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Chicago Crush of the Month: Aaron Greer

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Whatever your political affiliation, no doubt yesterday was an historic day. But now that we’ve imposed artificial meaning on the fact that both Hitler and Bin Laden were announced dead on May first, now that we’ve scoffed at Donald Trump’s fixation on Obama’s birth certificate, now that we’ve scoured Twitter for Katy Perry's response, let us turn our collective attention to something truly vital: my May crush of the month.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, filmmaker and teacher Aaron Greer has developed a diverse portfolio of documentary, narrative and experimental films. His award-winning feature film, “Gettin’ Grown,” has screened at film festivals around the world and is currently being adapted into a web series, he has co-authored the award-winning screenplay "Fruit of the Tree," which was selected for the Tribeca All-Access program in 2007, and he is currently producing a documentary about Cuba, titled “Merchant in Havana.” All that and he still finds time to dodge my calls.

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Profession: Filmmaker and Professor at Loyola University Chicago.

Hobbies: I’m a fan of professional football and basketball. I like reading historical fiction and listening to “This American Life.” Nothing else I do on a regular basis that could be considered a hobby.

Our Town What drew you to filmmaking?
Aaron Greer Acting makes me self-conscious; music requires carrying a tune or playing an instrument, and art requires you be able to draw or something. Film was the way I could figure to be creative without having much artistic talent. Also, I believe in the Hopi saying: “He who tells the stories rules the world.”

OT Which filmmakers inspire you?
AG My first filmmaker “crush,” the first director I thought of as an artiste was Spike Lee. I still see all his films. I don’t always like them, [but] I’m always glad I saw them. I was also inspired by the Cuban filmmaker Tomas Gutierrez Alea [and] really dig Pedro Almodovar. Finally, I kind of want Clint Eastwood to make me his adoptive grandson.

OT What made “Getting Grown” seem appropriate to transform into a web series?
AG When we made the film—in fact, part of why we made the film—there were relatively few serious films for and about tweenagers produced in this country, especially inner-city kids. Unfortunately, that’s just as true now; so there’s an unfulfilled niche in the “marketplace.” Also, that age group is just as likely, more likely really, to watch stuff online. Making GGTV a web-series is a ‘taking the mountain to Muhammad’ kind of thing.

OT Explain how you’ll include viewer-generated content.
AG Each webisode has moments structured [to] include media, images, lines of dialog, sounds, provided by the viewers. Say there’s a scene with the main character talking on the telephone. That other person’s voice can as easily be recorded by one of our viewers as it can by us. In advance of an episode’s premiere, we’ll put out a call for specific kinds of [media] to include in that next week’s episode. Viewers [can] upload or send us that media and we’ll pick our top choices and drop them into the official version of the episode on our site. Once that particular episode premieres, viewers will be able to re-edit, remix and customize that episode.

OT How do you balance teaching, creative pursuits and family life?
AG The most productive I’ve been was when I was single, living alone in a new city and had no social life. It sucked, but I got a ton done. I work at a much slower pace now, but my life is filled, so it’s worth it. During the semester, I try to spend one full weekday with my son, the rest of the workweek dealing with teaching, creative projects, a couple hours on the weekends, evenings, during naps, etc. [During summer break], I go into full-time filmmaker mode. The hardest part of the balancing act is giving myself permission to be a less prolific filmmaker than I used to be.

I've Made a Little Space for Amber Benson*

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Interviewing someone you’ve never heard of is easy. Sure you gotta research, but becoming informed on a deadline is cake compared to fielding a phone call from an icon. Amber Benson may be a minor mainstream star, but for fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” she’s a major deity. Thankfully, she’s also one of the most genuine, forthcoming celebrities I’ve had the privilege of interviewing. On the final leg of her book tour, Benson hits Challengers Comics Saturday April 9th, and she’s looking forward to it, but maybe not as much as she’s looking forward to grabbing a burger while she’s in town.

Our Town How’s the tour?
Amber Benson A little crazy. I feel like I haven’t been home in months. We had a really amazing turn out in New York and Houston, people waiting in the rain, crazy stuff.

OT You knew early you wanted to act. When did that goal crystallize?
AB I was a hyperactive child. My mom put me in ballet and lots of after school programs to wear me out so I would sleep. I remember being onstage in “The Nutcracker,” this little marshmallow rolling out of some guys skirt and realizing I did not like ballet. It’s beautiful and I appreciate it, but the rigor was not very appealing as a child. But being onstage and having people clap? That was like catnip, so I sort of matriculated over to the drama world.

OT Acting led you to everything from producing to writing for TV to novels; surprising or part of the plan?
AB If you have a brain and you’re a woman, being one thing isn’t enough. As a creative individual, you have to diversify. Plus you can’t really make a living as an actor. A small percentage does, but then there’s everybody else who’s struggling. As an actor, you’re regurgitating somebody else’s dialogue invented in their world rather than yours. I knew I would go crazy just being an actor. I had always written short stories, bad poetry, plays, that sort of thing. When I was approached about doing the Willow/Tara comics for Dark Horse, I was excited to try something new and writing-centric. After the BBC read the comics, Chris Golden and I were asked to do the “Ghosts of Albion,” an animated program. Then Random House asked us to novelize that universe, so that was my entré into writing long form prose.

OT "Death’s Daughter" was your first solo novel. Since then you’ve written two more. Is it getting easier?
AB I’m at work on the fourth as we speak. You have to treat writing like a business. I like to go places to write. Like, ok, I’m leaving to go to my office. I try to do 1500 to 3000 words every time I sit down. It’s daunting to see a blank computer screen and know you have to fill it with 90 to 100,000 words. But the process gets easier—maybe easier is the wrong word. I get better at the process because I’m doing it more. Especially revisio where the book comes together. You vomit it up as a first draft, then go back and rewrite until you get it to a place where it’s not vomit anymore, it’s cotton candy.

OT You blog, tweet and are active on facebook. Social media, boon for artists or distraction?
AB Traditional ways of reaching people don’t work anymore. Magazines and newspapers are going under, everything is becoming internet based. You have to use what you got and what we have is social media. It puts you in connection with fans in a very intimate way. It’s awesome but frightening because all the walls separating the creative from the real world are knocked down.

OT Any social media regrets?
AB I did something just stupid. I was trying to direct message a friend to give them my new e-mail address and whoops, it popped up on Twitter for everybody to see. But I work hard not to talk about where I am while I’m there. I was at the New York comic-con a couple years ago and another writer, a friend, Anton Struass was at the booth and I tweeted, “I’m at such and such booth,” and then I went to do my signing and he’s like, “dude you left and a bunch of people came over, going ‘where’s Amber, she says she’s here.’” I’m learning you have to be protective of your personal space. I’m not on Foursquare. If I get checked in it’s somebody else doing it and I have to beat them up later.

Fighting Old Man Winter: Tips from Our Town Readers

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I’ve hit my limit. First twenty inches of snow, next fifteen below wind-chill and now I’ve got a fever to boot. Do you know how hard it is to think with a fever? You start out writing a simple blog intro and end up reading about the origin of ‘to boot.’ Apparently totally unrelated to footwear, the phrase may derive from the Old English ‘bat’ meaning good or useful—two things this digression is not. Not to mention the fever dreams. Last night I dreamed a Burlesque troupe tried to recruit me by seeing if I’d answer to the name they’d chosen for me: Salmon.

Before I got sick, I’d stayed on top of winter rage and depression by doing copious amounts of yoga and eating cookies, both healthy activities. At times, I felt only my Vinyasas stood between me and a meltdown worthy of Jack Torrance. But yoga while feverish is inadvisable, and I haven’t been able to taste anything since Sunday. So now it’s just me and Brothers & Sisters on Netflix instant. (Why did critics like this show? Non-sequiturs comprise all exchanges, each episode ends with syrupy music over family montages and no one recognizes the symptoms of juvenile diabetes.)

Clearly, I’m no poster child for Sane Winter Survival, (I’m not sure who is, but I picture her looking like Celine Dion. All in white, hair streaming, eyes fixed and faraway. Probably the fever. Let’s move on.) so I decided to turn to readers for advice.

I started by volunteering my cookie/yoga regime, and graduate student Brenna Kischuk weighed in with her response. “Same here,” she wrote, “if you replace cookies with tequila and yoga with online shopping binges.” Local artist Freddie Levin (who—whoa foreshadowing-- I’ll be interviewing in an upcoming blog) chimed in, “Same here, if you replace tequila with mashed potatoes and online shopping with document shredding.”

Obviously humor is key to enduring a Chicago winter, but what specific practical steps are residents taking? Writer Tara Walker says “pastries help,” and not surprisingly advocates “books, books, books.” Other readers choose a more active stance. Haute Dish server Aileen Keown Vaux, who recently moved from Chicago to Minnesota, says “exercise. Force yourself to go outside, whether for a walk, a snowball fight, or to breathe fresh air.” Long time Chicagoan Daphne Baille takes a similarly sporty if less physical tact. “NFL,” she says, “Australian Open. March Madness. Too bad it's not an Olympic year too!”

Also in readers’ bags of tricks: candles, fresh flowers, a fire in the fireplace, and seasonal food. When all else fails, says North Lake dweller Linda Michels, “don't agonize over winter, embrace it. It’s happening no matter what. Get out there and jump into a snowdrift! I did! It was fun!”

Not the best option for me at the moment, still, salmon for thought.

A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. Follow Our Town on Facebook and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez

A Chicago Set Show Provokes Controversy

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Recently, Marie Claire blogger Maura Kelly wrote a well-thought out, thoroughly researched and compassionate piece entitled “Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)” Despite never having seen CBS sitcom “Mike and Molly,” a show revolving around a plus-size couple, she used the series as a jumping off point to make astute observations such as “I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other,” and “I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine (sic) addict slumping in a chair.”

“Mike and Molly,” set right here in Chicago, follows a policeman and a teacher who meet through overeaters anonymous and embark on a romance. Born in Plainfield, Illinois and graduated from Joliet Catholic Academy, lead actress Melissa McCarthy is well equipped to play a Chicagoan of any size. But size takes center stage in the series and in Kelley’s strongly worded blog post.

Although Marie Claire is usually seen as one of the more body positive publications, its Editor in Chief Joanna Coles seems to support Kelly, calling her a “very provocative blogger,” as opposed to an insensitive fatophobe, and adding “this is a subject she feels very strongly about.” Interestingly, many others feel strongly about the subject as well, specifically those compared to drug addicts and told to stay seated rather than walk past a thin person.

So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour
7:30 p.m. at Allstate Arena; $50-$67
Past champ Russell Ferguson returns to headline the cast from the fifth season as they make a stop in Chicago during a grueling 40-city tour.

LCD Soundsystem
Riviera Theater; $41
This is happening. Producer extraordinaire James Murphy brings his dance beats and quirky rhythms to the Riv for what promises to be an upbeat, if not incredibly bizarre, show. Hot Chip opens.

Free Theater
Various locations
This is the last week of a national campaign to introduce people to the theater. Tonight, you can see a variety of shows, including a few different offerings from Comedysportz Theatre. Check out your options here.

A Grandma, desperate to de-gay her 16-year-old grandson, turns tricks in order to pay for surgery she believes will make him straight. If someone came to you with this film pitch, what would you do? If you were writer Justin Palmer, you’d make it into a TV series, or rather, a mockumentary.

Along with Nathan Adloff and Danny Rhodes, Palmer is working to create a Chicago-based sitcom centered on Marcuss (Rhodes), a spoiled trust fund wannabe filmmaker, attempting to cast a film with just that wacky premise. Says Palmer, “Danny Rhodes brought [the idea] to the table and made us die laughing. We built it from there.”

Focused on the ongoing casting of Marcuss’ film, and featuring a weekly guest star, the series entitled “Bad Sides” has already managed to draw some famous names and a lot of community attention, but according to Palmer, that’s just the beginning.

3 Things To Do Today

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Jersey Shore viewing party
9 p.m. at Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort; free
Make sure you GTL early, so you’ll be ready for tonight’s episode. Uncle Fatty’s is serving up $1 drinks and beers for the viewing, along with Jersey Shore-related contests.

DJ Jazzy Jeff, Cool Kids
10 p.m. at Beauty Bar; free
Old school meets new as Will Smith’s one-time sidekick plays from his solo projects. Joining him is the one of the hottest acts on the local hip-hop scene, Cool Kids, playing a DJ set.

Dancin’ in the Park
6 p.m. at Willye B. White Park (1610 W. Howard St.); free
Learn the basics of steppin’ and hip-hop moves with teachers from Old Town School of Folk Music, then practice them yourself at this two-hour event.


Sarah Terez Rosenblum (@SarahTerez) is an MFA-holding writer, teacher and Spinning instructor. She's also the Theater Listings Editor for Centerstage Chicago. Look for her posts twice a week.

So you don’t like The Indigo Girls, and you couldn’t care less about “Six Feet Under.” Say you prefer Insane Clown Posse and “Jem and the Holograms,” or maybe Shakira and “Diff’rent Strokes” are your thing. The point isn’t my vastly superior taste in music and television, but rather, the idea that all of us are passionate about something.

Now, what if you had the chance to discuss one of your passions with another? Like, you’re hanging with the Posse, playing croquet (‘cause you know they’re big into that) and you lean over to one of them, the guy with all that makeup, and you say, “Excuse me, Mr. Posse, how do you feel about ‘Jem and the Holograms?’” and he says, “Why, it’s the most exquisite animated show about shape-changing rock stars ever. But I always wondered, wasn’t Rio technically cheating on Jerrica when he was with her alter-ego, Jem?” Or you and Shakira are sharing a ham sandwich and the She-Wolf herself confides, “You know, I’m what Willis was talking about.”

I offer these totally plausible examples so you’ll understand my delight when I found myself in conversation with Indigo Girl Amy Ray about the transformative power of Alan Ball’s fantastic TV show, “Six Feet Under.” For more universally relevant Indigo Girls info, including details on Emily Salier’s long-awaited solo project and the inspiration behind the duo’s upcoming holiday album, sashay on over to the full length interview, but for those of you who appreciate the thrill of discussing one of your obsessions with another, behold:

3 Things To Do Today

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Chicago Sidewalk Sale
9 a.m.-3 p.m. today and tomorrow at Daley Plaza; free
Shop from dozens of local stores for clothing, jewelry and accessories as the downtown event marks its fourth year.

Classic TV Re-Runs!
7:30 p.m. at Mary’s Attic; $10
Watch live interpretations of classic TV shows at this monthly series in Uptown. This month features animation domination, including “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” “Family Guy” and “Beavis and Butthead.”

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $12-$14
LA-based lo-fi mad scientist Ariel "Pink" Rosenberg will play just about anything (armpit, mouthed drum bits, etc.) to get the right sound – which should make a rather interesting live show. Fellow Tinsel Towner Puro Instinct and Memphis’ Magic Kids open.

3 Things To Do Today

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Saved By the Bell Trivia Night
7:30 p.m. at Ginger’s Ale House; $5
Test your knowledge about Zach, Slater, Kelly, Screech and the Bayside gang at this Lakeview pub.

Dating For Nerds Trivia Night
7 p.m. at Holiday Club; $20-$25
Keeping with the trivia theme, show all the other singles how big your brains are at this mixer, which includes one free drink.

Kent Burnside
9:30 p.m. at Buddy Guy’s Legends; $10
The grandson of blues virtuoso R.L. Burnside, Kent brandishes the same, inherent master-tweak soul, of which he dubs "cotton field disco." Equipped with a five-piece band, and strung-out on lap-steel pulls, Kent digs his Americana, as well.

3 Things To Do Today

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RuPaul's Drag Race

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing party
5:30 p.m. at Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club
Is there anywhere else you’d want to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race? House diva (and former contestant) Jade will make an appearance.

Joanna Connor & Lance Lewis
8:30 p.m. at Harlem Avenue Lounge, free
Slide guitar heroine Joanna Connor enlists her longtime drummer for this duet in Berwyn. Expect her to cut the frills and let her Bonnie Raitt likeness burn as bright as the judgment day guitar work that led her to both Chicago and Blind Pig Records in the late '80s.

Laugh It Up, Kid
9 p.m. at Schubas, $5
Join local funnymen Adam Burke, James Fritz and Joe Kilgallon and others as they take the stage for this joke marathon.

Mikey Koffman, Whitney Mixter and Rose Garcia from The Real L Word.

Sarah Terez Rosenblum (@SarahTerez) is an MFA-holding writer, teacher and Spinning instructor. She's also the Theater Listings Editor for Centerstage Chicago. Look for her posts twice a week.

Just when you thought it was safe to be a lesbian, The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken returns with a new batch of skinny, long-haired white women, but this time they’re ‘real.’

That’s right, The Real L Word premieres June 20th on Showtime, and T’s, the bar of choice for lesbians who get off on paying 13 bucks for a salad, will host the official screening. Presented by HRC Chicago, Showtime and Ketel One Oranje, the event begins at 7 p.m.

The big Blackhawks parade isn't the only exciting sports-related event going on downtown tomorrow. The South African Consulate of Chicago will host a two-day World Cup festival at Daley Plaza starting on Friday, with live entertainment, contests and, of course, broadcasts of the days' major matches.

The event runs from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily broadcasts:

Friday, June 11
9 a.m.: South Africa vs. Mexico
1:30 p.m.: France vs. Uruguay

Saturday, June 12

9 a.m.: Nigeria vs. Argentina
1:30 p.m.: England vs. USA

This is just one of many World Cup celebrations hosted by the Consulate, including a soccer tournament and Finals watch party on July 11.

Check out Centerstage for more Chicago World Cup events.

j rocc 02.jpg

J Rocc
9 p.m. at The Shrine; $10
To see this legend spin is to witness an amazing display of skill, with the only problem occurring when you're trying to decide if you want to watch him mix or dance your butt off (it's a win-win situation). Early arrival is highly recommended, as prior to J. there will be a screening for one of Mochilla's (B+ and Eric Coleman) newest projects, "Timeless Suite for Ma Dukes," a performance honoring the music of the late J-Dilla. The screening is an event within itself as the doc. features a 60-piece orchestra (directed by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson) playing the music of Dilla. B+ and Eric will be spinning as well.

"Top Chef Masters" viewing party
8-10 p.m. at C-View
You're gonna watch some of the country's best toques battle it out anyway (especially since it's back to a much more viewer-friendly 9 p.m. airtime), so why not do it with one of those chefs? Competitor Marcus Samelsson, owner of C-House restaurant, will be on hand for a meet-and-greet before and during the show. Get there early for the special $39 prix-fixe dinner menu featuring Samuelsson's cuisine (available every Wednesday evening); you'll enjoy pickled herring with tomato cabbage chutney and warm toast, grilled salmon with sour tomato broth and spiced farro and chocolate banana bread pudding with fromage blanc ice cream and hazelnuts.

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale
7:30 p.m. at Goodman Theatre; $20-$70
It's Greek mythology as a one-ring circus. This remount, a perennial Lookingglass hit, uses the story of Hephaestus (Smith, Ugmo, Olyumpian exile) to string together top-notch acts from aerialists to hoopers. The plot isn't as graceful as the performers are, but who cares? Just sit back, look up and watch the gods fly.

Are you America's next great restaurateur? There's only one way to find out, at least if you want to play that role on reality TV.

Chipotle hosts an open casting call for a new NBC show called "America's Next Great Restaurant" (for now, at least) at the restaurant's Warrenville location (28251 Diehl Rd.) on Sunday, March 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The show's winner -- who must successfully complete all manner of challenges during the season -- will get the opportunity to open a restaurant chain in three cities across the country.

The first step to making your dream a reality is to pre-register at and complete an application.

8 p.m. at Bottom Lounge; $15
With a fanbase that's been steadily growing for the past couple years, P.O.S. has been dubbed by many critics as the savior of hip-hop. It's a tremendous title to bestow on a guy whose humble attitude is his most endearing quality, but it isn't totally off-point especially when considering his huge crossover appeal. P.O.S.'s hybrid of punk and rap is stylistically comparable to two trains colliding head-on at 100 MPH, which in this case isn't a bad thing at all. In fact his no-nonsense, aggressive style is exactly what rap needs right now and it's nice to know that Rhymesayers has allowed this guy to grow without restriction. Dessa of Doomtree will open along with Astronautalis.

7:30 p.m. at Viaduct Theatre; $10
The freaks at Wildclaw Theatre didn't find their niche - they dug it. After two years, they're still crouched inside that niche, leaping out only to terrify audiences with great works of horror theater. Their latest play, an adaptation of a sequel to "The Exorcist," pits a cop against a serial killer who may or may not be dead.

Submit your NCAA bracket to a bar.
Whether you're a fan of college basketball or not, there's no better excuse for weekday celebration than March Madness. Before you get too rowdy, make sure the bartender has your picks in hand -- you could win all sorts of prizes this year, including a trip to the Bahamas, a flat-screen TV and a flight on a private jet to see the Cubs play the Cardinals in St. Louis. Get the details and find out about other tourney deals here, and while you're at it, find your school's affiliated Chicago bar.

3 Things To Do Today

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Hey, Punxsutawney Phil! We've got a three-pack of free events today, so forget that shadow and make the most of it (please?). For all you non-groundhogs, don't forget that it's primary election day in Illinois. Vote early and often.

Eat Outside
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at South Water Kitchen; free
How far would you go for a free lunch? South Water Kitchen aims to test your will; any guests willing to sit outside on the restaurant's patio today (in the snow, no less) will get their meals comped. Menu items -- all of which come with coffee or hot tea, thankfully -- include chicken pot pie, chili mac with aged cheddar and creme fraiche and "Spaghetti-O's" with orecchiette pasta and mini lamb meatballs. Seatings are at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Get "Lost"
5 p.m. (show at 7 p.m.) at Durty Nellie's; free
Everyone's favorite island-based show returns for its final season tonight, and you can watch all the action on Durty Nellie's 15 big-screen TVs (including a 16-by-19-foot giant) with your fellow fans while enjoying $2 pints of Bud and Bud Light, $3 pints of Goose Island, $9.50 pitchers of Goose Island, $5 Jager bombs and $4 Jager shots. After the show, stick around for "Lost" trivia for the chance to win a $100 gift card.

Pac Div
9 p.m. at The Shrine; free w/RSVP to
Using basketball as an analogy, Pac Div released the mixtape "Church League Champions" with the intent of documenting their growth from rec. league scrubs (the underground) to NBA all-stars (rap's upper echelon). So far their rise has been steady, with accolades pouring in from all directions, including trendsetters like P. Diddy and Pharrell Williams. As of now the SoCal trio is working hard on a new mixtape entitled "Don't Mention It," which ought to be a nice primer for their forthcoming album, "Grown Kid Syndrome" (due out this summer and featuring production from Swiff D and The Neptunes).


Tracy Morgan
Friday-Sunday at The Improv; $37; buy tickets
The "30 Rock" and former Saturday Night Live star comes to Schaumburg for a weekend engagement full of the unfiltered commentary that's made him a household name. Don't forget to bring him the french fries he did not ask for.


Winter Block Party for Chicago's Hip-Hop Arts
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater; free during the day, $10-$15 evening
This second-annual event features a free daytime session with visual art and graffiti from emerging local artists, a B-Boy/B-Girl breakdancing battle, an open-mic showcase, DJs and a lot more. In the evening, check out "The New Style: Hip-Hop Aesthetics Across Genres," an exhibition of "style, mash-ups, collage, and conversation" hosted by Kevin Coval and featuring Waka (of the Brickheadz crew), WBEZ South Side Bureau reporter Natalie Moore, South Side Community Arts Center executive director/curator Faheem Majeedis and others.


Look outside.

Ok, now stop whimpering. You're a Chicagoan, not a D.C. resident! A little snow isn't going to stop your life...but you will have to adapt (that stickball game you were planning might have to wait 'til the plows come take care of your street). In case you weren't quite ready for this blizzard, we're compiling a handy list of all the things you can do in the Chicago area when it's snowing. Have ideas to add? Let us know in the comments.

  • Sledding. Time Out Chicago's got a great guide to area hills. Just be careful - a co-worker here took a spill last week and broke a bone!
  • Skiing. Yes, contrary to popular opinion, there are places to ski in the midwest. Centerstage runs down all the options for bunnies and experts alike. (Cross-country, too.)
  • Museums. Make the most of your indoor time with an educational visit. The Local Tourist has compiled a list of all free museum days in 2010.
  • Workouts. Don't feed us that line about needing an extra layer of fat. These fitness options at local gyms will keep you on track instead of in hibernation. Check out these winter sports leagues, too.
  • Drinking and Eating. This is what you were waiting for, right? Nothing like sitting by the fire with some booze and comfort food. Here are some great places to do just that. (And since you won't be flying anywhere anytime soon, some where you can pretend you're on vacation on a tropical island).
  • Reading. The Chicago Reader's annual fiction issue is online for your pleasure. For more inspiration, check out Jonathan Messinger's Books of 2009, or locally based sites like Bookslut and PopMatters.
  • Sex. Heat things up in the bedroom with advice from our favorite sex columnist, Anna Pulley (aka Centerstage's former Carnal Consultant)
  • Loafing. If you just want to sit and watch TV, that's fine, too. Visit The TV Paige for ideas...and buy tickets now for the B-Fest a full 24 hours of bad movies in Evanston. Of course, that's in a few weeks -- hopefully, this storm will be over before then.

What else you got, Chicago?

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