Saturday, March 29, 2014

Colors under Dark Light

The music was pulsating and loud, the kind of music that and captures and makes sensations. There was something elemental about the swaying bodies, people moving to and fro, dark rooms with black-lights strewn about making everyone glow in the dark.

There were several swirls of light bouncing off masks and brightly colored clothes, purples and greens and reds.

We all wore beads that were handed out at the door. We all had a little to drink. A lovely tall woman walked up to talk to me, wearing a lace dress and flipping her pretty curly hair. We spoke, shared stories, exchanged ideas.

The music called me off once or twice and I spun around with strangers, the boys and girls moving and dancing in the strange lights. Later in the smoking room, I found someone smoking cloves and indulged over conversations with perfumed cigarettes. There was something comfortable about the vibe, though it was also charged.

I spied the pretty girls and they spied me back. We exchanged pleasantries about dresses and masks. We danced together.

A frenzy that seemed to continue without crescendo, just riding waves of amusement, of meeting, ritual dancing and interacting.

It was lovely.

The colors are what I remember most, the brightly swirling colors. The winter had been too grey.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Masked Dance with Strangers

The nap was seriously necessary. After getting back up I spent the better part of the next twenty minutes deciding for sure what to wear, before heading back out into the snow for dinner and then for a cab. And (of course) there was the mask. The thing about the maskand I was trying to be specificwas that I wanted to find something pretty and interesting and something I might want to wear again for who knows what reason. I spent a long time searching and eventually found the prefect thing. Although it did end up being a touch more expensive than perhaps I wanted, I decided it was worth the little bit of extra cost.

It was also made of metal.

The only problem with it being made of metal is that 1) it might be too heavy to wear all evening and 2) it might be too cold. And yet, I was committed, so I packed my mask into a bag for dinner and decided to worry about it once I got to the event. The dinner choice that evening was Mexican, and after my experiment with not eating for a week, I enjoyed the food.

The cab ride was uneventful, aside from the fact that it was snowing (yet again) on the first of March. I managed to find the location of the venue for the Mardi Gras party, grabbed my stuff, and went inside. After spending a few minutes playing a game of “Are you on the guest list?” I finally managed to get in, found a quiet corner to tie the mask on, and then checked the coat.

For the evening's event, I was hanging out with a slightly different circle of people. (Basically a circle I have never hung out in before.) I knew exactly no one there. I decided not to let that bother me. Of course, perhaps I should have considered that I'd be meeting people in masks all night at a new social event. How the hell was I going to remember anyone later? Ah well.

The place for the party was well laid out, with an extremely hot bartender, good selection of drinks, reasonably decent music, and nice people. I stood in the middle and just sort of waited.


“Hello,” I replied.

“Is this your first time here?”

“Yep. You?”

“Yeah. I just moved here from Iowa.”

This was to be the rather familiar conversation that I had about a dozen times that night. There were more than a few people attending that were coming for the first time, and  more than a few that were new to Chicago. This ended up making for a very relaxing situation and one, where even though I hate socializing with strangers sometimes, I was able to navigate fairly well.

I made a few new friends, got half a dozen compliments on my mask and went back to sleep at a reasonably decent hour.

Perhaps a non-event, really, but what struck me was that I was, in spite of myself, making some headway on the friend-making thing. Not just false “I won’t shiv you friends” but potentially actual friends. We shall see. I am still trying, in-between being terribly wistful about Korea.



In the meantime, I hope to go to the Prom they do in May, if nothing else in between. My social calendar does seem to be at least filling out.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oooh the Dressing... Ooh the Mask.


I wanted a mask.

I got one hell of a mask.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chiditarod VI: Five Star, the Drinking, the Watching

While it was cold, I had been standing long enough waiting for things to go down that a nice walk seemed like a good way to warm up. I walked in the direction of the carts and followed them through the Ukrainian village just far enough before realizing that if I didn’t start reading street signs I was going to go the wrong way. I managed to turn just in time and walked in the direction of the Five Star, where Krueger, Foxy, and BabyFox were all doing check-ins.

The bar-crawl portion required that all carts check in at bars, get some drinks, and chill for 25 minutes. There were also additional games that could be played, and people could meet teams there to give them more food donations. It was also a fun place to get a closer look at the carts after the madhouse that was the starting line.

Unfortunately the place was so packed I could barely move and I was hungry. So after giving a quick heads up, I walked back down the street and found a quiet, empty Thai place for lunch. I sat near the window watching the carts race back and forth. The Thai waitstaff was all a-flutter about the goings on, but the single lady behind me amused me the most. She was on her phone.

“You would not believe what is going on! They have carts. I don’t know, a bunch of guys dressed as stewardesses. I think they are drinking. I have no idea what is going on. I’m going to take pictures I have to hang up first. They are all running. This is the craziest thing I have ever seen!”

I just smiled, had some green curry, and headed back toward the bar to chill out. While team Krueger-Fox was mostly busy that afternoon it was nice to at least say hello. I got a drink, as proceeds from the bar got donated to the full take of Chiditarod as well.

Pictures were taken, fun was had, and I realized that if I didn’t go and get a nap soon there was no way I was going to make the party I had in the evening, so around four I grabbed a cab, and hightailed it to a bed, where I rested my head in anticipation of being up til the merry-gods-know when.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chiditarod: Part V And They are Still Off!

They keep coming.


Yes, those are two drunk guys, at their own private bar, arguing as they are being dragged around Chicago. I thought this one was brilliant. 

Somewhere in that hot rod, there is a shopping cart. 

Don't look back Indie, Keep running!