Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Change of Scenery

I've been thinking about this entry for a while now. What has happened to me that it has taken this long before I wrote? I'm sure if I thought about it I could come up with reasons for not writing on here, but that is not the point of this blog or this entry. For the first time ever, my report from my cozy apartment (which has become all the cozier thanks to my new roommates and their sense of decorations) is on the road. Well, not quite the road, but not my apartment either. I am writing this blog from the box office at iO. As things do in life, change is all around (just ask the President, or the weather). Living in Chicago and trying to be active in life, whether that be seeing shows or exploring downtown with friends at 2 in the morning, I have been spending less and less time in the cozy apartment and noticing more in life. So this could be the end of this blog. Not the end of blog writing. Let me let you in on some things:

1) I have become more and more interested in writing. I have a journal that I have been writing in a lot (or at least more than I do on this blog). Lately I have been considering going back to school and studying journalism. I realize this could be an unwise decision, considering technology and newspapers slowly becoming a thing of the past. However, I can't get the thought out of my head, so I shall toy with the idea, and see what becomes of it.

2) I am more than likely moving home. There are many reasons for this. Paying bills, getting financially stable, possibly restarting school. The biggest reason is my amazing girlfriend. I am not moving home for her as in she begged me to move home, mind you. This is a decision of mine, and mine alone. There are many reasons as to why move home, but know this is not me giving up on my dream, and this was not an easy decision. I know that I will have a career in improv, and while some say it is stupid to go through the whole program and go home, I know what is best in my heart. I have worked so hard to be where I am, and I know that I can do it all over again, just this time with the love of my life next to me.

3) I am really engulfing myself in the improv community. I am in the process of starting two different teams, in addition to the one I already am in. I am excited for these ventures. One of my teams, The Hitmen, already have a show scheduled for the end of November.

Why am I leaving this blog? Maybe leaving isn't a great word. Hiatus fits perfectly. Look on my page. See if I start something new. I WILL start something new. Life is Changing. The leaves are turning brown. The sun sets early. One blog ends, another begins.

From outside the Cozy Apartment,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward!

Don't forget. it's now 3:11 AM...but only feels like 2:11.

Congratulations to Katie and Joe Hartman. They are married now! I wish I could have been there.

I was inspired by my one and only subscriber of this blog (Look under Followers...yeah...the one person) who recently talked about her getting a library card in NYC. I have been in this city almost 7 months and this thought never occurred until she mentioned it. The brilliance of Ms. Allen! After work yesterday, I walked downtown to the library, enjoying the gorgeous weather that was somewhere in the 60s. I stopped by Jamba Juice across for the Chicago Theatre, where I noticed their marquee with the upcoming event "Bill Maher VS. Ann Coulter"! I was astonished. First of all, these two people are really gutsy for agreeing to do this show. I can't imagine either of them excited to see the other. Most of all, however, was the fact that it said "VS". Made me think this was going to be a brawl. Made me laugh on the way to the library. At the library, I filled out my application and went to the lady at the desk aka. a librarian who didn't even look up just said, "Next." Rude. I said, in a very upbeat and excited voice, that I wanted to apply for a library card. She asked for a document with my current address. Boo. I walked away with my head hanging low. On the way down, I decided to go to the lower floor to urinate (see Jamba Juice). As I left the men's bathroom, I noticed a Chicago Library Newsletter. I thought it would be fun to know what I'm about to get into, so I took one. I set my bag on a table so that I could put the newsletter in, and saw out of the corner of my eye a man approaching rather quickly and saying something to me I couldn't hear (I always have my iPod headphones in). I pulled out a bud (ear bud) and said excuse me. He said, in a sassy voice (direct quote): "And you are?" I didn't know what I had done, but I knew I had apparently upset the bald short sassy man. I said, "Uhh...I'm just putting this newsletter in my bag." He said, "Oh, we paid good money here to make that table look like that." I looked down at the table, which I originally thought was just a black painted wood table, and found I was wrong. Rather it was a table with a black table cloth on it. I apologized and put my bag on the floor and put the newsletter in. He walked away. Bad library experience.

That night I witnessed some of the most historical improvisation in the world. First I saw a show called Messing with a Dick. Susan Messing and Andy Dick. I'm sure you are thinking that I am ridiculous for being excited about watching Mr. Dick. Yes I am. But he is amazing at improv. And if you know the name Susan Messing, you know that I was not ridiculous to be excited to watch her perform. The funniest part of the night was meeting Andy's son, Lucas. I had seen him open with a stand up act the night before when I watched Andy's one man show, and then he joined a Harold team called Diplomat Motel. As I was in the bathroom after that show, he was in there urinating and messing with a flier. He looked at me guiltily and said, "caught me vandalizing" or something to that effect. I laughed, stood next to him, and did my business (I have a lot of stories with me in the bathroom in this blog, my apologies). As I stood there, I said great job for the two shows. He thanked me for coming, then talked to me about his choices he made during each show. It cracked me up that he wanted to talk about them in such detail of whether or not he made the right choices to a guy in the bathroom. After this conversation was the main event, at least for me. The reunion of the Harold team Barron's Barracudas. This was the first ever Harold team...ever! The best way to describe it: imagine your favorite playwright or composer. Think of their masterpiece. Now imagine you get to see the original cast or orchestra. Yeah...that good! I actually knew one of the performers, he was our assistant teacher in level one, so that made it all the more exciting. It was great. I don't even know how to put it into words. Just amazing. I never take pictures in shows, but I did on this one. Then after they did a Harold, they took a 10 minute break then came up with current Chicago improvisers! TJ, Mick Napier, Noah, Tim Baltz, all the people who are performing now were up onstage with the guys who were lucky enough to perform it for the first time. I was in heaven!

Today I went back to the library. Got my card! Got a book. Found a whole section on actors' biographies. I spent at least an hour there. I loved it. Can't wait to go back!

Barron's Barracudas. :D

From my cozy apartment,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Hey folks. Long time. I'm gonna start off this blog the way that all great hip hop albums start: a few shout outs.

First of a big shout out (and a pour of the alcoholic beverage in my hand to the ground) to the late great Vintage Chair aka Chelsea aka Mrs. Married Woman aka Girl in Coax for being the person to introduce me to the blogger stuff and peacing out before her time. RIP, girl.

Second shout out goes to the beautiful girl in NY who is now following this blog (creepy). My BF4N(ATS): ELIZA!!!

Third shout out to my beautiful girlfriend HJ who opens a show this week. Can't wait to see it! She also made me a tight ass mug for Valentine's Day!

Last shout out goes to Collin A., Meg Johns, Katie Rich, and Joceleen Ranne for giving me ideas and support in my mad teaching skillz. You guys are amazing.

Teaching?! What?!? Yes, it is true (I do that bit a lot, I apologize). My former high school flew me home to teach the wonderful and willing students a little improv. It was a two day workshop and I think quite successful. Everyone showed me respect and the atmosphere was so great. Everyone wanted to be there and so willing to learn. I realize I am very passionate about things I love and the privilege of getting to share them with others. I remember at one point jumping on a chair and cheering I was so excited as to what was going on. After the two day class, they auditioned for a team. The part that touched me the most (to get all sentimental on your asses) was after it was over, no one got up. They sat there and asked to keep playing. There was even talk about them playing in the halls just because they were having so much fun with it. Definitely one of my greatest moments in my improv life (hell, I'll say it, in life) and I can't wait to one day (in the future) explore this love of teaching further.

Speaking of improv, I start level 3 Tuesday. Super excited, but I definitely will always have a place in my heart for my level 2 class. Taught by the oh-so-talented Katie Rich, I have lived this year thus far for Sundays at 6 where I was lucky to watch and perform with some of the best improvisers in the country. Beyond best improvisers, just great people. I can't wait to see these people again and get to perform with them. This is my accidental shout out, but you all deserve it.

I think I will be having to take a forced hiatus from the Annoyance. I was planning on taking classes there on Mondays, but the class has already sold out. I will resume, but it is looking like it won't be this session. It's not because of money, I will tell you that. Not that I'm rich, but I did get my tax return two days ago! I decided to treat myself. I'm so sick of not having any groceries, so I went, and did not pay attention to how much I was buying. I had the money, I needed the groceries, so I went to town. I did not think about the weight of the groceries and the lack of a cart to push them for a few blocks. I had to carry them. After a while I had to stop every few feet and take a break. It was extremely heavy. In fact, my whole upper body is sore from them.

While at home to teach, I drove to Edmond each night to spend time with Haley. Even though it wasn't a lot of time together (she had rehearsals until 10 and I had to wake up early each day to get back to Tulsa) I am never happier than when I get to spend time with her. Getting to hold her hand while driving to Walmart or making up songs on the guitar, I feel like I am living my life fully when I am with her. She makes me laugh harder than anyone I know, and always is there for me. I hope she knows it goes both ways. I get to go back to Edmond next week to see her show, and then she is coming here for her Spring Break! I am so excited!

Short sweet updates:
I need a new book. I just finished Watchmen, my first graphic novel ever, and I really enjoyed it. Made me feel nerdy, but I enjoyed it. So if you have any recommendations, I'm all ears. Also, I listened to a lot of hip hop at home and a lot of jazz while reading. Any artists you recommend? Finally, my status=my dinner. Delicious (had to make it twice, cat walked away with the first one).

From my cozy apartment,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Yes, and...ROCKETSHIP!

It's Sunday, 5 Am. A good day indeed. Let's go back a few hours.

Today was gorgeous. Weather. Amazing. More like that please, God? Cool. Thanks. I however worked all day, which is fine. I made some good money. I also was told by many of my tables that I was a good waiter. AWESOME! One person stuck out in particular. This girl asked me if I had ever heard of this one author and a book. I said no, to which she replied, "I think you would like it." Pretty bold, considering the basis of our knowledge of each other is "Hi, welcome to Chili's. My name is Colin and I will be serving you a steak." I asked her why she thought I'd like it and she said it was because I was good at my job, and that's what the book is about. I don't get it, but I'm pretty sure there was a compliment in there. I thanked her and asked her to write the book on the check so I can look it up. She did, with a note that said, "Good luck in your career." MY CAREER?!?!! I will never have being a waiter be my career. EVER!

Tonight was great. I got home from work a little after midnight. After being on my feet for 12 straight hours I decided to go over to my friend Tara's house, because she was having a party. I went, and had so much fun. She is in a show called Frat which has come out of improv workshops. A lot of the cast and crew and directors and producers were there, and it was great meeting them and chatting it up. It felt great to be at a party where there were so many awesome people with great stories about why they were there. It is always inspiring when I meet people like that who have the same aspirations and such great back stories. It was one of those moments where I knew that this is what I want to do. These are my people. These are the creators of art. The backbone of the theatre, in all aspects. Time flew, and I walked home on a beautiful, cool Chicago night happy listening to music. A great feeling.

Now I must sleep. Katy's Ma and Sis are here and we are exploring Chicago tomorrow (I think). I need my beauty sleep. Also, I get to see Haley in like 30 something hours. I am so excited.

From my cozy apartment,

Thursday, February 5, 2009

She Was a Working Girl...

A confession: I have a problem. I don't think I'm the only one in America who has it, but I admit that I have a problem. Here I go (deep breathe...)

When I go grocery shopping, I always want to go out for food immediately after.

Wow, feels good to get that off my chest. It must be from exhaustion of shopping, but there is nothing more I want than to enjoy a burger from Salt and Pepper, or a Jimmy John sandwich, or (in yesterday's case) a Chipotle burrito. As I went into the Chipotle, I was greeted by a short, middle age hispanic woman who asked what type of burrito I wanted. Now I am usually a creature of habit, so immediately said steak, but as she was about to put it on, my inner dialogue said, "TRY SOMETHING NEW! BE SPONTANEOUS! QUICK!" So I shouted, "CHICKEN!" She kind of laughed and looked at me, and I reassured her by nodding and saying (this time for calmly), "Chicken." As she's putting on the chicken she asks, "Would you like to have both?" I thought this was brilliant! Best of both worlds. I knew I was about to eat the best burrito EVER! I nodded for it, and as she's putting on the steak she says, "It'll only be 2 dollars extra." I was shocked, this lady played me....good. I had no choice but to pay, because I'm not going to yell at a middle-aged woman for upselling a burrito.

Moral of the story:
Make a burrito at home, and if you must go out, beware of being taken advantage of by short, middle-aged hispanic women.

From my cozy apartment,

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You Put the "Rat" in Pirate.

What what?!  Two updates in a week!?  Impossible, you say?! Nay, tis true.  

So as I mentioned in the last post, work is going...well, bad.  I'm not getting scheduled as often, and have more time to do more leisurely things with my time.  Unfortunately, that has meant laying in bed until sun down watching TV shows on and abusing facebook.  No more.  After laying in bed rewatching Weeds online, I have decided to start doing more constructive things.  For example, I am in the first steps of writing a show with a high school friend in New York (she's a friend from high school, not a person who is still in high school).  After weeks of procrastination, I have sent her the e-mail that will start this beautiful process called "being funny on paper" (technical term). 

What else shall I do?  Well, I am glad you asked.  I next will need to write a letter to my student loan people saying, "Hey!  I'm poor!  Please let me pay in July, not now!"  Hopefully it will go through.  The thing I am most excited about is starting to get my lesson plan together.  Wait a minute, I'm a waiter, not a teacher!  Oh, but how lucky am I?  My high school is flying me out to Tulsa for a few days to teach an improv workshop with the high school students, hopefully planting a seed in them that I was lucky enough to receive there, and they will get up and start a team.  I am so excited to do this, since improv is a passion, nay, calling of mine, and I can't wait to spread it to others.  I have been paying attention and keeping note of what I have learned here, as well as asked my amigo Collin A. (that's Mr. A for anyone at Cooper Middle School) to help me come up with a list of games.  I have been looking forward to this for months.

So as I lay on my bed, drinking my cup of coffee and brainstorming games I will teach these kids, I am thinking of how lucky I am.  Even though I complain about my job, I am very lucky to have the people I do in my life.  Talking on the phone to my Mr. A., coming up with silly movie ideas with Katy, playing guitar over aim to my amazing girlfriend Haley, ahh, I am so lucky!

Tonight I have class.  I get to learn and do what I am put on this earth to do.  I am drinking coffee and listening to music.  I am wearing wool socks.  I am texting Haley.  I am writing a lesson plan.   Sundays are my favorite days...

From my cozy apartment,

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sorry for neglecting you, can we still be friends?

Happy New Year...a month late.  Sorry about that.  I also think this is the first blog I have written not in the wee hours of the morning.   So I'll try to make this a very special blog.  We'll start with a list I am making up OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD (improv, fools).  

CDs:  Punch- Punch Brothers

Punch was the debut album for Chris Thile's (of Nickel Creek fame) new band Punch Brothers.  These guys really know how to push music to the edge.  Also, it's got a four part movement on here, and it's just a long story about his divorce.  Hardcore.  Listen to it.  I love these guys.

Juno- Various Artists

Alright folks, this album is not for everyone.  Most of the songs are by Kimya Dawson, who Ellen Page said she thought Juno would listen to her.  Kimya has an interesting voice, with basic chords and goofy lyrics.  However, if she is not your style, there are a lot of really good songs on here.  Sonic Youth (who I am not a fan of) does a fantastic cover of Superstar, and Cat Power's Sea of Love makes it hard for me to breathe it is so beautiful.  I'm listening to this soundtrack now because I forgot how amazing it is!

Books:  Born Standing Up- Steve Martin

If you don't like Steve Martin, get out.  He is brilliant.  Amazing read.  He tells the story of how he got into comedy, his method of approaching it, and why he stopped doing stand up.  He is also a great writer and I will say one of my favorite biographies I've ever read!

The Chris Farley Show- Tom Farley Jr.

This book was so interesting.  A biography written through interviews.  Tom Farley starts off every chapter by describing what was going on in Chris's life and then the rest of the chapters are pieces of interviews from people who were there with Chris and tell first hand how they saw him destroying himself.   Really sad, but great read.

Movies:  Wall-E

I'm only going to do one movie.  This is it.  Wall-E.  I don't even remember other films this year.  Yeah, The Dark Knight wins too.  But honestly?  Come on people.  I have never wanted to cry in a movie like I did when I saw Wall-E.  Thinking about it makes me feel my heart.  This movie should win every award ever.  Sorry, Heath.

Now that's all the listing I'm going to do, but I'm sure if you ask me about certain things that happened or other favorite things, I will gladly tell you.  

Haley Jane told me to write my blog again, because she recently discovered she has internet in her house, so now she's always online!  That's a really good thing, because it's nice to see her online and get to say a little hello message.  She is the greatest thing that's happened to me, and I miss her incredibly.  She's one of the few people I know who can just make me laugh.  I mean, I laugh a lot, but she really makes me laugh.  At myself, at her, at life.  She really understands me.  I am blessed to have found her.

Also, one of my best friends is now engaged!  GO LIZA!!!  I couldn't be happier for her.  Tucker and Elizabeth and Haley and I all started dating on the same day.  I feel especially close to them, especially her.  She has been one of my best friends through college, and I hope forever.  I know I can talk to her about everything.  I can't wait to see that rock.

Finally, I hate my job.  I am looking for a new one, but am terrible about getting out and looking.  Also, I don't really have a resume.  If anyone reads this and has a good template let me know.  I'd love to check it out.  

Speaking of work, one final story.  Yesterday, I waited on a table of some punk looking kids who must have been about 17.  Don't get me wrong, just because they looked punky, does not mean they were mean.  They were actually really fun.  I had a good time joking around with them.  Anywho, I was passing out their food, the tray flipped and one of the girl's food flew everywhere.  I was very apologetic and told her I'd get out another one asap.  They were real chill about it, and after they finished they left.  As I was cashing out the checks (server talk) one of the girls came up to me and said, "Hey, you know that girl who's food you dropped?"  I got worried for a second and responded, "Yeah.  What's up?"  She said, "She wants your number."  It totally caught me off guard because I thought she was going to say something like "She's mad her meal wasn't comped."  I said, "I have a girlfriend...and I'm 22."  The girl said, "Oh, ok," and walked away.  It was probably the most adorable thing ever.  

I promise not to neglect you again avid readers (Chelsea?).  Have a great weekend.

From my cozy apartment,