Monday, May 03, 2004

The weekend with the folks was fun.

They got in Thursday, and since Mom really wanted to go to DSW (bless her heart), we headed right down after I got home from work for some shoe-buying fun, and then I took them to Nookie's, my favorite people-watching diner in Boystown. Little did we know that Thursday was Dining Out for Life in Chicago, and to get in the spirit, Nookie's had transformed itself from an upscale diner to an upscale restaurant -- complete with upscale table linens and upscale prices. We decided to stay, though, and we were rewarded for our loyalty with a Cher impersonator who struggled all night to stay on the fence between engaging the diners with her antics and staying respectfully behind her fourth wall. And while female impersonators always make dinner with the parents fun, it's the awkward, nervous female impersonators who take the dinner experience to a whole new level.

Like a moron, I never got the bright idea to take Friday off while my parents were here, so I trudged off to work in the morning and they came in to join Bill and me for lunch at P.F. Chang's, which brought us disappointment on many levels: mediocre food, silverware with dried bits of other people's mediocre food all over it, plastic chopsticks (what the hell is the point of plastic chopsticks?), and a room temperature hovering somewhere between arctic blast and ice age redux.

That night we headed back to Nookie's so the folks could have a proper Nookie's experience, and then we sat up and chatted at my place well into the night.

Saturday was a day of Chicago shopping fun. After a leisurely morning reading the paper and listening to Mozart, we headed out to the Brown Elephant so I could drop off a massive garbage bag full of clothes that had been clogging my closets for too long. Then we headed back to DSW and Marshall's, where I got two kick-ass pair of Steve Maddens for $30 each. Then we trudged off to Roy's Furniture so I could look at dining-room tables. (I'm 36 and I still have a card table in my dining room. How sad is that?) I didn't find anything I couldn't live without, so my dining room will maintain its dorm-level charm for the foreseeable future. Poor Dad had had more than his fill of mom-and-gay-son shopping by then, so I took us to Architectural Artifacts, where all three of us wandered slack-jawed among the fascinating inventory of fireplace mantles, tables, chandeliers, store signs, cabinets, tiles, statues, fountains and anything else of interest that could be pried from historic buildings around the world before they were destroyed.

We headed home so Mom and Dad could get ready for the big reason for their visit: Dad's college's 150th anniversary party at the venerable University Club downtown. Meanwhile, I headed to Bill's house for his birthday party, where a bunch of his friends and I invented a tacky little party game for the politically-aware set: If you had to sleep with a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, which one would it be? (I was the lone holdout for David Souter, while the rest of the (completely gay) room was divided between Stephen Breyer and that boner-killer Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We had one vote for the hateful Clarence Thomas, but thankfully, there was universal loathing -- both physically and intellectually -- for the vile and repellent Antonin Scalia.)

This morning we met my cousin Eric for brunch at Melrose, then Mom and Dad headed back to Iowa and I headed home to nap and clean and read more of the paper. Now I'm waiting for some Drano to work its magic on my kitchen sink and then I'm off to bed to rest up for a week that involves my Chicago Magazine Top 20 Singles photo shoot and another trip to NYC for a client meeting.