Monday, August 17, 2015

A Little Pasta Party

I'm Italian, as I imagine you are too. Maybe it's just a sweeping cultural generalization, or we actually do have hotter blood pumping through our veins. Either way, we only deal in one of two emotions: unrelenting rage and jubilant gaiety. Rarely do the two mix. Except in the bedroom. The joy is brought about by many things such as pie, booze and the gentle purrs of my cat. The rage is triggered by mostly everything...from misplaced sunglasses to one of the good plates getting broken. Nothing is too small to get worked up about. Unfortunately for you non-Italians, there's no delicate way to deal with these unpredictable bouts of passion. It's best just to wait it out because there will probably be a pasta dish once the tantrum subsides. I keep this relic of my dad's college days in my kitchen to warn strangers that they're walking on eggshells. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Little Summer Night

After riding my bike home from work, I'm usually melting into a puddle of filth and attitude. During a summer heatwave, the last thing anyone wants to do is live without air conditioning or slave over a hot stove. For this, there are what I call "Lazy Mom" dinners: light dinner items that require little to no effort. When I was a kid, my mom was a proud SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). It was the 90s, we didn't know better. My family spent nearly every summer day at a rundown swim club called Crestwood. Woo! Go Cobras! The microcosm of a summer swim club must be exhausting, because after a long day of sunning herself with half a dozen other SAHMS, my mom was beat. 

Never one to serve salad that didn't come pre-mixed in a plastic bag, instead my mom made magical things like Bacon Lettuce Tomato sandwiches, usually sans lettuce. As sad as microwaved bacon on a special tray made for the microwaving of bacon sounds, it really is the taste of summer to me. I swear we weren't 4H kids, but my dad used to help us plant a vegetable garden in the backyard every year. We always had tons of fresh tomatoes. Makes the $.99 per lb roma tomatoes at Jewel look abysmal. 

When your boyfriend is vegetarian it kinda takes the air out of a BLT, ya know? Vaginatarian bacon has a reputation for sucking, so I never bothered. I crowdsourced the best one to try because I refuse to let his dietary restriction come between me and my dreams. Turns out Morning Star is the good one if you must. It crisps and with the help of food paint looks just like fake bacon. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Little Getaway

Sometimes I can afford to go on vacation. When I do, I prefer places I don't have to see anyone in a swim suit. I've always wanted to visit Maine and when my plus-one had a summer stock opportunity in Bar Harbor, I tagged along like a cheap groupie. I was told it would be like Dirty Dancing, and it was. I carried a watermelon, had an abortion and became a world class dancer in less than a week. The dancing was coincidental because he was actually doing improv comedy for a theatre in Bar Harbor called ImprovAcadia. It's a charming comedy club that employs and houses Chicago comedians (and comedian hangers-on) for a few weeks at a time. 

In my mind Maine and lobster are inextricably linked. In fact, I have a Pavlovian reaction whenever I so much as hear the word lobster, I start to salivate and wipe away phantom butter dribbles. Maybe my obsession with this delectable crustacean is because I was born in the Midwest and the closest I ever got to a lobster was a chain restaurant by the mall. Since most of the world's lobster comes from the Maine harbor, it's real cheap along the coast. With this in mind, I spent weeks looking forward to seven days of lobster. I mostly succeeded. While it's pretty affordable, the best place to have your basic, no-frills boiled lobster 'n sides are lobster pounds. As cute as it sounds, they're basically lobster concentration camps. As long as you keep in mind shellfish are just seabugs without a central nervous system to feel pain, they're delicious! Personally, I like any place I can demand to have something killed on my account. I can't really take any culinary credit here, but sometimes it's nice to have a dinner party in different part of the country!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Little Pride-tini!

The day you've been starving yourself for months is finally here! Grab your least flattering tank top and assless chaps 'cause it's time to celebrate! Gay Pride in Chicago is that special weekend once a year when Boystown becomes a lawless abyss. Handjobs are offered as a standard greeting and you can walk around with an open container. As tasteless as it sounds, it's actually one of the more casual Chicago street fests. It also happens to be the only one I actually participate in. See photo below. Days of Prides gone-by.

Some of my best and least cohesive memories take place with these Chicagoans. If you're gay or questioning, there's no better place to be than Chicago the last weekend in June.