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Things That Keep Me Happy…

Why aren’t you watching “So You Think You Can Dance?”

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R.I.P. Bennigan’s and Scrabulous

It’s a rough day. First I had to be up at 6:30am fr work then I get home to this news…

Bennigan’s Closes I can hear John Henning’s shouts of glee from 450 miles away!

Scrabulous shut down.

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One Night On Halsted…

I should have known something was off in the universe when I found parking in front of Midwest Melissa’s house. This is unheard of. You can never park at Melissa’s. We ate appetizers and drank wine in the yard before wondering over to Jewel for items to make dinner. The wine flowed while we made homemade pizza. Around 11:30pm we suddenly were inspired to leave the house and off we went down Halsted.

This is where I will edit my story. I had John read it last night and he basically said, “ah, you do have a professional life and this may not represent you well to outside forces. “ Probably right. Now this next section doesn’t either but it was too fun not to write about. If you want to hear the whole story we can discuss in person. Because it’s pretty funny..

I will continue…

Suddenly as if by magic, we are in front of the Lucky Horseshoe.

The Lucky Horsehoe is a seedy dive of a male strip club. Read the reviews on Yelp because they truly do the place justice. My favorite is the comparison to the scary sex club in the movie “Seven”. Now I have walked by this place almost every day for ten years but have never had the nerve to go in. Suddenly there we were in the main bar.

There’s a skinny boy dancing on a light up stage in the middle of the bar. The bartender welcomes us and we order beers. They come and he lets us know there are more rooms in the back and invites us to look around and “When you come back we’ll do shots!” OK. So we walk back through to the next stage where a short man is dancing in some weird spandex outfit and sunglasses. He is flexible. We take a seat and the skinny dancer from the front comes us and starts to rub up against us. He is kind of a cross of two Chris Katan characters-Mango and that monkey guy. He notices my amulet as he is rubbing up against my leg-“ooooh I like your jewelry. Oooooh. Are you weeeetches? I like youuuuuu. Youuuuu are powerful weeetches.” It is awesome. We feel like we are in a bad scene from “Eyes Wide Shut.”. We go back to the main bar and the bartender does shots with us. They taste like orange tic tacs. We call Joe E and JP. Joe E gets in a cab to join us, JP wisely stayed home. We make more friends and tip the dancers. We are very popular and by this point slightly out of our minds. Creepy old men are doing creepy things with the dancers. I use the term “dancers” very loosely. There’s lots of ass shaking and push ups. We spend all of Melissa’s money. Strippers keep playing with my hair. It’s getting weird. Joe shows up and stays about five minutes. Or maybe it was longer but we were in a weird drunken time warp. We dance with a lot of people. Finally it is time to walk home.

I recorded our entire walk home. It is painful to watch. I sound like an insane 14 year old girl. We are meowing at everyone. Yes. Meowing. We make it to Melissa’s and John and Lilo come to take me home. It’s nearly 3am by the time we make it to bed. I wake up at 7am and can’t go back to sleep because my body feels poisoned.

It takes me over 24 hours to recover.

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A Pitchfork, An Orchid Show, A Film Festival and A Coldplay Concert

Oh my has it been one long week.
Work was busy.

I company managed the BMG appearance at Milly’s Orchid Show. Super fun to be a part of that show again but man was it a long day. During the second half of the show Henning called me and was all like, “Whatcha doin?” and I was all like, “looking for Nora Dunn.” Boy was he not expecting that answer! At intermission the stage manager had mentioned that Nora Dunn, one of the headliners of the event-hadn’t showed up yet. They were hoping she had just snuck in and was waiting for her name to be called. I was out in the lobby looking for her, more out of curiosity than responsibility for her. I explained this to Henning who was all like, “What the hell else does Nora Dunn have to do?” Well it must have been something because Milly finally hollered out to her from the stage but no response. Bad Nora Dunn!

Started volunteering for the Chicago Independent Radio Project or CHIRP. Worked their booth at Pitchfork Music Festival. Liked working the booth but didn’t care too much for the festival. Hot, muggy and muddy.

Rode the bus to the festival. Two busses there, two busses back, two hours of my life. Look at me being thrifty and patient!

My other new project is that I was invited to be an Adult Juror for the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. I am judging Documentaries and Live Action Television. I basically spend 3-4 hours a week watching and rating submissions. It’s a lively group and I look forward to the festival in October.

Took my nephew to Coldplay. It’s his favorite band and I decided to go for broke and spend $200 for the tickets. Now I liked some Coldplay but I was not a huge fan going in but I worshiped them coming out. Amazing show. Totally worthy of a full post.

Maybe tomorrow. Or this weekend since I hopefully have Sat-Mon off. Cuz man do I need a break. And I need to do laundry, clean my house, water my plants, hire a contractor, get rid of some stuff, return my library books….

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The Full Buck Moon Complete with Drums and Fire

We ate dinner in Greektown and headed down to the lake for the Full Moon Jam. The moon was pink when she rose over the water.

I set up my camp chair and enjoyed the show. My sister and niece showed up and we made repeated phone calls to try to find each other. “I’m across from the tuba!” or “The guy juggling little fireballs is right in front of me.” “Now it’s the guy in the mask with the poi balls!”

I felt a bit like a fire spinning groupie as I explained who I had seen before and commenting on new tricks that they had learned.

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Check out the hot, panting action in my movie!

Sunday. The plan was to get coffee and take Lilo for a really short trip to the park. Instead I got coffee, John got ice cream and we all spent over an hour and a half at Horner Park. I laid down in the grass and stared up at the sky through the trees.

“Come down here and lay with me” I said. “No” John said. “But I want us to lay in the grass together and hold hands and look up at the beautiful tree and the blue sky” I said. “I don’t do that Dharma” he said.

It was hot and Lilo’s tongue was working overtime.


We, and by “we” I am pretty sure I mean “I” lost our little camera and had to buy a new one. I forgot what it is. I don’t like it as much as the one “we” lost, but it’s OK. And I tried filming Lilo with it. Here’s my first Youtube movie.

We always feel a bit superior as dog owners because we bring a water bowl for Lilo. We think it’s inconsiderate for the owner to be swigging on a bottle of water and there’s the poor dog panting away.

She appreciates it.

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For Ernie….

I met Ernie for the first time last year at Homegrown, even though we went to highschool together and had lots of similar friends.
Ernie has a photo of himself with a pink elephant and I just assumed it was the one between Superior and Chicago. Wrong! So we made a special point of stopping in Deforest, Wisconsin on our way home last week.

Ernie’s elephant has a lot less grafitti then mine.

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Gooseberry Falls

We started our day with lunch at the Brewhouse. They welcomed Lilo on the patio and let her order off of the kids menu. She had a cheeseburger. I had a few beers and was in a great place for a ride up to Gooseberry Falls. Now we rent cars for our trips up North so we never actually apply the annual park sticker. This time we had one of those sticky protector things so we can put it on but then take it off when we return the rental. We hadn’t put it on yet for this trip when we drove by the ranger station. John slowed down but then kept going when I said we didn’t have to stop for the ranger who was walking out to his truck. Well the ranger saw the blank spot on the windshield and I guess he decided to follow us. We park down by the lake and he comes racing up to us. John shows him the sticker but that’s not enough for this guy. He starts lecturing us about not having the sticker displayed ahead of time and made some snotty comment about having to race after us. I was still a little happy with my Brewhouse brews and was all like, “Sorry, I didn’t know you were chasing us down.” He hassled us some more, accusing John of speeding and a bunch of other crap. He was not a very friendly ranger. I was all like, “We spent the $35 on a sticker so back off Ranger Man.” I didn’t really say that, but I was thinking it. Now as I write this I figure that the guy must have had a horrible day, it being the day after the fourth of July and all. The park was packed-crawling with people and they must have been making him crazy all day and he ended up taking it out on us. But still…

We tried to avoid as many people as possible, but it was hard.


We found a body…

We found a little corner where we could hide away.

Finally the groups cleared out and we had my favorite spot to ourselves. We looked for agates and pretty rocks to bring home for the garden. And John hauled a HUGE piece of driftwood to the car for me to add to our new patio. It’s HUGE. I should have taken a picture of him carrying it. He kept saying, “All I need is a crown of thorns and Romans whipping me from behind to complete this picture.” Did I mention it was HUGE?

The sun was setting on our drive home. We listened to the new Coldplay album. Twice. We stopped at Betty’s Pies. We arrived home in time for steak and beers with my family.

It was a great day.

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