October Events Blog

Fall is finally here, and with the month of October comes sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider, spooky ghost stories, and crisp falling leaves. Read up on the events around campus and Champaign-Urbana to fill the spookiest month of the year!

 

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest, October 1 3-Midnight — $5 Entry

Kick off the month at the fourth annual C-U Oktoberfest in Downtown Champaign! Indulge in German beer, pretzels, dancing, and face painting and a bounce house for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Developmental Services Center.

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival — October 7-9, Prices Varied

Hosted at the Krannert Center by the C-U West African Drum and Dance Collective, this weekend of drumming, dancing, shopping, and community building celebrates the West African drumming tradition. Attendees can watch or participate in drum and dance classes.

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch —Throughout October, free entry, activity prices varied.

Just a fifteen minute drive from campus, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch features U-Pick apples, a petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and live music. Throughout the month of October, Curtis Orchard is offering a Groupon deal for discounted rates for U-Pick apples and corn maze entry, so snap up this deal before it’s gone!

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016 at the Art Theater Co-Op — Throughout October beginning October 6, prices varied.

Beginning with a free kick off event on October 6, the Champaign Art Theater Co-Op is hosting a month-long Halloween movie event. With the return of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, live trivia, music, and horror movies, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser for Halloween lovers. The event’s finale is an all-night movie marathon featuring the classic George Romero horror flick Dawn of the Dead, don’t miss out!

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum Ghost Story Events — October 29, $6 for students

This pair of events at the Spurlock Museum features storytellers from the C-C Storyteller’s Guild. At 2:00 pm, the storytellers will regale kid-friendly multicultural ghost stories, and kids will leave with candy to kick-off their trick or treating. At 7:30, the storytellers will shift to adult-themed horror stories with heightened fear factors. The later event is restricted to adults only (16 and up). Get in the mood for Halloweekend with these bone-chilling tales!

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert — October 30, $4 for students

For more of a low-key event, check out the Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert, just $4 for current U of I students. Hosted at the Foellinger Auditorium, the Illinois Wind Symphony will play six Halloween-themed works, including Night on Bald Mountain, which students may recognize from Disney’s Fantasia, led by director Stephen Peterson.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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September Events

It’s almost sweater weather, but there are still plenty of outdoors things to do before the winter descends upon us. Read on for the latest scoop on September events.

 

Parade in Downtown Champaign

Photo by Daniel Schwen

Urbana Labor Day Parade- September 5th, 10am — Free

Celebrate workers and historic labor movements in America at the annual Labor Day Parade! The parade starts at 10am at Lincoln Square, so get a good seat! After the parade there will be a picnic in Prairie Park, featuring food, games, and a local union softball game.

Champaign Urbana Pride Festival

Champaign-Urbana Pride

Champaign Urbana Pride Festival — Free

Yet another historic & “sick’ning” celebration is happening in CU this month. Pride Festivals began in 1969 after the Stonewall Riot, which served as a catalyst for LGBTQ movements in America. Join the CU Pride Festival for events including a parade, drag shows (featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race Alumnus- Jade Sotomayor), comedy, dancing, and workshops. Check their website for updates and more events!

The Pygmalion Festival

The Pygmalion Festival

The Pygmalion Festival- Weekends, September 16-24 — Prices Vary

You can come for the music, Made Fest, or the literary and technology lectures, but whatever you do, don’t miss Pygmalion. Pygmalion is known for its line-up of music artists, but it also features many free events: a market of handmade items from local and regional artists and an impressive group of authors, scientists, and others who will present their work. Buy tickets for the music events, but Made Fest and lectures are free! And as always, there will be food.

Celebrating Labor History

Celebrating Labor History Event

Celebrating Labor History with Rep. Carol Ammons September 15th 5-7pm — Free

If you’re not a fan of the outdoors or loud parades, we do have one indoor event on the calendar for September: a lecture with Representative Carol Ammons on the history of local unions and labor in Champaign County and Illinois. Dinner is provided.

Flannel Fest

Flannel Fest

Flannel Fest — Free

It’s almost plaid season! Break out that flannel you haven’t worn in months and join the Flannel Fest. Flannel Fest features music, art demos, games, crafts, food trucks, a mustache contest, and a Lumberjack show. When was the last time you saw axe throwing? To round out this event, regional mattress company Bemco is sponsoring the Human Mattress Domino event, which allows community members to purchase mattresses to be donated to homeless shelters in central Illinois. Those who cannot afford to purchase a mattress may also donate in smaller increments.

Ghostbusters Outdoor Screening

Ghostbusters (2016) Outdoor Screening

Ghostbusters Outdoor Movie Sept. 22nd Starts at Dusk (Approx 8:15pm) – Free

If you’re bored on September 22nd, who you gonna call? The Women’s Resource Center is hosting a screening of the recent Ghostbusters remake later this month on the Quad. What’s better than a group of women kicking ghost butt? If you ain’t afraid of no ghost, you better come.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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UGL Advisory: What to Read/Watch After Catching Up on Your Unplayed Podcasts

Having to wait until next week for the newest episode of podcast can be frustrating, but we here at the UGL can help you pick out something to read or watch that will continue the excitement of your favorite moments listening to your favorite podcasts. Take a look at our list of books, comic books, and DVDs, that we’ve paired up with some of the most popular podcasts right now, and come over to the UGL to check them out!

If you like Serial

You should try…

The Good Nurse: a Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

The Good Nurse: a Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

Book: The Good Nurse: a Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

If you’re looking for more of the true crime mystery and suspense that Serial provides, look no further than The Good Nurse. Charles Graeber chronicles the life and career of Charlie Cullen, also known as “The Angel of Death,” and provides insight into the intelligent, twisted, complicated young man who killed nearly 300 medical patients. Graeber’s ability to use investigative journalism to look past the simple facts and reveal the creepy complexity of Cullen will have you asking, “Who is Sarah Koenig?”

 

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

Movie: In Cold Blood

Based on Truman Capote’s non-fiction book of the same name, this movie tells the story of two men who break into a family’s home in Holcomb, Kansas, brutally murder the four family members, and attempt to elude the police. The movie examines the senseless killing in a very dramatic way and remains a benchmark for true crime films. If you love the chilling intrigue that Serial provides, you’ll find this movie both thrilling and disturbing.

 

If you like Welcome to Nightvale

You should try…

House of Leaves

House of Leaves

Book: House of Leaves

If you’re a fan of Welcome to Night Vale’s surreal news radio updates and are looking for a novel with the same weird atmosphere, you may want to check out House of Leaves. Danielewski’s book is a strangely arranged book that includes vertical footnotes, colored words, and multiple appendices. The story begins with a young family who makes a shocking discovery – their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Prepare to be challenged by the originality and forever changed by the questions it will leave you with.

 

John Dies at the End

John Dies at the End
Image from: Amazon.com

Movie: John Dies at the End

This movie is based on David Wong’s comic horror novel of the same name. The dark, fantasy/science fiction horror film follows two college dropouts who are trying to save the world from an otherworldly invasion as a street drug, called Soy Sauce, which makes users hallucinate and drift across time and other dimensions. This humorous horror film is great for those of you that love the absurdist qualities of Welcome to Night Vale.

 

If you like Black Girls Talking

You should try…

TwERK

TwERK
Image from: Amazon.com

Book: TwERK

This collection of poems written by the highly praised LaTasha N. Nevada, is a full body and mind experience. Through use of multiple languages, cultural inclusivity, and identifiable markers of American popular culture, Nevada attempts to remind the reader that America has always been more than just the English language. Like “Black Girls Talking”, “TwERK” is humorous and satirical, but offers many moments of seriousness and sincerity that give balance, keep your interest, and remind you of its intent.

 

Beyond the Lights

Beyond the Lights
Image from: Amazon.com

Movie: Beyond the Lights

Gugu Mbatha-Raw gets her chance as a Hollywood leading actress with her turn as “Noni Jean”, a pop star who makes it big immediately, but suffers under the immense pressure of stardom. A movie widely praised by critics for its “smart direction” by director Gina Prince Blythewood (“Secret Life of Bees” & “Love and Basketball”) and powerhouse performance by Mbatha-Raw (“Jupiter Ascending” & “Concussion”), the romantic drama transcends its cliché plot to bring true entertainment to the screen.

 

If you like Guys We F’d: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast

You should try…

The Single Standard

The Single Standard
Image from: Amazon.com

Movie: The Single Standard

This silent movie filmed in 1929 (after “talkies” had been invented) stars Greta Garbo, Nils Asther, and Johnny Mack Brown in a love triangle film. Garbo, a strong independent woman, believes in equality of the sexes though, and thinks that the “single standard” for freedom, equality, and relationships should go both ways, and she is not going to fall for a man who thinks he will be able to mold her into something she does not want to be. For those of you who like comedians Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson in their female-empowering, sex-positive, and hilarious podcast “Guys We F’d”, take the time to watch Greta Garbo deliver a romantic performance where she makes her own choices over her body and love, and thinks about what will be best for her child and her own well-being.

 

Men Explain Things to Me

Men Explain Things to Me

Book: Men Explain Things to Me

This scathingly hilarious essay, written by Rebecca Solnits, examines the disconnect in conversation between men and women. She tackles the difficult issue of men making assumptions about female encounters without considering if their assumptions are mutual. Similar to “Guys We F’d” where Corinne and Krystyna interview sexual partners from their pasts, and celebrities like Amber Rose and Andy Dick, “Men Explain Things to Me” uses personal experiences to highlight the importance of not silencing women, to combat “mansplaining”, and tackle other important aspects of gender that need to be discussed.

 

If you like The Nerdist Podcast

You should try…

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Comic Book: The Walking Dead

If you are all about Chris Hardwick, host of “The Nerdist”, and his quest for ultimate nerd-dom, you should check out the monthly comic book series “The Walking Dead”. Hardwick hosts a television re-cap show called “The Talking Dead” where he recaps episodes from the television show loosely based on this award winning comic book series. The plague of the undead have taken over the world, and it is up to Rick, a sheriff from Kentucky, and the remaining survivors on Earth, to band together and work together to survive.

 

Ant Man

Ant Man
Image from: Amazon

Comic Book: Ant Man

“Ant Man” the hit Marvel superhero movie from the summer of 2015, stars Paul Rudd as a superhero with the ability to shrink down to the size of an Ant, but who can still do some serious butt-kicking. As one of Marvel Comic’s lesser known comic series, host of “The Nerdist” Chris Hardwick, is excited at the prospect of such a small series being such a hit. He attended the red carpet for the premier of the film, and interviewed Paul Rudd last summer, for “The Nerdist”, about joining the immense world of Marvel as such a pint-sized superhero.

Did we miss anything? What are some of your favorite podcasts right now? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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UGL Advisory: What to Read/Watch After Your Netflix Series Ends

The fallout after binge watching a new Netflix series can be devastating, but we here at the UGL can help you move on from your current obsession and get a new one from our collection! Whether you want to keep your eyes glued to your laptop/tv screen or if you want to take a break and intake something a bit more tangible, there’s something in the UGL collection to fill the hole a good show can leave in your heart. We may not be able to stitch the wound of losing your new favorite show, but we’re hoping something from our immense collection of movies, books, graphic novels, and video games can serve as a sort of bandage.

What to Read/Watch Next Flowchart

 

If you like: Marvel’s Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter

You should try…

Fringe: The Complete First Season

Fringe: The Complete First Season

TV Show: Fringe

This now cult series partially created by the newest “Star Wars” director J.J. Abrams started in 2008 and ran for five thrilling seasons. “Fringe” is also driven by a cool female lead in Olivia Dunham (played by Anna Torv) and follows dark, science fiction based plotlines that will satisfy both your fantastical and nerdy desires after finishing the new Marvel series. Parallel universes, a glyph code that an intent viewer may want to crack, and mad scientists will give you plenty to think about, and the five seasons worth of episodes should take a least a chunk out of your wait for the next season of Jessica Jones.

Alias by Brian Michael Bendis

Alias by Brian Michael Bendis

Book: Alias by Brian Michael Bendis

“Alias” is what started it all and introduced the world to Jessica Jones. The series you just finished is actually based on this series, so what better way to dive into the lore of the show than reading the source material? Brian Michael Bendis is at his full strength in this series and this series could serve as the perfect gateway to other comics series for those of you who may have been ignoring their powers. The UGL also has a copy of Jessica Jones : the Pulse. The Complete Collection, a more recent series featuring this bad-ass private investigator.

 

If you like: House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey

You should try…

The West Wing: The Complete First Season; Photo taken from Amazon

The West Wing: The Complete First Season; Photo taken from Amazon

TV Show: The West Wing

Probably the most natural way to segue from Frank Underwood’s ruthlessness would be to engross yourself in the fictional presidency of Josiah Bartlet, the likable democratic president of the United States from 1999 through 2007 in “The West Wing”. The Aaron Sorkin (future writer of “The Social Network” and “Moneyball”) created show focuses on the daily world of White House is one of the most successful political dramas ever and will surely provide you with enough intrigue to curb your obsession about what Frank is going to do next.

Watergate by Thomas Mallon

Watergate by Thomas Mallon

Book: Watergate by Thomas Mallon

If you have a thing for American politics at all, then you know what Watergate is and why the scandal around it shook the nation. Thomas Mallon gives us a fictionalized account of the entire scandal and focuses on the characters that you may not know. The New York Times praises Mallon’s ability to capture “the fundamental weirdness and mystery at the center of the scandal,” giving you something a bit less serious but a bit realer than the events covered in House of Cards.

 

If you like: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt starring Ellie Kemper

You should try…

Broad City: The Complete First Season; Photo taken from Amazon

Broad City: The Complete First Season; Photo taken from Amazon

TV Show: Broad City

If you like “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, it stands to reason that you like Tina Fey (one of the creators of the show), which means you probably also like Amy Poehler (her BFF) who is the executive producer of “Broad City”. The show follows Abbi and Ilana, two real life best friends with enormous on screen chemistry, as they navigate the intricacies of their lives in New York City. That last sentence may make this show seem like any other twenty-somethings in NYC sitcom, but “Broad City” and its stars have voices and a comedic presence that seem so fresh and different that you’ll catch yourself reeling throughout every episode. The transition between these two shows will be as smooth as a nice glass of pinot noir.

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

Book: The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

We are truly living in a golden age of television and comedy with so many distinct and varied voices out there creating things that challenge us, engage us and, perhaps most importantly, make us laugh. Any fan of modern comedy should definitely know Sarah Silverman and her bestselling book should be a fine introduction to anyone who is unfamiliar as of yet. Her comedic style is a bit different than that of Tina Fey and Ellie Kemper, but we’re sure this will have you laughing at least a little bit.

 

If you like: Master of None starring Aziz Ansari

You should try…

Louie: The Complete First Season; Photo taken from Amazon

Louie: The Complete First Season; Photo taken from Amazon

TV Show: Louie

It’s not very hard to find similarities between “Louie” and “Master of None” and other shows on this list; both of these shows follow two of the funniest men of our time struggling to find themselves in New York City. It’s a time-tested formula for success, but both Louis CK and Aziz Ansari play with the boundaries of this typical format to bring themselves and their comedic outlook to the front of each show. “Louie” will satisfy on its humor alone and it’s impossible to not feel bad for and laugh along with CK with his sardonic and dark view of the world, but the artsier episodes and heartbreaking storylines will surely win you over and eventually have you begging for the next season of this one to be released.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

“Master of None” derives some of its humor from the uncomfortable and unfortunate situations minorities face in their daily and professional lives and Mindy Kaling’s latest book also dives into some of this territory. Both Ansari and Kaling are burgeoning comedic voices that are pushing the pre-existing boundaries for television while creating some of the funniest and most deeply emotional shows and other media you can intake. Don’t get caught missing out on this one.

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