Archive for January, 2013

So I was talking to this girl on eharmony, for awhile and we finally arranged a meeting date at Rumors comedy club. Hold on, that’s not a way to start a story. Let’s try that again.
Once on a mildly chilly night in late January, I had arranged a date with a girl who I assumed could be my soulmate. We had talked a few times online and there seemed to be a deep powerful connection there. As if we had been soulmates in another life. (Now that is a way to start a story!!) Due to the craziness of my busy schedule after arranging the date I had forgot to book in advance (forgot, phew more like didn’t even think about it.) Therefore, I was waiting in the dank entrance to the basement that is the hallway to Rumors, hoping to get in or at least hoping we would be able to get coffee. I had spent a whole, 15 minutes prior getting ready for this exciting moment. However, I ended up waiting for naught as she never showed.
I was okay with it I figured the night is still young and I am looking hot, having had my sister-in-law come over and help me pick out my outfit and gell my hair like a pro. I figured, the world owes me a little excitement after I put in all this hard work and had this minor-setback. If only a drunken make-out session with a girl. Her drunk, as I still needed to drive home after all. So I headed, over to my buddy’s house where we set the mood for excitement by playing a little Megaman 9. After a two-hour struggle, I finally beat one of the bosses which seemed to suggest that it was a good omen for the evening ahead. After this victory we headed to a social. The tickets were 20 dollars but I figured small price to pay for the adventure ahead. After meeting up with some more buddies, I figured now the fun will begin. Then we watched the auctioneers announce the winner.
Getting antsy at this point, I was like I will settle for anything a phone number, a cute girl flirting with me, anything. After all universe you owe me.
Final synopsis, nothing, and I mean nothing came of this party where it seemed like every girl there in the right age range, had a boyfriend or a husband. Turns out, the universe does not care or feel that it owes me anything. The world does not always close a door to open up a window and not everything happens for a reason. Sometimes bad things don’t come along so an even greater thing can happen.

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It is all great and grand to have adventures in the forest but we should by no means try and live there. Instead we need to water our own garden and hope that it grows and bears fruit. A single apple on a tree is going to do more to feed oneself than all the daydreaming in the oldest most gorgeous forest. That will only leave you hungry and unsatisfied. In the end this approach will only drive you to madness and depression. Lately, I have been stuck in the forest and unable to find my way out and back to my own garden.
It is easy to look at other people’s gardens and see how well it is doing but we cannot ever know the conditions that went into growing it.
Especially when the ground that we have to grow our garden may not be the most fertile, or in some cases downright rocky. However, trying to go into other people’s garden’s to try and steal their apples is illegal. We occasionally try to do it, nevertheless and sometimes we succeed but in the end it is a meaningless victory.
We will never feel as fulfilled as we do when we come to peace our own plot and what we have sowed and help that garden grow to its full potential. Since no fruit is better than the fruit that we grow ourselves.
Today, I plant another seed, hears to hoping that it becomes a strong healthy tree that eventually bears fruit.

14266017-gray-haired-old-man-in-the-garden-gathering-apples-illustration-done-in-cartoon-style

my 56 day challenge

Posted: January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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So I have been offered a position in the prestigious Winnipeg comedy festival hosting the show at the library. Last year I did it and it was a blast. In addition, I have been offered an oppertunity to talk to a group of parents in an informal session about myself and doing stand-up comedy. Which is what I have been working towards.
However, lately I have not been feeling really respected in the Winnipeg local comedy community as a performer. Therefore, I do not want to do the library show simply because I work at the library but because I deserve it. Therefore, I have given myself a challenge of working really hard for the next 56 days at writing as much as possible, going to as many local shows to watch other performers and doing as well as possible at open mics in order to get into the weekly showcase at the Cheer or the Loft. If I can’t get into either of these shows in the next 8 weeks at least once, then I feel like I should turn down the comedy festival because I do not deserve to be in it on my own merit and will feel crummy about being in it simply because I work at the library.
I have decided to write this post about my challenge because people who publicly announce their challenges for themselves and where there is some kind of punishment for not following through are more likely to not give-up on their goals after a couple of days or weeks.

It looks like there are many bright days ahead for future generations of people on the Autistic Spectrum.
Growing up there were few role models in the mainstream media to look up to. Every other minority had someone it felt like other than people with Autism. I mean, yeah we had Temple Grandin, but that isn’t someone children will find as glamorous as say Mario Lemieux, Tyra Banks or even Stephen Hawkins. Temple, if you ever read this by some chance of reading everything that even mentions your name, I am sorry but its true. Over the last 12 years, however, all of that has changed.
Darryl Hannah the actress from from Kill Bill, Dan Ackroyd have both come forward in interviews and told the world that they had Aspergers in the last five years and even more recently so did the Miss America candidate from Montana. In addition, one of the glamorous candidates from the next top model also came forward stating that she had Aspergers. The top surfer in the world Clay Marzo also has Aspergers. Having all of these incredible people stepping forward will do many things for the autistic community. First, it will make it easier for people to come forward with their own announcements that they are on the spectrum. It will create a desire in many people to learn more about Autism which will only help especially since there are many great blogs such as Emma’s Hope Book and Life and Ink, recounting people’s lives and the lives of loved ones adventures with Autism, fiction books with autistic main characters, and non-fiction books detailing how life can be made better for these individuals by writers such as Rudy Simone. Stand-up comedians telling jokes and writing plays about the disability. In addition, it will also give future generations something that I did not have; role models to look up to and aspire to be like. Someone that they can relate to, who is just like them so that they don’t feel like such beautiful freaks.

That is a really weird confession to be making after doing stand-up for over three-years but I really am not sure whether I get comedy or not. There have been times when another performer has told jokes and the audience has loved them and yet due to being to literal I am left scratching my head, why what I just watched went over so well. For example, another local comedian has this joke where he does an impression of the Canadian flag. Every single time he has done the joke the audience has absolutely adored it. I on the other hand was waiting for the traditional set-up followed by a punchline. My literal brain is like that does not look at all like a flag, why is so funny? I have over time become a fan of the joke just because it is so goofy and fun but on the other hand I really did not get it. There have been countless jokes told in the local community or that I have seen on television that have left me scratching my head on what was so darn funny about what I had just seen.
This trait is not exclusively about others, however, as there are jokes that I tell that still leave me unsure why the joke went over so well with the audience. For example, I have a joke about not being the smartest tool in the shed, which is an old metaphor, and then saying I am sort of like a rake. At the time it was simply a toss-away joke and I never gave it too much thought about why it was funny until it went over really really well. Therefore, I have told it over and over again and yet I still do not know why the joke is funny but keep using it because every time I have told it, the audience has seemed to love it. Really, I like many people with Aspergers am too literal minded which has got in the way of my having written many more jokes at this point than I currently have. On the other hand the pure randomness of how I view the world and the things that confuse me is devoured by the crowd as hilarious. This is not something I can count on, however, because when I go up with the strategy of just talking about my confusion about life and it does not follow any kind of stand-up pattern this strategy often backfires as the crowd does not enjoy it.
All of this simply leaves me with the realization, that I in fact do not know how stand-up comedy works. I enjoy stand-up comedy but I don’t truly understand it. Therefore, sort of keep it at an arms-length distance, which is the same relationship that I have with the rest of the world created by NTS.

My life has definitely been interesting, I mean for a long time I was in denial of the fact that I was an Aspie. However, doing stand-up comedy made me feel like I could be a real force for educating people about Aspergers and that I was born with it for this specific purpose. After reading dozens of blogs, and seeing that there are in fact many more books written on the topic I am now questioning this role. I mean many of the blogs I have written are much more articulate than anything I could have written and if there are already several books on the topic than I am not exactly breaking ground, striding towards a new frontier and going where people with Aspergers have not gone before.

So where does that leave me, I mean there are few stand-up comedians with Aspergers so for the people who don’t read I do have an opportunity. For how long, I don’t know, because if there is one thing I have learnt about the Asperger community; it is that there is no barrier that they won’t eventually be able to overcome. Therefore, I have to take advantage of my brief window. My book deal that I envisioned coming from this blog may take awhile to happen and may not happen at all due to all the great writer/advocates on the topic. I may have to change the idea so that it is more about Aspergers from the perspective of a stand-up comedian than just Aspergers in general. The number of books coming out on the topic may in fact be a boon making people curious about the topic which comedy can cater to.
There is no way of predicting the trends, therefore, in the end all I can do is keep doing what I am doing.
Therefore, I begrudgingly say good luck to Jodi Carmichael the author of the new local Asperger book “Spaghetti is not a Finger Food”.
spaghetti

Aspergers on cellphones

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I have always had really low-tech cellphones on pay as you go plans. Not having the fanciest options on my cellphone has not really created the biggest disturbance in my life. Call it an Asperger thing but I don’t feel the need to take pictures and share them with everyone every second of my life. I hate self-taken photos and often feel like I am too busy to waste the time reminiscing about the past by myself. I know, I am in the minority about this issue but I am fine with that.
I also often don’t feel the need to have a fancy cellphone that can access the internet because I am around computers most of the time anyways. Seriously, I can wait 30 minutes before checking whether or not someone has emailed me or tagged me on Facebook.

I can make-do with having less exciting games on my cellphone like instead of playing Angry Birds I have been playing Solitaire. Big Whoop, considering how much time I play on it.
The lack of GPS features kind of sucks because I see myself as this big outdoorsy adventure guy and being able to know where I am would be a tremendous help. As well, I am ashamed to admit it but I occasionally get lost and spent a lot of time looking for places. For example, on New Years I was lost and wandering outside for like 20 minutes before I finally found the place I was looking for as I was about to give up.
Another really cool feature that I sometimes wished my cellphone has that I saw my friends smart phone has is that you can ask it questions verbally and it will find the answer for you. Such as, what is the number of Famous Dave’s Restaurant, where is Balmoral street. Also you can tell it to call someone and it will go through your phone book and find their number, which is pretty darn awesome. Yes I wish my cellphone had this feature, but most of my questions would consist of “Cell phone, what is your current location” or “cellphone where are you.” I doubt, if the cellphone would be able to answer that question if it is switched off as mine often is.
Therefore, for right now I am more than happy with my basic low-tech cellphone. I mean it has a flashlight does yours?

Plus there are lots of awesome pros like great battery life and I just found out lower than average radiation levels.

Let me start off with saying this is highly unusual for me to come up with a new years resolution since, I don’t really expect myself to keep it.
My new years resolution is to not rely on other people as much. I have the bad habit on relying on other people, since as a result of Aspergers I have more limitations than other people do, or equally horrible I believe that I have more limitations than I do and don’t challenge myself. As a result, I am always setting myself to be let down or stood up. As a result, I have often sat at home on a Friday or Saturday night instead of going out. Doing something that makes me happy and not worrying about who wants to join me. If they want to join me great, but first off I have to make a commitment to do it myself. I went to the Cannes Best Commercial awards the other day by myself and it was incredible. I didn’t need to worry about finding someone to go with me, worrying about what time they wanted to go and I didn’t need to wait for them. Instead, I decided what I wanted to do and did it. This small act of taking ownership of one’s own life is so empowering. Therefore, I need to make it a goal to not rely on others.
Only by being self-sufficient can a person ever be truly happy. (Especially when a person has as many crumb bums in their lives as I do!)