After having stayed up late the previous night, I woke up still very much in the daze of sleep. I went through my morning routine: brushing my teeth, taking a quick shower to wake myself up, and making a quick breakfast. It was Monday but somewhere in my mind, I was still asleep, still drifting about the night before. I had no goal in staying up, no homework to be done. I merely stayed up because I could and I knew well that I would regret it the next morning. Like procrastination, I put off what I needed most, and I knew of the consequences. Why do we do these things to ourselves?

I walked to class, half-asleep. The weather was somewhat warmer than I expected, I noted as I waited for the walk sign to change. I walked past all the usual characters: the workers, the tourists, the students, the homeless. Outside the McDonald’s on Wabash, there is one homeless man who jingles his cup of change like a bell, and wishes everyone a blessed day. He looked at me and says, “stay up”. Suddenly, my sleepy spell is broke. I think about all of the things I have to do and I think “stay up, do what you can, do the best you can”.

I looked back at the man and smiled. I may have not gotten much sleep the night before, but I’m up early and the day just started. If I can’t start it with a chin up, then why start it at all?

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Janelle Monae (born December 1, 1985 in Kansas City, Kansas as Janelle Monáe Robinson) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and performer.

She’s been called “a different kind of diva” by Vogue Magazine and “a true visionary… one of the most important signings of my career” by Sean “Diddy” Combs. For singer, songwriter, and high funkstress Janelle Monáe, however, the impetus remains the same as it’s been since before her Grammy-nominated debut EP Metropolis, Suite I: The Chase captured the imaginations of fans and fellow artists. As she readies her first full-length LP, The ArchAndroid, her focus remains on stirring your soul, moving your feet and simply, creating good music.

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It was somewhere down State, while we were filming the last portion of our film project, that my group witnessed the car accident. Following one of the crew members cut through a busy crosswalk, our attention was diverted to the sounds of the accident. Have you ever seen a car accident? It’s a bit of something surreal and you can’t look away. It stands perhaps as an idiom to the question of destruction as beauty.

The accident was small and no one appeared to be hurt. Minutes later, one could hear the sirens from the fire truck as it approached. I thought about all of the sirens I’ve heard since I’ve been in Chicago. How many car accidents happen in a day within the city? How severe are they? I thought about the fact that most car accidents happen in areas that you’re used to driving in. And I thought about the two accidents I’ve been in. The first one when I was seven. I was in the car with my brother in law and we were driving to see my sister at work. The car that hit us went on a red light and nearly pushed our minivan off into the freeway traffic below. The second one was when I was 19. I was leaving my school to drop off a package for my mother when I accidentally hit another car at a stop sign. In both accidents, no one was hurt.

Months later, when I met my boyfriend, he text me asking me if I had been in an accident near the college. I found out his coworker was the guy I hit. That has to be one of the strangest coincidences of my life. I think about all the strange coincidences that dotted our relationship, that dotted my life, and the accidents that dot the streets of Chicago everyday. Continue reading


Adrian Tomine (born May 31, 1974), a popular contemporary cartoonist, is best known for his ongoing graphic novel series Optic Nerve and his periodical illustrations in The New Yorker.

Adrian Tomine was born May 31, 1974 in Sacramento, California. His parents divorced when he was two years old. His father is Dr. Chris Tomine, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus Environmental Engineering at California State University Sacramento’s Department of Civil Engineering. His mother is Dr. Satsuki Ina, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus at California State University Sacramento’s School of Education. Tomine is fourth-generation Japanese American, and both of his parents spent part of their childhoods in Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during World War II.[3]. He also has a brother, Dylan, who is eight years his senior.

After his parents divorced, Tomine moved frequently, accompanying his mother to Fresno, Oregon, Germany, and Belgium, while spending summers with his father in Sacramento. He attended high school at Rio Americano in Sacramento, where he started writing, drawing and self-publishing his comic Optic Nerve.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Sarah Brennan, a longtime New Yorker. On October 31, 2009, Tomine and Brennan welcomed their first child, Nora Emiko Tomine. As a young child, Tomine enjoyed Spider-Man and Indiana Jones comics. In an interview, Tomine said that “something about the medium just transfixed me at an early age”[4] and that his influences include Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes. He is also a fan of contemporary Chris Ware. Continue reading