Monday, February 28, 2011

Hansen MCed our reception, introducing each dance and speech.

Hansen: I just remember being nervous about not screwing up. I just wanted to say names correctly and not miss anyone or any event on the list. Your wedding planner was in my face the entire time, debating me on things you said you wanted to be done. Weird and wonderful.
Nick: At one point Hansen said, "So, I introduce this next part and then I'm done?" and the Wedding Planner hissed, "You're done when I say you're done." It was scary.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One of my favorite things about the old You Don't Know Jack games were the fake commercials that played during the credits. And one of my favorite things about working on the newest version of the game was writing and producing some of those commercials.

So, if you buy the game (and really, you should, jerk), listen closely for my voice and Sarah's voice as well as the voices of Megan, Marla and Nick (not to mention all my co-workers). My favorite commercial that I wrote is one where a man (voiced by Nick) has bought radio airtime to tell the world how much he hates one man, named ____ Hansen.

I thought Hansen would get a kick out of hearing his name in the credits of the game, and having someone say that he's a terrible person and everyone should hate him. We actually needed Hansen to sign a release form, which he did, gladly.

And now it's amusing to see, on Facebook and Twitter, the bit spreading. People posting, "I hate _____ Hansen."

I wonder if Hansen will someday grow to regret it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The American Theater Company (ATC) is bringing their late night improv show series back. A bunch of improv vets and cool monologists, Saturday nights at 10:30 (but not every Saturday night... uh... I don't know which ones... does that help?). It's especially fun to get to improvise on whatever set the theater has constructed for each current run of plays.

I've sat-in with the show in the past and was lucky to be asked to play in the first show back. The monologist was Jim Jacobs, the co-writer of the musical 'Grease.' Apparently, the original stage play is a bit darker than the movie, and the childhood stories that inspired the play, darker still. Let's just say one of the tamer stories was about a game called Splooie, which was basically a circle jerk for money.

It was a wonderful night of crazy storytelling and fairly filthy improv scenes.

The ATC is remounting Grease soon, a version truer to the original spirit. I'm definitely going to have to check it out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our first dance.

We never did go back for more dance lessons. Never mastered the waltz. So we went with the classic swaying back and forth, slowly turning in a circle, while patient guests looked on.

We had a hard time picking a song, but went with "Ugly Love" by Eels. A song that is a little bit funny, but also deeply heartfelt. One of our favorite combinations.

"Dear cousin,
I got your letter
It was more than i thought i deserved
Well she sounds perfect, all i dream of
And i dream about so much it is absurd
But when i get there and she sees me
I'll be impressed if she does not run screaming

"My kind of love is an ugly love
But it's real and it lasts a long, long time

"I had a thought while i was sleeping
And I dreamed about a place for us to rest
Eternity under the old oak tree
But i go too far i guess
Maybe I'll think about tomorrow
And maybe i can get her to stay that long

"'cause my kind of love is an ugly love
But it's real and it lasts a long, long time

"And if she finds me so repulsive
She wouldn't be the first to wretch
Well i decided one day long ago
I was never gonna be the greatest catch
And if she cares about the car i drive
Then she can get in hers
The moment i arrive

"'cause my kind of love is an ugly love
But it's real and it lasts a long, long time"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

They say, write what you know.

So, yeah, there are going to be a few marriage trivia questions in a game I wrote for while planning my own wedding.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Evan, one of my many co-workers to get married this year, also used fruit table centerpieces at his wedding back in the fall.

Here's what he wrote about it on his blog :

"Quite early on in the wedding planning, Shama thought up the idea to use apple baskets as centerpieces for our wedding. Turns out she doesn’t like flowers so much. Good to know.

"While we were buying apples, we saw some bags of oranges and we thought they’d be nice to add more color to the centerpieces.

"We got numerous comments during and after the wedding about how much people liked the 'apples and oranges' concept for the centerpieces. Most saw it as representing two very different cultures coming together. It was really nice. I wish we had thought of it. Really, we just thought they were pretty.

"And so it’s been with our relationship in general. A lot of people like to read something noble and important into a Muslim and Jew getting married. Someone once (albeit jokingly) told me, 'the future of the world rests on your shoulders.' I’m glad people think we’re doing something good, but it really never occurred to me or Shama that our relationship had some larger purpose. I just thought she was pretty."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another part of the not-a-lot-of-flowers thing, involved this brooch bouquet. Sarah collected cool looking brooches and had them made into a bouquet. Very cool.

Sarah: [seeing me looking at this picture on my laptop] Are you going to blog about my bridal folly?
Me: What do you mean?
Sarah: The bouquet. And how it ended up costing a lot more than... uh...
Me: So, wait, we didn't save money by not having flowers?
Sarah: I became obsessed with it, and when it started to become apparent that it was going to cost more than I thought... I just couldn't let it go. I put some of my own, non-budgeted money into it.
Me: How much?
Sarah: Oh... I will never tell you.

We didn't do the whole throwing-the-bouquet thing. For one it would have just shattered, sending dozens of brooches flying everywhere, and second, apparently it was a little too expensive for that sort of thing.

We still have it, as a lovely heirloom, sitting on a shelf.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Since we were on a farm, we had a bit of a fresh fruit theme running through our wedding.

Sarah: No flowers. Let's not have any flowers. Flowers are expensive.
Me: I'm totally on board with you there.
Sarah: Plus, flowers die. What a horrible symbol. They die!
Me: Well... I mean... fruit dies too... everything dies...
Sarah: Shush!

We did end up having some flowers at the wedding. A few. But not many. And it definitely saved us some money.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The tables all had to have names. Or numbers, I suppose, but we went with names.

Here are the 20 names we used:

The best table
The champion table
The choicest table
The finest table
The foremost table
The greatest table
The optimum table
The perfect table
The supreme table
The top table
The unequalled table
The unparalleled table
The unsurpassed table
The primo table
The number one table
The incomparable table
The bestest table
The goodest table
The paramount table
and... The worst table

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The little old schoolhouse had a chalkboard, so it only makes sense to have something cute written on it. And this old school yard chant fits the bill, in the way that most songs that include the word "wedding" get played at weddings. So, I understand why it was chosen by whoever put it up... the wedding planner maybe, probably the woman who owns and rents out the farm.

Still, seeing it for the first time, a month or so later in our wedding photos, Sarah and I both found it a little annoying. The "then comes..." is at least presumptuous if not downright ominous.

The again, the ellipses at the end includes more than the traditional three dots. The dots keep going. Maybe someone was suggesting that the amount of time was negotiable.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The farm where we got married not only had a converted barn and an old chapel on the grounds, but also a tiny old one room schoolhouse. That's where our guests picked up their table assignments, and since it was in a schoolhouse, we pinned them on real apples.

A pretty cool, idea, I think, although, it did worry me that we were giving our guests delicious apples with pins in them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I took this picture of our wedding photographers, while they were out in a field taking our picture out in a field.

We looked at a lot of photographers for the wedding, many of them very talented, but also... pretty cheesy. It's hard to blame them. Cheese is probably in high demand.

We ended up going with Sarah Seeley Photography, and loved their documentary style.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mom sent this picture from my nephew Tate's baptism. It's a real shame that we were too busy to make the trip, especially considering I'm Tate's godfather.

Here are some of the best captions from Mom's email:

"For some reason every time there has been a baptism the Godparents from Matt's side show up but our side always has stand-ins!?!? Allie for Sherry (Ty) and Grandma Doris for Allie (Will) and Grandpa Ron for Arnie (Tate). . ."

"By the fountain. . . big brothers watching closely. . . will Tate cry. . . nope, just kicked those little legs up in the air because he was a bit surprised by the holy water. I told Will that he cried when it happened to him as a baby but I really don't remember!?!?"

"Godfathers, or Arnie's stand-in, get the light from the Easter candle for their Godchild's candle. Some people use this later in their life for the unity ceremony at their wedding. . . other people use gongs instead. . . whatever you want when it's your wedding."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More press for You Don't Know Jack. The reviews have been really positive. My favorites are from The AV Club ("Jellyvision’s developers haven’t just lived up to the legacy of the greatest quiz-show game ever made, they’ve extended it. ") and The New York Times. The friggin' New York Times. Harry, the creator of YDKJ said, "Even I forwarded that review on to my parents."

We've also been doing some podcast interviews here and there. You can listen to a bunch of us on the Evil Avatar Shotgun Podcast. Near the end of the hour, the host actually asks me about my wedding, which surprised me.

After we were done I asked how he knew about it.

Host: Your name is unique so you're very google-able.
Me: Oh yeah.
Host: Honestly, I thought you were just pretending to be surprised during the podcast. You seem to have about 300 blogs.
Me: Good point.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day.

Sarah had class, so we're delaying any dinner plans until next weekend. So, I just ran errands.

At the grocery store, the guy in front of was buying flowers, wine and acid reflux medicine. The guy behind me was getting a six pack, a one-person sized Home Run Inn Pizza and acne cream.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

At a one year birthday party for Shad and Hawley's daughter, Anna, I ended up paging through their wedding album with Alex, Steve and Irene.

Sarah: I can't believe you dudes are over there looking through a wedding album.
Me: We're looking for pictures of ourselves.
Steve: Ohp, there I am!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Then it was picture time. Pictures with the wedding party. Pictures with our families. And then lots of pictures of just the two of us. In front of the chapel. Out in this field. On a bridge over a creek.

And they turned out great. I'm glad we have them. Sarah looks beautiful. I don't look too bad myself.

But I remember getting antsy, thinking it was going on a long time. And thinking about our cocktail hour, wondering what was going on over there. At one point we heard the sound of a car honking and people cheering coming from the other side of the farm where cocktails were being served. "What the hell is going on over there? Sounds fun."

If time travel existed, married couples could go back and be guests at their own weddings.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Still, several months in, it feels a little odd to say, "my wife." It just doesn't quite feel natural yet.

There is, however, one place where the phrase just rolls off my tongue without hesitation. The grocery store.

I'll point at my grocery list and say, "Yeah, my wife needs... 'italian parsley.' I think she needs it to be italian. If it were just me, I'd be fine with any kind of parsely. But you know. My wife."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I've been having trouble with my knee for... well... too long. Finally getting around to getting it checked out.

My first MRI.

Halfway through, the MRI clanging sounds stopped, and the technichians voice came over a speaker and asked, "How are you doing in there?"

I said, "Fine. I'm doing fine."


"I"m just fine."

The machine stopped and the woman opened the door and walked into the room, looking slightly alarmed.

"What did you say?"

"I said I'm fine. I'm okay."

"Oh," she chuckled, "I thought you were saying, 'I want to say goodbye.'"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

At the You Don't Know Jack Chicago release party/bar event last night, I noticed that Harry, who created You Don't Know Jack and has been through numerous releases in the franchise, was doing the same thing I was... collecting the little YDKJ trinkets at the party. YDKJ coasters. YDKJ napkins. YDKJ-themed drink menu.

It's nice to see the little things still seem cool.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The big day is here. The other big day.

'You Don't Know Jack' for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS and PC is now in stores. I'm credited as a "Head Writer" and "Additional Voices."

Everyone at work was a little giddy. We drove to a couple different stores just to look at it on the shelves. We took pictures.

Of course, it occurred to us fairly quickly that a name that starts with Y has its disadvantages. Near the bottom, near the end. Shelved in the bottom right corner, thanks to the alphabet, where your eyes may not naturally go.

Still, it's pretty cool.

Go buy it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

This winter is brutal. It will not stop snowing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

There's no better measure of how far we are from summer than two feet of snow on top of the neighbor's grill.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Company party at Steve-o's house to celebrate the new game coming out this week. All the people who work upstairs finally got a chance to see the game. And all of us that work downstairs got to hear people laugh at the jokes that we've heard over and over and over again.

Friday, February 4, 2011

There was some debate over whether to have birdseed or bubbles as we exited the chapel. Somehow this detail fell through the cracks until the day before the wedding.

After some scrambling, bird seed was bought, and since there wasn't time to put it in festive little pouches, it was dumped in a few fancy baskets to be passed around.

Now, here's why the pouches are a good idea... a handful of bird seed, even a casual handful of birdseed, is a lot of birdseed.

We were barraged with birdseed. By the time we were halfway down the line we could no longer hide the fact that it was painful and disorienting (luckily, it was also funny). Just to understand the sheer force of it all, look at the top left corner of this picture at that terrifyingly massive clump of birdseed heading our way.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It wasn't until a couple days into the blizzard that I thought, "I should probably buy a shovel."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed in. The city is pretty much shut down from snow.

I worked from home, listening to Sarah in the next room, playing video games and watching movies on the Netflix Instant Queue.

The internet is both a gift and a curse.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Snowpocalypse." The biggest blizzard to hit Chicago in 30 years. They say. Normally I would have stayed home and avoided the whole thing, but I had a doctor's appointment downtown that ran long, dipping into early-blizzard-time.

Since I was already downtown, I picked Sarah up from work and we slowly slowly drove home up Lakeshore Drive in the blinding snow and bumper to bumper traffic.

Me: I spy with my little eye... hmm... something white.
Sarah: Is it... snow?
Me: Yes.
Sarah: Oh good. Okay. I spy with my little eye... something white!
Me: Is it that taxi?
Sarah: No.
Me: Is it snow?
Sarah: Yes.
Me: Dammit! Okay, okay.. I spy with my little eye... something... white.
Sarah: Is it snow?
Me: No.
Sarah: Is it that taxi?
Me: Yes.