Sunday, February 25, 2007

Back in Chicago

I've been in Michigan for the past 5 days. Two for work and then the rest for a weekend getaway to Carolyn's parents house. We lucked out on the weather. It was supposed to snow this weekend, but it was warmer then they thought, so we just got a lot of rain. I'm catching up on a lot of little things while I watch the Oscars. Hope everyone is doing well!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Search for the Next Maytag Repairman

Yesterday I went to Nay Pier to check out the auditions for the new Maytag Repairman. There were about 200 people who showed up and it was really fun to watch everyone audition for the role. Check out the website for more details - Here's a description of the event by the AP

Updated: 2:50 p.m. CT Feb 21, 2007

CHICAGO - The Maytag Repairman wasn’t a lonely job for about 200 men who auditioned to wear the blue cap and uniform of the iconic television advertising character.

During an open casting call Tuesday, a husky salesman sang “One Is the Loneliest Number” to an imaginary washer and dryer, then did a kick line. A hospital worker struggled to fit the cap over his dreadlocks. And a 20-something actor talked to an appliance — again, imaginary — like it was an underappreciated wife.

Obviously, the next Maytag Repairman — always lonely, ostensibly because of the dependability of Maytag’s appliances — could look a lot different from the somewhat older fellows with the hangdog expressions who have played the part in the past.

Whirlpool Corp., based in Benton Harbor, Mich., bought Maytag of Newton, Iowa, last year, and company officials say finding a new repairman is part of plans to revitalize the Maytag brand.

Since appearing on television in 1967, he has only been played by three actors. The contract of the current repairman, Hardy Rawls, is not being renewed.

Whirlpool officials say they want the new repairman to be energetic, young at heart and outgoing. But he indeed has to be a man. America, it seems, is not yet ready for a repairwoman — at least according to their market research.

“If you think of other advertising icons out there ... where is Ben Crocker? Where is Juanita Valdez? Where’s the Pillsbury doughgirl?” said Jeffrey Davidoff, Maytag’s vice president of brand marketing.

“I think there is something that (consumers) see the repairman partially as a person, but really as a character. To be true to that character, one of the things we had to do was stick with a man,” Davidoff said.

The company held auditions last weekend in Los Angeles and has a casting call scheduled Friday in New York City. Applications also are being accepted by mail; the new repairman will be announced in March.

At the Chicago auditions Tuesday, authentic Maytag repairmen — who either own stores or work at them — were perhaps only outnumbered by struggling actors.

Scott Thompson, 44, has owned a Maytag store for eight years in Valparaiso, Ind. He said he has seen some changes since Whirlpool took over Maytag — he now places orders over the computer instead of the phone, for instance — but is hopeful the expanded product base will help his business.

“It’s new. I wouldn’t say it’s good or bad. It’s just new,” he said.

Those making it to the final round of Tuesday’s auditions got to don the brimmed, blue Maytag cap. They were videotaped talking to an imaginary Maytag appliance of their choosing, then had to deliver a line of dialogue in several different ways — one man channeled John Wayne, another tried “Taxi Driver”-era Robert de Niro.

The auditions also drew a bus driver, a police officer, a stockbroker, a landlord, a construction worker — and a professional football player.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi backs up Peyton Manning, who has only missed one play because of injury in his nine-year NFL career.

Speaking to the media during Super Bowl week in Miami, Sorgi joked that he would be a good Maytag Repairman, “the guy bored out of my mind waiting for something to do.”

On Tuesday, Sorgi attended the auditions as part of a promotional agreement with Whirlpool and went through the process like everyone else. In a pep talk delivered during his videotaped audition, Sorgi told an imaginary washer and dryer: “You’re King Kong, baby, nobody can defeat you!”

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Joshua's 1st Birthday

Josh (my nephew) had his first birthday party ever so I took at the camera for a little bit and took some pictures. He just learned to walk this past week, so it was pretty funny to see him motoring around David and Catherine's house

||| Click on the picture above to see the SLIDESHOW |||

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I just got back from outside and it is CRAZY COLD outside! I don't think it's been this cold in a couple years in Chicago. The only thing that makes it o.k. is that the bears are playing in the superbowl today! I do think the bears can win if the defense shows up and plays like they have in the past. We'll see later tonight. My prediction... BEARS 28 - COLTS 17