Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I Could Teach You, But I'd Have to Charge

Current favorite song obsession: "Milkshake" by Kelis. It will not be replacing "Hey Ya" anytime soon, but damn is it good. As of 2 weeks ago, the Wednesday/Thursday night DJ at Sam-wise (haha, bad Lord of the Rings joke, Shannon, I trust you to get this one) did not have it, but the Friday night DJ, Eddie C/Z (no, not cubic zirconia) did, so it was good times.

So, yes, I'm finally back from New York and well again. More on New York later, I need to finally get to the stories of Thanksgiving week. But first, some observations I've had lately. First, I am not pleased with the results of Average Joe. Why did she have to pick Jason? He was so boring, and he seemed perplexed by the concept of checkers! Yes, he was cute, but not that cute. And while Adam did have some big choppers, he was so sweet! I almost threw my remote at the TV. In other news, I was really amused by Sunday's Herald News article about "Westfield Shoppingtown"'s acquisition of Louis Joliet Mall. The article hints that we may get new stores (bet you anything we'll end up with more crap and still no Gap, perhaps it's time for the return of Chess King and the Merry Go Round), and also states that the mall will soon feature concierges who will help with carrying packages to shoppers' cars and "even offer to make restaurant reservations." I was really excited to hear about this offer: does this mean I can cut straight to the front of the line at Auntie Anne's or Creamo (Yes I know that it's Cre-amo or whatever, but Creamo is hilarious, yet nasty)? Get preferred seating at A &W? Become a VIP at Panera Bread? Last I checked, the only sitdown restaurant at Westfield Shoppingtown Louis Joliet was Friday's. I suppose it's the not too well thought out thought that counts.

Ok, finally, the stories of Thanksgiving week. Wednesday night, "Black Wednesday"/Megan's birthday celebration was definitely an entertaining evening. We headed over to Samy's around 9 to beat the crowds, which was a good plan as later on people were waiting outside in the rain for 45 minutes in order to enter our beloved bar. Wednesday night=Margarita night at Samy's. Normally I would not partake due to the terrible Chipotle Margarita Incident of May 2003 during Nancy's birthday celebration, but they were only a dollar so I had one, and they were not too bad. Samy's was of course hopping with a varied group of barflies, which included some girls who were all too eager to win the various trivia contests throughout the night. I also tried to be a winner, but these girls were large and in charge and were very hard to navigate around, so I waited a little later to win my prize. Another bargoer who we'll call "Time of the Month Tammy" approached Wendy and I (and we assume others) in the middle of the bar (note: bar, not bathroom) to see if we had any tampons. As I would assume that most females are averse to whipping out feminine needs in the middle of the bar, it may have taken her a while to meet her goal, but let's hope she did so in a discreet manner. As mentioned before, they did not have "Milkshake," but "Hey Ya" was played, though the Samy's DJ has a bad habit of playing it way too early in the evening when most people are not sufficiently inebriated enough to dance. This does not include me, of course, when "Hey Ya" comes on I'm the first on the dance floor no matter what. Also getting dangerous on the dance floor was JLH Girl. She was dancing up a storm with her usual facial expressions. Nancy took a really great picture of her that I am inadvertently a part of. JLH is making a wacky face, and not even knowing I was part of the picture, am making almost the same face. I really need to put some pictures up so this phenomenon can be seen for your viewing pleasure. Speaking of dancing, Megan, Nance and I did a little boogying on the bar and for our efforts won the same prize that was being given out to the trivia contest winners: $50 gift certificates to Essence Suites. Essence Suites appears to be some sort of romantic getaway in the spirit of Sybaris, only without the pools (or, presumably, the big ass slides), in "scenic" Orland Park. We were not too excited about our winnings, though I came up with the plan of having a hotel party. Unfortunately, after looking more closely at our gift certificates, we realized that only 2 guests registered to the suite are allowed in the room, and no visitors. Blah. However, Megan noted that they have a special “afternoon” rate for noon-4 pm, and currently offered is a “Nap Special” which includes 2 movie tickets along with the room for the afternoon. Classy! Amusingly, that’s the only rate that our gift certificates even come close to being a bargain using our coupons. The Essence Suites website is QUITE entertaining. Among the “amenities” offered is “Finger Touch Mood Lighting.” I don’t know what that is, but it sounds kind of skanky. The “Super Essence Suite” offers a romantic culinary delight: a heart shaped pizza. God knows that whenever I think of a night of romance, pizza always figures into the equation. I highly recommend taking the “virtual tour” of the suites that appears on the website. The Whirlpool Suite features a lovely Essence Suites shower curtain and a picture on the wall of people mounting each other on the beach. A note for any potential Essence Suites guests: Don’t bring your pets. “Violation of this rule will result in immediate eviction without refund, and additional charges for sanitizing carpets and, due to the design of the room, animal rescue. Why would an animal need rescue? Does this have anything to do with gerbils? I don’t want to know.

So that was Wednesday, and Thursday was Thanksgiving. The usual food. My favorite Thanksgiving foods are mashed potatoes (obviously, I love me some spuds), stuffing, and cranberries, but they have to be those synthetic canned jelly cranberries, none of that real fruit. I ate a lot, then got up early on Friday morning to meet Nancy and her family and do the day after T-Day Christmas shopping. It was my first time doing the getting up early the day after thing, and it wasn't as bad as I expected. We went to Kohl's and Orland, had an "utter"ly entertaining lunch at Ruby Tuesday's, then headed back to Joliet, had dinner at Diamands (one of the very few Greek family restaurants I have not been to in J-town, quality BLT's and fries), then went to Circuit City to partake in the "Every CD for $9.99" sale. Though I was less than successful in getting the new Bon Jovi, I got the No Doubt hits collection, which is awesome. After shopping I headed home, got ready and met the crew for another evening at Samy's. Samy's was packed, and, as mentioned before, Eddie C/Z was in the house spinning tunes. Eddie sponsored a dance contest that was like nothing I've ever seen before at Samy's. Calling it a "hump contest" would probably be more appropriate. Basically, each couple had their turn in the spotlight, and would proceed to grind on/hump/straddle/each other while sucking face. Eventually I had to turn away, but the winning couple featured a woman who flashed her bra. I think they also won an Essence Suites gift certificate.

While hanging out at Samy's, I received a phone call from Megan to head over to a party where Whiskey Tango fans were apparently in residence. One of O.J.'s fellow officers was throwing a shindig, so we headed over. The party was basically Heroes/Samy's in a basement, it was amazing how many fellow local bargoers I saw there. They even had Golden Tee to complete the effect. The culinary highlight of the party: Chicken Chunks. I thought I spied a party guest chomping on the Chicken-N-Spice taste temptation, and I excitedly asked, "Are those Chicken Chunks?!" He said yes, and I hauled ass to the kitchen for some artery cloggin' heaven. I had a great time chatting with Whiskey Tango fans like O.J., Legal Larry, Meg, and "Guy Whose Name I Can't Remember," who shared with me some stories of his love for Saved by the Bell. Apparently while in Florida he dined in the same restaurant as Lindsey from the far inferior Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and greeted her with the line, "You know Screech!" Awesome.

Saturday I did a little shopping and in the evening headed over to Heroes for a Brat Pack performance. Heroes was pretty hopping for a change, but it wasn’t nearly as crowded as Brat Pack concerts used to be at Tuckaway. The Brat Pack were entertaining as usual, and other entertainment was provided by a man who seemed to be on a date with his female companion, but seemed to have a wandering eye, checking out everyone that would walk by. The wandering eye was accompanied by a really bad case of the hiccups, so Courtney and I laughed for a good ten minutes as we watched his head swivel, accompanied by hiccupping spasms. Perhaps you had to be there, but it was comedy. Other amusement was provided by a pair of close talking, Southern drawling groomsman from an area wedding. They came over to chat with our group, and Melanie’s eagle eyes noted that the more attractive of the guys was wearing a wedding ring. She called me over to give me the info, and when I walked back over to the guys I checked Slow Talkin’ Stu, or was it Philandering Phil’s (his name was Clint, but I like nicknames) ring finger. No ring could be seen. Apparently Stu/Phil/Clint had slipped off his ring in an attempt to find some Northern nookie. The guys accompanied us to the dance floor later, and at one point Clint started dancing behind me. I was tempted to ask, “Is that your wedding ring in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” When we left later on, Clint had an older woman sitting on his lap and they looked quite happy. We yelled out, “Enjoy married life!” as we left, but I don’t think he heard. Let’s hope he behaved.

Sunday was my last day of fun before I got sick. I went out to lunch at Friday’s with Wens and Jennifer, and afterward, we walked through the mall to check out a store that Courtney and Rob had mentioned to me the day before. The store is called something like “Hollywood Shot” and is located near Orange Julius. I would refer to it as a more urban themed Glamour Shots. Basically you could get your portrait taken in front of an array of airbrushed backdrops, which included playing cards, stars, hearts, and other designs. The store features a display of people’s portraits in the front, many of which had captions written on them like “Miss Chingy,” and “Judy Booty.” If this is the kind of new store that Westfield Shoppingtown is bringing to Joliet, I can hardly wait to see what’s next!

So I was sick all last week, then headed to New York Thursday night. I had a great time, adventures included a lot of shopping, a blizzard, dessert at Planet Hollywood (I didn’t even know they still existed, but the one in Times Square has stuff from Old School!), an encounter with a Michael Jackson lookalike at the airport, a couple musicals, and a trip to New Jersey. I’ve always been excited to visit what I envisioned to be the Whiskey Tango capital of the world, but we were in Princeton, which is not representative of the Whiskey Tangoness of the rest of the state. However, I did have 75 cent Pabst Blue Ribbon there, so that’s pretty trashy. In other news, I did a search for Whiskey Tango on Google, and found out that there’s a Whiskey Tango Tavern in Philadelphia! The Whiskey Tango basically looks like East Coast Heroes, and its menu is very similar to the Joliet establishment. However, they also have a Sports Lounge with couches and La-Z-Boys, and an upstairs nightclub called the Pretty Ugly Room. If I’m ever in Philly again, I’m definitely checking this place out, and I emailed them to find out if they have T-shirts. Well that’s all for now, have a wacky Wednesday!

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