Sarah Terez Rosenblum (@SarahTerez) is an MFA-holding writer, teacher and Spinning instructor. She's also the Theater Listings Editor for Centerstage Chicago. Look for her posts twice a week.
Crushes are my lifeblood. I always have a couple in my pocket, like baseball cards I can thumb through on long car rides or when the checkout line at Jewel stretches to the store’s rear. Unlike books, crushes aren’t mentally taxing or physically cumbersome. Unlike cell phones, crushes can’t get you pulled over or give you brain cancer. What crushes can do is lend meaning to an otherwise desultory existence. From my first crush on LeVar Burton (don’t ask) to my longest running crush on Amy Ray (don’t tell), I’ve been a vocal advocate.
But a crush object needn’t be a celebrity. In Chicago, true celebrity run-ins are rare (Vince Vaughn doesn’t count). Better to choose someone accessible. For example, right now I have crushes on a couple of waiters, the blonde teller at my bank, men who walk on the street side to protect their dates, people with more than two year’s worth of city stickers on their windshields, the dude in a wheelchair on the corner of Clark and Berwyn, several baristas, all German shepherds, and anyone wearing a chef’s hat. With so many options, nary a day passes without some sighting, so I keep a pair of night-vision goggles and some chloroform in my backseat just in case!
Apart from mounting legal fees and this ankle bracelet, my crushes have brought me nothing but pleasure. So starting today, I’ll highlight a monthly Chicago Crush, someone I’ve
sucked dry and discarded decided to generously share.
Chicago Crush of the Month
Name: A.J. Durand
Hometown: Capac, Michigan
Profession: Yoga Instructor
Hobbies: I pluck on a guitar sometimes even though I have no clue how to play, I like short stories, I have an insatiable appetite for Netflix instant viewing, I love to cook, I name my plants, I like "finding" music on the internet and making it "magically appear" on my iPod.
Yoga is fun and transforms your idea of yourself. I've become a better person with practice and I wanted to help other people see how awesome they are!
You do some drag. Any performances stick out?
I once performed "New" by No Doubt by un-packaging a brand new dildo and singing into it like a microphone.
Describe your perfect day.
Really yummy breakfast, super sweaty yoga class, nap in the sun, outdoor concert, and a few too many glasses of red wine.
What yoga pose are you likely to bust out on a first date?
If I were on a date with someone who practices, my current favorite, Kapinjilasana, a crazy alien pose where you balance on one hand and one foot and bring the other foot to your head. If they didn't practice yoga I'd do my best not to scare them away.
I'm not a jealous or possessive person, you can cheat on me, that's fine, but if you don't pick up your dog's poop, I can't respect your ethics. Also, the words "I'm an actor" usually make me run for the door.
I think all the girls my age had a sweet spot for Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Although, I have a longstanding crush on Elijah Wood, from Radio Flyer to Frodo Baggins *sigh*
Why are you crushworthy?
I have a couple tattoos which can often fool people into thinking I have some cool kid street cred, but if you like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Doctor Who” then I might just be the dork for you.
Any questions for me?
Um, is that your tent in my backyard?
AJ is proud to teach donation-based yoga classes in Wicker Park. He can be found Tuesdays/Sundays at four p.m. teaching at Yogaview Division and on Wednesdays at four p.m. at Nature Yoga Sanctuary. If you want to meet his alter ego, the one and only Ms. Reno Scarlet Couture, he will be performing in the Cardio Cabaret with the Fabulous Ladies of Fitness on July 8 at The Whistler in Logan Square.
Think you or someone you know is crushworthy? Write me at email@example.com, subject line Sun Times Blog Crush. You provide the nomination, I’ll provide the binoculars.