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Articles

Entry 310: A gig and news news

I have a gig tonight at Camden Lock’s Grass Roots Festival.

There are a couple of professional acts on the bill, so it
should be a good night. That said, I have received the invitation from my good
comedy friend Moz, who doesn’t have the best track record in getting me good
gigs.

Last year he booked me in for a charity gig he’d been asked
to book and in room of about 150 people, 145 were talking amongst themselves
while waiting for the bands to come on, three people were listening, one person
was receiving and Indian head-massage in the corner of the stage area and the
remaining person was giving the Indian head-massage.

To make matters worse, the stage back-drop featured four
computer screens with flashing images of people with life-threatening tumours
and tsunami victims; and the stage area was right in front of the toilets.
Despite these appalling circumstances I still enjoyed it in a twisted sort of
way, I’m hoping tonight will be better – it could hardly be any worse.

In news news, I’ve just heard about the News of the World
shutting down. As I work in journalism, this is a huge story and it’s going to
be interesting to see just how this pans out as well as what follows in the
next few days and weeks. I certainly don’t remember anything like it in my
lifetime and can’t say I’m particularly sad about it. I’m also shamelessly
mentioning it to get into news feeds. Still, at least I don’t have to resort to
phone-hacking for the rubbish I write. This all comes from my head.

Word count: 272

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Entry 309: Two stag do’s, depleting funds

I have two stag do’s coming up in the next couple of months.

One is a week on Saturday in the, um, rock ‘n’ roll destination
of Bournemouth. I currently have no idea how I’m going to get there,
particularly as I have to be there for 10.30am. Actually, I do have some idea
and it will involve paying about £40 for a train which is not really what I
need to be doing at the moment as I am trying to conserve what cash I have for
Edinburgh, but I can’t not attend. I’m sure there must be another way to get
there which will be cheaper and better, I just don’t know what this is yet.

The second stag do is going to be the second stag do for the
stag. Did you follow that? He’s having two because not everyone can make the
first one in August, I’ll be in Scotland. So the second one will be a week
before his wedding and as I’m the Best Man (yes, I’m allowed to cap it up. I
feel important) I can’t miss it.

In other financial news, I learned yesterday that one of the
desks I work at on the paper is being shut down in an attempt to save some
money. It certainly won’t be saving me any, as that desk has helped provide me
with my rent many times. I’ll still have shifts on the other desk I work on,
but it’s not anywhere as nearly so well paid. The desk is finishing in October, so
I will make sure I take every shift that comes my way.

Word count: 272

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Entry 308: Early, just posted late

I have turned up to work more than an hour and a half early.
This is most unusual indeed.

But don’t worry, I’m not feeling ill; my train back to
London arrived shortly after 4pm and after killing several minutes in a
supermarket I decided come to the work offices and write this entry you are now
reading.

Although I am not actually in the work offices, I am
actually in the cafe area downstairs which is open to the public. Security
won’t let me in to where I work until I am scheduled to be there, and even then
they do their best to stop me getting in.

In comedy news, it was exactly one month to go yesterday until
Edinburgh Fringe begins, so the countdown is now on. Well, it was actually on
when the festival finished at the end of August last year, it’s just now much
closer and within touching distance.

We should be having a preview on Thursday and have two
booked for next week and a further one the following week, so by the time our
first show up there comes around we should be up to speed.

I am finally rid of the flyers I was designing for a mate’s
show, which cause me far more grief than the £20 I was being paid justified.
Now I can concentrate on getting my own done; they’ve been practically finished
for the past couple of months and I have sent the poster off to be printed
already.

I could have written about this yesterday but I had other
things to fill the space so chose not to.

Word count: 272

Originally completed at 5.56pm but not uploaded due to the
WiFi being rubbish

Articles

Entry 307: Hello, 27

I am now 27-years-of-age.

I feel I have to write it, because it seems ridiculous. I
feel no different today, but then I’ve not felt any different on any birthday
since my thirteenth when I thought I would turn into Harry Enfield’s Kevin
character. I didn’t and was slightly disappointed.

Actually, I felt a bit different when I turned 17 because I
had a concussion and a large scab on my arm after falling over while running at
a traffic bollard I was going to pretend to rugby tackle at the sixth form
summer party.

But 27 does actually seem old. It’s not, but then it does
tend to be people aged 27 and over who say that it’s not old, and I suppose we
are now in the majority. So there.

I have spent today doing activities you would expect for a
birthday, such as painting the shed. Further evidence of my aging has been
provided by me carrying out my first ever DIY job, using wood, a saw and
everything. One of the windows in the shed had fallen out and smashed, so I cut
up a plank of wood into three pieces and stuck it in the window pane holding it
in place with a gaffer tape on the inside. I rock. I’m going to the pub shortly
to try and regain some of my disappearing youth.

I wonder what this 27th year has, it better be good. You’ll be able to find out
just what it has in store on this website you see before you, just not yet as
it hasn’t happened yet.

Word count: 268

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Entry 306: So long, 26

This is the last day I will ever be 26 years of age.

For the observant amongst you, this will mean that tomorrow will be my birthday.

So I suppose this entry presents an opportunity a review of the 26th year of my existence, which is just as well because I have very little else to write about today.

The day before I turned 26 I knew it was the beginning of the end… of my 20s (aah) when I renewed by Young Person’s Rail Card for one final time. I will stop mentioning my rail card now, my age discrimination campaign shall be starting very soon.

Anyway, being 26 was pretty fun on the whole. I shall list some of my highlights; those which I can remember anyway; aging is catching up with me.

– Attending and performing at my first ever Edinburgh Fringe. It was all new and totally different to what I imagined but it whet my appetite and I’m looking forward to returning.

– Doing some great gigs. This has been the first age when I’ve been performing comedy consistently throughout and particularly since the start of the year I have done some really  great gigs in front of large audiences of real people, which is a good indicator that I’m improving. Plus doing 25 minutes at the first Edinburgh preview a couple of weeks back and it only feeling like 10.

– Moving out of my minuscule room in London and into a slightly bigger one where I am now sharing with only one person as opposed to seven.

– Seeing The Darkness reunited and performing live again.

– Escaping the soul-sapping fundraising call centre I’d been working in, it was particularly horrendous towards the end but has provided me with me with the bulk of my Edinburgh set.

Low points would be working in the call centre and dying on my arse several times, particularly at high-profile venues I wanted to do well at. Still, I have discovered that a packet of biscuits and listening to Queen songs works wonders for gig death aftermath.

On the whole, 26 has been a good age to me. Let’s see what 27 has in store.

Word count: 363

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Entry 305: Interesting

One of the disadvantages about writing a daily blog is that
to make it interesting you generally have to do interesting things to write
about, or at least do some things.

My weekends back home do not make particularly interesting
reading as I don’t tend to do much other than walk my dogs and eat lots of
food, which cancel each other out.

If I were scraping the interesting barrel – and I am – I
would write about the new shoes I ordered being a lot yellower than I
anticipated. It doesn’t matter, a couple of weeks of London grime should sort them
out. Actually, I should read these barrels more carefully, this is bottom of
the banal barrel but I am running out of time to get this written.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get some writing done and intend to
shut myself away in the summer house for a few hours, possibly after painting
it. Or at least those were something vaguely resembling plans, but it looks
like there will be yet more tinkering with the Edinburgh flyers I have agreed
to design for a mate. I have just received a text to tell me that his director
wants more yet changes to be made. I’ll have certainly earned my £20 by the end
of this saga, now I know why graphic designers charge so much more. I must make
a note to remind myself not to agree to design flyers for anyone again. This entry
will do, although I can’t see myself reading it again in another year when
Edinburgh is nearing once more.

Word count: 266

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Entry 304: Farewell, cheap train fares

Today I made the last ever journey using my Young Person’s
Rail Card.

I am now officially no longer considered to be a young
person by Network Rail. I am going to miss the savings on train fares quite a
lot. But one thing I am considering is launching an age discrimination campaign
against rail companies as I now find myself in an age bracket which makes me
exempt from owning a rail card for the next 38 years or so unless I start a
family, get a disability or become a mature student. There is a potentially a
system to be smashed here and as it is a system which belongs to soulless train
providers and I can’t resist having a go at smashing it. I will keep you
updated with how my campaign is going through this website..

In design news, I have been trying to get the Edinburgh
flyers I designed for a mate amended after his feedback but Inkscape is really
intent to stop me doing this. It must have crashed on me at least 15 times in
the past few hours and has never done so before. Perhaps the programme really
hates my flyer designs, it is the only explanation I can think of.

As I writing this I am rather tired. I only got about four
hours sleep last night, I got to bed around 2.30am but woke up at 7am-ish and
couldn’t go back to sleep. Perhaps it was my subconscious trying to pre-empt
the builders next door in waking me up. Well, it worked. Now I shall go off to
sleep in my home-home bed where the builders can’t reach me.

Word count: 279

Originally completed at 11.50pm on 1 July 2011 but not uploaded due to technical issues.

Articles

Entry 303: On with the show

There was some doubt as to whether the show would go on last night.

Thankfully delaying the start of the show by half an hour meant nine people found their way to make up the audience and the show went ahead.

It was a small but perfectly formed crowd, who were all very friendly and all audible laughers.

The microphone stand I bought especially for the night made its debut, but unfortunately – as I expected – the chunky radio mic didn’t
quite fit in the small microphone holder bit at the top of the stand. Even so, it was still nice to have something to play with on stage even if it didn’t fulfil its main function and actually hold the microphone.

There has been some trouble in recent weeks of keeping the audience until the end of the night, not because of the acts – they have all
been great – or the MCs – we have been highly competent – but because we have been running the show with three sections and two breaks. And the second break usually sees a mass exodus and our poor headliner has a much dwindled audience to perform to. But last night we had eight acts and one break and only lost two audience members. So proportionally it was one of the best nights yet for
audience retention.

In other news, those nice people at Tangy Media are currently working on how to import all the 290+ previous entries I have written
on Tumblr. I did warn them that the majority of the content isn’t worth reading as well as there being several entries where I may or may not to admit to cheating the self-service check-outs. It may get me in trouble, but at least it will make me look a little more productive.

Word count: 298

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Entry 302: Design

 

I’ve spent most of today designing Edinburgh flyers for a mate’s show.

I have no training as a graphic designer radiator but I was a master of Microsoft Paint way back in the day, unfortunately design programmes have moved on considerably since then. I use a very basic design programme that basically involves moving boxes around but it works for me.

I designed the flyers for out Snigger Happy show at Brighton Fringe as we were running out of time to get them sorted out and they turned out rather well. My attempts at Edinburgh flyers for my show were a lot more ambitious but after many hours of work they have turned out rather well too. I don’t know what my mate will think of his flyers I’ve designed today though.

In comedy performance news, I am going to be on MC duties tonight at Cantaloopy but I am not too sure if we’re going to be getting much of an audience. It’s a strange time of year to be running comedy gigs, as the hot weather tends to make people opt to drink out in beer gardens or stay at home. Plus there’s a pretty high profile tennis match on this evening at Wimbledon, so I have no idea what sort of turn-out there will be.

My gig on Monday was cancelled because there was no audience at that one as well. I’ve got my fingers crossed that there will be a lot of
rain which will force people inside. I hope it does go ahead, I’ve written two whole new jokes and have even bought a microphone stand for the gig.

Word count: 273

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Welcome to my new website (entry 301)

Hello, passing internet traveller. This is my brand new
website, just in case you didn’t read the headline.

It’s all quite exciting; I’ve not had my own website since the year 2000 when
as a 15-year-old with no social life I cobbled something together on Yahoo
Geocities. It was mainly stealing things from other sites and slandering
children’s TV presenters, I’ve moved on since those days.

I should now probably introduce you to the blog challenge I
set myself. Following my two weeks in Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2010 I
decided that I needed to write more, so I set myself a challenge of writing at
least 250 words a day for a year and thus My Daily 250 was born. As you can see
I am now sort of up to entry 301, I have missed a few days due to a couple of
weekends with no internet connection but cheated by combining entries to
account for the days that I have missed.

To date writing this blog it has provided me with absolutely
no material, but it has made writing a lot easier and I have in turn generated
a fairly substantial amount of stand-up material indirectly since I began
writing this blog those many moons ago. Well, it was always the same moon.

Anyway, the next 64 days will include Edinburgh and I’m
doing a show for the whole month and you will read about the highs and lows on
here. So starting to read this blog now is a bit like skipping the dull bits in
a film and straight onto the eventful bits.

Word count: 268