Wrap It Up July 2006* intonation fest, my first taste, that craigslist ad, the myspace phenom, and how june worked out*

So I am in summer school and I can barely go anywhere because my schedule is so wonky. I didn't get that summer job , either. Seems I'm not quite talented enough to do tourist photos for Sharpshooter. I've also been loopy from the heat -- sleeping is so delicious when it's ultra hot outside! On top of those other things- I've been feeling like I wanted to get some new hang buddies. So I did the most practical thing- I put an ad on craigslist. I got several replies, but only one person actually went anywhere with me. Guess they weren't that interested.

Other big news this month came when I opened up Redeye(newspaper of cheapskates) and read about the press conference for the New Fashion Advisory Board headed up by Melissa Turner at the Cultural Center. I was like -- .hey! Cindy Chan was there, one of the models from my Fashion Roundup was there, I wasn't there. I was like, fine. But then? I emailed Cheryl Hughes and then I met Amy Schroeder from Venus and then it all turned into an opportunity for me to interview Ms. Turner for Venus magazine's next issue. Life is good again. I don't need to be all the way in the loop? But, dag! This was worse than going to Chicago Magazine's offices for a portfolio review, seeing Brice Cooper in the Home section, and realizing that -- I never DID get to go on that ‘Design on a Dime ‘ set tour. Oh well, maybe next season. Anyways- lets' get started on this month's car-wreck, ok?

The beginning of the month started with the Lavalife ‘Flirt with Flavor' event at Ghostbar. I didn't go? But I bet it was fun. If you're single,, go check this out at www.chicago.flirtwithflavor.com. The next one is at RED IVY on July 12th.I DID go to the Cultural Center for the June 9th opening of Car Culture. Artist Lucy Slivinsky threw an invite my way, and when I got there it felt like old home week. Jonathan Gitelson from Columbia College was there to represent with his ‘Car Project' – which you should have heard of by now. He covered his car in club invites and then photographed the car in front of various Chicago hangouts. The car shaped artifact with invites is on display, as well as a few of the photographs. I recommend going to the show for this- the photographs are lovely, with strong colors and cool light, a wonderful sense of framing, and the calm detached view of an outsider trying to put it all together. It's quirky and fun. I took some pictures of Lucy and Jonathan and his girlfriend Robin? Bu I was in a rush and hadn't loaded film in the camera. Really. The show is on the second floor in the Chicago Rooms.

I met my craigslist hangout buddy at Brazzaz on June 12th. I had RSVP'd to a Redeye Rewards Appreciation Party. David Miller is a writer and actor (he's appeared on ‘Prison Break' among other things) , and he's currently working on a book about crafting and creativity for Dream Time publishing. We waited on line for awhile and then we were shepherded into the special Redeye section where drinks were free, and food was plentiful. Platters of small plates were passed containing chunks of Brazillian sausage, fried polenta, fried bananas, bacon wrapped buttery soft filet mignon, and bacon wrapped chicken medallions. The bread on the tables made me want to pass out from carb pleasure. Big, pretty, re-designed cans of Bud were passed around as well. Dave and I got free T-shirts for filling out a survey AND these cute red travel cups. I actually use mine! We left after doing a videotaped mini-interview with Jimmy Greenfield ( he was nice.) Between Dave's blank stare and me calling columnist Jon Ibrahim a sex addict, we felt that it was better to make a quick exit. Brazzaz is located at 539 N. Dearborn on the corner of Grand. If you are looking to get carnivoriously decadent- go here.On June 13th I went over to the Cultural Center to catch up on some new shows and to cover Club Wed for the Volunteer Newsletter. Couples can register at City Hall the Thursday before the Saturday that they want to get married and they can have their actual ceremony in the gorgeous GAR Rotunda on the second floor of the 78 East Washington building. There beneath the coffered ceiling you can say ‘I do'. Quite the auspicious beginning, no? You can bring a crowd of 20 to witness the nuptials. They even have a fake wedding cake for you to take your photo in front of, and a silk bouquet in case you forgot. After I got done there, I went over to the Michigan Avenue galleries to look at the Oasis installation. This will be up until August 13th and you HAVE to seeit! It's this amazing soft sculpture of a tropical oasis made of old clothes, and there's a sound loop in there as well. So gorgeous. Guerra de la Paz are a Cuban duo currently working out Miami. There's a gallery talk on July 27th at 12: 15 with Sofia Zutautas that will tell you more about the work and it's creators.I took a break from all the fun to do something wacky and real life oriented- I went to meet one of my myspace pals. Renata is a super cute blonde haircolorist at Trio Salon who's http://www.myspace.com/freehaircolor, helped her get the color and cut models that she needed to get through her rigourous training at Trio salon. I was interested in taking before after photos type of thing, and she very nicely let me come by. Renata has spent the last year or so learning how to work together with the haircutting team to create unique color effects. I never really thought about how a person becomes a beauty professional, but Renata and her pals Bri and Ashley (who are also in training at Trio) told me that it takes 13-16 months of hard work to learn hot to beautify anyone that walks in the door. I took pics of hair model Elena Janyaite, whose fading blonde pixie cut got a flaming red update.Trio has two locations, but I was at the Wicker park salon at 1849 W. North Avenue. Everyone was super nice to me, and if I had hair I'd probably go there and get stuff done to it. I liked them. Especially the owner, Alex, who is very, very hot. Yum.

I got invited to see Red Lox play at Dark Room on the 16th, but didn't go. I was still feeling raw because I didn't get to go to Brice Cooper's set as promised (Red Lox is a client of Christi with an ‘eye', Brice's pr flack.) I thought about it though! That was my second Dark Room invite and I just didn't go. I think I am feeling burnt-out clubwise. Red Lox is a hot property though- checkout his site www.djredlox.com.I went out to FOUR nightclub at 1581 W. Division for the Evil Kitty show. I have been seeing the Evil Kitty name for months and got curious. I was also super impressed by the professionalism of show promoter Rebecca Hancock (another myspace buddy) I went early so that I could see what was up, and met James Rhine. The bad boy of Big Brother 6 was discovered on -- myspace. He told me that he had big fun doing the reality show, and that's he's got a hot modeling career going on with BMG. I also met Brook Seldin, talent and event manager for ASAP models. The show was also a model talent search and one of the prizes included a year-long contract with the agency. I left long before the show, but I found out that the beauteous Yasmin was the winner. You can't miss her- she'll be the star of the next Evil Kitty catalog.Had a stroll with a friend on Friday the 23rd that took in all the hot events available to Chicagoans all summer long. First we hit up Summerdance for a hot salsa session led by Grupo Fantasma. My friend can't really dance, but we had a good time moving around with everyone else. It was amazing- kids, old people, every nationality was out there twirling and doing their best. There were a couple of show-offs but by and large it was just regular people having a good time and taking advantage of the beautiful weather. We left there and wandered over to the Art Institute (free on Thursday and Friday nights, 5-9pm until Labor day) and looked at the Todd Eberle and Harry Callahan exhibits. Then we ambled over to Millenium Park for the Grant Park Music Festival. I heard the lovely strains of Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery performing A Tibetan Mozart Requiem. It was gorgeous and terribly romantic. This music festival is going on all summer long- try to check it out at least once.I went to Intonation Fest on June 25th (thanks Jessica Linker!) armed with a photo pass and my trusty Canon AE-1. It was cool. Not really hyped up pr hyper, just a mellow walking around in a bug circle meeting people kind of day. In the Quimby's marketplace I met Amy Schroeder from Venus, a couple of guys from Stop Smiling, and the crew from Love, Chicago. They were a lively bunch and I ended up talking to Mike Segawa and Jason Burke for about 15 minutes- which is practically a record for me. Mike was talking about his 6 years in New York and cracking me up completely. Check out www.lovechicago.com to find out when their tattoo issue hits the streets.I got to see Annie (cute and actually good), the Sword (loved them!), and later in the evening, Bloc Party. They were tepid, but ok. The crowd was hopping up and down and I liked Kele Okerele's Robert Smith vocals -- It was ok.

The portosans were really clean (at least the one I used.) There was free Sparks and Goose Island in the VIP area, and I thought the BBC underground area was ok, too. I got a ton of t-shirts and free stuff. The best moment? These two pretty girls started doing an improvised jazz dance to the Sword (or was it Blue Cheer?) and they were glorious. It's like they were channeling the Summer Festival Spirit for a few moments. I didn't take a picture because I want to remember those two, hair and jazz hands flying, being happy.Peeps were busting out like that at the ‘Music Without Borders' show in Millenium park on June 29th. People WOULD NOT stay in their seats during Seu Jorge's infectiously grooving set. Security guards gave up after Jorge himself exhorted the crowd to move. I had listened to his cd Cru and when I found out that he was going to be in the park I blew off summer school and totally played hooky to go hear him. His site is being updated right now, but if you go to www.seujorge.com you can see an amazing animation set to a little taste of his music.June 30th was my first volunteer shift for my first Taste of Chicago. So far? I have developed a Robinson's Ribs addiction. Vilunteers get a free summer festivals t-shirt from the Mayor's Office of Special events AND a strip of tickets. Working the booth is about what you'd expect- handing out brochures, giving directions, relaying information. It's a five hour shift, but with all the people coming in and the little break for food- it goes by fast. I have always been to freaked by the crowd size to attend a Taste, but I have to admit, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. I had the collard green eggrolls, the coconut shrimp, some awesomely greasy cheese fries, and an enchilada. Then I fell in love with the Robinson's taste tray of rib tips. I am working tonight ( July 7th) and I am spending my whole strip on a platter of ribs before I leave up out that piece.I'm also working First Friday at the MCA and so can look forward to some Wolfgang Puck treats later on. I love Chicago food- it's so not about guilt! Although I have developed what I think of as the Chicago roll- my belly likes to hang further than my t-shirts these days. I have a gift certificate to David Barton gym that I got at Shop CHICago months ago, and I think that I will have to avail myself of their services. After the Taste is over, though. The rest of the summer will be spent learning how to work out, and getting rid of this nasty little belly.JULY EVENTS IN CHICAGO*********************************************

*DARKWAVE DISCO on July 14th. DON'T MISS THIS! Not only does this party rock all by itself, but it's BPM magazine's 10 year anniversary. They're even using the flyer as their myspace avatar -- Come out to Sonotheque at 1444 W. Chicago Avenue to enjoy Trancid, Mark Gertz ( the pary boy himself), and Greg Corner from Kill Hannnah spin it til it hurts. I love this party -- .No Cover 9pm-10pm, $10.00 thereafter (worth it).

*Music Without Borders: Goran Bregovich and his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra, Monday July 10th at 6.30pm in Millenium Park. FREE

*Summerdance: Thursday to Friday every week until the 27th of August. Dance lessons start at 6pm, the whole affair ends at 9pm. FREE Anoushka Shankar is up August 13th, same place and same price.

*Nomadic DJ series, Monday June 19th at the Petrillo Bandshell with Greenskeepers, Phantom 45, and Danny the Wildchild. On June 26th they'll be spinning at Daley Plaza with DJ Pierre and Harrison Crump. 6-9pm, FREE

*Moonstruck Café has a Thursday night Happy Hour with non-alchoholic drink specials. I recommend the Mayan Chocolate truffle for eats. $$

*CHANGES (a scientific tap dance opera) is happening at Chicago Tap Theater every weekend in July. Friday and Saturday starts at 8pm, Sunday starts at 3pm. Tix are 25.00, 20.00, and 15.00, call Ticketmaster, 312.902.1500.

*'Rebel Without a Cause' plays large in Grant Park on July 18th, at 8.55 pm, kicking off the Outdoor Film Festival for one more year. Roeper and Ebert preside over the Grand opening, the hit the stage at 8.15pm.

* Gen Art ‘s 3rd annual Ignite, with a comic-book theme, happens at Kaleidoscope on July 20th . Tix are $25.00 for non-members, party is from 8pm to midnite.

*Go see: Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, The Devil wears Prada, Superman -- ..

*Read this: Break Any Woman Down, short stories by Dana Johnson. It's about as long as a great day at the beach with flirt and food breaks. Cool'eh magazines baby diatribe ‘Hang Down' by Stereolabrat. I laughed so hard I nearly choked.

*Place to go: I'm angling to get someone to drive me out to the Botanical gardens in Glencoe. The ads are mouthwateringly beautiful. www.ohwow.org. Also the Wolfgang Tilmans show at MCA til August 13th.

*Go shopping: I have such a thing for Wolfbait and B-girls, it's not cute. I haven't even been there? I just keep saving clippings about the place. They are at 3131 West Logan Boulevard. http://www.myspace.com/wolfbaitchicago

STAY TUNED FOR*****************************************************

*I'm interviewing Melissa Turner, the new arts and fashion director over at the Cultural Center for Venus mag's next issue. Very excited. Check out the Amy Sedaris summer 2006issue out now at www.venuszine.com.

*I'm doing a little fashion story for www.carpaltunnelmag.com! It'lll be a little overview of shooting fashion in Chicago for the last 3 years. Featuring designer from various projects and brand new photos with hot, hot, hot designer Vika Brown (www.vikabrown.com) . This should be online next month.

See you guys next month!!!