Friday, August 28, 2015

The Rock Doctors Are In

Last week on Sound Opinions the Rock Doctors addressed a very serious issue that has been plaguing ears all over. It's a terrible infection that Tankboy and I have dubbed Epic Folk. You know it, the "of monsters and lumineers and sons, the glut of hey-ho choruses, overused banjo and mandolin."

Seriously though, it's a great episode and it just might turn you on to some great new rock music.

And I'm with Jim and Greg, their patient should really consider a gig in music criticism. She's great at putting that abstract feeling into words.

UPDATE: Tankboy made it on air to inform the doctors of the name of the ailment that plagued their patient. Listen for the callers in the last five minutes of this week's episode.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back at the -ist

I've been back in the saddle at Chicagoist writing about dance going-ons in the city and helping out with summer music festival coverage. I guess you could say I took a break during wedding planning (and event recovery), but I'm excited to be writing again. I've got some cool stuff coming up this fall that I'm excited about, too.

Here's some of my recent dance coverage:
'So You Think You Can Dance' Tour Comes To Chicago Theatre This Fall 
Watch World-Class Dancers For Free At The Chicago Dancing Festival 
The Dancers Breaking The Color Barrier In Professional Ballet (my interview with the Joffrey Ballet's Erica Lynette Edwards about Misty Copeland's historical promotion to principal dancer at American Ballet Theater) 

And all our group previews and reviews from Pitchfork and Lollapalooza:
Lollapalooza 2015: Previewing The Undercard For All 3 Days 
Lollapalooza 2015 Day One: The Party Starts Earlier And Earlier 
Lollapalooza 2015 Day Two: A Raucous Ruckus 
Lollapalooza 2015 Day 3: Rock And Stormy Roll 
Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Preview: Friday 
Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Preview: Saturday 
Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Preview: Sunday 
Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Day One: It's Hot! And The Temperatures Are High Too 
Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Day Two: What A Roller Coaster 
Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Day Three: A Strong Finish

Monday, August 24, 2015


We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery
― Samuel SmilesThe Lives Of George And Robert Stephenson

This may not be the exact quote that my yoga instructor gave us at the end of class this weekend, but the message is the same. It reminded me of one of my favorite inspirational quotes about peace. I think about it often in attempt to stay grounded and present.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hideout Riverwalk?

Almost out of nowhere, the Hideout Riverwalk is opening today. That's right, the "hidden" music venue (where Husband and I also had our Wedding Party) has a second location on the newly revived--and very visible--Riverwalk downtown.

That's me! (photo by Husband/Tankboy)
We stopped by the soft opening last night, and the place is pretty cool. The bar inside is a mini-replica of the Hideout front porch (complete with 1354), and there's a bunch of outdoor picnic tables and a tiny Hideout stage (complete with sign--now in blue) where they'll have live music almost everyday.*  I could see myself spending a lot of happy hours here, especially since they're also serving handheld pot pies from Bridgeport Pasty. Here's a look at the complete menu:

* everyday but Wednesday and Saturday
Weekdays 5:30-7:30 and Sundays 1:00-3:00

Movie Night

At the end of the work day I'm tired. I tell myself I should read in the evening, but I always just end up watching TV until it's time to go to bed and wake up and do it all over again. It's monotonous, especially with the crappy reality shows and even crappier sitcoms that dominate network TV these days. It's so easy to just zone out in front of the screen. This week I've made more of an effort to watch things that I actually want to see instead of staring at whatever's on. I even started a list of online shows and movies I want to see instead of trying to remember when I'm already exhausted.

This week it's been a lot of movies. Here are the titles we've watched so far (and my amateur two cents on each one):

Welcome to Me
A new movie on Netflix starring Kristen Wiig. It's about this lady with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery and then shenanigans ensue. Wiig is great in it, I've enjoyed watching her acting roles grow outside of the weirdos she played in her SNL days, but the movie as a whole was meh. The story arc and a lot of the "shocking" scenes felt flat and pointless in the end.

Horrible Bosses 2
This movie is unassumingly hilarious. I saw it on the plane on the way to our wedding and I was laughing out loud. I've been insisting that Husband watch it with me since it showed up on HBO. It's non-stop action and laughs, and if you ask me, I'd say it's better and even more ridiculous than the first one.

I still prefer hot guy Jake Gyllenhaal to serious actor dude that he's morphed into, but you cant deny that he's really good at creepy. I didn't even know what this movie was about (which might have made it better) and I didn't expect the turns it took. The plot isn't really all that scary, but the suspense and gore had me covering my mouth and eyes for a good deal of the movie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

5 minutes

My husband told me about a writer who, in an effort to write every day, would pick a five minute part of his day that was worth talking about. Every day has a five minute moment that could serve as a prompt or make a good anecdote. After my seven month hiatus from the blog, and a lengthy hiatus from writing in general, I've decided to give it a try. Sometimes I back away from writing about something because I'm pressuring myself to analyze or find some bigger meaning, but not every piece has to be a novel!

I'm cheating a little bit with a story from last week because I kept telling it to friends and co-workers (though Husband getting stuck in a McDonald's vestibule during last night's storm while I was home alone could be amusing, too).

Husband and I decided to go for an evening walk, something we never do since we already walk everywhere (we live in the city and don't even own cars), but it was a nice night and we wanted to do something besides sit on the porch. Instead of walking toward the park, we walked up to the old Mickey's bar that had recently closed and is supposed to be turning into some sort of upscale tavern slash inn. We never walk up in this corner of the hood since it borders the interstate and isn't on the way to anywhere, so it was something different. After peeking in the windows and reading the permit postings, we strolled west down the next street. I hear this strange humming sound which isn't that unusual since the interstate is right there, but then it gets louder and we realize that it is a car horn and this banged up SUV comes flying around the corner right towards us! We leap out of the way towards the buildings, but the Jeep speeds straight down the street. The front end is completely smashed in and the driver has a the airbag laying in his lap. When I finally realize that I'm not getting hit by a car, I connect the dots that this person is probably in the run stage of a hit-and-run. By the time I think to look for a plate though, he's too far down the street to read it. It all happened very fast. We go by our neighborhood Corner Bar to compare notes (Jeep went by them, too), and then look around the hood, but didn't find any evidence of a wreck. Later, we were able to put the pieces together on our Facebook neighborhood watch page, and the good news is the guy was caught. Good thing since I was feeling guilty about not acting fast enough to get a plate, but like Husband said, he wasn't going to get far with the horn stuck blaring like that. Turns out the vehicle smashed into the corner of a condo building a few blocks away and then hit several parked cars while trying to get away.

Never a dull moment in the city!

Friday, August 14, 2015


Hello? Is anyone there? I can't tell through all these interwebz cobwebz. It's almost hard to believe that my last post was last November--nine months ago!

Actually, it's not that hard to believe. I did get married, and unlike all those bloggers who share every step of the planning process, I kept most everything pretty private. No shame towards those bloggers though, many of them actually helped me through planning my own semi-traditional wedding. I just didn't feel much like re-visiting a step once it was completed. There was so much to do and there were always more tasks waiting when you checked something off the list.

For how much work we avoided by doing two semi-casual events, it was still a ton of work and almost every step had a lot more emotion attached to it than I expected, which, to be honest, was pretty draining. I can't imagine how intense the engagement period would be for a bride managing a diy wedding with lots of vendors!

In the end, our destination ceremony and local party were perfectly us. I did learn a lot about tradition and etiquette, mostly so I knew what rules I was breaking and doing so with intention. I have no regrets about anything we left out, and just as important, no regrets about anything we included. It was nice to have total control so that we didn't feel obligated to do anything we didn't want to do. Not that either of our families are the controlling type, they all just wanted us to be happy. And our priority was that everyone was relaxed and had fun. I'm pretty sure we all succeeded.

Enough words, though. Pictures are what everyone really wants. Here are a few choice pics from our Vegas ceremony at the Cosmopolitan (pics by the lovely Danelle from Imagine Studios), our photo shoot at the Neon Museum the day before (pics by our dear friend Aubrey of Aubrey Jane Photo), and our reception party at The Hideout (pics by Mr. GlitterGuts himself, Eric).