Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
It's good to be home.
I asked Sarah what I was like to live with.
Sarah: I feel like whatever I say is going straight into the blog.
Me: Pretty much.
Sarah: Uh... good. It's been good. We're building our life together.
Then I tried to take a picture of us, sitting on the couch, holding the camera out at arm's length, snapping, then bringing the camera back in to look at the picture, seeing Sarah made a weird face, trying again, another weird face, hearing her say, "This time I'll do it for real," another weird face, repeat, repeat.
Sarah: You know, I had an idea of how you should end your blog, but I'm not going to tell you until after it's over.
Honestly, I don't really have any idea of how I should end this blog. Maybe it shouldn't end. Maybe that's the point. We keep on living together, here, and eventually somewhere else, being goofy, sometimes annoying each other, building our life together, and maybe... someday... actually hanging that mirror up on a wall.
So, the living together continues, just without the pictures.
But here are a couple extras to enjoy on your way out the door. Maybe we'll have you over again sometime.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
This is one of those rare travel shows where we actually have a little extra time to explore the town we're visiting. Looking through the brochures in the hotel lobby, we picked the oddest thing we could find.
Snakes. Alligators. Lizards. They were all pretty cool, but the biggest source of entertainment for us was watching how scared Steve is of snakes, alligators and lizards.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Sarah and I have been catching up on the show ‘Breaking Bad,’ about a high school chemistry teacher who turns to cooking meth after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. It’s good. Depressing, but good.
Sarah: Don’t ever get sick. You’re not allowed to get sick and die.
Me: You either.
Sarah: Oh, I won’t get sick. I sort of know that I won’t.
Me: You know that you won’t?
Me: But you think I will.
Sarah: It’s crossed my mind.
Me: Why… why would I get sick?
Sarah: Because you’re so nice.
Me: [laughing] What?
Sarah: The worst things happen to really good people. Am I saying this out loud? [looks at wine glass] I must be buzzed!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We've been having some problems with our DVR. I called the cable company and they offered to send someone out to switch it with a new one, but remembering remembering the eight hour technician visits that happened when we first moved into this place I decided to just take the DVR to their offices and swap it out in person.
The sad part of getting a new DVR is losing the recording of my Dad's national championship game (and my appearance on Friday Night Tailgate) that had been sitting at the bottom of the queue for most of the last year. Would I watch it again? Probably not. But it was nice to have.
And maybe it's good to let go a little of having physical documents of every memory. If Buddha had a DVR he'd probably delete shit all the time.
We have a lot more memory space now for new stuff (mostly the dozens of 'Dog Whisperer' episodes that Sarah records daily).
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Of course, I lived with a girl once before. It didn’t end badly, but it did end. I kept a blog about what happened after it ended, A Year in Pictures Following the Breakup. It seems very long ago now.
And when I say “I kept a blog about what happened after,” I mostly mean what happened after to me. In the interest of making a clean break, we didn’t communicate much with each other after I moved back to Chicago.
I did email her (let’s call her N) a yearly update, just a quick hello to let her know what I was up to. She rarely responded. About two years ago she wrote to tell me she was happy and married and had a daughter. I wrote back that I was happy and happy for her, which was the truth.
After that I stopped sending updates. Maybe I finally felt like it was safe for me to stop worrying about her.
A month or two ago, though, it did cross my mind that maybe I should write to her. “Hello. I’m still doing well. I’m engaged!” That’s what people do, right? “Just to let you know from me…”
I even sat down and started writing something. “Dear N. It’s been a while.” But I didn’t get very far. It just sounded awkward. That time is past.
Mostly, though, I think I worried that I was secretly fishing for blog material. An interesting quote. Didn’t I really want to just write, “Hey, what was I like to live with?” And it seemed wise not to open that can of worms.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
For Christmas, Sarah gave me this framed ticket from the showing of 'It's a Wonderful Life' that we went to right after we got engaged. I love it. And the fact that I still haven't gotten around to putting it up on the wall doesn't mean I love it any less.
Every day for the past few weeks I've had a moment where I thought, "I should put that up today. Take a picture of it. Put it on the blog. It would be a nice thing to blog about here near the end."
Today I just gave in and took a picture of it on the table where it sits waiting to be put up somewhere.
I do love that ticket.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I asked Young what I was like to live with.
Young: You were a great roommate. I mean you are one of my best friends and it was a really fun time. Watching 'The Wire,' eating pizza, playing Rock Band, and just generally cracking each other up. I’m sure we got on each other’s nerves sometimes, but it was never insurmountable. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but when you moved back from Arizona after your break-up when we moved in together, I thought you would be really upset and I was, in a weird way, excited to see you through this difficult transition. In reality, you seemed somewhat more together than I had guessed and I realized how cut off I had become. It was one of the most fun periods of my life, but I really think we needed each other too.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Drinks at Glunz, a German beer place.
Bringing the bill to our table, the jovial bartender (and I suspect, also the owner) said, "Any of you know how to say one in German?"
Me: Uh.. eins, zwei... Eins? Right?
Bartender: [pointing at leg] And how do you say this is German.
Me: I don't know.
Bartender: The leg is...?
Bartender: So... put it together.... Ein...
Martin: Ein Bein?
Bartender: You're bine? Alright. [hands bill to Martin]
Ein Bein. Sort of sounds like "I'm buyin'." Must be a classic German American bartender joke.
Meador: Well, Martin, he got you.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I don't tend to have nightmares, but recently I had what can only be described as a night terror. Sarah woke me up.
Sarah: You were yelling "help" and "no." You started off quiet, but got louder. Jerking around. You sounded so sad and scared. I wanted to wake you up but... I thought you were going to bite me, like how a dog does if you wake it up from a nightmare. That's all I kept thinking..."He's going to bite me"
I don't remember the dream. According to Sarah I said, "Someone was in the house." All I remember is being terrified, stuck, frozen in place from fear, almost midscream, locked-in.
More than that, though, I remember the rush of relief and gratitude after she woke me up. And I remember thinking, "You saved me." It's seems melodramatic during the light of day, and maybe even unhealthy if extended to some kind of overarching relationship metaphor, but in that moment in the dark I kept thinking, "Thank you. Thank you for saving me."
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
With only a couple weeks left, I'd like to return to an idea I had... to ask other people I've lived with to tell me how it was. How am I to live with?
Here's Eckart, backstage at iO among the coats. For years and years Eckart lived in a huge apartment with a rotating cast of roommates, mostly fellow improvisers. For three months, I occupied one of those rooms, during a transitional period between a lease ending and another bigger move.
Me: So the question is, how was I to live with?
Eckart: [thinks for a long time] Agreeable? [silence, and then realizing maybe he should say more] Uh... easy going. It was good. You were easy to live with.
Eckart gave up the apartment equivalent of a La Ronde a couple years ago to move in with his girlfriend. Now they're actually in the process of trying to buy a house together.
Eckart: Fingers crossed.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
And... I had to move my desk again at work. Back downstairs to a different room.
A lot of moving for a year I'd decided not to move.
Still, as much drudgery as goes into moving even just a desk's worth of stuff, it's actually a very good thing. I just can't officially talk about why yet.
Also, Poland is on a big fancy flat screen TV now. So, upgrades all around.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
With saving up for the wedding to think about, we decided not to go out to dinner.
So, we stayed in and looked through giant binders of wedding invitation sets. The endless options of papers and fonts and colors just about gave me an anxiety attack.
We also agreed not to exchange gifts. I played it safe, though, and got Sarah a card.
Sarah: I like that you signed it Future Husband.
Me: You like that?
Sarah: Future Husband! You're from the future!
Me: I've come from the future with an important message about your wedding invitations! No one remembers them!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I took this picture at Young's show. Hawley and Shad were in the audience, Hawley looking good but already long overdue on delivering their first baby.
Me: Maybe it'll happen tonight. It would be funny to go into labor while watching a show about impotence.
Then I saw them again at Megan and Alex's Super Bowl party. Still no baby.
Shad: This baby just refuses to come out.
Me: Hawley, if you could pick any time to have the baby, when would you want--
Me: Yeah, but I mean, you know, is there a time of day that you'd prefer to go into labor---
Hawley: Now. If I could choose I'd go into labor right now.
Quite a few more days passed, but last night, about two weeks past the due date, Hawley finally went into labor.
Shad: [via Facebook]: "Anna Jane _____. Born Feb 13th. 7lbs 13oz. 21 inches. Quiet, Tall, Healthy. Very difficult to get out. Hawley is fine and recovering. Dad is a mess."
Friday, February 12, 2010
A Brief Guide to Video Games For Couples To Play Together Pt. 3
New Super Mario Bros. Wii - We've been looking forward to this one for a while. Classic sidescrolling Mario for up to four players at the same time? Perfect. Except that it seems to be designed for friends to screw each other over during the game rather than to work together. In fact, it's very hard to not knock each other off cliffs or accidentally bounce on eachother's heads.
The special red box may make you think of Valentines Day, but really it stands for the pure rage that descends when trying to play this game together.
We had to stop playing it entirely.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sarah's feeling sick, which means laying in bed, watching movies on her laptop.
Sarah: [looking through our Netflix Instant Queue] What's 'Keep the River on Your Right'?
Me: A documentary about cannibals, I think.
Sarah: What's 'The Girlfriend Experience'?
Me: That Stephen Soderbergh movie.
Sarah: What's 'Wendy and Lucy'?
Me: You know, every time you go through our queue you ask me about the exact same movies. We just did this last week. [pause] It's that movie with Michelle Williams.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
With lots of moving around at the office, some areas becoming more crowded, others less, the long standing conventional wisdom on which bathrooms are best for pooping in has changed dramatically.
To help with this transition period, Chris (pictured) sent out a company-wide email breaking down each of the five "pooping options."
Here's an excerpt:
"Bathroom 1 (closest to the kitchen): While sporting the best selection of reading material and general supplies (so changing the toilet paper roll is easy), this room has a particularly tiny seat. Definitely a finesse target.
"Bathroom 3: If you enjoy well-worn golf magazines, this is the spot for you. As a warning though, the sense of seclusion gained by walking all the way into the back and down the little hall is illusory. Many long-haul poopers have found themselves walking out of the john in the middle of a major meeting that started 20 minutes earlier.
"Bathroom 5 (The one with NO FAN): I’m not saying you can’t let fly here, but keep in mind that the only way your left-behinds will clear it is by slowly diffusing through the doorway, into the hallway, and out toward Ivan’s desk. This bathroom is the Worst. Possible. Choice. of all the bathrooms."
Taking a picture of Chris outside bathrooms 4 and 5 we realized that someone was actually in bathroom 5.
Chris: Is someone in there? I can hear you peeing in there. Who is it?
Whoever Was in Bathroom 5: [silence]
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sarah decided to dust off the Wii Fit Balance Board to weigh herself. She called me into the room because the Wii was asking questions about me, saying it hadn't seen me in a long time.
Sarah: It's trying to get me to rat you out!
The Wii asked if I looked slimmer, heavier, more toned or the same. Sarah said I looked the same.
Then, and here's where it gets weird, the Wii said, "Maybe you're not paying enough attention to Arnie!" And then, "On a side note, did you know that dogs become more motivated when their owners pay more attention to them?"
What?! Is the Wii implying that I'm more or less Sarah's (fat) pet?
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Looking at venues during the wrong season takes a little imagination. What would all this look like without snow?
Me: For a second I thought that deer was real.
Venue Owner: Ha. Yes. I keep telling my husband not to leave his target out where all the brides can see it.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Closing night of Young’s funny and very personal one-man show, “Impotent.”
As he says early in the performance, “I'm sure some of you came here tonight assuming the title of this show is a metaphor. Sorry.”
It takes a lot of bravery to put that all out there (so to speak), but it’s just the kind of “nobody talks about it” theme that can get people interested in your show. He’s gotten some great press like this NBC Chicago article, 'Chicago Comic Finds Humor in His Impotency' which you can read here .
Of course, if you’re going to do it, if you’re going to expose yourself like that (so to speak)… it better be good. It better be a good show.
Luckily it was. Well written and acted and genuinely funny.
The NBC Chicago article ends, “In case you're wondering, doctors were able to diagnose Young's problem as low testosterone, and he and his very supportive girlfriend are doing very well, thank you.”
It’s funny how they feel compelled to end on a note of, “don’t worry, he gets boners now.” Then again, that’s how I’m ending this post, too.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
And how has it been for you? How have you liked living with us living together?
Nearly a year in, invisible roommate, did we get on your nerves? Did we lose that spark, us and you? Did we grow closer?
And to push the relationships-and-leases metaphor to its breaking point, maybe saying that entering a new web address into your Feed Reader is sort of like signing a lease (but not really but whatever), would you sign up for another year?
And isn't it about time you chipped in at least something for the rent?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
No moving on the home front this year, but there is some moving going on at work. Basically, with some expansion going on, everyone in the room where I work is moving to a new space in the building.
It's kind of exciting, a new work space can be reinvigorating. But I'm scheduled to be one of the last to move, so... it's just me and my desk in a progressively more empty and depressing room.
The only upside to being alone down here is occasionally looking up and yelling, "Oh my God! We've been robbed!"
Monday, February 1, 2010
The engagement train keeps on rolling. This weekend we went to Young and Natalie's engagement party.
Young's Friend: Hey, and congrats to you on your engagement.
Me: Oh thanks.
Young's Friend: Wait? You're engaged too? I was joking.
Me: Yeah, I'm engaged too.
Young's Friend: Wow. Everyone's getting engaged. Well congrats for real.
Me: Thank you.
More importantly, congratulations to Young and Natalie on their engagement.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sarah’s been dealing with the death of a family member for the last week, and yesterday we went out to the suburbs for the funeral. The only suit I own these days is my Whirled News suit, and it felt slightly wrong to be wearing my comedy clothes to such a solemn occasion.
The sister of the deceased wrote a letter to him, that she couldn’t bring herself to read aloud, so she asked Sarah to read it at the ceremony. Is it strange to say that Sarah did a wonderful job? I guess you shouldn’t review speeches given at funerals, but if you did, everyone would agree that Sarah did a wonderful job.
Sarah’s Aunt: Great work Sarah. When I die I want you to read something at my funeral.
Sarah: No. No.
Sarah’s Uncle: Yeah. Me too.
Sarah: I’m not going to be the person that speaks at everyone’s funeral.
Later, in the car, she cried and asked, “Did I do a good job? I just wanted to do a good job for Dan.”
Then later still, in bed, she cried again, saying, “I just don’t want you to die. I don’t want to see you dead.”
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Biggest Loser weigh-ins continue.
During the week, when I'm tempted to eat something bad, I think of the Excel spreadsheet that gets sent out on Fridays after everyone steps on the scale.
I lost four pounds this week, which was a real shocker considering how much barbecue I ate in Florida.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Maybe it's the the cold here, but I find myself thinking back to the Gainesville trip.
Here's a picture of one of our shows taken by Ricky Klopfenstein.
Our shows were a hit, standing ovations both nights. The first night we even got more applause from the people still hanging out in the lobby when we left the theater. A testament to the great crowds at the festival, but my own unavoidable self-criticism had me thinking, "The shows were good, but did we deserve a standing ovation? I mean, did we deserve it?"
It was fun hanging out with festival-goers afterward. "It's so great to see a group be funny and not just rely on dick jokes," one of them said.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that warming up behind the theater before our show, the cast spent fifteen minutes adding the words "fart" and "queef" to movie titles and giggling. 'The Defarted.' 'Mr. Magoriums Wonder Queeftorium.' 'An Officer and a Fart.'
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Looking off the back porch into our back yard, I feel flashbacks to the day we moved in (about eleven months ago). Looking down and seeing the movers trudge through the snow.
And as is usually the case with time, I feel it both ways, as if we just moved in yesterday, but also feeling that we've been here forever.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Back in Chicago where it's terribly terribly cold. We've put this towel down by the back door, hoping it will block some of the cold air seeping in.
During my workshops in Florida over the weekend, I had a brief discussion with some of my students about how 50 degrees seems cold to them.
Me: It's around 30 in Chicago right now.
Student: Oh god.
Me: And that's good. People are probably talking about how nice it is that it finally got up to 30 degrees. [laughs] So, if you can take only one thing away from this workshop it's that Chicago is a miserable place.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This was one of the rare Whirled News roadtrips where we had some extra time to hang out and explore, instead of just rushing back to an airport.
So we decided to go to a nature trail to see some alligators. Unfortunately, we got confused and went to the wrong nature trail. So... no alligators. We did see an armadillo. And a frog. But we mostly just took pictures of ourselves.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
We were a little late to the workshops we taught because Marla couldn't remember how to get around the campus she'd gone to college on.
Marla: In this building is where a little Marla was first introduced to improv.
Me: Wow. Such an important event that effected the rest of your life. You think you'd actually remember how to get there.
Marla: Shut up! This campus has changed a lot since I went to school!
[In case you were wondering, I actually had full workshops despite the fact that they were titled, "How to Be Not Funny." However, I did hear through the grapevine that the workshop that filled up first was "Be Funny." Lesson learned.]
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Chris, who sits near Tom and I at work, took a two week vacation with his fiancee. This, plus the fact that he has four monitors on his desk (I have two, the head artist has three, he's the only person with four) makes him the obvious target for a prank.
Ryan, who you can see waving in the background, hid the four monitors and replaced them with this one giant old monitor. Then, just to rub it in, set his screensaver to be a picture of his desk back when it had four monitors.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
My youngest sister, Allie, is enjoying that brief period between graduating from college and entering the working world (she has a job lined up that starts soon). Like so many young people these days, she's passing this time by... going on a cruise with my mom.
Here's a picture Mom sent of their tour of Tulum, a Mexican ruin that Sarah and I actually visited last year when we took a relaxing Mexican vacation. At that time I wrote on my blog, "[Tulum] was really beautiful and I'd love to say that Sarah and I learned a lot about ancient Mayan culture, but honestly, we mostly took wacky pictures of ourselves, many of them involving Sarah punching nature."
Allie and Mom, though, were maybe smarter tourists, and took the guided tour.
Mom: [via e-mail] Carlos was our guide and he gave a great deal of info about the Mayans. We couldn't go inside any of the ruins. There was a red handprint on one building where the hands had 6 fingers! This was someone of royalty and Carlos thought it was because of all the family marriages.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This Edward James Olmos shirt I got Sarah for Christmas finally came in the mail.
You can't tell because of the screwy perspective in this picture, but the shirt is weirdly tiny. It's a Large, but in some crazy, "I ordered this off the internet" sizing.
Sarah: It's okay. I'm losing weight for the wedding anyway. I'll be able to wear it on our Honeymoon.
I feel bad. Here's a belated Christmas gift to make you feel unnecessarily weight conscious! I'm such a terrible boyfriend!
This is the smallest Large I've ever seen in my life! I know it uses a Twilight font, but this shirt isn't for children, is it?
Monday, January 18, 2010
I'm heading down to Florida this weekend with some of Whirled News Tonight, for the Gainesville Improv Festival. Our second year there of doing shows and teaching workshops.
I wanted to teach a different workshop than the one I did last year, so the one I'm doing this year is "How To Be Not Funny."
(It's actually listed wrong on the festival web site. They posted it as "How To Not Be Funny" which is, I guess, a fairly subtle distinction. Could be worse. Glynn's workshop, "The Way In" is listed as "In The Way.")
Now, I know I know, "How To Be Not Funny" is a terrible title for a college improv festival workshop. As former Whirled News member, Jordan, said when I mentioned it to him, "How to be not funny? What college student would want to take that? You might as well do a workshop on not having fun, not getting drunk and how not to get laid."
The idea, though, is to offer a workshop on relaxing and not being so worried about being funny that you become manic.
But yeah, I'm starting to suspect I may have record-low attendance for my workshop. Or, certainly, I'll have a lower attendance than the workshop "Be Funny" which I see on the website, is also being offered.