Saturday, March 31, 2007

Randomness

Baseball is here...

As I sit at my desk, I'm waiting to draft for my Fantasy Baseball team. I'm excited.

Oh, also...I'm still alive in my NCAA bracket. I never do well on those things. This season however, I'm in 3rd place. I picked all four final four teams, Ohio St., Georgetown, Florida and UCLA. If Ohio St. wins the whole thing, I win the prize.

Today, Jeannie and I are going to a play. She bought tickets for us for my birthday. We're going to see "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf" with Kathleen Turner. Should be very cool.

Last random note...

Jeannie's obsessed with this website:
http://www.coolest-homemade-costumes.com/home-made-costume.html#2005

Last night I had to pause the TV because she was laughing so hard.

Here are my favorites:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vidiocy

Vidiocy is a short film contest that Jason Chin and I produce.


We give people a title for a movie and then they have 25 days to film a 10 minute or less short film. Sometimes the results of that process are amazing and spectacular.


Sometimes not. Actually, the majority of the films are not terribly good. Which is sad. People work really hard on these things. Some people have gotten really, really mad at Jason and I when their movies weren't selected to go on to the semifinals.


It's just that....well....their movies aren't good.

I understand their pain and frustration. I'm not eligible to win any prizes or make it to the semifinals, but each Vidiocy I try to make a short film of my own. 2 of the movies I made are watchable. The others, I admit, are probably not very good.



This time around, I've worked very, very, very hard on my Vidiocy movie.

Jeannie's in this one. She plays a tough, Russian champion.


It's a silly, goofy movie, but I've tried hard to get it to the quality of a movie that I would put into the semifinals.


We'll see.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

That full house was brought to you by....

Our weekly poker game has a corporate sponsor!

We have been playing poker at least once a week for the past four years. A large "beverage" corporation is putting together some "in house" promotional materials and they need photos of "real guys" drinking their "beverage" while participating in "real guy" activities.

Hilarious.

At 9:00 am this morning a received a UPS package with poker chips, poker cards and various accoutrement's. They've also supplied us with bushels of food and "beverage".

Their "beverage" is a little strong for me, so I won't be partaking in it. The strongest thing I drink is Diet Dr. Pepper. However, I'm very excited about the free food and the corporate sponsorship.

If you know of any other corporations who want to sponsor us, please have them contact me.

We've just become the biggest and hottest poker game in town.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring..for real.

Oh my....

It is so very, very nice outside.

A few weeks ago my writing class gave me "Cubs Cash" to buy Cub tickets.

So, I walked over and snatched up some tickets for some April games.




At Basic Eight rehearsal yesterday I noticed Kara and some markings on the inside of her arm. I thought she had a new tattoo.

Nope. It's a bruise. How does someone manage to get a star shaped bruise?

That Kara. So trendy!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Squid update

They have decided to microwave that giant squid to defrost him.

My favorite part of the story is:
"O’Shea said it would make calamari rings the size of tractor tires if cut up — but they would taste like ammonia."
Why am I so facinated by this squid? It was the first thing I clicked when I opened my browser this morning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another day, another dinner

Yesterday, I went to Fogo de Chao with Brett, Jason, Padraic and Nathan Jansen. It's a fun place. Your meat is brought to you on swords. After having all our meat served to us on swords, we wanted to see people killed with swords so Brett and I went to see 300 at the movie theater. It's a silly, fun movie. For some reason, seeing all those swords slashing through the air made us very, very hungry.
The only way to see 300 is at the IMAX. It's amazing! We both ended up with migrane headache's after the film, but it was worth it.
In a few weeks, Spiderman 3 will be shown at the IMAX. I'm not a huge "superhero movie" fan, but seeing that at the IMAX will be pretty awesome.

I ended the day playing poker. The first hand I played, I flopped four 7's. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful for me. I played very few hands and only lost 2 showdowns. By the end of the evening, I was up $40. I'll take it!

It seemed like a kind of busy day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Last get together...

Last night Project Writing Reader's Theater had our last meeting so we could all give notes on NoEllen's script. Since it was our final get together and this group really loves to hang out, we had the meeting at Joey's Brickhouse. Joey's is a great place. The general manager of the place was in one of my improv classes that I taught at ImprovOlympic. I've only been there twice, but both times after the meal several people in my dinner party have exclaimed that Joey's is now there new favorite place. Great food. Amazing deserts. And, they have kareoke there on Thursday nights.

Wow. That last paragraph seemed like a commercial.

The meeting/dinner went very well and it was sad to see it all end.

Highlights of the evening:



  • Louie wrote a funny sketch about the class.
  • Tres dropped part of his food on the floor.
  • Jeannie gave everyone personalized cards and then had them read her favorite parts aloud.
  • Molly brought her script and everyone signed it.
  • Brian did an AMAZING Michael impression. Greg's impression of Brian was very funny.

It was a super-fun class. And, I was very proud of all of them. 11 out of 11 people in the class wrote complete feature length screenplays. Very impressive.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Survived the green monsters...

I'm going to say something that's not very popular. I hate St. Patrick's Day!


Well, that might be too severe. Let's just say, I hate the way it's celebrated here on the Northside of Chicago.

People started lining up at bars at 9am. Seriously!?! Why do you need to line up at an "Irish" bar at 9 in the morning. So, so, so, so, so, so dumb. What a lame life you lead if wake up early on Saturday morning so you can drink cheap, green, overpriced, stale beer.


By noon yesterday I saw my first "drunken frat boy fight of the day". Neither one of them connected on any of their swings. They just fell down and yelled at each other.


Two seconds later I saw my first "drunken girl throwing up in the alley" of the day. By the end of the day, that tally would go up dratically. I'd say I saw about 15 girls throwing up and countless numbers of girls crying and talking on their cell phones. All I could think of was, "Wow. Getting wasted on St. Patricks Day looks like so much fun!"


On a cheerier note, I worked all day yesterday on my Vidiocy movie. I'm not eligible to win any prizes, but I work really hard on my Vidiocy movies. They're so much fun. We spent a better part of the day at Navy Pier filming.


Here's one of the remnants of the day:
Also...


How cool is this mailbox. They redecorated several of the mailboxes around town for the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.
Somehow it makes me feel more confidant that my mail will get through if I put it into R2-D2's hatch.

Friday, March 16, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Eve

It's 3:00 and there are already lines outside the bars on my street. Crazy.

I really think St. Patrick's day is the only Holiday that people in Chicago care about. It's weird.

Their excitement must be tempered somewhat now that the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have been eliminated from the NCAA tournament. Hopefully the Illini will be able to pull one out tonight.

I went downtown and met Jeannie for lunch. I rarely go downtown, so it was a nice little adventure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Okay, this is Spring.

The weather returned to normal today. We went from Winter to Summer and now to Spring. Strange.

I ordered food for Jeannie and I to eat dinner last night and it took forever for me to get the restaurant. The sidewalks were crawling with people. It was like Chicagoans were let out of their cages. Everybody wanted to be outside last night.

Yesterday afternoon I wandered over to Century Cinema's and watched The Host, a Korean horror film. It was sooo goooood. Lots of monsters, lots of humor and lots of political statements. Of course, the Americans were responsible for all of their "Monster" problems, but what can you do? They're probably right.

So....
....here are some of the party pictures from Saturday night.







It was a very fun night. However, it felt like everywhere I went, I was being followed.
If you'd like to see more pictures from the party, they're here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring?

It went from Winter to Summer in 1 day.

Actually, it took a little longer, but it's astonishing how drastic the weather changes here in Chicago. Friday was 20 degrees. Today it's 78. How does that make sense?

I know, I know...the jetstream....blah, blah, blah....I know all about it. For a brief time I was a part-time weather man in central Illinois. That sounds, like a joke, but it's not.

This past Saturday we had a party for the Project Writing Reader's Theater. It was a "end of the show" celebration. A class that was supposed to be 8 weeks long, turned into 6 months. Out of 11 people in the class, all 11 of them wrote original screenplays. I think that's amazing.

The other amazing part about it is that all the scripts are pretty fantastic.

We have one last reading on Friday and the whole extravaganza will be over. It'll be sad. I'm very fond of all of them and it will be sad not seeing them 3 times a week.

I have pictures of last weeks party, but they're on Jeannie's phone. I'll post them later.

Enjoy your Summer everybody! I'm sure it'll be Winter again by the weekend.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Back in Chicago

As the title suggests, I'm back in Chicago.



Actually, I'm back in Chicago for awhile. I have 1 trip I'm planning for the second week of April, but aside from that, I don't have any travel that is work or improv related until April 21st.



I have a feeling that's going to change. We'll see.



I'm going to use this time to lose weight, finish my book and watch a lot of NCAA basketball.



On a completely different note...



Did you see this squid?
They caught it somewhere in New Zealand. It weighed 990 pounds and was 33 feet long. It's just like the one in 10,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea.



I'm fascinated by this stupid squid.





My last random subject of the day....

Do you want to play in a baseball fantasy league? I have 2. The first is a normal league that I started for Deep Schwa. We couldn't get the rest of the jerks to sign up, so please come play with us:

http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1

The league ID# 171836

Password: mikeclick



The other league, I'm very excited about, but I can't get anyone to join. It's all about picking the worst baseball players. You get penalized every time a player does well. It's perfect for people who know nothing about baseball or fantasy leagues. In fact, the less you know, the better you'll do. Please join:



http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1

League ID#: 175600

Password: cin

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mt. Vernon

I lived in Mt. Vernon for 2 years. It was during my 4th and 5th grade years.


Even though that was many, many years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I knew the exact directions to our old house.


That was the end of the pleasant feelings.


What happened to Mt. Vernon? I'm sure there are some areas that are pretty nice, but my old neighborhood has fallen on bad, bad times. Our old house looks in pretty bad shape.

It's a 3 bedroom house. Why do the current residents need so many cars? There are seven cars in the driveway.


It gets worse. Here's my old elementary school.

It's empty. They shut it down!









What's going on? It's the third school I attended that closed down after I left it.




That's our cafeteria. The chairs are still stacked up.



So strange.
I'm not very old. Things shouldn't change that much in so short of a time.
Look at the condition of the "ole' train station":
Actually, that looks exactly the same. In fact, it kind of looks a little better than I remembered it.


The most surprising for me is how few memories I have of this place. As I drove around in the rental car, there was very little I saw that sparked any sort of warm feeling. I mean, I was here for 2 years, I should remember something of the town, right?


In the entire town, all I remember is...
...the swimming pool where my sister Jenny and I used to go to during the summer.
....our church. I used to have to mow that lawn....the library.
...this donut shop. Why on earth do I remember this?


....and that's it. What a strange day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Rend Lake, Il.

I'm in the middle of nowhere. Where am I!


Actually, I know exactly where I am. I'm just outside Ina, Illinois. I'm 6 miles from Mt. Vernon, Il. where I lived for 2 short years of my life.


When I was in 4th and 5th grade my family lived in Mt. Vernon. My Dad used to take me fishing right here at Rend Lake. It's weird being back here.


I'm staying at the Rend Lake Resort where I happen to be 1 of 2 people staying in the entire hotel. That makes it even more weird.


I'm traveling alone on this trip. The rest of my co-workers will arrive tomorrow evening. I flew from KC to St. Louis and drove here to the resort. Along the way I stopped at our favorite Convenience store and bought a couple lottery tickets. I haven't checked the numbers yet, but I'm assuming I didn't win.




On a side note....As I landed at the St. Louis airport, I could see the Arch sitting there beside the Mississippi River. People from St. Louis always refer to the Arch as the gateway to the West. Well, I think if they're going to say that, they need to back it up. I'd like to propose that it be mandatory that anyone going West must pass through the Arch. Planes, trains, automobiles, horses, go-karts, boats.....whatever. They all have to go through there.



I'm just sayin'...

KC

One of Jeannie's friends, Sara, lives in Kansas City. I promised her that we'd visit the next time I stopped into town.

Brett and I crossed the Kansas/Missouri state line and met up with her at George Brett's restaraunt. She's very peppy, perky and fun. It turned into a 3 hour dinner as Sara regaled us with funny stories. She's great.I took some pictures, but unfortunately didn't turn on the flash. I did it intentionally, but it was a mistake. It was a little too dark.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Kansas City

I was surprised to discover that I received a free upgrade on my flight this morning. I flew First Class to Kansas City. It was nice. Very nice.


Brett's traveling with me on the first leg of this week's tour. He was a little sore that I was traveling in luxury.
We went to get our rental car and was surprised for the second time that day when we were given a Lincoln Towncar. It feels like we're retiree's driving through the retirement villages in Boca Raton.


We headed to our hotel and looked for some world famous KC BBQ. We didn't find it. However, we did discover....


Dick Clark's American Bandstand Restaurant.Look at the the paraphernalia they have.








How did they outbid the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for these items?




Sunday, March 4, 2007

Out of Texas

Well, we got out of Texas.

We left Saturday morning at 7:30am. We left the hotel at 6:ooam. I was tired, tired, tired.


Friday night, we wandered over to the theater district of Houston and watched a movie. To be specific, we saw Zodiac. It was pretty good. Not great.


I was severely jet-lagged. Also, at some point during the trip, I broke a tooth. It was one of my wisdom teeth, which need to be pulled anyway, but it was unsettling to have one break like that. It didn't hurt and there's no lingering pain, but I need to go to the dentist to have them look at it. I also need to look into getting the rest of my wisdom teeth yanked out of there.

It has given me a little bit of a headache and my tongue hurts a lot because I keep reaching it back to touch where the tooth broke off. Strange.
I made it back in time to meet up with the writing class to rehearse for next weeks reading.

There are only two reading's left. Brian Finley's is up next. It'll be fun.