Tuesday, December 24, 2013


So, I haven't posted for awhile. There are a few reasons for that.

#1- This is the 1000th blog post of this blog. I noticed that and put too much pressure on that fact. I thought about doing a retrospective and posting some of my favorite entries and I ended up building it up too big.

#2- This is a travelogue. And, well, we haven't been anywhere. For the past few months my life has been about rehearsals, classes, improv shows, sketch shows, improv classes, writing classes, directing classes and so on and so forth.

#3- I haven't been inspired to write down anything I'm doing. At the moments that I've had free time, sitting down and writing about my day has been at the bottom of my list. When I was doing the corporate improv job and when we were doing the cruise ships, I would find myself at a computer on a plane, ship, hotel or random cruise port and knew I had something fun to talk about and was stuck at the computer with an allotment of time to write. Now, when I'm on my computer, I know I have an assignment due or a class to organize.

I thought about shutting down the blog with the 1000th post, but I've changed my mind. 2014 is going to be a great year and I'm going to chronicle all of it. It may take on a new shape and my blog posts may be quick and feature more photos, with less description. So be it.

Now, that I said that, sit back and relax because I'm about to put a lot of stuff from the past few months on here.

Jeannie and I went to the Bulls game. It was lots of fun. It was before Derek Rose made his yearly trip to the disabled list so it was much more fun than the upcoming games that we have tickets for.

Jeannie's friend Nate visited and we did a show at the Upstairs Gallery with him.

Our friend Scott from Hawaii experienced falling snow for the first time.

For one of our podcasts, I bought everyone lottery tickets. We all scratched, we all won. You're still listening to The Thursday Evening Movie Club, aren't you? The past few months have been especially funny and good.

Every year for Christmas, a bunch of us go to Fogo de Choa for lunch.

Jeannie only got the salad bar. She missed out. The meat was especially good this year.

In other news, Jason has a Christmas mustache.

Our friend Diane invited us over to her house for afternoon tea. She went all out on the spread.

Afterward, she and her dog entertained Jeannie with a display of dog tricks that blew Jeannie's mind.

On Saturday, Jeannie and I went to the Double Feature of White Christmas and It's A Wonderful Life at the Music Box.

That movie is just so phenomenal.

Yesterday, we arrived at San Antonio for the holidays. Our first stop was Whataburger. Molly Wilbanks pointed out that the guy behind me totally photobombed the picture. Hilarious.

When we got home, we watched the end of the football game. It got very tense at the end because Jeannie and I were playing each other for the championship in our Fantasy Football. The interception near the end of the game brought me to within 2 points. When it was over, she won and celebrated. Here's the final standings for our group:

Jeannie finished in first, I finished in second and Becca finished in third. It was a fun fantasy league year. I don't know if Becca and Jeannie will do it again next year because it made them too tense. It sure was fun though.

So, now you're caught up.

I promise you'll be updated more frequently. 2014 is gonna be great!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A girl and her salad...

Last night we went to a meeting at Second City.

We got to see our dear friend Kelsey!

After the meeting was over,  our friend Brynne asked us if we wanted to take home one of the left over pizzas.

Look, I'll eat pizza every day and twice on Sunday, so there's no way I'll turn down a free pizza.  (Full disclosure, I did actually eat pizza twice this past Sunday.

As we were leaving, Brynne asked if Jeannie wanted the unopened salad bowl as well.  They were going to throw it out unless someone wanted it.  Jeannie said, Sure.

Well, the salad bowl was a lot bigger than we realized.

Jeannie ended up carrying it around for the rest of the night.
 Here's a picture of me, holding the salad, while trying to take a picture of Jeannie and some friends.

She does love salad.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November, so far...

It's been a busy November.  Not so much in doing anything exciting, but busy in the fact that I'm constantly doing something.

6 out of 7 days I'm working at 1616 North Wells or at 3641 North Clark.

I'm also still out on the Lake Shore running path 4 days a week.  It's been cold lately, but the trees have been beautiful.

You can't beat that.

Here are some updates.

We went on a desert crawl in Andersonville with our blogging friend, Declan, his wife and their adorable daughter.

Monday, my sister Melissa was in town for a work conference.  We took her to Lillie's Q in Bucktown.

A lot of our friends have told us that they have great BBQ and they were right.  It's really the best BBQ I've had so far in Chicago.

I tivo'd the Bears game so I could watch it in it's entirety when we got home.  It was tough being on media blackout for the game because it was everywhere.

Holy smokes I was excited that the Bears won that game.

If you haven't listened to our movie podcast lately, we've got some really funny new episodes.  We've recorded 83 episodes.  We're almost through all 100 movies on the AFI List of the 100 Greatest Movies.

You can listen to all the episodes from your computer here.

Or, download the individual episodes on iTunes.

Here's A Streetcar Named Desire.

Philadelphia Story

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Saving Private Ryan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Post Marathon...

Well, it's been a week since the marathon and I've fully recovered.

It took a few days.

People had warned me that I'd be sore for at least 3 days and they weren't wrong.  It was surprising.  When I ran 22 miles, I was only slightly sore.  26.2 miles made me ache all over.

On Monday, Jeannie, Brett and I went to Fleet Feet and got our medals engraved.  They turned out very cool.

We also bought a very cool drawing from a local artist who produced a fantastic painting for the marathon.
It's such a wonderful drawing.  He's a wonderful artist and has some very cool pieces on his website.

Today, I ran for the first time since the marathon.  I did 6 miles and my legs felt very strong.  The rest of my body felt very relieved to be back out on the lake shore running path.  A week without exercise left me a little creaky and doughy.  So nice to get back to tightening everything back up.

The marathon is over, but the running continues.

We've already started planning for where we're going to run next.

Anne's Wedding...

On Friday, Jeannie and I went to the rehearsal for her dear friend Anne's wedding.

We got to spend a lot of time with her friend Sara and her husband Nick.  They're so funny and made us laugh all weekend.

Jeannie met Anne and Sara when they worked at Bloomingdales together and both Sara and Anne were bridesmaids for Jeannie at our wedding.

On Saturday, Anne got married to a great guy, Jeff Walker.
 We had a great time at her reception.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicago Marathon, 2013...

Yesterday, Jeannie and I ran the Chicago Marathon.

It was our first marathon so we were very excited, nervous and amped up.

It didn't start off great.  I had a few hiccups.

First off, I've had a battle with my Yurbud headphones for the past 2 months.  I returned 2 sets of the headphones because they stopped working.  I really love Yurbuds, but the special edition pair are fatally flawed.  They short out after 2 miles every time I use them.  I returned my second pair 6 weeks ago and never received a replacement pair or a refund from the company.  I waited all the way to Saturday to see if new ones would arrive in the mail.

They never came.

Out of desperation, I went to Sports Authority late Saturday and picked up a pair of Yurbud headphones for the marathon.

Epic Fail.

When I got home I opened up the box and someone had stolen the rubber Yurbud ear coverings out of the box.  All that was in the box was a useless earphone cable.

I scrounged around and found a really old set of headphones and set them aside for the marathon.

My second hiccup?  I bought a new pair of running sunglasses a few months ago (also from Sports Authority.  What's going on over there?).  After wearing them during 2 runs, the right earpiece snapped off.  It was really odd.  I didn't drop them or squeeze them or anything.  I took them off my head and the earpiece remained behind my ear.  Weird.

The glasses were expensive and I loved them so much that I superglued them back together and they were as good as new.

Until yesterday.

As we walked from the red line to the starting corral of the marathon, I took off my sunglasses and the left earpiece remained behind my ear.

I started to throw them away, but I really love these glasses.  I put them back on my head and determined I could just go ahead and run with broken glasses and would fix them after the marathon.

Hiccup #3.

I run with a belt pack.  I use it to hold my iPhone while I run because I don't like running with an armband.  There are elastic grips on the side of the pouch that can hold gels.  Normally, I put gels in my pockets, but I switched to running shorts that didn't have side pockets because I don't like the gels bouncing around while I run.

I loaded the elastic grips with 3 gels tested the pack to make sure they'd stay in.

They didn't.

Within 1 mile, I lost all my gels.

They flew out of the grips like missiles.  It was pretty funny.

These minor little hiccups were the only parts of my day that I can even slightly complain about.  Everything else went pretty perfectly.

Sunday morning, woke up at 4:30.  Showered, ate a bagel with peanut butter and then Jeannie and took the train downtown.  We met up with Brett and Becca Taubel and made our way to our corral.

I always tend to over-hydrate so I stopped for a quick pitstop at the porta-potty (Gross).
We got in our corral H and inched forward to the starting line.

Jeannie and I run at different speeds.  I usually run 9 minute miles and she's most comfortable somewhere in between 10:30 and 11:00 minute miles.   We calculated that we should run at a pace that would be slower than what I normally run and slightly faster than what she runs.  If we could settle in at a comfortable speed for the both of us, we could accelerate it or decrease it later on.

At the expo, Nike gave away temporary tattoo's that you could wear to help you keep track of what times you were shooting for.  I applied it, but never looked at it.  I really just wanted it because I thought it made me look like a sci-fi running robot.

We cruised at that pace for the entire marathon.

Looking at stats, we stuck to 10:30-10:40 minute miles for almost the entire race.  We had a couple miles where we stopped to talk to friends and another mile where I had to stop to go to the bathroom again (I was way, WAY over-hydrated.)  Outside of those, we were remarkably consistent.

That served us well to the very end.  I never felt winded and never felt tired.  My legs were sore and my feet ached, but my body held up remarkably well to the punishment. We never stopped.  We never walked.  We finished at 4:42:14.

Pretty good for our first marathon, I thought.

We could have pushed a bit harder and finished around 4:30:00, but we were very cautious and didn't know what to expect from our bodies running a full 26.2 miles.

Also, Jeannie and I ran next to each other for the first 24 miles.  For 2 of the last, 2.2 miles, Jeannie settled in behind me.  I slowed down because I thought she was gassed and needed to slow down. Even though I slowed down, she didn't slide back beside me.  I finally realized she was behind me because she wanted me to set the speed so she could just follow.  My mistake.  If I hadn't slowed down, we would have shaved off 3 or 4 minutes.

Nevertheless, we hit the hill rounded the corner and finished our first marathon in great spirits.
Jeannie was so happy to have her medal.

I was so impressed with the marathon and the fortitude of all the runners.  We passed people and people passed us and every runner had the same look on their faces, determined.

It was an absolutely beautiful day and it was such a joy to run through all the neighborhoods and see the throngs of people that came out to cheer.  Forever I will have etched in my mind the faces of all the spectators who cheered everybody on.

I had my old headphones, but we actually didn't listen to music our use our headphones until mile 22.  Those first 3 1/2 hours we just raced along and listed to the cheers and music from the people on the street.  There was always some kind of entertainment or atmospheric attraction to observe.  So much so, that the first 18 miles flew by.  It just went by so fast.

Some of my favorite spots:
1 - Running down State Street.  So historic, so cool.
2 - The narrow strip on Halsted, before you turned onto Taylor.  It was so narrow, people were so close, it felt like you were running in a Chariots of Fire type race.
3 - The Tree lined streets of Sedgewick.  So shady, so nice.
4 - Taylor Street.  I used to live in Little Italy and that's where our friends Anne and Jeff held up a sign for us.
5 - Running under the entrance to Chinatown.  So cool.
6 - Pilsen.  So many, lovely cheering people with pretzels and Smarties!  Also, mariachi music!
7 - Fleet Feet's Elvis impersonator.  Hilarious.
8 - Lakeview.  It was fun running through the streets of where we live.  Also, when we passed by the Starbucks near our house, Jeannie pointed and said, "Look Jeff, they have your name written on their window.  She was right.  They had sign encouraging all the neighborhood marathon runners.  "How did they know?" I asked.  "I signed us up so I could surprise you when we ran by," she excitedly told me.  It was such a funny surprise.

Great day.  Great race.  Great city.