Sunday, March 28, 2010

Horsies...

Brett and I went to Hawthorne Racetrack on Saturday.



I was happy that I got to use the binoculars that Jeannie's mom gave me a couple years ago for Christmas. They've come in handy a few times now, but they were really fantastic for watching the horses run around the track.

Both Brett and I did really well. I hit two Exacta's and picked winners in two races. So, I won in 4 out of the 7 races we bet on. That's the best I've ever done.

One of the Exacta's paid off really well because the winner had gone off at 8 to 1.

Brett had a horse hit really big. It was a 10 to 1 longshot and he hit the Superfecta and a Win/Place/Show. His 10 cent Superfecta bet won him $80.00.

Good times at the track.

Even if we hadn't won, it would have been a fun day. The weather was nice, the horses were majestic and it was fun reading the racing form and analyzing all the stats.

To be honest though, winning did make it better.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The neighborhood...

Jeannie and I have been exploring the neighborhood restaurants where my sublet is located.

On Friday we had dinner with Guillermo and Brett at the Neopolitan Pizzeria.





I got a spicy salami pizza that was awesome.


It looks like pepperoni, but it was salami. It was Neopolitan style so it was very saucy and the crust was a little bit "wet" in the center. Not too much. Just the right amount for a Neopolitan pie.

Today before Jeannie flew back to San Antonio we went to The Meatloaf Bakery.


It's a cool little place where they make meatloaf in the shape of cupcakes!

I got the buffalo chicken loaf with a blue cheese icing.



So, so good.

Jeannie got a turkey loaf with mashed potato icing and cranberry sauce, but I can't find the photo of her and her meat cupcake. If I find it, I'm put it up later.

Only 9 more days in the sublet and then we have a few days of wandering before we move into Second City temporary housing.

That means more new neighborhoods to explore!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taxes...


I started doing my taxes at 10am Friday morning and finished just a few minutes ago at 2:43am on Saturday.

Brutal. Just awful.

I hope I don't owe this year. If I don't, it will be the first time in 6 years that I don't owe.

I'm not optimistic. I discovered early this afternoon that my publisher had delayed payment on a check until Jan. 1st, 2009. I thought last year and this year that the check had been processed in 2008 and I hadn't received a 1099 for it. So, I included it in my payments for last year.

Nope!

They had done some shifty (shrewd?) manuevering and now it looks like I may be paying taxes on it twice.

Ugh.

Long, monotonous day.

I did have a break in the middle to have dinner and go see a play.

Dinner was at Smoque.


Lordy, it was delicious.

Best Texas style BBQ outside of Texas. It's even better than a lot of the Texas joints I've eaten in.





Jeannie had hers on bread. Mine was in piles on my plate.


So good.

Those little round, yellow cake looking items are cornbread and mac-n-cheese. The mac-n-cheese was some of the best I've ever had.

The brisket and pulled pork were pretty amazing too.

After dinner we walked down the road and watched a play that was put on by folks Jeannie went to college with.





One of Jeannie's professor's from UVA was in the show so it was nice to see him perform. He was great.

Afterward, we made the long trip back to Lincoln Park. We stopped at 7-11 and Jeannie was blown away by the Rice Crispy Treat they were selling.


We then returned from our break and immediately went back to work on our taxes.

Thank god they're done. I'm already dreading doing them next year.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Paddy's Day Run...

Jeannie and I didn't get signed up in time for The Shamrock Shuffle, so we did the St. Paddy's Day 5K Run.

The best part of doing this race was that the starting line was just two blocks from my apartment.

When Jeannie and I got to Diversey Harbor it was 42 degrees, a little cooler than it's been the past couple days that we've run outside.  I was cold and sluggish.

Jeannie was hyper and full of adrenaline.

She was super excited.  Super excited.

So excited that when the race started she burst past the starting line and blew past everyone.  I couldn't keep up with her.

I caught up with her and tried to keep up with her as she sped through the course.  We ran through Lincoln Park and finally settled into a pace that wasn't so fast.

We finished in just a little over 30 minutes.  Faster than we've ever run before.

Jeannie was triumphant and excited to be finished.

I was happy they gave us snacks!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Long St. Patrick's Day...

It's not really St. Patrick's Day, but Mayor Daley insists that we celebrate it anywhere from 7 to 30 days before the event actually takes place.

I'm sure, he'll eventually force us to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Eve on the Saturday before the events actually take place.

Anyway, Jeannie and I went downtown early this morning to watch the river be dyed green.
We got there early and found some great spots next to the water.


As we walked back I noticed I had dye all over me.  I'm not sure how it had splashed on me, but it was everywhere.

It was on the sidewalk and the stairs and everywhere.

We stopped on the Wabash Bridge to take pictures and a cop yelled at me that it was illegal to stop on a bridge to take pictures.

For good measure I took a couple extra.

We then went back to Lincoln Park and ate Corned Beef at Frances' Deli on Clark.

Later on we walked North to Wrigleyville.

Along the way we saw lots and lots and lots of drunk idiots.

Mind you, it was 4 in the afternoon and everyone was wasted.  The bars opened at 7am and most of the people had been drinking for 9 hours by the time we got there.

We walked by the dumbest place in the world, John Barleycorn.  It was a mess.

One girl even got in an argument with a cop and refused to move out of it's way.  The cop used his car to push her out into the middle of the street.

Crazy.

We got to McDonalds and waited for our friend Louie to show up.  Louie's 30th birthday was Thursday and his girlfriend Molly and Adal and a bunch of his friends were sending him all around the city to do 30 different birthday missions.

We were told to meet Louie at McDonalds at 5:30 and we would find out our mission there.

McDonalds was packed with people drinking to eat themselves sober.

While we waited for Louie, I had a Shamrock Shake.

Louie arrived and to my dismay, our mission was to each drink a Shamrock Shake with Louie.

So yep, I drank a second Shamrock Shake.

It was all so very tasty, but my stomach was churning.  Too much Shamrock Shake!

The other half of our mission was to meet a stranger and write a Limerick about him.

This was our stranger Gene.

He was drunk.

After sending Louie off to his next birthday challenge, we headed back home.

It was a long, but very, very fun pretend St. Patricks Day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BSG, The Game…

A couple of weeks ago at the DSI Festival, Renee Dequesnoy told us about The Battlestar Galactica board game.




It sounded like a lot of fun. Jeannie especially was excited about the possibility of getting to play the part of Starbuck in the game.

Jason Chin had a copy of the game, but he couldn't meet up with us to play last night.

Jeannie and I picked up the game and went over to Adal's house to play. We got there at 10pm.

That was a big mistake.

This is not a game that can be started that late at night. This is the type of game that you start playing at 12:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday. That's because you don't finish playing until Saturday Night Live comes on.

It's a long game.

How long?

Setting up the game and reading all 32 pages of the game instructions took 1 HOUR AND 45 MINUTES!!!




We didn't start playing until 11:45!

When we did start playing though, it was lots and lots of fun.




We were all suspicious that there were Cylons amongst us.

Jeannie was Starbuck.



Louie was Guiez.



Adal was The XO.



Hovde was Boomer.



Molly was Chief.



I was the Admiral.



It was hilarious and fun and a lot like the TV show.

We stopped playing at 2:30am, but we weren't even close to being finished.

In the middle of it all, we ate cupcakes, wished Louie Happy Birthday, watched Matt get sent to sick bay and the brig every turn, saw Louie's presidency get toppled on the second roll of the game and we all laughed and laughed a lot.

Fun times.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oscars...

Jeannie and I went and saw "Precious" this afternoon.  It was the only movie of the nominated films that I hadn't seen yet.

It was really good.  Very depressing, but very good.  It made me change my mind about my Oscar picks.  I'd originally picked Penelope Cruz to with for Best Supporting Actress.  Now, I've changed my mind.  Mo'nique will win.  She was really, really good.

Here are the rest of my picks.

Feel free to argue.  Although, you only have a day to disagree.

Let's see how many of these I get right.

Best Actor:  Colin Firth (Although, Jeremy Renner should win.  Jeff Bridges will probably win, but I'm going for the darkhorse, Colin Firth.)
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Waltz ( He's a lock.  He was amazing.)
Best Actress:  Meryl Streep  (I changed my mind on this one.  I don't think there's any way they'll give it to Sandra Bullock.  She was really good in the Blind Side, but every other movie she's ever made outside of Demolition Man and Speed have been complete and utter crap)
Best Supporting Actress:  Mo'Nique
Best Animated Film:  UP (I originally picked Coraline, but I'm switching to UP.  I love UP.  Everyone loves UP.)
Best Director:  Kathryn Bigelow Hurt Locker (Please!  Please! Please, let her win this.  Do not give this to James Cameron.)
Best Film:  The Hurt Locker  (See above.  Also, I would be very pleased if Inglorious Basterds, District 9 or A Serious Man won.  Anything but Avatar.  Anything but Avatar.)

Bonus Categories:

Original Song:  The Weary Kind, Crazy Heart.
Adapted Screenplay:  District 9  
Original Screenplay:  A Serious Man


I'm probably wrong on 6 of these.  I hope not.

Anything but Avatar!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ralphie's Rug...

Ralphie's Rug was the team that I coached several years ago.

They were a great, fun team.

Tonight Justin Seidner, who now lives in Boston, was in town and I was able to wrangle a few of the Rug for dinner.

It was a great time.  We ate dinner and lots and lots of laughs.

I wish the team was still around.  It would be nice to see them every week and do shows together again.

Pictured above are Justin, Me, Padraig, Brett, Marla and Anthony.

After dinner, Justin, Jeannie, Brett and I went to the Second City Mainstage and watched Anthony's show.  We were later joined by Ralphie's Rug member Andel Sudik.

Next time we've got to get Carolyn, Matt, Julie and Jim together for a reunion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March…

March is great for one reason.






Shamrock Shakes!

I haven't had McDonalds in 8 months, but I went there tonight after Armando and got a delicious minty shake.

It was awesome.

Yeah March.

(picture taken by Julia Weiss)
-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Podcast up.

Jeannie, Brett and I are all finally together in one city so we've got the podcast going again.

Right now, it's just once a week. When Jeannie and I go back on the ship we'll go back to doing it twice a week.

Here's the podcast.


If you've never listened to the podcast, don't feel like you have to listen to all of them. Just pick one and go. You can listen on your iTunes, or you can listen directly from the website.