Denver Underground: Drunken History New Orleans at the Diebolt Brewery



On Thursday evening, I visited the Sunnyside neighborhood of Denver for the Goldfish Entertainment production, Drunk Historians Mardi Gras: History of New Orleans! Two blocks down Mariposa Street, past a laundry mat and some warehouse space, Diebolt Brewing Company is a locally-owned small business that hosts events such as comedy and variety shows, beer unveilings, drunken science lessons, wedding receptions, and hipster adult-thrown children’s parties. (Doesn’t everyone want a certain level of intoxication to bare ten to thirty children screaming and running around; or, is it just me?)



In the back room separate from the bar area, wooden storage barrels second as standing bar tables scattered around the room. Folding chairs line about eight rows, prepared to seat an audience in front of a small, low stage. Set with professional lighting, the dichotomic stage setup also consists of the industrial garage door of the warehouse space as the backdrop. We are in the Diebolt brewery, where Diebolt brews seasonal beers such as the “Reunion Island Gose beer” made with pink peppercorns, French grey sea salt, and then kettle-soured with Lactobacillus or the “Polynesian Biere de Garde” brewed with toasted coconut, cacao nibs, and vanilla bean, along with their year-round IPA, double IPA, and Porter. Behind a retractable belt divider like you would find in a theatre for crowd control, my eyes scan large silver fermenters, shelving housing large bags of starter grains, and other miscellaneous equipment to make beer. I feel like I’m in the underground Denver, a backroom unknown to tourists and visitors.



After enjoying the open, industrial space early in the evening by practicing a few one-handed ball juggles and some plate balancing, I turned my view to the stage for the first act. Comedian Cory Stevens started off this New Orleans’ version of Drunk History with beads braided around his arms and head to the point of entrapping him in Mardi Gras’ reality. Although he didn’t quite educate me on the history of New Orleans other than by touching upon how the laws around nudity have become restricted during the infamous yearly Mardi Gras celebrations, Cory still knew how to make an audience laugh. He fabricated a common theme throughout his act in which he brags about being a “great tourist”. He begins with an example of how, when arriving in Denver, he immediately consumed copious amounts of drugs – a reality …


The Winter Jamboree: You Can and Should Meet Your Idols



The weekend before last, I just about missed my opportunity to experience the Jam Hoops Winter Jamboree due to a nasty cold that stuck around for a full two weeks. I wanted to be devastated and stomp around about how much I looked forward to the weekend. The Jamboree events are twice-yearly flow arts workshop events that span Friday-Saturday-Sunday and entail jamming, partying, learning, teaching, growing, and connecting with the flow arts’ world. Mainly focused on hoops, the Jamboree events are almost single-handedly created and organized by miss Maggie Brown. I don’t know how she does what she does – but for years, I’ve watched this woman build her Jam Hoops’ business and organize Jamboree events out of a truly authentic love she has for hooping. All I can say is: Fuck Yes, Maggie.


I tried my best not to cry over the money spent on the weekend ticket and all the workshops and parties I was missing while in bed trying to remember what breathing through my nose felt like. We’ve all been there, right? I wonder how other people have learned to treat themselves when they get sick. Me, I’ve been attempting to enhance my perspective, find abundance instead of absence, seek kindness toward myself and remain centered even when external forces seem to overwhelm me. Somewhere along the way in my life I realized I was responsible for caring for myself, and dammit, I had to put myself to bed and miss two-thirds of an event I’ve had my sights on for months. Because…guess what? Getting better is more important than getting to have an experience. Uggghhhh, I think I might be an adult now, hi.


Since I’m still pretty new at this, I accept any and all reinforcements for my good behavior. When I awoke Sunday with the ability to get out of the house and make it to Melissa Daly’s “tipper tech” hoop workshop, I tossed a confetti pile of thank you’s over every inch of myself until all I knew was gratitude instead of the understandable bitterness about what I had missed. Who cares? I’m here now and I’m going to enjoy every minute I can.



Better known in the hoop’sphere as albinoplant, Melissa began as a poi flow artist before sinking into some serious technical genius with single and double hoops. In my early days of hooping, …

Feminism For Men

Rape Accusations and Your Reputation: A Lesson on Consent and Risk



Have you been pondering over the grey areas of consent or struggling with the newfound society in which women seem to be standing up right and left to scream “rape” over something that seems…less than? I recognize that the world we live in has suddenly flipped upside down on you and you might be anxious. I’m here to help you navigate the #MeToo New World Order.


Why should you learn about consent? Well, unfortunately, when women seized a long-awaited opportunity to stand up and speak the truths they’ve held in their whole lives, we altered the landscape of daily life for about half of the population. And while some of that population needed their landscape to drastically shift, a vast majority of men could never have imagined worrying they might be – gasp – rapists. If you’ve read this far in, you can consider yourself part of the latter group: You would never intentionally rape someone, and you want to know if you’re at risk of engaging in something that could label you a monster.


How are we, as a society, affected by non-consensual sexual acts? For starters, as a man you can also be a victim, as you are more likely to be raped than you are to be falsely accused of rape. A single incident of sexual assault can damage someone for a lifetime: They may relive the trauma over and over and find their entire world turned upside down. They might begin to injure themselves, develop an eating disorder, abuse substances, struggle with normal sleep, dissociate, or even commit suicide. I probably don’t need to tell you the financial and social impacts of mental health and addiction, nor the tragedy felt by loved ones who grieve over a suicide. Sexual assault victims may also assume hasty generalizations by deciding that an entire group (all men, all men of a particular race or age or career, etc.) are problematic, a fallacy that promotes division, prejudice, and hate. Or, worst of all, they may become raging, man-hating, lesbian feminists – and, gosh, I know the last thing heterosexual men want is less available sexual partners!


Rape is rare, though, isn’t it? And dramatic? It happens in dark alley ways, loud dance clubs; it happens when a perpetrator breaks into a woman’s home at night while she thought she was safely sleeping. Sorry, but no …


Goldfish Entertainment’s “Vaudeville Bizarre!”


I don’t know about you, but I cherish surprises that seem to emerge from something bigger and more significant. Though it may all just be happenstance, I often feel struck by what plays out before my eyes in life. My fortunes often seem to be leaning in a particular direction that matches how I feel, almost as if circumstances outside my control are guided by my internal state. Is it merely coincidence to find exactly what I need at just the moment I need it? I don’t know what I’m a believer in exactly – but I believe.


This is how I felt attending the very first “Vaudeville Bizarre!” event this past weekend, thrown by Goldfish Entertainment and the one and only Natalia Kvalem. Like most socialiting decisions I make, I prefer not to worry about what I’m getting into once I decide I’m going to get into it. I didn’t know the venue, I didn’t know Natalia, and I didn’t know what level of production I was walking into Saturday night. All I knew is I was going to something, somewhere, and I was going to bring me. After wasting much of my life suffering in shyness, I’ve challenged myself the last few years to be everything I am and everything I want to be. If I do my part, I’ll realize joy. Anything more, and I feel I’ve stumbled face first into the proverbial Maraschino cherry on top . “Bring it, life!”


I arrived a little late, missing the first act, and I had to wedge myself and my hoops through a small crowd by the door after entering the detached garage behind what I later learned was the home of Josue Flores’ (of Goldfish Entertainment). The space itself, only about 700 square feet, contained an L-shaped design of chairs placed in rows that hugged a well-lit stage in the far corner of the room. I made my way behind the seating, said hello to a friend, and focused on the stage area where the second act was already in play. The moment I started paying attention to the local comedian, Evan Johnson, I felt breathless. This guy is funny. Shit. What did I walk into? I love, love, love stand-up. And house parties. And surprises that seem to be downloaded straight from my dreams.


Across the room, an attractive guy checks me out …