Saturday, 30 June 2018

#38 - No Interest In Doing This Today 06/30/18

The main reason I decided to try and post 100 blogs in 100 days, was to show myself that I have the discipline it takes to reach a goal. Even if that means doing things I don't want to do. Today is one of those days.

If you read yesterday's post, I got up early, and waited at Best Buy to pick up an NES Classic. I did get one, and it's awesome. I haven't had much time to play it, though. I had a busy afternoon yesterday, and then shows all night. Today is the same thing, I went to record an episode of my buddy Tom's podcast, and I have stuff to finish here at the house before I go to the club for tonight's shows, and then I have plans after the shows are over.

I have a day of podcasts and shows tomorrow, as well. So I had about a 2 hour window to sit down and play with it today. My girlfriend and I just played Super Mario Bros 3 for a hour, and had a fucking blast. Those old Mario games have aged incredibly well. She didn't have anymore time to play, and I was going to settle in and play for another hour or so, and then I remembered this damned blog. I was tempted to blow it off, but I know I won't have another chance to post today, and then the chain breaks at 37 days. That would drive me crazy.

You know when you have something you have to do/should be doing, and you're ignoring it and slacking off instead? I hate that feeling. I can't bring myself to enjoy whatever I'm doing instead, because I'm thinking about the thing I should be doing, and then I dread doing whatever it was I had to do because I've built it up in my mind as this God awful thing that takes me away from something fun. That's exactly how I felt about this blog today.

If you just force yourself to suck it up and finish whatever you have to do, not only do can you cross if off your list, it'll make it 100 times easier to just kick back and enjoy whatever you wanted to be doing originally, because you won't have that little voice nagging at you. Hence, this blog post.

Which is officially done. Chain is intact, and I can still sneak a little more Megaman 2 in before I have to go.

I'm at The Comic Strip tonight and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday). If you're in Edmonton and looking for something to do this weekend, come check out a show. It's a great lineup, and 100% guaranteed to not give you a sunburn.



Friday, 29 June 2018

#37 - Sitting Outside of Best Buy 06/29/18

As I type this blog, it's about 7:30 in the morning, and I'm sitting outside of Best Buy here in Edmonton waiting to buy an NES Classic. Jealous??

You're jealous.....

When these things came out a couple years ago, they sold out in seconds. Half the damned people that bought them just did it so they could re-sell them on kijiji, and loyal Nintendo nerds like me got left out in the cold. Well, luckily, Nintendo decided to release more of them this year, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna miss out again. I got here around 7:15, and there's only one other guy sitting here. You'd think he's the only one that looks like a bigger nerd than me, but he's not sitting there pounding away on his laptop out while he waits.

It's funny too, because anyone driving by has to be looking at me sitting here on my computer thinking "that nerd is probably online writing a blog about video games or something", and that's......exactly what I'm doing.....sigh.....

It's beautiful out here. I've never lined up outside of a store for anything before, and I made the decision last night that if I woke up and it was raining, I'd say "fuck it" and take my chances when the store opens. It's actually really nice out, though. Not too hot, birds are chirping, I have my coffee. Life is good. Plus, there's a Starbucks across the street and I'm mooching off their wifi right now. What more does a man want?

So my plan for the next 2.5 hours is to finish this blog, my emails, listen to my sets from last night (well, one of them. One probably isn't worth listening to), and get all my work done while I wait to buy a toy. It's the whole "Frosted side/Whole wheat side" thing. Maybe I'll try some new jokes on this guy beside me......

I'm going to start recording episodes of my new podcast this weekend, too. It's called "Remember the Game?", and it's just fellow nerds like me chatting about video games we grew up playing. I don't know how good it's going to be, but the feedback about the idea has been overwhelmingly positive. Another notch in my nerd belt.

Anyways, I'm gonna get some work done. You guys don't want to listen to me geek out anymore. And if you do, and it's not 10:00am yet, message me on Facebook. I'm sitting here with all the time in the world to kill....

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your long weekend!!


Thursday, 28 June 2018

#36 - The News 06/28/18

I hardly ever watch the news, anymore. It's just too negative for my tastes. I understand that "fear sells", or whatever they say to justify it, but I just find it depressing.

"Two people were killed today..."

"More and more people are overdosing on this new drug..."

"Terrorists attacked....."

They squeeze a little positivity in where they can, but for the most part, the news isn't exactly a morning motivator. A couple years ago, I made the decision to turn it off, and now I only watch when someone else is and I happen to be in the room. You don't need to watch it anymore. Social media and the internet will make sure you know about the really important stuff, and you can trim out a bunch of the negativity that they shove down your throats everyday.

I suppose you could make a good argument that social media can be even more toxic than the mainstream media is, but at least you have some control over it. I make a point to unfollow twitter accounts that I find are full of negativity, and you can "snooze" on anyone you want on Facebook, so you don't see their posts. (I'm willing to bet that every single person reading this blog that spends time on Facebook has friends that just whine and complain on there 24/7. Snooze 'em!). When you sit down to watch the news, you're at the producer/director/whatever's mercy. They put whatever they want on the air, and that's what you see. And, it's usually negative.

Maybe you'll read this post and think to yourself that I need to grow up. Like Rocky says, "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows", and I understand that. I've just made a commitment to spending as much time as I can focusing on the good in life. I prefer going through my days with my head in the sand. If something really big or important comes up, I'll see it online. I'm not going to waste an hour of my morning being told what's wrong with the world today.

I also understand that maybe there's a little irony in posting a blog being negative about people that are negative. Snooze me.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

#35 - Being The New Kid 06/27/18

My Dad was in the military when I was growing up. As such, we moved a few times, which meant my Brother and I got to go through the joys of being the "new kid at school" more than once.

I get really uncomfortable around strangers and new people. I know that's something a lot of people can relate to, but at least in my case, I chalk a lot of that up to moving around so much as a kid. I moved after kindergarten, again after grade 1, before grade 8, and right after High School as well. Every move came with trying to make new friends and starting out not knowing anybody. And that's hard for anyone, but especially a kid.

I was very fortunate to make some really good friends at each stop along the way, but starting over sucked. As an adult, starting a new job or hobby where I have to be "the new kid" all over again is one of my biggest sources of anxiety in life. It's not even a concern that people won't like me; I don't really care about that. It's just that uncomfortable, unfamiliar feeling. I like walking into a room and knowing the people in there. We don't have to be friends, it's just 10 times easier to relax when you know the lay of the land in a social situation.

When I started going to comedy open mics, not knowing the other comics was WAY worse than the fear of bombing. Nobody was rude or anything, but everyone had their friends that they sat with and talked to. Walking into a show and seeing everyone sitting in groups, and not knowing which group to sit with flashed me back to those first days of school all over again. I almost quit very quickly, entirely because I didn't want to have to go through the experience of being the new guy again. Luckily, a few of the guys reached out pretty early, and I figured out who was who and stuck with it.

I don't really have a clever way of wrapping this blog up. I just wanted to vent about being the new kid in a group. Everyone goes through it, whether it's at school, or a job, or playing sports, or whatever. It sucks so hard. But, I think it also helps you appreciate that comfortable feeling that comes with making a few friends and working your way into a circle of people.

So if there's a new kid wherever you are, try saying "hi". It might not seem like much to you, but it might mean the world to them...

Have a good one.


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

#34 - Tokyo 06/26/18

Last month, my girlfriend and I visited Tokyo for about a week, and I fell in love.

Neither of us has spent a lot of time in a place where english wasn't the primary language, so we both felt a little uneasy when we got off the plane and couldn't read most of the signs or communicate with anyone. We quickly found, however, that people we dealt with either tried to attempt english, or were able to point us in the direction of someone that could. It turned out that a lot of signs had english translations on them, as well. We felt welcomed into Japan very quickly.

Also, you can rent these portable "wifi hub" things that you carry around with you, and they provide you with internet access for your phone 24/7. Having Google maps and translate available all the time was an absolute God send.

We made use of the train system to get around. We found it a little intimidating at first, but people were more than happy to help us figure out how to get where we had to go. There are automated ticket booths everywhere, and actually after a day or two we had the system down (I found it was a much cleaner, nicer version of New York's subway system). Much like New York, it makes it so easy to get around such a big city. We tried to come up with a plan each day on where we wanted to go, but found it so easy to navigate the city that we just started hopping from one end of Tokyo to the other whenever we felt like it. 5 stars to the transit system over there, just perfect.

Like I mentioned, the trains were so clean and quiet, and that just echoes Tokyo as a whole. It was the cleanest city I've ever seen. We were hard pressed to find any garbage laying around anywhere. In a city with so many people, it's nice to see how much pride everyone seems to take in keeping it clean. It's also quiet. People are so respectful of each other. There are signs on the trains indicating that you shouldn't talk on your phone or be too loud. We saw a ton of people sneaking in power naps on their commutes, without a hint of hesitation that anyone would bother them, and it was quiet enough to do so. I loved it.

The city is full of history, fantastic shrines and temples, and just beautiful parks to walk through. Some of the best times we had on our trip were when we would cut through a park and just take a few minutes to enjoy the fresh air and the scenery. And again, it's so quiet and relaxing. I'm not a huge history buff, but I really enjoyed walking through shrines that were centuries old, too. Really interesting stuff.

The food is incredible. Just incredible. Everything we ate was unreal. I've never been a big sushi guy, but I couldn't get enough of it. In particular, we had sushi for lunch one day at this little restaurant where you sat around a conveyor belt, and small plates of different types of sushi would rotate around. You just grab whatever plates you want, and at the end of the meal, the servers would add up all the plates you had and give you your bill. It was some of the best food I've ever had in my life.

We went to a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome, which was awesome. The fans were so passionate, but respectful at the same time. More great food, too! We spent a couple evenings hitting up the shopping districts, as well. Particularly in the evening, it was really fun. Everything lights up, and they actually close some of the streets down. You can just cross wherever you want, and the roads are lined with stores that are 7 or 8 stories high. I had so much fun just hopping from building to building, not knowing what we'd find on the next floor. So many video games!!!!!

Without question, the highlight of the entire trip for me, was go karting. There's a company called Marikar, that gives people the opportunity to take a guided tour through the streets of Tokyo, on go karts. AND, they let you dress up like Mario characters while you do it! (You could dress as characters that aren't from Mario, too. But I don't know why anyone would....). We spent almost 3 hours cruising around the city, right next to cars and trucks. Every time we had to stop at a red light or crosswalk, people were waving and taking photos of us. It makes you feel like a rockstar. It was absolutely one of the funnest thing I've ever done.

My girlfriend and I decided to dress up like Princess Peach and Bowser. This was while we stopped in front of the famous Tokyo Tower.
Over the last 5 years, my girlfriend and I have acquired a taste for traveling. We've gone on some fantastic vacations, but Tokyo was absolutely my favourite. I would honestly entertain the idea of moving there if we could. Everyone talks about how polite Canadians are, but I think we could learn a thing or two from the Japanese. The people, the city, the culture were all incredible.

I have to find some good sushi here in Edmonton, now.....

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 25 June 2018

#33 - In A Good Mood 06/25/18

It's about 9:00 AM, I'm sitting on my couch with my dog and my coffee. I woke up feeling really good this morning. 

I'm usually a morning guy, to be honest. I like the whole idea of not knowing what a day is gonna be like. There's always the hope that something really awesome will happen and it'll be a great day. And, if something really shitty happens and it turns out to be a bad day, I try to wake up the next morning with the mentality, at least today can't be worse. Maybe it's a positive mindset, maybe I just don't like sleeping. I don't know. I genuinely believe every day has the potential to be good.

I had a fun run of shows this past weekend. I worked at Yuk Yuks here in Edmonton Friday and Saturday, and last night I had the chance to close out Empress Comedy Night. For my money, that's as good of show as there is in Edmonton. I'll spend the day today sending emails and writing jokes, and then it's off to The Comic Strip to host Battle to the Funny Bone. And then I'll be hosting at the Strip all weekend. All I want in life is to tell jokes and spend time with people I like. How can I not be in a good mood? 

Obviously, a lot of people wake up in a bad mood most mornings. Especially on Monday. If that's you, I think you owe it to yourself to look at why you're in a bad mood. I preach it here all the time, and I'm the furthest thing from a life coach or a psychiatrist, but if you change your outlook on life, you can change everything about your life. Just figure out what doesn't make you happy, and either get rid of it, or figure out a way to make it into a positive. Watch some motivational stuff on YouTube with your breakfast, that's what I do. Gary Vaynerchuk, Joe Rogan, Tony Robbins, etc. Whether you think they're full of crap or not (I don't), try to use them to shift yourself into a positive mindset to start the day. 

I really think if you can get yourself on the right path mentally first thing in the morning, it's easier to stay there for the day. If you let yourself be miserable for the first couple hours, you have to find a way to backtrack and turn it around. Why waste your time doing that?

I'm in a good mood today. 

Have a good week, and thanks for reading!


Sunday, 24 June 2018

#32 - Jerry Seinfeld 06/24/18

A couple weeks ago, I posted my first blog about someone that I look up to, and that I've been inspired by when I posted about CM Punk. Today, I thought I'd go back to that well and touch on my favourite comedian of all time; Jerry Seinfeld.

I loved his tv show Seinfeld before I ever heard Jerry Seinfeld perform comedy. Keep in mind that when that show came out, we weren't "internetting", yet. So his standup wasn't readily available to watch on demand. I was enamoured with the show, although I actually liked George more than anyone else (he's possibly the greatest character in the history of comedic television. Don't argue with me). I just didn't realize the reason he got the chance to do a TV show was because he was already a  successful standup comedian. Then, a few years after I got hooked on the show, I ended up with a copy of Jerry's comedy album; "I'm Telling You For The Last Time". I didn't realize it at the time, but that CD was going to change my life.

I knew every single word of this album. "Do you feel a draft, Bill?"

I listened to that CD constantly. I had one of those yellow ShockWave discmans, and along with Limp Bizkit, Eminem, Blink-182 and N*Sync, Seinfeld was always in my rotation. I would actually walk around lip-syncing that album like I would with music, pretending I was on stage just murdering. I thought the jokes were funny, but I was just as obsessed with how he delivered them. The way he'd wait for the laughs to slow down, and then say something else to bring them right back up. That trademark "Jerry Seinfeld" voice. Everything about this CD blew my mind. For the longest time, it was the only comedy album I knew. I didn't even realize comedians released albums of their comedy, I just figured Seinfeld did one because the tv show had been so big....

I ended up with other comedy CDs down the road, like Dane Cook and Adam Sandler's old skit CDs (Toll Booth Willie will always be my favourite). I started watching standup on tv, like Just For Laughs and stuff. I can vividly remember watching Gilbert Godfrey one night and just laughing so hard. John Pinette was another one of my favourites. I've never been a hardcore comedy nerd like a lot of comedians are, but I would find the standups I liked, and watch them over and over. None of them sunk their claws into me like Jerry Seinfeld, though. I probably wouldn't even have looked into any of them without "I'm Telling You For The Last Time".

I struggle terribly with writing observational humour jokes. I don't know if it's just not my style, or if it's because I look at Seinfeld as the master of it, and I just feel like my jokes aren't up to his level. However, I still feel his comedy has had a big influence on me and the act I'm developing. I prefer clean humour, and I love jokes about everyday situations that people can relate to. I want to be a clean comic, and have set a goal of being able to work clean as well, if not better, than I can dirty, should I become a headliner someday. And it's all because of that damned CD. 

I'm sure most standup comedians have a particular performer or album that set them down the path they ended up on. Mine was Jerry Seinfeld. That CD changed my life.

Thanks for reading. Have a great Sunday!


Saturday, 23 June 2018

#31 - Blah 06/23/18

I almost forgot about this today. It's gonna be short, I just don't want to break the chain.

I love Saturdays at home. Sleep in, sit on the couch and play video games for a couple hours, walking my dog. Saturday mornings are the highlight of the week when you're a kid, and for my money, they never fall off the top of the mountain. I feel like over the last 25 years, the only thing that has changed about my Saturday morning routine is coffee instead of Frosted Flakes.

Had a great show at Yuk Yuks last night here in Edmonton. It was a good turnout audience wise, and they seemed to have a good time. I'm hosting all weekend, and working with a couple comics I really like, both as people and comedians. Makes it into a pretty fun job. Sleeping in my own bed at night is a solid perk, too. Being on the road can be pretty rad, but I'll take work IN the city over out of town every single time.

Managed to swing down to the new Grindstone Theatre after Yuks last night to do an extra spot, too. If you live in Edmonton and haven't checked it out yet, I can't recommend it enough. They have different types of shows going on almost every night, and it's not all just basic stand up comedy shows. Tickets are cheap, it's a great atmosphere, and it's on Whyte Ave, so there's lots of stuff to go do afterwards. Huge shoutout to everyone involved with it thus far, it's been a welcome addition to the scene here.

We're very fortunate, as comics in Edmonton, to have the opportunities we do. I understand it's not Toronto or Vancouver, but a comedian can get on stage pretty well every night if they want to here. Rooms and shows of all types; great crowds, rough crowds. Perfect for learning and developing. We have two great clubs to work at. And if you're interested in it, there's a ton of opportunity for road work, as well. I really don't think I'll ever leave Alberta. I just want to pay my bills with jokes and have enough left over money to travel with my girlfriend, and this is a perfect place to make that happen.

This is long enough. The chain stays intact.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your night.


Friday, 22 June 2018

#30 - Passion Projects 06/22/18

When I proof-read this blog, the first sentence originally said, "Everybody needs a hobby". I realized, who the fuck am I to tell anyone what they need? So no, not everybody needs a hobby. I just think everybody should have one.

I've always tried to have something to work on or do on the side; collecting stuff, writing, my love/hate relationship with video games. Even when I was working at some of the most boring, soul-sucking jobs of my life (selling nails comes to mind), I always managed to stay sane by having something I genuinely enjoyed doing to spend some of my time on. 

Over the last couple of years, my day to day happiness has exploded, thanks to the fact that more and more of my time and energy has been spent doing stuff I like to do. I very rarely wake up dreading my days now, because I enjoy almost everything I'm going to do when I'm awake. 

I love this.

Keeping that quote above in mind, I have stand up comedy to both try and make money, and to be creative with. I've also become quite dedicated to yoga to stay in shape. Unfortunately, I have a fourth hobby I love, called eating fast food, which conflicts regularly with the yoga one. Overall, though, I feel pretty fulfilled most nights when I go to bed.

However, I constantly find myself looking for more ways to be creative, particularly outside of comedy. I've mentioned before that I am very slowly trying to write a novel, and I've been toying with the idea of a second podcast or something for a while as well, that would be dedicated to video games (which, as I mentioned, are my other addition, alongside the whole fast food thing). I chalk those up to being "passion projects". They don't (and possibly won't ever) produce any financial results or anything like that. They're simply things I enjoy working on.

I really like the term "passion project". They can be a great way for you to flex your creativity muscles, and provide an escape from everyday life and the grinds that come with work, family, etc. I wish sometimes that I didn't have to sleep at night, because I would dedicate that entire window of time to various projects like these. I find them more fun to work on than comedy sometimes now, because there's no pressure associated with them. They're purely "for the love of the game" things.

So, like I said at the beginning of this blog, who the fuck am I to tell anyone what they need? Nobody, that's who. That said, I've found my quality of life improves every time I start working on a new "passion project". Even if I don't see it all the way through, it's a nice distraction, and a great way to stay busy. Figure out what you're passionate about, and find a way to spend more time doing that.

Or don't. Whatever. Who am I?

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, 21 June 2018

#29 - Pot Is Legal! 06/21/18

First, a disclaimer of sorts. I don't watch the news. I don't keep up with politics. I have few, if any, strong opinions when it comes to our government. So if I come across as an uneducated dumbass in this blog, it's because that's precisely who I am.

Now, with that in mind...Marijuana is legal in Canada! Kinda....almost....ish?

My understanding is it will be decriminalized for recreational use in October. Honestly, I don't smoke it, and I only eat it on rare occasions. So my knowledge of pot is only minimally better than my knowledge of our government. (Before you call me an idiot, ask me anything about Nintendo, hockey, wrestling, or Seinfeld. I know the important stuff). However, even as a practical non-user, I'm excited.

I already mentioned that I don't have a lot of strong opinions on hot button topics, but I've been a believer for years that drugs and prostitution should be decriminalized. I have zero interest in getting dragged into a debate about what is or isn't illegal, or what should and shouldn't be. Maybe I'll touch on the prostitution thing down the road. Chalk it up to "you have you're opinions, and I have mine". Marijuana, in particular, has always been something that has bothered me. As far as I'm concerned, there's no good argument for why it should be illegal at all.

I've read people argue that buying and selling pot should be against the law because we don't know what the long term affects of smoking it are. Well, we know exactly what happens to people that smoke cigarettes over the course of their lives, and we still sell (and tax) them. I'd be willing to bet my good eye that whatever damage pot does to your body over 40 years isn't worse than what smoking does to it. If you want to argue that cigarettes AND pot should be illegal, I think you have a case (not one I agree with, but that's beside the point). But, if you don't mind the Government profiting off of tobacco sales, you don't have a leg to stand on with your anti-marijuana argument.

Another popular angle is that weed should be illegal, because people will drive while they're high. I think it's a much more valid argument than the long-term health affects angle, but I still don't think it's a legit stance as long as we're allowed to sell alcohol. I'm not a supporter of people driving while they're stoned, either, and I'm a little concerned with how that'll be monitored and policed. That said, we figured out how to deal with it in regards to booze, I'm sure we'll do the same with pot. Sadly, people are always going to drive drunk, and people already drive baked. Until cars can drive themselves, there'll always be a risk. We're a dumb species.

The bottom line is that I just don't see a valid argument for why buying or using marijuana should make you a criminal in Canada today. In my opinion, people that argue against it, do it because they simply don't like it. Just because it's legal now, doesn't mean I'm going to start smoking pot every day. I haven't been a big pothead for years, and it had nothing to do with the law. I think people that don't smoke probably won't even after it's legal. And now, people that do will have an easier time doing it. If you don't like it, that's fine. But, clearly a lot of people do. So just shut up and let them have their fun.

And use the money you won't be spending on weed to buy some stock in Doritos or something.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

#28 - Tattoos 06/20/18

I'm in a good mood this morning. I got on stage a couple times last night, it's beautiful outside, and it's tattoo day.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend to be a hardcore tattoo addict, because I'm not. I went about 10 years between getting my first couple tattoos, and starting the sleeve that I'm working on now. But I've always liked them. Obviously, not everyone takes time and plans out their tattoos in great detail, but I respect anyone that feels passionately enough about something to get it permanently put on their body. 

And, yes, I know you can have them removed. But, my understanding is that if you think getting a tattoo done in the first place hurts, try having one taken off. It sounds awful.

Personally, I've always thought tattoos were cool. People used to say things like, "how are you going to feel when you're 80 and you have _____ drawn on your ______?" which I think is a stupid point of view. First of all, who cares what you look like when you're 80?? And secondly, tattoos have become so common place, you might be the only one without some wrinkly ink when you're old at this rate.

I used to have so many ideas for tattoos when I was younger. The only thing that stopped me from getting more of them done was that I didn't have any money. (Thank God!) I'm actually too embarrassed of most of my old ideas to rehash them here, but needless to say, I dodged a few bullets thanks to my starving bank account. I remember having friends in High School complaining that you have to 18 to get a tattoo, but looking back on it now, that might not be old enough. I can guarantee you someone reading this has something drawn on their body that they got done when they were younger, and wish they could go back in time. 

I have a rule now, 6 months minimum. If I have an idea for a tattoo, give it at least 6 months. If after 1/2 a year I still think it's a good idea, I'll look into it. With that rule in place, it took me 10 years to decide on my next tattoo. I would never tell someone else what to do to their body, but I think you're making a terrible mistake rushing in to get the logo of a TV show drawn on your arm or something 3 episodes into the show's run. And those people that get sports team's championship tattoos BEFORE the team wins? blarrrgggghhhh.....

If you don't have any tattoos, but you've always wanted one, I highly recommend it. Just take your time, think long and hard about what you want, and then do your homework when it comes to choosing an artist. When I decided to get my arm sleeved, I asked around and looked into several artists before I decided on one. His portfolio of work was incredible, he specialized in comic book style art (which is what I wanted), and he came HIGHLY recommended by numerous people.

Set some money aside (tattoos are expensive!!), and don't cheap out. This isn't a t-shirt you can get rid of if it doesn't feel right. Spend the money and get quality work done. Go to a reputable, clean studio. You won't miss that extra couple hundred dollars in a year from now, but you'll hate yourself if you don't spend it and end up fucking up your arm/leg/chest/neck/whatever.

And if you're worried about the pain, don't be. I'm the biggest wimp I know, and I don't find it that bad. That said, I've never had my ribs or my neck done. But if you're considering something on your arm (particularly your bicep), it's more of just an annoying scratch than an excruciating pain. Don't be a baby.

It's tattoo day. Today will be a good day.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

#27 - Money 06/19/18

"Money is the root of all evil."

It's a pretty accurate statement, isn't it? I hate money. I mean, I like having it and being able to do what I want with it, but I hate what it does to people. Greed is one of the ugliest traits a person can possess. Who doesn't know someone that would sell them out for a quick payday? Someone that values wealth over anything else? I know several of those people, and I rarely, if ever, talk to them anymore. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of the purpose money serves in society today. If someone couldn't make money by selling me the laptop I'm typing this blog on right now, it would've never been invented in the first place. I get it. I just hate seeing people's judgement clouded by the idea of making a few extra bucks. 

Many of the bad decisions I've made in my life have revolved around money. I've quit good jobs and taken awful ones, because the bad one paid more. I'm sure many of you can relate. And, at the end of the day, what does that bigger paycheque accomplish? As soon as you make more money, you buy more stuff, and take on more payments. It's a vicious cycle. People get stuck in these awful jobs, because they have so much debt, they can't afford to quit and go do something they want to do instead, because it doesn't pay enough. 

A dark side of someone can quickly show itself when money is involved. There's an endless number of stories out there regarding people ripping friends and loved ones off. People play in lottery pools, and then when they win, someone refuses to pay out other's shares. Instead of coming together and supporting each other, families fight over inheritances when someone passes away. People stepping over each other for a few extra bucks. Disgusting.

The worst example is probably the story of Martin Shkreli. You can google his name for the full story, but in a nutshell, he bought up the rights to a drug created to help people with a condition called toxoplasmosis. He then proceeded to jack the cost of the medicine by approx. 5000%, knowing that people needed it and would have to try and pay. If that story doesn't make you shake your head, then we probably shouldn't be friends anymore. 

A while back, I watched a documentary called "Happy" (I think it's on Netflix. Highly recommended). In it, they discuss a study (that I'm quoting from memory, so if it's not perfectly accurate, sue me) that showed that while there was a substantial gap in happiness between people making $40,000 and $90,000/year, that gap almost disappeared when you compared people making $90,000 and $900,000 annually. The point of it being, once you have enough money to cover all the basic needs in life, more money doesn't make you happier. 

A few years ago, I quit a job in the sports memorabilia industry, and took a job driving a forklift, because they flashed big dollar signs in my face. After about 18 months at the warehouse gig, I walked out, two months before I was due to receive a $4,000 bonus (the biggest bonus I've ever gotten). Because I hated that job, and I finally realized that money just isn't worth being unhappy.

Best decision I ever made.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 18 June 2018

#26 - Mind Your Own Business 06/18/18

When I was a kid, my parents taught me something that has served me well over most of the past 34 years. And that piece of advice, was to

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how a human could hate another human because of something that has NO affect on them whatsoever. To have a problem with someone because of something like their sexuality is both sad, and pathetic. If a person is going out and hurting people, or making life unpleasant for others, that's a different story. But because a guy likes guys? Who cares?? It's none of your fucking business.

There was a story in the news recently, about a bakery (I believe in Colorado) that wouldn't make a wedding cake for a gay couple. It serves as a sad reminder, that despite the advancements in acceptance we've made as a society, we have a long way to go. It made me shake my head. And I'm sure that that couple will move on, and probably have a great wedding anyways, but that story will always be attached to their special day. I suppose you could argue that the engaged couple could have just walked away and taken their business elsewhere, but that's a different argument for a different day. The fact that their business was refused for no good reason whatsoever, is sad.

I don't know how this hate/fear of homosexuals started back in the day, but I can't wrap my head around how we, as a society, haven't "outgrown" it. Obviously, we're making progress, but the fact that it requires progress be made at all isn't right. Young people today seem more tolerant than ever before, and I sincerely hope that's the case, and that as they get older and begin to take over the planet, that acceptance continues to blossom and grow.

As long as people exist, assholes will exist, too. But if you are one of the assholes out there, find a better reason to be an asshole than simply because you don't like who someone else likes. We're all human, we all deserve to be who we want to be with. We're all entitled to happiness. We're all the same. Focus less of your energy on hating other people, and more of it on loving yourself. (That's corny, but it's true).

Let people live their lives the way they want to. Mind your own fucking business.

Have a great week.


Sunday, 17 June 2018

#25 - Nostalgia 06/17/18

Nostalgia is the fucking best. 

It's obvious that these days, companies everywhere are trying to cash in on it. I don't know if generations before mine have that strong sense of attachment to the stuff they grew up with like us 80's kids do, but I don't remember seeing every business under the sun trying to peddle stuff from my parent's childhoods to them when I was little the way they do to adults today.

I love that awesome, familiar nostalgic feeling I get whenever I watch an old episode of the Ninja Turtles, or play Super Mario World. I like daydreaming about what life was like as a kid, particularly this time of year. Summer vacation was the best. I vividly remember riding my bike home one day after the last day of school, the sun shining down and not having a care in the world. 10 weeks of sleeping in, video games, and staying out later than I could during the school year. Some of the best times of my life. 

That rush of nostalgia comes back this time every year, going outside in shorts and a t-shirt and feeling the sun. Chances are almost everybody has things that trigger that same feeling. Just yesterday, my girlfriend and I went out to my parents' campsite for the day, and we all hung around chatting and playing games. Sitting outside of the trailer, with that campsite/fire smell, brings back a lot of fond memories, too. (Although, as an adult I can sit outside and drink of beer, instead of hiding from bugs inside of the trailer playing Gameboy like I did as a kid). 

I have zero issues with businesses trying to cash in on the stuff that ties people to their childhoods today. When we were kids, there was so much cool stuff out there, but we didn't have any money. Now as adults, we still love retro video games, cartoons, and movies, but we have cash to spend this time. Who doesn't own a shirt or two with something vintage on it? It's why Hollywood keeps making sequels and spinoffs to popular, old movies. Some successfully, and some.....well.....

*cough* Ghostbusters *cough*

Going to a flea market or some thrift store and seeing action figures or something from my childhood is one of the best feelings in the world to me. As a kid, you can't wait to grow up and have money and a job. And now, most the adults I know would give anything to go back to being a kid for a week. 

Ninja Turtles, Mario, Ghostbusters, street hockey until the sun goes down, eating shitty food all the time.....fucking nostalgia.

Have a great Sunday. Happy Father's Day!


Saturday, 16 June 2018

#24 - Momentum 06/16/18

The thing I struggle with the most when I start a project, is getting started. It's like trying to push a boulder that's standing still. Once you have the ball rolling, it's so much easier to keep going. So one of the things I've focused on over the past couple of years is finding ways to build some momentum when I begin working on something. And I've found a method that seems to work for me.

I was working my warehouse job at ULine, and we used to have to drive these giant, zamboni style floor scrubbers around for hours while we were preparing to move into a new warehouse. There was nothing to hit, outside of the 4 walls holding the building up, so it was the most braindead task imaginable. I spent most of the time reading comedian advice on my phone, as I had recently started doing stand up. One day, I stumbled across a conversation with Jerry Seinfeld, where he touched on a technique he uses, called "Don't Break the Chain".

He described a method he used when he started taking comedy seriously, in which he bought a giant wall calendar, and every day he worked on writing jokes, he put a giant red "X" on the calendar. After a few days, he had a chain forming, and then his entire objective was just to not break the chain. He actually makes fun of the simplicity of it now, but it's a great idea. And while I don't have a giant calendar covered in red marker on my wall, I've spun his idea off into one of my own.

When I started stand up, I began tracking every show I did in a spreadsheet. I use it to this day to keep track of how many sets I've done (lifetime, each year, and monthly), as well as keeping track of any money I've made and noting how much time I did on that particular show. It keeps me motivated to go to open mics and work, because I love coming home and entering the show into my sheet. I have visual confirmation of how hard I'm working, and it makes it makes it easy to set goals in regards to how much stage time I want to get in a time period.

It also makes it easier to see my progress. The further down the sheet I scroll, the more paying gigs I see, and the longer my sets get. I look at it kind of like "progress photos" for someone trying to lose weight or get in shape. If you can see the improvement month after month, it makes it so much easier to keep grinding. You build momentum.

I've started applying this strategy to other things I'm working on. Hence the numbered, daily blogs I post here. Every day I finish one, the number gets higher and the chain gets longer. I keep track of my workouts in a spreadsheet similar to my comedy sets one, and some days I get through a workout purely to get the satisfaction of entering it into my sheet.

Momentum is an insanely powerful motivator. By keeping track of the work I do, I can see the chain I'm building. and the momentum I build gets stronger every day. It makes me feel guilty about taking a day off, because I know I have to start the chain over again from #1. I think it would work for people trying to do almost anything; exercising, writing, quitting smoking. Start on day one, and then make it your goal to build the longest chain possible. And if you miss a day and break the chain, don't get mad at yourself, just set out to build a longer chain starting tomorrow.

Build that momentum!

Have a great Saturday, and thanks for reading!


Friday, 15 June 2018

#23 - I Love Tough Comedy Shows 06/15/18

When I started doing stand up, I fucking hated the tough shows.

By "tough shows", I mean shows where the audience has distractions all around them, or most of them aren't listening. Mainly bar shows and things like that. It's hard to do well in some of those rooms, especially when you compare it to being in a comedy club where the audience paid to be there, and have no real options other than to pay attention to the comedian. In a bar, particularly one that doesn't charge a cover or sell tickets, sometimes there are more people in the audience NOT listening to the show than there are actually paying attention to the comedians. If there's even an audience at all.

(For the record, this isn't always the case. I've learned over and over again that just because you're telling jokes in a club doesn't mean it's going to be easy. And conversely, some of the easiest nights I've ever had on stage have been in bars. You never really know until you get there. But you get what I'm saying...)

The point is, some shows are just harder than others. And, particularly when I started, I hated the tough shows. I'd do a set somewhere easy and get a bunch of laughs, and walk out feeling like I was a real comic. And then I'd go do a spot in front of a small, rowdy audience, bomb, and walk out feeling like a piece of shit. I remember Lars Callieou telling me shortly after I started, "the tough shows are what make you good". I didn't really get it at the time, because I thought, "how do I get good if nobody is listening to me?" But yep, he was right. You get so much better when you struggle.

The tough shows make you hard. It's kind of like the old saying, "you learn more from losing than you do from winning." When you do well on stage, it feels good. I really don't know if there's a better feeling in the world than standing in front of a room full of strangers and making them laugh. It's vindicating to know they think you're funny. But, I don't think you really get any better. When you're in front of a tough audience, and you can figure out how to crack them and make them laugh? That's when you start levelling up.

And just learning how to power through a set in front of a bunch of people that hate you is a valuable skill, too. If you commit to being on stage for X amount of time, you better be up there for that amount of time. And when you get in front of a tough crowd, you learn how to power through and try to win them over. It makes you exponentially better. And as an added bonus, you spend time working out in tough situations, and then you get put into an easy spot, and it's like shooting fish in a barrel. You can just have fun and enjoy it.

I guess all I'm trying to say is that I like being on stage anywhere, but there's a sick side of me that's really starting to like being in tough situations. I like trying to figure out how to turn a potential loss into a win, and even when it doesn't work out, I go home that night feeling like I got a great workout in. The bad nights are what make the good nights so much fun...

As always, thanks for reading. Have a good weekend!


Thursday, 14 June 2018

#22 - I Like Being At Home 06/14/18

I love being at home.

I like being home more than anywhere on the planet. I can do whatever I want, my dog and my girlfriend are here, it's quiet. My favourite place. As I've gotten older, I like it more and more. The days of going out drinking 2 or 3 nights a week and staying out all night are long gone. If I stay out until 2 in the morning drinking, I pay for it for a week.

Sometimes I feel like an odd man out in comedy, because some of the comics that I like hanging out with most are still at a point where they like to drink and stay out late. And that's totally cool, I used to be the same way. But I'm 34 now. I totally understand why old people go to bed right after dinner and get up before the sun everyday; I'm half way there and I'm right on track.

I've embraced it, too. I don't think everyone slows down as they get older and start to mature a little more, but a lot of people do. My ideal night out with my friends now is going to someone's house for a few beers and a board game or something. Half the time, I don't drink because I don't want to chance a hangover the next day. Fifteen years ago, I'd get paid on Friday and be broke by Monday. Now, I'd rather keep the $100 I'd blow at the bar and save it, because I'm a frugal old man....

And this isn't me shitting on my friends that still like to go out and drink and stay out all night. Not at all. Part of me feels left out when I talk to them and hear the stories from last night, because I want to be part of the group and hang out with them. But a bigger part of me just likes listening and laughing, but doing it after a good night's sleep because I went home instead of tagging along the night before. They say life is about doing what makes you happy, and what makes me happy is hanging out on the couch with my dog after a show.

It's not to say I don't still go out and do things. I just pick my spots a little more carefully now. And then when I do decide to go out, I try to make it count, because I want it to be worth it the next day. But I'm really embracing getting older. I'd rather feel a little left out, but do something I want to do than tag along with people I can't keep up with anymore and wish I'd just gone home.

I've been working on a joke about how I can't wait to be one of the old guys you see at McDonalds and A&W every morning that just sit there with their friends drinking coffee. But it's kind of true.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

#21 - Bucket Lists.... 06/13/18

I have no idea if "Bucket Lists" existed before the movie from a few years ago. I'd never heard of them.

For quite a while, I thought they were kind of dumb. I liked the concept, I just got sick of hearing the term "bucket list" all the time. Anytime someone achieved anything, "cross that off my bucket list!" But the more I've thought about it, the more I kind of like the idea of writing down a list of things you want to experience or achieve before you die. I think it motivates some people to try things they would have never done otherwise, or go after a dream with a little more gusto. I don't know how many people actually have a written out list, but I'm sure almost all of us have things we want to do before it's too late, even if you just keep them in to yourself.

That said, this blog is about writing my thoughts down. So with zero preparation, here's a few items from my "bucket list":

Attend a WrestleMania

As some of you may know, I'm a longtime pro wrestling fan. I've been to a few live events in the past, but never a big pay-per-view or anything. And the biggest PPV of them all is WrestleMania. I've wanted to go for as long as I can remember. Even when the week to week product isn't at it's best, WWE pulls out all the stops for WrestleMania. I would be a 10 year old kid all day; t-shirts, fake title belts, freaking out and screaming for 6 hours....I think it'd be incredible!

Next year's 'Mania is in New York, and my girlfriend and I have always said we'd love to go back there....

Play in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker

There was a time where my friends would play poker, and I'd only come along because I didn't want to sit at home by myself. But I caught the bug, and I've loved the game ever since. We went to Vegas last year, and I spent the majority of 3 days just playing drinking and playing poker, and it was a fucking blast. I get why non-players find it boring, but the idea of sitting at a poker table all day sounds like a pretty good time to me. The Main Event at the World Series lasts for a week, and it involves several long, LONG days of poker in a row. It's the biggest poker tournament in the world. That sounds awesome!

The buy-in to the Main Event is $10,000 U.S. As of this morning, that's $12, 977.95 CAD. It'd be easy to look at the number and think it'll never happen. But you can win your way into the tournament by winning smaller tournaments. Or, you can save your money. When you're 10, and you get $15/week for an allowance, saving up a few hundred dollars for something seems impossible, too. I'll play that tournament someday. 

Write a Novel

I've been slowly plugging away at this project for a while now, but I've thought about writing a fictional novel for most of my adult life. Until recently, it was just a thought in the back of my mind, but now I've begun the process of putting ink to paper (or computer I don't know if it'll be successful, or published, or even good, but I just want to cross the finish line. Honestly, I could be working a lot harder on this than I am, things keep distracting me (see yesterday's blog; "Nintendo"), but I'm committed to seeing it through. If anything, just so I can cross it off this list.

Own an Original Ms. Pac-Man Arcade Machine

They don't all have to be big and inspiring achievements. It's my favourite arcade game, and I want one.

Book a Comedy Tour

The newest addition to my list. Over the last 12 months or so, I've slowly started booking some of my own comedy shows. For the most part, I enjoy the process. It's more stressful, but it's also really cool being your own boss. You decide what other comics you'll be working with, how much of the money you make yourself, how much time you get to do every night. I'm not ready yet, but down the road, I want to book my own tour. I don't know how long of run it would be, how many shows, if I would headline, co-headline. I don't know anything. Yet. But I'll learn. And I'll make it happen someday.

I guess that's it for now. I'm sure there are a hundred more things I want to do, but this is long enough as it is. And the best part is that none of this is impossible at all. Some of it will just take money. Some of it will take time. Most will take both. But I have zero doubt in mind that I'll be able to cross all these off my list someday if I just keep plugging away. 

I strongly recommend that you take just 5 minutes out of your day when you can, and think about stuff you want to accomplish before it's too late. You still have lots of time. And writing it down really does make anything easier to focus on and achieve 

Plus, if you write your bucket list down, you actually get to cross stuff off of it. And that's the best part!

Thanks for reading. 


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

#20 - Nintendo 06/12/18

DISCLAIMER: This is one of my nerd-centric posts. If you don't like video games, you won't like this blog.

I love Nintendo.

I'm a hardcore Nintendo fanboy, and I have been for as long as I can remember. The original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) came out in 1985, and I was born in 1983. I don't remember when we got one, but I can't remember a time in my life where I didn't have a Nintendo video game system hooked up to my tv. I love most video games, but Nintendo in particular has just been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Growing up, I couldn't get enough. I loved the original NES for stuff like Mario, Contra, Blades of Steel, Tetris, Excitebike....the list goes on and on. And then the Super Nintendo came out and that was it. If I was hooked on the NES, I was full fledged addicted to the SNES. It just took all the games I had spent years growing up playing on the original Nintendo, and made them all better. I've had a problem ever since. Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, and now my Switch, I love them all.

And as an adult, I sometimes think wonder if I have a video game addiction. It's pretty rare that more than a day or two goes by when I don't play something. Sometimes when I sit down to work on a project, or write some jokes, I'll glance over at my Switch laying on the table, and I just can't help myself. I can only imagine it's how you smokers feel all the time. "Why can't I quit you??"

I've tried to quit, too. I used to have a retro game collection, and I sold it. I sold my Xbox and my Playstation 4, probably 75% of all my games. I only kept my Switch because it's great for killing time on the road (it's a portable gaming system, in case you didn't know), and because it's Nintendo. The other video game consoles on the market today are great, but they just don't have their teeth in me the way Nintendo does....

So I've accepted the fact that I can't just quit playing video games. I mean, if I went to the doctor tomorrow and they said I'll die if I don't stop, I could probably kick the habit, but unless I'm forced to down the road, I just don't imagine a time where I don't play. It's my favourite hobby, and my top way to relax and get my mind off whatever is going on in my life. I'll always struggle with trying to find a balance between work and play, but whatever. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. I might have one, but I refuse to admit it. That way, I never have to fix it.

I have no idea how I've had a girlfriend for this long....


Monday, 11 June 2018

#19 - Is Blogging Self-Indulgent? 06/11/18

This blog is a way for me to get my thoughts down on paper(ish), and it also gives me an opportunity to write, which is one of my favourite pastimes. But that said, I realize this is a pretty self-indulgent blog.

It pretty well just circles around me, and whatever I'm thinking about at the time. I've read articles that say if you want to build a successful blog, self-indulgence is a no-no. People don't particularly care what you think about the world. And while that's probably true, I didn't set out to build a successful blog. So yeah, this thing is self-indulgent, and I'm going to keep indulging. 

One of the hesitations I had when I decided to try and write a daily blog was that people would think it was obnoxious, and that I'm just being full of myself. And that's probably exactly what some people think. But I'm not going to do something I enjoy, simply because some people might not like it. Frankly, the blog has been getting a pretty significant number of hits each day (in my eyes), so somebody is reading it.

I truly believe that there are an endless number of great ideas out there, and people hesitate to act on them. And in some cases, it's because whatever the idea is seems impossible, or maybe it's not practical and it doesn't fit into that person's day to day life. But I really think one of the biggest reasons people don't act on their ideas is because they're afraid of what others will think. I know I personally have several ideas that I've hesitated to put into motion because of that very reason. And that's just dumb. 

If doing something is going to make your day to day life happier, do it. It's that simple. Fuck what anyone thinks of you. You owe it to yourself to be happy, and you owe it to the world to bring your ideas to life. Smartphones, Netflix, video games, etc, are all the end result of someone having an idea, and having the drive, and the balls, to bring it to life. If other people like what you're doing and they support you, that's awesome. If they don't like it, that's fine, too. They'll ignore it, and you can just keep on keeping on.

If seeing my posts every day irritates you, I hope you ignore them and move on. If you think I'm a little full of myself, maybe I am. But I enjoy writing these. And that's all that matters.

And if you do read these blogs, thanks for being interested in what I have to say. You may not get anything out of them other than killing 90 seconds of your day, but know that I appreciate you reading. 


Sunday, 10 June 2018

#18 - Sunday Ramblings 06/10/18

What's on my mind this morning....?

- It's been a really fun string of shows that last 7 days. Being on the road with Brent most of the week has been fun, he's a really good dude. His work ethic, and his ability to focus on his joke writing (obsess is maybe a better word) makes me jealous and feel inspired at the same time. There's a reason he's so well respected by all the comics in Edmonton. We had a fun show in Regina last night, and in a couple hours we start an almost 8 hour drive to Red Deer for one more show before we go home.

- And on that note, I can't wait to get home. It hasn't even been that long, and I miss my girlfriend and my dog. I don't know how anyone with kids can be a comedian. But I don't have kids, maybe it's easier to leave them at home for a little while? Maybe a parent just needs a break sometimes? I like being a comedian, and I know it's what I want to do with my life, but one of the downsides is being away from home. I envy comics that take their dogs on the road with them.

- On the plus side, I love hotel rooms. Clean hotel rooms, anyways. Having your own room is the best. Laying around in your underwear, peeing with the door open, having the bed to yourself.... (Like I said, I miss my girl and my dog, but their both bed hogs). Sometimes my favourite part of shows on the road is finishing the show and coming back to my hotel room. I was tempted to stay at the bar and drank last night, but I'm pretty happy I didn't this morning...

- I can't get enough of seeing all these clips of Ovechkin with the Cup on twitter. I couldn't be happier for the guy. Outside of Teemu Selanne, I can't think of an athlete that doesn't play for my favourite teams that I've been happier to see win a Championship. If Ovie was a Canadian, he'd be the biggest star in the League.

- CM Punk got his ass kicked again at UFC 225 last night. But I don't care. The guy has balls the size of grapefruits, and I stand by everything I said about him a few days ago. He's an inspiration. I can't wait to see what's next for him. I still can't decide if I want him to come back to wrestling or not....

- Apparently, Edmonton and most of Alberta is getting pelted with some pretty rough weather. I'll pass on the tornados, but I love a good thunderstorm. If you guys could save one for when we get back tonight, I'd really appreciate it.

Have a great Sunday, guys. If you're in Red Deer, I'd love to see you at the show tonight. Heritage Lanes at 8!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 9 June 2018

#17 - Summer 06/09/18

I wonder if people that live in places where it's beautiful outside year around appreciate the warm weather as much as people that live in places where it gets cold for half the year do?

Obviously, being a proud Canadian, I'm used to dealing with winters. I don't even hate winter. I know some people do, but I don't think it's that bad. I look at it as an excuse to hibernate inside and be lazy for a few months. And from a selfish perspective, the quality of most comedy shows improves exponentially when it's cold outside, because people are looking for stuff to do indoors. Hockey is on, Christmas is in the winter, there's lots of pros.

That said, I prefer summer so much more. We get about 3-4 months of beautiful weather in Edmonton in a good year. Like, 20 degrees + weather. I love it. When you can walk your dog wearing only shorts and a t shirt, and not have to go back early because your cold. Filling your car up with gas, and not stopping at half a tank because the wind hurts your face. And then you get a slurpee to go with your new tank of gas, and drive away with the window down? That's what I'm talking about.....Firepits, BBQing, beers on bar patios? Fuck yeah!

My only real issue with summer (other than allergies, but fuck them), is comedy takes a pounding. Some open mics and shows shut down entirely from June - August, because it's just too hard to convince people to come inside and watch a show. But even that isn't the end of the world. I'd love to hit a point in my comedy career where I'm booked solid in the winter, and if my summer is empty, I can just enjoy a summer vacation like I used to as a kid.

I'm on the road this weekend, hitting Saskatoon, Regina, and Red Deer before going back to Edmonton. Me and Brent (the comic I'm travelling with) were saying yesterday that it's a give and take with comedy and the weather. In the winter, we get great audiences, but the drives can be just awful. In the summer the crowds get small, but the drive is awesome. Obviously, I'd prefer the best of both worlds, but there's just few things in the world that make me feel as happy as driving in the summer.

I dunno, maybe this is a dumb blog. But I'm in a good mood, the sun is out, and I'm in shorts and flip flops. Life is good.

Thanks for reading. And as my buddy Ken Valgardson would say, "Go outside!". (Unless you're in Regina tonight or Red Deer tomorrow. Then please come to our shows!)


Friday, 8 June 2018

#16 - Just Get a Little Bit Better 06/08/18

(This blog pretty much consists of comedy theory and strategies I'm applying on stage. So if that stuff doesn't interest you, save yourself the 90 seconds or so)

As I type this, it's about 10:00 in the morning on Friday. I'm sitting here inhaling cups of hot water with lemon and honey, because I'm still having problems with my voice, and I have a long weekend of shows coming up. But I'm not complaining.

Well, I guess I am, but...

Last night, I hosted a show, and I had to deal with a heckler. I ended up getting in a bit of a confrontation with him, but he left, and the show improved drastically afterwards. I don't know if I handled it the right way or not, but after the show was over I looked back on it as a learning experience. That's the same mentality I'm trying to have every time I get on stage now. I always try to look back on not only how my set went, but on how I tried to improve as well.

For example, Wednesday I was on stage for 45 minutes (which is still new to me), and while I think my set went fine, I definitely saw a lot of places to improve. One of my big revelations was realizing that I try to go into crowd work in the middle of a long joke sometimes, and then after I'm done with the audience, I can't remember where I was in the bit I was telling, and I end up forgetting big parts of the joke I was in the middle of. So for the next few shows, I'm going to really focus on finishing whatever joke I'm telling before trying crowd work. That way I won't forget any of my punchlines or tags, and then I can start into my next joke cleanly after I talk to the audience. I chalk it up to a learning experience.

Even when I just hit open mics now and do 5 minute spots, I try not to go up there and just go through the motions anymore. I always try to have a plan, and something I want to work on. A new joke, or a new tag, or a new act out to go with an old joke. There's an old adage in comedy that says "You should be trying something new every time you get on stage". And it literally can be one new word or tiny tweak on a joke, at least you're trying to get better and grow as a comedian. Those small steps can really add up. And it helps keep you from getting bored of your act, because you're always tweaking and playing with it.

That's my opinion, anyway. You don't have/shouldn't listen to me. I walked a member of the audience last night. I don't know what I'm doing.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, 7 June 2018

#15 - These Are The Good Times 06/07/18

There's a great video on YouTube, that just consists of almost 4 hours of Ari Shaffir talking to young comics at The Comedy Store. (Check it out below, if you have 1/2 a workday to kill).....


The video has a bunch of great advice in it, but one part in particular really hits home with me. Ari talks about how it might seem like being an opening comic sucks; the pay is shit, sometimes headliners can be peckerheads, you get bumped from shows all the time, stuff like that. But these are some of the best times you'll ever have as a comic. I get what he's saying now.

It's like when you were in school, and you hated it and you couldn't wait to graduate and get a job and have money. And then you get into the real world, and realize that you still don't have any money, and now you can't just spend all day fucking around with your friends like you could in High School. Lots of headlining comics still don't have any money, and now there's a lot of extra pressure that didn't exist when you were an opener. When you're an opening comic, it's just fun. The only real pressure is making your new joke work, and you get to spend your nights at open mics with your buddies. 

Some of my favourite memories as a comedian so far have been the nights at mics, and road trips with my friends. It doesn't feel like a job yet, it's just fun. I just got back from a show in Grande Prairie with my buddy Brent, where we co-headlined. It was a really good time. But on our way up to GP, we ran into a little car trouble, and ended up having to kill an afternoon in Whitecourt waiting for some repairs to be finished. We went for lunch and just chatted comedy for a couple hours, and that's where I had the inspiration for this post. It was fun just hanging out with my friend, talking jokes and about what we might achieve down the road. There's no pressure yet. It doesn't feel like a job.

Don't get me wrong, I have every intention of becoming a headliner in the future. I want to have a successful career in comedy, and frankly, I want to make some more money. I'm just not in a huge hurry to get there. I feel like I'm still in High School, and now I know what life after school is like. And it can wait a little bit longer.

I have to go host a show at Chicago Joe's here in Edmonton. Game 5 of the Caps/Knights just started. Hopefully by this time tomorrow, I can blog about how much fun Joe's was, and how good Ovechkin looked with the Cup over his head.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

#14 - Put Your Blinders On 06/06/18

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever seen, and that applies to almost any goal you have, is to "put your blinders on".

I don't remember when I first heard it, but basically it means to ignore what everyone else is doing, and just look straight ahead. Make sure you goal is directly in front of you, and just keep moving toward it. I struggle with applying that advice everyday, but I wake up intending to.

I know what I want to accomplish, both professionally and personally. I want to be a headlining comedian, and I want to finish writing a book. I want to get into better shape. I have financial goals in mind. But above all else, I want to reach a point in my life where I just enjoy each day. No more Monday blues, or dreading Sunday night, or hump days. I want each day to be fun. Like when you're a kid, and it's Summer holidays, and half the time you don't even know what day of the week it is. That was the best feeling in the world. That's the life I want, so that's what I stare at with my blinders on.

And I've pretty well achieved that last one. I'm pretty happy most days. I'm of the mindset that that should be everyone's primary goal; achieve happiness. But I don't know what drives other people, and who am I to post on here telling other people how to live their lives? That said, I do think that the happiest people are the ones that have goals and aspirations, and work toward them. Going to bed at night, knowing that you made progress toward something that day is a great feeling. Waking up motivated makes it easier to get out of bed. It changes your outlook on life.

Some of the unhappiest people I know are people that don't seem to have any direction. They just go into a job they don't like, go through the motions, and live for Saturday. They don't have their blinders on. I used to be like that, years ago. I had a sales job that was paying the best money I had ever made. But all I did was drive around selling construction supplies. (I called myself a "nail salesman"). And I had no point of focus, no goals; just aimlessly walking in whatever direction my feet decided to take me in that day. And I wasn't nearly as happy as I am now. I didn't go to bed feeling fulfilled or like I accomplished something that day. It was just another day gone, 24 hours closer to Saturday. Once I decided something needed the change, literally every aspect of my life started to improve. I had a focus.

I don't intend for this blog to be an advice column or anything. If nobody was reading it, I'd still be coming up with entries each day. It's just a way for me to get the stuff in my head out in front of me. It helps me get the blinders on every morning.

And, 'blog' doesn't sound as nerdy as 'diary'.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

#13 - Blah 06/05/18

I don't really feel like writing this today. When I set a goal of 100 blogs in 100 days, I knew I'd have days where I didn't feel particularly inspired to write about anything. Today is certainly one of them.

That said, part of the reason I set out to write 100 blogs was because I feel like it keeps me sharp as a writer. But a bigger reason is to force myself to be more accountable with my time. As I wade into the world of "self-employment", I know I have to do things to keep myself focused. It's great not having a boss looking over your shoulder, but it's harder to stay on point instead of just playing video games and sneaking in naps. (Well, at least it is for me anyway.) And I have a girlfriend that has all the faith in me in the world, and supports me more than I could ask for. I feel like I owe it to her to make this comedy thing work.

So I'll be damned if I'm not going to force myself to sit down and churn out a blog. Even if it is just a blog about how I don't feel like blogging. I spent most of the morning writing and organizing my jokes as well, which I usually don't look at until the afternoon, and that might be part of my problem. My buddy Brent and I head out to Grande Prairie tomorrow (if you're in Grande Prairie, PLEASE come say hi! Great Northern Casino at 8!), and we're doing our second set of co-headlines together. So we'll each be doing 45 minutes, which is the longest I've been on stage so far. It makes me a little nervous, but so did the jump to 10 minutes, and 20, and 30. I've done 45 a couple times before, so I know I'm capable, but it's still a challenge at this point. 

But the challenge is part of why it's fun. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself is how you grow. When you start doing longer sets as a comedian, you have more time to slow down and mess with the crowd. Sprinkle a few newer bits in and see how they fit into your established set. It's a double edged sword, because when you're bombing, a long set can feel like days. But when you're doing well and having fun, time flies on stage. When you're an MC or an opener on a show, your longest sets are usually 30 minutes. And I've had my share of sets where I've been having a blast, and glanced down at my watch to disappointingly find out I only have a couple minutes left. Hopefully tomorrow night is one of those good nights, and I can just enjoy it and have fun.

(I just that last paragraph back, and I realized that I haven't had a really bad night on stage in a long time. I've had lots of bombs, especially at open mics working on new stuff, but I've reached a comfort level on stage where I don't really care. I still have fun. I think maybe that's love....)

Anyways, that's my quota for the day. I'll probably throw one of these blogs up tomorrow after we get to the hotel in GP. 

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 4 June 2018

#12 - CM Punk 06/04/18

I've decided to dedicate a few of these blogs to personal heroes of mine, and people I look up to. First up? Former pro wrestler, and current MMA fighter, CM Punk.

And no, if you don't know anything about wrestling, CM Punk isn't his real name. Although with some of the names parents give their kids these days, it's probably not the worst option out there....

CM Punk is a former pro wrestler. He wrestled for years before he made it onto TV, but I didn't know anything about him until he made it to WWE. And even after he was in the big leagues, it took a few years before he evolved into the "Voice of the Voiceless/Best in the World" persona that he found his biggest success with.

When Punk came into WWE,  his "gimmick" was pushing being straight edge (someone that doesn't do drugs, smoke, drink alcohol, etc) on people, and telling them why it made him better than them. He was fun to watch wrestle, but I didn't connect with the character at all. Then one night, he cut a promo that has come to be known as The Pipe Bomb. He basically sat on the entrance ramp, and just vented all his frustrations with the company. He laid into the management, the McMahon family, the fans, his co-workers. It was awesome. (If you're a wrasslin' fan, you're probably nodding in agreement right now). That was the night Punk started becoming one of my favourite wrestlers of all time. He went from Mr. Straight Edge, to calling himself "The Voice of the Voiceless". He would say what he wanted, when he wanted. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind.

I wouldn't have classified him as a hero of mine at that point. I was a huge fan, (frankly, he was the only real part of WWE worth watching at the time), but the buck stopped there. At the end of the day, he was an athlete that also played a character on TV. I don't have any issue with people looking up to fictional characters, I do *cough* Spider-Man *cough*, but CM Punk didn't connect with me like that. I just enjoyed his work.

But then, a few years later, Punk walked out of WWE. It wasn't a *sigh* "fake" storyline. He had had enough of being walked all over by his employers, and decided it wasn't worth it anymore. He walked out. A couple months after that, he appeared on a podcast and told his story. He explained to the fans, and the wrestling community as a whole, why he left. He was tired, broken down, fed up with the decisions the company was making, and most importantly, he was unhappy. So he cut his losses, walked away from the big paycheques, and moved on with his life. I came to the realization that the outspoken, "nobody tells me what to do" persona Punk portrayed on TV wasn't just an act; it was an extension of his personality.

This was a guy that had worked his entire life to achieve something. (Technically, his goal was to be in the main event of WrestleMania, which is the premier event in all of pro wrestling, and he was unable to achieve it, which played a role in his leaving the company. But whatever.). He had dedicated years and years of his life to his career, and then realized that he didn't enjoy it anymore. So he walked away. I think most people hit a point where they don't enjoy their job anymore. Maybe they never did. But it's substantially easier to stay at a job you hate and complain, than it is to walk away and start over. Punk did the latter. And he walked away from A LOT. He valued his happiness over money.

That's what made him one of my heroes.

He was a big part of my decision to walk away from a really good paying warehousing job to become a stand up comedian. Hearing someone I respect so much explain his thought process behind a decision like that changed my life. I couldn't agree more that money isn't everything. Life is about doing what makes you happy. What's the point of chasing fame and fortune if you're miserable all the time? Punk is no longer involved in pro wrestling. He's wrote some comic books, and he's currently preparing for his second fight in UFC. He lost (badly) in his first fight, but he gave a speech afterwards that I still watch to this day.

(Skip until 2:26 to see CM Punk's post fight promo)

This was what he had to say, moments after getting his ass kicked in front of the world. I love it.

CM Punk is one of my heroes. He has been one of my biggest influences in life. I respect the hell out of him. and his "do what you want, fuck what they say" mentality. The pro wrestling fan in me hopes that he comes back to pro wrestling someday. I want to watch him do what he does best again. But the CM Punk fan in me hopes he never goes back. I hope he just keeps on doing whatever he wants to do. 

We should all be a little like CM Punk.

Thanks for reading. 


Sunday, 3 June 2018

#11 - Small Town Comedy 06/03/18

(For the record, if I ever get a chance to tell jokes in theatres or arenas or anything like that with regularity, this blog will become void)

I've been telling jokes for a couple years now, and I've had the opportunity to do shows in a bunch of different places. And while the club shows are fun, and the bar shows are great for learning, my favourite shows (by a MILE), are small town Alberta/Saskatchewan/Manitoba shows. I don't even care what the venue is, as long as the audience is made up of people from small towns in the Prairies.

There's been shows in community centres and banquet halls, a couple small theatres, we did a show in a tent outside (that the audience had to get up from their seats and hold down so it didn't blow away while we were performing), and they've almost always been awesome. The people are so nice, and usually pretty drunk, haha. And they're just looking to have a good time. It's the best.

I haven't come across too many situations where you have to worry about being overly "PC" either, which adds to the fun. Admittedly, I don't take the biggest chances on stage in regards to my material and what I talk about, but it's just more fun when you can swear and make fun of the people or town without worrying about them complaining. Just last night, I was part of a show in Penhold, AB (thanks to Bradley Layden for the hook up!), and it was so much fun! 50-75 people in a bar, everyone is drinking and having a good time. Anyone that heckled had good intentions, and for the most part just wanted to be roasted in front of their friends. Shows like that are the funnest part of the job.

I don't know what it is about small towns. Maybe they have a stronger sense of community or something, but they're just the nicest people from the second you get to the venue. Offering you something to eat (usually INSISTING you have something to eat), handing you piles of drink tickets, everyone wants to talk to you afterwards. You feel like part of the community right away. I guess part of it is probably that there isn't much else to do, so they're excited for the night out, but I don't care if that's why they're so much fun to be around. I love it. I've stated before that I'm not looking to get rich or famous, and I stand by that. Give me a bunch of those shows in community centres and Legions, let me do them with a lineup of my friends, and I'm the happiest guy in the world.

Just in the past couple months, I went to Pierceland with Mike Dambra and Brent Ayton, Drayton Valley with Will Hannigan and Andrew Albert, and like I mentioned, last night in Penhold with Miklos Blackshaw, Brad Semotiuk and Bradley Layden. All of them were awesome, and we all had a really good time. When you get a good audience like we had at these shows, I legitimately think the comedians have as much fun as the crowd does. That's my favourite part.

Keep 'em coming :)

Have a good Sunday!


Saturday, 2 June 2018

#10 - This Is Why I Don't Drink Very Much... 06/02/18

You wouldn't think writing a blog would be painful, but.......


I'm hungover. Last night I went to an Edmonton Prospects (baseball, for you non-sports nerds) with some friends, and the beers were cold and plentiful. Very, very, plentiful..... I'm hurting this morning, but it was worth it.

Since I got really serious about comedy, my social life has taken a pounding. Which is a good thing for the most part, because it means I'm getting work. It just makes the nights I get to see my friends or family mean a little more, because they aren't as common as they used to be. We went to the ball game, beaked the FUCK out of Okotoks (until they started laying into Edmonton. It's hard to chirp a team that's winning 9-1). Then we turned our attention to the home plate umpire. Which for my money, might be the worst job in sports. Especially with drunk morons behind you all night :)

I don't drink too much anymore. I probably get after it once a month these days? I don't know exactly when my body decided I could go fuck myself, but as I get older, I pay a steeper and steeper price for a night of booze. Remember the days where you could drink all night, sneak in a 2 hour power nap, and then drag your ass through work the next day? Me too. Barely.....haha.

It's too god damned expensive, too. Call me old and lame, but I feel shitty when I wake up the next morning, and realize through my headache that I'm out a couple hundred dollars from the night before. And then add in that I'm a terrible drinker. I'm a happy drunk, but I get really sick really fast once I hit my breaking point. I'm the worst.

I guess I look at drinking like I look at donairs now. I know I'm gonna feel like shit when I'm done, so I make sure to spread out the nights I indulge, and I enjoy the hell out of it when I do.

This is an awful blog. But I'm trying to write 100, and I'll be damned if I'll let a hangover stop me. That's good enough. I'm going for a nap.


Friday, 1 June 2018

#9 - Just Try 06/01/18

I put off trying stand up comedy for about 15 years after I graduated High School. And for no good reason.

Part of it, as I've mentioned in this blog before, was because I wanted to keep the fantasy of doing stand up in my pocket. It was something I could daydream about while I was at work, but I didn't actually have to do the work or take a risk. Part of it was laziness. And part of it was thinking that I couldn't do it, so why try?

After trying it, I discovered I could do. And it motivated me to start trying other things I wanted to do but never got around to doing. And it made me realize that if you step back, and honestly ask yourself why you haven't tried something you want to try, you probably can't come up with a very good reason. Because chances are, there isn't one.

This clip is my favourite video on the internet. (Except maybe the one of the squirrel that turns and looks at you while the dramatic music plays). Kevin Smith seems like a good dude, and his message here really hits home with me. Be a "why not?" There's just no reason not to try something you want to try. Maybe you can't do it at the highest level right away, but you have to start somewhere. I love the old adage, "If someone else has done it, you can do it."

You want to lose 100 pounds? Lots of people have done that. You just have to start. Watch what you eat and exercise! Want to start a business? The internet makes it as easy as ever to work from home in your spare time! You've always wanted to learn a second language? You can buy courses online and start it in minutes without leaving your house! It doesn't matter what it is, there's a way to do it. And there's just no reason not to. It doesn't matter what road block you use for an excuse, there's a way to get around it if you look hard enough. 

I think the problem most people have (I know I did with comedy, and still do with other projects), is that the first steps you have to take are the hardest ones. You don't know what you're doing, you're out of your comfort zone, and maybe you're afraid of looking stupid. You know who looks stupider than someone trying to better themselves? Someone that isn't doing anything except sitting around and complaining about where they are in life. 

I know it sucks, and it's hard, and you'll want to quit. But don't quit. If you take a day off or a step in the wrong direction, shake it off and keep moving. Before you know it, you'll look back, and you'll be amazed at how many steps you've taken. And suddenly whatever you're trying to do isn't uncomfortable; it's the most exciting part of your day. It can, and will, change your life.

Just, try.