Monday, April 24, 2006

Heather and Eric's Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Yes! I am the first of my blogging friends to jump on the documentation of our fabulous weekend in which we partook in the sacred tradition, of seeing our friends off on their last days as single beings. Saturday, was Heather and Erics bachelor/bachelorette party, something many of us (including the couple) have been waiting for 8 years!

I had never been to a joint stag party before and I was curious to find out just how something like that would come together. But take out the clich strippers, take out the cheesy party games, and your left with a group friends just out to have a good time, and celebrate true love. It was a great evening!

We started off with dinner at Houlihans in Lake Geneva. I was a little sad that our entire wasnt able to sit together, but we made it work none-the-less with our two tables. We all sat side by side our couples (minus oneMINE) and chatted amongst ourselves over martinis, beer, and a tequila shot for Eric. Oh, and two BIG ASS Sunset Martinis for Eric and I, and Greta and Wendell. At around 10:00 we were all full and ready to begin the evening. Our first stopChamps.

The couple of honor wanted to go out dancing, but at 10:00 there wasnt going to be too much happening, so Champs seemed the perfect place to get our drink on for a bit, while waiting for the crowd at Hogs and Kisses to arrive. We had a few more drinks, and laughed as Amanda told off a very rude man for staring at my ass. You can always count on her to speak up thats for sure! Greta met a nice fella who proceeded to buy the entire party drinks and after a round of free drinks, we were ready for some dancing at Hogs.

Hogs was packed, as it usually is on a Saturday night, but we had no problems squeezing our way through the people and on to the dance floor. The music was a bit old school and I was disappointed that the DJ didnt know many of the songs we were requesting, but with good company you can dance the night away to pretty much anything. So it all worked out.

Our last stop in our bachelor/bachelorette tour of Lake Geneva was Carvettis and overly packed bar already at capacity by the time we arrived. It took some convincing on our part but we finally convinced the bouncer to let us in, with the stipulation that we went right to the outside patio. He heard no complaints from me. We pushed our way through the crowd of people, and planted ourselves at a table outside. Ahhh, a chance to relax and talk. It was probably a good thing that we never ended up making our way back out to the dance floor because after sitting for a bit and talking, the majority of us realized just how tired we were and so within an hour, we had all gone our respective ways and the fun of the bachelor/bachlorette party was a growing memory.

But the fun is not over, and its truly just beginning. In two weeks we will all reconvene, this time to celebrate the official union of these two high school sweethearts. On May 5th, Heather Cawley and Eric Whitten will become Mr. and Mrs. Whitten and well all be there to witness and celebrate it. I cant wait.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, but Blogger has been giving me nothing but grief all day long. For whatever reason, it won't let me post!!! So, if you want to see the pictures from the evening...


Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter 2006

Another great weekend in the good old B-Town.

Katie was in town again this weekend for Easter, so the two of us headed out for another evening out in B-Town. John’s Main Event is becoming a major favorite of ours, especially considering my drink hookup there on Saturday nights =) We chatted amongst ourselves for the first hour and soon found ourselves immersed in a game of bar dice with a few high school classmates. I refused to play dice for money, and instead insisted on playing for shots. You can imagine the shape I was in after about 12 rounds of dice. Word of advice: DO NOT PLAY DICE FOR SHOTS. TAKE THE MONEY WHEN YOU CAN =)

The people of the bar began to filter out and head to the Blue Carpet, but Katie and I hung back a bit to listen to the songs she played on the Juke Box and chat a bit more with Steve. Around 1:30 we made our way to the Blue Carpet for a bit of dancing and by 2:00 I was far from done and needed to go home and sleep.

Sunday I awoke with quite the hangover but I tried to put on the best face I could for my mom’s family as they started to arrive around 12:00 for our Easter get together. It was a failed attempt though, and I ended up spending most of the day on the couch with my little cousins, watching movies. Once Madagascar was put in though, the rest of my mom’s family piled into the living room and we all curled up for the next hour and a half. It was a nice little bonding session over a ton of laughs. It’s a great movie!

Around 3:00 my aunt tried to motivate me, and so we took a trip to Adrian’s to treat the fam to a few quarts of their tasty custard. It was a great little outing and put my stomach over the edge. I was stuffed for the rest of the night. Between the ham and the potatoes, and the deserts, the custard…I was stuffed! I left my parents house around 7:00 and went right home to bed. I was exhausted and full =) The perfect way to sleep he he.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Motorcycles, my new calling

Motorcycling. You either love it, or you hate. You don’t meet many people that have luke warm feelings towards the cycling phenomenon of the world. Sure there are those that don’t really think twice about it…but those are the ones that have never been on a motorcycle =) I personally am in love with them, and I hope someday to buy my own…seriously.

I’ve always loved driving and even more so than driving is the open road that has attracted me out on so many nights. The feeling of the Cabby top down, the wind in my hair, and open sky above me is one of the most unbelievable feelings a person can experience. The freedom, the view, the way that the world looks through an open window; it’s something I look forward to every season. Multiply that feeling times 100 and you have the sensation of a motorcycle. Of course I would love it.

The weather hit a record high of 80 degrees for the year, and you can imagine the cabin fever I was feeling as I watched everyone outside, enjoying the day, while I was stuck inside. Finally an angel arrived at our front door. It was my uncle, clad in his Harley attire, ready to take me for a ride. I willingly hopped on the back of his motorcycle and for the next half hour I was taken away to a place far away from the bride’s problems, far away from the bridesmaid’s demands, and far away from the overpriced charges of the seamstress world. I was on the open road and I loved every second of it.

The world looks so different on a motorcycle. Colors seem brighter, the air seems cleaner, even the smell of cow manure takes on a new sort of “earthy” scent. Every ounce, of everything I encounter when I’m on the back of the motorcycle is one more thing for me to smile about. I just love it all.

I was sad to see the ride end, but I’m looking forward to finishing up this post, throwing the Cabby top down, and cruising my way into Milwaukee to enjoy the rest of the fabulous spring day. I look forward to the day when my skinny, girly ass will be behind my own hog. Until then, my purple rag top will do just fine.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pure Perfection!

*Cheers* to perfect weekends. It was a mixture of old friends, great love, and beautiful spring days…the perfect combination to any perfect weekend.

My weekend began on Saturday with an extremely busy bridal salon. Wedding season is in full bloom and the brides were out and shopping! Adding to the hustle of the salon, were the procrastinating prom girls, out to get a look at the last of the season’s dresses before they disappear for good. 8 hours later the store was finally quiet again, and I was on my way out the door to meet up with a good friend for drinks.

I hadn’t been to Katie D’s house in YEARS, probably since High School, so it was nice to reminisce a bit around the house I called my second home for so many years. I chatted with her dad for a bit, commented on how old her little sister had gotten (seriously last time I saw her she was like she's 15 and dating!!!!), and then headed out with my bubbly blonde friend for some drinks in good old Lake Geneva.

We started things out at Champs, ended up meeting up with Dave, and then the three of us headed over to Cavarellis (I may be WAY off in that bar name) for a few more drinks and a shot. As the night wore on though, the music intensified and we decided to leave in search of a more chill avenue (this was definitely not a night out for dancing…we had catching up to do!). We ended up back in Burlington, at John’s Main Event, where we met up with my mom and some old High School classmates that we hadn’t seen in many years as well. Katie and Dave played pool, I played darts and chatted, and before I knew it, it was 2:00 and I had to get going. I hugged Katie goodbye in the middle of the street and we planned for our next outing. Dancing next weekend anyone? =)

I drove back to Milwaukee after leaving the bar and curled up next to Tara, thrilled that I had the entire day off on Sunday to just laze around, and spend with her.

We awoke around 9:00, made some coffee, and hung around the apartment for a few hours before finally showering and getting a move on to enjoy the gorgeous spring day that lay ahead of us! I took her to the sporting goods shop on Capital Drive so she could pick out a bat and some softball equipment for the upcoming softball season. For Christmas I had purchased her a gift certificate so she could FINALLY buy a nice bat for herself, and she left satisfied with her brand new DeMarini F2 bat. I know nothing about bats, but it sure is pretty =)

Already in a shopping mood, we decided to head over to Wheel and Sprocket to check out their bike sale, and pick out a pair for us to enjoy this summer (she insists on buying me one for my birthday). We know nothing about biking and were overwhelmed with the choices! Mountain Bikes, Hybrid bikes, racing bikes, tall bikes, short bikes, girl bikes, boy bikes…what happened to the days of pink standard bikes with pom poms on the handles!!

We hung around for an hour and half attempting to figure out, on our own, which bike would fit out needs. We tried unsuccessfully to attract the attention of a sales associate to help us with our questions and we laughed at the “May I help you” options we came up with. I finally just started to ring the little bell attached to one of the bikes I had parked myself on and I think it helped because a few minutes later we finally had a sales associate to answer our questions. 2 hours in Wheel and Sprocket and all we were able to find out is that we need a Hybrid bike, size 18 (for me) and 17.5 (for her). I guess we’re one step closer to buying a bike though! Yay!

The rest of the day we just spent running errands: Target for birthday presents for her neice and nephew, Barnes and Nobles for more birthday presents, and finally Pick ‘n Save for some food so we could grill out. There is no more perfect end to a perfect day than hamburgers and corn on the cobb on the grill! I love Sundays.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sometimes, I wonder if things will ever change.

And then I explain to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.
- Elie Wiesel, Night.

On Tuesday, that place was the center of my universe.

I'm not naive to the cruelty of the world. Granted it is true that I live in a sort of bubble, sheltered from the negative effects of the outside world. But the bubble is clear, and I can see it, and ultimately, it affects me. I'd also just like to say that I in no way am comparing the cruelty that I witness throughout my days, to the tragedy that Elie Wiesel experienced during his time at Auschwitz. I am merely making a connection between his words, and their relevance...even today.

When I was 17, I laid witness to a number of my fellow high school classmates, chucking plastic footballs at the head of an openly gay student, as he paraded across the football field during our Homecoming game. He never hung his head, he never lost his smile, and I felt embarrased to call some of these young boys my friends. I think that day I started to hate high school just a little bit.

On Tuesday, on my walk to Walgreens, I was blasted back to the past as I watched a man cross the street in fromt of me, being ridiculed by a couple of young men standing outside a local Brady Street bar.

But this man hung his head, ashamed of who he was in the eyes of these men.

He was a crossdresser.

As this man crossed in front of me I tried to give him a reassuring "You're not a freak" smile, and I hope that because of it he went home knowing that not everyone out there is that cruel or judgemental. But I know that a smile sometimes is not enough, and in my silence, I allowed those men to continue living their cruel lives and gave them the opportunity to do it yet again to another innocent human being.

In my silence I cried. Cried for the humility of the man in front of me, cried for the cruelty that exists in the world today, and cried for the shame I felt as I silently walked into Walgreens, not saying a single word to anyone.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Best Things In Life Are Free

And here are just a few:

The first warm day of the year
Laminating anything
Watching old people purchasing cell phones
The feeling you get from wearing an AMAZING pair of heels
A drive with the Cabby top down
Best friends
Crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon
A smile in the middle of a fight
Tears of pure love and happiness
Watching your life long friends, marry their life long loves.
The smell of plastic
Dancing all night long
Laughing until you cry
Petting a puppy
The sound a big city makes
A baby’s laugh
Candy Cane Lane
Falling in Love
The crackle of a campfire
Watching ducks cross a road

.... and I could just go on and on =)