Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Everything was white. I didn't realize until I got outside that it hadn't snowed at all. It was just really, really, really cold.
I always forget that when it gets this cold the normally black streets and gray sidewalks turn white.
Even the cars turn white.
It's 22 degrees, but the windchill makes it feel like it's 9 degrees.
As cold as this is, it's going to get worse. CNN's weather forecast for this weekend looks like this:
Friday HI 14°F LO 4°F
Saturday HI 12°F LO -2°F
Sunday HI 12°F LO 2°F
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Chicago (ORD)Depart 6:00 pm Terminal 2 to Detroit (DTW)Arrive 8:21 pm
237 mi(381 km)Duration: 1hr 21mn
NW Flight: 1250
Detroit (DTW)Depart 9:03 pm to Miami (MIA)Arrive 11:54 pm
1,154 mi(1,857 km)Duration: 2hr 51mn
NW Flight: 993
Total distance: 1,391 mi (2,239 km)
Total duration: 4hr 12mn (4hr 54mn with connections)
Traveling to Chicago
Miami (MIA)Depart 10:55 pm to Orlando (MCO)Arrive 11:55 pm
201 mi(323 km)Duration: 1hr 0mn
AA Flight: 2188
Orlando (MCO)Depart 6:20 am to Memphis (MEM)Arrive 7:32 am
679 mi(1,093 km)Duration: 2hr 12mn
NW Flight: 957
Memphis (MEM)Depart 8:30 am to Chicago (ORD)Arrive 10:13 am Terminal 2
487 mi(784 km)Duration: 1hr 43mn
NW Flight: 936
Also, tickets for the game are going for $6000 a seat.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
A swift and accessible entertainment, blunt in its power and exquisite in its effects.
Pan's Labyrinth artfully fuses a war film with a family melodrama and a fairy tale.
Del Toro never coddles the audience. He means us to leave Pan's Labyrinth shaken to our souls. He succeeds.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
At some point, every local we've run into has used the phrase "fixin'ta".
And, they always use it as a verb.
For example, "If ya'll want some more food, we're fixin'ta tear down the breakfast buffet."
"We're gonna leave a little late this afternoon because the baggage crew is fixin'ta put everyone's bags on the plane.
And more puzzling than all of these was when the maid told me: "I'm fixin'ta get ready to fixin'ta get you some fresh towels."
I thought I'd had it figured out until she said that.
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so I had to take these pictures with my phone. I couldn't zoom in very well. If you squint, you can see Tim deboarding his plane.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
We flew from Indianapolis to Charlotte, NC to the Tri-City Airport of Tennessee. Very confusing.
I hate flying connecting flights, but when we go to these remote areas we always have to stop over somewhere. If I had my choice, I'd always have my connection be in Charlotte. Of all the airports I've been in, it's one of my favorites. Why?
I love those rocking chairs. I sit in them for hours. I slurp on my Berry-Lime Sublime Jamba Juice and watch the planes come in. Oh yeah, they have a Jamba Juice there too. You can't beat that.
Tonight, Carla and I went to Damon's steakhouse and played the electronic trivia game. She killed everyone in the whole restaurant. It was pretty impressive.
I'm still limping along with this silly cold.
My ears are still clogged from last weeks trip to Rochester. While I was checking out of the hotel this morning I thought they opened up. I opened up my mouth to ask the lady at the front desk a question and my left ear popped for the first time in a week.
It was so loud, I ducked.
I thought something had exploded next to my head.
However, my ears remained clogged. I hope they open up soon. It would be nice to hear things again.
Monday, January 22, 2007
So, during the game yesterday, the announcers talked about Bears Safety Mike Brown and Defensive Tackle Tommie Harris. When they zoomed in on Mike Brown, he was going to town with a tube of chapstick.
I copied the video to my computer so everyone could see just how much Mike Brown LOVES chapstick.
His injury has to be chapstick related.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Hopefully, the bad weather will help slow down that Saints fast flying offense. Go Bears!
She even made cupcakes!I'm very pleased with how well these readings have been going. It's a great group of people and the reaction from the audiences has been great.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
We were very worried that doing these trips in January would be problematic because of the weather, but we escaped with minimal delays.
Unfortunately, I was not able to fight off Brett's sickness germs. I succumbed. Yesterday we picked up some Zicam at Eckards drugstore. It cured of us our flu symptoms, but did a number on our digestive systems.
Both Brett and I ended up with severe, I'm talking SEVERE, indigestion and heartburn. I woke up at 4:44am and never got back to sleep. I was hurtin'. Still am.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
....but, we did all of our traveling last night. So, we got to relax today.
We're near the Finger Lakes, so we're in a beautiful area. So, we decided to take advantage of it and went to another movie. We saw "The Good Shepherd".
Afterward we met up with our boss, Lisa, and had dinner at a restaurant by the canal.
While we were in the Minneapolis airport we ran across this vending machine:It's vending machine for Ipod products! You can actually buy a Mini, Shuffle or regular Ipod out of this silly machine. We stood around and stared at this freaking thing for a long time. They had everything in there. It was so cool. I'll have to say, nobody does a better job marketing their products than Apple.
I'm watching "Inside the NFL" on HBO. Earlier, I watched a football highlight program on the YES network (New York channel). I watched a similar program on ESPN. Almost 95% of the analysts are predicting that the Saints will beat the Bears.
Well, the only thing I have to say to all of these analysts is "Keep it coming!" Keep massaging the egos of the Saints and their fans. Keep overestimating New Orleans and ripping on Chicago.
We'll see what happens. Oh yes, we'll see.
Bears 34 Saints 17
Reggie Bush will fumble twice. Urlacher will force a fumble or interception for a touchdown.
Oh yes, we'll see.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Our meeting took place on the top floor of the tallest building of Minneapolis. Here's the view:
Does that look cold or what?
We finished our portion of the meeting by 11:00am, but unfortunately the only direct flight to Rochester, New York wasn't until 6:45.
So, we had a little over 5 hours to waste before we had to get to the airport.
If you've got 5 hours to waste and you're in Minneapolis, there's only one place to go.....
We toyed with the idea of going on one of the roller coasters, but went to see a movie instead.
My writing class gave me a gift card from AMC Theaters for Christmas, so I was able to use it to pay for the $6 admission charge. Yep. $6! I couldn't believe it. I can't remember the last time I only had to pay $6 for a movie.
The only movie we could see was "Night at the Museum". It was not a great or even good movie by any stretch of the words, but it was very enjoyable. Mickey Rooney was killing me. Every time that little munchkin opened his mouth, I died laughing. Owen Wilson was funny too.
We arrived in Rochester and landed smackdab in the middle of a snowstorm. I can't believe our plane actually landed in this. It took us 45 minutes to drive 18 miles to our hotel. It's a mess. The rest of our party is supposed to arrive tomorrow.
I fear they may not make it.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I travel to Minneapolis four or five times a year. Whether it's coming from, or going to, I am delayed every time. Every time!
We were supposed to depart at 2:30, but we didn't leave O'Hare until 5:30. We had 4 gate changes! We went from H10 to K8 to K18 to K1. We were all like gypsies traveling from gate to gate with all our belongings.
But, it's the winter, you know. So I expect those kinds of delays. To be honest, I'm usually more surprised when we leave on time. I never expect that.
Brett is traveling with me and he's a little bit under the weather. Last week Carla was pretty sick and I was able to to fight off any of the germs she tried to infect me with. Hopefully I'll be just as strong against Brett's currupt bacteria.
He's doing his best to combat his illness by downing lots of Dayquill, Sprite and Cinnabons.
Minneapolis is cold. It's about 8 degrees.
The hotel is great. It's really, really nice. It's the Marquette Hilton. I like the hallway.
The Bears pulled one out. We can all relax...for 6 more days. New Orleans will be tough. Very tough.
During yesterdays game I ate a 6 inch mini pizza, a bag of baked lays doritos, two apples, a cup of yogurt, a two liter of diet coke and 4 liters of water!
I might be a bit of a stress eater.
I'm on my way to the airport.
I have a feeling I might be at the airport for awhile.
Friday, January 12, 2007
I'm back in Chicago after two days in Detroit. The presentations that Brett, Carla and I were responsible for went very well.
It was odd walking around the Detroit airport. The last time I was there was in August of 2003. I remember it very vividly because I was on my way to the Toronto Improv Festival and got caught in the Blackout of 2003. That was the blackout that knocked out power in Detroit, Toronto, New York and dozens of other cities along the east coast.
On that hot August day, I spent 30 hours in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport trying to get a flight to Toronto. It was a very memorable and exhausting experience.
As Brett, Carla and I walked through the airport, I pointed out the different landmarks of my 30 hour nightmare. It was odd.
Tonight is the second installment of Project Writing Reader's Theater. It should be lots of fun. Curt Foxworth has written a very fun, campy script called E. Here's the rest of the info:
Discovered by a sinister talent agent at a high school production of Damn Yankees, Emily Macintosh is thrust onto the fast track to super-stardom. She becomes a successful pop singer, actress and model/spokesperson, everything she's ever dreamed of.
Her "bohemian" drama student brother, Stephen initially scofs at her success but is powerlesss to resist the ease and charm of her new life, when a chance to have the same is offered to him.
Project Writing Reader's Theater
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
That's not surprising.
What is surprising is that I caught 4 Kings while playing Caribbean Stud Poker and won $900.00.
How did we celebrate? Burger King drive thru at Midnight. It was the only thing open!
You can see Brett perform twice every Sunday night with me at IO. At 8:00pm with Deep Schwa. And, at 10:15 with Aphasia.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Monday, January 8, 2007
It's been sunny the last three days in a row. A minor miracle.
The screenplay reading on Friday went great!
Everybody had fun and we had a nice reaction.
In the past few weeks I've been trying to sell my Xbox on Ebay. I got a message from someone named farrahp2001 who wanted to buy the item immediately. I agreed to the terms and boxed up the Xbox.
However, farrahp2001 didn't click the buy it now button. farahp2001 explained to me that their computer didn't work correctly and it was impossible for them to use any of the functions and buttons on Ebay.
I will like to buy the item from you and am ready to pay the amount of $240 for the item and i will handle the shipping with my fedex account. If you are okay with my offer kindly end the bidding for me and email me back with your full name and address where you want the money order to be posted pls include your email address too,so that i can go for the payment via western union money order.
I was very hesitant about the situation, but decided to give farrahp2001 the benefit of the doubt. I ended the auction and was immediately flooded with e-mails from Ebay telling me that I had violated the rules by ending the auction early.
They also warned me that they'd been monitoring the account of farrahp2001 and it might be a scam account. Ya think?
So, I relisted the Xbox and decided to continue correspondence with my new friend farrahp2001.
Here are some of the exchanges we've had:
I have ended the auction. Once your money order has cleared I will send the Xbox, 17 games, headset and all other items to you. - Jeff
I will make the payment now and when i make the payment western union will email you the payment approval confirmation mail to notify you that the payment has been made and approved by them. And when you get the mail they will demand for the item shipment tracking number for the shipping verification and when you give it to them and they verify the shipment they wil release your money order to you in the next 24hrs which you can get it cleared the same day you receive it and they do all this forsecurity reasons because they are security outfit (works with the fbi and the ifcc)and also they are a win to win situation between the buyer and the seller.So i await your respond so that i can go ahead with the payment.serenaAnd for the shipping i will only forward you a fedex shipping label and invoice via email attachments and you will get it printed and pasted on the package and you will help me to drop off the package in any fedex office arround you that will cost you no amount of money
Wow. That's very elaborate. And, very surprising that you decided to put all that information into one paragraph. This all seemed very fishy, but your mention of the FBI has reassured me. I eagerly await your response. -Jeff
I will make the payment now so when you get the payment confirmation email from western union kindly email me back so that i can send you the fedex shipping label and invoice for the drop off of the item in any fedex office nearest to you.ThanksSERENA.
Sounds great. I hope you had a nice holiday. My girlfriend bought me a new Samsung Blackjack phone. Maybe I'll sell it to you. Ha, ha. Just joking. Did you get anything fun for Christmas?
When is this Western Union money order arriving?
Hello, Here with this mail is Attached the Shipping Label And The Way Bill Invoice...All you need to do is Download the Attachments and Print out 1 Copy Of The Shipping Label And 2 Copy Of The Way Bill Invoice And Tape them on The OUTSIDE of The PACKAGE. As soon as you do this you get the Package Dropped Off at any Fed Ex Self Service(Drop Off Location) Nearest to you and email western union customer care service email(firstname.lastname@example.org) with the Tracking number for verification that you have shipped. Kindly Get back to me as soon as you get through this, and dont forget you will not pay any dime when droping the package...note....do not go to FEDEX kinkos FOR DROP OFF..JUST GO TO LOCAL FEDEX DROP OFF.Serena.Nice doing business with you..
So, I noticed you didn't mention what you got for Christmas. I hope I didn't offend you by assuming you celebrated a christian holiday. So sorry. I would never want anything to jeopardize our business together. I do have a few questions though.
In your profile it says you are from Washington, Missouri. If you're from Washington, Missouri, why am I supposed to mail this product to Alagbado, Lagos, Africa?
Also, I called Western Union to verify the money order and they said the number was invalid?Any answers? -Jeff
According to my firstmail i have told you that i will be shipping the package to my store so i have a store in alagbado...The invalidity of the money is because you have not shiped the package, i promise immediately the package is shiped out your money will be delivered
Of course. That makes sense.
However, Western Union informed me that the numbers of the Western Union money order that you e-mailed me are completely false. They believe this is all a scam.
Please tell me this isn't a scam.
How about New Years? Did you do anything for New Years? - Jeff
I'm eagerly awaiting their response.
Friday, January 5, 2007
On the fifth day of January?
I'll take it.
I actually saw people walking around in shorts and a tank top. It's really not warm enough to be doing that, but it's pretty nice. It's not going to last long.
Tomorrow it's back to winter.
Something happened on Christmas Eve that I forgot about until I was reminded of it when we were leaving Milwaukee yesterday.
As I was running around from plane to train to automobiles, I stopped into a Walgreens to grab a soda. To my amazement, they were already taking down the Christmas decorations...
....replacing them with....
....VALENTINE'S DAY DECORATIONS!!!!!
Are you kidding me?!!?
Do we really need 51 days of preparation for Valentine's day?
We can't get through Christmas and New Years first?
On a different note, the writing class that I teach is starting their weekly showcase tonight.
Here's the info:
Project Writing Reader's Theater is a result of Jeff Griggs' Project Writing class. Each week a writer will showcase his or her completed screenplay in a Reader's Theater format. As a part of the scholastic intention of the class, immediately following the readings, the writers will participate in a question and answer session so audience members may ask questions or offer comments about the scripts.
Project Writing is an introductory class that focuses on large scale writing projects. The eight week course concentrates on students beginning a "project" and laying the groundwork that will enable them to complete their desired venture.
Tonights screenplay is
A young girl is following her Hollywood dreams, but a wedding brings her back to her hometown where she is forced to face the judgments and emotions of the people she left behind; the things she has been running from all along.
I'm very excited for this.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Monday, January 1, 2007
I want to to be one of those old guys with a sports story. I want to say, "New Years eve. The final hours of 2006. In the distance I could see the fireworks at Navy Pier (embellished image). The greatest quarterback in the history of the game rubbed his creaking shoulder one last time and headed toward the locker room. Just before he stepped his spikes onto the concrete floor that led to the bowels of Soldier Field, he turned and looked back at the grass turf that had been his battle ground for the past 16 years. As he scanned the field, he saw a dark solitary figure in the stands(Embellished image). (More embellishment upcoming) It was a Bears fan. Even though they had fought against each other for so many years, there was an unspoken respect between them. The old quarterback's eyes filled with tears. The Bears fan nodded. He understood. #4 smiled(End of embellishment). He turned and stepped off the field for the final time in his life. He never set foot on a football field again!
Seriously Brett Favre, don't be a jerk. Don't ruin this for me. If you're going to a baseball game and you have to walk across a football field to get to the baseball game, don't go to the baseball game!!!
Goodbye, 2006. You were great.