Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Somewhere outside of Boston.

Living out of a hotel for a couple days while I help run some workshops teaching corporate executives the benefits of improv.

Early in our relationship, Sarah spent part of a year living in Boston. We did the long distance thing, and I visited her there numerous times. I've never been to Boston without her, in fact, and I was thinking it might be odd to revisit the place when she wasn't along.

But really there's no time to know that I'm anywhere besides working in a conference room and sleeping in a hotel.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mom sent this picture from Thanksgiving of me holding Tate.

She wrote, "It looks like Tate has a certain finger up!?!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back in Chicago with our new Black Friday-purchased comforter set.

(Farewell, old bacon colored comforter!)

It's great. Soft and warm.

But... it comes with a billion pillows. I don't mean to be a classic dumb male, but... do we need all these pillows. Obviously we don't NEED them. The new routine, as I understand it, is to take most of the pillows off at night and then to put them all back on in the morning.

I'm blessed to be able to sleep in a bit longer than Sarah most mornings, so making the bed is my job. That's fair. I don't mind it. But I suspect that this new arrangement is going to make me start feeling like the Sisyphus of decorative pillows.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We visited Sherry's new house where she and Allie only-half-jokingly gave us the hard sell on moving back to Ohio.

Allie: We could find you jobs!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another peek at Thanksgiving.

My sisters (and Mom in the back) looking at our professional wedding photos. They were a big hit, but no one seems to ever like pictures of themselves.

Everyone took turns saying, "Oh I look terrible" or "No, you look great."

For the record, they all looked great.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It was great to see my nephews Ty and Will, and of course little baby Tate there in the background.

They got a little riled up (it may have been my fault) and occasionally Julie, their mother, would say, "Guys... if you're not good, Grandpa won't let you run around in the gym."

They were excited to hopefully get a chance to run around on the basketball court where my dad coaches.

Dad: You know, I'm not 100% sure we can get in there.
Mom: Really?
Dad: I'll have to call security. It's not like the old days when I could just go in whenever I wanted.
Julie: [laughing] Uh oh. I've been telling them we'd go if they're good.
Me: Well.... then... we may just have to tell them they've been bad.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hadn't been home for Thanksgiving in maybe five years so Sarah and I decided to make the trip.

Mom: Did you bring back our wedding pictures?
Me: Oh yeah, we burned CDs of pictures for everyone.
Sarah: No, I think she means their pictures. That we borrowed.
Me: Oh crap. No. Sorry.
Mom: It's okay.
Dad: It's fine. It's not like we're going to look at them.
Mom: Well, I look at them sometimes.
Dad: Oh really? I don't remember the last time I saw them.
Mom: Not often. But I look at them sometimes.
Me: We'll bring them at Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The leftover wedding booze (and Sprite) is long since gone now, but we still have an insane amount of plastic cups.

These are just the ones in our house. There are several more bags in the trunk of my car, so I'm ready to be "that guy" at a potluck at a moment's notice.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I drive to work most days. Except today Sarah accidentally headed off to her job with my cars keys in her purse.

Not a big deal. It happens.

It figures, though, that this afternoon we had some of the most torrential rains I've ever seen in Chicago.

Sarah and I rode the L home together, and then ran from the station to our apartment through rain that seemed to come in bucket-fulls from every direction.

So, we got soaked. But we got soaked together. (...but it was still her fault)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sarah's vows:

"Arnie, I’m going to say this and you will know exactly the compliment that it is. Before I met you, I thought I was the stupidest person I knew. And then I met you. And you are the stupidest person I know. And you know what I mean… in a way that no one else does.

"I will never forget when we first started dating, and one Sunday morning you got up and you put on Toto's 'Africa.' And I said, 'Arnie, what are you doing?' And you said, 'I’m just making sure this song is still awesome.'

"And then… every Sunday for two months you played Toto's 'Africa' to see if it was still awesome. And we did it together.

"And every time… [getting a bit choked up] ...every moment that we have… and every hard day after work, or any great moment when you make me laugh and I don’t expect it, you remind me, that you’re awesome, and I’m reminded that you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

"And… that’s it!”

Saturday, November 20, 2010

These are the things on my bedside table. Tooth whitening strips left over from before the wedding. Books I'm reading for pleasure and a couple books I need to read to prepare for a corporate training seminar I'm going to help run in a couple weeks.

And that's how I ended up using a whitening strip as a bookmark in a book titled 'CHARISMA.'

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finally getting around to burning the wedding ceremony to DVD so I can give a copy to my parents. It's a slow process, waiting for the video to "render," watching as it replays the ceremony excruciatingly slowly, frame by frame, stretching each moment out.

I suppose it's somewhat like reading this blog, as I spend a whole year talking about this one day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Since it wasn't a religious ceremony, strictly speaking, we weren't sure what to call the homily portion of the proceedings. While putting together the script for the program I put in "More Talking" as a placeholder. We thought that was sort of funny, and accurate, so we kept it.

Stacey: As stated in your program we have now come to the part of the ceremony where we will have “more talking.” By me.

She then went on to read a very sweet passage from her favorite book, 'The Little Prince.'

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I don't think I've mentioned yet during this blog that I also have a podcast. It's called Stupid Nerd, and I interview friends about nerdy things they're into that I don't know much about. The Green Lantern. The Twilight books. Cryptic crosswords.

Now that the wedding is over, I've had time to record some new episodes. For this week's podcast I interviewed Ellis, who is into Live Action Role-Playing. Once a month he goes out camping in the woods and pretends to be a gypsy fighting elves, trolls, pirates... that sort of thing.

In fact I found out that part of the reason he and Thea missed Sarah and I's wedding was that he was off LARPing that weekend. Which is a pretty decent excuse if you ask me.

Here's an excerpt from the podcast:

Me: Do you think Thea, your wife, would ever go and do this with you?
Ellis: No, of course not.
Me: How does she react when you talk to her about it?
Ellis: I don’t talk to her about it.
Me: [laughing] You don’t talk to her about it at all?
Ellis: She used to talk about how cool it was that I could talk to her about it, but I noticed if I told her more than one thing… she would eventually tell me that it was bothering her and that she didn’t want to hear about it.
Me: Really? Literally that it was bothering her?
Ellis: Yep. She was like “I don’t want to hear about it.” I mean, you’ve got to understand, you spend a weekend… I went into a town that was overrun with zombies. We freed the town and killed the zombies. It was super cool to be a part of that. It was really really cool. And then… there’s no way I can make that cool when I talk about it to her.

You can find all the episodes of the Stupid Nerd podcast (including this one, episode #33) here or you can search for "stupid nerd" in iTunes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A few more e-mail updates from my mom.

My sister Sherry bought a house and moved in with her two dogs. Mom took pictures when she and Julie and Julie's sons came over to visit.

The caption Mom wrote under this picture is pretty much a great three sentence short story all by itself.

Reading the e-mail, Sarah said, "Sherry has a house?!" in a tone that implied that maybe we shouldn't live in a city where such a thing seems so outlandish.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Took this picture of myself on my way into work, thinking I'd add some funny caption like, "This is how I look now. I've let myself go a bit since the wedding."

Looking at the picture, though, it's weird to see how annoyed I look at the person taking the picture... who is, you know, me.

I guess I've just discovered what I look like in the morning.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My dad's birthday.

Mom sent me a few picture from a couple days ago, when my nephews visited him in his office before his first basketball game of the season (which he won). There were also cupcakes.

I'm excited to see all these dudes very soon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sometimes I have the bad habit of imbuing inanimate objects with emotions and then feeling sorry for them.

For instance, the first wedding ring I ordered, the one that was too small... it currently sits in the little green bag it came in, next to some loose change, like a little wooden Miss Havisham, abandoned right before the wedding. It makes me feel a bit sad for it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's worth taking a moment to mention our wedding programs, which were beautiful and designed by Sarah's friend (and Glynn's girlfriend) Brooke. (Have you noticed the theme yet of us getting people to do shit for us for free?)

Inside it was pretty standard, except maybe for this bit, which I wrote.

"Deepest thanks to our parents and grandparents for a lifetime of love and support. And to our friends and family for being an important part of who we are. Without you in our lives, we would be different people. Or horses. No, wait, we wouldn't be horses. That doesn't make sense. Things wouldn't be quite THAT different. But still, without you, things wouldn't be the same. Thank you."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sarah's friend, and ex-roommate, Tim, giving the second reading.

I picked the second reading. I had grown frustrated googling potential readings, and tried a new approach, thinking of any poets I've ever liked, and by liked, I mean, bothered to read more than two poems by... and looking to see if maybe they had anything that could work. This didn't take much time, since the list was not long.

I went through a Richard Brautigan phase in high school, and a couple months before the wedding rediscovered this poem, 'Rural Electrification Project,' which Tim read a slightly abridged version of:

"I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don't look like any girl I've ever seen before.

"I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.

"It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930's New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn't have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn't listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.

"There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.

"Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer's family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.

"It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio '... the President of the United States... '

"I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio....

"And that's how you look to me."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The live music at the wedding was performed by my friends Jeanine and Evan. They didn't know each other, so it was very kind of them to agree to learn the songs and to learn how to play them together.

During the ceremony they sang the Magnetic Fields song, 'It's Only Time.'

Here's a taste of the lyrics:

"Why would I stop loving you/
A hundred years from now/
It's only time/
It's only time"

"What could stop this beating heart/
Once it's made a vow/
It's only time/
It's only time"

Sarah seems to think the song is about death, but I don't see it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I've started doing a new improv show Tuesday nights at 10 at the iO theater. The Welcome to Your 30s Boys. It's me, Young, Steve and Shad (pictured).

I hadn't seen Shad in a while, and backstage before the show we talked about getting used to wearing a wedding ring.

Shad: I remember the first winter I had mine, and I guess my hands were tighter because of the cold, and, anyway, I came into the Salt and Pepper, and I took off my coat, just sort of snapping my arms down to throw the sleeves off and my ring... it shot right off my finger! And it bounced off the floor and into the air... and it hit this woman, in the face! My wedding ring hit this poor young single woman, right in the face!

Monday, November 8, 2010

There are drawbacks to having a wood wedding ring. For instance, over time, water can damage it. Not a big deal, but I take it off every time I wash my hands.

My clever system for not losing it is to simply slip it into the tiny coin pocket of my jeans.

Walking back from the bathroom, though, subtly slipping my wedding ring back on, I always feel a little creepy like a cliched cheating husband in a bad Made-For-TV movie.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cleaning up around the apartment, trying to get it back to presentable.

Sarah put this old wooden shelf up on the wall. It's been sitting on our floor for the nearly two years we've lived in this apartment so real progress is being made.

Now, whenever we adjust the heat, we can take a moment to look at whatever knick knacks we eventually decide to display on it. One thing at a time, though.

For now we've put the sign from our wedding wishing tree there. It makes no sense to display a sign asking people to write messages to us and put them in envelopes and hang them on a tree... in our apartment where there are no envelopes and no tree, but... we'll figure something out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tamara giving the first reading of the ceremony. From Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Everything Is Illuminated.'

It's a bit long for a reading, but Tamara did a good job with it.

"The young couple first married on August 5, 1744, when Joseph was eight and Sarah six, and first ended their marriage six days later when Joseph refused to believe, to Sarah's frustration, that the stars were silver nails in the sky, pinning up the black nightscape. They remarried four days later, when Joseph left a note under the door of Sarah's parents' house: I have considered everything you told me, and I do believe that the stars are silver nails.

"They ended their marriage again a year later, when Joseph was nine and Sarah seven, over a quarrel about the nature of the bottom of the river bed. A week later, they were remarried, including this time in their vows that they should love each other until death, regardless of the existence of the riverbed, the temperature of the riverbed's bottom (should it exist), and the possible existence of starfish on the possibly existing riverbed.

"They ended their marriage one hundred and twenty times throughout their lives and each time remarried with a longer list of vows. They were sixty and fifty-eight at their last marriage, only three weeks before Sarah died of heart failure and Joseph drowned himself in the bath. Their marriage contract still hangs over the door of the house they on-and-off shared-nailed to the top post and brushing against the SHALOM welcome mat:

"'It is with everlasting devotion that we, Joseph and Sarah L, reunite in the indestructible union of matrimony, promising love until death, with the understanding that the stars are silver nails in the sky, regardless of the existence of the bottom of the river, the temperature of this bottom (should it exist) and the possible existence of starfish on the possibly existing riverbed, overlooking what may or may not have been accidental grape juice spills, agreeing to forget that Joseph played sticks and balls with his friends when he promised he would help Sarah thread the needle for the quilt she was sewing, and that Sarah was supposed to give the quilt to Joseph, not his buddy, ignoring the simple fact that Joseph snores like a pig, and that Sarah is no great treat to sleep with either, letting slide certain tendencies of both parties to look too long at members of the opposite sex, not making a fuss over why Joseph is such a slob, leaving his clothes wherever he feels like taking them off, expecting Sarah to pick them up, clean them, and put them in their proper place as he should have, or why Sarah has to be such a pain about the smallest things, such as which way the toilet paper unrolls, or when dinner is five minutes later than she was planning, because, let's face it, it's Joseph who's putting that paper on the roll and dinner on the table, disregarding whether the beet is a better vegetable that the cabbage, putting aside the problems of being fat-headed and chronically unreasonable, trying to erase the memory of a long since expired rose bush that a certain someone was supposed to remember to water when his wife was visiting family, accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be. May we live together in unwavering love and good health. Amen'"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Meador's opening words during the wedding ceremony:

"On behalf of Sarah and Arnie, I would like to welcome family, friends, and the “and guests” of family and friends who are not yet family or friend, but hopefully will be one or both of these things by the end of the evening. My name is _____ Meador, and I, along with Stacey ______, have the honor of facilitating the union of Sarah ______ and Arnie _______. In beautiful Galena, surrounded by trees and cows and corn and the closest thing Illinois has to mountains, we find ourselves ready to share in all the moments that will make today wonderful and special and great, and the topic of at least a few weeks worth of remembrances, emails, status updates, mild regrets and personal triumphs."

A conversation from the day before the wedding:

Meador: I'm thinking about adding a bit to the opening about the wedding being the "Ultimate Yes And." What do you guys thinks?
Me: Uh... no.
Sarah: No.
Me: Sorry.
Meador: No improv jokes?
Me: No improv jokes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trupe sent me this picture of Wells with his big sister, Viv.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My sister, Julie, wasn't the only pregnant guest at our wedding. There was also Wonak, Trupe's wife. Here's a picture Nick took of them during cocktail hour.

Over the weekend Trupe and Wonak had their second child, their first son, Wells.

And there were a couple other pregnant ladies at the wedding, ranging from very pregnant to still-too-early-to-tell-many-people-but-people-may-notice-I'm-not-drinking.

So, a wave of babies are coming. For instance, I got this text message today, from another wedding guest, "Its a boy... still not due until march. but we saw the weiner!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And this is what I saw.

Who wouldn't be choked up?


Monday, November 1, 2010

Evan wrote this about his wedding on his blog:

"Having a Jewish/Desi wedding can be complicated at times. Shama’s been trying to get some Indian fabric and other accouterments on Devon, Chicago’s Indian district, but once the shop-ladies find out it’s for a non-traditional wedding, they become much less helpful. One lady told her there was no shop that would sell her what she wanted.

"Undeterred (okay, slightly deterred) Shama decided to be awesome. She got a clipboard, put her hair in a pony tail, wore her glasses and went back to the same shops.

"Shama: I’m a student at Columbia College and I’m the art director for a student film we’re entering in an international film contest. It’s a Bollywood style film and I need to dress several characters including the villain, the pushy aunt, and the bride. Today I’m trying to find pieces for the bride character. Oh, and we’re on a budget.

"I got a text message from her that afternoon: This ruse is working frighteningly well.

"Sometimes she’d send photos to her 'director' (i.e. maid of honor) for approval."