Feb 2014: Loa’a Kou Mokupuni A Sola (Find Your Island at Sola)

According to various unofficial internet polls, research indicates that February consistently ranks among the least favorite of all months.

This status seems a little unfair to me as it is the shortest month of the year, which is why this issue of sola’s newsletter is going to be a defense of February. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out why this particular month gets so many thumbs down. For many people, it is difficult to see it as anything other than the seventh inning stretch of winter, the last leg of a miserably, gray, and cold time of the year. This is why I would like to take some time to remind everyone what this month is really all about, and hopefully add a little bit of color to everyone’s outlook of 2014.

One of my favorite traditions to look forward too in February has always been Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. For many of us this day represents the last hurrah of winter bingeing that takes place right before a long period of physical and spiritual cleansing. The name ‘February’ was taken from Februa, which was a purification festival occurring between the 13th-15th. for 2014, Mardi Gras will take place on March 4th instead of Mid-February as it changes per year. For those who partake in this tradition, this just means that we are allowed a few more weeks to indulge before the big bang at the close of winter.

The winter Olympics has just kicked off and our very own Chicago native Shani Davis (whose illustrious career as a speed skater is filled with all kinds of firsts) will be looking to make history by being the first US male winter olympian to win three consecutive gold medals in the same event. We’ve got a host of talent representing Chicago including Patrick Kane (of course), Emery Lehman (also competing in speed skating), Jesse Beckom III and Aja Evans (bobsledding team members, male and female respectively, and completely awesome by the way). With such a strong turnout of Olympians from the midwest, this just goes to show that our unforgiving winters do in fact yield significant returns.

We’ve got a lot of great stuff going on this month in Chicago. First, the Pixies are going to be in town at the beginning of the month, which is awesome. Paul Simon & Sting are going to be here at the end of the month, which is even more awesome. And some dude named Wayne Brady is going to be at the Chicago Theater. The 2014 Chicago Auto show will be invading the McCormick Place at around the same time that the progressive international motorcycle show invades Rosemont. So if you like machines with wheels chances are you enjoy one of these two events. There are plenty of things to do this month, so why let the weather stop you from feeling alive.

When you take the weather out of the picture February is actually kind of a special month. It is celebrated as Black History month, LGBT pride month, The Super Bowl was on the first weekend, there’s Presidents day, and of course, Valentine’s day. Some say Valentine’s day was invented by ‘Big Chocolate’ and the evil greeting card corporations to promote and sell their products. They say that together they conceived and designed the ‘heart’ industrial-complex, redesigned the iconography of the anatomical heart to be more marketable, and used the chemical substances found in chocolate to induce feelings of euphoria. And in doing do, they instituted the greatest marketing scheme ever.