Saturday, March 26, 2011

This week...

On Monday Jeannie and I had lunch at one of our favorite places in all of Chicago,...

Harry Caray's.

Afterward, I did a workshop with Clemson University's Mock Turtle Soup.

They're a lot of fun. They come up to Chicago every spring during spring break to watch improv and take classes. I've been honored to teach workshops for them for the past 3 or 4 years. They're great. I really like them a lot.

On Tuesday, Brett, Adal, Jason, Jeannie and I met at Glenn's Diner, restaurant around the corner from my sublet.

We enjoyed some fantastic crab legs at their "Tuesday night you can eat crab legs" night.

On Thursday I met up with Dana and Megan to help them with a new show their putting together.

Afterward, they took me out to lunch.

On Friday I got new headshots taken by Rance from the illustrious Rance Rizzutto Photography studios. Afterward, he took Jeannie and I on a treasure hunt. They looked really funny using the gps on their phones looking for the treasure.

The great part of doing gps treasure hunting is that it takes you to parts of the city that you've never seen before and gives you a little history about the place. Look at how cool this place is.

We start rehearsals tomorrow for our new contract. If you don't know by now, Jeannie and I are headed back to the Pride of America in two weeks. We'll be cruising Hawaii again until the end of August. Hooray!

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Location:N Wolcott Ave,Chicago,United States

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The race...

On Sunday Jeannie and I did the St. Paddy's Day Run in Lincoln Park.

This year, Jeannie's friend Anne joined us.

The shirts for the race this year were terrible. Jeannie and Anne liked them.

It was really cold and threatened rain, but the skies stayed clear until the race was over.

After the race there was a party and mixer at the Nature Museum. They had all kinds of food and entertainment for the runners.

We could even walk around the museum and see the exhibits.

Jeannie and Anne were terrified in the butterfly exhibit.

We finished the 5K in 30 minutes and 6 seconds. A little slower than we wanted, but the race was so congested it was difficult to weave in and around people.

Our next race will be an 8K. We're ready to move ourselves up to the next level.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

United Center...

Brett and I went to the 2nd (First) round of the NCAA tournament games that were played in Chicago last night.
The first game we saw featured the Purdue Boilermakers versus the St. Peter's College Peacocks.  That's right, the Peacocks.

Brett was really mad at the Peacock mascot.  He thought the Peacock acted like it had the Avian Bird Flu.

In reality, the mascot's head was too big and the student inside couldn't keep the head up so he just sat in a chair the whole game.

Not that he had a lot to cheer about.  Purdue stomped 'em.
The second game looked like it was going to be much better match up.  It was VCU versus Georgetown.  It turned out to be a blowout too.

To our surprise, VCU manhandled Georgetown!  That's the team we were rooting for, so it was pretty fun to see them coast through the game.  The bandleader for VCU was crazy.  He was running around and dancing all over the place.
Brett got so wrapped up he started chanting and cheering along with the band.  I snapped this picture as Brett was cheering, but he brought his hands down quickly when he saw me taking a picture.
When the game started we were surrounded by fans.  They quickly bailed and left us as the only people in our section.
The VCU fans on the other side of the stadium stayed until the end.  Our favorite fan was an old guy who had a big Dr. Suess hat in the VCU colors.  He wasn't wearing it.  He just held it.  Every time he yelled or cheered he held the hat high in the air and pointed at it as if to say, "Fear the hat!"

When the game was over we walked over to Ashland to take the bus back up to Ravenswood.  The bus, as usual, took forever.  While we were waiting a limo bus pulled up and asked, "Where you headed?"
The VCU fans answered, "North."

"Get in," the guy replied.

Brett and I got in with all the VCU fans and he drove everybody up Ashland to Lakeview and Ravenswood.  The VCU fans cheered the entire way.
How we became a part of a Virginia Commonwealth University booster limo bus, I'll never quite understand, but it was a fun, hilarious night.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Little Italy...

When we get back into Chicago we spend a lot of time meeting up with old friends and having meals with them.  That, coupled with the fact that we're trying to book a caterer for our wedding in October means, we're eating a lot.  A lot!

Wednesday we went for a meeting with a caterer in the Little Italy area.  I used to live in that area so after our meeting we walked over to Taylor street to see the old neighborhood.
While we were there I hunted down a restaurant that I've been searching for, for the past 13 years.

Notice something odd about the front of the restaurant?

There's no sign.

There's no signage anywhere that would let you know it's a restaurant.  When we first walked into it, Jeannie thought it was a CPA or a real estate office.

My old roommate Kira took me to Tufano's 13 years ago.  She moved to Missouri a few months later so I never got to ask her the name of the place or how to get there.  Last week I met someone who said they worked there and I asked them enough questions to decipher that this was the Italian restaurant I've been trying to hunt down.

This place has been in Little Italy for 80 years.  They don't have a sign, don't have a website and don't do any advertising.

Oh yeah, they also don't have menu's.  Everything's up on that chalkboard.
The food, meanwhile, is fantastic.

Some of the best pasta I've ever had.

Jeannie really enjoyed it.

Afterward we walked over to the Taylor street library and saw our old friend Guillermo.
On Tuesday, Jeannie and I met up with Jo.
She took us to her favorite falafel place on broadway.
We also filmed some new episodes of Gym Buddies.  Here's the newest episode.

Monday, March 14, 2011


We had an odd weekend visiting the suburbs.

I agreed to help out and do a gig for an advertising agency in Bloomingdale.  I dragged Jeannie along with me.  It was cold and windy, but we had a good time.

It was a guerilla marketing type of thing.  That means, invariably, we were kicked out of the places where we were filming.  We made our way back to the city and finished up filming.

We met a couple at one of the places where we were filming and ended up spending a lot of time with them.  We liked them so much we ended up going out to dinner with them.
We ate at Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville.
I'd heard about the place a lot, so it was fun to go there.

At the end of the night Jeannie left to go hang out with her dear friend Becca and I dropped the rental car off at the rental car agency. The train home was crawling with drunk people wearing green.  I hadn't realized until that time that it was the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

We missed the river being dyed green.  Shoot.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Del Awards...

Last night was the Del Awards at IO Chicago.  It's the annual self-congratulary awards that we improvisors hold every year.

The team that I perform with at IO, Deep Schwa, was nominated for Best Team. That's nothing new.  We've been nominated for Best Team all 12 years that the awards have been held.

What was new was that this year, for the first time, we won.  Crazy.

It was a fun night and we got to see lots of people.
Of course, we got to see Brett.
Got to see Brendan and Mark from Cook County Social Club.
Jo and Jeannie got to show off their new dresses.

I was in charge of the videos for the show.  Here's one that I made with the help of Jeannie, Jo, Brett, John and Megan.


Since we are leaving in April and aren't going to be back until September, Jeannie and I have been working on doing a lot of wedding planning.

We had our first tasting today.

There was a sign waiting for us when we arrived.

They ushered us into a room and had the table set up as to what it might look like at our reception.

If you read this blog regularly you know that Jeannie and are very "food aware". We're not at the level of Adal, but food is a big deal for us.

So, as you might guess, food is a priority for us for our wedding.

It's our first official wedding planning thing so Jeannie had to get some giggle's out the first couple of times that our food presenter left the room.

"It's just so weird!" she kept saying. She was right.

We then were treated to a parade of samples of foods that we could choose for our celebration.

There were a lit of good things and the sizes were actually pretty substantial. It was fun, but we have 3 or 4 more tastings to go to.

I'm sure Jeannie's going to giggle at every one.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Jeannie's back...

This weekend was spent reuniting Jeannie with all her friends

First she saw Jo.

We went to Southport Grocery and had one of the best breakfast's I've ever had. It's ham and cheese and French Toast and syrup.

Really, REALLY, one of the greatest things I've ever tasted.

Surpassed though by the Southport Grocery Cupcakes.

I have looooooong declared that these cupcakes are the greatest cupcakes in the city. I will fight you over it.

Saturday night we went downtown for Becca's birthday.

It was great to see her. Becca's always so nice and sweet and funny.

I brought Becca the old magic bubble blower that I used to play with when I was a kid. Jeannie went to Becca's apartment after the dinner and said the bubbles were a big hit.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I've settled in comfortably in my sublet on Wolcott.

I'm subletting from Kate Lambert who is working on The Pearl for Second City. She has a real nice place.

I'm actually living across the street from an apartment Mike Loeffelholz and I shared 13 years ago.

The neighborhood's changed a bit since the last time I lived here. Lots of restaurants and several coffee shops have moved into places that used to house liquor stores, one room insurance shops and run down travel agencies.

Back when Mike and I lived here there was only one place to get a pizza. It was corner kitchen counter place that sold greasy sandwiches and pizza's that tasted like cheese on cardboard. Now, there are 4 pizza places in 2 blocks!!! Crazy. The first thing I did on Thursday night was order a pepperoni and green olive pizza from Chicago Pizza.

It was outstanding. I've really missed pizza from here on Chicago. You just can't replicate it anywhere.

On Saturday I was a judge for the championship of CIF's College Comedy Championship.

A group from Washington won it this year. They were very funny.

They were the first team from outside of Illinois to win the championship. While I always want Chicago to win, it's good for the tournament to have another region win.

Sunday I got to perform with my old IO team Deep Schwa. We had a really fun show. It was great to get on the stage with all my old friends again. I really miss performing with them every week.

Before our show I got to watch Jo perform her new team.

She did a good job and I was fun seeing her. She made me hug her when I first saw her, which I thought was totally unnecessary.

Before Armando I met up with Jason and Brett for dinner at Salt and Pepper. After the meal we went upstairs and there were cupcakes sitting out at the end of the bar.

Brett hovered around the cupcakes for awhile until someone told us that the cupcakes were open for anybody to have.

It's nice to be back home in Chicago.
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