Lollapalooza ’14

I told you I’d eventually get to talking about my experience at Lollapalooza (more than a week later). It’s okay. If people on my Facebook newsfeed are still posting about it, then damn it so can I!

Now if only I could remember . . .

Duh, of course I can remember! Here are the best and worst (in no particular order) from Continue reading


“That Dirty Bitch [Grace]”–A Letter to Lady Gaga

Yes, I’m writing a post not related to the 30 Day Writing Prompt Challenge because, well, I want to. I’m a bad bitch and I can do whatever I want.

This past Friday, I went to the Lady Gaga concert at the United Center (in Chicago). I had been sitting on these tickets since December 2013, and the day had finally arrived and, to be honest, I wasn’t anymore excited than I was when I bought them.

Here’s another truth: I’m kicking myself for my lackluster attitude because the artRAVE was the best concert I had ever been to.

I’ll admit, I was underwhelmed at the beginning. I saw pictures of the artRAVE in other cities of people dressing up, and I just wasn’t getting excited. I didn’t even bedazzle my Judas bra until the night before. Not to mention the first opener was this:

I’ll admit (again) that I wasn’t too impressed, but hey, now I can’t get this song out of my head and I just wanna do a jump line with a bunch of people in a public setting. Good job, Crayon Pop! You’ve gotten into my head.

Lady+Starlight+Lady+Gaga+Born+Way+Bus+Tour+G-J-upTFFO8lWho really stole the opening show was Lady Starlight. Girlfriend (like she’ll ever read this, but we’ll pretend that she will), your outfit was flawless! Loved your blazer, loved your skirt, loved your sound, loved you. Your energy on stage was breathtaking. Most DJs just stand their with their hands up like their entitled to some godship, but you were feeling the soul of the beat and dancing along with us. It was absolutely fabulous! Did I already mention I love you?

Then, Lady Gaga made her appearance in all of her Mother Monster glory, and it was absolutely wonderful. And it’s the inspiration for this letter, to Lady Gaga (again, like she’ll ever read this, but again we’ll pretend that she will):

Dear Lady Gaga,Lady Gaga "The ARTPOP Ball" Tour Opener

I would like to apologize.

I never felt like a Little Monster. I would listen to your albums and your popular hits on the radio, but I never felt that connection that my friends and even my own mother felt . . . until I attended the artRAVE. I finally felt like I belonged. We were all different, but at that concert we all moved, danced, and sang along as one. We were all one.

It truly hit me when you sang “Born This Way” at the piano and you brought that guy up from the audience. I was in general admission up against the fence, and I looked into the sea of seats towering above me and in the front row was a man so touched by “Born This Way” that he was crying. We had a moment. We made eye contact, pointed at each other, and belted the lyrics out along with you. Two complete strangers feeling acceptance from one another in a sea of strangers. It was beautiful.

Even you said that people have called you strange–and you dislike the misuse of the word “ratchet”–and I too have been called strange my entire life. I never felt like I belonged. I was always the odd one out with the strange ideas and concepts I’d come up with. I was the weird girl, even at the artRAVE I was the weird girl, but I was finally accepted for the woman I am.

All in all, this letter is to thank you, Lady Gaga, for accepting me (as well as your other fans) for who I am and for encouraging all of us to be 1000% us. I now feel like a true Little Monster and I can’t wait until you come back to Chicago–by the way, I plan on taking my mom, a true Little Monster herself!

Whether you read this or not, Lady Gaga, just know I have so much respect for you now. I had a great time at the artRAVE, and I can’t to say what direction your art and music takes next!


Grace, the girl in the bedazzled Judas bra in GA stage right

P.S.: I’m jealous of that dirty bitch Diana, and Mario.

P.P.S.: If I were Lady Starlight, my “Lady Gaga,” my best friend for twenty-one years, is probably your biggest fan and best Little Monster in Chicago. It wouldn’t be loyalty if I didn’t tell you that she loves you and has dreams of working for you.

The First City

I, and I’m sure other Chicagoans, find the reactions we get, from locals abroad, when we say we’re from Chicago, quite humorous. It could go one of three ways, or all three, depending on the individual:

  1. “Oh my God, do you know Oprah?!” No . . . hate to burst your bubble, but Oprah isn’t everybody’s friend, just Gail’s and developing communities in Africa’s. This question was very popular when I was in Australia.
  2. “Oh, Al Capone,” accompanied by finger gun motions and *pow, pow* noises. Some just straight up ask about the mafia–Italian, Irish, and Russian, mostly–or ask if we’re affiliated. If I was, do you think I’d tell?
  3. And, then, of course, the all-time “abroad” classic: “Stupid American(s).” One of my tour guides even told our group to say we were from Canada.


The Windy City.
Chitown or Chi City.

A place where there are only two seasons: winter and construction. A city where you’re sitting poolside one day only to shovel your driveway the next.

Where speed limits are only recommended guidelines that only out-of-towners follow. Where you’re risking your life by trying to merge into the left lane on the Kennedy, and where express lanes aren’t so express around three o’clock.

A city where everybody claims to be from, but true Chicagoans reside where the L stops. A city that most are afraid of, but a city that more people love.

Sky scrapers touching the clouds, housing big businesses and views for miles. All the money is here; some of the corruption is here.

A place where foodies thrive and will travel to the most dangerous parts of the city for the best burritos in town. The home of the deep dish pizza, and don’t you dare ask for ketchup at the hot dog stand.

Where Malnati and Portillo are household names; where Capone and Oprah are household names. Where the citizens take pride, even if their team hasn’t won a World Series in over a hundred years.

A city where the streets are crowded with herds of people in red, black, and white, adorning the yellow, green, and orange feathers. The hopes of Derrick Rose making a come back are still in the air.

Contaminated water, but the beaches are still packed every weekend. Lousy pay-to-park terminals, but everybody still renews their space.

The home of Lollapalooza and a sculpture dedicated to something that makes you fart. The home of Marshall Field’s, rest in peace.

Resurrection Mary rests here. The spirits of Hull House and the Iroquois Theater haunt here.

Where there is a whole district dedicated to meat-packing, as there is an entire island dedicated to beer. Where location is key, and where you live really does matter.

We’re a boiling melting pot of cultures, differences, and similarities. Where influences bring us together.

A place where you look forward to Paczki Day every February or March. Where you take off work to go to the Taste.

A city where you’ve made friends and enemies. A place where you’ve found yourself; a place where you’ve found love.

New Yorkers say Chicago is the Second City.
We refer to it as the first; Chicago is second to none.

My city.
My first love.
My forever home.