Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mister Twister

This week’s Blogthings topic is brought to you by Tim: take a picture of something you see on a regular basis, and write about it.

I have this one shirt. I wear it often. Actually most of what I wear, I wear often because I rotate the same five or so outfits. I stole this shirt from my brother Matt. He stole it from my brother Billy. I have no idea where it came from before that. It’s sort of a special shirt. It’s a brand called Panda Snack and it’s made out of 100 percent bamboo. The best part about it is this tornado shaped stitching under the collar.


My friends call it my Mister Twister shirt. Mister Twister is this pretty cool guy who is really me in a bamboo t-shirt. His super power is that he can make tornados, which are really just sound effects that I make. He has a villain. She’s a nun named Sister Twister, who is really a doodle I made at a coffee shop when I should have been doing work.


One day a theater student of mine invented a super hero named The Vortex. I told him about Mister Twister. Sometimes Mister Twister and The Vortex team up and save the world, but really it’s just my student and me playing freezes during improv lessons.


I do not know what I’m trying to say about this shirt. I really like it though.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

LAUGHayette FUNstival

For the last couple of years, my friend Tim has wanted to do a Lafayette comedy festival. He successfully accomplished his goal a couple of weeks ago at the first ever LAUGHayette FUNstival. He sums up the experience really well over at his blog.

Finally, on September 15 – after two years of existence – Ad Liberation hosted our festival. The First Annual Laughayette Funstival went from 6-10:45 pm and featured eight different comedy groups and seven standup/variety acts. There was a cheesy joke competition and a free raffle. At its biggest, the audience was around 80 people (maybe a little more). At its smallest, around 30. It went 45 minutes over time. It started 15 minutes late. Last minute changes to the lineup had to be made because of travelling difficulties or miscommunications. It was awesome.

I do give myself some credit for putting this festival on. I feel I was a major driving force behind it, and I handled much of the communication and booking for the event. However, the other members of Ad Liberation came together for it in a big way. Between inviting out of town groups, designing advertisements, running the merch table, managing check-ins, running the A/V equipment, handling music, telling butt jokes, introducing acts, pulling raffle winners, and picking up a wayward troupe in a last-minute van ride, there is no way this would have been as successful a night had it not been for my friends in Ad Lib. Plus, our set was awesome. Good job, everyone. Can’t wait for next year.

My favorite act was Shauvon McGill taking a modern spin on the old Pen15 joke and proposing a new business venture, but he inadvertently mistook the LAUGHayette FUNstival for the John Larroquette FUNDstival.

Also I did some more improv with Ad Liberation.

The night was a huge success and it could never have happened without the dedication and hard work that Tim put into it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


When I was a freshman in high school, my grandparents came to watch my brother Matt and me while my parents went on a vacation somewhere. I don’t remember where they were taking us, but I do remember Matt was cracking me up, and my grandma was yelling at my grandpa about his driving. We made a joke about someone having mono and I made my grandma laugh by calling it “the kissing disease.”

I asked them how they first met. I don’t know what inspired that question. I wasn’t a particularly curious kid and I was not at all aware of the world around me. In retrospect that seems like an awfully important question to ask ones grandparents. The answer leaves open a lot of what ifs. It’s a love story that almost wasn’t. It’s a love story that paved the way for countless other love stories.

World War II had just ended and my grandma was working at a bank in Chicago. She was engaged to some guy who was working for the Army, but he was off doing something in Europe. One day she called a cab so she wouldn’t have to walk in the rain on her way to work. The rain stopped, but she didn’t want the cab driver to lose his commission so she took the cab anyway.

The cab driver was my grandfather. He had just gotten back from serving in the Navy.

I don’t know exactly how things progressed from there, but I do know he asked her out and eventually proposed. She waited for her fiancĂ© to return from Europe and ended things with him before she said yes.

They got married and had seven kids. My grandpa owned a pizza place for a while and then sold insurance for a living. One time my grandma threw a glass jug of milk across the dinner table at my grandpa. My grandpa enjoys crossword puzzles, mysteries, and handball. My grandma has the most wonderful laugh in the world. My dad once told me he tried to imitate the home life they gave him with the one he gave my siblings and me. They’re amazing people.


After they finished the story I asked my grandma how my grandpa drove back then. She laughed and said “like a hotshot.”

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spider-Man: Blue

Did you know I love love stories? I think they’re my favorite. It doesn’t matter if it’s romantic love, or love between friends, or the love of a family. I love love stories. My own love stories have turned out pretty great. Except for the romantic ones. Those have been a disasters.
One of my favorites is Spiderman: Blue by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It is the story of how Peter Parker fell in love with Gwen Stacy (or more importantly, as the story goes, how they almost didn’t fall in love). It’s narrated from Peter’s perspective years after Gwen dies at the hands of the Green Goblin. He’s sitting in his attic and telling the story into a tape recorder.  It’s beautiful. It’s heartbreaking.

I am having an incredibly difficult time writing about it because I am just tempted to tell you everything that happens word for word, so instead I’ll post an image of my favorite part.


And it’s not a happy love story. Not exactly. The story opens and closes on this idea that “things have to get really, really bad before they can get good.” And at the end of the story the reader gets to see what the good was that came from the really, really bad.


  "Good follows bad. Kind of amazing."


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Apartment

So as many of you know I moved into a new apartment. I was impressed with it when I saw it back in May, but when I moved in, it just turned out to be old, dirty, and in desperate need of a paint job. As I am a big baby, I recruited the help of my friends and family to help me learn how to be a grownup. There is still a crazy ton of work that needs to be done, but I’ve made good progress. My friend Mary helped me paint the office (white) and my parents helped me paint the main room (old driftwood and hello yellow). We’ve all done a lot of cleaning (I’ll spare you the photos, but trust me: totes deesgusting).

I’m working on making a bookshelf. I still need to stain the wood and add an eight food board as the top shelf, but I think I’m liking how it is turning out.


I hung up some paintings by a super cool artist named Scott C.

plants and books and art and stuff

And with a lot of reassurance from some of my best friends I even made a painting. I haven’t made art since the eighth grade, so I was nervous. I’m happy with how it turned out.

I own a comically small television

I’m really starting to like my new place, and I’m really lucky to have such good friends and family. They’re teaching me a lot. I think I can do this grownup thing because of them.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ten Robots, a Mary, and a Pizza Place

robot3Improv is this thing I sometimes do with my close personal friends. People come to watch us make up bizarre stories with suggestions they give us. It’s like Whose Line Is It Anyway, but instead of a bunch of games we try to tell one big coherent story. You should know all this by now. We call ourselves Ad Liberation. 

Ad Liberation’s theme is robots. It really happened by accident. It was during the bleak winter of 2011. We decided to pass out handbills on the unpredictable streets of Lafayette, Indiana to advertise for our shows, but we really need something to capture the attention of complete strangers: robot suits.


This weekend we made new suits. What’s really cool about this is that we have upped our ranks from four to ten, so now we have something of a robot army. We perform a couple shows a month and we’re hosting a festival in a couple of weeks. Check us out out.


Something that has been on my mind: don’t you think there should be more places that sell pizza by the slice?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I Need an Adult

Dear Friend,
I Need an Adult!My brother used to jokingly say “I need an adult,” whenever something would go wrong. This phrase has been constantly running through my mind for months now. Years really. The theme of this blog was intended to be my journey into adulthood. When I left college I was confident that I was going to rock hard and I was going to rock fast, but in the twenty-seven months since graduation I have repeatedly learned one lesson: I am not a clever man.
This blog should really just be a thank you to all of the people in the world I would be lost without. The people who come to my rescue on a day to day basis. There are far too many of you to name, but thank you. Thank you thank you thank you for saving me. Thank you for rescuing me from the roach motel. Thank you for getting me through my first heart break. Thank you for giving up your Saturday to help me paint. Thank you for my funeral. Thank you for listening to my stories about Spider-Man. Thank you for letting me vent about how hard my job is even though I’m crazy lucky to have such a good job. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for worrying about me and praying for me even when I insisted I was ok. Thank you for playing improv with me. Thank you for the phone calls when I was alone. Thank you for giving me a place to live.
Thank you. If you ever need an adult. I’m your man.