Lolla Lolla Lollapalooza

August 3, 2012 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Full disclosure: I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about Lolla before and I’m too lazy to do a detailed check.  So if you have a better memory than I do and you know that I have, feel free to skip this post and send me a scathing email reprimanding me for my lack of research/lack of care.  Otherwise, please feel free to read on per usual for my witty comments and fabulous insights.

So.  Lollapalooza is a giant music festival held in the heart of Chicago, i.e. Grant Park, and it’s happening again this weekend.  Created in 1991, it features rock, metal, punk and hip hop bands plus a variety of everything in between.  There’s also comedy shows, food and beer/wine vendors, environmental awareness displays and activities for children (most of this was not at the initial few festivals but as the shows have grown, so have the attractions).  My first trip to Lolla in 2007 left me feeling rather bizarre and is not something I’ll ever forget.

Yup, surreal.

I had just spent an entire month studying primates and wild animals with a group of 13 others in the South African bush.  My days were full of hiking, observing said animals and analyzing fecal samples (and yes, it was all as awesome as it sounds).  At the end of our trip I flew into Indianapolis and was promptly picked up by a buddy of mine and we began driving to Chicago immediately.  I had been up for something like 30 hours by the time we arrived at a friend’s place and I crashed for a brief few more before we woke up, showered, and headed downtown to the music fest.  The only other time I’d been to a music festival anything like this was Bonnaroo, which was held in a huge field in Tennessee and did not provide such a dramatic backdrop.  At this point, the culture shock of being back combined with my jet lag caught up with me and I was feeling funny (I promise there were no substances that contributed to this. Well, not much).  Anyway, at this point in my life I’d only ever been to Chicago maybe twice and was still fairly unfamiliar with the city.  So you can imagine just how out of it I felt while standing in the midst of a huge rock and roll festival, with the Chicago skyline in the background, thinking about how that time two days ago I’d been backpacking around on the other side of the planet with a group of people who I’d never see again.

Talk about surreal.

It took a few more days for the jet lag and culture shock to wear off and by that time, Lolla was over and it was time to return to the real world.  I went back a few years ago and it was just as much fun as I remembered but I haven’t been since.  The cost is mostly what’s stopping me but this year I had planned to purchase tickets, until the summer slipped away before I knew what was happening.  I could still get a last-minute pass but I’ll be at the other end of Grant Park this weekend instead, doing the docent thing at the Field Museum.  Which is fine by me, since I’d rather be hanging out with mummies and dinosaurs than smashed in a huge, sweaty crowd in the blaring sun trying to find bands whose line-up didn’t particularly impress me anyway.  Maybe next year I’ll head back out – I’ve still got the Camelbak water bottle/backpack I used in Africa and it could come in handy at an event like this!

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Music, Crowds and Rain

August 8, 2011 at 11:11 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

…are three things I did not deal with this weekend.  While I’m a fan of music the other two things I can do without and as Lollapalooza took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was actually thankful that I wasn’t dealing with the hoards of people in the steamy sunshine left behind after a massive downpour.  Does this mean I’m getting old?  Maybe, maybe not.

Good luck finding me.

I’ve attended my fair share of festivals and even spent a few summers roughin’ it at Bonnaroo in Tennessee.  I’ve been to Lolla a couple times as well and I actually had a blast at each of these concerts.  I even thought about going to Lolla this year but when the line-up came out, I wasn’t overly impressed.  I like the Foo Fighters but was lucky enough to see them for a BBC live taping in London in 2005 (I got a drumstick and guitar pick from the band and actually got to walk out talking to the guys as they headed to Sweden or Switzerland or someplace that started with the letter ‘S’).  I was interested in seeing some of the other acts but not interested enough to shell out close to $90/day to do so.  Besides, I had stuff going on at the Field Museum on Saturday and I ultimately decided doing my researching and docent thing was a better way to spend my Saturday.  Oh crap.  Maybe I am getting old.

Even though I didn’t hit the fests, I’m able to appreciate how massive and popular they are.  In fact, I spent part of Friday looking out our office windows and watching the thousands upon thousands of people amassing in Grant Park.  I also walked by a huge fence on Saturday morning as I made my way into the museum – the fence was being guarded by extremely bored looking Lolla volunteers to ensure no one was going to jump it and sneak in.  Which was a shame because the thought absolutely crossed my mind.  Trains were packed and traffic in and around downtown was somewhat of a nightmare, making me once again happy I don’t have a car.  There where people everywhere but they all seemed to be having a pretty great time so I guess even the thunderstorms and overcast skies didn’t put a damper on their days.

And maybe I’ll go next year.  I can start saving now and if the set list doesn’t spark an interest once again then I can do something else with the money I’d have spent on a 3 days pass.  Like purchase a small island.

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Friday Round-Up

August 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Back to the randomness!

The Simpsons get it, even if families is misspelled

In big news, California’s Prop 8 was overturned by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker on Wednesday!  Hopefully this means we’re finally on the right track towards marriage equality for everyone.  I know this decision will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court and we’re still facing a long road but this was a victory for everyone who would like to see basic rights given to the homosexual community.  As Judge Walker said,

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

Amen to that!  I know that the main case against gay marriage is that it disrupts the sanctity of that institution, but come on.  Straight people can get married in a drive-thru in Vegas and have it annulled the next day but a gay couple who has loved one another and remained devoted for decades cannot take that walk down the aisle?  I’m sure you can gather how I feel about this.  Breeders have been making a mockery out of marriage for years anyway so it’s not like getting hitched is always some revered, respected event.  Case in point:

The woman who found out her husband was already married – through Facebook.  That’s right, she became suspicious that he was cheating and photos online of her hubby (and the father to her two children) clearly showed him in Disneyland getting married to some other woman.  Apparently she learned he was engaged and he promised her he’d break it off, so she didn’t begin divorce proceedings until she realized he went through with the marriage.  Uh, I would think finding out he was engaged to someone else would be a deal-breaker, but that’s just me.  And this obviously proves that all married people value and uphold the vows they took on their wedding day.  Gays would certainly ruin it for everyone else.

In other, totally unrelated news, my visit to the dermatologist was a success.  I was able to finally rid myself of an unsightly mole I’ve had since birth and I got some advice on the whole acne issue.  Apparently, I’m dirty and oily, as are most other humans.  The doc wrote out a prescription for some fancy gel type stuff and I left the office with grand visions of skin with model-like clarity.  Then I got to the pharmacy and was told my insurance wouldn’t pay for the gel and it would run me over $100 out of pocket.

Guess what – my skin doesn’t bother me anymore.  I’ll stick to soap and scrubbing, thank you very much.

Lollapalooza is going on this weekend and I have a couple of house guests to prove it.  This giant music festival in Grant Park is slated to be bigger this year than ever before and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish to be down there with my buddies right now instead of here at my desk.  I’m still not sure if I’ll make it out for a day this weekend or not but my heart is with all of you sweaty, gyrating souls down there now.

The last time I went to Lolla, I had literally just returned from my month long research study in South Africa.  As in, I flew from Cape Town to Indianapolis (obviously not a direct flight), was picked up in Indy, rode to Chicago and was in Grant Park the next morning.  That was where I experienced my biggest jet lag/culture shock moment ever.  Standing in downtown Chicago with thousands of concert goers after spending a month with the same group of 9 people while traipsing through the bush in Africa was a bit of a mind-blowing experience.  It was awesome though and while I may not have the same feeling if I go back this weekend, I’m almost guaranteed to have a good time.

I’m also still working on my whole application to the Month at the Museum.  I’ve got two videos to choose from, the essay and application itself are complete and I’ve taken all necessary photos.  My plan is to finish everything tonight and tomorrow and have it mailed on Monday.  I’m still super excited about this chance so continue to send good luck vibes in my direction!  Also – a HUGE thanks is due to my friends who have helped with the videography, photography and editing of this whole thing.  I couldn’t have done any of it without you guys and I’ll be sure to get special visitor’s passes for you if when I win!

Or maybe I should include a photo a day? Nah, I'd never get any work done

Last but not least, this little blog here has seen a dramatic uptick in viewings this week.  WordPress provides a handy stat tracker which shows how many people check out my blog on any given day.  It fluctuates anywhere between 2 or 3 to 20 or 30 daily and I think prior to this week the highest ranking post was my 100th post rap (to the tune of the Fresh Prince theme song…if you missed it, it’s worth checking out).  Wednesday, however, I noticed that over 100 people had clicked on my homepage.  What the?  So I did a little sleuthing and realized it was because of my celeb crush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  That oh so hot photo of him I put up earlier this week has brought more people to this site than anything else thus far.  Apparently others out there have been doing some image searches of the guy this week.  Who knew?  So if you’re a new viewer I hope you’ll hang around, even if I can’t promise photos of fine young actors every day.

Happy Friday everyone, may your weekend be long and your drinks be stiff!

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