Another one bites the dust...

I mean, it's not like all I do is walk around my neighborhood looking for depressing signs of gentrification and upper-class takeover. They're just really hard to avoid.

53 years! According to my calculations, that means Aiko's Art Materials opened in 1955. That's a Back to the Future year! (a designation that implies either pretty far in the past or just barely in the future.)

I always wish I knew more about why businesses close. Maybe it's their choice. Maybe the owners are retiring and they don't want anyone else to run it. Maybe the patriarch of the family passed away and the rebellious son didn't want to go into the family business. Or maybe they lost their lease.

I wonder if they thought way back in 1955 that it would end the way it did.

Of course, I also wonder if they thought they'd last 53 years.


Two hats are better than one?

Look, I don't claim to know this guy's life. I'm sure he has a perfectly good reason for arranging his headgear the way he does. Maybe he's been burned before when, upon losing a hat, he did not immediately have an auxillary hat to replace it. Perhaps he is the harbinger of a new and utterly ridiculous trend.

At any rate, I think we all have a lot to learn from him. Thanks, guy-with-two-hats*.

*Perhaps he is a mythical creature where if you remove one hat, two more will grow in its place.


Hey, they're being honest

I was walking to meet a friend for lunch on Michigan Ave the other week and ran across this store on the ground level of a swanky apartment building.

I find their lack of pretense refreshing. They are openly admitting to the consumer, "When walking into this place of business, you are not buying status or comfort or peace of mind. You are buying things."


A new high score!

A momentous date passed this week and I would be remiss if I did not mention it here. Also, I'm pretty proud of it and so I think you, the Internet, should know.

On Thursday, Rebecca and I celebrated our two-year anniversary. How about that? Two years and we still haven't driven each other crazy. It's got to be some kind of record.

We did it, sweetheart! Happy two-year anniversary!


All good things...

My run of Second City Conservatory shows ended last Monday the 7th. For those of you who might not know what exactly that means, I'll tell you.

For a little over the past year, I've been a student in the Conservatory, Second City's upper-level training program for improvisation and revue comedy. When you get to Level 5, you start working on your show. Essentially a senior capstone, this show is about 45 minutes of original comedic material written and performed by you and your classmates.

Well, we wrote it. We performed it. And now it's done. If you missed it, you blew it. (Although I do have it forever preserved on a sweet DVD made by our Assistant Director. Thanks, James!)

I was very proud of our final product. I've said it many times before, but I'll keep saying it: I feel amazingly fortunate to have had the classmates and director that I did. Everyone got along really well and helped shape and build on others' ideas . It made for, in my opinion, a pretty darn good show.

It's bittersweet, as most good things that end are. I'll miss my classmates and I'll miss performing with them. But there will be other shows. And last night I had my first free Monday night in quite a few weeks. And it was pretty great.

Besides, to show for all my hard work, I now have this!

That's right, suckers. My family presented me with a diploma that says I have a Masters in Comedic Arts. Take that, idiots who went to law school!

P.S. Thanks to Lindsey for the great YouTube montage.


This is apparently not a joke.

Okay, people. I've got a few posts stockpiled and some important things to talk about. The end of my Second City show, how awesome I am at Kingdom Hearts II, etc. But all of that will have to wait, because I have a very important announcement.

Attention all creative types in the motion picture industry! All directors, producers, writers, actors, cinematographers, editors and key grips, from the most successful and renowned to the barely born:

You can stop now.

The perfect motion picture has been created.

They will dance for a fee, but devour you for free.

Are you listening, Scorsese? You can stop now. The motion picture has reached its pinnacle and any attempts at surpassing it would be folly.


Let's...play ball?

Well, it's April again. How about that. Time sure is linear in a four-dimensional plane of existence*.

April means a couple things in my neighborhood: Nicer weather and baseball. Actually, I'm sure it means those things in places other than my neighborhood, but living a few blocks from Wrigley Field seems to exacerbate the effects, especially of the latter.

Basically, it's the time of year when stupid people come out and get really stupid in groups. This leads to incidents like stolen car covers and swiped cheese fries**. What I'm saying is that things get both stolen and barfed on.

This of course leads us to the question why I chose to live in the heart of Cubs Village if the fans annoy me so much. The fact that 3 out of the 4 theaters at which I regularly perform are within blocks of my apartment provides a quick answer.

I guess what I am saying here is that I look at baseball season as a 6-month side effect. A side effect that is occasionally good for bits and therefore tolerable. I just wish there was a time when the nice weather and baseball did not immediately coincide.

Here's a report from Opening Day:

Fukudome debut spoiled by Cubs' loss to Brewers

When Kosuke Fukudome hit a three-run homer off Milwaukee closer Eric Gagne to tie the season opener in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday, fans all over Wrigley Field held up professionally made signs with English words on one side and Japanese on the other.

It was meant to be a two-sided version of the phrase "It's Gonna Happen." But something got lost in translation, and the Japanese side read: "It's An Accident."

I don't think we could have asked for a better start than that.

* My favorite new saying when someone says they can't believe it's (day/month/time of year) already. I'm sure nerds are already crafting their comments to tell me how incorrect I am, but I like saying it.
** A story that I now realize I never shared in this space. This must be rectified soon. Perhaps a theme week is in order. Reminiscings by Tim
*** Hey, I'm posting again!