Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Team Building

In about 10 minutes I will be doing a bunch of improv warm-ups and games at Harley. Joey Greene is in town today from Michigan to run a Team Building Workshop for the admin. group at my company.
Our group has had some issues with getting along, communicating etc. When HR wanted to do some team building exercises or something to help out, I figured that rather than let the business go to someone else, we could do it. Obviously I couldn't run the workshop from the inside and besides not being able to take off work it would be a little strange to have Corey do it. So... in stepped Joey.
To be honest, I'm a little nervous. I'm sure it's going to be fine, I definitely trust Joey. It's just always weird when you bring in the talent, show or whatever. Everyone will turn on you if they don't enjoy it. It's a weird mix of women, especially the oldest two, who are the ones that caused problems in the first place. There are definitely other people I'd rather spend 2 hours with. Oh well, it's not a bad way to spend your work morning and it'll be fun. The goal is for us to have a good time, not talk about any issues or anything weird. Plus we get free lunch!
Hopefully this will lead to other opportunities to do workshops either in my company or branch out to others.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Things that irk me

* People walking down the left side of the sidewalk, not the right. - Don't crowd my side, I gots somewhere to go!

* People walking up the middle of the stairs (especially getting to the El) - You can't move past them and are forced to walk up all slow ass like and miss your train.

* People talking loudly on their cell on the El. - Dude, I don't need to know your business. Well, unless of course it's funny or dumb enough that it would make a good story or sketch.

* $1200 Handbags - Really, is it that good? Come on!

* Rude waiters - It's not that hard. Even if you're super busy, just tell me you'll be with me in a few. I'll understand

* Parents that let their kids run around with snot on their face. - Must I explain?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Game of Life

This weekend was a strange mix of fun and pain.

Corey's Aunt Judy and cousins Margo (age 9) and Sarah (age 11) came in town for a visit. We had such a good time with them. Aunt Judy spoiled us by taking us out to eat at great restaurants and the kids were very excited to see us and a lot of fun to hang out with. The girls stayed the night with us on Friday. They played The Simpson's Game of Life, which is a hilarious game and even more fun when you watch two little girls play. They were very serious about buying home owners insurance, collecting their salaries and being little grownups. They had a blast! The adults on the other hand (Aunt Judy and Anne - the girl's aunt, Corey and I) went through a more painful ordeal as we watch the Jayhawks play like crap in the tournament. I must say, I'm very proud of Corey. This was the first game I've ever seen him watch his language, especially in a game where we lost because of being so piss poor. He didn't have to make the girls put on "earmuffs" once.

I was in double pain because my back is hurting me again. I've been dealing with it for almost a year and a half, along with other issues, and still don't know what's wrong. I'm continuing to see doctors about it and it looks like we may have an answer which equals treatment (more on that another time).

Also, partially because of the back issue, I have resigned from one of my improv groups. I was a member of pH for a year. I love the show and adore the people, but the 11pm and 12:30am shows were getting to be too much to handle. I'm sad that I won't get to hang with this group on a regular basis, but I also know I did the right thing. I've learned that I have to put my health first and that means getting enough sleep as well as regulating my stress levels.

I'm actually looking forward to having some down time in my life again. Though I'll continue to build my hair biz, I'll also just enjoy having a Tuesday night to lay around and watch TV or a Friday night to hang out with friends. I feel like I hit the ground running when I moved here and now it's time to stop and catch my breath. I know it won't stay this way for too long, but as long as my body tells me to slow down, I'm going to listen to it.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

200 Sammiches!

This weekend, Dan came into town. He was the first overnight guest we've had since getting the new couch. Yay! More comfortable for him.
Anyways, he was in town for a home and housewares tradeshow for his company, which manufacturers and sells footstools. It's a buyers only show, not for consumers, but since we helped set up the booth we not only got a nice dinner courtesy of Dan's company, but we also got passes to the convention. Corey and I had a blast. It was at the McCormick Center, which is HUGE. There was no way we'd get to see everything, so we stuck to the important parts, mainly the food items. Basically everyone is trying to get other companies to carry their products. In the beginning, as we walked up and down the isles, we tried to be nonchalant about the food samples they were handing out. I even tried to act like I was interested in purchasing for "my company." After checking out stuff for a couple of hours we got to watch the big demos with Alton Brown and then a little later, Mario Batali from the Food Network. If you're at all a fan of the Food Network, you'll know that Alton Brown is pretty entertaining. He teaches in a fun way, while cooking, sort of the Bill Nye of the food world. Needless to say, he was definitely the more entertaining one of the two.

After the demos we decided to go back and say goodbye to Dan, who was working at his booth. Well, we got distracted, because now it was around lunch time and there were even more samples given out. Screw being nonchalant this time. We walked up and down the aisles trying dips, spreads, candies, cookies, popcorn, beer, lemonade, even a grilled ham and cheese sammich. We didn't even bother pretending like we belong. "We're just here for the samples." This time was a lot less awkward trying the samples, since there were a lot more people there. It was like Wholefoods on steroids.

We even got a couple of give aways to take home. Corniest - the fake rose made out of feathers (I gave it to a little girl). Most Nostalgic - A crazy straw. Yummiest - A package of awesome Hawaiian beef jerky. Coolest life changing - a toaster bag. Ok, not life changing, but still cool. It's a little baggy made out of the same material as the McDonald's conveyer belts. You can put anything from a sammich, to pizza, bagels, tortillas...anything really in the bag and then put it in the toaster. This way all the crumbs fall in the bag, not your toaster. You can make a ham and cheese sammich in the toaster! Are you kidding me? That's awesome! We got 2 bags to take home, each with up to 100 uses. That's 200 sammiches!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spreading the awesomeness

A good friend of ours, Nick Wagner is an aspiring filmmaker (among many other talents). You have to check these out. Vidiocy is a contest created by Jason Chin and Jeff Griggs of Chicago's IO to challenge themselves and their friends with video equipment. Anyone can sign up. The contestants are given randomly chosen titles and 30 day deadline. "Vidiocy challenges both professional and amateur videographers to create touching, hilarious, and sometimes outrageous 10-minute movies!"
I got these from Nick's website www.veryclever.org. I'm assuming he'll continue to update it with new films as he continues to create them (including one that Corey had a small part in). Enjoy and feel free to pass them along!

(Be patient, it might take a couple minutes for them to download, but it's worth it)

Free For All
2nd Place, Vidiocy 6
A Film by Adam Portilla, Nick Wagner, Chris Rathjen, Carroll Cottingham, and Jeremy Blodgett

In the Sheets
1st Place, Vidiocy 9
A Film by Jeremy Blodgett, Adam Portilla, Chris Rathjen, and Nick Wagner

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Could be worse

I am doing absolutely nothing at work today. It's really shameful that I'm getting paid to play on the internet. Fortunately it's not always like this. That'd get boring after a while. There are a couple of things I'm putting off, but otherwise I've just been super organized and gotten ahead.
I know this is boring, but that's my day so far. BORING. I've already surfed all the Oscar stories online. Every movie star has been adequately judged - thank you.

My back is also acting up again. It's been over a year and a half since I first started having pains. For the most part, especially since I've moved to a different desk, I've been back to normal. Once in a while though it'll flare up. I don't know if it's my bed, my desk or what, but it sucks. It scared me because they say that once you have a major back issue, you'll have to deal with it for the rest of your life. Great!
It could be worse though. Last night we watched "Miracle Workers" on ABC. It's a show about people with debilitating physical ailments. The Doctors on the show come in and perform various miracle surgeries that the people could never afford otherwise. The medical staff's interviews were a bit overdramatic, but otherwise it was a good show. I placed my bet at 15 minutes for Corey's first tear to fall, but since the stories weren't specifically about kids, he didn't' cry until the end.

They followed two stories. The first was about a woman with horrible back pain. She had already had five surgeries, but nothing worked. The cartilage between her spinal disks had disinegrated. Her spine was just bone crushing bone. Thank God, my back isn't that serious. I can't even imagine. She had to be in a wheelchair just to get around and would likely eventually be paralyzed. In the end, the new technology they used cushioned her spine and took away her pain and she was able to lead a normal, healthy life.
I actually first teared up at 16 minutes. It was because of the second story about a man who had been blind for 22 years, since he was 11. He had never seen his wife or three children. His sister offered to be the live donor of eye tissue stem cells. She risked her own eye sight so that her brother could see. - TEAR- When they were able to restore his sight, it was amazing to watch him light up as he saw his daughters dimples for the first time or his sons blue eyes. - TEAR - He was like a little kid, lighting up when he saw the ocean and all the amazing new things he was able to see. -TEAR- It was really sweet. Anything involving kids and family and it's gonna make you cry. We're sucked into the series now, so Monday nights will be rough in our house. If you call, expect a sniffling voice to answer the phone.