Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Yesterday's blog got me to thinking about my 19th year on this planet, in 1985. It was a time when a lot of my ideas of what "the rules" were about things were changing. This was the year I read "Breakfast of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut. Have you read this? He starts the book with a drawing of his asshole. I was like, "this is a book?". It started this major shift in my perception of myself and the world around me. Mainly that creativity is a chance you take, and it can be scary to trust yourself, but you do it anyway. My first roommate in Chicago was this straight kid, Steve. He was obsessed with David Letterman. (My first memory of his show [a year earlier] was the" letters" segment, where a viewer asked about the blinking lights in the buildings behind him on his set; cut to two actors turning the lights on and off in their 'apartment', worried how mad David gets when they don't do it right...I was a fan ever since.) So Steve had video taped EVERY show, up to the day I moved in to his place. What is that, like 3 years at the time? A LOT of tapes. I didn't have a job for the first couple of months I was here, and I think I watched half of them. Morning, noon and night. When I wasn't watching David Letterman, I was at Medusa's. It was this super-fun juice bar on Sheffield by Belmont. My first night in Chicago, Divine performed there. People of every age and type went there, because the music was the best, and it was open til ten in the morning. It was this huge room of a place, with 50 foot ceilings, so they designed and made furniture to scale, that all the kids would dance on. Standing on the balcony, over looking the room, tripping on acid, I felt I had arrived.
"This is the coolest thing I have ever seen!" I thought.
One night I went with Steve and his girlfriend, who was this beautiful golden California girl with a huge mohawk. She made her living during school as a Boy George impersonator, somewhere. I never did find out where. Maybe they were teasing me. I don't know.
So we're all waiting, ready to go, when Steve comes out of his room in Chuck Taylor's, black lace panty-hose, green running shorts, and a Ramones t-shirt. The last time I wore panty-hose, I was 16, they were my mom's, and me and my best friend Brad tried them on with kinky shame before we blew each other, one day when we cut school. And Steve was going out like this. Another major shift: clothing does not define your sexuality, it defines your personality. He went on to legally add the word Diet to his name, and is a published photographer, with his own books. The Letterman tapes were all stolen from one of the many robberies of our apartment. Medusa's went condo.
Posted by BC at 9:13 PM
Monday, January 24, 2005
well I'm moving. I got into a fight with my roommate on New Year's day, and agreed to disagree, AND agree that I move out. It was written on the wall, I guess. Now I live on Lake Shore Drive, on the 11th floor. I thought I would really enjoy the view, but I haven't noticed. In 1985, I used to spend hours with my friend Scott hanging out in his kitchen, looking out the window, watching all the leather guys in chaps walk down Diversey to the since burned-down Touche. I think I went there once in the early 90's with my other friend Scott who has also burned down, in a matter of speaking. The first Scott and I were both 19 or so when we moved here, and reveled in our grown-upness in the big city. He being from Pittsburg, me from Appleton,WI. We would blast Yello and Japanese Whispers, I would smoke 8000 Benson and Hedges menthol lights, he would make us better and better fake id's, and we would hang out his kitchen window for hours and hours. He lived in this beautiful circa 1902 elevator (with one of those sliding doors) building, and he had his grandmother's wonderful 1920's kitchen set. It was like we were new wave time travelers to Chicago during the roaring 20's. We would even listen to the old time radio shows some AM station used to replay. Our favorite was "Shondoo, THE MAGICIAN!" By my old apartment on Racine and Addison was this great little mom and pop convenience store. Every square inch of that place was 1940. ESPECIALLY the couple who worked there and owned it. Her hair and make-up, his clothes, the music they played, the decor. EVERYthing! It was like a movie set! Imagine yourself and your surroundings as they are now, and speed up the clock 40 years. That was them. I LOVED them and their store. I would go everyday to see them. Sometimes I would dress up like 1940 to buy my cigs, to "time travel". Some times I would think I was in the Twilight Zone, and only I could go to this store. I miss those days of the simple pleasures when even going to the grocery store was a blast. It's not that my life is more complicated, it was probably more so back then, but somewhere I became JADED. Oh well. I guess I became jaded when I realized that everything is, or will be, old-fashioned, retro, quaint, and just plain silly. Even me, I guess. Oh crap.
Posted by BC at 11:09 PM
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Well, welcome to the first day of my blog "Twenty years and counting" .That means my tale of urban living will be 20 years old as of April 25 of this year. I know many of you non-urbanites are just DYING to know what the millions us us urbanites are doing, so I will try my best to illuminate you. ALWAYS without the aid of spell check. I also need to type better and faster.I also love to write, and need to "open my creative doors". Please remember, this is only my story, one little story of urban life. It is biased. It can be boring. It can be exciting. Like last week, for instance. I was at the opening night of Spamalot, here in Chicago. My friend/client is a dresser for the show, and she got me last minute tix. What a funny show. RUN, don't walk to NYC when it opens. I got to go to the opening night gala. Tim Curry (a god) said I smelled "delicious". I had on M7 from YSL. I also wore my ancient Armani blue velvet blazer and just as ancient Dolce shirt and tie. I talked to Eric Idol a bit, but the music was loud, so I don't think he heard me. Hank "moe/apu" Azaria and David Hyde Pierce were fun and looking good. Christy Hefner was ice-cool and posing glamourously. Check out the pics at www.chicago-scene.com . I'm the one with the short beard and long hair with the cool red head and the stunning blonde. The party was at the LaSalle bank lobby. How many times can you get down in a bank lobby? So I only had 2 dollars, so I had to walk miles to the busstop, under dressed, to get home. This homeless guy approached me with this super-long speach about how he "Didn't want to hurt me or upset me, but wanted a buck". I gave it to him. Huge chunks of ice were crashing to the ground from the new Hard Rock Hotel, freaking me out. People die from that, you know. But the weirdest thing about the night was seeing so many odd people from my past, mixed in with these cool celebs: a girl I did a play with 9 years ago checking in coats. A fellow AAer who I think fell off the wagon(I could be wrong) tending bar. A guy I dated that ended REALLY badly who didn't know if he was coming or going. What is the universe trying to tell me?
Posted by BC at 11:23 PM