Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'm a Graduate!

sterling dress found here. and it's only $12 now!

I keep telling myself as soon as things slow down I'll jump back into my normal blogging routine. The routine where I get to sit and ponder thoughts for a good hour or two and really relax into my post where I get to ramble on about trips to Ikea or Target. But life doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. I am running on fumes right now. I don't even know what that means, but I heard someone say it once and it just felt right. There are definitely fumes surging through me.

Last night I had my graduation party at the Second City. After our final shows the directors brought out pitchers of beer and pizza and we danced on the stage like the crazy group that we are. So yes, I am officially a graduate of the Second City Conservatory program. I'm a professional improviser if you will. We shall add this lofty degree next to my English and Creative Writing degree...

I remember last year when I found out that I had gotten into the program, I was as excited as a little comedian could be. I think I read the email over and over about fifty times. And suddenly one year later I'm already finished with it. I'm hoping that by the time I finish this post someone from my class will have shared photos I can grab, but given the fact that when I left the party last night around 1:30 a.m. and was the first to go, I think my fellow students will be sleeping for awhile. Those kids sure do like to party.

As soon as the Cool Ranch Doritos were gone I took it as my cue to go. I snuck out the back door ever so quietly like I do. You know that friend you have who likes to just leave places without telling anyone? That's me. I Houdini all the time. It's a terrible habit to get into, but I just hate good-byes. Especially last night, the good-byes might have been a little too sad for me. I've been collaborating and creating with these people for more than a year now and suddenly we're not going to be seeing each other every single Monday for five hours at a time. How will we all complain to each other about how tired we are and how much we hate our jobs and how scared we are about our future and when will we really make it... Or will we make it?

It always kinda sucks when that happens, when people come in and out of your life. I guess the ones that stay are there for a reason. But I have a feeling I'll be working with quite a few of these talented people very soon. They're just too funny not to keep around.

At one point I looked around the room and kind of had this silly realization that I was living my Rent dream. I know it sounds weird, but I've always had this obsession with the musical, Rent. (I mean besides the whole HIV and drugs part.) Ever since I saw the musical on stage, and then the movie (which I also loved) I've always secretly wanted to have my own group of eclectic creative friends. You know, where we all go out to dinner at 3 a.m. and are loud and annoying and just start singing La Vie Boheme out of nowhere. I mean they'd sing and I'd just watch because I'm not that fun, but still.

Still, it's been a wonderful two years at Second City.  Like anything in my life, I have no idea what will come from this or what my next step is. But hey, at least I met a ton of new awesome people. I mean look at us, one of these mugs is gonna make it.
Connor and Ashley, if you're reading this you were greatly missed. But we can do it all over again when you get back! Sketch Fest 2015 here we come! White Cougar Passion for ever!!!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Just Having A Mental Break Down Is All

Do you ever have those moments where you just can't get out of bed in the morning because you are just terrified of the mess that is waiting for you? Is this called anxiety? Or just Monday morning?

After a painful drive from Lincoln to Chicago yesterday (give or take 8 very hungover hours) I just couldn't get up today. I was awake, just scared to deal with everything that was waiting for me outside of my bed.

Even as I type this I am stressed beyond belief and know I should be doing 100 other things. My email inbox has about 250 unread messages. And unread messages make me nervous. Harlow is climbing the walls begging for a walk. Our house looks like we just moved in. There are suitcases and dirty clothes and boxes of t-shirts everywhere. Speaking of those t-shirts, I have about 250 to send today, and about 50 messages to respond to people about their t-shirts.... Someone may be in a little over their head.

All I want to do is sit here and relax and recap what a wonderful Nebraska weekend it was. But that will have to wait. Because right now I need to breathe.

Take me back to this moment. It was Friday evening just before I got on stage to do standup in front of more friends and family than ever before.... And then I blinked my eyes and it was suddenly Monday morning and I was sitting on my couch surrounded by pizza stained clothing and the mess of a new week I'm not prepared to tackle.

I'll be back later. I hope. I just need to regroup for a second and figure my life out.

*Turning comments off today because I suck and haven't responded in a few days and need to catch up on all of those. And mostly because I suck.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Doing Stand Up In Norfolk

*photo not from last night. too lazy to get current photos.

Let's time travel back to last night for a second.

As a last minute decision, I had agreed to be "the entertainment" for a Norfolk realtor board dinner. And no, I didn't really know what a realtor board dinner was either, but they said they'd pay me so I said sure, I'll tell some jokes. My sister is a realtor and she told me it would be a "young-ish crowd."

"Youngish" to her is apparently a loose term. When I walked inside the Norfolk Country Club last night I didn't see anyone under the age of... not young-ish. Which is totally fine, I'll tell jokes to anyone. However some of the things I reference, like Full House or Facebook for example, might not hit so well. And in hindsight, telling jokes at a country club in general might be a red flag. I prefer a dark seedy bar full of drunk people. But like I said, they were paying me. Comedians don't turn down paying gigs. They don't turn down any gig.

When I sat down at the table the first thing the older man sitting next to me said was, "So you're the entertainment huh? Well tell us some jokes." Dance for us, monkey! Dance! I love when people tell me to do that. Just love it. Anyway, he was actually a really nice guy and had experience telling some jokes himself. He told me just a few weeks ago he'd gotten in trouble for telling a few "questionable" stories at their annual church get together...

As soon as he said church jokes I started to get very nervous.

And I knew my jokes might not hit so well with this crowd. I'm not a raunchy comedian by any means, but I am a fan of the dark arts. The darkest jokes are my favorites. I've tried to stray, but I can't. The heart wants what the heart wants.

But tonight I needed to re-think my plan. So I quickly began rewriting my set in my head, trying to make it as PG as possible. Norfolk people are wonderful people, don't get me wrong. But they are a bit more conservative than your average crowd that goes to a comedy club in Chicago. At one point in my set last nigh I started talking about how I think it's wonderful gay people can marry each other and I actually saw one woman shake her head at me and flare her nostrils.

But I continued on never the less.

In the end, I think it went okay. I didn't give the crowd enough credit. Besides a few sticklers, they all had a really good sense of humor. My biggest fan was the 85 year old man who sat at my table who I think could have gotten up and told his own slew of dirty jokes for a good thirty minutes or so. And I also managed to book events in every small town surrounding Norfolk... Looks like my dream of doing a comedy tour across Nebraska might actually come true.

It's a weird feeling though, walking into a room of people and knowing it's your job to tell jokes and make them laugh. I can't wait to do it again tonight in Lincoln at Duffys and open for CHRIS REID. I put them in caps to make sure you can capture my excitement.

Have a good Friday. I'll be embarking for Lincoln in about five hours. I can't wait to see my pals, it's been to long. I'm ready to get Lincoln'd.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To Throw A Wonderful Wedding (full of faux pas)

Chris and I went to our last wedding of the summer a few weeks ago and I'm really bummed about it. I love wedding season and always hate to see it come to a close. Like most people our age, we attended a lot of weddings this summer. That being said, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite things in regards to how to throw a great wedding.

Let me rephrase that, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite wedding faux pas that I will totally do someday when I get married.

How To Throw A Wonderful Wedding Full of Faux Pas.

1. The program sets the tone.
So why not make it a little comical? Give the people something to chuckle at while they wait for the show to begin. I'd like to include a little ditty about each of my wedding party members and their most embarrassing college moment. How fun would that be?

2. Don't overlook the music at the ceremony.
Forget the Ave Maria. I want something upbeat and lively that gets people in the mood to dance. I'm thinking I'll probably play "I'm So Fancy" while I walk down the aisle.

3. Speaking of walking down aisle.
I'd like to request that all of my guests wear blindfolds for this moment. Why you might ask? Because I'm a weirdo and for some reason that moment when the bride comes in and everyone turns to look at her makes my stomach drop. Stand-up doesn't scare me, improv doesn't scare me, but the thought of walking down an aisle terrifies me. Blindfolds solve that problem real fast.

4. The vows.
I've already warned Chris about the vows I'd like to write. Hey, the guests came for a show so we might as well give them one.

5. The receiving line.
Sorry guys, I'm going to have to pass on this one. I know it's tradition to thank your guests for coming, but I'm not really a touchy-huggy kind of person. I'd rather give them a high five at the reception and just move things along.

6. The photos.
Ten max. Chris and I both agree on this one. Okay, maybe a few more than ten. But hours of wedding photos just isn't necessary.

7. The "reveal."
Why does the groom always turn to see the bride? I'd like to be the one who gets to turn around and see my beautiful groom walk in and then run over and pick him up.

8. The wedding food.
This one is really hard for me. I'm not a fan of buffets (just because I get too competitive) but I also want to give my guests a great selection of my favorite food (not stale wedding food like chicken or fish.) I'm thinking truffle french-fries and gourment burgers and the like. However I don't want the guests to slip into a food coma either. I might have to give this one a little thought yet.

9. The drinks.
I'm not going to be a drunk bride, I'm obviously too classy for that. However I'd like to have a really great time. That's all I'm saying.

10. The late night food.
Runzas and Schmigos all around. (It's a Nebraska thing.)

11. The day after.
Bloody Marys and day drinking while we all talk about what a wonderful night it was.

12. The honeymoon.
I'd like a few days alone as bride and groom but then can I request my wedding party and family join us? I mean why not? Everyone always ends up meeting weird honeymoon friends anyway. I might as well just bring my own.

I don't think any of this would be too hard to coordinate. Planning a really great wedding is easier than ever these days thanks to awesome tools like Wedding Party. A friend of mine used this app at her wedding last month and I thought it was the best thing ever. So did she.

Wedding Party actually allows engaged couples to create their own customized app and website to connect with their guests. Engaged couples can set it up after they get engaged so they can actually use it as a planning tool throughout their entire engagement. This comes in handy in regards to sharing your registry, reception and lodging info, and of course inviting your friends and family on your honeymoon. And let's not forget you can also share all of your fun wedding reception photos with your guests using Wedding Party as well.

And it's FREE! I didn't think anything was free when it comes to weddings, but Wedding Party truly is.

So there you have it, friends. I just gave a ton of great ideas on how to plan a wedding and how to use Wedding Party to make everything that much easier. You're welcome.

And now Wedding Party is being super generous and they're going to give one lucky reader the chance to win $50 Visa gift card to use on anything at all! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

These Boots

*This is sponsored post by BeachMint
Ricki Boots Found at ShoeMint. Read on for a chance to win your own Ricki Boots!

All of the sudden this week is turning out to be a little crazier than I originally thought it would be. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I'm had to head back to Nebraska a little sooner than planned because I picked up a last minute stand-up show and because I have to go back and mail about 300 Talk Herbie To Me shirts before the big Miami game on Saturday.

Speaking of that Miami game... I am beyond excited to get back to my old stomping grounds in Lincoln for the weekend. I haven't been back in more than a year and I can just feel it's going to be a great weekend. Other than the comedy show I just mentioned above that I picked up, I'm also doing stand-up for the first time in Lincoln at Duffy's Bar at 7 p.m. on Friday. Doing stand-up is kinda scary, doing stand-up in front of people you know is really scary. I haven't been this nervous for a show in a long time. And it doesn't help my nerves that I'm opening for this guy.

His name is Chris Reid and he's a really established comedian, made famous for his work in Kid N' Play back in the 90s. So what I'm saying is Friday is going to be a great night. If you're in the Lincoln area you should probably make your way to Duffys at 7 p.m. The best part is the show is free, no tickets necessary.

And to top it all off fall arrived with a vengeance in Chicago last week. I wasted no time in putting on my brand spanking new Ricki Riding Boots I just got from ShoeMint. I may love summer but I live for boot season. I love the way a good pair of boots can totally make an outfit.

I am over the moon with these boots and how comfortable they are. I also love the details in the buckles and the heel. Living in Chicago I need boots that aren't just cute, they have to be able to take some miles as well. I usually wear my boots down to the bone and I know these won't be any different.

ShoeMint is a seriously awesome members-only (but free) website. They add new styles every month and shipping/returns are always free. I've ordered a few pairs of shoes from ShoeMint and they're always really high quality, but very affordable. If you're a new user you can actually receive $40 off your first pair by clicking here.  Just a forewarning, they have more than thirty styles to choose from it might take you a while to pick out your first pair.

ShoeMint is actually giving one lucky reader a FREE pair of shoes! Just click here and sign up for ShoeMint (it's completely free, no obligation to buy), and then comment back here what your favorite pair of shoes is.

Good luck! Tis the season for shoe shopping!

Staying On Course

It's roughly 1:00 a.m., I'm leaving for Nebraska in about four hours and I am yet to sleep.

It's because it's Monday night (well now technically Tuesday morning) and I had my show at Second City a mere few hours ago. I've learned by now that I can't ever sleep after a show, so most times I don't even try. I've also figured out why so many comedians and performers drink so much every night, it's because you have to if you want any chance of going to bed. It's damn hard coming down off of that high.

Tonight was a good show. The crowd was into it. The tampon jokes were killing. The homo-erotic lines were spot on. It was just a great night that was over in the blink of an eye.

Whenever I get done with a good show I catch myself thinking how I wish I could do this every night. But of course everyone on that Second City stage tonight thinks that. That's why we're all there, after all. The shitty truth is that the percentage of us who will actually figure out a way to get paid to do comedy is slim to none. We've all picked a pretty hard industry to try to excel in, damn it.

Today SNL announced they hired a twenty year old comedian to their line-up and it sent my Facebook world into a shit storm. All of the comedians I'm virtual friends with seemed to have an opinion about this, most of them being negative. Why? Because as comedians we're all just a bunch of insecure little assholes sometimes. And I mean that in the most lovingly way possible. Why else would we feel the need to get on a stage with a mic and beg people to laugh us? Like me!!! Like me!!!

So it only makes sense that when we see a twenty year old get hired to do something like SNL it's a tough pill to swallow. Because it reminds all of us that we're not getting hired by SNL.

But Pete Davidson (the guy they hired) is so damn good you just gotta swallow that pill anyway. If you like stand-up, you should google him and watch some of his videos. When you get discovered that young there's a reason for it.

And when you're still twenty-seven writing dear diary blog posts at 1:00 a.m. with a plate full of homemade nachos in your lap, there's a reason for that as well... You've gotten a little bit off course. And you might also be kind of a loser. So stop eating your feelings and go write a book or something.

And this is why I shouldn't write posts at 1:00 a.m. because it's just turned into a ramble. Okay, thanks for listening. I'm going to sign off now and catch up on some baby reveal videos I've missed on Facebook this past week. What's it going to be..... BOY or GIRL? The suspense makes me giddy every time.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Birthday Diva

And the award for the biggest birthday diva goes to Harlow. This past weekend he had more sass and energy than ever before. And he wanted to make damn sure everyone knew it was birthday. 

It all started Saturday morning at the Chicago Canine Rescue. Before we even pulled up to the registration booth he was already bouncing off the walls and howling at the top of his lungs, bragging about how he was going to win the whole thing. He was being so arrogant, it was embarrassing.

He also demanded birthday cupcakes from every single booth. This was the first treat.

And the second.

And the third. He nearly took off Chris's hand with this one.

When the race began Harlow almost missed the starting line because he was too busy looking for treats.

Let's just say some of the heats were slower than the others...

And of course he had to stop at every turn to drink the complimentary beer people were handing out... So no, Harlow didn't win the race. It's hard to win a race when you insist on stopping every ten feet to take a bathroom break or to go up to every stranger you see to have your butt rubbed.

After the race Harlow met Manny the famous Frenchie. Manny was made for the stage as you can see.

In case you don't know, Manny's a French Bulldog who has about 600k followers on Instagram. Harlow was jealous as hell of this guy.

We pulled him away before things got ugly.

But my favorite part of the day was probably when all of the rescue owners and their rescue pups got together to take an "alumni photo." Kinda sad to think that if not for these kind people, a lot of these dogs probably wouldn't be around today.

Harlow the diva was not a rescue dog. But someday when we have a bigger house and a bigger yard I definitely hope to get Harlow a rescue brother or sister. We'll call him or her Harvey.

And for one final birthday treat Harlow got a peanut butter and (faux) chocolate doggy cake. Although I'm not sure he even tasted it because he ate the entire thing in one quick gulp.

It was a good weekend. Per the usual, I'm not ready at all for Monday to roll around. Woof.

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