Friday, December 23, 2011

Folk singers and muddy windshields

Last week was definitely busy! On Thursday, I saw one of my favorite singers in the world, Melissa Ferrick, perform at the Ark in Ann Arbor. She is the best live performer I have ever seen! The show was absolutely out of this world, and I wrote a review for it over at Zoiks Online. So, um, yeah, that hyperlink is your cue to read it.

On Friday, I worked at Cali's Bar in Brookfield, Wisconsin. It was a cute, intimate room. And the best part? It was attached to the Best Western Motel in town. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Kate Brindle LOVES comedy rooms that are attached to hotels. Read: Kate Brindle LOVES stumbling home without having to worry about DUI's.

Actually, Friday night was pretty tame because I had to get up early in the morning to head to Duluth, Minnesota. In fact, at most shows, I get excited about free shots. Not this one. At this one, I was most excited by the granola at the free continental breakfast. Am I getting old or what?

On Saturday, I headed to Duluth and performed two shows at Dubh Linn Pub. Everyone was tall and blonde in Minnesota; it was like I had returned to my homeland. Both shows were sold out, and the crowds were fantastic! I had so much fun at the show. Plus, I got the added bonus of catching up with my good friend, Tim, who works at Dubh Linn. I also had the treat of working with Isaac Witty. I had never worked with him before, and I was so impressed. He's such a fantastic writer, and I definitely left the show feeling inspired.

Because I'm a master at routing (read: master at failing to look at an atlas), I had a show the following day that was 13 hours away. So, I woke up at the crack of dawn, grabbed a free coffee from the hotel (ah, the little things in life that make me happy) and headed out.

I had to drive across the top of Michigan's upper peninsula and then all the way down I-75 to get to my destination outside of Detroit. Because I was in the upper Midwest, and it snows like nobody's business here, my car was constantly being pelted with a slushy, muddy mix of yuck.

Every time I attempted to clean my windshield with wiper fluid (or, as it's known by its proper name: "squirty stuff"), my ol' Honda girl denied me. So I figured she was out of fluid. Seeing as there's not much civilization in the UP, there weren't exactly a lot of places around where I could purchase wiper solution. So instead, I pulled over every five minutes, doused my windshield with water and tried to wipe it with a napkin.

After two hours of this, I finally found a gas station where I could purchase more wiper fluid. After cursing loudly since it was so cold and my hood got stuck, I managed to lift the hood and pour the squirty stuff into the squirty canister (also a proper name). I remember thinking that the canister must be huge as I was pouring TONS of it in there and it still wasn't filling up.

About this time, my feet started getting wet. You see, it seems my squirty canister had sprung a leak, and ALL of the fluid was draining directly onto my feet.

As you can imagine, at this point, more cursing ensued.

So, for the next nine hours, I drove with my windshield looking like this:

Because I was terrified that I would hit someone or something, and because driving a car that looks like it's been through a monster truck course is not my idea of fun, it was a mixture of swearing and praying inside my car (with the occasional break to belt out Christmas music) the entire ride home.

The drive was completely worth it though because I got to be a part of comedian Mark Knope's Toys for Tots show. Mark has produced the show for three years, and this year, he invited me to do it. It went really well, and we collected several box loads of toys for kids. Here's hoping he holds a sex toy party for single women in their thirties next year. Yours truly is hoping to be the benefactor.

A group shot after the show:

It was so great to see all the other comics. Not only was everyone super funny, but it was great to catch up with old friends.

And moi on stage (probably mid-poop joke).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Michigan shows

All of my shows this past week were in Michigan. As much as I'd rather be booked in Florida right now given the snow and ice that have recently blanketed the mitten state, I do enjoy being home.

On Thursday, I performed at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant. It's not quite Vegas, but they do have a respectable buffet and a crap ton of lights, so close enough.

Seriously though, Soaring Eagle is really nice. It had always been on my list of places I wanted to go to for fun, so even better that I actually got paid to be there.

Plus, get this - they have free fountain soda! Yep, that's what I'm talkin' about! For a Diet Pepsi addict like myself, that's like a dream come true. Screw money and fame, give me complimentary, sugary carbonation, and I'm a happy gal.

Oh, and did I mention I got a bunch of Bud Light swag? Because, um, yeah, I did. Bud Light was sponsoring the comedy night, and so I got a free Bud Light t-shirt, hat, beads and keychain. Nothing like mixing drinking and car keys!

On Friday night, I performed at the Bay Mills Casino in Brimley. I had a great time at the show! The audience was fun, and I also really enjoyed watching the headliners, TC Hatter and Marcianne, perform. Their act is super unique and also super hilarious. Plus, they were both very nice (even more of a bonus). Here I am on stage:

On the way home, it snowed and sleeted like whoa, which was not so pleasant. But, I had to get back to southern Michigan quickly so I could perform at a benefit show for Camp Take Notice.

If you haven't heard of the camp, it's a grassroots tent community of homeless people currently residing in Ann Arbor. It offers an alternative approach to the traditional government and private systems that provide shelter and basic resources for the homeless. CTN’s emphasis on community among camp members and faith-based organizations is what sets it apart from other services.

There, I performed with MC Nate Armbruster.

And headliner Keith Lenart.

That's apparently what I look like when I laugh at my own jokes.

*Last three photos by Dane Gussin. Check out more of his work at:

For more information about Camp Take Notice, please see:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My first 5K and Thanksgiving!

This year, my Thanksgiving week was quite eventful! I started the holiday by completing my first ever 5K (the Stuffing Strut in downtown Detroit). I never fancied myself a runner. Heck, I never fancied myself much of an exerciser at all, really. But, for some reason, I got this crazy idea in my head around early summer that I should compete in a race. So, I started, slowly but surely, working on the Couch to 5K program, which I highly recommend. When I first started, I got winded by running for more than 45 seconds (not even kidding about that one, folks). And now, I can actually run a 5K without walking (or hyperventilating too much).

There's the finish line:

The race weather couldn't have been better (mid-50's), and since the race course was the same as the Thanksgiving parade route, there were people everywhere cheering the runners on (all 20,000 of us). I absolutely loved the energy! I was a bit concerned about how I would feel as I only slept for four hours the night before, but hearing the cheers, seeing all of the people in costume and running through downtown Detroit gave me such a surge and I was actually excited to be jogging.

In the evening, I went to my mother's house, where we made a vegan feast! On the menu this year: vegan meatloaf, stuffing (my grandma's old recipe, which I veganized), green bean casserole, apple/walnut salad, mashed potatoes, rolls and pumpkin pie.

After eating, I went into a bit of a food coma. Not before snapping some shots of my family though.

During the weekend, I performed at Leo's Komedy Korner in Windsor, Ontario. Leo's has always been one of my favorite clubs. The crowds are smart, and the staff are out-of-this-world nice. I performed with Leo DuFour and Tim Rowlands, and we had two great shows. I even had some friends of mine join me at the show, and of course, I made a stop to Tim Horton's. The best part though? I made it through the border with absolutely no hassle. So yay to not getting strip-searched!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

While I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving and gets to spend time with their families (or chosen families), I also think it's important to consider the realities of this holiday. We go around laughing and saying, "gobble, gobble." We discuss cooking techniques to get the perfect texture. We take pictures of the finished "product" (not that I am above this). But, I think we forget about how the turkeys actually got to our plates. We don't see the suffering. Instead, we sit around, listing what we are thankful for, often forgetting that they lived a life of torture. They spent their entire lives suffering so our taste buds could feel good for five minutes.

I think we must remember them today. And we must remember that our choices have ramifications.

From "The average American consumes 17 pounds of turkey meat per year, resulting in the annual slaughter of 252 million turkeys—more than 65 million of whom are killed during the winter holiday season alone.

Most farmed turkeys spend their entire lives inside overcrowded and poorly ventilated warehouses that typically house up to 25,000 birds in a single shed affording as little as one square foot of space per bird. Such stocking densities make it impossible for most birds to carry out normal behaviors and cause the turkeys to suffer from stress and disease.

After 14 to 20 weeks, turkeys are transported to slaughter without food, water, or protection from extreme temperatures. At the slaughter plant, the birds are dumped onto conveyors and hung upside down in shackles by their legs. In the United States, there is no legal requirement that poultry be rendered unconscious before they are slaughtered.

Profits have taken priority over animal welfare. Standard industry practices cause turkeys to experience both acute and chronic pain. The treatment of these animals would be illegal if anti-cruelty laws applied to farm animals. But in the United States, unlike many other countries, there is no federal legislation protecting turkeys (or other poultry) on the farm, in transit, or during slaughter; and most state anti-cruelty statutes do not apply to farm animals.

This sort of cruelty is entirely preventable. And it's so easy to have a vegan Thanksgiving. For a list of delicious, cruelty-free recipes, I urge you to visit the follow sites:

Mercy for Animals

Veg Web


I know it’s easy to forget about what really goes into the food on your plate, but I think it’s especially important to remember today. I hope we can all be thankful for compassion and practice it ourselves by having a cruelty-free holiday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Black bears, beer and fake bakes

I performed in White Pine, Michigan this past weekend. When the booking email went around saying which gigs were available, I saw "Michigan," and thought, wow, that'd be great to be home for the weekend. So I put it for it. When I got the itinerary, it dawned on me what a large state Michigan truly is. Turns out, White Pine is roughly ten hours from my house. So much for being home for the weekend.

But, alas, I grabbed some of my best music (read: boy band cassette tapes) and self-help/meditation MP3's (personal growth and getting your life together seem like a great way to kill a long drive, right?), and I was off. The drive wasn't too bad, and it flew by fairly quickly. And bonus for the Mackinac Bridge actually being open this time around (unlike last time I was there).

After driving in nothingness for what seemed like hours, I finally arrived at the gig. I was quite shocked to find I was going to be performing in an entertainment complex. This place had a tanning salon, bowling alley, and bar. That's, like, the trifecta of fun right there (AKA heaven to the cast of Jersey Shore)! It also had hotel rooms and a spa attached to it (yay for being able to stumble home after the doing several shots).

Before the show, I perused the hotel's bookshelf and found this:

Unfortunately, it didn't contain any material I could actually use in my set.

A picture of the spa (yes, that sign does contain a warning to watch for black bears):

The show was really fun! And it was packed. The town seemed so small, and I was pleased that they were able to get such a great turn-out. And I sold a ton of bumper stickers ($70 worth to be exact). Congratulations, Yoopers, you just set a new merch record!

White Pine is in a really beautiful area. It borders Lake Superior and the Porcupine Mountains. If you haven't ever made your way up there, I recommend it.

Here are some pictures that I tried to make all artsy-fartsy with my new iPhone app. I took these the morning after the show. It would have been ten times more tranquil had I not been hungover.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Halloween Extravaganza!

I absolutely love Halloween. In the words of Celine Dion, I lurve it! In the words of 50 Cent, I love it like a fat kid loves cake. So, as you can imagine, I was quite excited that, this year, I got to have a week's worth of Halloween festivities.

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, I performed at the Laugh Riot Dolls' Halloween Show at Joey's Comedy Club in Livonia, Michigan. It was so wonderful to perform with many of the funny women of Detroit, and of course, it was great to bust out a Halloween costume a week early.

Pre-show in my apartment. Definitely the most revealing outfit I've ever worn on stage.

Backstage at Joey's Comedy Club with Upchuck the Clown from Psychopathic Records. Juggalos of the world: be jealous, be very jealous.

Some of the other dolls from the show:

The following weekend, I headed to Rochester, Minnesota to perform at Goonie's Comedy Club for the first time. I had heard great things about the club (awesome audiences, really kind staff, etc.), and it definitely lived up to its reputation! Everyone was super nice there, and the audiences were smart and attentive.

Plus, the hotel (the Hilton Downtown) rocked! You know you're in a nice hotel when your room has mouthwash, a shower cap, and a lack of blood stained carpeting.

Not only did it have a nice workout room and pool, but it also had a refrigerator and microwave, which allowed me to make dinner every night. I swear, I'm going to write a cookbook and hotel room cooking (said book will feature ways to use the iron to make toast and coffee maker to make ramen noodles).

On Saturday night, nearly everyone at the club dressed up. Thinking nobody else would actually follow thru, I forwent my Halloween costume. However, when I walked in and saw people costumed as everything from Bat-Woman to a lime wedge, I was instantly filled with regret.

Pre-show shenanigans.

Simon Zais on stage. One playboy bunny jumpsuit + a ten minute MC spot = guts.

With Simon Zais (who MCed) and Jack Willhite (who headlined).

With the Goonie's staff.

After returning home from Rochester, Drew and I decided to embrace the sluttiness that has become Halloween. Yes, we actually left the house like this.

Due to the economic downturn, strip clubs have developed a multi-tier program. The one on the left is for men who've already had five pitchers of PBR.

Drew is having a hard time finding work as a writer.

When Drew told his parents he was going back to school, this is not quite what they envisioned.

A nurse and a schoolgirl walk into a bar...

Sadly, since Halloween fell on a Monday, not very many other people were in costume. But, as you can see, that didn't stop us from rocking our skank-tacular outfits.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Top Ten Halloween Songs

This post originally appeared on

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. It's a great time to get together with friends, eat candy…and look like a total skank. That's the trifecta of fun, right there. In honor of the holiday, I have put together a list of my favorite ten songs:

1. "Freaks Come Out at Night" by Whodini – Not only is this song quite danceable, but the lead singer's leather cowboy hat (and open leather shirt ensemble) is sure to send chills down anyone's spine.

2. "Nightmare on My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – Who doesn't like a circa-1980's hip hop beat thrown over some scary horror movie theme music?

3. "Tubular Bells Pt. 1" by Mike Oldfield – Honestly, I had no idea this song was even in The Exorcist. I just remember enjoying it on my Pure Moods complication CD, which was in constant rotation during my first year of college. So, I've included it for nostalgia purposes. Lucky for you readers, I've left all of the other music I listened to in the late 90's off the list.

4. "Thriller" by Michael Jackson – Alas, what Halloween list would be complete without this little gem?

5. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard – Okay, this one might be a bit of a stretch. But, I figured nearly everyone eats candy on Halloween (my apologies to the diabetics of the world). Candy contains sugar, hence the song.

6. "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell – Never has getting stalked sounded so good.

7. "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt – If you jump around enough while listening to this tune, you might even get abs like those belonging to Gwen Stefani.

8. "The Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show – I dare you not to dance to this one (or, have an unexplainable urge to wear black garters and fishnet stockings)!

9. "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Picket – Of course I had to include this classic. I'm still partial to the original, but since its first recording, several bands have covered it, including the Smashing Pumpkins and the Misfits.

10. "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr. – This song still makes me long to have a proton pack.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Casinos, cops and hummus

Fun, but uneventful shows last week, which is exactly how I like it seeing as "eventful" usually means a tale of an audience member hurling something on stage or throwing up in their seat. On Wednesday, I worked at the Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan. Mike Baldwin, who I think is absolutely hilarious, was the headliner.

That's me, Mike and Gary Fields, who runs the room.

It was nice to catch up with them both, since I hadn't seen Gary in a year, and the last time I saw Mike was at Laugh Detroit in March. In fact, my last memory with him was talking and shoveling hummus into our faces while the cops showed up at the after-party.

I'll let it be a mystery whether anyone got arrested and hauled off, bare-chested, television COPS-style.

But, I will say that if you're thinking of applying to the Laugh Detroit festival (plug alert!), you should. In what other cities do cops come bust up hummus-eating chatfests?

After the shows, I managed to actually pocket my money and stay the heck off the slot machines. Sorry, Firekeepers, but I'm not helping you build your new least not this time anyway. I'm sure I'll be contributing to the chandeliers in the lobby the next time I decide to play Black Jack though.

On Saturday, I played at the Treehouse Lounge in Bloomington, Illinois. I was in for another treat with the headliner because at this show I worked with Mike Stanley. Not only is he mega-funny and super nice, but he's originally from Michigan and writes like a fiend! I always get so inspired by people who are constantly creating and trying new material.

Unfortunately, we had a pretty light crowd. But, the people who were at the show were really awesome. They laughed like crazy and even tagged jokes when appropriate. Plus, I sold two bumper stickers, which translates to selling to 25% of the crowd.

If only I could have those odds at shows where there are 3,000 people in the crowd.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sense or Humor

This weekend, I traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin to perform. It was quite the adventure getting up there. I purposely planned my trip so I could arrive at the hotel with a couple hours to spare before my show. Normally when I do out-of-town shows, I like to allow myself time to check out the town, go over my notes and, of course, take advantage of the hotel's free cable.

I had planned to cross the Mackinac Bridge from the lower peninsula to the upper at around 2 pm. Unfortunately, right before I was about to cross, several police officers made everyone exit the highway and told us that they were closing the bridge.

I tried to remain calm.

"How long will it be closed for?" I asked.

"Oh, at least four hours," was his response.


I immediately began to have a slight heart attack as four hours meant I would cross at 6 pm, and I still had nearly four more hours of driving to reach my destination.

But, instead, I used the time to pull into a Burger King parking lot, steal their wifi and get some much needed work done (namely: checking various facebook status updates).

While in the parking lot, I heard stories being tossed around that the closure was due to a huge accident where a semi was actually hanging over the bridge.

Um, whoa.

I never found out exactly what happened, but they finally opened the bridge right before 6 pm. I then drove like a bat out of hell to the gig, and I quickly changed in a Taco Bell parking lot. Modesty be damned when the masses need to be entertained (and when I say masses, I mean 50 or so people)!

I arrived at the show (at Pasquali's in Neguanee, Michigan) with ten minutes to spare. Phew! I tried to calm my nerves and give my stomach a pep talk so she wouldn't continue to do flip-flops (thinking I was going to miss the show had me quite worked up).

The show was a lot of fun (I worked with headliner Mike Mercury, who is hilarious!), and we had a huge turn-out! After the show, I sold quite a few bumper stickers, and enjoyed some vegan pizza and beer with audience members (a big thank you to Clark, the owner, and his family for making me food and taking such good care of me).

Since I was in such a rush pre-show, I wasn't able to check into the hotel until after the show. Well, by that time, the hotel owners had gone home so I wasn't able to do so. Instead, I got to stay with Clark's parents, who were so very kind and hospitable to offer their home to me. I got to stay in the "grandkid room" (complete with stuffed animals and Dallas Cowboy sheets), which made me miss staying with my own grandmother.

On Saturday, I headed to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. I had some time to kill during the day, so I did some fun, touristy things like taking a nap in the Walmart parking lot and charging my iphone in the Kwik Trip gas station. The outlet was conveniently located near the ATM. You truly haven't lived until you've spent several hours smelling the liquor on the breath of random strangers who are withdrawing money to buy more alcohol.

The show was a lot of fun. The audience was nice, and they indulged my jokes about Sweetest Day (which I only bust out once per year). Unfortunately, Mike Mercury got sick and wasn't able to do the show. But, instead, I got the chance to work with my friend, Mike Marvell. So it was nice to catch up with him.

Looksy what I found when I arrived at the gig:

That's right, I graced the cover of the Lakeshore Entertainer. The cover is kind of like the hidden pictures game in Highlights magazine, only instead of trying to spot a teacup or a ring, you have to spot what's wrong. For starters, it says sense or humor. thinks they might need to fire their proofreader(if they even have one).

There are a couple other things that crack me up, namely that being a girl with a sense of humor (er, make that sense or humor) is so rare that it's cover story worthy.

But, hey, I'm still pretty excited that I got to share top billing with a polka act. Only in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ode to my various neighbors - in haiku form

Drunken college guys
Screaming on their balconies
Can't wait till they puke

TV, music, talk
I hear everything you do
Oh, I miss silence

Really loud music
I like Lady GaGa, too
Not at 1 a.m.

Bulls in china shop
is what you sound like daily
Please lose some weight now

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Week Fun

Like most people on this earth, I had a birthday this year. Mine was in August. The 14th, in case anyone wants to write that down for future reference (oh, and my favorite gifts = Bud Light and cash).

I had nearly a week long celebration, because, hey, why not take advantage of free food and free booze for as long as possible?

I started in Canada, and performed at Leo's Komedy Korner in Windsor, Ontario.

That's right - I'm an international comedian. World-renowned, if you will.

At the show with my friend, Mike. I promise I didn't pay him to wear that.

The following day, I performed with my good friend, Eric Kirkland, in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Sadly, we weren't able to eat at a BD's Mongolian BBQ (as is our tradition every time we work together), but we still had a lot of fun (and managed to sell quite a bit of merchandise).

On, Monday, I had the chance to attend a book-signing with The Humane Society of the United States' CEO, Wayne Pacelle. He spoke for nearly an hour, and was so inspiring! He reflected on the animal rights movement, gave information on recruiting new members and provided a guide for how to work to make legal and attitudinal changes. I can't wait to read his book.

That's me and my friend, Molly, trying not to look like groupies.

Molly again. This time she's demonstrative why I love Ann Arbor so much: you never know when you might run into a violin-playing wolf on a street corner.

After listening to the wolf man play for a little while, it was onto vegan cupcakes and slurpees. You know what time it is.

Molly and Brianna, who were in desperate need of more Alienaide (because, really, can one ever have enough frozen, sugary, mock alien blood?).

What? Don't you pose for pictures in parking garages. Anyone who's anyone does that.

Also on my birthday week? My bestie, Brent, came to visit. It was so wonderful to see him, especially at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, where we both started doing comedy.

Of course, we took turns posing with Roger, who owns the club.

The night before my actual birthday, I traveled to Wisconsin to perform here:

And then celebrated with my family and main squeeze...and of course my other main squeeze, Three Buck Chuck.


Right after Chairman Meow declared that all of these birthday shenanigans are beneath him.

My delicious vegan cake to celebrate my fifth birthday.

And there you have it, my 22nd birthday celebration. 'Twas lovely!