Saturday, June 19, 2010

Retooling, Redesigning... Progress

This 30 day blog challenge has enlightened me already about my potential as a blogger and maybe what the main challenge is - topic or subject balance!  I write about topics all across the board so how do I gather an audience interested in something who will read what I have to say?  Well I have it figured out now, maybe.  I have two different blog sites and I always intended for them to be different and separate and that is how I should direct my focus.  I really appreciate this challenge for getting me to focus on writing regularly and reading other's blogs and information.  That has helped me focus and redesign.

One blog for entertainment around Chicago (my business) and one for my musings and sounding off (my passions)!  It's perfect.  So if you are following me on this one because you enjoy my random musings, inspirational thoughts as I get them or find them, visit me at http://reneethewriter.spaces.live.com/ If your interest however is Chicago and all things entertainment in Chicago, stay here.  I would love it and appreciate it if you follow both! :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

10 in 1 Liquid Vitamin

I started the vitamin 3 days ago, well 4 but somehow I missed a day in there. It has an interesting orange vitamin flavor.

Last night I slept pretty well, and woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed more than 2 hours before I normally wake up. I was productive today without an energy lull. Was that the vitamin? I don’t know. But I am guessing we will be able to tell through this journal.

I still have the headache (it is at 45 days now with several at migraine level). I am looking forward to that being relieved by any means necessary.

I researched many of the ingredients in the vitamin and they are very potent and pure. No sugar added and no artificial sweeteners like aspartame which I am allergic to. That is a different blog tangent for a different day.

So the short list of my health issues – asthma, headaches, sleeplessness (generally related to the asthma) and some joint issues from early sports injuries. I will track the progress of these specifically.

This article is part of my blog challenge and this is DAY 3.

Windy City Diva

Monday, June 14, 2010

Live Music Industry in Chicago

Chicago’s music industry is legendary worldwide. The variety, availability and even the multiple types of venues to enjoy it in, make it one of the best.  The Blues Festival this past weekend is reported as being attended by international guests annually.  My mother personally loves the Jazz Fest later in the summer, and I know many people who wait anxiously for Lollapalooza. 

My personal preference is the restaurant or lounge setting with a live piano player, a vocalist, a small band or group performing The Standards, Motown and Pop music. Where has that gone?  This type of music is & was typically performed in restaurants and lounges, sometimes with cigar bars.  Dance floors for a little swing, bop, cha-cha as you are inspired by the music.


The restaurant industry in Chicago has taken a major hit, and I am sure nationally. Unfortunately, that has translated into many of the restaurants that once offered this live music I love & miss so much, Tuesday through Saturday like 200 East on Chestnut being closed.

Eli’s, The Place for Steak formerly on Chicago Avenue closed many years ago and a children’s hospital is being built where it stood for 25 plus years. Eli’s had a live piano player/vocalist Hal Roach. He is a phenomenal pianist and could be heard tickling the ivories and belting the standards 6 – 7 days a week. Even the Hyatt on Wacker Drive had live music in their Big Bar at least 4-5 days a week (Wednesday – Saturday). There was a dance floor and great bands there like, The Moods www.the-moods.com and other local talent.

Every weekend and throughout the week, there was somewhere to go for good food, great live music (The Standards, Motown, Pop), a little dancing and building a relationship with community business owners. There were so many to choose from. Where are they now???? I am going on a hunt for them and will report back. If you have any recommendations in DOWNTOWN CHICAGO only, please send them.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spelling Bees & Education Today

Bob Schieffer's commentary today on "Face the Nation" was on an article or commentary from some news person in NY who had a problem with all of the attention given to the Spelling Bee.  His reaction was shock at why the newscaster would think it is not important to teach spelling.  He even said something to the effect of, "we should teach kids to write with subtlety" instead of text language.  This struck me because my son, who is an 11th grader recently mentioned that he has a vocabulary test to take in his class this summer and hasn't had one since 4th grade.  There have been a few spelling tests along the way, but not vocabulary.  I  have made sure he knew the meaning of words he was learning to spell, but it was not required by the teachers.  That was disappointing.

I have also noticed an easing in the editing of his papers.  I have seen papers turned in by my son that were easily a B- but they received an A with no edits.  I worry about the quality of writing being "dumbed down" a bit.  I know there are edits available in every software and spell check but shouldn't students be able to write a letter by hand and know the difference between there and their, how to use them properly and even spell recession without hitting spell check. 

Schieffer admitted he was a horrible speller, as a former winner of Spelling Bees and someone who receives phone calls asking how to spell words, I agree with him, it is very important that kids know vocabulary.

Windy City Diva