January 2013 Archives


If I have a weakness for anything, it's for concerts. Especially so when it is for bands I am obsessed with. Thus, concert number 3 of SOUNDGARDEN. I am making up for lost time.

Soundgarden 2013

(The show was at the Riv, though Chris Cornell kept saying we were at the Vic. In his defense, they do look the same on the inside.)

I went with my best girl Hanson, as she shares the same obsession I do (on many levels of pop culture) and neither of our husbands care for the band. We met up for a quick bite, and then stood in the rain along with some new friends we made at the pizza place.

Soundgarden 2013
Rebecca has a tradition of taking a photo with your concert stub. Which is great, cause the scan machine was down at the venue, and they ripped all the goods off of that ticket when we entered. Photo by Rebecca Hanson.

Soundgarden 2013
Photo by Kevin or Joe. Look at those hotties!

Oh man, It. Was. Amazing. I mean, I zone out at a Soundgarden concert.  I get sent back to being a teenager, and I just let it all go. I danced, I sang, I smiled, I was on another level. It was amazing. It felt amazing to just rock and not think.

We opted for an elevated spot at the front on a rail, which was awesome for 3 reasons. 1) We could see the stage beautifully. 2) No one was in front of us. 3) We had our own private bartender sort of. He was on the level below us, and when he wasn't slinging drinks, he was playing air-guitar and singing along. We highfived a lot. He was awesome.

Soundgarden 2013

Damn, can these men rock. It. Was. Amazing.

Soundgarden 2013

Soundgarden 2013

New Songs. Old Songs. Perfection.

Oh yeah, and Chris Cornell. He's pretty ok, too, I guess.

Soundgarden 2013Soundgarden 2013

Last 2 photos by Rebecca Hanson

I feel at home at a Soundgarden concert, as it is bunch of folks in their mid to late 30s wearing all black. My people! Rebecca noticed that there weren't a lot of women there, especially not a lot of women there not with their husbands or boyfriends. The fact that we were 2 kickass ladies who have seen the band multiple times there without men made us feel pretty badass. Yeah, we know we're cool.

Set list here!

Dance Dance Party Party

Ooh, girl, I love me some Dance Dance Party Party, and after a year and a half hiatus, I DJ'd last week. It was a BLAST! Here's the write-up (some pics not the most safe for work.) Thanks gals! See you soon!

It's been a small lifetime since I've blogged

How did things get so busy? I feel like things are moving faster than ever! I will try to dedicate some good blog time in soon to catch the world up of my thoughts and goings-on, cause I am sure everyone misses it, right?

Oh boy...what's been going on?

We got a car!
Latte was sick!
We went to Kate Roselle's wedding in Denver!
Fuzzy's birthday is Sunday!
I've essentially got my year's worth of creative projects mapped out!
Future Planning!
Saying goodbye to more friends who are moving/ have moved away! (Brandi to NYC and Kristen to LA)
I went for my first run of the year on Tuesday when it was warm! Now it is cold again.
I saw SOUNDGARDEN again on Tuesday with my girl Hanson! It was amazing.
The Drunk Monkeys live shows were a hoot! More in the future!

So yeah, more on these things later, yo!

Chicago Today

(Christopher, cover your eyes)

The temp

Your Cry for the Day

Same Love by Macklemore

Equal rights for all!

January 17

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It's not uncommon for more than one friend to have the same birthday, but of all days in the year, the date that stacks up the most birthdays is January 17th.

So, to:
Delia Dixon
Kate O'Leary
Emily Reid
Rebecca Rine-Stone
Elaine Vozar


And While I am on a Feminism Kick...

(Which I guess I always am, which is a good thing, in my book.)

I am always on the lookout for new good music, new good videos, and new good dancey songs. I was reading in Entertainment Weekly's "25 songs to download before Grammy Night" and I was curious about a few of them. Number 5 on that list is Ana Tijoux's "Shock." The descriptor states "This Chilean-French MC...raps en espanol, laying her seductive staccato rhymes over violins and Latin brass. Don't worry if you don't understand the words: It's probably just Spanish for 'sexiest South American hip-hop record ever.'"

I love sexy ladies! It's probably a club song. 

Let's find the video.

Wait. That's not sexy. That's political and important. What are the lyrics?

A selection:

Venom: your monologues,
your colorless speeches,
you don't see that we AREN'T alone,
millions from pole to pole!

To the sound of a single chorus,
we will march with the tone,
with the conviction that THE THIEVING STOPS!!

Your state of control,
your corrupt throne of gold,
your politics and your wealth,
and your treasure, no.

The hour has struck, the hour has struck

We will allow NO MORE, no more your doctrine of shock

Courtesy of LyricsTranslate.com

Wow. Okay.

So Entertainment Weekly COULD have talked about the political importance of Ana Tijoux, or her lyrical smarts, or that she's been praised for "exploring sensitive matters devoid of violence", a fact I found on a 2-second Wikipedia search. Or watched any of her videos to see that more appropriate words to describe her are "powerful" "strong" and "badass."

Instead, they LITERALLY brushed all of that off, and chose to praise her for being sexy.

I wonder how Ms. Tijoux would feel about that being the message that a major publication is putting out about her and her music.

Poor form, Entertainment Weekly. Poor form.

Ms. America

The 92nd Miss America Scholarship Competition took place this past Saturday night in Las Vegas. I've always been a fan of the pageant since I was a little girl. It's so sparkly and the girls are so shiny--it's harmless good fun. Being from the south, pageants are such a big deal, that it is just a part of culture and daily life. Back in 2011, I judged a Miss America preliminary pageant (with much excitement), and I learned about how challenging these pageants are not only for the girls competing, but for everyone involved: the judges, the coaches, the parents, etc.

The Miss America Pageant is the "world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women." Award money is put towards continuing education.  The program focuses on customer service and bringing the public attention of pageant work to helping others. Competing women choose a platform that they bring awareness to and dedicate their service. The pageant focuses on poise, grace and public speaking, and being a strong role model to young girls worldwide.  When I was judging, the difference in confidence and presentation of the girls who were new to the pageant system and those who had been competing for a while were night and day. Ultimately I find "pageant girls" to be really sweet and kind, incredibly driven and capable, and hugely confident. They are more than a little intimidating.

So here we have this public forum for the current crop of little girls to watch and learn and strive to be driven and to help others and to accomplish great things. And here is how the pageant chose to handle them this year:

1) The competition stresses the importance of "healthy living," even stating that the still-in-the-pageant Swimsuit Competition isn't about your attractiveness, but instead about your confidence and good health. In Saturday's broadcast, they presented the eliminated contestants with a tray of donuts saying "these girls haven't had carbs in 6 months, they've earned these donuts!" WHAT? What message are they saying? You are only pretty if you deprive yourself, and when you've reached a goal or end deadline, you have earned a treat? That donuts are no appropriate unless you feel like you deserve it by trying to stay skinny to meet a panel of judges approval? The poor contestants already had to sit on stage the whole program sad and humiliated over having their dreams crushed, and then they were forced to look excited about having a donut. Wouldn't a better message have been to say "everything in moderation" and that treats can be part of a healthy lifestyle? That reward eating isn't really healthy at all? Poor form, Miss America planners.

2) To compete in the pageant, you cannot be married or have had any pregancies. Yet you can have had plastic surgery to enhance your appearance. So the girls must be forced to remain virginal, but can manipulate your body to conform to an unrealistic standard of beauty. And yet, this is not a "beauty pageant."

3) One of the songs the contestants walked to in the Competition was "Whistle" by Flo Rida, a song about giving blow jobs.

 4) The onstage interview question counts for 5% of your score, and is a test to see how quickly you can think on your feet (immediately after finding out that you are in the top 5). Some of the questions posed to the girls on Saturday were about hot political debate topics (gun control/ armed guards in schools, legalization of marijuana, the quickness of medicating children. Other topics were the appropriateness of the Musberger comments about Katherine Webb and also the sensationalism of Toddler and Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo), topics that whole parties are trying to find the right compromise on, and these girls have zero time to think of a response that is appropriate and not polarizing. The questions should be on current events, yes, but they are not politicians, and really, how well crafted of a response can you give in 30 seconds, when really they are trying to stop talking as quickly as possible. I cringed at all the answers given, and then I felt for them--one slip of the tongue from Miss Iowa Mariah Cary will now leave her permanently associated with recreational marijuana use, which in my opinion, isn't a bad thing, but probably what cost her the crown. I'd rather have seen the finalists be asked a question about something personal to them, so we could see their real personalities come out onstage instead of a stilted answer about something incredibly intense and controversial.

5) During the initial announcement of the top 16 women, they aired the women's feelings about being "sexy" and the pageant being sexy. Most answers came across as neutral, as the pageant presents a mixed message: are the girls being judged for the sex appeal, or for their good works and mission? You could tell that the contestants didn't really know how to respond. Again--what's the party line here?

6) There was a rear camera angle for all walks on the runway this year, so everyone could get a nice butt shot.

As much as I wanted to cheer for the girls and cry for the girls and see them succeed, I left this year's viewing with a poor taste in my mouth. It seemed way more offensive than ever to me.  But it wasn't because of the girls--they were great. It was the structure and periferals of the pageant itself.  My ideas of feminism have changed and developed over the years, sure, but I think no matter how you slice it, the pageant was off the mark this year.  The Miss America pageant has the platform and the audience to make a positive statement and make social change, accepting all women and girls of all walks of life, colors shapes and sizes. But that message didn't make it in the programming this year.  The most exciting contestant this year was Miss Montana Alexis Wineman, the first ever Miss America contestant with Autism, who was the "America's Choice" winner and first announced into the top 16. But she was quickly cut after the Swimsuit portion, to I am sure the groans and disappointment of many households worldwide.  For a pageant that supposedly celebrates the individuality of women and what makes us each special and unique, there is a lot of confirmity and fitting a certain standard going on. I want to still love the pageant and the pageant system, but I think they still have a lot of work to do.

So come on, Miss America Pageant. Get your act together and get your story straight. Make a difference to all the girls in society, and not just the ones in your pageant system. 

Feeling Spring

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The weather is playing with my head and my emotions these days. It's warmer--high 30s and mid 40s and this weekend will be in the 50s. I am feeling Springtime and longing for it. I feel that excitement of warmth and mobility and that crisp smell in the air. I am inspired by warm climate songs and videos right now. We have a lot of travel on the horizon (in the next month and a half: Denver, NYC, New Orleans) and I am ready for it.  All I want to do is drive around in cars with the top and windows down while wearing a tank top and a flowy skirt. I want the freedom and carefree feeling of Spring and Summer.

And I know that we still have months of winter.

But for some reason, I have a feeling that all of 2013 will be Springtime. A rebirth. A happiness. A freedom.

Daily Inspiration

Listing in Gapers Block!

Listing here!


Drunk Monkeys at Watershed!
5:00-7:00 pm
601 N State (under Pops for Champagne)
Cash Bar

Come celebrate the current season of Drunk Monkeys with Jen and I tonight! We'll be filming 2 episodes and sampling out some liquors from recent episodes. Come party with us!

Daily Inspiration 2

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This video is sheer perfection.

Daily Inspiration

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Drunk Monkeys Live this Sunday!


Drunk Monkeys will be performing this Sunday, January 6th at 8pm at Chicago Sketchfest at Stage773!

Please come cheer us on and drink with us!


So here they are:

1) I want to get to dance class more. It makes me feel good and it makes me happy. So I want to make it a priority.
2) I want to run the Soldier Field 10 mile race in May. This means I will need to start training soon, and as we all know, I have zero tolerance for running in the cold. So this one makes me a bit nervous. And the furthest I've ever run is 6 miles, so this is a big jump in distance for me.
3) I want to do the full Chicago Triathlon again. I wanted to do the full Big Foot Tri in Wisconsin, but it turns out that we will be out of town that day, sadly.

I worked out yesterday for the first time in a long time, and I am hella sore today, but it feels so good. I am going to try to be better about it this year--when you work out you feel better and have more energy, so it's only good for you! I let myself take a few months of rest in there, and now it's time to WORK. I might also try some new fun classes here and there if I can, too. But for now, while it is cold out and I am trying to save money, I am going to use my arsenal of workout DVDs.

BRING IT 2013!!!

Roasted Duck, sweet potatoes with roasted grapes, soda bread, braised celery, chocolate chess pie
Toffee, Sugared nuts, Peppermint Bark
Gumbo (from scratch!)
Drip Beef sandwiches
Vegan Pumpkin Soup


Happy New Year everyone!

There's much I've been wanting to say and reflect on, but we've been hosting family for the last week and I just haven't wanted to be on the computer much.  So here it is in a short and sweet version.

I am ready for 2013.
2012 was a good year for many things, but mostly for learning. For taking risks and scary steps. Fuzzy changed jobs after 12 years. I decided to take a leap of faith and let mine go. I said goodbye to a lot of people, and hello to many more. I learned a lot about myself and I listened to my heart and gut. I jumped into the darkness to see what was there, and I found that it was definitely worth that moment of fear before the jump.

2013 is going to be epic. It's going to take us to some new exciting places travelwise and adventure wise. We have trips planned for Denver, NYC, New Orleans, Paris...and that's just in the first 6 months! I plan on running a 10 mile race, and Fuzzy is doing an Iron Man. New creative goal and things are on the horizon.

It's going to be a busy year, but it's more than just that. It's finding the calm, the rest and being happy in the quiet and in the noise. I love who I am, and I am happy in my life and choices. I know a lot of people can't say that, so I am happy and blessed to be able to. I'm ready to keep surprising myself.

Here we go!