Friday, August 29, 2003
Hi, I was going to post some thoughts about the general subject of travel, but I don't really have time right now. After finishing Wonder Boys, going to lunch, shopping for makeup for the party tonight, I must now go to the pool and tan and cool off a bit. My life is truly, truly difficult.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Greetings from Tucson, AZ. Molly just had internet installed at her house (yes, house. She lives in a real, live, southwestern house with a big CACTUS out front) yesterday, so while I am toiling away at my morning tasks (breakfast, looking out the window at the mountains to the north, burning CDs for Molly, reading Wonder Boys), I am blogging.
I think that the highlight of the week is going to be the 70s-porn-themed party we're attending on Friday night, after stopping by this place called the Tap Room for cheap PBRs. I will be going as a dandy of the era - pink cotton/poly blend long-sleeved shirt, grey pants, feather boa, a big pimp hit, and lots, I mean lots, of eyeliner.
So, the trip so far. I'll start on Monday night. We went to Showtunes, of course. Me, Joe, Christopher, Ann Marie, Heidi, and Joe's former coworker Mark. Who was a trip and a half. It was like a gay hurricane. Anyway, being the designated driver prevented me from indulging in my natural tendencies (get blitzed, scream along to the songs on screen, smoke nearly a pack of cigarettes). Needless to say, we didn't leave the bar until after 1, Mark and Joe and Christopher wanted to get food, which was ultimately a good idea despite my fatigue. But I stayed with Ann Marie at Coleman's house in Pilsen since she took the car after I left, and we didn't get back to her place until almost 3 AM. And I had to wake up at 6:30 for my flight.
Needless to say, Tuesday was a bit of a groggy day. I feel asleep before we even took off from Midway Airport, and missed my ritual soulful glance back at my city as I left it. I think I would have missed it anyway, since we were headed southwest and the city was behind the plane. Whatever. Anyway, I also missed my chance to flirt with the semi-cute flight attendant because I was sleeping. Anyway, I woke up when the pilot announced that we were passing the continental divide somewhere over Colorado. I spent the rest of the flight reading Boss and gazing out the window at the rocky, mountainous, and NOT green world below. I was just about ready to canonize The Fetishization of the West as my activity for the week when we flew over some canyons and entered the Phoenix Metro area, and it was like, SPRAWLMANIA VERSION 2003!
I managed to stay awake enough to get on the shuttle that got me here to Tucson. I feel asleep during the ride. Molly picked me up, we went back to her place, she went to class, I made lunch, I tried to read Boss, fell asleep again, missed a thunderstorm. Molly woke me up and we went to South Tucson (the not-good part of town - why is it always on the South?) and had burritos.
Yesterday I went to Bookman's, a used bookstore here in the city, tooled around there, realized I don't need anything MORE to read, and then went over to 4th Avenue which is pretty close to the university here and features a lot of indie record stores, thift shops, and countless coffee shops. It's the dreds-patchouli-tatoos-piercings area of Tucson. Lest we forget, though, that this is still a public university in a sunny area, and there are plenty of skinny blond girls bouncing around wearing butt shorts (high-riding shorts that have text on the ass). Anyway, while there I ran into a friend from Chicago, Kate, who just happened to walk into that coffee shop of all coffee shops, and just HAPPENED to be in Tucson living with her girlfriend. We sat for a couple of hours and caught up. She was supposed to be in Italy until January. Later that evening Molly and I found roller skates on the cheap for her costume for the porn party, which only inspired a Saturday Night Fever-soundtrack-accompanied fashion show. Then we went to watch Mars through one of the university's telescopes, and I met more of Molly's friends.
Woo! I just stepped outside. It is HOT. And really, really sunny.
I have a tendency, when I travel, to compare where I am to places I've been. But that's a post in and of itself. I'll do it tomorrow.
Okay, today I have to finish burning these CDs (Suzanne Vega, here I come!), then I have to go thrifting for my pimp hat and for some pom-pons for Molly. I might go swimming at one of the public pools here, and we're going to see Open Range (not that I continued Fetishizing the West at ALL) and then get Dairy Queen.
Monday, August 25, 2003
Okay, so...the WHOLE building is vibrating because of the construction going on across the street at the Northwestern University Hospital. Just a LITTLE creepy that is.
One more day to Arizona! I really, really can't wait. Although the realization that I am poorer (is that a word?) than I thought I was is putting a little damper on my celebratory mood.
You know when people redo roofs and they have those big tar pit-like things that sit on the corner and make a low, constant, groaning noise? Yeah, well, my landlord is redoing my roof and that's the thing that bothers me the most. Now, one might think that the having-to-wake-up-at-11-on-Sunday-when-you-went-to-bed-at-4-on-Saturday might be the worst thing, or the fact that my apartment smells like tar, or the sooty/tarry mixture that somehow creeped, sandlike, through my open window and covered everything on my windowsill and my bed, or the whole apartment shaking because of WHATEVER'S going on up there, but no. And the tar pit is even in the back alley. But even when it's far away, I know it's there. It scares me because I sort of think it's alive. Like a big, black, oozing, groaning monster. I almost ran past it yesterday when I went out.
On Friday I met up with Chad, who just got back from Germany/NYC, and we went to the Gingerman, drank a lot (they sold Chartreuse! I had to teach the bartender how to drink it), made friends with one of the bartenders, got two rounds of drinks on the house. I discovered: Peach Stoli and Sprite is just as good as Raspberry Stoli and Sprite. And: I am back to my old drinking standards.
On Saturday Joe and Christopher and I went to Orange for gay power breakfast with one of the performers from About Face Youth Theatre that Joe knows. I had green eggs and ham. While walking down the street Joe and I were sort of hit on by these two older, Southern, gay tourists who asked us where they could get "cool" sunglasses. Later Joe and Christopher made me probably the best risotto I've ever had (I seem, lately, to subsist largely on the kindness of strangers).
Yesterday Ann Marie and I played house and made dinner and watched SEX AND THE CITY (so, so a good episode). The housewife/domestic goddess in me will NOT BE RESTRAINED!
Aside: hey, my sister, will you call me? I want to talk to you and I don't have your new number.
Tonight I'm packing and going to Showtunes. At 9:30 in the morning tomorrow, I'm outta here.
All righty. Now that we've finished with that, only FOUR MORE days until I go to Arizona. I cannot WAIT to take a little vacation. I always get this way when I leave, though, feeling like I have to justify my love for the city in light of my eagerness to leave. But I always come back. I always do. I'm like the animal that the City of Chicago picked up and then set free. Sort of. Anyway, in four days I'll be in the dry heat, the sun, and Molly's hammock, reading (if I get to it what with all the relaxation I'm planning) Boss by Mike Royko.
I had another work dream last night. Which only makes the topic of the previous paragraph more immediate in my head. Monday is my last "official" day, but I'll be coming in throughout September to help with the programs we've been working on and to finish up on some projects that I've received recently. It's weird - when every other intern left work, his/her department took him/her out to dinner, bought a gift, etc., etc. I want to walk in on Monday and be like, WHERE'S MY LUNCH? WHERE'S MY GOING-AWAY GOODIE BAG?
Speaking of work, I have been working on The Mailing from Hell, also known as The Group Sales Mailing, which isn't actually my project, but hey, I'm here, so I can help, right? Seriously. This thing is the she-wolf of mailings. Or maybe the he-bitch. It's for like 900 people and the mail merge decided to fuck us all over by not alphabetizing the labels AND the letters. And then when the labels printed out the printer decided it would join forces with Mail Merge and printed out all the addresses way high up on the labels, so you couldn't actually read the names on a good half of the envelopes. So we had to relabel, alphabetize, and stuff, and not die from the pain. I contemplated giving myself a near-deadly papercut.
I know this is late, but GAYTV night was fantastic this week. Aside from the superyummy bolognese sauce that Joe and Christopher made, the shows were great, too. The best part about Boy Meets Boy was the preview for next week: ANDRA FINDS OUT ONE OF THEM IS STRAIGHT! LOSES HER SHIT! THINGS CATCH ON FIRE AND BLOW UP! LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY! And on QE, of course, we got to see the "real" Kyan, and he is, appropriately, HUGE. OH MY GOD.
Scott suggested that I stop smoking last night. I turned to him with a murderous look in my eyes and said, "Do you want me to be the meanest, biggest bitch EVER in the history of EVER?" (or something like that). And the whole time I was talking, I said to myself - or maybe my inner Heidi said it - ("you already are...you already are...you already are...")
Thursday, August 21, 2003 ...when we slept together in the blue behind your eyelids, baby, sweet baby
Why couldn't I have said, "Hey, I'd like to see you again sometime. Can I have your number?" instead of "We're gonna take off" and walking out of the bar?
And today, Drinking on the Cheap During the Week in Chicago, Me-style:
Monday: If you're willing to sacrifice Showtunes night at Sidetrack (where the frozen slushy alcohol drinks are $6, but worth it for the punch they pack), you can head down Halsted to Goodbar for $3 beer and well drinks.
Wednesday: $4 specialty martinis at The Blue Line (news that I attend shocked my grandmother).
Thursday: Either $4 pitcher night at The Cove (full of a weird combination of sweaty locals, sweaty fratboys, sweaty indie rock-hipster u of c dorks, and heavy smoke) OR $5 pitcher night at Spin, featuring gay men and music videos from the 1980s.
Coming soon: the weekend edition (the alcoholic aims to please and to share his wealth).
Monday, August 18, 2003
What a report I have for you my little BlogFriends!
I sit here at my cubicle on the Monday of my last full week at work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. It's a bright, warm, only slightly cloudy day, a definite improvement on late last week's weather. The strains of the classical music that accompany Mark Morris are making their way towards me from my boss's vacant (!) office.
But now I must go use the automatic stapler. Be right back.
All right. I am also tan. On Saturday I went to the southwest of Michigan with Andy,Ben,Aaron,Evelyn, MJ, Mike Carter, Ankeles,, Joe, Christopher, Megan, and I think that's it. We just drove about one exit in to Michigan and went to a dune beach that many of them had been to before. I am seriously like golden brown. I haven't been this dark since my days growing up on the beach in good old Florida, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in the shadow of the space shuttle launch pad.
Okay, I just got back from lunch. Total hottie in Marshall Field's. Whew!
Anyway, the beach. Okay, so we left at around 9:30 in the morning and drove out there, stopping at a fruit stand along the way. The beach was packed because it was so hot and the waters were so calm. I had forgotten how refreshing the water was. And how refreshing the combination of sun and water was. I guess when you grow up with it, it kind of spoils you. It was definitely fun to let go and play. Huge, sloping dunes. Warm sand.
Some of the people, though, were a little scary Michigan-trash-like. At one point Christopher and I were out there by ourselves and this guy in a purple bathing suit with a semi-mullet (we called him "erection boy" for obvious reasons) swam out with his creepy-trucker-looking friend. They eventually moved in our direction, at which point Christopher and I decided to go in. At that point I announced to everyone that I would not go out into the water unless accompanied by three straight boys who could protect me.
Possibly the best part of the day was when we wandered up the creek that emptied into the lake and played in the clay deposits. Christopher covered his entire body in clay and I received a prosthetic nose and chin, longer earlobes, and bushier eyebrows when Christopher played plastic surgeon. Evelyn perhaps assessed it best: "Hey guys, let's pick stuff up off the ground and rub it all over our bodies."
After that we came back to the beach and, while swimming as the sun fell in the sky, created an art-house movie based upon people's fears of the beach. Dinner followed our departure, drinks and Flavor-Ice followed our return to Chicago (interrupted briefly by The Blue Flames of Hell at the Steel Works in Gary).
Yesterday was a relaxing day - warm but not too warm, none of that haze bullshit that has been creeping around the Chicago area for the past three weeks. I finished Brideshead Revisited (it was not what I expected it to be - a little too sad). Went grocery shopping with Scott and we saw the Thunderbirds flying for the Air and Water Show (my new goal in life: fly fast planes and have sex with fast men). Seriously. Planes bring out the twelve year old boy in me, and Navy/Air Force men bring out the horny 22-year old in me.
Embarassing moment #10,675:
Turning onto Cornell Dr. yesterday on the way to Sex and the City. Older (40s/early 50s-ish, not old, but older than me) guy walking across the street in front of us with his cute Labrador retriever. We are blasting B96.
ME [loudly, so as to be heard over the music]: What a cute dog!
ME [again, of course]: And a cute older guy, too! [he was!]
[cute older guy looks back and forth between me and the ground]
ME: Oh my God he totally heard me say that.
Overall, this weekend gets an A+. I felt beautifully young.
I called my friend Sophie last night, who lives in Washington Heights, and she said, "Oh, I'm at my parents' place [104th/Broadway] sitting in the dark." But apparently everything is okay.
The weather in this city is unconscionably oppressive. After what had been a very mild summer, Lisa Labuz this morning told me that it was 91% relative humidity, and that at 8:30 it was already 91 at O'Hare. When I was at the Garfield stop on the Red Line, I couldn't see any of downtown.
Last night we (Pam, Chaz, Rob, Sarah, Colleen and I - all friends from work except Colleen) went to Sushi Samba, THE sushi place to be in Chicago right now. We sat at the bar/lounge area in the front, which was a GREAT place to people-watch. The best sushi roll that I had was a salmon shiso leaf-wrapped roll topped with melted mozzarella. Afterwards we went here, the hip bar in West Town/Ukranian Village area.
Afterwards I went back to Hyde Park and played poker withsome friends and drank PBRs and listened to the Postal Service.
All in all, quite a good night.
This morning on NPR one of the commentators used the word "problematical." The end of Western Civilization dawns.
After reading about The Subway Game here (scroll down to July 28), I decided to try and start playing it, but then I realized that the number of hotties traveling on the bus/subway on the South Side is slim, slim, slim. Although I did realize today that the later I leave work the more likely I am to run into Emo Boy on the bus. Emo Boy has shaggy hair, wears dirty white Cons, wears post-modernly ironic t-shirts, and is really, really skinny. I find him an amusing people-watch on the way to work.
Finally, I'm making copies of tapes of the groups that we're bringing next season, and I was poking my head into Peter's office periodically to watch Akram Khan, whose NYTimes profile I linked to Monday. It's WAY cool. I think he's in New York now (or he'll be there soon). If any of you in NYC read this, go see it.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Today I am experimenting with going off my pain medication. We'll see how it goes.
I expected it to be a short post today, but it's looking like it'll be considerably longer than I expected.
Yesterday, around 4 or so, the building started shaking. Periodically. The ground would shake (I'm up on the fifth and highest floor) every thirty seconds or so. It turns out that it was because of some drilling going on in the ground across the street at the Northwestern Hospital.
Praise for Camille Paglia (From NATIONAL REVIEW, no less. Yay for fundamental texts! Yay for liberal education! OhMyGod I put a link from National Review on my website!)
Finally, GAYTV last night was wonderful, as always. The boys treated me to a wonderful dinner. James has now eliminated all but one straight guy on BMB, and NEXT WEEK'S QE WILL FEATURE KYAN IN BIKINI BRIEFS. When we saw the previews, Joe and Christopher and I started screaming and falling all over the bed. OH MY GOD.
Today is Tuesdays on the Terrace here at the museum and GAYTV day at Joe's and Christopher's (I broke down and had my first cigarette in four days at their apartment last night and God, it was beautiful - thank you both).
While sitting on my bed yesterday reading Brideshead Revisited (which is VERY gay, by the way), I realized that my social calendar revolves around smoking and drinking.
Monday, August 11, 2003
I have, of late, been subsisting on a diet of yogurt, apple sauce, the occasional ice cream scoop, and hummus. Today, when I went to microwave the pita bread I eat with my hummus, I forgot to take off the twisty tie thing that helps keep the bag sealed. Now, these twisty tie things have METAL in them, so after microwaving it for about 20 seconds, I started to notice a burning smell and a brighter light coming from the microwave. I opened up the microwave door and blew out the flame.
Today will be known as The Day I Burned Down the Museum.
As in -
Chaz: What day is it? The 11th?
Me: Oh, um, it's The Day I Burned Down the Museum.
In other news, feeling better by the day. I still tire very easily. Yesterday I spent in Hyde Park, shopping for edible-for-the-toothless-or-at-least-those-who-recently-had-oral-surgery foods, power breakfast with Christopher, where he helped me second hand smoke, a nap, Sex and the City (BAD episode), and laundry with Scott.
Interesting: On Thursday, I left work early to go see my kiddies perform down in Hyde Park. I walk into the office and the director of UT saunters in and says, "Interesting that you're here. I was just talking to Peter Taub [the director of performance programs] about you." [I'm thinking YIKES!] "He had a lot of nice things to say." [I'm thinking, FUNNY, BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T REALLY TALKED ALL SUMMER]
Saturday, August 09, 2003
I'm sitting in Heidi's dining room right now. I just finished holding an ice pack up to my face for twenty minutes, and now I'm (slowly, very slowly) eating a muffin. Joe and Christopher are going to stop by during their Market Days extravaganza to visit me-as-invalid. Sarah said she wanted to come over as well. Overall, I'm doing much better than I thought I would. And Heidi has the entire first season of SIX FEET UNDER on DVD, which I've actually, get this, NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
W-day is about 24 hours away. Blogging will be light this weekend, like it is every weekend, but this time it'll be because I'll be drugged up.
There is a rental this weekend here at the museum and Alan Thicke and Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey on Full House) will be attending. They are apparently going to be performing a comedy act together, as well. It's a shame I'll miss this one.
Bitch, please. I have watched that show and no. No way. First, no one can really ever replace a woman like Martha who, I might add, IS NOT DEAD. NOR HAS SHE GONE ANYWHERE ELSE THAN WHERE SHE IS. Second, girlfriend is way to "home"-y to be a kitchen diva.
And, of course, Gay bishop wins vote. This makes me SO happy. And, conforming to my newfound fragile-as-hell emotional state, I almost cried about it.
The staff receptionist here was in a bike accident last week and his jaw is wired shut. Today is his first day back. I got all the other interns together and we pitched in and I bought him a card and a nice bouquet of flowers to wish him well and welcome him back.
It's kind of funny to carry flowers around North Michigan Avenue area. I got a lot of looks from women of all ages as I walked by them.
Tonight: staged reading of TRON at the Neo-Futurarium. My 13-year old friend Louis is coming - a graduate of many years of my drama camp and my mentorship program.
My favorite part:
That alone might be enough to explain why perfectly rational gays (along with perfectly rational childless straights) smoke more than their neighbors. But family size is not the only dimension in which gays—particularly those gays who identify themselves as such to pollsters—are different from straights. The openly gay face some social opprobrium. So do smokers. Maybe it's not too surprising, then, that out-of-the-closet gays and out-of-the-closet smokers are disproportionately the same people. (You can imagine the possibilities: "Now that my parents have learned to deal with my gayness, I might as well tell them I smoke.")
I'm sorry. What? WHAT?
And thanks, man. I appreciate it. It kept me awake until almost 1:30 last night, but it's ultimately nice to know that people empathize.
I just got back to Heidi's. I'm crashing here tonight. We're walking back to her apartment from Showtunes, walking west along Addison towards her apartment in Wrigleyville. We're about to pass the Red Line tracks as this group of straight boys carrying cases of beer walk past us. It's just the two of us, by the way - me and my straight friend Heidi, who has a boyfriend. And as we're walking past them, one of the guys, a cute one who is wearing cargo shorts, white t-shirt, and boots, says, "Oh, look, here come a bunch of cum dumpsters."
Heidi doesn't hear. I'm like, GODDAMMIT! I tell her what happened, as these boys walk east, towards Boystown, and I fight the urge to go back and tell them what I think and probably get beaten up.
Monday, August 04, 2003
I have also decided that I am something of a cryer. I have read three books so far this summer that have made me cry - Soft Power, Pride and Prejudice, and now Everything is Illuminated (which made me cry twice, once ON THE EL ON THE WAY TO WORK. At that moment I became one of Those Crazy Guys on the Train).