Greetings and long overdue welcome from my tiny corner of the blog-o-sphere. If you're one of my Facebook/Twitter followers or a hand full of my blogging "regulars" I've hoped you noticed my lack of online activity. A void in articles where March should be. There seems to be a veil up when it comes to this field barring the writer from getting too intimate. But with the more I learn, I feel it necessary to be open about what's going on with me personally. Especially being that all the content I review or showcase are things I stand by. This past month brought about a lot of changes, and not just in online scribing. Sort of a dark period that forced me to alter my purpose. So just what has this explorer been up to in a month devoted to madness? check out the highlights below.
Now I don't want to demote my own limited power but this month I got to realizing that while super enriching, blogging is not all that prestigious. Most people, including some bloggers, get enticed by this image of bloggers like Perez Hilton or one of personal muses Kid Fury who have found a way to streamline their personalities into a real way to make money. What we don't realize is that the average blogger who does research and takes a very thoughtful approach to the platform doesn't experience such profit. To loosely quote another of my blog crushes Candace Jordan of Candid Candace, "I get paid in Facebook likes." The time and work that it actually takes to turn out these under acknowledged pearls of awesomeness is worth far more than the clicks I find myself begging social media for. And the perks that some bloggers get are few and far between. And don't even get me started on SEO. All that aside, after a lot of soul searching I found I really do love getting Chicago's funkiest events and hotspots out there to you, the amazing readers. It all become clear when someone asked me to suggest a night out spot and suddenly I found myself rattling off all these places I'd been. And I still get that goose bump causing rush when I get a new comment or a reader shares my work.
Remember all the things adults told you about growing up that you thought they were stupid for saying? Turns out they're right! Nothing caused heartburn more than having to eat a whopping slice of "bitch I told you so" pie than this month's work/school schedule. This year I decided to get my back to school on by applying for the Written Communications program at National Louis University. Shout out to the Financial Aid department for temporarily getting MOHELA off my back, yet allowing me to get myself into further debt! It didn't take long to realize that your masters is much different from your undergrad. You cannot cram for the test a few hours before and you certainly cannot just sit in the back with your head down because you're hungover and get credit. I still had to work my very real job, teaching. But I managed to come out unscathed. But things were not like some fantastic 80s montage where everyone high fives in midair. My career sector might have gotten beefed up but I experienced a really crippling breakdown of a longstanding friendship which was extremely unexpected and pretty much knocked the wind right out of me. But like Peeps placed in a microwave, still I rise.
"You know most parents actually deter their children from getting multiple tattoos." Or famous last words, as I often refer to phrases uttered before I'm getting ready to do something crazy or especially stupid. This month found my father turning the big 5-0 and easily ushered into the mid-life crisis stage of life as we visited the city's famous Jade Dragon Tattoo on Belmont. After month's of badgering, I finally made the decision at the front counter to oblige my father in getting a tattoo with him.
-Regaining Explorer Spirit
It may seem like it's all city slicking and wordplay but after a while of cranking out slug after slug of Chicago centered dictation, a blogger can get worn out. In an effort to get the inquisitive cranks moving again, I decided to hit the street. The noteworthy among my outings starting off with my excursion to Trader Todd's Karaoke and Tiki Bar for a single events. It was there that I finally got to meet another ChicagoNow cohort, Jasmine Yates who pens the always titillating Joy L.O.V.E.-Lessons in Love, Sex and Dating. The event was fun and I must say I enjoyed myself. I got to meet some new people that were no less than interesting, got a good pat down from the monstrous crowd and even sang a tune or two.
Next on the list of regaining the old inspiration was making a pilgrimage to one of my favorite art havens, The Museum of Contemporary Art. This is such a beloved place for me to just go and really meld into the crowd. Every time I visit there I get some vision or reaffirming for my writing, heck for my life in general. This trip's message, "destruction as the new construction." In the exhibition titled Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, you can see the progressive works of Japanese and Italian workers turned artists during the war torn years of World War II. With over 100 works featured using materials like animal skins, gravel, and even blowtorches, it easily made an impression.
And last but certainly not least, I got a chance to mull this whole reporting thing over at jazz spot M Lounge. I almost didn't want to include it because it was such a nice slice from the usual, who wouldn't want it all for themselves? The candle light makes good work of reverberating off the nearly all mahogany wooded areas of the sweep. Creating a glow and instantly perceived warmth to the spot. Not especially expansive, M Lounge uses its space to give a desired roomy appeal. Add the great drinks and the awe-inspiring singers and musicians featured on any given night, and you've got yourself a cure from the played out club scene. It's a very good option for you mid-twenty somethings, like myself, who are making the transition from shot-skis (see here for reference) to cocktails. I got a remedy from writer's block as well as the tired sounds of new artists in the mainstream. Here's a clip from the evening's songstress, Jazmine Skye, giving a mean rendition of Bill Wither's classic, Use Me Up.
Like the lyrical street poet...Juelz Santana once proclaimed, "IT FEELS SO GOOD-TO BE BACK!" My sentiments exactly. As long as someone's out there to read it, I'll be here most likely making a fool of myself and writing about it. Always with the spirit of exploring and getting lost in wonderment that is our fair city.
To commemorate our blogging comeback, 4-Star Explorer is giving away a free ticket for two to see the new movie Spring Breakers at Showplace Icon Theaters-150 West Roosevelt Road. Because what honors the tradition of spring break more than seeing Disney Channel stars go wild? And...it has James Franco. 'Nuff Said. Just comment below with something you like to do instead of working and we'll reply if you've won! Be sure to include your email addy.
Filed under: Interests