Monday, June 25, 2012

TCIF, part 2...

Wē had a fantastic weekend in Minneapolis at the festival.

On Saturday, we went to the Mall Of America. Brett and I had been there before, but Jeannie hadn't so we took her there so she could see it.

Thing she wanted to do the most was ride a roller coaster in the mall, so she and I went on it.

Jeannie's favorite ride at theme parks is the log flume, so we went on that too.

In the picture, Jeannie's actually scared at how high the drop was while I'm just doing my best to try to not get wet.

We had a good time at the mall.

They even have a wedding chapel so shoppers can get married.

The reception must take place at the Orange Julius.

Saturday night, we did our show at HUGE Theater. It went really well.

We all wore black shirts with jeans. We didn't intend for that to happen, but it just worked out that way.

On Sunday, I taught to workshops for the festival. In between the two classes, I went down the street and had lunch at Galactic Pizza. It was a great, fun place! The menu's are in 3D so you have to wear 3D glasses to order your pizza.

You can see the super hero costume over my shoulder. If you order delivery, they bring your pizza to you while wearing an elaborate super hero costume.

After my class, Jeannie and Brett picked me up and we ate at Matt's, home of the famous "juicy Lucy".

I had eaten there back in 2003 and wanted to take Jeannie there to try it. They're famous for putting cheese inside their burgers.

It's sooooo good.

Now the place is super famous because they were featured on the TV show Food Wars and Man vs. Food.

We then went back to our hotel and since we had some free time, Brett taught Jeannie how to play pool.

We played 2 games and Jeannie won one!

You can't imagine how happy that made her.

After that, we went back to the theater and watched the last 4 shows of the festival. The shows were all really great. I had a headache from laughing so much.

As we were leaving someone mentioned that there was a famous ice cream place that we should visit, so we piled into Nels' car and went to Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream parlor. We got there 10 minutes before they closed. Jeannie was so excited she almost ate Brett.

The ice cream was indeed, truly spectacular.

It was great sitting around and talking and eating ice cream with Nels. Great way to end the festival.

We've been very blessed this year. We've gone to 2 festivals (Finland and Minneapolis) and both were phenomenal. Saw some great shows! Hung out with old friends. And, made a bunch of new friends.

Can't wait to go back and visit again!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012


Aphasia is in Minneapolis for the Twin Cities Improv Festival this weekend.

We drove up Friday morning from Chicago. We stopped off a few times to get food and make pit stops, but it took us a little over 7 hours to get here. Jeannie's favorite rest stop is the Belvedere Oasis.

She likes it simply because the name of the place is the same name as the TV show Mr. Belvedere. It has nothing to do with the TV show, but it pleases her to no end when we go there. If we ever run across an Alf Oasis, she'll want to stop there too.

We stopped at a Culvers, which is a fast food place we don't have in Chicago.

Jeannie was confused by my sandwich. She'd never heard of deep fried pork tenderloin or a pork fritter.

It's my mom's favorite sandwich. She loves a tenderloin sandwich.

Meanwhile, Brett is confused by Jeannie's obsession with taking photo's by cheese signs.

Every time we go by a sign, she wants to stop to take picture. The problem is, we're driving across Wisconsin, so there's a cheese sign every two miles!

Brett was also concerned by the size of my diet coke's.

Once we got into Minneapolis we settled in and then headed off to see some shows at the Huge Theater, the site of the TCIF. We ran into our old castmate, Micah.

To our surprise, we ended up doing a show with Micah later on that night.

We also ran into David from England. We saw him a couple months ago at the Finland International Improv Festival.

He loves traveling around the world going to improv festivals.

I also got to meet up with my old friend Nels.

Nels is one of the founders of the TCIF and HUGE Theater. He was a member of one of my favorite improv teams of all time, The Drunk Baby Collective. When I performed with the Plain Cake Donuts we would meet up with his team and they were always the funniest group of guys we'd ever seen. Loved them.

Aphasia has a show tonight. First though, it's off to the Mall Of America.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Level 5...

Spent all morning at the dentist. 3 hours worth of dental work. If you see me walking around today, I'm not scowling at you it's that my whole face I'd numb...and a little sore.

Last night I taught my first week of my Level 5 at IO. They are a really fun class.

There are 12 ladies and 4 guys in the class. And yes, that lady in the front is pregnant. 7 1/2 months pregnant, if fact. We're hoping she delivers the baby in the middle of class.

In other news, this guy is sitting across from me on the train.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pizza Fest...

Jeannie and I took a walk down the street to go to Pizza Fest.

I have to say, a festival centered around pizza is my dream.

Unfortunately, the Pizza Fest at Wilson and Broadway was the lamest street festival I've ever gone to. It was half a block long! And,...and,...they only had 3 pizza stands. 3!!!!

The pizzas were mediocre to awful.

The first one we tried was okay, but nothing special.

Beggars Pizza was a step below a mall food court Sbaro's.

We only stayed for a half an hour. Jeannie liked all the festival fried foods, but we didn't get any.

It was fun to go to a festival, but we need to pick a better one to go to next time.
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Friday, June 15, 2012


Our friend Sean Tabares is in town from Toronto. He's going to work for Second City on the Dawn cruise ship.

We met up with him for dinner at Flat Top Thursday night.

Sean had never been to Flat Top before. It's a "make your own stir fry" place. Before he came, he went on their website and they have a page were you are able to "virtually" make your own stir fry. He made several "virtual bowls" and was confident he was going to love his stir fry in the real world.

Afterward, we went over to Second City to watch the Mainstage show.

We know everybody in the cast, but it was a very special week this week because our good friend John Hartman was in the show all week long.

This is what the program looks like upside down on the table. Why am I showing it to you that way? Well, sometimes your iPhone is a jerk and won't let you rotate it.

The show was great! I really enjoyed it. In fact, it's a show I'd like to see a few more times when I have a chance this summer.

Sean left early this morning to go on his ship. He's such a nice, fun guy. I'm glad we got to hang out with him before he left.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Improv and Cheesies...

On Monday, Jeannie and I had a bunch of errands to run. We had to start early and were out of the apartment by 7:30am.

One of the errands I had to run was to go to the eye doctor for my fourth exam in 10 days. The good news is that my eyesight has improved in both eyes (weird!), but my optometrist can't find a lens that will adapt to my eyes. I can't tell if I have a bad eye doctor or bad eyes.

Yesterday's appointment seemed to wrap things up, but now I have to deal with the commission obsessed eye glass sales people. You can put eye glass sales people right up there with car sales people, health club sales people and Lush sales girls. I didn't find a pair yet because the sales people yesterday were so obnoxious.

Jeannie helped me a lot as I looked for glasses, so I bought her lunch. We went to a place called

Jen Shepherd told me about this place, but I never had a chance to go. We stopped in yesterday and it was fantastic.

It's a grilled cheese restaurant that has all kinds of cool, fun, grilled cheese recipes. It's all on Texas Toast and every sandwich looks really cool. Jeannie had a macaroni and cheese grilled cheese and I had one with bacon, chicken, tomato, cheese and some special sauce.

They also have great fries and soup. I was really impressed. It's one of my new favorite places.

Later on Monday night I went to IO to do Armando. There were a couple of special guests there last night.

Jeff Garlin, from Curb Your Enthusiasm was the monologist. He's super funny and Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of my favorite shows of all time.

The other special guest was Brian Stack, from Conan O'Brien's talk show. Brian is one of the greatest improvisers who ever walked on a stage. He's one of my improv idols.

He's also one of the nicest people I've ever met. After Guru was published, he sent me the nicest series of e-mails. Such a great guy.

Both of the special guests were really funny and really nice to talk to backstage and it was such a fun Armando to be a part of.
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Sunday, June 10, 2012


It's summer in Chicago. That's a different experience for us. We haven't been in Chicago during the summer for the past 5 years.

I forgot how many summer festivals there are. This week there were 4 that I know of. Ribfest. Blues Fest. Something in Andersonville and one across the street from us called the Chill and Grill.

I walked over and Guy Ferrari was giving a presentation.

Today, Jeannie and I took advantage of the nice weather and used one of the grills in our apartment buildings.

We also on our walk to the grocery store ran into one of our improv team members, Timmy Mayse.

He was carrying a cane. It was a pro from a show, but it was so funny seeing him walk down the street with an timey cane.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012


2 summers ago, Brett, Jeannie, John, Megan and I played tennis every Sunday in Maui and every Wednesday or Thursday in either Kona or Kauai.

Today, all of us but Jeannie met up and played in Lincoln Park.

Brett was there too, but he leaned away when I took the picture.

I played terribly. In fact, I lost all three sets I played. But, it was a really good time. I felt like we were back in Hawaii again!
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