Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Canadian Customs

I arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba last Friday to visit my girlfriend. The first leg of my summer tour will start next Tuesday, June 6th when I head to Montreal for their Fringe Festival. With all of the recent hub-bub over border security, I find it interesting to compare the way Canada handles people heading through customs vs how the US handles things. When I went througth Canadian customs in Toronto, I guess that my story about travelling around Canada to attend theatre festivals with my solo show sounded a little fishy, so my customs declaration was marked with some red writing and I had to go and speak with another customs agent. This is the sort of thing that is likely to happen in the US as well. The agent looked at my form, looked something up on the computer, asked me a couple of questions. Stared at my customs form some more. He seemed to be pondering something. Was he going to send me to some secret detention facility outside of Ottawa. Was I going to be dragged off tortured and sexually humiliated somewhere in the hopes that I had information regarding terrorists? in I was getting a litte worried. Finally he said, "I'm just trying to figure out if you need to apply for a work permit." And that is the difference between the US and Canada when it comes to dealing with Customs. The US agents make you feel as though they think you are a terrorist. The Canadian agents make you feel as though they think you might need to fill out another form.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Big Russ

If I see Tim Russert talking about his father, whom he refers to as "Big Russ," one more time, I am going to take a hammer to my TV.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Marry Your Daughter Part 2: "Purity Ball" Pledge

Here is a "Purity Pledge" that father's are supposed to recite at "Purity Balls" (where they pretend to marry their daughters). This excerpt is from the ultra-creepy website of Focus on the Family a super creepy organization led by the ultra creepy "Dr." Dobson. I wonder if he married his daughter.
"The Pledge

I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come."

Oh man, creepy, creepy, creepy. Also, notice that the pledge involves the father declaring himself "high priest" of the family? Not A high priest. Not CO-high-priest with his wife. Just simply, the high priest. The only one capable of really getting close to God. The lord of the manor. The king of the castle. The man of the house. Man, I find this so disgusting.

Stop Promiscuity: Marry Your Daughter

Warning: This entry contains Sarcasm The May 7, 2006 issue of the New York Times Magazine has an article entitled "Contra-Contraception," by Russell Shorto. The article is about fundamentalist organizations who are against birth control. That's right, the Catholic church no longer has a monopoly on this idiotic view. The evangelical wing of the Religious Right is moving in the same direction. Here is an eerie excerpt from the story: "Leslee Unruh, a 51-year-old former motivational speaker who says that her life was transformed in 1984 by the psychological devastation wrought by having an abortion, is the doyenne of the abstinence movement...In addition to providing an information center for the abstinence industry that has blossomed in recent years, she takes her message directly to the kids...she sponsors "Purity Balls," which fathers attend with their teenage daughters." Ewww. The author continues, "'We think the relationship between fathers and their daughters is the key,' she told me. At the purity ball, a father gives a "purity ring" to his daughter - a symbol of the promise she makes to maintain her virginity for her future husband. Then, during her marriage ceremony, the daughter gives the ring to her new husband." Ewww. "Abstinence Clearinghouse's Web site advertises the purity ball as an event 'which celebrates your "little girl," and her gift of sexual purity." Creepy. This actually reminds me of Jessica Simpson, whose father declared on "Newlyweds" that he had given a "promise ring" to Jessica when she was a teenager. She in return promised to wait until marriage to have sex. He also mentioned something about being the only man in her life until she found a husband. Clearly, marrying her father at a young age helped Jessica Simpson become the role model of purity and chaste integrity that she is today.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Face Man

I sit for this 5 year-old boy a couple times a week. Last week as he was putting his pajamas on he starts singing "Baby Got Back." Now when I hear him start to sing this I am little concerned. I mean, where did he hear this song? Then, I feel a little embarassed, because the song only gets dirtier from that point on. Luckily, according to this 5 year-old the song goes like this, "When a girl walks in with an itty, bitty face." And that is where it ends. He would laugh and then say, "Isn't that funny? An itty bitty face!" and then he would sing it again; "When a girl walks in with an itty bitty face..." Whew. Long, difficult explanation avoided.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Elevator asshole

The other day I was walking towards an open elevator. There was a guy in front of me also headed towards the elevator. As we got within a few feet the elevator closed with a few people inside it. the guy in front of me was really pissed that the people in the elevator hadn't held it for us. I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Sometimes it's just hard to find the open button in time. Anyway, the guy was so pissed that he hit the elevator request button really hard and yelled "thanks a lot assholes!" in this really loud voice. At which point, since he'd hit the button the elevator opens and he is suddenly face to face with the 5 people he just called assholes.

The moral of the story is this; if your gonna call someone an asshole through a steel door make sure that door isn't opening anytime soon. Ryan Paulson

Find out about Ryan's solo comedy "PENTECOSTAL WISCONSIN"

Monday, May 01, 2006

Spanish vs. Tongues

The insightful blog Jusiper has a link to an article in The Washington Post, describing the pentecostal movement among Latino people, especially in developing countries. Don't they have enough to deal with without having to speak in tongues? Speaking in Spanish is cool. Speaking in tongues is... just kind of humiliating.

"Pentecostal Wisconsin" headed to Scotland

The Gilded Balloon, a performance venue in Edinburgh, Scotland has recently decided to produce my solo comedy "Pentecostal Wisconsin" for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this coming August. This is the biggest festival of it's kind in the world, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 shows being presented. In addition to Scotland, I will also be touring Canada (I love those Canadians!), visiting Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Vancouver and Winnipeg. At the end of this summer, Pentecostal Wisconsin will have been seen in 7 cities and 3 countries worldwide. For more info on specific dates, click on the link "My Solo Comedy" in the sidebar, or just type the address in: If you have any friends in the UK or elsewhere who are planning to attend the festival, point them to my website where they can see a clips of the show and get more info. Thanks.