What a weekend!

From start to finish, this has been quite an eventful weekend.

Friday night was a birthday party for my friend Jason… a member of the chorus, surprise-surprise. His party was held at T’s, a restaurant that is conveniently located just steps away from my front door. (a/k/a stumbling distance.) I couldn’t get stumbly intoxicated though, because…

Saturday morning I had to get up early and head down to the Chicago Hilton & Towers hotel to rehearse for the Windy City Slickers’ performance at the Kathy & Judy Convention.

Whatthehell? Who?

Let me splain.

Kathy & Judy are WGN-Radio (AM 720) hosts on weekday mornings. They have amassed a huge following over the years because of their frank talk about women’s issues and political views. They’re fun to listen to, I must admit. I turn them on (not literally) on mornings that I drive in to work. Anyway, each year they hold a convention and invite their fans (largely of the female persuasion, naturally), for seminars and showcases of all things related to women.

Well this year, they were looking for some entertainment, and somehow they found out about the Windy City Slickers. So we sent them our CD, “Sunday,” which was produced five years ago by a completely different set of Slickers, but is the only promotional piece that we have to offer. They loved it, of course (because it is fabulous) and hired us to do the show. But they had a stipulation. They loved one of the songs on the CD and wanted us to perform it.

Oy. Naturally, it was one of the songs we had never performed. And in order for us to do this, we had to contact the guy who wrote it (the former director of the Slickers) and get permission to use it. We got the permission, and the music, but it took a while. By the time we got it, we had less than a month to prepare for the show.

So yeah.. it was a bit insane. It all went ok, but it would have been nice to have had another month’s prep time. And they loved us, of course. It was a HUGE crowd, in the International Ballroom, the largest ballroom in the hotel. So you can’t beat that, I guess.

Well… maybe you can…

After the show was over, I drove home and quickly got changed… because Saturday night, at the EXACT SAME hotel, in the exact same ballroom (as well as the Grand Ballroom, which was magnificent), was the Equality Illinois Gala.

This was a big deal. Equality Illinois is the organization that helped with the fight for anti-discrimination laws in Illinois to include gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendereds. The fight has been going on for the last 30 years. Equality Illinois worked hard to make this happen… and it did, on January 21.

So a party that was themed “Just Say I Do” in support of marriage rights, was now slightly rethemed to “Just Say I Do” to reflect the support of the Illinois house, senate AND governor, finally signing the law that says that discrimination of GLBT people is illegal. Illinois is only the 14th state in the union to include GLB people, and only the fourth in the nation to include Transgendereds. It’s a wonderful time to live in the Land of Lincoln.

In celebration of this, one of Chicago’s biggest philathropists, Michael Leppen, heir apparent to the Hoover vacuum fortune, purchased over 200 tickets to the event for members of the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. Talk about incredible AND hugely generous. So not only did I attend, but every one of my friends did as well. Now THAT is what I call a party!!!

Oh… you want pictures? I got pictures, baby… right here…

The gang's all here!  And we look fabulous!!
The gang’s all here! And we look FABULOUS!

Me with Amy Armstrong and our mutual friend Paul
Amy Armstrong, me and Paul, our mutual friend.

Me with hottie Robb from Bravo's
That’s me with Robb, one of the boys from Bravo’s Boy Meets Boy.

I also flirted with a few boys… and even made out with a couple. I’ll leave that right there for you to ponder. šŸ™‚

Oh and another thing. I didn’t get home until…

Sunday morning. (Again, I’ll leave you to ponder that on your own.)

I got home at around.. oh.. 11am. Where I promptly got showered and changed to meet a boy for brunch at Tweet, the restaurant adjacent to Big Chicks, a popular bar in Uptown Chicago. We had a wonderful brunch. The boy I met, Christopher, was a new member of the chorus when I joined in 1998. I haven’t seen him much since, but we reconnected on gay.com. So it was nice to see him again and catch up. He’s a cutie, too.

After brunch, I made my way to the chorus rehearsal hall for dance auditions. Yeah, that’s right… dancing. I figured I’d give it a shot. I was late for the first set of moves (taught by Mr. Nofo himself, Jake) so I sat that set out. (Sorry, Jake.) But I did try the rhumba moves (not too bad) and the swing dancing (which I’d done before ages ago.) In all I think I handled it ok, but I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. At least I gave it a shot. It was fun… certainly hard work.

After that was chorus rehearsal. And after rehearsal I joined a few of the boys out for dinner at Bangkok, a Thai restaurant a little ways away from the hall. (Joining me was the chorus boy I had lunch with a couple weeks ago, and may again this week.) Following that, drinks at Sidetrack wrapped up a fun-filled weekend.

There’s a few other things to tell, but I’ll save those for another post… It’s late and I must get some sleep. In my own bed. (Oh how I tease you!)