A Chicago Vacation: Bars Clubs and a Wedding

Aaron MasseyI had to leave the World Series and come home for a few days.  I made a commitment to my friend Gina that I would, under no circumstances, miss her wedding, even if it meant having to take a flight on my birthday.  It was actually pretty cool though, the clock struck midnight while I was in the sky but I was not sure which time zone I was in.  Well, I guess that isn’t that cool at all… you really realize it after you write it down.  Now I’m rambling.  Back to the facts;
   
Thursday night I had a little get together at a bar in my neighborhood.  A bunch of my friends and a few of my cousins came through and bought me a bunch of beers and shots.  There is so much value in going out for your birthday.  You are guaranteed to eat and drink whatever you want with no chance of having to spend any money.  It’s a pure weekend freeroll and I understand this, as I am a man of value (not values… lord knows I have no values).  Unfortunately, most of the people who attended my little party had to leave at some point of the night.  Why would they leave you ask? The reason they had to leave is because they are real human beings with real jobs and it was Thursday.  Lame.  After the bar a smaller group of us went out to a late night club/bar.  It’s not a club, but it’s not a bar either.  I don’t what you call it.  I guess you just call it “Evil Olive”.  We go there and as usual it’s a freak show.  A compilation of Wicker Park’s finest.  There is an overall skater boy motif going on; tattoos, black rimmed glasses, sneakers, skin tight jeans, backpacks, etc.  And as usual it’s a bunch of dudes… a standard experience of nightlife in Chicago.  Even though I’m being negative I really did have a great time and didn’t end up getting home till like 4.
   
Friday there was a family party at my Mom’s house.  It was a joint party for my birthday and my sister’s 8th grade graduation.  It was fun and as usual, my uncle Tony came by and told a bunch of hilarious inappropriate jokes.  Oh wait… this is funny too.  We are sitting in my backyard at the table eating.  Some older lady comes over.  Supposedly she is my mom’s friends but Ralph and I have never seen her before.  My stepfather tells us that he doesn’t really like her.  We’re all eating and out of nowhere, at the exact same time, Ralph and I look at each other with the same idea… Before Ralph could say anything I loudly blurt out the “F” word.  Moments later Ralph loudly asks me a few questions regarding my genitalia (I am being politically correct here).  This goes on for a bit.  We are trying to embarrass my mom in front of this old lady just like we used to when we were kids.  We’re grown men and Ralph is like 41 years old.  We were the worst kids, I mean, the absolute worst.  After the party we went out and joined some friends for a “joint” birthday party.  We had a table and good company but it was kind of annoying because the place was slammed and there was a group of these suburban girls dancing next to the table bumping into our space therefore making it uncomfortable (you can tell they are from the suburbs by the dresses they wear and their all important choice of shoe).  My friend Matt, who is huge by the way, starts bumping into them with some aggressive dance moves, and knocks them around until they get the point and fly away lock a flock of seagulls.  We hit the after club for a split second and go home.     
Saturday was the big day, Gina’s wedding.  This was the whole reason that I made this trip back to Chicago in the first place.   By the time we got to church at 3pm, we had already had a few drinks.  The priest had the funniest voice and was telling some ridiculous story during the service.  My friends were laughing and giggling throughout like a bunch of 10 year olds, making fun of the priest’s voice and sermon.  I on the other hand, completely zoned off for about a half hour only to be disrupted by the laughter of my comrades.   In the car on the way to the bar, everyone was cracking up and reliving the moments we had at church.  My friend Josh Bernat, who was on the verge of tears in church, is imitating the priest.  He then looks at me and says, “…then I look over at Padilla, and he’s in dreamland over there.  The only thing going through his head is Ace Six, Ace Seven, Pocket 10s, Pocket 9s, King Queen.”  It’s funny because it’s true.  That is exactly what I was doing when I got lost for that half hour during church.   I am always thinking about poker, picturing myself winning some big tournament.  We get to the bar and of course I get pizza sauce on my white shirt.  I had to run 2 blocks to the grocery store and get a Tide pen to get the stain out.  It actually worked great and I was able to conceal the fact that I mopped it up so hard.  After the bar we head to the Planetarium for the reception.
   
The reception party was great.  Gina made the seating chart, and coming as no surprise, my animal friends and I are all seated together…. At the table all the way in the back corner directly next to the bar.  She strategically put us there and put a bar there so we would stay isolated from the party, reducing the chance that we embarrass her in front of her friends and family.  Outside of a few bread rolls that were thrown at each other, we were on our best behavior.  We danced a lot and my suspenders ended up being used as a limbo pole.  After leaving the reception and going to a few bars we jumped in a cab to go back to my place around 4 or 5am.  Some idiot tried to challenge us for our cab (grabbing an available late night cab is a war… a war in the street where only the strong survive and get home), he was in the face of my friend Cory and they were arguing over the cab as I walked up.  I stuck my leg behind his ankle and gave him a gentle 1 handed push.  As he fell I used my other hand to push Cory into the cab.  I jumped in, closed the door, and we were off (I told you it’s a war…).  I rolled down the window stuck my head out and gleefully shouted, “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!” as we zipped away.   We came back to my place and passed out. 
   
I am supposed to be on a plane right now on my way back to Vegas but all the flights are overbooked.  I am scheduled to play the WSOP $2500 on Tuesday.  I may miss this tourney if I don’t get on a flight tonight.  I am going to super tilted if this happens.  I will get back there eventually am ready to get back to work.  There is a lot more poker for me to play; I plan on making the most of it.  Stay tuned for some tournament updates in my next blog.  Later people.

P.S.  I would like to give a special shout out to my friend Ben Levinsky.  Ben is perennial finalist for “Miserable Man Magazine’s- Miserable Man of the Year Award”, but he actually had some very nice things to say to me regarding my blog and my life choices.  I appreciate the support Ben; you have reminded me that you are a good friend.  One more special shout out to Chuck O’Hara (his name is not Charles, do not let him refer to himself as Charles).  Chuck was the only person outside of my sister and my Aunt Maria that got me a birthday present.  He also gave my sister $100 for her graduation and a little something for my P’s.  You are a good man as well.
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