"May God bless us, every one!" said the soon-to-die cripple.

Merry Christmas, everyone! From me and my new socks. I love them so very much!

Seriously though, my best wishes to you and yours this holiday season. Much love and Godspeed.

P.S. I haven't taken to only posting on major holidays. That would be boring. Maybe I'll make it a New Year's resolution to get back in the swing of things and start posting more. Because, you know, people always keep their resolutions.

P.P.S. "Carry Me Home" by The Living End is still way too difficult.


Eat that turkey

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

This year, I'm thankful for Guitar Hero 2, especially the song "Jessica" by The Allman Brothers.

I am not thankful at all for "Carry Me Home" by The Living End. That song is way too difficult.

I'm thankful for other things too, of course. But being serious on the Internet is hard.


Heed my advice

My tagline would be as follows:



The Greek mob, maybe

This is
Alexi Giannoulias, our newly elected Illinois State Treasurer. His opponent said I shouldn't vote for him because of his alleged mob ties.

Forget that.

If anything, I voted for him because of his alleged mob ties. Say what you want about the mob, they know how to handle money.


A slippery slope

What you see here might be the final straw.

I have always claimed an affinity for geek culture, but I fear that I have now irredeemably cursed myself.

What you see...is a storage box for my comic books. Inside that box are several dozen of them.

They have been bagged and boarded.

They are sorted by publisher and title.

The drawer pulls out for easy access.

I fear it is too late for me. I have been lost...to the geek side. Save yourselves.

P.S. No, this is far from the only or most important thing to happen in the last three weeks. It is merely the easiest to talk about. More will come as I hopefully ease back into this.

P.P.S. Hey fellow Americans, maybe you guys should think about voting today?

P.P.P.S. Yes, that is my dirty laundry in the picture. Calm down, ladies.


In a strange coincidence, a few days after I posted about my friend going to see Biff do stand-up comedy, Rance posted this video of him singing a song. It's pretty funny, so maybe my friend really did miss out.

It's also the catchiest song ever. If you don't want it rattling around your head for days, I recommend not listening more than once.


I guess this is what counts as fall in the big city. At least they're acknowledging that it's harvest time somewhere in the crazy world outside the city limits.

It makes me kind of sad to think about the workers who had to walk up and down the street decorating street lamps. I bet they hate corn now.


Those of you who are the least bit observant have probably noticed that I've been trying something a little different with the blog this week.

Actually posting, for one. That's new.

But the format has changed a little bit. I've been inspired by the discovery of a couple great blogs from fellow Chicago improvisers Arnie and Sarah. Arnie's previous blog, A Year Following the Breakup, was particularly moving. Obviously, nothing that traumatic has happened to me, but I still like the format. So I'm going to completely steal it. At least for a little while. I'll see how I like it.

Hey, at least it's got me posting regularly again. That's something.


Today marked the one-year anniversary of my move to Chicago. It's kind of crazy that it's been a year already, but I guess a lot has happened.

The other day I was walking to work and some guy rolled down his car window and yelled, "Hey buddy! Is Lincoln that way?" and pointed westerly.

I answered, without a moment's hesitation,"Yeah."

I guess I can call myself a local.


Marvin: Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, 'cause I don't.


Thank goodness.

Lately, JUSTICE has been entirely too bland for my tastes.


Hello McFly

One of my Second City classmates went to Zanies this weekend to see Thomas F. Wilson, aka Biff from Back to the Future, perform stand-up.

Due to a scheduling mixup, he saw Mort Sahl, a living comedic legend and contemporary to Lenny Bruce.

He was pretty pissed about not seeing Biff.

I would have been too.


Back from the dead

Being sick sucks, you guys. I really don't recommend it. To anyone. But don't worry, everyone (read: Mom). I'm on the upswing.

You know what doesn't suck? Covering a famous Enya song. Why has no one thought of this before? It's brilliant.


Go shorty, it's your bih-day

Last week I was walking by one of Chicago's many poster walls* when I saw one that stopped me in my tracks.

Apparently, Beyonce dropped a new album on Tuesday. Please understand if this does not register as huge news in my world**.

The name of this album - "B'Day." From what I understand, the album was released on or near her birthday and so this is the intended meaning of the title.

But let's take just a second to examine what the title really reminds you of***. Especially when you say it out loud and really observe the apostrophe.




Ladies and gentlemen, we present Beyonce's brand new album - it'll shoot water up your butt.

*Literally, walls or sides of buildings (aka walls) covered in promotional posters for movies, music and the newest energy drink guaranteed to make your heart explode.

**What IS huge news - Suri, the Asian toupeed baby.

***Okay, maybe it's only me. But I find it hilarious, which is good enough for me.


A disturbing revelation

Today I enjoyed lunch at P.F. Chang's with some co-workers.

I plan on having dinnner tonight at The Cheesecake Factory with my girlfriend.

In other news, I have apparently moved to the suburbs.


Knick knack paddy stack

People, I enjoyed one of the greatest lunch breaks of my life last week. I was playing the ESPN Game in my lunchroom and just happened on something that completely toppled paintball as the most ridiculous thing to be televised on a sports network.

Sport Stacking.

The 2006 World Sport Stacking Championships, to be precise.

Do not let the name deceive you. These kids are clearly stacking cups. However, in 2004, the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA - I swear I'm not making that up), changed the name of the activity from cup stacking to sport stacking in order to give it "
immediate identification as a competitive sport."

This is ridiculous, but watching televised sport stacking clearly IS NOT. It is hypnotic and amazing. I learned so much about 3-6-3, 6-6, 1-10-1 cycles, relays, doubles competitions and everything else this amazing competitive activity* has to offer.

But just like anything the world has ever invented, the Germans have found a way to be better at it. Those kids are MACHINES. Seriously. Little German kids just stacking away with ruthless efficiency.

Some coworkers and I were really into it, cheering for our American kids (to no avail) and having a grand old time.

Too bad it'll never be shown again. At least until next year's world championships.

P.S. I'm pretty sure Alone Together (aka Josh and I) had the idea for an acoustic "Hey Ya" cover first, but I think this guy's execution was a little better.

*Note the obvious omission of the word "sport."


Ironically, it's a very childish act

There is one solid example I can point to in order to certify that I am now, in fact, a practicing adult.

When I purchase a new loaf of bread, the first thing I do is throw away the front heel. I'm never going to eat it and quite frankly, I grow weary of reaching around it every time I go for bread.

It is my bread and I feel just fine with my decision.

I'm so grown up.


Lock up your guns, unlock your bibles

Here's some fascinating reading for your Friday.

I've often heard of Bob Jones University, one of the most fundamentalist Christian colleges in the country. But it's mostly in a political context - when a politician goes to speak there, you can be sure they're trying to shore up their conservative base.

But an offhand comment on The Colbert Report the other week made me wonder - what is life really like for students at BJ University? I did a little digging and found pretty easily just how awesome campus life is. They're not shy about it. They put it right out there:

Student Expectations
Dress Code
Campus Life

Here are some of my favorite excerpts.

Students may work in town until 10:25 pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends. Freshmen must have a prayer captain, assistant prayer captain, or upperclassman with them.

In the event that the assistant prayer captain is unable to fulfill his or her duties...

(Wait, my mistake. Women can't be prayer captains. DUH!)

Sophomores and upperclassmen may work alone.

No man works alone, BJU. You should know this.

Students may not serve alcoholic beverages when waiting tables at restaurants.

Come to think of it, don't even look at alcohol. Don't even think about it. Erase the word "alcohol" from your vocabulary. We're trying to set an example here.

Hair must be cut in a traditional, conservative style–not shaved, spiked, tangled, or shelved.

Shelved? What the crap does that mean? Does that mean I couldn't do my hair like Kid from Kid 'n' Play? Is that shelved? Geez, BJU. If you have students trying to shelve their hair, you have more problems than nonconservative hairstyles. You have some sort of time paradox on your hands.

Necklines may come no lower than four fingers below the collarbone.

Unfortunately for BJU, I measure necklines using giant foam fingers.

Students are required to keep their rooms clean and neat. Rooms are inspected daily.

Also, your telescreen may be dimmed, but there is no way of shutting it off completely. (Second 1984 reference in one week, thank you very much.)

Music must be compatible with the University's music standards:
  • Contemporary Christian music is not permitted (e.g., Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman, WOW Worship, and so forth).
FINALLY, someone exposes that scheming Michael W. Smith for the Illuminati pawn that he is. And don't even get me started on WOW Worship. Everyone knows that entire operation is backed by the Jews.

Residence hall students may not watch videos above a G rating when visiting homes in town and may not attend movie theaters.

So, no Passion of the Christ then? No Left Behind: Tribulation Force? Geez, I don't even think Carman's Greatest Hits - The Videos got a G rating.

All weapons must be turned in for storage. Trigger locks are required for pistols.

Actually, for this demographic, that rule makes perfect sense.

So I think what I'm saying here is that I know of one guy who is seriously thinking about going back to school. Because the first time around was simply too much ...oh, what's the word...fun.


A very important announcement


When I get to your MySpace profile page, the very first thing I do is PAUSE YOUR MUSIC. I think it is great that you are totally into Gnarls Barkley and good Lord it is NOT EVEN THE SONG "CRAZY," GOOD FOR YOU, but that does not stop it from being ANNOYING AND DISRUPTIVE.

You may think that your music selection says a lot about you, but the only thing it says to me is that you are very interested in interrupting the music I AM CURRENTLY LISTENING TO. I repeat, I AM CURRENTLY LISTENING TO MY OWN MUSIC.

In conclusion, please take down your music selection off your profile page. If you absolutely insist on choosing a song to represent your entire being, feel free to include in the "About Me" section the following phrase: "I would normally be playing _________ right now, but TimmyTapeworm's impeccable logic has caused me to come to my senses, so I will merely tell you about it."

Also, Oceania is at war with Eastasia. OCEANIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH EASTASIA.


P.S. It has taken me three weeks to gather the courage to post this.


Yes, there is such a thing

An open letter to The Format
Re: Your newest album "Dog Problems"

Dear The Format,

You are listening to entirely too much Queen.

Timmy Tapeworm


Ah, the old "Davidson Sweep..."

Big ups to the ladies of Cheetara, who won their first-round match in the World Series of Pop Culture. Erin Davidson really came through for them with a little technique I call "The Davidson Sweep." Take that, guy wearing girls jeans! Take that, shoegazer!

I was watching with a ton of people at Fizz after ComedySportz rehearsal, which was super fun. Everyone cheered whenever a Cheetara member was even briefly pictured and booed the other team. It was just like watching a melodrama, except no one got tied to the train tracks. I felt bad booing the two girls on the other team because they seemed pretty nice, if a little pretentious. But I could boo that knob Colin for all eternity.

The message boards have already lit up (and by that I mean 3 posts and 2 replies) with people saying how obnoxious they find Cheetara's exuberance. You say obnoxious, I say infectious. Plus, you're posting on the Internet about someone you just saw on TV and decided you didn't care for. Which one is really obnoxious here?

Go Cheetara! Take out those Laser Wolves!

P.S. I don't know (and neither do they) when their next episode airs, but I'll let you know. For those of you keeping track, this is about the third ComedySportz ensemble member to be on a nationally televised game show in the past 9 months. We're smart people. And gamey.


Giant Jug o' Water, copyright 2006

Everyone has something that they're kind of known for at their place of employment.

There's the "crossword guy," the "neverending coffee guy," or, if you work in my office, the "bird lady." This is the lady who brought her pet bird into work one day and had it sit on her shoulder all day long.

The bird was wearing a diaper. The bird had many little outfits, including a Cubs jersey and a tuxedo with removable tails. The bird freaked out during lunch when the lady went to Chili's.

This lady no longer works in my office.

But anyway, I figure if you're going to be assigned an identity anyway, I might as well beat people to the punch and choose mine so I don't get something stupid.

That's why I decided to be "Giant Jug o' Water guy."

Check it out:

This is what you get when you order the "Family Meal Deal" at Six Flags Great America. They filled that sucker with Sprite and I drank the whole thing. I guess they just assume that everyone in the family wants the same thing and is okay with using the same straw.

If you'll notice, there's a removable compartment on the bottom for additional ice storage. That's right, the Coke cups are partly obscuring the bottom portion of the jug. It's that big.

So now I keep that mofo at my desk. I fill it once in the morning (making sure to fill the removable compartment with ice) and I never have to refill it. I just drink it all day. I'm super-hydrated now, which I hear is healthy.

Plus, getting up to go to the bathroom 8 times a day really breaks the monotony.

edit: Be sure to check out "World Series of Pop Culture" on VH1 tonight. One Chicago team, Cheetarah, is made up of three female improvisors, two of whom play at ComedySportz. So cheer 'em on!


Married to the C above high C

I figure that if I can't entertain you daily, the least I can do is point you to something that can. In that vein, I highly recommend you check out one of my new favorite webcomics:

Married to the Sea

Old-timey pictures + modern-day captions = constant hilarity.


Found a brick and I'm drowning slowly...

When my dad was investigating my bathroom last weekend (as he has been known to do), he commented that our toilet was running more than it should.

Thus began my quest. To Find a Brick: a Ryder's Tale.

You all remember those crazy environmentalists who used to tell you to put a brick in your toilet tank to conserve water. Well, screw those guys. I just wanted to save us money. But I needed a brick nonetheless.

This led me to the following dilemma: where does one buy a brick? I mean, AH brick. One brick. To the best of my understanding, these things are normally bought in bulk or fired in one's own kiln. (Josh, correct me if I'm wrong.) I checked Walgreens, but they didn't stock bricks. So I was pretty much out of ideas.

td recommended we just steal one from the construction site next door or even the old ComedySportz theatre. That would have been fun, now that I think about it. A little piece of comedy sitting in our toilet tank. Anyway, I went to our back alley to poke around.

Found one in 30 seconds.

Thanks, City of Chicago and guys building things, for making bricks accessible and affordable for all of us!


I can't even see the balls when I'm playing

Just gonna ease back into it...

There's a TV in the lunchroom at my workplace and often when I bring my lunch, I like to play a game. (I'm almost always the only one in there, so it's not like I'm bothering anyone.)

I like to find the most obscure ESPN channel that's offered and watch whatever's on it. Today, and I'm not making this up:

The United States Paintball Championship.

Aside from my sheer amazement that such an event is televised, I have only one comment:

Worst. Spectator sport. Ever.


Uh...metablogging? For reals?

This blog sucks, you guys.

Seriously. Two weeks without a peep? This is a debacle of a magnitude not seen since the infamous There and Back Again incident of 2004.

But don't worry - I've figured out why this happened. I've apparently made my entire life unbloggable.

Every weekday I get up and go to work. But I don't want to be one of those idiots who gets fired for blogging about his job. Frustrating as it may be sometimes, my job is pretty okay and it pays the bills. It beats unemployment, that's for sure. So that's a big chunk of my life that's off limits.

Most nights I have something improv-related. Either rehearsal, a class, or a show. And relating improv stories, especially hilarious things that you yourself did onstage, is about the most self-indulgent and...I'm trying to think of a different word for masturbatory, but I can't*. Relating improv stories is simply a masturbatory exercise. So that's out.

And most of my free time is spent with my very special lady friend**. Obviously I don't want to share my private life with the Internet public at large.

So what's left? Racist cookie jars?

That seriously is something to talk about soon. Man, I miss that guy.

Or does it mean a lot of silly cat pictures?

Heh heh. Come on, that's funny. I mean, he's a funny cat. I sometimes think about dressing him up in funny costumes. OH GOD PLEASE NEVER LET ME DO THAT

I also think that the creative need that blogging once fulfilled is now being fulfilled by other things. Besides, if I give the Internet all the good bits, I'll have nothing left for the stage.

So what does this mean for "Not All Who Wander Are Lost"? Don't worry, I'm not about to abandon it completely. There's too much history to just walk away***. But at the moment, I just can't justify giving it a lot of time, so you loyal readers might have to deal with some time in between posts.

Hopefully not two weeks though. Geez, all kinds of things have happened since two weeks ago.

But that, my friends, is a topic for another day...****

*Sorry people who are upset by the word masturbatory.
**I have a special lady friend now.
***This sounds like a break up?
****I doubt I'll ever get to it.


Something happened with the hatch, maybe? I think there's a hatch?

Oh man, did you guys see who won American Idol*?!

How about the season finale of Lost**?!

And ohmigosh, can you believe what happened on Grey's Anatomy***?!

It's okay if you don't, I have no idea what happened on any of these shows. And that's why I have absolutely nothing to contribute to any of my coworkers' conversations.

I'm kind of okay with it.

*It was apparently the 50-year-old man.
**Some questions were answered, some were not. Additional questions were raised.
***Someone died and two people got it on.


It's pretty indie, I doubt you've heard of it

Oh my gosh, you guys.

I discovered the most amazing album the other night. If you consider yourself a fan of music in any way, you NEED to hear it.

It's called "The White Album."

Have you heard it? You have to hear it.

I really think it's going to change music as we know it.


It would upset people

I bet they'll never show "Snakes On a Plane" on a plane.


An epilogue

Thanks a lot, you guys. I'm so impressionable that your prodding forced me to use the fancy-schmancy toaster on my Pop-Tarts this morning*. Either I'm not smart enough to understand it or I wasn't paying attention, but they ended up overtoasted and not pleasant.

I think I'll stick to raw Pop-Tarts from now on, thank you.

The lesson learned from this escapade: "Never listen to your mother or Joanna. At least not when it comes to toaster pastries."

*>use toaster on pop-tarts
"I'm sorry, I do not understand 'pop-tarts'"
>take boat


In the raw

I was eating my normal mid-morning snack of two Pop-Tarts straight out of the bag at my desk the other day when a coworker stopped by to ask about something.

"Eww," she said. "Are you eating those Pop-Tarts raw?"

"Yeah," I replied. "I guess I am. I should be more worried about salmonella, but I live on the edge."

This was really funny to me and not even in a what-a-stupid-thing-to-say kind of way. I suppose, in the most technical sense of the word, she's absolutely correct. The Pop-Tarts are uncooked and therefore, quite raw.

I just found the perspective pretty hilarious. I guess I've been eating a lot of things raw without even knowing it. From now on, I'm cooking everything.

One cannot be too safe.

EDIT: Okay, I know I link to it a lot, but today's Dinosaur Comics made me laugh so hard I rocked with silent laughter in my cube, lest someone become curious. Plus, if you scroll down on this page a bit, you'll see an automatic updater for Dinosaur Comics. Man, obsess much?


Red, White and Blaine

(Disclaimer: I started this post on Friday afternoon when it was pretty slow at work. Strangely, my weekend was quite busy, so I am now finishing it on Monday because it is pretty slow at work. It is not quite as topical anymore, but at least it is something.)

Holy crap, The Office. Not only did you give us one of the funniest episodes of the season, you provided not one, but two "make-Tim-gasp-like-a-little-girl" moments in the last 10 minutes. We're talking actual hand-to-mouth gasps, people. That's impressive. A tip of the cap to you, my good friend*. It will be a long summer without your company.

But now to the main focus of today's post...

An Open Letter to David Blaine (with apologies to Rico Diablo)

Dear David Blaine,

You are a failure. An absolute, miserable, utter failure.

You might assume that I mean this in the most topical, up-to-the-minute sense because you failed in your attempt to break the world record for holding your breath. Of course, you did that. You didn't even come close. You failed pretty hard.

But you are a failure in so much more than that.

You are a failure in every sense of the word. You have failed at life, sir.

Remember when your first TV special came out? The year was 1997 and your "Street Magic" took the world by storm. While your so-bland-as-to-be-almost-dead persona was grating to some, none could deny the effect you had on the general public. People were excited.

Not long after that, you completely blew it.

Apparently, something caused you to completely forget that you are a magician. An illusionist. Not a freaking miracle worker/survivalist.

Allow me to break this down for you.

Levitating while standing 4 feet away from a stranger on the street is exciting. Making the name of some lady appear in ash on your forearm is exciting. Even card tricks are fairly exciting, when done in your trademark creepy fashion.

Fasting for 44 days while suspended in a clear plastic box is not exciting. It takes 44 days. Encased in ice, you say? Don't care. 61 hours is still about 61 hours too long. You got a little warmer with this whole breath-holding stunt, but what you've got to realize is that trying to hold your breath for 9 minutes is still 9 minutes of you just floating there.

Now if, at around the 8 minute mark, you had started flailing wildly and then DISAPPEARED, that would have been a magic show.

But no, no one does those kinds of magic shows anymore. Not even the great David Copperfield, who walked through the Great Wall of China and made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Nope, you've even ruined things for him. His latest special was something awful involving a "Tornado of Fire." He was trying to be like you because apparently that is was passes for magic these days. It was just sad, really.

Thanks a lot, David Blaine**. Thanks for ruining magic forever***.

*Notice here I have personified an entire television show.
**Finally, the title of your latest special was "Drowned Alive." I'm not even going to start on how stupid that is.
***Man, I really have a lot to say about David Blaine.


I won't quote Hamlet for this one, jerks

Ugh. Tell me about it, T-Rex.

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I didn't mean to linger for almost a week on the whole "cognate" fiasco, but sometimes these things happen. And language is important. I feel very strongly about this.

I've been pretty busy moving all of my things down the hall to my new room. Now that Beth has left for Denver, I'm moving on up. And now that I think about it, it really is to the east side of the apartment. Huh. How about that.

My new room is pretty sweet and as much as I hate having things all jumbly and out of place, it's slowly coming together. I'll put up some pictures as soon as it's all put together.

It now strikes me that I never really posted pictures of my old room, so there are very few of you who will ever know the difference. To the vast majority of you, I might as well have lived in this new room since October. The only people who will know the difference are those privileged few who have actually stepped foot in my room (I'm looking in your direction, long line of broken-hearted ladies*).

I'm excited about my new room because it'
s got a big closet that I don't have to risk head injury to get into and a window so I can know exactly what time the bars close each night. These things are very important to me. And oh yes, did someone say beanbag chair left by the previous resident that's going right in front of the Playstation? I think they did.

Get excited, people. It's a new era.

*read: Andy, Scotty, and Niles the Cat. None are ladies and one isn't even human.


Me gusta comprar

People, I need your help. I'm wracking my brain to try to remember this, but I can't, so it's driving me nuts. Also, it's proving quite impossible to look up.

What's the term for a word that's almost exactly the same in a foreign language? Like supermarket and supermercado. There's a very specific term for those easy ones and I can't remember for the life of me.

Come on, you crazy blogosphere, if that is your real name. I need you to come through on this one.


It's also my wallpaper at work

I got my shirts from Dinosaur Comics last week, but I just remembered to bring them home from work today. I got a three-pack. Check it out.

If you do not answer Y to that question, we can no longer be friends. Similiarly, if you do not find this a totally awesome shirt, we can no longer be friends. Some might call this unfairly harsh, but I have my values and I will not sacrifice them for you. Exits are NORTH, SOUTH, and DENNIS.

I got this one as well. It is heartbreaking and poignant, but scientific. I like all my shirts to be this way.

Oh Dinosaur Comics. Not only have you improved my worldview, vocabulary and life in general, you have now improved my wardrobe.

However, I am concerned that I have unconsciously reversed my opinion on message T-shirts. Do these count? I maintain that they do not on account of their awesome graphics and overall radness. If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment, but please know that I do not care.


Good night, sweet theater

As of late, the universe has apparently found it hilarious to tear down many physical structures that hold great meaning in my life.

First my old high school, then my childhood home (okay we only sold that, but pretty much the same thing.) Now this:

This is the ComedySportz Theatre at 2851 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. It's been a historic Chicago theatre for many years, home to such influential groups as Steppenwolf, the St. Nicholas Players, and Organic Touchstone.

And in the summer of 2004, a wide-eyed college student walked through the doors and got his first glimpse into a world he'd never seen before.

He lives in that world now, and couldn't imagine what his life would have been like if not for this place.

On Saturday night, the players took their final bows and the curtain came down for the last time. Sometime in the next month or so, the building will be demolished and a whole block of godawful condos will be built.

ComedySportz will persevere, as it always has. We're in a temporary space for at least the next two months and hope that our new permanent space will be ready for the fall.

But the place has a lot of great memories attached to it and it's hard to see it go. Tara D sums it up much better than I could here and here.

Saturday night was an amazing experience. So many ensemble members just hanging out and watching the shows, such amazing playing, and just a great sense of community as we collectively remember the past and look to the future.

Plus, they started demolishing the stage in the middle of the midnight show. And afterwards, the ensemble did quite a bit of the wrecking crew's work for them. Seriously you guys, it was great.

"Good night, sweet prince.
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."


Words of wisdom

"Sure, hindsight is 20/20. But it's hard to see things when they're far away - doesn't matter if you're looking backwards or not. I actually bet it's harder because then you're trying to look over your shoulder while walking forward and that's just awkward. In summary, hindsight is all well and good, but the rear-view mirror only shows so much."

I'll be publishing a page-a-day calendar for 2007. I don't see how the world has survived without my special brand of wisdom for as long as it has.


From zero to Guitar Hero

Hey, remember a month ago when I bought a PS2 and Guitar Hero on eBay? Yeah, I do too.

Call me crazy, but when two weeks passed after my payment cleared and I hadn't heard from the seller or gotten my package, I started to get a little worried. I wrote the guy once just to ask what the deal was, but hadn't heard from him. So Friday, I got a little terse and wrote a strongly-worded message that basically threatened to get eBay involved and make things "a little less pleasant" if I didn't hear from him very soon.

People who know me know that I rarely do this. I am about the most mild-mannered dude this side of Metropolis and avoid conflict like the skin-festering plague. So it takes a lot to make me get harsh with somebody.

So imagine how I felt when I got this response just a few hours later:

"hey man, i'm really sorry about taking so long, but i just got out of the hospital. belive it or not i got in a pretty bad wreck and have to have surgery. once again i really do apologize i'll be sending it out on monday i promise. sorry again man."

I am the biggest jerk of all time. Of course he couldn't send me my PS2. HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL.

Ah gee.

Don't worry though. This story has a happy ending. Specifically, this story ends with me getting a nice big package from Swan Cleaners yesterday afternoon. Everything was nice and bubble-wrapped - the only thing missing was the guitar strap. (He still gets positive feedback. The dude WAS IN THE HOSPITAL.) So what does a resourceful young guitar student do?

He gets his own Two-tone flavored guitar strap out of the case and puts it to use. If they ever put out a ska expansion pack for the game, I'll be ready.

I rock my Guitar Hero on the upbeats, fool. RUDEBOY!!


April showers bring stupid pop culture

Scary Movie 4 won the weekend box office with an estimated $41 million gross.

There is a song on the just-released NOW That's What I Call Music 21 compilation by Trace Adkins called "Honky Tonk Bodonkadonk." It is about exactly what you think.

Deal or No Deal is the highest rated show on NBC.

America, I'm worried about you. Call me, okay?

P.S. I saw
The Wild this weekend, mostly for the koala voiced by Eddie Izzard, but also because...um...okay, entirely because of the koala voiced by Eddie Izzard. He did not disappoint.


Martin Luther was one of the few who could make the whole list thing work

Question of the day: Was America really crying out for Scary Movie 4 to be made?

Sub-question: When did Hollywood completely lose the ability to make a quality spoof?

Somewhere in between
Airplane and Scary Movie A Billion, things just went awry. My main problem with the genre as it's represented today? A disease that I have coined "Laundry-list Spoof Syndrome."

(Okay, so I think I got the laundry list phrase from a critic, but I was the first to make it a syndrome.)

What made movies like Airplane and Young Frankenstein so good was that their creators fully understood the elements of the genre they were spoofing and played with them for comedic effect. The result was a movie that seemed entirely familiar as part of that genre and yet subverted it without resorting to mocking specific movies.

Contrast this with today's efforts, where it seems screenwriters make a list of the films they'd like to poke fun at and proceed to write basically a series of mocking vignettes with only the most threadbare of plot connecting them.

Take Date Movie, for example. You can just see the thought process of the creators as you watch it (which, by the way, you should not). "Okay guys, we're going to start out with a little bit of Bridget Jones' Diary, then into The Notebook, and we'll end with Hitch and The Wedding Planner."

The result is pretty much a laundry list of movie references and is about as exciting as reading someone's actual laundry list.

To make things worse, Scary Movie 4 apparently ran out of scary movies to mock and has to look elsewhere for source material, including Brokeback Mountain and Tom Cruise going crazy on Oprah. Also, apparently Shaq and Dr. Phil are in a scene? Finally, in one TV spot, there is not one, but two nuts/balls double entendres.

If that's your thing, enjoy. It opens everywhere today.

But it's probably best if you and I stayed not-friends.


My car is rapidly depreciating

While I did promise to discuss today how someone stole my car cover, it strikes me that there's not much more to say than that.

Someone stole my car cover.

Although it was quite windy on Friday, I highly doubt that it was blown off and if it was, you'd think it would be somewhere in the general vicinity. And I certainly didn't misplace it. Which leaves someone taking it. I also doubt that the person that stole it also owns a '99 Dodge Stratus and just knew it would be a perfect fit. I bet it was just some stupid drunk Cubs fans (because Cardinals fans are classier than that) who thought it would be hilarious.

Thanks a ton, stupid drunk Cubs fans. I'm sure this will only be the first of many times I curse you this season.

I noticed my car cover was missing the same morning that the ComCast guys completely failed to show. Apparently, they called the number on the account about 2 hours after their window had closed. Of course, this connected them to Beth in Denver, who was no help in getting them into the building. I felt that the call meant they were at least trying, so they get one more chance.

I'm serious this time, ComCast. You blow this, and I don't care how much we love your Dating on Demand service, you're gone.

Then, just when I think Chicago's gone off the deep end, it gets to be 70 degrees and lovely ladies start jogging again.

Okay, Chicago. We're cool for now.


I never was your friend to BEGIN WITH, Vitamin C!

Thanks, Mr. Internet! With the Speech Accent Archive, I'll never wonder what an African accent should sound like again! Of course, now I'll forever ponder the differences between the speech patterns of Mozambique and Chad. (AND why they had the people read such an inane paragraph about Stella and her shopping list.)

Discussion topic for today: Graduation anthems: fluke or well-planned marketing strategy? Discuss.

Tara and I were talking about this issue last night. It seems that every year, there's a song that perfectly coincides with the spring transition of life's chapters and just happens to express some variation on that sentiment. It is enough to make the song a bona-fide graduation anthem.

The graduation anthem is a storied tradition, dating back to the 16th century, I'm sure, but for brevity's sake, I'll keep this discussion focused on recent history.

There was about a three-year stretch when the graduation anthem really made itself known. One year we got Baz Luhrmann's "Wear Sunscreen," which I hold to be the most inexplicable hit song of all time, right next to OMC's "How Bizarre." The next year gave us Vitamin C's "Friends Forever," which had the sheer audacity to actually name itself "Graduation (Friends Forever)." Then finally, the three-year trifecta was completed with "Here's To the Night," a song whose creators Tara and I could not for the life of us remember. (We finally googled it. Eve 6. Remember them*?)

I'm sure Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" was in there somewhere and quickly established itself as the premiere song for all nostalgic montages for TV and film for the next 2 years.

This year, I'm afraid the graduation anthem is pretty much a foregone conclusion. That's right, it's Nickelback with "Photograph," a song with the strongest leading stanza in history:

Look at this photograph
Everytime I do it makes me laugh
How did our eyes get so red
And what the hell is on Joey's head

This is a song tailor-made for Flickr slideshows, people. It's unstoppable. Here's the chorus:

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It's hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

Can't you just see the slightly-drunken revelers with their arms around each other, swearing to keep in touch and stay best friends forever even though they're going to colleges three states away**? Can't you just...picture it?

Anyway, feel free to share any favorite graduation anthems I might have missed, especially if they're by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

Tomorrow I'll talk about how much I hate ComCast and why in the world someone would steal my ruttin' car cover***.

*Here's what Tara gave me to go on, before we even remembered the song - "Uh...the video was the red-haired singer walking around a house party, but being nostalgic."
**Actually, typing that made me kind of sad. Sorry I blew it, high school classmates.
***Honestly, Cubs fans. I know it's opening day, but my car cover?


The best-laid plans of mice and nerds

You make a fair point, Scotty. I'm leaving out one of the best bits of the story.

One of the best parts of the weekend was that Scotty drove up to surprise me and come to my first show. A truly noble gesture that was only made more meaningful through the means it was carried out.

I'm hanging out in my apartment around 8:30, watching a downloaded ep of Everwood and trying to recover from a frustrating day at work because steaming anger doesn't lead to the best funny. Suddenly my phone rings and I see it's Scott. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hey Scotty! What's up?"

Scott: "Oh, not much, man. Say...got a question for you. Remind me how to get to your apartment. I'm at Belmont and Halsted."

That's right, he surprised me by asking for directions. Well-planned, mate.

He also surprised me by needing a ticket to the show and a place to sleep for the night. It was an all-around surprise-filled weekend!

Anyway, it was really nice to have Scott come up and cheer me on at my first show. I was glad to serve as a halfway point for his (apparently eventful) pimps and hos party.

The Senate had its first show last night, which was a blast. I feel super rad about how it went and about the cool people I play with. Long-form, everybody. Just another facet in the beautiful improv diamond.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to see the lovely ladies (and a couple cool dudes) of Eisley.

(Yeah nerds, make more Star Wars cantina jokes. It's cool.)


Whole week catch-up

Sorry for the cliffhanger, folks. The Internet has been a little wonky around here. I scheduled an appointment for someone from ComCast to come and look at it this Saturday between 10-12. This is your last chance, ComCast. Don't blow it.

ComCast was not my only customer service call today. I also had to call Capital One about a mysterious charge on my statement. Apparently, Capital One charges membership fees now. Get over yourself, Capital One. You're not that cool of a club. Anyway, this blog heartily endorses GetHuman for dealing with customer service. Check out their extensive list of companies and the secret code to get straight to a real person.

It turns out that I inadvertently followed the code for ComCast without even looking it up, as one of the ways to get to a person is to just sit there silently. I must be amazingly intuitive.

Upon exiting the El today, I noticed a blind man selling flowers for "Blind Sports." If I were that guy, I think a good bit would be to pretend to see people.

My first CSz show was super fun and went really well. I had a great time playing the show with a bunch of other newbies and a couple veterans (who have seen a lot of first shows) said it was definitely one of the better first shows they've seen.

I did CSz 4 Kidz on Saturday, which was also super fun. Kids are hilarious. My most memorable moment came during a game of "Stage Directions" when I picked up a slip that said "Speak with an African accent." I don't know what exactly came out of my mouth at that point, but it sounded more Italian than anything. It was hilarious and awful.

Seriously, how do you do an African accent without being a bushman or being terribly stereotypical and racist? Talk like Titembay in Garden State?

Helpful hints are always accepted. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to practice my African accent on the El on my way to work.

I'll probably get shot.

P.S. This blog also heartily recommends the spoofs of NBC's "The More You Know" PSAs done by members of The Office. Could they put out something and it not be funny? This reporter says no.


Friday catch-up

Quick update before I get busy here - someone just handed me my first paycheck. Holy cow, having a day job just got awesome.

Secondly, I know I don't have many readers who also have day jobs, but if you're ever sitting at a computer for long stretches of time, this reporter heartily endorses ListenToAMovie.com. Seriously, who ever thought listening to the audio track of a movie could be so enjoyable? They have a pretty impressive collection too. I listened to "Garden State" yesterday. Take that, haters.

When not listening to movies, I like to explore my coworker's "Shared Music" collection. One guy has over 11,000 songs. I have been put in my place, friends. I also am enjoying Internet Radio, particularly Indie Pop Rocks on Soma FM. I haven't tried their "Secret Agent" station yet, but I hear it's pretty good.

Boy, Arctic Monkeys sure are getting a lot of buzz for being basically The Strokes Redux (UK), but I'll be darned if "I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor" isn't the catchiest thing on both sides of the Atlantic.

First ComedySportz show tonight. Let's get pumped, everybody.


That's a match!

Oh, Arrested Development. Your star burned far too brightly to last forever. You will be missed.

So I haven't talked much about my other sweet improv gig that I've been rocking for the last few weeks. It's a show called The Improv Match Game (Mondays at 10:30 - iO) and boy, is it a lot of fun.

If any of you are old or have the Game Show Network, you may be familiar with the original game show Match Game. The concept is that two contestants are asked a series of questions and attempt to answer in such a way as to match a panel of celebrities - people like William Shatner, Ethel Merman, Nipsey Russel, Joey Bishop, and everyone's favorite, Charles Nelson Reilly.

The Improv Match Game is much the same, only instead of actual celebrities, we have improv "celebrities," which really works just as well. The show is the brainchild of Rich Prouty and has been running over a year in its current time slot. He's also the host and does an amazing job.

My role in the show is to sit in the tech booth and push the button that makes the music play. Because this is not the most intellectually taxing role, I'm allowed to have a mike and do a certain number of mike bits with Rich and the panelists, which is fun. I'm also the final judge on whether or not an panelist's answer is a match. I'd like to think I'm tough but fair, and also occasionally downright frivolous with my judging.

Anyway, the last couple weeks, we've been really spoiled by huge crowds of Spring Break-ers, which was pretty hilarious and fun. Last night, we did the show for about 15 people, 12 of whom were from Delaware. This is a very small crowd for us, but despite the circumstances, it actually ended up being pretty fun. I did some mike flirting with the cute female contestant and Jeff (the guest host) interviewed a guy in the bathroom (who turned out to be her boyfriend. Yowch.)

So you Chicago kids should come by and check it out sometime. The contestants can actually win prizes and it's a good time for everyone.

Those of you reading from out of state, I think a special trip made simply to view the Improv Match Game should not be out of the question whatsoever.


Round here...we always stand up straight (and hit our heads on stuff)

This post is dedicated to the Counting Crows' album August and Everything After, a pure gem from the 90's that I used to listen to on cassette. My cool Aunt Molly made me a copy and I listened to it incessantly. This was long before I had achieved any kind of pop culture awareness, so I have her to thank for the fact that I can pretty much sing along to the entire album.

Tara and I were enjoying the album in the living room this evening and we both agreed that the number of hit singles off this album is staggering, perhaps only beaten by Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill. (Six singles off that record. SIX!)

Anyway, I was helping Tara run some lines for her Second City gig this week. All the scenes are pulled from the SC archive, so the lines she was reading in one scene were originally spoken by Tina Fey. A little overwhelming, but I just tried to concentrate and cover the five parts that were my responsibility. I really think I nailed Kevin Dorff's performance. Pretty proud about that. The other four - eh, not so much.

But you know what else I'm proud about? A certain little place on the intar wubs where my lovely face can be seen. How about that, kids who used to tease me on the playground?


Things keep happening

Oh, so much to talk about yet so much sleep is needed. I'll try to narrow it down to a couple big things.

First of all, I just got scheduled for my first official ComedySportz shows. In the month of April, I have a few home shows, a couple CSz for Kids and a buyout for Franklin Christian Academy. Should be a pretty good primer into the life of a CSz-er, I'm guessing.

My first show is a week from today - Friday the 31st at 10:30. It's a bit of a "Newbie Showcase" except for one veteran on the Blue team and one super-veteran reffing (he also happens to co-own ComedySportz Chicago. No pressure there.)

Actually, my first couple of shows are with mostly newbies. What freaked me out is a little later in the month when I start seeing my name on teams with people who I've watched play a dozen times or more - there's even one buyout where I'm the ONLY newbie in the show. I'm looking at this on my computer and all of a sudden my brain starts screaming, "AAAHHH!! IT'S REALLY HAPPENING!!"

Make no mistake - I'm super excited to jump in and start making it work, especially after Tuesday's rehearsal (which I think I'll just keep alluding to instead of ever talking about - it's more fun that way). It's just that everything seems to be happening so quickly. Sometimes I worry that my victories are coming too easily and sooner or later there's going to be a massive failure to balance things out. We'll see.

The other, and possibly even MORE revolutionary news - someone hit up eBay this week and got a SWEET deal on a used PS2 bundle, including...wait for it...Guitar Hero.

Because if failure comes eventually, then I have to reward myself while I can. YEAH!

P.S. I just hit Alt-A, expecting to select all the text in this box because that's how I do it at work - I hit Apple-A. sigh...I'm such a traitor.


Make play fair

Tonight while walking home from my first real ComedySportz rehearsal (which was awesome), I saw a guy on the corner of Clark and Belmont trying to hail a cab. He spotted one coming down Belmont and it spotted him, but the light turned just soon enough to trap the cab on the other side of the intersection.

Immediately, another taxi tried to swoop in and steal the fare, honking and pulling up right next to the guy.

But the guy waved him on.

Another cab made a left turn to pull right in front of the guy, honking as he turned.

Again, the guy just waved him on.

He simply waited patiently until the light changed, then got into the cab he first flagged down and went on his way.

Fair play in the big city. Who would've guessed?


I needs my right clicks!

People, we have a crisis situation here.

My first day at work was fine. All the normal stuff - paperwork with HR, tour of the building, getting your cubicle set up, meeting people, all that fun stuff.

But I'm afraid we have a major issue that was not brought to my attention before I was hired.

I will be doing all of my work on a Mac.

I walked into my cubicle and there it was - a gleaming white iBook G4. And even though it was beautifully designed in that aesthetically pleasing Apple way, to me, it might as well have been a dead dog.

I barely tolerated Macs in the computer labs in the J-School. I certainly never expressed an affinity for them. And now I'm forced to make friends with one. This is awful.*

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get used to having only one mouse button. In fact, I have to get used to the entire mouse BEING one huge button.

* It's not that bad.


Chapter 6 was mostly about Guild Wars

Well, here we go.

I start my day job tomorrow morning.

Tuesday is my first official rehearsal with the ComedySportz ensemble.

Time for a new chapter in the Book of Tim? Yeah, pretty much. The chapter is entitled: Chapter 7: In which Tim finally gets it together and joins the real world (not the show).

Here we go.


Garden salad with a side of pomposity

Okay, enough bombast.

Let's talk about Beck. Please, if only for a moment, let's discuss Beck.

More specifically, let's discuss his appearance on VH1's live performance program.

Tara and I were lucky enough to catch the end of it last night as we were hanging out and were absolutely blown away. Allow me to set the scene.

Beck is playing acoustic guitar and it's a pretty laid-back performance, featuring mostly songs off of Sea Change. He has an impressive group of back-up performers - a slide guitarist, a bassist, and a few auxillary percussionists: a shaker guy, a dude on bongos, and maybe a guy playing the fish. They're scattered around the stage, as back-up players should be.

Cut to commercial.

Now, as we come back from commercial, we see Beck, alone on the stage with his guitar. BUT WAIT! What does the camera reveal as it pans right?

The back-up band is seated around a nicely set table and they are being served salad.

I repeat: Beck's back-up band is eating dinner onstage as he performs.

It is as if they have fulfilled their back-up duties and have retreated to the green room to refuel for the next show, but the green room is onstage.

Then, halfway through the song, all pretenses of eating are abandoned and the back-up players begin to accompany Beck by banging on various plates and glasses and bowls.

It is at this point that Tara and I begin to laugh hysterically. Tara says something about how ridiculous it would be if some dude put vinegar on his finger and started playing the rim of a wine glass.

Five seconds later, they cut to a guy doing just that.

The cumulative effect was very well-done and musical, and yet utterly ridiculous and hilarious at the same time, mostly due to the fact that the musicians were incredibly earnest about the entire undertaking and performed without a shred of irony.

I salute you, back-up musicians for Beck. Well done.


The week that was

Okay, I suppose I've left you hanging long enough.

Have you ever had a week where the stars aligned and everything you were waiting for just kind of...happened?

Because I just did.

First of all, the rumors are true. I actually got a job. And not a bad one, at that. I start next Monday at a Marketing firm called Euro RSCG. It's a global company with something like 233 offices in 70 countries, so not exactly the kind of boutique firm I thought I'd end up in, but that's okay.

My official title is "Account Coordinator" and I'll basically be doing support work for a team that works exclusively with Sprint. A lot of entry-level type work like working with financials - billable hours and budgets and stuff - and then a lot of random stuff like booking travel and helping with presentations. Not the most glamorous of work, but it's a foot in the door and it's a salary and benefits and all that good stuff.

Plus, it's right downtown at Wabash and Grand, so I hop on the Red Line and ride 15 minutes to work. Much better than driving an hour each way to the suburbs.

But that, of course, is just my day job.

Last week, I had an audition and a callback for ComedySportz and on Thursday, I was asked to join the ensemble. This means I'm now one of the very few Chicago improvisers who will actually be paid to perform improv comedy.

Does this mean I'm a professional comedian?

You're friggin' right it does.

At least, that's the way I'm looking at it.

Ever since I interned at ComedySportz a couple summers ago and took their intro class, I knew I had to figure out some way to be around this amazing group of people again. So I guess you can say I've been dreaming about rejoining this family for a while now. I'm kind of surprised that it happened so quickly, but I could not be happier or more excited about it. So...yeah. Take that, improv!

I have a lot more to talk about, including auctioning off my entire childhood and saying goodbye to Jerseyville, but I'll leave that for another day.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank everyone for their thoughts, support and prayers throughout this whole process. Things do work out for the best, I think, and I give you guys quite a bit of the credit.

Life is most definitely great.


I'm acing life - Tara said so

I don't have a lot of time right now because I've got to hit the road - apparently my childhood home isn't going to empty itself for auction, so I have to help.

But suffice to say, this has been a pretty amazing week. In short, I started one super sweet improv gig, got a callback for another and...wait for it...


*sirens, falling balloons, et al.*

I'll give you the details later. For now, I'll just share the headshots I picked, because I know you're all crazy with anticipation about it. (I give these most of the credit for getting me the callback.)

This was #55a, for those of you keeping score. It will be my main headshot, used for most things. I had Rance recrop it a little higher from the original cut to show more of my hair, because I think my hair looks pretty great in this picture.

And I'll keep this (#76) around in case I ever need a more corporate look for some reason. Because I look pretty Dapper Dan, am I right?

"Well, I don't want Fop! I'm a Dapper Dan man!" What movie, what movie?!

Life is great.


Oscar...is grouchy?

We interrupt this rampant commenting by anonymous hot ladies who are in love with me to bring you...

Things we learned at this year's Academy Awards:
  • The male writer of the Brokeback Mountain duo is 10 times more creepy than his movie. Now wonder that dude still uses a typewriter. I'm surprised he doesn't use a quill and parchment.

  • Jon Stewart is even greater than you thought. And I already thought he was the greatest, so...there you go. Good job.

  • And the Oscar for Best On-Screen Reactions from an Audience Member goes to...George Clooney. Hands down. The man was doing takes that rivaled J.C.!! (Um...Johnny Carson. I don't think Jesus was well-known for his on-camera humor. Although I've always thought the bit about the plank in your own eye was inspired. It's a funny visual.)

  • Seriously, George Clooney is America's sweetheart. Or at least Hollywood's. I understand red-staters might have an issue with him for some reason.

  • I did okay on my Oscar pool, but I blew Art Direction because the category confused me. I thought we were talking about literal pieces of art, so I voted for The Da Vinci Code in advance.

  • Underscoring the whole acceptance speech means you can't tell people to stop talking with music like you normally could. I don't know why no one thought of this, unless the blow-dart scenario was an actual contigency plan. (Also, Tom Hanks is great.)

  • Salma Hayek, please report to my office.
  • I was delighted when Wallace & Gromit won for Best Animated Feature, then embarrassed when it was revealed that the creators were huge dorks with silly bow ties. Then I remember that I'm a dork too - it's just that I have no real reason to be in formal wear.

  • Steve Carell looks great with long eyelashes. They were almost as long as mine. (I have super girly lashes.)

  • Oh, Three 6 Mafia. You are utterly charming. Get ready for obscurity.

  • And finally, when it comes to Best Picture, racism will always, always top gayness. And that truly is a lesson for us all. Thanks Hollywood!


I'm thinking about getting into...male modeling...

Well, Josh has already broke this story because he gets up much earlier than I do, but I'll mention it here anyway. I had some headshots taken yesterday by Mr. Rance Rizzuto, who takes the greatest pictures of all time. (This has been statistically and objectively verified, by...Bureau of Labor Statistics? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's right.)

Anyway, all the pictures are online, so if you want to look at them and give your opinion-slash-make fun of me, go right ahead.

Although I'll tell you right now that I'm probably just going to go with this one:


I guess June...is a romantic month?

Holy crap, it's Rob's birthday too?! What are the odds?!

Sorry Rob, I have absolutely no funny pictures of you, so instead here's a picture of me on my camping trip with a burnt log that looks like the Hand of Sauron.

Happy birthday, nerd.

She had the best away messages

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this very important announcement:

Amanda is now, in her own words, "officially an old lady."

How turning 23 can make a girl say that is officially beyond me. But I wanted to wish her a happy birthday anyway.

For those of you who have never met Amanda, she was one of my good friends back at Drake. She would hang out with Raph, Emeric and I quite a bit for reasons that have never been explained. You can learn pretty much everything you need to know about our relationship from the following two pictures:

Here's the three guys acting stupid and Amanda just kind of laughing/sighing and putting up with us. Again, for reasons that are entirely unclear.

And here's everyone happy - Amanda and I are smiling, Emeric is doing his patented "throw-back head laugh," and Raph's attention is someplace else entirely. This was my college experience in a nutshell. Or rather, in two pictures.

Amanda, you're the best. Happy birthday!