Big 10K 2016

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I’ve run the Big 10K twice before, and both times I skipped the slip-and-slide they have at around the 4-mile mark. This time, I was not so silly—there were two slip-and-slides and I did both. Why even have fun, if you’re not going to have fun?

Also, I got to give Purdue Pete a high-five just as I started the race. Who’s jealous now?

Time: 1:04:19
Overall place: 3758 / 6494
Place in Male: 2126 / 2963
Place in M45-49: 109 / 163
Place in Big Ten Alumni Male: 1431 / 1931

Neutrino Project - ICYMI - Week 2

It seems like just moments ago that I was posting last week’s ICYMI and here I am again with another one. Only four weeks left to see this unique and amazing show. It’s different every week, so if ninjas are your thing, too bad. We already did ninjas. But it’ll be something else even better next week.

Laugh Out Loud Theater, 3851 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL Sundays from July 10 to August 14 at 5 PM. More info at neutrinoproject.com

Neutrino Project - ICYMI - Week 1

The first week of the Neutrino Project in about a minute. Intrigued? Come see the real show, live, on screen at the Laugh Out Loud Theater, 5 weeks left to see The Neutrino Project in Chicago! It’s an improvised movie, so it’s different every time.

Neutrino Project: The Instant Movie will be running at Laugh Out Loud Theater, 3851 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL Sundays from July 10 to August 14 at 5 PM. More info at neutrinoproject.com.

The Neutrino Project Returns!

Man, when we did the first few runs of The Neutrino Project in Chicago, you could not get me to shut up about the show on the blog. Of course, I was blogging a lot more in general then, anyway.

I do want to write up some of the things we’ve learned doing this remount, but for now I just want you to know that we’ve rehearsed hard, we had a great tech today that shows that we can actually do the show (always a little bit of a question!) and we’re all set to open tomorrow. Please come by!

From the tech side, the show looks and sounds better than ever, and more importantly, we have a great cast who are really ready to give some all-out improv in the service of this crazy show. I’m so glad that Jen Ellison agreed to direct the run, and that Amanda Murphy has come on as musical director.

Neutrino Project: The Instant Movie will be running at Laugh Out Loud Theater, 3851 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL Sundays from July 10 to August 14 at 5 PM. Tickets at loltheater.com or 773-857-6000.

Splenda

Last year, our friends Paul Thomas and Seth Thomas reunited as The Defiant Thomas Brothers, a sketch comedy duo they had started about a decade ago. Erica and I saw their new show, which was great, and I was particularly enamoured with a short piece of interstitial music that was played during the transition between two scenes. All of the music in the show reminded me of Seth’s other duo, the hip-hop group 8090 so I wasn’t surprised to find out that Andy Metz had produced the track.

I asked Seth if I could get a copy of the song and he obliged and I began listening to the very short track over and over. And then I started filming in coffeeshops around Chicago, in Dallas, TX, and Vicksburg, MS over the course of three or four months. Over the July 4th weekend, Erica and I built the props for the second half of the video and filmed in our apartment. And now there’s a micro-video to go with this micro-song. Enjoy!

The Worst Idea of All Time

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This is the most roundabout way to recommend a podcast, but here we go:

If you’re in Chicago you’ll remember that at the end of 2013 all 80-something of the Dominick’s grocery stores closed. It was pretty sudden and it was quite a blow to us here at FuzzyCo HQ. There was a Dominick’s literally a block away and over our years in the neighborhood we had gotten very used to the notion of grocery shopping in what my mom would call the European way—that is, deciding what we wanted for dinner as we got home from work and then walking over and getting (reasonably) fresh foods to make that.

With the closure of the Dominick’s, we had to start going to grocery stores literally one-half or one mile away. Exactly, like savages. We were excited when the alderman’s newsletter[1] contained the news that Whole Foods had purchased the store and then went a banner went up saying “Whole Foods—opening Spring 2015”. We were going to have to wait a year, but we’d not only have a grocery store right across the street again, but it’d be a healthy grocery store as well.

So if this long story has a short part, it’s that the year went by and last April the Whole Foods opened. It was as great as we had hoped, with a few exceptions like tortillas[2], and we’ve been happy little shoppers.

Whole Foods is, of course, by their own designation “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” and the whole place is a little hippy-dippy. I don’t know if it’s a corporate policy or just the kind of people they hire, but all the employees are very chatty. Everyone is always happy to give advice about food preparation in their various departments and the cashiers are always saying things like “have any fun weekend plans?” as they’re ringing you up.

So it wasn’t out of nowhere when, back in February, I was pulling out my headphones as I walked up to the meat counter and one of the butchers asked “what are you listening to?”. “Some podcast or another,” I said.

“You like podcasts? There’s this crazy podcast you should listen to where these two Australian guys are watching Adam Sandler movies over and over and talking about them each week and like how they’re all like tax dodges and stuff. I mean, I’ve never actually heard it, but it sounds crazy.”

And on that sterling recommendation, I went home and did some Googling and found “The Worst Idea of All Time” podcast. It’s a podcast where Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery, two New Zealand comedians, watched (for their first season) the Adam Sandler movie “Grown Ups 2” once a week for a year, and recorded a podcast about it after each viewing.

The two guys are really funny and they set themselves a ridiculous task which they quickly realize is completely untenable, but they keep going. And by pushing through, they emerge into comedy that I don’t think they’d ever have found if they had tried to head straight for it.

I got a little obsessive and over the last four months I’ve listened to every episode of the podcast[4] and I’m completely up to date. I got my brother hooked too, to the point where he soon lapped me and was dangling spoilers ahead of me. It’s been one of our main topics of iMessage conversation over the past few months. TWIOAT: “Bringing Families Together”.

Let’s go listicle!

  • There are three seasons: Grown Ups 2, Sex and the City 2, and currently We Are Your Friends, which the boys say will be their last season of this format.
  • You should listen from the beginning. The gents go on a journey and you should go with them. The audio quality is a little rough at the beginning, but it’s worth it.
  • You don’t have to watch the movies. I watched Grown Ups 2 and then Grown Ups when I finished the first season, but I’ve never watched SatC2 or We Are Your Friends.
  • Like anything else, it’s not for everyone. But if you’ve enjoyed some of the dumb projects I’ve done, you’ll probably like this.
  • I’m all caught up on the podcast and it’s a weird feeling to have to wait for another episode!

[1] Yes, I’m the sort of person who subscribes to our alderman’s newsletter.

[2] OK, pretty much everywhere in Chicago you can get big bags of your choice of a couple brands of tortillas, all freshly made in the Chicagoland area, for pennies. Except Whole Foods, where they only have the house brand, made in New Mexico and shipped in, and it’s like $20 for a pack of 5.[3]

[3] I exaggerate for comedic effect. A little.

[4] Yes, even the 5 hour episode. OK, I didn’t listen to all of the failed episode that only had Tim’s audio. That was too much to ask.

Soldier Field 10 2016

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Fuzzy running the Soldier Field 10

I had been planning on running the Soldier Field 10 again this year anyway (because of a nice shirt, naturally) and then when I signed up for this marathon I signed up for, it happened to fit in perfectly as the long run of my new training schedule. Win, win. (I did not technically win the SF10.)

Time: 1:48:04
Place: 5175 / 9163
Place in Sex: 2696 / 3881
Place in Division (M45-49): 390 / 559

Cinco de Miler

Fuzzy running the Cinco de Miler

I’ve never done the Cinco de Miler before, but this year the shirt was a cool design and the finishers medal was a piñata that was also a bottle opener. I’ll never use it as a bottle opener, but that’s the kind of thing that gets my lizard brain to sign up for a race.

Erica needed the car, so I decided to ride my bike down to the race. It was drizzling on my way down and I amended one of my standard training rules. The old rule is that any run in the rain, no matter how short or how light the rain, is automatically a hardqore run. Biking the rain, I decided yesterday, is double that. Double-Hardqore!

I was, in fact, pretty chilly by the time I got down to the race start at Soldier Field, and my shoes were pretty soaked. But the wind abated a bit as the race started and it was a nice run—not personal best, but only a few minutes off. But as I was getting my post-race tamale and Modelo, the wind was picking up again, pretty strong from the north and I wondered how my ride home was going to be. “Hard” turned out to be the answer. At one point on the stretch along the lake just north of Ohio street, I was in my lowest gear going 6 miles an hour, like I was climbing a hill. The Windy City, indeed.

Cinco de Miler piñata medal.

Time: 47:53
Overall place: 902 / 3189
Place in Sex: 557 / 1143
Place in Division (M45-49): 58 / 119

The Holodeck

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Fuzzy, I’ve heard so many of you ask over the years, I wish you and Erica would go on a podcast fairly unprepared and rant about the Holodeck on Star Trek. Your prayers, my friends, have been answered. Erica and I recorded an episode of Space Lincoln back in December that has finally dropped.

The Jamie Campbell bit I mention can be heard in the track “Time Travel” on his album Stocking Stuffer. (iTunes Amazon)

Space Lincoln Episode 28: The Holodeck: