Top 5 places to nap at UIC’s East Campus

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Some people see a couch, I see a mid-day respite. (which is the same thing)

 

Everyone has a busy schedule. It seems like there’s not enough time in the day to get all of your classes, studying, workouts, work shifts, extracurriculars, and social life commitments done in 24 hours. Usually a single day involves some sleep, right? Sometimes you just need to crash wherever and whenever possible. Here’s my top 5 places to nap at UIC’s East Campus. (You should feel lucky that I’m sharing this information with you)

 

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1. Newman Center

The Newman Center is the youth Catholic center on campus. It hosts mass every day. Catholic or not, the Newman Center is open for use for everyone. It has a multitude of couches and seats that are pretty empty the majority of the day. Being a church, it will most likely be quiet, so your naps will be uninterrupted.

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The Daily Blend’s September Top Ten 2018

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Hi friends! I’m alive! That is, I’ve come back from the worst city in Illinois and am currently in the best city in Illinois. It has been a very long summer, and I have oodles of new music for y’all. I wish I could say that this blog is solely based off of my music choices in September, but unfortunately, I’m not that creative and a good portion of this music is stuff I enjoyed over the summer as well. Also, a bunch of new albums just came out as this blog is being published, so while you all read this post, I’ll be listening to new albums to rave or rant about in about a month. 🙂

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Queer Artist Spotlight: The RuPaul’s Drag Race Music Machine

 

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The cast of RuPauls Drag Race season 10

RuPaul’s Drag Race is a gay institution — that is just fact. Drag Race viewing parties are at all sorts of bars in the city. The show becomes a trending topic on Twitter every week during new episodes. It is an overall success.

For those unfamiliar with the show, RuPaul’s Drag Race is reality competition centered around drag queens competing for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. The show is self-aware and is parodying the format of shows like America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway. The show is helmed by the supermodel of the world herself, RuPaul. Just an FYI drag in itself questions the notions of gender and the cis gender male drag queens often use she/her/hers pronouns while in drag. And it is important to know drag is not exclusive to just cis gender men, even though that is all mostly what is represented on the show. That fact itself raises criticism of the show and its casting.  

Over the course of ten seasons and three “All Stars” seasons, a common occurrence that becomes more apparent the more the show progresses is contestants from the show releasing original music. This was originally a trend by RuPaul who has been releasing an album around every season premiere week for years. RuPaul has released 11 full length studio albums dating back to the early 90’s and even has two greatest hit albums and an album of Drag Race contestants covering songs from previous albums. 

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Queer Artist Spotlight: Hayley Kiyoko

 

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Hayley Kiyoko, photo courtesy of Billboard

Lesbian Jesus has risen! Hayley Kiyoko is your newest musical obsession who just released her debut album earlier this year. But sadly her music hasn’t gotten that mainstream love and attention it deserves, which is a shame because Kiyoko shows great promise at being a pop artist with longevity.

Kiyoko is maybe more recognizable to some audiences from her work in acting. From my understanding her most prominent TV roles came from her roles on the Disney Channel original movie Lemonade Mouth and on the CBS show CSI: Cyber (how many spin-offs can one show have?). I’m not too familiar with her acting and let’s be real no Disney Channel original movie can ever top the masterpieces that are Cadet Kelly and Smart House.

She’s released three EPs and her debut album Expectations since finding success on television. In doing so she has amassed a loyal fan base and internet buzz around her. Her breakout single “Girls Like Girls” has over 90 million views for the music video and over 30 million streams on Spotify. I remember being unable to escape the song in my suggested recommendations in the summer of 2015. After eventually giving in and watching the video, I liked what I heard. 

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Pride Month – Queer Artist Spotlight

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Olly Alexander of Years & Years

I’ve always thought that lists or profiles of anything queer or LGTBQ+ related in the month of June, which is Pride month, were super corny. Themed content can come off as pandering or as trying to profit from the exposure of a particular group. However, I’ve come around, in a sense, because representation and visibility are important. This rings especially true for marginalized communities

But for me what’s important is accurate representation. I want to profile artists  from all of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that use their respective voices. But I don’t want this to be me exploiting gender identity and sexual orientation. My goal is to profile artists who aren’t defined by identity but incorporate it in their music and represent it realistically and don’t stick to stereotypes or fetishize anything.

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The Daily Blend’s April Top Ten 2018

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Wassuppppppppp everyone! IT’S FINALLY NICE OUTSIDE, WHAT A CONCEPT! I am so excited that it is finally warm and also that new good music is being released! This month’s edition of my music library is full of new releases, both released this month and this year. Keep reading if you’re wondering if certain albums made it on the list. Also, PS, sorry for this being later than I usually do this blog; not only has April been a good month for new music, but also it has been the busiest month of my entire year.

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The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018

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Yo, people of the internet! I am BACK for the month, and I’m so excited for this blog. March is one of my favorite months of the year, and this year’s March just happened to be an amazing month for music!

With everything that is played on my show, you all probably think I have way too much happening in the skull area of my body. So, I want to give everyone a little insight as to what’s going on in my brain, without having to look at the “Recently Played” section on my Spotify. The solution I came to was to tell everyone about the hidden (and not so hidden) gems in my music library for the month. Some of the music I post will be at the top of charts, some of the music won’t be your style, some will be a band’s biggest hit that I’ve just been happening to listen to a lot, and some will be completely unknown to you!

So, to start it off, here’s just a couple of my favorite artists for March, a little bit about them, and some song suggestions:

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The Daily Blend’s February Top Ten 2018

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Hey guys! So, uh, sorry in advance for the lack of variety in this month’s edition of good music. It’s been kind of a pain to put this together because I’ve been REALLY into like three bands all month, so I was definitely scrambling to get all of my eggs together for the month (did you see what I did there??). Regardless, I would never leave you guys hanging; I promise, I’ll always have some good music on here, and I won’t just put stuff on here to fill the blank spots. BUT ANYWAY, let’s get into the prerecorded message for every single one of my blogs!

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Trash Talk: Bring In The Trash

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Feeling Trashy? 

Welcome to Trash Talk with Miki and Mikey! Trash Talk is your weekly venting session. Miki, Mikey and some occasional guests will let out their thoughts and frustrations on that week’s topic. We like to explore different interesting topics that anyone can relate to. Our teaser episode was an introduction for listeners to get a glimpse of who we are. Mikey brings all the bad puns and dad jokes and Miki is here to call out the bullsh*t.

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The Loneliness of Being a Gay Man in 2017

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Learning to Fly with Broken Wings and Learning to Love with a Broken Heart


I’ve oft discussed this phenomenon on my radio program (‘Trev,’ Wednesdays from 8:30 – 10:30 PM CT on uicradio.org and the mobile app Radio FX, also soundcloud.com/trevshow), one in which LGBTQ+ youth in particular struggle to fit in with a group that truly meshes with their identity and damaged sense of self. You see, the one thing that truly unites queer people is a certain level of damage. This damage can arise from a variety of sources and circumstance.

Paradoxically, gay men in particular find very little difficulty attaching themselves to individuals physically, sexually or romantically. What results is a very isolated and unstable foundation of support. Placing all bets on a single, extremely flawed individual is a sure fire way to return not only to the loneliness with which one was accustomed to before, but in fact an even deeper, darker sense of isolation. One fraught with the always-difficult transition from companionship back to solitude. The transition in and of itself is not one containing smooth or stable components.

The underlying issue is that, by their nature, gay men are, frequently, incredibly damaged. Indeed the basis of a romantic, male, homosexual relationship is one between two parties who haven’t been shown much love in life and yet are expected to somehow know how to do it. The results speak for themselves. I do not think it is a stretch to say that the extremely high rates of suicide among queer youth can be directly traced to this sort of all-or-nothing level of support.

See, when a heterosexual goes through a breakup, there is an entire community of support waiting for them in the wings. Mom, dad, sister uncle, all universally relate and empathize with the heartbroken straight boy. Conversely, homosexuality, even now, is something that at the very least isn’t spoken of among even the inner-most core of a family structure, even if it isn’t vocally opposed. Adding to this is the media’s frequent portrayal of happy, fulfilled gay couples (primarily white and male in nature).

The overused cliche of puberty is one of a caterpillar turning into a beautiful, transformed butterfly, which older butterfly creepily comment and make advances towards, but that’s besides the point. (These are the butterflies who could end up violently splattered on the grille of a car without even a modicum of remorse on behalf of literally everyone. Good riddance, you pervy rainbow moth). Gay puberty features significantly more bumps along the way.

Imagine, instead, of a caterpillar in its cocoon being ripped from the branch, stomped on repeatedly, and somehow managing to emerge, broken, but alive nonetheless. This damaged larva begins its post-transformation existence with broken wings, attempting to the best of its ability to assimilate into the life and culture of its peers. Often failing to do so, a fellow damaged monarch approaches it and offers, at once, a sense of familiarity, unity and aid. Finally, someone who gets it.

Instead of insects, imagine that damage lies within the heart of a human being. A heart that has faced dogma and violent opposition of its own kind. Mothers, grandparents and “friends” alike. The heart of a young, gay man is one that has been stomped and bruised since its inception. While it continues to beat, through lens of judgment and basic survival, it fails to empathize with those even within its own community. Infidelity, internalized homophobia, and all sorts of destructive behaviors are fueled by an overwhelming sense of self-hatred and guilt. Things that are not intrinsically or naturally a product of its lifestyle, but rather the environment with which it so inefficaciously tries to perform. A gay man is a butterfly with broken wings trying its best to fly. A gay man is a human with a broken heart, trying its best to love.


Trev Richards is host of the weekly talk program Trev on UIC Radio; Live, Wednesdays 8:30 – 10:30 PM Central Time. Follow/listen on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes and SoundCloud