T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o

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Last Week, More to Come

2006-02-13† Ė† 5:30 p.m.
My writing has been scarce lately, but itís mostly because Iíve been busy like you wouldnít believe. One legged man. Ass kicking contest. Blah blah blah.

I feel silly writing recap entries about all the things I did that week, preferring to write each day about what I did the day before. Thereís just more introspection (and remembering what all I did) when I do it that way. Also, Iíve got some pretty damn hilarious stuff going on, and I donít want to discount anything because of how long an entry would be otherwise.

All of that aside, hereís an entry akin to a ďWhat I Did This SummerĒ essay a la the first day of third grade. Iíll start with Monday and pretend that youíre up-to-date with my latest shenanigans over the past several weeks.

On Monday I sent out an email to a few friends to meet me for some country/western dancing in Boystown. Yes, gay country dancing. Drinks were also $2 each. As an added bonus, I wore a DONíT MESS WITH TEXAS tiny tee.

So I admittedly have this problem with talking with strangers. There were multiple times that Benito called to say he was on his way to pick me up, and Iíd be somewhere with people I had just met. (Remember the time I escorted a family to the Sears Tower and accompanied them 100-and-something floors above the city?)

There was this guy who was shivering like crazy while transferring to another train, and I just said, ďYouíre not from around here.Ē Conversation ensued about being from the south, transitioning into Chicagoís weather and lifestyle, and other surface-level pleasantries. I mentioned that I was on my way out with friends, and he asked if he could join.

What the heck?! Heís only been in the city for a month. Itís not like Iím inviting this guy to my house or anywhere where Iím sitting alone and have to force conversation.

Heís then calling his roommate to join us too. Perfect! The more the merrier! But when he calls on the cell (only to find that his roommate was getting up early the next day), heís suddenly that gay princess with expressions and gesturing and the volume of the Internetís OMG and LOL and ROTFLMAO.

Yes, my eyes widened with terror.

Iím of course gay-friendly. Hell, I sing in a chorus with 150 gay men and love it. I go to gay bars without issue. I support gay friends when theyíre in shows or parades or having benefits for non-profits. Etc., etc., etc.

However, none of the gays I hang out with or even associate with are merely gay men. Guys whose thing is ďHey, Iím gay!Ē and not ďHey, Iím awesome... and just so happen to be gay!Ē make me crazy. As with any stereotype, when you use that as a base to form your own identity, youíre not gonna be one to hang out with.

I know heís going to be a clingy bitch attention whore, but we go to the bar together anyway. When my friends arrive, he clings on for dear life, all the while mentioning little tidbits about himself that were supposed to act as bait for him being able to tell us his life story. (Again, if this is your thing, youíre not allowed in my tree house.)

The dance lessons started, so we had a bit of an out. When the music started for general dancing, he again clung. One of my genius friends pointed him in the direction of another guy looking to dance, and the girls and I ran to coat check as soon as he turned the corner and could no longer see us.

Giggling like the snotty bitches we clearly are, we ducked under the bar so he couldnít see us as he rounded the corner that faces us. One friend kept lookout. And when he wasnít facing us, we made a run for the door.

Like I said, weíre clearly snotty bitches.

But, hey. We got away from the Attention Whore Princess Fairy Pop, and thatís all that matters.

We ended up at a neighborhood restaurant down the street. A grand piano. A lounge singer. Vodka infused with black cherries. What fun! As I got up to leave, the oh-so-beautiful lounge singer spoke into the mike, ďAww, Joís going home!Ē

This was right after the break he and the piano player took where he plopped down on the barstool next to mine and ended the conversation by telling me I had the most beautiful eyes.

Iím candy. So sweet that Iíll rot your teeth, I tell ya!

Tuesday is the new Sunday: the day of rest. Pass it on.

On Wednesday I went to my Catholic conversion classes. Iím digging it. Iíve only known the priest for like a week and a half, and Iím already the class favorite. He throws his head back and laughs at the silly things I say. Itís clear that Iím thinking things through, and Iíve certainly got a unique way of thinking.

For instance, in order to confess something and gain absolution from a priest, you have to feel truly sorry for what you did and intend not to ever do it again. He asked for an example of something that someone wouldnít confess.

An obvious example would be to tell the priest you had sex outside of marriage if you lived with your boyfriend and intended on continuing to get it on.

However, instead of using this as my example, I used mafia hit men. They certainly couldnít confess this mortal since because itís their job. Theyíre gonna continue to kill, so itís nothing they can get wiped from their proverbial slates.

Also, I know things about symbolism. 150? Psalms! Why blood? It represents life! Etc., etc., etc. I guess my English degree is worth something outside the mega clams I get paid for writing boring business stuff. Go me!

Thursday was pretty ridiculous. After work I ran home to change into jeans and then immediately hopped on the el to the south side of town. I found the community center and then went around and helped people studying for their GED test learn about fractions.

It always amuses me to hear othersí teaching styles. The way I do things is to break it into a few workable steps. If you do each step before moving to the next, youíve got your problem solved. Instead, the other volunteers were talking about pizzas and pies and pieces of the pizzas and pies. When someone doesnít understand the basic arithmetic of these problems, giving a conceptual idea of this isnít going to help.

The following is the ChicagoJo Guide on How to do Fractions:

(1) Make the bottom numbers (denominators) all the same.

(2) Do the arithmetic.

(3) Make those numbers as simple as you can.

Pizzas and pies and pizza pies be damned! By the end of the night, the two people I worked with most consistently had it down pat. Ta-da!

After finishing up out there, I hopped back on the el and headed to where some girl friends were still having happy hour. Much like the lounge singer recognizing my greatness, for some odd reason, Iím the rockstar of the group. I show up, and they clap and say, ďYay! Joís here! The fun begins!Ē

I still see myself as the lanky girl in the sixth grade who no one liked, so Iím mystified by the high-fives, beer bottle clinking, phone calls in the middle of the day, and genuine smiles from people Iíve known for such a short amount of time.

I lead the group to a different hot spot. When we approached the second floor landing, I thought I struck out because there was a benefit party going on. The place was so mobbed that we could barely get to the bar. But we succeeded and found ourselves some railing and people exclaimed, ďGood job, Jo! The guys here are hot!Ē I instead notices the lack of coat check. We see where the priorities differ...

So this guy and his friend approached me and the friend I was talking with. Guy #1 asks my friend if she saw his jacket. They start chatting it up, and I look at the friend and say, ďThatís lame. I canít believe my friend believes that your friend actually lost his jacket...Ē

It went from there. And despite the snubs and the bludgeoning him with anti-sunshine, he still stuck around. He ended up being pretty funny after I told him that he should just leave because I really wasnít interested, I didnít want to waste his time, and that I was as much fun as a bag of rags.

Apparently this was taken as sarcasm because he then asked what I didnít like. I certainly didnít sugarcoat it. I put it right out there, and he hung.

Me: Kids. I donít like kids.

Him: Who wants to spend every vacation from now on at Disney?!

Me: I hate dogs.

Him: Theyíre needy, a true sign of weakness!

Me: I also donít like horses.

Him: [silence] I like to bet on horses...

I admittedly lightened up a little after that.

It was time for me to head out, but my friend was actually interested in his friend. Being a good girl friend, I went to the next bar to give my friend time to better size this guy up.

A couple beers later and a lot of hilarious conversation across the entire table, I got a text message for another girl emergency and had to hightail it outta there to make a quiet phone call. I hugged my girl friend good night and shook hands with the rest of the party before getting to the guy Iíd been by-default paired with earlier that night. He pulled my hand to get me closer to him, whispered something out Irish Catholic girls with lots of sass, and planted one on my cheek.

I havenít any plans on smooching on anyone, but I donít think that having one laid on my cheek counts. It embarrassed me, but it also made me smile in a backwards, what-the-heck-just-happened kinda way.

His friend and my friend are in contact, so weíll see how this pans out.

Friday was low-key, but I still managed to order a drink with a ridiculous name and stay out until past one.

The early evening was spent at a fancy schmancy theater by my house watching some little-known Shakespeare. Truth be told, itís little-known for a reason... Iíll leave it at that.

Late dinner and drinks was at a restaurant Iíve wanted to try for ages. Iíve resolved for this month to only eat at places Iíve not eaten at before, so it worked out well. Everything was damn tasty, and I was in pleasant company.

My Saturday was spent reading for my Catholic conversion class, talking on the phone with friends from all over, and hitting up Old Navy for some glorious new pants that show the Jooty (Jo booty, get it?) in its full glory.

Once the sun set, I headed out with a girl friend for some beer and booty shaking. We started at a friend-of-a-friendís b-day party where I had to thwart the amorous attempts of another, and we ended at a dance bar where no one my age should ever go. Half a beer later, I promptly got my jacket out of the coat check I just paid $4 for and taxied it home.

On Sunday I again spent the day reading, talking on the phone, and doing some shopping within walking distance of my house.

As a side note, Iíve got to say that the music at Nordstromís Rack and TJMaxx is awesome! I had no shame and sang along with the Mariah Carey circa 1995. Hell, I just bought the CD so I can sing along with it in 5-7 days...

That evening I headed to my chorus practice. I havenít been writing much lately, so I havenít gushed about how much Iím enjoying it. I havenít sung outside the privacy my house in ages, and this really is so much fun. I love knowing that Iím part of something that others will enjoy.

Everyone in the chorus is so so nice. As mentioned above, itís 150 gay men and lil olí me. Itís a little odd to have that sort of spotlight on me, but Iíll take it if it means I get to hang around these greatly creative people who really are a lot of fun. Also, being kinda bummed lately, itís always a nice boost to be greeted as Gorgeous, be genuinely told that I have a nice little tush, and have plenty of hugs and cheek kisses all around. All is good.

After practice we all headed to a local bar for a promo for an event weíve got coming up soon. (More details later. My fingers are hurting from so much typing today.) There was a bit of drama that upset a friend who I love so much that Iíd fight lions with my bare hands for him, and I nosed myself right up in what was going on.

Under normal circumstances I would never put myself in someone elseís business, but I made a promise to go bat-shit crazy and cause a big scene if he needed a diversion to run out unnoticed. I was fully prepared to fulfill said promise. Hell, Iíve never gotten to make a scene before and was actually looking forward to such behavior. Alas, I didnít get to knock over any tables while pretending to be possessed. Itís a damn shame that I didnít get to pull the theatrics, but my friend pulled through with clarity, grace, and every ounce of poise I know heís got, and that made me proud.

Then we ate a bunch of free pizza to make up for the nearly-knee-crumbling crap that just went on.

I ended up at a friendís house for another girl emergency (different girl friend, different emergency), and I stayed there until 2:30 this morning. Itís amazing how time flies by like that.

I spent the rest of the night trying to get sleepy (ha!), washing a load of clothes, and showering the bar stink out of my hair.

As for tonightís events, I guess youíll have to come back tomorrow to read about that.

Gínite all. †

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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