Feb 132012
 

One of the best things about living in Chicago or any big city is having access to a plethora of restaurants, live theater shows, concerts, literary readings, sporting events, art installations, transportation, cultural events, and shopping among other things.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen some pretty fascinating stuff that has blown my mind. I’d like to share two of those things with you.

At the Bulls vs. Nets game, I got to see one of the funniest shorts put on by Big Ben and Benji the bull. Check them out below:

To learn more about Benny, Big Ben, Benji and the entire Bulls family, check out this site: iwantbenny.com.

Another cool thing I got to see was this incredible light sculpture at the Chicago Auto Show. I’ve never seen anything like it and I had to get it on video. Turns out, it was created by Chuck Hoberman, of the Chuck Hoberman Sphere. Check out what it does and be amazed:

Well folks, there you have it.

If I find any other cool things around Chi-town, (and I’m sure I will) I’ll be sure to post a video.

Stay tuned for more awesomeness and in the meantime, peace and happiness.

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Dec 072011
 

I’m convinced that luck comes in waves. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that a few people around me are going through rough and tough times, while others are at their optimum. Case in point, one family member was recently laid off, while another was offered a promotion and raise. His wife was also offered a job with a competitive salary. Earlier this year their situations were reversed. What the heck is going on? Is this some kind of reversal of fortune? Is it their turn to get showered with good luck from the universe? Does good and bad luck come in waves? I’m starting to think yes.

This good luck occurred within the last couple of weeks, which brings me to this – the moments before the New Year always count. Whatever you want to do this year, whatever dreams you have can still be reached. Don’t give up just because you may be in the midst of a bad luck wave. Keep pushing along because good luck is heading your way.

Confession: I’ve been putting off the completion of my novel because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it scares me. Sounds strange, I know, but exposing my inner most thoughts is a frightening thing for me, hell, for any writer. It’s a vulnerability I didn’t expect to have and one I didn’t prepared for, but I’m pushing forward. There’s not much sense in keeping my manuscript hidden on a file folder on my desktop. My plan is to finish my novel by the end of this year and edit it early next year to get this pony in the publishing show.

I want to leave this year on a high note. Don’t you? If so, then take this as your sign to sprint to the finish line and get whatever you need to get done – done.

I’m wishing all you writers and artists out there good luck on your current project! You can do it.

“Let me know – do I still got time to grow? Things ain’t always set in stone. Let me know, let me know. Seems like street lights, glowing, happen to be just like moments, passing in front of me, so I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare. See, I know my destination, but I’m just not there.”

-“Street Lights” by Kanye West

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Oct 112011
 

We’re having unseasonably warm weather in Chicago right now, which makes me think of this past summer and my time in Boston.

While in Boston my family and I took a day trip to Salem. Why Salem? Well, because of Nathaniel Hawthorne of course. It’s where The House of the Seven Gables is located and I just had to go. Turns out, it was pretty amazing!

Here’s what I remember from the tour:

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s father died when he was just five years old. After his death, Hawthorne’s mother struggled to make ends meet and turned to her family for help.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a shy child often keeping to himself, and as he grew, so did his desire for writing. He always had a writer’s spirit.

He stayed holed-up in his room in this house and wrote. His mother and two sisters kept his writing secret as they knew how important it was to him. His mother believed in him so much that she would bring dinner up to his room so that he could continue to write without interruption. Even though he had some support around him, he never thought any of the work he produced was any good. Sound familiar?

Hawthorne’s uncle pressured him to go to college and he did go, but he hid his desire to be a writer. Choosing to be a writer wasn’t necessarily received with open arms back then either.

But he continued on and wrote two very famous books in classic American literature – The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables among other things.

And that’s what I think it means to have a writer’s spirit. He always had the desire to write despite the odds against him. He could’ve quit at any time. Many people probably would’ve, but for whatever reason, he didn’t and I think that’s kind of remarkable. To me, he is a true writer’s writer.

If you’re ever in Salem and you’re interested in Hawthorne, I say visit The House of the Seven Gables and Hawthorne’s childhood home. You will not be disappointed.

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