Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Mikel Combs, 40, of Urbana, a professional bassist and doctoral of musical arts degree candidate at the University of Illinois, chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.
I heard you grew up in Berlin.
By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet laureate, 2004-06
I love poems with sudden surprises, and here's one by Jennifer Gray, a Nebraskan. Will you ever see depressions puddled with rain without thinking of the image at her conclusion?
The neighbor's horses idle
under the roof
of their three-sided shelter,
looking out at the rain.
You know that commercial where the dad speeds along, risking life and limb, to deliver a goldfish to his daughter's fishbowl before she gets home from school? I identify with it. Perhaps most parents do. We want to spare our children the pain of loss.
Ellie's mother in Jennifer L. Holm's sneakily educational novel, "The Fourteenth Goldfish," must feel the same.
Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was
Moving war production
Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come
CUDO Pro Show
Mimi, what is Champaign-based rapper Wakefield, whom you wrote about a few months ago, up to?
Wakefield, whose name is Brandon Lehman, took a year off from school to work on his rap, and that's what he's doing. He plans to release a new album, "Wake's World," in January. He told me he spent a nice sum on PR services from a Los Angeles agency to help promote it.
CHAMPAIGN — The first time Barry L. Houser worked with the Macy's Great American Marching Band for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, he thought the music would never come together.
After all, the huge ensemble is made up of nearly 250 high school students from all over the country.
Before meeting up in New York, they don't know each other and they haven't played together.
Tucked between Halloween and Christmas, two religious holidays that have become excessively commercialized, Thanksgiving is essentially a secular holiday everyone can celebrate, no matter what her or his religious affiliation or lack thereof. It's also a holiday that emphasizes consumption — a perfect fit, you'd think, for our consumer society
Edited by Lee Gurga/For The News-Gazette
Blow gently away
— Olivia Rogers, Urbana
Each week, The News-Gazette offers a series of events offered by local libraries.
Champaign Public Library
Main Library, 200 W. Green St.
Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.