August 2012 Archives

Boat Shed

Camp Wandawega!

Photos from the Triathlon!

Here are the official Triathlon photos from BrightroomEvent Photography! What I love most about these is that I am smiling and mugging in almost every one of them. I can't help it--when I see a camera, I get real cheesy. Ok, I am real cheesy all the time. Enjoy!

This may or may not be my swim wave, but I was a yellow cap. This gives you an idea of what the swim looked like.

Yellow Cap Swim.jpg

Here's me post swim, heading into the Transition area for T1.


Transition 1.jpg

Going into T1.jpg

Smiley T1.jpg



Still smiling bike.jpg



And bringing it home! FINISHING!

Bringing it home.jpg

Crossing the finish line.jpg

Finish line.jpg


With my medal!


Andrea and me!

Andrea and Me.jpg

The best and cutest and most amazing couple in the world. We cannot be stopped!

Fz and me.jpg


2 days later


I am sloooowly starting to feel more human again. Just barely. Last night at Apes, I was pretty unintelligible--it was really hard for me to communicate anything, and I noticed that I was talking with my eyes closed a lot. It was like I was super drunk or something, only it was fatique and muscle exhaustion. But the show was fun, and we were no holds barring it, so that's good. Next week is a DRAG QUEEN/KING challenge, and I am so excited I could spit.

So today, I feel all sludgy. I slept really hard last night, even after an afternoon nap, and today I am moving slowly. I have a rehearsal tonight, but it is a light movement one for me, so that is a relief. I need to stretch more and sleep more. I bet tomorrow, I will be more myself again and thinking clearer. I hope, at least! I still can't believe that I did it and that it is over.

So now, what's next? As I said, this Saturday, we are doing the Hell Run, and today we signed up for the Bucktown 5K on Sept 16th and we are doing the Crypt 5K on Sept 29th (wooo, close to our house!) I want to keep running til it is too cold for my delicate Southern constitution.

Apes has 2 more weeks left! If you haven't yet been this season, COME OUT OUT! It is massive fun each and every week.

Boobs of the Dead starts Oct 5th.

I am also working on producing a new show that will open in November--more info to come.

And hopefully we'll be releasing some new Drunk Monkeys episodes soon!

So yeah. Staying busy. Golly gee.


Camp Wandawega!


I also forgot to mention this accomplishment--I did the whole thing without my knee braces!! Look at how far I've come!

Chicago Triathlon 2012

Well, after months and months of training and planning, the Chicago Triathlon is behind us. I completed my first International/Olympic/Full distance, and I am so freaking proud of myself. It was an amazing day--one that I will never forget. Considering that I only started running about 3 years ago, and have had numerous setbacks over the years physically, this was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I feel like I can do anything!

We got up bright and early at 3:30am on Sunday, and picked up Kristen (who decided to do the Sprint the night before--she's amazing!) and Andrea, who has been my trusty training partner for the last several months. We planned for rain, so when setting up my transition area, I made sure to cover all my things with a trash bag. We met Shaun down there, and when the 5 of us were set up, we headed to the starting line. Fuzzy and Shaun were participating in the Triple Challenge (more on that later) so they were in the first wave taking off at 6am. We watched them take off, and ran into our friends Ryan, who was doing the Sprint for the 2nd year, and Erin and Roger Payton (Roger was also doing the Sprint) and chit chatted before Andrea and I took off for Shaun's hotel room for a little downtime. I was really happy that he let us crash there for that hour--having a non-port-o-potty bathroom was a treat. We headed back to the start a little before 8am. I was to take off at 8:18, Andrea at about 9am. We ran into our friend Ever, and chatted with her before I joined my wave group. It's amazing that at an event will SO many participants and spectators, that somehow we managed to see so many friends. I love it. I got into my wave group and was ready for action.

Just as I was about to get into the water, I heard Fuzzy call my name. He had just finished his Sprint distance and was about to prep for the International. Seeing him gave me such a boost! Then we got into the water, which was GLORIOUS, and took off! The swim is by far my favorite of the 3 legs. I get into a zone and really just enjoy it. When we made the turn to go North, the sun was really bright, since I breathe on the right, so I got into a vibe of closing my eyes to breathe, but opening them to sight where I was going. Since I've been a spectator the last 3 years with Fuzzy, I know how easy it is to find your athletes in the water, but I didn't know how easy it would be to hear people. I swim with earplugs, and all I heard in the water was a bunch of blurry things, so I figured that if anyone found me, I would miss them. But then, clear as day, I heard Andrea call my name, so I looked up and saw her waving and waved back! It was so cool! Then a little bit later, I heard sweet Fuzzy calling my name, and there he was, with his wetsuit over his shoulder heading back to the starting line. What a boost! Seeing the finish of the swim was exciting too. Eye on the prize! When I got out of the water, I heard Ever call my name, so I waved, then hopped into the port-o-potty right at the exit. I hope that she got some comedic photos of me coming out. I wish I had taken just a second to do some dorky poses for her at the portopotty. COMEDIAN REGRETS.

Transition 1 went pretty well. The bike part was what I was most nervous about, but all in all, it was ok! I mean, I was slow, and it was tough with all the hills on Lake Shore Drive, but I wasn't miserable. I just kept running songs in my head and counting down the streets as I passed them. On the bike, Fuzzy passed me, Andrea called out to me once, and I called out to Shaun. It was so exciting to see them! Towards the end of the bike, it started to sprinkle, which made me nervous--I'd never biked in the rain, and also, I had neglected to re-cover my running shoes etc with plastic, cause at the start of the bike it was sunny at hot! Then the wind blew in, and things started getting gnarly. I tried to stay focused on the road on the bike, but I think I went to another place in order to get through it. I don't have a lot more to say about the bike leg--it was kind of a blur.  I was on the bike a little less than 2 hours.

T2 went ok, too. I changed socks and shoes, which were only a little damp, and I took off. It took me a while to get my legs back--biking really does a number on me--so I started by walking a lot. Running through cheering spectators really was fun, so it motivated me to push it. I ran more than I thought I would be able to, but I did have to take some walk breaks in there to take care of my knee that was starting to twinge. Andrea caught up to me at one point, so we checked in and chatted, and then she took off! The run was around museum campus, and it was so pretty. It rained the entire time, but yet, I didn't seem to notice, with the exception of having drenched wet feet that blistered a ton. After I passed the turnaround point a little past mile 3, I saw Shaun, and we checked in, and a little bit later, there was Fuzzy! We cheered for each other, high fived, and kissed, then I continued North and he South. The people around me were all like "Awww" and one guy behind me said "MY girlfriend is at Starbucks right now..." It was awesome. I love that Fuzzy and I are a powerhouse athletic couple--he really inspires me every day. There is no way I would even consider that I could do a triathlon without him. Once I passed the 6 mile mark, I tried to run the rest of the way to bring it home. There were hardly any spectators at that point, because of the rain, but I did my best victory pose as I crossed the finish line. They sadly, didn't call my name, which was a little disappointing, since it was such a huge accomplishment.

My final time was 4 hours and 20 minutes, so I was right on target with when I thought I would finish! Andrea met me at the finish area--she's amazing and finished in 3:17!! WHAT A MACHINE!  Then the bottom fell out, and it started pouring rain. It was cold! We saw Shaun finish, and then waited for Fuzzy to finish. I am so amazed with him--what a champ!  His last few miles were in that terrible rain.  We took some finishers photos, and then ate a burger and had a beer in the rain, which was the best meal I have ever eaten. I was starving for the last half of the run, so that meal was a huge motivator for me. At some point, after being awake for 9 hours, Gatorade and energy chews just lose their appeal and you just want some REAL food.

Back to the Triple challenge. Only about 87 people completed all 3 triathlons in those 2 days.  Considering that Fuzzy has only been running and athletic for the last 5 years, he is really amazing in that he KILLED that triple challenge. I know it had to have been hard, but man, what a feat! He is my hero in so many ways! Congrats Fuzzy--this was your biggest athletic achievement so far!!  You did so great!!  I am glad that Fuzzy and Shaun have each other to motivate and support and push each other with these events and challenges.

I don't have any photos of us from yesterday, since everyone was competing, but here is a pic of Fuzzy and I before the Super Sprint Saturday:

Chicago Triathlon SuperSprint 2012

Today, I am REALLY sore. My left knee hurts, my back hurts, I can barely move or think straight. I slept a lot, and am going to be easy on myself tonight (and at Apes--that dance is going to be killer). But stronger than the pain is the thrill and happiness and pride I feel for completing this huge goal. Thank you to everyone for your support over the months and for reading all my training posts, as boring as they were.

Big shout-out to Andrea, too, who was the best training partner a girl could ask for. No way do I like waking up at 5:30am, especially to work out, but yet, she got me out of bed and running day after day. If it weren't for her, I would have probably talked myself out of a lot of training, and the Tri would have been a lot harder. Plus, it was great to spend so much time with her! This was her first triathlon in 8 years and 2 kids later. She's amazing!!  Andrea--you ROCK!

Here's my official dealies:

Screen shot 2012-08-27 at 10.02.24 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-08-27 at 10.03.48 AM.png

Also, I finished 194 out of 203 in my gender age group! WOOHOO! I WASN'T LAST!!!! Small victories!

This was the 30th anniversary for the ChiTri, so Andrea asked if we will do it again at the 50th anniversary. I don't see why not, right? Here is our Finishers medal:

Finishers medal

So now is the question, what's next? I feel SO fit and good about myself mentally and physically right now, that I want to keep it going. I am still on the fence about how much more running my body can handle (I would like to keep my knees as long as I can), so we'll see. Fuzzy is flirting with the idea of doing another marathon, and the phrase Iron Man keeps popping up in his conversations. I don't think I could ever do something that intense, but I definitely want to keep it going and stay active. For now, though, I am going to let myself rest and do nothing. Which for me means, tons of dance rehearsals, and another race (the mud run Hell Run) this Saturday...


We did it

Oh my God, we did it. The triathlon(s) are done and it was awesome. I'm so damn tired and can barely think or move, so I'll blog more tomorrow, but I wanted to let everyone know that we were ok! TRIATHLETES!

It's Here!

Here it is, folks! Months and months of training! Here we go!


I'm in Wave 31, starting at 8:18am. My number is 4525.
Fuzzy and Shaun are in Wave 1 starting at 6:00am and Wave 43 starting at 9:06am.
Andrea is in Wave 42, starting at 9:02am.
Ryan is in Wave 12, starting at 6:50am.
Caitlin is in Wave 26, starting at 7:58am.

If you WANT to come down and cheer us on, the swim is the most accessible thing to watch along the harbor. Also, we'll be finishing just South of Balbo and Columbus. I anticipate completing this in 4 to 4.5 hours (but I have no idea how realistic this is), so I'll finish sometime around 12:30-1:00pm. I'm so excited!

Wish us luck!

(As my brother said to Fuzzy and I: 'I'd say "Break a leg" but Erica does shit like that for real so I'm gonna pass on it and say "good luck."'  Thanks, Bro.)


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I'm feeling good right now.
I'm in a really good place.
I feel like I've been in the toilet for so long for so many reasons, and now, after 12 years of being in Chicago, and essentially being an adult, I am finally coming into my own. Into my own as a comedian, a producer, a choreographer, and a person.

It feels great.

I know that nothing is permanent, so I am just going to ride the wave while I have it.

I am ready for the triathlon. This morning, Andrea and I went for a 3/4 mile swim at Foster Beach and it was amazing. It felt so good. I love swimming. I even dragged ole FuzGerds out with me, though he only got a small swim in. I think that my 2 other triathlons this summer have prepped me a lot for this race. I know how to do this. I don't have the nerves I did last year about it, cause it isn't foreign to me anymore. It's great.

My rehearsals for Boobs of the Dead are amazing, too. I LOVE the girls and they are so talented and we are having a ball. In only a mere 3 rehearsals, they've worked SO hard on these dances, and I really think that it is going to be a fun and entertaining show. I am already proud of my contributions to it.  I forget how much I love choreographing and teaching. It's an amazing feeling when something in your head translates to something that people can bring to life on stage. Sometimes I don't even know if things are possible, and these girls are blowing my mind.  I leave each rehearsal feeling exhilarated and inspired. I need to remember that. My choreography methods are maybe a tad bizarre--I listen to the music for weeks and weeks to conceptual things and don't actualy finalize anything or write anything down until about 2 days before I have to start teaching. The weird thing is, I stress like a mofo until a dance is finalized. It's always in the back of my head. I have a hard time relaxing cause I know there is work to be done. But now that all my major pieces are done and taught, and my last 2 solos are being developed in rehearsals, I am so much more at peace. I have a little bit more ME time in my day, and I love that.

I also love meeting new people and making new friends. People are so fascinating to me, and I love seeing what people I naturally click with. I'm lucky that in my chosen profession, I have many opportunities to interact with others and keep making connections. My font is flowing with amazing people to be inspired by and to collaborate with.

Life, man. How bout it?


I've been fortunate to be included in several podcasts lately, including our own Running Podcast. But to be a guest on someone ELSE's podcast is such an honor!

My friend Chip Aucoin has started a new podcast called "Teach Chip Something," where he invites people to chat with him about certain areas of their expertise. Well, we had so many things that we wanted to talk about, that he deemed my episode a "Buffet." Among topics discussed are some things I am more expert on than others, including: Impress These Apes, Choreography, Officiating Weddings, and Triathlons. I had a blast! Thanks for having me on, Chip!

Listen to my high and weedy voice here!

If you want to follow Fuzzy and I along at home, or even come downtown to cheer us on on Sunday, here are some details that will come in handy:

My Bib # is 4525
Fuzzy's are
7496, 177, and 6286

Fuzzy will be starting in Wave 1 at 6am and again in wave 43 at 9:03am. He is doing the Triple, so he'll do the Sprint distance, then turn around and do the International Distance.
I'll be in Wave 31, so starting at 8:18am.  If you want to come down, you can watch the swim, portions of the run, and the finish. I am slow, so I am expecting to take 4 to 4.5 hours to complete the course. That will put me finishing approximately at 12:30pm. (sidenote: 12:30?! I will be READY for some LUNCH.) 

You can download an athlete tracker guide for your phone here.

Then I plan on doing nothing for the rest of Sunday and Monday until Apes. HOMESTRETCH!!!!! AHHHH!

UPDATE! Fuzzy has 3 numbers! 177, 6286, & 7496. We'll have more info on how to track on Friday!

Cutie Cameo!

The always awesome powerhouse couple Kate O'Leary and Dan Henrick have been animating the new AV Club series Stand Down, and it's been fun to see who pops up in cameos in each week's videos. This Kyle Kinane episode had an extra special surprise--Cutie Bumblesnatch's headshot on the wall of a comedy club!


The original (photo by Johnny Knight):

Thumbnail image for cutie.JPG

And look, there's Mr. Pickles!




Here's the full thing! Thanks Kate and Dan!

Last Bike Before Tri!

This morning, we tried to wake up at 4:30am for a 2 hour bike ride. Instead, we got up at 5:30am and went for an hour and 22 minute bike ride. 15.4 miles. So while not 25 miles, and not quite 2 hours, it will have to do as my last training ride before the big event on Sunday.  I'm sure I can do the rest just fine, as long as I make sure I eat a lot while on the bike.

I also learned that when you get home from rehearsal late and have to get up early to train the next morning, maybe having some whiskey isn't the best idea. I mean, it is a good idea 95% of the time, in my opinion (for me, at least), but this morning I have a little bit of a headache, which was especially painful whenever I hit a bump. Which was all the time.

Tomorrow I will do an easy run, and Friday a last lake swim. WE CAN DO THIS.

In other fun news, I'm now in the thick of rehearsals for the new Gorilla Tango Burlesque show: Boobs of the Dead, a Walking Dead Burlesque Show. Oh man, is it ever fun. The ladies are super talented, and I love that they can pick up what I throw down, so to speak. The show opens Friday, October 5th! Super fun times.

Things are busy, y'all! But more awesome than ever.




Don't Jump!

You'll remember from my anniversary post that Fuzzy got me a wedding cake.

Anniversary Cake


Well, it was hot and it was buttercream frosting, so this happened:

Anniversary Cake

Oh no, little married couple! Don't give up!

Anniversary Cake

Didn't stop me from eating the shit out of it, though.

More photos from the last triathlon

Courtesy of Fuzzy!


Fuzzy and me! Ready for action:

Fuzzy and Erica

This photo of me and Shaun really makes me laugh:

Erica and Shaun point at bike out

Sleepy but excited:

Erica at 63rd Street Beach, ready for the South Shore Tri

We saw this guy selling umbrella hats in Andersonville a few weeks ago. And we just let him pass us by. I don't know why--we were both capitvated by him, and wanted a photo, but I guess let our shyness get the best of us. Once he was gone, I was instantly sad. A guy selling UMBRELLA HATS?!?! On the STREET?!! With this amazing rig of mannequin heads?! It was too good to be true. I wanted to support that business! It was just so sincere and sweet. He had a megaphone and kept repeating "Many different colors, one size fits everybody." in this way that melted my heart. It was a poor decision to let him go.

And then, a little while later, like a beacon in the night, like an oasis in the desert, like an umbrella hat selling man on a hot summers day, there he was again.

The Umbrella Hat Man in Andersonville


He was so cheerful, and said that he cleans up on Cubs game days and at hot summer festivals. His rig was amazing! 

The male mannequin head had a little stubble beard. Umbrella hats are for everyone!

Including this lady: 

Erica in her new umbrella hat




The KOKOs went to Camp Wandawega this weekend for some time away from the city. It was perfection. Here is a brief list of just a taste of the things that we did (with photos and stories to come):

Made a campfire on the beach.
Swam in a lake.
Played tennis.
Had an archery contest.
Laid on a dock.
Laid in a hammock.
Swung on a rope swing over the lake.
Petted a cow.
Sat in a teepee.
Ate amazing food.
Laughed so hard we hurt.

It was pure Heaven.

 Camp Wandawega!

In One Week...

...I will be done with the Chicago Triathlon.

WHAT?! I am both really excited and nervous about the event. I know I can do it. I have determination. But I know it will be hard. Case in point--I have not yet biked for 2 hours, period. But I can do it, and I can be slow. I am not trying to win, I am just doing it because I want to prove to myself that I can. And cause now I know that I love it.

(As a reminder, I am doing the International Distance, which is double the distance that I did twice this year.)

RAM Racing posted this video from the South Shore Triathlon, and it just gives me chills. What a great day.  (Team Gerdes and Shaun are not in the video [at least, that I saw], but my trisuit friend is!)

Speaking of RAM Racing, on their blog, they said I was the best dressed runner at the Terrapin 5K!!

The award for best dressed of the #Rammies goes to Erica Reid of the weblog

And they linked to our podcast! Woo! Thanks, Charlie! You rock! Bob Weir appreciates you.

SO! Maybe I'll get in another bike, swim and ride this week, but if anything, I'll be doing my best next Sunday the 26th! I'll post my start-time here after I get it on Friday, so if anyone wants to follow me online or come cheer my tired ass on at the finish line, you are more than welcome to. And speaking of cheering on, Fuzzy and Shaun are HARDQORE ROCKING IT this year by doing the TRIPLE--the Supersprint on Saturday (which I am still sort of considering) and the Sprint AND International, one after another on Sunday. I am so amazed and inspired by them. I bet they'll even finish before me. :)

And then, when the triathlon is done, I will probably be the boringest person in the world. At least, I look forward to taking a little break. But not for long, as we are doing the Hell Run (Coolio is performing at the party! I like to think that this will be my celebratory post-tri event), and a few other 5Ks in September. And who knows, maybe I'll become one of those people who loves to run when it is cold outside. Oh, who am I kidding. I am freezing when it is 65 or cooler. I am a Mississippi girl, after all.


The Next Level of Coffee

I'll start with an obvious statement: Coffee is very important to me.

So recently, Fuzzy sent me this link to making iced coffee concentrate to dilute with milk. I've been making it the last 2 weeks, and it is amazing, delicious, and beautiful. However, I like a LOT of coffee, so it is hard to not drink 40 grams of espresso in one sitting. But it is not a good idea to do that. Learn from my mistakes.

Another obvious statement: I love mason jars. We've started using them for a lot of kitchen storage, and we use them for all sorts of beverages. So then Fuzzy found the Cuppow, which I think is just about the best invention in the history of the world. 



Look at this perfection! My life is forever changed.


Coffee drinking will never be the same.


Wow, that's a lot of K's!

This weekend has been a super busy fun exhausting beautiful emotional one, to say the least. After some minor car set backs this week (suspension replaced, 2 new tires), we were able to concentrate on celebrating the wedding of Jen and Dave. I was lucky to be the officiant for the wedding, and the stage manager of sorts for the day. Fuzzy was in charge of all the audio and video for the wedding. We had a lovely rehearsal dinner Friday night, followed by some late night drinking at my favorite bar Watershed. We got home about 1:30am, and then at 10:30 am the next morning we were at the Dank Haus to prep for the wedding. I'll post another post about the wedding at some point (let's just say it was amazing, magical, beautiful and romantic and I cried a lot), we got home from the day's events at about 11:30pm last night. And this morning at 8am, we were signed up for the Chicago 10K.

I was unsure. I was so tired this morning, everything from the neck down on my body was hurting. Even as we walked to the start line, I said to Fuzzy "I don't know about this." But yet, I started running. And it felt good. And I ran the whole way. All 6.2 miles of it!

I RAN 6.2 MILES, Y'ALL! That is a first for me!
(The next closest was when Claire and I ran/ walked to the Green City market 2 years ago. Though today I didn't get pie afterwards.)

I am so proud of myself. I finished in about 1:18:58, with a pace time of 12:45. Fuzzy finished in 1:01:47 with about a 10 minute mile pace. He's amazing!  We even got a finishers medal!

Here are some photos of an exhausted and sweaty Team Gerdes:

Erica and Fuzzy, Chicago 10K finishers Fuzzy, Chicago 10K finisher Erica, Chicago 10K finisher

Now, I just need to bike a TON of miles between now and the Triathlon on the 26th!

Fun Photo Fun

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Driving down the street the other day, I saw a banner hanging in the window of a hospital. I am sure it says something lovely on the inside, but from the outside, it just looks like...big undies.
Hospital banner, or big undies?

Also, while we were watching the Olympic closing ceremonies, we had to pause it during the "Imagine" tribute to John Lennon. Then I noticed the poor design of the shirts. Um...what do they say?
 Uh...what do those shirts say?

Vagine? Vagina? Hmm.

Does this Ever Happen to You?

Are you ever driving in your car with the windows down and then a song comes on the radio that reaches so deeply into your soul that you start to feel everything that you have experienced in your life and everything that you are as a human being comes bubbling up and the music and harmonies are so beautiful that it is the best thing you have ever heard so you crank it up and you sing along and then you get so overwhelmed that you start crying, so you are driving and singing and tears are streaming down your cheeks.

Yeah, it happens to me, too. It did on my way to work today.

The song was Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Find Your Greatness

This weekend, I was looking at a training guide for International distance triathlons. It said that yesterday I needed to do a 65-75 minute run, and that was a "light" workout. I got scared. The next triathlon is August 26th, and I not only did I start thinking that I couldn't run that, I was thinking I might not be able to do the triathlon, or at least not be able to run much of it.

 On Saturday, Andrea, Shaun, Fuzzy and I went for a mile lake swim (that was awesome!) and a short bike ride. I ran out of energy on the bike ride, partially cause I didn't sleep the night before, and partially, cause biking just wears me out. Yesterday, I set the alarm to go for a run, but was so worn out, I slept instead.

This morning, I got up and started working on things, and when it was about 9:30am, and I was chatting with Shannon online, I said "I think I just talked myself out of a run." Her response? "I think it might be good to go for at least a short run today." Shannon was my first running "coach," my encouragement and cheerleader, and she has been an inspiration to me for years. And I knew she was right. I got suited up  (her response? "You'll be really glad you did it!") and set out for the lake path. When I crossed Sheridan on Ardmore, I started running. I had my headphones, so it was nice to distract myself with music. I passed Foster, easy peasy. I passed Lawrence, ok that's our short morning run turnaround. I got to Wilson and I kept running. I got to Montrose, and I kept running. I thought about running to Irving Park, but started to get some knee twinges. I turned around somewhere by the golf course, at that curve on the hill (you chicago lakefront runners and bikers know what I am talking about). Looking at my watch, I was at 31 minutes. On the return trip home, I had a few small pockets where I had to walk to stop for water, but no more than about 5 minutes total. I ran all the way back. The time on my watch when I finished was 1:03:44! I did a google mapping of it, and it looks like it was about a 5 mile run. That's the most I've ever RUN without walking in between! As I was running back, I kept thinking "Today I am not afraid. This is MY life and I can do what I want with it. No more fear." I feel amazing and I am SO proud of myself. Thank you for the encouragement, Shannon! I AM glad I did it!

Sunday we are signed up for the Chicago 10K. We have a late night out the night before, but now that I know I can run 5, I am not afraid of 6. BRING IT.


I've been watching a LOT of the Olympics this week, and one thing they've been showing a lot of, both in the coverage and in the commercials, is the parents. I can imagine competing in the Olympics is an amazing feeling, much less winning a medal. What I can't imagine, however, is how it must feel for these parents. To see your child achieve such greatness.  To see them be national heroes.  And I know that a lot of athletes and Olympians come from hard times and have overcome bad family situations and upbringings, but many others have been encouraged their whole lives by their parents, who have made sacrifices and spent countless funds (and many sleepless nights) to see them get the training and support that they need.

I was fortunate that I was raised in one of these supportive households. Sure, I wasn't sent across the country for training, and we didn't move to where there were more opportunities. But my mom and dad encouraged my brother and I to follow our dreams and be the people we wanted to be. They carted me to and from dance class and choir rehearsals and play practice, and paid for God knows how many costumes over the years. They tried to not deny us anything, but were forceful when they needed to be (in 6th grade, when people joined band, and I wanted to play the clarinet, they told me "Band or dancing." My choice was a no-brainer.) Now, I haven't won any medals, but I've achieved many a great thing, and I am happy in my life and where I am in it. That is worth its weight in gold. Their support and our upbringing is what gave me the confidence to move to Chicago at 21 to be a comedian, and what gave my brother the courage to uproot his life and move to Africa.

Fuzzy and I have chosen to not have children, so we aren't able to give back this support into the world. I am seeing it, however, in the lives of our friends and families who are having children. So to all the parents out there, keep being great. Support and encourage your children (but don't forget about you!). You are doing an amazing job, and I can't wait to see what your kids accomplish in the future.

And to my dear little Mom in Mississippi and sweet little Daddy in Heaven, Thank You.

Gerdes Accomplishment Week: Day 5

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Final day of our week off!

Art project 95% complete (and it looks great!)
All clothes put away
I got a lot of sleep
Dinner made and I created a new cocktail
I did some pampering!

So we didn't tackle the office, which was my goal for the week, but who cares?! It was a week off with my sweetheart and full of summer fun. And with the Olympics on, how are you expected to do anything else? Oh boy, do I have Olympic fever. I can't get enough. I can't tell you how many times I've cried. I love seeing people succeed. And that Gabby Douglas is the cutest thing in the world, too.

The Evolution of Bob Weir

Back when I lived in Jackson, I got this awesome birthday card from a friend of mine that had the chant "It's your birthday today Yes it is Yes it is!" on it that we used to act out all the time. Then, based on a special episode of Blues Clues (that Ariel watched when she was a little tiny) in which Gloria Estefan wished Blue a happy birthday, it became this whole long thing. And we would call each other and do the whole long thing for everyone's birthday every year all the time. I used to count the messages I would receive of the special chant.

Then I moved to Chicago, and I brought it with me. And now a lot of my friends up here do it. Rebecca and I even once had a joint Gloria Estefan themed birthday party.  Rebecca, sharing in our love of all things classic rock, one year, added on a birthday message from Bob Weir of such bands as The Grateful Dead and Ratdog, and her impression of him cracks me up to no end. So now we Bob Weir each other all the time.

Then, several years later, I started running, and learned that there was a Grateful Dead themed 5K called the Terrapin 5k, to celebrate Jerry Garcia's birthday. Last year, I was most excited about this race, cause I wanted to run it as Bob Weir. Then I fell off my bike. HEARTBREAK.

So this year, I was UNSTOPPABLE. I did an amalgamation of old and young Bob, with jean shorts (look they have their own Facebook page!), a Ratdog tank top, a guitar, and a gray wig and beard.

Bob weir.jpg


Bob Weir at the Terrapin 5K
Bob Weir at the Terrapin 5K

I ran in freaking JEAN SHORTS. The only problem is that everyone thought I was Jerry. Which is understandable, big gray beard and all. I got a lot of "Happy birthday, Jerry!" comments, so I just started saying "Thanks, Man!" Next year, I need to put "I'm Bob Weir" on my back. At the beginning, someone said "hey, it's Jerry" and I said, "Actually, I'm Bob Weir" and they said "That's even better!" When he passed me in the run (I am a slow runner) he said "I didn't know you were a runner, Bob!" Awesome.

Bob and Fuzzy:

Bob Weir and Fuzzy Bob Weir at the Terrapin 5K

I wore the beard the whole time! Also, as I finished, I played the guitar. Bob Weir at the Terrapin 5K

After, they gave us "Munchies"--a quesadilla and a donut.
 Bob Weir at the Terrapin 5K


Here's a new comedy video I am in by the always awesome Elizabeth McQuern! This was a BLAST to shoot!

Gerdes Accomplishment Week: Day 4

Thursday was the biggest accomplishment day this week!

Bathroom floor mopped
Bathroom cleaned
Operation Art continued
Biked 20 miles!
Ran (sort of) a 5K
And I did a bunch of other stuff, too. I cant remember. HA!

Last day off with Fuzzy before he starts his new job!

What a Dummy!

On my last Triathlon post, I bragged about finishing in 2 hours, and then just today noticed that I put my official time as 2:20:34. THIS IS NOT CORRECT!!! It was 2:00:34 instead. I've updated it now.

Way to blow my own mojo, there. Sheesh.

Blewt! Presents Telestrations!


Next Tuesday, August 7th, Blewt! will be presenting a live stage version of the board game Telestrations.

The show is free, and you can win CASH and PRIZES!

There will be a celebrity panel! It will be such fun!

Tuesday, August 7th, @ 8pm
The ComedySportz Theatre
929 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657

RSVP here!

Hope to see you there!

April May

Here are some awesome photos of April May in Impress These Apes taken by the amazing Elizabeth McQuern!

Impress These Apes July 30, 2012 Impress These Apes July 30, 2012 Impress These Apes July 23, 2012
With Bushmeat
Impress These Apes July 23, 2012
Opening Dance!

Breakfast Fail

A few months ago, at KOKO brunch, I made some cinnamon rolls from scratch. The recipe makes way too many, so I put some in our freezer to save for later. Our yeast, however, was questionable, but I we thought--what the heck. Most of them came out good that day, so I was sure they would keep. When I uncovered them this morning, they were shriveled and gross looking, but I cooked them anyway. Here's how they turned out:

Sad rolls

A translucent, gooey gross mess. Inedible.

Yesterday, I tried to make some iced coffee based on this recipe. However, I misread the instructions and didn't use enough coffee. The resulting coffee was bitter and undrinkable. I poured it out.

Last week, Fuzzy surprised me with a copy of Big Easy Express (which I've watched twice in one week). I like to make espresso at night so it can chill in the fridge overnight.  That night, I got so caught up in the movie, I forgot about the coffee, and it boiled in the pot for a really long time, melting the rubber ring and making the kitchen smell like burning. I used the pot a few days later, and it didn't work. I tried it again this morning, didn't work.

Sad coffee

So I finally got another pot of coffee going (luckily, Team Gerdes has 1000 ways to make coffee in our house), and I opted for an English Muffin while Fuzzy wanted cinnamon raisin toast. I told him I would watch the toast. Guess what happened:

 Sad toast

So, yeah. Let's hope lunch goes better...

Gerdes Accomplishment Week: Day 3

Dining room cleanup started
Operation Re-Organize Art started
Shot some short film footage
Went to the beach and swam and played!
Ran errands.
Had a meeting.
Ate dinner out.

So I've not been as productive as I hoped I would so far this week, but I've had a GREAT time hanging out with Fuzzy, watching the Olympics, sleeping, and petting the cats. Oh man, when I get overwhelmed, all I do is go pet the cats over and over. And today we went to the beach, which I have no idea why I don't do more often. It was so fun! We live 3 blocks away! I think the fact that the water is warmer this year makes it even more enticing. I'll definitely be back soon.

Tomorrow is the Terrapin 5K! I can't wait. I'll be running it as none other than...Bob Weir! Get ready for some kickass photos (I hope!)

Gerdes Accomplishment Week: Day 2

Washed 2 loads of laundry
Washed a bunch of dishes and put them away
Did I Want to Draw a Cat For You work
Talked to Christopher and Katie for over an hour
Fuzzy made a new website (to be announced soon!)
We walked in the water on the beach for a long time (my favorite!)
Cried about 10 times watching the women's USA gymnastic team win the gold and seeing Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian in history.

Also, while coming back from our walk, Fuzzy said "Do you have any cravings for dinner." And I said "Yeah, but they're all over the place, like chicken wings, or pesto pasta or Asian food."

And then the man made me this:

Amazing dinner by fuzzy!

Chicken wings and pesto pasta with bonus fried potatoes and garlic bread! AMAZING!! It was sooo goood.