Sunday, December 20, 2009

Episode 19 - The Rain City Chronicles Experience Part Two

Click here to listen to Episode 19 of the People's Program Project, featuring part two of Rain City Chronicles.

Here is the second half of the event I co-organized on Dec. 1st at Little Mountain Studios. It featured performances by...

Jenna Rogers, who sang a song (you can't really hear the guitar on the the podcast...sorry about that) and told a story about being in a band with a wizard, but I had to cut it out...

Vancouver Observer editor Linda Solomon, who talked about frenching a US president (!)...

Amanda McCuaig, who talked about taking her boyfriend home to Idaho and showing him what Republicans are really like...

Taz Van Rassel told a story about surviving life on the streets of Kitsilano (a fancy neighbourhood here in Vancouver) ...

Lizzy Karp told a story about growing up non-Mormon in Salt Lake City...

And our last performer Lisa Joyce, who talked about the first time she thought she was dying, with a fitting song to accompany it.

There was also a performance by the hilarious duo of Good Morning World, Pat Kelly and Pete Oldring. But the audio was sort fucked up so I couldn't really use it. Check them out on YouTube...they are super funny and talented.

Not sure when the next podcast will be out. Probably in the New Year. Until then, read my column and visit my Tumblr site, as those are easier to update. Happy holidays, y'all!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Episode 18 - The Rain City Chronicles Experience

Click here to listen to episode 18 of the People's Program Project.

One of the things I've been working hard on recently is a storytelling night called Rain City Chronicles. We had our first event on December 1st at Little Mountain Studios. It was a great success. We've got nothing but really positive feedback and it seems like the city is ready for this kind of thing. We plan on doing it every season so the next one should be in March. This special episode of P3 features stories by CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence, who talked about his first experience with a pacific octopus...

Rain City Chronicles co-organizer and freelancer writer Karen Pinchin, who talked about her first time getting in a car with a stranger...

Sex guy and Manhussy's Cam MacLeod, who talks about the first time he realized girls go crazy when you've had sex with them...

Talent Time's Paul Anthony, who talks about his first parentless road trip...

And me. I told a story about the first time I sang with Belle and Sebastian on stage...

Music is by Basil Waugh...

I'll try to have the second half of the evening out in podcast format by next week. In the meantime, enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm a Good Story

The Vancouver Observer is letting me write a column. It's gonna be weekly. Click here to read it. Follow along if you can! Also...

The first Rain City Chronicles storytelling night, which is being organized by Lizzy Karp, Karen Pinchin and myself, is happening on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Little Mountain Studios. It is going to be amazing, to say the least. The theme is first, to honour our first event. I'm gonna try to record the night for my podcast so stay tuned.

Storytellers will include:

Paul Anthony

Lizzy Karp
Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring
Grant Lawrence
Ayma Letang
Elianna Lev
Karen Pinchin
Taz van Rassel
Linda Solomon

Featuring musical performances by:

Lisa Joyce
Jenna Rogers
Basil Waugh

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That's Right

To listen to the People's Program Project, click here.

It has been a while, hasn't it? I have been busier than ever and out of town so no hard feeling, alright?

Something very exciting is scheduled to happen either this week or next so stay tuned.

No podcast for a while longer but soon enough. I'm co-organizing a storytelling night at Little Mountain with some really great storytellers (myself included) on Dec. 1st but I'll promote that in more details when it's a little more organized. It's a-coming.

Ok, first off, our friends at Vancouver Is Awesome are doing a donation drive. Please consider donating 'cause they are, well, awesome. Very posicore, very community focused, very supportive. Awesome all around. Do it. Give them some money.

Next, we have some photos of my trip to NYC. It was very different than other trips - I was dealing with some internal emo issues, but luckily had some wonderful moments. Including...

Seeing my dear friend Sue and her wittle bacon-ette, Lucy. This wee little thing knows how to ask for crackers and drum sticks (as in the musical instrument, not the food) in sign language. She seriously knows how to drum. At 18 months. Not only is it incredibly cute but incredibly impressive.

Going to Rice to Riches, which is one of my favourite places on earth. I have a thing for rice pudding. They have a whole variety of flavours. It's worth a trip every few years.

Seeing my NYC friends, including my dear friend Bob. He's one of my favourite people of all time. I've known him for 10 years and it's always a blast of good vibes every single time I see him, regardless of how long it's been. Hanging out with him is a failsafe method to happiness. Also, his production company is putting out some very satisfying programming. Worth investing in cable for.

This girl is amazing. I spent a lot of time with her this time around and couldn't have asked for a better host. I found myself at very interesting, happening events that I wouldn't have otherwise. She also convinced me to get a $7.50 manicure, which was the best thing I could have ever done. (We'll get to that.)
Rachel and David put on such a beautiful wedding. So down-to-earth and downhome and unpretentious. They held it at the Polanise Terrace. And while the Poles aren't generally known for their exquisite taste (but those who have it, fucking have it,) the wedding made up for it in heart. And really, when it comes to a celebration of love, that's the only things that matter. Here's the beautiful, happy couple...

The next day they had a brunch for out-of-towners, which was at an authentic German beer hall. I was happy because there were plates of meat everywhere, and those were just the appetizers.

Then I stayed at a hotel called the Gershwin. It's the kind of place that sells itself on its decor, but the decor was horrendous. I have a feeling it was built by people who have no idea about taste or design or art but call things "funky." Luckily, the staff were fantastic and the location was great - right next to the equally as tacky and offensively stupid Sex Museum. Don't waste your time there. Here was my room -and my manicure, which I absolutely fell in love with. I couldn't (and can't) stop starting at it.

The weather was worse than Vancouver's pretty much the whole time I was there. That sucked. But luckily, on the last full day I was there, the rain stopped and I booted it to that big park in the middle of the city. I stumbled across a beautiful statue, called Romeo and Juliet (oh and my manicure again.)

The next morning was glorious so I got up early, hurried back to Central Park and found a statue that I've wanted to see since I was 14 and obsessed with Alice in Wonderland, after reading this book. Here it is (along with my manicure, again.)

Other highlights include: going to B EAST, which is a beautiful club thing, for some party thrown by Ryan McGinness, I believe. There were all these fancy big time artist and designer types (and Kelly Osbourne.) Unfortunately I was not prepared for such a party and felt shlepy and grumpy the whole night. But there was really fun music.

Seeing my good friend Lisa and checking out terrible comedy. We were more or less the only two people there and were heckled by the comedian on our way out.

Spending a lovely night with my friend Sam, wandering the West Village and having a good heart to heart.

So there. Glad I took the time to update things. These days I'm more prone to post things on Tumblr but I'll go back and forth till my site is finally up. Which won't be for a while. But when my exciting thingy is done in the next week or so, I'll surely let you all know. Lots to do until then. Please stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Due to popular demand...

Since I get so many hits on this site looking for anything Ali Liebert-related, I thought I'd treat you all to her auditioning for a role in a movie of the week, but as Liza! I hope she (as in Liza) gets the part.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bookmark and check back often and frequently

That's where all my links will be housed for now. At least until my full website is up. A big huge thank you to Sean Sullivan, master of everything he sets his mind to.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Not to confuse

So I'm going to keep this blog for the People's Program Project and stuff related to my career and writing. My Tumblr will be for more personal blogging. I don't have time to do much (unpaid) podcasting until maybe December, unfortunately. (That's right. I'm currently getting paid to do a podcast. More details to come when that shit's done.)

I hope this isn't confusing. Let's keep it simple. For the People's Program Project and links to stuff I've published, we've got this blogspot. For stuff about my brain, go to Tumblr. Sometimes the two will collide. I hope to have it all in one spot: but that won't be for a while yet.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Inspiration Vacation

To listen to the People's Program Project, click here.

I decided to take a day out to do nothing at home. So I'm blogging.

I'm currently taking a business course and working on a huge contract and organizing an event and doing freelance, which has been a lot of work and a lot of stress. I generally haven't been fun to be around. However, the last few nights have helped me break from my general storm cloudy mood and allowed me to feel inspired again. On early Friday morning, I went to first screening of Where the Wild Things Are. It's probably one of the best films I've ever seen. I've had a begrudging crush on Spike Jonze since this video. I know he's all cool for school but that's probably why I like him.

The book has always resonated with me. I passed it along to my little friend Audrey (pictured above) for either her first birthday or Christmas. It's timeless, eloquent, poignant. (I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said before.) Anyhow, the movie is beautiful. The puppetry or whatever you call it is awe-inspiring. The acting is great. And the story spoke to me. I think it's 'cause I apparently have a mood disorder and it's all about moods and emotions and hard they are to control and understand. So there is my review.

Then, last night, my good friend Katie took me to Jay Z as a belated birthday present. (I've been celebrating all month, and don't continue to stop until Nov 1, when I'm attending David Sedaris as part of another rad birthday gift.) I don't know what to say about a man whose marketing plan includes likening himself to God. It was really fun and inspiring. I was taken by how, unlike Mr. Jonze, Hova was totally not too cool for school. He came across as positive and incredibly grateful towards the audience. He spent a good 10 minutes pointing out to members of the audience and telling them how happy he was that they were there. At one point he said "I don't know who, but someone here is going to change the world." And a good majority of the crowd believed him. Very nice. In honour of last night, here's my favourite Jay Z video. I love how his girl in the video dances.

Oh, and this girl was very impressive too. What a performer and what a voice. And what a body.

So yah! Inspired all around. Now I need some help. Antisocial had a Vans sample sale. I can't tell if these are too Hot Topic or just fun. They're totally not me but I'm trying to wear more colour:

Can't wait for tomorrow. I'm making brunch for my Common Wealth family - a total of six people and two wee ones.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bad Realtor

Gary Shlitz from ryan anderson on Vimeo.

Check out my eye acting debut! I was told to dress as a young, urban professional, which I interpreted as Kits wife, which meant Lulu Lemon and those horrendous Guess purses.

Gary Shlitz - Tazman Vanrassel
Director - Pat Kelly
Cinematography - Ryan Anderson
Camera Op - Ryan Anderson & Thom Stitt
Editor - Ryan Anderson

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're All Clearly Unstable

To listen to the People's Program Project, click here.

I have never been busier than I am right now. It's hard to see how much I'm accomplishing, because I'm so consumed with my work, but I'm sure the payoff will be grand.

Lots going on. I've been working all night so I have to make this brief. I've included a couple of photos from my birthday roast. It was a really special and fun night. I felt a lot of love. My mum and best friend Chris were both in town for it too, making it extra special. My brain is currently fried. I need sleep. I will keep you posted when things are actually happening. The podcast will have to wait for a while as there's simply too much on my plate, but I certainly miss it.

By the way, I get a lot of traffic from people looking for the Peoples Program. (I highly recommend you watch the video on that link. I think it speaks pretty clearly.) I have nothing to do with the Peoples Program, which, btw, appears to be incredibly dodgy. But for those of you who stumble across my website looking for said "program," I really wish you all the best. Please, think clearly.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

(Mini) Episode 17

To listen to Episode 17 of the People's Program Project click here.

On this short episode, I talk about being called a whore and the conclusion I came to justifying it. I also spend a few minutes talking
about my friend Zoë Verkuylen Blilie. She's a woman of many hats, and also a good friend of mine. Which is awesome. She happens to be one of the strongest, most positive women I know.

I met her years ago after doing a thingy for CBC Radio 3 about her band Red Light Sting. We became fast friends and started watching Top Model together every Wednesday. When I was going through a bad breakup, she'd regularly take me swimming at Eileen Dailly out in Burnaby. She's also a former gymnast and coach, and once took me to this bouncy gym that's full of stunt people just hanging out, practicing stunts. It was super fun, except I jarred my back within five minutes. Here's a picture of Zoë doing her thing:

Anyhow, she's since moved to Seattle and continues to do amazing things. Some of these things include tour managing TV on the Radio and managing Sebastian Grainger. But the project I'm most excited about finds her behind the mic in a studio out in LA. She somehow managed to score a co-hosting position on a delightful radio show called Left In La, alongside David Cousin. They're really fun to listen to and I suggest you tune in. The first episode has Tunde Adebimpe, of TV on the Radio, and their second episode has thespian and songstress Scartlett Johansson. So be sure to listen to Left In La. It's really fun and Zoë and David's positivity is infectious.

Also, Zoë has a great blog, which features tour photos and other fun stuff.

I don't think I've ever been busier (or more stressed) than I am right now. Luckily I took a few days out to decompress before I throw myself back into it. In that time, I checked out some of the Vancouver Comedyfest. Some highlights included:

*Watching a heckler think he could piss off Todd Barry at the Vogue and Mr. Barry, along with the whole audience, tearing the moron a new one.

*Giving Paul F. Tompkins a guided historic tour of Granville Street.

*Reggie Watts' coke comedown "song."

*These girls, my hopefully new best friends, singing this song.

*Picnicface, in general.

*Local boy Taz VanRassel holding his own among some big players, including this guy from the Office and this fellow, from 30 Rock.

Oh, and I'm looking to interview someone with Tourettes Syndrome. It's research for my book. So if you'd like to share your experience having the syndrome, please get in touch.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Episode 16 - The Paul Anthony Experience

To listen to Episode 16 of the People's Program Project, click here!

Paul Anthony is a actor, "singer" and host of Talent Time. Here are some links to things we talked about on this podcast episode...

  • Here's a video of the Candy Girls Cabaret, performed without irony, which is aok!

  • When Paul is asking me if I seduced comedian Ryan LaChance, he's referring to this article, which features an interview I did for Vice with our friend (and my favourite comedian) Phil Hanley.
  • Here's a video for the movie SUCK. There are quite a few big names in it but Paul plays a lead role. It apparently is getting a lot of press at the Toronto Film Festival.

  • Fred and Sharon, who are real and genuine. I interviewed them for the Canadian Press. (Though I can't find the article anywhere online.)

On a personal note, I've been busy making the most of the end of summer and working on some contracts and freelance and stuff. This week I'm starting a course so no more fun party times for me, or at least a scaled back version. I went to Harrison Hot Springs earlier this week for a last minute getaway. I would highly recommend it, especially if you're from Vancouver. It's so darn close. Lovely place, lovely people and the hot springs are magical. Except for the adult pool, in which couples who are lovingly floating each other around on their backs give anyone trying to reenact So You Think You Can Dance dirty looks. Here's the view from our room:

There's some exciting news I'd like to share but can't just yet. So stay tuned.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Episode 15 - The Nathan Fielder Experience

To listen to episode 15, click here.

When I was in university, I wanted to write for television. I imagined being the next David E. Kelly. I had this idea to create a series about ordinary people, like Sri Lankan dishwashers and gawky substitute teachers. Unfortunately UVic's writing program didn't focus on that style of writing so I gave up on that dream. (I write the news for City TV on occassion, but it's totally different.) So it was real neat to meet Nathan Fielder. The Vancouver-born comedian has been writing for TV since he was 23. (He's now 26.) He currently lives in LA where he writes for Important Things with Demetri Martin.

I also share an anecdote about a weird chain of restaurants here and their unavoidable hostesses.

I had some technical problems with my audio, which is why my intro sounds like I'm in an echo chamber but I kind of like it.

Also on this episode, I got my writing partner Ayma Letang to sit in and help me find my voice. Here's a picture of her and her beautiful cheekbones.

Next episode will be devoted entirely to Paul Anthony, everyone's favourite man about town. Until then, check back here for news. There's some coming on the way. And check out the Links to Click section, cause they are all worth clicking. Today I added my dear friend Sarah Steinberg's blog, which is one of my most favourite blogs ever. She's real funny and smart and stylish.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy like Sunday Morning

Look, an S&M swing horse.

My friend Daniel Perlmutter started a podcast called Sundays with Dan. He interviews me on episode two. I tried to be kind of funny but I think I need help. Dan's also one of the guys from Automatic Vaudeville, which is a funny filmmaking studio thing.

My podcast is coming soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Point Break

A few announcements.

First off, I did a really interesting interview with Nathan Fielder. You might recognize him from the times you went to your parents house and they were watching This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Well, he's in LA now, where he was hired to write for Important Things with Demetri Martin. I'm going to work on editing in the next few days and hope to have something out soon-ish.

Other upcoming episodes include the lovely and talented Lisa Joyce, Paul Anthony and Andy Dixon, who turns 30 tomorrow.

Also, my arm candy is co-hosting a show tomorrow (August 25) at the Biltmore. It's called Arrogance and it's co-hosted by Dave Shumka of Stop Podcasting Yourself (of which I'm a big fan.) It pits improvisers against comedians in the ultimate showdown. Here's the flyer.

Finally, Lightning Dust has a new album out. They're the beautiful little band who let me use their song "Wind Me Up" as the theme for my podcast. Anyhow, their new album is called Infinite Light and it's delightful. They're playing the Biltmore on Thursday here in Vancouver so be sure to come down if you're in town.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nike SB

In my three years at the Canadian Press, the article I was most proud of was the one above. I think it was a slow weekend (I worked weekends) and I wanted a reason to check out Nike's premier skate video and so I somehow made a story out of it. I remember being so frustrated that Nike turned down my request to be interviewed because I wasn't "core" media. But I have to give them credit. They know exactly what they're doing. Hence the video below.


Saturday, August 15, 2009


I'm looking for a professional photographer who'd be open to working on an exciting project ON SPEC. If it flies (which we'll make happen, obviously) it'll be awesome and good exposure. So please get in touch,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hit It

It's been an interesting little while. So much crazy stuff going on, all of which I can't talk about.

Oh hey, check it. Pink Mountaintops has a new video, directed by fellow Jew Shira Blustein. A few of my babe friends are in it:

The "lead singer," Deandra, is one of my most favourite girls alive. Her boobs almost turned me gay once. True story. The story ended with me crying, partly out of confusion and partly out of hilarity while Deandra laughed her horse, dry laugh, till she could barely breath. She's one of those rare gems who doesn't bullshit. Here's a picture of her at my best friend Chris' birthday:

Last night was the first night of Olio. My main man Nardwuar was part of an improv night where he went on stage and told his crazy stories and then some improv people interpreted them.

On the podcast front, I'm still working on a few things. Aiming to interview Paul Anthony next week and my friend who's intentionally homeless for the next six months. So keep checking back. I know you do anyways.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Episode 14

Click here to listen to Episode 14 of the People's Program Project.

After a month long hiatus, we have an episode out. And it's a great one, which includes two stories and a musical interlude by a mysterious artist who shall not be revealed. Yet.

The first story is called Long Beautiful Hair. The second one is called Not the Leavening Agent. I'm not going to give a summery, 'cause they're strong enough on their own.

So if anyone knows the French word for "yeast infection" get in touch:

Here are the pictures I promised of my tattoo, before and after (the after is a bit cropped.)

Thanks Chad, for making my life a little easier.

I just found out today that I know yet another person who's going to the Toronto Film Festival. The absolutely darling Alex Craig, along with Corey Adams, will be having the world premier of their film, Machotaildrop at the festival. Alex is one of those solid guys who blows your mind away with his niceness. The nicest man, husband and father. I'm pretty good friends with his beautiful wife Saz D, and have spent so many fun times having dance parties in their living room and lovely afternoon eating delicious food on their porch. Here's a picture of them on one of the best nights of my life. Definitely in my top ten:

So congrats to those boys. So impressed.