Sunday, July 24, 2005

little ones & the old dominion

leaving for VA in a matter of hours - joey and i are traveling with heather to her hometown, Lebanon. we're teaching camp there for a week - drama and improv camp. after a lot of corporate work, i'm pretty psyched to be doing it. plus, i've always had a dream of being a camp counselor.

10 hour drive.
it'll be lovely.
i'll write you as soon as i can.

cleveland rocks

got back late friday from the training gig. faithful readers, the hotel situation looked way up: the client kindly bumped us up to a nice Hampton Inn with king sized beds, clean sheets, lovely bathrooms, and wireless internet. USA. i also took the opportunity to take the 2.5 hour drive either way to see fam - i got to have dinns with them at Max & Erma's, and celebrate my lovely sister-in-law's birf. life rules.

i learned a lot about myself on this trip; mostly, i learned that i hate the sound of my voice (or moreover, anyones) after talking that long everyday. the training is dull in comparison to what i do everyday, but you'd think we handed out free cash from the way people responded to all of us trying to make trainings more fun and lighthearted. it's nice, and somewhat rewarding.

i also learned that i have a (bad?) habit of imitating people back to their faces if i feel like they're funny enough. this is usually okay, but you never know if it's okay across a cultural divide. i like to think that i am capable of this, because i feel like light ribbing is all in the way you structure it. i also think it's dumb to be afraid of it, so i jump in - if i jab a lincoln parker, i jab a hyde parker. due to this theory, i probably said "Oooh, this girl knows what I mean" nearly 20 times, and at one point, I actually said "Testify!". it was a hit, and i loved my classes. whenever they saw me outside the building, or in the mall down the street, they'd say "here's that cute comedian! you're funny, girl!", and i felt like we were fast friends.

funniest story from my trainings - this guy Antione played an improv-y kind of game to prove a point, and when he did well, we gave him a prize - a subway gift card. he sat down at his chair. "this morning, i came in here with nooo cash," antione said passionately. "i knew i didn't have a cent in these pockets, and then you gave me this. the lord is good!"

for some reason, i was really shocked by how much god references came up in this job - the call-center people we were training constantly referencing their faiths, and i'm just not used to that, i guess. for instance, when i asked a manager how his day was, he told me he was having a blessed one. it was something.

anyway, later on in the session, our friend Antione started being playful and giving me a hard time about something i'd said. "Antione," i cooed, "if you don't shut it, i'm gonna take that sub back!" a few seconds passed, and a laughing woman seated behind Antione said "Mmm-hmm.... the Lord giveth... and the Lord TAKETH AWAY!"

you said it.

Friday, July 22, 2005

it's not a sandwich - it's a MEAL!

on the subject of our first hotel, the Lake Erie Lodge in Euclid, Ohio:


mostly worst-best, but bad enough eventually that it's now worst-worst.

we have shifted to the hampton inn downtown. here are the teasers why:
*crackers and candy encrusted in the carpet
*Kool Komedy Klub attached to hotel (see initials)
*Underground Railroad = bar in hotel (conflict of interest?)
*orgies, orgies, orgies! busted by cops within seconds of our arrival Monday evening, but sounding terrifyingly fantastic until busting
*used condo-s in toilet (not a bit)
*18 burn marks in my bathtub (still trying to figure it out)
*phone ripped out of wall in my room
*lehrer's phone in room stolen from Doubletree hotel and info blacked out with Sharpie
*best of all, when asking for good place to eat, we were offered Manwich at front desk

we went to teach classes on Wednesday morning, and when we told them where we were, everyone laughed. "ooh, girl," they cooed, "someone got murdered there last year!"

and, scene.

Monday, July 18, 2005

off to cleve-lo

tonight i leave for cleveland, ohio. hoping to see fam again, though it ain't lookin' good.
i'm gone for a dave and co/ Yahoo! SBC gig all week. i'll be training on how to make a better homepage and excelling at wireless router use (my specialties)!
with subjects like that, i'm BOUND to be funny.
i'll check in from Lake Erie.

birth(day), the week / the season

aah, fantastic!
29 rules so far.

haven't been on too much due to the celebratin'- so apologies, friends and fam. but thanks to many of you for making it the B.

what a great time. this birthDAY has simply turned into birthMonth, and i'll take it. i got lucky to go home and see my fam the week before, for the fourth-ish. for some reason, i feel like if i don't see them around then, it won't actually be my birthday. i could be wrong, but i don't think that it's ever happened. i love that even living here, i get that gift every year.

so really, the b-day was last saturday, the 9th. 29, y'all! now, don't get me wrong. i am youngy-jones, so this ain't no big deal, but i think that number freaked me out bad prior to turning it. it's such a cliche of the last young year of your life, especially for ladies. all i can think of is oil of olay ads, or shoebox cards with that old lady Maxine on them from Hallmark. is this what's left? of course not, but i dare you to stop psyching me out, america.

what a fantastic bunch of weeks. my actual birthday was spent pretty much as every saturday is - i taught at CSz in the morning, had a show at ImprovOlympic at 8, then had another show at CSz at 10:30 pm. even though this sounds kind of typical and uncelebratory, it was awesome. every few minutes of the day, there was a call from someone singing to me. my students in class were fun, and overly committed to the day's work and play. my IO show later began with basic pandering for applause regarding said birth, and continued into a great, playful show with my team, Merman. CSz, at 10:30 was hijinks galore - surrounded by great friends, and even surprised with a bouquet of roses at the end of the show during chariots of fire from zach thompson. hilarious.

my friends and fam are about the best thing out there. if you're one of them, high-five yourself, because i think you've aced it on the friendship front. i don't know how one person can continue to be so lucky throughout life finding such great people, but count me as one of the lucky.

speaking of, on the tenth, my roommates and i went to dinner to celebrate. this was super fun, largely in part because my long-lost SC ship-roommate was back for the week. it ruled. these girls, beth and megan, are just tops. we went and got tapas, which led to a lot of sangria-draaankin', which led to sort-of debauchery. just enough debauchery to make me feel alive, just restrained enough to make me feel grown up.

tons of good times in-between then and now; including some rehearsals with celebrations after, some great shows, some bar-hanging, some mega-touch playin', some plain-hangin', some coffee-datin' catch ups, some show watchin', some heart to hearts. it was nice.

but the piece de resistance was last night. me and b-fri joey b. planned a giant clue-chase around the city. even though many of our friends are improvisers and performers and have weirdo schedules, tons of people came and played. planning this thing was insane at first - we couldn't figure out a way to make everything work right, so that people wouldn't end up in a pile or cheat. finally we worked out a great system, where we planted about 20 clues around town, with limericks or riddles on a ditto we handed out in the beginning. every time you found a clue, it would have a random number on it, and you had to add all the numbers up to win. joey and i got to plant the clues yesterday afternoon, sneaking around hiding things under wrigley field ticket windows, in newspaper machines, in mailboxes. it was super fun. one of the clues that satisfied me most was the following:

"She lived in a van in Alaska, she’s a singer
You’ll also find her on your ring finger.
July 17th is today’s date;
Keep up the good work – You’re doing grrrrRRREAT!"

This clue, to Chicagoans, should lead you to a local grocery chain called Jewel. When you got there, you had to find Frosted Flakes, where we had hidden a code underneath.

A. This clue was hilarious to plant, as were others, because we felt the sting of surveillance, and/or as if we were breaking the law, and
B. This clue made me feel like I was the mastermind behind Supermarket Sweep.

the ending of the clue chase was everything we hoped, because three of our eight teams were neck to neck on winning. one team - team lawyer, i'll call them - were bounding ahead, using their lawyery prowess to leap beyond many with splitting up tactics and great deduction. however, because of one simple misprint on one of the numbers they wrote down, they had the wrong code to find the last place where joey and i were. instead, another crew of william and mary-ers, all of who had stuck together and walked it in the bounds of friendship and camraderie, called in with the correct code as team law ran for it, and won the whole thing.

i think we all learned a little something here today.
{the more you knowwwwwww}

anyway, at the end, several of our friends who we hadn't yet celebrated with came and joined and those clue-chasers found the end locale of a laundry bar where joey and i had been the whole time. it was just great, just enough for a sunday evening with 50 random folks gathered together. really nice.

the best!

in conclusion - thanks so much for a great birf'monf'. this entry is mostly for me, so i can look back and remember how great so many different wings of folks in my life are. you rule.

happy birthday, all.

Monday, July 11, 2005


here's why: it was my birfday on sat!
more in a little, but that's where i've been. be back here shortly!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

shecky southwest

back in chi yesterday. it's nice to be back, but my footing is lost. everything was great here before, and then when i go home, i think - i could live here! - and i come back all shaken up, not knowing which one is completely right. i guess none are. or, all are.

i met a comedian on saturday morning. ...nope, you don't know him. you haven't seen him on comedy central, i didn't tour with him at the funny bone/chuckle hut/laugh shack. this comedian, you see, was none other than my flight attendant on the midway airport-based Southwest Airlines.

we get on the plane. everyone is seated, and we're all buckled in and ready to take off. Johnny Flight-Attendo holds something high in the air in the front and grabs the mic. "Has anyone lost a brown wallet? A brown, leather wallet?" (everyone looks up, all men check their rear pockets) ... ... ... ... ... "Okay, now that I've got your attention, let's hear about those safety regulations!"

well played, sir.

i waited to write this entry until when i flew back, so i could hear if they did the same routine and bits. nearly - they consistently made jokes on the following topics: air masks, water landing, waiting outside the restrooms. admittedly, i was unsettled both times during the water landing part, which was essentially a crash joke - something like, "in the event this little birdy becomes a love boat", etc. hmm... i get it, it's lighthearted. i appreciate the lightheartedness, but maybe not on the sinking tip. questionable. better work came as both Stand-Up Flight Attendants ("SuFAs", copyright 2005) cracked on the air masks - paraphrasing here: "when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, please place them on any child - or anyone acting like one " (Chi to Columbus). the better of those jokes was the following: "when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, please place one on your face before assisting others. if you have more than one child, pick your favorite" (Columbus to Chi). sweet dark comedy! yeah! who knew southwest was so edgy?

i like thinking about southwest people sitting around and studying the art of the FAA regulations, and how to spice it up. i also loved that they had the best audience you can probably have - a captive, attentive, and nervous one. however, does america not even have the attention span for even this anymore? there was something i hated about it - probably that we have no listening skills for even things that count, like exit row seating; secondly, i was angry that the speech seemed uber-contrived or something, but i have to give them some props for trying.

sell it, southwest!

the best part of all this is that i'm near sure someone like me came in there to the Southwest office, pitched ideas, and rewrote the thing with them during some corporate comedy jam-session, to make it more accessible and put a new face on flying.

aah, just think of this life-changing work.

Monday, July 04, 2005

the news, huey lewis and

get your jealousy hats on.
after a long day of parade-watching & cookout having with fam & kids, my uncle and aunt came by and snagged my mom for some MORE fireworks in Dublin. Dublin is a neighboring 'burb that has a huge public high school that is pretty posh, a rival of the high school i would've gone to if i hadn't gone to Cath School instead. my uncle/aunt/mom were pretty into the fireworks, because each year they have some band that will generally appeal to the masses to proceed the event. this year, Huey Lewis and the News were going to be playing until the fireworks started.

my brother Vince and i got there much later, around 9, but H.L. and said News were still going strong. earlier, when we heard word that Huey was around tonight, my brothers, sis-in-law and i sat around and proudly sang as many hits as we could, including "If This Is It", "Power of Love", "Back in Time", "Workin' for a Livin'", "I Want a New Drug", "Stuck with You", etc. See? you had no idea there were so many. which is exactly why we got there with Huey-time to spare. it was worth it. he even sang that one song from Duets, sans Gwyneth, but with back-up lady.
STILL, no?
um, also... i banged 3 members of the News!
(not true, but wouldn't that be a story?)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

you heard it here - first?

one of my good pals, frank caeti, just got hired to madtv today! frank has always been a huge cheerleader of comedysportz, and can currently be seen on the second city etc stage.

congrats, frank - it's about time. good things to good people. you rule.

fireworks - flip 'em the bird?

i'm in columbus for a little family r&r.
it rules, per usual.

last night, my mom, brother vince & i stumbled upon neighborhood fireworks beginning, so we watched from my mom's beautiful backyard. it was quiet and pretty; usually i like the big choreographed-to-music red-white-and-boom-esque display, but i must admit i've always been pretty partial to smaller fireworks... it's cool when you can hear people audibly cooing at the spectacle. it never gets old. ever, to me.

last night, and ever since, i've had a kind of obscure song called independence day in my head. it's by ani difranco, and has a few lines like this:
there was an exodus of birds from the trees
'cause they didn't know we were only pretending
and the people all looked up and looked pleased
and the birds flew around like the whole world was ending

it is directly referencing fireworks, and i always thought it was a pretty stanza - but last night, i really noticed this family of birds doing exactly that, and i noticed since it was so quiet out. something in me felt kind of sad for the birds since they really don't know what the hell the deal is. that feeling went away pretty quick when my brother and i started doing bits about the bird dad in his robe calling the police for noise violations, or bird mom flying down and yelling with little bird curlers in her hair.

bits aside, listen to that old ani classic if you feel in the spirit. then listen to lee greenwood.

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