Week 9: Shaking off the rust and waxing nostalgic

Week 9 started off with an ice storm and the fear of not being able to leave the house, much less the state. The stretch of bad weather extended from as far south as San Antonio up into Missouri. I was almost positive when I went to bed late Friday night that I would awaken Saturday afternoon to see a 3 inch thick sheet of ice on the roads and virtual armegeddon ensuing. Thankfully, I was wrong and safely made my way over to the airport. I decided to give my driver the afternoon off as I didn’t want her out in the potentially bad weather….and I wanted to drive the jeep.

I made it to the airport about 90 minutes ahead of my flight and noticed the airport was relatively empty. Then I went through security and got stopped. And put in the Michael Jackson chamber for air to be blown on me (I guess this is in case I have a feather of mass destruction). Then I was asked if it was ok to have my bag searched. Surprisingly, the TSA agent was very friendly and when I thanked him for being nice he said “You’re welcome, but I’m actually a jerk.” Tempting fate I jokingly replied “Oh. Well, then go eff yourself” and hurriedly walked off with my bag in one hand and my shoes in the other, but once I heard the agent laughing out loud I knew I would be fine. I do not plan on a repeat of this anytime soon.

The word irony is defined as “an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected”. A practical example of this would be my 5:05 pm flight being delayed until 8:30 pm because of an overheated fan. Keep in mind it was 29 degrees at the time of said fan’s overheating. Did I mention that we were ON THE PLANE when this was discovered and had to deplane and wait? Irony, gotta love it.

While I was hanging out in the airport I watched the 2nd half of the Colts/Ravens game and goofed around with my new blackberry. For all of the bad things I’ve said about blackberries in the past, I was glad to have it as I was receiving flight updates from American Airlines (before they were announced) and got an email from Second City that my Level 1 teacher, Josh Funk, and his wife Nyima were going to have a show at that night. Thanks to the overheated fan, I missed the show, but I heard it was great.

Level 2 started off Sunday with a session of exercises aimed at getting the rust off from the extended break since finishing level 1. My class is 95% the same from level 1 with some faces missing, and a new face or two. My level 2 instructor is Sarah Gee, a Second City All-Star and master of using the f word as a noun, pronoun, adjective, verb and adverb (example: eff you, you effing eff). The strange part is that I had no problem understanding her notes through this speech pattern. Level 2 is going to be a lot of fun with her, I can already tell. Also, with level 2 comes 2 performances at the new Second City facility — January 28 at 5:30 pm and March 4 at 4:00 pm. The new Second City facility is incredible. It has 8 classrooms and a 50 seat theater with actual theater seating, stage lighting and a set design by someone connected to Broadway. If you’re in the area on those dates, please swing by and check out the shows. I can guarantee you somebody will make you laugh eventually.

The new year also brought January’s poker game with Kevin Smith and the View Askew boarders. Kevin instituted a “Frequent Players Club” policy so that meant I got a discounted half price buy-in, but it resulted in full scale losses. I started off strong winning a $40 pot on a full house, but then it was all down hll from there. I have never made $12 last so long than I did during the game. I was resisting the obvious need to buy in again thinking I could mount some sort of comeback, but alas, I bought in and ended up leaving at 3:30 am lighter in the wallet. I do know that one of the players, Jamie, was in from Chicago and had flown in that day and was leaving the next morning at 8:00 am. So what did they do? I heard they ended up playing until 6:00 am. Wow. Thanks again to Kevin for his hospitality and to Josh, Stephanie, Jamie, Ryan, Lawrence, David, Michael, Brendo, and Vince (who handled co-dealer duties this time) for a fun game.

During the game Kevin posed an interesting question to the table – what era of your life would you choose to permanently live in if hindsight was in place and you knew then what you knew now? The question seems simple on the surface, but it causes you to forget your 9-2 off suit and take a quick inventory of your life and compare it to everything up to now. I thought of the major periods of my life: childhood, high school, college, the entrepreneurial years and the last 5, which I call the acting years. While each era has it’s pros and cons I was able to make a relatively quick decision – the acting years. Childhood was fine, but who wants to be 3 feet tall their whole life? The only good thing about the high school years was being a visitor’s locker room ballboy for the Dallas Mavericks. College was disconnected from life since everything was in a 10 mile radius bubble and I had no real responsibilities or concept of the real world. The entrepreneurial years…next. This leaves the acting years, but not by default. By the fact that I have chosen to pursue this life. I do not want to be sitting in adult diapers someday wondering what might have happened if I would have taken this chance. Now, I would be lying if I said that I would be fine with trying and not succeeding, but I would also be able to hold my head up high knowing that I had made the sacrifices and taken the chance. I would then be brought back down to earth realizing I was wearing an adult diaper….

The only celebrity sighting this week was NFL Hall of Famer and FOX NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw on the flight home Monday.

Miles Traveled: 2,470
Total Miles: 22,230

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