Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Brett and I went to the game of the season at Wrigley last week.

We already had seats, but we got an upgrade when Scott Goldstein let us sit in seats he wasn't using.

We were in the 6th row.

Monday, Jeannie and I went to the movies. Surprisingly, the theater downtown is the easiest and closest theater for us to go to. I used to hate going to that theater because it was so inconvenient to get to. Now, all I have to do is jump on the 145 or the 146 and we're there in 15 minutes.

After the movie, we wanted to get something to eat. Since we were down on Illinois Avenue, Jeannie begged to eat at the Billygoat Tavern. I reluctantly agreed because I knew she wanted to try it. She'd never eaten there before.

I don't really like the Billygoat, but they're one of those places every Chicagoan should try at least once.

Jeannie looks really pleased in this photo.

Notice, there's been no bites taken of the burger.

Two bites later, she couldn't stop apologizing for making us eat there. I laughed and kept eating my burger. Jeannie ate one more bite and then threw the rest of it away. She apologized the entire bus ride home.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011


I have an orange Columbia jacket. It's an outdoor-sey coat that I bought in Bar Harbor. Water resistant, but not heavy, it's the perfect fall jacket.

I also like that it's orange. It's a featured color for the Illini and the Bears, but that's not why I got it. I got it because to me, orange is a nice fall color...and it makes me happy to see it.

However, it's such a dramatic color that sometimes it sticks out. Especially when a couple wearing identical orange colored sweatsuits get on the bus and sit right next to you.

This picture doesn't do justice to how ridiculous we looked. I was trying to be discreet in taking the photo so you see a lot of my blue shirt.

The three of us were the topic of conversation for everyone as they tried to figure out if there was some sort of pumpkin festival going on or if the three of us were handing out samples of Fanta Orange Soda.



After my bus ride I went to the DMV at the Thompson Center to update my driver's license.

Upon arriving there I witnessed a rehearsal for some sort of patriotic ceremony that was happening at noon.

It was very stirring.

However, immediately after these flag carriers walked past me they stepped onto the escalator going to the main floor of the building. They set the bottoms of their flag poles on the steps of the escalator so the flags were perfectly upright.

Unfortunately, the flag poles were too tall and every flag topper jammed itself into the lip of the ceiling as the escalator climbed upward.

That escalator is a powerful piece of machinery. It was not stopping or slowing down for anyone or anything.

Loud pops echoed through the cavernous Thompson Center as flag poles snapped and splintered all over the escalator and the floor beneath. Bewildered teenagers looked around, stunned as they held on to the remnants of what used to be their flag poles. Their student leaders and teacher supervisors chased after them yelling, "There are flags on the ground! There are flags on the ground!"

As much as I tried, I could not keep from laughing. The looks on the faces of 30 teenagers holding splintered flag poles was too much.

When I got out of the DMV the flags were all gone and the escalator was shut down to repair the damage. The teenagers stood in a huddled mass, knowing they're in trouble, wondering why someone hadn't measured the flag poles to see if they would fit up the escalator.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Deep Schwa...

On Sunday night, Deep Schwa celebrated their 15 year anniversary.  I've been on the team for 13 1/2 of those years.  Here are some of our old photos...

We had a big shindig at IO and several of our old members came back for the show.

Jeannie bought us a Deep Schwa cake.

Craig and his daughters made cupcakes.

It was a good time and we had a really fun show.

We might just have to do it every year.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Jeannie and I have been training to run the half marathon here in Chicago.

We signed up for it in July while we were still working in Hawaii.  At that point, the longest distance we'd ever run was 5 miles.  We needed to add on another 7 miles to get to the half marathon length.

We trained in Hawaii by running 4 or 5 times a week.  Once a week in Maui we made our trek from one side of the island to the other.
It was tough.  That run from shore to shore was 8.5 miles wide.  The first time we did it in the blazing heat, it almost killed us.  It was hot and sunny and we were wiped out.  We did it 3 more times and got much better at it.

While I was in Bar Harbor, Jeannie was in Texas.  We had to run on our own.  I initially started running through the streets, but Maine is very, very hilly and the hills were too tough. Thankfully, Jen and Larrance told me about the track that was a few blocks from their house.
I loved that track.  I really enjoyed running on it and it helped me tack on the extra miles that I needed to get up to the half marathon.  

One of the treats in walking to the track was the fact that I got to walk past this very "Maine-ish" strip mall.    
I loved passing by everyday to see what they had out on their sales table.
Back in Chicago, we're close enough to the lake in our new apartment that we could run out there together.  It's very cool and nice.

Last week we ran from the apartment to the 1/2 marathon expo at Navy Pier.
It was fun to walk around and taste all the samples and enjoy all the booths.

This past Sunday was the Chicago Half Marathon.  We got up at 4am and got to the starting line at Jackson park by 5:30am.  
An hour and a half later, we were off.

It was a great run.  We felt really good and didn't have to stop a single time.  We finished the 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes.  

We were very happy with that time and happy with the whole race.  

We even got medals.

After the race they gave out lots of free food and drinks.  You would think that pizza would be the last thing you'd want to eat at 9am after running 13.1 miles, but it really hit the spot.  
So glad we did it.  So proud we finished and had a nice race.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All moved in...

Moved in. Finally.

It took awhile to get everything unpacked and organized. Plus, the previous tenant left things in pretty bad shape, so it took a lot of time to fix up the abuse she left behind.

Here's some interesting tidbits I discovered during the move in...

There are lots of random chords that seem to attach to nothing.

We lots of old phones stored away. They look so small and dumb.

While unpacking, you can catch up on reading articles about improvisors from the spring of 2008.

Or, see who was performing at the 2008 CIF. Sports Action Team did a live stage show at the Lakeshore Theater that year and I was in it. It was a good show!

This is the hose and plug that connects the dishwasher to the sink. The previous tenant didn't have the adapter for it so for the entire five years she lived here she never used the dishwasher. Crazy.

Tracking down the sink adapter was a chore. I went to every Hone Depot, Lowe's and local hardware store I could find. I even went out to the suburbs and still couldn't find an adapter to work. Finally, I was able to get in touch with a Maytag distributor who informed me that the only way to get the adapter was through Maytag. Ugh. This small piece of metal that would cost $5 at a hardware store, cost $30 from Maytag.

Issue resolved, right? Nope. The threads on the sink faucet were stripped. I had to buy a brand new faucet and install it.

Such a headache. But now, it's done. And, I finally have clean dishes.

The former tenant also had 2 bikes. Which means...

There are rubber marks on all the walls. After doing a little online investigating, I found out there are quite a few products that were invited in the past 3 1/2 years while I've been on cruise ships. The coolest one is this...

Mr Clean's Magic Eraser completely cleaned the walls and the floors.

It was amazing! Jeannie really thinks they put magic inside the boxes.

The strangest thing in the apartment was this...

Chinese hair growth formula.

Might come handy some day.

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