10/3: I’m locked in a small smoky room with Andrew, Jacinda, and Joe. We’re stuffed full of tapas and flipping through the binders of song listing at the Karaoke Restaurant when I come across “Alone” by Heart and program it into the karaoke player. A video of a blonde girl in a bikini comes on – she is wandering the desert. Why, we don’t know and we don’t care, so we just laugh at her misfortune and her ugly perm.
10/4: I am an hour late, so I miss the special mass blessing my aunt and uncle’s new condo. My aunt and uncle live in Oak Park, on Austin Blvd., in one of those buildings that bears more than a passing resemblance to a gigantic cinder block. I spend the rest of the party bonding with my siblings and watching my dad sing karaoke, which I’ve never seen him do before. I charm my grandmother, back in the US for the first time since she and my grandfather returned to the Philippines in January. Though my grandfather is as distant as ever, I drown my sorrows in lumpia, lechon, and picture-taking.
Later that evening, I go to Jacinda and Joe’s, and then we go to Dan’s fancy dress party for which I did not dress fancily. Dan’s newer friends spend the evening screeching in formal wear on the porch while the old fogies (me, Jacinda, Joe, Pete, Matt Calhoun, Isabel, and that super nice guy whose name I always forget) sit inside and grumble to ourselves.
10/5: I crash a tasting given by a catering company. While Joe and Jacinda talk dietary restrictions and cake choice for their reception, I admire the architecture at the Columbus Park Refectory. Jacinda melts over the cream puffs made up to look like swans, and she takes one to her mum. In the evening, we go see “School of Rock” which is the GREATEST. MOVIE. EVER. AT. LEAST. UNTIL. I. GO. SEE. KILL. BILL. VOLUME. 1. I’M. TOTALLY. SERIOUS. YOU. GUYS.
10/9: Big outage at work. I hate mean people who call me with the purpose of being mean to me and yelling at me for things that are clearly not my freaking fault.
10/10: Dinner with Andrew and Miriam (Rozi’s sister, maid of honor). Glory. I have a pile of fried fish, johnny cakes, apple crisp. Andrew orders the lobster roll. Miriam has the crab cakes. They split the Whoopie Pie. After dinner (who knew the cuisine of New England could fulfill my love of fried foods so well?), we walk down Damen and make fun of all the yuppies watching the Cubs game on telly.
10/11: I get up early, putter around the apartment, flatten some empty boxes but get no closer to unpacking further or sorting summer clothes or cleaning. The cable guy is a bit late, but he does a total sort of spider man to get into the gangway behind my building so that I can spend the afternoon surfing the internet and watching BBC America. Later that evening Kid Koala is headlining the “Short Attention Span Theater” tour at the Abbey. Rozi, Miriam, and Andrew get there before I do, and we find decent seats on the floor. We play bingo, eat food, drink soda, and watch the performances. I am slightly traumatized by Lederhosen Lucil, amused by DJ Jester and mesmerized by Kid Koala.
Again, more karaoke after the show. We’re joined at the restaurant by Dan, Matt, Matt’s girlfriend Alison, Joe, and Jacinda. I pick Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”, and it is a hit. At least, it is to me. The room is smoky and we’re all yelling and screaming and having a great deal of fun. Occasionally, we sing on-key, but the computerized scoring system is not cutting us any breaks.
10/12: I’m at work for special tech support hours from 9am to 12pm. From my cubicle on the 19th floor, I had a perfect view of the Chicago Marathon as it ran its course from the Loop to the west side of town. After work, Cubs game at Andrew and Rozi’s. After the Cubs lose, Ikea with Jacinda and Joe. I buy 12 glasses for $5 – barware for my upcoming housewarming party. I do so love a good deal.
10/14: The Cubs lose. How do the Marlins get 8 runs in the eighth inning? I am so confused and sad. If the Cubs do not win, I will be worse off. Only until Friday, though, as I have tickets to see Peaches at the Metro and it is guaranteed to be a hilarious time.
Spoon – Paint The Silence; Rufus Wainwright – Go or Go Ahead; Kid Koala – Basin Street Blues