Chicago Recap

So I’m here in Chicago at Starbucks and it’s out last day here.  Actually, it’s our last half day here.  How sad.

We have had a wonderful time here taking in the sites, hanging out with friends and bumping into friends we didn’t even know lived here!

Our first day here, we met outside of Orange.  It is this really neat breakfast/brunch type cafe off Harrison near the library.  I had not seen Ryan in a few weeks so that was a pretty special moment for us both.  

We both enjoyed a delicious breakfast, Ryan had these waffle and fruit shish-kabobs and I had a simple small order of silver dollar pancakes and eggs.  With the main course we had a tasty treat called Frushi.  It’s fruit sushi and it’s really quite tasty.  A little but on the sweet side but good none-the-less.

My early flight had me up around 5:00 am and Ryan was on the bus from like 11:00pm the day before.   That being said, we were quite tired.  We picked up our suitcases and proceeded to make the venture down State to our hotel stopping at a few sites along the way.

They fella who checked us into our hotel room was a nice enough guy but got on our nerves a little bit when he was moving our bed from a king to two double beds.  He said a few times, “are you sure you want just one bed”, “are you sure, it’s a smaller room and just one bed”.  I took this a little better than Ryan I think haha.

We got into our room and took a little nap before exploring the city.  When we woke up Ryan showed me the surprise he had gotten us.  A Canon SD870-IS.  I was way excited.  For a few weeks I had been looking at getting a new point and shoot digital camera focusing my efforts on the Canon SD1100-IS.  It is a more expensive, supposedly higher-end camera.  

After Ryan’s careful research, and famous frugalness, he decided on the 870-IS.  And as it turns out, it is a better camera.  You do sacrifice the viewfinder in favor of the large LCD, but you gain in the zoom but 0.8x and the image stabilization is in the lens not the CCD which is really a better way at doing it.  

Oh, and despite not having a viewfinder and relying on the screen as the only way to view your shot before you take it, it gets something like 30 extra shots per battery charge.

Ryan and I took the new camera with us when we went out that night to Pizzaria Uno, Starbucks, and wherever else we wandered.  I really cannot even remember haha.

Sadly, when I was trying to quickly switch from the computer to shoot some video of this guy collecting milk jug caps, I corrupted the secure digital card, or at least the data on the card.  So all those pics and videos were lost.  Sad.  Here is a video I made with the new camera, Jason Mraz’s new song playing in the background.  It’s 20 minutes of Starbucks activity squished into 4 minutes.  

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After some consoling from Ryan and me pouting a good while, we headed out for dinner. As we waited for the Red Line to show up we noticed this gaggle of straight guys trying to figure out the CTA system.  There were with a girl and all acting the stereotypical way that hot straight jocks act.

Well, all but one.  He was acting the way a stereotypical in-the-closet gay jock acts.  It was pretty hilarious.  he would brush up against the other guys for no reason, start wrestling fights out of no where… It was so obvious I could not believe that the other guys weren’t catching on.

We were so enraptured by the scene before us that we almost missed two fellow Columbians-come-Chicagoans walking onto the terminal.  Tom and his girlfriend!

I have never talked about this couple on my blog.  Tom was to pledge Acacia back in the day and I might have suggested that he rethink that.  At that time Acacia wasn’t for him and while I could see that, most of the other guys could not.  He would have been a guy that was burned by Acacia and I didn’t want to see that.

We have been friends or sorts ever since then and I used to bump into him and his girlfriend all the time in Columbia.  It would seem that everyday I would see at least one of them in the most bizarre places.  

And what do you know, here I am in a random city in America on one of only two nights in the city on a subway station that they have never been to since they never go to downtown and there they are.  They just happened to be visiting his girlfriend’s mother downtown.  

We didn’t hang out but we did chat for a bit, it was so fun to see them.  Of course Ryan took this as a chance to make fun of me.  He seems to think I know too many people because everywhere we go together I know someone.  When we first started dating we couldn’t walk ten feet without someone saying hi to me.

We finally made it to Boys Town where our dinner was scheduled to be.  Unfortunately Chicago Diner, a vegetarian restaurant, was closing.  Nevermind that their hours sated they had one more hour before closing… grrr

They were nice though and sent us to The Pick Me Up.  It was a really neat inde-punk rock-emo-hipster half vegetarian restaurant.  We had these AWESOME empanadas, wow.

On the way home from The Pick Me Up we bumped into our sexually confused friend from the subway just a few hours earlier.  He and his buddies had gotten off a few stops before us but here he was with two of his friends in Boys Town.  They were both saying something along the lines of, “Dude, I just don’t feel comfortable around you right now” and “I feel a little weird about you”… I guess he got a few drink in him and finally made his move haha, something Ryan and I had joked about earlier.

Went home, slept, I woke up early to do some work, we met up with Brett and his really great boyfriend for brunch at The Bongo Room.  Awesome brunch followed by some shopping down Michigan Avenue and tea at Argo.  We need an Argo in Columbia.

Ryan and I broke off from the fun couple and went back to the hotel for a quick nap.  Woke up, got all cleaned up and headed to the Chicago Diner again.  On the train with us was this guy that looked quite a bit like Chadd, to me at least.

Well worth the second chance.  The food was delicious and the service great.  Did I mention how good the food was?  Before we had even finished dinner I had ordered a copy of their cookbook off Amazon.com haha.  You should get a copy too.  It is worth it.

We went to a couple of local shops, met a guy named Paris who said I’d be screaming his name in bed that night, he was fun.  Apparently Rhianna was there just a couple of days ago.  Damn us for not being there at the same time.  I would have loved to have met Jay-Z’s alleged ex gay on the side.

Off to Whole Foods and then the Center which is one of the coolest gay advocate sites I had ever been to.  We walked around Boys Town for a bit more before going into a bar called Side Track.

Great bar.  If you go to Chicago you must go to Side Track.  Great drinks, friendly bartenders and fantastic music videos all around.  We befriended a bartender named John who works the fourth floor bar there, outside.  He is a paramedic just like Ryan and is going to school for journalism.  He was such a nice guy, bought us each a Jagerbomb.  Tasty.

We went through all of the bar within Side Track.  I think there were five… Really quite the classy place.

Then off to Berlin where we almost met this potentially really cool, accidentally hipster-emo fellow who was actually probably just really dorky but we both thought was probably nice and incredibly shy.  Unfortunately we are just as shy and we didn’t break the ice though I did make several attempts.

Back to the hotel room, back to sleep, whew.  I woke up early to get online and blog this with some pictures and a video I did at Starbucks but AT&T’s internet is down.  Boo.

Oh yeah, and I got a free hug!

Well I’m going to wake up Ryan.  We don’t have much time left in Chicago so we gotta make the best of it!

What To Do…?

Let’s get a solid back story here before I continue with the current situation.

I moved back to Columbia and brainstormed with Jim this great idea that we could move in together in this three bedroom apartment off campus with his boyfriend David. I didn’t really know David but he seemed like a nice enough guy, plus he was from Texas so I liked him that much more

Things worked out just fine for a good while. I mean, I had to do most if not all of the cleaning and every once in a while David would drink too much and be a little annoying. Nothing really bothered me too much except that I never got to hang out with Jim.

When I first moved in, I was super busy with work, I had about 40 hours a week over at Starbucks on top of class work. When my eyes got fucked up, again, I had to cut my hours to around 12-20 per week and then further when I got sick from the other stuff.

At one point I was pretty damn sick, I even had to take a cab to the emergency room. This was followed by three surgeries and some annoying preparatory and recovery procedures. Throughout all of this I never asked for a ride or anything special, except one time I did ask Jim if he could bring me to the hospital for my surgery, unfortunately he had class and couldn’t, that’s fine, I understood completely and never asked again.

Right before David moved out to finish his graduate requirements in Houston, he had this big drunken fit. He called me an asshole and many other mean and untrue things. It seemed then that he thought I didn’t want him to be with Jim and that I wanted to be with Jim.

Oh yeah, Jim and I dated years ago, for a few months. It never progressed to anything as serious as Jim’s last two relationships and we had both moved on completely, absolutely completely.

Jim and David moved out completely last… Saturday. Jim had asked if I could get the cable box to Mediacom that Friday or Thursday if he didn’t make it in time. I let him know that I would try but my last two days, Monday and Tuesday, in Columbia were already packed with work during Mediacom’s hours of operation and errands I had to run to get my shit together with my new apartment, work and planning for the rest of the summer. On Tuesday I literally had every hours planned out with appointments, ask Kevin, Geoff, Curtis, Chadd, my family…

Furthermore, I had told Jim that he could take it back whenever he wanted as all of my television watching was now done with my AppleTV. I only watched regular television in my bedroom or otherwise basic cable broadcast, I didn’t use the cable box function, at all.

Tuesday night I got out of work at 12:30am (which is actually Wednesday morning of course) and Geoff was kind enough to pick me up at Columbia Autobody about 10 miles north of town around 1:00am and bring me home. I finished laundry, packed my stuff up and at 4:30 a bus picked me up to bring me to the Saint Louis Airport.

On Monday or perhaps early Tuesday, I told Jim that I might not be able to make it to Mediacom until I got back into town, which would be a Sunday, the 17th, Mediacom opens the next day, Monday. I won’t have my car until the afternoon on Monday and I work in the afternoon Monday so who knows when I will actually be able to pick up my car, probably Tuesday.

David sent me a text message tonight because he was mad that I didn’t make it to Mediacom.

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I was immediately floored.  No one likes to get messages like that, especially when you feel that you are totally innocent of any wrongdoing.  Jim understood that I would try, but just as he had run out of time, I did not have the time.  I was stressed out about getting just my stuff done.  With a co-worker’s baby on the way, I had been given extra shifts, working as much as 14 hours a day on top of moving to my new place, planning and organizing trips to Austin, Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Rosa, New York, Washington DC, Nashville and South Carolina.  Plus trying to figure out how I would pay for these trips and still afford to finish off my apartment.

Despite what some people think, I’m not rich and I don’t get everything I want from my parents.  If I can’t afford something right away, I save up my paychecks and wait until I can.  I’m very good at saving the money before products come out so I can get them as they arrive, such as the AppleTV and Airport Extreme and my iPods and such.

I called Jim to apologize if I had upset him and let him know that I would get it returned as soon as I could.  I also told him that David had sent me that really mean, unwarranted text message.  The phone service out here in the hill country isn’t so great and we got cut off twice, through kind words.  He apologized for David which isn’t something he should have done or had to do.  Jim had written me earlier saying if I could just get it done when I get back, OK.

Then I got another message from David.

David's 2nd Evil message

It just never ends.  I’m not sure what to do.  Micheal told me to just ignore David and not respond to him, save the friendship I have with Jim and forget that David and I had ever had this one sided conversation.

I have never responded to David’s accusations, his quips and whips.  I have never voiced my opinions of David to Jim and have never actively done anything to David.  He has used my computer to log into his email on Gmail.  He has printed from my printer or at least taken ALL of the paper out of my printer four times, the last time being their last day in Columbia.  Nothing like pulling an all-nighter to find your printer out of paper right before you have to run to class and turn in your report.

This summer I have been really enjoying work.  I have been hanging out with great old friends and making new ones.  I have made more new friends this semester than I ever expected; Ryan, Beau, Scott, Chadd, Justin, Nick, Carrie, John, Justin, Justin, Michelle, Jessica2, Scott…

I’m going to be in Washington DC for some eleven days visiting Landon and experiencing the Fourth of July at our Capital.  I really hope to hang out with Jim while I’m there and to spend some time exploring the city with Geoff when he arrives later in the week.  I am going to have a blast hanging out with Landon and his friends and expect to share those experiences with Jim.  We have been great friends through so much for so long.  We have helped each other through heartbreak, through depression and through some soul searching.  We have shared so many wonderful experiences and have grown up together into completely different people than the ones we were when we first met in 2003.

I love you Jim.I don’t think I’m a loser.  I think I’m a really nice guy with a winner personality and lots of wonderful friends like many of you reading my blog right now.  I don’t think I would have you as friends if I were a “fucking prick” a “loser” an “asshole”.

Now that that is out of the way, I’m going to get some sleep.  I have a busy day ahead of myself.