don't know how honest to be with you. I have been trying so hard to stay focused on my health, and the last couple of months I have really let things go to pot. Literally. I've been drinking, smoking dope, staying up late, doing too many things...it was fun for a while, but then I was on the hamster wheel and it just got gross. I have the feeling no one has noticed a difference in me, I mean, I go to work, I do shows, I get out...but this pain in my heart, I'm sure it's why I've been doing it. To avoid this very feeling right now. I have known that there was a love I would have to give up sooner or later, and when it was obvious that it was on the brink, I guess I didn't want to feel it. But now, today, after cleaning up my act a bit I can feel every goddamned thing and it fucking sucks. I don't even know how to get past it. It has been such a long time since I faced this particular kind of loss. Somewhere in me I suppose I thought that after my dad died nothing would be able to cause me pain, but lo and behold.

I am so lonesome right now, and stupidly sure that I will grow old by myself in this one bedroom apartment, get a stinky little dog and make the neighbours' business my own. How is this where things have led me? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a good round of tears will be helpful, and, by the way, here they come. Good thing the internet isn't made of paper or this entry would be soaked.

I have to go and have this cry. Fucksack.


August gigs.

Okay. I got it together to update not only my facebook, but also my myspace, so now you can click on that thing to the right there and see my upcoming shows. I'll put them here, too.

Friday, August 24th, 8pm showtime, Sawbuck's Pub, 1626 152nd Street, Surrey!!

8pm Monday, August 27th, Myles of Beans, 7010 Kingsway near the Edmonds Skytrain Station - I do 7-10 minutes.

9:30pm Thursday, August 30th, Howie's Bar and Grill, 2830 Bainbridge Avenue, Burnaby. Corner of Lougheed and Bainbridge, near the Burnaby Lake skytrain.

Will send you September as it becomes clear.



I don't know, either.

Oh, hi there. Nice to see you. Just a second. I gotta get comfortable.

Hang on.

Getting there. Just gotta adjust this one thing....

Oh, who am I kidding. I am procrastinating further. No, not procrastinating. Trying to be funny. Sheesh, I am way funnier than that normally. Anyway, I don't feel like procrastinating, I'll do it tomorrow. Ha ha ha!

Since you asked....things are good. I think they are good. I mean, no, they are, but I am so unused to this business of structure and sameness. Some days I have pangs for a past life. Possibly a future life. I am keeping a tight rein on my very inner truths, trying to sort them out. It's getting easier to pretend to be in a good mood now that I know what it feels like.

I keep having this conversation with myself about wanting to do more, thinking I should do more, and knowing that the best course of action at the present time is to stick to the plans I made in the winter. It seems so easy to just let the momentum of things carry me faster and faster and just get overbooked. I remember that's what I've always done.

This week I decided, after a dirty good summertime vacation long weekend in the Okanagan, that it would be kind of like a vacation just going to work and then coming home and staying home until it's time to go to work the next day. It's been a nice, quiet couple of nights. Trying to decide whether to go out tonight, but likely I will crawl into something warm and maybe watch something filmish. I MIGHT do the dishes, but I doubt it. But I might.

Oooh, I feel a bit rusty in the writing department. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to publish this. I am. Even though I am fairly certain it says nothing of import and little of interest. But then I'm going to write a little more later. And then maybe a little tomorrow and the next day. Because that will get me back up to speed. Right now I feel like I have left blogging so long that the information just piles up and it gets harder and harder to sit down and figure out what the important bits are to let you in on. (I understand that that sentence was a grammatical nightmare, but I'm not fixing it.) So, I remind myself, sit down and write a little every day, it will start to roll out of you again, it will.

I think I might be sad, but I can't really tell, so then I think maybe I'm not sad at all and I'm just confused because living without a deep well of sadness in me is so unfamiliar that I kind of miss it. So, is it that I am out of touch with my inner self? Or that I am inner touch with my outer self? Confused? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.



Growing up.

I am snug in my new apartment. I have planted flower boxes and strung patio lanterns. I have a squirrel that eats my strawberries. He picks one, takes a bite of the tip, throws the rest away. Greedy squirrel!

The inside of the apartment is less organized than the patio, but you gotta start somewhere. Most of the kitchen stuff is unpacked, since there wasn't that much to begin with, but the clothes and sundries remain flung about, half in bins, hanging on the back of the chaise, shoved aside to make a clear path from the front door, through the kitchen, to the patio. Priorities. Doing a little bit each day, but am on hold for the completion of unpacking kitchen and bathroom due to plumbers trooping in here each weekday at 8am. They are repiping the whole building. I'll be quite pleased when it's all done and the shower works like a shower and nothing leaks and everything is shiny and all my things can go in their drawers and on their shelves and under their sinks.

I love it here. Love it, love it, love it. I have been waiting for this for a long, long time. I mean, I have been wanting it, but maybe not working towards it as vigorously as I have been since the winter. Further to that, the whole winter business, you should know that I am just coming along tickety boo. Adulthood and I are having a nice time getting to know each other. We think it'll last. I've not experienced this before, a consistent good mood, waking looking forward to going to work, very little anxiety, if any. I am, I think, a bit relentlessly cheerful. I'm fucking thrilled to be inside it, but it does consume me at the moment in a way not unlike depression did. I am filled with wonder at how it is to just feel good. I am swimming in it. I am pretty much only interested in doing things that keep that train on track. The good mood train. I think it must be what it's like to have laser eye surgery. I bet you don't get tired of waking up and being able to see. I'm not getting tired of waking up pleased, of being able to see a different way of doing things.

I am going out now to get some coffee and maybe a pastry, and possibly a newspaper. I might get a newspaper and read it while I drink my coffee. Heaven! I can do whatever I want in whatever order I want. Cause I live alone, and it's all paid for, and I have a job, and.....!! Sweet. I am giddy, giddy, giddy.

I even like my thighs. Things must be going well.



Give me my face time!

I'm sorry. Facebook has been taking me away from you. I'm trying to cut down, honestly.


Sexy, sexy French.

It is hot enough to have all the windows in the house open and early enough in the season so as to still smell sweet out there. Lovely smells, from my neighbours' cooking notwithstanding, shinny in my window. Sweet sounds, the neighbours' children notwithstanding, do vibratto duty just at ear level. Hover there. Some sort of power tool. A child practicing the recorder. Another child shrieks, one wails, two argue. Mother's whispered conversations, "I don't think you should keep your story to yourself, Mel, I think you have to share your story with everyone." "Well, yes, I suppose I should." Strangest snippets make themselves clear above all other noise.

Anyway, it is hot, and I am in a fishbowl. New apartment, July 1st.

Hey, cleared the way to recover from some old mistakes today. Got something off my shoulders that was really bugging me. Am taking care of it and it feels very, very good.

Have noticeably stopped advising people of my every mood change or even the hint of a change, but now I think I am hardly talking to anyone. I talk to so many people at work every day, I am talked out when I leave that place. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk.

There is suddenly the sound of an accordian coming from somewhere. Why is it that whenever I hear an accordian or fiddles I automatically think, "Those are my kind of people"? The circus.

The music is very sweet, wherever it's coming from, and it's making me a bit nostalgiac, and in need of a good country weekend. Er...a good weekend in the country. I have to practice being French, riding around in cotton frocks, a baguette and some fresh flowers in the basket of my bicycle. "Ring, ring!" goes the bell on my squeaky, red bike. I laugh and my laugh is made of coffee, croissants and cigarettes, and is unselfconcious.

I love the French.


You want cryptic? My pleasure.

There is so much to tell, and so much I can not say. The spring is feverish.

Currently there is a woman cooing at what I hope is her dog, out for a late night once round the courtyard. She is coaxing it in high pitched tones into relieving itself, no doubt for the greater good, otherwise known as her carpet. I love sleeping with the windows open, for the movement of blossom scented air around me, and a cool pillow, but the sounds of a lady and her cockapoo puppy I could do without.

Really, it is harder and harder to write as certain stories unfold in my universe, for until the tales are unravelled, there is too much to lose. Great things are at stake, and in limbo, including my very heart, and my patience and good will, my compassion and rationality are being tested. There are many decisions to be made, but all things in order and in good time.

In the mean time, I have procured art supplies, to keep my fingers busy, books for my thoughts to be pushed aside, and a bicycle and helmet that I might keep this heart pumping and strong while waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

You will know, soon enough, and most of you know something of it already. The stars and planets, they are aligning.

Me, I just work and write jokes. More jokes. Dark jokes. Dirty jokes. I am getting ready to take on the world.

Good night, my dears.



A mind that wanders. And wades.

Sleep does not come easily these days, though mood swings abound, and the wolves they howl all night long. In and out of dreams, not lucid dreaming exactly, but near enough. Not controlled but vividly remembered and relived throughout the day.

The show. The show was good. Saturday night. Restored my faith, though rocked me for the week leading up. The nerves were raw, and my temper flared with frequency, though of late I am thinking that perhaps the coffee intake and not enough water coupled with unpredictable weather patterns and a love life that refuses to be simple may also be spurring the demons on. I have been snappish with workmates from time to time, though try to mostly bite my tongue. But the show. The new joke I wrote, which is what got me all excited in the first place, went over very well, and I told a joke I wrote last year but which I have not told that often, and I nailed it, and tagged it differently, and better.

Where is this all going.

There is certainly more to tell. I try, I try. I fall. I get up. I ride out the hard days, hours, minutes, know that things will not always be thus, in fact may change on a dime. And they do. Change. Yesterday so full of anger and sadness. Took to my bed after work and cried and tossed and turned, today was full of sunshine and I rode my bike to work then all around town, ringing the bell and feeling general good will. The back of my thighs are making the odd under breath complaint, as are my shoulders, but am looking forward to a better sleep.

Two nights ago I dreamed a novel, or a film, or at least the bones of one. It is very dark, and I am certainly mulling it over, brewing it. My roommate is away this weekend and I am going to spend some quiet time writing. Riding bike, drinking decaf, ringing bell, and writing novels. Sounds good. Possibly work some necking in there and call it a great two days off.

Take care of selves, do right things.



Little bug.

As in, I think I have a little bug. It's been plaguing me for days, and I am logie and hollow eyed. I may have already said this. My brain is not with me. I don't know where it is. I wonder when it's coming home. So logie I slept through most of the hockey game. Back to bed now, for a long night's sleep, before what seems like a busy week, even though I can't figure out why I think that. A few things pushing ahead in the medical department this week, I guess, makes me a bit anxious. Oh, and the show on Saturday. Right. That thing. Sick feeling in stomach. Luckily I have very sexy new shoes and sexy shoes always fortify me on stage.

I will tell you all about how I am moving forward in the healing department, healing of the fractured mind, etc., maybe tomorrow or something. Meantime I feel like I'm hallucinating, like swatting things away from my face that I'm sure are not really there. Just on some other planet entirely. Okay, though, you know. Nervous, but not upset. Feeling good. Even when I'm not feeling good, I'm riding it out. Positive things. Scared but not scared. And, obviously, totally able to articulate it.

Shag it, I'll be back later in the week.



Knock knock.

Hello, you lot. I am still here. Have moved away from Kitsilano and the untenable situation, into the cushiest living environment ever. It is such a pleasure to come home.

This particular evening I am home from a 13 hour work day, at my regular job and then bartending an event. My feet are a bit tired, and my eyes, but my spirits are good. April has been a very up and down month, lots of down, but lots of realizing myself and getting back to the basic goals I laid out for myself this winter.

I feel a bit incoherent at the moment, actually. I wanted to write something, to get back in the habit of it. But tonight may not be the right time. Perhaps tomorrow while the Canucks are getting their tushies smacked by Anaheim. I am loving watching hockey this year. Steak and hockey. So Canadian, so good.

I have booked a comedy show on May 5th. Nervous as hell, if you want to know the truth, but gonna do it anyway. Have to test the waters. Haven't booked another because I want to see how it feels.

Today, this moment, I am contented. And I have an egg salad sandwich and a cookie calling my name. I will make an effort to write more, I do miss it. Thank you all for your patience.



The following is an excerpt from a conversation over messenger with my friend Murray tonight. Happy Easter!

Dr. Rock says: Hey Riel

Hahn solo. says: inksta

Dr. Rock says: don't suppose you're blogging are ya?

Hahn solo. says: right now?

Dr. Rock says: since you're online and all

Hahn solo. says: um..nope...why...were you hoping for a new entry?

Dr. Rock says: well, far be it from me to complain. But I always enjoy a new entry

Hahn solo. says: heh. i liked your newest entry a lot.

Dr. Rock says: thank you

Dr. Rock says: It was rattling around in my head for a while

Hahn solo. says: it's only been since march 30th that i wrote one. how often are you hoping i'll write in it?

Dr. Rock says: I know. And your last post explained that it probably wouldn't be that frequent. Like I said, I'm not going to pester you.

Hahn solo. says: that last one was kind of serious, if i recall. i don't think it's a good idea for me to write in it these days....i seem to be writing a lot of, uh, racially, uh, controversial, material right now...

i have dug deep down to my core and found some things that are not that pretty there.

Dr. Rock says: racially?

Hahn solo. says: well, it all started when i saw this yellow mini cooper the other day and noticed that it was an asian guy driving it.

Dr. Rock says: ah

Hahn solo. says: i'm sure you can extrapolate.

then i got myself into a bit of a hole at a party the other day trying to explain why i thought black guys were better at high fiving than white guys.

Dr. Rock says: hahaha

what's wrong with that?

Hahn solo. says: the hole i dug myself into was wrong.

Dr. Rock says: hm

Hahn solo. says: because it was all white guys, so i think they were a bit sensitive about the slight.

Dr. Rock says: oh jeez. give me a break. it's only funny if it's a gross generalization.

besides, it's true

Hahn solo. says: yeah.

or the truth.


it was problematic because my supposition was predicated on the theory that eye contact is the key to a solid, consistent high fiving career.

and i think that eye contact is a sign of confidence.

Dr. Rock says: I see

Hahn solo. says: and i think black men are more confident than white men.

but maybe it's a canadian/american thing.

Dr. Rock says: yeah

Hahn solo. says: or east/west.

Dr. Rock says: I did learn a pretty sweet hi-fiving tip though.

Hahn solo. says: but i think white men's liberal guilt has rendered them a bit stymied.

if you say "look at the guy's elbow"...

Dr. Rock says: On this hi-fiving forum I read sometimes

okay, you've heard it

Hahn solo. says: that's what started our whole high fiving discussion.

Dr. Rock says: hm

Dr. Rock says: they must subscribe to the same "Handz Up" newsletter

Hahn solo. says: high fivin' nerds.

Dr. Rock says: seriously, it's bigger than frisbee in some areas

Hahn solo. says: and the injuries are very severe, i've heard, when you are just a fraction of an inch out of alignment.

Dr. Rock says: That's what makes it so "x-treme"

Hahn solo. says: bah, i say, to xtreme. even gum is xtreme now. there has to be a next level. severe.

severe winter sports.

Dr. Rock says: haha

that's true. I remember when gum was this underground thing

Hahn solo. says: i know.

i hate the new gum.

it was so much better when it first came out.

Dr. Rock says: haha


Hahn solo. says: i don't even chew it anymore. i'm that bored of it.

but i guess that's because i knew about gum before anyone.

i dated the guy who's dad invented gum, so we got to try it before it even came out.

bootleg gum sessions.

Dr. Rock says: haha. "gum sessions"

Dr. Rock says: that's funny

Hahn solo. says: i'm fuckin' on fire lately.

Hahn solo. says: would you mind if i reproduced word for word our conversation as a blog entry?

Dr. Rock says: no, not at all

Hahn solo. says: cause i think it's funny.

this conversation.

Dr. Rock says: i've been laughing

Hahn solo. says: yeah, me too.

or, rather, me, too. to get the punctuation correct.

Dr. Rock says: is this part going in too?

Hahn solo. says: only up to this point, because now you know you're being published everything will change.

Dr. Rock says: yeah, its not pure art anymore

Hahn solo. says: exactly.

it's severe art now.

Dr. Rock says: nice!

Hahn solo. says: thank you.

Hahn solo. says: little bow.

Dr. Rock says: hehe


New things

"Anonymous said...

Hellooooooo! Where are you? Write something already....."

Yes, I am aware of my bloggery neglect. No, I am not sorry. I am inclined to selfishness these days, it has been a freight train of experience since I got home. I do want to tell you, I honestly do, but I also want to keep what may start to sound like whining to a minimum. I am not bored with myself yet, in fact the opposite, I am endlessly fascinated with my own discoveries and insides, but am very aware how quickly it might become dull to those around me. I am in some limbo as I am on waiting lists all over the place for various kinds of psychological evaluation and treatment. I want so badly to be talking to someone, and yet not just anyone. In the meantime I have been talking to anyone, and I just keep thinking "shut up shut up shut up" inside my head. Why can't I just be quiet? So I am trying. And partly I try by not notating each and every waking moment here.

I won't kid you, it has not been an easy time. I love my job. I am crazy for my job. My job is predictable and keeps me steady. Or, rather, is the one steady thing. I like being able to count on it, to have a reason to get up every day. A place to go. I like that I don't have to go there for too long. I am surprised at how little energy I have.

I am moving in with my good friend PJ for a couple of months. He has kindly offered a cozy room in his home to me, so I can look for the right place without panic, and can save a little money, and can have a nice, big tv for the playoffs. Not to mention a bbq, a patio, a freezer full of meat and a real bed up off of the floor. Grown up amenities to remind me I am growing up.

My emotional state is changeable, my sleep is erratic, and there have been walloping, painful, blinding migraines recently. I do what I can to stay out of the darker reaches of my brain, but it gets the better of me some days. I have had some very bad moments, and nearly checked myself back in to the hospital this week. I have been walking as much as I can, and have started jogging a little, which helps. I also have been going to AA meetings. I am pretty sure they are not exactly the right place for me, but in the interim while I have no therapy to attend, they are somewhere comforting where I can feel safe when I don't feel safe inside myself. Which I don't sometimes. I get very scared, and can feel extremely lonely, even in a crowd full of my friends. AA meetings remind me to take care of myself, to do the right things in my life, and to pray. Praying makes me breathe and remember to be grateful, which I am, mostly just to be alive. Because I almost wasn't this winter, and that's the truth.

I have fallen a couple of times, strayed from what are my new, healthy habits, since coming back to the city. It has been a challenge to be out of the cozy nest of watchful family, and to be responsible for my own welfare. Thank God for my job. And my good good friends who are keeping their eyes on me, even though they have their own lives and worries to attend to.

I can tell you this, I do not want to go back to where I was in the winter, but some days I am very frightened that I am headed that way. So I have to pay close, vigilant attention at all times to make sure I am taking care. I have proven to myself that I can easily slip into old habits, and that only constant deep breaths and taking it one day, one hour, one minute at a time is the only way through this patch. I do get to worrying sometimes, I am afraid that this battle will always feel difficult, that I will always be tired, that I will never feel right again, but somewhere in me I have a steady voice, reminding me that if I do the work, and humbly walk forward, I will live lightly again. I hope, I pray, I eat, I work, I laugh, I cry, (I laugh and cry a lot), and I practice patience and kindness with myself.

All of this has affected my relationships with so many people in so many ways. Friendships are changing, as I am changing, and I am so grateful to be so loved, but know I can not spread my attention as thin and wide as I have in the past. I am so limited in what I can do in a day, and I choose very carefully, always putting myself first. I look forward to the time when I do not have to concentrate so hard to take care, when it is the new neural truth, when the pathways have been retrained. I also look very much forward to getting back on stage, but it is still a ways off, even though people have very sweetly been asking for me. It is nice to be wanted, and nicer still to do it all at my own pace.

Every day is a little adventure, and a total gift, and a leap into the unknown. Some days I fall, some days I run, some days I find peace, some days there is so much noise.

And that is what there is.




I am home, I am working, I am feeling good. I am very tired, but in a good way. Less energy than I thought, and working is pretty much all I can manage. But I love my new job, and I'm so happy to have a job, and to have structure. I will tell you more later, I just wanted you to know that I'm well and trying my very best to take care of myself.

I'll also try to put some new photos on the flickr site this weekend, I've got some beauties.

It has been so jam packed since I got home a week (!) ago. Can't believe it's only been a week. My friends are being so very good to me, and I just feel eager to move forward. I'm on time for everything, it's very weird.

Also, I'm looking for a place to live, so if anyone hears of anything, let me know. Ideally I'd like a little place to myself.



Silence is Golden. And Gum is sticky.

I'll begin at the beginning. But first, let me say this. I have just returned from seeing the worst play I have ever seen. EVER. And I have seen some puh-retty bad theatre.

The real beginning. You know my state. I have ups and downs. This past week has been difficult. But I won't get into that now. Just know that seeing a very bad play may not have been, uh, soothing, for me. No, no, it may have spawned a fury. So. I knew it was a bad play. Everyone said it was bad. My mother designed this play and all she could talk about was how bad it was. But she made me see it anyway. Well, let's not dump this on her shoulders. Her set was lovely. And the lighting was very good, and the sound design quite sweet. But the script. (Whoops, I just puked a bit). And the directing. (Brief pause while I gouge out my own eyes). She did not MAKE me see it. But she did want me to see it. Partly to see her set, and partly because she really wanted to hear how I would analyze it. So I agreed to go. Now, I had heard that on opening night the production manager and props guy had walked out after the first ten minutes and gotten very drunk in the lobby and very loudly tore the thing to shreds, in full hearing range of the audience. And tonight when were seeing it at one point all three people I went with were asleep. All three of them.

What I'm trying to get at here is that my expectations were very, very low. Very low. On the way to the theatre I was driving, a half hour drive or so, in the car by myself, lowering my expectations, wishing I smoked cigarettes. Which led to wishing I had any vices right now. How do people maintain goodness? I'm not drinking, smoking, doing drugs, lying, cheating, stealing, fucking...nothing. I came to the conclusion that it's going to have to be tattoos. And I did drive a bit fast on the way to the theatre. But I knew that I could neither get a tattoo nor lay on the gas pedal while watching the show. So I really, really, really wished I smoked by the time intermission rolled around. I asked permission to not stay for the second act, but got the hairy eyeball, so I moved to the back of the theatre so that I didn't have the director and playwright sitting right behind me and I could glower and mutter to my heart's content.

So by the end of the first act I am wishing that every character on the stage would die an excrutiating death. And by the end of the second I am wishing I would. And then. A great cosmic joke. Possible Karma for my lack of diplomacy. I discovered that a very large, very FRESH wad of gum had been under my seat, in just the perfect place to A: get stuck to the back of the left leg of my jeans so that it could B: get stuck to the right front leg when I crossed them and C: could get stuck to my dress when the seat flipped up and I leaned against it. I have gum stuck to everything. Insult+Injury=irrational rage.

Sadly tonight was closing night so that I can not inflict the torture on anyone else I know. "Ew, this reeks, smell it". "This tastes disgusting, try it". "This play sucks, go see it". You know how bad it was? I preferred the smell of my own farts on the way home in the car to the play. And I had had a pork sandwich for dinner.

Thank you, and good night.


Did it!

Huh. I just did something I've been meaning to do for years. Literally. And I haven't done it...why. Because I was scared, I suppose. But, as my good friend Kim pointed out to me, the worst thing they could do to me is shoot me in the face. I thought that probably I would think that being tortured would be worse, because if they shot me in the face I would die and I wouldn't know the difference. But if I didn't die, that would be the worst. However. I just did it, and lo and behold, still have my face, no shooting.

So. What did I do, you may well ask? I applied for the directing program at the National Theatre School. There are a few more steps to the process, and I don't really expect to get it, because they only accept people every two years, and then it's only two people...so...but. The doing of it. It's funny, it's just the initial step, the registration form, which is basically a resume, but I feel kind of giddy.

How giddy? I'm going to go right out and apply for the Voice Intensive at UBC, and a job at the City of Burnaby that I am eminently qualified for.

This new me is kind of fun. I like the new me. That's a pretty big deal, if you want to know the truth.

Now get outta here and go look at my photos on flickr!



Letter to Vanity Fair and Christopher Hitchens

In the last issue of Vanity Fair, the one with Dreamgirls' Eddie Murphy, Beyonce and Jamie Foxx on the cover, there is an article by Christopher Hitchens titled "Why Women Aren't Funny". If you haven't read it, the following may not make sense to you. It rankled me, so I sent them this letter:

"Dear Vanity Fair and Christopher Hitchens:

I have just finished “Why Women Aren’t Funny”, by The Jackass Formerly Known As Christopher Hitchens (TJFKACH). Well, that’s not entirely true. I finished it weeks ago, but I was so mad I couldn’t write a response that was funny. And I knew it HAD to be funny, because otherwise TJFKACH would be able to disregard it entirely as some woman being irrational. You know how men like him can be.

As soon as I read it I went to my Myspace page and immediately changed all my top friends to funny women I know. Which, by the way, is most of the women I know. And many of them are funny professionally, as am I, and while a few of them fall into the “hefty, dykey or Jewish” categories TJFKACH so narrowly dumps us all into, most of them manage to be hilarious without having any of those traits. (Okay, okay. I admit it. I’m Jewish. And I even tell a few jokes about it. I’m not going to argue that point. Jews are funny. And so are Canadians. And I’m one of those, too. But Jewish humour is essentially male? Come ON, man.)

It took me quite a while to figure out why on God’s Green Earth TJFKACH would even bother to write this piece. At first I gave him some credit. Oh, I thought, it’s going to be an article about how funny women are, or about how few women there are in professional comedy, and why, (that is a much discussed topic in my circles lately, and the basis for a smart and insightful piece of writing), or about how women have a tough time in comedy because of the maleness of the field, or some such thing. But then, it was actually an article about women not being funny. No, no. This is not possible. I looked and looked for the thing I missed, the thing which said, this is tongue firmly in cheek. Not one redeeming thing came of my search. TJFKACH’s ideas are unformed, his arguments weak and not thought through. He. Is. Dead. Wrong.

And then it struck me. I know why he wrote it! I get it! He came home one night a teeny bit tipsy, having stayed at the bar a bit late so as to avoid his wife’s monthly book club meeting, knowing how women can be when they get together like that. Knowing their penchant for white wine and witty banter. Sadly for TJFKACH, though, the ladies had not nearly wrapped for the evening. Having chosen Notes On A Scandal as their book for the week had led them to discuss the undeniable attractiveness of younger men, of VERY young men, and the conversation had become downright bawdy, eventually coming down to circumcision versus not. All were most certainly in favour. It’s prettier, you know. It was at this raucous peak that poor Mr. Jackass decided to return home and was blindsided by the rowdy girls. For a few minutes they were amiable, and Jackass, in his mildly drunken state, was amused and even touched by their flirty attentions. But then. THEN. Somehow Mrs. Jackass got the idea to pants him in front of the group. And there he was. His foreskin gloriously displayed for all to see, and the girls, well they couldn’t help themselves. They pointed and laughed, and some of them even asked if they could touch it. The Jackass blustered and yelled, tried to leave the room but tripped over his pants, still around his ankles, and was sent crashing to the floor, his aging buttocks jiggling from the impact. Red faced and full of the fury of the belittled man, Formerly Hitchens yanked himself to his feet, pulled up his trousers, grabbed two bottles of wine, and retired to his study to get very, very drunk and write what at the time must have seemed like a scathing missive. A dressing down of all the women he knew who thought they were so damned funny.

Sadly for the esteemed Ass of Jack, this is the age of email and he unwisely hit send and the whole mess went off to Vanity Fair. The editors may have thought he was slipping, but were too giddy over Jennifer Hudson’s usurping of Beyonce’s thunder to really notice and just printed the thing anyway.

That is the only plausible explanation I could formulate. What else could possibly have driven him to such depths?


Riel Hahn
Funny, Jewish, Canadian Woman"

I think that's the first letter I've actually sent to a magazine.

I have been oddly struck down with intense melancholy this evening. Nearly had a bout of tears while chopping garlic for the salad. I don't know what's going on. Except, I guess, that it's part of this whole process. It came on really suddenly, and I am almost desperate to cry, but can't seem to. Wish I had a copy of Beaches, or Terms of Endearment, or Steel Magnolias. Something cancery to really induce tears. No such luck. What's here. Spinal Tap and Mission Impossible 3.

Before the human race coined the term "depression", all forms of the mental illness were referred to as "melancholia", so I guess I'm right on track with it. I'm sure tomorrow will be better. It kind of started this morning when I woke up and there was MORE snow falling. In some places it is actually up to my ass now. That's a lot of snow. I like snow. So why did it make me so leaden? I am not sure. I think I might be a bit lonely. Hyup. But, as I said, it's likely just a down day, which I have been warned would happen. Managed to cook a gorgeous dinner, anyway, for all of us. Steak, green beans, baked potatoes, sauteed onions and salad. Simple, but very fortifying. Also did some work for my mum, sewing snaps on the little dress that the baby for which I was making baby heads wears. And playing with the cats. So you can see, it's not dire. It's just...blue.

Mission Impossible 3 it is. Maybe I can make myself feel better hating Tom Cruise.

Be careful and kind.



Art Therapy and Baby Heads

Oh, hello.

Yeah, that's right. I'm still hibernating. And why not? I figure what's gonna happen is one day I'll wake up and be like, "it's time to go", and then I will. Until then, though, I am keeping myself occupied in some very interesting ways. Not the least of which was going to Salmon Arm to get a massage today. Oh, sweet baby Jesus, it was good. I am, like, six inches taller and a whole new woman. Came right home and made a gorgeous tomato sauce, currently simmering and smelling up the joint with aromatic bliss.

What else has been entertaining me? Have been taking pictures like crazy. Have only posted a few on my Flickr site, a link to which can be found over there ==>, and when I get the chance to avail myself of some high speed internet I will post some more. I am thrilled to be taking pictures again, it has been years since I have done so and I have missed it terribly. My friend Garnet loaned me his wee digital camera, and it's good, but I'm also looking forward to getting a nice fat one again. My pentax slr is busted, and so far no one's been able to ascertain the why of it, hence the lack of snapping the last few years, but I think someone is giving me their fancy cast off digital cam when they get a new one, but I'm not going to jinx it by saying who that might be. Anyway, I have taken some real gems. Feels very very good. I had a bout of boredom/narcissism and took many, many, many self portraits one night. Put together they are actually kind of an interesting diary of my state. My mother suggested I write something to go with them and put them together in a book. I might just. Since I've been writing poetry, anyway. AND drawing pictures.

That massage I had today has me feeling a bit drunk. God, it was nice to be touched. And worked over. Of course, when I get drunk I get mean...so...watch out, barren wasteland, lest I hurl epithets out the door at you. Yeah, that's right, coyote bitches, you BETTER run.

Sadly, we're out of jell-o. Sigh. Trip to town required.

Oh, and now I have to go make twelve baby heads out of sculpey. They are props for a show my mum is designing. There's a doll in the show which has to get it's face smashed with a hammer every performance, so there has to be twenty faces. They are about life sized baby heads. There are baby heads everywhere in this place! I am a baby head factory! I'm feeling oddly attached to them and am a bit sorry they all have to get smashed, cause I MADE them, for crying out loud. Oooh, it is so nice to be making things. My hands were missing being used for good and not evil.

Care of selves, try not to fall off your bikes.



Where it's all at.

not back. not yet. i'm starting to get a bit squirrelly, but i don't want to come back until i'm very, very ready. i can't afford to slip back to where i was. i am grateful as hell that i have somewhere to be and the love and support available to really heal from this.

have been reading voraciously, thank god, since i kind of thought i'd lost my juice for it for a while. mostly, i thought i lost my brain. but it's honing again. it's been a big relief to make a decision to give up performing standup for a while. i'm starting to realize, as i peel away the layers of stress from my life, what a terribly stressful existence i've built for myself. so i have to kind of start again. from the ground up. i have a lot of building to do. i am just going to try to do my best every day. which i don't think i've allowed myself to do before. i've always beat myself up for not doing better every day. so.

it remains a rollercoaster. last couple of days i feel the anxiety lifting, and it's been sweet. i've been dreaming a lot, too, which i hadn't for a while. or, rather, for a while when i got my dreams back they were very difficult and full of unrest. they still sometimes are, but some nights, like the night before last, i get a night of sweet, peaceful, joyful dreams. i had a flying dream, and i can't remember the last time i had one of those. those are my most favourite ever, i never want to wake from them. the way i can fly is amazing in the very best of them. i can just think of being light and my body lifts off the ground and soars upwards until i am so high above everything and i can swoop and dive and spin in the air. oh, it's lovely. and the feeling kind of stays with me, or can be recalled, for days after the dream. it's a bit disappointing that i can't actually make it happen in real life, i'll tell you that.

i have crossed a nice line, i think, but am also deeply understanding that recovery is a much longer process than i have ever let it be before, and that there will still be very difficult days. i'm not gladdened by the bad days, but i'm learning to just let them happen, and let everyone around me know that they are happening, and not to be imposing about the mood. every minute i am thinking what is the right thing to do, and trying to do that. take care of myself and do the next right thing. breathe, and remember what will be the healthiest thing for me. eating well, going for walks, though some days it is harder than others to get myself up and out. today i almost didn't go for a walk at all, but then i did. kind of like flossing my teeth. just take the time and do it right, and the end results are better. if i don't do anything worth beating myself up over, then i can't beat myself up. neat.

i think the prozac is probably working. it's hard to tell because maybe i would have felt better without it, but also, maybe not. at the very least it's certainly not doing any harm. yesterday and today, especially, i have felt like it's taking hold. which is, scientifically speaking, about the right timing. just over three weeks now. i have an appointment with a psychiatrist, the one who saw me in the hospital, on thursday to do a check in with how the meds are going. i want to talk to her about the anxiety, because i don't want to up the dosage or anything, so i want to learn to live with a little if i have to, so i don't get too medicated. i don't want any fogginess or lethargy. i just want to be able to take care of myself. one foot in front of the other.

anyway, today i was really wishing i was in vancouver, because i'm a teeny bit lonely, but it's really okay, because i mostly need the solitude, and i was really only lonely for a couple of hours, and it wasn't sad, just kind of restless. i talk to the dog and cat a lot. i was hanging out with my buddy jane quite a bit, but she went to belize on sunday for three weeks. i have a couple of other friends up here, and i'm going to go stay a night in salmon arm and see a movie with my friend kim, so that will be good. it's the first time i've started to feel like i kind of want my life back, though. which is positive. i wasn't sure that feeling was going to come. i thought maybe i would never want to come back. but now i'm kind of looking forward to things.

when i was back for a couple of days i got a call out of the blue and booked a gig in campbell river in may for the rascalls, a well paying gig, and i got pretty excited about that. and i think we're going to play in bellingham for a weekend the end of february. and another friend and i talked on the phone for, like, two hours, (he is a remarkable friend), and he said he wants to submit a team to Ultimate Improv Challenge at Theatresports with me....we are going to call the team, "and you will know us by the trail of bread". for some reason improv doesn't inspire the same level of terror in me that stand up does. i'm really looking forward to doing improv shows. and writing. oh. my. god. i've started to be able to see how i could live very happily as a writer.

tomorrow i'm going to bust out the paints and make some art. i've been taking lots of pictures, too. thanks to my buddy garnet for lending me his digital camera. very generous.

in addition to the many books and smarty pants magazines i've been devouring, (smarticles, i've decided to call them, in harper's and the new yorker, you know the kind), i've been watching movies. sweet jesus, where have i been? talladega nights, little miss sunshine, a prairie home companion, no direction home and shopgirl. all have appealed to different parts of me. it's good to have so much input. filling the well.

okay. that is, as titled, where it's at.

thank you all for your kindness and understanding. the love that has been offered, (and there is more than i can believe, and from places i didn't expect), is so gratefully accepted and is going a long way towards my mending. i am in awe of all of your capacity for forgiveness and tenderness.



Where did YOU spend YOUR 35th birthday?

I spent mine in the psych ward at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. And a day on either side, as well. In case you were wondering where I have been, how come I have not been regaling you with sparkling tales of sleigh ride joyousness. The winter has been darker than I expected, and the end result is a major turning point for me.

Just know that I am still here. It has been a rocky time, and there is lots to tell. But I am not quite ready to tell it. I mean, I have been telling it all over the place, but this...this is going to take some thought. The writing down of everything.

I am safely ensconced in the Okanagan, care and feeding courtesy of chez mummy, or, as I like to call it, the Grizzly Hill Sanitorium. I made a brief attempt to return to Vancouver, but it proved to be too soon, my heartrate too high, my brow too furrowed. Upon Doctor's orders am back in the bosom of the quiet countryside.

Will keep you apprised.

Take care of selves,