lost

Year in Review (2010)

Another year has come and gone and before 2010 becomes as easily-forgotten as 1996, let’s look back and re-visit the highlights in The Year of Ed before we jump into 2011…

JANUARY

  • January 19 – I was hired to record the voiceover for a commercial at MAX Films here in the area. This is only notable because of how hilariously long it took me to get paid for it.
  • January 23 – Improv night at the Landis household! Our friends John and Lisa invited a bunch of people over for some fun parlor games, including some Whose Line-style improv games.

    In one of the games (“Party Quirks”), Sarah was a turtle. This is her doing her turtle thing.

FEBRUARY

  • February 2 – Our regular Tuesday night Lost viewing parties continue as the final season premieres. We celebrate with a pinata. Naturally.
  • February 5 – Our friend Alyssa debuts her month-long art show at our favorite coffee shop, Square One.
  • February 10 – A massive snowstorm hits Lancaster. As Sarah and I are walking down to warm ourselves at Square One, we have this conversation:
  • February 13 – Sarah and I traveled to Pittsburgh to catch our friend JT in a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • February 19 – Sarah and I head to Philadelphia so Sarah can attend a Zumba conference and I can hear weird noises coming out of the rooms of strangers staying down the hall.

MARCH

  • March 20 – I judge a local singing competition, LS Idol. William Hung does not make an appearance.
  • March 27 – Sarah and I catch the hilarious production of Noises Off at the Fulton Theatre.

APRIL

  • April 3 – Sarah gets to meet the Beals, Jeff and Nik, dear friends from my days in Nashville. A barbecue on a great spring day in York. Hard to beat it.
  • April 12 – Sarah and I travel to Destin, Florida to visit some of her family for a week.

    Just because we’re visiting relatives doesn’t mean we don’t stop acting like this.

MAY

  • May 23 – The Lost season finale. We all freak out.
  • May 27 – Sarah and I go to a Lancaster Barnstormers game. It gets rained out.

JUNE

  • June 3 – Sarah is chosen to lead the crowd at a Barnstormers game in some Zumba during the 7th inning stretch. The game gets rained out in the 5th.
  • June 25 – Sarah and I go to the Lancaster Catholic Carnival and then walk over to our friends’ house to watch the fireworks.

    During the fireworks display, some fallout landed on the Ruoffs’ roof and firemen had to climb on top to make sure it wouldn’t burn down. Fortunately, it didn’t.

JULY

  • July 31 – Sarah and I traveled to Gettysburg to do a little amateur ghost hunting.

AUGUST

  • August 15 – Hey, remember that voice over job I mentioned back in January? I finally got paid for it!
  • August 21 – Sarah and I enjoyed ghost hunting so much the first time around, we decided to head back to Gettysburg for our first ghost hunting session with actual ghost hunters. It kinda blew.

SEPTEMBER

  • September 9 – Sarah and I, along with the Breneman siblings Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea, head west for a California vacation.
  • September 18 – Our church, Willow Street Mennonite Church, celebrates 300 years!
  • September 19 – Sarah and I return to the Fulton Theatre for their performance of Spamalot!

OCTOBER

  • October 15 – My old college pal Ed comes into town for a few days. We spend some time at Inner Harbor in Baltimore and have a blast.

    At this point in our visit to Inner Harbor, we are totally clueless as to how amazing the tapas are going to be that we have just ordered.

NOVEMBER

  • November 4 – I debut my brand new comedy-album-review site, Comedy Reviews. Feel free to “Like” it.
  • November 6 – Sarah and I move into our new apartment!
  • November 14 – Sarah turns a year older.
  • November 17 – I do, too.

DECEMBER

  • December 5 – Sarah and I attend a performance of The Nutcracker. It’s the first time seeing it for both of us and we both agree once is enough.
  • December 16 – Sarah and I go to the Fulton to see The Sound of Music with our good friends Dustin and Janelle. We all enjoy the show and then wonder what they do with all of the huge Nazi flags. Ebay?
  • December 17 – Sarah and I head to New York to take in the city during Christmas, improv at National Comedy Theatre, stand up comedy from Jim Gaffigan and our pal Adi, and film our annual Christmas video.
  • December 23 – Farewell party for our friends Alyssa and Ashlea Breneman as they gear up for their trips to Arizona and Hawaii (respectively).
  • December 24 – We attend church for the Christmas Eve service and then spend the rest of the night at Dustin and Janelle’s playing games.
  • December 26 – Sarah’s sister and her family comes into town to stay with us for their annual Christmas holiday celebration of playing games all day long. For the first time, my brother and his family come out and join in on the celebrating. We play games, film the final (?) installment of Terocus, and drink lots of coffee.

Things I learned in 2010? I don’t know if I learned anything new, but I did re-affirm what I already knew. I love Sarah a lot, she’s my best friend in the world. We love to travel. And all of our other friends…we love them a lot too. And want them to travel with us.

So pack your bags everyone and make sure your travel documents are in order. 2011 is here and we want you to see it with us.

Happy New Year, everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

LOST: A Tribute

If you’re like me, this last week you’ve seen about a billion different tributes to Lost: videos, original songs, photoshopped artwork…apparently people are gonna miss this show. I didn’t really have the time to do something special to show my appreciation and I’m not much of a songwriter. So instead, I’ve gathered all of my Lost-themed doodles I’ve done over the last few months into one convenient Lost-y post. Enjoy!

The “Lost” Pinata

Sarah and I held our weekly “Lost” viewing party last night. Big deal, right? I’m sure there were a countless number of people having similar gatherings, especially since it was the season premiere of the final season.

We decided to turn it into a taco party. I freely admit we may not have been the only one to do that; tacos are easy to make and loved by all.

It’s probably pretty safe to say that no other party featured a unicorn pinata.

This baby is about to find out that even the black smoke is no match for Tyler’s power punch.

 

Top 10 Movies of 2009…and Then Some (Keith Soljacich Edition)

It’s my pleasure again to send out my top 10 movies and more!  Take a read and let me know what you think… am I crazy, am I nuts, am I right?  Remember, enjoyment of movies is subjective and personal.  What I liked, you may not.  What you liked, I may not.  It’s a free country bub and I love movies.

My Top 10 of 2009
1. Avatar – Marvelous.  One of the 3 best cinema experiences of my life.  I’ll bet you a billion dollars 3D is the future of movies now.  Cameron would probably double-down.
2. District 9 – A director who absolutely owned his flick
3. Inglorious Basterds – I’m a sucker for Quentin, but so were a lot of other people
4. Star Trek – A solid solid solid action/sci-fi movie, and the second Trek movie I’ve seen (I saw the whale one when it came out, hence).  Just goes to show why JJ should have directed the prequels.
5. The Hurt Locker – Have you seen this?  You will.  Intense is an understatement.
6. The Hangover – Hysterical, funniest movie of the year.
7. Watchmen – Don’t get me wrong and excellent movie but was missing that “thing”
8. Invictus – Morgan Freeman as Mandela.  I think this was Eastwood’s middle finger to Spike Lee
9. The Messenger – Emotional roller-coaster ride of the year.  Tough movie to watch, but unforgettable
10. Gentlemen Broncos – I was one of 3 people in the theater laughing.  It’s a cupcake for nerds.

My Predicted Top 10 From January 2008 and my comments at the time (comments now)
1. Watchmen – Unbelievable this is coming out, will be fantastic (Damn good but not #1)
2. Avatar – James Cameron is back, filmed in IMAX 3D (Wish I had placed this #1…so awesome)
3. Inglorious Basterds – New Tarantino (Yup – BADASS)
4. Observe & Report – Trust me (Pretty good but overall a disappointment)
6. Funny People – New Apatow flick with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen about stand-up comedians (Ditto)
6. Wolverine – Looks good bub (Uck, this was a HUGE letdown)
7. Bruno – New Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) movie, completes the Ali G trifecta (Damn funny, but not Top 10 material)
8. Terminator Salvation – John Conner+Christian Bale=Badass (Really good, I like it but not Top 10)
9. Public Enemies – Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, Michael Mann, filmed in Chicago, all good (Big Letdown… I was bored)
10. Shutter Island – New Scorcese flick takes place on an island that houses a prison for the insane (Didn’t come out in 2009 so doesn’t count)

Movies I Wish I Had Seen:
Where The Wild Things Are
Moon
Bronson
Up In The Air
The Road
The Lovely Bones
Ninja Assasin
Mystery Team

Movies I Will Never See (Ever):
Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Whip It
Taking of Pelham 123
The Soloist

My Top TV Series in 2009
1. LOST – Until it ends
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm – Danny Dooberstein!
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – 2009 was the year I finally gave in and I’m glad
4. Mad Men – Sit Down, Shut The Door best episode of TV this year
5. Eastbound & Down – So consistently funny
6. 30 Rock
7. The Office
8. Breaking Bad
9. Chuck
10. Fringe

Top 10 Movies To Look For in 2010

1. Iron Man 2 – WAR MACHINE
2. Kick Ass – Haven’t heard of it?  You will.
3. Slammin Salmon – New one from the Super Troopers gang.  I’m a sucker for comedy.
4. Shutter Island – New Scorcese, been on hold for a bit
5. Alice in Wonderland (IMAX 3D) – Sure
6. MacGruber – The movie’s in good hands and anyone who’s seen Will Forte on anything but SNL knows he’s a loon
7. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – In the capable hands of Edgar Wright.  Might be the geekiest movie ever made
8. Predators – Sold
9. Inception – New Chris Nolan (Dark Knight) movie
10. Toy Story 3D – I’m a sucker for 3D
1,248. Twilight: The Turd One – Will they or won’t they?  Who cares!

Am I Crazy?  2011 will be awesome!!!
1. Ghostbusters 3
2. Captain America
3. Thor
4. The Hobbit Part 1
5. Anchorman 2
6. The Hangover 2
7. Dinner For Schmucks
8. Sucker Punch
9. Green Lantern
10. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Part 2

OK I’m Insane!!! 2012: The World Ends!!!!  Will Email Still Exist?
1. Batman 3 – Definitely
2. The Avengers – Definitely
3. Avatar 2?
4. The Hobbit Part 2
5. Indiana Jones 5
6. Kill Bill 3?
7. X-Men First Class
8. Spiderman Reboot – Not sure if this will be good yet

What do you think?  What were your 10 best?

Year in Review (2009)

2009 – YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s time again for my look back at the goings-on of the past year. Feel free to read, skim for your name, or just find the bold links and click on them in the hopes you’ll find a video featuring  a midget dressed up as Michael Jackson and dancing in the NYC subway system…you might just find what you’re looking for.
JANUARY
  • January 4 – I auditioned for The Foreigner at the Fulton Opera House. I didn’t get it or anything, but call me weird, I like auditioning. It’s just another excuse for me to get strangers to laugh. On purpose.
  • January 11 – My pal John Allen was in town for a conference. I know John from my days working at Gotee Records in Nashville when I was in the Radio Promotions department and he was in Sales. Sarah and I met up with John in Hershey, PA. It was really nice to re-connect and introduce him to my better/crazier half.
  • January 17 – I went hiking with my friend John Blowers in the Pennsylvania mountains. Somewhere. I actually don’t have any idea where we were, only about a half hour or so from Lancaster, so if he wanted to kill me and hide my body he very well could have. But he didn’t. I guess that means John’s my friend. :)
FEBRUARY
  • February 3 – Sarah and I watched the touring production of Avenue Q at the Hershey Theater. There’s nothing quite as fun as introducing your wife to the world of foul-mouthed puppets. And Gary Coleman.
  • February 22
  • February 27
MARCH

  • March 17-24
APRIL
  • April 19 – My pal Mitch McVicker came to town and performed a concert at our church. Even better than watching him perform again was getting to catch up with a good friend.
  • April 24 – Sarah and I went to a Capital Lights concert with our travel buddies Alyssa and Ashlea. Weeks later, the band announced they are breaking up. Coincidence?
MAY
  • May 15 – Sarah and I traveled to New York City for the weekend. I rejoined my friends at the National Comedy Theater and jumped in the Friday night shows for a great night of improv. I am happy to report that JT, Chris, Paul, Dan, Cohen, Kevin, and Jason have not lost the funny.
  • May 16 – Sarah and I hit some NYC tourist spots and that night we were in the live studio audience for the season finale of Saturday Night Live. It was everything we dreamed and more.
JUNE
  • June 23 – I broke a molar eating an ice cream sandwich.
JULY
  • July 8 – After two weeks of temporary crowns, my molar was finally completely repaired.
  • July 17 – Sarah and I attended a barbecue at Dustin and Janelle’s house. It was a great evening of friends and hangin’ out, capped off by an amazing Roman candle fight between Jeremy and Dustin.
  • July 24-26 – Sarah and I returned to New York City and this time we brought our friends Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea with us. I performed at the National Comedy Theatre Friday and Saturday night and the rest of the time was spent giving them a whirlwind tour of the city.
AUGUST
  • August 8 – Sarah and I went to Nissley Vineyard (the place I proposed to her two years earlier) with friends to enjoy a nice evening in the countryside.
  • August 28 – Posted my 200th doodle.
SEPTEMBER
  • September 12 – Sarah and I saw Bill Cosby perform live at the American Music Theatre. Despite the fact that he looks older, he’s still the same old Cos.
  • September 18 – I had a voiceover audition at Max Films. Nothing has come of it (at least not yet) but again, it was something fun to do on a weekday afternoon.
OCTOBER
  • October 1 – I hung my doodles at a local coffee shop, Square One, as part of their monthly rotation of local artists. The theme for the month was Halloween, so I displayed my collection of doodles of movie villains
  • October 3 – Sarah and I went to the New Holland Fair and were shocked to find they imported everyone who attends the county fair back home in Indiana to attend this one, too. Either that, or everyone who goes to fairs looks the same.
  • October 7 – After months of hunting, Sarah and I picked up our new car, a Ford Focus from Keller Brothers. If you’re in the area, we highly recommend them!
  • October 26 – Married to Sarah for two years and she’s still my bestest friend.
  • October 31 – At our Murder Mystery Party, everyone got dressed up in fancy clothes and we pretended we’re a lot more civilized than we actually are.

DECEMBER
  • December 4 – We attended a surprise birthday party for our friend Alyssa. It was a successful covert surprise operation.
  • December 5 – My dear friend Nik (another Gotee Records survivor) is in town and Sarah and I get together with her for coffee. I probably sound like a broken record, but it’s so nice to re-unite with old friends and catch up!
  • December 12 – My pal John had a poker night (guys’ night out). We tried to keep it as manly as possible, considering the snacks consisted of deli meats, apple cider, and hummus.
  • December 24
  • December 26 – For the second year in a row, Sarah’s sister and her family (The Tatmans) visited us for a week . We played games, watched movies, and hung around the house. Basically everything you WISH you did on vacation.

There’s one highlight I didn’t post because it happens every week: Sarah and I have some good friends over on Tuesday nights to watch Lost. Our usual gang of misfits includes some of our closest friends in Pennsylvania (Alyssa, Ashlea, Dustin, Janelle, Monica, Tammy, and Tyler). Sure, we’re all fans of the show and enjoy the twists and turns, but most of all we love having an excuse to get together with good friends. In a time of virtual social networking, nothing compares with actually hanging out with others.

Thanks, everyone, for a great 2009. Preparing to enter 2010 is weird. 2010. It looks really super futuristic. If I don’t have a flying car by 2015, I’m going to be mad.

Looking Back at 38

My 39th birthday was last week. Sarah and I were walking down to get some coffee at Square One and she asked me what my highlights were of being 38. I thought about it, and thought I’d share some of those highlights here. At first glance, this may seem like just another Year in Review blog, but trust me, it’s different. These are in no particular order, except in the order that they came into my brain.

COOL THINGS I DID WHEN I WAS 38

  1. Lost Nights
    Once a week Sarah and I get together and watch Lost with some friends. I know what you’re saying: Who doesn’t? But it’s not just about gathering around the TV and watching a show. It’s the whole “gathering with friends and watching a show” aspect about it that I love. Usually before or after the show we’ll play games, eat whatever snacks we brought, or just hang out. And now that we’ve caught up on all of the Seasons and are eagerly awaiting the beginning of Season 6, we still get together once a week and….well we do whatever. Play games. Watch a movie. Eat snacks. Hang out. It’s been a good excuse to get together and be with our pals on a regular basis.
  2. Dressing Up as Batman and The Joker
    Every year our friends John and Lisa hold an Oscar-viewing party. In the last couple of years they’ve encouraged everyone to dress up as a movie character and it’s been a lot of fun. This year Sarah and I came as Batman and The Joker, and I gotta admit, we looked good. :)
  3. Jim Thorpe
    Sarah’s birthday is only 3 days before mine so we get to celebrate together. Our friends Alyssa and Ashlea decided to treat us to a mystery trip. They gave us the date and time but kept the destination a secret. The only hint they gave us was the fact it was a couple of hours away. It turns out they took us to Jim Thorpe PA, a small town one of the TV travel programs listed as one of the Top 10 Towns in America. I think they were right to put this on the list.
  4. Live Shows
    When I was 38, I got to see a couple of live shows that came into town that were a lot of fun: the touring production of Avenue Q and Bill Cosby. If I don’t come across as your average  musical-theatre kinda guy, I’m not. But Avenue Q isn’t your average musical theatre production.

    And Bill Cosby. Well….he’s just Bill Cosby. How can you not enjoy him?
  5. New York City
    Sarah and I were able to travel up to New York City twice. The first time we went up to see the Season 34 Finale of Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell. To say it was a blast would be an understatement. The second time, we went up with our friends Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea and got to show them around the city. Both times I was able to jump in the shows at the National Comedy Theatre and improv it up with some of my old pals as well as perform with some new cast members whom I hadn’t met. It was a great time. I heart New York.
  6. Ireland
    As anyone who’s followed my blog knows, Sarah and I went to Ireland with Alyssa and Ashlea and it was incredible. I won’t bore you with the details (again) but will post the recap of our trip here.
  7. Doodles at Square One
    I’ve been drawing doodles of people ever since I was in middle school. I haven’t always kept up at it, but this past year I’ve been very proactive about keeping at it. I had a chance to display my art at our coffee house of choice here in Lancaster, Square One Coffee. For the month of October I displayed about 30 doodles, all in the theme of Halloween creepiness. You can see all of my doodles at my Facebook fan page.

So yea…38 wasn’t too bad. Those were just a few of the things that jumped out at me. I’ll include more in my annual End-of-the-Year update but Sarah was right. Thirty-eight was a good year. I think 39 is gonna be good, too. With someone as cool as Sarah by my side to walk with to the coffee shop, how can it not be?