Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holiday Pictures

With our crazy Holiday schedules, I realized we haven't had anytime to post many pictures. So... here's a few fun shots from the last couple months.

Annual Turkey Bowl. No broken bones!

While the boys played ball, I played with the kids. My niece Mikalea and Colin Brustad and I ran around the track for what seemed like hours. That little boy is ADORABLE. When we weren't playing our own version of football he was playing the the improv game, "show us how to get down."

Corey, Andi, Brie and Pete enjoying 'The Nutcracker."

Enjoying Millenium Park! Ahh, BFF's.

Some random Christmas Ho, Ho, Ho


Don't tell the kids. Becoming Santa isn't easy. This was the second year Corey played Santa for my office's "Kid's Day." Though it's only about a half hour worth of work, it's the longest half hour of the year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wii Did It!

Much like the "Tickle Me Elmo," Ferbies, and Cabbage Patch Kids of yore, one of the must-have toys this year was the Nintendo Wii System. Once we decided to buy one we spent much of the weekend looking for it. We went from store to store finding out they were sold out. You'd think in a city this big the manufacturers would've sent extras in anticipation of the demand. This whole limited release thing is all a marketing ploy, one that worked too.

Last night after work, we had some errands to run. We thought ahead of time and had listed the phone numbers and addresses of the Targets, Best Buys, Circuit Cities, GameStops and Toys R Us...s within resonable driving distance. Each place we called had the same answer, "Sold Out." We'd pretty much given up hope. Then literally the last place on the list surprised us when they said they did have some in stock. The race was on!

Of course it was the Target located way up north, so we weaved in and out of traffic as fast as we could in rush hour traffic trying to get there before they sold the last one. After a half an hour had past we called again to double check. They still had some. Corey was driving like a bat out of hell, and as we pulled up to the Target I jumped out before the car even stopped, forming a beautiful tuck and roll, movie style! Okay, that part's not exactly true, but I was rushing. While he parked the car, I headed to the game area of the store. In most Targets, the electronics area is on the right hand side, so that's the side where Corey let me off. Of course, this was one of those backward stores. I raced down the aisle, calling Corey on his cell and telling him to meet me on the other side. Right as I got to the Wii case, I saw there were only two left and there was a man in line in front of me getting ready to buy one. We literally got the last one in the store!!!! We got a Wii! Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Good thing, cause I was ready to throw down for the last one if necessary.

And oh my God it's so awesome. The graphics aren't quite as good as, say the PS3 or XBox, but it has the added feature of being interactive. When playing tennis, you're literally standing in your living room swinging the controller to hit the ball. The sensors in the controller even make it feel like you hit a ball. It's so much fun! Upon the advice of a friend we also got the game "Rayman Raving Rabbids." Hilariously fun to throw cows, "dance" and shoot plungers at rabbits. This system is a blast to play, but you've got to be prepared to look like a fool. I was cracking up watching Corey shaking one of the two controllers as fast as he could in order to shoot carrot juice at the rabbits coming out of the water wearing snorkel gear. So Weird.

Corey of course also got NFL Madden 07. You actually make the motions of throwing a ball with the controller, not just push a button when you're the quarterback. Who knows, maybe I'll learn how to play too so I can officially be the coolest wife on the block! Anyone up for games?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Recap

Christnika has come and gone. So much food! After Thanksgiving, Corey's cousin Anne asked us to bring back an old mixer she was getting from her Aunt. As a joke, I told her we would but only if she gave us some cookies that she made with it. She wasn't kidding when she agreed. We got about 7 different kinds of cookies, just from her, not to mention candy from Pete and the almond brittle we bought. Yikes!
We didn't focus on gifts too much this year. Corey and I didn't exchange any at all, but we did get some great shirts from my mom and spending cash from my dad and Corey's parents for our trip.
One of the best gifts we got was the Match Game DVD collection from Pete. It's a ton of fun to watch: the hilarious 70's awkward sexual innuendos and host Gene Rayburn along with Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers get more and more drunk throughout the episodes. Apparently the liquor was free flowing and they would tape a weeks worth of episodes in one day. Must be a nice job to have.

Saturday we went to The Chicago Cultural Center to see "Puppets, Music, Masks Tell Tale of Nutcracker and King of Mice." Our friend Emily was a puppeteer for these handmade marionette characters. It was very impressive. First of all the show was great, but I was impressed that Emily could play 3 main characters plus others throughout the whole show. I don't know how she kept the voices straight. Though, much like Emily, I'm sure I'd be pretty sick of little kids by the end of the run. Seriously, if you take your child to see a show, teach them to respect the art. Just because it's a puppet show, doesn't make it okay for them to jump around on stage, peer behind the curtain and lift up the stage draping. Get a leash for your child or teach them manners! Sheesh! Anyways, if you're in the Chicago area, and can be respectful, you should definitely check it out. I think there are still a few performances left.

On Sunday, we had both friends and family over for Christinka dinner. And late that night there was even a Colin Murray sighting. Apparently kids, if you leave out beer and cookies, he'll magically appear in your living room. He really does exist!

I say we didn't exchange gifts, but now that I think about it I guess we are going to do a belated Christnika gift for ourselves. We decided to buy a Nintendo Wii. Briette, Corey and I drove to several electronics stores looking for the damn toy, but of course because of the Christmas rush, they were sold out. The one craze we actually get on and we're too late. Man! When I want something, I want it now!

Next up is New Years Eve! So far we don't have any major plans, no one I know does, but I do have an 07' goal: Talk Briette and her husband into moving to Chicago. I'll keep you posted as to how that goes.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No time

AHHHH!!! I'm going crazy, so busy, so much to do. I've been booked with clients after my regular job, back to back all week.
Corey's been busy running around helping get ready for Christmas.
No time to stop!
The only thing keeping me going is the extra money and the cruise in...count it..16 days!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just a quick update

Time is flying by...only 18 days until the cruise! It's been a lot of fun trying to lose weight to fit into a bathing suit right after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh well, thank goodness for swimsuit coverups! Until then, things are busy as usual. Besides being gone every weekend, my business is booming. I've had at least 5 new clients just this month. Plus Friday we did a 'Schticky' improv show for Corey's company Holiday Party. Hopefully that will lead to future gigs with them. Saturday was our last ComedySportz gig for '07. We had to miss my company's party at The Drake, but that's okay, making money is better any day.

Last Monday and Tuesday, the boys, Blackpool Lights stopped by for a quick visit. They were in town for 2 nights to do a radio spot, photo shoot and show. Unfortunately I had to miss the concert because of a migraine, but Corey brought along a buddy who is now a big fan. I just want to adopt them all. Of course it was a late couple of nights, so last week we were still trying to catch up on sleep.

We're also getting ready for the family to come in for Christmas and Pete to stop in for Christnikah. This year we'll celebrate with a typical Mexican Feast, just like the days of Yore. Okay, nothing is typical about Christnika except for drinking, eating and hanging with loved ones. All of our shopping is done, except for the food. We've got an exciting night at Costco planned, followed by cleaning the house. Ahh! Domestic bliss!

This coming Friday is my company's 'Kid's Day.' Parents bring their kids to work where we plan activities such as decorating cookies and watching movies and then there's a special visit. Upon request, Corey will be playing Santa again this year. Apparently several kids have told their parents that they understand that Santa's helpers are the ones in the mall, but the REAL Santa comes to mommy and daddy's work. I don't think Corey's thrilled about the added pressure. He'll be fine though, he was nervous last year, but did such a great job that everyone has requested him back for future Kids Days.


Monday, December 11, 2006

A hunting we will go...

Picture this...
Evergreen trees stand proud and tall, a babbling brook runs near your door where you could at any point step outside for a picnic on a checkered blanket. The fishing is a' plenty, especially near the waterin' hole, as is the moose and bear hunting. In fact, the moose are not only abundant, but taller than three men standing on each others' shoulder. You can take a trip in a canoe or just sit back in your rowboat, while the smell of fresh pine fills your nostrils as you look on to the beauty of natures wonders.

Sound like a wonderful camping vacation in the woods? Oh no, this was our hotel, The Stoney Creek Inn in Moline, Illinois.

We had shows again this weekend in the Quad Cities. The hotel we regularly stay in was booked, so we had to stay somewhere different. To be honest, it was actually a really nice hotel, great amenities, wonderful service etc. However, it was also awesomely tacky.

The babbling brooke I spoke of was actually the pattern of the carpet running down the hall way. It had stones on one side and a checkered blanket pattern down the other. There were literally giant stuffed moose and bears in the hall and main foyer area. Throughout the hotel were signs for "the waterin' hole," "no hunting" etc. Of course these were in "log" font. That's not a default font in Microsoft. You have to go out and get that special!

The room was even better. All of the furniture, the desk, the chair, the rack for towels in the bathroom were "wooden." Maybe they were real at one point, but now they were covered with some sort of shellac. Above our bed were two pictures, one with rows of canoes and in the log font it said, 'Canoes,' the other was of rowboats and in case we didn't have it figured out, it said, 'Rowboats.' The bedspread was even more nauseating. It had the look of a quilt with out being a quilt, but in each square there was something different, a moose, a guy fishing, a bison or tree, etc. The lamps next to the bed looked like regular lamps until you got to the base. Then they were log cabins. Even the soap was themed. You'd wash your hands or put on lotion and smell like pinesol. We were cracking up.

This was about as close to camping as you'll see from the Madrittmasters.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Horny Manatee

Saw this on Conan, found it hilarious. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A three hour tour, a three hour tour.

Friday after work, we had to brave the cold even more. We had shows in Rock Island on both Friday and Saturday. Knowing that there was a storm a brewin', we called the night before to make sure there was a back up plan in case we were a few minutes late for the show Friday.
By the time we headed out, it had stopped snowing and for the most part, the roads were clear.
It takes about 3 hours to get to the Quad City area. We left Chicago at 4pm. We knew it would be cutting it close to make the 7pm show time, but figured that there was a back up plan in place, so if we were a little late, it'd be okay.
So everything was going just fine, we were on target to get there when needed. Then, we turned onto I-80.... and the horror began. Dunn, Dunn, Dunn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Traffic was literally bumper to bumper. Though the roads had been previously plowed, the wind must've blown snow back on and the cars had packed it down making it an icy, bumpy, somewhat treacherous drive.
Besides driving 20 miles per hour or slower, we had to deal with the literally hundreds of semi-trucks. Apparently the entire national trucking industry was unable to move that morning, so they all started down the road at the same time as us. Not only were there hundreds of semi's on the road, there were at least 40 trucks and other vehicles on the side and in the median that had slid off the highway. There were times that we actually came to a complete stop. On. The Interstate.
The 3 hour drive took us 7 hours to complete. Read that sentence again. It's only 8 1/2 to KC, we could have nearly driven home with that kind of time. Needless to say, we completely missed our show. Well, the show in front of an audience anyways. We actually had fun in the car, because we are, of course, hilarious. We had to do something to kill the time and not go insane. So we sang and laughed and butchered Christmas songs. Not once did we lose our cool at the other cars or curse the gods for allowing this luck to fall on us, we just enjoyed each others company. I'm pretty proud of that fact.

Saturday night coming home took us, obviously, 3 hours.

We have shows again this coming weekend. We're not risking it this time though. We're heading out at noon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Oh yeah, this is the part I hate about Chicago

I know that everyone is experiencing major snow, so I'm not asking for any special pity, but DAMN this weather sucks. I love living here, but as I've said before, the part that makes it worse here in Chi-town is that you have to be out in these elements more.

Because we have a show out of town tonight, Corey drove to work. The normal 1/2 hour drive took him about an hour and 15 minutes. I'm going to leave work early and meet him near his office, so we can head straight for the show, knowing of course that there's no way we'll make it on time. So this morning we not only had to scrape the car and deal with the traffic, I also had to take the El downtown. It's not so much the cold that bothers me, but the wind.

To make matters worse, I realized this morning that I don't have a good winter coat. Somehow the one I used last year is just gone. Granted I did okay. I have a really heavy leather coat. I guess technically it's perfect for this kind of weather, but it's really heavy. Seriously, I can't move comfortably in it and my arms hurt after I take it off. It's definitely not going to work once we have just normal, cold winter weather versus this blizzardy weather. Also, my boots are also too big for me. Can I not buy properly fitting shoes? I don't know, I wonder myself. I remember loving them and wearing them last year, but now my foot is sliding around it, making it hard to walk in, especially in all the slosh. It's absolutely miserable out there.

Then, just to irritate me more, I get in the office and nobody's here. I could count on both hands how many people total are on my floor and I'm literally the only one in my department. Damn it! I should've listened to myself this morning and stayed in bed.
Oh well, at least I'll get a lot of work done.... Oh, who am I kidding? I'll just end up surfing the net all day.