Sometimes, life just keeps me laughing. This is one of those moments. Ok so for those that know me within my comic book realm, then you most likely know Spike. In college, I worked at Von’s Video and Comics for 2 years, and one of our most colorful associates was named Spike. He always wore exceedingly inappropriate clothing like fish net shirts and pleather pants while patrolling the parking lot during Purdue football games. Spike and I became really good friends, and he was kind of like my version of Carrie Bradshaw’s Stanford. He’d always enjoy listening about my man troubles. Towards the end of school, I became a group member of an awesome band of misfits we nicknamed “The Inner Circle.” (It seems I always had the Hellfire Club on the brain.) There were seven of us with five boys and two girls. Our code names were ridiculous: Tanner (Greek Meat); Spike (California Love); Rob (Rocky Mountain Rob); Emre (The Turkish Delight); Aaron (Indifferent Man); Kari (Grammar Girl) and Me (Sexy Thing). I still keep in contact with many of the Inner Circle via Facebook, which has been nice. We always had a good time together talking about comic books, D&D (which I never participated in but they all did) and of course sex and booze. (Hahaha!)
I have been obsessed with the Mass Effect video games for years, so you should know how excited I was when the third game was released two weeks ago. I was still in the middle of my last play through of ME2, so I am a little behind. I watched Kari and Spike have updates on their Facebook, but I haven’t spoiled myself at all and don’t plan on doing so. All I know is that both Kari and Spike have cried over some parts of the game, which makes me wary since I do not want to cry. (I hate crying. My eyes get all chinky and weird. The one Asian side of me makes my face hurt afterwards). Well, then Spike finished the game and HATED it. He hated it so much… well, just read this article and perhaps this one.
Yup, that’s my Stanford! It is seriously all over the internet. He was telling me that he has done interviews for gaming magazines and blogs. Oh, this still cracks me up. Below is the only picture I have of most of the Inner Circle. (Spike is the only one missing, and we got Mahmut in there.) Notice, this was Halloween and that is why we are wearing costumes. And yes, I still think it is highly inappropriate that half the guys are wearing black face so they could go to Halloween characters from the Chappelle Show but remember, this was college and 2004. *Sigh. Memories. From left: Me as the Bride from Kill Bill, Emre as Lil’ John, Rob as a zombie, Kari as a pirate, Tanner as Samuel Adams Beer, and Aaron also a pirate… Mahmut is supposed to be the crack dealer Tyrone. I miss these kids.
Last weekend, Matt and I did some major cleaning. We’ve got a few people coming during Labor Day weekend, so I’m really trying to keep everything in top shape. Matt cleaned up his closet (which is where all of his spare computer parts/wires/games live) and found my college PC. We threw away the computer monitor when we moved into the house, but he asked if I still needed the actual CPU. Do I need it? Hmmm. So I wanted to look through it before pitching it. Now I went to college from 2000-2004 when Napster was a happy place that made my computer magical. I had so much music on there. Unfortunately, I got a computer virus circa 2006, and I lost a lot of music and pictures (which was like losing an arm). I looked on the computer and didn’t realize that I had a lot more music on there than I thought.
One of my favorite things to do is make a mixed CD. Yes, I’m that person. I love it, and it makes me happy when discovering new music. Since it is that time of year again, I figured I’d make a College Rewind CD. Another thing people have to realize is that I lived both Clerks and High Fidelity while working at Von’s. Anyway, I primarily make CDs for the Ashley’s. While compiling the songs for this rewind mix, I put a random Facebook status update last week asking my Purdue friends what songs reminded them of college. I’ll say, I have never gotten 40 responses on a status update EVER. People like nostalgia. So while ciphering through all the suggestions, I decided I had to make 2 CDs on the College Rewind CD. There was only one problem – the Ashley’s graduated different years than me. (2006/2007 respectively) so will their college music be the same as mine? Maybe not, but I doubt they care to be reminded of high school music. The rap CD is a lot of butt dancing songs, but those were popular in the day. The pop CD has a lot of popular stuff and not so much “college indie” music. Let’s be real, I did a lot of dancing back then and that is what I wanted to hear.
So what made the cut? See for yourself.
COLLEGE REWIND: RAP
During my freshman year, I had a Mini-Disk Player, and this was song #1. I would start my day with this song while walking all around campus. I really love this song.
I really loved Aaliyah. I actually remember where I was when I found out she died. It was a few weeks before September 11 my Sophomore year. I was living with Elizabeth in our apartment, and she had her pilot buddy, Austin over for studying maps. Her plane crash coverage was on CNN, and the two pilots were guessing what went wrong. I love the video since I always wanted to get a motorcycle. (damn eye!)
You may remember this as the “helicopter song” since you were supposed to whip your shirt over your head. Once I was at a frat party in the basement of the Sig Ep house where I almost got knocked out by a drunk sorority girl doing the helicopter. This brings me back.
I have never seen this video until now. (wow… horrible haha). What a great song, and they just don’t make them like this anymore!
DMX was huuuuuuge! This song is so dirty, I love it! The lyrics kill me. I really loved gangsta rap in the early 2000′s, but I want to say everybody loved this.
Another dirty favorite! Unfortunately, now when I hear this song I remember the movie About A Boy where the kid listens to this song all the time. I do remember trying to shake my ass to this song at frat parties. I never had a butt, so what was I thinking?
This song was so HOT. This was Ludacris first single, and it came out my freshman year. So many memories. “Back seat, windows up, oh wait— there’s a baby seat!” Every time I hear this song… boom.
Nelly was EVERYWHERE. He actually came to Purdue, but I couldn’t go to the show since I had an exam that night. “Hey, must be the money!!!”
Ironically, I am presently knitting a hat that looks like the hat he wears in this video. God, look at his body and his dancing. I think every girl was in love with him. Oh I forgot! This is the video that has Chilli from TLC at the end. Why did you have to screw that up, Ush? *sigh.
Another dancing butt song? Umm… yeah. Even though I still don’t know what he is saying, I probably love this song the most! This is the first time I heard Lil Wayne (wand watching the video you see his real teeth!). Drop it like’s it’s hot…. where it all began.
This came out right before I graduated. And yes, I tried to learn the dance. FAIL.
The girls of Vawter Hall loved this jam. I definitely listened to this song every day during my second semester – freshman year. Gwen looks fantastic in this too. Easy come, easy go…. yes, indeed!
Of course I loved this song. Nobody wants a one minute man. Period. Unfortunately, they are still out there. Suckas!
This was a major club jam. Once I was dancing to this at Where Else, and I got picked up and thrown into a group of grown men. This song made dudes nuts.
This was everywhere my freshman year. Read a book you illiterate son of a bitch and step up your vocab is probably the best line ever. My ex boyfriend always loved this song, so when I hear it, I think of him trying to dance to it at a frat party but just bouncing his hand instead of his body.
Yup, I was 21 when this came out. One of my favorites!!! Yeah, this song reminds me of a very epic night. For the Ashley’s, they know who I’m talking about…. PORNSTAR. Hahaha, Magic Stick, indeed. Right after Spring Break. Man if I could go back in time, I’d probably choose that week.
This song always makes me smile. I used to go to the Neon Cactus every Thursday. I’m always reminded of dancing with Mary in a circle to this one. She always went up, and I always went down. Hahaha, man, who dances in circles anyway? Meanwhile, this video is terrible.
This song came out on my 21st birthday. I’ll never forget it. All January…. it’s my birthday. Sure, this song gets annoying, but it was EVERYWHERE. 50 Cent’s body was just sick… and he got shot 9 times! You know you were looking for bullet holes in his body while watching the video. Don’t lie.
Christina Milian – Dip It Low Elizabeth LOVED this song. She had her own dance and would throw her arms up when “poppin’ that thang.”
Missy Elliott – Work It Good song, but I like One Minute Man better.
Eminem – Lose Yourself (I hate Eminem so by principle, I wouldn’t put anything from him on my CD).
COLLEGE REWIND: POP
This song was in Cruel Intentions which came out when I was in high school. In college, I listened to a lot of movie soundtracks. I don’t know why, but I would buy them all the time. I dated my high school boyfriend through most of college, so this song definitely reminds me of that time.
I LOVE SHAKIRA. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Anytime I hear this song, I try to do the dance. I probably love this video since it does the ”Phoenix rising from water” obv. And yes, I do have this memorized. No, I won’t do it in front of you. Even the crawling part. I’d go gay for Shakira, it’s true. I wish I could shake my butt like her.
Elizabeth introduced me to this one, and we always had a joke “Is this DISPATCH THE GENERAL?” It wasn’t funny, but we always laughed. I guess this is what alcohol does to you at 18. Back then, Elizabeth was a hippie, so we listened naturally, to a lot of this, Dark Star Orchestra, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and the Black Crowes.
I. LOVED. THIS. SONG. So many reasons. Remember IM? Yup, this song away message was code for “I’m hanging out with my affair hottie.” I don’t know why I associated this song with that since it isn’t about cheating, but yeah, that’s just how my mind worked. When Nikki and I became friends, we would sing to this in the car.
I was first introduced to Mr. Mayer via my high school friend, Liz. She went to Hanover College and saw him in concert. Afterwards, she emailed me a few songs including “My Body Is A Wonderland” and I fell in love with his vocals and lyrics. (Yeah, that rumor about it being about Jennifer Love Hewitt is such a lie since I heard the song years before they ever dated) Mary ended up sending me this song one day since it reminded her of me somehow. Love it. I did see him perform at Purdue. He had to have been high on something since he was TERRIBLE!
In college, I was obsessed with MTV2. I heard this song my first semester freshman year, and became a Coldplay fan instantly. I remember thinking it was David Gray since Chris Martin sounded similar and I couldn’t tell what he looked like since he was so wet. Wow, this song is just beautiful. Coldplay reminds me of specific boys, so this song is really the only one that has no connections with a person.
Another favorite! I looked everywhere for a pair of underwear with a tiger on it. In fact, Colleen found a pair for me for my birthday, but it got lost somehow. (Instead she knit me a thong a size too small since she knew I would wear it.) This video is fantastic still to this day! I wanted to marry Robbie Williams. So sexual. I don’t even like tattoos, but yeah, he looked like Ewan McGregor and could sing.
This song will always remind me of Tim. We used to always study together in my room for Chem Lab, and this song constantly played. Tim used to do the dance and everything. Christopher Walken is so scary! Years later, I went out with Tim and his now wife Molly, and she was wearing a Christopher Walken shirt. I kind of knew then that they were perfect for each other. Also, I used to think the song said “Fuck a Gidget, (WORD)” (which I totally did) but apparently the line was “Don’t Forget your teeth (Word)” which now makes me laugh.
I moved into my first apartment my sophomore year, and I remember this song was playing on move-in day. Actually, this song played CONSTANTLY the entire year. It wasn’t my favorite jam, but I’ve got to give Pink some love since she is so awesome as a person.
It was hard to choose the best Destiny’s Child song for the CD. I like to shake my butt, so this song won. For football games, Elizabeth, Carrie, and I used to insert our names and sing this during slow periods of the game. Why? I don’t know, but I’m sure alcohol helped this. Plus, Stevie Nicks is in this. That still cracks me up.
You can’t make a college mix without pre-crazy Britney Spears. This video was hot, the performance with the python was sexy, and she was just on top of the world.
This song is still one of my favorites to run to on my mp3 player. This is kind of the best revenge/break-up song ever. I miss J.T. as a musician. Just sayin! I forgot how freaky this video was. Honestly, isn’t it every girl’s worst nightmare to have someone in your house and watching you shower? Christ.
So this song reminds me of a specific period in time, aka the break-up. It doesn’t hurt that my name is Jennifer, so yeah, I could be Jenny from the Block. Also, this video details the rise and fall of Bennifer. I casually dated a co-worker named Ben, so yeah, anytime I hear this song, I just remember walking into Von’s and seeing the name on my comic box read BENNIFER. I still haven’t forgiven those guys for that, haha.
Nikki loved Ben Harper and had this album. She would play it every morning. What can I say, but we were in the HAZE! A true oldie but goodie!
I have to thank my ex-boyfriend, Kyle, for this gem. We used to go dancing every Monday, and this was the jam. And then I have to thank Mary for keeping this one on my dance circle repertoire. I don’t really like the Black Eyed Peas anymore, but this song always has a special place in my dancing heart.
And then this song changed my life. This came out my final semester, and it made my living situation at the time bearable. One night, I was alone in the apartment, and I got really drunk on box wine (of course). I kept playing this on repeat. When I woke up the next morning, I found that I wrote “You’re still a super hot female” written on my bathroom mirror in red-Gwen-lipstick. Nothing gets better than that, folks!
17) Guster – Happier
I was lucky enough to see Guster twice while I was in school (once opening for John Mayer and the other time opening for BNL). During the summer of takin’ a lovah, this song got me through all the bullshit. I couldn;t have made it through working 3 jobs, dealing with a shitty roommate/friend situation, and balancing a new boyfriend without this jam. In true Jen form, anytime I have a big blowout with a friend, this song is the JAM. One more inch, you sonuvabitch!
My first encounter with the one, the only, Imogen Heap. Garden State was gigantic my last semester, and I still don’t get this movie. The soundtrack was one of the best though!
In 2004, Dave Matthews came to Purdue for a concert, and it was a huge coup for the concert committee. He was doing a small college tour, and we were lucky enough to get selected. This concert was heavy. I loved a guy on the concert committee. I loved a guy taking his evil girlfriend to the show. And then there was me. My boyfriend surprised me with the hottest tickets in town. How did we get the chance to go? His dad was a aprt of the DMB fan club, so boom, free tickets. Then Dave comes out and sings this beautiful song. Purdue was the first place to hear the song. In fact, the lyrics are different. (It comes from the Some Devil bonus CD). So yeah, this song, in a nutshell, reminds me that sometimes you can run into 3 of your loves in one night. I definitely remember tearing up after hearing this for the first time.
Oh college, you were EPIC.
O.A.R. – That Was A Crazy Game of Poker You couldn’t escape this song in 2000. I heard it every day while walking past the male dorms. Unfortunately, it is an 8 minute song which is too long for my CD.
Coldplay – The Scientist Probably one of my all-time favorite songs, but I have too many bad memories for this one.
Heather Nova – Paper Cup I love everything about Heather Nova, but nobody knows who she is. A lot of her music was on girly TV shows like Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, etc, but I had all her albums.
Craig David – 7 Days Loved this one, but may be too obscure and old for the young’ins.
If you want a copy, do let me know!
Wow, what a week I have had. I’ve been doing pretty well with blogging lately, but I’ve kind of dropped the ball on things going on in my life. I have so much stuff to cover that I kind of don’t know whether to go from past to present or vice versa. I guess I’ll start with last week.
One thing about my job that I absolutely love is Half-Day Fridays if we are not in the busy season. I have gotten so much stuff done. Last Friday, I was getting everything ready for Natalie’s Baby Shower, and I got a phone call from my bestie, Nikki. She was in town for sad reasons, but she had some time to hang out for a bit. I was about to grab lunch with Mina, (and Nikki was conveniently right next to Mina’s apartment) so I picked her up from ‘Lil Greenie and we went off to Maggiano’s. It was fun hanging out with both my best friends at the same time. After a delicious lunch, we went to the Fashion Mall and eventually met up with Nikki’s sister-in-law, Shelly, who is just a doll face. (She is a hair stylist and always has amazing hair too, which is funny to mention, but I am envious, what can I say?) It was a fun time, and I am glad I got the opportunity to see Nikki while she was in town for the week. I know her time in Indianapolis is always stretched a zillion ways, so it makes me happy any time I can see her. I miss her so much!
Natalie’s Baby Shower
On Saturday, I threw my first ever shower, and I delved into a Baby Shower. Natalie and I were good friends in high school, and she visited me once while at Purdue. When she told me in January that she was pregnant, I knew I had to do something fun for her. Unfortunately, she lives in Detroit, so I felt a little bad that she had to drive down here. Luckily, she has family down here still. Also, I knew her parents moved to Florida, so she might not get a shower of close friends and family. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have everyone over for her. We had eight ladies come in from all over (Jaime trekked in from St. Louis while Sarah and Laura ventured from Chicago!) I did have a funny incident happen right before the guests arrived. I am a total idiot sometimes. My aunt has an amazing Pineapple Punch/sherbet recipe (which we had at my luau reception), and I wanted to make it. It is a really easy recipe. You put a 2 Liter of 7UP in the freezer so it gets slushy overnight. You mix that with pineapple juice and pineapple sherbet. EASY! So my Aunt told me to use a serrated knife to cut the 2 Liter since it would be mostly frozen. Like an idiot, I get the knife and start to cut open the bottle and start hearing fizzing sounds. “Hmm, weird.” Then I heard BOOM. The bottle exploded and there was fizzy shit everywhere. The ceiling, floor, counters, fucking everywhere. It was straight out of a cartoon. Some of it fell from the ceiling on Whiskey’s head. He then tried to lick the top of his head. Pretty entertaining. Like a total blonde, I didn’t realize I had to open the fucking 2 Liter. Moron. Oh well! Emily came in shortly after the carnage and helped me mop. I love her.
Eventually, all the girls got to the house, and we enjoyed yummy food, a delicious baby cake (with a sugar baby on top!), and being together. I made my first ever diaper cake (thanks YouTube!) and it turned out wonderfully. I had knit Natalie a baby blanket too, which was part of my gift to her. She doesn’t know the sex of the baby, so I made it in a neutral white color with yellow and green strands within the yarn. None of the girls (sans Emily) knew I could knit, so they were shocked with all of my Martha Stewart goodness. I found it funny since I have known these girls most of my entire life, and they had no idea I was crafty. I just had to pull out Xena quotes all day, “I have many skills.” For real. Personally, I think Natalie is having a girl! I guess I’ll have to wait and see a few more weeks!
Every few weeks, I try to get together with my favorite girls, Rowsey and Albin for some drinking and food! They both work downtown, and they have been awesome twice now meeting me close to my work. This time, I decided it was time for me to go downtown and meet them! We had planned to go to Agio’s for a delicious Italian dinner. I had heard many positive reviews of the place, and I had a $25 coupon. Rowsey also had a $25 gift certificate as well since she had received bad service the last time she was there. I showed up early to the restaurant, but noticed that everything was pad-locked with a gate and everything. I had just checked their website, and there was no mentioning of the place being under construction or anything. Rowsey called the number but the restaurant was now CLOSED and OUT OF BUSINESS. Bummer. We girls then went to O.P.T.’s, which used to be a favorite place for me when I worked downtown at the Star. It was good seeing the gals. It did start to heavily downpour, which was bad for Albin’s Louis Vuitton bag, but good ole Louis made it through! We saw a lovely rainbow. I’ll be seeing Britney Spears with Albin in two weeks. She may be out-of-town for work, so I don’t know what will happen then. I’m keeping my hopes up anyway!
The State Fair
Every year, my mom and I go to the fair for one evening and eat all the goodies. She had started a new position with work last summer, so we didn’t have the chance to go. Instead, I went with Mina, and we discovered Deep Fried Butter. This year, I got lucky since my mom actually had a few days off, Mina was in town, and I had a half-day! The three of us went to see The Year of the Soybean. When we go to the fair, we never really eat anything that terrible. (Usually.) We go to the same booths every year for Fried Green Tomatoes, Buttered Corn from the Kiwanis booth, and maybe an elephant ear. This year we got a Deep-Fried Candy combo with 1 Snickers, 2 Oreos, and 1 Reese’s Cup. I didn’t know what it would taste like, but damn, it was delicious! My mom had a good time, but she embarrassed me yet again by wearing a goofy ass hat in public. She just doesn’t care, and I guess she is where I get it from.
Charlie Campus Visit to Purdue
Yesterday, I had another half day, so I took Charlie up to visit Purdue for the first time. I actually found this interesting picture in my Flickr feed today, which I had forgotten about. I remember the day well. It was my first few weeks at Purdue, and my parents came to visit and take me out to dinner. They had pulled up in a brand new car after selling my Geo Metro (the new car was the one I am now driving). Charlie was wearing his favorite Pokemon shoes, a Purdue shirt, and two hats. (I blame my mother for the hats yet again.) This picture takes me on a time warp since I was 18 and living on my own for the first time. He was 6 years old just being a small kid. What the heck am I wearing? I love how high my jeans are. So yeah, here we are in late August 2000 in front of Vawter Hall. I am really happy that I have documented my life so well. I can’t stop laughing at how ridiculous we look. Ha! Personally, I don’t know if Charlie is a good fit for Purdue anyway, but I wanted to start there instead of IU. He doesn’t know yet with the direction of what he wants to study, so that makes it a little hard too.
Anyway, I took Charlie up for his first campus visit. He had his own ideas on what college would look like, so I thought it would be a good idea to take him before all the students move-in, and it is hectic. I am very proud of Charlie since he has been very active this summer. He joined the Cross Country team and runs 6 miles every morning with his new teammates. He has gone to camp with the boys too, so he has met lots of new people. He is a very reserved and shy boy, so I am glad he has started to grow up a bit. I won’t lie and say I’m not jealous of his body either. He lost his baby fat and is in prime condition. I told him to enjoy eating fast food now since it won’t last forever.
We parked on Sheetz Street so I could see ye ole Apt #18, (which now houses lots of dirty hippies and showcases the same sign). I took him all around campus like the Student Union, the fountain, the Memorial Mall while going into some of the Engineering buildings and so forth. We looped around the benzene ring by the Pharmacy building (so many memories of meeting people over there!) and went by Waldron street to see some dorms, fraternities, and apartments. It was funny since Waldron Street has a lot of trees and is kind of dark. Charlie was like, “Do we need a knife? Will we get jumped?” HA! Apparently, Charlie thought there would be riots in the street with kids drinking on steps and girls getting kidnapped left and right. I just told him the truth that campus is generally very safe but to keep your eyes open, and don’t piss off the wrong people. Solid advice I suppose.
We ended the tour by visiting Chauncey Village. I wanted to show him how expensive textbooks were (and yay most of the books were Pearson! Holla!) and buy a few shirts too. I got Charlie a cheap football shirt, Matt a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a new shirt with the good ole’ Boilermarker on the front for me. I wanted to walk into Von’s, but I saw Jon Von in the window, and no matter how many years has passed, that man still scares me. I realize he is a nice man, but he has always intimidated me. Von’s Comics is now called Von’s Dough Shack, which I found interesting. I can’t believe that place now serves food. I hope they cleaned the bathroom at least. God, the memories of the dark corners and smelly boy bathroom. Yuck.
We ended the trip by getting my favorite Honeydew Bubble Tea from FuLam. Oh Purdue, I miss you so much! I was disappointed that Charlie didn’t want to eat on campus, but he was tired from his morning run and just wanted to go home and relax.
So that’s a pretty good update! I’ve got an amazing dinner planned with Matt this weekend at The Oceanaire. Next weekend we are having the Fogo de Chao Eat-Off contest with Matt vs. Mina. It is going to be awesome! Life is truly awesome right now! I am happy it cooled down too.
I just had the most amazing weekend EVER DOCUMENTED!! Last week was pretty bananas to say the least. Matt was working 2nd and half of third shift, so he was getting home around 3 AM. We were going to Chicago on Friday, but all of a sudden his day off was cancelled. I was able to find a replacement for him, but Matt got lucky and he was able to only work 2nd shift on Friday (instead of getting off at 2AM). So instead of driving together, Matt drove up to Chicago on his own while I took the MegaBus. I have never taken it before, but I was pretty thrilled that it wouldn’t require driving and only cost $29. I sat next to a nice older lady who didn’t speak English. She had a notebook with new words in it, and she was practicing. I chuckled a bit when I realized she was learning words on bird-calling and casinos.
I got to Chicago at 2pm and the sunny and warm weather in Indianapolis was replaced by bitter cold rain and crazy wind. I got off the bus, grabbed my bag, and started running down the block looking for a cab. I noticed a young Middle Eastern boy following me, which kind of weirded me out until I realized I had about 20 lbs on him. At the corner he was panting and all confused. I had my hand in my pocket, pretending I had a knife in there if he wanted to jump me. He then said how he didn’t know how to get a cab or get to where he was going. Since I am nice, I hailed him a taxi right there and helped him on his way. As he got in the cab, he looked at me with relief and said, “You American girls, nice girls… so nice!” Haha, well, I hope so!
I hailed my cab at made it to the Westin River North on Dearborn. I was exhausted and took a wee little cat nap. I got up at 5 pm and waited for my friend, Colleen, to come get me. So yes, the purpose of this trip was to go to Jess and Jeremiah’s wedding, but I got lucky with Matt being unable to come on Friday. I have a lot of friends who live in Chicago, and the great thing is that most of them know each other.
I have known Colleen since I was 17. We played softball together during the fall of ’99. She ended up living in the same dorm as me my freshman year at Purdue, so we will be life-long friends. We walked down the block and ate at a place called the Rosebud Trattoria. The wine was great, but the food did the mambo jambo in my stomach. I am a bit sad that Colleen is leaving Chicago in a month since she just got her PH.D and is moving to Washington D.C. with her husband. (I guess I’ll have to visit her there).
We took the L to Diversey Street to hit up Amanda’s birthday bowling party! I met Amanda via Colleen in college, but all I remember is that we were at Where Else? during Breakfast Club. We have become closer friends after graduating which is awesome. So we go to the Seven Ten Bowling Lounge where I manage to get sick. Funny enough, one of my friends from high school, Sarah, shows up. I swear, I am the center of the universe. I know everybody of importance, haha. After bowling (and amazing birthday cupcakes!) we headed to an Irish bar. I didn’t drink anything there since my stomach was still settling. After about 30 minutes of talking, Colleen convinced me to go to the gay bar down the block from her apartment.
Ironically, I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A GAY BAR. Yes, this is SHOCKING since I love all things gay. In a funny twist, the first time I TRIED to go to a gay bar was during Jess’ first bachelorette party for her first wedding in 2004. I thought it was perfect timing. We headed to Boystown and passed Wrigley Field to go to the Kit Kat Lounge. Right away, I knew I was at home. The place looked awesome with pretty chandeliers, and they were playing Some Like It Hot on the walls. I love a good martini, and the menu was STACKED! I ordered the Kit Kat, which had melon delish inside.
Now the Kit Kat is known for its nightly Diva performers. I had no idea what to expect. Colleen told me that a Drag Queen would come out a few times and perform for the crowd. All of a sudden the lights dimmed and the disco ball went bananas. On the loud-speaker, Jennifer Hudson’s new song came on. Everyone started cheering when the Drag Queen came out! Oh God, I loved loved loved it! I was thrilled Colleen took me there. I jumped up and started feeding the Diva of the night, Traci Ross, some well-earned $1 dollar bills. After a few songs, she disappeared. She came back out two more times. The second time she was dressed as Nicki Minaj. She performed “Roman’s Revenge,” and “Moment 4 Life.” I was sitting next to another Drag Queen (or post-op, not sure) and had fun talking to her. I’ll say this, Drag Queens have the best accessories! The third vignette was a Diana Ross look. Now this outfit was clutch. It was a sparkly boob shirt with boyshorts under a mini. When I went to give her cash, I didn’t know where to go since the shirt had no tight straps. Yup, she opened up her underwear. I couldn’t see what was hiding in there… ha! She sang “Whip My Hair,” which was amazing even though it was incredibly inappropriate. I wonder if Jada and Will Smith are thinking their 10-year-old daughter’s song is being performed at Gay Bars everywhere. Too funny. See the Video Here.
Around midnight, Matt called me since he was pulling into Chicago. I said my goodbye to Colleen and quickly went back to the hotel. I was in euphoria when I got back to the hotel. Matt couldn’t believe I went to the gay bar. Ha!
On Saturday morning, I was excited to go to a fun breakfast. I love a place called Orange, but when I went to look up the address, GoogleMap said that some locations were closed. Apparently AT&T is not good in Chicago so I couldn’t even get to the website. Instead of heading there, we walked to Portillo’s which is also amazing. The Green Gidget took me there a long time ago, and I fell in love. Their hot dogs are the best in the world. After lunch, we headed to our favorite Chicago stop, The Art Institute. I love the Impressionist wing, so we spent a lot of time in there. I love the Renoir collection the most. We actually bought a lot of prints for decorations for the house.
After a nap, we headed to The Newberry Library, which houses many prized historical documents as well as a famous Abraham Lincoln oil painting. I wish we had gotten there sooner so we could look through the gift shop! Jess and I used to work together at Von’s Comics during college. We were the only two chicks in the comic section, and we became close. At the time, we were both planning weddings for relationships doomed to fail. Seriously, that kind of stuff bonds you for LIFE! I knew there would be awesome people from the Von’s era at the wedding, so I was pretty excited when I got the invite in the mail. I was thrilled to see Nick with his longtime girlfriend, Want. Nick has really done well for himself. He still lives in Chicago and has won an Emmy for television work. An Emmy! He used to work at PBS but is now working independently. He was telling me about a new show he was working on which involved popular biking spots around the country. He mentioned Bainbridge Island out in Seattle, so I knew one place he’ll go! I loved working with Nick, and I actually worked with him both at Von’s and at the Purdue Telefund the one summer I worked there. I was actually with him when Matt called me for the first time. I remember the day well, we jumped in my car and I drove down from Purdue to my favorite sushi joint in Indianapolis for the afternoon. He is such a funny guy. I’m so happy he is doing well. He still tells amazing stories. His laugh is infectious.
Next up was Dan The Man, who actually officiated the service. I worked with him at Purdue Telefund, and he is such a great guy. He is now living in Texas. His girlfriend was a peach! Jess + Jeremiah’s wedding gift were wrapped used books (awesome idea!) and Matt was trying to trade a book of Egyptian symbols for Dan’s copy of Ulysses. Needless to say, the Egyptian symbols went home with us. Haha. I also spent some time dancing with a girl named Beth, who I had met only once before. The music and food at the wedding were A+++ let me say. I have never had bacon wrapped dates, but man, I wish I would have them more! The couple chose lovely cupcakes for the guests, and I picked the best one called “The Drumstick.” It was a Drumstick ice cream cone manifested in a cupcake. Wow Wow Wow! I didn’t know it were possible to even do that!
So yes, the wedding was fantastic. Matt had a wonderful time, and believe me, that is half the battle when going to a wedding. It was nice since Matt actually knew the people there. I am so happy for Jess and Jeremiah. In other good news for the happy couple, they bought a house a few days after the wedding which is 10 minutes away from me! I am so thrilled! Jess + Jen back together! It will be like an old-time Von’s Reunion always!! I remember going to her apartment in college and she would cook fantastic meals for me. As mentioned before, this weekend was a great turning point. I had felt a little down since so many people have walked out of my life lately. I just had to realize there are many other people who I like more and who like me just being myself. Mina gets back from China next week; Jess is moving to Indy; and Amy and I joined a wine club so I’ll probably see her a lot more. Life is good. Hopefully I’ll be able to see Rowsey, Albin, and Mandi Jo a bit more too.
I can’t wait to go back to Chicago this summer with Albin. I’m definitely taking her to the Kit Kat Lounge. I was sad when I missed “It’s Britney Bitch Brunch” on Sunday. Hahaha!
Want to see more Drag Show higlights? Check out my Flickr feed here.
It is a Purdue tradition that when it hits December, there needs to be a cocktail party. My old friends would throw a magnificent cocktail party where the only pre-requisites were that you dressed up in cocktail attire and you brought your own wine glass. It was always a lot of fun, and crazy stuff always managed to go down. The girls of Salisbury Street would have someone buy lots of booze for us since we were only 20 at the time. (Ahh to be illegal).
During 2002, I managed to have a pretty good time, and my boyfriend spilled the beans to my friends that he wanted to propose to me. When I found this out, I decided to make out with a pilot and spell his name backwards. Ha! In 2003, I was dating a new guy, and I was in the process of growing out my hair. (Bad decision!) It was a pretty good date considering that we went to the bars later and the new guy physically picked me up so I wouldn’t get cobblestones in my shoes as we left Harry’s parking lot. This was also the first time I discovered heated seats. So yes, cocktailin’ is a favorite of mine.
We had a successful party for Matt’s 30th birthday, so we knew round #2 would be good. I was a bit bummed out since my boy, Timmy, told us Dec. 18th was perfect for him, but then he couldn’t attend because he was having his family Christmas. A party without Timmy? Yikes! I wanted to cancel right then and there. I can’t do anything without him! We did have close to 20 people RSVP, so I was happy so many people wanted to join us.
Another reason why I think our parties are good is because a) I get Filipino catered food and b) we don’t scrimp on booze. Anything you wanted, we had it: scotch, gin, bourbon, whiskey, wine, beer, etc. Top shelf, bitches! I believe in an open bar.
I was a bit ambitious this year and bought two cocktail dresses that were one size too small. I have been working out and trying to eat better to lose some weight. Needless to say, this was stupid of me, and I looked a bit like a Christmas ham meets 3-months pregnant linebacker. Then I decided, “Screw it, it is my house and I don’t care.” So I put on my new red cocktail dress and attached the straps and applied some fire engine red lip stick. We had 2 stations. The hard alcohol was in the living room, and I made a martini station in the kitchen. My favorite drink is a grasshopper, so I bought the ingredients for that and added a candy cane to each drink.
When everyone started to arrive, I was shocked that everyone wanted grasshoppers. Usually people think they are weird since they are green. It was a great choice! I was so happy to see many of my Noblesville high school friends who were in town. Natalie came down to give Laura a bridal shower, so all the girls from that came! I was thrilled seeing Tiara and her husband Billy, meeting Laura’s fiancée, playing video games with Dana’s boyfriend, and of course chilling with Natalie and Emily. It was funny when old boy Oliver strolled in. Oliver also went to high school with us, but I wasn’t really friends with him then. We connected during the high school reunion, and Matt loves him. So the girls were loving having Oliver around for the party! (Plus Oliver brought homemade wine— AMAZING!)
Matt had a lot of friends come too! We had Gino and Brad come down from Ft Wayne with their dates. They are so much fun. They both play in a band together, so it was funny to me watching them play Rock Band on easy since they never played the game before. Hilarious! I also had a group of guys playing the old X-men arcade game with me. Since that game was originally Japanese, we heard some hilarious dialogue. As we were fighting Magneto at the end, he kept saying “DIE X-CHICKENS!” I believe he was supposed to say “X-men” and not “X-Chickens.” I couldn’t stop laughing.
Whiskey was a huge hit in his sweater vest. My girl, Ashley, from my old job came with her husband. They are so funny. Jordie tried to save Whiskey from eating a tooth pick, which was nice of him. Ashley also was trying to set up Roque with one of her single friends since he is newly on the market. I felt bad for Roque since Tim wasn’t there (our mutual friend between us) or Jeff (Matt’s mutual friend between them). Plus, there was only one single girl there to mingle with and not zillions. Oh well, I am glad we are now hanging out with him. He is an awesome guy!
I’d say the best cocktail dress of the night went to Emily in her beautiful blue dress, and the best male outfit went to her friend, Jeff. Oliver’s moustache always kills me, so I just can’t award it, haha. Dana was drunk of the night since she drank a rum and coke larger than her head. She then called her mom to be her designated driver and offered that service to all participants of the party. It was hilarious.
Overall, I am glad we have epic parties. I got so many e-mails and thank you’s on Sunday which really meant a lot to me. Also, I found it interesting that we had more booze at the end of the party than when we began. Everyone brought wine and mixers, (not needed or expected but WOO!) which was great. Gino and his girlfriend, Jen, spent the night (with Brad and Courtney in the hotel down the street), so we got lunch on Sunday afternoon together. Hopefully, we will get to hang out with them in Fort Wayne this weekend after all of the holiday festivities end. Matt was massively hung over, so we just took it easy on Sunday. I am really excited for the holiday parties this weekend. On Friday we will go to my Aunt Becky & Uncle Archie’s house to have Christmas Eve with my cousin’s children. On Christmas, I think we are just staying home to relax and enjoy the day. There is no need to rush around. I want to make a delicious dinner. On Sunday,we will most likely go to Fort Wayne to visit Matt’s family.
I love this time of year!
Yes, yes, yes! Halloween is almost here, and I am super excited! I don’t have any party plans as of yet, but this will be the first year we’ll have Trick-or-Treaters come by the house. Last weekend, I went to Party City to look for favors for Gualdoni’s 30th birthday bash. They always have wall-to-wall decorations and costumes right before Halloween (plus they are super close to my house and nowadays that is half the battle). I am always looking for fun costumes to wear while cleaning the house or freaking out the neighbors. I found a PERFECT costume for me, which was the Lady GaGa Poker Face costume. I could wear my solar shields, and BOOM… perfect! Unfortunately, it was out of stock, so I couldn’t buy it. The wig was fantastic though, and I may just go back and buy that bad boy. I have been dieting hardcore, so I feel better than I probably look. Essentially, this is just a glorified swim suit. I wonder if I could wear it to the pool? Heck, I wonder if I could wear it while walking the dog.
Costumed freaks make me happy, I suppose. My favorite thing about Purdue was Breakfast Club, and I can recall getting my tuition check and buying my B-Club costumes first thing. Sure, some people would go to Goodwill and make things work, but not me. I wanted to make an entrance. I felt that if I stood out, I would get better service and all of campus would talk about me. One B-Club I wore an Asian hat, an asymmetrical Bacardi-O shirt, and a cape. The only good thing resulting in this travesty of a costume was an asymmetrical sunburn and fun pictures with the Hamburglar. (Damn, I was skinny. Depression diet, I miss you.)
My best costume is actually the most frightening. I went as my teenage hero, Xena: Warrior Princess. Sure, I looked feminine and awesome at the beginning of B-Club, but I turned quite mannish and hideous as the morning went on. Breanne went as Trinity from The Matrix, and Nikki borrowed my Bacardi-O shirt and went as a Bacardi-O girl. It didn’t help that on that very same Breakfast Club outing, some dude decided to wear the same exact costume as me. People kept coming up to me thinking I was him. Sure, its funny for the first 5 minutes. As the morning continued, I just wanted to curl up and die. Eventually, I threw away my precious Xena costume. So sad. I still don’t get how that guy fit into the dress part. It was so itchy. Today I have been looking for the best deals on the Lady GaGa costume when I saw….IT! It was as if my childhood/ teenage/ adult wishes and fantasies finally came true! That’s right! Marvel FINALLY released a Jean Grey/ Phoenix costume!!! Sure, it’s a combination of Jean’s Marvel Girl get-up with the iconic Phoenix spandex one-piece, but it is beautiful. Gold boots, phoenix emblem, gold gloves… SQUEE!!!!!! Now I am on the look-out for a beautiful red wig. Granted, I have nowhere to wear this amazing costume, so I guess I better start asking around for a Halloween party. Hell, I might just wear this EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
Now time to go eat a planet. Ciao!