And the clock struck midnight

In slightly more predictable news, Tim Ryder was knocked out of his workplace's ping pong tournament in the second round by a fellow Account Coordinator.

After the defeat, Ryder was observed to be shaking his head and muttering, "Yeah...this feels about right."


It's fun to make believe

In slightly more optimistic news, my Second City Conservatory classmates and I have started our run of Level 5 shows. Our first one was unfortunately canceled due to low attendance, but we had plenty of people this week and so got to put up our first show, the highlights of which you can see in the above video, lovingly shot and edited by our own Lindsey. Well done there.

Of course, wouldn't you know that our director got sick just in time to miss our first real set, so we can't get any notes on it. That's a bummer.

But I'm really happy of the stuff we're putting up and proud of the work I've done with this class as a whole. I feel really fortunate to have the classmates I do, especially when hearing other people's horror stories about the weird dude who threatens to kill you in every scene.

It's also been my honor to teach my classmates everything I know about LARPing, which is apparently a lot. Or at least a lot more than you might expect. (You can see the scene where this comes into play briefly in the video. You'll know it because I'm holding a yellow foam sword that is actually a child's pool toy.)

We've only just begun, so please feel free to come check out the show! Every Monday night until the end of March. 8:00 (be there by 7:45 for tickets, which are only $5) at Second City etc in Piper's Alley (North and Wells).

And yes, I am getting a lap dance in one of the scenes. Calm down. It's just pretend.


Watch all about it

I finally got around to watching the series finale of Extras this weekend. Rebecca got me Series 2 for Christmas and I wanted to rewatch it to refresh my memory.

I could lie and say that I watched the finale On Demand or something but the fact is that I downloaded it the day after it came out. It's just been sitting on my hard drive since then. Whatever, I'll buy it on DVD eventually. Calm down, HBO.

Bottom line: it's brilliant. Hilarious and heartbreaking. And further proof that some of the best comedies (or at least the most satisfying) are very nearly dramas. Yes, I did cry at one bit. And that's saying something - I'm not a big crier.

Sadly, as good as it was, it had the ultimate effect of being somewhat discouraging. I must have sat on my bed for at least 10 or 15 minutes after it ended, thinking, "I could go my entire life and never create something this good."

What do you do with a thought like that?


At long last...

After almost 2 years of being comedy nomads, ComedySportz finally has a home.

Next Friday is our first official performance in our brand new theater located at 929 W. Belmont. It's a gorgeous space with a great stage, new lights and sound, a bar out in the lobby and a box office at street level. Of course, it's also three blocks from my apartment, so it could be crap and I'd still love it. But it's not. It's amazing.

It's strange - I only got to play in the space on Halsted for about a month after I was hired. Then it was torn down to make condos (a project that has remained insultingly incomplete, last I checked). So for the majority of my ComedySportz career, we've been 'on the road,' setting up shop in other people's houses, never quite getting comfortable with where we were. It'll almost be more weird to perform in a space that's expressly ours.

I've already had a couple shows in the new space - one really fun and great, one kind of weird and not so great. So it's not a magic cure-all for shows and it's not something I'm quite used to yet.

But it's home.


It's considered a morale booster

In what many commentators are calling 'a major upset,' Tim Ryder won his first round match against a top-seeded player in the 2008 Paddle Royale yesterday.

Post-victory, Ryder was described by onlookers as 'bewildered.'


More cube news

For Christmas, in lieu of a gift or a bonus, a couple of our higher-ups purchased two llamas* for impoverished workers in Central America. I thought this was actually pretty cool, as I'm doing okay but I bet those guys really appreciated the llama.

Also, they named one of the llama* Dolly. Dolly Llama.

We're a creative bunch around here.

To go in tandem with the gift, an award was instituted: The Dolly Llama Award. To be awarded to the employee who has been working the hardest under tough conditions. Also the one who's been eating the worst and spitting a lot? I wasn't entirely clear on the criteria.

Anyway, I was the inaugural recipient.

I won the traveling trophy you see above. It's very soft and my boss had to go all the way to the zoo to find a stuffed llama, so I'm pretty proud of it.

It was supposed to be a monthly award. It's February and no one has tried to take it away. I don't plan on reminding anyone.

*Plural of llama - llama or llamas**? Discuss.
**Lorenzo Lamas?