1D, Please Rock me.

Before you ask why the heck I came to Vegas, allow me to explain 2 u a thing.

My sister is One Direction Fan #1 Forever and Always Amen. I’m guessing that my mom got tired of hearing my sister’s pleading 24/7, so that’s why I am currently in the lobby of the Mandalay waiting for the shuttle to escort me outta hurrrr, to da plane, and back to DAT MIDWEST.

Prior to this trip, I, like many other humans in the world, recalled Vegas to be tawdry capital. The only reason I decided to come was because I wasn’t doing anything else this summer and I love the southwest. Ahh… dry heat and scenic drives everywhere. How kind is the God in this corner of the States.

Once we checked in and hogged the fancy soaps in the bathroom, we went out to the strip. The anticipated wholesome family entertainment came in the form of girls in gaudy peacock uniforms and clothed men. Needless to say, I was very upset at the social inequality that oppressed the men here. I’m sorry, men of Vegas who didn’t feel as though you could have flaunted your probably amazing bods as easily as could women. Vegas has failed you. Society has failed you. I am so sorry.

Saturday was One Direction. I walked into the venue wearing make-up and a nice dress, but I walked out with pajamas and the hotel flip-flops. About 10 minutes after sitting down, I decided that I was not about to spend 4 hours sitting down in a tight-ass dress and lipstick. I returned to the room, put on my P4K volunteer tshirt and running pants, and languidly walked back to my seat. I didn’t foresee myself singing along to anything (mainly because I knew half of one song and three-fourths of some other). I took out my Russian for Travellers, and sat reading for a while. I have to say, I think that I will be a fluent reader of Russian by my birthday… not that I’ll know what the hell I’m reading, but I’ll for sure be able to sound out words holllllaaaaaaaa~~~~~~~~

More importantly, I was wrong about everything. One Direction was really amazing (and sexy). Like, I am a new woman after the concert. It took me back to my Backstreet Boys days when I would wear the tshirts and beg my dad to buy me CDs and all that jazz. I also really enjoyed seeing my sister cry for the entirety of the show because she was so happy. (not as sadistic as that sounds.) ANYWAY to elaborate a little bit more on how attractive the band was, let me just say that there is exactly one direction I would go on One Direction. Wait? What? Did I say that? *looks away suspiciously*

Sunday I was walking around with my sister on the strip wearing what some might call an all too revealing dress, but what I would fain designate appropriate for the occasion. My sister said that she hardly felt comfortable with my parading around my boobs -which earlier that day didn’t fit into a large bikini top from the surf shop (which sucked because I forgot to bring my bathing suit)-, but that she supposed it was fine as long as I didn’t wear the dress back home. I asked her why, mostly just to mess with her, but then I realized just how important that question was. She said she didn’t want people calling me a “whore.” I told her that for her sake, I wouldn’t wear it around her, but that I couldn’t make any promises when I’m not in her immediate presence. The thing is, why would I care if some phony Puritan called me some unfortunately assigned misnomer. I don’t judge people when they are hypocrites for appearing to be saints when they are assholes. I just call it the duality of humanity.

I felt pretty damn good in the dress. I had red lipstick on, and I felt like it was appropriate, at least for Vegas. But why couldn’t I wear it in suburban Illinois? Ok, there’s the whole weather problem, but that’s beside the point. I don’t think I would want to associate with people who judge me by my dress, literally. So like, fuck you, societal standards of what’s appropriate for 1. brainwashing my little sister into thinking she can only feel comfortable when you tell her to 2. making it that much more difficult to find decent people in this world. Like, actual decent people, not just people who abide by your arbitrary dumb-ass body shaming ideals.

Everywhere should be a lil bit like Vegas. Everyone everywhere at all times should feel safe and happy wearing whatever s/he wants because flying out to the middle of Bumblefuck, Nevada just to wear revealing clothes all the time can get a lil expensive.

I’m waiting for my shuttle-carriage after an incredibly sober revelry on the strip musing about how much better my life would be if only I could play the electric violin like the guy I saw on some corner. The small vacation was enlightening in that I 1. found a reason to succeed in life (in order to afford a Tom Ford wardrobe) and 2. realized that I shouldn’t be judging anyone, ESPECIALLY little boys and girls who are just as I was when I was 12.

The only fear I had was of not finding adequate aquatic attire, and the only loathing I had was for the seaweed on our enormous Hawaiian pizza. I’m starting to think that Hunter S. Thompson should have seen One Direction instead of taking mescaline. In fact, Herr Doktor, I have a prescription for your pleasure in the afterlife:

2 bags of sass, 75 owl pellets (for dissecting in your free time), 5 sheets of coloring paper, a salt shaker full of sugar to play tricks on people (try the Houdini shop in NYNY), and a whole galaxy full of pictures of One Direction, overpriced tshirts, red lipsticks, tight dresses…. and also a quart of water, a quart of fun, a case of Lederhosen, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to drown your sorrows in your suite, and two dozen cupcakes. Not that you need all of that for your trip, but once you get locked into chaperoning your sister, the tendency is to mess around as much as possible. You’re welcome.



Thank you, One Direction for being the most attractive boy band ever…., thank you mom for paying for a bomb-ass room at the Bay, thank you Viviana for being a spoiled brat, thank you Grandma for letting me keep all the fancy L’Occitane soaps in the bathroom (I accrued over five), thank you red lipstick for all the conversations with attractive people who felt it appropriate to ask ME for directions to the bathroom, but most of all, thank you Based God.


Chicago Summer Adventures

I wanted to start compiling a list of cool things to do this summer in the Chicago area. Perhaps there will be some Milwaukee-an activities as well. If anyone has knowledge of other cool fests/workshops/WHATEVER please let me know! So without belaboring the point any more and in no particular order:

(links open in new tab!)

Wicker Park Fest

Pitchfork  (ya girl will be there all weekend. say hi and dance slow R. Kelly songs with me [please?!])

Chicago Blues which i might add is F.R.E.E.

Riot Fest for which i will (regrettably) be in college. sad face.

Wavefront you know.. if you’re into this kinda thing.

Green Music which features MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA for a suggested donation of FIVE DOLLARS. I REPEAT: F I V E (5) DOLLARS.

Summerfest (MKE) if for some reason you have a job or are spoiled rotten and are willing to pay ~$60 for the Avett Bros (who are well worth the money that I don’t have). oh and ~$40 for fun. ???? This is some bourgeoisie shit right here.

More to come?
Also, YES, I refuse to post about Lolla because f that. Five million dollars for a three-day pass? Yeah right. I’m not about that life. (I’m only a LITTLE bitter)

Newberry Book Fair !!!!

Printer’s Row

Kierkegaard seminar at Newberry $170 for the class… probably worth it, too.

The Book of Mormon

West Side Story

— Please comment below with any relevant events!

Signs in Switzerland

As I transferred the files from my old Mac to my new, I incurred upon some pictures that I took in Switzerland, specifically Basel. Here is some street lit à l’Europe.


yarn bombing is HARCORE


oh yeah.. this is overlooking the Rhein

IMG_3359 IMG_3361 IMG_3533

IMG_3547 IMG_3545


and while i’m here, i might as well post the cannabis iced tea i found…..

breaking: more cool street lit in chicago

So on Wednesday I went to Logan Square with one of my best friends to see Andrew Jackson Jihad at the 8AM. Basically, 8AM is the coolest lil venue in the entire universe.

Before we got there, Nina and I did a bit of exploring. Here’s some Logan Square street lit.

photo 5 photo 4 photo 2

2013-04-10 16.51.32 photo 1 photo 5 photo 2 photo 1
photo 2 photo 3photo 5photo 4

Then we decided to look for some milkshakes. We ran into The Brown Sack whose oreo milkshake was to die for!!!!!!!! Totally made up for the fact that it was 7:28. And the show was set to being at 7:30. And we were a solid ten minutes away.

Anyway, we somehow made it. It actually began closer to 8, as you can imagine.

So yeah, it was the coolest show I have ever been to. I’d never been to a folk punk gig, so the weird noises definitely took me by surprise. But it was so awesome. All of it. The sense of intimacy with the rest of the people (65 to be exact! It was played in an attic…) and of course the music was absolutely bat-shit crazy perfect. Amazing what a sole man and his guitar can evoke.

photo 2 photo 3Ian Graham (of Cheap Girls) was wonderful. His set was… very… ima go ahead and say pretty.

photo 4 photo 5

Hey…. check this out.

photo 5Oh, and Sean Bonnette is one of the sweetest guys in the universe; of this I’m sure.

Notes From Above

-Looking out the window somewhere above Charlottetown, Canada, 37,000 feet in the air / flight to London

I can’t tell you how beautiful the view is. It looks like the sky opened up to the universe. A tinge of red and orange looms over the horizon; a pool of green and turquoise envelopes the succeeding hues of blue. And then there are the stars, defying the imminent sun.

-Switzerland Summarized

I would have gotten drunk as fuck last night were it not for the fact that alcohol is a million dollars.

-Looking out the window somewhere in the Swiss hills / riding the TGV to Zürich

The houses are gone to the trees, and trees are gone to the window.

Sitting in the opposite direction of the moving train– backwardly traveling forward.

-Every time I had to buy food/drinks

The price of water here leaves me contemplating the fine line between frugality and harm of toilet water.

-Flight back home

You know you’re on a flight to America when the flight attendant announces that snacks are on their way, and the snacks turn out to be trays deep dish pizzas, nachos, and cookies.


Santa Claus

Hello and good morning to all!

I feel like Santa Claus as I come bearing new gifts. Today I am happy to announce that I will be adding a new segment to this already cluttered blog! It is to be a travel section entitled “Notes from Above,” receiving “Above” not from the idea of a pretentious American who feels “above” every other culture, but rather from an allusion to planes which travel above the clouds and cities.  Furthermore, it is my distinct pleasure officially to inform my readership of the transition of this blog from exclusively a book blog to a general writing blog (with an emphasis on books). This change will take some time, and I beseech you to follow me in this endeavor. Finally, as is evident through the large link atop this page, there is a fresh-out-the-oven page! I have created this page for posting links to interesting articles for your (and my own) reading pleasure. Links will be added haphazardly, though they can usually be expected towards the end of the week. Thank you in advance for your undeserving patience with my shenanigans and your unexpected interest in my blog.