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.