I’m still here.. I just needed a little break.
So what’s been up? Let’s go back and see, shall we?
(Cue time-travel music. Oooh. Nice dissolve.)
Opening night for CGMC’s “World Tour” show. It’s hot outside. Thank goodness for air conditioning in the theater. Of course, with 100+ guys in the theater and in the dressing rooms at the same time, no amount of air conditioning in the world can help. So we suffer. It is art, after all.
Opening night’s crowd is rather sparse. Which is somewhat understandable. There are half-a-million things to do during Pride weekend. The only bummer is that of those half-a-million things, not enough people chose to do our thing. Oh well, we still had a great time, and the show was a lot of fun.
Night number two — and closing night. All too soon, the show is over. This was one of our most ambitious shows, and certainly the most ambitious show we’ve ever done for a Pride show (which has a much shorter preparation time than any other show.) Usually Pride shows involve bringing a chorus from another city in to sing with us, but this time we went it alone– and with costumes, scene changes, and props to boot. I’m kind of hoping our director never does this again– for the simple reason that there just isn’t enough time to put all those pieces together and make them work. We pulled it off, but just barely.
It’s party time! The show is over, so we head over to Fizz Bar & Grill, only steps away from the Athenaeum, where our show took place. What a great location for a party! It was roomy, air conditioned, and the food and drink were aplenty. It was great to celebrate the end of a long and fun year. I love the chorus, and I love doing the shows, but when we are done for a year, it’s a VERY good feeling.
Pride Parade Sunday! Whoo hoo! I dragged my butt out of bed, not because I was drunk from the night before (I wasn’t), but because I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. But as the old cliche goes, there’s no rest for the wicked. And when it comes to the Gay High Holy Days, rest is not an option.
I hopped a cab (no way I was driving) and made my way to our friend Adam’s apartment. Adam is a new addition to our circle of friends, by way of Pete (a/k/a Cute New Chorus Boy). He just got a spiffy new pad right on Halsted Street. What better place to view the parade?
CGMC didn’t have a float this year, and while Windy City did, I opted to watch it this year. There was no better place if you ask me. It was perfect. We were positioned right at the beginning, so the participants weren’t tired yet, and everything moved by at a very nice pace. And we were indoors, so we didn’t suffer from heatstroke. Which meant I could drink! (I don’t drink in the heat. It just wipes me out.)
And of course, there was no shortage of hot men to view. If they weren’t on the floats, they were walking the streets. And I had a bird’s-eye view. Nice.
After the last float drifted by, a few of us made our way through the crowd and went to our friends Steve and Keith’s house for a barbecue.
So Pride Sunday was spent with friends. Just the way it should be. In recent memory, I’d have to say it was one of the best Pride celebrations I’ve taken part in.
I got home from the party at about 7:00. I immediately turned on the TV. A very important show was coming on and I wanted to be ready. Yes, it was “The Next Food Network Star!“
Dan and Steve were the only team in the competition. And that makes perfect sense since they’re partners in more ways than one– life and business. They operate The Hearty Boys Catering and just opened HB Restaurant right in the heart of Boystown. I’ve known them for almost as long as I’ve been in Chicago. Dan was a member of the chorus when I joined.
Well Dan and Steve WON! They’ll be hosting their own show on the Food Network this fall. I’m so happy for them… and on Pride day to boot. Now that’s something to be proud about!
As it happens in life, we make friends, and sometimes we say goodbye to them, too. Tuesday night, we said “Ciao” to one of our dearest friends, Arnie. Arnie joined the chorus a few years after I did, but he made his presence known right from the start. With a rambunctious nature, and a laugh that could be heard for miles, Arnie was the life of any party he was invited to– and he was invited to many. But he also has the warmest heart, and the kindest nature of any person I have ever known.
Arnie is leaving us to travel abroad. He has joined the Peace Corps and intends to teach English. Arnie has moved many times. He’s lived on just about every coast and has traveled to many points in the world, but in Chicago he found a family that loves him very dearly. And we do. Those of us closest to Arnie know that he will return to us very soon, but knowing that he won’t be living here for a while makes us all very sad. So we threw a huge going-away bash for him at Sidetrack, where all of his friends could gather and pay tribute to such a wonderful person. As you can see from the photos, Arnie is very much loved.
So that pretty much sums up my week. This weekend, many of the friends you see in these pictures will be taking a trip to Saugatuck to go camping. Pray that the weather — heat and rain both — stay away for a few days. But even if they don’t, I’ll be surrounded by my closest friends. That’s what I call a holiday.