Sunday, December 28, 2008

I just can't keep it up

I keep telling myself I'm going to update this everyday and honestly I mean to do it and I keep forgetting.

I am continually looking at the world around me as blog fodder. "I think my reader will find this interesting" I am constantly saying to myself. Well let's just see.

I've been in Detroit visiting family and friends for 8 days now. Alot of times it's fun, but the days have been kind of boring. I can promise I've put on weight, seeing as my days primarily involve 6-8 hours in the same chair, playing World of Warcraft and watching The Dark Knight. I should be looking for a job, but I keep saying "I'm on vacation."

Two days after I got here, I went on a road trip with my brother. It was not trunks full of beer and checking out Minnesota's Biggest Ball of Twine though. This was a business trip. He had to make a delivery to another business in Cinncinatti. My brother is a funeral director, so you figure out what kind of cargo we had. This cargo was supposed to travel by air, but things got messed up and so we saddled up at 7:30 in the morning and drove 5 hours to Cinncinatti. The adventure does not stop there.

On our way back, we passed a Sonic, which I pleaded we make our lunch stop. Cakes (my brother) had other plans. Before I knew it, we were in the Golden Coral, a depressing all you can eat buffet with relatively abysmal food and an amazing desert bar. This one meal set in motion a chain of events that was both fun and miserable.

So we're driving home, it's around 2 PM. Some time later, we notice that it's raining ice. The roads are treacherous and people are sliding to their doom all around us. The longer we drove, the worse it got, until we realized we weren't going to make it to Detroit tonight. After getting approval from the company, we used our trusty GPS, found a Hampton Inn in Bowling Green, got some pizza, and watched the Discovery Channel. In the morning, things were much better and we finished the trip.

I've got to hang out with friends alot, but they all have their stupid jobs, so it hasn't been as much as I would like. But, I've still got 7 days to hang out with people, so hopefully, more fun things will occur. And now, a materialistic list of what I got for x-mas.

External Hard Drive
The Muppets Season 3
The Dark Knight
Munchkin (amazing card game, Chicagoins need to call me and we'll play)
Candy Girl by Diablo Cody
Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut
Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman
I Heart Ranch Dressing:Things White Midwesterners Like by Author Unknown
A DnD t-shirt.
A Trader Joes gift card.
A Target Gift Card
A Chili's Gift Card

I think that's everything. Happy holidays to all. As always, I love to know if you're reading this. Its not that I'm begging for comments, but just if I got one from more than Alicia once and a while I would know who is out there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I was just reading a friends blog and I read an old post in which he posted an e-mail he sent to our teams coach regarding the direction our team was headed. I am no longer on said team, because people had problems with me.

In his e-mail, he omitted a part. He said he did this because the blog is public. I'm convinced that part was about me. Now I just want to know what was said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There's always tomorrow.

I had decided I wanted to try and make this a photoblog. I didn't get to take a picture though. Tomorrow I'll try again.

Tonight I had my last level 3 class at iO. I don't know how I felt about level 3. I guess, from what Shotts (my teacher) told us in the beginning, I feel the way everyone feels, but it's not really a good feeling. I am now totally in my head, knowing all of the things I need work on, and it's affecting my scene work. Shotts told me I need to show more emotion. Everything I do is internalized, and that's not entertaining or interesting. It's hard to do for me, because I'm not a very outwardly emotional person. If I'm happy, I smile, sad, I frown, and so on and so forth. But at least I have something to focus on.

I don't know why I'm so socially awkward. I felt really alone tonight. Tonight was the iO holiday party, which was techinically for staff, performers, and their significant others. But, my fellow students told me that Charna had told them to grab drinks and food and have a good time. So, I thought maybe I would stick around. I saw John (the only person I talked to, only long enough to say hello and shake hands.), Katie (who I spoke to for about 90 seconds) and her boyfriend (2 minutes), and Tina, who made eye contact with me numerous times, but never acknowledge my existence as someone who she would even call an acquaintance. At that time, seeing everyone having a good time, and not having a good time myself, I decided just to go home. I didn't feel like I belonged there.

I guess I have to learn how to make friends. I just don't know how to do that I guess. According to Facebook, I have over 60 friends here in Chicago. In real life, I think it's more like 5 or 6. And I hardly ever hang out with any of them.

I need to find a way to turn this around. I'm sure the 4 of you that read this are tired of hearing these woe is me stories. Hopefully I can write something positive tomorrow.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What happened.

We all saw the blog post ( and laughed. "It's so poorly written, it couldn't possibly be true."

Well it was. Reports are showing that one month after the CEO looked me right in the eyes along with many of our colleagues and said "We have no plans for massive layoffs. It wouldn't make sense for us to do that. We will be trimming head count. But we will be doing that by not filling positions that are left open naturally"

A massive layoff takes planning. It takes more than a month to figure out who goes, what kind of severance to offer, etc. I know in my heart, the higher ups knew this was going to happen. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason to it either. I saw reps in the room that I really looked up to, the ones I wanted to be like. People hitting 200% of their quotas. I saw a friend of mine who just hit his 5K bonus for invoicing 25,000 in his first 6 months (actually a little less than 6 months) who was told they weren't sure he would even receive that. Theories are going around that they got rid of a lot of these top performing reps to save money in not having to pay out all of these bonuses. That doesn't seem like thinking about the future to me, but who knows where a corporation's mind goes when things go sour. It was a great company to work for, but they made some mistakes.

Aside from the lying, I hold no ill will to the company. I appreciated the severance package. I don't know that they had to do that, but if they didn't have to, it was really pretty generous in my mind. I've got enough money coming to me to get by (with unemployment) until after my x-mas vacation home. When I come back, I'll hit the job boards hard, knowing I can find a new job.

The saddest part, is the people. I'll miss you guys and I hope you will all keep in touch. You were my first real friends in Chicago and I want you to still be a part of my life.

Friday, December 5, 2008


There isn't much to say at this point.

Tensions are high at work, everyones just kind of waiting to find out what will happen.

Kristen's show was excellent.

My caloric deficit is at 4,467! It's been a good week so far.

Favorite songs I heard today. 12/4/08

It was not a good day for the shuffle. Only had 8 songs make the list instead of the usual 10.

1. Time of the Season- The Zombies
2. Local God-Everclear
3. Too Big for Gidget-The Brunettes
4. Terrible Vision-Rhett Miller
5. King of the Road-Piebald
6. Heart Songs-Weezer
7. Mint Car-The Cure
8. The Chords of Fame-Teenage Fanclub

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2 things.

1. Making a mix cd for someone who doesn't like music is hard work.


2. Kristen has a show at iO tonight. She's still a student. I'm proud of her and a little jealous. It's time for me to take the reigns and get something going for myself.

Caloric Deficit-2,640. I think this is working, I've shed three of the pounds I put on over the holidays.

Favorite songs I heard today. 12/3/08

1. I Don't Like Mondays-Boomtown Rats
2. Can't You Hear Me Knockin'-The Rolling Stones
3. Halleujah- Rufus Wainwright (it should be noted, any time I hear any version of this song, I'll love it)
4. What Girls Want-Material Issue
5. The Marxist Brothers-NOFX
6. With Arms Outstretched-Rilo Kiley
7. Son of a Preacher Man-Dusty Springfield
8. Mars Loves Venus-The Brunettes
9. Fairytale of New York-The Pogues
10. Stubborn Kind of Fellow-Marvin Gaye

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


It's amazing how when you ask someone for $9,400, they suddenly stop picking up their phone.

The Lessons I learned

Last night in class, I got some really great notes. Most of them came from watching other peoples performances and aspiring to do the great things I saw them do or from notes Shotts gave to other people.

His note for me was to dance. That was his big thing for me. He said "I think dancing in a scene will make you uncomfortable. Don't take this the wrong way, but we want to see you be uncomfortable. That's funny to us." I get it, I really do. I love watching people be uncomfortable onstage. But I think it still needs to be real. If I felt the need to dance in a scene, I would've done it.

Some other great notes and ideas I took from last night:

Improv welfare-Doing nothing until someone gives you something.

"Improvisors on stage are like raving paranoids. Everything that is said to them means something"
-Del Close

And my favorite....

A cake made of waffles!!!! This is the key to my culinary success. Begin developing recipe.

My caloric deficit for the week is now up to 1,751. Still have 5 days left to reach 5,250.

My Ten Favorite Songs I Heard Today 12/2/08

I've decided to do this as a daily post, hoping I'll have something else to say as well while I'm here.

In no particular order. Actually, in the order I heard them.

1. Death on the Stairs-The Libertines
2. Boulevard Trash-The Exploding Hearts
3. Leviathan-Wafflehouse*
4. Vietnow-Rage Against the Machine
5. Bone Machine-The Pixies
6. Don't Turn Around-Ace of Base
7. Lost in the Supermarket-The Clash
8. It's A Hit-Rilo Kiley
9. Jealous Guy-John Lennon
10. Four Minutes-Madonna

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Playing to an empty room.

There's no one there, but I've decided to start writing alot more. Many people I know have blogs and update them everyday, even if it's a single sentence about McDonalds French Fries. Of course, I would love to know you're out there if you are.

Yesterday, I decided to experiment with my diet a bit. I'm not going to be counting points with Weight Watchers anymore, but instead trying to create a caloric deficit based on my Basal Metabolic Rate. I'm doing this both through calorie reduction and excercise. The goal is to have a deficit of 5,250 calories a week, which should result in a 1.5 lb loss. We shall see. So far, as of yesterday, my deficit is 951 calories. That's because I didn't get a chance to work out.

The visit home was great. I loved seeing my family and friends and eating a ton of foods that are absolutely delicious.

It's strange, but I'm not really pannicking about work. I've kind of gotten used to playing the cards as they've been dealt. I'm going to keep going about things as usual, make sure I do at least what's required of me, if not more, and just try to succeed. If that's not enough to keep me here in '09. I'll find another job.

I've been considering going back to school or at least continuing my education in some way. I don't know if it will be theatre focused or not. I should've gotten a marketing degree or something. Maybe I'll get certified as an IT guy and then I could do that. That seems like most of the improvisors/actors I know do that in some capacity.

I just need to learn a trade. And get a haircut. And upon recent inspection when I was in the bathroom, trim my sideburns.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some soul searching, minus conclusions.

I'm sitting in Starbucks right now, paying six dollars to use Wi-Fi for an hour. I'm doing this because I'm meeting with some classmates for dinner before our class at iO. I'm doing that because I need friends. I've been experiencing a weird sort of culture shock and it happened to me way late in my time since moving here.

In Detroit, I came from a really close group of friends. Unlike most close groups of friends though, this one was gigantic. Sure, I have my really, really close friends within that group, but I don't think I could count on one hand the ones I wouldn't go to with a serious problem or enjoy a night alone with.

It's strange to go from that to virtual nothingness. I really wasn't expecting that. I moved here knowing I would have to build new relationships, to start over. But I was also under the illusion I would reconnect. I was under the illusion the people that liked me in college, or said they did, would be here, arms open, ready to welcome me into this new experience. Boy, was I wrong.

I'm no angel in this scenario though. I don't call people. I have people I think I could be really great friends with in RECESS (my improv team), people I've met in my life here, and also Detroit transplants. I'm scared to call them though. Any of them. I fear their reactions. Mainly because I think that there could only be two different reactions.

Reaction one: Person answers phone with a more inquisitive tone then normal, not the usual "Hello?" but more like a very confused "Hello?", if you were sitting here I could show you the inflection differences. They are very subtle, it's the facial expression that really gives it away. The facial expression that I would never see. But, it's a reaction to answering a phone call from an unknown number. This means that these friends did not even have my phone number programmed in their phones.


Reaction two: The intonation of the "Hello?" is practically the same but it says something totally different. This person has my phone number programmed, they know it's me calling, but they are curious as to why. This is pretty common. I rarely know the purpose behind every phone call I recieve. That's not what I'm talking about though. I'm talking about the "What reason could you possibly have for attempting to interact with me outside of the two hours (sometimes three if there's a lunch afterwards) of forced interaction we have of rehearsal? Oh...*snicker* wanted to hang out! Go get a drink, that's rich!"

I don't know which I fear more.

I know I need to call people and take the initiative beyond vague, dateless facebook comments reading "hey, I miss u, let's get together soon. TTYS"

I also know that I've blown things off that I have been invited to. Birthday parties (not personally invited but certainly not omitted) that I probably could have made it to if I really wanted to, but I was tired.

Still, I feel very alone here, aside from Kristen obviously.

In other, unrelated news, I'm considering another tattoo but I just don't know what I want. I really like rockabilly tattoos and have actually been listening to a lot of rockabilly as well as wearing my hair in a pompadour. Wouldn't my next step to get a 1940's era microphone or a cool brightly colored jukebox tattoo.

Maybe I'll get something that actualy says something about myself. Damn image conciousness.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear residents of Chicago,

Life is short. Slow down.

Your Neighbor Ryan

Monday, June 30, 2008

My first day of school

Yesterday was my first day of Level 1 at iO. My teacher was doing something for Second City so we had Craig Uhler as a sub. He was absolutely incredible though. All my fears were quelled very quickly.

Those fears were fears I was afraid to admit because I knew they were cocky. My fears were basically that I wasn't going to learn anything new and that I would be bored. Well, the first day of class I can't say that I really learned anything new. But, something happened to me, and I did the best scene work of my improv career. We were doing the excercise, the argument. To the uninitiated, basically these are scenes where the scenarios are meant to lead to arguments. The idea of the scene is to not argue, but instead to be supportive of your scene partner how ever you can. Both of the scenes I did, I felt better about than anything I've done scenically in a long time.

I really look forward to going back next Sunday.

I'm alone all next week, July 4th-12th, if anyone has anything fun to do, let me know.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Weekend at Home

This weekend I went back to Detroit to spend some time with family and friends.

It was not relaxing to say the least, but in a great way. I was going non-stop seeing people and doing things. Got to see all my nearest and dearest friends and all of the local family. It was really a great time. It was like living a mini version of my life in four days.

I got to have friends cry on my shoulder. I got to play Magic the Gathering. I got to drink coffee and laugh with friends until 3 am. I got to hang out with my family. I got to watch cable TV and eat Jet's pizza. I even found time to go see Rilo Kiley which was great.

It was hard to turn my back on all of that and come back to Chicago. I love this city so much, but no city can compare to the one where your friends live. Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of friends here. Marc and Alicia are the only ones I really hang out with. No one else ever calls me and I don't know why, but I always feel awkward calling them. But I know that as I meet more people, this will change and soon I'll have a social life in Chicago.

The people will never compare though. They can try all they want, I'll never find another Dale, Joe, Katie, Sides, Matt, Jerry, Nikki, Corrina, Tim, Will, Voldo, etc.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

what a night

Last night I go to the Lakeshore Theatre for some free stand up with my lady and our friends. So the comics perform, everyone was hilarious and a good time was had.

And then it happened, the owner came out on stage with tears in his eyes. He was choked up. He said "Things like this are why we're the best place to see comedy in Chicago. So promise, no flash photography, have a good time. Ladies and Gentleman......."


And it was really him. He did a half hour stand up set! For free! That's what I love about living here, anything can happen.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Today I Cold Called.........

The Alternative Pop Rock Band The Dandy Warhols.


A Strip Club.

Man I love my job.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Something that's been bothering me

That should probably be the title of every entry. This is going to become a chronicle of the random neurotic bits of minutia that haunt my days. I need answers though.

Last night as I lie in bed, I was watching Toy Story 2. My choices were limited due to a broken DVD player but let it be known, I do not apologize for this choice. I feel the Toy Story series was a beautifully animated, very smartly written peice of cinema. There is one thing that I was bothered by and it really doesn't even have anything to do with Toy Story 2, but seeing Buzz Lightyear made me think about it.

In the first movie, Buzz is not self aware. He really believes he is a space ranger out to destroy the evil Zurg. He does not know he is a mass produced peice of plastic with some working parts and flashing lights.

Given this fact, why did he stay frozen in his box at the toy store until he was purchased. Why did he freeze and drop lifelessly to the ground with the other toys whenever a human entered a room? Why, when Andy first unwrapped his present and open the box did Buzz not spring to life and begin searching tirelessly for Zurg.

None of this is explained and I WANT ANSWERS.

x-posted to Livejournal in order to get the answers I seek.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Commercial Pilots.

This is something I think about on an almost daily basis. I work two stops away from O'Hare airport, in the same office park as a hotel, so needless to say, I see alot of pilots when I'm going home from work. I've always wondered what it's like to have a job that requires that much travel.

Are you able to have a family. Do you bother with an apartment or just stay in a hotel the one or two days a week that you're home. I guess you wouldn't need much of a wardrobe if you have to be in a pilots uniform so often, just some PJ's for lounging in hotels, a pair of jeans for when you go out with stewardesses, a couple of t-shirts. Maybe a suit coat that doesn't have wings on it so that you can go to funerals and weddings. I guess they really could fit your whole life in a suitcase and live out of it. What a life though. I don't think I could do it. I thought about some possible promotion paths at work that would require me to travel, but I don't know if I could leave my life behind for more than 2 or 3 days a month.

Any pilots, if you come across this, how do you do it? Also, do you get lots of stewardess ass.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

From the Beginning

Ever since I moved here, I've seen something very often that I can't understand for the life of me.

It seems that the majority of people in this city walk up escalators. Now, I understand I live in a major metropolitan city, people are always rushing somewhere, and I don't begrudge them that in any way. But this fine city, in all it's transit stations that have escalators, have also provided a stair case, three steps further down the platform. But all of these people who huff and puff when someone rides the escalator rather then walking up the stairs, they can't be bothered to walk the three extra steps, which would probably get them to their destination sooner. Nope, not here. Everyone's a go-getter. When you see an oppurtunity (like moving stairs) you have to pounce on it.

Not me. I do my pouncing, but when it comes to stairs and my morning commute (where I want to remain relaxed) or evening commute (when I'm probably pretty tired), I much prefer to ride. Huff and puff all you want....or walk the extra three steps and take the regular stairs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And the other side of the hill

Immediately after I came up with the title for this entry, I wondered how appropriate it actually is. The other side of a hill (in this case, the downside was what I was trying to say) would more suggest that I was running, full force, without care as to what obstacles may occur, with a child-like grin on my face, towards some sort of goal. Not me. Not yet.

I was meaning to say that I recieved my e-mail from Comedysportz last night, at 9:15ish to let me know that I had not been chosen for Battle-prov. This is not the first time I have recieved this kind of e-mail in anyway, but this one was particularly disheartening. The main reason for this being that I really believed I had this one wrapped up. I waited all day by the phone (with the use of a cell phone, this expression kind of loses it's significance, but you understand I'm sure) for that call that I just new was coming. But it didn't come. At the same time, I do keep hurtling myself down that hill towards that goal of performing on a stage and having someone give me a check for it. There's just not much of a childish grin on my face.

Work is going well. I sit at this desk every day. I try to convince people that they want what I got. In most situations, people immediately shut down to a cold call. They don't understand the value of what I'm offering and there's not a real good way to illustrate it to them before the scheduled appointment. So far I've ran three appointments and all the clients seem to love me. They seem to be really interested. One guy even bought, the other two just didn't have it in the budget right now but one guy insisted I call him back every month to check up on him and one day it will pay off.

I need some more coffee.

If you're reading this, I'd love to know. I made my single post in my Livejournal telling people I'd moved and all but one of my friends out and out refused to follow me here. I'd love to know who's out there though.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Anticipation and Success

The anticipation is killing me. I had a great audition last night for Comedysportz "farm team" Battle-prov. If you don't know, Comedysportz is one of the few places an improvisor can actually get paid just for doing improv. This would be a huge deal for me. The idea of Battle-prov is to develop it's members so that they have a leg up when it comes to professional auditions which will be coming up. Comedysportz is a company I've wanted to be a part of ever since I saw the first show, so the butterflies are working overtime.

I made my first sale today. It was only 419 dollars. But still it's very excited to actually close a deal I've been working on. It was quite a thrill, a big email went out to the company, the Vice President gave me a box of Girl Scout cookies. I'm technically 419% over quota now, since my quota was zero. Gotta concentrate on dialing now so I can get my bonus for the month.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just a few orders of business

I was reading up on an aquaintences blog this morning and he had some old posts about finshing all the crosswords in (I'm assuming) the Tribune for a whole week. I do the Red Eye (for those of you who don't live in Chicago, it's the MetroTimes but it comes out everyday instead of once a week). I've been thinking I'm going to set a goal like this for myself. So starting today I want to solve all the crosswords until next Thursday. This comes on the back of me swearing off the Red Eye so I could get more reading done. So I've decided also not to really read the RedEye anymore. A quick scan to see if anything interesting is in there and then I'm done. I don't think I could go without some of the columns.

I'm going to my first Cubs game in just over a month. I'm really excited. I can't get into too much detail because it's a suprise for someone, but my company is partly owned by the Tribune who owns the Cubs, so we had like 5 games of half price tickets so Infield Bleachers were 8 bucks. I'm pretty stoked.

Everyone is so sullen on the train.

I've been at my desk for three days and today, we're moving to a different floor! I hope there's more people around, I'm interested in making some friends. I'll be on the same floor as the Wii. Hopefully, I'll also have a better view.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Today while I was on the bus home there was a truck sitting, blocking the road. Once it started to move I was able to read the lettering on the back of the truck. It read "DO NOT FOLLOW". Now I was able to deduce that this was a city truck, probably on pothole patrol, making frequent stops on the street since potholes are frequent in this city. Still, I imagined that the driver of the truck was wanted for murder or was in the witness protection program and was just paranoid and decided to plead with his pursuers to not follow him. I don't know, just thought it was funny.

Now, translated for Jerry: Don't let your fears invade you, especially fears of the semen of the demons of your mind.


test for feeding

Monday, March 10, 2008

It begins

Today was my first day out on the sales floor. It was alot better than dialing in the computer lab with 20 other people. Now it's just me and my team and we're separate enough that it sounds more like an office (which it is) than a call center (which it's not). Cold calling is kind of interesting. A lot people get really upset, which if it was their home I could understand, but you own a business, people are going to try to get you to use their products. I don't see anything wrong with it. And I really believe in my product, so that really helps.

I was so mad though. I booked my first appointment while in training and today when I called, the guy was sleeping (I guess the husband and wife owners lived at the diner they owned) and when I called back, they weren't there. And I had spent 45 minutes researching the industry and the market and making a nice presentation for them. This cost me making my dial and talk time goals out of the time I lost. If you don't want to hear what I have to say, just say no, but don't set up an appointment with me and not show, that's just rude. If they don't reschedule, I'll be really upset.

In general I'm enjoying sales though. It's kind of an exciting industry.

In other news, I've got an exciting auditioned lined up for Sunday and I'm really looking forward to my first paycheck. I have to say, I'm really proud of my budgeting abilities. Aside from the 118 dollars of debt I incured to Kristen I was able to make what little money I had left really last. The goal now is to try and reduce my living costs while I have money in order to save for some of the finer things in life.

To my old friends who came here from LJ, I'm so glad you came. Expect more regular updates than LJ. To new friends who will stumble on this blog, I look forward to getting to know you better.