|Javier doing what he does best|
|The drink or the Salami?|
|David McHugh and Jay Viescas|
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY IT WAS!!! I got to walk in the sunshine with my honey-yes way better than Kevin what’s-his-name. I have a friend who collects autographs and figured I would give him the badge to add to his collection. We got home and I changed into outfit number 2 of the day. It was a pair of multi- blue camo pants with the top button undone. Yes there was a little bit of strategy in that because I had a hard-to-miss vivid red lace up jockstrap peeking out but there was also the fact that I had increased a waist size and could no longer button them all the way. I changed from brown boots to black and put on a sleeveless light blue denim work shirt with a tiny gold CUB pin on one of the pockets. I wore big black suspenders and one of my Lazy Bear baseball caps that I had earned volunteering at Lazy Bear last year. I completed the look with a leather arm band with the silver lettering that spelled Cub on it. Unfortunately the lack of bicep didn’t make it look impressive as it could’ve but I really wanted to wear it anyway. I looked about as redneck bear as I could look. I was beginning to fret about the time because I fussed in the mirror being the vain cub that I am. I had told Paul before we left that I might me ten or fifteen minutes late. No big deal right? It’s just a harmless little party. The mixer was an opportunity for us contestants to let our hair down and drink lots of free booze -plus there was some food. I didn’t think free booze before selling tickets was all that smart an idea for me but the food was essential. Orlando was my right hand bag bitch and I knew that he too, would need something soon.
We were indeed 10 minutes late. We arrived downtown and then hopped a cab to the Powerhouse in South of Market. I said hi to the bartender Jose and was disappointed that my friend Mike wasn’t part of the bartend team. I wanted to show off my new ensemble to him. Jose was appropriately appreciative. As I scouted the bar to find Paul, I noticed that there were quite a few other men that I hadn’t seen before. I figured that these were the significant others who were also invited to this intimate little soiree. I found Paul munching on a sandwich and chatting with Jason Macario. He asked me if I had arrived in time to hear his announcement about some special guests and I said no I had not. It turns out they were our judges. ...Well Shit! My three secret IBR pageant coaches had been clear with me on how important it was to know who the judges were because the more positive interactions a contestant had with a judge, the better a contestant’s chances were at placing a title. Before you go there -I want to be clear to YOU, dear reader that I mean simple conversation and raffle ticket sales with the judges. I am not using positive interactions as a metaphor.Altho ...the BOSF rumor mill does tell of this one year between a contestant and a judge that...oh never mind, it’s only a rumor. So here I had gone and arrived late to an event that they were being introduced at. Good one P.A. I scanned the bar and did this process of elimination since I knew everyone else. Terry Bryant from Calgary Alberta Canada was a man I actually recognized. He reminded me of one of my favorite neighbors when I had spotted him last night at the Eagle. I think he may have even bought two inseams of tickets from me but my memory is pretty bad. However it wasn’t bad enough to recollect grinding my head in his crotch and then later standing up and grinding my butt in his crotch. Would that be considered a positive interaction?
I was starving. I headed over to this buffet of sorts and picked up a handful of salami and munched on it while mulling over which judge was which. I didn’t have my salami delicately sitting on a napkin. I had a fist full and was watching the grease get all over my fingers. I was also oblivious to that fact that Judge Eduardo Medeiros from DC had come up right behind me. He had a handsome arrogance to him and gave me a boisterous masculine hello while extending his hand to shake. I glanced down at the 3 or 4 slices of salami in my hand. This was the hand closest to his. The light gleamed from the salami fat on my fingers. Putting the drink down was NOT an option and I chose to stuff those slices of salami in my mouth while wiping my hands on my camos. I garbled out a “Hello” while trying to quickly chew and swallow the meat in my mouth without choking to death. We ever-so-briefly shook hands and I tried to take a swallow of my Skyy Cape Cod to recover and wash the rest of the meat down. He glanced at his hand and looked up and away as if he was trying to suppress an unpleasant memory. Then-without saying anything-he walked away to the other side of the bar. No explanation -just zip and gone. Hoo Boy I was batting a 1000 because that was definitely NOT a positive interaction. Maybe he was a vegetarian?
A few minutes later I had managed to focus and say hi to Terry and I met David McHugh from London-which went far smoother than my experience with Eduardo. I saw Eduardo wrapped around local judge Tony Hart in a pal-z y wal -zy manner. Were they boyfriends? Or ? I quickly was leaping to conclusions but took a breath and let it go. I was here to meet people, not suck up to ...er I mean brown nose ...oh my -What I am trying to say is that I just wanted to be myself and make a few more new friends. I didn’t want to go around the room trying to “work” a judge. It looked like it would’ve been all kinds of awkward if I had marched up to Tony and introduced myself while Eduardo was entwined around him. I chose not to. I tried to catch Jay Viescas from New Mexico’s attention but ended up chatting more with Jason by his side. I kind of remember behaving shyly with him. Whatever I was -I didn’t exactly scream title winner. Orlando was picking up on my sudden change in attitude. Just like any good stage mother, he felt I should be networking! I told him I had done all the networking I was going to do in this room. We finished up our drinks while I met a couple of the other contestants bag bitches and had a stop-and-go conversation with Javier. I was trying to figure out whether I should look at Alejandro his interpreter when I was talking to Javier and it was kind of funny. We finished our drinks and sandwiches and headed outside to get ready for the second Eagle-raffle-ticket sales event. I was losing momentum but Orlando bolstered me as we marched down Folsom Street in or motley parade.