Monday, March 1, 2010


I was terribly lazy and down in the dumpsy for a solid chunk of February. Typically March is the month of despair but I'm glad I got it out of my system a little earlier this time around. Anywho, I have decided this is FAKE IT 'TIL I MAKE IT MARCH.

If I fake that things are totally awesome and that I feel really hopeful and positive and healthy, then by law of osmosis, these qualities will become abundant in my life. Last year I gave in to the winter doldrums and only compounded that fact by being mostly broke and also putting myself up to a no pizza eating for 30 days challenge. Things were bleak!

This year I think I can just cool it with the restrictive "no this, no that" attitude and think in positive terms such as "add more writing, add some classes, get busier doing things you love". The bad, limiting habits usually can't keep up their normal pace when you attack from a positive angle. I've realized that spending so much time and effort trying to pinpoint what my problems are is just another excuse to stay inactive and uncreative.

Fuck it---I've got flaws, but nothing so awful that I can't finish a book proposal or write a script. Stupid negative thinking! Just pop some vitamin D and keep on truckin'.

Anyway, I am excited and honored to have been nominated for this cool ECNY award as "Best Female Stand-Up". I get kind of weird and shy about being recognized for something when it actually does happen, but shine on you crazy diamond and stop playing it small! Anyone could win this title and it just feels great to be rewarded for doing a good job at stand-up! There, I said it! I've fought really hard to make sense of my life since moving here almost 4 years ago and to be considered a NYC comic and a good one at that feels FUCKING great!

In other news I made a delicious omelet with provolone, asparagus and red pepper and it is totally contributing to this great mood I'm in today.

Here is a video of me performing a few weeks ago and the link to vote for me if you want to!

Hope you all get pumped about whatever it is you do and love. And if you're not, this is the month to start fakin' it 'til you make it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Expanding Forehead

This is a new segment in which I, Brooke Van Poppelen, aka health expert and Uninsured Hypochondriac field all sorts of medical questions based on years of terrified google researching and Web MD browsing to try and figure out what the hell was going on with my failing health. Feel free to submit questions about what seems to be ailing you and I will do my best to give you an internet based answer devoid of contemporary medical facts.

Dear Uninsured Hypochondriac, I am not sure if something like this even exists, but I feel that I may be suffering from some latent symptoms of FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome). Is this even possible? I am 28.


Dear Beerpongchamp,

Anything's possible if you want it badly enough. I have done a little bit of trolling about on the interweb in search of what I call AOFAS (adult onset fetal alcohol syndrome). Individual's suffering from this little known, made up disease have a propensity for drinking way too much alcohol and also performing poorly when it comes to analytical thinking and math.

This disease rears it's large, ugly forehead around the time of college and generally can continue into your mid to late 30's if an individual resides in NYC or Los Angeles.
The good news is that you can blame your binge drinking and learning disabilities on your mother instead of sobering up and getting a math tutor. ( I know, right? ) In cases more severe where you notice an elongation and widening of the forehead, use this picture as reference to know whether or not you should go to a walk-in clinic immediately.


Also, have you tried loosening your visor? That could be contributing to pressure build-up in your skull, forcing it to expand and cutting off oxygen to vital thought process centers of the brain.

Just know, you're not alone. For a very long time I thought I was suffering from AOFAS (not to be confused with FAO Schwartz disease) and then after a 12-step program realized all brain damage I experienced was entirely my fault, which led me to drink again.

AOFAS, while survivable, is best blamed on others.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wheat; The Silent Killer. (Of Your Social Life)

This is a new segment in which I, Brooke Van Poppelen, aka health expert and Uninsured Hypochondriac field all sorts of medical questions based on years of terrified google researching and Web MD browsing to try and figure out what the hell was going on with my failing health. Feel free to submit questions about what seems to be ailing you and I will do my best to give you an internet based answer devoid of contemporary medical facts.

Dear Uninsured Hypochondriac,

Lately all of my gal pals seem to be no fun to eat at restaurants with. One by one, they have all claimed to have a gluten (wheat) allergy and now have very restricted diets. This has really been upsetting to my social life and has caused me to have some digestive disturbance. I am thinking I too am allergic to wheat. How do I find out for sure?

Wheaties— the Breakfast of Cramps

Dear Wheaties,

Being utterly and completely effected by even the mention of a disease, ailment, or allergy, I feel your gastric pain. I too was once temporarily allergic to wheat and that was a harrowing year of my life being restricted to rice cakes and lettuce wraps, but boy oh boy was I thin! Man was I thin! I wish I could show you a photo of how pretty and thin I was when I had my wheat allergy.

But let’s get back to the topic at hand.

Gluten allergy is very prevalent in white, middle to upper class America, especially in females with too much time on their hands. It is the inability to digest gluten, which is the binding agent in wheat, and over time it causes your intestines to become porous. This prevents beneficial nutrients from being absorbed and can lead to toxins and waste escaping from your intestines and into your bloodstream. Or at least that’s what I read on the internet. I do know for sure that gluten is basically found in every type of food that tastes good and it causes a lot of stomach pain, IBS, and worst of all bloating.

You should definitely freak out about this. I say get on the internet NOW and start google-searching all of the symptoms and make sure none of them are fatal, which, unfortunately, one of them always is so just keep your fingers crossed that it’s not the symptom you’re experiencing.

There are a lot of reasons why your stomach could be upset. Did you ingest bleach at any point this week? Did anyone have to administer the Heimlich Maneuver on you in the past 2 weeks? Did you eat a heaping bowl of Kashi Good Friends Cereal this morning? That stuff will fuck you up.

Okay, so you’ve answered ‘no’ to the above questions and we can start narrowing this down to the answer you want to hear.

In my personal journey, there seemed to be a strong correlation between anxiety and having an upset stomach. The anxiety would cause me to stress eat and binge drink, therefore resulting in horrible stomach pain the next day, leading me to diagnose myself with temporary wheat allergy.

It sounds to me like the envy you are feeling towards your girlfriends and their new, lithe frames, is causing you to have gluten intolerance. Let’s hope and pray I’m right so you can start making sense of this nightmare and immediately eliminate all wheat and flour from your diet.


Uninsured Hypochondriac

the silent killer

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Get Organizized!

Many of you are wondering aloud, "How does Brooke Van Poppelen intend to keep up her break-neck pace of success in 2010?"

Well my friends, I am going to let you in on a little secret of the stars: The Dry-Erase Board.

To me, a dry-erase board means business. No longer is it the passive-aggressive communication tool used by 22 year-old housemates who hate one another for not doing the dishes. Nay. It is now a powerful tool in which adults can clearly keep goals listed in front of their face and erase them with ease* once accomplished.

I have yet to succumb to the addictive nature of an Iphone, let alone a Crackberry and for some reason even a planner does nothing more for me than inform me of the things I just failed to show up for.

Many days I have to fill out a dry-erase board to stay on target as my mind is operated by squirrels. Squirrels who have a drinking problem. The more visual and tangible my goals are the better because I often lose track very quickly. With a dry-erase board, I can literally pass out drunk at my desk and wake up face down on my goals. There's just no escaping them with this method!

The old days of keeping tattered notepads, notebooks, scraps of paper, wrappers, napkins and beer coasters in a giant pile of "to-do" is long gone. Presto! I just keep buying more dry-erase boards! They're literally covering every inch of my room but my goals are undoubtedly present and tough to ignore. Like really tough to ignore and sort of in the way... I can't find my laptop and purse underneath all of these boards. Fuck, where are my keys?

Anyhow, this year I have even loftier goals than ever before although admittedly last year's goal of "get up before noon at least 3 days/week" was not that hard to achieve in the first place.

This year phrases like "live with more clarity" and "know thy purpose" are scribbled all over the place along with things like "clean the juicer" ( have you ever owned of of these things? Fan-fucking-tastic until you use it once and have to clean the son of a bitch and extract carrot and kale pulp from the 15 pieces you have to disassemble and reassemble each time you want 6 ounces of juice.) Anyway, I let mine go for about 3 months, wrapped it in a plastic bag and have ignored it ever since. I am truly terrified of what sort of compost monster I've created in the dark, dewey recesses of this machine but I'm pretty sure if eaten, could cure you of a venereal disease.

Point being, we should all try something that scares us. Goshdarnit, I am going to find out once and for all just how bad my credit score is. Tiny goals are good to mix in with the big ones too so that you can actually cross something off your list. I'm a big fan of writing something down that I just did which may not have even been a goal but it sure feels good to draw a line through something that's actually happened, intentional or not.

So for all of you, your first goal for 2010 is to go out and get a Dry-Erase Board(s) and join the ranks of brilliant and wildly successful individuals who know better than to set their goals in stone. Erasable marker my friends, erasable marker.

*some goals may take longer than others and in cases such as these a mere finger swipe will not cut it. Simply wet a paper towel and scrub vigorously, but not so vigorously as to accidentally remove a different goal or affirmation from the list.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

That Time of Year...

Christmas Eve, 2007.

I’m alone in Queens with a chihuahua-- pet sitting for a newly-wed couple who has dashed off to France for their anniversary. They are both blonde, attractive, and clearly, more successful than me.

They didn’t exactly say I could help myself to anything in their fridge, but I figured I would anyway.

There’s nothing in the fridge.

I try the freezer.

Paquita Borgita Jimenez the Chihuahua sits at my feet and stares expectantly up at me.

Jackpot. I’ve found a box of Lean Pockets with exactly one left inside.

I watch as my Christmas Eve dinner rotates on a little glass plate in the microwave and know this is some kind of new, personal low.

After consuming the stolen lean pocket, guilt washes over me because I have a well documented history of stealing food and I don’t want this couple to know my fat secret. So I suit up and set out on foot to brave the cold and find a grocery store that’s open on Christmas Eve. The closest one is located across a 4 lane highway.

Instrumental holiday standards pour out of a tinny speaker as I scan the aisles for the frozen food. I buy a brand new box of Lean Pockets, and also the world’s scratchiest, pre-packaged pajamas because I had forgotten to pack mine. They are red and have snowflakes on them. How appropriate.

I scurry back across the highway and into the apartment and am greeted by the nervous little animal.

As I go to replace the box of Lean Pockets, I realize that I only need to replace 1. If I replace the whole package, they will know I took their food. Now what?

Wait until morning.

The answer will come, and surely you’ll be hungry again, Brooke.

Actually, I am hungry now so I heat up 2 more and decide to have a 3rd for breakfast. Christmas Eve dinner has become comical.

I sit on the chair with Paquita and her eyes bulge out at me in a needy fashion as she daintily perches herself on my lap.

“This is human food!” I yell at her with my mouth full of toxic chemicals that have been rendered into food.

A small crispy flake of the “pocket” flies out of my fat face and she greedily snaps it up and quickly wants more.

Great. I’ve created a begging machine.

I change into my recently purchased pajamas and hunker down onto the sofa, looking like a grumpy elf with a bowl haircut. The itchy, unwashed material is uncomfortable and I begin to scratch around the collar. Paquita has mounted my left arm and begins humping. I catch a glimpse of this dismal scene in the black, empty television screen and don’t like what I see.

“Next year will be better” I vow, not realizing next year is almost a week away.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see two, lightning quick, grey blurs dart past me from behind the television.

It seems as though I will now be pet sitting for one chihuahua and two mice.

I don’t mind though because I have seen enough movies to feel that mice are craftier than they are pesky and I’m secretly hoping that because it’s Christmas Eve, when I wake in the morning the entire apartment will have been transformed into a tiny, winter wonderland.

I wake up. Nothing is different. Paquita is standing on my chest staring at me. I heat up my last Lean Pocket for breakfast and wonder what the big fuss concerning holidays is all about anyhow.

And then my phone rings and from 600 miles away I can hear my mother’s voice and feel the warmth of home radiate through my broken cell phone. “Merry Christmas” she says, “The holidays sure aren’t the same without you.”

I look around me---the empty apartment is silent, the sky is grey.

And for the first time, in a long time, I couldn’t… agree… more.

Friday, December 11, 2009

NY is Retarded is childhood friends with "I Hate LA"

To my massive amounts of followers, I just wanted to pimp out my very dear friend Suzi Barrett who quite frankly needeth no pimping. But, since I just spent a fabulous weekend with her after seeing her in the very funny show Worst Laid Plans I thought I would give her a shout out. Afterall, Suzi and I glued a pube beard onto a dude who passed out at a party. That is a good friend.

This is her hilarious video called "I Hate LA" that has got the interweb's panties into a hilarious bunch.

Even though she's on the opposite coast, this vid couldn't be more in tune with the spirit of "NY is Retarded".


Saturday, November 7, 2009

No Stylist Left Behind

I posted an article on about how it feels to be on the receiving end of a bad haircut even after you've been to great lengths to verbally and visually explain what you're going for.

After having this happen to me for the umpteenth time because most hairdressers can't wrap their minds around the concept of curly hair being longer when it's wet, I was graced with the only retribution one can receive after getting a "mom" haircut--- slight physical harm bestowed upon the offending stylist that occurred in a completely unrelated way.


Well, glory be--- the style experts over at ALLURE magazine online got a hold of my post and lightly chided my dark humor. Always quick with a tip, ALLURE solicited a real stylist for advice on how to avoid a bad haircut and well, I mean--- DUH. The tips were a bit basic and the only thing I can think is that this poor guy deals with the most vapid and rude clients, or he cuts hair for the elderly--"It is not the time to flip through a magazine, make calls on your cell, or slip into a catnap."


The ALLURE article got picked up and posted by Yahoo News and the comment boards are all a-titter with the warring factions of stylists and individuals wronged by stylists.

I LOVE reading comment boards because it is truly where the most acute spellers and writers can hash out their opinions in a public forum. It's like watching Springer.

Now I know that to some this could be viewed as empty-headed content representative of how the internet is sending society right down the tubes. Sure. I can agree that this topic is sort of fluffy.

BUT, what if I inspire just one person to get so angry about a bad haircut they have been victimized by that they stand up for themselves? What if they walk away from the salon that has been terrorizing their life, demand a refund, and hold the hairdresser accountable for their crime? What if this single act profoundly influences a person's esteem and they decide that there really is something to the saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world"?

This person then begins a campaign to better educate the beauty industry called "No Stylist Left Behind" and also teaches customers of hair salons to make informed choices. As a result the public expresses the desire for more transparency in the industry and before we know it, we are a country that not only has the right to Universal health care and education, but ALSO a phenomenal haircut that both flatters and frames our faces.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a 2 o'clock appointment for highlights and hair extensions at Fantastic Sam's where afterward I will be speaking in the lounge about how YOU can get involved in local salon politics.