Thursday, December 13, 2012


Last night was the epic (and epicly long) 12/12/12 concert benefiting victims of Hurricane Sandy, which was probably the coolest collection of rock acts and appearances since Live Aid. While the highlight of the concert for me may have been Paul McCartney's closing "Live And Let Die" fire show (I just can't get over how amazing it was live), the most notable act of the night was McCartney fronting what was essentially a Nirvana reunion. It's the first time that Dave Grohl, Kurt Novoselic and Pat Smear have played publicly together in almost 20 years. But instead of playing a Nirvana song, (which lets be honest, woulda been sorta weird, but we all woulda freaked over it anyway) they played a new song called "Cut Me Some Slack." And it rocked.

"Oh yeah."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Tipping: How Much? Who?


LearnVest has a great table for end of the year tipping and gifts and what's appropriate  Sometimes this stuff is hard to figure out, and nobody talks about it! From housekeepers to beauty salon staff to dog walkers, show em some love this holiday and let them know how much you appreciate the great job they do! Access the chart here:

Guerrilla Guide to the Holidays: End-of-Year Tipping Explained

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weekend Away

I had an absolutely wonderful weekend in Michigan with my boyfriend. We were barely there for 30 hours, but it felt like days. Stress and anxiety melted away in the open air, air that was 70 degrees thanks to a late fall heat wave. It's the beginning of the off season for a Lake Michigan beach town, but we still visited wineries and orchard shops, and found apple cider donuts to bring home. We had no obligations, nowhere to be, only with each other. Even things like "scary house" and finding a wasp in the kitchen were things we could laugh about. (A thousand thanks to Diann again for letting us stay at her place.)

It was a great break from the "hustle and bustle" of the city: the honking, the yelling, the pushing and the everybody-out-for-themselves-and-fuck-anybody-else mentality of the roads, trains and sidewalks of Chicago. Less than 24 hours back in the city, and I'd completely lost any healing relaxation I'd gained. It's so ironic that one of the reasons I moved to this city--the cool convenience of subway transit--is the thing I hate most about my day now. I could just feel my anxiety creep, creeping back up my shoulders.

I'm trying so hard to hang on to that feeling that I had in Michigan--positive, ambitious, energetic. I felt like myself again for the first time in a long time.

I need another vacation. Or maybe another place to live. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Push It Real Good

I'm known for complaining about my public trans commute on Twitter, but I try to keep it humorous so that it's at least entertaining for my followers and so my head doesn't go splodey. After seeing this video, though, I'm never complaining again! Well, I'll have to at least tone it down a bit.

Just so we're clear, those "train pushers" are called oshiyas. Their job is literally to push people into the train.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Talkin' Lolla

My man is an expert on Lollapalooza:

Chicago News and Weather | FOX Chicago News

[Insert any word here]-palooza

Well, hell. I never recapped my P4K weekend, but now that Lollapalooza is over, it feels like that was just a warm up. I feel sort of like a shell of a person right now, and I'm about to sleep for the rest of the day, or at least veg in front of the television. I spent all weekend on my feet, on the go in the heat and mud, walking, partying and writing, too--I could barely even remember what I wrote, but from what I read, it was all pretty good...Sam's and Jim's, too! Our Chicagoist recaps are below for your reading pleasure.

Ok, I lie a little, I don't feel as bad as I could. I've learned to limit my drinking during the day, just a few beers here and there, and hit the water hard. Who woulda thought working hard at something I love would be more fun than partying until I don't remember anything and then name dropping stupid shit later?!

I know I have lots of memorable moments, inside jokes and celebrity sightings to share (you know, like 100,000 evacuating the park), but my brain is jumbled mush right now, so I guess those will just have to come up in conversation in person. I swear, if one more person asks me what bands I saw or liked...I can barely come up with the name of any band ever at this point!

A quick thanks to Devin and Dana for hooking me up this weekend, too!

Lollapalooza 2012: Friday

Lollapalooza 2012: A Rain-Soaked Saturday

Lollapalooza 2012: Closing Out Sunday

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guess Who's Turning 30?

No, not me. I'm officially, barely, older than the Cabaret MetroI have memories stretching back almost ten years courtesy of the venue, but friends in the community have been watching bands here since I was just a toddler. And the building itself has a history even longer, believe me, I've heard the ghost stories.  

We went to their anniversary party over the weekend (where we got some pretty cool swag), but they're  s t r e t c h i n g   t h i s   b i r t h d a y   o u t.  They're celebrating with a dedicated blog, honorary anniversary concerts, and a pop-up art gallery in the loop featuring concert posters, photos and the like from their archives. And speaking of memories, they want to hear yours: 
Do you have a special memory from your first concert at Metro? Still carry in your wallet the ticket stub from your first date with your wife? Got some photos of you and your fellow Smart Bar bartenders from the 80s collecting dust? Is that poster of the first time your band played Metro hanging in your office? Whether you are a fan, a band, a friend or a former employee, we want to feature your memories on this blog too! Write us an email with your favorite story, scan photos, or send video to

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tonight: Brent Puls @ Lincoln Hall

I got to spend a lot of time with my friend Brent Puls at Pitchfork Music Festival this past weekend (more on that later). His new home is in LA, but he's back in town for a show tonight at Lincoln Hall. He's got a new album out called Empty Ampersands, and while I haven't heard the whole thing yet, what I have heard is pretty sweet. Not as poppy as his stuff with Grammar, but he's had a lot to get mushy about in the last year or so. Check him out! Tickets are 8 bucks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Now Playing: Maroon 5


It's no secret anymore that I'm an Adam Levine fan, espec since we got a glimpse of his personality on The Voice...and he ain't so bad to look at either... Anyway, I love that earworm of a song, "Moves Like Jagger," and it appears on the Deluxe edition of their new album, Overexposed (which Tankboy was nice enough to sneak onto my desktop for me). At first I thought the album was a bore, but after a couple listens, I can't seem to listen to anything else. There's just enough dance, just enough groove, and little enough emoting. And a Prince cover.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Like A Heat Wave

Summer is officially in full swing with a 100+ degree heat wave hanging over Chicago and most of the mid-west as we speak. As summer is swinging, I also find less and less time to sort through my thoughts and post! So, here's a little of what's been going on!

  • Tankboy's 40th Birthday Bash at Darkroom on Saturday was a wild success (if I do say so myself as part of the planning committee). Memories were made from the inception of the plan (the guest of honor learning of the surprise show one day early!) to the night of the event (a sleeping Tankboy almost missing his own party!). Thanks again to everyone who helped, all the bands who played, and everyone who came out to make it a special night for Jim. Special thanks to Rudy, Kip, JB, Sam, Ivan, Pogo and Kenny. 

  • Thanks to Debby for making our Disney vacation memorable for a different reason.  Instead of relaxing by the pool on vacation with my fam, we rode out a tropical storm that stalled over the state. Even though I didn't come back with a tan, we still managed to have fun once we put our expectations on a shelf, threw on ponchos, and ran to the parks to ride whatever rides we could!

  • I made my inaugural visit to Milwaukee's Summerfest for Robyn with my girlfriends. #fembotsroadtrip

Here's a song to help get you through the heat wave. Take with Chicagoist's so hot playlist. Repeat as needed. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jack And Triumph Go To Weiners Circle

I was lucky enough to go to one of the Conan tapings last week at the Chicago Theatre. Unfortunately though, not on the day they did this:

(NSFW, language!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Free Jazz

It starts tonight! Jazz on the Terrace at the MCA! It's one of my favorite free outdoor events in the city in the summer. You can take in the artists up-close in the seats on the terrace, or more as background music with a blanket and friends (and wine) on the lawn below. It's a cool way to see a lot of Chicago's renowned jazz and improvising musicians.

Every Tuesday, 5:30 to 8pm, there's a different musician featured each week, and the whole museum is free all day, so get in there and check out those exhibits. I loved the the summer that we got to spend with Jeff Koons...I wonder what we'll be treated to this year...sorta bummed the "This Will Have Been" tribute to 80's Art, Love and Politics just ended, I never made it in to see it., art, wine, it!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roy's Goes Up In Smoke

photo from the Trib
I never did get around to writing that "adventures in couch shopping" story, so I never got to mention what a gem we found in Roy's Home Furnishings, the Lincoln Park furniture store where we purchased the sofa that made our house a home. Well, two days ago the showroom went up in flames (luckily no one was hurt) in an extra-alarm fire that shut down the CTA during rush hour. While to most it just meant a snarled up evening commute, many, including me, were more upset to hear about the location of the fire. Who gets so emotional over a furniture store? Obviously I'm emotional about that sofa in my living room, I mean, I wrote a whole blog post about it, but finding the thing was a journey in itself. We shopped just about every furniture store in the Chicago-land area, and came right back to Roy's, the place practically everyone I know told me to go. After visiting all those other stores, we realized how special Roy's was. They had the most current styles for the best prices, and the sales people were super cool--not pushy at all, but totally helpful when you needed them.

The good news is that they plan to stay in business! ...and a sigh of relief could be heard from all those around the city who didn't want to have to buy their next bedroom set from Value City...

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Big Bird Show

photo by Joshua Mellin
So, I got to see this guy at Auditorium Theatre last weekend, and here's what I thought.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tonight: Reggie Watts @ The Vic. I'll be there. Here's my argument on why you should be there, too:
Life Lessons From Reggie Watts Tonight At The Vic

Friday, May 4, 2012


Today the Beastie Boys and the world lost Adam "MCA" Yauch after a 3 year battle with cancer. Super bummed that I never got to see them play live, especially after they had to pull out of headlining Lollapalooza a few years ago after Yauch was diagnosed. I really thought he'd be fine and they would tour again...

I'm struck by how far reaching their music was after seeing the wide range of my friends posting on Facebook, and now seeing that the Beastie Boys currently take up five of the top ten trending Twitter topics. But I suppose I shouldn't be. They never became a nostalgic act, they've stayed relevant since 1985 by constantly paving new music, right down to last year's Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Now Playing: Ill Communication

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Well, Well, Wells

Okay, so I may have gushed about Emily Wells a few times already, but here I am doing it again for the -ist. I've managed to miss her every time she's played in Chicago since first discovering her at an Edible Audible lunchtime concert (RIP) a few years ago, but barring some natural disaster*, I'll be at her show tomorrow night at Schubas.

*or perhaps a man-made one...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Photo Round-up

 Here's a round-up of my #photoadayApril photos on Instagram. Again, I didn't get them all, but I'm pleased with how they turned out.

This month I'm thinking about participating in a photo challenge that's a little different...this one's focused on Fashion & Beauty, which should be fun since lately I've been challenging myself to, well, look a little more presentable and put together (more on that later).

Follow along with the hashtag #fbphotoadaymay.

1. your reflection

2. colour

3. mail

4. makes you happy
5. tiny 

6. lunch

7. shadow

9. younger you

10. cold

12. stairs

13. something you found

15. sunset

16. flower

17. something you don't like

18. hair

19. orange

20. something you drew

21. bottle

22. the last thing you bought

23. vegetable

24. something you're grateful for

25. looking down

26. black + white

27. somewhere you went

28. 1pm

29. circle

Friday, April 27, 2012

At the Ballet

Rory Hohenstein in Incantantions

I got to go to the Joffrey again for their Spring program, and Chicagoist has my review. I've also included some more press pics below!

I also put together a weekend round up of dance events around Chicago this weekend. In related news, how did I never know of Karole Armitage?

Fabrice Calmels & Victoria Jaiani 

He actually caught her like that!

April Daly & Miguel Angel Blanco

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ejection Flashback

I was at the game at Wrigley last night when Mike Matheny was ejected for the first time as a manager after arguing a crap call at second base (second to a blown call at home earlier in the game). (Getty photo)

Here's a bonus image I found from 2003 of then-manager Tony LaRussa holding back then-catcher Matheny who was tossed after arguing with the home plate empire in Houston. (AP photo)

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

If you have an admin, buy her (or him) lots of gifts or a meal of food. Or at least say thanks--it goes a long way.

If you are an admin, remember to smile!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Now Playing: Brigitte Bardot

The Best Of Bardot

60's French pop soundtracked our brunch this past weekend courtesy of the folks at TownshipI've always loved the coyly sexy, faux innocent yé-yé sound, but never really delved into the genre until now. 

See also: Zou Bisou Bisou.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Now Playing: NIИ

Nine Inch Nails - Last

Tankboy and I went to the movies the other night, and this song played during the credits, taking me waay back. I thought at first it was on The Downward Sprial, but upon Shazaming, we remembered it came from Broken, and I remembered that I owned Broken, and that I listened to it a lot.

Man, was I that angry as a teen? Or was I happy because music like this gave me a place to be angry?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now Playing: Cloud Nothings

Everyone's been raving about this local band lately, which I thought was weird since I reviewed their debut album (and was a fan) two years ago. Well, I finally listened to the new album, Attack on Memory, and whoa have they grown up in a hurry (yes, that's a good thing). I went back to my old review, and for once, a band turned in a direction that I saw coming. And I didn't hate my writing, which is always a plus!


The unavoidable music news in Chicago today is the announcement of Lollapalooza's 2012 lineup. Once again, I don't know if I'll actually attend, but my weekend will surely be filled with music one way or another. And once again again, Tankboy appeared on Fox to discuss the lineup:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Now Playing: Emily Wells

Emily Wells – Passenger

Been a fan of this song live for a long time. Now it's finally on her new album, Mama, out today. Wells plays Schubas May 4th.