Friday, December 28, 2012

Comedian Collaboration Time with Warren B. Hall

When I recently hosted for Chris Kattan at the Improv Chicago, I met comedian Warren B. Hall. He's funny and super cool. Warren has a webseries and asked I help on an episode. It's a game called WhiteMan/BlackMan. Check it out!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Rumormill week 7: The Mariah Carey Factor

The fact of the matter is that planning a destination beach wedding is pretty great. Even though it still has the typical annoying parts of planning wedding nonsense, it's on a beach so that sets the tone.

I have to be careful with the ideas that I think pass for suitable for a beach wedding. Many times I've already caught myself thinking of things that essentially are a weak attempt to recreate MTV Spring Break coverage in the 90s. Short of having a fashion show w/ Limp Bizkit in the middle of our reception, I think I've thought of it all.

I recently suggested to m'lady that her procession to our beach wedding be something special to the location but also with a fine bit of excessive self righteousness that sums up our generation so well. Now, my idea is not necessarily contingent upon her going Pam Anderson and wearing a white bikini. In fact for direct replication it will need to be the color, honey.

How cool would it be for the father of the bride and bride to make their procession via jet ski? A la Mariah Carey in the hit jam "Honey."

As the video shows, a beautiful woman on a jet ski doesn't get a drop of water on her as she evades a squad of assailants or even spinsterhood. However, the inspiration from Mariah Carey stops short of any singing. Neither of us should punish our guests that way.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rumormill Week 4: Guess Who Guest List!

Nearly one month into the bliss known as wedding planning and we are getting things going. It seems there is a direct correlation between progress and parental stressers to "think of your guests." Compromise to make parents happy in the planning of a wedding seems to be as old fashioned as say the bride's family footing the bill. There's nothing more significant than the guest list. Well, open bar is the most important, then guest list.

I am excited that m'lady and I are on the same page. These events can get out of hand when parents decide they get to use their kid's wedding to restore balance to the force and invite a friend of theirs so they have to give a gift too. We don't care about that.

One simple rule has been agreed upon for the guest list. If in our 5 years together, we've not met someone, their not invited. Seems cold but it's either that or play a version of the hit 1980s board game of "Guess Who" parental friend style.

-Does your mom's friend have facial hair?
-No. (minus 4 people)

-Does your mom's friend know my last name?
-No. (minus 12 people)

-Has your mom's friend ever shown up to our annual day at the horse track?
-Yes. (minus 6 people)

-Does your mom's friend go to garage sales with her?
-Yes. (minus 1 person)

Ok, let's invite Rick!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Rumormill Week 3: The Great Matrimony Montage

I think we just attended our last wedding before our own. That being said, wait there are still three magnets on the fridge of people dressed really nicely (and naturally staged I must say). Fact: m'lady has a spreadsheet. Well, sure we have a spreadsheet for our venue ideas. I don't know what we are going to do but I think when faced with uncertainty on getting to your goal do what Hollywood a montage.

What's a Matrimony Montage?
A matrimony montage is a term I just made up (believe it or not) so fortunately, our parents can't tell us how to do it right, or within the guidelines of 'etiquette.' M'lady & I have been together for almost five years. In those five years we've been to so many weddings we're able to help our dry cleaner put on that much dreamed of addition to his home.

I have an idea. Let's take a piece of every wedding we've been to and make a save the date montage?! That's a great way to show
1. I can pay attention
2. I can finally use those Jordan almonds in my globe box.
3. What better way to tell everyone not only are we in love, but when you condense nearly five years of courtship into  three minute video, even Ryan Gosling may cry from joy.

Why a Matrimony Montage?
* We're in the digital era people, hard copy reminders are good but I fear so many people will want a save-the-date magnet from us that it could interfere with the Earth's gravitational pull. Thus, to save humanity from a real-life Jerry Bruckheimer experience (with or without Liv Tyler) we go digital.

*  Facebook. Sure, it's nice to post ring pics, status updates about planning or eating cake samples, but there is something that no one has wanted before our generation and Facebook is integral in accomplishing it-make your wedding go viral! Self importance, vanity, and the perpetual threat of just "one special day" year(s) out just isn't enough anymore. We can post and repost this montage of love and you can't avoid it. It'd be like those pictures you post of (well your kids but I guess they're adorable, don't think this is personal) never mind.

When a Matrimony Montage?

That I don't know. At this moment, you've given it more thought than m'lady (If my term of endearment is to have a presumed accent, then I choose one from the motherland!). Contract talks with half of the cast are still quite far a part on terms of agreement. That being said, I know the 50% of the cast that are already on board love this idea and hope their family and friends start asking m'lady on Facebook when they can expect the mother of all e-Harmony commercials.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2 Weeks in: An Engagement in Review

Two weeks ago I decided to finally propose to my girlfriend. We have been together nearly five years and people we on me to ask her more than anyone trying to get Romney's tax returns. I can't really explain, nor could anyone before me explain how amazing it feels right now. Then again we are two weeks into the lovefest and no checks have been written. This is the highest concentration of dreaming two people can ever do.

I am hoping that within the engagement process, I can reduce the stress of planning by creating rumors to distract family and friends. Maybe we will consider these ideas, maybe we won't.

Rumor 1: Beach Wedding...Toga Party Theme

1. I have only been to one toga party in my life and it was for some lame fraternity when I was a freshman. A Wisconsin toga party is what you'd imagine. Kids wearing bed sheets with tractors on them, or some nimrod using the fitted sheet.
2. Let's register for some nice Egyptian cotton sheets, sandals and take it from there. Why should the bride be the only one in white?
3. The Isley Brothers deserve this.  Perhaps the most famous toga moment in American history is because of their iconic song. Is it cliche at a wedding? Maybe but so is a lot of stuff (this blog is old, borrowed, new AND blue). It's my favorite song played at weddings why? It is the song that gives the old people their last hurrah on the dance floor and tells the next generation 'it's bout to get crazy (for white people) in here!
4. How else can we eliminate the nonsense of 'what do I wear?' for the guests. Hell, I bet that when you've been drinking for hours and are already wearing bedding, you'll find the beach a more welcoming destination than your hotel bed.
5. Weddings are often have this undertone of making the bride out to be a princess or a queen. That's absurd. Not only is this a slight to the groom, but it's inaccurate. Wearing togas embody the image of a bride and groom as Emperor and Empress. A princess rarely has the opportunity to make decisions for the masses. On the other hand,  an empress or emperor, now that's their job...and they're pretty good at it too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chasing My Tail ep9: Badge of Irony

Here's my take on the recent stand by the Boy Scouts of America. I used to be a Cub Scout but never crossed into the Boy Scouts. (just an fyi)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

From the Bottom of My Wallet

Saturday night I went out to a charity event and had a great time. Well, nearly a great time. I was unable to get any form of food there since they were serving appetizers that only Derek Zoolander would enjoy. Fast forward to the drive home where I realize it's late but I should eat something.

I go into a parking lot for Little Caesar's pizza, it's midnight and they've just closed. The taco stand next door is open. We run inside place an order and while they're cooking it the chefs ask if I've parked on the right side. I reply I think so. Nope. Being in there for less than ten minutes some dude put a boot on my car.

Immediately upon confronting me, he begins to record our conversation probably because people hate call centers and this is a call center guy who can't land the call center job. His job is to remain hidden in a dark parking lot and then when people get out to grab food while the Little Caesar's is closed, boot their car. This man proudly boasted that he can boot a car in 35 seconds. I told him that's almost as fast as I can loose respect for someone.

Of course like any ticket/violation, I try to get out of it. It's mid-night in Chicago and I am wearing a suit. I explain we've just come from a charity event and apologize for taking a space on the "wrong side" of the parking lot. In this era where it seems like everyone gets about a dozen hand outs a year, I was hoping to gain some form of a pardon.

It never happened. So $140 later I had the most expensive burrito in my life. What did I learn? Aside from my attention to detail must be heightened in the late hours? Parking lot attendants have one of the worse career choices ever. Who can honestly go through a day let a lone weeks or years at a job where it's your responsibility to ruin some one's day?

I am going out on a limb here and guessing that the majority of parking lot attendants working night shift/weekends are bitterly processing a break up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recreationally Superior

10 years ago I was enjoying my time at Ripon College. I was once invited to be apart of something very special. I was asked to join Ken & Leo's team of perennial champions for indoor soccer. I don't know how I was blessed to be on such a stacked team. We cruised through the regular season to a top seed for the playoffs. As we neared my illusive "Intramural Champion" T-shirt, we suffered a devastating loss in the playoffs. It was brutal. I spent years of trying to balance academics with occasional athletic competition to only come up empty again. Was I destined to be the Karl Malone or Dan Marino or the rec sports world?

Many people like to say "time heals all wounds." It may be a stretch but "forgive, never forget" seemed to transcend more for me on this matter. A decade past and I have to be honest with myself. "At 30 years old, is my recreational sports career over?" How could I explain to my nieces and nephews that there was not much glory in my day, just great sportsmanship?

God sure works in mysterious ways. (Sorry to go Tebow-light on you there.) I caught up about 4 years ago with a friend, Vinny, who was the General Manager youth ministries at a church. After getting drafted (not sure if there were any other calls placed) in the first round for the flag football season, I helped the team to a "prestigious" 2-7 season. We lost a great man (Gabe) to a knee injury mid-season and also a few of the women players suffered season ending injuries/babysitting conflicts. We then ventured into indoor volleyball, where against the odds we finished the season with a respectable record and one playoff win. The off season was draining. Where do we go from here? Are we a team? Will everyone be back? We have the talent but do we have a team?

There was no way we could enter as a pre-season favorite to win it all. No way. Although a few key acquisitions of talented free agents added enough excitement around the league. We played our game, Flying Popes volleyball. That took us to a strong record and a #3 seed in the tourney. We knew it was possible, but it wouldn't come easy. Our playoff run resumed last night. The Flying Popes, in their first Final Four appearance, against the #2 seed, TFC. After, edging them out 2-1 in the match, the Flying Popes felt that perhaps we were on the verge of greatness.

I remained with a tempered enthusiasm. The tragic memory of that misdirected goal 10 years ago on the soccer field was at the front of my mind during the intermission. Sure, there was pressure but only for our opponents. It was like a Robert Redford movie mixed with a Kevin Costner movie topped off with some Gene Hackmanesque moments. There was just too much fate. The Flying Popes diligently took care of business and swept the finals against the Jet Setters.

We won. Champions. I was a champion. After a decade of struggle, I was presented with a black long sleeve shirt that reads "Players Sports Group Champions." I've always wondered what it was like for Jordan to clench the trophy after Game 5 in 1991. I've never been so humbled by such a marvelous thermal shirt.
The ref immediately congratulated us, then at the championship shirt presentation ceremony the questions began to fly. "Are you guys coming back next season?" "Are you going to step up to the B League?" "Where do you go from here?"

Where do we go from here? Where do I go from here? I've just achieved what appears to be a lifelong dream, to be recreationally superior to my peers. What does anyone in the face of triumph do? Reflect.

Will I be back? I don't know. Why not go out on top? How much longer will I have the drive and competitiveness to keep me at the top of my recreational game? I think it's best to say I need time. Time to reflect on these memories forged over this improbable season. Maybe I'll just take the next couple weeks to spend time with my family and friends, hopefully just get back to a normal life. Time to recharge, focus on what Mike needs. It's safe to say, I am proud to be a Flying Pope. I hope to finish my recreational career a Flying Pope. Is that up to me? I'm not sure. I've made some great friends over the years as a Flying Pope and I certainly expect those friendships to long outlast my days in uniform/sweatband. I'd like to think the recreational sports system is not as bottom line driven as it's counterparts but if a tough decision is needed I certainly wouldn't stand in the way of the organization's future.

I certainly won't let this go to my head, that would be ridiculous. No one wants to be around someone who takes them self too seriously.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mr. Butter Face

There's that old expression that 'slow and steady wins the race.' Well, that's nice and all but that is a cushion for slow people whose parents or teachers are hoping to God that something else in life distracts them from wasting their life with a 'dream.'

Dreams vary for people of course. Dumb point Mike, what else? I've had some time to get my adult life moving in effort to land some of these 'dreams.' Time passes and then you revise said dreams and end up with goals. These 'goals' are things that typically are less damaging to the ego when you miss out on them, after all, goals are something that hangs over you professionally so personally they can suck an egg if they must.

I've dreamt of someday being in great shape. If I were to get into amazing, toned, muscular shape I could be the epitome of male butter faces. I think that growing up in the Midwest, with my dad reminding me to be realistic, that I aimed right on mark to one day be a butter face. Well, I graduated college, not in shape. Time went by and now I maintain a fitness regimen due the pending rivalry between denim's spacial capacity and my stomach's inclination to never let go of the mass quantities of pizza I eat.

I no longer dream of being a male butter face. I have a goal of one day winning a rec league title. There is something to be said about the struggle between my friends and I against other people our age to gain validation as the most qualified recreational human in a particular sport. I've been on winning teams in gym class, how is this still an obsession of mine? Maybe life would be different if upon completing a memorable run to gym class champions, the teacher/coach let us know it's perfectly fine to not be humble in this moment, the rest of our life will silence us soon enough.