Monday, 29 October 2018

I Love "Controversial" Comedy 10/29/18

It's been a while, ol' blog of mine. I hope life is treating you well.

I've been staying busy away from the blog. Next week, I have my first opportunity to do an hour on stage. I'm getting pretty comfortable with 45 minutes,  and I'm excited to push myself out of my comfort zone. It's funny, I still remember when 10 minutes seemed like an hour...

One of the things I really enjoy about standup is being able to see how you're improving as a comedian. Like working out and taking progress pics, I can watch tape from 6 months ago and see a ton of stuff that I wouldn't do now. I'm sure that'll be the case for years and years to come, and that's probably the thing that motivates me the most to keep working. I never want to like one of my videos that's more than a few months old.

On that note, I've really rediscovered my love for writing and creating new material lately. With this hour coming up, my focus has shifted toward churning out and going through the process of "polishing" some new stuff. Taking a joke from a new idea to something I'm comfortable saying in exchange for people's money is a long road. And, as I'm sure all creative people do, I get into slumps all the time. A stretch of days/weeks/months where I can't seem to come up with anything new. Once that starts, it can take forever for me to get out of it, and I just stop writing altogether. Taking on the new challenge of doing more time than I ever have has really kicked me in the ass and got me putting a pen to paper, though. I have three or four new bits that I really feel are turning into something good, and sometimes all you need is one idea to semi-work, and it can start a chain reaction. Nothing feels better than getting a laugh off of a new joke, and it not only gets me writing more, it gets me more excited to hit the mics at night, because I have something new to work on. It's exciting!

Which brings me to the reason I decided to write this blog today in the first place. I've been really trying hard to get away from just writing relationship material. I like that type of comedy a lot, but I feel like I've become to reliant on it. I made a conscious decision to try and write jokes about things that have nothing to do with me and my girlfriend, both to challenge myself and to try and grow as a comic. I'm proud to say that the new stuff I'm working on not only has nothing to do with my girlfriend, but I really do feel like it's some of the best stuff I've written in the last three years. I'm sure in another couple years I'll hate it, but it motivates me to keep going, knowing that (in my mind, anyways), I'm improving as a writer and a comedian. 

It's also all pretty clean stuff. I realized about a year ago that my future in comedy would probably be as a corporate comic. And while I don't intentionally try to write clean jokes, my sense of humour just steers me in that direction. It doesn't bother me, but I do find myself admiring comics (both on the world famous level, and right here in Edmonton), that can get on stage and talk about controversial, "offensive" subject matter. Particularly in a society that shifts more and more toward making sure nobody gets offended every day. 

I'm envious of comedians that are good at walking the line, because I'm not. I think it's a special talent, to be able to talk a topic nobody wants to talk about and not only talk about it, but make it funny. Comedians are artists, and as such, we have a right (and some may say, an obligation), to create the content our talents and inner voices want to create. We then share those creations with the world, and open ourselves up to judgement every time we do. Some comics, like myself, play it safe. We stick to inoffensive, happy-go-lucky jokes that are almost guaranteed to not turn any heads or ruffle any feathers. Other decide to push back at society, and go after the topics people don't want to laugh at. They often say what many of us think, but don't want to say ourselves. I think there's something admirable about that. 

People have every right to be offended, be it by a joke, an event, a holiday, whatever. But people also have every right to make a joke, host an event, or celebrate a holiday. If you don't appreciate what someone is saying, turn them off. Walk away. Frankly, that will probably hurt them more than just telling them you don't like what they're about. But if you're one of the comedians out there telling jokes that make people mad, keep doing you. Comedy, and the world, needs you right now.

I have a great deal of respect for anyone that's willing to get on stage. It takes some balls to get in front of a room full of strangers and try to make them laugh. But when you work clean, the biggest risk you run is bombing and having people think you're not funny. When you push the envelope with your jokes, you not only chance that an audience won't like you, they'll find you offensive. That's the modern day equivalent of being labeled a witch...

Keep on keeping on, comics. We need you.

Thanks for reading. 


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Being Away From Home....09/12/18

I've been away for two weeks, which in the world of stand up comedy, really isn't that long. I guess in most worlds it isn't. And while I'm not crippled by homesickness or anything, I'm looking forward to going home for a few days. I miss my girlfriend, and I can't wait to see my dog.

Admittedly, I'm still taking baby steps as a comic. This is only the second or third time I've been on the road for more than a few days, but I totally get why some comics say it's the hardest part of the job. My girlfriend and I don't see a ton of each other, even when I am home, because of our schedules. She leaves for work early in the morning, and I usually head out to shows or open mics in the evening. We text and talk on the phone, and when we get time to hang out, we make the most of it. Being away for any real length of time takes away that couple hours we spend together having dinner, and that's kind of shitty. 

How a comedian does this job with kids at home, I have no idea. I'm not saying they shouldn't or anything. I just have a lot of respect for those that can, because I can't imagine how hard it must be after a while. The closest I have is my dog, and it's driving me crazy not having her around. To have a couple kids in that spot? Man.....

But what do I know?? I'm not a parent. Maybe you look forward to the break?? A little peace and quiet, sleeping in. Haha, maybe having kids at home are why some people become comedians in the first place!

I have one more week of shows with the Absolute Comedy clubs here in Ontario, and it's at the Toronto club. Pete Zedlacher is the headliner, and he's an absolute killer, so if you're reading this and you happen to be in Toronto, pop by the club!

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Good Times in Kingston 09/04/18

This morning, I'm heading to Ottawa for a week, after finishing off a great week of shows at Absolute Comedy in Kingston.

The shows themselves were awesome. Every audience came to play, they were dialled in and energetic right off the top, which is perfect, and we had a lot of fun. I was a little rough around the edges on Wednesday night for the first show; it was my MC debut with Absolute and I could tell I was a little nervous. I also caught the red-eye out from Edmonton, and I hadn't really slept in a day and a half which didn't help. I settled in the second night, though, and overall I think I'm pretty happy with the shows.

The staff were ridiculously accommodating, too. They were so nice to us each night, and it really helped me relax and get comfortable in a new setting. I can't say enough good things about everyone out here, and I really hope I get a chance to come back and do it again next year. Thanks guys!

The real prize of the week was getting a chance to catch up with a bunch of my family. I was born out here, and moved away before the 1st grade. Most of my family still lives in or around Kingston, and I don't get many chances to come out here and catch up with them. A few people came out and saw a show at the club, which was much appreciated. We had Sunday off, and I rented a car and drove out to Trenton to visit with my Grandma, which was the absolute highlight of the week for me. My Dad's brothers and I took her out for lunch and caught up, and then after we dropped her off, we went out to my Uncle's place to partake in the Blank family tradition of drinking a lot of beer. We sat outside drinking and catching for the night, and despite not feeling great Monday morning, it was awesome. I came back to Kingston that morning to drop my rental off, and had a chance to get lunch with my Mom's brother that afternoon, too.

Like I said, getting the opportunity to perform at these clubs is fantastic, but getting to visit with my family at the same time makes it perfect. This week couldn't possibly have gone any better. Now it's off to Ottawa for a week of shows at the Absolute club up there, and I can't wait. I love that city, and the audiences at the club are some of the best I've ever been in front of.

Life is good.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, 31 August 2018

#100 - 100 in 100 08/31/18

100 blogs in 100 days. I don't know who should be more excited... Me, because I accomplished something I set out to do, or everyone else, because these blogs won't be rammed down your throats anymore.

When I set the goal of writing all these things, my mentality behind it was that it'll get my writing muscles flexing first thing in the morning. That worked perfectly for the first few weeks, but after a while I started struggling to come up with something to talk about. The last month or so, there were actually days where writing this blog made me feel less inclined to work on my other writing projects, because I was burnt out by the time I finished the blog. In hindsight, I drastically underestimated how difficult writing a daily blog would be.

I also had quite a few days where I worried about pissing people off with these. Every single day, "Hey guys, read more about me!" Blogs like this are self indulgent, without question. As I went on, though, I really did start developing a thicker skin in regards to other's opinions. I never forced anyone to read a single entry, I merely posted that I wrote it in case anyone was interested. Looking at the stats, readership has dipped slightly from blog 1 until yesterday, but not by very much. It looks like a lot of people that read the first entry read most of them through today's. If you read all of them, some of them, one of them; thanks for taking an interest in what I have going on. I really do appreciate it. 

I'm not going to stop blogging now, but I will pull it back a little. Prior to setting my 100 in 100 goal, I blogged a couple times a month. I'm going to shoot to post a couple a week moving forward, but I won't force it anymore. If I don't have anything to talk about, I won't get up in the morning and stare at my laptop trying to think of a topic to write about. 

Like I mentioned earlier, my goal was to get myself into a mindset of doing some writing every morning while I drink my coffee, instead of playing video games for an hour. I think it's been successful, but the real test will be tomorrow morning when I wake up and know that I have no obligation to write anything. As I've said many times in these blogs, the thing I find hardest about doing stand up is forcing myself to sit down and work on my jokes. Hopefully, this blog project has developed a habit of writing something everyday. I want working on my jokes to be the same as showering or brushing my teeth; just part of my daily routine. 

So once again, this is it for a few days. If my constant posting about these blogs on Facebook and Twitter has irritated you, today's your lucky day! Well, tomorrow is. 

If you've been reading them, thanks again.


Thursday, 30 August 2018

#99 - Excited to be in Ontario 08/30/18

This morning, I'm sitting in the club's condo in Kingston this morning, getting ready for a three week run at the Absolute Comedy Clubs in Kingston, Ottawa, and Toronto.

I'm really excited for the chance to do these clubs again (Toronto for the first time). I had the opportunity to come out and hit Ottawa and Kingston last year, and they were a blast. It's fun getting to perform for different audiences and see some new cities, and there's a bunch of shows, so you stay pretty busy. The clubs are always packed, the staff are awesome, and the audiences are sick. A bunch of really fun shows. I owe my friend Mike Dambra an incredible debt for opening this door for me.

An extra bonus is that I have a lot of family out here that I very rarely get to see, so having a few of them come out to a show or two is really cool. My Grandma can't make it out to a show, but I have a Sunday off this week and I'm going to rent a car and drive up to Trenton to see her, which will be the highlight of the entire run for sure. Living on the other side of the country, I rarely get back this way to visit, so catching up with everyone is an insane perk to the job.

When I started stand up, I was driving a forklift at Uline during the day and hitting up the open mics at night. I'd spend my days fantasizing about life as a full time comedian; sleeping in, having the day to do whatever I want, travelling, and work for a few minutes at night. It sounds perfect. Now that I've been at it for a few months, I've realized it's a lot more work than I thought it was. I spend a big chunk of my day emailing and writing, begging people to let me get on their stage. It beats the hell out of driving that forklift, though. Be it comedy, or whatever I end up doing, I'm never working for someone else again.

If this comes across as bragging, that's not my intention. I'm just a guy that's gotten insanely lucky over the last couple years, and writes blogs about it. If you've read the last 98 of these things, I have to assume you're at least moderately interested in what I have to say.

Thanks for being interested.


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

#98 - Louis CK is back 08/29/18

A couple nights ago, Louis CK got on stage for the first time since he got called out for being a perv. As expected, a lot of people weren't too happy about it.

I'm not going to get into the details of what Louis did. If you don't know what I'm talking about, a quick Google of his name will provide you with everything you need to know. And I'm not going to sit here and defend him, because he fucked up and he deserves all the flack and heat that's come his way over the last year or so. That said, comedy is how the guy makes a living, and like him or not, he's entitled to do so. Everyone is. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it isn't true.

Michael Vick was convicted of running a disgusting dog fighting operation, and was sentenced to prison time. He got out of jail, and sure as hell, he found his way back into the NFL. I love dogs, and I fucking hate Michael Vick. He makes me sick, and if he had signed with the Broncos, I probably would've had to find a new favourite football team. The guy killed dozens of dogs, but he's entitled to work, and do what he can to make a living. 

And much like people are entitled to their right to work and make a living, people are equally as entitled to be excited that someone is doing so. I'm sorry, but you'll never convince me that someone deserves to be criticized for celebrating Louis CK's return to comedy. If they come out and defend what Louis did, that's a different discussion (that frankly, I'm not interested in having). However, most of the posts I've seen regarding Louis CK's comedy comeback have simply been comedy fans expressing excitement over the fact that their favourite comedian is telling jokes again. I haven't seen one person defend him until they've been attacked for supporting his comedy.

It's become a popular thing to say since the allegations came out last year, but I've never been a huge Louis CK fan. I appreciate his ability recognize his talent, no question. His humour has just never really been up my alley. I didn't really miss him when he was gone, and I really could care less that he's back. I'm ignoring him. I think what he did was greasy and wrong, but he isn't being charged with anything. So the most I can do is not support his comedy. The same applies to everyone else. If you don't like him, that's totally fine. If you want to start discussions and posts about what a piece of shit you think he is, go right ahead. Going after people that just want to hear his jokes again accomplishes nothing. 

That's the way I look at it, anyway. Someone will probably shit all over me for defending people that aren't defending CK, but that's the internet.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

#97 - Talkin' Hockey 08/28/18

I'm not even an Oilers fan, but when I see the number 97, I can't help but think of that McDavid guy. Hockey is only about 5 weeks away, so today I figured I'd just lay down a few random thoughts I have about the upcoming season and the NHL in general.

- I'm a Habs fan, and they are I will argue until I die that trading PK Subban was the beginning of the downfall of this team. The latest downfall, anyway. I don't know what on earth they do to fix it now, either. Obviously, Pacioretty will be traded at some point, but they aren't going to get a King's ransom back from him. Carey Price is a beauty, but at this point all he's going to do is cost them a top draft pick (although he didn't last year, I guess). Some have said the Habs should let Price go in the Seattle expansion, and I get the logic behind it if they want to straight up re-build, but to let the best goalie of the generation walk for free would make Bergevin or whoever's in charge at the time look like the biggest failure in the franchise's history.

- Canada as a whole is going to suck, actually. I'm certainly not a "just bring the Cup back to Canada" fan, but I love the Habs and have no beef with the Jets. The Flames and Oilers I can take or leave, and I can't stand the Canucks, Senators, or Leafs. Fortunately/unfortunately, the Oilers, Canucks, Habs and Senators are about 100 miles away from the playoffs, never mind the Cup. The Flames will be a borderline playoff team, but they aren't going to scare anyone. I think most would agree that the Jets are legit contenders, and sadly, the Leafs are knocking on the door. Go Jets. How wicked would a Winnipeg Jets Stanley Cup be??

- I think Vegas takes a step back. Lightning doesn't strike the same place twice. That said, they should be proud of what they accomplished last year, and I don't think they'll be awful this season or anything, but I do think they'll come back down to Earth. Then again, I picked them to lose all the way to the Finals last year, so what do I know?

- I think the Western Conference will be another battle to the finish between Nashville and Winnipeg, and unfortunately they'll probably have to play in the second round again. The new playoff format is broken, go back to 1-8 for fuck sakes. California will be competitive, and the Flames, Stars, and Avalanche will hang around, too.

- As far as the Eastern Conference goes, Tampa Bay has to be the favourite, no? The Leafs, Bruins, Penguins and Capitals will all be playoff locks, and Philly, Jersey, and Columbus will be right there, too.

- McDavid will win the Art Ross trophy again, but he won't win the Hart because the Oilers won't be anywhere near the Playoffs. I'm not someone that thinks you have to make the playoffs to be named MVP, but you have to be close. He's the most outstanding player in the League, no question. But you can't be 'Most Valuable' on a team that finished in the bottom 1/4 of the standings, I don't care.

Playoff Predictions:


1 - Pittsburgh
2 - Washington
3 - Columbus

1 - Tampa Bay
2 - Toronto
3 - Boston

WC1 - New Jersey
WC2 - Florida


1 - Winnipeg
2 - Nashville
3 - Dallas

1 - Los Angeles
2 - Anaheim
3 - San Jose

WC1 - St. Louis
WC2 - Colorado

Conference Finals

Winnipeg def. Los Angeles
Tampa Bay def. Columbus

Cup Finals

Winnipeg def. Tampa Bay

What say you???


Monday, 27 August 2018

#96 - My Girlfriend 08/27/18

I've mentioned it several times, but coming up with topics for 100 straight blogs turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it'd be.

Last night I went to a BBQ at my folks' place, and my Dad and I were talking about comedy. He mentioned how lucky I am to have a girlfriend that supports me the way mine does. So this morning as I was sitting here going through the important internet stuff; emails, wrestling news, etc, I got thinking about that comment, and how accurate it is. So that's what I'm going to blab about today. My girlfriend, Shaley. (And yeah, I know I've talked about her in here before. Nobody reads ALL of these things. This post is for her, anyway).

We've been together for about 12 years now. Over that time, we've definitely had our ups and downs, but one thing that's been consistent through our entire run is that we've always supported each other. Both Shaley and I have been through several job (and occasionally entire career) changes, and each time, whichever of us has moved on to a new opportunity has had to start over from the bottom. Which traditionally means less money and more stress. We've never let it come between us, though. I can't think of a single instance where one of us has told the other not to try something. I have friends that I've seen first hand pass up a chance to give something new a shot because their partner wouldn't let them, and I just can't figure out how that's considered a healthy relationship.

In particular, I've made some changes. When Shay and I met, I was a warehouse supervisor. We worked at the same company, and I left a few months after we started dating (partially because I needed a change in scenery, and partially because the company didn't agree with our relationship). In the 11 years since I left that job, I've worked in another warehouse, transitioned into sales, quit that to work in the sports memorabilia industry, went back to warehousing, then back to sports memorabilia, and ended where I am now; stand up comedy. In that time, we climbed out of debt, bought and sold our first house, and started travelling. Shay, meanwhile, has been at the same job for a long time, and she's very successful. She absolutely would have had a leg to stand on if she had asked me to suck it up and stay at a job, particularly while we were dealing with banks and mortgages. But she never has.

Every time I wanted to try something different, I was met with the same response; "I just want you to be happy. You should go for it." I'd bring up money, and she'd shrug and say "we'll figure it out". That kind of unwavering support has meant more to me than anything in this world. I am happy, and knowing that I have someone by my side supporting me at all times just motivates me to work harder and get better. I feel a sense of obligation to her (that she's never asked me to have, BTW).

Shaley is my best friend. I'd be completely lost without her. I hope everyone eventually meets someone that they feel that way about. I can complain, whine, try material, laugh, and relax with Shaley. Like I said, we have ups and downs, but the downs never seem to last very long, because we both know how many ups there've been, and we want to get back there ASAP. I can't wait to get home from shows and see her (and my dog). It's a cliche, but I really feel like one of the luckiest people on the planet. For a short, lazy-eyed, video game nerd, I did pretty good.

Love ya, babe.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 26 August 2018

#95 - Sunday Rambling 08/26/18

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday....

Tuesday morning I leave for a three week run of the Absolute Comedy clubs in Ontario, and then my girlfriend and I are taking off for a weekend in Chicago as soon as I get home. It sucks to see Summer end, but man I'm looking forward to September!

I spent most of my Friday recording intros and outs and editing podcasts. I've been staying really consistent with both Remember The Game and Adam Wastes Time for a few months now, and I don't want to miss a week if at all possible. I look at them the same way I look at working out; missing one gives me an excuse to miss another, and then before you know it you haven't done anything in a month. It started to get pretty repetitive near the end, but it feels really good to have a month's worth of episodes banked and ready to upload. HUGE thank you to everyone that has come by over the last couple weeks to chat, too. Mucho appreciated!

It's been a fun couple weeks of open mics. I have three or four new bits I'm juggling in and out of the rotation right now. There might not be a better feeling for a comedian (at least in my eyes) than trying a new joke and getting a laugh back. I feel energized and excited to hit the open mics at night when I have something I'm excited to be working on. These new jokes have me looking back at my old ones with a little bit of disgust, because I feel like I'm slowly improving as a writer, and I really do think these new bits will evolve into my best material.

That said, I think (and hope) that in another year, I feel those same feelings of disgust about the jokes I'm working on right now. That means I'm either pushing myself to get better, or I'm coming to the realization that I'm a hack. Hopefully, it turns out to be the first one. Writing is absolutely the thing I hate the most about comedy, but I've accepted it's a necessary evil. I'm forcing myself to sit down and try to come up with something almost every day, and I really do think the repetition is slowly paying off.

Anyways, I'm going to end this stupid thing and go hang out with my girlfriend and my dog. It's our last Sunday vegging out together for a few weeks; we're gonna enjoy it.

Thanks for reading these things, and have a great Sunday!


Saturday, 25 August 2018

#94 - Cooking 08/25/18

It took me 34 years, but I'm slowly learning how to cook.

Growing up, I never had any interest in learning. I was pretty reliant on Kraft Dinner, fast food and my quick metabolism. As I get older, I don't have the budget for fast food every night, or the metabolism for Kraft Dinner every night. My girlfriend was always the primary cook in our house, but she works way longer hours than I do these days, and if you're home all day, and can't be bothered to make a meal for your spouse while they're at work, you're kind of lazy. 

"I don't know how to cook" isn't an excuse anymore, either. With the internet available on everything these days, it's really not hard to google "how to make ______", and if there's a step you don't understand, you can google that, too. For a while, we were signed up for this "meal delivered to your door" type service, and every week we would get the ingredients for three meals, along with pretty simple instructions dropped off at the house. That got me started, but it was pretty expensive, so we decided to cut ties. It gave me the confidence to try and keep learning, though.

I make dinner almost every night, now. It's not 5 star restaurant quality, but it isn't just frozen pizzas, either. Fresh salads, usually chicken or beef, it's fresh food. I'm not gonna be entering any cooking competitions anytime soon, but six months ago, I didn't know how to fry an egg. Seriously. I actually kind of like cooking, now. 

To tie it back to stand up, getting into comedy has given me the confidence to try other things. Cooking, podcasting, this blog; I'm learning that it's ok to suck at something and to put time into learning how to get better. When you learn how to be a comedian, you have to learn in front of a room full of strangers. If you can survive that, learning how to cook in the privacy of your own home is a piece of cake. 

So if you don't know how to do something, like cook for example, I really urge you to try. Just look up a simple recipe for something you like and give it a shot. It won't always turn out perfect, but it's really not as intimidating as it seems. And learning how to do something you never thought you'd figure out is a really empowering feeling. 

Thanks for reading this dumb thing.


Friday, 24 August 2018

#93 - The Sopranos 08/24/18

This was a blog I meant to write a few weeks ago, and forgot all about it. I'm gonna get away from the comedy talk today, and instead, spend a few minutes gushing over what I consider to be the greatest show in the history of television; The Sopranos.

I didn't watch The Sopranos during it's initial run. I saw the odd episode on tv, but it seemed like a series you need to watch in order to fully know what's going on (and you definitely do). So finally, years after it ended, my girlfriend and I caved and watched the first season on DVD. In about 2 days. Then we rushed out and bought the second season, and the third, and so on. I was completely hooked right from the first episode.

There's one scene from the pilot episode in particular, where Tony uses Christopher's car to chase down a guy that owes them money, and it's a phenomenal combination of comedy and drama that sets the tempo for the entire series, in my opinion. I love it.

*Definitely not something to watch with the kids. Violence, profanity, etc*

Admittedly, I've always found the world of organized crime fascinating, but The Sopranos took it to a whole different level. I love everything about this show. It can be serious and intense one minute, and then end that same scene with a joke that makes you laugh, before it pulls you right back into a serious situation. The way humour is sprinkled throughout the series without becoming the primary focus of the show is incredible. The writing is simply perfect. 

And the characters??? Unreal. Tony Soprano is one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. In my opinion, he's the perfect anti-hero. He can be a selfish, egotistical asshole one minute, and then a funny, smiling guy that you'd want for a neighbour the next. They do a great job of planting these seeds of decency in his character (for example, it's established very early on that he cares about animals), and things like this give him this redeemable quality and makes him a character you can get behind, despite the fact that he's constantly doing terrible things like cheating on his wife and, well, running people over with cars....

It's not just Tony, though. Carmella, Dr. Melfi, Christopher, Silvio, Paulie (my second favourite, and the funniest character on the show for sure), they're all great. This show is the perfect combination of immaculate storytelling and incredible characters that, as far as I'm concerned, has yet to be duplicated.

The only real criticism The Sopranos receives with any regularity is that the ending was a letdown. Personally, I didn't hate it, but I also knew what it was before I saw it. I can't imagine watching the series finale live and having it end the way it did. I might have thrown my tv through a window. It's aged well, though, in my opinion. I really like reading fan theories about it, even though we all know what it actually means.

I don't want to go into too many details in case you haven't watched the show, and I don't mean for this to sound like a review. I just wanted to show my love and admiration for this series. I just urge/beg you to give it a chance. The DVDs are stupid expensive, but it's on Crave TV now for like $10/month, and I cannot stress how great of a deal that is.

I put The Sopranos all by itself at the top of the television mountain. I'm in the middle of my 4th or 5th viewing of the series, and it never gets old. It's TV perfection. 

And no, The Wire isn't better than The Sopranos. Stop it.


Thursday, 23 August 2018

#92 - Find The Torture You're Comfortable With 08/23/18

Jerry Seinfeld once said, "Find the torture you're comfortable with". He was describing how he feels about stand up to Howard Stern. I love that quote.

Comedy can be torture. I'm certainly not speaking for every comedian out there, but I think most of the comics I know would agree with me. It can be great, but it can be soul crushing, too. Going out night after night, telling jokes to 5 people that don't care what you have to say. Stressing over writing new material, constantly second guessing your jokes, bombing....

But for many of us, stand up is the torture we're comfortable with. I know that sums up exactly how I feel about it. I look at getting on stage the same way I do exercising. Most of the time, I don't really feel like doing it. Sure, there are days where I'm feeling motivated and I run an extra km, or I can't wait to get in front of a crowd. But there are definitely just as many days where I have no interest in doing it at all. It feels like torture. Its just a torture I like.

Y'know that feeling you get after you work out? That world beating, accomplished feeling? That's how I feel after I get on stage. It doesn't matter if I do well or if I completely eat my balls and bomb, I feel so much better than I know I would if I had just stayed home that night. There's something about comedy and just trying to get a little bit better that makes me feel really good. It's addictive. Last night, I was feeling lazy, and I didn't really want to go out. A big part of me just wanted to chill on the couch and play video games. Instead, I forced myself to get off my ass, and I hit up two shows to work on the new jokes I've been playing with for a while. Neither set went super well, but I came home feeling proud of myself for not being lazy. I tortured myself.

Maybe that sounds stupid, comparing comedy to torture. I just can't think of a better way to explain it. As soon as I heard that quote, I loved it. Find that thing, that torture that you're comfortable with, and embrace it. It'll force you to challenge yourself, and the feeling that comes with pushing yourself through something uncomfortable is just about the best feeling there it.

This blog is torture some days.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

#91 - Posting Video of My Comedy 08/22/18

When I decided I was going to try stand up, I spent a lot of time googling advice for new comedians, and I came across a ton of articles and blogs offering all kinds of pointers to people getting ready to get on stage for the first time. 

Some of the advice showed up in every single post. Things like "Stick to your time" and "Don't steal jokes" were mentioned over and over again. Those are the same things people tell you to your face when you start out, and yet comics still blow the light (go over the amount of time they're supposed to do on a show) and steal material all the time. I used to wonder how they didn't get that they were doing something wrong, but now I see that most of the time it's not that they don't understand, it's that they don't care.

But other pointers weren't as obvious. One blog in particular stuck out to me, and I've included a link to it here if you're interested. It was written by a newer comic, he'd been in stand up for around 2.5 years when he wrote his post, and it included some good advice. Before I get into the suggestion that I liked the most, I would like to say one more thing. A common piece of advice in comedy is "don't take advice from comedians". I don't agree with that as a whole, but I do think it has some merit. When I ask for advice from more experienced comedians (or when they offer it to me anyways), I listen to everything they have to say. I'll take what they suggest into account, and apply what I think can help me. To shrug off all the advice someone is offering is stupid, as is blindly accepting everything everyone tells you. Figure out your own path, but use other people's experiences to your benefit when you can. In all walks of life, learning from people that came before you is invaluable, but don't be afraid to pick and choose what advice you listen to.

That said, one of the points brought up in the blog I linked above is: don't share your early videos. I've been in stand up for about 2.5 years myself, and I've got countless videos of my comedy on my computer. I've posted some of them online, too. Without fail, about 6 months after I post a video, I watch it again and absolutely hate it. You should constantly be getting better, and as you do, you'll watch old performances and notice all the things you were doing wrong at the time. The problem with posting these old videos is that bookers and managers see them, too. If you can spot the mistakes you're making, guess what they can see.

That's not to say you should never share your stand up. I always keep a video available for people to see. I just constantly update it. Every time I think I'm going to be in front of a really hot crowd, I shoot a new video, and then I take the old one down and replace it. I still constantly wrestle with the idea that the jokes I'm putting online aren't good enough, or they're not finished, but it hits a point where if you want to get booked, you need to have something to show people. Just make sure the video you have online is the best you're capable of at the time, and always be looking to improve it. 

And if you have videos from your first month in stand up posted somewhere, I'd recommend taking them down. Or making them private, at least. You might be really proud of that set right now, but if you stick with comedy, you won't be soon. And if a club manager searches your name, and the first video that pops up is one of you from a year ago, in front of 5 people at a bar, that's what they might judge you on. They probably aren't going to take the time to look for more of your videos, and you'll never get the chance to explain that was an old tape. 

Just be careful with what you make public. I've made it a rule that anything I post online, I'm ok with sending to someone considering hiring me. And as soon as I have something better, that old video comes down. That's my advice, anyways.

That, and don't take advice from comedians.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

#90 - Go To Bed Motivated, Wake Up Lazy 08/21/18

Go to bed motivated, wake up lazy. Story of my life. Well, maybe not my life. Definitely today, though. I woke up this morning, and just didn't have the urge to do anything. Hence the fact that this blog is going up around noon, when it's normally the first thing I do in the morning.

Does anyone else have days like this? When you go to bed the night before, you have that "let's fucking do this!" mentality. Then the next morning, your alarm goes off and all that motivation has just disappeared? Not just when it comes to work, but everything: exercise, projects, goals; I don't know why it's so common. I think it's easy to tell yourself that you'll start something tomorrow, and then justify being lazy in the now because you'll make up for it the next day. Then the time comes to put up or shut up, and, well, you end up posting a blog 3 hours later than you intended to.

It's easy to talk a big game. It's infinitely harder to put your money where your mouth is. As I've mentioned before, part of the reason I decided to start a daily blog was to force myself to get into a working mindset first thing in the morning. Crossing blog off of my "to do" list really does motivate me to keep going and get everything else I want to get done that day finished. Most days, the thing I find hardest is forcing myself to sit down and churn one of these things out. I know that once I start, I'll work all day. It's just easy to convince myself that as long as I don't write a blog, I don't have to do any of my other work either. Lazy....

Another reason I get unmotivated sometimes is because I know that Rome wasn't built in a day. In a normal work day, I try to exercise, blog, email clients, write jokes, work on one of my other projects (writing, podcasts, etc) and get on stage at night. I know that finding success at any of those things takes time, and the little steps add up. But sometimes, it's hard to force yourself to take a little step. I constantly find myself trying to justify skipping a day, telling myself that in a month this day off won't matter anyways. Frankly, that's probably true. The problem is that it's way too easy for one day off to turn into two. Three. Five. Before you know it, you haven't made any progress on your goal in a week, and then you say fuck it.

I guess the point of this blog was to convince myself not to take a day off. It worked, because as soon as I post this, I'm going to go work on the jokes I want to try tonight. So if you have a goal in mind, no matter what it is, try to take a step every day. Force yourself to do something to get a little closer, even if it's just something small. I think more often than not, you'll find that small step kicks you in the ass and motivates you to keep going. Just keep moving forward.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 20 August 2018

#89 - NXT Earned a New Fan This Weekend 08/20/18

I know, I know, "another wrestling blog".... I'm bound and determined to reach my goal of 100 blogs in 100 days, and after almost 90 of these things, it gets hard to figure out what to talk about. Wrestling is just one of those topics I can blab on about for days.

I was going to review SummerSlam, but my friend Andre is coming by this week to record a podcast with me about it, so I'll save my thoughts for that. (That's my world renowned 'Adam Wastes Time' podcast; available on iTunes, PodBean, and YouTube!). However, I would like to take a quick minute to touch on NXT TakeOver, and NXT as a whole.

Prior to Saturday, I had never watched NXT, despite several of my fellow wrestling nerd friends telling me that I'm missing out big time. Much like IMPACT, New Japan, ROH, etc, the idea of trying to get into a new wrestling product turned me off. I have to learn all the names, who's good, who's bad, who hates just seems like a lot of work. Admittedly, that's a stupid mentality. I love pro wrestling, and don't really care for the WWE's product right now. There's so many alternatives these days, I was just being close minded and lazy in not giving them a shot.

So this weekend, I finally decided to buy in to the hype, and give NXT a chance. Holy.......hell. It was a fantastic show from top to bottom. I'm not going to go into a fun fledged review here, I think Andre and I will touch on it during our podcast, but there wasn't a bad match on the card. It was so obvious that these guys and girls had been given the green light to go out there ad try to steal the show, and damned if that's not what all of them did. It was so much fun to watch, and I legitimately popped 3 or 4 times while sitting by myself watching it. (Adam Cole is the fucking man.)

It was one of those shows that reminded me of why I became a fan in the first place. I didn't know much of the backstory in regards to any of the matches, and I didn't watch it for the storylines. I just wanted to watch the wrestling. I'll be tuning in to NXT moving forward, certainly priority over RAW and SmackDown. And I'm more interested than I've ever been in checking out some alternatives to get my wrasslin' fix each week. I'm not wasting anymore of my time on a stale product that I just don't enjoy (WWE).

So hats off to everyone involved with TakeOver this weekend. That was one of the best shows I've watched in years, and you have a new fan in this guy. Well done.

It's still real to me, dammit.


Sunday, 19 August 2018

#88 - SummerSlam Sunday Ramblings 08/19/18

This is going to be a lazy blog, because I'm feeling lazy.

As I type this, I'm watching NXT Takeover. And then SummerSlam is tonight. All I gotta get done in between is this blog, and publish a podcast. Sweat pants and wrestling. That's what Sunday is all about!

I've never sat down and watched a full NXT event before, despite every wrestling fan I know telling me I should. I'm only one match into this show so far (Undisputed Era vs Moustache Mountain), but if that was any indication of how good this show is going to be, NXT has a new fan in this guy. I forgot just how fun pro wrestling can be.

As far as SummerSlam goes, I think it has potential to be pretty good. I'm as pumped for Miz/Bryan as I have been any wrestling match in years. Joe/Styles and Ziggler/Rollins should be pretty awesome, too. I hope we get an Ambrose heel turn, a Miz victory, and Kevin Owens walks out the Universal Champion. And Alexa Bliss destroys Rowdy Ronda, too....Bliss is the best.

Outside of wrestling, I had a fantastic weekend of shows in Calgary. The crowds were red hot, and the staff at that Yuk Yuks are incredible. I did 25 minutes both nights, switched up the sets, and came up with a couple new tags on the spot, which I very rarely do. I recorded audio for both, but I busted my camera out last night as well. I'm gonna give it a watch tomorrow and see if there's anything new in there I can keep. I hate watching video from sets I think went well way more than video of me bombing. You never end up doing as well as you thought you did when you watch the tape back. At least when I watch myself bomb, I know what's coming.

I went for lunch with my friends Dan and Rob yesterday, too. We were best friends when I was a kid, but I moved away in 1996 and had minimal contact with the guys since. I think it's rad that they're still close, and it was really fun catching up. They came to the show last night, too, which I great appreciated. If you guys read this, it was great seeing you. Let's not go 20 years before we do it again!

Anyway, Takeover is on, and I want to watch it. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your Sunday!


Saturday, 18 August 2018

#87 - Motivation 08/18/18

Last night, I got to middle at the Yuk Yuks in Calgary. I opened for Brittany Lyseng, who got to headline the club for the first time. I'm happy to say she did really well, too! If you're reading this before tonight, you're in Calgary, you want to laugh, and you can check off all those boxes, please come to the show!

Last weekend, I got to host for my friend Celeste (who is actually hosting for Brittany at the club here in Calgary tonight), as she headlined her home club for the first time back in Edmonton. Two weeks in a row, I was fortunate enough to get to work with a really funny, humble comic, as they headlined their first weekend at a club. I think that's really cool for a couple reasons.

I'm legitimately happy for them, because they're nice people. Far too often in comedy (and in the rest of this world, for that matter), people get overtaken by feelings of resentment and jealousy when someone gets something. In stand up, there's a ton of "I'm funnier than them", or "How did they get that??" whenever someone gets a chance to take the next step. Admittedly, I've done it myself way more than I should. I really am happy for both of them, and I've decided to do my best to make a conscious effort to support my fellow comedians when something good comes their way. We should be working together. When one of us succeeds, it just opens a door for more of us to step through. We're all just trying to be funny.

If you put a positive spin on someone else's success, it can also be a wicked source of motivation. They're where I want to be. Instead of being resentful of someone else's success, I use it as something to strive for myself. I want to be a headliner, and I want to be a good comic. Watching people evolve into headliners is as powerful of motivator as anything out there. Seeing someone accomplish something you want to do yourself is proof that what you want is obtainable. Just put your head down, and keep working.

It's been a great couple of weekends. Today, I'm gonna meet up with a couple old friends of mine from elementary school for lunch and a quick podcast, and then it's one more show before I head home. 

Sure beats sitting on a forklift at Uline :)

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 17 August 2018

#86 - Driving 08/17/18

I'm leaving for Calgary in a couple hours. I'll be at Yuk Yuks down there this weekend, so if you're in town come by and say hi!

I'm pretty excited. It's a really great room, and I like the comedians I'm working with. I'm also gonna catch up with a couple friends of mine from Elementary school on Saturday for lunch and a podcast. And then I'm coming back Saturday night after the show, and spending Sunday watching SummerSlam with Shaley. Sounds like a sweet weekend to me :)

I'm driving down and back by myself. I actually really like being on the road alone. Riding with comedians I like is always sweet, and it's nice being able to do shifts behind the wheel. But (particularly in the Summer) there's not much I enjoy more than driving alone. I can listen to my shitty pop music or my video game/wrestling podcasts and not make anyone else suffer through them.   Whenever I'm in the car with someone else, I never want to put on awful music or inconvenience them at all. I hate asking to stop to go to the bathroom. Which is dumb, because with a couple notable exceptions, most the people I've spent any real time on the road with have been awesome.

Some of the best times I've had in comedy so far have been joking around in the car with comics on the way to shows. Driving through BC with William Hannigan and Steve McGovern at like 4 in the morning, laughing about the stupidest shit. Mike Dambra and I have come up with about 10 ideas for awful sitcoms while we drive through the night.  I don't even know if the stuff we've come up with is funny, or if we're just laughing to try and stay awake, but man it's fun.

Sometimes, a weekend of shows can sink or swim based entirely on the people you're working with. One of things that motivate me to try and improve as a comic is wanting to reach a point where I have some say in who I go on the road with. Getting paid to hang out with friends is about the coolest job in the world.

Anyways, thanks for reading. 14 of these things to go!

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, 16 August 2018

#85 - Getting Older 08/16/18

I'll be 35 in a few months. It's been 17 years since I graduated High School. I'm not an old man, but I'm certainly well on my way. There's a lot of grey in the beard these days. Does anyone else still feel like the 90's were "10 years ago"?

When you're young, people give you advice and you blow it off. You figure you know better. And then the same people trying to give you advice tell you they thought they knew better when they were your age, too. But still, you figure you actually do know better than they did. And then you get to be their age, and you realize they were right; you didn't know anything.

You might have to read that twice.

I figured I knew better. And now I know that I didn't. Anytime someone gives me advice these days, I hear them out and consider what they're saying, because I know that's what I should have been doing when I was younger. I'm embracing getting older, because as I've matured, I've realized that I don't know as much as I think I do, and I'm willing to really listen and learn for the first time in my life.

I also have less patience, under the right circumstances. I'm more than patient when it comes to waiting for something. However, I've learned not to have any patience when it comes to bullshit. And that's an absolute blessing. Everyone realizes different things at different points in their lives. It took me a long time to realize that I don't have the time, or the patience, to put up with crap from people that don't deserve my time, or my patience. Instead of putting on a fake smile and putting up with something I don't want to put up with, I just walk away now. And it's improved my quality of life drastically.

If you're condescending or rude, I don't have time for you anymore. If the only time you text or contact me is when you want something, you probably don't get much more than a one word reply these days. I have fewer friends, and I love it. Everyone should do a little spring cleaning in regards to the people they associate with, and get rid of the dead weight. Life is too short to spend it trying to please everyone. Figure out who you really value having in your life, and focus your energy on building a stronger relationship with them, instead of trying to spread your time out amongst everyone.

Almost everyone has a least one friend that they just don't like. A friend, that you don't like. Does that make any sense at all?

Get off my lawn.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

#84 - When a New Joke Works 08/15/18

I don't know if anything puts me in a better mood than trying a new joke, and having it work. It doesn't have to crush or get me an applause break or anything. Just, get something. A snicker. I don't care. If a new bit is met with any form of a positive reaction, it makes my day.

I hate getting bored of my material. I'd rather try a new bit or a tag and have it bomb, than go on stage and tell the same old joke for the 100th time in a row. But as far as I'm concerned, trying new stuff is also the hardest part of being a comedian. You can sit at home and write all the jokes you want. In the end, the only way to know if something works is to take it on stage and throw it against the wall. If it even sticks the littlest bit, it can be insanely energizing. Because now you have something to work on!

I tried a new joke last night. It was actually one of the first bits I tried when I got into stand up, and it never used to work. I've grown as a writer, though, and I came at it last night from a new angle entirely. I spent most of my morning yesterday re-builing it from the ground up. Admittedly, they were a really hot audience, but the joke worked this time! People laughed at it. And I'm sure when I listen back to it today, it'll be awful. They won't have laughed as hard as I thought they did, and there'll be so much fluff in the joke that I need to remove and play with. But just knowing that somebody beside me thought it was funny is enough to carry me for days. I'll try it at every open mic I hit for the next couple weeks, playing with it and tweaking words. I'm just more enthusiastic about getting on stage when I know I have something new to play with.

Trying new jokes is the most daunting part of being a comic, in my eyes. It's hard, because you just have no idea how people are going to react. Telling a joke that you thought was funny, only to be met with complete silence, fucking sucks. But even if it completely bombs, and nobody makes a sound, you tried something different. And that doesn't mean the joke doesn't work. Keep trying it. Try a different word in the set up, or emphasizing a different part of the punchline. Far too often, a new joke bombs the first time I try it, and I just give up on it entirely. It's a terrible habit that I need to break.

But that doesn't matter today. I have a new bit. And while there's a pretty good chance it bombs the next three times I try it, it worked yesterday. And it has me feeling good today.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 14 August 2018

#83 - Trump 08/14/18

Literally nobody has asked, but I figured I'd spend a paragraph or two voicing my opinions on the current President of the United States for today's blog.

I don't pay any attention to politics, but how can anyone avoid hearing about Donald Trump in 2018? Unless you live off the grid, in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, with no people or internet for miles, he's practically impossible to ignore. He's all over TV, Twitter, Newspapers; he's everywhere. And if he's not the most polarizing figure on the planet right now, he's pretty damned close.

Back in his Apprentice days, I liked Donald Trump. I think a lot of people did. I didn't know (or care) about his business practices or his personal opinions on anything. I just saw him as the "You're Fired" guy. The first couple seasons of that show were fun to watch. He showed up in the pro wrestling for a cup of coffee, too.

Trump on the receiving end of a Stone Cold Stunner :)

He didn't seem like a bad guy, just a character on TV. I didn't know that he had gone bankrupt in the past and all that stuff. And frankly, I wouldn't have cared anyway. I figured all big businessmen have skeletons in their closets. At least Trump cracked me up. I thought his hair was hilarious, and if I got sick of him, I could just change the channel. Remember when you could just change the channel to get away from Donald Trump? Those were the days.....

Fast forward a few years, and it's President Trump. The guy from The Apprentice is calling the shots for the most powerful country in the world. Suddenly, he didn't seem like the funny boss I had grown to like watching on TV. He was....kind of an asshole.

Admittedly, I supported Trump and his campaign for quite a while. I didn't think he'd actually win, and I thought it was entertaining to watch this guy that was different from all the other cut and paste politicians. I never watched Presidential debates or anything like that before, but I couldn't help but watch this loud, obnoxious blowhard keep interrupting his opponents and acting like a child on national TV. I fell into the "at least he says what's on his mind" camp for quite a while.

When the "grab her by the pussy" tape came out, I rolled my eyes. It was a stupid thing for him to say, although I think what often gets overlooked is that he said it in (what he thought was) a private conversation between friends. I'm not sitting here defending his comment, but who hasn't made a joke to a friend that they wouldn't dare say in public? I'm sure lots of women gossip about people, and I've been in locker rooms with other guys. People talk shit all the time. It was a dumb comment, that I felt got blown slightly out of proportion because people were looking for reasons to hate on Trump. We were all realizing he was an idiotic blowhard without a filter, this just magnified that fact.

As you all know, Trump went on to win the election. The guy that made me laugh, that I occasionally defended for "speaking his mind", went full on crazy. His tweets, his press conferences, it just became a circus. At times, it's hard to remember that he's in charge of the United States and not just some goofball parody on television. My support of him was waning. Every week, he did or said something dumber than the last. I can recall two specific moments that caused me to walk away from him altogether, although I don't remember the order of them.

The first was when he said "why do we want people from shithole countries coming here?", and the second was when he said there was "fault on both sides" in regards to the Charlottesville rallies. He wasn't funny anymore, and these comments weren't stupid things he said to try and crack up his friends. A joke will rarely, if ever, offend me. But these weren't jokes. These were the opinions of an asshole.

I know a lot of people still support Trump, and that's fine. I can't stand it when people tell other people how they have to feel or what they have to believe in. And admittedly, I still don't pay enough attention to the United States and what Trump has going on to form a full educated opinion. Is the economy better, are there more jobs, blah blah blah? I don't know. I just know that I was a Trump fan for years. And now that the curtains have been pulled back, and we've seen what's going on in the man's head, I don't think he's funny anymore.

I'm gonna go watch something that really matters; SportsCentre.


Monday, 13 August 2018

#82 - Ghostbusters 08/13/18

My parents have these yearbooks for me and my brother. Every year in school, they had a page to fill out that listed off our best friends, favourite subjects, etc. One of the questions was, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" And for a couple years when I was a kid, my answer was "a Ghostbuster".

I love the Ghostbusters. When I was little, I watched the first movie almost daily. I honestly don't remember a time in my life without those guys. And even though all I've gotten for new content in the last 20 years is one good video game, one awful movie, and some comic books and board games, I'm still a diehard fan.

The first film is absolutely my favourite comedy of all time. I think it's the perfect movie. I love the characters, the plot, the special effects (I think the proton streams have aged really well!). Stay Puft is an icon. And it spawned arguably the greatest theme song ever; Ray Parker's Ghostbusters. I have about 10 different versions and covers of that song on my iPhone right now. And I enjoy the movie as an adult in an entirely different way than I did as a kid, too. Jokes like the ghost undoing Ray's pants went right over my head when I was little. Walter Peck is the perfect villain. Ahhh....I could spend hours gushing about that movie....

I have this poster proudly displayed in my office. The only issue I have with this movie is that Winston deserved a little more love.

The second movie takes some heat, but I don't think it's that bad. I don't know if that's because I grew up watching it and I have that nostalgic attachment to it, but it's not awful. Of course, it isn't the first film, but what is? We got all the characters back, fun music, some ghostbusting (I think the courthouse scene might be my favourite scene in either movie). People will argue the Statue of Liberty scene is dumb, but is it really much dumber than Stay Puft was? Bill Murray has been pretty vocal about his distain for this movie, and it's a big part of the reason we never got a true Ghostbusters III. If you don't like it, I think you should give it another shot. It takes way more flack than it deserves. 

If anything, the 2016 Ghostbusters movie made Ghostbusters 2 look incredible. Ugh....

There was the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, which I thought was great. I even liked it after Dave Coulier took over the role of Peter. Although admittedly, those episodes aren't nearly as good as I remember them being after rewatching some of them on Netflix. The original episodes with Lorenzo Music voicing the character are great, and they still hold up today.

Peter Venkman is my favourite fictional character of all time. Bill Murray is one of my favourite characters, primarily because of his portrayal of Venkman in the original film. Everything he says cracks me up. "C"mon, let's run some red lights!" "Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!" "It's true, this man has no dick..." Beautiful. The Real Ghostbusters cartoon version of Peter is just as awesome. He's the comic relief of the team, and the coolest character. (Although cartoon Egon is pretty hilarious, too).

I love the Ghostbusters. That logo makes me smile, the song is incredible. Proton Packs and Ghost Traps just look so cool. I'll never not be a Ghostbusters fan. I wish we had gotten a true third movie in the worst way. A fantastic video game came out years ago, that featured all of the original team doing the voices for their characters, and most people say that it's the 3rd movie. With Harold Ramis passing away, I think that's what we'll all have to accept now. Doing a true Ghostbusters III without Egon is impossible.

This wasn't meant to be a blog talking about all the little known facts about the Ghostbusters franchise. I just wanted to gush about something near and dear to my heart this morning. If you haven't seen the first movie in a while, I urge you to put it on one night and just enjoy it. They just don't make 'em like that anymore...

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 12 August 2018

#81 - Rainy Sunday Rambling.... 08/12/18

It's noon right now, and Tiger tees off in the final round of the PGA Championship in about 1/2 an hour. I still have to get this blog finished and a podcast uploaded before then, so this is gonna be a quick ramble.

It's pouring out right now, thunder and stuff too. Just the best weather for a lazy Sunday of golf and online poker, with a side of napping.

My nephew has been here for the last week, and my girlfriend's folks got into town on Thursday, so we've had a fun house for the past few days. It was really good catching up with them. They're good people. Everyone always makes jokes about how rough it can be having to "spend time with the in-laws", but mine are pretty cool. They even came out to one of my shows this weekend, and I didn't totally bomb in front of them like I did the last time they saw me on stage!

They came out to the Friday show at Yuk Yuks, where I was hosting for my friend Celeste. She was headlining her first weekend at the club, and she fucking killed it. It was pretty cool getting to open for her, and I was really happy that she got the opportunity. I've told her many times, but when I started out as comic, she was one of the first comedians to reach out to me and offer a few words of encouragement. It meant a lot to me, and I never forgot it. So if you're reading this, Celeste, good job. We're proud of you, and you crushed it!

I have a TON of podcasts scheduled this week. I'm on the road most of September, so I'm trying to backlog enough episodes of both podcasts that I don't miss a week while I'm away. I'll take my podcasting gear with me, but I never know if I'll run into anyone interested in talking to me for more than 30 seconds, so I figure better safe than sorry.

And on the podcast note, my downloads are still *slowly* increasing most weeks. So if you've downloaded any of them, thank you.

Good enough for today. 6 hours from now, Tiger will have his 15th major. Book it!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 11 August 2018

#80 - Social Media Lynch Mobs 08/11/18

I don't expect most people to know who Filip Miucin is. If you're one of those "most people" I'm talking about, I'll catch you up.

Filip is a YouTuber who recently got hired by IGN (one of the biggest video game websites on the internet). A dream job for many aspiring gaming journalists. Last week, he got to publish his first video game review on the site. Unfortunately for him, things fell apart pretty quickly after his review went public.

The person behind the YouTube channel "Boomstick Gaming" watched Filip's review video, and quickly noticed that Filip's review sounded a lot like the review Boomstick himself had published a few days earlier for the same game. He made a new video pointing out the similarities, and accused Filip and IGN of plagiarizing his review. The accusation video quickly blew up, and after an investgation by IGN, they determined there was substantial evidence supporting the plagiarism claims. They swiftly terminated Filip's employment, and issued an apology notice.

Filip has since put out another YouTube video, addressing the claims. But he doesn't actually apologize to Boomstick Gaming in his vlog. In fact, it seems to have made the situation worse. People are (rightly) questioning why someone would risk a potential dream job by doing something as stupid and lazy as stealing another journalists review and trying to pass it off as their own. I don't know the answer to that question, but that's not why I wanted to post this blog.

I've read a bunch of the tweets and comments directed at Filip over the last week or so. While I have zero doubt in my mind that he did indeed steal Boomstick's work and try to pass it off as his own, I can't get behind the venom being spewed at him over his mistake. Filip is the latest in a long line of people that are being crucified by "social media lynch mobs" over mistakes they've made. And I think it's getting out of hand.

I love Twitter. I tolerate most social media. In today's world, it's almost a necessary evil if you want to stay connected. Giving everyone a voice, and the ability to say whatever they want to whoever they want to say it to has changed the world. I'm not certain it's a change for the better, though. People are taking it too far. There's an old saying, "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Nobody is without sin. But people are coming down on this kid like they're perfect, and he harmed all of them personally.

Filip made a mistake. And he has paid a heavy, albeit fair, price for it. He was let go of a dream job in his industry, and will probably never be hired by anyone else in gaming journalism again. A quick google search of his name (which is something I assume most employers do these days), will produce a magnitude of articles discussing his alleged plagiarism, and that's probably about as far as his interview processes will get for the foreseeable future. I don't have any issue whatsoever with that.

My issue is with people still piling on this kid, days after he was fired and humiliated. Calling him vicious names and taking joy in his misery. Filip has claimed that other members of his family have received the same treatment he has, and that's never OK. The guy ripped off a video game review. He didn't poison a water supply or steal money from an orphanage. All these "internet tough guys" need to take a step back and look in the mirror. Just because mistakes you've made in the past aren't on the internet for the world to see, doesn't mean you're perfect. And this whole "mob mentality" that we as a society have adopted to deal with people that screw up online needs to stop before it pushes someone over an edge that they can't return from.

Social media has given everyone a voice, and I think it's great. I just don't know if it's doing more good than it is harm...

Thanks for reading.


Friday, 10 August 2018

#79 - Hanging Out in the AC 08/10/18

I can't think of anything to blog about today. So I'm just going to spend a couple minutes semi-complaining about the heat.

SEMI-complaining. Don't come at me with your "Winter will be here right away, stop complaining, blah blah blah...." garbage. I like the heat. But this is a little much. One of my favourite things to do is to walk my dog, and she just isn't having it today at all. We get about 5 minutes away and she's had enough. When it's too hot to walk Molly, it's too hot.

I always feel bad when it's this nice out and I waste it hiding out inside. So I'll force myself to sit outside, and unless I'm on a beach or a patio, I just spend it thinking about how damned hot I am. Maybe I just like to complain....

Comedy struggles in Edmonton this time of year because people want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. But when it's too hot, I think it can actually help the attendance numbers, because we get audience members that are just looking for a way to get in out of the heat. I'm at Yuk Yuks here in Edmonton this weekend (message me for free tickets!), and I'm hoping that's the case tonight. Come out to a 7:30 show, enjoy the air conditioning, and then when you get back outside it'll have cooled off a few degrees. Why wouldn't you come?!

Last night, I was part of a show at a campground a couple hours outside of Edmonton. The show was in a giant tent, and it was actually a lot of fun. But holy hell, it was hot. We had an electric fan on stage that was a lifesaver, but the audience didn't have anything except hats to wave at themselves and the coolers of cold beer they brought with them to try and stay cool with. Bless them, those people stayed for the full show (almost 2 hours) and they laughed the whole time and seemed to have a lot of fun. I like performing in unique situations like that. 

That's enough for today. I met quote, and I'm 21 posts away from the 1-0-0. I'm gonna hang out in here in the cold air and play some Mario Tennis with my nephew. 

Hope you have a good weekend!


Thursday, 9 August 2018

#78 - Saku Koivu 08/09/18

I figured I'd touch on another person that inspires me with today's blog. This entry's all about my favourite athlete of all time; former captain of the Montreal Canadiens, Saku Koivu.

Koivu played for the Habs from 1995-2009, and he was their Captain for 10 of those seasons. He was an absolute class act, both on and off the ice. On the ice, he "played the game right". He worked hard each night, never took cheap shots, did whatever it took to help his team win. Off the ice, he was  involved with the community in Montreal, and always had time for the media. He was critisced for not speaking French sometimes, but the guy learned English, and attempted to speak French when necessary. He did everything in his power to live up to the expectations that come with being the Captain of the Montreal Canadiens. I liked him as a hockey player, but it was his off ice character that made me such a fan. 

In 2001, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He spent the entire 2001-02 season going through therapy, swearing that he would play hockey again. And with 3 games left in the season, he did just that. Admittedly, I was only a casual hockey fan in these days, and while I liked Koivu, I didn't watch every Habs game or anything. Regrettably, I didn't see this the night it happened. But I've watched it a million times since. The standing ovation that Saku Koivu received when he stepped onto the ice for the first time since his diagnosis was insane. It gives me chills to this day....

Koivu battled injuries his entire career. In addition to his cancer, he's had several knee injuries, and in 2006, he caught a stick in the eye, suffering a detached retina. He says to this say his vision isn't 100%, and it probably never will be again. But despite being riddled with injuries, Koivu always left everything he had on the ice when he played. He set the tone, and he's reason honest, hard working, respected hockey players are often my favourites. I'm a huge fan of Jarome Iginla, Vincent Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis because I feel they play the game with the same integrity Saku Koivu did.

It's funny (and sad), the only fans I ever really hear criticize Saku Koivu are Habs fans themselves. Sometimes it's because he was the Captain of the team during some of their worst seasons, and they never won a Cup while he was a Hab. The fact that he wasn't completely fluent in French often got him some heat, as well. I don't know, I'll never understand it.

He may not have always been the Canadiens' best player, but he was a someone you could be proud to call your favourite player. He kept his head up, overcame incredible adversity, worked with the community, and always put the team first. He was the type of hockey player a fan should want as a Captain. What parent wouldn't be happy to find out their kid wants a Saku Koivu jersey for Christmas? I have three of them. I sold most of my jersey collection, but I'll never get rid of my Koivu jerseys.

Saku Koivu is the man. He's my hero, and he's my favourite hockey player of all time. 

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

#77 - Bombing 08/08/18

I'm gonna shift back to comedy for a blog today, and talk about bombing. Which is a topic I know quite a bit about *blows on knuckles and rubs them on my shirt*

Bombing's part of the job. And it's weird, because I think for a lot of people that have never tried stand up comedy, the idea of bombing is the most terrifying part. Who hasn't made a joke around their friends, and had it completely miss? Everyone looking at you, and it's awkward, and you have admit it was a joke or try to save it, and the more you try to save it, the worse it gets, and....ugh....

Well, imagine that, but instead of sitting in a car with two of your friends, you're standing on a stage in front of a bunch of strangers. And instead of turning the music up to try and move on, your only option is to keep making jokes and try to fix it. Now, imagine that the joke you told to try to fix it missed the mark even harder than the first one did. Rinse and repeat. That's bombing, folks.

It sucks. Before I tried stand up, I read about a million Advice for new comedians blogs and reddit discussions, and one of the most frequently asked questions was, "How do you deal with bombing?" And the common answer (that I totally understand now) is, "you just learn how to handle it with experience." The bottom line is that anyone that does stand up is going to bomb. It's inevitable. And the only real way to earn how to handle it is to go through it yourself. Over and over again.

I recently said on a podcast that learning to be a comedian is like learning how to drive. You can read about it as much as you want. In the end, you have to experience it for yourself. Bombing sucks, but the only way to get better at dealing with it (and to learn how to do it less often) is to get up there and make an ass out of yourself. It's often said, "you learn more from losing than you do from winning". That 100% applies to comedy.

Bombing will make you a better comic in so many ways. Primarily, you learn that it isn't the end of the world. I've seen everyone from first time open mic comedians all the way up to touring headliners bomb. It's not that big of a deal. You just get up, dust yourself off, and climb right back on stage. Once you get over the fear of bombing, you level up as a comedian. It's that simple.

And once you're not scared of bombing, you get more comfortable trying new things on stage. That's the only way to grow and expand your skill set as a comedian. You have to be willing to try things. Sometimes they'll work, and sometimes they won't. You'll learn what your strengths are, and you'll be more willing to try new jokes and premises on stage. And if they bomb, who cares?

I had an old acquaintance of mine ask me about trying stand up a couple weeks ago. He asked if he should take a class, or what he should do to prepare. And I told him the same thing everyone told me. Don't worry about anything except doing it. Just write a few minutes of jokes, and get up there. He said he's worried about bombing, and I told him it's just like getting over the fear of falling when you're learning how to ride a bike. You just have to suck it up and get over it. You'll probably bomb. Just embrace it, baby.

And if you have to, search "comedian bombs" on YouTube. It makes me feel better sometimes.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

#76 - I Can't Fix Things 08/07/18

Yesterday morning, my stupid washing machine stopped working. First world problems, I know, blah blah blah. It's frustrating that an appliance that's about a month past it's warranty broke. It's more frustrating that I can't fix the damned thing myself.

I suck so hard at working with my hands. My brother is a journeyman electrician, and he's fairly mechanically inclined. He just isn't much of a social butterfly. I can talk my way out of most situations, but I don't know which end of a hammer you're supposed to hit the nail with. If you combined the two of us, you'd get a fast talking repairman that would probably be worth a million dollars...

So when stuff breaks around my house, it drives me crazy. Because I want to fix it myself, but I know there's about a 50/50 chance that I'll just make it worse. And like, a 90% chance I'll get pissed off in the process. And I try. YouTube has actually helped me become a very minimally accomplished repairman. I fixed a leaking toilet a few years ago (it took three trips to Home Depot for parts, because I bought the wrong one the first two times), and God damn, it felt good. This freaking washer, though...

I got this far with my washer's attempted open heart surgery before I gave up and called someone. Stupid washer....

I don't have the patience, the tools, or the skill set to be a handyman. I'm so happy when I hear other people say the same thing, because I know it isn't just me. When I have to call a repairman, I like to chalk it up to the old "well, their work comes with a warranty" excuse, when most of the time I was just in over my head, anyways. Luckily, Shay fell in love with me for.....well.....I don't know why she fell in love with me. But it wasn't for my mechanical intuitiveness, that's for sure.

So as I sit here and write this blog, I'm waiting on the call back from the service company so they can come fix my stupid washing machine. I wish I could fix it myself, but I don't think I can. I have coffee, and the one tool every person should have in their toolbox; a laptop connected to the internet.

Fucking washing machine. At least now it'll have a new warranty....


Monday, 6 August 2018

#75 - The Tampa Bay Rays 08/06/18

I'm not as big of baseball fan as I am hockey fan, but I still like ball. In particular, going to live baseball (if you haven't been to a game, I can't recommend it enough!!!). And when it comes to MLB, my favourite team is the Tampa Bay Rays.

When people hear that, it's usually met with one of two responses; "No really, who's your favourite team?" or they just laugh, and it's followed by, "why?"

It's regularly said that people in Tampa Bay don't even like the Rays. And when you look at their attendance, the story checks out. My girlfriend (a die-hard Jays fan) and I went to a couple Rays/Jays games in Tampa last year. We were at a bar in St. Petersburg the night before our series started, and the Rays were playing the Marlins (Florida's other MLB team). I thought "this is awesome! We're at a bar right on the ocean, and I can finally watch a Rays game on TV!" I get why the Rays don't get a lot of tv time in Western Canada, but there's no way they aren't showing the Citrus Series (Rays vs Marlins) in Florida, right?! Wrong. The big TV over the bar had hockey on it (?). The Rays/Marlins game was on a little tv in the corner of the bar instead.

People are right. Nobody cares about the Rays.

When people ask why I like them so much, I tell them the stupid story. When I was a teenager, I had a minty fresh new PlayStation video game console. I decided to buy a baseball game for it, and ended up buying MLB '99. The Rays (Devil Rays at the time) were the new kid in town. And despite the fact that had awful skill ratings in the game, I was absolutely smitten with their jerseys. Knowing NOTHING about baseball, I decided to give these guys with the sweet uniforms a shot, and that was it.

If I could go back in time, I almost certainly would've selected the Expos instead. Even if their jerseys weren't as cool, I love the Habs, and by association, should have loved the Expos. But I must have saw those Rays jerseys first, and the seed was planted. Part of me is holding out hope that the day comes where MLB finally moves them to Montreal, and I can be Montreal Rays bandwagon member #000001.

But until then, I'm gonna stick with my Rays. I genuinely like them. I like the uniforms (especially those retro ones), and there's something fun about being the only fan of a team. And dammit, they're respectable from an "on field product" perspective. The team has NO money, and they've basically become a professional farm team for the big dogs in the league. Price, Shields, Zobrist, Archer, Longoria, Rodney; the list goes on and on. A player hits their stride in Tampa, and then gets traded for cheaper prospects because the Rays can't afford to keep them. And then the cycle starts over. And despite that, they're often in the playoff hunt, and they even have a World Series appearance under their belt! (Although admittedly, I wasn't really following baseball back then). They're the little team that almost could. Despite being stuck in a division with the powerhouse Yankees and Red Sox, they find way to be at least semi-competitive most years.

They have one of the worst parks in baseball, some of the lowest attendance numbers, and they've never won a championship. But I don't care. I'm proud to be a Rays fan; even if I'm the only one.

Go Rays Go
Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

#74 - Sunday Ramblings 08/05/18

Happy Sunday! Long weekend Sundays are the best, aren't they? You can drink tonight, and then spend Monday at home, nursing your hangover. I guess Holiday Mondays are actually the best...

Unless it's not a long weekend for you. In which case, happy Sunday....blah.

My nephew is here, and we spent most of our night last night playing Fortnite together. It was really fun, because my girlfriend, my nephew, and I each had our own Switch on the go, and we were playing video games together IN THE SAME ROOM! Just like the old days! I tried to explain to him how cut throat Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64 used to get when you had four friends sitting on the same couch. Not like today, where you sit alone in your basement, playing against and being made fun of by some ten year old in his parent's basement on the other side of the world. Sigh...

I'm trying to convince him to try my NES classic, too, but he isn't budging. On one hand, I don't know how anyone isn't interested in playing those old games. But on the other hand, if someone 25 years older than me came to my place when I was 12 and tried to convince me to play with the stuff they grew up with, I wouldn't be interested either. (I was half way through writing that out and realized someone 25 years older than me didn't grow up with video games....)

My girlfriend is on holidays this week, too. And that's awesome. We aren't very clingy, but we really don't spend enough time together these days. Outside of a few shows I have coming up this week, I'm pretty focused on just spending time with the family. By next Sunday, I'll have annoyed her enough that she'll be ready to go back to work.

Speaking of shows this week, I'm going to start posting all the spots I have booked for the week in my Sunday blog. I don't post about all the open mics and stuff I do anymore, because working on new jokes is hard enough without your friends and family there. That said, if you want to come out and heckle me, this is where you can do it over the next 7 days:

August 5 - Empress Comedy Night; Empress Ale House on Whyte (9pm & FREE!)
August 6 - Hosting Battle to the Funny Bone; The Comic Strip in WEM (7:30. Message me for FREE tickets!)
August 10 & 11 - Hosting at Yuk Yuks; Century Casino (Celeste Lampa is HEADLINING!!!!! Come! COME! I have free tickets, message me!)

Like I  said, a slower week, but I want to spend some time with some people doing some things. Have a great Sunday, y'all!


Saturday, 4 August 2018

#73 - Venom 08/04/18

Almost forgot about this damned thing! My nephew got into town today, so my mind is on video games and junk food. But I'm so close to 100 straight days, I'm not stopping now!

The new Venom movie come out in about 2 months. I'm not a big movie guy, and I honestly don't know that much about comic books, either. But I've always liked Spider-Man. And I've always loved Venom.

I was so excited for Spider-Man 3. More than any movie ever. Spider-Man 1 & 2 were fantastic. When I saw Venom was going to be in the third flick? I lost my fucking mind. I figured, "this may end up being my favourite movie of all time!". I just assumed it would be of the same quality as the first two, and they were making my absolute favourite character ever the villain. The stars were aligned...

And then I saw that they were casting Topher Grace as Eddie Brock. Now, I like Topher Grace. I used to love That 70's Show. While I was skeptical, I figured I'd give the guy a chance. How bad can they screw up a character as cool and popular as Venom??


As you probably know, it turned out they could screw him up really, really, badly. I don't blame Topher Grace. The dude was offered a chance to play one of the coolest villains ever, in one of the best superhero movie franchises ever. After the fantastic big screen appearances of Doc Ock and Green Goblin, Venom seemed like a lay-up. To this day, I understand what they were trying to do. Venom/Eddie Brock was going to come across as an evil/mirrored version of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. There are all kinds of articles about how Venom was a last minute addition to the movie and stuff, but I'm not getting into that. At the end of the day, the movie wasn't very good. It broke my heart. I swore I'd never get that excited for a film again (which saved me some serious heartbreak when it came to Ghostbusters 2016). 

But then, after years of speculation, we got an official Venom announcement. He was getting his own movie, and the guy that played Eric Foreman wouldn't be anywhere near it. I was still nervous about it. The wounds from Spidey 3 had finally healed. And when they said it wouldn't involve Peter Parker, my spider senses starting tingling.

But once I saw the second trailer, and we got a glimpse of Venom in all of his big, black, slimy glory, I was sold. Plus, Tom Hardy is awesome. Guys, this movie looks good. People are crapping all over it because Spider-Man isn't it, he doesn't have the Venom logo on his chest, blah blah blah. I'm excited. They look like they're going to be fairly loyal to the Lethal Protector storyline, and that sounds awesome to me. I pray, PRAY, that Cletus Kasady gets introduced in this flick, and we get a rated R Venom vs Carnage sequel. But let's seee how this movie turns out before we start talking sequels....

Like I said, I'm not a big movie guy. And after Spidey 3, I swore I wouldn't let another movie get ahold of me like that. I can't handle being hurt that bad again. But Venom showed up at my door, flashed his tongue, and he got me. I'm hooked, and I can't wait for this movie.

Please, please, please.....don't screw this up.