Very Social Weekend

A little bit late for a post, but hey, I was at a Gay Rodeo today. More on that later.

The Vertical Runner kids camp has been a blast, and there is still a week of it left before their big 5k. With one of my bosses from camp, I have been helping run games after their work out, so we get them to exercise more without realizing it as much. Tuesday was as a super successful set of games which were all slightly controlled chaos. We played three versions of tag.
1) Elbow tag – link elbows in partners. One pair is separated. One of that pair is it, the other is being chased. If the person who is it tags the other, they switch roles. The person who is being chased can link up elbows with another pair of people, which causes the person on the other side of the pair to break free and they are now being chased. Lots of fun. Usually the linked partners can’t move, but this is running camp, so all of the partners were running around, too. Then, we also got other partners split up and chasing. It was great.
2) Partner tag – lettered in partners “A” and “B”. A is it first and tries to tag B, and if there is a tag, they switch roles. Lots of people chasing each other in a confined area. More chaos than before. Which is great.
3) Everybody is “It” – Just like it sounds, everyone is it. Everyone trying to tag everyone else. If you’re tagged three times, take a lap and you’re back in the game. Even more chaos. Only a few kids got bumped to the ground. It was an awesome night of games.

Work was good this week, things are getting a little busier again as students start to return to campus (in my opinion, its crazy early for that to happen, but its happening). Saturday was “Festa Italiana” in Wooster, which happens every two years. For the Festa, Spoon made meatball subs and Sicilian sausages. Well, the butcher made the meat parts and I made the bread and my boss made the sauce. So, I had a freakin’ lot of extra bread to make – 75 baguettes and 75 sausage/hot dog buns. We didn’t use all of them, but that’s what the freezer is for, and both items were delicious.

The Bistro did not need me at all this weekend, which gave me lots of time to play. Which worked out well, because there were lots of opportunities to do so. Friday was a day off, so I got to go to yoga in the middle of the day, which was great, follow it up with lunch with my roommate and another yoga attendee, and compliment that with a very restful afternoon, which I needed for that night. Friday night, there was a concert in Cleveland that my roommate was very very excited about. Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites. Soul band with a very animated singer. Ohio-based. My roommate got to see them a couple weeks ago in Akron and basically demanded that we all go with him to this one. The downsides for me were that it started at 11p before I had to work at 5:30a and I am a pretty standard choice for DD. So, at about 9:45 we leave for Cleveland and arrive at the Beachland Ballroom just in time for Wesley’s intro. Oh, and did I mention it was suit night? By “it was suit night”, I mean that my roommate insisted that we all wear suits because the band does. And the six of us agreed to, getting dressed up quite rather nice. One guy in our party was kind enough to lend my fancy clothes because I don’t have any because I came to Ohio to work at an outdoors camp. Why would I have nice clothes here? Anyway, the rest of the party did not realize that “everybody is gonna wear suits” really only meant “everybody in our group is going to where suits, but no one else at the show is going to be dressed up”. This disappointed and annoyed some of them, but it was absolutely worth it. The show was even worth not getting back to the apartment until 3a and having two hours to sleep before work. It was a blast.

Then Saturday came with the Festa Italiana. After work I took a very solid nap which I very much needed, then returned downtown to catch some music and eat some foods. What still blows my mind a little is that Joe Vitale showed up  to drum with one of the bands. I mean, what? And then I got to bed as soon as I could.

Sunday was more of a blast. Got into work, cranked out what I needed to, made some granola bars, then got out to go canoeing down by Loudonville with some other peeps who have mostly just been acquaintances, but are transforming a little more into friends, plus two Belgians. The Belgians were in town to visit one of the people of the group, friends from study abroad, and had the two of them had just gotten engaged Saturday night in Cleveland. The guy they know set up the evening for them and my roommate photographed it. So, we had seven people to canoe. And by canoe, I really just mean float down a “river” for seven miles. There was a cooler full of beer. On the drift, which was completely awesome, we picked up trash (which there was far too much of), ran our hands and feet through the cool water, ate some grape vine tendrils, and only lost one person into the water on a rapid because of a tree branch. We got her back. After canoeing it was back to Woo where I played some Ultimate Frisbee – Sundays and Wednesdays. And after Frisbee, I rejoined with the canoe crew for dinner. The guy who is friends with the Belgians is working on starting a food truck and was testing some of the recipes he wants to do through it. Awesome opportunity to get foods. Some really great spring rolls, Szechuan green beans which he is still playing with, and a pork belly recipe that is also being played with. Plus my roommate made his favorite salad. Then, we all just chilled. Lovely evening.

Monday, another day off, its kind of like I had a four day weekend, even though I had to work two of the days in the middle. So, on Saturday when my roommate was photographing the proposal in Cleveland, he met some people (because he is very outgoing and good at meeting people) who are part of the Gay Games 9 (Gay World Games – think of a combination between Pride Week and the Olympics). And going on today neat Akron was the IGRA (International Gay Rodeo Association) competition as part of GG9. So, obviously we had to go check it out. He really wanted to get some pictures for it because one of the people he met was part of the planning board and suggested he come take pictures in a couple years in Miami for another Gay Games. It was mostly an entirely normal rodeo. Only a couple things distinguished it from others I had seen.
1) Pride Flag included in the flag presentation.
2) Different music selection.
3) Goat Dressing.
4) Wild Drag Queen Race.
I’m guessing two of those intrigue you. Goat Dressing probably would be included in other not gay rodeos, but I just haven’t seen it at any. Pairs compete to put a pair of briefs on a goat in the least amount of time as possible. It is at least as funny as you would imagine it to be. The Wild Drag Queen race probably wouldn’t be included in a not gay rodeo, but a version of it easily could be. Teams of three compete. Teams must include at least one guy and one girl and typically a second guy dressed in drag. A steer with a roped attached is released from the chute. The team must first move the steer across a line ~30′ away from the chute, then get the drag queen on the back of the steer, and finally get the steer back across the 30′ line. It was hilarious and terrifying. Terrifying in the potential for injury, but that’s the whole rodeo, isn’t it… Many pictures were taken, he met a lot of people, it was a good time.

See ya next week.

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