Friday, June 30, 2006

6/30 I'm smiling...

So you know how excited I was yesterday about the ad. Well, last night Lee, the guy who taught the stand-up classes I attended, called and said he'd recommended me to a comedy club in Madison, WI. And that I needed to call the manager.

Then today, I got a sweet comment on MySpace from George Sarris, who runs the NYC Underground Comedy Festival. He's someone I admire, and it was neat that he wrote something.

So while I was writing this, I thought I might as well call Amy right now, and I did. So I'm booked at Comedy on State Street in Madison on July 27. It's a real short set because it's an open mic night, but the cool thing is that normally you have to audition, but because Lee recommended me, I don't have to. That feels good.

Lee also recommended I call the manager at Giggles Comedy Pub. I've performed there twice, but they were showcases for people who took Lee's class, rather than a regular show. So I need to get my courage up and call there.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

6/29 I'm a dork, I know

But I'm so excited. Just got a copy of an ad that's going to run in The Onion. And it's the first time I'm in a newspaper ad for doing stand-up. Yep, I'm a late bloomer.

I've been so busy at work today that I didn't get to post during lunchtime, so am taking a few minutes now.

We're getting ready for our international conference which runs from 7/30-8/4. My birthday lands smack dab in the middle of it, so I'll be able to celebrate a little. Not too much though, because these things are always crazy busy for staff members. They're still fun though. Right after it ends I'll drive to Quincy for a family reunion. The conference is in St. Louis this year, so that's only two hours from home, which is a good deal. I plan on driving to St. Louis instead of flying, so I'll have the flexibility of going to Quincy immediately.

Not working at ComedySportz this weekend, but I have something fun to do both Saturday and Sunday, so it should be a good weekend. Summerfest is going on at the lakefront. It's the biggest music festival in the world. I have two free tickets (our owner gives them to us every year). But don't know if I'm going to go. We'll see.

For right now, I need to finish up here so I can get home. Have to study--both my stand-up routine and my sketch roles. Need to have the sketches memorized soon.

(Did I tell you I'm in an ad in The Onion?)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

6/28 Fun last night

After Open Improv a bunch of commenced with our Tuesday night ritual--going out for a beer. They chose the New Yorker because folks were in the mood for karaoke. Some of the guys just crack me up. Patrick sounded just like Elvis and Michael Jackson. No, not at the same time. But when he sang their songs. It was a stitch. Jason sounded just like Louis Armstrong. Funny. Nick did some songs that sounded really good. And Megan sang an excellent Bon Jovi. I sang an old one by the Chiffons--One Fine Day. But the key was just a little too high. So I did some improv in the middle and was pretty proud of myself. Some people there remember us from when we've been there before. The owner (Sal) stopped me on the way out. He asked about us. I said everyone was a comedian and/or an actor. He said if we ever have any flyers we can leave them in the bar anytime we want. That was sweet.

And a woman who sang in a uniform from the Hyatt gave me a hug and said we should go to the Hyatt on Sunday. She'll be bartending and will give me a free drink. I'm thinking that's a pretty good offer.

Left there about 11:30, so I still got plenty of sleep.

Improv was fun last night too. We did some new stuff for games. And when we got to long form, it turned out really good.

I love Tuesday nights.

6/28 Jan's and my adventure

Although my sister Jan (11 months younger than I) likes to focus on how much she disliked me as a kid, I tend to remember the friendship we had. Because we were so close in age, we did so many things together, including double dating.

Today though I'm thinking about an adventure we had in 1965. Two male friends, Perry and Bill, shinnied up the drain pipe to the porch roof right outside our bedroom. We decided to go on an adventure with them. Jan's friend, Sally, went with us. She'd just gotten off work and still had on her white uniform.

One of the guys drove, and it was in the middle of the night, so we decided to "sneak into" various localities in the area. I say "sneak into" instead of "break into" because we didn't break anything. Plus these venues were outside, although one of them was fenced in. We began at Spring Lake Country Club (not the one mentioned yesterday). And we went swimming in the lake. It was so much fun to have the whole place to ourselves.

Then we went to Westview Golf Course, and swam in the water hazards. That was really fun because we collected a lot of golf balls while there.

Finally we got to the Quincy Country Club. Yep, the one from yesterday's posting. For some reason, when we got there, I got so scared, I just couldn't get out of the car and go to climb the fence. So I stayed in the car. Not only that, I lay down on the floor of the back seat. (Think I was flashing back to my grade school humiliation? Nope. I was just scared.)

So we get home about 5:30 in the morning. The guys said, "You are going to get in so much trouble." We said, "Nope, it's Sunday morning. Our parents will sleep late and go to church later."

We opened the front door, and there was Mom--sitting at the dining room table, drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette. For some unknown reason, she'd decided to go to 6:00 AM mass that day. She hadn't known we were gone, but didn't look too surprised to see us, or even to see Sally with us.

We told her what we'd done. Back then we told Mom everything.

Then she started laughing.

Said she'd done similar things so she couldn't get too mad. Plus she knew we were still "good girls."

Why? Because our clothes were wet. She knew we hadn't gone skinny dipping.

(That didn't happen until a few years later.)

Mom was so damn cool.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

6/27 I love acting

I just do. Have loved it ever since I was tiny and stood on top of tables at the bar down the street--the Spring Inn. I sang my heart out--to Teresa Brewer songs, and others that I don't remember.

My first role, outside of Christmas plays at school, was an old lady named Katinka in the Pied Piper of Hamlin for the Children's Little Theater in Quincy. They should have invented a new word for how hooked I was. The next year I got a part in the Little Theater (now called the Quincy Community Theatre). A grown-up play with just two kids in it--The Happy Time. It took place in Montreal and Bebe' was played by Bobby Ganz. He was public and I was Catholic, so I didn't know him before we got cast. (Yeah, that's how we distinguished people--by the school you went to. You were either public or Catholic.)

I was 11 or 12. I played Sally, an American neighbor. I can still remember some of my lines. "Here's your vacuum cleaner. (pause) I borrowed it. (pause). Who's that lady with your mother? Is she an aunt of yours or something? I saw her kiss you and she's pretty old. She must be some kind of a relative if she kissed you. (pause) Well, I brought your vacuum cleaner back. Just wanted you to know." Sally had such a crush on Bebe, but he had a crush on the new tutor? housekeeper? nanny? I can't remember what Mam'selle was as far as job goes, but she was a beautiful young woman named Sharon. As an adult I met her again and told her how much I'd admired her.

Anyway, it was a magical summer for me. To be on the big stage. To play before absolute strangers rather than people at school, who were all related to the performers. This was the big time. I got a decent, although rather innocuous, review for my small part.

The only downside was the cast party afterward. It was held at the Country Club. I'd never been there before. I got to bring a guest, so I brought my sister Jan. We were excited at the idea of swimming in the pool. A pool that wasn't chocked full of people trying to escape the heat in their homes. A pool that wasn't full of people like us.

And Bobby Ganz made fun of me. I remember standing by the pool in my swim suit, holding my towel and swim cap. (All the girls wore them in those days.) I remember the tears I fought so hard to hold back. My magical day was ruined. By a kid who didn't know how much his words could wound.

But that was the only downside. I reveled in the attention and applause. It cemented the acting bug squarely in my psyche. It remains there.

When I'm rehearsing with BroadMinded (like last night) or practicing improv (like tonight), I'm so full of energy. I only slept a few hours last night for some silly reason. So I'm overtired today, until I think about how much fun it will be tonight.

I truly derive energy from others. (Hence, the giant E in my Myers-Briggs. ENFP!) And I'll have tons of energy tonight and will have a wonderful time. Yay for that. (Yawn for now.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

6/26 All rested up...

And ready to start another week with not enough sleep. But I lazed around all day yesterday and it was absolutely wonderful. Every time a guilt feeling surfaces I shoot it. Well, I shoot it an angry look, and that's pretty ferocious.

I began a MySpace page for BroadMinded. We don't have much there yet, but it will be nice when finished, I think. We're all contributing to it.

Here's a public apology: I didn't mention Troy from Houston in my blog. So now he's mentioned. (Funny guy. And quite nice when you don't rile him up.)

Lots to do, so back to work. Tonight I have a meeting at Bucketworks for the Sketch Festival, and also rehearsal.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

6/25 Hunter's birthday and more!

Today my grandson is four. He's celebrating his birthday in Las Vegas. How cool is that! He is such a funny little kid, and loves to talk to his grandma on the phone. I love it too. Jill and her family will be here in July. I only get them for one night, because they're going up to Eagle River to visit Todd's family. And when they come back this way to go back to LA, I'll be in St. Louis on business. But I'll see them for a few days in California in September. I sure do miss them all.

Yesterday was another good day at CSz. I worked from 12-5 and had fun. Then I stayed for the 7:30 and 10 PM shows with some other members of BroadMinded. Wish I could have stayed out longer, but I got home a little before 1 AM, and have been lounging around all day today. Wow, I really do need a full day to recuperate. Good think I didn't drink too much, or I would really feel bad today instead of just tired.

We're working on a MySpace page for BroadMinded. It'll be cool to have everyone contribute to it.

Gotta run. The couch is calling my name.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

6/24 Fun, but I'm tired

After working all day at my regular job, I worked at CSz from 5-10:30. But because it was the Midwest Division Playoffs I stayed until almost 1 AM watching shows and having a beer. It's always so much fun when other cities come to Milwaukee. The ComedySportz teams from Chicago, Indianapolis, Twin Cities, Quad Cities, and Houston are here for the weekend, challenging Milwaukee. Great fun!

I know so many of the players from World Championships in the past. Spent a lot of time talking to Nancy from Twin Cities; what an interesting (and funny) woman. Got some good hugs from Will from Indianapolis, such a little cutie. Guess I shouldn't start mentioning folks, because there are so many I'd like to mention. Great people. I do think CSz attracts really good ones. Not just people who are outlandishly funny, but also those who care about providing family friendly comedy. It's super that parents can bring their kids to the shows.

Not that we're all "goody-goodies." Far from it. Most of us have very bawdy senses of humor. But CSz provides a wonderful service to our communities, and you have to love that.

Must shower and get ready. Have to be back to CSz at noon to set up for the matinee. Am working box office again. Will get off at five, and then can watch the two night shows. I know it will be a good day.

Tomorrow I'm staying home all day, but will send a press release to thousands of newspapers, announcing that Bron and her gang are coming from the UK and will play on July 21st, followed by an Open Mic night, which I get to MC.

Did I mention I'm tired? A shower and a cup of coffee ought to take care of that.

Friday, June 23, 2006

6/23 Breast Cancer Walk and the United Nations

Last night I became the division leader for operations at the Los Angeles Breast Cancer Walk. As you may recall, while working at the Chicago one I was encouraged to volunteer in LA too. Hey, a chance to see my grandkids, and my airline ticket is tax deductible? Sounds like a great deal to me. While talking to the crew coordinator, Sarah, last night, I got the same job there that I have in the Chicago walk. I'm so psyched! But I still have to raise some more money to reach my goal. If anyone has any spare change, go to my Avon Walk page please. Thanks a bunch just for thinking about it.

I got contacted by the Medical Reserves corps of Southeast Wisconsin. I'm going to help at a triathlon. While the docs, nurses, and paramedics will be giving medical first aid, I'll do some psychological first aid. We'll see how it goes.

I work at ComedySportz tonight, so that will be fun.

Oh, and I'll tell you about the United Nations later. (That's what's known as a "teaser.")

Thursday, June 22, 2006

6/22 More flash fiction

If you're interested in reading my entry in a flash fiction contest, go to Clarity of Night and read. It's less than 250 words. I'm positive of that because Jason is very strict. He publishes a photo that he took and then people are invited to write about it. This is the second one I've done at this site. I like what I've read (even ones beside my own). :)

Last night BroadMinded rehearsed. We did a lot of blocking. That's pretty boring, but it's absolutely imperative to get it done. Now we can get on with memorizing and polishing. I love sketch comedy. Wish you all could see us perform.

My comedy schedule is on MySpace.

After rehearsal we had a class in longform improv. I'm getting so much from it. And on the way home I always beat myself up for all the stupid mistakes I made. One in particular last night. Damn!

A new guy, Nat, joined us. Turned out he and I were in 102 class at Comedy Sportz a few years ago. He is getting a masters' degree in Austin TX now. I told him I had some friends there, and mentioned Chris Trew and Arthur Simone (two guys who used to be in N.O. CSz until Katrina). They're in an improv group called ColdTowne in Austin. Anyway, turns out Nat is in another group with Chris called Whirled News Tonight. Amazing. I have to remember to tell Chris.

Okay, I quickly sent him a note before I forgot. It's hell getting old.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

6/21 What in the world?

I'd love to write funny blog entries, and do it every now and then. Yet when things move me, disgust me, sadden me, or whatever, I need to write about them. Before my journal became electronic, that's what I did also.

At work, I always have and up on my computer. I need to follow news stories on workplace violence issues and crises in general. But yesterday I was glued to It was the sixth annual World Refugee Day. The United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution in 2000 to remember refugees on a special day each year, and CNN devoted a lot of space to it. Normally I have to go to CNN International for news like that.

I found it so moving and utterly sad. Reporters wrote as people instead of just reporting the news. A big guy wrote about breaking down when he saw what had been done to a group of women. Refugees are everywhere, and most of us in the US ignore their plight.

The faces of the children are especially poignant. And it's hard to believe that we live in relative luxury while these children are dying of starvation, disease, and genocide in some cases.

I still feel the call in my gut to do something. And I will. More on that later.

Go to Anderson Cooper's blog from Monday, June 19th and read about his interview with Angelina Jolie. He thinks she's the real deal as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. I do too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

6/20 Addiction to cell phones

Stephanie Klein wrote about this today, and it made me think.

When I was dating someone recently I had my phone on my waistband all the time. Now, it sits on my desk and when I walk away it stays on my desk.

Interesting that a man can make me have the phone surgically implanted on my hip, but other things don't. My children and grand-children are so important to me, but I know I check my phone for calls I've missed and will call them right back.

And whoever you are, if you were going to call me tonight, don't call between 8 and 10 PM Central Time. I'll be rehearsing, and the phone will be in my purse or jacket pocket or maybe even in my car. At any rate, it won't be on my hip.

Let's see if that changes if/when I start dating someone new.

Monday, June 19, 2006

6/19 Days fly by

When you're ultra-busy one day melts into another. I don't have anywhere to go tonight, but need to draft a press release for CSz, publicizing our UK CSz team visiting and playing in July. This press release will also announce our foray into open mic nights. Both things will happen July 21. I'm really psyched, but will need lots of support from stand-up comics I know, so we'll have people show up.

Pairing our first one with the UK team is a good idea. People will come to see the "Chorley Chaplins." Chorley is a village outside of Manchester, Lancashire where CSz first located over there. It's where I traveled every Wednesday evening by train in order to rehearse with the troupe. Bron has since moved to Manchester and has teams in both cities.

Bron, Chris, and Rachel will be in the US for the CSz World Championship. And since Bron's folks live in Wisconsin, she always visits Milwaukee's CSz. Chris is her boyfriend, and I've only met him online, so look forward to meeting him. Rach is someone I met in Chorley, and also roomed with her at the World Championship last summer in Los Angeles. So I'm definitely looking forward to their arrival in July.

Chris is a stand up comic from Manchester, and will perform in our open mic segment.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

6/18 Fathers' Day

Dad was the coolest. Most of the kids don't remember that because he was laid up for all the time they can remember. But us older ones remember when he worked. How he'd get off work at 5, and by 5:30 we'd be eating dinner. Every day. Every single one of us would be there.

That's unheard of today.

It wasn't that it was a rule or anything, it was just how things were done back in the 50s. We had nowhere else to go. We played outside until it was time for dinner. Afterward we watched TV, if there was service at the time, and played games.

Dad and Mom both loved the game shows that were on. And of course there was Gunsmoke and Dragnet.

But the best was playing games. My whole life includes those memories. Laughing. Always laughing.

And Dad was a really good tennis player. He taught me to play, and I ended up playing varsity in college. Dad also enjoyed acting, and was proud that I was a "chip off the old block." He not only performed in Quincy Community Little Theater, he also was on several radio shows before he went to Pearl Harbor during WWII.

He joined the Marines at 16 by lying about his age. I guess no one checked in those days; they needed enlistees so desperately. Luckily he was sent to Pearl Harbor after it was bombed and not before. He drove a truck. This kid who barely had a drivers' license. I have a handkerchief that he sent his mother on Mothers' Day when he was in Hawaii. The card says To the Best Mother in the World, Love, Eddie. It makes me cry when I see it, thinking about him so young. So young and not knowing what the world would deal him. Nine kids and a disability check. No one thinks their life will end up like that.

Yet, no complaints. We were happy. Thanks to a remarkable Mom and Dad.

Happy Fathers' Day, Eddie. I miss you!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

6/17 me anyway

Worked at CSz today from 12-5. Talked to Dick and it looks like I'm organizing an open mic night there. They've never had stand-up in the arena, just improv and sketch comedy. So this will be a brand new endeavor and quite exciting. I need to figure out some ways to make it successful, and to market it (with the help of CSz folks, of course).

We're looking to begin the third Friday in July. I'm so psyched!

I think we'll do it in the secondary stage area. It's called the garage and is a cool room. Open Mic Night in The Garage at ComedySportz Milwaukee. Yeah! It's going to happen.

Friday, June 16, 2006

6/16 Found out who he was...

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said this:

A motorcyclist killed last night on northbound I-43 has been identified as James E. Jewell of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office said this morning.

Jewell, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene, near I-43 and W. Mineral St.

The crash was reported about 8 p.m. Jewell entered the freeway at W. Becher St., lost control of the motorcycle and struck a center median, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.

That certainly doesn't answer my questions, but maybe there will be more in the paper later. I was glad to see that no one else caused the crash.

Okay...lots of work to do, so I better get back to it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

6/15 I saw a dead body

On the way home from ComedySportz tonight I saw a dead body on the highway. Three cop cars, a big semi, a wrecked motorcycle, and a body lying in the road covered with a yellow tarp. Just his feet sticking out from under the tarp. Tennis shoes still on his feet.

Who is he? Does he have a family? Is he young/old? Children? When will his loved ones find out? Who will tell them? Is he loved? Did he wear a helmet? Was he drinking? Was it his fault? The person that hit him--how is he or she doing? Is that person in shock?

I cried.

6/15 Fun continues

Last night BroadMinded rehearsed prior to our advanced improv class. Both activities were so enjoyable. I think our sketches are pretty darn good, but the audience will be the deciders.

Class was good. I think Patrick is an excellent instructor and is funny as well. He's very affirming, but will give us the necessary negative feedback too.

This morning Jill and the kids called me. Of course, nothing can top that, so it's all downhill from there.

Today I went to lunch with my friend, Bill. We try to do it once a month, but have been failing miserably at meeting that goal recently.

Tonight I work 5-8 at ComedySportz. I enjoy that as well. Gotta get back to work.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

6/14 What fun!

Last night at Open Improv we debriefed on Saturday's performance and then just had fun doing exercises and doing long form improv. Afterward several of us went to the New Yorker for beer and karaoke. I sang several songs and also danced (gasp!) to some. A great bunch of folks. But you could sure tell everyone is an actor/comedian. Lots of shenanigans. Megan and I even did some swing dancing. That youngster wore me out though.

Then I got an email asking if I would be one of several local comedians to open for a visiting comic at Corner Pocket in early July. My answer: YES!!!! First of all, I love Tom Clark. He's very funny and also is associated with CSz LA. I met him last year at the World Championship in LA.

(It feels cool to be labeled a "local comedian." I thought I was the only one who called me a comedian.)

Now back to work...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

6/13 Still thinking

Trying to figure out my life is exhausting. So I'm going to stop for a while.

Last night BroadMinded rehearsed. We went over almost all our sketches for the August performance. Some funny stuff (I think). Now I need to start memorizing my lines. I have a few different characters to practice--a teen, a British prof, a Wisconsin mom, an old whore. Actually I am one of those characters in real life. (Laughing at my own stupid joke.) I'm going to make a BroadMinded webpage soon, after we settle on our logo.

Tonight, Open Improv and beer afterward. I look forward to both.

Monday, June 12, 2006

6/12 What's going on with me?

I'm feeling that vague longing again. Wanting something more, something different.

A someone. A place. An activity. A volunteer job.

I don't know what I'm longing for--it's just there. A dissatisfaction with the status quo. I've been plagued with this since I was a child. I crave adventure.

While loving my family passionately, moving away was always in the plans.

One thing I'm working on right now (on my long list of faults) is trying to be less impulsive. I told this to a friend the other night over a beer and he said, "Why would you want to do that?"

Other "normal" people may want more impulsivity. For me, I'd love to feel content. Probably the last time I felt that was when I was married. We had lots of adventures--both with the kids and without them. We went camping, mountain climbing, white water rafting, spelunking, and more....

Now I get my adventures in other ways--volunteering in disaster mental health, performing comedy on stage, traveling to other countries. But since I spend my money on fun, I live from paycheck to paycheck. Stupid, I know. But spending my kids' inheritance is one of the fun things I do. They've both said I should do it. So I obey. :) Thank God for 401 K plans, so I do have some money stashed away for retirement.

Hurricane season is upon us, and I know I'm going to be called to do disaster work. I desperately want to do it--it's what I'm trained for. If I could get a job that paid enough, I'd do the work full time. Instead, I volunteer. The problem is the same as last year--I won't have any vacation time left to do this. So I'll have to leave for two weeks without pay. Last year I borrowed money so I could do it and still pay my bills. This year that option doesn't exist. Damn! Don't know what to do.

The sensible ones reading this will think the answer is obvious--if I don't have the money I shouldn't go. The quixotic ones reading this will think the answer is obvious--figure out a way to get the money so you can go.

I'm on the quixotic side. But first I have to see if my company will let me go again for two weeks without pay.

Discontent. Longing. Wanting. Anything you are aching for?

6/12 How will you die? QUIZ

You scored as Gunshot. Your death will be by gunshot, probably because you are some important person or whatever. Possibly a sniper, nice, quick, clean shot to the head. Just beautiful.



Natural Causes


Cut Throat






















How Will You Die??
created with

6/12 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Any fan of Hitchhiker knows of the horrible Vogon poetry. Well, The Vogon Poetry Generator sends you a poem based upon words you give it. (When asked for a friend's name, Melissa was the first one that came to mind. Sorry, Melissa!) Thanks to emeraldcite for the link.

See, see the fun sky
Marvel at its big orange depths.
Tell me, Melissa do you
Wonder why the badger ignores you?
Why its foobly stare
makes you feel chipper.
I can tell you, it is
Worried by your confittouring facial growth
That looks like
A mold.
What's more, it knows
Your spit potting shed
Smells of brussel sprout.
Everything under the big fun sky
Asks why, why do you even bother?
You only charm baby poops.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

6/11 Was it ever fun!

Last night's show was incredibly fun. Everyone brought their "A" game, and the audience responded. We really got a lot of laughs, and of course that makes actors work even harder. Like a carrot dangled in front of a mule, laughter urges us to keep going.

My favorite laugh I received was in a game called Freeze Tag. I was in a pretzel-like position with a young man and said, "But this is how we do surgery in Czechoslovakia."

Everyone got good laughs, which makes for a fun show. One of the objects of improv is to make the other people look good, and I think we cooperated well to do just that.

Following Open Improv, a sketch comedy group, D.U.M.B., performed

Afterward, nearly everyone went to Rudy's to begin celebrating Nick's 25th birthday. Fun there as well. A bunch of us stood on both sides of a bar and Ray, Dennis, and Tom (MJ's husband) ordered many different appetizers. Plenty of food. I had a few beers and stayed until after midnight. Had a very enjoyable evening.

Here's a picture Ray took. Four of the seven BroadMinded members: Melissa, Megan, Me, and Mary Jo. (Gee, my name does begin with M like everyone else's if I use Me instead of Jer.)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

6/10 Saturday Stuff

Doing laundry, unpacking my sleeping back and camping gear (yes, I know it's been a week), and watching out the window as they fill our pool. It was supposed to be open on Memorial Day weekend, but there was a leak. And now that it's 50 degrees, they've fixed it and are filling it. Ya gotta love Wisconsin. Brrrrr.

Went to see some friends' sketch comedy performance last night. Their name is Monkey Knife Fight. Very creative and funny bunch.

Tonight Melissa, Mary Jo, and I are performing improv at Bucketworks with some other folks. Should be fun. Will write about the experience tomorrow. Right now there are towels to be folded.

Friday, June 09, 2006

6/9 I am not yet dead!

That's the song I'm listening to from the Spamalot. I haven't seen the musical yet, but I already love the songs and will be prepared when I get to see the show. Same thing with Wicked. And Hairspray.

Spamalot cracks me up. I know my brothers will love it--they are all Monty Python freaks, especially Jay.

I did the same with Phantom of the Opera, Mama Mia, and Les Mis. When a musical interests me, I buy the CD before seeing the show. Don't know why. I think it helps me enjoy the show more when I already know the songs.

Oh, there are exceptions. I bought Rent after seeing it. And Miss Saigon. I can't listen to Miss Saigon too much. It makes me cry. I saw it on Broadway with my friend Joe. Glad he was there. When I saw all the children's faces on the screen when they were singing Bui Doi on stage, I couldn't stop crying.

Crap, why did I go there. From Spamalot to Miss Saigon? From utterly ridiculous to sad and profound. Okay, shake it off. Back to Spamalot...

I think my favorite song is I'm All Alone. King Arthur sings that he's all alone, and his servant responds with, "Oh no you're not." Arthur never does acknowledge Patsy (the serf) during the song, so Patsy says some hilarious stuff. Tried to write a sketch similar to this, but haven't been able to do it. I certainly don't want to copy, so I need to come up with a fresh approach. Oh well, if I can't, there are plenty of hilarious things surrounding me every day.

Tonight I'm going to ComedySportz to watch the 7:30 show, and then at 10 is a sketch comedy show--Monkey Knife Fight. It's an adult show put on by several CSz friends. Can't wait to see them perform.

Tomorrow night is the show at Bucketworks. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

6/8 Work, work, work

Lots of work to be done. I’m feeling vaguely dissatisfied, and finally figured out why. It’s the inevitable letdown that comes after an extraordinary experience. My daughter, Jill, turned on the light bulb for me. She called, and I got to talk to Kayla for quite a while; that was the best part of my day so far.

Russ called earlier too. It was nice to talk to him. We went from talking for hours every day to nothing, so it’s nice to connect every now and then.

Have one meeting this afternoon and horrendous deadlines to meet. Am in the middle of two journals, one hard copy newsletter, and two online newsletters. Every now and then the stars align in a certain way and everything is due at the same time. Yikes.

Also we’re preparing for our international conference at the end of July, and things are hectic because of that. I’m sending out press releases and invitations to reporters/editors to attend. It’s exciting, but also taxing.

Probably should end my lunchtime and get back to work. No time for comedy today. Damn!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

6/7 Made me laugh...

I finished reading about the 2005 Walk on my blog, and on 6/7 I titled the entry "Build a Bridge...." Sounds nice. But it is only the beginning of a saying we got from our friend Deb on the walk.

Build a bridge and get over it.

I love it. Our family always says "let it go" when someone is obsessing on something or just won't shut up about an issue. And it's such a big joke that it's hard to be upset when someone says it.

Last night Open Improv was really fun. We decided on which games we're playing and who is doing what. Nick and I are the MCs and will take turns with that. I think Saturday will turn out okay after all. In fact, I'm looking forward to it.

Now there are three upcoming gigs I'm able to list on MySpace. Kind of fun.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

6/6 Random snippets

Snip: Today a friend told me she has breast cancer. I cried. I know I'm at least doing something by working on the Avon Walk weekends, but I wish I could help her more. I feel helpless.

Snip: Am so happy I'm doing the LA Walk in September. Some of the Chicago Crew are walking in San Francisco. I donated a little to Kerri, who is the Medical Division Leader for Chicago. A great gal--so much energy and a wonderful attitude. Love working with her.

Snip: I'm still a bit stiff, but it's a lot better.

Snip: Last night Melissa, Megan, and I met at Bucketworks and did some work on our sketches. We assigned some parts and cleaned up some loose ends. Our show in August is finally coming together, and I'm psyched.

Snip: Tonight is Open Improv. I'm tired and don't feel like going, but really have to. Saturday we're performing. Everyone who attends Open Improv is doing--well--improv. I'm not inviting people, and feel a little trepidation. I'm not scared of performing, but this doesn't seem to be organized well, and we still don't know what we're doing on Saturday. Kind of scary.

Snip: I don't think I've ever felt this overwhelmed at work before. Guess I better get back to it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

6/5 Another successful Avon Walk

Can't believe we just finished our fifth year doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago. This walk raised more than $8.2 million. Hard to believe. It was the largest Avon Walk ever. Individuals had the option of walking a full or half marathon on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. My sisters completed a half marathon each day. I'm so proud of them--for so many reasons. Jane's knee is so badly injured, but she did it. And Jan always completes a full marathon on day one, but she stayed with Jane the entire way. See why I'm proud of both of them?

Thanks a MILLION to my sixteen awesome donors who helped me raise $1200 for the event. As a crew member I was not required to raise money, but was encouraged to do so. I'm so grateful to you wonderful, generous people.

More than 3,600 people participated. And like one young man said--"This is a bachelor's paradise. Six hundred men and three thousand women. Those are great odds." I imagine I could get some of my male friends to volunteer if I told them about the odds. :)

Jan's and Jane's husbands drove up to Chicago for the closing ceremonies, so the gals didn't have to stay awake on the way home. Very sweet. Jane's daughter, Sarah, came along and gave each of us a beautiful pink lei. She is so thoughtful.

My weekend was quite busy. As team leader for Operations, and a member of the Incident Response team, I had lots to do. My team was unbelievable though. Not one complaint, only one set of rolled eyes, and every member had a "yes" attitude from beginning to end. My team consisted of Incident Response, Medical Taxi, Rest Stop Closure Assistants, and Caboose Assistant. So Sylvia, Kathleen, John, Tom, Tamara, Michele, and Lee, a big giant THANK YOU! You made a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer. And you certainly made a significant difference in how well my weekend went.

Every one of you said "yes" to working next year. Whether you're on the Operations Team or another one, or whether you decide to walk instead, I have no doubt that once again you will WOW those you serve.

Oh, I forgot--I'm going to work on the Los Angeles incident response team in September. What can I say, they need help. Karen, who works in the Los Angeles office, asked and I said yes. I'll combine it with a trip to see Jill and her family. (And don't worry, dear donors, I won't bug you for money. I'll ask the friends who forgot to contribute last time.)

Friday, June 02, 2006

6/2 The adventure begins (began)...

I woke up at 4:45 AM. Horrible. This is the day I could have slept in. Tomorrow I have to get up at 4:30 or so, and the same on Sunday. But today, when my body could have had eight hours or more, it rebelled against me.

I blame the birds.

Jim and Karen's house is on a golf course. The birds didn't wake me up, but once I was awake they conspired to keep me that way. I waited until 5:30 to take my shower. Then thought this would be a good time to catch up on computer "stuff" while my sisters are still asleep.

Yesterday was so enjoyable. I spent way too much money, but got a ton of Christmas presents for my kids...and a few things for me as well. The outlet mall in Aurora isn't a normal one. It's all upscale stores, with huge bargains. We found many places that had items 60% off. I don't enjoy "normal" shopping, but this is like a treasure hunt. Got Hunter's birthday presents--he'll be four on June 25th.

We got to the house around 4 or so. Jim had just had a tooth pulled and was off work early. We sibs sat around and laughed, which is what my family tends to do. Karen got home around 6 and we ordered pizza to be delivered, so we didn't even have to work on dinner. We sat on the patio, drank beer, ate and talked. Oh, and laughed. This time Jan was the target which was a welcome relief for me. It's usually me. I'm the one who doesn't see people as much so when I'm with the family it's like, "Fresh Meat." They are like sharks attracted to the chum. Jan isn't the target much, because she's the "nice one." In fact, that's what we teased her about. Luckily, we're all used to this behavior, so if someone tells an exaggerated story about you (or a blatantly untrue one), you just wait until the laughter begins to die down, and then you tell the truth. Or at least your version of it. Jan was good-natured about it.

Karen's dad Frank didn't make it home while we were awake. Her mom, Katie, is in the hospital again, and he was with her. We'll see him later this morning before we take off for the city.

Guess that's enough for now. Jan and Jane are still asleep I think. So I'll do computer stuff and then read/relax. That will be a nice gift for myself.

Don't know if I will be able to post until I get home Sunday night. If I can, I will. Otherwise, see you after the Avon Breast Cancer Walk.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

6/1 I'm off!

Am getting ready to leave. Will try to post from my brother's house tonight.

Wish us luck. This will be a whirlwind weekend, full of fun and much emotion.