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Sharing some life lessons 

I'm baaaaaaaaaack ... in print.

Creative Loafing's new nightlife blog, BrittneyAfterDark.com, is up and running ... and now I'm ready to sit back down into print. Charlotte nightlife and I have been going, and going -- more than the damn Energizer bunny; between all the festivals and festivities, new bars opening from SOUL Gastrolounge to Lebowski's to Synergy, and the formation of the National Tailgating League, I had to hire two interns.

You know, they say if you complain no one will listen, but I've had so much to complain about lately it's almost comical. Don't worry, bad luck isn't contagious and you can't contract it like the swine flu. In synopsis, I've spent half the month of May in Virginia hospitals between my mom and one of my closest friends, my old employer cashed my Cobra check without paying my insurance premium ... then I got sick, my purse got stolen from Whisky River and to top it off, I had to move.

Well, the other day while crossing the street to get my "Morning After Meal" from Zada Jane's, a car cut the corner and a puddle splashed up, soaking my white dress with dirty water. I just started laughing hysterically. I looked up at the woman in the car on the corner who witnessed it, and she was laughing with me. Because that's all you can do, just laugh ... and learn.

I present to you, life lessons 101, compliments of mistakes made:

• Have the attitude of gratitude -- I'm more thankful for my mom and friend's healing than discerned that they aren't healed yet. It's a strengthening exercise for the soul -- like lifting weights. And to get stronger you have to lift the weight on your barbell and know that only you can add more weight to it.

• Don't trust a drunk friend who offers to hold your purse because a guy from O.A.R is encouraging you to have a dance-off ... and don't leave it unattended for even a second, cause that's all it takes. As the economy gets worse so does crime; people are getting desperate. I know of five people who were robbed at gun point over in the Cedar Street area, four of which happened in broad daylight.

• Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.

• Shit just happens ... especially when you're sitting down.

For more life lessons, like how to park for free Uptown and escape hauntings on Montford Drive, log onto brittneyafterdark.com (and no, it's not a porn site).

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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