Tag Archives: chicago

NATO facebook friends come to chicago and i offer a few pointers on how to get along with native midwesterners!

chicago plays host to the NATO conference this weekend.  workplaces and schools have been shut down, dire warnings issued about protesters and traffic jams and delays at the airport and the lines at starbucks.  buses have been dropping off protesters.  o’hare is clogged with NATO dudes and galpals.  i am quite happy i’ll get to see some of my facebook friends who are ambassadors, and i write this blog as a way of giving them some tips on american culture, particularly midwest culture,  that might not have been brought to their attention by their briefers.

as an ambassador, you might see some people with signs that might not seem to be welcoming. rest assured, midwesterners are a friendly sort. and they make good use of irony. if someone says in conversation or shouts to you that you are a warmonger, a friendly smile and a wave is your best response!

some pedestrians may wear green robin hood masks–these people are asking for a redistributive tax system to help those countries and peoples who are poor.  this is not a good time to complain about the quality of champagne and foie gras you were served the evening before.  some pedestrians may have been offered bracelets that connect together, most times at the wearer’s backs.  feel free to ask a police officer if you can have two of those souvenir bracelets.  if he hesitates, it is only because he expects you to do the midwestern handshake–which is to close your right hand in a fist and smash his nose.  you’ll get your bracelet right away!  although you won’t be able to join your new friends in their city provided accommodations. . .

an interesting note: these people could theoretically be arrested for disturbing the peace and whatnot. as a nato ambassador, you cannot be arrested, detained or held by police unless a waiver is obtained from your home country. diplomatic immunity is da bomb!

lastly, two words about, ahem, personal interactions.

a common greeting should you meet a male for the first time is “yo mama” followed by a compliment.  for instance, “yo mama is so fat that when the Lord told her there was no room for her in heaven, the devil said there was no room for her in hell!”  the point of the compliment is that the other person’s mother is such a good cook and has an abundance of food so that she can develop into a robust and traditionally built lady.  trust me, any gentleman you say that to is going to immediately call you brother–you might even get a midwestern handshake!

and if you meet a woman in the course of your day?  grab your crotch, and announce loudly “i want me some of that!”  women love that sort of thing!

i hope my facebook friends who are NATO ambassadors enjoy their stay in chicago.  in fact, there’s only one person who prays for their comfort and ease more than i do:

mayor emanuel really needs this weekend to go well! everything has been arranged for your comfort and safety as if he were conrad hilton and arnold schwarzenegger in one! as for the comfort and safety of the folks protesting NATO and the status quo, uh, well, not so much!

i love the nightlife i’ve got to boogie on the disco . .. .

maybe i don’t like the nightlife.  i’m an early bird special girl.  five o’clock is quite late enough for dinner and pajamas at seven seems de rigeur.  dinner at eight?  what is that all about?

however, i have spent the last three nights out on the town for the purpose of fulfilling my new years resolution to meet all (at the time) 325 facebook friends.

so tuesday night was baseball–specifically the sox versus the cleveland indians.  i thought baseball was nine innings but these guys were having so much fun that they extended the game to fourteen innings.  at that point, well after one a.m. and as near as i can interpret the action on the field, the two teams shook hands, patted each other’s asses and agreed that the sox won.

wednesday night i went to the wonderbar (650 n. rush) to see lonie walker, but more specifically, my facebook friend f2fb #196 downtown tony brown.  i got there early, which in bar scene is not cool.  being anywhere late, particularly the next day, is cool.  but i saw how lonie and the bad ass company band of which downtown is a member plays when the band outnumbers the audience.  they still rock it as if they were playing for a thousand facebook friends!  after the first set, i bought downtown a few buttery nipples.  it’s a drink, not a condition.  so here i am at downtown’s lunch break–

i was careful to explain to the drummer that he was the fourth best drummer in the world–right behind david presser (my stepson who is not a facebook friend but is nonetheless quite wonderful), joseph presser (#61) and eastman presser (#1).  a good drummer is able to play on the third floor and make the ceiling fixtures on the first floor quake.  and give me a migraine.  the drummer from bad ass offered his bona fides.  i said maybe another time.

last night–continuing my string of out of the house nights–i went to a botox party.  it was an event at the elyssian hotel sponsored by a plastic surgeon dr. dayan.  there were a lot of women, many of whom were on their way to auditions for the remake of the movie brazil.  and aestheticians, one of whom applied enough glitter on my eyes that i don’t ever have to do that again.  she was a professional who has several times done kim kardashian–in a makeup way.  she gave me this exclusive–


this struck me as strange because when i was growing up in the sixties my adoptive mother mrs. patrick was quite unhinged over the fact that i had a butt.  a big butt.  that suggested i was of a “lower” ethnicity.  i did exercises to reduce my butt.  i could have donated my butt to the kardashians!

one gal at the party asked my age.  i said that i was seventy.  she asked how long i had been a patient of the kindly surgeon.  i said that i was on a diet of white wine and glitter and hadn’t yet needed his services.  she agreed that it was a good diet.  because even though there were hors d’oeuvres they were passed about as if all the guests were of an aleutian family on an ice floe about to shove off mom.

the boy scouts arrived and were thrown out.  every documentarian should have an “i was thrown out” moment and i was so proud for them.  but i didn’t forget to have some time with f2fb friend #197 terri wojak.  i didn’t know how i knew her but i think it’s because i’m fifty one and i could be somebody who could benefit from her course on skin care.  it’s only $295 dollars and there’s five weeks of intense training on how to make the best of the epidermis.

terri is the gorgeous one. i'm the gal who just got glitter on her eyelids.

i left the party, mostly because i didn’t know anybody besides terri who needed to talk to the other guests.  and the glitter eye shadow was migrating to my retinas.  i am old.  i don’t mind that.  i was surprised at the frenzy of the party–we want to avoid the aspects of age but we are happier growing old than dying young.  and i was reminded that the previous night i had seen lonie walker and her band–and she wears the grey hair quite proudly beautifully.  please if you are ever in chicago go see her at the wonderbar just to see her beauty.

i have resolved to tell everyone that i’m seventy.  lying upwards about your age gives you a lot of street cred,  and as for showing up at a downtown tony brown concert.  .  . no matter what band he’s fronting, just buy him a buttery nipple.  or stop at the 7-11 before you see him and show him a buttery one!

a f2fb friend who captures the moment when the hard work has already been done!

this year has been like a marathon–and i’m at slightly more than thirteen miles into the 26.2 miles.  there’s a certain amount of pacing, a certain reliance on others to either encourage me or to promise to see me, and there’s the times i just feel like i’m ridiculous.

which i have felt every day except yesterday when the chicago tribune published an article in its sunday supplement about my new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends!  so just this one morning, i woke up and didn’t think “what a ridiculous enterprise!”

i got up early, five a.m. and went downtown to chicago’s rock and roll half marathon.  these athletes have already done the hard work of preparing and training and i wonder if some mornings they have thought about not getting their training done because they have doubted themselves.  today was their day to enjoy the fruits of their hard work.   my day will be december 31, 2010 when i will visit the 325th facebook friend!

i filmed this while wearing a media pass.  i got it through my f2fb friend #194 rett britt.  rett is a business consultant but he has a wonderful avocation:  he photographs athletes at that moment of triumph, that moment of realizing they’re within reach of their goals.

this is a gal who has trained for this moment for a long time!

unfortunately, the pictures i took didn’t come out.  thank goodness nobody was relying on me.  still, you can see some of the other pictures rett took that morning at:

http://360.io/nhRsyW and  http://360.io/ZpTQqR




in order to be a star, i let a label executive touch my stomach

it’s everybody’s dream to be a star and i’ve heard about that whole “casting couch” thing.  but this guy, john hill, f2fb #132, just wanted to touch my stomach.  with his wife watching.  so weird.

john is an independent music label executive, focusing mostly on artist development. he’s worked with some of my facebook friends, such as vince p. (#57), mc kato (#49), carla kosak (#127), richard “mop” furniss (#53) and reggie gholston (#32).  he’s also worked with many grammy winning stars and has an impressive collection of awards for his own book shelves.

john had just come back from a humanitarian mission to haiti and was swamped with work, but he made time for me at the home he shares with his wife christie and their two children.  i had driven four hours from council bluffs and was very ready for my audition.  john said i had to learn to breathe first before i could learn to sing. christie said she’d be happy to tape the whole thing.

john was originally trained in opera which makes him able to spot talent in others–he knows a good voice.  he was polite–he is that unfailingly–but i don’t think i’m getting a recording conract.  it’s because my stomach is, well, i haven’t got abs like john hill.  he tried again to show me how singing works.

john and christie met when john was touring with r. kelly.  john doesn’t want to tour while his children are young.  his greatest joy is being a father and that joy has allowed him to better appreciate his own parents.

“your parents mold who you are, whether they’re there or not,”  john says.  “i grew up in a cosby family.  my dad was a chef, so if you’re hungry get ready!  and my mom works at a drop out recovery center for chicago public schools.  we came out here because my wife’s family is here but we came to enjoy the simple life.”  here’s a poem he wrote for his father.

i had such a wonderful time and i realized that the way schedules work, i would never have gotten a chance to see john and christie–or to try out for that recording contract–without this project!  take a look at your friends list.  is there somebody you haven’t seen in forever?

christie is expecting their third child in october