217: beetlejacked

1. “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’

So Jacinda left town last week. Which is about the last time that I sent out a flip front. She says that I wasn’t able to write because she wasn’t here, and I’m inclined to agree with her. She’s back now, after a week in London visiting her best friend Claire. She brought me a lovely fabric pencil case thingy from H & M (when oh when will we have one in Chicago?) and some honey dusting powder from Lush. Oh, I love presents. Also, Jacinda told me you can rent DVDs from vending machines. And you can check your e-mail from the phone booths. She came back with a doggie Advent calendar for Isabella, but it was seized by customs.

The real problem with not writing the flip front last Friday is that I procrastinated, so I have all this catching up to do. So let’s start with last Thursday night, and let’s see how far we get.

2. “The feeling comes to life when I see your ghost”

You have to go up five escalators to get to the currency futures floor at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. If you go for the FIA closing reception, stations serving food or alcohol are scattered throughout the perimeter of the floor. The pits are left open so people mingle in them, eating jumbo shrimp and pretending to trade. I took a picture of my friends, but wasn’t sure if I was allowed to do so, so I immediately deleted the picture from my camera.

Afterwards, I took a cab home with my friend David. I arrived to an apartment shrouded in darkness. The electricity was shut off due to a billing mishap. So I called and straightened that out, and was promised the power would be back on by Friday afternoon. I didn’t open the refrigerator door, for fear of spoiling the food inside. I pretended I was in an episode of “Little House on The Prairie” as I lit candles and gave the dog her supper. Unfortunately, there was no Michael ‘Pa’ Landon to play his fiddle and comfort me as I sat in the dark, chain-smoking and wondering if I should go out or not. Ultimately, Joe convinced me to come out so I did. Arch Visceral Parlor (http://www.archvisceralparlor.com/) was playing at the Elbo Room, and I wanted to go see my friend Gail sing.

It took me a while to get to the bar, as went in a roundabout sort of way. I walked from Ashland & Diversey to Lincoln & Surf, taking a detour down Lincoln in the wrong direction before I called Joe and he oriented me in the right direction. I walked past The Lucky Strike bar and bowling alley, and saw a fight outside of a yuppie bar. I grimaced at the newly constructed condominiums. Then I was at the bar, watching Gail spin and twirl and sing in a throaty voice while a few Goth kids swirled in time to the music. The smoke made my contacts itch, but I had a lovely time. Joe drove me home, and I fell asleep on the couch with the dog. Being without electricity reminded me of the time my parents were late paying an electricity bill and we had it shut off. I was about twelve or so. All the candles, combined with my mothers numerous religious relics, made our apartment look like church. Or the time my dad had the phone disconnected because he was tired of paying the exorbitant bills my sister rang up. For a year, if I wanted to call anybody, I had to go to the corner phone and ask the nice drug dealer if I could use his office for a few minutes. He was always really nice about letting me do so.

When I got home from work the next night, the electricity still wasn’t back on. After two customer service reps and two supervisors, I got a promise that maybe, just maybe, the weekend skeleton crew would be able to restore service Saturday morning. My shoulders were tense from sitting hunched over in the dark, smoking and screaming into the phone. After I spoke to the last rep, I put on some makeup by candlelight. I put on electric blue eyeliner. I wore lip-gloss. Foster came over and we went out for Mexican food to talk about his girl problems. He had the enchiladas, I had the chicken in mole sauce. Though I looked cute in a skirt, I changed to pants to guard against the cold that would not leave me alone. We headed down to Pilsen, catching up with Jenny, Sarah, and Jan at a party just as they were leaving. While we traded stories about Halloween, Foster checked out the party for cute girls. There were none, so we left a few minutes after Sarah, Jenny, and Jan (who, I think, were the only cute girls at the party) drove home.

3. ‘Fierce Pierce’

I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of the air purifier whirring from the windowsill. I had fallen asleep on the couch, the dog sleeping on my feet, so the first thing I saw (before I put in my contacts) were the Christmas lights twinkling in the window. They were lit, and I was in the dark no more. I celebrated with a few treats for the dog and a hot pocket for myself. We went for a long walk in the park. I bought shoes and flowers for my room and a plant for Dan. I took a shower, ate some dinner, and went to Sean’s for a reading.

Sean lives in a lovely house near Devon, on a tree-lined street with a terrier named Champ. Every time I see Champ I want to carry him home in my purse. It’s not that he’s very small, but he is just adorable and a delightful party guest. He does bark a bit, though, so he was hidden away while Sean performed his piece, about an aging raver/purse designer, in the living room. It was at turns hysterical and touching, but not sappy. I laughed, I sighed, and then I laughed again. I couldn’t stay for long afterwards as I had to dash to Dan’s housewarming party.

Dan made scallops wrapped in bacon, and baby back ribs. Stuffed tomatoes, and baked brie in phyllo. While Kevin caught up with his old roommate Eric, I stood in the corner stuffing my face and eavesdropping on the other guests’ conversations. They spoke mostly about University Theatre at the University of Chicago, so I didn’t have much to contribute. I didn’t go to many plays in school because, well, I was bitter about the plays for which I auditioned and failed. Yup. Still bitter. But if my absence from UT enabled my old college pal Linara Washington to rise through the ranks and become the professional actress she is today, starring in an Uncle Ben’s commercial, so be it.

4. the little bear

I got up Sunday morning with all intents and purposes of cleaning my room. But I got waylaid by six hours of ‘Gay Weddings’ on Bravo. This should come as no surprise to those of you who have seen me late to work because I was deep into the morning’s episode of ‘Oprah’, or late to meet friends because I was watching competitive clogdancing on ESPN2. Because I had to watch Gregg and Dan’s wedding reception for 300 (produced by Merv Griffin Productions, it had tables that were lit from below and bag pipers and a soul band), I took a cab so I wouldn’t be late for my visit with the Laws.

The baby is huge, and I could not get enough of her. She’s one year old old, and is wearing clothes meant for 2 year olds. She’s got this shaggy blonde hair, the look of which any indie rocker boy would kill for. Gracie was a bit jealous that I wanted to take some pictures of the baby, and the new dog, and Bruce and Joan, and did I mention the new dog? I was pleased to meet the new dog, though she did growl at my new heels. I was a little taken aback, as I don’t think it’s even been a year since their beloved Alex passed away. But Missy was funny, and playful, and pretty good with the girls. Joan gave me some lunch while we caught up on the last two months, because it had been that long since I saw them last. I had been feeling kind of anxious about the future lately. At some point that afternoon, probably while the baby was curled into my chest and I was looking out the window, that I felt calm and content to be exactly where I was.

5. miscellany

a. If anyone taped this week’s ‘Angel’, could you send it to me? I would be so grateful.

b. If you missed ‘The Sopranos’ this week, you missed a lot. Really.

c. I’ve started making out my Christmas card list. E-mail me a current address if you want one.





Jimmy Reed – Little Rain; The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows; The Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’; Prince – I Feel 4 U; No Doubt – Making Out






~ by Jasmine on November 13, 2002.

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