Closing Ceremonies

Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Monday, July 24, 2006

Well, moved to Jody's. She is on the "south side" in Bronzeville. I actually saw a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the way here! We chatted, then bed. Next day, back to Tim's! We waited for Craig and then went to the Closing Ceremonies at Wrigley Field.

Wrigley had a completely different 'feel' than Soldier's. It's an old stadium in the middle of a neighborhood with houses and bars butting right up against it. Once again there were large crowds, and what I liked was that the neighborhood bars (predominately Irish) all had put up The Gay Flag and had banners welcoming everyone to come in. Of course, businesses aren't stupid, and gay people on the whole have more disposable income- but for these bastions of heterobaseballfandom to be welcoming, well, it was nice.

We had seats behind the dugout between home and third, and this time we were in the shade! Thankfully it was a much cooler day and after getting my obligatory Kielbasa and beer we took our seats. Of course, the one eyed drunken man appeared soon thereafter (yes, not kidding) only this time he was two seats directly in front of me- not my problem!

Once again, for me, one highlight was the procession of athletes into the stadium. Ten thousand men and women each with a story of sacrifice, struggle and personal victory. The mood was extremely upbeat, and this time the organizers got the 'tone' correct. From the National Anthem (sung by a rock group, and I feared I would find it disrespectful, but it was actually a pretty good version) forward, it was all music, dancing, comedy and celebration.

A few things really stood out: a cabaret singer did "Stand by your Man" which got the whole crowd singing, there were "Dancing Cowboys" from Texas (see attached photo) wearing very tight jeans and t shirts, and a comedian (Ant) who was a riot. One of his jokes was "Of course gay people love sports, think about it. Take boxing; two half naked men in silk shorts fighting over a belt and a purse!" and so on. Cyndi Lauper was the star act. She came out in a tight rainbow floor length dress, Statue of Liberty Crown, and holding a torch. She sang "True Colors" (a somewhat official gay anthem) that had the crowd on its feet singing along- at the end, she ripped off the bottom of her dress which she held up as a Rainbow Flag- cue crowd to go wild.

Mayor Dailey came again. He walked out with a tall drag queen in a lime green gown who had garlands of flowers in her towering blonde hair, over her shoulders, at her waist, and around her knees. He gave another inspiring speech that had the crowd on its feet and then introduced the drag queen- who it turns out was the Deputy Mayor of Cologne (host of the next Games in four years). Ooops. Someone shoulda told her about the dress!

So we were back out in the streets, no tears shed, happiness abounding. I was a little freaked when nearly trampled by police on horseback (see photo) one horse was skittish and nearly ran into me. I also found a LeprEcan (see photo). This is a line of porta potties owned by an acquaintance of mine- I used one! Clean, nice, rent from them if you are in Chicago! Hi Jill!

We tried to get a drink, but all the bars in Boystown were filled to overflowing so went back to Tim's for a 'disco nap' (and if you don't know what this, you're too young and I won't explain). Later on we went out to dinner at Cornelia's again where the owner was far too kind and generous with the alcohol. For the first time in quite some time, I had too much to drink and rounded off the day by going to bed, sloshed.

Sunday I had "cocktail flu" and spent the entire time on Tim's couch watching tv. Back to Jody's last night (where we watched "Will and Grace" and commented on how clever it was for them to create a show about us!).
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Today (Monday) errand for my nephew. I drove the car again, and after half an hour, sneaky little twinges showed up- not sure how I am going to arrange the rest of this trip if I can't drive- am pondering that problem.
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Jody has a very nice bike. She told me to take if for a ride. I wanted to go to The Field Museum but it's too far to walk. I haven't ridden a bike in twenty years. I thought I would practice. I took the bike out of the garage. I remembered the adage "...like riding a bike, you never forget". I forgot, however, that while balance comes easy, after a few decades you forget other sensible things you learned.

I jumped on the bike.

I lay on the ground moaning, holding my nether regions.

Fully developed males in loose shorts shouldn't jump on bikes, they should settle onto the seat, carefully. N'est pas? I am certain I knew this adage also, but forgot in the past decades.

About half an hour later, I gently settled onto the seat, got my balance and because it's such a beautiful day, packed my laptop into my courier bag (thanks Jay!) and took off. I made it down to McCormick place (and yes, I will spare you the details- knees snapping, burning thighs, out of breath,- after all this is not a listing of how I know I am getting older, and doing this trip just in time!). So here I sit by the lakefront, downtown spread out to my left, bikers and joggers going by in front of me. I think tomorrow (if I make it back to the house) I will bike down to the museum!

Jody's bike is an 8 speed, I never had anything but a 'one speed' as a kid (ok, you could call it a 'two', one speed is sitting down pedaling, the other speed is standing up on the pedals for a hill), and haven't a clue how to change gears or what speed to use for what terrain (I know you're supposed to shift going uphill, that's all- but which way, up or down?). I did the entire ride in 8th gear- anyone want to enlighten me?

Final thought- I wanted to rebel a little on this trip- I have ruled out getting a pierced ear (fat baby face, wouldn't look right), ruled out a tattoo (already got one, and they hurt) so have just been letting the hair grow long (long for me, ok?). Check out the pics, any thoughts on the hair?

All for now- I am actually going to do some work on the novel!
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Comments

lavaguy
lavaguy on

Deputy Mayor of Cologne
Well, I had to see what this deputy mayor of Cologne looked like in drag, so I googled it & found this image... (http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060722/capt.e5153b5f7e314f40b232295adf20d2f7.gay_games_closing_ilmg117.jpg?x=228&y=345&sig=BHh7YhsKo87IpflITh4.yg)

Hate to tell you, Tom, but that's a real woman! I suppose from the distance, and judging by how she was dressed she DID look like a drag queen! Clearly she is not a gay man (no gay man with any self respect would be caught DEAD in public wearing that!) Thanks for the laff... sounds like it was fun!

lavaguy
lavaguy on

Try this link
If this link doesn't work... it's on the Yahoo News photos...
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/ss/events/sp/071706gaygames/im:/060722/480/e5153b5f7e314f40b232295adf20d2f7;_ylt=AvBEkCRVU_70wgENKJ0opzpsaMYA;_ylu=X3oDMTA5bGcyMWMzBHNlYwNzc25hdg--?sp=-1&lsp=6000

chisota
chisota on

Ba..da..ba..ba..ba...
...I'm lovin it!!!!!

I have spent far too much of my work day reading the Adventures of Tom, and it is fabulous!

I have laughed and cried....

Keep it up, it is addicting!!!

Oh and thanks for the LepreCAN plug, we were very proud to have the Gay Games as a client!!!!!

Jill **waves back*

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