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There was a buzz around Irving Plaza last Sunday night and for a couple of reasons. First, Quinn XCII was preparing to headline his first of two sold-out shows at the venue. Second, the rumor-mill was swirling that there would be a special guest in attendance: Bill and Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea.

Quinn, who of course was well-aware of both situations when I sat with him in his dressing room prior to the show, seemed excited but not fazed.

“It just gives me so much more confidence I think, as an artist, and it reflects I think when you see the show,” the Michigan-bred emcee, nee Mikael Temrowski, responded when I asked about the audience’s reaction to his tour so far. He noted that the crowd sings along for most of the set, including the finale of “Straightjacket.” “I’m super-blessed to be in the position that I am and the shows have been going great.”

Quinn is in the desirable position of being able to practice what he preaches; while his album deals with his vulnerabilities and relationships, his stage-name is derived from an acronym he created – and that wasn’t always something he felt comfortable sharing. Temrowski attributed the phrase to a professor he had at Michigan State until his tour’s opening night in Detroit, when he revealed that it was all his doing.

“It just stands for ‘quit unless your instincts are never neglected,’ and I think I wanted to tie in the professor because it was more of like a likely story but I was nervous to tell people that it was my mantra,” he explained. “I just urge people to pursue (your passion) because life I think is just way too short to let other people follow their dreams and see them succeed when you kind of regret it inside.”

That message is allowing Quinn to resonate with an ever-growing audience. And on Sunday night, there was surely at least one person in the crowd that appreciated the artist using his platform to spread positivity.

Just because I waited until Friday, it doesn’t mean there are not five things I’m thankful for from last weekend.

– I not only returned to my yoga practice but then ran 6 miles outside. Yoga has been great to not only improve my pliability but also refocus my mind. Some would pick between the class or the run, others would opt for neither because it’s Saturday morning; I choose both because I’m thankful for the physical ability I have to take part in them – that’s something I don’t take for granted.

– My closet can now fully close for the first time since I moved to my new apartment. In addition to carving out time to clean it out and then actually following through, I’m thankful that I was able to donate a large bag to Goodwill.

– Syracuse lost at Duke on Saturday but I’m still thankful that I was able to watch the game at the local SU watch bar, Beer Authority, with my buddy Ryan. We grabbed a few more drinks afterwards before I met up with a colleague in town, Barbi Jo. Always nice to see friends!

– Speaking of Saturday night – a quick shout-out to Delta and the airline’s 48 hour cancellation policy. While looking up flights to Las Vegas for the first weekend of the college basketball tournament (another story for a different time), I accidentally booked a flight to Vegas. Whoops!

– On Sunday I ended up at Irving Plaza to see Quinn XCII live. I interviewed Quinn before the show, got to see my friend Matt who works for his label and then was introduced to Two Dollar Steve. Yes, he gave me a $2 bill. More on him here.

By the way, Steve wasn’t at the show alone. He brought along his friend to the VIP area where we were standing… Chelsea Clinton.

the clinton’s are blanketing all of the keystone state, northeast pa included. the former first daughter will be a mere blocks from my apartment tomorrow (later today, wednesday), hosting a q&a with wilkes university students in their student center at 10:15a.
chelsea visited her mother’s new campaign headquarters in downtown scranton, followed by a meal at farley’s yesterday. (photo: scranton times)
the clinton’s are blanketing all of the keystone state, northeast pa included. the former first daughter will be a mere blocks from my apartment tomorrow (later today, wednesday), hosting a q&a with wilkes university students in their student center at 10:15a.
chelsea visited her mother’s new campaign headquarters in downtown scranton, followed by a meal at farley’s yesterday. (photo: scranton times)