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Cure For Boredom: July's Great Events

By Mason Johnson

My mom said if I don't go outside at least five times this month she'll ground me and I won't be able to play any videogames.

Anyway, here are five things that might actually convince me to leave the house.

(And, for the record, my mom lives with ME. Not the other way around.)

Write Club
Write Club in action (credit: Evan Hanover)

Two Cookie Minimum's Facebook Event

There are not one, but two readings demanding your attention tonight: Two Cookie Minimum and Write Club.

I know, watching people stand in front of a mic reading, as if you don't have cable or somethin', sounds like a bad idea, but both of these readings will give you a great night. That's the Mason guarantee (usually, I only guarantee certain types of beef).

Write Club steals the attitude of Fight Club and is hosted by Ian Belknap who, to his credit, looks like a less attractive, slightly disfigured, distant cousin to Brad Pitt. He also hosts one heck of an energetic show. Tonight's show is at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago) at 9:00 pm sharp (get there early, they've been known sell out). There's an $8 cover, but the fact that anything Write Club makes goes to charity should take the sting away, cheapo. Here's the facebook invite.

Two Cookie Minimum is teaming up with Toucan Literary Magazine to bring you some of the best fiction and poetry in Chicago. Readers include Greg Baldino, T.W. Townsend, and Nikki Dolson, with music by Kat Kidwell. Hosted by Johnny Misfit, a twelve year old stuck in a thirty-year-old's body, things go by fast, and you tend to enjoy every little bit of it. Two Cookie Minimum will be at Hungry Brain (2319 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago) at 9:00 pm. Tip Dan the bartender well! Here's the facebook event.

Roy Lichtenstein
(credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein

On Display NOW through September 3rd

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

In my book, pop art is akin to that Wendy's burger I barfed up last week, but Roy Lichtenstein is an exception. His paintings and art, encompassing pop culture, have a way of parodying society in ways that are both funny and meaningful. There's a message there (you can argue with me if you want).

Plus, I love his comic book-based work.

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

July 10th

The Chicago Theatre
175 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601
CBS Event Page

Yeah, she's insane, but that doesn't mean you can't appreciate her music and want to marry her, okay?

I seriously do have a crush on her. She's released three of my favorite albums, and it looks like her fourth might also make the list. Yes, she has the habit of hiding under her piano and bawling, but she's still worth the gamble.

Moritat (credit:

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

July 21 & 22

Held on Milwaukee in the heart of Logan Square

Apparently, Logan Square's the hippest place in hip-ville now, which must mean this Logan Square-based festival is gonna be awesome. With bands like Rabble Rabble and Moritat, both playing at the Cole's Stage at Milwaukee & Belden, awesome seems easily achievable. They have more than just bands there too! They've also got a whole host of performance art and even a reading or two.

Pierogi Fest

Pierogi Fest

July 27, 28 & 29

Whiting, Indiana
Get Directions

There is one reason, and one reason alone, to go to Indiana.

Pierogi Fest.

There's a man who dresses up in a pierogi costume, and if that isn't reason enough, I don't know what is. Oh yeah, there's also great food and entertainment. Stuff your gullet then go to the parade – what's better than that?

There you go, a handful of excuses to leave the safety of your home. If you have any other events you want covered, email me at!

Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago

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