Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day Trip to Chicago for the Pride Parade

Today I got up early and drove to Michigan City to catch the South Shore train to Chicago. This was a day trip to see the Pride Parade. I would have liked to have been there for more but I am short on money and I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible. I swear that train picked up every queer person from South Bend to Chicago. It was a crowded, loud, but exciting trip. A rainbow, hooting and hollering, came out of that train at Millennium Station.

I met up with my friend, Kevin, and his boyfriend, William. After getting my transit card, we rode the L to North Avenue Beach.  The plan was to fly a pirate kite. Kevin also tried to talk me into jumping into the lake with him. Lake Michigan in June? Lol, I don't think so. I knew that water was too cold and judging by how quickly Kevin and William went in and came back out, I was found out that I was right.

We didn't have much time at the beach and we had to make our way quickly to the parade route. I whipped out my phone and had google give me transit directions. First time ever used it and it worked... up until the driver announced that the route was being detoured. I don't know Chicago so I couldn't keep up with the alternative route information that he was giving out. Fortunately William got the driver to drop us off at a good place that we could walk from to get to the parade route. Much thanks to the unknown CTA bus driver.

After a bit of a walk we got to where we needed to be and met up with two friends of William's. We were now all set to watch the parade:

The political nerd inside of me was happy to get a chance to see Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Gov. Quinn. Not that I like them personally.  It's just neat to be close to people who wield power and are known nationally. Indeed, sometimes it felt like a Democrat Party parade but you know... I get why that is.  I don't see the Republicans ever getting the trust of gays as a bloc and for good reason.

This parade went far longer than I ever guessed.  Three hours maybe?  I hadn't eaten at all that day and I just had some water so by the end of it, I was dying to get some food and drink in me. We went to a sushi restaurant. It wouldn't have been my first choice except that it wasn't crowded so ding ding ding, we had a winner.  Lunch/Dinner was good.  I had a terriyaki beef bento box. Way too expensive but I wanted a sample of everything,

We left William's friend's and boarded the L back to the loop to catch the blue line to Logan Square where they lived but as we were making the loop, I noticed that I would have caught the 6:22 back to Michigan City if I got off.  Otherwise I'd have to go all the way to Logan Square and come back to catch the next train at 9:15.  I didn't feel like it was worth it so I quickly made a decision to say my thanks and goodbyes and got off at the Randolf stop.

I had some good eye candy on my way back home. Apparently this short guy with dark hair and a bit of scruff on his face had marched in the parade.  I think he was a Sears worker. Pity he seemed to be attached to a taller guy but I stole some glances every chance I got.  There was also this one...MTF?  Anyways, she reminded me of Xerxes from the movie 300.  The facial structure was there and so was the excessive amounts of jewelry.  The difference was that Xerxes in the movie was balled.  She had a tight bun on the top.  Then there was this crass girl who kept talking about her vagina and her "seven thousand dollar boobies."  The conductor had to shut her up a couple times.

It was a good day. I think I shall try to do more next year.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Red, White, and Blue Moon

Stacey, her son, and I went to Three Oaks. They had some events for Flag Day. While there, this little guy got his first taste of Blue Moon ice cream. One of the best things about living in the Midwest!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Make It Short and Simple

I've been dealing with a huge headache for most of the day so I wasn't probably in the most patient of moods.

I thought that I would check out the Belmont Stakes coverage on NBC. There has been some buzz on my social feeds about the possibility of a horse named California Chrome to win the Triple Crown. I probably should have consulted the internet for the exact race time instead of using the program guide. I wouldn't have had do deal with extensive coverage for a race that lasts two minutes.

Later on I was checking out my rewards program that comes with my credit card.  I've got about 20,000 "miles."  I don't know why Capital One bothers with the word.  Miles do not meet miles. Instead, they are connected to the dollar cost of travel. When I checked it out, a "mile" was more like a "penny." Perhaps Capital One should change their rewards miles to rewards pennies.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Charlie in Charge

My parents are currently on vacation in Florida. I've been house-sitting and taking care of their dog, Charlie, while they have been away. It's been pretty boring. Their internet is slow, YouTube barely works. For entertainment, I've been watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture through Start Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on bluray with the commentaries on. I've also been playing with Charlie as much as his attention span allows me.

Let me tell you, this dog can be a royal pain in the butt. He has been good about doing his business in the morning and evening so I decided to trust him and let him out on his own and watch him from the house. It was going so well until last night when he spotted a rabbit and off he went.  That meant I had to go after him. Unfortunately, I was only wearing boxers and a shirt at the time. Hopefully none of my neighbors were up and looking out their windows as I chased him around their yards.

Charlie isn't well traveled. Aside from the family farm in Benton Harbor where he was born and the vet's office, he's only been here at home. He gets excited easily and my Mom hasn't trained him to heel. She's afraid of him pulling away from her.  I decided that I would take Charlie out to the Riverfront Park. I figured that he might like to go up to the river and see the ducks and he did.  While I was there, I tried breaking him of the habit of trying to lead. I can only imagine what the other people at the park were thinking when they would see me constantly changing my walking direction every time Charlie tried to pull forward. Charlie has gotten better. He's not quite there yet but I still have a couple days with him.

If the weather holds tomorrow, I am thinking of taking him to Warren Dunes. It'll be a new experience for him to walk on a sandy beach. Maybe he'll be bold enough to test out the waters.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Behind the Wall to Death

I remember stepping back in fear.  Nanay (my Grandmother) wailed as my dead mother was carried up and out of the house where she had been kept for some time before the funeral.  She was my mother but I felt little of what Nanay was belting out.  She would have her daughter stay in that house for one moment more if she could but it was time.  A crowd had formed outside the house and we slowly followed my mother’s coffin as it was transported to the Catholic Church.  I remember walking near my grandfather and, in one of the few fond memories I have of him, I could feel some commiseration with him as we both mourned.  He for his daughter.  Me for my mother.  I held in my emotions though.

I only cried for my mother once-when my father came into my hospital room.  I was in the bed waiting to be transported to the hospital at Clark.  He came to my left side and told me she had died.  He removed his glasses, put his head down, and began to weep.  My mom was gone and my dad, who had been a statue of a man was now breaking before me.  With a few tears of my own, all I could do—all I felt I could possibly do--was to put my hand on his head.

Now we were in the church.  My relatives were all up there next to coffin as the priest did something with smoke and water.  I looked at all of them.  Aside from my cousin, Jessica, who only looked back at me, I was angry at all of them.  I loved them, but I was so angry as well.

You see my mother was kept at my grandparent’s house.  My dad wanted her cremated but my grandmother wouldn’t have it.  He relented to a Catholic ceremony and burial.  I think that in his Protestant way, his memories of my mother were all he needed and to insist on cremation would not help his position,  only hurt her family’s.  So she lay in her coffin—for how long I can remember—days at least.  People would come by and look.  They would offer their condolences.  I dreaded it.

What made me angry was when they brought God into it.  They all did.  Inevitably I would get an “It’s God’s plan,” or “Your mother’s in heaven and watching over you.”  It’s not that I hated God.  Actually, I took comfort in my religious beliefs back then but I never made the leap to claim to know that God did this or to know that my mother was in heaven.  How could they possibly even claim to know any of that was true when her own son didn’t?  I knew they didn’t know but I felt that I couldn’t call them out on it because I understood that what was being said did come from a sympathetic heart.  I just wish they could have seen that it wasn’t bringing me comfort.  It actually brought me even more pain.

My cousin, Jessica, was the only one that I remember not being angry with.  She made no claims to make me feel better.  It was her eyes which conveyed sympathy.  For my father, it was my hand.  They are expressions that convey more than words ever can.  I am awkward when it comes to offering my sympathies to others who have lost loved ones.  I have no doubt that I always will.  So please know that if we should ever meet, know that behind my few short words, a touch, or even a hug, my heart does go out to you.  We are all on this road of hurt together and I want to be there when you start moving again.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Reject Easter Eggs

My friend Stacey and I dyed Easter eggs yesterday. I used to like doing it when I was a kid and I can't even remember when I did it last. Last year we spent Easter at my Aunt Julie's house and my three youngest cousins went looking for plastic eggs that had candy in it. I thought it would be nice to have real Easter eggs this year. I was wrong.  Here's what happened today:
They were not very enthused about the idea of real eggs and despite the initial instinct to just leave the eggs where they were, all were eventually found. I can't say if they were actually consumed, however.