Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sarah and I don't have any set pet names for each other, although we do have a handful of dumb joke ones, and a couple we occasionally use just to annoy each other (like "Shitbox").

It would take too long to explain why, but one of the sets of joke pet names we have for each other is Poopsie and Mayonnaise. The short version is, they just sound like ridiculously over-the-top babytalk pet names.

Sometime during the last year, during the writing process for the new You Don't Know Jack game, the idea that the host character, Cookie Masterson, would have two pet cats seeped into the game, and they pop up from time to time in the console versions, mostly in a recurring question type about weird dreams Cookie has where his cats play parts from movies.

Anyway, those cats needed names so... I named them Poopsie and Mayonnaise.

They only pop up maybe a half dozen times in the game, but they're Sarah's favorite questions. "Poopsie and Mayonnaise!," she'll yell, "That's us!"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Maybe the best moment. Near the end of the evening, Toto's 'Africa' starts playing, and everyone spontaneously starts singing along. Everyone still around, whoever hadn't caught a shuttle back to the hotels yet, circling around and belting out the song.

Pretty amazing. Pretty awesome.

And for months afterward, I'd get little texts or emails from friends and family: "Just heard 'Africa' on radio. Still awesome."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Junes ago, back in 2009, I posted a picture on my last blog, "A Year in Pictures of Living Together," of the giant paperbacks Sarah and I were reading at the time.

And I wrote, "Just how nerdy are we? We're both reading books from the 'Song of Ice and Fire' series at bedtime. Side by side. She's reading book two, 'A Clash of Kings.' I'm reading book one, 'A Game of Thrones.'"

Now, nearly two years later, we're both reading the same two books, only Sarah's switched over to reading her's on a Kindle.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Okay, the person who was getting married, but now isn't, is my friend and old roommate, Young.

Young: Oh, you should use my name, right? I was a major character in your blog for a long time. It's like when Diane came back at the end of Cheers. I'm frankly surprised you haven't been having a field day with this already. You should use that picture of all the Whirled News Tonight engaged people and talk about how it all turned out.

This is the picture I posted back in June, along with the caption, "And here are all the members of the show Whirled News Tonight that are currently engaged. Megan, Alex, Me, Young. Just under 40% of the cast. Are this many people always getting married or do you only notice it when you're one of them?"

And since then some things seemed to get worse and some things seemed to get better. (For instance, my hair.)

As for "how it all turned out," I don't really have an answer for that. As far as I can tell everyone's doing well, even Young. That's my hope.

Sometimes things get worse. Sometimes things get better. I imagine everyone's had at least some of both.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've read that people become obsessed with the numbers "9-11." See them everywhere. Signs. Clocks.

It's just selective perception, of course. Like getting married and suddenly noticing how much of the world is about getting married. Secret message to engaged people everywhere you look.

As a kid, I would always notice when a digital clock hit "11:11" and make a wish. But I never really noticed the 9-11 thing... until after I got married on that day. And I still don't notice it much, but when I do, I just think, "Hey, that's my anniversary."

Monday, April 25, 2011

About a year ago, just as a busy wedding season was about to get underway, Steve told me a story about going to a wedding during college, his first time seeing some people from high school, and talking to a girl, trying to impress her... and seeing, out of the corner of his eye, his uncle (I think) talking to the wedding DJ.

Steve: When I was a kid I used to jump around and do a Mick Jagger impression for my family. Just the lip thing and the strut. I didn't even do the voice. And my uncle must have decided that this would be a great thing for me to do now. And the DJ announces that we have a special treat, MICK JAGGER is here. And I had no choice but to do it. And afterward the girl I was talking to was like, "Is this something that you do?"

The painfully awkward story made me laugh pretty hard, and, of course, my first thought was, "we have to trick Steve into doing it at our wedding."

So, Sarah and I came up with the plan to have our MC, Hansen, announce something like, "Steve has a Mick Jagger impression that he likes to do at wedding receptions. He's requested to do it now, in honor of Arnie and Sarah's union, and they would love to see it." Specifically worded to really trap him into doing it.

Like many of our "funny" wedding ideas, we decided not to bother. Probably for the best.

Me: What would you have done?
Steve: Man. I really don't know what I would have done. All I know for sure is that I would have been filled with rage. I should probably figure out a response because it will probably happen someday. I think I would not have done it. But I don't know how I would have gotten away. The problem with it is that I look like an asshole either way. If I do it, I hate every second of it. And people are like "what is this guy's problem?" If I don't do it, I look like a poor sport. But since I've done it at one wedding and felt the awfulness of that, I think my next move is to try just standing there and saying stuff like, "I told you guys I wouldn't do it, so I'm not doing it." I think the worst part about doing it is that any Rolling Stones song goes on for at least 3 minutes. At the wedding it happened at, the first 30 seconds or so were fine, but then there's just that painful, awful 2.5 minutes where everyone is staring at you and nobody is happy. Oh God. I may have to never go to a wedding again.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Easter picture from my godson, Tate.

Sarah and I had a nice, just us, first married Easter, which we celebrated by seeing the movie, 'Source Code.'

I called my family to see how they spent their day.

Dad: Well, your mother went a little overboard on the eggs.
Me: Will said he found 60 eggs but I assumed he was... I don't know... wrong.
Dad: Nope. He was right. Your mother put out 60 some eggs. For two grandchildren. It took a long time.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Drinks with friends.

Nothing new.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I haven't mentioned it on the blog, but this year a friend of mine had an engagement come to an end. So, he's not getting married. It happens. Hell, it's happened to me.

The date of the "would've gotten married" is next week, so some of his friends are throwing him a party. A "why not use this as a good excuse to get together and have drinks" sort of thing.

I sent out Evites. And here's the thing, this event, to me, seems totally healthy and not weird, but it's kind of a hard Evite to write. What do you call this sort of thing? "(Re)Save the Date?"

It reminded me that when my own engagement fell apart, years ago now, eventually the only awkward part was the explaining.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You know, like this photo from Alex and Megan's wedding. Table photos.

Although, I guess Alex and Megan aren't in this photo. It's just the people at the table. So, whatever. You know what, I'm going to stop worrying about it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

File this under: Things We Didn't Think to Do. "Getting pictures with each of our tables."

We forgot to take the time (but what time?) to go around and get a picture taken at each of the tables at the reception. Sure, we were more interested in documentary style photos than posed, but it still would have been nice to make sure we got a picture with everyone. It's a small thing, though.

I did get this picture with most of the cast of Whirled News Tonight, past and present (minus only Haskins, Young and Padraic).

Eddie, folding his arms in the front, actually had to drive back to Chicago with his wife that night, because of a baptism in the morning. I made a point to thank him for coming as he was heading out, but then saw him, still hanging out, hours later. They must have gotten almost no sleep before that baptism. That's the sign of a good party.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scene from a marriage:

Sarah: [yelling from other room] Did you turn the shower on?!
Me: What? Did I turn on the shower?!
Sarah: Did you just turn on the shower?!
Me: No! I'm peeing!
Sarah: You're peeing?! Oh! Jeez!
Me: You thought that was the shower?!
Sarah: Yeah!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I was asked to write and perform a piece for The Paper Machete, a live magazine show in town, or, as they call it, "a salon in a saloon." Since Shakespeare's birthday and deathday are coming up, I came up with a little essay about Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, and how we've probably referenced it to death ("... that undiscovered country").

It's been a while since I wrote something that wasn't a funny trivia question or a medium-funny blog entry. It seemed to go over well.

You can give it a listen over at the Paper Machete's website.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stonelake and Aileen at our wedding. They're getting married later this year.

Back before I picked wood for my ring, Stonelake and I were both part of an online conversation about ring materials.

Stonelake: I was actually thinking tungsten, but then I heard that emergency rooms can't cut it off you if you catch your hand in something, which I am constantly doing. The issue is that if you futz up your fingers, like when I crashed my bike last spring and my fingers went in all directions and dislocated and broke everywhere, then your hand swells up and if the ER docs can't cut off your ring you might lose your finger.

I'd hear this rumor as well. I did a little internet research and it's widely believed to be true, but apparently isn't. At least that's what the tungsten-selling people say.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hedges was the videographer at our wedding. Really all I asked him to do was start the camera recording when the ceremony started, maybe zoom it in, and make sure no one knocked the tripod over. But he went above and beyond, zooming, panning, tilting, even picking the tripod up after and carrying it around outside for cocktail hour.

I felt a little bad, like he didn't get to experience it firsthand.

Hedges: It certainly didn't hurt my enjoyment or make me feel less present to film the wedding, it was my pleasure, I just wish there was more battery so that I could have filmed all the speeches. It was such an honest, funny and original ceremony; seeing it through the camera lens and with the naked eye from my perch in the balcony made it the ultimate 3D movie watching experience.

Also, the country western shirt he wore was awesome.

Hedges: Hey, you said the wedding was on a farm!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our friend, Hedges, won tickets to a box at a White Sox game. A whole box. He wasn't able to give away all the tickets.

Hedges: I think some people were hesitant to come out because of the rain, but... we're inside! In a box!

Hedges won the tickets from a raffle at a half marathon or fun run or something. He's been running a lot of those lately, losing a lot of weight.

And we celebrated that by watching baseball from a box, drinking beers and eating hot dogs.

Um... I think the Sox lost.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mimosas and donuts at work to celebrate the release of 'You Don't Know Jack' for iPhone and iPad.

Go buy it! It has different questions than the game console retail versions.

Man... I have written a million questions (and counting).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

After that it's mostly dancing (but it gets less awkward).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sarah has officially started going to school full time.

That means a lot of things, but first it means that she now gets to sleep in longer than me in the morning, instead of the other way around. I’ve noticed she does the same thing that I used to do, immediately taking her phone off the nighttable and putting it on the bed where I was just sleeping.

[Later, while chatting online with Sarah about this post, she wrote, “I'm not just a full time student. I'm also a full time improvisor. But I don't know how you would say that without making it sound douchey.” And then, “Also, I spelled improviser wrong. Because I'm new at this.”]

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sarah's taking a class on writing teleplays, TV scripts. She turned in her first assignment, which was to write an opening death scene for the show, 'Six Feet Under.'

She printed it out on left over fancy paper from our wedding.

Sarah: I'm thinking about writing an opening where you die.
Me: Uh... okay.
Sarah: It has to be somebody.
Me: Why don't you write one where you die, since you already took that class about coming to terms with your own mortality.
Sarah: No. What if I killed you off in every script I wrote? So, I'd write an episode of 'Dexter' where he kills you. Or an episode of 'House' where you're a patient who dies. How would you feel about that.
Me: How would I feel? I guess I'd feel like you were working out some pent up aggression.

She ended up writing a scene where an old woman dies after discovering her dog has died from eating chocolate.

Sarah: I killed off my great grandmother, who did kill my dog with chocolate, but she's already dead, so it's okay.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Since Dad's retirement announcement, Mom's been sending me newspaper clippings and forwarding me links to articles. It's nice to see the outpouring of praise. It reminds me a bit of watching the reviews for You Don't Know Jack come in, and even sniffing around the internet after our wedding for people posting pictures on Facebook. After such a big event, just trying to get some hints at what it all really looked like. Maybe the internet can help me understand what just happened to me.

My dad's always had a coach's stoicism, wisely avoiding any whiff of hubris ("That was a good game/season, but let's focus on the challenges ahead..."), so I hope now he can begin to step back and see what a truly amazing career he's had.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Poland, one of my coworkers, mentioned recently that he actually had a just-in-case speech prepared for the wedding.

Besides being one of the best writers for You Don't Know Jack, Poland also does all the music and most of the sound effects for the game. Over the years, if I couldn't think of a funny joke for a certain dialogue slot, I'd write in some kind of funny sound effect instruction, knowing that Poland would do it, and make it hilarious. This eventually evolved into me intentionally inventing strange sfx instructions just to see if he could do it.

Well, apparently he printed up a list of some of his favorites that I'd written, and although he didn't get a chance to read them at the wedding, here are some of them:

"[sfx: eagle caw and then poop sound]"

"[SFX: parrot vomitting] (sic)"

"(SFX: sheep baa, then gunshot, then thump of sheep hitting ground)"

"[SFX: nunchuk sound, interspersed with painful sounding bonks]"

“eagle shooting lasers out of eyes”

"[SFX: sheep baaing, positively?]"

"[sfx: squawking of multiple falling chickens]"

"[sfx: sad pig squeal]"

"[sfx: pterodactyl hitting a cow?]"

"[sfx: dolphin squeals then 70s porn music]"

"[sfx: background sound of a sort of regal meow]"

"[sfx: two boob honks and a poop sound]"

"[SFX: violin, trumpet, guitar and bongo blasting out noise and mariachi singer yelling ominous things in Spanish]"

"[sfx: angry sounding tinkerbell talking]"

"[sfx: pretty bird sounds, then a loud jet sound, and somehow getting across that the jet kills the birds?]"

"[SFX; fart noise]"

"[SFX: funnier fart noise]"

"[SFX: funniest fart noise]"

Friday, April 8, 2011


Colds mostly gone. Quarantine over!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We had a little surprise party at work for Harry, the company's founder and CEO.

There's new teleconferencing equipment upstairs that's pretty neat. For instance, if there's more than one person video-calling in, the person speaking is automatically placed into the biggest part of the screen, on the left. So, the people are periodically shuffled around the screen as they talk. Pretty cool. Although it makes it a lot harder for those people to try to send a "Happy Birthday" message with signs, and keep them in the correct order.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sarah did some promotional work last night where she had to walk around a corporate party pretending to be a frazzled bride-to-be, interacting with guests and then later do a musical number on stage. This picture is the slide they used for her character, "Sarah Shaffer."

Me: Was it weird to be dressed as a bride again?
Sarah: Not really. It was a much simpler dress. But I was excited to wear my headpiece again from the wedding.

These sort of being-a-character-at-a-party gigs can be awkward, but they can pay well.

Sarah: I was trying to think of things to say, so I asked one woman where she got her shoes and she pulled me aside and gave me all this wedding advice.
Me: So... she didn't realize it was fake?
Sarah: No, I think she did.
Me: But that was just the conversation she wanted to have.
Sarah: I don't think she knew anyone at the party, so I was someone to talk to. I was slouching a lot, as part of my character, and she gave me all these posture tips for the big day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This is the apartment building where Young and I lived before Sarah and I moved in together.

Longtime readers of my blogs may remember that there was a crappy open storefront beneath us, then it became the "Mini Flea," a sort of misguided used furniture store that looked like someone shoved a bunch of dingy furniture into a room and called it a store. A dry erase board out front read, "Free Hot Dog All Day." It didn't last long. The "Grand Opening" banner was still up when it closed down. After that it became the home of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Young: I went by there this weekend, and you know where the Mini Flea used to be? It's now the Chicago Tea Party headquarters.

So it goes.

I drove by the new "Mini Tea" today to see for myself and it somehow looks even more slapdash than that resale shop ever did.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our neighbors in the apartment next to us are a bunch of dumb loud kids. I sort of suspected we were in for trouble when they moved in over a year ago, and one of them had a black eye and was carrying a kegorator up the stairs.

They must be annoying other people in the building because I found this note crumpled up in the trash down by all the mailboxes. I dug it out because I found it funny. My favorite part is the response from the "mailman." I truly hope that it's actually from our mailman and not just someone with a good sense of humor.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just because I "graduated" from physical therapy doesn't mean I'm done. Now I just do the home exercises. Many of the same exercises, only replacing machines and official equipment with things around the house. You know, like a prison workout.

For instance, in the gym I used to do an exercise where I stood on my left leg, knee slightly bent and placed five small orange traffic cones down on workout bench and then picked them up and them put them down over and over again. For the home version I use this old wooden storage chest and these leftover plastic wedding cups.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The cold and flu season is still in full effect in our apartment. Sarah’s cold is so bad that we’ve decided to utilize “sick bay,” aka “the guest room.” Of course, despite the fact that I’m mostly okay now, I’m the one sleeping sick bay, but, oh well. It feels strange to be separated by this self-imposed quarantine.

Sarah: [via text sent from the bedroom] “G’night Roomie Husband.”
Me: [via text from Sick Bay] “We are not roomies. We are temporarily starcrossed lovers. Our eventual reunion will be beautiful.”
Sarah: “Ooooo. Then are you my Phantom of the Husband?”
Me: “Yes. Especially because that makes no sense.”

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sarah and I, despite being pretty nerdy, keep missing the comic book conventions in Chicago. We keep meaning to go. C2E2 was a couple weekends ago, but again, we missed it.

Young went though, and if this picture he sent is any indication, he had a great time.