Comedy Scene Social Hour November

As we fall into November you may be looking for something to do indoors, away from the Minnesota cold. Luckily, the Minneapolis comedy scene is booming and there is something to do every weekend. While the options are overwhelming, I’m going to give you with my top three must-see shows for November.

Kicking the month off the month of November, Comedy Corner Underground on the West Bank is hosting the University of Minnesota Comedy Club’s monthly showcase. The show begins at eight on Thursday November 2 and features sets from the club’s members as well as a headliner who, this month, is Andrew Friedman. Friedman is a comedy club alumnus and a well known Minneapolis comedian. The showcase is an excellent way to support student comedians and have a cheap Thursday night out.

Friday,  November 10, is the second Who is She? ever. Created by the University’s own Kate McCarthy, Who is She is a variety show hosted by a different character every month. This is an informal house show but it isn’t something that you want to miss. This month McCarthy has Shelly Paul and Greg Coleman performing stand up, Steven Kreager doing sketch, improv from GAY/STRAIGHT ALLIANCE and music from Joey and the Prayer. This a  free show from one of the greatest talents in the Minneapolis Comedy Scene.

Real Shit – A Comedic Storytelling Show is going to take place on November 23, so if you are looking for something to see on Thanksgiving that isn’t a movie, the Comedy Corner Underground is your destination. The show costs a mere seven dollars and features a variety of different comedians telling true and funny and truly funny tales.

Although these are by no means the only shows worth seeing in Minneapolis, they are certainly at the top of the list. These show are also some of the most accessible both in terms of cost and distance from the university.



Museum Interpretation & Visitor Engagement

WAM Collective

The Weisman Art Museum offers many opportunities for students to get involved, whether through the student tour guide program, the WAM Collective, employment as student staff, or internship opportunities. This spring semester, I am rounding out my coursework with an internship at the Weisman in museum interpretation and visitor engagement. After a semester of reading and researching interpretation and engagement strategies, observing visitors to the museum, and implementing different trial strategies at WAM, I will be presenting my findings to the Weisman’s staff.


Right now I am in the research observation phase of the project and have been reading about everything from the history of museums, to studies on the demographics of visitors, and texts on different approaches to visitor engagement and education. The best part of this process is taking everything I have learned and applying it to the galleries.

One tactic for increasing visitor engagement and creating lasting impact…

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New Semester, New Me?

First week of Spring semester update!


New year, New me is a common mantra that many people speak beginning the new year, however true it may or may not be. I can tell you all with confidence that a week into school “New Lauren” is struggling to stay on top of the game. But what I’m here to tell you today is that it isn’t the fact that you aren’t making resolutions at all. What matters is that you are trying. As long as you are trying you will keep progressing, even if it may be slowly.

This semester I want my grades to be better, I want to dress up more, and I want to be more involved in school and in Minnesota. Obviously my New Year’s Resolutions apply as well. Four days into school restarting and I am exhausted but boy oh boy am I doing my best but I didn’t do everything I wanted.

With that being said, that doesn’t matter. The fact that I missed one meeting that I wanted to attend matters so much less than keeping up with all of my homework, catching up with an old professor, getting some tour guide training in, and being able to march this weekend. I have kept to working out and dressing up and making all my meals at home and it is a start and baby steps are better than no steps, amirite?

This week went well and next week will go even better.

Image taken in Germany

New Year’s Resolutions


This is my first year as a twenty-something and I feel like twenty-somethings should have different goals and aspirations than as the teens that we all just were. After looking at my life and what I want out of the next year, I realized that that is ridiculous and as a teenager I wanted myself to do these things as well ( mostly ).

Anyway here is my list of resolutions that will help me take advantage of this year and the rest of my life ( hopefully ).

  1. Take my medication – all the time, not just when I feel like I need it.
  2. Work out at least three times a week – this is a variation on the basic resolution “I’m going to be healthier this year!”
  3. Blog more – ideally three times a week but at least once a week depending on how school is looking and whatnot.
  4. Take advantage of the opportunities college has to offer – academics are obviously first and foremost, but I would like to be more engaged and involved on campus.
  5. I want to read thirty books this year (follow my progress on Goodreads!
  6. I want to learn how to surf – I think everyone should have one resolution that is something they have always wanted to do but never got around to. This year I am going to get around to surfing.

I have a billion things I want to do in 2017 but I think these are a great place to start!



Photo creds – pinterest user


Winter Break Reading!!

As a college student, reading for pleasure has fallen by the wayside with the stress of tests, homework and extracurriculars. Luckily for me, I have had time during this winter break to get back in the saddle and knock some books off of my TBR list. Because I am reading, and am planning to read, some pretty fantastic books, I figured I could show case my list and share it with the entire internet. For convenience sake I have bolded the books I have finished already.

NORTHANGER ABBEY – JANE AUSTEN-  I decided to kick off break with a classic. Jane Austen is a woman and writer that I admire and every once and awhile I like to read another one of her books just to keep her in mind. Northanger Abbey is a gothic parody (or said to be) about Catherine, a young lady who goes to visit friends in Bath and ends up having some excellent adventures and of course falls in love, but not without some misfortune.

CUCKOO’S CALLING – ROBERT GALBRAITH- Robert Galbraith is not who you think he is, unless you happen to think that he is J.K. Rowling in which case you are right and I shouldn’t even need to tell you why this was on my reading list. Cuckoo’s Calling is about a private detective (Cormoran Strike) and he accidental assistant (Robin). In this adventure, the duo is investigating a supermodel whose brother believes that her death was not the suicide it was classified as. Honestly this series has had me very focused for most of break, it’s a thriller I could not put down.

HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE – ANNE BEREST- You may recognize the name of this book from my summer reading list because I have been waiting just that long to get to it. This book was a nice little break from the high speed world of crime that Jo Rowling has gotten me so deep into. This is just a few style tips and life lesson after the influence of the French. If only I wasn’t so gosh darn bad at language classes maybe I’d be a more successful Parisian.

ASKING FOR IT – LOUISE O’NEILL- WOWIE this book was Intense. I was drawn in by the cover and the title (yes, I judge), but I stayed for the whole ride and boy was I glad I did. Asking For It follows Emma through some regular high school trials and through a party that changes her life and not for the better. The reason I liked this book was that it felt raw and real and honestly a little bit terrifying and you don’t always get that in YA Lit. Although the ending was a little ambiguous, I think this book is worth the read and I’m going to be looking out for more by Louise O’Neill in the future. TW RAPE

THE SILKWORM – ROBERT GALBRAITH- Well if I read the first one I have to read the next two, now I am invested. The Silkworm is again about Robin and Strike, but this time they are hired (well really they take this client for free) to find an author that stormed out on his family. One thing leads to another and Strike spends most of the novel trying to tie together the clues that the author left behind. I can’t say too much because no spoilies but I can tell you I went straight to the bookstore after I finished it to pick up the next one (Career of Evil) which I will be reading promptly.

THE NEW JIM CROW – MICHELLE ALEXANDER- I have never read anything by this author but I am really looking forward to this read. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness sheds a light on how the racism isn’t gone, it’s just been redesigned. Looking forward to the next four years, I think education on the social issues is more important than it has ever been.

HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE – JENNIFER NIVEN- As many of you know Jennifer Niven’s debut novel is one of my favorite books, All the Bright Places stole my heart. Because of All the Bright Places, Holding Up The Universe automatically made it’s way on my list. From what I understand two out of place teens are going to find themselves and each other and high school will probably suck less for both of them because of it. But Niven has taken high school scenarios to completely different levels before and I’m really counting on her to do it again.

THE STORYTELLER – JODI PICOULT – Lastly, (for this post, my TBR list is longer than my lifespan) I chose a Jodi Picoult because she is reliable and I can trust her to tell a great and emotional story. The Storyteller happens when a young woman befriends an old man and one day he asks her to kill him. Were the mistakes of his past worth ending his life as an old man? I don’t know yet but I am certainly going to find out!

Ways to Take Care of Yourself



This time of the year has been stressful for everyone. Whether you have midterms, or are looking for a new place to live or just following the election cycle. This has been a rough month for all of us so far which is why it is more important than ever to take care of yourself.

We all know the “you can’t pour water from an empty cup” saying. I know that I need to make sure I am not burning myself out trying to do too much and I know many others in this same boat.

Instead of just suffering here are some ways to help yourself.


Get up early to look extra nice. I’m talking hair, makeup, AND your favorite outfit.

Paint your nails.

Take a long shower or bath, shave or don’t whichever empowers you. Exfoliate and moisturize, your skin will thank you.

Change your hair. Sometimes the smell of the dye is enough to make you feel better.


Take a killer nap.

Get cozy and watch a movie or some Netflix.

Take an hour phone-free to read a book.

Make some tea and sit outside or just look out the window.

Build a blanket fort. Who can be sad in a blanket fort?


Go for a run or walk.

Make a nice meal for you or a friend.

Crafts. There isn’t anything you can’t fix with glitter and yarn.

Call a friend or family member.

Cuddle a pet.


Give your friends hugs.

Donate to your favorite charity.

Volunteer with an organization you support.

Write a thank you note to anyone.

Enough — WAM Collective

Last year the WAM Collective had the privilege to work with local dance collective Kelvin Wailey for our performance intermission at the 2016 Design Showcase. One of Kelvin Wailey’s members Leila Awadallah created the following video piece this week in response to the violent islamophobic and racist vandalism that occurred across the University of Minnesota campus last week. […]

via Enough — WAM Collective

Election Reflection

What can I say that hasn’t already been said during this election cycle. Secretary Clinton is highly qualified and Mr. Trump is not. I am scared.

I am scared because this election will have one of two outcomes. On November 9th my sisters and I will either celebrate an achievement that has taken us 44 presidents and far too long to accomplish or I will have to fear for the rights of my neighbors and my sisters. I will have to fear for our country and the members of this country that make it so diverse and beautiful.

You may not agree with Secretary Clinton. You may not like her. You may think she’s “crooked” or not relatable enough. But the president does not have to be relatable they have to be strong and qualified and Secretary Clinton is both of those things and she is a woman. She knows the value of diversity.

Donald Trump does not value my intelligence. He doesn’t value my compassion. He doesn’t value my art, or my voice. Donald Trump doesn’t value women for what makes them who they are he values them based only on the way they look and how they are useful to him.

I am proud of this country. We have so much potential. But we will not reach our potential if we are being lead by a man who does not value the members of society that don’t look or act like him. If Donald Trump is our president, if he is the role model for this country, I do not want to see what kind of behavior will follow. Nothing he has done shows me that he has the compassion and patience the president of our country requires.

On Wisconsin


Because I do, in fact live in Wisconsin, and have my entire life (up until going to college) I consider myself a bit of an expert on what to do while you are in the land of cheese. For me, August has been full of all sort of fun Wisconsin things making the best of my last month before going back to Minnesota. These adventures include but aren’t limited to races, festivals, fairs, state parks, and campgrounds. Not a bad way to spend the summer and everyone knows I love sharing adventures and tips to anyone who will read them.

If hiking is your jam then you’re going to want to grab your favorite wilderness explorer and head over to Devil’s Lake State Park like Steph and I did. It’s located near the Dells and if we can find it so can you. It only took us two and a half hours to drive there, but it took us almost twice that time to figure out where the lake was and how to hike there. One thing we would have done differently is parking, I suggest you take a good long look at a map before you follow your GPS because it would have been more beneficial for us to park by the lake and then hike up the bluffs, instead of having to find our way to the lake from a parking lot in the middle of nowhere. Also remember to by a state park sticker so you don’t get a parking ticket. I think it would have saved us a lot of trouble.


If paddling is more your style you’re not out of luck. On August 6th, the second annual Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival was held in Eau Claire, and boy was it a good time, most of my family participated and we picked up a few last minute team members. The Dragon Boat race was a great way to spend some time in the sun, get some exercise and work on some team building. If you aren’t into being so competitive, but still want to hit the water, the Wisconsin River (also located near the dells) is always there for you. When the Gengler family embarked on that journey we put in at Sauk City and picked a campsite on one of the many sand bars to have a nice fire and enjoy each other’s company. It was not quite the same pace as the Dragon Boat race but still a nice was to get some sun.

Of course, Wisconsin has a lot to offer that isn’t so much work to do. Throughout the summer there are tons of music festivals, including: Summerfest in Milwaukee, Rockfest and Countryfest in Cadott, Country Jam in Eau Claire, and of course Eaux Claires, which I am still mourning even though I’m in Europe right now.

If you’re in the Milwaukee area you can always go cheer on the Brew Crew, even though we lost Lucroy we still have Scooter and that is equally fun to say. The State Fair in August is also a great way to kill some time, this year a group of adolescents were singing Hamilton and I don’t think I’ve run to a stage so fast in my life. What I’m saying is that even if Wisconsin isn’t the coolest place in the world, it doesn’t have to be the worst. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have some good company.

Adventures in Milwaukee and Chicago

I am super duper late on this post but what can I say, I’ve been pretty busy. I spent a good portion of time in Southern Wisconsin for the Fourth of July and as the week went on I was able to make it as far as Chicago. As you can imagine, it was a long trip and there is lots to talk about so I’ll try to cover everything or at least the really stand out moments so I don’t end up writing you a novel about my four day long trip.

I kicked off the week by driving down to Milwaukee after work on Sunday, and as far as the fourth goes, it was pretty uneventful. We wandering the beach, watched some fireworks, met up with ShawnPoirier (one of my favorite partners in crime). I ate a bunch of corn and that was that, it is always good to spend some time with the family. You know, just your average Fourth of July.

The real excitement began on July 5th. That was the day I picked up my favorite adventure pal from Kenosha and braved the Summerfest crowds. The day began well as seems to be the trend for this particular adventure.It was a peaceful and warm day we spent just hopping from band to band and eating the ice out of the lemonade cup. After a couple of hours of moseying around with Chris, my friend Ally joined us. Ally and I started off the night strong by walking directly into the men’s bathroom, only really realizing it when some man said “wrong bathroom ladies”. So far, that is the second time in my life that I have walked in to a men’s room unintentionally. We wasted a lot of time just walking around and catching up. It was then we realized that the ferris wheel was the only thing worth our attention at that moment. We boarded only after every one of us failed to guess the correct color of the seat we would be in. Chris took some A1 pictures at the top and Ally got a video of me sounding extremely whiney a win-win really.

When we got off the Ferris Wheel we realized we had about five minutes to get to the concert we went to Summerfest for. Jason DeRulo was the main event at the Miller Lite Oasis and let me tell you, his fans are animals. It was packed when we rolled up to the scene. Ally and I wanted to get closer because it’s hardly an experience to listen from the back, Chris would have been content anywhere else I’m pretty sure. Deciding to go closer was either the worst idea I have ever had or the best. It’s hard to say. Trying to get up to the screen was such a  difficult task, and that’s as far as we got we fought our way through and didn’t even see Jason. Throughout our journey to the jumbotron, Ally got a joint dropped on her, the same guy spilled three drinks on us, a very sweaty guy told me he was on ecstasy, and a girl passed out on top of us. We all were elbowed in the head and pushed into people, I even got a cut on my leg from the bleachers. It was not a child friendly environment. The concert in itself I really didn’t love. It was fine, but not great. I think it was really the experience. When we went to meet up with my family afterwords, my sisters who had a spot on the bleachers were still pretty and happy, meanwhile Ally, Chris, and I emerged bruised and sweaty, looking like we had just fought for our lives. Actually, that might not be too far off. Like I said, it’s the experience.

It was the day after that that my family headed for home and Chris and I headed for Chicago. We were expecting to encounter a lot of traffic because of Taste of Chicago and whatnot, but the drive was great and short. We got in a little after noon and we were able to begin adventuring right away. The whole day was like that, super easy and wonderful. Thanks to Chris’s aunt and uncle we got free parking and got into the museum for free, it was the nicest thing. The first thing we got to was Millennium Park because how could we not see The Bean? We listened to some sweet orchestra jams and looked on to the silent movie they were showing before making our way to the art museum. I was in heaven with their special exhibit, as it featured Georgia O’Keeffe who is my favorite everything. Chris let me wonder around babbling about all the pieces while he was busy finding new subjects for his snapchat masterpieces. It was a good time for both of us. After that we walked the Mag Mile like a couple of dumb tourists and Chris found a neat little record store. We ate dinner at a cute Chinese restaurant with Chris’s relatives, who were very kind and funny. The last thing on our list for the day was Navy Pier. It was a beautiful night on the pier, the weather was perfect. We sat and listened to some nice Chicago jazz as others danced. The last thing we did in Chicago was the Centennial Wheel, we were going to stay for the fireworks but we were just so darn tired from the concert that we decided to go back and spend the night watching It’s Always Sunny.

It was when we got to the hotel that we realized the day had gone just a little to perfectly. As I went to check into the room I booked, the clerk brought something to my attention that had not been an issue a few years previously, Illinois does not allow anyone under age 21 to check into a hotel. So it goes. Chris and I went back to Wisconsin, forfeited our second day in Chicago, and the Shea family was nice enough to let me stay in their house and cuddle Fenway.

Even though our last adventure day was not spent in Chicago, I still had a lot of fun. As we have done every time I have gone to Kenosha, Chris and I went to the lake. We had a lovely breakfast of Dunkin Donuts at the beach and watched the birds. Then we took on the Kenosha Public museum, there was a ton of cool art as well as a wooly mammoth. After I met Chris’s other friends, unfortunately I had to head home and say goodbye to my adventure pal.

I carpooled with my dad on the way back to Milwaukee and it took me almost no time to fall asleep in the passenger side.