Friday, 20 July 2018

#58 - I Think Life is Meaningless (And That's a Good Thing!) 07/20/18

While it's a mentality I've had for most of my adult life, my opinion and thoughts on life have really come into focus as I've marched into my thirties. And I want to preface this blog by saying that I'm not depressed or sad at all. I'm actually happier at this point in my life than I've probably ever been. So no concerned emails or phone calls, please.

I am absolutely of the belief that life, as a whole, is completely meaningless.

I suppose I subscribe to the existential nihilism philosophy, although I don't really like putting tags or labels on it. Existential nihilism is the theory that life has no real meaning or value. I don't believe life has no value; I'm sure that if you asked someone that was diagnosed with cancer, or that had been through a life threatening car crash they'd beg to differ. It's easy to say that a life has no value until someone/thing threatens to take it away. I think your life is the most valuable thing you'll ever have in your possessionBut I do think that it has no real meaning. And that's a really good thing.

I look at a life like a blank sheet of paper. You've been given this sheet of paper to do with it as you will. And you have a lifetime to find whatever it is you want to write with, and you can write with it whatever you want. I don't like the idea of destiny or fate, because in my eyes, that means someone has already decided what you're supposed to write on your sheet. It's nobody's decision but yours, what you do with that paper. 

There's practically no wrong way to use your paper. You can fill it with art, education, sports, family; whatever you want. In my opinion, as long as you aren't hurting anyone else, you're free to do what you like. And at any point, you can decide to stop filling the page with something, and start filling it with something else. That's the beauty of life, there's no wrong answers. It doesn't matter.

When I say life is meaningless, I look at it as a way to stay calm and be happy. Nobody knows why we're here. Maybe God put us here, maybe this is all a simulation, there's a million theories. I like not knowing. Because as far as I'm concerned, there is no real reason we're here. In the grand scheme of the universe, mankind is entirely irrelevant. Hardly a blip on the radar. And with that belief in mind, I look at life as a giant vacation. Your life is yours to do whatever you want with. You owe it to yourself to fill your sheet of paper with whatever makes you happiest. I preach it on here all the time, but do what you want with your life. Forget what people think, or what others have told you you should do. Do what makes you happy.

I don't know what exactly I'm trying to say with this blog. I guess in the end, I just feel like there's no wrong way to "do" life. (Again, as long as you're not hurting anyone else. Don't mess with anyone else's paper, just focus on you). To say life's meaningless is to say it's without direction; you can go any way you want. And change direction anytime you want. Don't let life bring you down, or trap you. There's infinite possibilities out there. 

Decide what it is you want to draw on your sheet of paper, and get after it. Anything goes. And if you've filled your sheet with stuff you don't like? Just flip it over and start again on the other side. It just doesn't matter. 

Life is good, guys. Enjoy it.


Thursday, 19 July 2018

#57 - DDP Yoga 07/19/18

Disclaimer: These are simple my thoughts on DDP Yoga. I haven't been paid to say any of this, I bought the DVDs myself, and have no affiliation with DDP or his company.

I've never really struggled with my weight. I've gotten a little chunky and then slimmed down a couple times in my life, but I've always been fortunate enough to be one of those people with a great metabolism. I've never really given my diet a lot of thought, and for the most part just exercised when I wanted to.

But I'm in my mid-thirties now, and my body is starting to slow down. Not that I'm a broken old man or anything, but a couple years ago I started to notice that it was getting hard to bend over some morning and put my socks on. Jeans were fitting a little snugger. I had to face the fact that even if I could somewhat hide it, I was out of shape, and starting to feel it.

My back was the worst part. I never had problems with it growing up. I've always played a ton of street hockey, I played inline and ball hockey for years as an adult, too. Primarily as a goalie (albeit a bad one). I didn't stretch very well, I spent most of the warmup messing around with the guys and digging pucks/balls out of my net. And it didn't seem to be an issue, at least through my 20's.

But, like I said, I reached a point where bending over to put on socks was a chore. A painful chore. My back would hurt if I stood up for too long, or if I slept on the wrong side. I went to a chiropractor a couple times, but didn't really care for it. I'm a skeptic, if we're being honest. I tried googling possible ways to get my back to loosen up, and it seemed like everywhere I looked, yoga popped up. In particular, DDP Yoga.

As you may know, growing up, I was a huge pro wrestling fan. DDP (Diamond Dallas Page) was one of my favourites when I was a teenager. Self high five! He's long since retired from the wrestling world, and has spent years developing and promoting his yoga program; DDP Yoga. After flip flopping on it for months, I finally decided to bite the bullet and order his DVDs. I saw all these videos of incredibly overweight and broken down people going through life changing transitions, and just couldn't find any negative reviews of the program. Even now, search "DDP Yoga reviews" and you'll be hard pressed to find someone that speaks ill of it.

The DVDs showed up, and I liked it right away. But if I'm being honest, I still slacked off for the first few months. Programs of varying levels of difficulty accompanied the DVDs, and even though I was more than capable of doing some of the more advanced routines, I would justify sticking with the beginner programs and only stretched a couple times a week. Even then, I noticed a difference in my body soreness pretty quickly. I felt looser and my back pain started disappearing almost immediately.

Once I realized the yoga seemed to be making a big difference, I decided to get serious and go all in with it. I started doing DDP Yoga 5+ days a week, and the results were incredible! I still don't look like anything special with my shirt off (I still love junk food too much), but my flexibility has gone through the roof. A year ago, I couldn't touch my toes. Now I can stand on the palms of my hands while stretching my legs and back straight. I can almost do the splits. And most importantly, I don't dread putting my socks on anymore.

It's a great program. DDP is a good instructor, with a positive vibe about him. They offer modification ideas for almost every stretch they do for people that need them, and you don't feel sore the next day. There's a reason it's so hard to find a negative review of it. I now exercise practically every day, and rotate between weights, cardio, and yoga. Anyone that has seen me will tell you that I'm not the poster child for exercise or anything, but I can honestly say that I feel better physically than I have since I was a teenager. I'm motivated to workout for the first time in my life, and it absolutely started with DDP Yoga.

Again, not being paid to endorse it or anything. But I have to fill this blog, and it's fun writing about stuff I like. And I really like DDP Yoga.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

#56 - Kevin Smith 07/18/18

This is another one of my "people that inspired me to become a comedian" blog posts. Today, I thought I'd take a couple minutes to touch on Silent Bob himself, Mr. Kevin Smith.

I'll be honest, I don't watch a lot of movies. I primarily just watch Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, and Rocky on a rotation. When it comes to Kevin Smith's work, I've only really seen Cop Out (which I like, for the record. It's me and my buddy Dave's go to flick. Haters gonna hate), and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. But I don't look up to Mr. Smith because of what he does as a film maker. My appreciation for him comes from what he has to say on podcasts and at Q & As. His outlook on life inspires me.

I wrote a blog last month entitled, "Just Try". Within that post, there's a video clip of Kevin Smith, where he explains how his Dad's passing gave him a "why not?" mentality toward life. He tells the audience that his old man was a good guy, who lived by the rules, didn't hurt anyone and worked a job he didn't like to support his family. But despite playing it safe for his entire life, he "died screaming" (watch the clip for a full explanation of what "died screaming" means). Kevin realized that no matter how safe you play the game of life, it's going to end the same way; you'll die screaming. Nobody gets out alive in the end.

And as such, Kevin explains that he developed a "why not?" attitude toward art, and life in general. Instead of asking "why?" when someone tells you they want to try something, ask "why not?" Ask yourself the same thing. If there's something you want to try in this life, big or small, and you haven't done it yet, ask yourself "why not?" We all lose in the end, so while you're here, there's no reason not to go after every single dream you have. Push yourself, and encourage others to go after their dreams. Don't discourage people, pick them up. Help them. And they'll do the same for you.

This was the first Kevin Smith clip I found, and I couldn't stop watching it. I started searching for more his work, and came across his appearances on Joe Rogan's podcast. I have two of his episodes saved on my phone, and listen to them every few weeks. I watch his Youtube clips, and I've listened to his book twice. When I first heard him explain how he made his first movie, I was completely obsessed with his story.

For those that don't know, when Kevin decided "fuck it, I'm making a movie", he didn't go looking for money or help. He sold off a big chunk of his comic book collections, maxed out his credit cards, and just went for it. And this was back when everyone didn't have an HD camera in their pocket like we do now. He didn't know where this film would end up taking him, he was just an artist with a vision and he took his shot. I fucking love that story. When I heard it for the first time, it inspired me like nothing else ever has. It's badass. He's living his life by his rules. That's what I want to do.

Anyone that encourages someone else to chase a dream or try something new is making the world a better place. Kevin has a voice that is heard by a lot of people, and he spends a lot of his time using it to encourage artists. I sure hope I'm not the only person that heard his message and took it to heart, I can't imagine I am. So Kevin Smith, in the 1 in a million chance you read this; thank you. You've inspired me as much as anyone on this planet has.

So much in fact, that I'm even going to watch the rest of your films. Once I finish Ghostbusters again, of course.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

#55 - Riding the Comedy Rollercoaster 07/17/18

It's often said that comedians aren't "quite right", mentally. They're depressed, angry, crazy, sad, whatever. Type "Comedians are...." into google and look at the results.

I've never really put a lot of stock into this belief. I'm certainly not saying that there's never been a depressed comedian. But why us? Take a large sample size of any occupation, and you're going to find people that have their issues. We all do. I'm not sure why comedians have been called out as much as they have. Maybe it's just because their entire job is based around making people laugh, and if you spend all day making people happy, how can you be sad? For whatever reason, the general consensus is that stand up comedians are sad. 

I don't know if they're any sadder or happier than anyone else as a whole, but I will say this; the emotional rollercoaster that you have to ride as a stand up is....a....mother fucker.

Everyone has good days and bad days at the office. But I've never experienced dramatic ups and downs like I have as a comedian. Imagine going into work Monday, and at the end of your day, everyone tells you what an incredible job you did. Slaps on the back, high fives, you crushed it. You go back to work Tuesday, do your job the exact same way, and not only are people not telling you what a great job you're doing, they're going out of their way to tell you you suck. And you haven't changed anything from 24 hours ago. In 24 hours, you go from the highest of the highs, to feeling like you're stuck to the bottom of somebody's shoe.

That's what comedians do. All the time.

You can get on stage one night, tell your jokes, and crush. Everyone laughs, and after the show people talk to you like you're a hero. You go home feeling like the next Bill Burr. The next night, you tell the exact same jokes, and nobody laughs. Someone heckles you. After the show, people walk right by you to tell one of the other comics how great they were, and then when they realize you're in earshot, give you a insincere "you were good, too". You go from feeling like the next big thing, to wondering if it's too late to go back to school. Those jokes worked yesterday. What the fuck happened??

Now, ride that elevator every single day. Hell, sometimes you'll go up to the top and back to the basement in the span of an hour if you do a couple shows on the same night. Day after day, for years. "You're great!" "You suck." "That was incredible!" "That was awful." Up and down, up and down. I don't know if comedians are more fragile mentally than other people, but if we are, I think we have a damned good reason.

Sometimes, you'll go on a run of a bunch of good shows. Have a great weekend at a club, or a week where every single night, that new joke you're telling is working. I know on more than one occasion, I've had this feeling of "I've finally figured it out" in regards to comedy. And then as soon as you let your guard down....bam. Your new joke doesn't work, your old jokes don't work, and you come crashing back down to earth like one of those skyscraper rides at a carnival. 

Comedy never lets you get completely comfortable. I'm not a headliner. Maybe someday it does. But I haven't met a single veteran comic that's told me "one day, it just clicks". The only comics I've seen that never think they bomb, bomb all the damned time. They're just unwilling to admit it, or they're oblivious. For most comics, we just never know what tomorrow's day at the office is going to be like. That can wear you down mentally. So, if we are more unstable than most, I understand why.

All that said, I like the ups and downs. Doing well on stage is one of the best feelings in the world. Bombing sucks so hard, but it keeps me honest and reminds me that the good feelings only come if I work for them. If it was easy, everybody would do it.

I had a fun show last night. So I'm prepping now for the bomb I'm going to drop in about 10 hours....

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 16 July 2018

#54 - Promoting This Blog 07/16/18

I was thinking about how I want to promote this blog over the weekend. 

My primary goal has never been to grow the number of readers I have week by week, it's just to use this as a tool to stay focused and help me improve as a writer. 

As such, I've decided not to post about it everywhere I can each day moving forward. When I started, I posted on my personal Facebook page, my comedian Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram every morning. Looking ahead, I think I'm just going to start posting about it on a different platform each day, and rotate through. It isn't hard promoting it everywhere, but I don't want to become too irritating to people that follow me on more than one form of social media. 

I get annoyed with things getting rammed down my throat everywhere I look, and I never intended for this blog to be like that. And for the record, nobody has complained to me or anything. I'm just trying to make sure it stays that way. There's already more than enough reasons to hate on me; I don't need to give you anymore ammunition!

That said, if you're one of the people (and I see the numbers, I know there are a few of you out there) that read my ramblings everyday, I strongly urge to bookmark my blog or check my website daily. I normally post around 10:00 in the morning. And if you don't go everyday, that's cool. They're not a hard read, you could probably check back once a month and bomb through all of them in 20 minutes.

I'm pretty proud of this streak so far. When I set out to write 100 blogs in 100 days, I was pretty sceptical of whether or not I'd actually pull it off. Granted, I'm only a step past halfway there, but I don't see a way that I don't make it now. I really do enjoy writing these things (most days). The focus it gives me each morning is invaluable, and the "don't break the chain" mentality has transitioned flawlessly into other aspects of my life. Joke writing, exercise, podcasting; it's helped me be more consistent and goal oriented with all of them. 

I think I'm going to try and shoot past 100 days, and just see how many days in a row I can churn out a blog. I'm sure the day is going to come where I miss one, but I'm going to do everything in my power to avoid that as long as possible. It can literally take 10 minutes to sit down and put my thoughts onto a digital sheet of paper. If I have to get up 10 minutes earlier to make that happen, then so be it.

They won't all be great, thought provoking articles (case in point; today's blog). But I don't care. It's fun, and I like doing it. I just won't ram it down your throats anymore :)

Thanks for reading, guys and girls. Have a good week!


Sunday, 15 July 2018

#53 - Sunday Ramblings 07/15/18

Happy Sunday/World Cup Final/Wimbledon Final/July 15th!

It's already noon, and all I've accomplished in the first half of my day is playing Super Mario World with Shay and walking my dog. I have a couple hours to write this, get an episode of Adam Wastes Time up, and get a half-assed workout in before WWE Extreme Rules starts. All in all, a pretty solid Sunday.

Honestly, as much as the WWE's current weekly product doesn't interest me, their Pay Per Views still pique my interest. One of the things I don't like about RAW and SmackDown is all of the time they waste on terrible promos. When you watch a PPV, it's usually just wrestling. Rollins and Ziggler, in particular has my hopes up. I think they steal the show. The card looks decent.

For what it's worth, my predictions for winners are as follows: Strowman, Lashley, Balor, Ziggler, Team Hell No, Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Bliss, Nakamura, and Styles.

In the world of stand up, I have a few new bits that I think are slowly coming into form. I had some ups and downs on stage this week, but managed to get them all in pretty well every night. Trying a new joke for the first time can suck, but once you know you have something worth working with, it can be exciting getting up there every night. Tweaking and polishing, changing stuff here and there. As I mentioned a few days ago, once I knew I had thirty minutes of material, I started taking my foot off the gas in regards to my writing. So, to get myself motivated again, I've set a goal of coming up with a new 30 that can stand on it's own away from the material I traditionally use now when I have a paying gig. I want the luxury of being able to remove and insert jokes at my leisure, instead of knowing I pretty well have to tell all of them to get through 45 minutes.

I think it'll help me pull back on my reliance on crowd work, too. I love doing crowd work, and honestly, I find it way more fun than just telling my jokes. But I think I use it as a crutch too often, and it's a habit I need to break sooner than later.

My podcast listenership is very slowly climbing! Adam Wastes Time has been trending up a listener or two a week for a while now, and Remember The Game? has started really strong. So if you're one of the dozens of people listening to either of my blabbering podcasts, thank you very much!

Good enough. The streak continues!

Thanks for reading. Have a great Sunday!


Saturday, 14 July 2018

#52 - The Simpsons 07/14/18

The last few blogs have had a little more serious tone. I think I'm just gonna rant about cartoons today.

Growing up, I was obsessed with The Simpsons. For years, I would get home from school and be able to watch 4 episodes in a row every afternoon. 2 hours in Springfield, 5 days a week. And that was during the glory years of that show, too. To this day, I think I know as much as I do about the first 10 or 11 seasons of The Simpsons because of that 4-6pm window of greatness that I stepped through everyday. 

Mr. Plow, The Stonecutters, Homer going to college and kidnapping that pig; so many memories. I've said many times that Jerry Seinfeld is the reason I'm a comedian today, but before him, The Simpsons planted the seeds of my sense of humour. I truly believe that seasons 3 through 10 of The Simpsons may be as close to perfection as there has ever been on television. As a kid, I thought it was silly. As an adult, I can watch the same episodes and laugh at completely different jokes than I did 20 years ago. 
If you grew up with this show, go back and watch episodes like 'Last Exit to Springfield' (the one with the dental plan). It's hilarious in an entirely different way than it was when you were a kid. Plus, watching Carl and Charlie drop a pencil into Homer's ass crack never gets old.

I don't remember when I started thinking the show wasn't as funny as it used to be, but it almost felt like overnight The Simpsons "jumped the shark". Some people say it was a reliance on celebrity cameos, but I don't know if that's entirely true, because some of the best episodes in the show's catalogue featured those special appearances. Krusty gets Kancelled comes to mind, and it was FULL of them.

But the show's quality started to suffer. And once it started, it went into a free fall. I'm not going to sit here and say they should have stopped making new episodes 20 years ago (although, they should have. So I guess I am saying that). The show is coming up on it's thirtieth(!) season soon, and obviously is still making money. People are still watching. But The Simpsons additional seasons and extra money have come at the expense of it's legacy.

Seinfeld is another one of my favourite shows of all time, as I know it is for a lot of people. And it's legacy is unparalleled in the world of television sitcoms. A huge reason for that is because it ended before it drove off the cliff. I'd argue there isn't a bad episode in the entire Seinfeld catalogue (don't come at me with your "Series finale" takes), and that's certainly not a claim anyone can make about The Simpsons. Sadly, at this point it's fair to say there is more bad than good when it comes to Springfield's first family. They didn't just drive off the cliff, they went over it on a skateboard, got pulled out, and then fell over it again. (If you've read this far into this blog, you get it).

I could sit here and rant about The Simpsons forever. I'd say I have a love/hate relationship with it, but that's not true. It's a love/ignore relationship. Love might not even be a strong enough word for my feelings about the glory days of this show. I adore them. I still watch those episodes to this day, even though I can sit there and recite almost every word while I do. And the later episodes? I just choose to ignore them. I know they exist, but I just don't let them into my little bubble of happiness. As far as I'm concerned, The Simpsons of today is a spinoff series of the one I grew up with.

I can't think of a good way to end this blog. So, here: