Saturday, October 28, 2006

2nd trip - New York

The 2nd part of my trip with Brie was to New York. Just going was exciting enough since I had never been. We took the train into Penn Station and I thought Chicago was big... Man, I was wrong - at least in comparison. We caught the matinee showing of The Lion King on Broadway (thanks Walsh for the recommendation). The picture isn't great because we couldn't use flash, but the whole show was breathtaking. I had warned Corey that I would probably tear up when I saw my first Broadway show. Not just because it would be crossing a big "to do" off my lifetime list, but also because I always cry at big shows. I thought it was a weird thing that just I did, but as the opening started, Brie leaned over and whispered to me, "Are you going to cry." I said, "yes" and she admitted she was too. The woman behind us even cried, so I didn't feel so dumb.
This is a a shot of us from the Minskoff Theater. We were unaware that Mr. Peanut from the outside banner would be joining our shot. Hilarious!

After the show we went to Chinatown to eat Chinese food and of course, to shop. I had been told ahead of time that once you find something want to buy, to haggle with the vendors. I did this when I first bought a purse. I think - See, it happened so fast..
Me - "how much for these?"
Vendor - "$35"
Me - "how about 2 for $40"
Vendor - "2 for $55"
Me - "2 for $40"
Vendor - "2 for $50"
Me - "2 for $40"
Vendor- "2 for $48"
Me - "Umm, hmm, Brie, what do you think?..." and the next thing I know money is being exchange, our purses are bagged up and we're sort of shoved out the door. I stepped outside in a daze, it happened so fast. I wasn't sure what happened, what I bought or how much I paid for.

Next, we headed to 30 Rockefeller Center. That's right, we got to see SNL. This picture is in the lobby of the NBC studios...

This next picture was taken off of my brother-in-law, Aaron's TiVo. That's right folks, that's me in front row center watching John C. Reily and surprise guest Will Ferrell (as James Lipton) in the opening monologue! Briette was on the other side of the aisle. I could've reached out and touched Lorne Michaels or the Weekend Update set. The studio itself is a lot smaller than it looks on TV. The whole thing is buzzing with cameras and cue cards, tech people and the actors. It was a pretty good show too. I couldn't stop turning my head every which direction because so much was going on and there were so many people to see. Various stars just stopped by and stood in the back. I saw Colin Hanks (Tom's son), Mariska Hargitay and Paul Rudd! He is even dreamier in person, yum!

The best part of the night was after the show. Jason lead us back stage to where his wife, Kay was hanging out. After catching up with her, she led us to Jason's dressing room. Standing there with him was, Will Ferrell. I didn't want to miss the opportunity, so I reached my hand out and introduced myself.
Will - "Nice to meet you, I'm Will."
Me - "Uh, yeah, I know who you are."
He extends his hand to Brie and asks who she is.

Briette - (hand outstretched) - "I...uhh...umm..Brie...Brieannnnuuuu."
Will- "Oh Brieanne? nice to meet you"
Me - "It's actually Briette" (Like he cares or will ever remember).
He was very nice about it and asked us how we like the show and commented on how comedy is always better live. Then he left.
At first we felt bad that we interrupted Jason and him, but even Jason agreed it was worth it to see Briette completely frozen from being starstruck.

It was overall a perfect trip to New York... above and beyond any expectations.



Briette's new do:


Over 11 inches to donate


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Like old times

My trip to visit Briette was soooo much fun. The trip kind of falls into two categories. Each were so much fun that they could've been two separate vacations.
1. New Jersey
2. New York.

Brie lives in NJ, which I've learned doesn't have a lot to offer. As her and Michael (her husband) put it; the best part of New Jersey is living near New York.
I got in on Wednesday night and right off the bat we were giggling like little kids. We're very different in many ways, but I forgot how much we're alike. We even have a very similar laugh which I never noticed until this trip. When I first got into town, she gave me my belated birthday present: the entire 1st season DVD collection of Fraggle Rock! Possibly the best b-day present I got this year.
Besides our laugh another thing I realized we havin in common is getting lost. Turns out the lack of direction skills is a Madrid-women thing. She got turned around coming back from the airport delaying getting back to her house for a while, but we didn't care. We were having fun anyway. Though not having a sense of direction would come back to haunt us in New York (I'll tell you more about that later).

The next day we just did girlie sister stuff. We went shopping and stopped by a pet store to play with puppies for a while. Right before the puppy play time, we were starving, so Brie suggested we go to the Flea Market. There they have an Amish area, where you can buy homemade delicious sausage stuffed pretzels, candies and cider. As I walked in, I realized the shirt I was wearing may not have been appropriate for this more quiet, sheltered, religious community. I don't know, what do you think? (courtesy of Threadless Tees)
I asked Brie to let me borrow the sweatshirt she was wearing so I could cover it up, but underneath it she had on a low cut tank top. We had to decide which was better a.) the slutty sister or b.) the violent towards children sister. In the end I just kept my arms crossed a lot.

On Thursday we saw "The Prestige". It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but I really enjoyed it. I never see movies anymore and this isn't the type Corey would want to see, so I took full advantage of it. That night, we highlighted and chopped Briette's hair off. This is a big deal, because she's had it long for a long time, but apparently she was ready for a change. We cut about a foot off, she's going to donate it to the Cancer Society so they can make a wig out of it.

We also spent the weekend playing Lego's Star Wars on her XBox. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Meanwhile, Corey was hanging out with our friend Tyler most of the weekend, playing Madden 07 on his XBox. Looks like I might have to start saving up for Corey's birthday present in April.

Spending time with my sister was so much fun. I forgot how hilarious she can be and how much I miss her. It was a pretty perfect weekend.

Next up... The New York trip. There's a lot there... pretty awesome. I'll fill you in on the next post. Until then, "Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow."

- Mo

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday Hilarity

Here you go. I'm in court and Mo's out of town today. Enjoy this instead:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Old projects, New projects

I'm heading off to New Joisey tonight to visit Briette. I'm really looking forward to it, though I do feel a little guilty leaving Corey behind to go to court for the both of us. That's right folks, the city is taking the jerkpods at Venter & Ass. (our condo's developer), as well as the owners of condos within the building to court over the permit issues they had when building our units. It's a lot of pain in the ass and a little scary, so think good thoughts for us tomorrow. The biggest issues right now are if they acquired the proper permits when doing the gut rehab on the building. We of course did everything in good faith, we also have title insuance and with the advice of our attorney, have filed a claim with them. We should be fine, but it may be a huge pain to get everything sorted out and things done fairly for us. We're just praying that it's going to be a simple answer to all this. Hopefully the dicktugs at Venter & Ass. will have to pay a BIG fine and it'll be all over with. I really don't want to sue anyone, but Lord knows I will.
We're still needing them to fix the mold in our ceiling and finish our floors. So close, so close.

Some changes have come in my so called theater/acting/improv career. My i.O team, Reverend Meeker, was cut this schedule. We were all caught completely off guard, especially considering we were getting prime time slots and rave reviews from the Harold commission. Charna apparently wanted a big house cleaning, so I got swept out the door with most of my teammates. I'm working on getting back on the schedule, but I'm not holding my breath. Most of my friends that were taken off the schedule were given the run-around about getting back on a team. They're told one thing or offered to be put on a new team only for that offer to never actually happen. I'm sure it's not purposely or anything, but maybe the powers that be at i.O are trying not to hurt people's feelings. Personally I think it's a lot worse when someone isn't just straight forward with you. Mostly likely I will just have to wait until the next round of auditions. Unfortunately they just had them this weekend. I couldn't sign up for a slot because my team wasn't even cut until the audition slots were already full. It's frustrating, but also expected. There are so many people going in that theater, that others are bound to be bumped out. I don't have one ounce of regret. I know that there's nothing I could've done differently to stick around longer. I played well and I was on a great team. It was apparently just our time.

While we're going to be pretty busy until the end of the year with remotes and the holidays, still it'll be weird not having a weekly improv rehearsal. It'll be the first time in almost 3 years that I haven't been on a consistent team. So now I'm just going to take this time to work on some new projects. I'm hoping to get FABaret! back up by the beginning of the year if not sooner, maybe even at i.O. and take it to some festivals. I also want to do some more scripted material. It's been almost a year since I've written anything. Last year I was one of the writers for pH at Sketchfest. I really enjoyed the process. I just need a goal or theme to get me motivated to do something new. I'd like to maybe direct a show (I'm talking to a writer who's interested in using me for a show he's putting up) and maybe get back in a musical or play. I'm also going to look into finding a group or venue to use my vocalizer. As cheesy as it sounds, I think it would be a blast to sing in a lounge or jazz bar or something.
If I want things to happen for me, I have to create them and prove myself to whomever needs to see me to advance things. It's a lot of work and exhausting at times, but I love it and without this drive to succeed, I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

- Mo

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Most Incredible Blog Posting Ever

I got nothing here people. I'm just warning you. Still, I hate to leave you hanging with nothing to read for this long.

So, what's going on here? Just working, hanging with friends and fighting the cold. It actually snowed yesterday. Not for long and just some flurries, but still. It's right about this time of year that I remember how much I don't like Chicago in the winter. I know it gets cold and even icy in KC, but you're just not out in the elements as much as you are here. Since last winter, we've moved to a place that's farther away from the El stop. We used to be just a quick jog across the street. Now we have to walk about 3 1/2 blocks to the stop. And man, does that wind bite. I know, I'll live.

Anyways, what else? Just got back from a fun weekend with friends in Rock Island. We did some shows, ate the awesome Gambler Pizza (jalapenos, hot sausage, red peppers, a burning tongue and for some, heartburn... all in all, a perfect pizza) and lots of laughing.

Unfortunately I've been sick, so I didn't get to party as much as I wanted to with them. My mom apparently gave me a chest cold when she was in town a couple of weeks ago. She got it from my sister when she went to New Jersey to visit her a couple weeks before that. Briette is quite proud that her cold has traveled to at least 3 states. Brat! It's okay though because I'm leaving on Wednesday to go visit her, so I just might bring this stubborn cough back to her. I'm really excited about seeing her and getting a chance to go to New York. We even got tickets to see The Lion King on Broadway, hopefully we'll be seeing other shows. I've saved some of my birthday money to go shopping. Fake designer purses, here I come!

Oh yeah, I had a great birthday. Corey did a good job. He started the birthday gift giving at 12:01am. He told me that I'd be getting gifts all throughout the day. My first gift was him putting lotion on his elbows. Sounds weird I know, but you don't understand, he never puts his own lotion on himself. He just doesn't see the point of it. So if I don't want rough skin rubbing up against me, then I have to put the lotion on for him. Anyways, it was a big moment when he put it on himself... and hilarious. He also sent flowers to work, took me out to dinner, gave me some workout stuff I'd asked for and the best part... a bell for my bike that says, "I 'heart' my bike." We had a party at a local bar that weekend. Low key, but a lot of fun.

What wasn't fun about my birthday was getting stuck on the train going to work. There were 3 unrelated incidents, an electric problem, a track issue and a medical emergency. All in all it literally took me 3 hours to get there that morning. We sat on the track for most of that time, but also had to go backwards and were finally instructed to get off the train and take a shuttle bus to downtown. To make matters worse, the bus driver had no idea where he was going and we circled around for a bit. I was actually impressed at how calm and polite everyone was through the whole thing. No pushing or shoving, no one freaking out, though I did see one girl on the phone crying. Maybe she was late to a job interview, or was sick, or got claustophobic, I tried not to stare at her and minded my own business. I was just glad I had something to read and didn't really mind all that much starting work at 10:45am. It's much better than if it would've taken me 3 hours to get home from work.

We're going to take this weekend to just relax, get the winter clothes out and maybe catch a movie.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Blackpool Weekend

We had an awesome time with Blackpool Lights!

These aren't the best pictures since I had to take it with my camera phone, but we did have the coolest view from our stage right box at The House of Blues. We got all-access backstage passes and were treated like rockstars, well more like groupies minus the sex acts (maybe... I'll never tell).
We got to hang out in the dressing room, eat and drink with the boys, watch all three bands from the press box and we even got to go into the "Foundation Room." It's the ultra swank lounge area with a Budda meditation room, other swank sitting rooms and $15 beers. Just cool to look at more than anything.

I've also decided that when we have kids, I want to have 4 boys. The band, plus a bunch of KC friends that live in Chicago all came over to watch the Chiefs game on Sunday. I made 2 huge pots of chili for everyone. I just loved cooking for a crowded house full of boys, it was a blast.

If you live in KC, mark your calendars. Turns out Blackpool Lights is going to be playing at Record Bar in Westport on Thanksgiving night. We, along with others I hope, are going to go over there early to watch the Chiefs-Broncos game and then stick around for the concert.