Friday, November 30, 2007

Anybody Still Out There?

It seems like I've been off for months and months, but really it's only been about three. I keep threatening to take a longer break than that, but not this time, I guess.

I've started a new blog. If you've got some free time, go check it out, leave some comments. A Year in Pictures of Comedy. Less than a week into it, there are already three pictures of Young, so Young fans will be very pleased.

Hopefully, if I get some time in the next few weeks, I'll go through the links on this page, and update them. I'm sure some of them have disappeared/moved.

Anyway, thanks again for reading, and maybe I'll see some of you over at the new place.

Friday, August 10, 2007

That's it, for now.

One more year done and on the books. I'm off for a much needed sabbatical. I'll almost certainly return with another blog eventually, but I don't currently have one (that I like) in mind, so I may let myself have a longer break than I did after the last one. In the meantime, check out the various blogs to the right (including my previous blog, A Year in Pictures Following the Break-Up), and maybe subscribe to my podcast, Premisey.

Drop in from time to time and drop me a line.


Monday, August 06, 2007

It's always Monday again.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The 1900s played at noon, so they didn't have a huge crowd. Ed (Marketing Assistant), the lead singer, opened by saying, "Is everyone here from Chicago? No one else has heard of us." It was a great show, though, and the crowd grew as their set went on.

During their song 'Bring the Good Boys Home,' instead of singing "touchdown for Katie Jane," Jeanine sang, "it's a girl for Katie Jane," a wink to those who knew that the Katie from the song, Nick's wife, had given birth to their second daughter, Lucy (Newborn), early that morning.

Sarah and I wandered around for the rest of the day, seeing bands, and trying not to get sunstroke. We saw Iggy Pop and Peter Bjorn and John. We saw a man in a Grateful Dead t-shirt talking to a woman who was crying and yelling at him. He gave a high five to a passing friend without missing a beat in his nodding along to the very serious things she was saying to him. We saw my friend, Margolis, perform some old Second City material on the comedy stage. We saw dozens of dragonflies swoop above the crowds and smelled a lot of pot.

Later I caught up with Jeanine about what things were like behind the scenes.

Jeanine: I mostly just wandered around by myself, doing interviews here and there. Rockstars and all their minions are so silly. There were a lot of groupies. Like real live groupies. Those girls are terrifying. I overheard two of them in the bathroom saying, "We should head over to Modest Mouse. If we can't give blowjobs there, we're totally screwed." I loved Pearl Jam, though. A highlight for me, really. In the artist area behind the stage, it was packed during their set and everyone was singing along in Vedder voices.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The final round of the Cagematch of the Fallen Teams. There were no judges this time, just an audience vote. Meador came to vote for us, as did Chris and Innis from work. It wasn't enough, though, and we lost 54 to 42.

Afterwards we went next door to Bar Louie to have some drinks. Jill had to go home after the show and Niki and Nick hadn't been able to be there at all (Niki because of her Second City show and Nick because his wife, Katie, was due to give birth to their second child at any moment). The rest of us took this group picture, remarking that we were standing in the same spot where we'd taken a picture after our last last show at iO, when we were cut from the schedule two Augusts ago.

Stegmeyer: You know what? I'm upset.
Alex: Me too. I hate that I'm upset, that I got caught up in the whole thing, but I am. It would have been nice to do more shows.
Me: Yeah. But... if we want to do more shows, there's no reason we can't. There's any number of places we could perform.
Alex: That's true.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sometimes we talk about having a special Business Attire Day. Instead of coming to work in jeans or shorts, we'd all wear suits and ties and carry briefcases.

Meyers: We could all give fake power point presentations!
Evan: I think we'd all be so busy pretending to do business that we wouldn't get any work done.

It's a luxury to feel that way, that playing at office would be a fun lark.

We've had special days in the past. Mustache Day. High Five Day. Mostly, though, we just work, like any other office.

Years ago a local public television show, 'Wild Chicago,' came and taped a piece on Jellyvision.

Steve-o: I think they were disappointed that it was just a bunch of people sitting at computers, you know, quietly working. They said, "Hey, can one of you jump out of this garbage can?" I said, "That isn't really something we'd normally do."

If my job were a relationship, I guess it would be like dating a minor celebrity from your youth. You find out they're more or less a normal person. Sometimes that's disappointing, but mostly it's good. You get along well, you spend most of your time together. The romance is pretty much gone, but you don't yearn to be back out on the market. You're happy. You're content. Still... sometimes you wonder, how will I know... will I ever know... if this is how I want to spend the rest of my life?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Job #12: Texas Instruments Clean Room (cont.)

I was hoping to just slip out on my last day working in the clean room, but the shift manager decided to get ice cream and have a small going away party in the break room. I'm not sure why exactly. I hadn't worked there that long, and I mostly kept to myself. Maybe it was just a good excuse to be out of our bunny suits and face masks.

Some of the people wished me good luck at my new job at the charter school. "You're lucky to be getting out of here." That was the parting sentiment at most of the jobs I'd had up until that point. You're lucky to get out here.

The majority of my co-workers, though, a lot of whom I didn't recognize out of their suits, just quietly ate their ice cream, enjoying a few extra minutes of break time from a twelve hour workday.

Someone drew a card for me on the special clean room paper (its fibers wouldn't damage the microchips), and several people signed it. This isn't it. I'm sure I have it someplace, but I've been looking for it since I started this blog and I just can't find it. This is a "recreation" I drew. It's fairly accurate, although maybe there wasn't a cake in the drawing now that I think about it. Maybe the man in the bunny suit was just sitting at his station, working.

Months later, as my year at the charter school was coming to a close, and I was already thinking that I'd be lucky to get out of there, I ran into one of the clean room workers in the lobby of a movie theater. He told me that everyone was slowly being fired, and that the factory was probably going to close.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The area around the office is pretty sketchy, but also poised for massive gentrification. Construction everywhere. A Whole Foods is being built across the street from the strip club. Giant billboards advertise the coming of something, I think condos, called SoNo. ("SoNot Vanilla!")

And this giant building is nearing completion. I think it looks like a child's drawing of a cruise ship. Nate, Allard and Shane think it looks like a sandcrawler from Star Wars.

I sometimes wonder if this means Jellyvision will eventually be pushed out of the area with everyone else.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Finally got around to using my work insurance to get a physical.

Doctor: According to the Weight/Height chart, you are... [traces finger along line]... "obese."
Me: Obese? Huh.

The doctor then went on to explain how our bodies are elaborate chemistry sets and how office lifestyle is very contrary to what our bodies were designed for. Then again, I've been living the office lifestyle for years, even when I wasn't working in an office.

When I got back to work, I immediately announced, "I am officially obese." This led to laughter, debate and then everyone looking themselves up on an online ideal body weight chart.

Amanda: This is messed up. What color were you on the chart?
Me: Whatever color obese is. What color is obese?
Nate: It says I need to put on weight.
Michelle: I think this just goes to show there needs to be a weight name beyond obese.
Chris: Well, there's morbidly obese.
Me: I'm going to start referring to that as "mo' bese."

Later in the day Amanda called me into her office.

Amanda: Wrap your fingers around your wrist. Do they...
Me: They overlap.
Amanda: Oh no, so you're not even...
Me: I'm not even big boned. I can't even say that.
Amanda: Arnie, I'm trying. I'm trying to find a way that you're not obese.
Me: I just am.
Amanda: It's crazy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I was recently interviewed for a Chicago suburbs magazine called 'Beep.' The reporter did a web search for "long distance Chicago" and my blog(s) came up. It's an article about long distance relationships with a few blurbs thrown in from me.

Sarah: You are now the official spokesperson for our relationship.

I'm usually a little wary of being interviewed, since being horribly misquoted is the standard from my experience. But this one turned out okay.

The article touches on both of my long distance relationships, the one that worked out and the one that didn't. The one that didn't (in the long run, anyway) was with N.

A few weeks back, I sent N my yearly, "just checking in, no need to write back if you're not ready to write back" e-mail. I was curious to hear how's she's doing and whether she was able to graduate despite her mounting medical bills. I was hoping to hear that she's accepted a teaching position somewhere.

I haven't heard back from her.

The 'Beep' article refers to me as having been "devastated" at one point and "finding love again" at another. Both of those things are true, certainly, no question, but a little melodramatically worded for my taste. But that speaks more to my own stoicism, I guess, than to any journalistic inaccuracy.

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