File Under: Summer is flying by
So it's been a few days since I've checked in with a substantial post. Well, the time has come.
A couple weeks ago, I was paid a visit by my friend Dave. Dave is one of my Go-Go friends, he lives in Tampa. We first met online back in 2000, we were (and still are) members of a message board devoted to everybody's favorite all-female band from the 80's, The Go-Go's. We finally met in person in 2001 at a show in Florida. We've had the opportunity to get together on numerous occasions since then and I consider him to be one of the absolute nicest people I've ever met. He's a good guy, and everybody should know Dave.
The above picture is from Dave's visit. Our friend Vahona met up with us at the Park Grill bar in Chicago's Millennium Park, home of "The Bean" (aka Cloudgate). It was nice to visit with both of them and it was great for Dave to get to visit with Vahona, they haven't seen each other for close to 4 years.
The following evening, a bunch of us gathered at one of the local watering holes, Jackhammer. It was a long, fun night with lots of laughs and important life lessons. We learned that you don't look a pimp directly in the eyes or they will own you and turn your shit out! We witnessed it. Luckily, the unlikely victim got away, narrowly escaping being run over by a CTA bus. Oh the drama! A perfect end to Dave's Chicago weekend.
Last weekend I gathered with my usual cast of friends for a show and dinner. Dan, Luis, Tina, Polo, Denise and I went to see Cirque du Soleil "Kooza." It was a fantastic and exciting show and it gave us much to discuss at our dinner that followed. So much fun was had by all of us.
Yesterday, was my Block party. The weather was beautiful and the block was ready to rock (yeah, that sounded horriblyy corny). Friday I took the day off from work to shop and prepare for the event. The most dramatic of my preparations was the assembly of my new grill. I live in an apartment and don't have much space for a grill so I bought a cheap grill from Lowe's.
The instructions said that assembly would take less than an hour and required a wrench and a screwdriver. It took me 2.5 hours, it required a hammer, a wrench, a screwdriver and a vodka lemonade. It doesn't fold like the instructions say but it didn't collapse when I backed away from it so I deemed it ready for grilling.
The grill, in my living room. Yes, I took it outside before attempting to cook with it.
Guests arrived for the party at 3. The first drinks were poured at about 3:10. I know, bad host, they should have been poured about 9 minutes sooner. Aside from the late start with the beverages, everybody had a really nice time. It was never too hot to be in the sun, and it was great people watching. Here are a few pictures from the day...
The fire department arrived and proceeded to play ping pong.
Dear friends Dan and Luis were sorely missed. They got away for the weekend with Luis' family. A much needed for the two of them as they gear up for a very busy week. Thenkfully, their beautiful bulldog Ozzie represented them, he was chaperoned by our good friend Polo.
Ozzie was deemed "the coolest dog EVER" by this nice guy. Ryan is not looking at Ozzie.
Party guests Denise, Polo, Ozzie, Tina and Tina's mom.
Carla, Zelda (aka my Mom), Karen, Georgette (aka my Sister)
Leslie, Gillian, Patrick, Ryan and Paul:
And look, it's ME, with Denise and Polo and my apartment building, looming behind us. We just came back from a visit to the Margarita bar. FREE Margaritas. YAY!
The guests dined on skewered chicken (marinated in lemon, olive oil , garlic, salt and pepper), served with a yogurt sauce (greek yogurt, sour cream, chopped sweet onion, cucumber, dill, salt and pepper) and on bratwurst. I also made a pasta salad (whole wheat pasta, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tossed in olive oil infused with minced garlic). Dessert was a tray of blondies, purchased at Costco, as well as some delicious cookies brought by Tina.
Entertainment was provided by 3 bands. The second band was a bunch of lawyers who just like to get together and play music. I hope they're better lawyers. One of them is Ozzie's new best friend:
Ozzie grew bored of his new friend and his music.
(not dead, just really tired)
My neighbors Joeseph and Naira were out for the party, too. (photo taken last month at Andersonville fest)
They brought their Gnome, after seeing my Gnome party lights. This called for a Gnome party!
Things wound down at about 10, I had everything put away and spent another hour just sitting outside chatting with Joe and Naira until we all decided it was time to call it a night.
Thanks to all my friends who attended and made it such a fun day.