July 2013 Archives

Coming Soon....

Wicked Weddings!

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Logo designed by the amazing Melissa Dixon of Blufish Design Studio, MS! (and my oldest friend in the world.)

Stay Tuned!

Paris Day 6, Part 2

After the boat dropped us off, we had a couple of hours to kill before dinner. (In this time, too, Jan changed into the most gorgeous va-va-voom wedding dress I've ever seen.) I was super hungry, so we went to a cafe, where Christopher and Fuzzy got dessert and I got hard boiled eggs, salmon rolls and coffee. We had a great time hanging out and trying to speak French, then we headed across the bridge to the restaurant. When we got there, we found out that the place we were going wasn't ready for us & the reservation was delayed an hour. Luckily, this neighborhood was adorable and we did some shopping--the only shopping we did on the trip! (I mean, you can't get a better souvenir than we did.) Our ship had come in!

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The restaurant was tiny and adorable. We took up the whole thing with the wedding party. The 4 of us got a table altogether. I know you're probably supposed to make new friends and sit with others at weddings, but dammit, I never get to see C&K so I was gonna sit with them, by gum! The night was awesome, and the food and drinks were amazing. We had cocktails, escargot, scallops, chocolate mousse and a creampuff cake! Katie and I got more than a little toasty, and we laughed out asses off.  We were there for 5 hours, and every moment was a total blast. Here are some pics from that night, some from Christopher and Katie, as well.

Erica

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At the reception

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Ricard.

Erica and Ricard

Please enjoy responsibly.

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Trapped.

Erica's escargot.

Yum.

Old friends talking.

Cuties.

The next 3 photos are amazing, and sort of sum up the whole trip in a nutshell. Man, we had so much fun.

Starting to break down.

Going....

Loosing it.

Going...

Lost it.

GONE!

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Sparklers!

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Speeches! Y'all know me, if I get the chance, I am gonna give a speech at a wedding. So I did.

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C'est ne pas un photographe de la espeech. (This is not a photo of the speech. I just made that French up, though I don't think it's inaccurate.)

When the clock struck midnight, we realized that we were tired and the food was done and that the music festival was still happening. Fuzzy and I made sure that C&K had keys to the apartment, and we got out of there. The walk home was gorgeous and transcendent and romantic and fun. I took photos for people, we saw a lot of DJs and bands, we kissed on a bridge and played and danced in the streets. I will never forget it. (Sadly for my poor brother and sister-in-law, they did not have the same experience, but I will let them blog about that.)

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These guys had the "Remedy."

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The DJ outside the Passage du Caire.

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It was a perfect night!

Lemonade Band

Don't ask why, just go to this site and watch the video.

SNORF! Saturday!

Hey you guys!

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Do you live in Chicago? Do you like puppets? Then you should come see the SNORF! the Saturday Afternoon Monster and Piggie/ Variety and Comedy Show, Saturday, July 20th at 2pm! Tickets are only $5! What a steal!

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Check out www.thesnorfshow.com for more fun!



Paris Day 6, Part 1

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Friday was the big wedding day! Christopher got up early to do wedding officiant things, and the rest of us took our time getting ready, etc. The wedding was at noon on a boat on the Seine, with the reception taking place at a gorgeous tiny restaurant near where we docked. The wedding date was chosen because of the Fete de la Musique, which is where Jeremy and Jan had their first date.

Lady Liberty misplaced her torch

Lady Liberty's Torch

Tour Eiffel

Some tower.

As if a wedding on a boat on the Seine wasn't enough, here is where the boat was parked for the ceremony:

Eiffel Tower and the Makai

Yup. Right under the tower. It was a dream. So of course I did a "show off your tattoo" photoshoot.

Erica on the boat

Then it was time for Jeremy and Jan's first looks.

First looks

Jan's dress was redesigned/altered by Jeremy's mom out of Jan's mom's wedding dress.

Dapper

Handsome Jeremy awaits his bride.

Best Friends

I love this. Best friends. Also, check out Christopher's supa-fly suit that he had custom-made in Mwanza!

Hallelujah!

"Hallelujah!"

Ok, so we don't have any photos of the wedding, cause we were all watching and listening. But trust me in that it was gorgeous, funny and sweet. And Christopher did a great job. As a seasoned wedding officiant (ahem), I can say that I am proud of my big brother for the job that he did.

Also, a number of people stood on the bridge above us and watched the wedding. It was so sweet. Everyone applauded when they kissed. And all day, people everywhere on the street and on other boats cheered for J&J. It was awesome and so joyful.

C&K

These guys. I love em.

DORKS!

I also love these guys.

Check out my super cool dress, courtesy of the lovely Claire Zulkey! It was also very Parisian, I thought. Thanks, Claire! Though it was colder than I wanted it to be, thus the jacket.

True love

I mean, come on.

The next couple hours were spent drinking and dancing while going up and down the river. Everything was gorgeous. Also, since there were only about 35 of us at the wedding (and we are soooo photogenic), there's going to be a million photos of Fuzzy and I in J&J's official wedding photos. You're welcome, guys.

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True love.

Teams Reid and Gerdes

Cuties. (Hey, Katie--nice dress!!)

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Notre Dame

Jeremy and Jan

Classic.

Newlyweds

True love.

Erica looks to the future

The Future.

There was a beautiful and perfect moment that happened, too, on the boat. Jan's parents this year are celebrating their 40th anniversary, so they played the song that would have been their first dance song (but for some reason, they didn't have a first dance) "The First Time, Ever I Saw Your Face." (Which Jan awesomely accidentally called "If I Ever See Your Face Again.") They invited everyone up for couples dance. The song is really intense, and also really long, and I was getting really emotional dancing with the love of my life and thinking about our lives and what we've been through and thinking about my parents and everything--needless to say, I was getting really emotional, and the air was REALLY thick. At just the perfect moment, the boat his a rough patch, spraying water ALL over everyone on the front deck. We all DIED laughing and literally shook the water off of us and then the music changed to something more upbeat. It was the perfect tension breaker, and a moment that was better than could have been written.

When we were ready to dock, this is what was waiting for J&J:

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Ha-cha-cha! I guess this is a thing in Paris, the "we just got married awesome car" cause we saw others over the weekend. And why not, right?

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Cause you get amazing photos like this. Including their way fashionable and gorgeous wedding planner.

Part 2 to come soon!

Star Makers on TV!

Our pilot episode airs tonight/tomorrow morning at 3:30am on the U Too! Check out the Star Makers website for more info!

Also, the show was featured on the WCIU morning show You and Me This Morning today! Check out the clip here!

Get ready, Chicago, here come ENRG and the Electrobots!

Paris Day 5

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The Thursday of our trip, Christopher left in the morning to go do wedding things with Jeremy, and Katie, Fuzzy and I went for a run. Fuzzy ran every day of our trip (but Monday), and Katie was looking forward to running in a place in which it would be normal for her to run (since customs in Tanzania are different than our norm.) I wasn't REALLY up for a run--I like my vacations to be about lolling about and doing nothing, but my healthy relatives convinced me that we needed to go. The 3 of us ran together and it was fun but hard. I only had about 2 miles in me, and plus, I didn't want to hurt my tattoo. So we ran for a bit, and then walked back. As we were heading back to the apartment, a transient man on the street yelled out to us in the hardest American accent "Good MOR-NING. Good BYE-EE." We now say that all the time.

One thing that we wanted to do was go to the Catacombs, or l'Ossuaire Municipal, which is home to millions of stacked bones. Before we left for the trip, my mom's one piece of advice was "Well, don't get lost in the catacombs." That made me laugh a LOT.

So we met up with Christopher, who arrived at exactly the same time we did (an amazing feat, since none of us were using cell phones), and we got in line. The line was epic. Only a small number of people are allowed in at any given time, so the line sprawled around this one area, and barely moved. We waited for--wait for it--3 hours. Luckily, there was a cafe near by, so we were able to get coffees and sandwiches for our wait.Oh, did I mention that 2.5 hours of that was in the rain? Luckily, I had an umbrella and we all had rain coats/ponchos (it rained every day). However, my thighs got wet. Unfortunately, the dress I wore became see-through when it got wet, so some unsuspecting patrons got a free peep show. 

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After the summer rain, Fuzzy's beard sprouted a flower!

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K&C! Cuties!

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Fz and me!

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You betta werk.

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You have to walk a long way to get to the bones. They advise not entering if you are faint of heart, have anxiety or claustrophobia. If you are squeamish about skulls and femurs, maybe skip the next few photos.

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Here is the empire of the dead. Spoooky.

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That's a lot of bones. The remains of 6 million people.

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It was a sacred space.

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Oof.

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It's interesting to me how shocking it is at first, but then you become used to it and desensitized to exactly what you are looking at. Those are real human skulls, people. But you know, no big woop. Oh, more skulls? 2km of skulls and thighs? Yawn.

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Each bone wall was super thick. Just piled with bones.

After that, we did a little shopping, and ate some food. We headed back to the apartment to freshen up and get ready for the rehearsal dinner. We had a lovely walk there, and ate some delicious food and met some amazing people--not that I am surprised that Jeremy would have amazing friends. Oh, and the food was sooooooo gooooooood.

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Jeremy, Jan, and a distinctive bald head.

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Our table-mates Madeline and Josh...

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...and Hunter and Layla.

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And then these dorks.

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Katie and Christopher.  I love these guys so much. I miss them tremendously. I am seriously so amazingly blessed that I got to have this time with them. Every moment was a treasure.

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Brothers. (Though the outer two are biological, the Reid family has never not considered the Muchas/Brudevolds family.) I hadn't seen Jason (on the left) since I was a kid. It was great reconnecting.

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So many good conversations. Jason's wife Sandy was the biggest sweetheart ever.

(Sidenote: I hadn't worn that dress in years. It seemed very Parisian to me. I think it will go back in the rotation.)

From there, the fellas went out for a guys night, and the ladies for a ladies night. Katie and I were exhausted (and a little tipsy), so we decided to bow out and head back to the apartment. We had a great time walking and exploring and talking together, and when we got back to the house, we had more wine. I showed Katie a video (remember that, Katie?) And I ate a lot of candy. Smart idea for 1am? It seemed so. The guys were out til late-ish, and were in jaunty moods when they got back. I should know, cause they woke me up and wanted to tell me all about the evening, neverminding that I HAD BEEN ASLEEP, and Christopher proceeded to dance in my bedroom doorway. At the time, this was annoying and I had no patience for it, but in hindsight, it was really sweet. He used to do this CONSTANTLY when we were growing up, and he loved keeping me from going to sleep when we were kids/teenagers and our rooms were adjoined. So it was just like old times. I love my brother so much.

End of day 5!

Paris Day 4

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On Wednesday, the group was going off to Versailles, but I wasn't so much into that. Fz and I only got 2 day museum passes, and there were other things we wanted to see. And I have to say, it was one of my most favorite days of the vacation. Fuzzy went for a run in the morning, so I slept in and read blogs and dozed and listened to music, then we had a leisurely morning and breakfast. The whole day was just for doing whatever the hell we wanted. And I loved it.

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Do I look Parisian? I'm thinking about flowers!

First we went to the Pompidou, the modern art museum.

Pompidou

Paris view

The walkway has great views of the city.

Paris view

Then we saw some art!

French School Children Learn about Miro

These French school children learned about Joan Miro. More than a couple of people have told me that my new tattoo reminds them of his work.

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain.  You know I love me some dada.

"Romance isn't romance without a violin playing goat."

Marc Chagall. Of course, "Happiness isn't happiness without a violin playing goat."

Fuzzy recently taught me about International Klein Blue, and here it was! Crazy that you can't quite capture it on screen. Also what you can't tell here is that this is a photograph of a canvas painted this color on a white wall. It was really quite stunning.

International Klein Blue

In a quiet room

This room was padded to be completely silent. Guess what was in it?

Insulated room with unplayed piano

A piano! Oh, the juxtaposition!

After that, we ate a street crepe and kept a-wandering.

Fuzzy

Fuzzy's beard is majestic.

Goats in a ditch!

We came across some goats in a ditch!

Goats in a ditch!

The cutest form of lawn mowing.

We headed over to the Musee de l'Orangerie to see some of Claude Monet's Waterlilies (Nympheas). They were gorgeous. No photos allowed, though. When we were finished, it was raining. We took shelter under some trees and just sat in the rain. I loved it.

Rainstorm

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Handsome Fuzzy in the rain.

Erica in the rain under the trees

Me in the rain. Sadly, it started to DOWNPOUR, but the museum guards were nice enough to let us back inside to try to wait it out. After a while, we decided to leave, but didn't avoid the rain, so we stopped into a cafe for a glass of wine. On our way back to the apartment, look who we saw!

The goats took shelter!

Our goat friends! Taking shelter! How cute is that?!

Well, speaking of cute, what happened next in the day will forever go down in history and never be forgotten. Fuzzy, Christopher, Katie and I were having dinner back home and filling each other in about our respective days' adventures, when we heard something that sounded like a meow. Well, if you know us at all, you know we're all obsessive cat people, so we all got excited. We looked out the window, and this is what we saw.

Our friend, Henri

THIS GUY! Oh my gosh. He was walking along the roof below us! You hear of roof cats in Paris and you think it's a cliche until you see it with your own two eyes.

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He was amazing. He had the longest whiskers I've ever seen, and the biggest feet I've ever seen. We named him Henri.

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We tried inviting him in, but he didn't want to. Even though we had meat.

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That face! He hung out for a little bit, then strolled on down and hopped onto a porch down the way. I could post a million photos of him, but I will only post one more.

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I miss him.

It was daylight in Paris til about 10:30pm every night, so at 9:30, we realized that we could still get to the Arc de Triomphe, which was also included in our pass, before it closed. So Fuzzy and I hopped on the Metro and did a little more sight-seeing.

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There were a lot of stairs.

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"Whaaaa???"

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The view from the top!

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Gorgeous.

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Back down below.

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From start to finish, it was an utterly amazing and perfect day.

We've been GIF'd!

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Crowds around Erica

No one around Erica

ENRG and the Electrobots

Watch the video that's sweeping the nation this week! ENRG and the Electrobots!! A small portion of the magic that is Steve Gadlin's Star Makers.

Paris Day 2 & 3

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Monday morning the 17th, we woke up and went to have breakfast with Jeremy & Jan and other family and friends!

Fuzzy, Jeremy, Jean

Fuzzy, Jeremy and Jeremy's mom, Jean.

Jean

Jean!

It poured down rain, but we were in a beautiful location!

Back of the Louvre

Tulip Building. This was a helpful landmark in navigating our neighborhood.

This building was a helpful landmark for our navigation.

Monday afternoon, we of course went and got OUR AMAZING TATTOOS! I kind of want to post more photos of it here, but I will spare you. That night, we went to the grocery store and had one of our many meals at home, which were the best: wine, baguettes, cheeses, meats, chocolates, fruits, and my all time favorite--butter with chunky sea salt! I could have lived in that butter.

DAY 3!!

Oof

Tuesday was a tourist day!

Actual Photobomb

Actual photobomb by Katie.

Photobomb?

More planned photobomb by Jeremy
Explorers

Thinking about life.

We went over to the Love Lock Bridge. Lovers carve their names into locks, lock them to the bridge, and throw the key into the Seine to secure their love will be locked forever. So sweet.

Love Lock Bridge

Love Lock Bridge

Love on Love Lock Bridge

This one (in the silver) had special meaning to us.

Love Lock Bridge

Then we headed over to Sainte-Chapelle to ooh and ahh over the stained glass.

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

"Hey guys, I brought the movie. Can I load up the projector?"

"Hey guys, I brought the movie. Can I load up the projector?"

The glass is stained

Then onto the Conciergerie.

"Hey guys! Wanna play ping pong?!"

"Yoo hoo! Up for a game of ping-pong?"

Conciergerie

And then Notre-Dame!

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

I lit a candle in dad's memory.

Erica lit this candle in memory of her father inside the Notre Dame

Fuzzy and Erica outside the Notre Dame

We split off from the group, and I had an amazing salmon quiche and a giant beer. DELISH!

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After that, we headed to the Musee d'Orsay for a little while. There was a really awesome exhibit about dark and macabre themes in art, and also this painting.

After that, we went for a stroll and stopped in a garden to have some beers and watch some crows. It was heaven. I think the thing I loved most about the vacation was not being in too much of a rush or schedule, and just sitting and BEING. It was good for me to start really living in the present.

Resting by the garden

Garden

Crows

Fun times

Another highlight of the trip was just laughing my ass off with Katie. Oh my gosh, what a blast we had! I needed it.

Sliding into home!

Sliding into home!

On the way back home, we passed this amazing building--with plant walls!

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So cool!

Blackout Diaries!

Get your tickets here for this week's Blackout Diaries! I'll be there!

Paris Day 1

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It's going to take me forever to blog about our Paris trip, but by gum, I am going to do it. So let's begin, shall we?

We left Chicago at 4:30 Saturday evening, then flew into the future, had some dinner, watched some movies, were fed breakfast, and suddenly we were in Stockholm.

Vacation!

Here is Fuzzy and Pippi Longstocking.

We also saw this store in the airport, though I am not sure really what it was selling.

Vacation!

Then another flight and we were in Paris. PARIS! Oh my gosh, Paris! We landed 2 hours before Christopher and Katie, so I curled up and slept on Fuzzy's lap while he read, and then, as it got closer, got really antsy waiting for this moment:

Vacation!

My brother! The first time we'd been together in a year and a half. That is a crappy photo of me, but I don't even care, cause I am with my brother!

Vacation!

Christopher and Katie! Live, fresh from Africa!

Vacation!

YAY!

We took at cab to our apartment that we rented for the week. It was in the Passage du Caire, a weird covered garment district wholesale mall/ alley way in the 2nd arrondissment. The location was amazing. But this was greeted us day in and day out:

Vacation!

Vacation!

Hello, Ladies. And Gent. And Cyborg.

Creeeepy.

The Passage du Caire:

Passage du Caire

After settling in, we walked around the neighborhood exploring, and got a bite to eat. Fuzzy took this photo of Christopher, which is one of my all time favorites of the whole week.

Christopher in his natural environment.

Amazing.

Parisian balloons.

We stopped into a pizza joint and had wine and a nice meal.

Vacation!

Vacation!

French Coke

Le coke.

We walked around a bit more and saw these beautiful things:

Saint-Eustache

 

Vacation!

 

Boat

Art

We then found the tattoo parlor we were going to the next day, only they were closed for renovations.

Rendez-vous avec Lionel

We got excited, cause we had a "rendez-vous avec Lionel."

We got back to the apartment and discovered this guy.

This guy was in our apartment. For no reason. Our apartment was tiny. He was huge.

Who was huge. And our apartment was teeny tiny. He took up most of C&K's room. He was a special friend to us all that week. Look at his giant feet!

More photos to come!

Steve Gadlin's Star Makers!!

I am proud and excited to announce the release of our newest project: Steve Gadlin's Star Makers. We've put a lot of hard work into this, and I love love love everything about it. Fuzzy did the opening credits and editing--so you have to watch it at least for that. And the opening song. And for the closing song. And for everything in between. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events!

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I am happy to announce that next weekend I am doing 2 storytelling events!

Friday, July 12 at 8pm at the Book Cellar, I will be appearing at the show The Kates! I've loved this show for a long time and have been trying to find the right thing to get me on the bill. I'll be telling this story.

Saturday, July 13 at 8pm at the Lincoln Lodge, I will be appearing at the show The Blackout Diaries, telling the story of an epic night of drinking when I was 20.

Friday, August 9th at Midnight at ComedySportz, Drunk Monkeys will be appearing in the live talk show Talk Hard.

Check them out, if you get a chance!

Also, over on Serial Optimist, Monique Madrid has been doing a series called Inside A Comic's Process, and I've contributed to this one and this one. In case you missed it before, check out the awesome interview that Monique did with Drunk Monkeys for the site in May!

So many cool things!

Fun With Photoshop 3

Eiberger's Response.

I love a good photoshop throwdown

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I am enjoying this so much.

(I learned that the pic is supposed to be upside-down.)

 

Fun with Photoshop 2

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So today I get an email from my friend Noah Ginex that said:

Eiberger's looked ok...I guess

but it needed more early 90s hip-hop flair. 

And included this photo:

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YES!! Let the games begin!!!

Training Day 2

Today, I went for a quick 20 minute run in the neighborhood. It went well and felt good. YEAH!

Training Day 1

It turns out that even if earlier in the year, you were training for a 10 mile race, if you essentially take a month off, you have to start from scratch all over again. So today, I went for my first official training run in preparation for the Chicago Sprint Triathlon. I chose the sprint this year instead of the international because I have a busy couple of months ahead of me and I know my limits. So today, even though I put it off and put it off, I suited up and went out for a run in the summer rain. It was just a light sprinkle and it smelled so good outside and it actually felt like summer (since a lof of our days these days have been in the 50s and 60s.) I was out for 34 minutes, mostly running, but doing some walking due to a weakness in my left knee. I need to get on the bike again--it's been since last year's triathlon since I've ridden--and I can't wait to swim in the lake. Come on warm weather!

Fun with Photoshop

Y'all know I love me some photoshop bits, right? I love them. In fact, it was one way that Fuzzy won me over when we were in our courtship phase. Photoshop bits never cease to entertain me.

So you will understand why this email from my friend John Eiberger last week was one of my favorites of all time:

Saw your tattoo blog post.

Congrats on fixing those terrible tattoos.
that new guy is amazing at cover up.
You can't barely see the old ones.

John
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Erica Fake Tattoo.jpg
 
I laughed for hours.
Well played, John. Well played.
 
IRISH CHEWBACCA AND BOOBERRY 4 LIFE!!!