283: when she begins

Note: Below is my holiday recap, unspell-checked for your pleasure. Meow!

Christmas Eve: I spend the evening with Bruce and Joan and the kids. Specifically, Bruce tells me all about the Solstice festivities at his temple while Joan and her friend Carol make dinner. Bruce shows me his Native American flutes and explains his Wicca calendar, though I was still confused. It was a circular chart, and I recognized astrological signs on it, phases of the moon, different seasons. But when it comes to counting off the days, I tend to prefer one of those wall calendars that appear with big X’s in the days as people count down towards the big talent show or race or whatever.

Dinner is really good. Afterwards, I help with the tidying up, help Joan get the girls bathed, then Bruce loads me and Gracie into the car to drive home. There’s no snow on the ground — it’s not even that cold — and my neighborhood is very still. I give some serious thought to going to midnight mass at St. Hedwig’s (www.pgsa.org/ArchChiPolPar/StHedwigChi.htm), but instead settle down on the couch and watch the Pope celebrate Mass on religious cable tv.

Christmas Day: I get up late, around 11am, so I miss opening presents with the Baumans. I watch something on television, though I don’t really remember what it is as soon as I switch off the television to leave for Christmas dinner. Jacinda has made reservations for the 3pm seating at the Drake. I get to the hotel a bit early, so I sit down, prop my feet up on the glass-topped coffee table in a corridor off the Palm Court, and light a Fantasia Light. While I smoke, I am joined by a gentleman in his mid 50s with an ankh in his left ear. We talk about the smoking bans in California and in New York City, and are thankful for the Drake’s crystal ashtrays and excellent ventilation systems. I count the number of girls in stiff-looking holiday dresses who are attended by nervous mothers with helmet hair who are probably my age but look much older: 5.

Jacinda and Joe, and Jalissa and Tom, arrive, we check our coats, and are seated at a round table in a large hall with an excellent view of the lake. I pass presents to Jalissa and Joe, curse myself with forgetting a gift for Tom, and tell Jacinda what her present is (white rubber hot water bottle with “Je Suis Malade” embossed on the side), as her present has not yet arrived. A captain takes our order, though we later have to repeat our order to the waiter who actually serves our dinners: a cold assortment of fish to start, then salad, then a nice filet mignon. The room was a bit drafty, so I was glad to have my scarf on me. A jazz trio plays Christmas music as we make our way to the dessert buffet:

3 buches de noel

2 stands of chocolate-covered strawberries

2 flavors of creme brulee

1 ice cream cake

6 different flavors of mousse (chocolate, orange, lemon, etc.)

3 chocolate cakes

I think there may have also been some marzipan, but I’ve never cozied up to the stuff so I may have missed it in my lusting for the chocolate mousse. Oh, and there is cheesecake. We have no children or older people with us, so it’s weird for me to think of Christmas as a family holiday when I so rarely spend it with them. ‘Them’ being the other Davilas, my kin, as opposed to the people who have become my family since I’ve been in Chicago. For the first time this year, I really miss the Davilas.

After dinner, we go see “Big Fish” in Evanston. We get good seats because almost everyone else at the theater is there to see the new Lord of The Rings movie. Also, Joe has bought the tickets on-line so this gives me more time to decide whether or not I wanted nachos or popcorn.

Day after Christmas: I go to work where, predictably, very little happens in the way of business. Many of the exchanges close early, so it’s a half day but I see the end of the day. Leaving at 4, I go home to change and hang out and then I go see Joe’s band (www.costofrecess.com) at Subterranean’s. I see a few guys from work, but don’t hang out with them while I wait for Joe to go on. When Cost of Recess goes on, I take a stool closer to the stage and wait for Foster to show up. A boy sits at the table with me for a bit. He really is a boy – can’t be more than 21, which he later confirms in the course of conversation:

Boy: Do you know these guys?

Me: Yeah. I went to school with him.

[Points to Joe, stage left]

Boy: Those girls seem to like that guy in the middle.

[Points to Nina, ex of one of Joe’s bandmates]

Me: She used to date him.

Boy: The girl with the ponytail.

Me: No, the other one.

Boy: [Referring to Joe]

He looks really stiff.

Me: I guess he’s concentrating.

Boy: They look really old. Their shirts aren’t tucked in.

Me: They’re not old. Not to me, anyway. How old are you?

Boy: [Sips beer] 21

Me: [Scoffs to self] Well of course. At that age, you think everybody looks old.

We sit together for a few more songs, then he asks me if Subterranean’s is a hip-hop club. I tell him no, and direct him to the newly reopened Sinibar on Milwaukee Avenue. He thanks me for the advice, then leaves to chat with his friends, telling me to tell Joe to “relax, or something.”

Foster turns up, and we watch Cost of Recess. I buy drinks, and then the set ends. Giving Joe some applause, we leave for the Beachwood. The Beachwood is full of the annoying Lincoln Park types who had been at Subterranean’s, so we get the bus up to Arturo’s for a late-night snack, then Foster walks me home.

Day after day after Christmas: Dan Meltz’s apartment. There are no bacon-wrapped scallops, but it’s still a party. There was a gift exchange but I forgot to bring something so I didn’t get a chance to draw a Homer Rubik’s head (http://www.all-toys-online.com/buy/3752) or an empty basket.

Day after day after day after Christmas: I go to see ‘Big Fish’ again, this time with Stef and Mark. I buy too much popcorn again. Stef shows me her new Estee Lauder lip gloss, which I admire in the theater as the lights dim and the movie starts.

New Year’s Eve Eve: Sushi at Sai Cafe. Me, Jenny, Stef, Michael, Mark, Erin, Lisa. Lots of spicy crunchy creamy tuna rolls. Jenny and I gossip, as per usual.

New Year’s Eve: I chicken out and once again do not wear the flirty top (http://www.bandlu.com/images/chi.jpg), because I cannot find it. I bought it for two parties (Lisa, Jeff W.) and New Year’s Eve and the only times I’ve worn this stupid shirt is while I’m writing. Like right now (11:31 pm, CST, 1/13/04), as I just found this shirt hanging out underneath my bed. I think it fits perfectly everywhere except in the bust and I’m worried my tits will just fall out and wish everyone a happy new year before I do.

Andrew and Rozi come to my apartment to drop off their coats, then we get a cab to the Empty Bottle. While we wait for Joe and Jacinda, we try to figure out if the night’s headliner, Har Mar Superstar, is checking me out (because, and this is the only time I’ll say this, I looked hot) . . . or ogling Andrew in his Minnesta State Fair tee shirt. Jacinda and Joe arrive and we all swoon in the presence of the Pudgy Casanova. Joe recommends we get drinks, and so we brave the hordes of hipsters chugging gimlets (hey! that’s my drink!) and warm Pabst Blue Ribbon. There is an opening act which consists of a crap puppet show, so we retreat to the front room where I, in my infinite wisdom, spill RedStripe on the pool table. We get our pictures taken in the photo booth, then crowd back towards the stage for Har Mar’s set. Har Mar is in a bad mood: the opening act went too long, and he taunted us for paying $17 to see him curse, sing, and make out with girls in the front row. When one of these girls tried to writhe on the stage, Har Mar scolded her: “Get the fuck off my stage!” He did a strained cover of Stevie’s “Sir Duke” while Joe and I sang along. None of the hipster children knew the words. Bad music snobs! 35 minutes, a thrown beer, glitter all over the place and it was over. The DJ who spun afterwards played some hip-hop, but that was it. People were pretty tired, so we all went home.

New Year’s Day: I have the supas over for brunch and Degrassi. I’m having a good time but I’m distracted by the fact that, earlier that day, I dyed the inside of a dryer in the laundry room bright pink. I have this rug that I, being an idiot, flung in the dryer when it was still wet and mindful that this rug is LINE DRY ONLY. This does not stop me. Thom drives me to Target to get bleach, and I nearly asphyxiate on the fumes as I spend New Year’s Day evening crouched inside a dryer, scrubbing with a bleach solution and working blisters into my fingers. I want to cry, but I’m too tired.

Day after New Year’s Day: I go to Pep Boys and get this hand cleanser I read about on the internet that may get the pink out. I return home, fully prepared to spend my Friday off scrubbing like a chubby Cinderella when Kathy calls and wants to know if I want to go to Oakbrook with her to check out the sales.

Um, yes please.

Kathy and Thom pick me up and off we drive to the mall, where I clown all over the place. While Kathy tries on pants at Nordstrom, I look for some cute big lady jeans and drag Thom with me. The plus size section is full of soft tunics, long skirts, sequined oversized sweaters. It is not terribly promising for me, though Kathy scores some cute-ass pants. I end up finding a lovely monogrammed sweater (I know this monogrammed trend is kind of over, but I can’t help myself) at Elisabeth and a scented candle at L’Occitane. We go to Papagus for an early dinner, where I ogle our boy band cute waiter and riff with Kathy on the state of my cultural jaundice; meaning, I am in a state where I see everything in a yellow cast and rant at the nature of racial stupidness everywhere. Also, I eat flaming cheese and joke about how movie studios will release their crap movies in January. You know those movies — those winter offerings that need to be released to make back some of its budget but have little hope for real box office. They need to be given more explicit names, to alert you better to the state of their crappiness: “From the director who brought you ‘This Is Bullshit!’ and ‘I’ll Be In The Lobby’, Miramax presents ‘I’ll Go Get The Car'”.

As you can see, I am on a comedy roll.

Later that evening, I see Foster’s band play. I can now say that I have seen Mr. Foster Lee play drums in a cheap wedding dress. It was kinda hot.

January 3: Sarah’s party for Jenny. Lots of people I love who ridicule my monogrammed sweater. Erin and Paige rename me “Javerne”, as the huge script J on my top is very “Laverne and Shirley”. Which is true. Ask Kathy, she’ll tell you that when I tried on the sweater in the store I actually sang the show’s theme song (http://www.geocities.com/tvshowthemelyrics/LaverneShirleySong.html).

At some point, some of the boys get into some sort of discussion about gun control in kitchen. I roll my eyes and have some more pigs-in-a-blanket.

January 5: Dinner at Feast with Jenny. I feel better after a two hour long dinner spent talking about my writing, Jenny’s touring of her work, cute boys the Schloss where Jenny has her fellowship this year (http://www.akademie-solitude.de/fellows/?l=e&id=723), and stuff. I go home to Michael and we have a good talk, too. I have to go to bed so I can get up early for work the next morning, but I want to keep him and Jenny and Kevin and Rozi and all my friends in one place so I can talk to them whenever and wherever I want.

January 8: Carol’s Pub. Karaoke for Elvis’ birthday. Me, Jeff W. Sharon, Tammy, and Dan. Bunch of U of C boys from my old house in Woodward Court who are out for one last night before one of them leaves for Iraq the next day to be a freelance journalist in Baghdad. Oh, and the boys from DOC Films! I did not sit with these guys, preferring instead to bug Sharon about her work crush and my own personal philosophy on dating in the office: “I don’t dip my pen in the company ink.”

January 10: Videos at Erin’s. Erin, Lisa, Jan, and Stef have had massages and so are all loose and relaxed. We try to watch ‘Gigli’ but give up and put in a tape of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ instead.

Oh, and I signed up for Netflix two weeks ago. Love it, but I’m having problems with Macrovision-protected DVDs. Maybe I should have sprung for the $80 DVD player instead of being cheap and spending $30? We shall soon see . . .

January 12: Theresa is now an independent beauty consultant, so I go to a workshop with her. While she trains, I try out make-up and take some information about selling the stuff myself. But I don’t think I’m going to do it. It’s a new year, and I’ve got so many things to do this year that I’ve been resolving to do for the last six years. It feels like a lot and maybe it really isn’t but I won’t actually know for sure until I actually begin.




Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right; New York Dolls – Trash; The Cardigans – Hanging Around; The Beautiful South – Bell Bottomed Tear; Ludacris – Stand Up; New Order – Temptation; Outkast – The Rooster







~ by Jasmine on January 14, 2004.

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