Saturday, January 27, 2007

A New Kind of Experiment, that may lead to lots of humiliation

I once read about drunk blogging... the process of drinking and blogging at the same time. Tonight, at the risk of all things good in my life, I will accomplish this feat while a Streetbeat Party happens right outside my bedroom.

Now understand--during most Streetbeat Parties, I sit in my room and drink the Streebeat DJs' booze and surf the Internet. Tonight should be about the same, but with this whole blog thing thrown in. I will now go steal some of their vodka to add to my Hpnotiq to make my first cocktail of the evening at 10:30 P.M.

11:23 P.M.: As far as Streetbeat parties go, this one is kicking. Not only are there no theater majors here this time, but more than three DJ's showed up. However, par for the course, they are all dudes. Most of them are dudes I don't know. I literally can hear grunting outside of my room. Here are a few of the dudes:

Dude 1, whom we shall call "Juan," is that dude who girls just love but don't date because they're pretty sure they'll somehow fall short of him because so far he seems perfect. John and I have tried to hook Juan up in the past but with no success. Juan is a total catch--good looking, smart, multitalented, enthusiastic about life and the things he does with his own, all that jazz. Juan is still available.

Dude 2, whom we shall call "Old Guy What's He Doing Here?" or OGWHDH?, arrived a healthy forty-five minutes late. OGWHDH, although old, is hip. He brought Beefeaters. For discussion: What's better? Beefeaters or Bombay? Talk amongst yourselves.

Dude 3, whom we shall call "Headphones Guy," wears headphones in the cold like they are earmuffs. For him, it's a fashion statement, but for everybody else, it's just a big mistake. Headphones arrived at the party ready to go.

Dudes 4 and 5, whom we shall call "Freshmen," arrived before anybody else did.

11:34: (wondering how much bass these apartments can handle before they shatter into pieces) Matt's part over at Church and Ridge has already been broken up, evidently. People attempted to enter the WNUR Streetbeat's free party, and were immediately turned away. Electronica DJ's are harsh.

11:46: My favorite thing about college parties is the mindless chatter. I just met a freshman girl (Note: Count is now: Girls: 2, Boys: 34, or something like that) who told me how she is choosing between Classics and Economics as a major. God love her. This conversation subsequently turned into an awkward conversation about majors and futures with four or fives individuals. We made several conclusions based on generalizations and then laughed at everybody who wasn't one of our majors to make ourselves comfortable, (SESP's!!!). I also was rewarded with champagne for walking into the room. This is another very uniquely COLLEGE experence. Nowhere else will you arrive into a place and will people shower you with booze. "Hooray! You're here! Now we'll take Peppermint Patty Shots!" Only if you're between the ages of 18 and 22.

11:50, one more thought before I go: I asked that girl how she was "liking it." What a bitchy thing to say! Oops. I'll go make up for it.


12:12 I met a bunch of people in my kitchen. I don't know who they are. One girl asked me how I got the real martini glass with the slice of lime. I told her, "Suck it." Actually, I said, "i live here."

A Haiku:

If you live with me
You can drink all that I have
Otherwise shut up.

12:46: Ran out of booze, Mike goes to Jesss's in order to grab salvage the situaion with tequila and raspberry vodka... Mike comes in room, asks where John is, we dont' know . Go find him. In ktichen. Telling off Dude Number 6.

1:01: Mike got an audition at Yale. Jess didn't. It's ok though. ((input by Jess)) We're all here now.

1:10: I tried to get Dude #7 out of here. It didn't work. He just asked me how New York was. Jess said I was drunk.

1:11 Guy came in said "Hey what's up". Caitlin said "heeeeeey". Guy said "uh" and left. ((input by jess))

1:14 Wine glass broken by Pete in kitchen... That makes 2/4 for Julie. All of all for Caitlin?

1:26 Mike is showing off about some place in Italy (Burano...the smaller Murano, whre they make glass --input by Jess) where I (Caitlin)31 don't know.

1:41/; I'm going ro be naked all th theiml

1:46: I'm here again and this time I spilled and it was my fault. This time it was Jon's fault and I spilled it.

1:48: Oh, shit!

1:51: shit swet bedrooma~ Son'r hwre hwe hCW ROO MUXH PD RHr~ roo lRW~

2:04: Jess and Mike are on my bed, tring to make pictures. I don't like this. I also walked on on Brett trying to pick up some half-pretty girl who is not really prettyl.

2:37 : Oops.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Uptown in Chicago

I miss New York. Chicago is small and I bought in to the idea that a city is only a city if you get lost every time you go in it. I guess I better start getting lost in Chicago again and remind myself that it's not just Belmont, Southport and Uptown. Speaking of which...

John and I celebrated our first anniversary together on Sunday evening. Much to my surprise, he had arranged for us to sneak illegally into the abandoned Uptown Theater and spend a couple hours exploring it. If you're unaware of John's documentary on the subject (which would mean you have never spoken to him before), then you wouldn't know that the theater is the largest movie palace in the United States, a last decaying remnant of the decadence that was the 1920's.

Though the theater is falling to pieces in some places (a chunk of plaster here, a warped wood-panelled wall there), it maintains an overwhelming beauty that literally takes your breath away. It's hard to believe that architecture in the United States every took on such European, indulgent attention to detail. Where chandeliers no longer illuminate the towering ceilings, the handwork of hundreds of artists hides veiled in cavernous shadows, forgotten.

The most striking thing about being in a place like the Uptown--a place abandoned, forgotten--where thousands of people walk by each day, unaware of what sits inside, is how it simultaneously is ravaged by, and untouched by, time. It decays, yes, but somehow it feels as if you might shut your eyes, reopen them, and find yourself in another time--maybe wearing your best outfit and waiting in the ticket line for a seat to the latest talkie; children running between the brass posts and velvet ropes, soon to be stowed away in the theater's nursery; the mechanics and the electricians downstairs, toiling in the heat by Titanic-sized boilers and fans, unwittingly taking in Legionnaire's air and a stinted life; the women in their Mezzanine boxes, chattering and fanning themselves; the projectionist's assistant struggling up flights upon flights of stairs to deliver the burdening film reel and when he reaches the top, he can stare from the box--ten stories above the rest of the audience, the rest of the world--and watch.

But then you open your eyes and you remember that it's 2007. The theater is abandoned, crumbling under the weight of years of neglect, and life goes on. Who knows what will happen with this amazing place, but I'm glad that I've been inside and seen it with my own eyes. Oh, and Bob, the building manager, said he'd happily sneak anyone else in who wants to go. :)


Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Enter Sandman

Do you ever have dreams where you suddenly find yourself in your third grade classroom and realize you forgot to complete an assignment for Mrs. Perkins back in 1992 and now you have to repeat the entire educational process?

And it's the science fair again, and there's Ronnie again with his fancy bird feeder that is so obviously made by his parents, and what does it have to do with science fairs, and what did it have to do with science fairs back in 1992??

You're panicking and your knees don't fit under the kid-sized desks anymore and you don't have your pencil case and God-only-knows where your Trapper Keeper is, and oh no, where did Mom put the lunch money--didn't you just have a paying job? You guess not. You guess, in fact, you're going to have to come up with something quick to match Ronnie's bird feeder and hope the other kids like you and maybe get Student of the Week or a gold star by your name on the bulletin board. You guess you'll just have to stick with it.

Except this time, it's not a dream.

Welcome back to Northwestern, Caitlin.

You didn't graduate yet--remember? You're a senior now. You've only been interning these last six months. You live in a dirty Evanston college apartment, not in a Brooklyn brownstone. Also, you haven't bought any books yet.