Pitbull In Pictures

by Melisa Wells on August 29, 2014

On Wednesday I had the extreme pleasure of, along with my friend Samantha, being an audience member at the taping of the season premiere episode of Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show.

Steve is great and all (and in fact I found lots of his small talk between takes to be very inspiring), but the “extreme pleasure” part can be credited to the presence of his guest, Pitbull.

Pitbull is currently one of my very favorite entertainers. His music makes me very, very happy. His music also makes me dance, even if I’m sitting down. Sofa dancing? Totally. Car dancing? Yes, please.

When I’m standing up? Look out. For real. You might get knocked over.

Anyway, I was looking forward to getting just one picture, a selfie of Samantha and me with Pitbull in the background. After that, I was going to put my phone away and live in the moment and enjoy the experience fully. That picture was not to be. Unfortunately the penalty for taking pictures during Wednesday’s taping was an escort offsite and I didn’t want to risk it so I left my phone in my purse like a good rule follower. There were cameras (for the show) everywhere and I knew that my typical M.O. (ignoring the rule and being stealthy about taking a picture or two anyway) wasn’t going to fly. Also, the head of security was standing about five feet away from us. Sad trombone.

Then I remembered that, six weeks ago, I didn’t take pictures when Jim and I enjoyed dinner out with friends and instead drew it up for you. Why couldn’t I use that same method to give you an idea of my experience with Steve Harvey and Pitbull?

No reason. I COULD!

I even invested in a set of colored pencils this time.

The set was pretty amazing. We were on the rooftop of Navy Pier on a beautiful day, and the sight of the Chicago skyline in the background was perfect. On one end, there was the set where Steve would interview Pitbull. It was absolutely gorgeous and included the requisite couch and chair, plus lots of beautiful blue and white drapes that were blowing in the breeze. The pillows on the white couch were bright pink and orange. The set was very, very “Miami”.

interview set

The audience was seated on rows of long benches with a runway going down the center; the runway connected the interview set with the performance stage, which had orange “Steve Harvey” banners and lots of pink and yellow lights. It was a smart set up, as when it was time for Pitbull to perform we just had to turn around.

Concert stage set

Samantha and I were a little annoyed that we were placed on the outside end of our row rather than on the runway end but still, being about eight people away from Pitbull was still closer than 99.999999999999% of Chicagoans that day, so it’s all good.

Before the taping started we were entertained by Steve’s warm-up guy and we danced to the music that was being played. We were pretty psyched. That’s me on the left.

Melisa and Samantha before

After what seemed like forever (along with some time spent doing audience reaction shots for the cameras, on purpose), it was finally time to begin the show. Steve greeted the audience and didn’t waste any time in bringing Pitbull out, which made us all lose our minds. I mean, I can’t even tell you how exciting it was. HE WAS RIGHT THERE. RIGHT!! THERE!!

Steve interviewed him for about twenty minutes and it was nice to see the down-to-earth guy behind the artist. I won’t recap the conversation except to say that it was really awesome to learn that Pitbull has opened up a charter school in his old neighborhood in the 305 (ahem, Miami). His pride over this school and the students was palpable.

I tried to draw a picture of Steve and Pitbull together but I’m not very good at drawing clothing on actual bodies (I’m a stick figure-y type of artist) so after four attempts I gave up and just drew their heads. I mean, that’s cool, right?

Steve and Pitbull

I can tell you what they wore, in case you’re wondering. Pitbull wore his sunglasses, of course (they came off for the interview), a gray suit jacket with a white shirt underneath, and white linen pants. He also wore a pair of awesome burgundy suede loafers that had gold buckle embellishments. No socks. He looked amazing.

Steve wore…a suit. It may have been blue with pinstripes. I think.

Unfortunately for us, Pitbull only performed one song, “Fireball”, which is from his upcoming album (do we still say “album”?) called “Globalization”. I am completely obsessed with this song. He had four backup dancers performing with him. They wore bright blue dresses and I wanted to be up there dancing and wearing a bright blue dress, too. I told Samantha that we really should have been up there dancing instead of in the audience dancing, and that we would TOTALLY be fantastic Pitbull backup dancers in general. I think she was only moments away from storming the stage at any given moment the entire time Pitbull was up there.

All too quickly it was time for Pitbull to leave Navy Pier. I’m not sure where he was headed but I’m fairly certain it was going to involve a private plane, some Voli on the rocks, and multiple women fawning all over him.

Our fate was very different. We were outside for another hour, getting thirsty, hungry, and majorly sunburned. By the time the taping finished at two, we were hot, bright red, and hangry. Fireball(s).

Melisa and Samantha after

It was totally worth it.


Up Close And Personal

by Melisa Wells on August 26, 2014

Yesterday I was walking south on Michigan Avenue from Tribune Tower so I could meet a friend at the Cultural Center. As I approached Lake Street, I glanced upward (as I often do; I’m always looking for photo opportunities!) and noticed a mural on the side of a building that I had never seen before. That’s pretty amazing since I have walked by that corner approximately twenty five bajillion times in my life.


I saw this mural, and I could tell that it was vibrant in color but couldn’t see the whole thing due to the fact that the adjacent building was blocking most of it from where I was standing on the corner.

Chicago building mural

I looked at the time and decided that I wanted to take a couple of minutes to discover a little more, so I turned right on Lake and got closer.

Chicago building mural 2

The problem was, I could see more gorgeous color and I think I made out some people in the design but I still couldn’t tell what it was about. When I walked on the same side of the street, the wide base of the adjacent building blocked my view of the mural. When I crossed the street to see what I could see, I couldn’t figure out the whole story, even when zooming in.

Chicago building mural 3

I finally concluded that in order to see what this mural is about, I would have to go into the building next door and take an elevator to one of the upper floors and walk over to a western facing window so I could get up close and personal.

Then I concluded that this mural is a lot like people in general. It’s easy to get a sense of certain parts of a person—their color, their physicality, their fashion sense—from far away but in order to truly get to know them, you usually have to invest the time in order to get a little closer and learn their story.

I don’t know about you, but for me the investment ALWAYS pays off.


It’s Okay To Be Okay.

August 22, 2014

The other day I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time when we crossed paths in the parking lot of our local big box store. I remembered that she had just dropped her second child (her daughter) off at college for her freshman year, officially joining the Empty Nester Club. In […]

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If These Walls Could Talk

August 19, 2014

We’ve lived in this house for nearly fourteen years. Our family room, where we collectively spend the most time (hence the name) is home to an awesome and comfortable sectional couch, a bookshelf, a mission-style recliner, a chest full of quilts, and the television with all of the accessories that go along with it. We […]

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Happy Friday!

August 15, 2014

Indeed, it is. Sidenote: I absolutely know that just prior to 5:00 p.m. on a Friday is perhaps the absolute worst time to publish a blog post if you want people to notice and maybe even read it, but I’m throwing caution to the wind and just doing it. I’ve been trying to build back […]

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What I Learned Last Friday Night

August 13, 2014

Last Friday night Jim and I, along with Dawn and Scott (our oldest friends, who reside in central Illinois), road-tripped to the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park to see Mötley Crüe perform on the Chicago stop of their final tour (or so they say). This post is not about the concert. This post […]

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Buckle Up!

August 11, 2014

My nineteen-year-old son J is very good with money. He has a job during the school year when he’s away at college, and this is the second consecutive summer he’s worked his tail off at his job here in town for the express purpose of making a maximum contribution towards the cost of his tuition. […]

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Slow No Wake

August 7, 2014

I went on sabbatical yesterday afternoon. It was extremely out of character for me, but I have been out of character for a while now. I’ve been working even more than usual, sleeping less than usual, and feeling more drained than usual. Last week it all seemed to hit me at once and I walked […]

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I Still Miss Google Reader But…

August 6, 2014

Back in the day, I used to keep up with my favorite blogs (all 150+ of them) on Google Reader. Come to think of it, back in the day I had time to read all 150+ of my favorite blogs. Wow. Anyway… I loved opening up my reader every day and catching up with everybody. […]

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Calling In The Expert

August 5, 2014

You may or may not have noticed that I am outnumbered in my house, gender-wise. I’m fine with it, though. I may not have a daughter of my own but I have lots of friends who have girls and I totally glom onto them whether they like it or not. (I think they do: I’m […]

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