Hail Hail to Getting Old….

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.

Nikki Visit

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!

Girls Night

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.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was AWESOME!  Granted, I am a bit biased since the original Planet of the Apes is probably my favorite B-movie of all time.  I have many memories of working at Von’s and playing the movies and watching people laugh while coming in to shop.  I found a fellow POTA lover in Xander, and I can remember eating Jake’s cheese fries on the nasty brown sofa while watching one of the movies.  Anyway, when I saw the trailer for the new reboot, I got pretty excited.

In this installment, Dr. Will Rodman is a scientist at Gen-Sys and comes up with a cure for Alzheimer’s.  After performing animal testing on chimpanzees, and specifically on Bright Eyes, he goes before the board to start human testing.  Needless to say, Bright Eyes suffers from what seems to be bad side effects of the drug and destroys most of the lab.  It turns out that Bright Eyes had delivered a baby chimpanzee and was wanting to protect the baby. 

Anyway, Bright Eyes baby is now watched over by Will and his ailing father, Charles, in their San Francisco home.  Well, that is the premise of the movie, and I won’t ruin the entire movie. 

Things I Loved:

– This movie had a heart and a message.  One thing that makes the original Planet of the Apes such a powerful movie is the message it portrayed about social agenda, racism, power, etc.  This movie’s main theme focuses around humans wanting to better themselves by “playing God” and finding new cures for diseases that kill us.  Is this a common thought in people now?  Not really since we all want our loved ones to live as long as possible.  Also, John Lithgow’s character is the real heart of the movie since he is struggling with Alzheimer’s. 

-Easter Eggs galore!  I’ll get to those at the bottom!

– Seriously, Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise will have a long career in scum and villainy.  He is such a good villain!

THE CGI WAS OFF THE CHAIN.  Andy Serkis is amazing with all the movements to make Caesar realistic.

What I Didn’t Love:

– Freida Pinto’s character had a good introduction, but she was pretty worthless throughout the movie.  The Planet of the Apes franchise really doesn’t do well with female human characters (Nova anyone?!) so this isn’t too surprising. 

– One of the ending scenes that focuses on an ape vs. Jacobs on a helicopter.  A major point in the original POTA focuses around the fact that humans are the brutes that were violent while the apes were esteemed and didn’t use violence.  There are many uses of “submission” in this movie, so I was kind of surprised that an ape would kill a person.  Maybe I’m reading into it wrong, but it bothered me.

EASTER EGGS:

– The names of most of the characters came from someone in the first movies.  The last name Rodman seems to stem from Roddy McDowell (the main ape in the series) + man.  The apes named Maurice and Buck were named after actors who played Dr. Zaius and the ape warden in the jail.  Also, Tim Felton’s character was named Dodge London after both astronauts traveling with Taylor (Charlton Heston).  I’m sure there are more, but you get the idea.

– Bright Eyes was the name Dr. Zira called Taylor when they were introduced.

– Caesar playing with the Statue of Liberty toy.

– The Lost in Space newspaper showing Icarus, which was Taylor’s shuttle.

– Using familiar quotes like “It’s a madhouse!” and the other big one!

– Stay for the end credits which show how the “problem” goes from San Francisco to the “Forbidden Zone.” 

Man, this movie was so great.  I’d say this might be my pick for best movie of the summer!  Go see it, and I hope they make a sequel!!!

And now I leave you with the best thing ever from The Simpsons.  Unfortunately, it is in Spanish.  Haha.

You’re A Superstar… at the Gay Bar… SUPERSTAR!

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.

Jess + Jeremiah Wedding Weekend