Monday, December 31, 2007

Be Safe...

Never drive with Brett Lyons when it's raining. His drivers side windshield wipers do not work so it looks like this:
Brett also has a habit of falling a sleep when he's driving.

So, maybe just don't drive in a car with Brett.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

United Center...

Brett and I went to the Blackhawks game Wednesday night.

It's the first hockey game I've gone to this year and it was great. The Blackhawks won 5-2.

We had so much fun we both bought hats!!

***

Yesterday, Jeannie and I began training for the Shamrock Shuffle. It's an 8K on March 30th. That's more than I've ever run in my whole life.

This morning I woke up and I was very sore. Since I started working at Sports Action Team I haven't been able to go to the gym as often as I would have liked. I used to go to the gym 5 days a week. In the past 7 months I've only been to the gym 5 times in total. Yesterdays workout was a shock to my system.

I'm very excited about getting back into shape.

***

Several people have e-mailed me asking how Jason's feeling. I think he's doing fine. I've talked to him several times this week and he's in great spirits.

In fact, yesterday he sent me this picture from our photo shoot in his hospital room. Like the dorks we are, we were re-enacting the scene from Seinfeld when George tells Jerry to kill him. In my pose I'm saying, "Elaine? What are you doing here?"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chicago, Masonic Hospital

As usual, I was wandering around the Illinois Masonic Hospital looking for a quasi celebrity to die so that I could write a book about them and look who I ran into...


Jason Chin!

Actually, after Vidiocy on Thursday evening, Jason told me that he wasn't feeling well. After I got home he called and was feeling worse. I encouraged him to go to the hospital.

He got there and the doctors told him that his blood pressure was extremely high so they made him stay for a few days. Brett and I went a couple times to visit him.
Brett ate all his food.


Everyone will be happy to know that Jason made it to the weekly poker game's and doing just fine. His blood pressure is under control and he's feeling a lot better.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve Eve...

As I wandered into IO Sunday night Brett grabbed me and pushed me out the door. He ran out into the street and grabbed a gigantic sign that had landed in the middle of the road.

He picked it up and it was a sign that had blown off the side of Wrigley Field.

Carla was working the box office so she happily posed with Brett and his stolen sign.


Brett insists that the sign is not stolen, but he sure got nervous carrying it out of IO with all the cops eating their dinners at Bar Louie.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hollywood...

I had my meeting in Pasadena this morning and drove down the road to Hollywood.

I was on the phone with Jeannie as I was driving, which was a bad idea. I made a wrong turn and ended up in Chinatown. I had some extra time to kill so I drove around and looked for locations and sight from the Chinatown movie starring Jack Nicholson.

That's one of the fun things about being in LA. Inevitably, every time you turn a corner you run smackdab into a location that was used for some part in some movie. I accidentally drove over the dry river bed where they film the car race scene in Grease the other day.

I also drove by the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion where they used to hold the Academy Awards. And, I also passed by the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Looks a lot like the Millinium Park Grandstand in Chicago, doesn't it? Well, they're both designed by Frank Gehry.

After my unscheduled, impromptu tour I headed to Hollywood Avenue and checked into my 2nd hotel in two days.
After that I headed over to my best friend Mike's apartment and had dinner with he, his wife Melissa and his little daughter Gracie.

I took a lot of pictures of her because she kept asking me to take more.

It's been a short trip to the West Coast, but it's been I nice trip. It's always great to see Mike and Melissa. I miss them a lot.

However, it will be very nice to get home. I feel like I haven't seen my apartment or my girlfriend in weeks!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pasadena...

Yesterday was my last full day of working on Sports Action Team.

I'm not exaggerating when I say it was a full day. I flew back from Vegas Thursday night and landed in Chicago at 1opm. I grabbed something to eat and went to sleep. Friday Iwoke up at 4:00am and took a cab downtown. There were some loose ends for the 15th episode of Sports Action Team that I had to come in and help clean up. I stayed there all day working on it. Once I was finished, I came home, ate dinner with Jeannie and went to bed.

Long day.

It was sad watching the final episode of the season. It's been a lot of fun and an incredible experience. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'll miss going into the office every day. Next week I'll go in a couple of days to finalize the last episode, but Season 2 has been put to bed. This Sunday night's episode of SAT features Danica Patrick and Chicago improvisor, Pat O'Brien. It's one of my favorite episodes so make sure you tune in.

This morning I woke up and went to the airport and flew to the West Coast. Right now I'm in a hotel in Pasadena preparing for a meeting I have tomorrow morning regarding "Guru".

Unfortunately, I'm in Pasadena 2 weeks early. If this meeting had occurred 17 days later I could have been here to watch the Illini play in the Rose Bowl. Every where I went I saw signs for the Tournament of Roses so I drove over and looked at the historic stadium.

It was pretty cool. I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but behind my gigantic, melon head is the stadium. I took a whole bunch of pictures with my phone, but my head's blocking the sign in every one.


After that, I drove down the rode and grabbed a cheeseburger and milkshake at In-and-Out Burger.As I was driving around I noticed there were benches everywhere. The benches disappeared and became bleachers. Which was odd, I thought. There were bleachers everywhere. In people's yards. In parking lots. Everywhere. Then I realized the Rose Bowl is more than just a football game. It's a parade. I felt pretty stupid that I didn't figure it out earlier.

From my window I have an awesome view of the beautiful architecture in the downtown area. It's nice to look out the window and see something other than snow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Vegas...

So, here's the room...

See that square window above the bed? At night it glows green. It's odd.

This is the bathroom, I guess. It's all frosted glass.

See that square dark spot in the middle of the mirror? It's a TV. That's how I watched the Mitchell report yesterday.

It was a short but fun trip.

It was a pretty relaxing trip. That is, aside from Brett throwing a huge temper tantrum before lunch yesterday. Seriously, it was a full fledged child-like temper tantrum. He even clinched his fists and stomped his feet and yelled at Jason and I because we didn't want to go the restaurant he wanted to go to. It was pretty impressive display for 25 year old adult.

We happened to be in Vegas at the same time that the Rodeo championships were going on. Brett bought a huge belt buckle for $100.
And, Jason bought a cowboy hat for $50. Both of those things will look great back here in Chicago.

That's a glass of water that Jason's holding, but his drinking experiments in Vegas were some of the most amusing moments of this past trip. Jason, like me, doesn't drink alcohol. But, he chose this trip to try out all the different drinks that he never partakes in.

You see, in Vegas waitress walk around everywhere bringing free drinks. Jason took advantage of that and ordered a myriad of drinks so that he could taste test all these drinks that he has never had. Every time a waitress approached and asked if she could bring Jason anything, he rubbed his chin, furrowed his brow, squinted his eyes and contemplated what he wanted to order. After a few moments he slammed his hand down on the table and would shout, "I'll have a champagne cocktail!"

It was very funny.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vegas...

Every December, Jason, Brett, Padraic and I venture to Las Vegas for a year end "recharge".

It's always a little difficult to get here and coming two weeks before Christmas doesn't seem to be the ideal time, but once I'm here it's always worth it.

This year Padraic didn't come with us and we came on different days and we're spread out in different hotels. But it's still a lot of fun.

I have some work to do and some meetings to take part of, but for the next few days I'm going to try to relax. I'm a little worn down and could use some rest.


However, I'm not going to stay in my room and sleep. I played a little poker last night and did really well and I'll visit my old friends, the Craps table. And, I may go see a Vegas show for the first time. I've been here numerous times and never seen a Vegas show once. So, I'm excited to do that.

Vegas is fun.


Look who Brett met last night!

It's Hung from Top Chef.

How cool is that!



I'm staying at the MGM Grand in the West Wing. The room is hilarious. I'll take pictures later and post them here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deep Schwa...

Yesterday I conducted a corporate improv workshop for Allstate Insurance at my new favorite venue, Catalyst Ranch. Look at all the cool treats they had.It was a great time. All the facilitators were my friends from Deep Schwa.

If you'd like Deep Schwa to teach you how to work more proficiently in your workplace, let me know. We also do birthday parties, weddings and garage sales.

I'm flying out tonight.

I'm worried.

This weather is bad, bad, bad.

Sports Action Team on iTunes

Hey all,
Just in time for the holidays, Sports Action Team is getting the digital makeover by releasing episodes for purchase on iTunes and Amazon Unbox.

Here are the details:
Both Season 1 and Season 2 will be released.
All 17 episodes from Season 1 will be available on December 11th at a price of $1.99 per episode or $30.00 for the season (which saves you $2.84).
Episodes from Season 2 that will have aired on HD Net by Dec 11th will be available for purchase on December 11th.

All other Season 2 episodes airing on HD Net after Dec 11th will be available the day after they air on HD Net.

All Season 2 episodes will also be $1.99.

There will be a pre-order Season Pass available for all episodes for $26.99, a savings of $2.86 on the whole season.So this Christmas, skip the store and instead give the gift of Sports Action Team. Or just buy it for yourself.

If you go to the iTunes music store right now they have made ep 201 a free episode. So have a go and download it and tell your neighborhoodfriends who use iTunes to download it too.

Just go to TV Shows in iTunes, and go down to the bottom where it says"Free on iTunes". We're the first one.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Chicago....Ritz Carlton...

I had my final meeting of the year for the corporate job. It was at the Ritz Carlton so I got to stay there Wednesday night.

Jeannie wanted to do some shopping next door at the Water Tower Place, so she stopped in to meet with Brett and I. Our friend Amy Verdon met up with us a little later and before dinner we took some time to look at the tree... and the gingerbread houses. The next day Brett and I did our final gig of the year. Unfortunately, after dinner the previous night, Brett went to Second City and participated in their 24 hour benefit. He didn't get back to the hotel until 4:00am.

So, he was tired all day. Everywhere we went he fell asleep.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Moline....Still....

Ugh.

I'm sick, sick, sick, sick.

I have the stomach flu or something.

Within an hour after arriving at the hotel my stomach began to feel as if was being ripped to shreds.

At 6:30 I threw up for the first time. For the rest of the night, I was in the bathroom or laying on the floor next to the bathroom.

At 2:00am I stopped throwing up and finally fell asleep.

Today, Tim, Carla and I had 2 presentations to do. I threw up right before the first one and felt a lot better.

I realized I hadn't eaten anything in 24 hours so I grabbed some chex mix in the hopes that it would stabilize my stomach a little bit. It helped, but my stomach was still rumbling. All I wanted to do was get home so I could get some medicine, eat some stable food and lay on my couch and watch last nights episode of Kid Nation and Project Runway.

We were done with our second presentation at 1:45, but unfortunately, our flight was at 5:30.

Moline has a pretty small airport doesn't have very many flights to Chicago. The only flight before ours was a 2:15 flight and we were about 7 miles from the airport. We'd never make it.

Or would we?

As soon as the presentation was over, we took off our microphones, said goodbye and raced to the rental car. Actually, I wasn't really going that fast because my stomach wasn't letting me.

We drove to the airport, dropped off the car, slid through security and ran right onto the plane before they closed the doors.

Let me tell ya, that would never happen at O'hare. We arrived at the airport at 2:00 and still managed to get on the flight! It was amazing.

Tonight, I'm doing a lot better, but my stomach is still giving me trouble. It just feels so nice to be home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Moline...

Tim, Carla and I are in Moline doing a corporate gig. We're at the Stoney Creek Inn, which is a very odd place.


It's right next to the Mississippi river so it's decorated like a fishing lodge. It's strange.

For some reason, I've stayed in a lot of theme hotels this year.

My room had signs and strange decorations all over the place.




Friday, November 23, 2007

San Antonio...

For Thanksgiving I snuck down to San Antonio and had spent the holiday with Jeannie and her family.


Several years ago Jeannie had visited me in Chicago and had kept it a complete surprise until she arrived. I used this Thanksgiving trip to return the favor and surprise her in San Antonio.


It worked perfectly. She never knew I was coming. I even talked to her a couple times as I was driving to her house from the airport and she didn't suspect anything.


On Thanksgiving day we drove down to Mathis, Texas so that we could eat with Jeannie's mother's family. Jeannie's cousin brought his girlfriend and her family to the Thanksgiving dinner. They were the hit of the Thanksgiving festivities for 2 reasons.


Reason #1 -

They brought a deep fried turkey. I've heard a lot about how good a deep fried turkey is, but I was stunned at just how delicious it was. It was amazing. My moms turkey is the best turkey I've ever tasted, but that deep fried turkey is a very, very, very, very close second place.

Jeannie liked the turkey so much she went up to the girlfriends father twice to shake his hand and thank him for bringing it.


Reason #2 -

It was discovered during the meal that they have a little farm and on that little farm they have a little horse.
The horses name is teabag.

It was nice to be back in San Antonio. I really like it down there. Texas is an awesome state and San Antonio is a great city. The only negative thing about the trip was that it was freaking cold while I was there. It was only 40 degrees!


That's not supposed to happen.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

San Diego...

Brett and I are in one of my favorite places, San Diego, to do a 3 day corporate gig.

We're staying at the Four Seasons Resort just outside of San Diego. It's a super nice place. Here's the view from my veranda. Yesterday afternoon we drove to the road and stopped in to eat at In-n-Out Burger. Soooo good.
Brett likes a lot of ketchup on his fries and burgers. Last night, the company we're working for, hired out SeaWorld and we got to visit the park after hours. It was incredible.
Once the sun went down we had our own special Shamu show. It was amazing. I love Shamu. Today, we have one more presentation left and then we have the whole day to bum around.

I'm trying to get a tan, but my body is rejecting it.