Tuesday, 31 July 2018

#69 - Feel Weird This Morning 07/31/18

Honestly, I wake up feeling pretty good most mornings. I don't have a lot to be upset about these days. But I feel...off...this morning.

And I don't know why. I had a good time at an open mic last night, and saw a bunch of my friends. I still say one of the best parts of being a comedian is just sitting at a table with some of the other comics, joking around. I really can't think of another way to describe it aside from a hockey team. You bond with them and start to look at them like teammates. I had fun there, worked on some material (ugh), and then came home and got a good night's sleep.

But I still just feel weird this morning. Everyone has these days I guess. Mornings like this are where I find this blog therapeutic. I'm just sitting here with my dog and my coffee, putting my thoughts down on the page in front of me. Even if this post is completely "blah" to everyone else, it helps me get going with my day.

Everyone has their problems. People put up shields and force a smile sometimes, but we all have stuff to deal with. I think the key is to just remember that you have friends and family that have your back, and there's always someone to talk to. And no matter how bad you think you have it, there are literally millions, maybe billions, of people that would trade places with you in a heartbeat. I try to remember that every time I feel like complaining about anything in my life.

I just find myself drawn home in the evenings, lately. I don't see much of my girlfriend during the week, she works long days and I go to open mics every night. At most, we get an hour or two to have dinner together. So once I'm done my "workout" in the evening on stage, I just want to come home and be around her and my dog. Comedy is great, because it provides me with a platform to go out, and get everything out of my system. I can be as loud or quiet, as angry or goofy as I want to be. Be the centre of attention for a few minutes, and then disappear again.

I was recently on the road with one of my closest friends in stand up, and he said if he could, he would have a car pull up to the stage. He'd jump out, do his act, and then get right back in the car and take off. I feel like that sometimes, too. I really do like hanging out with the other comics, but once my set is done, I can't wait to get home. Maybe that will be a detriment to my career as I go on, but I don't care.

Today will be a good day. Thanks for reading.


Monday, 30 July 2018

#68 - Poker 07/30/18

I....love....poker. If I'm being honest, I would almost consider playing poker for a living instead of stand up, if not for two things;

1) I'm not good enough. And a poker education isn't cheap.

2) I'm afraid making poker into a career would take a lot of the fun out of it.

I've read countless posts on poker forums by players that decided to quit their jobs and make their hobby into their career, only to find that after playing long sessions every day for a few months, the novelty starts to disappear. The game becomes a chore. Staying up late every night playing cards in casinos with no natural light, no windows. Your co-workers are fellow poker players, and you're all trying to take each other's money.

I can't imagine the stress that comes with the swings when you're playing for a living. Anyone that's played poker can tell you how much fun it is when you're winning, and how stressful and frustrating it can be when you're losing. Magnify that stress and frustration by 100 when you pay for a living, because it's not your beer money someone else is stacking in front of them, it's your rent. Even the best players have downswings (losing streaks), and I don't know how strong you have to be mentally (maybe foolish is the right word?) to battle through a month of losing at poker, knowing that there's no paycheque waiting at work to reload your bankroll with. I like my life to have as little stress in it as possible. Life as a poker pro doesn't sound like it jives with that at all.

As a hobby, though? Pokers the best. I don't really even care about the money. I don't want/need to play high stakes, I just love the game. The math of it interests me, but it's the psychology I like the most. Winning a pot with the best hand is great. But winning a pot with the perfect bluff, and getting someone else to lay down the best hand? That's magic. I love doing chip tricks, that *clack clack clack* sound of someone shuffling their chips...even the *snap* cards make as you peel up the corner of your card and then it fall back to the felt.

I vastly prefer live poker to playing online. I know playing on your computer/tablet whatever is more convenient, and wayyy faster, but it's not the same. I like sitting at a table with my friends and playing while we drink beer, or being at a casino watching SportsCentre in between hands. And when you play online, you don't get to stack your chips when you win a big pot! That's the best part!!

Poker is the shit. Comedy is my job now, but poker will always be the Robin to stand up's Batman. One of my biggest motivations to reach the headliner level as a comedian is to start making more money, so that I can afford to kill some of the time I have between shows on the road playing poker. That sounds perfect to me. Playing in the $10,000 buy in Main Event at the World Series of Poker will be at the top of my bucket list until it happens.

So, if anyone needs a comedian.....

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 29 July 2018

#67 - Sunday Ramblings 07/29/18

A few of my stupid thoughts with your Sunday coffee?

- This blog is getting harder to do everyday. Some days, it's a piece of cake, and others I'm pretty hard pressed to come up with something interesting to talk about. That said, the number of hits it gets most days is staying pretty consistent. So if you're reading it most days from the shadows of the internet, I appreciate you.

- Worked at the Comic Strip with Dan Clarke and Justin Willman this weekend, and they were some really fun shows. I've liked Dan since I met him shortly after I got into comedy, so working with him is always fun. And Justin Willman is a magician/comedian, and I can't say enough good things about him. If you didn't make it out to one of his shows this weekend, you missed out. Really nice guy, too. It just makes for a funner weekend when the headliner is chill. I got to host, too, and I really enjoy hosting. It's perfect, because I find most of the comics prefer to middle on the show instead, so it works out for everybody.

- It's the total dog days of summer for sports. Blah. Unless your team is contending for the playoffs or your a diehard baseball fan (my team isn't and I am not) the MLB regular season is over. We just have to wait out another, like, 70 games before the playoffs. CFL is in full stride, too, but I just can't get into it. Fantasy football has vastly overtaken any other reason for me to watch that game. (I bet that makes hardcore football fans cringe).

- SummerSlam is a few weeks away, though, and the card looks decent. Outside of Dickhead Reigns and Brock Lesnar, anyway. Just watching the PPVs has made watching WWE enjoyable again.

- I'm completely, utterly hooked on Mario Rabbids and Final Fantasy 3 right now. Rabbids is awesome, and I'm trying to finish FF3 so my buddy Miklos and I can do a podcast about it. I'll never be able to quit video games. I've given up trying. If this is what it's like to quit smoking, then puff away, smokers.

- I miss playing poker. Maybe I'll save it and do a blog about that this week. What a great game.

- Life is good. I'm a pretty happy (and lucky) guy.

Have a good Sunday, and thanks for reading.


Saturday, 28 July 2018

#66 - Writing Is Like a Puzzle 07/28/18

I didn't actually read this advice anywhere, it's just something I've developed over the last couple years in regards to writing. Jokes, stories, whatever I'm working on, I find the method that works best for me is to treat it like I'm working on like a jigsaw puzzle.

When you build a puzzle (does anyone still do that?), you pour the box out on the table in front of you, and then start organizing it. That's I like to do that with writing. I don't stop every 5 minutes to look at what I've done and review it, I just keep going until I have it all out there. Get all my thoughts in front of me, and then I'll come back to it and start looking for the good stuff. Like looking for the border of a jigsaw puzzle.

I've found it to be my preferred writing strategy for a few reasons. First and foremost, it helps me avoid writer's block. It's been said that "writer's block is just a made up excuse for people to not do their work." I'm not sure I fully agree with that, but I do find that if you just force yourself to break through it and start writing, the feeling often fades. Just keep the pen moving; anything that comes to mind, write it down. When I sit down to write, my objective is to fill the page, and I try not to stop until the alarm on my phone goes off. Don't review it, don't read it back, just get everything that's in my mind onto the paper.

Then I take a break and try to do something active. I go for a quick run or walk my dog, and come back to what I wrote with a clear head. Read over it, and see if there's anything there worth keeping. And a lot of the time, there isn't. But I don't beat myself up over that anymore. Part of writing jokes is the thrill of the hunt. The days I do come up with something good make the days I wasted time writing garbage completely worthwhile. And as a bonus, I find that if I write earlier in the day, the thought is jogging through my mind for the afternoon. Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head hours after I finish writing. If this happens, WRITE IT DOWNNNNN!!!! Way too many times, I've banked on remembering something, and then it disappears forever. Just play it safe, and write everything down.

I've mentioned it on here a couple times, but I'm also attempting to write a book for the first time. I'm finding it overwhelming, but I'm trying to stick with it. And just like when I work on my jokes, I just write. I don't go back and read what I've wrote, I just force myself to keep going. My mentality right now is to just finish a draft of the book. Then (hopefully) I can use it like the picture from the box for my jigsaw puzzle, and work from there. I have something concrete to play with.

Just write. Even these God awful blogs. A lot of the time (today included), I just "puke" all of my thoughts out onto my computer, and then go back and try to make sense of them. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed or frustrated, and it helps to just get ideas down while they're fresh. You can always go back and delete the crappy stuff. (I do A LOT of deleting).

Anyways, that's my writing strategy, for the none of you that asked.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, 27 July 2018

#65 - The Greatest Player to Never Win The Cup? 07/27/18

I haven't posted a hockey related blog yet. The middle of Summer seems like the perfect time to start, right?

Jarome Iginla announced his retirement this week. 1554 games, 625 goals, 1300 points, and over 1000 PIMs. 11 straight 30+ goal seasons. 2 Maurice Richard trophies, and an Art Ross, too. The Flames will surely retire #12 soon, and the Hall of Fame should be calling the Iginla household in 3 short years.

Oh yeah, he also set up Sidney Crosby for that goal that one time......

What a fantastic career. When you look at everything Iginla accomplished, there's really only one glaring omission. Unfortunately, it's the biggest one. Jarome Iginla never won the Stanley Cup. (He should have 2004, that goal was in. But that's a topic for another day). I was listening to the radio yesterday, and they were having a debate about who the greatest hockey player to never win the Stanley Cup was, and whether or not "Iggy" was now on the top of that list. It was a really interesting conversation.

There's a few candidates that really stick out in my mind. Marcel Dionne is probably his biggest competition for the dubious distinction. Dionne has over 1700 points, and he's 6th in League history for career point totals. But, he also played in a much MUCH higher scoring era than Jarome Iginla did. I think that closes the point gap significantly. That said, 6th ALL TIME in scoring....

Mats Sundin came up yesterday, too. I never thought of him, but I'd totally listen to that argument as well. As much as I despise the Maple Leafs, I always liked Sundin. He was a class act, a great hockey player, and being the all-time leading scorer for the Toronto Maple Leafs carries a little bit of weight, too.

Jeremy Roenick is another one of my favourites. He had a great career but he never won the Cup.  Shane Doan, Paul Kariya, the Sedins.....If you want to include goalies, I think Curtis Joseph enters the discussion. If Eric Lindros hadn't gotten hurt, he'd be a contender, too. Although, I guess you could argue that if he hadn't gotten hurt, he very probably would have won a Cup...

I'll be honest, I'm biased. My two favourite "non-Habs" in NHL history are Teemu Selanne, and Jarome Iginla. I was so happy to see Selanne get his Cup in '07, and I wanted Iginla to win one so bad that I would have been completely fine with the Bruins winning while he was there. But sadly, he didn't. And he gets my vote for the greatest player to never win a Stanley Cup. At least until Joe Thornton retires, anyways. Thornton might get the edge just based on his beard.

I hope a team brings Iginla on in an office role, and they win the Cup. When I think of that trophy and about how much you have to sacrifice to win it, the prototypical player that comes to my mind is a Jarome Iginla. Because I'm sure he'll read this, congratulations on one hell of a career, Sir. You have a fan for life in this guy.


Thursday, 26 July 2018

#64 - Going Through Old Jokes (Ugh) 07/26/18

I found one of my old phones the other day, and I fired it up to see if it had any photos or anything on it that I had forgotten to move over to my computer. I ended up going into the Notes section and finding a ton of set lists and joke ideas from when I started a couple years ago.


I know that I was probably trying as hard as I could, and that there's a pretty good chance that I'll look back on the stuff I'm doing on stage now someday and hate it, too. But man oh man, my early stuff is bad. It's so bad, haha. I don't even want to share any of it on here, it's awful.

But on the positive side, I can see how much I've grown as a comic over the last couple of years. I can use these old notes and sets to beat myself up, or I can use them as motivation to keep going, because one way or another, the work is slowly paying off. I think comedians should use old sets, tapes, and jokes as their form of "progress pics". Like when you're trying to lose weight.

When someone works hard and gets themselves into better shape, they don't look back on the "before" photos and get upset, they use them to show everyone where they started. It's motivational. As a comedian, that's what I should be doing with these old jokes. These are my "before" jokes. It's hard, though. And I think that's because the only way to really improve as a comic is to be your own biggest critic. And if you're being honest and critical of your work, the "before" jokes are horrendous, but you'll find fault in the "now" jokes, too. Someone that loses 100 lbs can look at their "now" photo and be proud of it. They may not look like The Rock yet, but they're getting there. For some reason, that's a lot harder to do when you look at your art....

"I may not be Bill Burr yet, but I'm getting there" isn't something most honest comedians can say with a straight face.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that when I started, I thought I was good, but I sucked. And now, I still suck, but I suck less then I did 2 years ago. I'm slowly getting better. Only like, 9, 956 hours to go!

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

#63 - Strong Opinions 07/25/18

Yesterday, I posted this on Facebook:

" 'If nobody hates you, you probably don’t have any opinions on anything.'
Soft tacos > Hard tacos. Hate away. "

A lot of people agreed, but that's not the point. I don't voice a lot of really strong opinions. Particularly when it comes to serious topics like politics and the economy. That's partially because I'm very easily swayed. You could convince me NDP is the way to go, and then someone 5 minutes later could sell me on Conservatives and I'd listen to both. Maybe I'm open minded, maybe I'm just an idiot. I also don't voice my opinion on this stuff because frankly, I don't really have any strong opinions on topics like that. 

But that said, taking a stand when it comes to tacos felt good. And I have more opinions I'd like to voice. I don't care who agrees with me. It's time I plant my feet and make my voice heard when it comes to the important stuff.

Soft tacos, before I say anything else, are infinitely superior to hard tacos. I've seen the argument for wrapping a hard taco in a soft shell, but I'll just stick to soft and delicious, thank you very much.

Anyone that orders sandwiches in a Tim Hortons' drive thru is a menace to society. First of all, those sandwiches suck. And secondly, the drive thru is for coffee and donuts. If you want to order a meal, go inside. "But I have three kids. Do you know how hard it is to unbuckle and buckle back in three kids?" No, I don't. But you know how hard it is to stay calm when I'm behind your damned van waiting for my coffee and you get handed 4 bags of food that you have to distribute before you pull away? Go to McDonalds next time.

If you don't pull your car into the intersection when you're waiting to turn left on a green light, you should be thrown in jail. Nobody's asking you to risk your life, but get out there! Get far enough that the guy behind you can squeeze in, too! Let's be better as a society, people.

And on the driving note, if you can't park between two yellow lines, it should be legal to spit on your car. I saw someone post a meme that showed a shopping cart zip tied to the door handle of a car that couldn't figure out how to park, and I applaud them. 

If you're in a public place, particularly a quiet one, like a waiting room or a quiet store, and you're having a conversation via text message, turn the sound off on your god damned phone. You're staring at it anyway, you know when the text messages are coming, and nobody wants to hear your clever "quacking duck" or "Old Spice whistle" text notification sound every 8 seconds. Should be a $2000 fine every notification.

People that don't wash their hands in public bathrooms shouldn't be allowed to use public bathrooms. And if you don't flush? 25 to life.

And finally, if you smoke and you throw your butts out of your car window, you should have to go live on Mars. We all fucking hate you.

That felt good.


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

#62 - Roman Reigns.... 07/24/18

WARNING: This is one of my wrestling blogs. If you aren't a booger eater like me, you won't like this post very much. You've been warned.

Last night on RAW, they confirmed that the main event at SummerSlam this year will be........sigh.......Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.

Raise your hand if you're excited. Anybody? That guy in the back, you're excited? Oh, you were just stretching.....

I don't hate Roman Reigns as a wrestler. I don't think he's anything special, but he's certainly adequate. I'd watch him ahead of the likes of The Great Kahli any day. But this "Roman Reigns Superpush" has gotten out of hand. I can't remember ever seeing a wrestler get forced down the fans' throats like this. You could argue Lex Luger back in the day, but Luger didn't main event FOUR straight WrestleManias. Super Cena was pretty rough for a while, but at least John Cena got himself over naturally, first. Triple H drove me away from wrestling at one point because of how he buried everyone he stepped in the ring with, but like Cena, he put in his time first. 

Reigns was crazy over as a member of The Shield. I don't know how much of that could be attributed to Roman personally, but the fact remains that we cheered for him when he was storming through the audience with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. But then The Shield broke up. Rollins and Ambrose went on to have a fantastic rivalry with each other, while Reigns strapped on his jet pack and shot to the top of the mountain. I don't have an huge issue with his initial push. The Shield had been hot, and Vince and friends decided to try Reigns as a main eventer. Fair enough. You won't know who will work there until you try. But it didn't work. It was obvious fans were rejecting it. Vince didn't (still doesn't) care, though.

I've read that at live events, Reigns gets cheered. Particularly by the children. And I understand it's business, and kids buy merchandise. Or, their parents do anyways. But the WWE has tried EVERYTHING to get the overall fanbase to buy into Roman Reigns. WrestleMania main events. Calling out Brock Lesnar. Winning Royal Rumbles. REIGNS HAS PINNED THE UNDERTAKER AT WRESTLEMANIA. None of it is working. This isn't going to work, either. Fans are sick of Reigns, and they don't want to watch him wrestle Brock Lesnar (again) at SummerSlam. WWE, you have a ridiculously talented roster at your fingertips, and you keep going back to the same old, same old. Why?!

For the record, I know not everybody feels this way. I know there are Reigns fans out there. Good on you. There's nothing wrong with that. But don't @ me, telling me I'm crazy and that Reigns is over. You can like him all you want, it doesn't mean you don't hear the "boo's" on RAW every week. 

Try something new, WWE. Turn him heel. Move him down the card and give Rollins/Balor/Strowman/Samoa Joe/Elias/Lashley/ANYBODY a shot instead. Try ANYTHING. It's brutal. I'll keep (casually) watching, because I want to see the above mentioned wrestlers, in addition to Styles/Miz/Nakamura/Hardy etc, and the women's division. I just won't be paying a lot of attention to your main events until they change,

Maybe that makes me part of the problem. I keep watching despite the Reigns experiment. Lots of us do. And without competition, WWE knows it.

How bad do we need WCW back?

Thanks for reading. It's still real to me, dammit.


Monday, 23 July 2018

#61 - Battle to the Funny Bone 07/23/18

A couple months ago, I started hosting 'Battle to the Funny Bone'. It's a weekly joke battle show that goes down Mondays at The Comic Strip in West Edmonton Mall. 

Originally dreamt up by Alberta Comedy Wunderkid Drew Behm, the concept behind the show is simple. 8 comedians compete in a bracket style tournament. The audience comes up with topics for the comics to write jokes about, and then 2 comedians have a few minutes to write a brand new 3 minute or less set on whatever the topic is. They both tell their jokes, and then the audience chooses who moves on to the next round. Eventually, one comic is left standing. 

A couple weeks ago, Brad (left) and Ryan (middle) got the topic "fighting" for their battle. If this end result doesn't make you want to come to our show, what will??
My buddy Ryan Short took over hosting duties for Drew when he moved to Toronto, and then recently turned it over to me. Before I was hosting, I battled almost every single Monday when I was in town. It's a really fun show to participate in, both as a host and a battler. If it sounds hard, believe me, it is. Getting up in front of an audience with jokes you've worked on for weeks is hard enough. Taking jokes that you wrote 3 minutes ago up there is terrifying. But for my money, it's also the single best workout for a comedian in Edmonton. In one shot, you get a chance to exercise your writing muscles, your improv skills, and it forces you to think outside of the box. 

We get all kinds of topics, too. Everything from innocent stuff like aqua-sizing, and being able to turn invisible, to stuff like 9/11 and Schindler's List. I would bet over 1/3 of all the material I have now originated on this show. I never would have thought to write about old people on drugs if not for Battle to the Funny Bone. 

And the audience seems to really enjoy it, too. Ryan started building up a group of regulars before he stopped hosting, and the've hung around and even grown through the transition. I understand not everyone is excited to go out and watch comedy on a Monday night after working all day, but the tickets are cheap (or free if you message me!), and you're guaranteed to hear different jokes every single week. The show is over by 9, so it isn't a late night. And the best suggestion for a topic at the end of the night wins passes to come back and see another show at the club! 

I know this blog has seemed like a giant plug for the show, and it was. 100%. But it's my favourite show. I'm genuinely appreciative for the opportunity to host it and be part of it every week, and I guarantee it's contributed more to my growth as a comedian than any show I've been a part of. If you've ever come to a show, thank you very much. Please come out to another one! And if you haven't, there's no time like the present! 

Or, 3.5 hours from now....

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 22 July 2018

#60 - Sunday Ramblings 07/22/18

Sorry for the half-assed blog yesterday. I'll be (slightly) better today.

I usually like getting up early on Sunday (early being before 8:00. You people that get up at like 5:00 are sickos). I hate it if I'm getting up because I have somewhere to be. But on a morning like this where my only obligations are this blog and walking my dog, I'd rather get up and enjoy the morning.  Coffee, a video game, and a lazy dog on my lap is the perfect Sunday morning.

I spent Friday night hanging out with some friends, and then yesterday was about my Dad's birthday and taking family photos like I mentioned in Saturday's "mini-blog". I'm more selective with who I send my time with these days. I'm not better than anyone or anything, but I try to stay busy, and I have less time to just hang out with people and relax. So when the chance comes up, I want to be surrounded by the people I enjoy hanging out with the most. This has been a really good weekend.

We've had some crazy storms here in Edmonton this weekend as well, which has made it that much better. I'm definitely one of those "rain loving" weirdos. If I don't have to go out, bring it on. Hopefully, nobody has run into any basement flooding or anything. I saw some photos on Twitter on car windows that were smashed out by hail in some places, which is crazy. Just rain with a side of thunder and lightning, please.

It's the dog days of Summer comedy right now. I picked the perfect time to try and be a full-time comedian....I'm still managing to stay busy(ish), but it's definitely slower. Luckily, the comedy clubs in Edmonton seem to like me, and they've hooked me up with a few weekends of work to help ride out the July and August droughts.

The podcasts re going really well. 'Adam Wastes Time' continues to slowly pick up listeners, and 'Remember the Game?' has already passed it for average weekly downloads. I figured it would, more people re interested in retro video games than what some open mic comic has to say. I've been tossing ideas around in my head for a wrestling project, something where I talk WWE once a week, but I don't want to start a third podcast. Maybe something with YouTube, but that market is pretty packed as it is. I don't know if I want to sit and write a second blog every week, but that's an option, too.

My dog is sitting here on the floor staring at me, so I'm gonna go hang out on the couch with her and some coffee. Sundays are the best.

Enjoy yours!


Saturday, 21 July 2018

#59 - The Streak Can't Die 07/21/18

I refuse, REFUSE, to break this blog writing streak at 59 days.

That said, I have no time today. We're doing family photos today (my Mom is finally cashing in a photo package I got her for Christmas last year), and then going out for my Dad's birthday. It's pretty rare that me and my girlfriend, my Brother and his girlfriend, and my folks are all around on the same day anymore, so we have to make it count. I don't see any of them as often as I used to anymore, so it's usually pretty fun when we all get together.

If you haven't talked to your Mom in a while, give her a call today. She'd probably appreciate it.

I really can't think of much else to talk about. I'm sure nobody wants to hear about our photos. I will say that after a couple years of stand up, I don't hate getting my picture taken as much as I used to. I've come to grips with my lazy eye (believe it or not, getting photos taken when you can't look at the camera isn't much fun), and I just accept it now. Talking about it in front of rooms full of strangers every night has made it a lot easier to deal with.

And photo day made my Mom happy. I guess in the end, that's what matters, right?

According to my unofficial blog constitution, this post is long enough to keep the streak alive. I gotta go.

Enjoy your Saturday!


Friday, 20 July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is good, guys. Enjoy it.


Thursday, 19 July 2018

#57 - DDP Yoga 07/19/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

#56 - Kevin Smith 07/18/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

That's what comedians do. All the time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 16 July 2018

#54 - Promoting This Blog 07/16/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, 15 July 2018

#53 - Sunday Ramblings 07/15/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good enough. The streak continues!

Thanks for reading. Have a great Sunday!


Saturday, 14 July 2018

#52 - The Simpsons 07/14/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 13 July 2018

#51 - "Live Your Life Like a Movie" 07/13/18

This isn't quite a "people I look up to" blog, but it is going to be Joe Rogan-centric.

In case you didn't know, Rogan is a stand up comedian, and he hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the world, 'The Joe Rogan Experience' (highly recommended, they can be really interesting conversations, and they're perfect for helping pass time on long drives). He's also the guy that used to host Fear Factor back in the day, if you don't get online much.

I wouldn't necessarily say I look up to Joe Rogan. While he's an accomplished comedian, his style isn't one I really draw much inspiration from. If anything, I emulate his podcasting style more than I do his stand up traits. He's incredibly good at holding conversations with people about a variety of topics, and when he gets into chasing dreams, working hard, getting in shape, etc, he can be pretty motivating.

There are a ton of Youtube videos out there where people have taken clips from various episodes of his podcasts, slipped some music into the background, and made some pretty powerful montages. Specifically when he talks about doing what you want with your life, chasing goals, stuff like that. One of the soundbites that shows up in most of these videos is Rogan saying, "...live your life, like you're the hero in your own movie..."

I know it took me a while to get to it, but I fucking love that quote.

I don't know if Joe came up with it, or if he heard it somewhere, but it's awesome. I try to keep it in my mind when I feel lazy or unmotivated. I really do ask myself, "if I was in a movie right now, would I be cheering for me?" If I just stay home and play video games instead of hitting up those open mics, the training montages in my movie are gonna suck. As long as I keep trying to get better, eventually this movie will have a happy ending.

Same thing applies when it comes to dealing with people. The hero in a movie is the hero because you want to see them win. They're usually pretty nice people. When you see Rocky walk little Marie home, and watch him feed his pet turtles, you realize he's a pretty nice guy. That makes you want to see him beat Apollo Creed. So try to be nice to people. Not only so people will like your movie, but because it's just the right thing to do.

If more people just pretended that they were heroes in movies, the world would be a much better place. When a camera is on someone, you often get an entirely different version of a person than you do when nobody is watching. And, I'm not saying I'm the hardest working guy in the world, I'm not. Or that I'm the nicest person all the time, I'm definitely not. But whenever possible, I keep that Rogan quote in my mind, and it really does make me work a little harder and be a little better as a person. I try to be the hero in my movie.

Or anti-hero, at least.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, 12 July 2018

#50 - 50 days! 07/12/18

50 consecutive days of blogs! And only about a dozen people have blocked me on Facebook for posting about them everyday. That's a win in my books.

I've read that many successful people (not necessarily all rich people, but people that have achieved what they want in life), have morning routines that the stick to almost every day. I've tried to do that, and started finding some success with it once I began this blog. Every morning I get my coffee, knock out my emails, and then write a blog while I sit with my dog. I shoot to be done it before 9:30, and then I walk Molly and have some breakfast. Once I'm done eating, the day is mine to work on podcasts, my jokes, or the other projects I have on the go.

Writing a blog every morning gets me into a productive mindset. Instead of playing video games in the morning and dreading turning them off to start working, I finish the blog, and that small sense of accomplishment motivates me to keep going and get as much done as I can. It gets my brain working and thinking, and I've found it helps me focus when I sit down to work on material. I read that some people think you should make your bed every morning, because you'll see that small accomplishment and it gets you into a "let's get some shit done" mentality. I've just decided to use a blog instead of making our bed. (I stopped making the bed when Shay started telling me I "don't do it right" anyways 😒 )

The number of hits this blog gets everyday varies; sometimes I'll go on a run where it climbs daily for a week, and then suddenly it'll drop off and stay down for a few days. I really don't care too much about the numbers, it's nice to see people are reading it, but my primary goal for this thing is to use it as a way to focus. Some mornings I'm hard pressed to come up with something to talk about, but as Jerry Seinfeld says, "writer's block is a made up excuse for people that don't want to do their work". If I force myself to come up with something to blog about, I find it easier to force myself to come up with something to write jokes about, too. I'm really surprised (but happy) with the positive ramifications talking about myself online for 15 minutes every morning has.

Another day, another blog. If you like reading these, thanks for coming along. If not, well, you probably won't see this anyways.


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

#49 - When a New Joke Works 07/11/18

As a comic, trying a brand new joke on stage for the first time, and getting even a giggle back from the audience is the best feeling in the world.

(At least, it is for me. Although, to be fair, a giggle is usually the biggest reaction any of my jokes get.)

When you first start doing stand up, you don't really have a choice but to go on stage with new material. That grind to figure out your first couple of bits can be brutal. But eventually, you'll start to find some stuff that works, and then you have a base to build from. Sure, you'll have to re-write it, tweak it, and work on the bit again and again, but at least you have something that you know is worth working on. The trap at that point is becoming complacent with your writing. Once you have jokes that you know work more often than not, it can become way too easy to stop trying brand new material, and just stick to what's safe.

I've seen it a million times in just the 2 and a half years I've been in comedy; a new comic has 5 minutes that don't completely bomb, and they keep showing up to open mics and performing the same set over and over. Not tweaking, not trying anything new, just reading from the script. I got guilty of it myself for a while. Once I hit a point where I could survive 30 minutes (not even necessarily do well, just survive), I took my foot off the gas in regards to writing and trying new material. Sitting down and writing new material is hard enough, going on stage with it and trying it for the first time is like jumping out of a plane and praying the parachute you spent the afternoon building works.

I've shifted out of that mindset, but it took time. Now I write something almost every day; be it a new joke altogether, or I re-write and work on something old. And then I try to take something new on stage every time I go up at an open mic. It doesn't have to be a brand new 5 minutes, but I'll tweak the way I word something, or change up the order of the punchlines. Experiment. And if I bomb, I bomb. It's the only way to get better and grow as a comedian. And I'll tell you, trying a new joke for the first time and getting a laugh fills you with the same sense of relief I can imagine you'd experience if you were falling through the sky, pulled the cord and looked back to see that colourful parachute staring back at you.

If you're a new comic and you don't work on new material, that's fine. Do whatever you want with your stage time. I'm in no spot to give advice. All I'm saying is that when I really started forcing myself to keep my good jokes in my back pocket for important shows and paid gigs, and stepped out of my comfort zone with new material more often, I started to see more success as a comedian. Both on stage, and off stage on the business side of comedy. I started bombing more, too. High risk, high reward, I guess.

As always, thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 10 July 2018

#48 - Wasting Time 07/10/18

"The only real waste of time is spending it doing something you don't like doing."

I like that saying a lot. Obviously, we learn from a young age that sometimes you just have to do things you don't want to do. Laundry, cleaning, shovelling snow, whatever. I think most people just grow up accepting the fact that part of life is doing stuff they hate doing, and it becomes the norm for them. That's the issue.

I agree that sometimes, you just have to suck it up and get things done, even if they suck. But I wholeheartedly disagree that a majority of your day/week/life has to be dedicated to doing stuff you don't like. I really feel that this is the biggest reason people settle into jobs they hate, and just spend 40+ years of their lives chasing Friday nights. Because they just figure that's what they have to do. 

In m opinion, the key to happiness is to figure out what it is you hate doing, and coming up with a plan to spend as little time as possible doing them. Say you hate vegetables. You know you have to eat them, though. You don't fill your entire plate with broccoli, right? You just fill a small portion of the plate with it, and then get through it as fast as you can. You did what you had to do, and now you have time to sit back and enjoy your steak. That should be life. Too many people just give up and cover their plate in broccoli. 

I know that's a stupid analogy, but you get what I'm trying to say.

I don't think life is as simple as deciding "I don't want to do _____ anymore", and just not doing it. If your job is the thing you hate, you can stop doing it, but then you have to stop doing things you like doing; eating and sleeping inside, for example. But take steps toward getting there. Figure out what you enjoy spending your time on, and start working toward spending more of your time on that. I love talking to people that spend their time on projects or businesses they're passionate about. That enthusiasm just rubs off on the people they interact with, and it can be one of the most inspiring and motivating things on the planet. If we all started doing more of that, we'd all inspire each other, and we'd change the world. I really believe that.

So don't fill your plate with broccoli. Eat enough to get your vitamins, and then focus on what you like. Unless you really like broccoli, I guess. Take a whole plate of it if that's the case. Enjoy it. And then get some help...

Thanks for reading :) 


Monday, 9 July 2018

#47 - One Day Off 07/09/18

I ended up with an unexpected day off Saturday, comedy wise. It was nice having a night off to hang out with my friends, but sometimes all it takes is that one day to completely stop my momentum. The next day, I have a hard time getting back into my rhythm, especially when I've been on a long run of getting on stage every night.

And I hadn't had a night away from comedy in quite a while. So I took Saturday off, and then the next day I had a spot booked at an open mic, and on my way there I just felt like I hadn't been on stage for weeks. I don't know if other comedians have this issue, but when I get on a run where I'm getting up every single night, I get in the groove and just feel looser on stage. I'm more confident in new bits, the old bits feel tight and polished; I get that momentum.

But then I skip one day, and I feel like I've fallen all the way back to square one. I don't believe in any of my new jokes, and feel like I can't remember how to tell my old ones. Luckily, the crowd at Empress (the mic I was at last night) was hot and they picked me up, but I felt rusty as hell. I feel like stand up comedy is really one of those things you need be doing every single day to get better at it. A day off once and a while is fine, but every time I take one, I feel like I'm taking three steps back.

Different strokes for different folks, but I just don't get how comedians can get on stage once or twice a week and stay loose and in "game shape". Maybe that comes with time, or not everyone feels like I do. It's a good and a bad thing, because my fear of getting rusty keeps me motivated to get up every night and work out on stage, but sometimes I have a hard time enjoying my nights off, because I feel like I'm losing any progress I made have been making over the last couple weeks.

I compare it to when you workout every day for a couple months, and then go away for a weekend, eat garbage food and drink beer, and then try to get back on the treadmill Monday. It can be pure hell.   But the longer you wait to get back into routine, the harder it is.

Fucking comedy.


Sunday, 8 July 2018

#46 - Sunday Rambling 07/08/18

Happy Sunday, y'all. Hope you had a great weekend.

I had a fun week. Tons of stage time, and I got to go back up to Grande Prairie with my buddy Ethan for a show. Some comics think the crowd in Grande Prairie is a little much, but I love it up there. The crowd is almost always ready for a good time, and they're practically impossible to offend, which means you get drop you guard and come out swinging. Some guy in the audience got arrested in the middle of my set, too, haha. That's my new "craziest thing that has happened to me onstage" story.

The people he was sitting with stayed for the rest of the show, too! Which I find hilarious.

Outside of watching people get taken to prison, it's just been a week filled with comedy and podcasting. I recorded 5 episodes of podcasts this week, both Adam Wastes Time, and Remember The Game. I need to start trying to have a couple episodes in the bank, so I'm not scrambling to get one recorded the day before it's due to go live. Obviously, they aren't earth shattering podcasts, and I don't have any deadlines or anything, but I'm trying harder than ever to stick to a schedule and hold myself accountable. Having an extra episode recorded and holstered has made it 100x easier to maintain that consistency.

It's the dog days of Summer for comedy. My fall is quickly filling up, but my July is practically empty. I know it comes with the territory, and I'm going to try not to get stressed out about it. Just spend the next few weeks writing material and hitting open mics, trying to polish up some new bits for the busy holiday season. I decided to flip through some of my old joke books this past week, and found a TON of premises that I either gave up on, or just abandoned too early. While I'm still not necessarily "good", I'm a better joke writer than I was a couple years ago. I think some of this stuff is worth re-visiting.

SOME of that stuff. "A vagina is just a hole" is an actual note in one of my old books, and I think I'll leave that one alone. Ugh....

I'm going to get off of here. A quick blog is enough to keep the streak alive (46 days and counting!). Dinner with my family tonight, and then ripping over to Empress Comedy Night for a quick spot to end the weekend. (Show starts at 9, Empress Ale House on Whyte, it's free!)

Thanks as always for reading. Have a great Sunday.


Saturday, 7 July 2018

#45 - Don't Spread Hate 07/07/18

Yesterday, it was announced that the RCMP were charging the truck driver from the Humboldt Broncos tragedy. He's facing 29 charges in relation to the crash, and is looking at some pretty serious jail time if convicted.

Reactions are all over social media. Twitter, Facebook, the internet is full of people and opinions. A majority of the comments I'm seeing are people expressing how happy they are that the driver is going to have to face the music for what happened. Some people are also sending him condolences, pointing out that while he's alive and physically unharmed, his life will never be the same again, either.

I fall in between the two viewpoints. No official details have been released (that I've seen), but if the driver is being charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle, the investigators obviously know that he screwed up somewhere. If that's the case, I'm happy he's being charged. I know it has flaws, but I'm a believer in our judicial system. If you do something wrong, you should be held accountable.

The common opinion right now is that people think he was on his phone. We've all seen people talk and text/drive (admittedly, I've done it myself), so I get why this is the assumption people are jumping to. However, until the facts are made public, it's just speculation. We know the man has been charged, and I think the best thing we can do now is step back, and let the legal process play out. If it can be proven that he was on his phone, or somehow negligent and at fault for what happened, he'll pay for it in the end.

On the other hand, I can understand where people that are sending him condolences are coming from as well. Regardless other whether he was on his phone, high, drunk, sleeping, whatever he allegedly did that caused this crash, I'd be willing to bet it wasn't his intention. We've all made mistakes. Fortunately, most of them don't result in a tragedy like this one has. I'm not saying he shouldn't be charged or held responsible, but I don't see how piling on is going to help the situation or the victim's families.

I saw someone that shares the same name as the driver post a plea for people to stop harassing him, as they have the wrong person. I can only imagine the vile, hate filled messages this innocent man is receiving. Even if you find the right person online, I fail to see what messaging him will accomplish. And people are making a lot of angry, racist comments, too. I don't care what happened, you'll never convince me that's the right approach. Let's be better. If you want to spend time online dealing with the people involved in this tragedy, spend it sending messages of support and love to the victims and their families.

All this said, I've never been through anything remotely close to what people involved with the Broncos are going through. I don't know how they feel, and I'm not going to sit here and promise that I wouldn't lash out like this if someone I loved was involved. I just think we are making a horrible situation worse by dragging racism and hate into it.

My thoughts are with the victims of this tragedy. And I hope those found responsible are held accountable for what happened.


Friday, 6 July 2018

#44 - Better Late Than Never 07/06/18

I was 32 years old when I tried stand up for the first time. Definitely "late to the party", at least compared to most of the comedians I know.

Particularly when I started, I'd kick myself for starting as late as I did. I'm 34 now, and many of the comedians I look up to, and in some cases open for, are younger and more experienced than I am. I often think to myself, "if I had started when I was 18 or 19, I'd have over 15 years of experience by now." That frustrates me, because nothing was stopping me back then, other than laziness.

However, as time has passed, I've developed an appreciation for being older. I'm at a point where not only have I made peace with the fact that I started late, but I've almost embraced it. Sometimes it's harder for me to connect with my fellow comedians, because I don't feel like I have much in common with them when they're 10 years younger than me, but I feel like I'm in a better place as a person to try and make a go of this comedy thing.

For example, I think that being older provides me with a little bit of an edge when it comes to having life experience to draw from on stage. I'm not saying that young comics have nothing to talk about; Will Hannigan, Brad Semotiuk, Ryan Short are just a few of the comics I work with that are way younger than me, and they're all fucking hilarious. I just don't know what I would have talked about when I started out if I didn't have a long term relationship, failed careers and life experience to draw from. It's an edge none of them need, but I sure did....

I'm also more stable financially then I would have been had I started earlier. Certainly not rich by any stretch, but having worked full-time for 15 years before trying comedy, my girlfriend and I established a foundation for ourselves in a monetary sense, and it has made the transition into attempting to become a working comic infinitely less stressful. 

Which brings me to the main reason I'm grateful that I started as late as I did with comedy; I know what it's like to work for a living. I graduated High School in 2001, and had a full time job until 2018. 17 years of driving forklifts, selling nails, answering phones. Some good jobs, some bad. I have a thorough understanding of what it takes to get up every day and go to work. And my biggest motivation to become a successful comedian is knowing that if I don't put the work into my comedy, I'll have to put the work in on a forklift again. I don't want to go back to that life. (If you drive a forklift, I'm not shitting on you. I just don't want to do it anymore. Nobody wants to be around  a forklift driver that can only see out of half of his face, anyway).

I guess the point of this post is just that I've come to accept that I was a late bloomer in comedy. It's helped me in ways, and I think it's hurt me in others. I'm in a spot right now where I'm as happy as I've ever been, both professionally and at home, and if I had to go back, I wouldn't change anything that risked screwing up what I have now. Better late than never, right?

And besides, I kinda like being the old guy of the group.

Take it easy. Happy Friday!


Thursday, 5 July 2018

#43 - Gap Years Should Be Mandatory 07/05/18

DISCLAIMER: I never went to any form of post-secondary school. So if I come across as an uneducated bozo in this blog, it's 100% because I am an uneducated bozo.

I just spent a great 24 hours on the road with my buddy, Ethan, and one of our conversations inspired me to write a blog about how I think a "gap year" between High School and College/University should be mandatory.

I know a lot of people that rushed into their post-secondary educations the Fall after graduating High School, and an awful lot of them are stuck paying back student loans that they racked up to earn degrees that they either no longer want, or can't use. I've never understood what the rush is. When I was in grade 12, they talked to us about our plans after graduating, and I, among many others, didn't really know what I wanted to do.

Fortunately, my parents were cool with that. They insisted I continued to work (I already had a job), but didn't have a problem with me taking some time to try and figure life out. I wish more parents were like that. Frankly, I think parents should not only support their kids taking a little time to think about what they want to do with their lives, they should encourage it.

I'm 34 right now. When I was 17, I didn't know ANYTHING. A strong argument can be made that I still don't, but that's not my point. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer at one point, and now I know I would have hated it. Luckily, I didn't spend years of my life and thousands of dollars to figure that out. 17 year olds don't know anything. They think they do, but they don't. I think the best thing you can do for a young person is let them get a year or two of real life experience before they're forced to commit to a direction.

When you're in school, the world is a very different place than it is after you're out of it. We should be encouraging people to hang out in the shallow end of the adult pool before they go dive into the deep end of it. Let a kid figure out what they're really passionate about, without being told something it what they should be passionate about. I think there would be a lot less depression and a lot more happiness in the world today if more people were happy with their jobs, instead of doing something they feel obligated to do because their 17 year old self thought it was the way to go.

I just spent a great 24 hours on the road with my buddy, Ethan, and one of our conversations inspired me to write this blog.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I'm an uneducated bozo. But I'm happy.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

#42 - Remember The Game? 07/04/18

This morning, I launched my second podcast; 'Remember The Game?'

If I haven't shoved it down your throat enough already, RTG will be a retro gaming podcast. Each week, I'll sit down with a friend (or enemy), and talk about an old video game that we played growing up. I'm not doing research, and this isn't going to be a history lesson of a podcast. Frankly, there's already enough of them out there as it is. I envision this playing out like a conversation you would have had on the playground as a kid. Just two gamers rambling on about a game they've played. I hope it gives you that warm, nostalgic feeling while you listen to it.

I'm really excited about this project. Much like my initial podcast, 'Adam Wastes Time', I don't have any crazy expectations for download numbers or listeners, it's just something I really enjoy doing. AWT has seen a slow, but gradual, increase in listeners over it's almost 70 episodes, and if Remember The Game performs even half as well, I'll be happy.

This podcast is something I've wanted to do for quite a while. I dragged my feet on it for a couple months, partially because I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted it to be, and partially because sometimes I struggle to produce one weekly podcast, and I worried a second one would fall by the wayside and get forgotten about it. But, I think retro video games is just the right topic for me. I have a passion and a love for it, and I know I'll be willing to put the extra time in to make sure I hit my weekly deadline (new episodes will go live each Wednesday).

Also, it's a shorter podcast. Whereas AWT can go 45 - 60 minutes, my vision for RTG is a 20-30 minute discussion. My hope is to be able to record 2 episodes in a sitting with a guest, which should make it easier to bank a few episodes and always have one ready to drop. The number of people that have reached out to me asking to be a guest on the show has been borderline overwhelming, too. So thank you very much to everyone for the interest and support.

Like I said, the first episode went live this morning. If you're interested, it's available on PodBean and iTunes (links below), and I'm looking into other platforms as well. If you like the show, please, subscribe and leave it a good review. I'm really excited to see where this show goes.

Remember The Game on iTunes, click here

Remember The Game on Podbean, click here

Take it easy!


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

#41 - Keep Levelling Up 07/03/18

I had already plugged this topic into a template for today's blog, it was something I thought of talking about yesterday. And then this morning, I recorded a podcast with my buddy, Rizwan, and he mentioned this exact same sentiment. "Just Keep Levelling Up".

For those of you that don't understand what that means, there's a popular genre of video games called RPGS (Role Playing Games). Many RPGS involve controlling characters, and increasing their skill and strength throughout the game by playing and repeating actions. Those repetitive actions (fighting, training, whatever), cause their skill levels to increase. So when the character gets enough experience at something, it "levels up", and gets stronger. I love the idea of applying that term to everyday life.

I think the idea of "levelling up" can be used to help get better at almost anything. I apply it to comedy, exercise, podcasting, blogging; pretty well everything I do. Whenever I get on stage, I look at it as a chance to gain experience that I can put toward "levelling up". If you play these types of games at all, you know that your character doesn't just instantly reach level 99 after playing for 5 minutes. You start at level 1, and it takes a lot of work to reach a high level of skill. Things that your character found impossible when he was level 3 will seem easy when he's put in a bunch of work and reached level 33. I look at stand up that way. 20 minutes used to seem like an impossibly long time to be on stage, and now it's a walk in the park. Because I've grinded it out, and levelled up.

Your goal everyday should be to try and level up. You won't gain a level every single day, but just put yourself in a position to gain a little more experience. Bank that experience, and before you know it, you'll grow as a person. If you want to start lifting weights, write down how much weight you can lift. Say you can bench 80 pounds when you start. You won't be able to bench 150 pounds on day 2. But keep gradually gaining experience, and tracking your progress. Before you know it, lifting more than 80 pounds will seem like a breeze. Because you put in the work, and have enough experience to  level up.

The reason I think a lot of people enjoy RPGs is because you can see your character getting stronger. It's a great feeling to put in work, and have a visual indicator of your progress. Video games just speed that process up. In real life, levelling up can take a long time. But keep track of your results in whatever you're trying to get better at. Write things down (your weight, how much stage time you get, how far you can run, whatever), and look back on it every couple of months. You'll be able to see your progress, and it'll serve as motivation to keep grinding. I don't know if anything motivates me as much as looking at something that I considered challenging and knowing that it's easy now. Just keep pounding away at it, getting better every day.

Keep levelling up.


Monday, 2 July 2018

#40 - Hecklers 07/02/18

I've actually been pretty lucky in regards to hecklers. In the almost 2 1/2 years that I've been telling jokes, I can really only remember 3 or 4 situations where I had a bad interaction with one.

When you google "comedian advice" or look at the stand up forums on reddit, one of the big questions/concerns from newer comics is about how to deal with hecklers. Bill Burr has said on numerous occasions that he worked squeaky clean his first couple years as a comedian, because he was afraid of being heckled and he thought that would help avoid it. I totally get why it worries people, but it honestly never really entered my mind when I decided to start doing stand up.

When I initially started, I kind of looked at hecklers as chicken shits. I'm the one on stage, in the spotlight, with everyone looking at me. You're hiding in the dark, in a crowd of people, and you're not expected to be funny. It takes a lot of balls to try and be the hero when you can be anonymous, and just slump back into your seat if your jokes bomb. So I didn't sweat them. I still feel that way about mean-spirited hecklers. Chirping a comic from the safety of anonymity doesn't take any balls at all. It's the verbal equivalent of sucker punching someone in a fight.

That said, one of the things I've found, is that at least in my experience, most "hecklers" don't necessarily have bad intentions. They aren't trying to make you look bad, they just want to be part of the show. Sometimes, I think they think they're actually helping the show. If you're one of those people, rest assured that we almost definitely don't need your help. For every one comment someone yells that works and makes people laugh, there's a dozen that suck.

Personally, I don't usually mind it if someone wants to yell at me a little bit. I like interacting with the audience, and sometimes it turns out to be pretty funny. And when someone says something, and you hit them back with the perfect reply right away, you get a little extra respect from the rest of the crowd. I feel like my jokes hit a little harder when I win a back and forth with someone, like you solidify that you're the right person to be up there with the microphone.

Where I start to get frustrated is when someone either doesn't want to have an intelligent back and forth, and they just start saying stupid, incoherent shit to hear themselves talk. "Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level, and beat you with experience." I usually find that these people don't shut up, because they think they're winning, and it ends up screwing up the rhythm of the show because you're constantly dealing with them.

I had the inspiration to write this blog after my show last night. A guy in the crowd was pretty drunk, and just kept yelling that he was my Mom. I didn't really care, and had a good time making fun of him, but I felt like it hit a point where the rest of the audience was like, "ok, that's enough. Tell a joke..." and this guy thought he was being clever, so he just kept saying it. Have a little fun with the comedian, but don't wreck the show for everybody else.

I dunno, I guess it's my job to let him know that. I'm still learning. Maybe I should read some of those "how to deal with hecklers" reddit posts, after all...

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your holiday Monday!


Sunday, 1 July 2018

#39 - Sunday Rambling 07/01/18

I think moving forward, I'm going to use the Sunday editions of this thing to just ramble about whatever is on my mind. Because it's easy.

First of all, it's my girlfriend's birthday today. It's also Canada's birthday today. A couple pretty big pieces of the Adam Blank puzzle came into existence on July 1st. So Happy Birthday to both of you. I love you both very much and would be completely fucked without either of you!

I have one more show at The Comic Strip tonight with Adam Hunter. I've been hosting for him all weekend, and he's been a real pleasure to watch work. Really funny guy. If you're reading this before 7PM tonight, I really recommend you check out his show before you go out to party for Canada Day. I promise you he's worth the money.

Set a personal best for shows in a month in June, which I'm proud of because I'm hitting the mics harder than ever, but also because it was my first month trying to make comedy work without a day job. I'm seriously extremely grateful that anyone is willing to put me on their show, and appreciate all the stage time. Can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

Between the work from other people, all the sweet open mics fellow comics run in Edmonton, and my two shows at The Comic Strip and Chicago Joe's, I have an opportunity to get on stage pretty well every night if I want to. I know comics in places like Toronto and New York would roll their eyes at that, but travelling around to different cities over the last year or two, I've really developed an appreciation for the opportunity comedians in Edmonton have as far as stage time goes. This is a great place to try and become a comic.

On a completely different note, John Tavares just signed with the Leafs. Fuck. I didn't want to have to hate him....

My buddy Chris is coming over in a couple hours to record the first few episodes of my new gaming podcast, Remember the Game? I don't know how it's going to turn out yet, but I'm excited to finally get moving on it. Even if nobody listens, I think it's gonna be a fun project.

That's enough rambling for today. I'm gonna go walk my dog and sneak in a little Mario time before I head over to the Strip.

Have a great Canada Day, don't drink and drive and all that stuff, and enjoy the holiday Monday tomorrow. A Monday at home with a hangover beats a Monday without one at work every time!