Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Love a Parade

Sarah and I spent this Thanksgiving morning flipping back and forth between the Macy's Parade and the parade in Philadelphia. We watched as Miley Cyrus and Syesha Mercado sang us Christmas greetings, Kermit the Frog and Snoopy balloons floated across the TV screen, and marching bands, floats, and dance schools gave us both eye and ear candy.

I turned to Sarah and asked, "What's your favorite part of a parade?"

Sarah answered without hesitation. "The candy they throw at me."

I admit, I forgot about that part.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Planes, Trains, & Free T-Shirts

Every Monday night a local theater, Penn Cinema, presents what it calls The Heart of Lancaster movie series. They show classic movies such as Rear Window, Back to the Future, The Wizard of Oz, and Christmas Vacation. It's a really cool way to see some of your favorite movies on the big screen again or, as is often the case, for the first time (Rear Window on video is cool...on the big screen is truly the way it was meant to be).

Before the movie begins, the theater owner comes out and asks trivia questions related to the evening's film, giving people the chance to win some fun prizes. When Sarah and I went to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail I won a nifty little chip clip.

But last night they showed Planes, Trains and Automobiles and I wasn't about to settle for a chip clip. I was determined that my years of studying Steve Martin and his works would not go unrewarded. The trivia questions are usually pretty tough, and I tried to imagine what the questions might be. As I waited for my buddy John to pick me up to see the film, I stood outside my apartment playing the film back in my head, thinking of every possible detail that could be quizzed.

The name of the ad campaign being studied in the opening (and very final) scene? Ibis.
The actress behind the counter at the Marathon Car Rental company? Edie McClurg, who was also in John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
The name of the movie Steve Martin's wife is watching while she waits for him to come home? She's Having a Baby, also directed by John Hughes and starring Kevin Bacon who has a cameo in PT&A.
Any other John Hughes connections in the film? Ferris Bueller's Ben Stein plays the airline attendant and Molly Ringwald's grandfather from Sixteen Candles is seated on the other side of Steve Martin in the plane.

So when the time came for the trivia to begin I was hoping I wouldn't freeze up and choke on something I should have known. The question came and, I have to admit, for someone who's seen the movie 30-plus times, it was a no-brainer.

"What are the first and last names of the two main characters in the movie?"

My hand shot up with lightning-fast speed and before I even realized my hand was in the air, the manager was calling on me, "The young man in the black coat." (He called me "young man." Heh heh heh. Sucker. My good genes fooled 'em again!)

I answered with all the calm confidence of Ken Jennings playing Celebrity Jeopardy. "Neal Page and Del Griffith."

So if you see me walking around in my new Dolby Digital T-shirt with an oddly happy spring in my step, you know why. I just wish I could go back in time to when I was a teenager watching Planes, Trains... for the 20th time. My mom asked me, "Why do you have to watch that movie so many times?".

Because now I have an answer.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Other Other White Meat

Sarah and I were in the store browsing through the book section when Sarah saw this:


Sarah's immediate reaction was a small gasp. She grabbed the book and, as she flipped it over, exclaimed excitedly, "There better be a picture of a baby on the back."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, I Tried

It's been a while since I blogged last, so tonight I sat down with that one goal in mind. I actually had a lot I could blog about. I just celebrated a birthday. Sarah did, too. We were back home in Indiana this past weekend for my grandmother's funeral. The post office lost a birthday package Sarah's dad sent to us. And other stuff.

But after I sat down, I realized there were dirty dishes in the sink. I decided to play the role of good husband and take care of them while Sarah was gone. I'm pretty sure it was no coincidence that the first song that played on my iPod was Salt N Pepa's "Whatta Man." So I bounced around and sang about what a good guy I am while I did the dishes.

Then, for some reason, I decided I wanted to listen to Sammy Ward. I have no idea what the correlation is between Sammy and S&P, but I bet they would have a great conversation. After singing along to a few songs, I wondered if Sammy was my Facebook friend (he isn't) or my MySpace friend (nope).

But while I was on MySpace I stumbled across a contest where the prize is an appearance in the new Judd Apatow/Adam Sandler/Seth Rogan film. You had to say in 100 words or less why you should be in the film and I spent the next 20 minutes figuring out the best way to use those 100 words.

Then I looked around for something to eat and considered whether or not I should start watching 21. I didn't. I decided I should blog.

But I lost the drive.

At least now you know why.

So thanks, A.D.D.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Chance Meeting

Ever have one of those moments that you know is significant but you're not sure why? Sarah and I had one of those this weekend when we met Jonas.

A bit of a warning: This blog may contain a rabbit trail or two that may or may not seem pertinent, but hang with me. It's all relative to the story. Kinda like Memento. At the beginning you're like "What the freak is going on here?" but then you find'll see.

Sarah and I walked down to the Fulton Opera House this weekend to catch a production of "Glorious." It's a play based on a true story about a famous singer who actually couldn't sing at all. Call it Spinal Tap for the opera community. There were only three people in the cast and they all did a phenomenal job. They had us laughing from Joke One and kept us the entire length of the play right down to the very touching final monologue.

During the intermission, I was reading the actors' bios in the playbill. The lead actor was named Jonas Cohen and...wait a second...he had listed in his credits the fact he had just finished a production of "Love Jerry" in New York. I know it's a small world and they say the theater world is even smaller, but...

About four months ago I wrote a blog about "Love Jerry." My friend JT, whom I worked with at the National Comedy Theatre, was at the time trying to get this new musical off the ground this be a cool connection? With five minutes left to go in intermisison I broke the rules, pulled out my cell phone, and furiously sent a text to JT.
"Am watching a play with an actor in it named jonas cohen.
do you know him???"

A few minutes later I received JT's response.
"I just did a show with him.
He's a great guy."

Wow! How randomly cool is this? And if JT says Jonas is a cool guy then it must be true because JT is himself pretty darn cool.

After the show, Sarah and I kinda lingered around in the theater to see if the actors were going to come out but then I realized this wasn't a high school musical and they would probably leave through the stage door on the side. Oh well. I figured I would send JT a message when I got home telling him to tell Jonas he did a great job.

Sarah had to take a bathroom break before we left so I lingered in the lobby, doing the "nod and smile" to all of the people who walked by. I eavesdropped on a conversation between three people who had met before and were trying to figure out where and when. I watched a stagehand run up and down the lobby stairs. I watched the ushers take off their bow ties, say goodbye to one another, and take off to enjoy their Saturday afternoon. I found the four ladies who were seated directly behind us during the play. They had serious "smoker's laugh" and I kept an eye on them in case one of their lungs fell out.

Finally Sarah and I were ready for our walk home (another thing I love about living in the city; we're only about five blocks away and in the height of the leaves changing color, it's a really nice walk). As we left the theater I saw a guy approaching us from the alley. I quickly turned to Sarah.

"Hey, is that the guy from the play?"


Sarah had barely answered me when Jonas was standing right beside us. Sarah and I greeted him with "great job" and "well done" and he politely thanked us and smiled. I then asked him if he knew JT Arbogast and the poor guy looked like he was slapped in the face.

"Yeah." He looked surprised and I guess in hindsight it may have been the last thing he expected a stagedoor fan to ask (even though we weren't technically at the stage door, we were nonetheless fans).

I went on to introduce myself and Sarah, told him how I knew JT, and we were all instant friends. Apparently, Jonas also knew about the "All Friends Of JT Must Be Cool" rule. Jonas asked where we lived and then asked if he could walk with us, as the apartment he was staying at was on the way, only a block and a half from our place. How cool is that!

During our short 2-1/2 block walk the three of us chatted about anything and everything as if we were old friends. The more we talked, the more we found we had in common, and the more we were all blown away by this seemingly random meeting.

As we arrived at his apartment and parted ways, exchanging emails and friendy guy-hugs, Jonas commented that sometimes you meet people and you feel there's a reason behind it, that it wasn't just a coincidence, and I agree. The funny thing is...I don't know what that reason is.

I don't know. Maybe Sarah and I were there to inspire him and bring him a smile. Or vice versa. Or something else that hasn't happened yet. For all I know he's Lorne Michaels' nephew and next year I'll be live from New York on Saturday Night.

As a comedian, I appreciate good timing, and if we hadn't gone to the theater that day...if JT hadn't been able to respond to the text message...if Sarah didn't have to wait in line at the restroom...well, it just all timed out perfectly.

I know, I know, it's also possible that I'm reading more into this than is actually there. But if I learned anything from M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, it's that there are no coincidences.

But what if it was all just a coincidence? Well, that's OK, too. The point is, we made a new friend when we least expected it, and it made for a really cool Saturday afternoon story. And I can't complain about that, ya know?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Lot to Say

Sarah and I are back from vacation and the thought of writing a blog seems really intimidating; there's so much to say and yet I'm too lazy to say it all. Here's what's been happening:

Our anniversary/honeymoon trip to Jamaica was incredible. My favorite part about Jamaica was the people we met. The friends we made while we were there weren't fellow vacationers but instead people who worked at the Sandals resort in Negril. Great people, for reals. While we were there Sarah won the dance contest, the limbo contest, the Bob Marley trivia contest, and we won 2nd place in the Couples Game Show. Anyone like rum?

The election came and went and despite repeated warnings, the world didn't blow up and I haven't turned Communist yet. I was also told all of my money would be given to other people to pay their mortgages if Obama won but to be honest, if that were indeed the case I'd much rather help out people who are struggling than give billions of dollars to bail out banks.

The Phillies won the World Series but since I'm a Cubs fan, I didn't really care.

We also missed Halloween, so I guess you're just gonna have to wait until next year to see my awesome Kitt Kittrege costume.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Vote for Change!

I've decided I'm not going to put as much cream in my coffee as usual. The coffee was so good in Jamaica (mostly Blue Mountain) I didn't need to add as much cream as I didn't want to bury the taste. Even though the coffee back here isn't the same, I'm still going to try to cut back a bit.

Oh yea. And there was an election yesterday.