Weigh-in time and Chicago re-cap

There’s good news and bad news. I have lost eight pounds since Oct. 12. The bad news is, it’s been almost two months since I started the iPhone diet and I’ve only lost eight freaking pounds. I am glad I haven’t gained anything back, and those pesky ten summer pounds are almost gone, but I would like to see another 13 or so go away. I am setting a goal to lose another five pounds by the end of this month. Surely that is a low enough bar that I even I can measure up.

I have started watching NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and I am completely enthralled. These people are pretty big to start with, and they’re losing pounds in the double digits every week. I realize they’ve got more to lose, but they are also working way harder than I am. Team Amanda!

Being sick all week didn’t help or hurt my efforts. I didn’t exercise but I didn’t gain weight either. Now that I am recovered I’m heading back to the gym tonight for the first time in over a week.

Chicago was amazing. I had a great time and got to spend more time with Brandon’s older brother and sister-in-law then I’ve spent before, and we had a great time wandering the city, the four of us. Amy is a very funny person and we have more in common than I thought. And Brian looked through the music on my ipod and discovered we have a few bands in common, to our mutual surprise. As before, Brandon’s parents were extremely generous to share their Thanksgiving with me and I enjoy their company.

We stayed at a hotel with a great location, the same one from last year, on Water St. very near Michigan Avenue. We spent a lot of time on Michigan, which I have come to know very well after three Model UN conferences in Chicago, two family trips, and now two Massengill holidays there. Oddly enough, the Model UN conferences were all held at the same Water St. hotel and took place in November each year, the week before Thanksgiving.

We did lots of Christmas shopping, ate Gino’s pizza after waiting in a long line, visited the Signature Room of the Hancock Tower, watched a Tennessee football game in a sports bar and went to Second City. Seeing Second City has been a dream of mine for a long time and I finally got to do it. The famous improv theater is the former stomping grounds of many SNL alums and other comedians including Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and tons of others. The actors we saw were so talented. There’s some local improv activity here in Columbus, I recently discovered. One of my actors in the Parental Discord video (see post below) is an improv actor. I thought it was ironic that I cast a comedian in my first and only dramatic piece to date. His troupe, “See You Thursday,” is performing twice this month at Wild Goose Creative on Summit, on Dec. 11 and 18. I’ll be checking them out one of those two evenings. Bonus: If you are feeling really adventurous, they are offering beginner improv classes starting Jan. 9.

Here’s some pictures from the trip:

Me outside Second City, called "Improv Harvard" by Vanity Fair, as you can see from the quote behind me

Obligatory photo of "the bean"

Amy and Brian at Gino's East

View from the Hancock's Signature Room

Brandon's parents at Maggiano's, where we ate Thanksgiving dinner

We had awesome weather until the morning we left

Brandon loved Chicago and said it would be cool to live there, but the 11 percent sales tax is a real bee-yatch.