Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shave Ice...


The Shave Ice place that I go to has closed down.

We went to another place, but it wasn't as good.

Don't get me wrong, it was still good, but not as great as the old one. John liked it though.

On Sunday we went to a Japanese garden in Hilo.

It was very serene.

Saturday, we were in Honolulu. Jeannie and Megan took a ballet class. In the parking lot of Menchie's they showed us some of their dance moves.

You'll notice I'm working backwards here. Friday was our last day on the ship with Matt and Nate. We got lots of great pictures when we went by the Napali Coast.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, April 23, 2010

First week down...

We're almost done with our first week.

Today, we have a workshop, a production meeting, a podcast to record and an improv show.

Yesterday, we had an early morning rehearsal. Jeannie, Brett and Megan stood in the window bays and waited to do scenes.

We then went to Starbucks to do some Internet wher Megan made a new friend.

We went to the beach for a couple of hours where I listened on my iPhone as the Cubs lost yet another game.

We then had a cast dinner at our favorite restaurant Mariachi's. Our director, Matt Craig had the Super Burrito.

Tomorrow Matt and Nate leave and we're on our own for the next 4 months. It'll be sad to see them go.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


We've been very busy since we got back on the ship.

Besides rehearsing, we also got stuck taking a Coast Guard refresher test. We've only left the ship twice since we boarded.

Even with our very busy schedule, I'm very happy to be back on this ship. It's very casual and comfortable. It feels like I took 4 months of vacation and now am back at home/work.

Our mainstage show is tonight so we have a big day of dress rehearsals to make sure we're ready.

Next week we'll get out to show our new castmates Megan and John more of Hawaii.

For now, here are some pictures of this past week.

We got to sit down and have some drinks with Rance, Deanna and Mike from the previous Second City cast.

We went up to Haleakala to see the sunset.

John and Megan are not married to each other, but everyone on the ship thinks they are. It's probably pictures like the one Jeannie's taking of them that gives everyone the impression that they are in love.

Waiting for the sun to set.

The sun setting over Maui.

After a dramatic night of watching sunsets on the top of dormant volcanoes, the natural nthing to do is to play skee ball.

Nate was the big winner.

Actually, he was the only one who played.

Once we get the show on it's feet tonight, we'll have more time to relax.

Really though, it's good to be back.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, April 17, 2010

1 day left...

I got up early and trekked over to our storage space. I dropped off al suitcase with all my Chicago winter clothes and picked up my suitcase of Hawaiian summer clothes.

Jeannie and I jumped on a train and headed down to see our old friend, the producer of Sports Action Team, Mike Schmiedeler.

We had a great lunch with him and then headed over to see our castmate from the Dawn cruise ship Tim Paul.

It's been a year since we've seen Tim. He was on the Pearl and the Gem cruise ships while we were on the Pride.

We had a short, but quick and funny visit with Tim. He's living in a crazy apartment that's decorated like a wild medieval castle.

We then took the bus to Best Buy to buy some DVD's for Jeannie to watch on tomorrow's 9 1/2 plane ride. We then rushed over to Kinko's and the bank before heading home so Jeannie could meet up with her friend Anne to work on a final project before we left.

I'm over explaining our day to show how packed our schedule was. Even the Best Buy trip was scheduled in there. We had allocated a specific amount of time for Jeannie's DVD shopping.

We then went over to Flat Top Grill to have dinner with Guillermo, Alan, Anne, Brian and Nicole.

We laughe a lot during dinner. I'm going to miss these guys and all of our friends in Chicago. The past 3 months here have been stellar.

I came home and immediately began packing.

It's 1:30am and I'm waiting for clothes to dry so I can pack them up.

Tomorrow I'm flying to the other side of the world. I'll be there for 4 months.

Feel free to come and visit.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crazy Thursday...

As I've mentioned before, this week is crazy.

There are so many "last" things we have to do.

Late last night was our last chance to play Battlestar Galactica, the board game.

Matt Hovde, Adal, Louie, Molly Hall, Jeannie and I sprawled out across the table and played a solid 5 hour round of the game.  The Cylons won.  Boo.

This morning, Jeannie, Brett and I went to our "last" Cubs game.  When we get off the ship in August, we will hopefully get a chance to see a couple more games, but this was the last one I was going to see "live" in awhile.

It was a beautiful day and we had awesome seats.  We were right next to the bullpen.

Sadly, the pitches Zambrano threw during his warm up were the best ones he threw all day.  The Cubs lost 8 to 6.

After the game, Jeannie and I managed to join the chaos of the exiting crowds of Wrigley, and hoped on a bus to Andersonville.  Our destination was the infamous/famous Great Lake Pizza.

If you listen to our podcast, you've heard us talk about Great Lake Pizza.  It's the place that GQ Magazine named as having the best pizza in the United States.  It is however run by an owner who is extremely particular with how his pizza is cooked and prepared.  The ingredients are extremely fresh and the dough is precisely made.

Because of all of this, people have reported waiting up to 3 hours to be served their pizza.

Knowing this, Jeannie, Adal, our friend Julia Weiss and I arrived their early so we could get in as soon as the doors opened.   We weren't alone with that plan.

We got there at 4:45 and there was already a line.

Oh yeah, another thing about the place.  It's opening and closing times are not consistent.  Sometimes they're open at 5:00, sometimes at 5:30.  Sometimes they don't open at all.  That was a big complaint about the place.  No one knew when they were open.

Now, they have a sign on the door which displays what days and times they are open.

We were there thinking they would be open at 5:30, but the times have changed.  The sign announced the place now opens at 5:00.

Let me say now that these are all reasons as to why Brett did not accompany us to this restaurant.  All the stories from this place anger him and he refuses to step through the doors.

We however, stepped through the doors promptly at 5:00 pm.  We immediately looked to the board to see what pizzas were being served today.  There are only 3 to choose from.  If you don't like those three, you're out of luck.

If you're a picky eater, you're also out of luck.  This is not your normal sausage or pepperoni pizza place.  These are the 3 pizzas that were being served today.

We were the fourth group in line.  Luckily, the first group was ordering take out, which was a great relief.  It meant we would be able to sit down immediately.  That's a great concern in this place because there are only 12 seats in the entire restaurant!  It is tiny, tiny, tiny.

We ordered our food and waited patiently for it to arrive.  It was brought to us within 50 minutes.

I have to say, that's much quicker than I expected.  I've waited longer for Deep Dish at Giordano's or Jeno's.  50 minutes is downright speedy!

We ate our pizza and it was delicious.  You can tell that the ingredients are extremely fresh.  I could taste every spice, every onion, every mushroom, every garnish, every ingredient.  They didn't blend together.  They were prepared so that with each bite, I tasted everything individually.  The crust is the important part and it's very salty and very good.

We ordered 2 different kinds so we could get a variety of tastes.

It was all very good.

Was it the best I've ever eaten.  You'll have to listen to the podcast next week to find out.  I'm sure it will be out by Monday.

After dinner we headed back to our neighborhood and met up with Brett, Matt Hovde and Jeannie's friend Becca.

To complete our very busy Thursday, we went to The Metro Concert Hall around the corner of our apartment to watch The Air Guitar Regional Championships of Chicago.

Several months ago I watched a brilliant movie called "Air Guitar Nation".  If you haven't seen it, you should.  It's excellent.

Tonight was the Chicago championships for the Air Guitar contest.  It was hilarious and ridiculous and fun.

If you saw the movie, you would recognize the host of the nights event...

It's Bjorn to Rock!  He was the guy who kept finishing in second place to C Diddy, the greatest Air Guitar player in the history of the world.

The night was hilarious and fun.  The greatest part came when a guy jumped into the audience to crowd surf and everyone jumped out of his way and he crashed to the ground, hard.

At midnight we finally poured out of the theater and headed home to our corporate apartment.

It's been a crazy, long day.

Tomorrow is going to be just as crazy.   

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Jeannie and I travelled downstate yesterday to visit my family one final time before we fly off to Hawaii.

Last night we had dinner and birthday cake with everyone.

Today, my mom drove us to Springfield to the Amtrak train.

Our train didn't leave until late afternoon so we stopped off to see the Abe Lincoln house. Jeannie had never seen it so we figured it would be a nice way to waste time while we waited for the train.

Imagine our surprise when we looked at our tickets and noticed this.

A pretty poignant day.

We enjoyed the tour greatly.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Opening Day

Yesterday was one of those glorious days.

We went to Opening Day at Wrigley!
Jeannie got us tickets on a rooftop for my birthday!

That's a pretty big deal for me.  I've never been to Opening Day and I've never sat on a rooftop to watch a game.
The weather was close to perfect for an April day.
The view was excellent.
Brett came with us.
Part of the rooftop package was unlimited food and drinks.  The drinks were wasted on us because none of the three of us drink alcohol, but we threw back several diet cokes and bottled waters.

The best, and most important, part was that the Cubs won.

Great day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Our good friend Adal and his very cool roommates had a BBQ yesterday. They graciously dedicated it as a "Goodbye to Jeff, Brett and Jeannie" BBQ.

It couldn't have been a more perfect day!

Warm weather, sunny skies and great friends.

Molly and Louie were there.

So were Mel and Amy.

Bess, John Forsyth and other friends were there too.

Jason Chin was there and positioned himself at odd places throughout the party.

Brett handled the grilling, but was carefully monitered by Adal and Julia.

There was a lot of great, interesting food put on that grill. I'm used to just having hot dogs and hamburgers. They had brisket, pork loin, many different kinds of brats and sausages and a TurDucKin Dog.

After Jeannie tasted the TurDucKin, she gave Adal a great big hug.

Danny Mora brought his famous dip. Mel Evans made a spectacular cherry pie with a pistachio and oatmeal crust. Lindsay Williams also made some very tasty cupcakes.

At one point there were 80 people at the party. I probably only knew half of them.

It was nice getting to meet the ones I didn't know.

What a great time!

-- Post From My iPhone