I think I’m basically done with JFL42 this year.
That sounds like a pretty insubstantial statement, but it’s not. It’s a massive sign of growth. I’m becoming a responsible adult. I’m refusing to stay out late and suffer through the hollow feeling of insufficient sleep day after day. I’ve got stuff to do. I have a job and I need to take care of myself. Every year I’ve done 3-4 shows a night, hopped up on caffeine and excitement. I’ve been a wreck throughout the sunlight hours, then lather, rinse, repeat watched more shows. I’m tired of burning the candle at both ends for this week. Yes, this week. All I have is one show on Saturday that I’m gonna go to with my parents. I’ve also seen fewer shows this time around than I generally do. Last year it was 34 altogether. I think this year I’ll top out at 19. I’ve been cancelling the 11pm gigs this time, instead seeing a more reasonable two shows in an evening. Like a bonafide adult.
For so long with this festival, the draw card was buying a pass and hitting as many shows as possible. Taking advantage of the all you can see comedy. Getting the most “value” out of my pass. The thing is, I’m starting to learn more about value as I age. It’s relative. That’s the biggest thing. When I couldn’t afford to go out and see shows, having a smorgasbord of acts was amazing. By this point in my life I have other concerns. I like being able to spend time home alone or hanging out with my girlfriend. I’m learning to appreciate not running myself ragged constantly. With JFL42 for so long I was convinced that I had to catch ’em all. That the essential festival experience was ending up with an informed perspective on everyone I could possibly see. A lot of that was the reviewing. Since I was trying to wrap up and qualify the festival for an audience, I felt like it was my duty to amass a wealth of knowledge. The more I knew, the better I could serve them. It’s my fourth year. I’m older. I actually paid for my pass this year. I understand that I really don’t have to know everything. It’s okay to miss out on things. That not doing something doesn’t necessarily mean you are missing out. Value, once again, is relative.
I used to love buffets. Still do. All you can eat always seemed like a challenge. The goal was to stuff myself full of delicious tastes and get maximum value. Every time I’d go I’d feel borderline sick. Didn’t matter, patterns did not change. More recently my view of buffets has changed. You know what’s cool about buffets? The variety. Getting to choose from an enormous selection of things that’d be incredibly time consuming to prepare myself is a real treat. I’m still terrible with portion control, but I’m less often going back for a fifth plate. At 31, do you know what’s great for me? Trying an assortment of great food. Do you know what sucks? Holding my stomach in agony, spending hours in the bathroom and basically writing off the rest of the day. Is that value? For me now, value comes in quality experiences, not quantifying them in dollar amounts. You’ve paid the same cost no matter how much you eat. A dollar value doesn’t exist, but an enjoyable experience sure can. How would you define that?
So you know what? I’m having a home cooked meal tonight and a full evening’s rest. That sounds like a hell of a good time right now.