Friday, 27 January 2017

So Las Vegas is pretty sweet..... 1/27/17

It's Friday afternoon, and I'm laying in my hotel room in Penticton. I had a show in Kelowna last night for Train Wreck Comedy (big thank you to Rob Balsdon for the opportunity), and Kevin McGrath (the headliner this weekend) and I have a show here in Penticton tomorrow night, but we ended up with today (Friday) off. As awesome as the Okanagan is, it's a little chilly to go to the beach in January, so I'm hibernating in my room, and thought I'd take a few minutes to ramble on here, and talk about comedy, and my recent trip to Las Vegas.

SPOILERS: Vegas is fucking awesome.

As you may or may not know, I've been selling off some of my sports memorabilia collection. We're looking to downsize our home this spring, and I just don't think we'll have the room for everything. Some of it sold in December, and I decided to use the money to pay for a weekend in Vegas for my girlfriend and I. Neither of us had ever been there, and after the weekend we had, I can guarantee we'll be going back sooner than later.

We stayed at The Aria, on the Strip, and it was a beautiful hotel. Unfortunately, it rained for two of the three days we were there, but that didn't stop us from getting out and having fun. We had dinner at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants that first night, and just spent the evening walking up and down the Strip, checking out some of the casinos, and the insane hotels, and drinking beer. We bought into the nightly Aria poker tournament that night, and Shay ran into a bad beat a couple hours in. I managed to make it to the final table of the tourney, though, and walked away with a 4th place finish out of about 75 players, and a $600 pay day. Gambling for free the rest of the weekend!

Saturday (we flew in on Friday), the sun was out, and we decided to go check out Fremont street. Some of the old casinos were pretty cool, but it just didn't hit home with us, and after a few hours, we decided to head back over to the Strip, and check it out while the weather was good. Popping into random casinos to have a beverage and see what was going on, we basically went from one end of the Strip to the other, and after a couple of the giant plastic margaritas, we (or I. Shay isn't the lightweight I am) were feeling no pain. We hit the Heart Attack Grill for dinner, and then after a power nap, I decided to play the Aria poker tourney again. It started at 7, I got sat as an alternate at 9, and made a second straight final table. At about 4am, we were 5 handed, and decided on a 5 way chop of the prize money, netting another $1100!

Sunday, Shay wanted to go shopping. So she went off looking for clothes, and I played some more poker at Harrahs and Ballys. No final table runs this time, but it was still fun, and then we ended off the trip by heading up to the Rio to check out Penn & Teller's show, which was fantastic.

All in all, it was a wicked trip. I can't wait to go back, and it was nice to just spend a weekend with Shay. I have a lot of weekends out of town coming up, so a little quality time together was just what the doctor ordered. Shay has supported me unconditionally since I began comedy, and I was really happy that we could get away and have some fun. And winning that money at poker was a bonus, as it felt good to be able to give her some more money to go shopping with, and try to show her how much I appreciate her having my back. I would be a walking tire fire without her.

Lazy eye selfie on the Strip.

So now this weekend, I'm in the Okanagan with Kevin McGrath. Next weekend I head down to Cranbrook with Paul Sveen, and then I have  a weekend bouncing between Alberta & Saskatchewan with Mike Dambra in February as well. I love it. Being on the road with these headliners, telling jokes and picking their brains is everything I was hoping I'd get a chance to do when I started performing stand up.

Back in Edmonton, I got y first chance to MC a show at the Comic Strip that wasn't open mic night, and I thought it went OK. It definitely could have been better, but I had fun, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully, I get another one soon. I'll also get my first show at MCing at Yuk Yuks next week (Feb 4th). Lots of other spots at shows around Edmonton are keeping me busy. New ideas, new jokes, I feel like I'm really working at getting better every time I'm on stage right now, instead of just going through the motions, and that's exactly where I need to be.

I guess that's it for now. I'm going to go work on some material, and play a little xbox. Wherever you are, I hope life is good, and you have a killer weekend.

Thanks as always for reading.

Adam ______

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday Ramblings 1/8/17

It's about 4 pm on Sunday, January 8th. It's about 30 below outside, and I'm camping out on my couch with my dog. So far today, we've churned out a podcast, (painfully) listened back to the week's sets, worked on some new bits, and now we're blogging out a blog. All while doing laundry. Not to blow my own horn, but damn.

It's been a fun week. Anyone that listened (or is going to listen to my podcast, which you can find HERE) knows that is was my first week back at the grind after a couple weeks off for Christmas. I got to do a couple shows at the Comic Strip in West Ed, tried out a bunch of new material (mostly successfully) at Underdog, and got to do my first show in Morinville, which was an adventure in itself. But it's good to be back at it.

Click here to see a clip from my set at the Comic Strip on Tuesday.

I'm as focused as I've been in months, the new stuff is coming along great, and I've hit the ground running on my goal of reaching 60 minutes of material (that I'm happy with) by the end of 2017. I have a long way to go, and a lot of polishing to do, but it's a really satisfying feeling to see that I'm making progress.

I have less than 2 weeks to go until my 1 year anniversary (Jan 21), and I plan to write a specific blog about that when the time comes. As I've said a million times over the last 50 weeks, this has probably been the best year of my life. I just wake up in the morning full of positivity, it's like an energy I can't explain. I'm just ready to go and see what's going to happen today. There's no stress, nothing to be upset about. This is how life is meant to be lived.

I have a bunch of out of town shows coming up that'll see me traveling to Kelowna, Penticton, Cranbrook, Bashaw (I don't know where that is), Lethbridge, and the one I'm most excited about, Cold Lake. I lived there for about 10 years, and I can't wait to go home, see some old friends, and tell some jokes. I know it isn't New York or England, but it still seems pretty surreal to me that someone would pay me to go somewhere and make fun of myself.

Shay and I are taking off to Vegas for a few days, too. We've never been, and I'm looking forward to getting away from the Edmonton January weather and playing some poker. We've reached an agreement that a January vacation should become a household tradition moving forward.

The podcast is coming along, I'm getting better at sticking to a strict schedule. I still have intentions of upgrading my equipment in the next few months, the only thing slowing me down right now is doing my homework on what I want to get, and I plan to have it all up and running by spring. I want to start shooting video of my recordings as well, to get them up on Youtube. I don't know if the podcast will ever be anything other than a hobby for me, but I'm excited about it nevertheless.

And finally, some of you that know me know that for years, I've had an idea for/have been casually working on an animated show. That's *very* slowly coming along. Much like the podcast, I have no idea what I'm doing, it's just something I've always thought would be a fun project. The concept has changed several times, but it's been a cool side thing to work on when I have time. I like doing it solo and not having any deadlines, there's no pressure and I can do it when I want to. Growing up a huge Simpsons fan, I'm really enjoying my attempt to create something like that of my own.

I guess that's it for now. Thanks as always for reading and supporting me. I can't wait to see where 2017 takes us.