Thursday, January 28, 2010

Audition...

When I graduated from Lincoln College, my director's Mr. Dellinger and Mrs. Delillo presented all of us who had graduated with copies of Michael Shurtleff's book "Audition".

Tonight, on Facebook, I asked for recommendations of a movie to watch on Netflix and Al Samuels suggested "Audition".

This was not Michael Shurtleff's "Audition".

This was a crazy, nutso, Japanese horror film.

Holy smokes!

I wasn't prepared for it all. I had no idea what it was about and it scared the crap out of me.

I've seen my share of Japanese horror movies so I should have been ready for it. Most of them have been with Jason Chin who loves, loves, loves horror movies of all sorts, especially the Japanese ones.

It's 11:00 on Thursday and I finished watching the movie an hour ago. My heart is still racing.

I'm going to have to watch a couple episodes of South Park just to bring my heart rate back down.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Late night...

I have bee obsessed with the Conan/Leno/Letterman saga the past couple of weeks. I can't get enough of it. Every day I read Gawker to get the highlights from the previous night. If you haven't gone there, you should. They do an excellent job arranging all of the material.

I am, of course, Team Coco.

More so, I am Team Letterman. He's the best. The past couple weeks he's been on fire. He's elevated his war against Leno and it has been absolutely hilarious.

I despise Jay. Always have. I've never heard him say anything funny on TV.

Jimmy Kimmel has gotten into the mix lately and he's been brilliant. Last night he showed a video in the style of a Ken Burns documentary. It's awesome.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicago...

I'm in Chicago.

I've been here for a week.

I was only supposed to be here a couple days, but in a frantic search to find a sublet for February and March, I stumbled across one that was available the day I was leaving to go to Decatur.

I altered my plans and moved in 4 hours after seeing the apartment. Crazy.

I then spent a couple days moving some of my things out of my storage space into this new place. You know, important things like TV's and X-Box's and DVD players. I also moved my TIVO in, but this new place doesn't have cable.

In the middle of that I drove down and did the workshop and show at Lincoln.

Over the weekend I got situated, did some grocery shopping and watched football. I had to relearn how to grocery shop. I've been in several grocery stores in the past 2 years, but those visits were always to buy snacks or meals that were already prepared. It's been a long time since I had to go in and buy things that I was going to have to cook for myself.

While shopping I found this store Sweet & Swassy.

I didn't go in, but it looked hilarious. While I was there the Party Girls limo stopped off and dropped off several young girls for a Sweet & Sassy birthday party. Awesome.

Sunday night I got to perform with my old group Deep Schwa. It was great seeing and performing with Uhlir and Brian Jack and Brian Wilson and Danny Mora and of course, Brett. To our surprise Joe Canale showed up. If Nooch and Kevin Fleming had showed up, we would have had a boys Deep Schwa reunion. Hopefully, I'll get to perform with the Schwa girls Meagan and Colleen sometime soon.

Monday I went to Fogo de Chao with Brett, Jason, Adal, Cesar, Anthony and a few other friends. It was a large group of us and a lot of meat was eaten.
The past couple days I have been relaxing. Since we got off the ship I haven't been in any one place longer than 21 consecutive days. For awhile there, I was moving every 3 to six days. I went from Hawaii to San Antonio to Decatur to Chicago to San Antonio to Dallas to Austin to San Antonio to Chicago.

My time at all those places were wonderful. I especially enjoyed my time in Texas with Jeannie's family. It's nice though to be back in Chicago and to be on my own. The only thing missing is Jeannie, but she'll be here in a few weeks. Once she's back, everything will be back in place.

Then, of course, once we get completely settled in, it'll be time to go back to Hawaii.

***

Here's how I have been relaxing:

Rance recommended this game to me when we were both on the ship.

I started playing it on Monday.
It's terrifying!
Man o man it has scared the crap out of me on several occasions. I made the mistake of playing it late last night in my dark, dark apartment. Right as I was being attacked by one of the monsters in the game, my phone rang. My phone was in my pocket so it vibrated against my leg. I almost jumped out of the window!

Also, I watched The Deer Hunter for the first time.
I've tried to watch this movie a couple of times, but could never get into it. It's supposed to be a movie about Viet Nam, but the first hour takes place in a Pennsylvania town. I didn't get it.

Well, I forced myself to keep watching. I wanted to figure out why people love this movie so much and I wanted to see if they ever got to Viet Nam.

They got there.

Lordy, they got there. That is an intense movie. I wish I'd been more patient the first few times I had watched it. Great movie. A really beautiful film.

I also watched The Merry Gentleman.

I heard about this movie on Ruby Streak's podcast. It's filmed in Chicago and stars Michael Keaton and lots of people from Chicago. I enjoyed it greatly.
****

So, I guess what I'm saying is, I'm back in Chicago. Let's have lunch.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Aphasia tour continues…

I taught a workshop at my old stompin' grounds, Lincoln College, on Friday.

Since Jeannie couldn't go, we asked Adal and Jason to go with Brett and I. ( It took 2 guys to replace 1 Jeannie!)

We drove down and stopped to eat at one of my favorite places to eat in Central Illinois, Avanti's in Bloomington.

















They have fantastic bread there.

From there, we drove to Lincoln. We ended up being 2 hours early so we went to the bowling alley and rolled some games.





Adal won one game. Brett won the other. I finished last in both games. Jason didn't play. He had swamp foot.

After bowling I went to Lincoln College and taught a workshop.

It went really well. I worked with them last year and they seemed to have improved since then. There were around 20 people in the workshop and I really had a great time working with them.

Their director, Chris Grey is doing a nice job with them.

While I taught the workshop, the guys drove around town killing time. Brett played the claw game and won this Hannah Montana rubber ball.






After the workshop, the LC improv group did a short set and then we did our show.












This last photo was taken seconds before Adal fell off the chair and bruised his tailbone.. Brett meanwhile got his leg caught in his chair and couldn't get it out. He had to do the next scene walking around with his leg inside the chair.

After the show I stuck around and talked to my old director from LC., Jerry Dellinger. I haven't seen him in awhile so it was nice catching up with him.

While I did that, the other huys posed with Lincoln's head.









When I was finished talking with Jerry, we hopped in the car and we drove back to Chicago. We stopped in Bloomington again to eat dinner. This time though, we ate at Steak and Shake.





This Steak and Shake is a very special one though. It's the Steak and Shake where Gina Nicewonger worked when she was in high school.






On the drive back we gossiped and laughed and played car games. We also had a very philosopical discussion about Battlestar Galactica and God and the recent late night talk show wars.

We got back in Chicago a little before midnight. It was a fun and succesful day.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, January 11, 2010

Updates...

I'm leaving Texas tomorrow. I'll be back in Illinois tomorrow. I'm going to Decatur for a week or two before returning to Chicago for the rest of the Winter.

I'm thinking about doing an improv workshop. If I can't get enough people to sign up, I'll do it. I'd really like to teach during the break, but I'm not sure if people have time, money or interest to do a 6 or 8 week workshop in the middle of winter.

Here's a couple of updates:

I won my Fantasy Football league. It was a two week championship. When the final week began, I was down my 29 points. Somehow, I pulled an upset and ended up winning by 8 points. Thank you Jay Cutler and Sidney Rice.
CONGRATULATIONS
2009 League Champion!
League Champion
History (1)
'5'5'5'5'5
Awarded to the champion of the league each season.

Championship Trophy">
Champ
Team Griggs
Owner(s): Jeff Griggs

Jeannie and I finished Battlestar Galactica. I'm Cyloned out.
BattleStar.2.28.06a.jpg

Jeannie's brother Bud showed me these YouTubes. They both involve rope swings.


This is one of the dumbest stories I've ever read. There is no way it's real. This has to be propaganda that was created by the movie studio. I didn't want to kill myself after I saw Avator. I wanted to kill myself while watching because I didn't think it would ever get over.

Mark McGwire admitted using steroids. No kidding! I still know lots of Cardinal fans who steadfastly argue that McGwire was clean all those years. I'm glad he finally fessed up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Battlestar...

Alright, let's deal with this Battlestar thing.
At the urging of several friends like Curt Foxworth and Matt Hovde, Jeannie and I finally relented and began watching Battlestar Galactica.

Let me start off by saying, Jeannie and I don't really like Sci-fi. We don't really like it at all. The original Star Wars trilogy is the only Science Fiction I've ever liked. We usually like quirky comedies (Extra's, British Office, Arrested Development) or high concept drama's (The Wire, Dexter, Big Love, Mad Men).

So, Battlestar Galactica was a tough sell for us.

In fact, it didn't "take" the first couple of times we watched it. By that, I mean we watched the first miniseries episodes and then had no interest in watching anymore. A few months later while we were on the ship we tried again. We watched one episode and Jeannie fell asleep twenty minutes in.

I figured after that we'd never try again.

However, late at night on a cruise ship, you get desperate for entertainment. We decided to give it one last try. (Also, Jeannie was tired, but couldn't fall asleep so she thought putting in a Battlestar episode would knock her out.)

To our surprise, Jeannie really began to like the character named Starbuck. I'm pretty sure that initially she liked her because she liked the idea of a character named after a coffee chain, but she also liked her because Starbuck was a tough bad ass.

We watched the first season and I figured we were done. Jeannie however, really wanted to know what happened with Starbuck and the Admiral's son Apollo, so we forged on.

Once we finished season 2, it became a vendetta. We were going to finish what we started.

Several months later, we're finally almost done. We have 8 episodes left in season 4.5.

Oh yeah, this show doesn't just have regular seasons. They also have .5 seasons. You think you're done with season 2, but then you go to download episodes and you discover you can't move on to season 3 until you watch season 2.5!

Seasons are also 22 episodes long. Which is great, you know, if you're a hardcore fan.

We're used to shows we like only being 12 to 14 episodes long.

Last night we watched 5 episodes. Today, I'm hoping we can bang out another 4 or 5. If we do the same tomorrow, we'll be finished in time to watch "The Plan", which is a 2 hour Battlestar movie.

It has been quite an undertaking. More than we thought it would be.

I will say, I've enjoyed the show. I am by no means a huge fan, but it has been entertaining.

There are characters I like...

Characters that annoy the crap out of me...

Characters I'm glad are dead.

The XO is hilarious. Every other episode someone punches him in the face. He's second in command on the ship and everyone's hitting him. It's great. Also, during season 4, anytime anyone says the word "Cylon", he's always in the background. His lone eye opens ridiculously wide and he looks around to see if anyone else heard the word "Cylon". Great.

Lee's boring. And, he's a whiner.

Kat was the worst actress I've ever seen. For everyone who hasn't seen the show, I'm sorry if I've ruined a plot line for you by revealing that Kat dies. But rejoice in the fact that you now know that you won't have to deal with her for two long. She thankfully dies a terrible death.

All in all, I'm glad we watched it.

It won't go down as one of my favorite shows, but I enjoyed it.

Jeannie on the other hand, really liked it.

How much does she like it?

Here is her impression of "the hybrid".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold front…

We're getting prepared for Chicago.

Since we haven't been in a Chicago winter for the past 2 years, Jeannie needs a new winter coat.

As you can imagine there's not a lot of places to buy a decent heavy duty Chicago ready winter coat.

The best place we could find was Burlington Coat Factory.

Problemis, There's a cold front sweeping into south Texas. It's supposed to get down to 30 degrees here in San Antonio tonight.

Everybody down here is pretty nervous.

Thus, there were hardly any coats at the Burlingto Coat Factory.


Jeannie managed to find a couple that were tucked away.


You'll have to see her in Chicago to see which one she picked.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years...

I wanted to enter the New Year fresh, so I went to get a haircut Thursday afternoon.

Jeannie found a sports oriented place where I could watch ESPN while getting my hair cut.


It was pretty cool. They even had stadium seats for people while they were waiting.


It was fun. However, the lady cutting my hair still chatted incessantly while I was trying to watch the Navy/Missouri game.

Later that night Jeannie and I cooked a special meal for New Years. She found a recipe for Cajun Chicken and we spent the evening cooking it.


Does it look spicy?

It was!

It was also delicious.


Today, we're on our way to find some place for me to watch the Bears game.

It's going to be tough. There are 9 early games this afternoon and most of the area places are going to be showing the Houston or GB games.

Wish me luck.

Also, I'm playing for my Fantasy Football championship today. I need Cutler and Forte each to score 3 touchdowns.

Not just because of Fantasy Football, but because I'm going to lose my mind if the Bears lose to the Lions.

-- Post From My iPhone