Saturday, October 31, 2009

At one point during the Halloween party, someone jokingly asked Young who his favorite roommate had been.

Young: Uh... Sarah? I mean, she practically lived here too for a while. More or less.

Sarah and I did spend a lot of time together in that apartment. It's where I relationship formed.

I took this picture on the back porch, where we had our first kiss.

Sarah: This is where we fell in looooooove!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Young's Halloween party in our old apartment.

Young is the Flash. I'm dressed as A Very Old Dracula-esque Vampire That's Really Into Twilight.

I had an improv show before the party. Leaving the theater, several people asked me for Young's address, but even though I'd lived there for years, for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween party in the office.

Tom's son, Sam, is dressed as a conductor.

Tom: We had the overalls, we had the hat. The hat actually used to be mine when I was a kid.
Me: So you just had to go out and buy a handkerchief?
Tom: Pretty much.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Different rooms get different amounts of fixing-up attention. Somewhat randomly.

The guest room is probably the most put together, which is nice for the few guests we have, but kind of a waste, really. Especially considering that the least put together room is our bedroom. Shouldn't we have made our bedroom the nicest? Why do guests get a nicer room than us?

As it is it's just a bunch of dreary empty walls and a giant bed with a comforter that looks like a piece of bacon.

Sarah: This room looks like a depressed person lives in it.
Me: No. It looks like two depressed people live in it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There's no storage in our building, and very little closet space in our apartment, so we've had to find places to hide our three giant A/C units for the winter.

One is behind the TV.

Can you spot the other two before the blog is over?

Monday, October 26, 2009

The predictive text on my iPhone seems to have learned my comical (and probably somewhat sickeningly cute) multi-U spelling of "you" for when I text Sarah.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Also, I got to see Dad's championship ring.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My parents drove up for the Whirled News show in Ohio.

We actually performed on a stage set up on a university basketball court. In fact, since this university is so close to my hometown, it's a basketball court that I've seen my Dad's team play on numerous times growing up. So now, he got to watch me play there.

Attendance was so-so. It actually would have been a decent crowd for a fun show, except that due to a tiered pricing system, people were spread out all over the arena, instead of laughing together up front. Some people were seated way up near the rafters, because, well... those were the cheapest seats.

It was a decent show, though, and my parents seemed to enjoy it. Still, afterward in the van, I found myself saying, in language more athletic than usual, "It just didn't feel like a win."

Friday, October 23, 2009

On the road again. Whirled News is doing a show at a University in Ohio very close to my hometown.

While we ate an unappetizing lunch at a tollway rest-stop, Young rushed over and said, "I just found the most awesomely ridiculous thing for sale in the gift shop. It's a white tiger toilet paper holder. Should I buy it? I should buy it, right? If it's under $20, I'm going to buy it."

I walked over to the gift shop to check it out. I was very happy to see that the price tag read, "$19.99."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This week, Sarah's old friend Tim has been crashing in our guest room.

Tim and Sarah were apartment-mates before we moved in together.

Tim: Sarah was a good roommate. To be honest, especially towards the end of our living together, she was pretty much always absent. We were sort of 2-night-a-week roommates, but on those nights we'd watch Top Chef and Battlestar Galactica and eat pizza. And what could be better? Beyond that, I'm not sure what else to say about our time as roommates. Between the two of us we had WAY too many refrigerator magnets.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A number of people have asked me for updates on the little girl who we carved pumpkins for at work last week.

Well... it's not really my story to tell, so I'll simply pass along this sad update from the family's blog on Monday:

"This morning, sometime between 12:30 and 2, her parents sleeping on either side of her, Donna's heart stopped and she died. Her death was very peaceful. ---Donna's Daddy"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poland, a guy I work with who telecommutes from his home in Michigan, is actually in Chicago for a few days this week. His Michigan town is, according to him, pretty much a culinary wasteland, so he was eager to go out for a fancy meal. "I need this."

A few of us tried to take him to Avec, but it was too crowded. We worked on figuring out a different dinner option. One place was vetoed because Chris had promised to go there with his fiancee sometime. He was "saving it." I felt a bit guilty myself about going out to a fancy dinner without Sarah, since we've been having trouble finding time for nice dates for ourselves (for the record, she told me not to worry about it).

We finally settled on Gioco.

Poland: This was actually my wife and I's favorite restaurant when we used to live here. You guys can order whatever you want, but I'm going to really go for it.

After lots of good food and wine, Poland pulled out his phone.

Poland: What time is it? Oh... later than I thought. My wife wanted me to call her and walk her through the whole meal. So she could experience it too. I guess... I guess I'll take a picture of the empty plates? That would be good, right?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Walking back to work after lunch I noticed this giant red patch of ivy(?) creeping up the side of my office building. I'd never seen it before. Ever. It couldn't have just appeared overnight.

I asked several co-workers and none of them had noticed it before either.

Sure, the color probably changed recently, it being fall and all, but I've never noticed anything on that wall before. A wall I walk past a dozen times a week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm allergic to fruit. Or was. Or was and maybe sort of still am.

Anyway, I grew up with a minor fruit allergy. Not life threatening, but enough to keep me from eating much fruit.

But I've been slowly testing out eating small bits of fruit lately, and... things seem okay. So... I'm eating apples now. This is my second one. And they're good. I like apples. I always have.

This is a good, healthy development. The only real downside is that I've lost an "interesting fact about myself." It's a common icebreaker question. "Name three interesting/surprising things about yourself." The fact that I'm allergic to fruit was always my first fact.

Oh well. At least I still have slightly webbed toes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another burst of cleaning and organizing-the-apartment-so-that-it-looks-like-a-real-place-where-people-live. This can only mean one thing: another house guest.

Another one of Sarah's former improv teammates is coming to stay with us this week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Someone who used to work at the company where I work, long before I was ever here, has a four or five year old daughter who is... well... struggling through the final stages of cancer. I don't know this family, and I don't know this little girl, but we occasionally get updates here in office on how she is doing.

This little girl, Donna, apparently loves jack-o-laterns, so a family friend organized a pumpkin tribute. People have been leaving pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns on the family's lawn as a way of showing their support and love.

Our office bought about twenty pumpkins and most of us took some time off during our workday to carve a pumpkin.

I overheard some whispers among the older guard of employees, people who knew the family and were more informed, that the word was that Donna, although still holding on to life, had "taken to bed" and it was unlikely she would wake up to see all the jack-o-lanterns made in her honor.

My job was to carve an "O" into a pumpkin that would be part of a series that would spell out her name. I'm not much of an artist, and carving pumpkins is much harder than I remembered, but I worked hard on that "O," worrying that it wasn't good enough. How could it be? Sometimes, though, all you can do is try your best to (as Raymond Carver once wrote), do "a small good thing."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sarah’s taking a class this session called, ‘Theories of Argumentation.’ She had to write a paper about an argument she’d had, so she wrote her paper on an argument we’d had.

As a self-involved guy who’s kept numerous blogs about his personal life, I was, of course, eager to read the paper. Sarah warned me that she’d changed some things to “make the paper work,” but it seemed pretty accurate to me. Pretty fair.

I like the part where she wrote, “Arnie is a person who I have an emotional investment in and a person I choose to spend a good amount of time with. With Arnie, an attack on his argument could have repercussions that last after the argument is over. It is best that I save attacks for more scholarly arguments with people who would not be emotionally affected by my attacks.”

The most fascinating part to me, though, was reading the handwritten notes her professor wrote in the margins. Reading comments like, “I think you are conflating two args,” and, “careful with ‘fact’,” made me want to submit all our arguments for scholarly review.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I wasn't sure why I was getting official mail from the Canadian government, but it was my official fishing license from my trip this summer. It'll expire before I ever get back there, so I put it in the shredder.

Halfway through shredding it I thought, "Am I really that concerned about someone stealing my fishing identity?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flipping through the channels I found that a werewolf "documentary" was playing on Animal Planet.

Animal Planet?!

Coming back from commercial they flashed the words up on screen, "This story is inspired by the possibility that hidden creatures exist"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sarah's new juicer. She's juicing everything.

Sarah: I'd totally rather drink a salad than eat it.
Me: I'll pass.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Here’s Shaun, who I’ve written about periodically in my previous blogs.

As I’ve explained before, he’s a funny, somewhat morose guy who’s had some tough breaks. He spent the last several years trapped in Arizona after an optimistic move to Los Angeles left him completely broke.

My last blog was titled, ‘A Year in Pictures of Comedy,’ depicting, among other things, my small corner of the Chicago comedy scene. Meanwhile, from Phoenix, Shaun kept a blog called ‘A Year in My Non-Existent Comedy Career’ where he posted pictures of himself pointing toy guns at his head with captions that read, “I did stand-up today and it sucked.”

Someone pointed out that maybe we were opposites. I wrote, “I don’t really buy the premise that Shaun and I are opposites, beyond the fact that he hasn’t had quite enough failure to give up and I’ve had just barely enough success to keep going.”

Back then, Shaun wrote to me, “It's more like we're parallel. If I may chance an analogy, it's like we're both on the same river in separate rafts, it's just that I keep hitting the parts of the river with rocks, turbulence and predatory aquatic life. The good part is if I we can both stay on our rafts, we will get to the same place eventually.”

And now we are in the same place, at least geographically. Shaun finally saved enough money to move to Chicago. In fact, he moved into Sarah’s apartment when we moved into this place together.

He seems to be doing at least a little better.

Shaun: [via e-mail] “Right now I'm temping, with the same temp job I've had since I got here, which consists of sorting spam e-mails. I go through spam e-mails and categorize them and put down pertinent information so the company may analyze them for the marketing of better spam e-mails. It hasn't really paid enough for me to get by, but apparently paying me too much as the company is outsourcing our task to India. So, at least I have a month to find another job before I run out of income. I've had it worse, that's for sure. I still have my freelance work through Topless Robot that pays a little bit. Also, I've gone through one Annoyance improv class level while here and done some open mic nights here in the city. So hopefully soon I land another job. I just need to get a decent job and things will pick up for me considerably here.”

Good luck Shaun.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back in the suburbs, this time for an ice skating party for Sarah's family.

This family seems to have been raised on the ice, swooping around.

Me, I never got far from that wall, but I never fell, and I slowly plodded around and around the circle.

Friday, October 9, 2009

News travels strangely these days. I found out my friend Shane is in the hospital from a picture posted on his wife's Facebook page.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Drinks with Young, Meador and Nick.

Young: I'm thinking about having a Halloween party. But Nick, what would you think if I had an early part beforehand where, say, you could bring Jane, and maybe Trupe or Hansen could bring their kids, what would you think of that?
Nick: A family-friendly party? Sure?
Me: But only until I certain hour. When that time hits it abruptly becomes very adult.
Nick: "Oh no! We've stayed too long! Jane, let's get out of here!"
Young: Yes, that's when the sexy ghostbusters show up.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mom sent me a magazine published by the university where my dad coaches. Campus and alumni news. There was a very nice article about my dad and his championship win. On a post-it note on the cover Mom wrote, "The lady that wrote the article on pp 32-34 sent us 5 extra magazines!!!"

I talked to Dad on the phone. He'd just given a speech at a banquet and was getting ready for a charity golf outing.

Me: The busy life of a celebrity.
Dad: Oh, I suppose. I suppose. I should probably enjoy it while it lasts. The new season starts soon. We might not do as well.
Me: You had a perfect season. It would be almost impossible to do as well.
Dad: Who knows. We could go from the penthouse to the outhouse.

I also talked to Mom.

Mom: I saw on your blog about Sarah's grandfather's 75th birthday. You know, your father is turning 60 pretty soon.
Me: That's right. You both have birthdays coming up in November.
Mom: Yes, but I'm not turning 60.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our refrigerator looks like a vegetable morgue.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Some of our neighbors have started putting up Halloween decorations.

With crime on the rise in the neighborhood, I wonder if this will discourage burglars who are afraid of guh-guh-guh-ghosts.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We drove out to the suburbs for Sarah's grandfather's 75th birthday party.

There were several nice speeches, including one where Sarah's uncle pulled out a Chinese restaurant place-mat with zodiac years on it. "This thing doesn't go back to 1934. It cuts off at '36."

Sarah told an old family story about a New Years Eve when her grandfather sat in the living room and as each child came home from partying, told each one of them, privately, that they were his favorite.

Me: Good speech.
Sarah: Eh. I told the exact same story at their 50th wedding anniversary.
Me: Well... families like to hear the same stories over and over again. It's what families do.
Sarah: That's true.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Drinks after Whirled News.

Alex talked about how he got a call from the New York Post this week.

Alex: They left a message saying they wanted my reactions about the David Letterman scandal, since I... according to them, worked for him.
Me: What?
Alex: Yeah. I called back and asked why they thought I might be connected to Letterman in any way. They said, "Well, we see that you were a writer for the Late Night Late Show."

The Late Night Late Show, by the way, was a local, non-televised talk show satire that ran at iO for a few years. Very popular among Chicago comedy fans, but in no way connected to Worldwide Pants.

Alex: I guess the Post googled "Late Show," but then didn't bother to read anything.

Friday, October 2, 2009

There's been a cake in the office that last few days, to celebrate the launch of a big project. After the first day, someone wrote "Eat Me!" on top of the cake box, you know, to encourage us to eat more cake.

This led to a debate among several of us about whether the cake made Alice big and the drink made her small in 'Alice in Wonderland' or vice versa.

All I know is, the cake is making me bigger.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And suddenly, just like that, it's not summer anymore.