Thursday, April 30, 2009

lost, originally uploaded by misterarnie.

Seems like old times.

Our DVR crapped out and didn't record 'LOST' last night so we called Young to see if he'd mind if we came over and watched it with him at his place. My old place.

Walking up to the door, Sarah asked, "Is it weird to be back in your old neighborhood?"

I shrugged and said, "No, I've actually been over here a couple times to pick stuff up." But I realized that while talking I had instinctively pulled out my keys to unlock the front door.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I had a cold. A pretty minor one, frankly, but I worked from home for a few days to play it safe.

One of my bosses, Amanda, sent out an email that read, "If you are sick, PLEASE STAY HOME. More than 40% of the company got hit by that lovely cold that went around earlier this year. We’re in tight quarters and on tighter deadlines. Please don’t bring any nasty germs to the office when a work from home day can suffice."

We even received little bottles of Purell in our office mail boxes.

Working from home was giving me cabin fever, though, and really, despite the occasional tiny cough, I'm totally better, so, today, for the first time in my life, I wrote an e-mail that read, "Can I come back to work now?"

I don't have a fever, so I'm back, although I have to put up with a lot of swine flu jokes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two weekends ago, Marla (from Whirled News Tonight) had a daylong 30th birthday party/day of weird surprise "experiences" planned by her husband.

She started out her morning blindfolded and driven out to IKEA where she had breakfast in a display bed.

Marla: I decided it was gonna happen in the round bed, cause the display for that thing is my dream room. It's got that IKEA thing of being perfectly, unrealistically organized and color coordinated. You start to think, wow, the person who lives in this room has really got their shit together.

I didn't go to this part of the festivities, partly because I didn't want to get up so early, but also because the thought of running afoul of store security fills me with anxiety. Apparently, it shouldn't have.

Marla: We were so surprised no one noticed. I lingered for at least 10, 15 minutes. We were a little disappointed we weren't kicked out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I've had these slippers a long time. Since my Grandpa Ralph died. They were his. He never wore them, just owned them. After his death, my Grandma Ann kept trying to give me things of his, including these slippers, still in their packaging.

I've carried them around for over a decade, from new apartment to new apartment, and like my Grandpa Ralph, I didn't wear them either. But with each move I'd think, "Hey, slippers, I should wear these."

Lately, I've been wearing them. I've entered a slippers-phase in my life.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sarah: Are you going to blog about this fight too? Write, “Another fight,” and post a picture of the couch or something?
Me: No. [long pause] Although, it is kind of funny that the first day we open the windows in this apartment we have our second fight.
Sarah: [laughing] Yeah. That occurred to me too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Most of the video games I play anymore are two player games. It's more fun to play with Sarah than by myself.

Early on in our relationship, there was a copy of 'Gears of War' sitting around my old apartment and on a lazy afternoon we decided to try it out. I've never been a fan of shooters, and Sarah hadn't played a video game in years, but we discovered that it was fun to play together. Teamwork!

We've played dozens of games since then but 'Gears of War' (1 and 2) is a special favorite. While shooting aliens we make dumb jokes in gravely voices, impersonating the over-the-top space marines in the game.

Sarah: Marcus... Marcus... you'd make a good wife for me Marcus.
Me: Dom, you've been through a lot down in these caves. I don't think you're holding up too well.
Sarah: You're real pretty, Marcus.
Me: We'll get you some grief counseling when we get out of here, Dom.
Sarah: I need a new wife, Marcus!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I had two improv shows tonight, but after the first I ran over to the Gingerman for a quick drink with Megan and Alex who had just gotten engaged.

Steve: So... tell the story? Alex, how did you propose? Or maybe Megan should tell it. Which of you wants to tell it?
Personic: They're engaged now. They'll tell it together.

I had to run back to the theater for my second show. Backstage, I found that I wasn't doing a very good job of retelling the engagement story.

Young: Hold on, what was the chair for?
Sarah: Was Megan sitting in the chair or Alex?
Me: Megan. I think. It sounded really good when they explained it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So here's the "name" at the top of the odd tombstone painted on the wall in the back stairwell. It's not a name at all... at least, not one name. It's a portmanteau, two names smushed together, like Bennifer.

The names on the bottom half of the tombstone are Rebecca and Jenni. The names on the mailbox for that apartment are also Rebecca and Jenni. And their last names put together, make "Spinkell."

Case closed. Stupid mystery solved.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did a little schmoozing for work at the Cubs game.

Cubs lost.

(Honestly, I didn't do any of the real schmoozing myself. I was more of a schmoozer plus one.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stupid mistake. My stupid mistake.

On Sunday I turned the refrigerator off so the noise wouldn't get picked up by the boom mic while we were shooting a video in the apartment. I said aloud to myself, "Don't forget to turn this back on."

Today I realized that I forgot to turn it back on.

Sarah was good about it, shrugging off the fact that we had to throw everything away, and start back at square one food-buying-wise.

Those were probably the heaviest three garbage bags I've ever carried. Trash is extra heavy when it's not supposed to be trash.

We've been trying to be better about making healthy dinners for ourselves, but the take-out thai food we ate while watching 'The Biggest Loser' tasted pretty good.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sarah's mother sent us an apron as a housewarming gift.

In the letter she wrote, "It's denim, so Arnie can wear it too."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Had some improvisers over to shoot part of a video.

Logan (left) brought a lot of fancy equipment.

Me: How much of this stuff is yours? Is some of it from work?
Logan: It's all mine.
Me: Wow.
Logan: I lucked out and came across a guy who was shutting down his production company and needed to get rid of everything. I got it all at an amazing price.
Me: Well... the death of his dream...
Logan: ... breathed life into mine, yes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

So, I get that the dishes need to be washed a little before being put in the dishwasher. Understand it, accept it, embrace it. Sure, this semi-paradox has sparked hundreds of tired, "Why do I have to clean it before I clean it?" stand-up routines, but it makes sense to me that you can't just stick food-cacked dishes into the washer.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a lazy lazy dude, but I don't mind giving plates a cursory rinse before placing them in the machine.

Here's my only problem. When I open up the dishwasher, I can't tell if the dishes are pre-cleaned or clean clean. They look clean but are they clean?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Drinks with Natalie and Young. They'd recently seen 'I Love You, Man.'

Natalie: I feel like, except for one, all the guys I've dated have been like Paul Rudd. No guy friends.
Young: Am I that guy? I've got friends.
Natalie: Except for two guys I've dated.
Young: Oh great.
Natalie: Look, sorry, you don't count until you're an ex.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The building next to ours has a very small fenced in area (this picture actually makes it look bigger than it is) where about five to ten kids of various ages play every night. It's hard to tell exactly what they're playing, but it involves a soccer ball and lots of screaming.

I don't mind the screaming so much, kids gotta play, but they often sound genuinely terrified/pained, as if the game is some soccer/ultimate fighting hybrid.

Last night, during a pause in the game, I heard a tired little voice say, "I've gotta stop hanging out over here."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's worth mentioning that I know that this blog could be a bad idea. Writing publicly about an ongoing relationship runs the risk of being boring, unhealthy, or both.

When I first ran the idea past Sarah, she said, "I'm okay with you writing about our relationship, even the bad stuff, I just don't want to be the villain of the piece. 'Oh no, my crazy girlfriend is making me do stuff.' That cliche."

I took this picture of her for a little science fiction video project I'm working on. She plays the villain.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Over a month in, I still don't know my new neighborhood very well. Worse yet, I haven't figured out any good On The Way places. Convenient stops on my way to the places I need to go. A relatively inexpensive gas station on my way to work. An easy place to grab wine on my way home.

The obvious solution would be to look around a little, turn down any of the endless potential roads-not-taken. But being new to the area makes me, counter intuitively, less rather than more likely to explore. I'm more stuck to the inevitability of my route, feeling the gravitational pull of the places I'm driving to, like a steep slide from work to home. "I still have a quarter tank of gas." "Maybe we don't need wine with dinner."

Monday, April 13, 2009

There are three switches in the bathroom. The second turns on the light. The third turns on the fan. I have no idea what that first one does. It seems to do nothing.

Since it's the first switch, I often accidentally hit it, in the morning or at night. I like to imagine it's turning a light on and off in Young's apartment.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We spent Easter in the suburbs with some of Sarah's family.

One of Sarah's Aunts: How are things? Now that you two are living in sin, has anything changed?
Sarah: No, not really. Has anything changed?
Me: No. Just more sin, mostly.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An e-mail update from home from my Mom (abridged):

"There was a special section of the [local paper] yesterday about the team and one of the articles talks about how the season was stressful and took a lot out of dad. It mentioned at least once that dad 'had tired eyes' the day we got back home. Some of the school's staff asked dad to take off his glasses so they could get a better look at his 'tired eyes.' It says that dad will continue to coach one year at a time and that he will be 60 in November and so far he loves what he does.

"Dad was truly honored to receive the NABC Coach of the Year for Div. II at the banquet in Detroit. We watched the tape delay of the show. He was smiling as he saw himself. I asked him what he thought. He was glad that he didn't stumble over any words but his speech was really short; and he thought that he really has lost a lot of hair and that his mole has gotten bigger!?!?!

"Dad loves his new gold NCAA Championship watch and has shown it off a few times. Charlie & Dad took the big trophy to the Student Union's Cave for lunch the first day back. He is really thrilled with the win and amazed & so happy about going 36-0. He is still tired and lacks energy but when you deal with such stress for an extended period of time-since mid-October- it will take him some time to get his energy back. Oh, I was helping to respond to some emails and to one of his old teammates from his college days he said, 'I finally figured out how to win the last game.'"

Friday, April 10, 2009

The new bedroom is bigger than my old one, so the king size bed doesn't take up every inch of space. Friends used to call my old room "The Sleep Chamber" because it was all bed.

Sarah finds the mattress too hard, so she's looking into getting a mattress pad, an idea she got when we were out east for my dad's basketball game.

Sarah: [via Gchat] "I just called the Marriott in Springfield to find out what brand of mattress pad they had. they were confused."

Next we'll probably replace the comforter. As Nick said when he was over last week, "That bed looks like it was stolen from a Days Inn in the southwest."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Curious to find out the story behind the giant tombstone painted on the back stairwell, I typed the names into Google. I could claim to be motivated by a sense of neighborly compassion, but since I have yet to actually meet any of my neighbors, it's probably closer to morbid curiosity. Either way, my research was fruitless.

Today, though, I noticed this stack of tinier tombstones. Halloween decorations? Mystery solved?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One way of saying, I'm-ready-for-us-not-to-be-fighting-anymore: sending a YouTube video of a hamster trapped in a wok, running endlessly in place (to the tune of 'Yakety Sax').

Later, after work...

Me: Fight... over!
Sarah: Now we can go back to being in loooooooove!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First fight in the new apartment.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Getting ready for bed, Sarah sometimes makes fun of the fact that my underwear often matches my t-shirt. "Look who matches again."

It's not on purpose, at least I don't think so. Most mornings I get ready in a thoughtless haze. The last thing I'd worry about is matching my underwear. It could be subconscious, but, really isn't it more likely just a coincidence?

Tonight I realized that my undergarments not only match each other, they match my bedtime book as well.

Good grief.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sarah and I had brunch with Young and his girlfriend, Natalie.

Natalie: This will be only the third picture of the two of us together in existence.
Young: No, I think it'll be the fourth.
Natalie: Really?
Young: Yeah, there's the one from their birthday party...
Natalie: Right.
Young: The one from that wedding, and the one of us dancing.
Natalie: Oh yeah. This is four.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meador stopped by the little housewarming later in the night, coming straight from a tough intern shift of nursing at an ER.

Meador: Today was the first time I seriously started to question whether I'm cut out for this kind of work.

We were surprised and happy to see him, assuming he'd be too exhausted after work. He was surprised we were all still up.

Meador: I had to put my finger up a 16-year-old's butt today. Administer Tylenol that way.
Nick: I once put my finger up our cat's butt when I was a kid. My brother dared me to.

Friday, April 3, 2009

My first gathering of friends over at the new apartment. Beers and pizza and catching up.

Everyone started waning near 11, and it seemed like the night might come to an end.

Then we got the idea, for a laugh, to try out the unopened Mall Madness board game I'd bought Sarah over a year ago. The surprisingly complicated assembly process reinvigorated everyone.

Trupe: How the hell could a 14 year old girl figure this out?
Me: I feel like it's Christmas Eve and we're six dads trying to put together our daughter's gift.

Young and Martin ended up winning the game, despite constant bickering.

Young: We're buying a headband and a turtleneck? Are you kidding me?!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A few of the lights in the apartment have a remote control dimmer. This is great in theory, but one remote can control all of the lights. So, say, if Sarah turns off the lights in the living room, I might find myself in the dark in the computer room as well.

But it gets more complicated if the lights get out of sync. If the lights are on in the living room but off in the computer room, turning them off in the living room will turn them on in the computer room. And vice versa.

Getting them back in sync becomes a minor brain teaser (like getting a fox, a chicken and a bag of feed across a river in multiple trips on one boat). "Okay... if I turn the light in the computer room off using the wall switch, then turn the lights in the living room on using the remote, then turn the lights in the computer room back on using the wall switch, they should both be on, right?"

Or maybe we should stop using the remote control.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tom and I work for the same company (well, sister companies). Also, as I've mentioned before we lived together for most of college. Freshman year in the dorms and junior and senior years in an off-campus apartment.

Today at work we reminisced about an April Fools prank we pulled our senior year. We had lived with each other awhile, and although we mostly got along well, there was an understandable layer of unspoken mutual annoyance. As a prank, we spent the week before April 1st pretending to have had a huge falling out, a friendship-ending fight. On the first we let everyone know that it was just a joke. Reactions ranged from befuddled to annoyed to "I think this is a sign your friendship is in real trouble."

It was mostly cathartic, though, and we got along swimmingly the rest of the time we lived together. After graduation, I moved to Arizona and he moved to Minnesota.