Friday, January 26, 2007

Going on vacation is a full-time job

WHEW. As if buying a place and ripping out the closets and having the floors redone and changing addresses on every investment and credit card and magazine and découpage club and all those other new-home obligations weren’t enough to suck my life dry, I’m also leaving tomorrow on a week-long cruise through the Caribbean. And it’s wearing. me. out.

Worst of all, the boyfriend won’t be joining me; this trip was booked and paid for a good six months before we even met. It started when my friend Jeremy invited a handful of friends to come help him celebrate his 30th birthday in the Caribbean sun. Of course, they told two friends … and they told two friends … and suddenly there are at least 20 of us with bottles of Wella Balsam packed into our carry-ons.

And since this is a gay cruise, the basic stress factors—the current rules about toothpaste in carry-ons, the amount of Advil and Immodium and even more embarrassing OTCs I should pack, etc.—are multiplied exponentially. It comes as no surprise that gay men—at least gay men on cruises marketed as giant nautical eating disorders—are hyper-aware of their bodies and how they compare to the bodies around them. And when one is (hypothetically) 38 years old with a new condo to worry about and a busy job and extremely limited time to hit a gym, one’s hypothetical body-comparing anxiousness level has a tendency to grow. Hypothetically.

And then there are the costume parties. It seems that Atlantis, in addition to being the purveyor of gay cruises, is also an active lobbyist for the Federal Every Citizen Must Buy Ten Pieces Of Luggage Act. It’s not enough to bring shorts and tank tops and flip-flops and extra sunscreen on an Atlantis cruise. No! You also have to pack elaborate costumes for parties with the following themes: military, Mardi Gras, under the sea, not pretty enough, del Fuego, disco, not popular enough, and white. The boys in my touring party and I have dug around and found some fun group costumes to wear, but as I ponder the logistics of packing feathered masks and ruffled shirts and soldier boots and white top hats, my lugging-suitcases-to-looking-fabulous cost-benefit analysis takes me way past the point of diminishing returns. The ruffled Mardi Gras shirts we found are pretty cool, and they pack well, so they’re coming along. But the white top hat/waiter coat/bow tie combo is more of a packing liability than a fun way to attend a white party. And since in fashion you’re either in or you’re out …

But! Since the boyfriend didn’t have the foresight to book this trip as my roommate last January even though we weren’t scheduled to meet until July, his punishment involves getting our new floors refinished while I’m gone. Which seems fair to me: As I’m engaged in the exhausting act of holding in my stomach for a week, he will be leisurely getting quotes and coordinating the acts of sanding, staining, refinishing, cleaning and check writing here at home. And when I return, there will be lovely new floors. Just like magic!

In any case, there will most likely be no new posts here until I return on the 4th. So you’ll have to go back and re-read this post every day to tide yourself over. You may want to pace yourself and just read half a paragraph a day to ensure you don’t get bored. And take a break on the 1st to mentally wish my mother a happy 66th birthday.

Be good while I’m gone!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bring on the property tax bills!

The long housing nightmare is almost over; we closed on our condo on Friday without a hitch, and now all that’s left to do is the moving. Let us all breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Actually, there was a tiny bit of a hitch: The boyfriend got called away to work the day before the closing, so I had to close on my own—and sometime this week we get to do a follow-up legal procedure to make us official co-owners.

Fortunately, though, his absence gave me the advantage I needed to defend my Most Romantic Boyfriend title. My first order of business was getting a suitable frame for the print I had made of this picture, taken by our friend Jim the day we met:

I like the way it captures us looking off into our metaphorical future, which makes it the perfect image to commemorate our first housewarming. I remember being positively giddy around him that day—and incredibly confident that when I put my arm around his chair he’d see it more as a gesture of friendship than as a tacky come-on.

I’d been so busy the last few weeks I hadn’t had time to do much frame shopping, but I figured I’d find what I was looking for at Target. So I went right there after the closing. I found a frame—along with a mountain of candles and holders, a set of red bowls, a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, a card, and some champagne flutes, which I spread out on the dining room floor to surprise him the first time he stepped foot in our new home. My camera phone makes the spread look kind of paltry, so you’ll have to trust that when all the candles were flickering in the boyfriend’s tear-moistened eyes, he could hardly see how paltry it really was:

Helpful hint: If you want to do something romantically cheesy to mark the purchase of your first home together, set your closing date in the month before Valentine’s Day. All the stores have tons of red heart-shaped crap all over their shelves to help you set the stage for gooey schmaltz.

Another helpful hint: Don’t go shopping for it all at Target on a Friday night. Because the people who go to Target on Friday nights are typically the people who don’t get invited on dates or to parties on Friday nights. And there are very good reasons they don’t get invited on dates or to parties on Friday nights.

Target on a Friday night is also populated by families with multiple children. These children whine loudly about the toys they think they neeeeeeeeeeed. And if there’s anything more annoying than a child whining in a store, it’s a child whining in a store in a language you don’t understand.

But back to the spread on the dining room floor: We used the champagne flutes for sparkling water because neither of us really loves champagne. We used the bowls for ice cream because both of us LOVE our ice cream. I stocked our freezer with four kinds of gourmet ice cream so we can celebrate repeatedly into the near future. And into larger pants.

I also wrapped the picture, slapped on a giant bow (4¢ worth of ribbon tied up nice enough that I willingly forked over a good $5 to buy it) and hung it on the wall over the fireplace. It looked pretty cool all wrapped, but it looks even cooler hanging unwrapped in its place of honor.

And what did the boyfriend bring to make our first moments together in our house as magical as a Pat Robertson leg press? He brought … a list. A roomful of candles and ice cream vs. … a list. A meticulously wrapped framed photo (with a freakin’ five-dollar bow) vs. … a list.

Actually, it was a list of romantic things he would have done and/or bought had he not been stuck at work as much as I have been lately. And his list ended with peanut butter and jelly, so I am officially swooning over his romantic thoughtfulness.

Our first project as new homeowners was to rip out the closets. Our place has three smallish closets in which we’re expected to store everything: coats, tools, paint, games, vacuums, ironing boards, dead or dying hookers … not to mention our vast wardrobes of discount couture. So we tore out the old, inefficient closet shelves and rods on Saturday, filled in the resulting holes with almost an entire canister of spackle, slapped on two coats of paint, took measurements and headed to The Container Store to take advantage of their annual 30% sale on elfa closet systems.

And it’s a good thing the elfa woman who helped us design our closets had a high tolerance for giddy queens, because I was borderline insufferable with excitement as we picked out shelves and baskets and finishes and other accoutrements of modular organization. elfa is the new porn, and I have no intention of going into rehab for my addiction.

Our next project: refinishing the floors. Our building is 80 years old, and our floors are currently stained that orange-juicy color you’d normally find on the floors of an elementary-school gymnasium—and since we don’t have any plans to stage dodgeball or four-square tournaments in our living room, we’re going to try to get them looking as dark and walnut-y as chemically possible.

Once the floors are done, we want to do some indirect-lighting projects in the kitchen and painting in probably every room in the house, but otherwise we’ll be free to move in, adjust our elfa shelving systems as frequently as we deem necessary, marvel how cool they are, adjust them some more, and then go shopping for things to cram into all that fabulous storage space.

Just. Like. Real. Homeowners.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I see towers where there were trees

A lot of things have changed for me in the last few months. Big things:
• New job
• New living arrangement
• New boyfriend (if six months qualifies as “new”)
• New underwear*

*I told myself when I was unemployed that when I finally got a new job, I’d reward myself with some fancy Calvin Klein and/or 2(x)ist underwear. Then I kind of went overboard in my celebratory glee. I think I’m set on underwear for a good five or six years now.

This week is bringing some other new stuff as well. Big stuff. In addition to the new Two Bathroomed One Fireplaced Barbie Dream Condo that the boyfriend and I close on this Friday (woo-hoo!), I have also become a member of an entirely new gym.

“Wow,” I can hear you say. “Jake joined a new gym. Alert the media!” I can totally hear you saying that. And frankly, I don’t like your tone.

But as of Friday, I am no longer a member of Crunch, the gym that has been frustrating me on many levels for the last six years. And why did I stay with such a discombobulated organization for so long? (There’s that tone again.) Well, because I used to get a corporate discount. And the gym was in the basement of my office building. And with my work schedule, convenience trumps competence if I’m going to make any gains in the self-absorbed world of physical culture.

But we lost our corporate discount last year. And my rapidly aging bod had developed a marked level of indifference toward every piece of equipment at my Crunch. And when I got laid off and started a new job last fall, my old gym was suddenly in a very inconvenient location.

So I joined a new gym last week. It’s a mere two blocks from the Two Bathroomed One Fireplaced Barbie Dream Condo, so it’s very handy. It’s considerably cheaper than my old gym, so it’s practical. It has so many different kinds of equipment, my rapidly aging bod doesn’t stand a chance of getting bored. And it’s populated with actual homosexuals—albeit the kind who pretend not to see you but still surreptitiously check you out in the mirror. Hey, homosexuals! I know how to use a mirror too! So I can totally tell you’re playing little reindeer games!

On the other hand, this gym is also home to veritable herds of Men of a Certain Age who show up every day to throw weights around in a desperate attempt to stay physically relevant in our youth-obsessed culture. My people!

My Crunch membership expired on Friday. But somehow I had it in my head that it expired on Tuesday. So when I showed up bright and early Monday morning for one last futile attempt at getting a pump off their equipment, I discovered I was no longer a valued customer. But the lady behind the desk waived me in anyway. So we are officially parting company on a good note.

And I’m about to get so huge with all this new gym equipment that they won’t even recognize me when I come back to visit.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ice! Doubt! Pee!

The boyfriend and I were supposed to road-trip to Dayton this weekend so I could meet his grandmother. But the prospect of dying along the highway in the massive ice storm sweeping the continent over the weekend kept us safely in Chicago—and kept the boyfriend’s grandmother from finally meeting her first gay grandson-in-law-to-be, a title I hope she never tries to embroider on a set of towels for me.

Suddenly faced with an open schedule, we did what most couples do to celebrate surprise bouts of unsupervised free time together: Errands! And brunch! And theater!

The brunch was a final meal for our AIDS Marathon training group; one of us got a job in London, and we all sent her off in style at the diner where we clogged our arteries all summer after our runs. The team obviously wasn’t expecting the boyfriend and me, but we were all able to squeeze together at a small table and have a lovely time reminiscing. And snarfing down food. Like total pigs.

The theater was Doubt starring Tony-winning Cherry Jones, who was spectacular. The boyfriend had seen the play on Broadway and had wanted to share it with me when it came to Chicago this winter. We’d kind of written it off, though, given our jam-packed schedules, but when the weekend opened up, we beelined to the theater and got ourselves some kick-ass seats. The show examines the ideas of sexual abuse, political hierarchies, racism and doubt in the absence of concrete evidence in a 1960s Catholic school. The script is nicely paced and well-written, filled with innocuous little details that become huge conversation points on further inspection—a theatrical device I totally love if it’s handled well. Which it is. I love how the entire plot—is the priest having an inappropriate relationship with the boy? how can we prove it if the boy hasn’t even shown any signs of abuse?—is such an apt metaphor for the faith in the absence of proof that drives the church in the first place. I didn’t understand why the statue of the virgin kept moving in the background, though. And I totally don’t get the purpose of the little “snapshot” poses at the end of every scene. I was also a little disappointed in the ending. I’m not giving away any details by saying this, but the play seemed to be a little unfinished. Seriously—when the play ended, I wasn’t sure if we should clap or wait for another scene. I can’t tell if it was from the writing or the acting or the staging or some combination all three, but that’s really my only criticism. And for the record, the boyfriend and I had complete opposite opinions on the play’s probable truth.

The errands were … um … do you really care that much about my errands?

Saturday night we were just on the verge of making some concrete plans when we got an invitation for dinner from the guys I’m living with until we close on the condo. After a garlic-themed meal that sent me into the stratosphere of happy-tummyness, we hunkered down in front of the TV and watched The Women, a movie on the must-watch list for any licensed homosexual … which I still hadn’t managed to see at the age of 38. And I found it a little dull. The actresses all play the sassy, fast-talking ’30s society dame thing with such over-the-top conviction that they all kind of blur into the same character after a while. And if there is any clever dialogue, it’s totally lost in their rapid-fire delivery. I like the hats, though. And I loved watching a 40-something-looking Joan Crawford try to play a home-wrecking ingénue. That woman was just creepy.

Now it’s Monday and I just had a physical in my office. The boyfriend and I are opening life insurance policies to cover the mortgage should one of us die, and part of the new-life-insurance procedure involves blood and pee. And the company issuing my policy actually sent a nurse to my office to collect my liquids today. Handy! So I just spent half an hour in a conference room answering a litany of embarrassing questions, being measured on a portable scale with a tape measure attached to it, bleeding into a collection of tubes, and sneaking off to the bathroom to fill two vials with pee—without anyone knowing what I was up to. Of course, the moment I reached the point of no return in the stall, the whole office found the need to use the bathroom. So much for my dignity. At least my hands stayed relatively dry.

Now I’m off to the gym. Then to a fitting. I’m fat.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The countdown is on!

In one week, the boyfriend and I will be homos. I mean homeowners. But! Instead of moving all our crap into our new place immediately, we’re going to hold off until we take a couple trips that were planned long before our closing date was set. Hell, they were planned long before we even knew we’d ever get out of Bad Developer Smackdown 2006.

How long is the wait before we officially move in? A month. But we’re going to use that lag time to do all kinds of projects that are just easier to do without furniture in the way: Refinish the floors. Customize and paint the closets. Replace the sagging Barbie mantle over the fireplace. (For the record: sagging modifies mantle in the previous sentence—not Barbie.) Update some wiring. Add fancy little under-cabinet lights in the kitchen. Maybe add fancy little over-cabinet lights too. Maybe even wire the wall above the fireplace for a flat-screen TV. Maybe even add a fancy tile backsplash in the kitchen. And while we’re thinking so big here, we may as well dig a tunnel to the White House as well so we can advise Dubya directly on gay-marriage legislation.

The first little vacation happens a week after the closing date. I am going on a gay cruise through the Caribbean (sans boyfriend, who was still just a faraway dream when I booked it) with about 30 friends and 3,000 strangers. In preparation, I have been (warning! vanity alert!) working out at every possible moment, whitening my teeth, making sure my swimsuits don’t make me look positively delusional, and eating a diet of about 90% good stuff. I’m so hungry for chocolate or a doughnut (or a chocolate doughnut!) right now I would sell my own brother for a cruller. (And I commit that thought to writing—exposing myself to innumerable brother-trafficking and carb-policing legal ramifications—for two reasons: I don’t have a brother and I think cruller is a funny word.)

The trip is a Saturday through a Sunday, effectively killing the first two weekends we own our place. The third weekend is our first theater pilgrimage to New York as a couple—something the boyfriend and I planned pretty much on the day we met. On the docket: Follies, Grey Gardens, Jersey Boys and Cats (if it’s still playing—we keep hearing it’s going to be a hit, but you never know). The boyfriend, who is the entertainment director for our tour, habitually plays box-office roulette every time he goes to NYC, so we currently have big theater dreams and no tickets to our names. So we may end up seeing five back-to-back performances of Rush Limbaugh: The Musical. Time will tell.

And on the fourth weekend, our crap gets delivered. And we move in. And we don’t fight even once about where any of our combined stuff goes.

And we live happily ever after.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Carlotta is no longer still here

Yvonne de Carlo has died. And just a month short of the 35th anniversary Encores production of Follies.

The boyfriend and I are going to see it next month in New York, and we were kind of hoping to see the ghosts of some of the show’s original stars floating about the audience.

But in more immediate news, I just sent off the cashier’s check for the deposit on our new Two Bathroomed One Fireplaced Barbie Dream Condo. And in one week and two days, we will FINALLY be homeowners again. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Which means I can finally send out my epic four-page single-spaced holiday letter, which has been languishing in a pile in my bedroom until I was certain of my new address. I’m cheap enough that I don’t want to pay postage twice to disseminate holiday cheer and change-of-address announcements if I can help it.

I have better things to buy with my money. Like mortgage payments. And theater tickets. And black sable. And plush velvet. And pretzels. And beer.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Haul away the holly

When I lived in Shoebox Manor, all my Christmas shit fit in two boxes: the box for my four-foot tree and the smallish packing box that held all my lights, the assorted garlands and other crap I strung on my tree, my stocking, my garter, the Santa hat I put on my cheap knockoff reproduction David bust, and a handful of candles and other doodads I scattered around the house. Total decorating-for-Christmas time: two hours. Total un-decorating-for-Christmas time: 45 minutes, including vacuuming.

But this year I got to experience Christmas in my friends Jim and Jeff’s fabulous Five-Bathroomed Barbie Dream Castle, while New Condo Smackdown 06-07 kept my own Christmas shit packed away in a distant storage locker. The boys spent inordinate hours decorating their home for the holidays, and I pitched in on the nights I was actually home to help. And everything looked lovely. Sumptuous, even. And this Saturday we tore it all down, boxed it all up and packed it all away until next year. Total time for the three of us: seven hours, plus a few random little things we still have to deal with. And on one of my last trips to the basement with one of the last boxes of holiday cheer blocking my view of my feet, I missed the last step and gave my ankle a jarring little shock. Nothing’s swollen or discolored, so I think my future as an ankle model is still assured. But it hurts enough that I am considering myself a martyr for the cause. A Misfit Toy in a world of high-kicking Rockettes. A 6'1" Tiny Tim for the gay home-decorating set.

I always imbue the act of packing up the Christmas crap with a weird time-capsule sentimentality. As I wrap and box and store my stuff every January, I feel like I’m packing up the memories of the whole previous year—until they’re unwrapped again in 11 months or so when my whole world could be completely different. Or boringly the same. This feeling probably grew out of the years my mom was recovering from breast cancer, when she’d make sure my sister and I understood the importance of various ornaments every year in case she wasn’t there to tell us about them again the next year. This was to be her legacy: a thorough understanding of Aunt Lottie’s homemade Christmas crafts. And every time we packed stuff up and hauled it to the basement, we were haunted by the idea that this could be the last holiday act we committed as an intact family. Fortunately, Mom is still with us. But if any of her ornaments are to survive through the generations, they’ll have to do it on my sister’s branch of the family fir; I’m strictly a garlands-and-coordinating-ribbons kind of guy. My tree may be emotionally meaningless, but it sure matches the drapes nice.

I also like to pack stuff up using the current newspaper, so when I unpack the glories of Christmas each year I can be reminded of that funny thing Paris Hilton said to the press a year earlier. It’s a great way to combine the fun of decorating with the excitement of remembering which blockbuster movies you’ve completely forgotten about, what stores have gone out of business, and the things like Pat Robertson’s unhinged world predictions and Mr. Blackwell’s inarticulate fashion rantings that yet again have failed to create a blip beyond the end-of-year news holes they once filled.

This unpack-decorate-undecorate-repack-store pattern has been repeating itself every year since I bought my first house in 1993. And next year, for the first time ever, unless Something Too Horrible To Contemplate happens, I’ll be blending holiday traditions with the boyfriend. Unfortunately, since neither of us put up a tree this year, we have no idea how compatible we are in the holiday department. Fortunately, though, my decorations are all pretty much cheap crap and I don’t think he has any decorations to his name, so we can start fresh if we want. And now we’ll have extra storage and nothing but time, so we’re gonna be fabulous.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You say you want a resolution

There is no easier way to set yourself up for documentable failure than to post a list of new year’s resolutions on your blog. When I compare my 2006 goals with my actual 2006 accomplishments, though, I don’t come off as much of an achiever. Then again, I’m not Dubya, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Foley, Tom DeLay, Ted Haggard, Paul Barnes, Rick Santorum or Mel Gibson. Or Britney Spears. So I still feel like a winner.

In any case, here are my 2006 resolutions, followed by relevant quotes from the news reports, police blotters and gossip rags that document their ignoble outcomes:

Take a tap class with some regularity. I took one class in 2006. On Valentine’s Day. Right after doing a massive leg workout. And I was pretty rusty. So the class wasn’t one for the record books. Or the photo albums. But I choreographed a tap number for the chorus Christmas show, so by some definitions I taught a tap class. Does that count?

Practice the piano more / learn a new piano piece from scratch. Oh, my goodness! Is that Brad Pitt over there?

Read ten books. Um … I got three-tenths of the way there:
American Gothic: A Life of America’s Most Famous Painting (Steven Biel) Interesting, but I was hoping for more behind-the-proverbial-scenes information, and this book was more of a look at the sociological impact of the painting on the American Zeitgeist.
The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) Great story. Sloppy writing. I actually liked the movie much better, if only because it didn’t contain Brown’s clumsy, adjective-laden descriptions of stuff.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (Erik Larson) I was hoping for more gore and less horticulture, but the book was thoroughly engrossing no matter what it was discussing.

Stop saying it’s 2007. I was shooting out 2007s prematurely at this time last year. I learned to stop, and I’m sure you’ll be relieved to learn I’ve had no trouble transitioning back into 2007 mode this week.

Travel someplace fun. In 2006, I hit Disney World twice, Iowa many times, Indianapolis, a couple Chicago suburbs … and I went on tons of business trips to New York City, the Twin Cities and even Cleveland. And it was all fun.

Decide once and for all if I’m on the right career path. And then follow up on that decision. Wow. THAT problem kind of solved itself this year. (For those of you just joining us, my career path this year went from boredom and frustration to layoffs to unemployment to a new job (in the same industry) that I really, really love.)

Keep shooting for my four-hour marathon goal. Yeah. I’m almost certain that’s Brad Pitt over there.

Find a bigger condo. Check. Now that I’ve survived more than three months of New Construction Purgatory and Bad Developer Smackdown and I’m in the middle of Negligent Property Owner Negotiation, the boyfriend and I should be happily ensconced in our Two Bathroomed One Fireplaced Barbie Dream Condo by the end of January. Please.

Add at least five pounds of muscle to my upper body. Brad! Over here! I saved you a seat! (Move over everyone! Brad Pitt is joining us!)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Out with the old

Just as I was packing up at work to start the holiday weekend, I got a call from AMEX. It seems that yet again some mouth-breathing cousin-fucker has gotten ahold of my credit card information and tried to make a DMP (Dumbass Major Purchase) guaranteed to trip the fraud alarms. Thankfully, those fraud alarms work, but until I get my new card (and contact every company who auto-bills to my AMEX), I am credit cardless—and I’m not earning cash back on everything I buy. I hate you, mouth-breathing cousin-fucker!

But on to cheerier things: The boyfriend and I were invited to three parties on Friday night, but we committed to only the first two invitations we got. The first was a goodbye party for one of his former coworkers, who is embarking on an exciting new career. The party was at the Grotto, whose lounge décor is almost as cool as its bathroom décor—which will totally influence the bathroom renovation of the Two Bathroomed One Fireplaced Barbie Dream Condo the boyfriend and I are buying. Once we scrape up enough money to renovate the bathrooms. But that’s not the point of this paragraph. The point is this: I’ve finally found a big-boy drink I actually like, and I’m ordering it more and more when I hang out with the big kids. So on Friday night I ordered a vodka tonic as though I’d been drinking them all my life. And when it came, it was even more drinkable than the last one I had—meaning it was the first vodka tonic I finished all the way to the bottom. Just like a big boy! Curious as to why this vodka tonic tasted more like grapefruit Kool-Aid than the last two I’d tried to choke down, I asked the waitress what the house vodka was. She told me it was Gordon’s. Having never heard of Gordon’s, I told her that I really liked it—in the tone one might use to describe an exciting new wine or an innovative lamb dish. She smiled at me as though I had just shown her the contents of my nose, and when I relayed this story to the boyfriend, he told me that Gordon’s is so cheap I could probably fill a bathtub with it for under $20. I made a point to avoid the waitress when we left. From there we headed to a party thrown by one of my former coworkers, where I rediscovered the endless deliciousness of Doritos and brownies. Urp.

We had the official inspection of the Two Bathroomed One Fireplaced Barbie Dream Condo on Saturday morning, followed by a ton of errands—including poking through the going-out-of-business-sale remains at Bad Boys, where generations of gay Chicago boys have bought trashy underwear, sexual-innuendo-laden T-shirts and up-to-the-second fashions of dubious taste. I stumbled out of the store half an hour later with two new swim suits, three foo-foo trendy shirts and 10 pair of Calvin Klein (which makes them not trashy) underwear. All at 50 to 70% off!

New Year’s Eve Day was one of those magical days best described by the poets. But I’m going to try anyway, without ever resorting to haiku: The boyfriend and I stayed in bed all day—literally until the sun went down—getting up only to forage for food and to pee. But we didn't sleep there all day; we watched TV. For seven solid hours we took in a marathon of Law & Order reruns on his TiVo and a couple random things we stumbled on as we flipped through the channels. There was a point, though, where he went to check his email and he left me alone with a Lifetime TV Movie that promptly sucked me into its gaping maw. I will never get that half hour back. Or those tears. Since none of our friends invited us to any NYE parties (harrumph), we sauntered over to the nearby Cheesecake Factory for an early dinner and then walked a mile round-trip to the closest Jewel to burn off what we just ate … and to stock up on ice cream. Then we spent the rest of the evening back in bed watching a Sex and the City DVD marathon and fattening ourselves on creamy frozen goodness. We ushered in 2007 on his rooftop deck, watching the Navy Pier and Grant Park fireworks from our wind-whipped perch 64 stories in the sky. And discreetly aiming our ice cream burps away from one another.

And yesterday, the boyfriend had to work, so I did laundry (somehow losing one of my new swim suits in the process), paid bills, cleaned out emails and went to Sidetrack for show tunes, where I developed a migraine that kept me up most of the night praying for death. But I survived long enough to blog about it, so it looks like 2007 is off to a good start. Yay!