Wednesday/Thursday: After waiting two hours for my late flight to Chicago due to foul weather, I arrived in Chicago and checked in late Wednesday evening. Since Thursday was a working day for me, I skipped going to the Chicago Eagle Wednesday night. Up until 4pm CST, with the exception of a "quickie", I was pretty much working until my friend Bob F. (Rochester) showed up. After Bob unpacked, we registered for I.M.L. and headed down to the hotel lobby (the "Big Bar") to cruise around. I was to meet David Martin (of Circlist) for dinner; who completely blew me off and never returned my calls. I really hate it when people do this, especially when I am in their home town. Bob and I then headed out to the Eagle -- the back room was quite busy!
Friday: Following brunch with Bob, we hung out at the Big Bar for a while until it was time for me to report to my volunteer position with I.M.L. (working security for the leather marketplace) from 15:30 to 20:00. While working at the marketplace, I met a very sexy guy after my shift was over, I took him back to my room and introduced him to the wonderful world of my toys! Sounds and other medical equipment that scare so many others was quite enjoyable for him! I opted to skip the "Bears in Leather Play Party" to have an extended one-on-one scene with him! It was quite enjoyable for both of us!!
All weekend long, I ran into literally hundreds of people I know, such as angeltatts, as well as many new folks. Please don't take offence if you are not mentioned here! If you met up with me at IML, please add a comment to this BLOG entry if you are also a LJ User!!
Saturday: Deja vu! Bob and I had brunch again, hung out at the Big Bar and I returned to the room to change for my next volunteer shift which lasted from 16:30 to 20:00. About 20:30, my buddy Dave R. arrived from the Boston area! I was very happy to see him. Steve M.'s party (Pigs at IML Play Party) was to be next on the agenda -- Dave insisted that I go, but he was not up for it. After about an hour and a half of play, I returned to the room to get ready to go stalking with Dave! Stop #1 was “Woof” Kennel Club 05 from 10pm - Midnight. This is the 5th Year of the IML puppy parties. This year they named the party "WOOF". Come get into pup space and learn about the fetish and hang out with the pups and Trainers. Hosted by Pup Sparkie and AlphadogMI. (Puppy play is perhaps the most popular of animal RPGs. Here, the submissive actually mimics a puppy. Sometimes it can evolve into a lifestyle where the "puppy" even sleeps in a cage. Looking for more information, check out The Dog House.) Following the Kennel Club, we headed up to the ONYX party! (ONYX is an organization formed and operated by People of Color who enjoy the leather lifestyle. ONYX sets as its' goal, to provide an informational and social organization to address issues specific to people of color who chose to project the positive aspects of the leather lifestyle and support our community and economic initiatives. Support, spirituality, safety and saneness are keys to attaining our goals.) They have one of the best dance parties at I.M.L. weekend every year.
Sunday: This morning, Dave and I ordered room service for breakfast, as I had to work an early volunteer shift (10:00-14:15) once my shift was over, Dave and I quickly traversed the marketplace, but I had a panic attack and needed to relax a bit. We went back to the room for cocktails. While I was working, Dave picked my up from Fannie May chocolates (As Homer says: "Mmmmmmm... chocolate!") I broke my solemn oath to never to attend another leather contest again, but as Dave had never seen one, he needed to see why I felt this way. We dressed and walked to Navy Pier for I.M.L. #27 -- walking down Navy Pier in full leather got some looks from the "ordinary people" there, which I actually kind of enjoyed. We stayed at the contest until intermission, when we left. Honestly, if we hadn't, our brains would have exploded! Of all of the thousands that attend I.M.L., I would have to say that only about 30% to 40% attend the contest itself. For me, and many others, I.M.L. is not about the contest itself, rather it is a central gathering place for leathermen from all over the world to meet and mingle. Anyone that actually believes that a single person, chosen by a panel of "judges" can possibly represent the (extremely diverse) leather community is deluding themselves. Without the big shiny sash over their shoulder, the current and former Mr. IML winners could enter any bar and simply be considered additional eye-candy. Anyone that puts faith in the contest circuit folks to see that their best interests are expressed within and outside the leather community, are sadly mistaken. Dave and I walked to dinner and shared a famous "Chicago Deep Dish Pizza" before returning to the hotel having fun all the way! Later that night, we met up with several of my friends in the lobby at "The Big Bar", including Steve C. (Fozzie Bear) who recently moved to Chicago.
Monday: Monday Bob, Dave and I headed down to the leather marketplace to do some shopping before it was to close. As always, the marketplace was huge and quite enjoyable. Some of the most interesting devices and equipment! I picked up a few things I needed and wanted, as well as a new leather vest for Dave (he looks so nice in it!!) After we dropped our stuff off, all three of us headed to the Sears Tower to go up to the observation deck, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time! See Chaz & Dave atop the Sears Tower by clicking here! or Bob & Chaz here! The view was really nice, but honestly, after being up the WTC as many times as I've been, there wasn't as much of a "thrill" doing it as I had expected. The C.N. Tower, with its glass floor and exciting things to do is far more exciting.
Monday night, Dave took me out to a very nice dinner at Hugo's Frog Bar and Fish House, which, despite the name, was a very classy restaurant with great food! We simply had a great evening! We returned to the hotel, and I managed to adjust my chaps to Dave, put his new vest on, and a muir cap and headed to the Chicago Eagle to show him off! All in all, the evening was not quite as I had envisioned it would develop; I can't exactly say why, but I was just not in a mood to be out and about after arriving and dealing with a strange feeling crowd that evening; add to that that the one person that I was getting head from didn't know how perform oral sex at all! Teeth!! Grrrrrr. I should have kicked him in the jaw with my boots on to knock 'em out and made him a better cocksucker, but I don't think that would have been well received! ;-)
Tuesday: Dave had to get up early for his flight home, shortly thereafter, Bob also left. About 12 o'clock, I also checked out and made my way back to O'Hare for my return flight... Only about 70-100 guys were hanging down in the lobby... Most of them saying their goodbyes. Another I.M.L. had come to an end, and someone, I don't know who, was named International Mister Leather at some point. ;-) A majority of the weekend was simply spent with Dave and I getting to know each other better, which was just fine with me! We walked away from the weekend feeling content and happy with where this is going.
Oh, yeah... all weekend long, besides going out for food, we got in-room pizzas from Connie's (Yum! Very good pizza.) But talk about a strange slogan -- check out their box:
Does "uncut" pizza have more cheese than "cut" pizza? One has to wonder....
... oh yeah, can anyone tell me what "Qpq kyl cnqpg mulq og." says? ;-)