Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas!



To those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas!

I had a really nice holiday season, and I hope you did, too. I got to spend time with family, I ate way too many Christmas cookies (although, is there ever really such thing as too many?), and I watched more cheesey holidays films than I care to admit. I absolutely love Christmas movies, but even I couldn't stomach the bad acting and corny story lines in some of them (for example, kittens having to steal Santa's sleigh in order to save Christmas when Santa comes down with a spontaneous cat allergies).

I took my daughter to see Santa not one, not two, but four times. She hated it every single time. So, as a result, I ended up getting my picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus instead. I'm still waiting to see if my parents will be hanging these photos on their fridge and sending them out along with their next Christmas newsletter.

I guess you're never too old to sit on some random stranger's lap?


I also checked out Christmas at the Corunna Historical Village for the first time. I had seen the buildings (all of which are from the 1800's, I believe) during the summer, but for the holiday season, they are open to the public. It was really interesting to look inside and imagine what life must have been like.

Some of the buildings:



We spent Christmas with both Dan's and my sides of the family, which was nice. Santa was quite good to me. At the top of my list of favorite presents: a vegan gummy bear kit and THIS:


Debbie Gibson is my childhood idol (and first concert), and I was seriously dying when I opened this video!

I didn't take any pictures of our tree this year, but I did get a shot of us attempting to pose in front of it.
Self-timer problems.
Different tree + selfie mode = that's more like it. 
After Christmas, I headed up to the Upper Peninsula for a show. Thankfully, it wasn't like two years ago in that there were no car accidents involved. Although, what would performing up north in the winter be without driving in ice? So there certainly was some of that.

Christmas decorations at my gig. My kind of tree!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday! I always get so excited to dress up, hand out candy, and go to parties. Although, in reality, what usually ends up happening is, I realize my grand costume ideas require too much work so I end up throwing together some sort of last-minute pun costume, and I sit at home in my PJ's eating all of the said candy I intended to hand out.

This year, I did make it out to trick-or-treat. Of course, I went under the guise of my daughter trick-or-treating. The problem is she is a 1-year-old who cannot speak. Thus, I went up to the houses myself, held out my her bag, and sheepishly said "trick-or-treat" the way a person in their thirties does when asking for free candy. Luckily, most people were happy to oblige, and as we were walking home, two people handing out candy demanded that "mom and dad take extra" since they didn't have nearly as many trick-or-treaters as they anticipated.

Well, twist my arm.

As I was walking around collecting candy, I realized my neighbors go all out on the decorations front.



I have some serious work to do.

I didn't even carve pumpkins this year. I just used a sharpie and called it good.



This was also the second year (of what’s sure to be many) of me making my child wear matching Halloween costumes. Barristers in 2017. Cows in 2018.





I'm going to be seriously sad on the day she's able to dress herself and inevitably starts objecting to my costume ideas.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

One Crazy Story



I recently got to be a guest on Nate Armbruster's podcast, One Crazy Story.

I've known Nate for a long time, and he's not only incredibly funny, but so nice, too. It was so much fun catching up with him and chatting about my adventures in Peru and New Zealand. If you'd like to take a listen, the link is here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Road Trippin'

Dan and I had the brilliant idea to take a 9 day, 6 city East Coast road trip with an eight-month-old in the middle of the summer. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as it turns out, a lot.

Our original plan with to visit New York City. 1. Because I went to college there and haven't been back since 2012. 2. Because Dan has never been there, and wanted to experience it.

So, we figured, why not stop along the way and take in some other cities?

First, we stopped in Ashland, Ohio since I had a show at the American Legion there. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures, but it was a ton of fun. I shared the stage with Bill Boronkay and Andy Beningo, who are two of my favorites.

Then, it was off to Pittsburgh. This is right around the time we found out we would be traveling in one of the worst heat advisories in quite some time. Hello, 90+  degree weather with 1,000 bajillion percent humidity! We pretty much only had time to make a quick stop at a look-out in the city before our bodies became completely taken over by sweat.

 

So, we piled back in the car to find out hotel in Washington, Pennsylvania. Randomly, Dan said, "hey, why don't you try to find a vegan restaurant in this town?" Thinking the only thing that was there was the casino we were staying next to, I still gave google a whirl.

And man, am I ever glad I did! We stumbled upon this place called Fortuitea, and it may have been the best restaurant I've ever been to! The food was seriously unreal, and the owners were as nice as could be. It ended up being within walking distance to our hotel, so we didn't have to make too much effort after stuffing ourselves with burgers, pizza, mac and cheese, and an Oreo cinnamon roll (yeah, that's a thing).

Here's Dan trying the Impossible Burger for the first time.


We then drove to Philadelphia, where the temperatures topped 100 degrees. Since we couldn't bring the baby out in that heat, we took it upon ourselves to get take-out and try a vegan Philly cheesesteak at every restaurant that offered them. When in Rome, right?

Thankfully, we had a nice view from our room as we stuffed our faces with delivered, cheesy goodness.



We did manage to sneak in a few touristy things though.



Not only was it hot as all get out, it was also around this time that our daughter decided she hated the car seat. So, we pretty much had to stop every half an hour to keep her happy. Oh, and we had to listen to this song on repeat. Let me be the first to tell you that hours upon hours of nothing but Baby Shark is about enough to make someone go mad.

We also looked at the weather report and noted the heat advisory in New York City. Fearing we'd get trapped in the hotel again, we decided to make a detour to the Jersey Shore instead.

We were kind of disappointed about not making it to the city, but finding a vegan ice cream place at the Shore helped quite a bit.


As did the ocean.


The road back to Michigan was looooong! But, luckily, we broke it up a bit with a stop to see Dan's brother and sister-in-law in Ohio.


We survived! And...now, sleep! And air-conditioning. Lots of lots of Baby Shark-free air-conditioning.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Veg Fest 2018!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Today is VegFest.



When I first started volunteering and attending the Detroit-area VegFest, it took place in a school. There were maybe a few hundred people who showed up, and I remember speakers standing at podiums that were in front of children's toys.

Wow, times have changed. Now it's at a convention center, and it is HUGE!

Like last year, I volunteered with Attorneys for Animals.
Shout out to Meg and Krishna for taking this not-at-all-staged photo with me.
And like pretty much every year in the past, I had to get a picture with my carrot buddy Daniel.


The food was incredible. Despite trying to be a bit healthy. I totally splurged on vegan Ben and Jerry's, a coney dog from the Russell Street Deli, and macaroni and cheese from GreenSpace.

File these under "why I weigh more now than I did two months after giving birth":



It just feels so incredible to see people who are interested in plant-based living all coming together. I always get so inspired there! If you haven't been before, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vegas! And even more VLOGGING!

This weekend was just what I needed! I was craving some serious sun, and I also wanted to see my brother since I hadn't seen him since Thanksgiving. Since I was lucky enough to get booked into some gigs in Nevada and Arizona, I packed my bags and flew to Las Vegas (where he lives).

My trip started off with a trip to the oh-so-delicious VegeNation. My brother had vegan quesadillas, and I had the mock chicken gnocchi pot pie. Both were pretty amazing!




We walked around downtown for a bit before I met up with Keith Lenart, and we headed to Laughlin, Nevada for our gigs at the Edgewater.


I always dig playing the Edgewater. The shows are fun, the casino is right on the water, and they give way too many free buffet coupons.

On Saturday night, we had the night off, so we drove back to Vegas to see Lionel Richie, who was absolutely fantastic. Keith even got us an upgrade on our seats, so we got to feel like VIPs for the night.



After the concert, we hung out with a couple of other comisc who live in Vegas. This is us with Geechy Guy having a little Michigan comedy reunion at a karaoke bar in Henderson.


After our show on Sunday, we got to see a great ABBA tribute band, ABBAcadabra (and we even got to hang out with them after the show).

On Monday, before our show in Pinetop, Arizona, we took an impromptu trip to the Grand Canyon since I had never been. We were running late, so we only had 15 minutes, and since I wasn't prepared, I'm pretty sure I was the only one wearing flip flops. But, it was still absolutely breath-taking. Unfortunately, my camera crapped out on me, but I did get a couple of shots. And I made a quick mental note that I must return soon.

Proof I was there.


Oh, and I also vlogged my adventures, so if you'd like to watch, it's here. I apologize in advance for the complete overuse of 80s-esque electronic music for the first minute or so.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Performing in Minnesota and more VLOGGING!

This past weekend, I got to see the new Goonies in Rochester, Minnesota. For a long time, Goonies was one of my favorite clubs. I was so bummed when they closed, but so excited when they reopened!

The drive there was pretty uneventful. The weather and traffic both cooperated. So, yay!



The weekend was super fun. I worked with the hilarious Grant Lyon, and I got to stay in a nice extended stay hotel.


The "just like home" theater at my hotel. I'm pretty sure if it were truly just like home, it would be a 12 inch tv/dvd combo with no access to the internet. 
I didn't take too many pictures, but I did do my second vlog! Forgive my shaky camera and unforgiving light.


The drive home was quite another story. I feel like that's the way it works in the winter: one leg of the drive will be perfect, and then to balance it out, the other way will be the worst, fear-for-your-life weather you've ever experienced.

And that's exactly what happened! It took me five additional hours to make the trek home! I had planned to get home in time for the Super Bowl. Not so much for the game (honestly, I had no idea who was even playing in the darn thing), but I wanted to watch the commercials and half-time show, oh, and eat all of the amazing food Dan whipped up.

But, alas, I had to settle for watching Pink sing the National Anthem on YouTube and eating left-overs. At least I got home in one piece.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

$20 autographs

What a fun time this week! Not only did I get to be on a podcast (which ended up being video recorded, so yay for me having the forethought to not show up in sweat pants), but I also got to do three fun shows in Michigan. As much as I love the road, sleeping in my own bed feels pretty darn nice, too.

Nothing major to report this go' round. The weather was good. The crowds were fun. And the beer was free.

Anyway, here's the podcast.


 And now, onto some pictures from the shows.

With all the funny comics.
With some sweet audience members.

P.S. When a guy in Manton, Michigan pays you $20 to autograph him in Sharpie, you do that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Myrtle Beach!

The Carolina Comedy Club in Myrtle Beach is one of my absolute favorite clubs. Not only are you right near the beach, but they have some of the best staff I've ever met in my life. A lot of them have become friends over the years, which makes me feel so lucky.

When I was pregnant, I figured it would be no big deal to simply bring the babes with me to my gig, and seeing as my mom and I love to travel together (see some of our trips here, here, and here), I thought I'd ask her to come with as well. Then, she could watch the baby during my shows, and we could adventure during the day.

That's kind of how it went.

We decided to fly down there, and the baby did pretty well on the flight, especially given that we had to wake her up at 2 am to get ready so we could make the 6 am departure. She slept most of the first one, and even dug the three hour lay-over in LaGuardia (since there are no direct flights to Myrtle Beach from Detroit). She was a bit fussy on the second flight, we but not terrible. Shout-out to Spirit Airlines for giving us our own row each time! They might charge for every little thing including carry-ons, but the flight attendants were so nice in giving us an empty row at the back as to not disturb the other passengers.


Made it! After nearly 12 hours of travel on 2 hours of sleep, I arrived!

The shows were tons of fun! I worked with Andrew Rivers, who I hadn't seen since I performed with him in Iowa. I didn't get a picture, unfortunately. But, trust me, he was there.



I also got to see my good buddy, Dennis Bellamy. Not only is he one of my closest friends, but he's also a super hilarious comedian! I first met him when he was open miking, and he has come so far and is kicking royal butt now. Again, I forgot a picture with him, too, but I did take this one of him on stage.



On Friday, one of my good friends from high school and former debate partner's (yep, nerd alert right here) dad came to the show. I had no idea he had moved down to South Carolina, so it was great to catch up with him.



During the day, three generations of Brindles checked out Murrell's Inlet, and we also explored the boardwalk on the beach.

Ocean in the background. Not a bad view, eh?
Debating about whether I need one of these for my house.
Murrell's Inlet.

And what trip would be complete without checking out some local vegan fare? This time, we went to Bombay on the Beach (an excellent Indian buffet) and Kindbelly (this is the tofu scramble there).


On Saturday, we went to the women's march.

Baby's first protest.
So excited to run into these awesome ladies!


We showed up without signs seeing as we flew in and couldn't really fit posterboard in our carry-ons. Luckily, there were several women who gave us signs.

This march was particularly special because 2017's women's march marked two days after I found out I was going to be a mom.

The flights home were pretty uneventful, although definitely exhausting as traveling with a three-month-old just is. When we finally made it back to Michigan, we took a quick trip to Taco Bell, then my bed and I had a lovely reunion.