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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Summertime Friday, Sparkly Saturday, Chillin’ and Grillin’ Sunday -- How All Weekends Should Be

2004-05-24    12:42 p.m.
Occasionally there’s a weekend that stands out above the others, reminding you that this is exactly what weekends are all about. This weekend was maone of those, and boy-oh-boy was it a good one.

I got off of work on Friday at something like 2:45, so I headed to the thrift store just west of my house. This is one of my favorite stores, despite having very little organization. Shirts are over here (no sorting by sweaters, button-ups, knits, etc. or *gasp* size), skirts are over there, and pants are right here. I found a pair of black tuxedo pants, a khaki skirt, two tank tops, and a long-sleeved cotton shirt. I took a gamble on the pants and the skirt, but it wasn’t too much of a gamble since all items were $1. The skirt quickly got tossed into the Goodwill stack since it bunched and bagged all over, clearly too large for me. However, the black pants were Perfect Pants, part tres.

[Yes, I’m aware that usually this would be written in French. However, being from Texas and having Mexico and South America as so much more a force in this country than France, I opted to learn Spanish instead of learning French. I have my now-defunct Perfect Pants. I have a pair of grey Perfect Pants, part deux. (I know the spelling of this one a la Hot Shots, Part Deux.) And now I have black tuxedo pants that are low rise, have a flat front, and actually fit my waist. Perfect Pants, part tres.]

$5. Four items of clothing. All was good.

I hit up the second thrift shop and spent $3 on a pair of jean shorts.

$8. Five items of clothing. All was good.

Friday night I got to hang out with many, many people I love in this city, including three Diarylanders I don’t see nearly often enough. Oz hit up my cell phone as planned, and we met a group of my friends for some killer margaritas.

We ordered the largest ones they had, figuring if we’re paying $7 for a drink anyway, we might as well get the largest ones for $9 each. By the end of dinner, we were leaning on each other.

As we walked to the karaoke bar in Boyztown, I drunk dialed Benito who was pulling a late-nighter at work to finish up a big project.

“Jo... Are you drunk dialing me?”

“Aye donut knowwww.”

“It’s only 10:45!”

“Happy new year!” [click]

I was booze-free at the karaoke bar, knowing that my killer margarita was quite enough for me, thankyouverymuch. Some songs were entertaining, while others were just plain badly done. We put in our requisite time there, heading out to meet up with Peteypuke for 80s night at another club.

When I think 80s night, I think Michael Jackson talking about how he’s gonna be startin’ somethin’ (mama-say-mama-saa-moo-mock-eww-saa!) and how Cyndi Lauper and her girls just wanna have fun. However, this was alternative 80s music where we just waved our arms around swimmingly and yawned a bunch. Petey had me toss back a Jager shot, as we hadn’t seen each other in a long time.

Come midnight(ish), I was dragging some serious ass and headed home.

Wouldn’t ya know, there was more trouble to be had. When you encounter Bethany9, there’s suddenly a transfer of energy that keeps things kickin’.

Making things oh-so-convenient, we danced and drank the night away at the Hangge Uppe, the bar at the base of my apartment’s building. We closed that mutha down, as I had many times that previous summer.

Speaking of which, this evening reminds me much of many nights this summer. How exactly did I do it? Oh the abuse!

The next day I rolled out of bed at 8:30, removed my contacts from the day before, and got ready for a brand new day. Happy picked me up at 10, and we headed north of town to her married friends’ apartment. They’re a lovely Indian couple who are here for graduate school who offered to show us around Devon Street, the Indian area of Chicago.

What a fantastic day! We ate great Indian food (I love Naan! and curried vegetables! and these peas and potatoes in sauce!) and then headed to the shops. I got bangle bracelets in all different, very bright colors. Being brightly colored, having glitter on them, and making noise when I shake them make them very appealing. I’ve never worn bracelets before, but these are fun! I probably look like a teeny-bopper with the sparkly bracelets, but that’s okay. They make me happy, and that’s really all that matters!

Afterwards we went to a tapestry shop, and I got a clearance special on a square pillow case that will look great as a wall hanging in the kitchen. It’s black and has the dark red of the nearby living area, and there’s the green of the kitchen of course. Yay for decorations at $5 each! However, my eye spied the ultimate wall hanging tapestry with beautiful colors and mirrors sewn in.

$125. [gulp]

I’ll have to contact my tapestry hook-up and see what I can get through him.

After all the excitement of this low-budget shopping, we went to a beauty salon and had our eyebrows threaded. Usually we’d pay some woman $8 to pour hot wax on us, rip it off, pluck a bit, and the trim the bushy eye-protectors down. In a mere two minutes, this woman used nothing but two strings and ripped, plucked, and shaped everything just-so for a mere $3.

I love Devon.

Joy took me home where I took a cat nap in my overstuffed chair while the cats did the same on each side of me.

After working more on Saturday than I usually do in half a week, Benito called for our usual Saturday-evening getting together. I hopped in the shower, donned some of my freshly washed pretty new-to-me clothes, and met him downstairs.

We went to a tapas restaurant in Wrigleyville, where we had the best gnocchi. I loves me some taters, but throwing hot peppers into the mix makes me even happier.

Since he had just bought a grill, we went to the grocery store to get some grub for the next day. Zucchini, red bell pepper, portabella mushrooms, ears of corn -- mmmm!

I got to go to his work for a few minutes to see what all he’s been working on. He’s not got a typical job-type job like most people. Were I to take you to my work to show you the things I work on in a given week, you’d yawn and then ask if where the bathroom was so you could slip away once out of my site. Who on the outside really cares or is impressed by an internal web page that tells people how to better do their jobs? His work, however, is entertainment(ish), so there was plenty of shiny-shiny to show that impressed me quite a bit.

Then again, anything shiny impresses me. Combine that with me thinking he’s sliced bread kinda great, and I’m certain to be of no more use than his mother when asked my opinion on anything.

“You’re the handsomest, and the smartest, and the most talented! Your demo is wonderful, and beautiful, and ultra-shiny, and everyone’s going to *love* it! Now come here while I wipe that smudge off your face with my own spit.”

The next day we hunted for propane for the new grill, and then we headed back to the house for grilling galore. Score another point for DomesticJo: I made some of the best marinade I had ever made before (vegetable oil, plenty of Worchester sauce, a little red wine vinegar, lots of garlic powder, a good amount of black pepper, and a bunch of garlic from a glass container he had in his fridge). With the veggies soaking, he got the grill going, I got the corn (still in the husk) soaking, and we got some shrimp covered in Cajun seasoning.

His bedroom opens to his patio, so we picnicked right there on the bedroom floor, eating the foods as they came off the grill. I burned my mouth several times, but it was so worth it because it was so good. I really think the portabella mushrooms rivaled those I ordered at Wildfire, but the corn was definitely the best part of the veggies. I de-husked it, rolled in lightly on a stick of butter, and then liberally sprinkled some Cajun seasoning on that too. B and I ate it like we were in the cartoons, and then we plopped on the couch to watch the boob tube while our food settled.

This is what Sundays are all about.

I went home late in the afternoon, and I packed like a mofo. I packed until 10 o’clock. The kitchen is done (with exception to my wok, a pan, and my blender -- three items I cannot do without or buy in disposable form), the office stuff is organized to be packed, and much of my closet’s additional contents are stowed away. I have yet another box for a Goodwill-like organization. I’m thinking that I’ll start coming into work early for the rest of the week, using the time in the late evenings to haul boxes one at a time over to my favorite thrift store. That, or I’ll try to find anyone who picks up stuff to come and get it. Eight boxes from my measly little apartment. Whee!

After packing galore, I wrote a few letters that were long overdue, showered, and went to sleep.

It was a good weekend.  

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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