Sunday, May 31, 2009

I stole this picture of my nephews, Will and Ty, off the Facebook page of my youngest sister, Allie. She's back from studying abroad and visiting family.

I'd been meaning to call Allie for a week or two. After she wrote, "Arn, I am still waiting for you to call me back," I got around to doing it.

She put our nephews on the speaker phone so I could talk to them too.

Will: Uncle Arnie... are you going to come back someday?
Me: [laughing] Of course. I'll try to visit... soon... sometime.

Apparently, Will then ran to Julie, saying, "Mom! Mom! Uncle Arnie said he's coming back sometime!"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Still haven't met our neighbors, the Spinkells, but I find myself liking them more and more.

Friday, May 29, 2009

While cooking recently, Sarah thought she saw a mouse run under the stove. Thwacking a broom handle around under there didn't send anything scurrying back out.

With each passing day since then, she's less certain about what exactly she saw. Maybe a big bug. Not, however, "a giant piece of lint" as I suggested.

I thought about saying that mice are rare on the third floor, but honestly, I don't know what I'm talking about. Sarah once (and only once) saw a mouse in the kitchen of Young and I's old place, which was also on the third floor. For a year after that, whenever she was heading into that kitchen she'd yell, "Mouse!" Not as a scream, but a command. "Mouse! I'm coming in Mouse! Get out of here! I don't want to see you! Mouse!"

Rat-killing pellets have been bought, so, we'll see what happens.

Sarah: But if it wasn't a mouse, they won't do anything.
Me: Probably not.
Sarah: I wish they made something that just kills everything over this [holds finger and thumb apart] size.
Me: That would include us.
Sarah: Well, we'd tell it not to kill us.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sarah wrapped her head in cellophane and some kind of olive oil and egg mixture.

Sarah: Times are tough. Can't afford no fancy conditioning treatment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This picture of my dad comes from a laminated scrapbook my Grandma Dottie (now deceased) made for me when I was a child.

And my dad likes to fish even now. Every summer he goes on a fishing trip to Canada with several of my uncles and cousins. He invites me every year but I'm usually too busy and haven't gone in about ten years. (Dad: Oh, longer than ten, I think.)

This year he sent me an e-mail reading, "Just talked to some of the brothers and they are all fired up. You don't want to miss this trip of a lifetime."

How can I say no to that? So, I'm going.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friday was the last day at work for Woody, who has worked in my office for well over a decade. He's leaving to finish classes to be a physician's assistant. We all went out to lunch to wish him good luck and give him various parting gifts, like a fancy set of scrubs.

On our way back from lunch, our office administrator stepped on a nail in an alley, essentially nailing her flip-flop to her foot. Woody, already wearing the top half of his farewell scrubs, took her to the hospital.

We'll miss you Woody.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Working on an improv show with several friends who don't get a chance to improvise much anymore because they're too busy with their marriages/careers/children. But we're planning to get together for a short run of shows this summer.

Our usual rehearsal spot was closed because of the holiday, so we met for drinks and to discuss the show's form. Nick brought drawings his daughter, Jane, had made of characters from a Kung Fu Panda spin-off movie. Each drawing had one of our names written at the bottom. Apparently I'm "Crane."

Me: Do you mind if I take a picture of you holding the drawing?
Nick: Why me? You should be holding it. It's got your name on it.
Me: No. It should be you.
Nick: I didn't draw it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My body seems to have trained itself to stay on my side, because even with Sarah out of town, I sleep on one side of the bed, not the middle.

I do, however, use all the sheets.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sarah is out of town this weekend for a wedding.

Sarah: I hope while I'm gone you have all kinds of adventures. And then with 30 minutes left before I get back from the airport, you're like, "Oh shit! Sarah's coming home!" Everyone cleans up really fast and I come through the door just as you're kicking a pizza box under the couch or something. You say, "Welcome home," and give me a kiss, then turn to the camera and go [wipes back of hand across brow] "Whew."

Instead, I played video games all day. Then I did my usual Saturday night improv show and went out for drinks with Brady and Young. We talked about comic books. I wouldn't call it an adventure, but it was fun.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A double date with Aileen and Stonelake.

We ate at a BYO-drinks Mexican restaurant, bringing our own sangria, wine and beer. Next to us was a long table set up for a birthday party, that was clearly an underage drinking fest. Kids that looked about 15 to me downing cans of Bud Light and chugging straight from a bottle of Captain Morgans. And being very loud.

As they left, one or two of them gave apologetic glances in our direction, while the others staggered and weaved their way toward... I don't know.. an emergency room?

Stonelake: Do you feel that? Do you realize what just happened?
Sarah: What?
Stonelake: Now that they're gone, all of the sudden... WE are the most obnoxious people in here.
Me: Uh oh.
Stonelake: I don't know how I feel about this. I prefer to have that buffer.

This picture is dark, but the restaurant behind them is entirely empty. Finishing our drinks, we overstayed our welcome by at least a good twenty minutes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I worked in the office through the night, finally taking the L home at 9 in the morning. Brain fried, I looked down and saw this little piece of graffiti. "Why does life have to hurt?"

Once home I slept a regular business day's worth of hours.

Waking up at dinner time, I felt a little disoriented and out-of-sync the rest of the evening. Sarah referred to it as "being in the Twilight Zone."

Sarah and I had recently watched the time travel movie 'Timecrimes' which led to a conversation about how she'd never seen the low budget time travel mind-bender 'Primer,' so we watched that this evening on the Netflix Instant Queue. Both movies deal with time travel in tiny loops, people just avoiding contact with their past and future selves, and by the end my own feeling of temporal dislocation was even greater. I couldn't shake the eerie sense that while I had worked through the night, another me had been at home sleeping, and while I slept during the day, that other me was in the office, doing my regular day's work.

Drifting off to sleep, I just hoped that some future(?) me didn't scrawl that sentence on the L train.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Headed downtown for a couple hours to see a free advanced screening of the movie 'Drag Me To Hell' with Meador.

Afterward we talked about gypsy curses.

Me: Like the end of 'Thinner.' The pie.
Meador: I never saw that.
Me: I didn't see it either. Or read it. I just somehow know how it ends.
Meador: You're familiar with the Thinner proxy.

I had to head straight back to the office after the movie, to help with a project on imminent deadline.

Me: Drag me to hell? I have to drag myself back to work.
Meador: I'm going to drag myself to bed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why yes, we did have another weigh-in for our Biggest Loser challenge. I lost four pounds this week.

Me: How did that happen?

I feel like I did less weight-loss stuff this week than I did last week, when I gained half a pound. Maybe the cutting down (but not "out") of snacks and sweets is starting to pay off.

It's tough, though. People keep bringing treats into the office. I'd suspect intentional sabotage, but it's always been that way at work. Lots of cupcakes. Like these. No one seems to know who brought these cupcakes in or why. I was good, and refrained from eating one (the first day, anyway).

Monday, May 18, 2009

So, last week I blogged about my friend Lacy and the fact that her and her husband had lost the venue for their upcoming wedding party. The opening line was, "Lacy, a former co-worker who is now making a go at being a full time actor, has been in the office lately doing some voice-over work."

This seemed to have touched a bit of a nerve, because she used that sentence as a jumping off point for a post on her own blog. Here's an excerpt:

"3. I have never held a full time non-acting job since college. And I quit freelancing outside of acting and writing in 2005. And haven't had to go back since.

"4. Because I am a full time actor. Bitches. I'm an obnoxiously insecure and probably not a terribly successful full time actor, but dammit, I am one. I am not MAKING A GO AT IT. I make a go at doing a single pull-up. I am GOING this shit. DOING GOING IT."

To keep this in context, we joked about it a bit over IM, with her wondering if maybe she should delete the "rant" and me telling her to keep it because I think it's funny. (Also, her list begins with "1. yes I am perhaps a little drunkblogging.")

Still, it's worth mentioning that I didn't mean to sound dismissive with the phrase, "making a go at being a full time actor." If I hadn't already dedicated a year of blogging each to the subjects of working and performing, I probably would have gone into more detail about just how much consistent paying work Lacy has gotten for as long as I've known her (including, as pictured, this commercial for KY Intense that I saw on VH1 last night). But really, I was more interested in blogging about the party (which has, sadly, been officially postponed).

I suppose I should say that with hindsight I would have written that sentence slightly differently, but that's not true. Because I'm getting too much enjoyment out of the reader comments to Lacy's post. They're wonderfully supportive of her, as they should be, but also totally hilarious in their assumptions about me being some villain from "Accounts Payable."

"I think it is out of jealousy," and also, "Standing. Applauding. They'll never get it, Lacy. No reason to try to explain it to them, because they'll never get it."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

After my own shows were done last night, I went to a late night improv show that Sarah performs in. They had a promotional gimmick this week that involved encouraging people to dress up as if they were going to a cheesy prom.

Somehow in the course of the night, Sarah ended up wearing a fake mustache.

Someone joked, "NOW, she looks like my prom date."

I joked that she looked like Burt Reynold's sister.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sarah works for a prestigious local university, and one of the perks of working there is being able to taking classes there relatively cheaply.

Sarah: I’m telling people I’m taking classes, not that I’m going back to school. For now. If it doesn’t work out, or I decide it’s not for me… I was just taking classes. We’ll see.

This week she turned in her first big paper. And got an A. And the professor asked her to bring in copies for the rest of the class so they could all discuss it.

Me: An A paper! We should put it on the fridge.
Sarah: No. We can’t. There’s no paper with an “A” written on it. She just e-mailed me the grade.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The saga of the giant painted tombstone comes to an end. It's been painted over. Note the "WET PAINT" written in chalk at the bottom.

I think I might miss it.

Sarah speculated that it was painted over because our neighbors (who I still haven't met) came across my blog. I doubt it.

And, I hope not. I'd be fine with them reading the blog, but I'd hate to think I unintentionally shamed them into painting over their... uh... slightly weird eponymous tombstone.

But, Spinkells, if you are reading... hello! We're neighbors. Our paths never seem to cross, but feel free to comment, or, better yet, write, "Hi Arnie" in chalk on the newly painted grey ledge.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting ready for bed.

Sarah: ... you're tall.
Me: Yep.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nothing says commitment like buying in bulk.

We're in it for at least this many messes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The weigh-in after the first week of our little office version of The Biggest Loser.

Mike: And... you gained half a pound.
Me: I thought that might happen.
Rudra: That's pretty good.
Mike: How is that good?
Rudra: I don't know. I'm naturally supportive.
Me: This is all part of my strategy.
Mike: Maybe we should weigh you again without the camera. Every bit helps.
Me: So, wait, who else gained besides me?
Mike: Uh... [reading] I was wrong. Nobody. Just you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lacy, a former co-worker who is now making a go at being a full time actor, has been in the office lately doing some voice-over work.

She was married last summer in Texas, and is supposed to have a big belated Chicago wedding reception next month.

Me: Hey, your wedding party thing is coming up soon, right?
Lacy: [sighing] Yessss. But we just found out that we lost our venue, so I don't know where it's going to be or if it's going to be. We've been calling places all week. Everyone is snarky and says, "You really should have done this six months ago." [puts head in hands] You're actually the first person who's asked about it. I'm avoiding telling people that I don't know if we'll have it or not.
Me: Well... on the bright side, if it doesn't work out, you're still already married.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On our way to the suburbs to see Sarah's family for Mother's Day.

Two stops, no luck with flowers.

I called my own mother and had a nice, but short chat. I told her I'd sent a card but hadn't gotten it in the mail until Friday.

I tried calling Grandma Anne. I left a message on her voicemail but she never called me back.

It's very possible she doesn't know how to check her voicemail.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So, if we're going to get better about dividing up the housework, the first step is for me to make up some kind of worksheet.

Scratch that.

If we're going to get better about dividing up the housework, the first step is for me to actually figure out how to use Microsoft Word Table Templates.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Last night Young came over to hang out and cook dinner for us.

Young: Hold on! What the fuck. Is this... delicious?!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's also been a long time since I've been in contact with the Wii Fit.

(Meanwhile, weight-loss-wise, the office giveth and the office taketh away. On the plus side, today I took part in the weekly work subsidized yoga class. On the minus side, someone brought brownies into the kitchen in the morning, someone trying to sell us something brought in a pizza party lunch, and there was a surprise wedding shower for coworker in the afternoon including cake and beer.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This picture of me with my youngest sister, Allie, and my Grandma Ann was taken last Christmas, when my family took my grandmother out for a holiday lunch. This is a tradition we've had every year since she was forced to leave her farm and move into a nursing home, a place, she won't hesitate to tell you, she hates. (I stole this picture off Allie's Facebook page.)

Today I called Grandma Ann to wish her a happy 86th birthday. I have to admit that it was the first time I'd talked to her since this picture was taken.

Grandma: I'm still here. I could use some more visitors.

Our connection was bad, so we each had trouble hearing exactly what the other was saying, but it didn't matter much because we said all the same things we always say. She's unhappy. I'm busy, I'll try to visit soon, maybe this summer. I try to call you sometimes, Arnie, but I can never get ahold of you. Did you leave a message, Grandma? No. Leave a message, I'll call you back. Ach, no.

Me: Did you hear Allie went to Australia?
Grandma: What?
Me: Allie, she went to Australia. For school. She's back now.
Grandma: Oh, Allie, yes.
Me: Pretty neat, huh?
Grandma: Everyone's out going places. Me, I'm just in this room.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mike (right), the head of the Games division at work, has set up a 'Biggest Loser'-style weight loss initiative in the office for anyone who wants to participate. See who can lose the most weight in a month.

Our lawyer sent out an e-mail to emphasize that, "No one at either company is encouraging this. It is soley extracurricular."

I could use to lose some(/a lot of) weight, so... I'm in.

First weigh-in. It begins today.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Speaking of M&Ms, I was getting groceries a week ago and Sarah asked me to pick up a "big bag of Peanut M&Ms" for her. They were on sale, two for one, so I bought two and hid the second bag, thinking, some night she'll say, "Man, I wish I still had some more M&Ms" and I'd say, "You do!" Maybe wait until she had a rough day, surprise her with some comfort candy.

I'm not good at holding off on surprises, though, so the second she even mentioned M&Ms in passing, I yelled, "I bought more M&Ms! I hid them! You can eat them! M&Ms!"

Still, she appreciated the second bag.

Me: I just realized the potential downside, here. Next time you want M&Ms you're going to be pretty certain I've got some for you.
Sarah: Yeah. That's going to happen.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've been struck with insomnia lately, for the first time since childhood. Not sure why.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

There was a bachelorette party sitting in the front row of the Whirled News Tonight show this evening. This is a fairly common occurrence, which is odd, because nothing about our show screams bachelorette party.

There's usually little to no audience participation in our show, but it's hard to ignore a giant inflatible penis in the front row. We ended up dedicating most of the second act to scenes inspired by the bride-to-be and her friends. Mostly making fun of them, although hopefully in good fun. They seemed to enjoy it. (Although... we made a throw away joke about how weird it was that one of them had a tattoo on her back of a red M&M smiling and reclining on a cloud. It may even have been referred to as "stupid." Later we found out it was in honor of the girl's deceased grandmother, who had worked for Mars Candy.)

Afterward they asked if we'd mind being in a group picture. I slipped my own camera into the rotation, to get this shot. Out of respect for the privacy of these strangers I used my limited MS Paint ability to but blocks over their faces. It came out looking creepier than I intended.

Good luck, ladies.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Noticed this in the bathroom.

Parts of this getting-ready-for-a-Friday-night routine may be contradictory.