Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Young and I moved into our new place. For two guys who don't have a lot of stuff, we have a lot of stuff.

Are there any apartments in Chicago that aren't on the third floor?


Tuesday, August 30, 2005


One of the main reasons I'm excited about being back in Chicago, is performing longform improv regularly again. And a big part of that is my first Improv Olympic team, James Jackson.

Unfortunatly, after three years (a long time for Improv Olympic), the team was broken up. I got back in town just in time for the last show. As always, my timing is spot-on.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Last night in Ohio.

Read Ty a book and said goodbye. Over a month and a half I went from being the tall guy he was frightened of, to the guy he would see and yell out, "Arnie Arnie Arnie."

I hope he doesn't forget me.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hometown, Ohio.

Packing up the last of my things for the move to Chicago. I found even more religious totems in my sock drawer (where I'm still keeping the ring).

I finally asked Mom if she'd put these in the drawer specifically for me. "I probably put one of those in there," she said, "You know, to watch over you."

I wonder if these things are intentionally made so small so you can bless people with them without them knowing, or even against their will. She admitted that she had also "probably" slipped a rosary into the stuff I was packing.

I haven't found it. So, somewhere, mixed in with my other things, is a tiny religious beacon, sending out a spiritual S.O.S.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Chicago, briefly.

I drove into town to drop off some of my stuff, pre-move, and also for the Improv Olympic 25th Anniversary (accidentally being held a year and a half early).

I didn't see the show, but I was lucky enough to be on the guest list for the afterparty. I can't deny that it was neat to be at the same party as Amy Poehler and Andy Richter. But having been gone from Chicago for a while, I was mostly happy to see local improvisers I knew. And it was nice that so many people remembered me and were excited that I'm coming back.

It was also great to see some of my old improv teachers who have moved to New York or LA. Like Jon Lutz (pictured) my first teacher at Improv Olympic, who now writes for SNL.

We were sitting two tables away from Mike Myers and George Wendt, but Jon was more interested in taking a picture of his friend, Dan Bakkedahl. And I was more interested in taking this picture of Jon.

On the other hand, I'm obviously not above dropping all these names.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Since retiring, Mom has been a bit at a loss for what to do with herself. She's always been a busy-body, but now she runs the same errands nearly every day.

Grocery store? Every day.

Recycling? Every day. You have to read the newspaper fast. And magazines require special measures.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I've been taking walks around the neighborhood twice a day for exercise/lack of anything better to do. My enthusiasm has started to wane, though, since I finished listening to the new Harry Potter on my iPod. But maybe I'm back to Privet Drive for a reason.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Things are set for my move back to Chicago. I have an apartment (which I'll be sharing with Young).

I do not, however, have a job. I keep sending my resume out, but I'm getting no nibbles. How did I become so unemployable? Or, how did I never become more employable?

Tiny Cartoon Remy On My Shoulder: You're talented but lazy. Wasting time is worse than fucking a baby.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mom and Dad are back from Atlantis where Dad snorkeled ($100) and Mom got kissed by a dolphin ($84).

Apparently, either Teri Hatcher or Eva Longoria was there as well, but Mom and Dad couldn't agree on which one it was.

Monday, August 22, 2005

(Back in Ohio now, starting off my last week before moving back to Chicago. I wanted to share one last picture from the wedding, though.)

During the ceremony, Natasha's friend and bandmate, Jen, played the processional music on a theremin.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

After the ceremony and as the reception was winding down, the time came to fill out and sign the marriage certificate.

I was asked to be a witness. It choked me up a little, the idea of being there to sign the documentation.

Then I signed the wrong line. In fact, I signed on the groom's line. We all scratched our heads and made nervous jokes that I had accidentally married Natasha.

Eventually, someone found a bottle of White-Out and I was back to being a witness.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I was lucky enough to be one of eight people to watch Brett and Natasha get married in their backyard.

Watch isn't the right word. Everyone had a job, like a co-op wedding.

Brett's friend, Zach, paid a little money on-line to become an ordained minister and officiated over the ceremony. Talking to him beforehand I found out that this was the first wedding he'd ever been to.

That's like, "This is the first time I've ever seen a football game... hey, excuse me, I'm gonna go quarterback."

Friday, August 19, 2005

The night before the wedding.
We had sushi and walked to the Magnolia Bakery to pick up the wedding cupcakes. The bakery and the sidewalk in front were packed with people. I overheared someone walking by refer to it as "the Sex in the City bakery."

Brett and I spent the night at Natasha's aunt's apartment. We were too tired to do anything other than drink two beers each and talk about how strange it was to be staying in an old woman's home.

I slept in a Craftmatic Adjustable bed underneath a low-hanging chandelier.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Brett and Natasha's wedding is this weekend, but I drove out to New York a day early so I could see Tim and Remy, two old college friends, and their band, The Teenage Prayers.

Remy: Tim describes us as David Bowie meets Otis Redding meets... what else?
Tim: Cabaret.

Later Remy tells me that I'm talented but lazy. "You've been wasting time. Wasting time is worse than fucking a baby."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mom and Dad left this morning for their belated 30th anniversary vacation (so belated, that their 31st anniversary has already passed). They considered Europe, but decided to go to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.

Mom said, "Julie's friend went and ran into Julia Roberts there. When I heard that I figured I better get some new shirts."

I asked Dad why he was packing Club crackers and a giant tub of peanuts in his suitcase. "You never know," he said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sherry, my middle sister, visiting from Atlanta, refuses to have her picture taken.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I saw these balloons tied to this mailbox while walking around the neighborhood this morning. The house they were in front of looked empty, almost abandoned.


At the same time, I'm glad it's over.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

As I was falling asleep last night, my phone let out its tiny text-message beep. In my grogginess I thought, "Maybe it's N."

It wasn't.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I found this framed newsclipping in the garage. It's from some small Canadian laketown newspaper, exactly twentyfour years ago today.

Dad wouldn't have been much older there than I am now. It's hard to imagine myself with two kids and a newsworthy fish.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Going through old scraps of paper with N's writing on them.

Some things defy you to over-romanticize them.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bought a new sports jacket today. I need a new one for a number of reasons, one of which is Brett's wedding, which is coming up in a week and a half.

(A very short engagement for Brett and Natasha. Just about a month from the question to the ceremony. N and I were engaged for, what, two and a half years? Can that be right?)

I hate shopping for clothes. Besides being generally poor, it's always so demoralizing how few things fit me. How limited the selection becomes.

"When you're our size," Dad said, "you take what you can get."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The senior pictures of all the "kids" sit on the mantle in the (never-used) dining room. This is mine.

It's hard to believe I ever looked like this (minus the airbrushing and wooden wheel). I don't think of myself as lanky anymore. So it's weird to see myself disappearing into my baggy shirt and under my floppy hair.

(I remember the photographer saying, "Are you a big wheel at your school?" He must have said that joke every time he used this backdrop. But is "big wheel" an actual expression? Could he have as easily said, "Are you a big number 94 at your school?")

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

When I was visiting Grandma Anne I declined to take the gallstones, but she insisted that I take some of Grandpa Ralph's old shirts and this jar of change.

Total: $34.47 plus two chewable Pepto Bismol tablets (one still in the wrapper, one not).

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mom and Dad are back from taking Allie off to college.

"Yeah," Dad said, with the tv and newspaper in front of him. "We got them moved in. So, they're out of the house."

I'm not sure what he meant by "them", since it was just Allie.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Trupe writes an entry in the "What Did You Do At The Cabin" logbook.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

While standing around the campfire, we talked about songs that made us think of old girlfriends.

When N used to do the dishes, she would listen to Rufus Wainwright's cover of "Hallelujuah" over and over again on her walkman. She would sing along, really belting it out, not realizing that her voice was booming through the house. And she was a horrible singer. Really bad. Worse than me, even. But endearingly bad. Heartwarmingly bad.

If given a choice, I'd pick her version over Wainwright, Buckley or Cohen.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Blueberry Island, Indiana. A weekend cabin trip with some friends.

Nick and Meador play a game of washers.

Meador: Arnie, if a picture of me in this shirt ends up on your blog, I'm going to kill you. At least explain that I cut off the sleeves because they kept peeking out from under my over-shirt.
Nick: How do you explain the beard and hair?

1:00 AM - I see that Holden has snuck into the basement and peed on the carpet. I grab his collar to go "rub his nose in it." He bites the shit out of my hand. I stare at the puncture wounds in disbelief.

1:15 AM - Allie is the only other person still up, packing for college. The only thing we can think to do is pour vodka over my hand.

1:30 AM - Allie calls a friend for help. "She'll know what to do. She used to be a lifeguard."

2:00 AM - Allie has gotten peroxide and bandages. Together we fix up my hand. Luckily, I've had a tetinous shot recently.

2:30 AM - We sit and and stare at Holden's back legs, which peek out from behind the couch, where he's hiding.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Allie leaves for college tomorrow. She's more than ready.

It's a big moment in any family, when the last child leaves the house, and the first child moves back in.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Egypt, Ohio.

Seven years after my Grandpa Ralph's death, Grandma Anne still keeps his gall stones in a plastic cup.

"Do you want them?" she asks me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hometown, Ohio, keeps expanding into subdivision after subdivision with generic 'Forest' street names (Forest Trail, Forest Lane, Forest Park, Forest Run) and not enough streets like my favorite, Chagrin Valley.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Someone named 'Zach The Nad' is trying to IM Allie.

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