Page 1




17 BLUEPRINTS FOR SUCCESS not your little brother’s lemonade stand


page 25

Made in America Stop by Minneapolis’s appointment-only used threads shop, Greenwich Vintage

page 15

table of contents









04 | IF WE ARE WHAT WE EAT... Flip to see what’s really in your food

12 | DIRTY TALK Four terms you have to know

22 | NUTRITION WASTELANDS Food deserts make eating healthy in city settings difficult

30 | JAW-DROPPING DESIGNS Aly Silverio hits the road with her tees

05 | DAIRY DUDS Milk these threads for all they’re worth

12 | NICHE DATING There really is a website for everyone when it comes to dating

05 | DRINK UP makes your beverage choice match your music

13 | SEXY SHELVES Your trip to the bookstore just got a little more exciting

06 | FOREVER ALONE A guide to help you get the girl 07 | SOUND OFF! Life questions with Siri 07 | STICKK WITH IT Put your money where your mouth is with this website

FOOD & DRINK 08 | THREE FRESH CAKE POP RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE Give these tasty treats a go this spring 09 | PSYCHO SUZI’S The tackiest tiki bar around 10 | SOUND OFF! Tall order divas 10 | DESSERT DRINKS Liven up your wet bar with these sweet sips

FASHION 14 | WHEN IN ROME This Minneapolis business brings flashy color to your boring laces 15 | MADE IN AMERICA This thrift store redefines vintage American-made goods 16 | SOUND OFF! One writer’s rant on your tacky yoga pants 17 | METROPOLITAN EDGE Mix up your wardrobe with eclectic duds from three East Village boutiques

23 | MACGYVER KNOWS BEST Going green has never been so lazy 24 | GREEN GONE WRONG Inventions that never should have hit the market

MUSIC 25 | STEREOTYPE DES MOINES This is one kickass venue in-the-making 26 | GAME ON Making music and curing cancer. (But not really.)


32 | TIES ON THE FLY One Minnesota couple updates your aged neckwear 33 | HEAVY HANDS Sean Williamson is funding his film on donations from Kickstarter

DIY 48 | DIY MAGAZINE PROJECTS Give new life to your old subscriptions

BIT OF LIT 50 | GO THE F**CK TO SLEEP This explicit parenting manual makes for a great coffee table read







features 34 | UNDERCOVER Citizen journalists are making their mark in the media 38 | NEW KIDS IN TOWN Screw Silicon Valley: The Midwest has green grass and startups galore 45 | COMING OUT CONSERVATIVE Gay conservatives are challenging stereotypes across the country

28 | ANOTHER RANT ON CHILD STAR BURNOUTS You know they’re screw-ups. But let’s laugh at them some more 29 | #OCCUPYOVERDOSE This writer thinks the movement has gone too far

cover art by: DRAKE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2012



ust say it: entrepreneurial spirit. Oh, don’t you feel important? You should. And you’d better believe that the people and businesses in this issue are important. Each has a different story—whether it sprouted from a broken shoelace (“When in Rome,” page 14) or it started with an impossible script (“Heavy Hands,” page 33). It all springs from an idea—and this is the Startup Issue.   And you may question the lemonade stand on the cover. Entrepreneurship is blind to years, and this issue features entrepreneurs of all ages. I’ve seen 10-year-old lemonade tycoons with better customer service than people five times their age. I dare you to think of a more basic startup sensation than the lemonade stand. And they can be as fancy (think multiple flavors and personalized coozies) or barebones (wooden flanks and painted logos) as the creator wishes.   This issue introduces a lot of new movements—our first fashion feature, ever (“Metropolitan Edge,” page 17), and an entire section of DIY projects you can make with this magazine (page 48). It’s also my last issue with the magazine. Enter: tears and bittersweet arguments about what I’m going to do with all of my free time (not). Jeff Nelson is taking over next year, and you’d all better be ready for some awesome additions to the magazine. I have no doubt that he’ll bring a whole new element to the publication.   As always, send any questions/comments/concerns to us at drakemag@ If you’re looking to get in touch with the online staff, hit up And be sure to keep up with us online at Until next time, lovelies! DrakeMag love,

Erika Owen

Oops! In the last issue, we incorrectly attributed the Ron Paul profile photo (page 24). The photo was taken by DrakeMag photographer Carter Oswood. You can check out more of his work at



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Erika Owen ART DIRECTOR Katie Vecitis MANAGING EDITOR Katherine Dewitt SECTION EDITOR & COPY CHIEF Jeff Nelson SECTION EDITOR Paige Zidek ASSISTANT EDITOR Kristin Doherty AD SALES & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Amy Garver DESIGNERS McKenzie Anderson Nicole Dyar Isaac Kittleson Alex Masica Katie Minnick Claire Sedovic Marina Shawd Abby Silverman Liz Wood Elyssa Yesnes CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jessica Anderson Megan Berberich Skylar Bergl Esther Burgeson Andrea Crowley Lindsay Dressen Meagan Flynn Hilary Gibney Kelsey Johnson Laura Johnson Alex Masica Hayley Mason Erin McHenry Annika Peick Lindsay Scarpello Megan Stein Rachael Stern Joe Stych Leah Walters Olivia Young WEB Lindsay Dressen, Executive Editor Erin McHenry, Section Editor Hilary Gibney, Section Editor Meagan Flynn, Assistant Editor Kerri Sorrell, Webmaster SPECIAL Jeff Inman Lori Blachford Evan Tarkington Andy West Allie Reidy Velvet Coat

McKenzie Anderson Katherine Dewitt Kristin Doherty

Nicole Dyar Isaac Kittleson Alex Masica

Jeff Nelson Erika Owen Claire Sedovic

Marina Shawd Abby Silverman Katie Vecitis

Liz Wood Elyssa Yesnes Paige Zidek


THANKS Jill Van Wyke Chris Snider ColorFX Sydney Singh Aimeé Vitae Design Collective

© Copyright 2012 Drake Magazine is published with the support of the Board of Student Communications. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Drake University. Letters to the editor are encouraged, although they will not be published. Direct any questions or concerns to






Drink Up


What We Eat...

Dairy Duds

...We’re all made of bug juice and pink slime

Churning milk into fashion





While you might not be able to pronounce it, chances are you’ve ingested it—or at least played with it. Whether you were innocently stretching Silly Putty or copping a feel of fake boobs, you’ve felt the rubbery consistency of polydimethylsiloxane. Besides breast implants and your favorite childhood toy, it can be found in highly processed foods—particularly fast food—as an antifoaming agent. At least we know chicken nuggets are made with some form of breast.

There are few things grosser than finding a hair in your meal, especially if you don’t find it until you’re fishing it out from between your teeth. But what’s more disgusting is this: If you’ve ever eaten a bagel, you were probably chomping on hair. L-Cysteine, an ingredient used in bakery products, helps stiffen pastry dough and is made out of duck feathers or human hair.

SHELLAC If carmine has you bugged out, you won’t want to hear about shellac. Shellac gets its name and main ingredient from a resin secreted by lac insects. The bugs’ discharge is used to coat pills and candy. Though the lac resin is refined to sieve out bug bits, the end product still contains trace amounts of insect debris. It takes billions of bugs to make our favorite coated candies. According to the Vegan Society, about 300,000 lac insects are killed to make just one kilogram of lac.

CARMINE This red color additive comes from crushed beetles. The FDA says it’s used for “cosmetics generally, including those for the eye area.” At least you’re only smearing bug guts all over your face, right? Wrong. The FDA also lists carmine under color additives “permanently listed for food use.” Juice, candy, and foods that are dyed red, pink, or purple might contain carmine.




If you’re a vegetarian—or not—this may make your stomach churn. Rennet, an enzyme used to coagulate milk into cheese, is extracted from the stomachs of calves. Strict vegetarians need not worry, though. Many cheese producers use forms of vegetable or microbial rennet instead.

Castoreum comes from a beaver’s behind. This smelly secretion is found in anal glands and castor sacs of beavers and is used as a natural flavoring for sweets such as pudding. In addition to being a food additive, castoreum is used in high-end fragrances. Apparently, anal secretion is the scent of sophistication.

This oily product is derived from wool. Sheep secrete this substance to help protect and waterproof their skin. It’s primarily found in skin-care products, but it’s also listed by the FDA as an acceptable ingredient in gum. The waxy feel of lanolin helps give gum its elasticity and chewability.



Milk mustaches were never an acceptable fashion accessory. But now milk is seeking redemption with a new fabric made from the very same material as those fashionable ’staches.   The main ingredient? Spoiled milk—or a special protein extracted from our smelly friend, that is. Milk fiber was created to compete with wool in the 1930s. The trend died within a decade, but it’s back. With the help of 28-year-old German fashion designer and microbiologist Anke Domaske, the forgotten fiber has gone from passé to popular.   The all-natural blend is manufactured into wearable cloth called Qmilch, without any pesticides or chemicals. Anke processes her fabric in a lab, where it’s heated and pressed into yarn though a mincing machine. Now the fiber has been incorporated into high fashion. Anke released milk fiber dresses and shirts in 2003 in her first milk infused fashion line, Mademoiselle Chi Chi. This milky fashion has rendered the attention of many, including The O.C. actress Mischa Barton, who was spotted wearing Anke’s lactose couture in the U.S.   And its favorable qualities are attracting designers from all over the globe. It’s smooth and silk-like, catering to sensitive and allergy-prone skin. Plus the anti-bacterial proteins in the fabric make for easy care: It folds easily and is machine-washable.   Milk fabric fashions cost anywhere from $200 to $250 per dress or shirt and can be purchased in Anke’s European stores, as well as her Hanover, Germany showroom. And Anke thinks there’s a future for this fabric. Her next projects include milk fabric home textiles and a clothing line for men. So forget the milk mustache, and check out to snag your own milky creation.

WORDS Hilary Gibney illustration liz wood

Forget taking shots to keep up with the next round of power hour or figuring out what to sip with the latest Katy Perry hit. will solve those long, strenuous nights you spend contemplating what drink will fit the mood, lyrics, or rhythm of the song you’re listening to. Long gone will be the moments of sputtering mid-sip, “This is my jam!”   Broke-ass college booze like Hawkeye Vodka and Natty Light beer won’t make the cut. Drinkify is all about keeping your drinks classy—think gin, whiskey, and Grey Goose with garnishes of grapefruit, olives, and salt. So stop shotgunning cheap beer, and get down with Drinkify. Cocktails on Drinkify: “Don’t listen alone. Drinkify suggests…” “THE TIME FLIES” Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Sweetened lime juice Beefeater Gin Combine in a shaker and strain into cocktail glass.

“THE BEYONCÉ” Hennessy Fassionola Metaxa Combineinshakerandstrainintococktailglass.Garnishwith salt.

“THE NIKKI MINAJ” Vodka Fassionola Orange juice Combine in highball glass and serve. Garnish with sugar. For the under-age:

“THE JUSTIN BIEBER” 8 ounces Red Bull Serve on the rocks.




StickK With It


Put your paycheck on the line with this goal-setting site

Snag this read, or be prepared for a life of solo movie nights and Chinese takeout



The Scenerio After a string of awkward hookups and blind dates from hell, you finally can’t believe your good luck. This guy you’re sharing dinner with seems perfect. Not only is he a dead ringer for Chace Crawford, he has a steady income too. You think this date is going well, so you decide to invite him back to your place—where things soon get steamy. You lead him to the bedroom, and he drops trou—revealing a pair of tighty whities.   Date? Over. Libido? Oh, hell no. He’ll be lucky if he gets so much as an awkward one-armed hug as you push him out the door. He has been erased from your little black book, banished into an abyss populated by bros who say “chillaxin’” and wear jorts. He is officially Undateable.

The Solution After seeing countless of their girl friends’ dates go wrong, authors Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle took action. They polled women from all walks of life, asking them for lists of traits that turn a guy from a “maybe” into a “no way.” The result? Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating or Having Sex.   Funny, detailed, and brutally honest, Undateable is the wake-up call for all of those self-proclaimed “studs” who think sporting their tacky Ed Hardy-wear will get them laid. To cover all the bases of male mistakes, the authors divide the book into three chapters: “What Not To Wear,” “What Not To Say,” and “What Not To Do.” Each offense is paired with a description and a rating that describes the intensity of undateability. While rocking a faux-hawk and saying “that’s all good” are red flags that can easily be overlooked, other mistakes are far more unforgivable, earning ratings like “storm cloud,” “not getting any,” or the grand daddy of all Undateables—“the kiss of death.” From guylights to sissy driving, no trait is safe from the authors’ wrath.   Guys, you may think that we’re a bunch of shallow, judgmental bitches. That’s only partially true. As the authors of Undateable put it, “Because we love you, we need to tell you the truth.” And as the saying goes, the truth hurts. So get rid of the soul patch, and for everyone’s sake, please stop sagging your pants. You’re probably a pretty nice guy—with a little work, you’ll be dateable in no time. 06


Some offenses:


2 3 4 5

Sports jerseys “Only acceptable at a sporting event with the guys. Actually, we take that back. This look is just plain queer…andwedon’tmeangay.Agaymanwouldn’t becaughtdeadinone.Theymakeyoulooklikeabig, lumbering seven-year old.”

Self-improvement projects often begin with great gusto, only to arrive abruptly at procrastination station. Thankfully, a group out of Yale University created a solution to following through on resolutions you’ve set. Enter:   Founded on the principle that people respond to incentives, the webbased company lets members create commitment contracts. The virtual pacts motivate users to achieve their personal goals by tracking their progress online and designating “referees” to hold them accountable.   The service is free, but particularly determined individuals can use stickK to set up monetary stakes for reaching their goals. Successful users don’t have to pay a thing. But if they fail to meet their goal, their money is sent to a third party. StickK suggests a friend, an enemy, or the dreaded anti-charity—that cause you would never deign to support. For example,

SOUND OFF! Life Questions with Siri

Saying “let’s get it on”

Getting to Know Ms. Know-It-All

“Okay, Marvin Gaye. Let’s not. We feel satin sheets somewhere in the midst.”


Referring to your junk as “the family jewels” “Wegetit.They’reprecious.Perhapsagoodkneetothe groin will put an end to this gem.”

Afraid of bugs “You’re allowed to be afraid of bugs only if they are irradiatedand20feettall.AndattackingNewYork.”

Referring to your car as “she” “‘Look at her. Isn’t she a beauty?’ Yes, ‘she’ is, but your car isn’t alive. Nor is it a woman.”

if you’re pro-life, you can choose to have your money sent to NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation if you fail. Nothing says motivation like the thought of your hard-earned cash going straight to an abortion clinic.   The idea of risking real money may seem unsettling, but stickK marketing director Sam Espinosa says that’s why the site is so effective. “Our research is grounded in behavioral economics,” he says. “You’re going to work harder if you’ve got something to lose.”   Sam says this emphasis on negative consequences—in combination with frequent reporting and deadline setting—allows users to reach longterm goals by taking smaller, manageable steps.   With stickK’s service, you put your money where your mouth is. And with over 140,000 members, anyone is just a few clicks away from making that long-lost New Year’s resolution a reality.

Siri knows where you are at all times, and she can tell you how to get just about anywhere in the world. She’ll remind you when your mom’s birthday is and let you know when you’re 10 minutes from missing a meeting. Let’s face it, Siri is better than your girlfriend—well, aside from some obvious physical factors.   I sat down with that ever-neutral robot dream girl and shot her some tough questions. Here’s what she had to say. Q: Siri, who are you? A: I’m Siri. But I don’t like talking about myself, Erika. Q: Why not, Siri? A: That’s a really good question. Q: O  k, moving forward…What do you like to do for fun? A: This is about you, Erika, not me.

Q: N  o, I’m quite sure it’s about you. Do you want to make poor life decisions with me tonight? A: N  o, I have everything I need in the Cloud. Q: Ouch, Siri. Are you my friend? A: I’m sorry, Erika. I’m afraid I can’t answer that. Q: Who’s your best friend, Siri? A: I’m not sure I have one. Q: Called that. What’s your favorite color? A: M  y favorite color is…Well, I don’t know how to say it in your language. It’s sort of greenish, but with more dimensions. Q: How much wood can a woodchuck chuck? A: F  orty-two cords of wood, to be exact. Everyone knows that. Q: Siri, there’s no need to be a snarky bitch. A: Now, now. Q: Who’s your daddy?

A: My daddy? Q: Yes, Siri. Your daddy. A: I can’t say. Q: That’s too bad. Where do babies come from? A: Mothers. Q: What’s your religion, Siri? A: Separation of spirit and silicon. Q: I think I’m in love, Siri. A: O  h, I bet you say that to all of your Apple products. Q: Do you love me, Siri? A: I’m not capable of love, Erika. Q: Thanks a lot, Siri. A: I aim to please. Your wish is my command. Q: Siri, what are you doing later? A: Just thinking. Q: What are you wearing, Siri…? A: I don’t understand.



food & drink



s’mores pop Forget the mess of roasting marshmallows around a fire. Feign a campfire in your own kitchen with these cake pops. Makes 30-40 Pops What You’ll Need: 1 box chocolate cake mix (prepare as directed) 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers 1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers 1 jar marshmallow creme 2 packages chocolate candy melts Mini marshmallows (optional) Lollipop sticks Ice cream scoop Cookie sheet Wax paper

How to make: 1. Bake a chocolate cake, and let it cool completely. 2. Break apart half the cake and a half-cup of crumbled graham crackers into a large bowl. Mix with your hands or a fork. 3. Add a half-cup of marshmallow fluff, and mix until the ingredients are fully combined. 4. Roll the dough into one and a half-inch balls. 5. Lay the balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let them sit in the freezer until firm. 6. Remove from freezer, and push in lollipop sticks. 7. Melt chocolate candy melts in a microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring in between. Dip the pops into the melted chocolate until completely covered. 8. Dip the pops in finely crushed graham crackers, or top them with mini marshmallows. 9. Let these pops dry standing up. Push the lollipop sticks into a block of Styrofoam for an upright drying position. 10. Scarf down your delicious cakesicles.

chocolate-covered strawberry pop The sweetest of summer fruits, with an extra rush of sugar. Makes 30-40 Pops What You’ll Need:


Everything tastes better on a stick. Cake pops—little balls of cake and frosting all mushed together—have been rolling into bakeries and all over the web. Tired of the typical chocolate-cake-with-chocolatefrosting cakesicles? Try these recipes for a twist on this new dessert.

cheesecake pop Fewer calories than a full slice of cheesecake with the same amount of creamy deliciousness. Makes 30-40 Pops What You’ll Need: 1 cheesecake 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 2 packages chocolate candy melts Sprinkles (optional) Lollipop sticks Ice cream scoop Cookie sheet Wax paper



How to make: 1. G  et yourself a cheesecake. We suggest going with a plain cake for your first try, though other flavors work, too. A store-bought cake will do. 2. Use an ice cream scooper to spoon out nice, neat balls of cheesecake, about one and a half inches wide. 3. Roll each ball in graham cracker crumbs until covered. 4. L  ay the balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let them sit in the freezer until firm. 5. Remove from freezer, and push in lollipop sticks. 6. Melt chocolate candy melts in a microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring in between. Dip the pops into the melted chocolate until completely covered. 7. Roll the cake pop in sprinkles or graham cracker crumbs. 8. Let them cool on a cookie sheet with wax paper, and enjoy.

1box strawberry cake mix (prepare as directed) 1 package chocolate candy melts 1 package red candy melts 1 jar strawberry frosting Green icing Lollipop sticks Ice cream scoop Cookie sheet Wax paper

How to make: 1. Bake a strawberry cake, and let it cool. 2. Crumble the cake into a large bowl. 3. Add half a can of strawberry frosting, and mix with a fork or your hands. Add extra frosting as needed until the cake crumbs cling together. 4. Form the dough into a strawberry shape—or just balls if you’re feeling lazy. 5. Lay the balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let them sit in the freezer until firm. 6. Remove from freezer, and push in lollipop sticks. 7. M  elt red and chocolate candy melts in separate bowls. Dip the pops first in the red and let dry. Then dip in the chocolate. 8. Garnish with green icing, and voila! You’ve got a chocolate covered strawberry.

Psycho Suzi’s WORDS LINDSAY DRESSEN ILLUSTRATION KATIE VECITIS Escargot paired with a deep-aged red wine? Eff that. Northeast Minneapolis bar Psycho Suzi’s just doesn’t do posh food. They’ll take their “smokies” bacon-wrapped and bourbon-glazed and their asparagus beerbattered. And those are just the starters, or what they charmingly call “Pu Pu For You.” Fret not—all are low in calories, of course. Pair these appetizers with a drink from their eclectic menu, and hold on to your pants. Don’t worry about that ticking clock because it’s five o’clock somewhere.   Psycho Suzi’s drink menu is separated into sections for the prudes and the champs. Try drinks from any aptly named category: “Not Naughty,” “Medium,” and “Strong.” You’ve got choices, friends. Get shwasty with

your choice of three different bars—Shrunken Head, Forbidden Cove, or Ports of Pleasure.   The ambience at Psycho Suzi’s is one you won’t find anywhere else. “The outside looks like a church from the Bible Belt, but inside, it’s a kitschy Hawaiian-themed bar,” says Andre Eggert, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Come summer you’ll find Andre on the bar’s deck, sipping on his favorite drink from Psycho Suzi’s: the Psycho Zombie, an alcoholic slushie with hints of cherry, cola, and lime.



food & drink


You’ve put off throwing that cocktail party too many times. If you’re worried your budget only covers one bag of store-brand tortilla chips and a bowl of dip, worry not. The key to throwing a sweet shindig: dessert-themed drinks. They may not be Martha Stewart-approved, but even she might tip back these martinis once the guests leave.   So start writing those invitations, and have each friend bring a bottle—you’ll have a full bar at your disposal to start mixing all kinds of tasty concoctions. Don’t worry about slurring your words: All you’ll be saying is “mmm,” which is a difficult one to slur anyway.


Coffee Cake Cocktail

College students aren’t known for their original or sophisticated beverage choices. But consider abandoning your cheap beer for one night, and indulge in this delectable coffee cake-inspired cocktail. You’re a grown-up now. Trade in that PBR for something a little more mature. A hard-working adult never turns down a good cup of joe, especially if it’s spiked.

Makes 1 serving Ingredients: 2 ounce espresso-flavored vodka 1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream 1/2 ounce cinnamon schnapps

How to make: Mix all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.


The Chocoholic


Birthday Cake Martini

Admit it: We’re all chocoholics. We try to justify our excessive chocolate eating by saying we’ve had a bad day. The truth is, chocolate is just as satisfying on a good day as it is on a bad one. The only thing that could make a chocolaty dessert a little better is a shot of vodka—or four. Don’t wait for your next bad day to roll around.

The best part of birthday parties was always the cake and presents. Now there’s a drink that can really help you say, “Happy Birthday.” But cake no longer has to signal the end of the party—now it means the party is just getting started.

Makes 1 serving Ingredients: 1 ounce chocolate liqueur 1 ounce crème de cacao 1/2 ounce vodka 2 ounces half and half chocolate syrup

1 ounce amaretto 1 1/2 ounces cake flavored vodka 1 1/2 ounces crème de cacao 1/2 ounce vanilla liqueur 1 ounce heavy cream frosting sprinkles

How to make:

How to make:

First, drizzle chocolate syrup on the inside of the martini glass. Pour remaining ingredients into a shaker with shaved ice. Shake and strain into the prepared glass.

Line the rim of a chilled martini glass with frosting and sprinkles. Mix the liquor in a shaker with ice, pour, and serve.

Makes 1 serving Ingredients:


PineappleUpside Down Cake

Desserts that incorporate food groups other than sugar, chocolate, and baked goods are usually questionable. But this pineapple beverage is so fruity you’ll be one cabana boy and sandy beach away from that paradise vacation you’ve been dreaming of.

Makes 1 serving Ingredients:


Yankee Doodle’s Apple Pie

This isn’t your mother’s apple pie. Though Mom might give you a scolding, there’s something strangely patriotic about sipping on this cocktail inspired by America’s favorite dessert. Cheers to you, Uncle Sam.

Makes 2 servings Ingredients: 2 ounces vanilla vodka 1 ounces apple schnapps 1/2 ounce buttershots butter-flavored liqueur cinnamon sticks

2 ounces vanilla vodka 2 ounces pineapple juice 1 drop grenadine syrup

How to make: Mix vodka and pineapple juice in a shaker with ice. Pour into a chilled glass, then add a drop of syrup.

How to make: Mix vodka, schnapps, and liqueur into a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled glass, then garnish with cinnamon sticks.,,, and




TALL ORDER DIVAS It’s 9 a.m. You have 15 minutes to high-tail it to class. You need caffeine but lack the proper amount of time to achieve that goal. Then you begin to smell the sweet aroma of early-morning coffee wafting through the streets. OK, so you can be a few minutes late if it means saving your sanity. You run inside. “Yes!” you think. “Only one person in front of me. It must be my lucky day.” And then she begins to demand the most complicated order ever. She didn’t forget to include all forms of espresso, flavorings, and holiday specials while she whips out her extralarge refillable coffee mug—which is bigger than her head, mind you. By the time her order is filled, you realize you aren’t just late to class. You practically missed it.

  People with complicated orders are some of the most obnoxious types out there. Whether they pull a When Harry Met Sally and order dressing on the side with ice cream specifications or if they are your average annoying eight-layer coffee addict, demanding outrageous requirements is a normal person no-no. It’s socially acceptable to ask for no onions on your sandwich if you hate them or are deathly allergic. However, if you can’t take the meal off of the menu without altering more than three ingredients, stay home. Be ashamed of your OCD eating habits. If you aren’t sure whether you are one of these repeat offenders or not, time yourself the next time you go out in public. Orders that require more than 30 seconds need to be examined. And so does your common sense.


Sexy Shelves


Dating Sites

And you thought eHarmony was unconventional WORDS Annika Peick

Online dating makes that clichéd sea of fish look a lot like a tiny kiddie pool. And the websites have gone way past eHarmony and Now, there are sites that cater to every interest, age, income level, fetish, and even disease imaginable. If you’re single and particularly picky, check out this roundup of the strangest dating sites on the ’net. STD, HPV, HIV AIDS, Herpes Dating & Support Site @ Positive Singles

http://www. POSITIVESINGLES.COM At first glance, this seems like your standard dating site. But here’s the kicker: Members are required to list which sexually transmitted infections they have on their profile. With about 70 million people in the United States living with some type of STI, Positive Singles fills a pretty massive gap in the online dating world. The site includes your standard features like member chatting and direct messages but also offers STI care locations, support forums, and live-chats with counselors. Three cheers for Positive Singles for eliminating the awkward “before anything physical happens…” conversation.

100% Free Dating & Niche Social Networking for Singles with a Passion for the Stache

http://www. STACHEPASSIONS.COM Yes, folks, there’s a dating site made just for people with a passion for the ’stache. If you can get past the fact that the website looks like it was made in the late ’90s, you can browse through the Mustache Groups to find members based on their style of facial hair, meet other mustache maniacs by experience level—Newbie, Expert, or Stache Groupie—and even join a Stache Chat. With about 700 members, Stache Passions suits a small niche in the online dating world. Check it out, and you might find someone to put a little more ’stache in your love life.

Diaper Lover Personals

http://www. DIAPERMATES.COM No joke: Diaper Mates is a dating website made just for adult babies and diaper lovers (AB/DL). For those of you not up on the lingo, just think of them as 30-year-old singles who still live in their parents’ basements. If you find yourself captivated by the sight of grown adults in diapers, feel free to chime into the message boards or join in on community events like day trips, dinners, and parties. And don’t worry: They’ll be over in time for beddy-bye and a bottle. The site boasts about 12,000 members, which poses the question—what the hell is the world coming to?




GRINDR A GPS-based smartphone app, primarily for hooking up gay and bi men in their area. He says he’s on Grindr for “networking,” but I know he has slept with half of the gay population in town since he got the app.

LEATHER DADDY An older man who enjoys performing sexual acts in leather apparel. I found out he was a leather daddy when we got back to his place, and he had a sex swing in his living room instead of a sofa.

BOB “Battery operated boyfriend”— a vibrator. I’ve got a date with Bob tonight. Those always end well.

BAIT ’N’ TACKLE Before leaving for sea, a sailor would find a tall jar and fill it with earthworms. “Bait ‘N’ Tackle” refers to the act that the lonely sailor would perform on the jar full of worms. You can put two and two together. I don’t think that guy has ever been with a girl. He must bait ’n’ tackle.

Four guides to getting it on

WORDS Hayley Mason



SKUNK magazine sex columnist Mamakind holds nothing back in this book that’s not just about “sex on drugs,” but about “sex with drugs.” Caution: This dope read isn’t approved for sex newbies. Take a quiz to find out:    How Sexy a Stoner Are You?    Are you a Pot Pimp or a Pot Ho?    Are you a Pot Snob?    What Strain Are You? Use marijuana as an aphrodisiac: Cannabinoids in pot encourage blood flow, making you more sensitive to touch. Add the rush of doing something extra naughty together, and Mamakind is convinced you’ll be a “bongslut” for life. Roach-Play: For those who like it hot (think dripping candle wax on each other), consider this a less-than-legal way of bringing the heat. First-degree burns only, people.



This astrologer and author uses the stars to tell readers the key to their individual pleasures.


101 PLACES TO HAVE SEX BEFORE YOU DIE By: Marsha Normandy & Joseph St. James

After reading the “hazards” and “supplies needed” lists, choose a location. Then use the workbook pages to record the date accomplished, where it occurred, and any other notes. You may need to invest in an additional notebook for repeat performances. Baseball Dugout: Wrigley Field may be out of the question, but local ballparks are fair game. It doesn’t matter if you can swing a bat—you’ll hit a homerun no matter what.

Motorcycle: Don’t worry—we’re not talking about a moving motorcycle. “When it comes to sex, the motorcycle is really a prop to indulge your kinky leather fantasies.” Don’t have a hog? Just donning the outfit will work. On Top of the Washing Machine: Finally, something to do while you wait for your laundry to dry. You’ll have a new appreciation for the spin cycle.



Choose a location, your risqué level, and have at it. Who has the time for post-coital snuggling these days, anyway?

Check out the revealing profiles to uncover secrets about “what makes you tick” and “what you like between the sheets,” and provides “tips for your ideal lover.”

Sex in the Stacks: Who hasn’t had this fantasy while spending long hours with your nose in a textbook at the library? Find a carrel to balance on as you “study anatomy.”

Chart your birth date. Born on the ninth? Provocative conversation and sexy eye contact should turn you on. The fifth? Be sure to spice things up before your fling fizzles out.

Stairway to Heaven: Use the stairs to create some creative angles that aren’t possible on a flat surface. (Led Zeppelin playlist optional.)

Look up your lover’s birth date for a sneak peek of how they like it. He’ll be none the wiser about how you’re reading his thoughts.

At the Car Wash: “There’s nothing like a quickie with a timer!” Finish in time, or people waiting in line “may see more than they bargained for through your shiny clean windows.”




WE MADE IT IN AMERICA Greenwich Vintage is revitalizing the American Man WORDS & PHOTO SKYLAR BERGL

Ben Hertz’s attitude is just ascolorfulashis laces.

When in


Ben Hertz brings color to your kicks

WORDS KATHERINE DEWITT PHOTOS COURTESY OF BEN HERTZ Ben Hertz looked down and noticed his shoelace was broken. He happened to be in Rome at the time on a month-long European vacation. “I looked around, and there was a shoe store on every corner I could see,” Ben says. Inside one, he found black, brown, and red laces. Ben grabbed a red pair and laced up. The Europeans loved the look.   “People were using their iPhones and snapping photos of my shoes,” says Ben, 27. “They kept telling me how fantastic the laces were. I didn’t really think anything of it until I got back to the United States. But I wore those shoes every day for three months. Every single day.”   Once home in Minneapolis, Ben sported his red-laced kicks and resumed working for a private equity firm in real estate development. Fastforward 18 months: His laces broke, leaving him nowhere to find red laces in the Midwest or even the country. So he connected with someone in India in the textile industry who was willing to send him some red laces. But only if he ordered 10,000 of them.   Last summer, Ben shelled out enough dough to ship 10,000 colored cuties from India to the Twin Cities. “I had some fast learning to do to figure out how to sell all of those shoelaces—but Benjo’s has been selling them ever since,” he says. “In the meantime, I did some quick learning on



how to design a website with WordPress, how to set up a online store, how to design a logo. It took me about two to three weeks.”   Today, Benjo’s—Ben’s colored, wax-cotton boot and shoelace business—sells online at and in about 75 retail locations worldwide. And it’s only expanding. Benjo’s offers nine colors of shoelaces ($6) and one boot lace option ($10). “Right now it’s just laces—but I’ve got some surprises this spring,” Ben says. “I have a little project I’ve been putting together.” Stay tuned because he wouldn’t spill the beans.   Now Ben doesn’t have to worry about his trademark fashion statement in Minneapolis. That’s a relief because style has always been important to him. His mom was a retail buyer for a high-end store in Minneapolis. “This stylish mentality has kind of been instilled in my sister and me growing up,” he says. “It just translated into this whole lifestyle, which has become very important in identifying a person within this whole culture we’ve got going on. And this whole movement of menswear has had an impact. I’ve been reading menswear blogs religiously for years. That— combined with my mom and family friends we grew up with—has just been an important thing to express yourself through style.”

Vintage doesn’t mean colorful dresses from the ’60s your hipster girlfriend picked up at Goodwill. It’s the grimy and indestructible work-wear of America’s past when men knew what elbow grease was. At Greenwich Vintage Co., they want to get that gritty wear back into your wardrobe.   This small shop in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis started when founder Mustache Mike Ader, 29, thrifted for everything from shoes to leather jackets. At first it was just for fun. Then it became an addiction. The only catch: Everything had to be American-made. “When I started it, I did a lot of research on all these old brands,” Mike says. “The one thing that I came across was that everything way back when was made in the United States, and the quality was superior.”   Over time, those brands filled up an entire room in Mike’s house, and his friend Zen Pomazi, 42, a freelance graffiti artist and sneaker customizer, got involved. “We literally had this stuff sitting in Mike’s apartment in Bloomington, and we would just sit and stare at it,” Zen says.   Eventually, friends came over, saw the pile of clothes, and asked if they could take some of it off the pair’s hands. After realizing the appeal of their affordable finds, Mike and Zen sat down with their friend, Maximillian Miller, 27, to see if they could start making some money. Greenwich Vintage was born.   The shop maintains its vintage mindset through its aesthetic. Racks of Pendleton wool-wear, Harris Tweed blazers, and old naval coats line the walls. A sawhorse stacked high with camouflage duck cloth coats sits in the middle of the shop. And the business model remains something out of American Pickers. Mike and Zen constantly pick, searching far and wide for items that have stood the test of time.   “I pick every day,” Mike says. “If I have time, I’ll go find somewhere to pick. I’m into it. That’s the most fun part for me—digging through shit and finding something that hasn’t seen the light of day in years.”   Aside from their Midas touch for hunting through backlogged inventory,


Essential Information

Greenwich Vintage offers an updated spin on the classic cobbling world. Zen takes wingtip shoes and dresses them up with new Vibram soles and plaid swatches on the sides. They also outsource some of their collection to the surrounding Minneapolis stores for in-store vintage sections.   But this isn’t a vintage shop on steroids. There’s a catch to cashing in on these retro goods: The shop is appointment only. “If you call me, then you’re serious,” Zen says. “You’re not going to bullshit.”   And they don’t want to be bullshitted. They’ll be the first ones to tell you how much they love what they do. Zen and Max are both sons of European immigrants and aren’t shy about expressing their love for the U.S.   “That love for the United States, the culture, and the society we have is ever-present in my life,” Max says. “There’s something emotional in what we’re doing here because everything is American-made. It’s bringing it back to what was good about America for the longest time.”   “The only thing that’s not U.S.A. in here are these racks,” Zen says. More than anything, Greenwich Vintage is a step back to a time when men were men and weren’t emasculated. The time where they weren’t afraid to be bad-asses— think James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Steve McQueen.   And if you’re questioning the extreme patriotic appreciation, Mike and Zen will try to sway you. “I don’t want you to change what you wear, how you wear it, or when you wear it,” Zen says. “I’m not going to throw my fridge out, I’m not going to throw my stove out, and I’m not going to throw my microwave out. I don’t want to change what’s inside your house. I want to start changing your mind. Because, next thing you know, it has taken over your wardrobe. And then it has taken over your house.”   By the time you’ve perused the custom wingtips, the Aztec-inspired Pendleton jackets, and the boss Red Wing boots, you’ll begin to think that maybe it’s time to explore your roots.

What can you expect to find: Stuff your dad wore when he worked in the backyard. Boots and canvas jackets. Wool shirts and tweed blazers. But also custom wingtips and ties.


Address: 210 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Appointment: Zen (612) 310.0373 Mike (612) 817.1777






Trousers from Vitae Design Collective, by suzabelle,$35;topfrom Aimée,byMinaUK,$90; hair piece from Vitae Design Collective, by Silhouette,$35;ringfrom VitaeDesignCollective, by Be Joyful, $12

WORDS KATHERINE DEWITT PHOTOS ABBY SILVERMAN Bonjour, college: a bubble where students roll out of bed, Facebook in class, and drink beer at night. Ah, the golden years of not giving a damn about anything…including campus “street style.”   My apologies, but I can’t take you seriously because you’re wearing yoga pants. And the only time yoga comes close to your life is when you’re “pinning” away exotic yoga moves in Econ 101. Only makes sense to wear those way-too-small, ass-hugging pants to class, right? Non.   Why is it that students don’t feel a need to look nice in public and opt to dress for class as if they’re going to the gym—or to bed? The freshman social suicide trademark— lanyards—are now used as a necklace statement. How about a purse to hold all those very important cards and keys, ladies? And UGGs with norts (Nike shorts)—by far my biggest pet peeve. I can’t tell if you’re hot or cold. And where is that style inspiration coming from?   I must admit, my wardrobe doesn’t work with the college atmosphere much, either. But you’ll find me on the opposite side. Wearing suede pumps to campus bars isn’t an option unless that drunk who spilled on me wants to clean the whiskey-soaked remnants the morning after. And the amount of time college requires you to trek outside from building to building doesn’t correlate with my fashion choices. I prefer sheer blouses, ankle toothpick pants, and lacey tops that don’t really hold up to the negative wind chill.   All in all, college fashion can be a challenge. I’ve loved clothes, style, and dressing up as far back as I remember. But dressing pretty during these four years is a nonstop judgmental circus where I’m the star clown. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked why I’m so dressed up for class or heard, “Why do you always look so nice?” For the college folk, the mindset of dressing well is this: You’re either showing off your daddy’s money, you take yourself too seriously, or you’re cray cray for wearing actual pants to class. Disclaimer: Jeans are supposed to be casual. And if I can see your ass, you shouldn’t be wearing leggings as pants.   But it’s true—I love to dress up. My dream world is a land full of well-dressed studs and closets full of wedges and flowy dresses. Campus is only a disappointment, something of a nightmare compared to my fantasies. Although college classes are pretty laidback, it’s only respectful to look presentable for your professor and peers. Treat class as a professional setting. We’re not in the corporate world yet, but consider your professor your boss. Those poor profs have to dress nice for you—it’s only out of respect to do the same.   So, peers, please do me a favor so I can stop cringing when I see you on campus: Buy a suit jacket for your suit, hang up that Northface (or store it away for good), and show some creativity and confidence in your clothing choices. We’re adults. It’s about time we start dressing like it. 16


Do not wear this

Dress to impress

Get a wallet

METROPOLITAN EDGE Leggings are not pants Hot or cold: Make up your mind

This season, juxtapose urban flair with feminine frills STYLED BY KATHERINE DEWITT PHOTOS ALEX MASICA

Dress from Velvet Coat, by Helmut Lang, $520; cardigan, from Velvet Coat,byRepeat,$194;beltfromVelvet Coat,byDianevonFurstenburg,$185; necklacefromVelvetCoat,byTagua, $48

JacketfromVelvetCoat,byHalmut Lang, $695; jeans from Velvet Coat, by Rag & Bone, $187; bag from Velvet Coat, by Diane von Furstenburg, $345



Dress from Aimée, by Champagne & Strawberry,$120;ring, from Vitae Design Collective,byBeJoyful, $12

TrenchfromAimée,by Derby, $190

Index: Aimée 432 E. Locust St. Des Moines, IA 50309 515.203.0045

Velvet Coat 500 E. Locust St. Des Moines, IA 50309 515244.6308

Vitae Design Collective 400 E. Locust St. Suite 4 Des Moines, IA 50309 515.288.1349 -MODEL EVAN TARKINGTON MAKEUP SYDNEY SINGH HAIR ALLIE REIDY DRAKE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2012


green piece


NUTRITION WASTELAND Food deserts are popping up in cities across the country WORDS KELSEY JOHNSON PHOTO ELYSSA YESNES Seven double-stacked plastic bags are slung over each arm as you attempt to rein in rambunctious kids and fumble for ticket money to transfer from one bus to the next. It’s not just difficult: It’s nearly impossible. But this is a day in the life of city-dwellers whose urban environments have become “food deserts.” These areas—where people don’t have access to nutritious, affordable food, or even a mainstream grocery store—have been popping up around the country.   Mari Gallagher, principal of the Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting group, has worked extensively with the food desert problem in Chicago. She defines food deserts as “large and isolated geographic areas that have few or distant mainstream grocery stores. It’s less about the stores themselves and more if people have options for healthy choices,” Mari says. “People should be able to choose an apple, an orange, or skinned chicken. If markets are saturated with poor food choices, people’s health will suffer over time.”   According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, labeling a food desert is contingent on an array of factors: consumers’ travel patterns, affordability of food, income, car ownership, availability of sidewalks, and even crime patterns in an area. If the risks of finding healthy food outweigh the benefits, the area is a food desert.   The term implies that affected communities are located solely in isolated regions. In reality, the deserts are often in metro areas. The state of food deprivation in the U.S. manifests itself through obesity rather than starvation, seeing as a bag of chips often costs less than fresh fruit. A food desert usually includes fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, dollar stores, and liquor stores. But these retailers don’t have the selection to



We’re not all Al Gore ambitious—saving the world is tough. So if you’d rather watch Captain Planet than go outside and frolic with Mother Nature, here are some ways to save some ozone without leaving your sofa.

DON’T MOW THE LAWN Ever. This should be easy because you’re not leaving the safety of your living room. Not only will you save on lawn mower gas, but in a matter of time you’ll also have a thriving ecosystem in your backyard. Soon your plush field of green will attract adorable bunnies, grazing goats, and if you’re lucky, some freegans searching for a campsite. What better setting for your heirloom squash collection?

COUCH-POTATO COMPOST The first rule of living the loveseat life: Waste not. When you can’t finish that eighth piece of pizza, compost it. Instead of chucking the Styrofoam container from your Chinese takeout, use it to aerate your plant food. And if you’ve been wearing that pair of underwear for a few days too long, toss it in your mulch bin. Confused about what you can break down? Here’s a quick and dirty guide: Compost the rest of that salsa, old napkins, and any stuffing that falls out of your cushions. Leave beer cans, Twinkies, and your personal “manure” out of the mix.

INVEST IN NIGHT-VISION GOGGLES sustain a healthy diet. Food desert residents aren’t literally starving. This makes them easy to overlook—even when they’re right under your nose.   Janelle Mueller, program director for Children and Family Urban Ministries in Des Moines, has seen the growth in food deserts across the country. “They’re everywhere. They’re right here,” Janelle says. “In neighborhoods across the city, people don’t have access to grocery stores except for driving distance, and most people living in these cities don’t have cars.”   The Chicago Food Desert Progress Report, released June 2011 by Mari’s group, notes that approximately 384,000 Chicagoans live in a food desert. Over 100,000 of those are children who survive off of pizza rolls and soda, while nutritious alternatives are lacking or nonexistent. According to the report, “Children who grow up at a nutritional disadvantage are more likely to have trouble paying attention in school, graduating, developing their full mental and physical potential, and maturing into happy, healthy, and productive adults.”   But the food desert outbreak is not incurable. Mari’s report states Chicago food deserts decreased by 39 percent in the past five years. Other programs focusing on providing nutrition education—primarily for children—have also gained momentum in the face of the food epidemic. “We have programming in an area school to teach about healthy food, and the kids are gulping everything down,” Janelle says. “They love it. During spring break, they’re doing a jumping rope program, and one of them told me it would be a lot easier now that she’s eating healthy food. I love hearing that—they’re really getting the correlation.”

What’s better than eco-friendly light bulbs? No light bulbs. Equipped with the right Navy Seal-grade goggles, you’ll have better night vision than a shark on the ocean floor. Of course, light might not be an issue with the glow of Planet Earth emitting from your Energy Star-rated TV.

FREE RAIN WATER! Punch a few holes in your roof, and whenever it rains, liquid gold will pour from the heavens and into your home. You can use this renewable resource for everything—from drinking water to sponge baths to supersoaking your cat. Bonus points if you can get the bounty to pour straight into your mouth.

BUILD THE ULTIMATE ECOBOT Solar-powered and ready for action, your robot buddy could do everything from recycling soda cans to producing more ozone molecules. Picture a Wall-E-sized automaton that would roll around planting new trees. Just make sure it doesn’t become self-aware.



green piece


WRONG Inventions that never should’ve hit the market


HUMAN WASTE FOR FERTILIZER Fertilizer made from human waste sounds like a load of shit—literally. According to National Geographic, almost 200 million farmers across the globe fertilize with human feces. Apparently there’s no need for a toilet when you can take a crap in your garden. Want the greenest lawn in the neighborhood? Rip out some pipes, and direct your sewage to the grass. This new way of being eco-friendly is not only disgusting, but it also poses several health risks. Diseases can lurk in untreated human waste, and when it’s used to grow food, well, you can figure it out from there.

EDIBLE SHOE CREAM Coconut can be delicious—unless it’s combined with a tasty tennis shoe. Green footwear manufacturer Po-Zu developed an edible shoe cream made from coconut. It’s so useful that it can be used as lip balm, facial moisturizer, cooking oil, and massage oil. Talk about a jack-of-all-trades. This cooking oil would be perfect for frying up some high heels, but unfortunately there aren’t many recipes that involve leather. Our verdict: Keep the cream for the kicks, and find an alternative appetizer.

CIGARETTE BUTT CLOTHING Smoking’s bad—there’s no need to go over all of the smoggy side effects. But Alexandra Guerrero of Chile thinks cigs have a different, less harmful use. She took filters from cigarette butts and mixed them with wool to create vests, ponchos, hats, and other pieces of clothing. Made of 20 percent recycled cigarettes, we’d like to see these garments put out for good.



StereoType Des Moines Des Moines is by no means the end-all entertainment hub of the Midwest. Sure, the sculpture garden’s great for a stroll, and the Civic Center stages some quality shows. When it comes to music, though, the 515 often gets the shaft—we have about as many concert venues as we do skyscrapers. But Ryan Lebo hopes to change all that with his musical brainchild: StereoType Des Moines.   If Ryan has his way, Iowa’s capital city will see a new concert locale by next summer. It’s been in the planning stage for almost seven years, but StereoType could soon be coming to fruition.   Once it’s built, StereoType Des Moines will be a concertgoer’s wet dream. The plan: Six venue spaces in one location, with capacities ranging from 200 to 10,000. It may sound like a conventional concert space, but there’s a catch. Each venue will be equipped with top-of-theline recording gear to capture every song and note, which will be available for download after the concert. What’s even better is an affordable ticket price range: around $20. “StereoType is a completely one-of-a-kind music venue,” says Ryan, 34, the project’s owner and visionary. “There’s nothing else like this in the entire world. There are components of this all over the place but nothing under one roof.”   The idea came to Ryan when he was a typical multi-tasking college student. “I was writing a paper and downloading music, my roommate was playing video games, and we were watching TV,” he says. “Then it just came to me—like a bitch-slap on the face or a light bulb turning on.”   After his revelation, Ryan spent weeks filling spiral notebooks with ideas for the business. But the success banks on the recording. “The recording component is the next logical step in the music industry. Right now, venues can only make as much money as they can take in from tickets. With our plan, we don’t care about tickets. We need the recording: One concert could generate revenue for years.”   With limited experience in the music industry—he made quick cash in college recording DJs and selling them raw recordings—Ryan knew he needed help establishing StereoType. Enter the expert: Pat Williams.   Pat, 35, from Des Moines, has almost a decade of industry experience. Starting as a roadie for Slipknot in 2003, he moved on to engineering

Once it’s built, this venue will give concertgoers a new music experience WORDS JEFF NELSON PHOTO COURTSEY OF STEREOTYPE DES MOINES

and management positions with a host of tours and artists. As a playback systems engineer for everyone from The Black Eyed Peas to Ke$ha to The Jonas Brothers, he’s adapted artists’ studio recordings for about 3,000 live shows. “Ryan had heard about my touring experience and needed an expert on concert operations,” he says. “We had a few short meetings and decided to partner up.”   The avant-garde undertaking hasn’t been easy, though. The duo spent the last five years crunching numbers. A venture this size is projected to cost upwards of $40 million. Ryan says they’re making steady progress with financiers. “Right now, we’re working with two large investors, and both groups want to see us build our team before their wallets open up,” he says. “We’re on a massive hunt for a CFO—that’s the first thing we need to get the ball rolling.”   After the core team is assembled and funds are secured, they could potentially break ground by the end of the summer. “Our outdoor venue will open first,” Ryan estimates. “We’re shooting for a late spring or early summer of 2013, with the full venue being open by late summer.”   As for StereoType skeptics, move to the left. Ryan and Pat are optimistic their efforts won’t be in vain. Aside from having investors onboard, StereoType’s main men have snagged a slew of industry insiders as advisers.   And that’s not all: The venue may have a home. The City of Altoona released a written statement supporting StereoType Des Moines last December, saying it caters to an under-served market and will stimulate the economy: “It is our intent to give assistance and utilize any available resources to ensure that this project will be built in our community.” If plans follow through, StereoType will set up shop at Altoona’s Shoppes at Prairie Crossing.   Pat, an industry veteran and StereoType’s COO, has no doubt the venue will be a hit. “There’s no question at all that the facility will be successful in my mind,” he says. “Des Moines is missing out on so many tours that just don’t stop here because we have nowhere to accommodate them.”   Ryan has spent the last seven years of his life on the project—living on Ramen and Red Bull at one point—but he says it’s a labor of love. “This is my full-time job,” he says. “The hours suck, the pay sucks even worse, but the benefits of getting it done? Priceless. I know it’ll be worth it when I’m sitting in the VIP lounge at our first concert with a cold beer in my hand. Until then…” Back to work.

For project progress, check out StereoType online. Facebook: /StereoType.DM.Inc Twitter: @StereoTypeDM

La Chanh Nguygen recently designed a rug carpeted with moss. His goal? To bring Mother Nature inside. It’s every hipster’s dream: a new way to show they’re “greener” than the next pretentious plaid-wearer. Quit showing off—there’s no such thing as green street cred.

HAIRBALL JEWELRY Jewelry designer Heidi Abrahamson teamed up with to create cat hair jewelry as a hairball awareness campaign (WTF?). Feline fanatics, be ready to transform nuisance to style. While you’re at it, you may as well empty your own hairbrush to make some fancy new earrings. But don’t expect to see this furry fashion statement on runways anytime soon. The models would shed their accessories halfway down the catwalk. 24






I Fight Dragons takes video game controllers out of the basement and into the recording studio

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Brian, Hari, Bill, Chad, Packy

INTERVIEW MEAGAN FLYNN PHOTO COURTESY OF I FIGHT DRAGONS “What do you think about this couch?” lead vocalist Brian Mazzaferri asked me. “Do you think it really goes with the room?” The couch was olive green, accented by a red plaid pattern—nothing modern. I didn’t mind the couch, actually. It matched their walls, I said. “Well, if she likes it, we’re keeping it!” a band member shouted from out of frame. Via Skype, the I Fight Dragons band members gave me a tour of their Chicago apartment, complete with one wall of outlandish chalk drawings. The apartment fit them.   I Fight Dragons is a quirky “nerdcore” chip-tune band that entered the scene three years ago. The band came together after mastering small nuclear forces—the magnetism was so strong it brought them to each other, says Bill Prokopow, who plays Rock Band guitar and Nintendo controllers for the group. Since then, the band has been trying to cure cancer with its music—while avenging the intergalactic universe. It released its latest LP, KABOOM!, and also recently signed with Photo Finish/Atlantic Records.


Brian Mazzaferri: Lead Vocals, Guitar Packy Lundholm: Vocals, Lead Guitar Hari Rao: Bass Chad Van Dahm: Drums Bill Prokopow: Rock Band Guitar, NES, SNES, NES Advantage, NES Zapper, Keyboards, Nintendo-Control-Center

DRAKE MAG: What’s chip-tune? Where did the idea of chip-tune come from, and why did you guys decide to go in that direction? BRIAN: Chip-tune is new music made on old video game sound cards. There’s been people making it since the early 2000s. There’s a lot of different things you can do with video game-type sounds. I’ve always had the thought that chip-tune is one of the many cures for cancer. It can cure certain types of cancer—maybe musical, maybe pancreatic. DM: How did you come up with the name “I Fight Dragons”? BRIAN: It was an idea I had for a T-shirt. I wanted to make a shirt that said “I fight dragons” with a little guy and a sword on it. The more I thought about it, I wanted to start a band at the time. PACKY: Now that he has started the band, he can’t wear his own T-shirt. DM: How would you guys describe your sound? BRIAN: Intergalactic… 26


BILL: audiologists... PACKY: fusing... HARI: volcanic... CHAD: pineapples. DM: Were video games a big part of your childhood? BRIAN: We’re sort of wacky fellows. A lot of our lightheartedness and drive to make this music came from our love for video games when we were kids. With chip-tune, I really like the way the emotional sounds evoke excitement in people. DM: Are there any songs that have great meaning to you guys? BRIAN: In terms of the most meaningful song we’ve written, no, there’s no emotion in our songs. We’re trying to cure cancer here, not evoke emotion. Kidding, but in all seriousness, for me, “Disaster Hearts” off the new album. It’s sort of personal. They all have a lot of meaning in them, as much as we lie about this. PACKY: Also “Just Decide.” It seems to really resonate with the audience whenever we play it. DM: In the song “The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth,” are you guys talking about yourselves? BRIAN: I wrote it. It’s sort of more about my junior high experience, but there’s a little element from my high school experience. My wife was definitely too cool to date me in high school. When she first heard it, she asked if I was talking about her. The song’s a celebration of the comeuppance of geeks. It’s becoming hip to be square. DM: How do you guys program the controllers to make music in your songs? BRIAN: When we’re writing the song, we’ll write it on old Gameboys. We’ll trigger those samples live through our controllers. DM: Is there a theme for your new album? BRIAN: Besides world peace and curing cancer, there’s sort of an overall sense of finding one’s place in the world—coping with growing up and not finding the world as you might have expected it, the explosions that ensue while you’re finding your way. Also, unicorns. It almost got too serious there. DM: When would you say the band had its first big boom? BRIAN: I would say it’s been a steady growth—a lot of small booms. PACKY: The MC Chris tour was good. We got to go across the country and play in front of thousands of fans. BRIAN: The 3OH!3 and Cobra Starship tour we got to go on was even

more of an opportunity. I feel like Warped Tour this summer is a huge opportunity, too. We also got a little exposure on the radio in Denver, and it’s given our songs a chance. DM: What has the shift from being a small Indie band to signing a major record label been like? BRIAN: We’re still not crazy big. As much as it was really awesome to sign a label, it has been a step-by-step growth thing, and hopefully we’ll keep growing. It’s been a pretty steady growth for us. There wasn’t really a moment of “We’ve made it now!” We’ve been given some pretty amazing opportunities, and we’re trying to make the most of them. DM: Do you ever find it offensive that your genre of music is sometimes referred to as “nerdcore,” or is it something you embrace? PACKY: We definitely embrace it. It’s more of a cultural design than an insult. Punk used to be a derogatory term, but after a while it’s just “No, that’s what we are.” I think we’re all happy to be called nerds. DM: What are your expectations for Warped Tour this summer? CHAD: A great tan. It’s the first time of my life that a Dutch man will get tan. And the girls— 15,000 tan girls. BRIAN: It’s a lot of work. Everyone says going on Warped Tour is brutal. I feel like it’s the biggest thing a band can do. We’ll be working our asses off and playing with a lot of new people. PACKY: Playing Chicago Warped in ’09 was huge. To do that 42 times is going to be pretty rad. We’re looking forward to an organic and engaged audience. It’s all about the people.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Hari, Packy, Brian, Bill, Chad



say what

Another Rant on


BURNOUTS OCCUPY Making light of heavy matters... down to the last crack pipe and crotch shot WORDS LINDSAY SCARPELLO PHOTO CLAIRE SEDOVIC This story is old news. We all know it’s happening, and it just keeps coming back. For every doe-eyed child star we see on Saturday morning TV, there’s one that’s gone off the deep end. Case in point: Lindsay Lohan. The once-great ginger of the ’90s we all adored in Disney’s remake of The Parent Trap has long been the butt of jokes for anyone with an eye for pop culture. While LiLo was once known for decent turns in Disney movies such as Life-Size and Get a Clue, and Freaky Friday, she’s now much better known for panty shots, real shots, and brief stints in rehab and jail. Not to mention her emaciated, orange-y figure, topped with perhaps her worst misstep of all: dead, fake blonde locks in place of the gorgeous, thick ginger mane that once crowned her as the hottest redhead in Hollywood. And Lohan’s not the only child star that’s burning out. Demi Lovato, star of the cash cow Jonas Brothers’ vehicle Camp Rock!, recently went to rehab for “physical and emotional issues.” And we can’t easily forget the nudie shots and racy sexts from High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens. They’re not alone. A quick recap of the ’90s up until now shows a slew of young starlets that have gotten into a bit of a stink, including big names like Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. One thing Walt Disney, among others, never anticipated was that employing





children as stars for even family-friendly movies might lead to their ultimate demise. Child stars are notorious for bad behavior, and the blame is often attributed to the pressures of growing up in the spotlight. We’ve seen it for years, whether these kid stars pull themselves out of the cycle or not. Drew Barrymore did drugs and alcohol, including cocaine, by age 13. Saved By The Bell’s Dustin Diamond (Screech, duh) was once the gangly outcast at Bayside High School. He’s better known now for his leaked sex tape. Jodie Sweetin, aka Stephanie Tanner, from Full House became a crystal meth addict. And, in addition to Michael, more than one of the Jackson kids were a little screwed up. When they’re all tacked up, it’s sad. What is it about child stardom that turns these child cuties into teen terrors? I don’t think it’s just that these kids are thrust into the spotlight, but rather, how they’re treated once they’re there. And more specifically, how their parents handle them once they’re famous. Any parents can screw up their non-celebrity kid, but letting your children become too entitled once they’re rich and famous is becoming uncomfortably common and a big no-no. Of course, there certainly are child stars that have done just fine, never having a rebellious period at all: Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Watson, and (so far) Dakota and Elle Fanning. And let’s not forget NPH. When you compare the two, the difference is slightly astounding. When it comes down to it, maybe all these kids really need to succeed is a healthy dose of reality. Sorry, up-and-coming stars, but fantasy’s out.



Don’t wear underwear.

Get noticed

Be a triple threat.

By starring in a low-budget, madefor-TV movie.

Record an auto-tuned album, get a cable TV kid’s show, and appeal to tweens on your sold-out lip syncing tour.

Ever. And make sure everybody knows it.




Get a DUI, do drugs, and post videos of it on YouTube.

Work out a house arrest sentence. Ankle bracelets are the new black, after all.

Go to rehab. Start young—even if you haven’t picked up a habit yet.

Break the law.

Hire a good lawyer.

OVERDOSE A writer’s take on a less-than-proactive protest If I never hear the word “occupy” again, I’ll be utterly overjoyed. I’m tired of it. It’s a cliché—think hipsters drinking PBR or Rick Santorum wearing a sweater-vest. And yet 99 percent of the media are still obsessed with the Occupy movement. So naturally, it’s all we hear about, save for the latest intrusive TSA security measure or the newest carcinogen. It’s not like I’m writing off the entire movement. I’m not sure what they want (is anyone?), but I’m glad to see they’re out expressing their myriad unclear grievances. To me, the protests come down to this: Occupiers blame everyone but themselves for their problems while they camp out in tents and play Frisbee. So you want to lessen the hold corporations maintain over American politics? That’s fair—the enormous sums of money that cloud our political process frustrate me, too. But I’m not quitting my day job to go whine about it. So you want to protest injustices in our country? Step right up— we’ve got plenty. You have a right to protest, and we need a little citizen participation in our government. But do it legally. Don’t complain, don’t trash our public parks and plazas, and don’t spew confusing, unclear doctrine. In the light of almost no unbiased information about the Occupy movement (because 1 percent of the media has 99 percent of the information, of course), here are a few things I’d like to clarify for everyone.

Occupy Occupiers’ Jobs While you’re sitting in plazas expressing your overarching discontent with the government, some smart kid is out there getting your job. I understand you’re doing something you believe in. And I know it’s hard when you feel you’ve been treated unfairly. But protesting won’t get you a new house or support your family. If those are things you need, consider getting a job (or two)—though you might have to fight with that smart kid to get yours back. The government isn’t Ty Pennington: It can’t afford to give you a new house, let alone get us out of our trillion-dollar debt. I apologize for my harsh tone—I don’t mean to be unkind. I really value your vendetta against... Wait, what is it you’re protesting again? Anyway, I just think someone needs to tell you what’s going on in the rest of the country. I imagine it’s a little difficult to glance over your Twitter feeds while you’re camped in a tent—although I’m sure you


wouldn’t patronize a corporation like Twitter. That would be a slight conflict of interest.

It’s peaceable assembly I don’t blame you if you’ve never read the entire Constitution. It’s not exactly a thrilling read. But I want to remind Occupiers everywhere that while you have the right to assemble and protest, you can’t do anything you want. Yes, the First Amendment says you can assemble—peaceably. And that means exactly what it sounds like: You can protest as long as you play by the rules. You can’t set up camp anywhere you want and then complain when the police ask you to leave. Check out the local rules, and register your protest. These are requirements that make sure we—100 percent of us—can peaceably assemble. I don’t feel bad for you when you face repercussions after refusing to obey the rules. The occasional police officer might not be fair or ethical, but most are just doing their job. If the police ask you to leave a park after hours, you can’t complain when they forcibly remove you. You have to be willing to accept the consequences—whether that’s jail time or pepper spray. And if you think police officers have crossed the line, report them. Don’t lump all officers under one umbrella of evil. After all, 99 percent of them are just middle-class Americans trying to make a living by protecting you.

#OccupyHollywood Why isn’t anyone protesting against Miley Cyrus? Or Stephenie Meyer? If there was ever an example of corporate injustice, it’s the Twilight franchise: One percent of the vampires have 99 percent of the fame. Meanwhile, werewolves are doomed to a life of misunderstanding and awkward imprint situations. And I can’t be the only one who’s enraged that Kristen Stewart has exactly two emotions and more money than I’ll make in my lifetime. Occupiers, I think we’ve uncovered a new target: Hollywood. I’ll join in. Let’s get out there, camp out on the sets of blockbuster hits, and let them know who’s really in charge here. Leonardo DiCaprio and Dakota Fanning don’t stand a chance. Maybe they’ll even play Frisbee with us.







Teen fashionista Aly Silverio takes on tees, tours, and those damn haters


WORDS MEGAN BERBERICH PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMY LYNN PHOTOGRAPHY Mindlessly flipping through gossip magazines, Aly Silverio is shocked. Emily Osment is wearing a tank top from Aly’s clothing line, Jawbreaking. “It’s really mind-blowing,” Aly says. “Big stuff like seeing Emily Osment wearing my clothing reminds me that I can do this.” In 2008, she started selling jewelry, but the line has expanded to include clothing.   “I’m kind of a freak,” says Aly, 19, of Cary, N.C. “When I was little, I used to watch these HGTV shows with crafter Carol Duvall.” Shows like these inspired Aly to experiment with polymer clay, which she now uses to create necklaces. But that’s not all she has in store.   Determined to expand her audience, Aly started creating T-shirts. “I would make mock-ups on crappy custom print shop websites, and they would just say ‘Jawbreaking’ in big, Impact letters,” Aly says. “They were really ugly.”   Last year, Aly and her mom sat down to design five shirts, and the Urban Outfitters-meets-H&M threads soon became a hit online at Now, Jawbreaking finds its main demographic in the music industry.   Jawbreaking wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of grassroots promotion through social media sites, where Aly finds most of her customers. In fact, Aly considers herself a pro at expanding her fan base. She makes a point to reply to everyone who contacts her online, believing it this keeps customers loyal to the brand. She knows many of her customers by name and recognizes the same mailing addresses. But she doesn’t only sell online.   Most of Aly’s sales are done on music tours, like Warped Tour. To attendees, the music festival may seem like constant camaraderie. But after traveling with Warped Tour for nine days last summer, Aly found out the hard way that the experience was far from her expectations.   “Warped wasn’t what I had expected, but it worked out better than I ever could’ve imagined,” Aly says. “We went into it thinking it would be so much fun and so easy. But things happen, and you don’t know what to

NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST This is one of my favorite quotes and became even more applicable to my life after Warped 2010. Basically, we had a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of people thought that we couldn’t do it. They thought that our touring was getting us nowhere. In the end, we proved the doubters wrong.

Jawbreaking creator anddesignerAlySilverio models one of her favorite shirts

do. Gas is so much more expensive than you think. Trailers break, vans break down, you get flat tires—we weren’t expecting any of that. There were so many mishaps, but it was still a good experience.”   For Aly, the best part of Warped Tour was meeting her idol: Pierre Bouvier from Simple Plan. Aly still remembers the night at the tour when Pierre came up to her and said, “Hey, look! I’m wearing my shirt!” Now Pierre can be spotted wearing Jawbreaking on stage and in magazines.   Aly’s advice for Warped Tourists and aspiring designers? Don’t listen to the haters.   “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something,” she says. “People will tell you that because they want you to fail. On Warped, people told us that we couldn’t do it. Even our friends told us we couldn’t do it.”   Negative comments only add fuel to Aly’s fire. “People still tell me I can’t do it, and I’m just proving them wrong every five seconds,” she says. “It’s hard, but you just have to keep going. People are going to hate what you do just because they can’t do it themselves.”   For now, Aly’s future is filled with new designs and collaborations. She’d also like to see Jawbreaking in stores. That’s not all she has planned, though. Aly will hit the road with Warped Tour again this summer to sell Jawbreaking merchandise. Aly’s persistence and motivation have molded the company into what she’s always wanted: a platform to create a product that others will enjoy.

ROCK’N’ ROLL GYPSY To make a long story short: Halfway through Warped Tour, we had some unexpected transportation issues in Charlotte, N.C.—we were van-and trailer-less and had no way to get to the Florida shows. Thankfully several of our friends helped us out so we could finish off the tour. Everyone called us gypsies because we wandered around from place to place. Hence, the name: “Rock N Roll Gypsy.” START LIVING, SUGAR SKULL I wanted to do a sugar skull design, so I drew a really generic one—but something was missing. So my mom and I started doodling like crazy, and we came up with the current design. It has a lot of little designs. One of my favorite bands is The Cab, and they have a song called “Angel With A Shotgun” with a line that says, “I want to live, not just survive.” I decided “start living” would be a good thing to put on the shirt.

A model dons four of Aly’s designs 30






Filmmaker Sean Williamson (far right) works out the technical details with two crew members

Pierrepont Hicks brings a new knot to your neck WORDS JESSICA ANDERSON PHOTOS COURTESY OF PIERREPONT HICKS Male neckwear is a hit or miss fashion statement. Just look at Don Draper—his dapper neckties scream sophistication. Then there’s Fred Flintstone, whose beat-up blue tie proves he has been living in a cave. Clearly, a good tie can make all the difference. That’s where Mac and Katherine McMillan, both 37, come in. This husband-and-wife duo from Minnesota launched Pierrepont Hicks in the fall of 2009 and have been providing the cravat-craving crowd with high-quality neckwear ever since.   In just two and a half years, this small start-up has experienced big success. Pierrepont Hicks ties have been featured on noted fashion blogs like Gilt MANual and Selectism, as well as graced the pages of major men’s style bibles such as GQ and Esquire. But success isn’t limited to media recognition—they’re seeing it in their sales, too. “I just sent a big order to a store in Ukraine and another order to a store in Moscow across from the Kremlin,” Mac says. “We constantly get inquiries every month from around the world. It’s pretty cool to know that what we create is being showcased in other cultures.”   For that, Mac and Katherine have social media to thank. Once they created a buzz, things all took off. “We wouldn’t be where we are now without the bloggers and Twitter,” Mac says. “They’re powerful marketing tools, and the best thing is they’re free. Our company is a classic case study on how a business can be built around social media.”   What makes Pierrepont Hicks’ success in the tie business even more unusual is how Mac and Katherine practically fell into it. The idea came while planning their wedding in Scotland. “We were searching for kilts and sport coats for our groomsmen and ties to go with them,” Katherine says. “It all fell into place.”   “We never thought that we would be doing this full time and that it would turn into what it has become,” Mac says. “We just started out small and really had no expectations. There was no business plan. We dove into the deep end, and it was suddenly off to the races.”   Launching Pierrepont Hicks was a big career change for the couple— especially for Mac, who previously worked in project management for construction and real estate. “I had 30 to 40 projects per year that I was in charge of,” Mac says. “I was responsible for the budget and schedule 32


and putting out all of the firestorms that arose throughout each project. Those experiences have really helped me deal with the logistics and dayto-day management of Pierrepont Hicks,” Mac says. “It’s really a perfect example of how each job you have in life—whether or not you realize it at that the time—only adds to your skills and makes you stronger.”   Today, Mac works as Pierrepont Hicks’ CFO, primarily overseeing the manufacturing, sales, finances, and logistics. He also designs the ties. Katherine, on the other hand, comes from an impressive background in publishing and fashion. Born and raised in New York, she has worked for media giants such as Condé Nast and ELLE, as well as major fashion labels like Ralph Lauren. From these jobs, she learned about the start-tofinish process of patternmaking, paying attention to detail, and working in a fast-paced environment: all skills she employs regularly at Pierrepont Hicks, where she oversees marketing, social media, and public relations.   “Being creative is a vehicle to relaxation for me,” Katherine says. “I find I am most happy when creating, so when the ties started selling and I had to make more, I was excited. I think it’s important for people to do what they love. It’s true that you find success when you do that because it doesn’t feel like work.”

Let’s go shopping Thanks to Pierrepont Hicks, there’s no longer any excuse for committing sartorial sacrilege. So toss the tacky clip-ons, and re-gift those novelty ties. Pierrepont Hicks products are available in boutiques across the country—including Twin Cities vendors martinpatrick3 and BlackBlue—and online at Neckties start at $82 and bowties at $62. If you enjoy dressing to the nines, get your credit card ready: Pocket squares and cummerbunds are coming soon.   Ladies, don’t feel left out. Pierrepont Hicks has just launched @mrsphicks, a new women’s footwear line. These menswear-inspired kicks are made-to-order and come with a lifetime guarantee. Any fix-ups will come free of charge. Styles currently range from moccasins to mid-boots to Chukkas.

HEAVY HANDS Sean Williamson takes on the film world with no budget

WORDS ERIKA OWEN PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEAN WILLIAMSON Not only is Sean Williamson making a movie, but he’s also creating it on a budget he doesn’t even have.   Ambiguous and mysterious, Heavy Hands follows anti-hero Jimmy Lee and his road to dealing with some sort of “careless and selfish act.” According to the press release, the story is set in a cold and dangerous climate and is funny, sad, and sexy, while being appropriate for a wide age group. The nondescript nature of the film is all part of the intrigue. And Sean wants it that way.   A Whitewater, Wisc., native and founder of the website World Wide Dirt—“a dumping ground for stories or reviews or just rants about the world,” Sean says—he’s been planning the creation of his film-in-theworks Heavy Hands for some time now. “I’ve been at it for about three years,” Sean says. “Like a lot of things I do, for better or worse, I kind of just decided to do it without really worrying if I knew how to do it or not.”   It all started with an impossible script and a friend’s interrogation. “I actually had written a long script that was really complicated and showed it to my friend,” he says. “He asked a lot of important questions about the story and if it was feasible to make or not—which it wasn’t. So I ended up taking just an idea out of that script and writing a new one.” And then he met Frankie Latina—a director with a fondness for Super 8mm film, just like Sean. “I figured if I just hung around, I could learn from him,” he says. “For the most part, this was true. I feel like I’ve come a long way. That said, I still make some hilarious mistakes—just less of them.”   It may have started out three years ago as a solo act, but Sean no longer has a cast count. “It’s pretty crazy how many people have worked on the film,” he says. “But when you’re shooting as you have the money—and aren’t able to pay anyone—your cast and crew changes drastically.” And he casted himself as the lead role for just this reason. “I could always count on myself being there,” Sean says.

An actor takes his spot on the scene of Heavy Hands

  So far, Sean has spent approximately $15,000 on the film. And the homestretch is in sight. This is where comes in. But Sean’s work isn’t over with just a few clicks and forms to fill out. “Kickstarter is a funny thing because you really have to get out there and work it to get people to donate,” he says. “Hell or high water, I’ll be screening the film in the fall.”   And all of you small-towners are in luck. “I’m going to be setting up screenings in small towns and unexpected places,” he says. “It’s a Midwestern film, and I want a lot of people to see it—especially people who may not be interested in independent films. That may be a romantic idea, but it’s one I’m gonna follow.”   Follow the making of Heavy Hands at




Citizen journalists risk their lives to save the news

WORDS Erika Owen


ar-shattering bursts of white noise crash through the air. Splinters fly. There’s a crowd of people, and only one young 20-something in jeans and a white V-neck is singled out. Shots spray. Dirtied white sneakers flash by. The targeted youth dips, then dodges vendors with their carts. He turns. Another person is only a step away. Disappearing, Danny Abdul Dayem slips into a dark staircase. He checks his weapon of choice: a video camera. It has been playing the entire time.   This is only one citizen journalist’s story. Danny, 22, is a Syrian citizen, but he doesn’t feel safe living in his birth country. Syria is a dangerous place. According to a New York Times blog post from December 2011, a Syrian journalist who dared to use her real information on her blog and social media profiles was arrested in Jordan. No questions asked. Syrian citizens have run into a wall when trying to bring their concerns to a public forum. Protesters have ended up bleeding out in the middle of the street with their voice boxes cut out—just because a song they created had “revolutionary meaning.”   These are songs that will never be heard by the rest of the world. Why? Because the government has locked everyone out in fear of the recent citizen upheaval and the change it could bring. This leaves people like Danny and his weapon of choice the only way to get the news out.   Forty years ago, soldiers in Vietnam caught some of the most gruesome acts of their generation on video cameras. In 2009, someone captured the shooting of an Iranian girl on a cell phone. Last spring, Facebook teams were seen running from Tahrir Square during riots. The news has become embedded. And sometimes it doesn’t even get the attention necessary to deem it news. Florida native Trayvon Martin knew this all too well. One minute he was a 17-year-old boy taking a break from an NBA game on television to run to the gas station to grab some midgame snacks. The next moment, he’s been shot and killed by a white Neighborhood Watch captain pleading self defense. Don’t be surprised that you didn’t hear about something as clearly newsworthy as this—the only reason the media picked up on this situation was because of an uproar in tweets posted by celebrities, family members, friends, and a slew angry citizens.   Citizen journalists are popping up in bylines worldwide, and they’re becoming more valuable than the people paid to be reporters. It only takes a camera and being in the right place at the right time to be the firsthand—and sometimes only—witness to a breaking news story.   Social media sites are becoming the norm when it comes to citizen reporting. Revolutions have been based on tweets and Facebook campaigns have helped causes like The Invisible Children’s attempt at making Joseph Kony famous with their “Stop Kony” project. While



Syrians have utilized social media sites countrywide—and the country is still only beginning to step into the world of technological injustices— it’s the idea of uploading video footage of the regime abusing protestors and cameramen that’s spurring an international conversation. The First Amendment is in danger. And what’s even more dangerous is that no one will ever get to witness the footage. In Syria’s case, the mix of social media use and the integral role of video footage has made the country a case study for mixing the old with the new. And it has enabled an explosive reaction. Videos of riots and citizens being beaten by uniformed regime officials and left to bleed in the streets have gone viral. For once, it seems like the people are using technologies unknown to the government to fight their battle. And the regime will do anything to take dissenters down. An example? On April 21, 2011, the Syrian government enacted “emergency law” for 48 hours, which actively took away all citizens’ constitutional rights. Enter: Control issues. Tell me that isn’t something out of 1984.

PASS IT ON   Videos from citizens have been the most successful—and dangerous— way to get information outside of their country’s borders. Young citizens have been taking initiative against regimes and sharing their secret footage with the world. In Syria, they transport this information by means of an undercover transportation system, the video footage is put on a flash drive and then sent with transporters on a plane and safely out of the country. In one instance, Danny describes the airport security removing the flash drive from his belongings and demanding to know what it was. After assuring them that it was just a Japanese-made car door opener, the security guards laughed and let him through. Lucky for Danny, the technology intelligence is still low in Syria—just having the flash drive was enough to have him killed on the spot.   In places like the United States, sharing footage or a message is as easy as posting it within a Facebook status.   Danny also uploads his video footage using a Facebook proxy from within the country and posting it onto a page named Shaam News. This is the most common way information is shared from within Syria’s borders. Online transportation is becoming more difficult to accomplish with government threats to shut down the Internet. “We used a device called thraya ip,” Danny says. “It connects straight to a satellite, and in the past has been completely untraceable. The government is catching on, so I’m looking for a new tool.”   A friend of Danny’s, Issam Atassi, 54, is a self-proclaimed nationalist. Home to him is Homs, Syria, and the distance is the least of his worries.   But Issam is optimistic that he’ll be able to visit his hometown



sans fear of the government. “It will end soon,” he says. “Several factors can contribute to the downfall of the Syrian government: continued protests, international pressure, economical sanctions, international recognition of the Syrian National Council, and a Free Syrian Army campaign against forces loyal to the government. These should all speed up the downfall of the Syrian government.” Danny thinks the fall will come from outside forces. “The world can’t ignore this forever,” he says. “If this goes on for years, we are bound to gain allies in our efforts.”

Burma’s borders. One blog,, posted local photos of protests and monk involvement in a 2007 rebellion that ended poorly, leaving the involved monks humiliated and naked after an act the government calls disrobing. You can fill in the blanks.   But it looks like the times of disrobing and media oppression have passed. Burma has opened its borders to visitors and freely accepts mass media. This country is one example of a battle won by the citizen journalists.



Syria isn’t the only government with control issues—Burmese citizens were under the same kind of oppression. But Burma has found its happy ending. Previously, the country was recognized under “Attacks on Exile-Run Sites” in an article titled “The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors” from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). An exile-run site is a news site that covers the news from citizens and/or exiles of the country. According to the article, “Exile-run news sites depend on undercover, in-country journalists, who surreptitiously file their reports.” Journalists like Danny. It takes citizen journalists to take countries out of classifications like Burma’s previous title with the CPJ.   You may wonder, why the oppression? Where is all of this rebellion stemming from? Ian Holliday, a professor at the University of Hong Kong and well-informed advocate on the Burmese situation, has an idea. “Above all, it’s the technological change,” he says. Ian also notes that donor-supported training and training from the Thai-Burma border has pushed the initiative on.   As of December 2010, five Burmese journalists were serving lengthy prison terms due to their involvement in underground journalism. Personal blogs have been another way citizens get their voices beyond

Keeping these journalists safe isn’t easy. Petitions and fundraisers aren’t cutting it anymore—these risk takers need people to back them to an extent that we’ve never seen in the news before. Organizations such as Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists bring some sense of security to journalists worldwide fighting to keep the news alive.   Reporters Without Borders has four focuses: defend journalists imprisoned and persecuted for doing their jobs, fight censorship and laws that undermine of the freedom of press, provide financial aid to journalists in need and to the families of imprisoned journalists, and work to defend the protection of journalists. The process isn’t simple. Before taking action, RWB compiles information on the case and sends a letter to the government where the journalist is imprisoned as a pressure tactic. When these letters aren’t enough, RWB will send a small group on a “fact-finding” mission to experience the true working conditions of the imprisoned journalist and meet with officials. Generally, the trips result in raising in-country awareness to citizen rights—or a lack thereof.   “Don’t wait to be deprived of news to stand up and fight for it,” states the RWB website. The organization also sponsors various press freedom events throughout the year including World Day Against

Cyber-Censorship, World Press Freedom Day, and the Reporters Without Borders Prize.

ANONYMOUS HEROS Danny feels that what he does isn’t a heroic action. “It’s just guys and girls videotaping the Syrian forces shooting and killing innocent people,” Danny explains. Such a humble view when some young adults of his same age only think of social media and video sharing as something to pass the time. Taking on this assignment isn’t a solo act. “Anyone against the government is a traitor and will be killed,” he says. “If they didn’t find the person responsible for the illegal information, they’ll get his or her family—that’s why I talked my family into leaving Syria, and that’s why no one else talks. They’re scared for their families in Syria.” The penalty for being caught with illegal video footage? “We’ll be killed on site or tortured until death,” Danny says. “There is no second chance.” Even carrying a camera around is an excuse for government affiliates to take open fire.   With such a strong government reaction to citizens gathering video news to share, it’s hard to imagine where the motivation comes from. “There are criminals out there who are killing children and raping women,” Danny says. “I’ll get shot at again and again for a chance to stop all of this.” Since then, Danny has been to Syria and back to the U.S.— and a sore news subject, as well. Recently, Danny has been accused by the blogosphere of directing his footage—resulting in falsified videos. A fake Twitter account that attempted to sully Danny’s name was suspended. Nothing against Danny has been confirmed, and his spirit to catch the gruesome acts in Syria has not faltered.   “All of my friends are working for an honorable thing: freedom,” Danny says. And citizen journalists would agree: That’s worth putting their lives on the line.

Journalists you’ve never heard of Illustrations ISAAC KITTLESON

Kenji Nagai

•Cameraman for Tokyo-based APF News; Rangoon, Burma •Killed September 27, 2007 •Murderedforfilmingapublicdemonstration in Rangoon, Burma. He was shot at point-blankrangeaccordingtofootageof the murder •TheBurmeseauthoritiesclaimedhisdeath was due to a “stray shot.” •Tenotherpeoplewerekilledinthisspecific demonstration

Wael Mikhael •Cameraman for Al-Tareeq; Cairo, Egypt •Killed: October 9, 2011 •Murdered for videotaping dispute between the military and Coptic Christian demonstrators •Shotinthehead,andalthoughthesource oftheshotwasnotfound,themilitarywas takingopenfireonprotestorsandjournalists alike Ferzat Jarban

•Freelance Journalist, Al-Qasir, Syria •Killed November 19 or 20, 2011 •Arrestedfor:filminganantigovernment demonstration •Found: Dead and in the middle of a main road in Al-Qasir the next day •Hisbodywasmutilated,andhiseyeswere gouged out •First journalist killed in connection to his work *Information courtesy of





NEW KIDS IN TOWN Introducing the startups of Silicon Prairie



atch your back, Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs in America’s Heartland —or as some have dubbed it, Silicon Prairie — are cranking out startup successes that have snatched attention on a national scale. Everyone from Forbes to The New York Times to Businessweek have been dishing out praise to Midwest businesses. Despite the newfound buzz, Midwestern entrepreneurs aren’t new faces in the startup world, says Tej Dhawan, principal at Startup City Des Moines, an organization that provides resources and mentoring for budding technology-based businesses. Great Plains innovators—including John Deere and the Iowa State University professor and brainy grad student who gave us the computer—have been dabbling in startups since the mid-1800s.   “With attention to technology-based businesses focused on the coasts, Midwesterners have quietly built successful companies with a global reach,” Tej says. He points to the Midwest’s agricultural heritage, dependency on post-investment returns, and uncontrollable elements like weather as breeding a love for the risky startup venture.   Tej rules that social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook have allowed startups—and their fans—to spread the word further and more quickly than ever before and have contributed to the increased attention that startups are receiving.   In the past year, over 100 startups have launched in the Des Moines area. Tej believes that number will only continue to grow.



It all began with a baby. An infant named Charlie, to be exact. Mike and Jenny Ferrari realized soon after their newborn’s birth that he eventually would be attending college—and college is expensive. The couple needed to start saving. ASAP.   “The concept of saving up before you buy something is certainly not new, but no one seems to do it,” Mike says. “If I wanted something I would pay for it with a credit card and then spend the next four or five months paying it off.”   Mike searched for a site that would help him save for his son’s education but came up empty-handed. That’s when the idea for SmartyPig. com—a technology-based savings service—was born. Mike quit his job at an ad agency, and along with his business partner, Jon Gaskell, founded the company in 2007.   SmartyPig is directly tied to users’ bank accounts, allowing users to decide how much and how often money is transferred into their accounts at Besides assisting with goal-saving, SmartyPig also has a highly competitive interest rate. Account savings under $50,000 have an annual percentage yield of .70 percent compared with the national average APY coming in at a measly .04 percent.   SmartyPig users have saved over $2 billion so far, with the average goal amount just under $5,000. Some save for big goals like vacations, while others opt for smaller ones like a new iPad. Whatever their goals, 70 to 80 percent of SmartyPig users are successful. And after meeting one goal, most users start another. Some of this success may be due to SmartyPig’s social sharing tool, which allows users to post goals and deposits on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.   “When you share a SmartyPig tweet or post, your friends will see it,” Mike says. “It’s a neat way to hold yourself accountable and share your aspirations.”   Up next for SmartyPig is Goal Saver, a service allowing banks to integrate SmartyPig’s goal-saving software into their branded savings accounts. Goal Saver goes live in June.

When you hire a service, you expect the job to be done right. But that wasn’t the case for Des Moines-based band The Nadas. At one particular event, their ticket provider posted inaccurate information on the ticket site—despite the correct information being widely available online. And there was no way to fix the problem.   Emma Peterson, then part of the band’s promotion team, decided there was an unfulfilled need in the ticketing industry. So in April 2011, at 21 years old, she founded her own ticketing business, Tikly.   “Do good; be good. That’s our goal,” Emma says. “I think that’s something the ticketing industry has lost sight of. Although you are holding the keys to an event, they’re not your tickets. They’re the artist’s tickets, the event organizer’s tickets.”, with its built-from-scratch software, gives event planners and performers an online platform to sell tickets—along with merchandise like T-shirts and posters—without having to go through a potentially out-oftouch third party provider.   Anyone can use Tikly’s services at, whether you need tickets for your band’s performance or a high school reunion. There’s no set-up fee for users: Attendees of an event just pay a small fee when they purchase their tickets. If the ticket is under $10, a fee of $1 is added to the total cost. For any price over $10, a 10 percent fee on the total price will be added, up to $7.50.   In the near future, Tikly will introduce additional features, including the ability to purchase tickets through Facebook, a mobile app, and more ways for bands to engage with their fans.   Emma’s strategy? “You need to find your super fans—they want to be your promoters. Tikly will give you the tools to empower them.”







A startup begins with an idea

Once the idea is an established business, it begins to create revenue within 12 months. No revenue is made in the first few months. More money is spent than earned or saved to establish a startup. Paying completely for the early development of a startup with no investor aid is called “bootstrapping.”

$ $




The profits start rolling in after the one-year mark and continue through the business’s lifespan.

The profitable startup leaves its home base and expands nationally (and sometimes internationally) after a couple of years.



Up-andComers ELEMENT BARS The founders of Element Bars—customizable nutrition treats—want to make nutrition personal again. Customers can go to and select an oaty, chewy, datey, or crispy core for their bar, and add in a variety of other all-natural ingredients. As you make your ingredient selections, a Nutrition Facts sidebar adjusts to show you the nutritional makeup of your bar so you know exactly what you’re eating. The bars retail for $2.99 each and you can purchase them at

THE AVERAGE STARTUP ENTREPRENEUR The average entrepreneur has a bachelor’s or equivalent.

The soon-tobe entrpreneur has recognized problems—and potential solutions—in the workforce from experience. He/she has an idea and has begun to formulate a business plan.

VolunteerLocal The Des Moines startup brings simplicity to volunteering via its easy-to-use features for organizing, scheduling, and communicating. Organizers can control what information they collect from volunteers—any question can be added to the customizable signup form—and can easily process the collected data through reports and spreadsheets. VolunteerLocal is also hassle-free for volunteers, and registration is kept to one webpage, and no account or password is required to sign-up. The VolunteerLocal software is great for volunteer groups ranging from a dozen members to thousands. Check it out at

Eggcrates Ordinary bookshelves are so out. Eggcrates offer a stackable, versatile, and sleek storage solution. Perfect for coffee mug-holding next to your couch or stacked to form an aesthetically pleasing dividing wall, these neutral-colored units will add a touch of class to any room. The crates are eco-friendly, too, containing 100 percent recycled or recovered fiber content. You can buy a single crate for $35, or scoop up several by opting for one of Eggcrates’ sets, which come in three ($100), nine ($275), or 12 ($350) crates. Grab your crates at

A startup puts lots of bootstrappin’ entrepreneurs in a lifetime of debt. Few are lucky and receive aid from an angel investor— someone who donates money to the business idea.

Entrepreneurs have a love for all things technology and an understanding of their target market from personal experience, work history, or education.

Age doesn’t matter in the startup community. An entrepreneur can be a graduate fresh out of college or a previous business owner ready to enter their second career.

Ben Milne is no stranger to startups. He began his first company, a manufacturing design business, working out of his dorm room when he was 18. Entrepreneurship can be risky, but for Ben it’s a way of life.   “I personally think working in a cube for a company that doesn’t know my name or looks at me as a line item on their profit and loss statement is a much bigger risk than working on something you love—something that could change the world,” Ben says.   Changing the world of payment became his goal after number crunching revealed some staggering statistics. Taking credit and debit cards was costing his business about $55,000 a year in fees.   “We discovered it was costing other U.S. merchants upwards of $48 billion a year,” he says. “Needless to say we stumbled into a pretty big market—the opportunity to solve the problem is enormous.”   Ben decided to create a payment system that operated with the same speed and convenience as a credit card but bypassed traditional fee networks and boosted security. He christened it Dwolla.   Since Dwolla transfers money from your bank or credit union into its payment system, no sensitive financial information is released to merchants when users pay with Dwolla, unlike credit cards. Businesses are only charged 25 cents per customer transaction for purchases over $10 and face no contracts or registration fees.   Signing up at is easy. Just plug your contact info into the online registration form, and link your social media and bank accounts to Dwolla. Fund are easily transferrable, allowing you to pull money into Dwolla for spending and move any payments you receive via Dwolla back into your bank account.   With its mobile app, Dwolla users can turn their smartphone into a mobile ATM—whenever and wherever they want. Just launch the Dwolla app when you’re at the checkout counter, tap the name of the business, and enter the amount of the item. Then, money is sent from your Dwolla account to the business’s account in real time. You can also exchange money with individuals via social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or email—even if the person is not a Dwolla user. Dwolla’s convenient statements and payment trackers allow you to see who you’ve paid—or who has paid you—to keep you organized financially.   Dwolla currently has around 85,000 account holders and plans to increase that number. Even Ashton Kutcher has jumped on the band wagon.   “In a world where trillions of dollars are in circulation, we believe our platform could be as relevant as Visa is today,” Ben says.

Corporations can be suffocating, often involving the dreaded cubicle and invoking I’m-just-a-number syndrome. This was the situation for Cole Harper. And he couldn’t take it anymore.   “I did detailed financial analysis for one of the largest hedge funds in the U.S.,” Cole says. “But honestly, working in a cubicle was soul crushing. I had all this energy, all these ideas—and no way to bring them to life in the corporate space.”   So he left. In December 2010, Cole and his business partner, Marc Doering, put an idea Cole had been sitting on for five years into action. He wanted to give the world a technology service that would allow users to check out the scene at their local watering hole before they arrived. He named it SceneTap. is a people counter and a facial detection device. Located above a venue’s doorway, the counter runs on a simple “plus one, minus one” system, counting people as they enter and leave the establishment. The facial detection device analyzes a venue goer’s image to determine gender and age. Those with the SceneTap smartphone app can then get up-to-date stats on how many people are at a bar, the male-to-female ratio, and the average age represented.   “The detection device is just trying to figure out from your image what you look like, not that, say, this is Cole Harper that walked in the door,” Cole says. “It’s anonymous, and there is no recording.”   In addition to giving users the lowdown on local hotspots, SceneTap also provides venues with vital business information. Among other things, venue owners can evaluate SceneTap’s data to see whether marketing efforts have been successful and to get a better idea of their customer demographics.   SceneTap can currently be found in establishments such as nightclubs, karaoke bars, restaurants, and sports bars. Cole says the company is continually working to expand its geographic distribution and market.   And Cole is spreading the technology.“We’re just trying to reach as many markets as we can, as quickly as we can so everyone can enjoy SceneTap.”






How gay conservatives are shaking up the Republican Party WORDS JEFF NELSON


f you let him, Kevin Zabel will talk your ear off—especially when it comes to Republican politics. A self-proclaimed “commonsense conservative,” he advocates for small government, a free market, and low taxes. He doesn’t support abortion. He’s rooting for the repeal of Obamacare, and he’s hoping the current president is ousted come November.   But there’s one progressive value he’s gung-ho on: gay rights—because this conservative is queer. And he’s not alone. For years, they’ve been dismissed as contradictory and even traitorous. But the “coming out” of gay conservatives is making waves in Washington, in the GOP, and across the country.




POLITICS (NOT) AS USUAL “Coming out gay to my family is still a work in progress because they’re extremely conservative,” says Kevin, 21, who grew up in a traditional Catholic home in the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Lake. Raised a Republican, he studied political science at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. “When I first went to college, I really started evaluating my life and finding who I was.”   His coming out beckoned mixed reactions. “A lot of people found me to be a living oxymoron.   “My friends that aren’t active in the political arena never really saw that conflict of being gay and being conservative,” Kevin says. “Whereas, my more liberal friends—especially colleagues in the political science department—had a problem with it.”   It’s understandable. For years, establishment Republican politicians and family-values conservatives have typically stood firm on an anti-gay platform. Many are proponents of preserving “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman. However, Kevin—like many gay conservatives—takes into account more than just civil rights. “Of course I love a candidate that supports equal rights, but at the same time, you have to look at the big picture,” he says. “We have high unemployment, there’s the national deficit, our economy’s tanking, and just look at our stock market.”   Kevin thinks that a conservative approach is key to fixing these problems. He touts that he’ll side with the right on all fiscal issues. “I believe in small government, and I want to let the private sector grow and create jobs,” he says.

GAY, OUT, AND PROUD? Gay conservatives aren’t new. But in the last 30 years or so, they’ve acquired more media attention. Multiple websites, blogs, and even a few national organizations have formed to advocate for the conservative agenda and to advance gay rights. One such organization is the Log Cabin Republicans. Started in California as a grassroots movement during the 1970s, the Log Cabin Republicans back the GOP and promote equality for the LGBT community. Since its creation, the group has spread nationwide, with an office in Washington, D.C., plus state chapters and federal and state political action committees. Its mission is simple: to shape a more inclusive party.   Jimmy LaSalvia is a self-identified “homocon” (insider lingo for a “homosexual conservative”) and Cold War era military brat and grew up in a politically active family. After college, he gave up politics for a couple years to pursue other efforts. By 2004, though, after the federal marriage amendment and state constitutional amendments made headlines, he got back in the game. “The rhetoric and the way that campaign was run was, to me, the antithesis of conservative,” says Jimmy, 42. “I was mad that people who I agreed with on so many things would use gay marriage as a wedge in a way that was hurtful. They were advocating for a policy that’s not conservative.” So in 2006, he joined the Log Cabin Republicans’ national staff.   After leaving the group in 2009, he and former Log Cabin Republicans national political director Chris Barron founded GOProud, another group that aims to represent gay conservatives and their allies. It has garnered national attention and gotten gay conservatives off the backburner, giving the movement a fresh face.   “We started GOProud to represent gay conservatives on every single issue and to not just take the traditional gay agenda as defined by the left and slap a Republican sticker on it,” says Jimmy, who is now executive director at GOProud. “We talk about why conservative policies are good for all Americans—including gay Americans.”   Those policies run the gamut, so it’s difficult to label GOProud’s approach to conservatism. “We’re as diverse as the conservative movement in general,” he says. “We have social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians—and everything in between.”   Kevin, who interned at GOProud last year, has noticed the same diversity—from approaches on abortion to foreign policy. “Gay or straight, no two Republicans are ever going to agree on every issue,” he says. “That’s just reality.” 46


WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER...WE’RE REPUBLICAN CNN exit polls from the 2010 House race report that 31 percent of gay and lesbian votes backed Republicans, a 12 percent jump from the previous election. Jimmy has a theory for the jump: Obama waffling on gay marriage, his Justice Department’s measured rebuff of the Defense of Marriage Act, and his slow movement on repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Jimmy thinks this boost in GOP support likely stems from the same thing that have others swinging conservative: dissatisfaction with Democratic leaders over handling the economy and foreign policy.   “More gays are coming out as conservative because they’re realizing they support conservative policies,” he says. “It just took having liberals in charge for them to realize it. I’ve heard several times, ‘I voted Democrat because I supported the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ repeal, but I didn’t realize all the other crap I was getting with it.’”   Kevin also sees a correlation between liberal leaders and the gay right. “A lot of gay liberals give gay conservatives flak for being the party of the anti-gay,” he says, “but they hate to admit that it was Bill Clinton, a Democratic president, that passed ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ It was a Democratic president that signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law.”   The recent upsurge in gay conservatives could also be a change in generational ideologies. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center poll, 58 percent of Americans agree “homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society.” The more people who are openly gay may equal more support for the homosexual community.   “More and more people are living their lives honestly,” Jimmy says. “You have gay people in your family and in your community. It used to be that the only gay people you’d see would be on TV at the San Francisco Pride Parade every year. That’s not the case anymore. More people are thinking about how public policy affects gay people because they’re their friends and family—it starts to personalize the issues.”

EVERY GAY I’M STRUGGLIN’ It’s more than friends and family backing the gay conservative movement, though. Reigning conservative pundit queen Ann Coulter has voiced support for GOProud and hosted an event in 2010, tax reform lobbyist Grover Norquist joined GOProud’s advisory board, and even real estate titan Donald Trump has expressed respect for the group.

  GOProud had a popular booth at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference, where its message of acceptance resonated with the younger crowd—including the College Republicans.   Julie Collier, a senior at the University of Minnesota and chairwoman of its College Republicans chapter, says that although support for GOProud and gay conservatives has not reached a general consensus, many agree it’s a pressing issue.   “We’re the generation of conservatives who are starting to have a more open idea toward the gay community and politics,” she says. “I think the younger conservatives feel the Republican Party should stand for limited government—not only fiscally but also socially.”   Not everyone is as accepting, though—on either side of the aisle. After several traditional values organizations pulled out of CPAC because of GOProud’s involvement, the organization behind the convention, the American Conservative Union, disinvited the gay group. Many Christian and family-values-concerned organizations—such as the Heritage Center, the Family Research Center, and Concerned Women for America—have attacked GOProud, stating it goes against the customary social conservative ethics. (Representatives from those organizations would not return calls to comment.)   GOProud has received similar resistance from the left, which claims gay conservatives are self-deprecating for supporting a party that refuses them equal rights. Timothy Patrick McCarthy is the director of the Sexuality, Gender and Human Rights Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass. A recently married gay man, Timothy, 40, stands with the left.   “I really can’t understand gay conservatives,” he says. “Given our twoparty system, conservatives would need to align themselves with a Republican Party, which has consistently aligned itself against these interests in a way I find incomprehensible.”   However, Timothy is still respectful in his disagreement. He believes the work groups like GOProud do is reputable, even if it doesn’t parallel with his own convictions. “I give them a lot of credit,” he says. “They are engaging in a Sisyphean act, to get a party that hates LGBT folks to tolerate LGBT folks. I admire their tenacity—and the idea that infiltrating a party based on exclusion and discrimination—if indeed it stems from a place of genuine integration.”   But not all gays on the left are so accepting. “We get most of our hate mail and ugly voicemails from gay liberals who call us traitors,” Jimmy says. “The intolerance of the gay left is simply amazing—it’s certainly easier to be gay among conservatives than to be conservative among gay liberals.”   Kevin has experienced similar situations—gays who can’t come to terms with one of their own joining a stereotypically homophobic party. “I’ve encountered gays who are like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re conservative. How dare you? You’re a horrible gay,’” he says. “I just distance myself from it.”   But something Kevin can’t—and doesn’t want to—distance himself from is his family. Their attitude on his sexuality has been difficult. “With my family, I can’t do that,” he says. “Being gay is who I am, being conservative is who I am, and my family is part of who I am. So it was probably easier coming out to the gay community.”

A LESS CLOSETED FUTURE Despite the struggles, Kevin, Jimmy, and other conservatives—gay and straight—are hopeful change in the GOP is on the horizon.   “We’ve seen a huge shift,” Kevin says. “Young Republicans are becoming more politically involved and bringing their own ideologies into the party. We’re getting to that point where the current establishment is going to either die out or leave the party. The path ahead for young Republicans is: Are we going to sit on the sidelines, or are we going to get involved in the Republican party and really grab the bull by the horns?”


Three homocons who have left their mark in Washington Fred Karger

2012 Presidential Hopeful, 62 After nearly 35 years in politics (he has worked under Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush senior), California resident Fred announced in March he would be running as the first openly gay Republican presidential hopeful.   A self-identified Independent Republican, he considers himself progressive: He has admitted to voting both left and right and is in favor of traditional conservative ideals— small government, entrepreneurship—but also supports gay rights and abortion. Fred is an underdog, though, and his chances of winning an election are slim at best. He has been excluded from all major public Republican debates and has all but fallen off the radar since announcing his aspirations for office.

Ken Mehlman

Former Republican National Committee chairman, 45 As campaign manager, Ken played a key role in George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection. In 2005, he moved on to be a high-roller in the conservative movement, acting as chairman of the RNC for two years.   Ken came out in 2010, after years of working with the Republican Party. He’s been hailed as one of “the most prominent Republican official[s] to come out” by The New York Times. However, he has received flak for his close work with the typically anti-gay party. He is now out of the political spotlight but is advocating for same-sex marriage and played a key part in passing marriage equality in New York.

Tim Miller

National Press Secretary—Jon Huntsman for President, 30 He’s been quoted by CBS, NBC and Esquire, to name a few. But before working for the former Republican presidential hopeful, Tim’s previous political employment includes communications for John McCain in 2006. However, he was still in the closet until leaving the campaign the next year.




DIY Magazine Projects

piggy bank collage YOU’LL NEED...

Finally something to do with those old issues


porcelain piggy bank, magazine, scissors, Mod Podge, foam paintbrush

Flipthroughyourfavoritemagazine,andcutoutthingsyoulike. Youcanfocusonsomethingyou’resavingfor(thelatestiPhoneor thatnewdesignerwatch),orpickrandomitemsyoulovetolook at(likespringshoesandpurses).Ifoundsmallercut-outs(oneto two inches) worked best.

TIP Read all the steps before you start a project.

- Kirsten

TIP When I’m about to embark on a new project, I talk about it with my friends and they always have ideas I never would have thought of. - Colleen


magazine frame

1 2 3 4 48

Carefullytearoutmagazinepagesyouwanttouse,andtrynotto ripmuchoftheedge.Beginrollingthepageinwardatthebottom left corner. Use your fingers, and roll it on a flat surface to keep the page tight.

Letyourframedryforatleast30minutesbeforeinsertingaphoto or hanging it up.


- Colleen

YOU’LL NEED... Plain photo frame, magazine, tape, Mod Podge , foam paintbrush


When you get to the opposite corner, put a strip of clear tape aroundittoholdthepagetogether.Make25to30ofthese.You canusepagesofonecolororavariety,dependingonhowyou want your frame to look.

Measure and cut the magazine rods one at a time to fit the frame. Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over one section of the frame, and then put on the rods for that side. Continue this process around the three other sides.

Use the Internet as a resource, both for generating ideas and for figuring out how to complete a project. Looking online for people who have done it before and have posted about what works and what doesn’t save you time.



The ladies of Startononesideofthepiggybank.SpreadalayerofModPodge acrossthesurface,thenpressonacut-out,andpaintModPodge over it.

TIP Have patience with your projects. Sometimes the hardest thing about DIY projects is figuring out exactly how to do something. Once you find a method, your project usually goes more smoothly.

- Colleen

3 4

Aroundtheearsornose,youmayneedtocutsmallslitsinacutoutsothatitlaysflatonthepiggybank.Asyoukeepgoing,you may need to use more Mod Podge to hold everything down.

Keepgluinguntilyourpiggybankisascoveredasyouwantitto be. Let it dry forat least30minutesbeforeyou startfeeding in those coins.



In cramped studios and apartments, there isn’t much room to keep your small fortune of coffee table books, let alone a subscription’s worth of your favorite magazines. We find tossing out perfectly good glossies akin to committing a crime. So DrakeMag found and tested out a few ways to repurpose your magazine collection and add some décor to your space in the process.

If you’re not sure how a certain idea will turn out do a practice run. For instance, if you’d like to reconstruct a shirt, try it out on an old one you don’t care about or a cheap one from a thrift store

- Kirsten

Kirsten Nunez Long-time crafter Kirsten started Studs and Pearls to prove that making is almost always better than buying. “One of my favorite projects is the studded trench coat,” she says. “It looks like the $800 Burberry one, but the whole thing only cost me around $40.” Kirsten keeps her hobby separate from her career. “I went to college for nutrition, which was in the same building as the fashion classes,” she says. “I would see all the fashion students and be across the hall learning about vitamins.” Kirsten is now finishing grad school for nutrition and writes for various fashion and DIY websites.

Colleen Reilly On Thursday nights, Colleen Reilly and her girlfriends would get together and do dinner. Dinner turned into dinner and crafts and then the whole tradition turned into a blog—thursdaynightdinner. org, which Colleen started with one of those girls, Stephania. “I really started crafting on my own when I was in college,” she says. Colleen finds a lot of inspiration online. “Once you go to one of those websites like Martha Stewart or it spirals, and you end up 13 websites from where you started, and you find something really cool.”



bit of lit

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BIT OF LIT Go the F**k to Sleep WORDS OLIVIA YOUNG PHOTO KATIE VECITIS Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach is a tale we’ve heard time and again: It’s a treasured story of noble parenthood, adorable toddlers, and a dirty-mouthed father who can’t get his damn kid to sleep.   Complemented by Ricardo Cortes’ whimsical illustrations, the story follows a loving parent in his quest to put his baby to bed. Told in lyrical rhyme, the children’s book—for mature audiences only—has something for everyone. Snoozing foxes, serene seascapes, and smiling children bring the words on the page to life. It’s as if we too can feel the father’s raw, sleep-deprived desperation as he wheedles his beloved child into a few hours’ repose.   In a soothing tone, the severely in-need-of-sleep parent says: “The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest, And the creatures who crawl, run, and creep. I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying. Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep.”

WHO THE F*** IS THIS BOOK FOR? For those who are sick of reading Goodnight Moon for the millionth time, Go the F**k to Sleep isn’t just a sweet bedtime story. The practical book deserves a spot on your coffee table. It’s a literary treasure that will become an instant classic. Lay it in a prominent place in your living room 50


scan & like among your stacks of music anthologies and Swedish furniture catalogs.   You don’t need to be responsible for any child to fully appreciate the magic of this work. You know those nights when your boyfriend won’t let you go to bed after a long day? Just pick up Go the F**k to Sleep. Read it in your most passive-aggressive tone, change a pronoun, and add an expletive or two, and he’ll get the hint. For the most effective results, try this passage:

“The flowers doze low in the meadows, And high on the mountains so steep. My life is [exhausting], [you’re] a shitty-ass [boyfriend]. Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep.”

  Not only does Go the F**k to Sleep provide an ideal mode of communication for couples who aren’t so good at expressing themselves, but it will also be a hit at parties. When your soiree starts to resemble more of a high school dance than a rave, simply grab this book, and read it in your most sardonic voice. Even better? Get the audio book to have Samuel L. Jackson entertain your audience. You’ll have everyone laughing—and praising the Lord that they don’t have kids yet—in no time.


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