Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Donkey Kong and Bears...

A week ago, Jeannie, Brett and I met up with our good friends Molly, Louie and Brian to watch the best movie I've seen all year.
The movie was a documentary called King of Kong.

If you haven't seen it, please go out and see it. It's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! Watch the preview here. You should see it in a theater if you can.

The next evening, Jeannie and I went to the Bears game. It was Jeannie's first pro football game and she loved, loved, loved it. We had great seats. We were in the lower level, 15 rows from the field. We were right at the 40 yard line so we could see all the action. It was great.

I can't even tell you how happy I am that football has started again.I'm happy about the Cubs and baseball, but I feel like the Cubs are eventually and inevitably going to let me down. I love the Cubs, but they're driving me crazy this year. They should be 15 games above .500.

The Bears however, will not let me down. I might be a little overconfident, but I think they're going to plow down the rest of the NFL this year.

It's going to be a very good football year.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Let's deal with Tuesday before I address last evening's storm.

On Tuesday as I walked home, I wandered across this spectacle on the corner of Racine and Addison. The owners of the cars sat on the curb and told the police they had no idea how the cars ended up that way. Looking at the vehicles, there wasn't any damage to either car. One car was simply on top of the other, as if someone had lowered it there.


As I made my way to Southport, I noticed another odd sight. The Music Box Theater was premiering R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" series. Later in the evening as I walked toward Brett's house to play poker, I stopped to take a photos of the poster. To my surprise, when I turned around, R. Kelly was standing beside me smoking a cigar.

I crossed the street to take a picture.

As I crossed, so did he.

Because of that, this is the best photo I got of him.
You can tell he really does believe he can fly.


Last night, I was 3 blocks away from getting home before the storm hit. It's amazing how wet you can get simply walking 3 blocks.

By the time I got to my door, the electricity in the entire neighborhood had gone out. I got upstairs and even though the windows had all been shut, the rain had somehow managed to seep through and drench the carpet in all the rooms.

By 9am this morning, the power was still out. In fact, Com-Ed released a statement saying that it might be several days before some neighborhoods have power. Here's why there's a good chance our neighborhood is going to be without power for awhile.
If you look closely you'll see that the only thing holding up that tree is Com-Ed power lines and ComCast cable wires.


Monday, August 20, 2007


Jeannie, Brett and I traveled up to Toronto this past weekend to perform at the Toronto Improv Festival. It's Aphasia's 3rd appearance at the festival and it's my 5th time performing there. I've also visited a couple times to teach improv workshops and hang out with my good friend Kevin Patrick Robbins.

I love the festival and I love the town. Toronto is one of my favorite places in the world.
Here's a rundown of the trip:

On Friday, Jeannie and I flew into Buffalo and drove from there to Toronto. We met up with Brett who had driven there from Bar Harbor, Maine. We checked into our hotel, The Westin Castle Harbor. Next to the hotel was an old ship that had been turned into a fine dining restaurant. Unfortunately, the food wasn't as fine as we had hoped. In fact, it was just plain gross. And expensive!

Disappointed, we walked across the street and grabbed some snacks to tide us over until the show.

We did our show at the Antheneum Theater and it went pretty well. We got a nice response from the crowd, so we were pretty happy.

When we got back to our super-nice hotel (Thanks Priceline.com!!), Jeannie and Brett immediately ordered room service. My stomach was still upset from the awful boat food, so I didn't eat anything.

On Saturday it was a little tough to get Jeannie and Brett going. When Jeannie was little, she and her little brother used to play a game called "All my weight". Essentially, the rules of the game are pretty easy. Get on top of someone and put all your arms and legs in the air and yell out "All my weight!" Brett was the victim of the "All my weight" game. I'm not sure why he had pillows on top of his head.

After we were finally able to get going and get out of the hotel, we made our way to beautiful Woodbine Racetrack. We met up with our friend and horse enthusiast Curt Foxworth from the Basic Eight. Eventually Tres Chambers joined up with us as well. In between the horse races, Jeannie made her way out to the petting zoo and fed a miniature zebra.
Later in the evening, we went back to the Antheneum and did a second show for the TIF. We were very pleased with our second show as well. As usual, the Toronto audiences were exceptional and we loved the chance to perform in front of them.

On Sunday, Brett drove back to Chicago while Jeannie and I drove to Buffalo for our return flight. Before we crossed the border, we ventured over to one of the great Natural Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls. It's a sight to behold. After viewing the Falls from above...
...we boarded the Maid of the Mist. Which drove right up to the mouth of the Falls. It's quite an adventure to feel the pressure of the Falls pushing back at us. From above, this is what we looked like.
It was all pretty amazing.

Monday morning at 4am, Jeannie and I woke up and headed to airport to get on to a flight that would take us back to Chicago. We arrived back here in time to get to work.

It was a nice trip.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My sister Amy got married last week.I got to be in the wedding party and was able to give the toast. It was very cool.

I was very proud and happy for her and her new husband Nic.

Jacob walked down the aisle with Nic's sister Amber.

As much as Jeannie tried, Jacob wouldn't kiss or dance with her.

My mom stopped to pose with Jeannie and my Dad was able to converse with family friends Kay and Ollie Mandrel.The D.J. wore his best Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirt to the reception. Jeannie was very impressed. We were also impressed that he never managed to play a single song that was recorded after 1987.After the wedding, Jeannie, Jacob and I stopped at 7-11. We were the best dressed people in the convenience store.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Jeannie's brother Bud is only here for another few days so we did some Chicago "touristy" things.

In fact, they were things that I've actually never done.

We went to the top of the Sears Tower, bought some Garrett's "Mix Popcorn", saw the Bean and ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

Just for kicks, to get the full Chicago tourist experience, we hopped in a cab and asked him to pretend to get lost so he could overcharge us $20. We let a homeless person vomit on us. We bought an Onion from a street hustler. We attempted to get on the Brown Line and got on the Green Line instead. We ventured out to Navy Pier and wandered around for 2 hours to find something, anything remotely interesting at that stupid place. We paid $200 for a tiny hotel room. And, we bought Cub tickets from a scalper, even though there was no game on Tuesday.

Speaking of the Cubs, they are playing some real sucky baseball right now. Thankfully, the Brewers are worse. Even though the Cubs have lost 4 games in a row, they're only 1 game out of first place.

They may still be able to pull this thing off. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


A lot of catching up to do. Sports Action Team has kept me very, very, very, very busy.

I worked 14 hours a day 4 out of 5 days last week. It was unusual circumstances and it probably won't happen again. But, you know, it had to be done. It's slowed down quite a bit this week.

Today, I met Tyrus Thomas of the Bulls. That was cool. Last week I met Terry Steinbach of the Cleveland Browns. Yep. I've got a pretty awesome job.

...a few random things....

Last week was my most hated weekend of the year. It was the Southport Street Festival. I hate, hate, hate this stupid festival. Mainly, because it's right outside my window. If it was just a street festival, it wouldn't be that bad. But, it's not. From 10am to 11pm, there are concerts all day long. It's so loud that I can't watch TV. I can't talk on the phone. I can't even have conversations with people in my apartment. All I hear are bad cover bands playing bad, bad music. From 10am to 11pm, I heard "Jessie's Girl" 9 times, Van Halen's "Jump" 11 times and Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" every hour on the hour. Surprisingly, I also heard Bel Biv Davoe's "Poison" 3 times. Apparently, the Southport Street Festival is stuck in a time warp and no music recorded after 1991 is allowed to be played.

On Sunday, with Jeannie and I on the verge of a nervous breakdown from the music being blasted into my apartment, we voyaged out to Arlington Race Course.
I love that horse track. It's so beautiful. It was a perfect day. Jeannie and I each had horses that won 3 races. Brett, who amazingly enough managed to not be in any of the photos, hit it big with a couple of his horses. On one race, he won $148.
Deep Schwa's Tim Mason and his wife Erin joined us at the track. Erin's pregnant. On one race, they asked the baby to pick a horse and it kicked 6 times. They bet the 6 horse and won $85. Brett and I thought that it would be fitting for them to name their child after the horse.


Preachinupastorm Mason has a nice ring to it.