Friday, May 30, 2008

square america

Annie alerted me to the website Square America: A gallery of vintage snapshots & vernacular photography (http://www.squareamerica.com/). It's like flipping through boxes of old photos in a stranger's attic.

More moneys spent today:

Haircut. Got mah hairs cut cuz I wokes up with that shaggy raggy feelin in my skull. This is a better haircut than the free haircut I got in March. Better = more expensive. More expensive = not free. I had an engaging conversation with my stylist about fish sticks, hot sauces, and police activity in the Ravenswood neighborhood.

I used my $40 government coupon to buy a digital converter box at Radio Shack. Yes, Radio Shack! Even with the coupon, I dropped 25 Washingtons (or a Jackson and a Lincoln) on something I used to get for free on a hand-me-down TV and rabbit ears. This is the part where I YouTube searched for one of the main delights of rabbit ears TV in Chicago: MeTV (you out of towners: where do you get your dose of "I Love Lucy", "Cheers", and "Kojak" on one freebie TV station?). But, instead, my search of "Me TV Chicago" unearthed a live 1974 video of Chicago performing "Just You 'N' Me." Oh lawd oh lawd, I love Chicago (the band. the city too, but I'm talking about the band), and I love this video: the clothes, the hair -- you can almost smell the weed wafting around Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO. You ever feel like you deserve to have a horn section follow you around and provide your life with a honkin' bad-ass soundtrack. I do. All the time. (I also like the Levi's commercial that kicks off the video.)


psalms of a questionable nature opens this weekend

[Huckster mode: ON]

My play Psalms of a Questionable Nature, produced by Rivendell Theatre in Chicago, opens this weekend. It's my dark and creepy basement play. Dark, creepy, and a little funny (like me?). More info at http://www.rivendelltheatre.net

Performances through June 29th
Thur/Fri @ 8pm
Sat. @ 3pm & 8pm
@ Live Bait Theater 3914 N Clark


(There's a Monday industry night performance on 6/16 for those in shows who can't make the usual Thur-Sat times, and can't get enough of sitting in a dark theatre.)

Box office: 773-334-7728 -or- online at http://www.rivendelltheatre.net

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

it... has arrived

My package from http://www.somethingstore.com is here. I have not opened it. It is an envelope with the surface area of a hardback novel. It is probably not the following: a tie & suspenders gift set, a teapot, or a robot of any kind. I am happy that it fit in my mailbox and that I did not have to go to the horrible Uptown Post Office to pick it up. I am sad that it is probably not a robot.

Monday, May 26, 2008

ode to the frosty malt cup guy on memorial day at wrigley field

Hey! -- frosty malt cup guy!
I see you!
You saw me see you.
Can we acknowledge our eye contact later?
You'll come back to aisle 209?
Like in the 5th inning?
When I want your frosty malt cup?
Okay good.
(time passes)
(it is now, yes, the 5th inning)
Okay where are you?
I want my frosty malt cup now.
I haven't seen you since the 1st inning,
waving your yellow frosty malt cup.
Do I have to go underground to get my malt cup?
I don't want to.
Don't make me.
Oh dammmit c'mon now this isn't funny,
we had an unspoken understanding that you would...
that you would...
return.
No, fine, it's okay, I'll get up
I'll get my own frosty malt cup
in the bowels of Wrigely Field hell.
Fine.
I said FINE!
I'll walk down to the food and beer stand.
Wait.
Hold on.
I'm paying $2.75 for a malt cup
I'm supposed to get a wooden stick spoon
with my malt cup.
These are plastic.
I SAID THIS IS A PLASTIC SPOON
IT'S NOT THE SAME!
IT TASTES BETTER SCOOPED WITH
A STICK OF WOOD!
Fine.
I said FINE!
I'll eat it with a plastic spoon
but I won't enjoy it nearly as much.

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Saturday, May 24, 2008

boys & girls

Theatre Seven's production of Boys & Girls is on the boards. It's two one act plays: Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor and The Shallow End by Wendy MacLeod. It's a sharp production -- even the Trib thinks so -- but dang if you shouldn't see it for yourselves. The MacIvor script is one of my favorite scripts on my short list of favorites. We're producing it downtown in the Studio Theatre at the Chicago Cultural Center. Rebecca, one of the actors (pictured), exits the theatre at the end of the play, and has to trek through the Cultural Center in her swimsuit to get backstage again. A group of ladies saw her go by and asked if the Chicago Cultural Center had a swimming pool. Theatre Seven: tricking people into thinking the Chicago Cultural Center has a swimming pool since 2008. Get your tickets.

our town

Went out to see the much-lauded, sold out production of The Hypocrites' Our Town in the Chopin Theatre basement. I'd never seen a requisite terrible high school production, but I had read the play in -- oh -- I forget. Some time. And yeah, it's good. I'd say go see it but unless you already got your ticket, you are S.O.L. After that production, you walk out chewing on your own mortality and it tastes like a plate of bacon and eggs. 11pm breakfast at the Golden Nugget ran contrary to my normal post-theatre anti-teetotaling.

Friday, May 23, 2008

how has marisa been pissing away her money lately?

1) $50 Parking ticket for street cleaning violation

2) Credit card late fee

3) Tipping 20% for what is, really, at most, when I look at it in the harsh light of day, 13% service

4) Tater tots and Red Bull

5) http://www.somethingstore.com/

Monday, May 19, 2008

I swear...

Since my radio alarm clock has been set to 93.9 "The Light" FM for the past few weeks, it feels like I wake up to Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" every morning. It's weird.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I wish I had my camera

I was downtown Sunday afternoon. Wabash Avenue, underneath the El tracks, was lined with old timey-time 1930s cars. They were all for the Johnny Depp flick Public Enemies, filming a scene on Washington Street. Background folk loitering in sharp fedoras and coats against the tapestry of a downtown street locked into a decade of yore. It's a treat to descend an El platform into another time. (Like I said, wish I had my camera.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

wrong bus

I hopped on the Ashland bus (on Clark Street) thinking it was the Clark Street bus, because doesn't it make sense that a bus on Clark Street would be the mother effing Clark Street bus? That would make too much sense. The Ashland bus loops back south on Southport to Irving Park to Ashland, and I'm too proud to get off the bus because I paid my 2 dollars and dammit I was going to get my 2 dollars worth going in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF WHERE I WANTED TO GO. Then Ashland turned into a parking lot because the Cubs game ended so not only was I on the wrong bus, I was stuck in traffic on the wrong bus. This story concludes with me getting off the bus at Roscoe and walking to the Southport Brown Line stop and paying another 2 dollars to go back north. When I'm on an elevator at work with other people and the elevator stops and I get off on a floor that's not my floor, and I realize it's not my floor before the elevator doors close, I pretend it's my floor and catch another elevator or maybe go into the ladies room and wash my hands. Although one time I stepped out of the elevator and then hopped back in the elevator claiming "there was a bear out there." But nobody really cares. It's healthier to admit my mistake and get off the bus or back on the elevator. Or in the words of Marsellus Wallace, "That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."

this comes as a shock to absolutely no one, especially myself

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)

Northern

You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Though it does seem like a rather broad geographical range to cover St Paul and Chicago and Buffalo under the same umbrella accent. They're pretty different. If only all internet quizzes could be as accurate as the "what's your obscure phobia" quiz.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the wegrzyn sisters buy crap off the internets

SUBJECT: I think you need to order something from here...
(18 messages)


_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 7:25 PM
To: monkey

http://www.somethingstore.com/

_________________________________

From: Marisa Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:19 PM
To: Amanda

Yes! I will.

_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:25 PM
To: Marisa

I'll do it if you do it.

_________________________________

From: Marisa Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:27 PM
To: Amanda

I'm going to do it right now.

_________________________________


From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:29 PM
To: Marisa

ok. I'll order something as soon as devil kitty gets off my lap and I
can get my wallet

[editor's note: devil kitty = Nomar]

_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:30 PM
To: carlybutt
Cc: monkey

Hi Carly,
Marisa and I are playing "Order random crap off the internet." If
you'd like to play, please go here:
http://www.somethingstore.com/

_________________________________

From: Marisa Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:34 PM
To: Amanda
Cc: carlybutt

Okay, I just spent 10 dollars on something.

-monkey

_________________________________

From: CARLY JANE Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:38 PM
To: Amanda
Cc: monkey

I'll do it.

_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:38 PM
To: Marisa
Cc: carlybutt

So did I. I hope it doesn't suck. I could've bought a chipotle burrito
with that money.

_________________________________


From: CARLY JANE Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:45 PM
To: Amanda
Cc: monkey

ok, done. Do you guys want to get together before opening and have the option of trading?

_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:47 PM
To: CARLY JANE
Cc: monkey

hmm, that's not a bad idea. We should definitely get together and open
them over dinner. You're so smart.

_________________________________

From: Marisa Tue, May 13, 2008 at 8:56 PM
To: Amanda
Cc: CARLY JANE

We collectively spent $30 on stuff. Well done.

_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 9:01 PM
To: Marisa
Cc: CARLY JANE

Hey, we could get some pretty awesome stuff. I'm not calling this
ridiculous until we see what we get. I mean, previous "somethings"
include a teapot, a hair trimmer, a flying alarm clock, and a robot. A
robot! I have a feeling this will be $10 well spent. Paying bills is
for losers.

_________________________________

From: CARLY JANE Tue, May 13, 2008 at 9:06 PM
To: Amanda
Cc: Marisa

My friend Roger ordered art that was something like this. It was a black box with something in it. But you never opened it because that would ruin the meaning behind the art. So he just has this black box sitting on his fireplace.

_________________________________

From: Marisa Tue, May 13, 2008 at 9:10 PM
To: CARLY JANE
Cc: Amanda

Maybe we shouldn't open our somethings when they come?

_________________________________

From: Marisa Tue, May 13, 2008 at 9:11 PM
To: CARLY JANE
Cc: Amanda

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/10/jj-abrams-ted-talk-m.html


_________________________________

From: Amanda Tue, May 13, 2008 at 9:14 PM
To: Marisa
Cc: CARLY JANE

Let's wait and see how big these somethings are first. One of the
previous somethings was a pillow. I can't fit that on my hypothetical
mantle. Either way, we'll get our packages and meet for dinner and
figure out what we're doing then.

_________________________________


From: CARLY JANE Tue, May 13, 2008 at 9:15 PM
To: Amanda
Cc: Marisa

Sounds good.

_________________________________


WHAT WILL THEY SEND?!
WILL IT BE AWESOME?!
WILL IT BE CRAP?!
WILL IT BE BETTER/WORSE THAN A CHIPOTLE BURRITO?!
THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!

TO BE CONTINUED!!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

hulu will end me: SOLITARY

Annie said: "You have to watch this show. It's nuts."

I had never heard of the TV program SOLITARY. It was one of the flagship creations for the Fox Reality Network in 2006 (there's a Fox Reality Network?). SOLITARY is like SURVIVOR meets the movies CUBE and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nine people locked in individual "pods" who compete against each other in physical and mental "treatments". They don't see or hear how the other people are faring in the competition, and each "treatment" continues until someone quits (or vomits -- that's considered a quit). Their only companion is "VAL", the computer/torturer. It's a reality show for Sci-Fi geeks and lovers of dystopian futures where computers have enslaved humans. Watching too many episodes of this show in a row will mess you up. It's the sort of show that people point to when they want to prove that reality television is Satan. Both seasons are available, in full, free of charge and with limited commercial interruption on Hulu. Needless to say, it's awesome to the max!

http://www.hulu.com/solitary

P.S to Annie: you are a bad, bad influence.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A wine rack... a wine rack. I don't even own *a* bottle of wine, let alone many bottles of wine that would necessitate an entire rack.

I store my juggling clubs in my wine rack. I spread the clubs out in the rack to make it look more full.

When I lived with Charlie, he had a set of clubs and it looked like we owned a wine rack specifically to store our juggling equipment. On top, I keep my emergency pair of Glow-Stick glow-in-the-dark eyeglasses, just in case I get invited to a rave and can't find my Glow-Stick contacts. The mouse trap is in the upper right corner. No evidence of the mouse in weeks. I've taken the food-bait out of it so I don't attract bugs. It's baited with nothing. That's right: nothing. Fingers crossed the mouse has a bad day and just decides to kill himself.

(*bonus points if you know the movie and/or quote that inspired this post title.)

warning! you just bought hot pockets!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

chicago bridges go up and down / up and down / up and down

I have a nice view of the Michigan Ave bridge from my office. Every once and a while, the bridge goes up to let tall boats through. Cars and pedestrians line up and wait to cross. When the bridge goes down, the large crowds of pedestrians storm across the bridge from either side. It looks like two advancing battalions preparing to fight in the middle of the bridge. They never do.

daily lit

Here's a website that will e-mail you books in serialized form: http://www.dailylit.com/index

A lot of the books are free. Each e-mail takes about 5 minutes to read. I've always wanted to treat Wuthering Heights like spam mail.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

since 99% of the (questionable) funny on this blog is sCATological anyway

cats
more cat pictures

boozycookies

I used to bartend here. You RedEye readers see their ads. Super "Bowl" Sunday Specials! $4 MGD! All-you-can-bowl for 15 minutes! What a deal! I hated working there. It was soul-crushingly corporate and it wasn't a money bartending gig. A lotta shit for little return. I guess that's most jobs, but bartending still has a romantic appeal. Control of the booze = power. But I also had to stuff olives with bleu cheese. I fucking hate bleu cheese olives. How do people eat those without throwing up? If I accidentally swallow a poisonous cleaning product and need to induce vomiting, skip the syrup of ipicac and give me a bleu cheese olive. I'll be yacking on my shoes in 3 seconds. Anyway, by the time I stuffed the one-millionth olive with butt-tasting bleu cheese, I was all: "eff this s, I quit. Pah-eeeace." And thus concludeth my professional bartending career.

I enjoy making martinis (without olives) and, yesfine, drinking martinis. The chocolate chip cookie martini is mind-blowingly decadent, a little something for the alcoholic child in everybody. It ain't cheap to do it up right. You're gonna have to hit Binny's and grab a bottle of Just Desserts - Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Liqueur. Grab a bottle of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and also a nice vanilla vodka -- Stoli, Absolut, big spenders'll toss a Grey Goose in the basket -- get anything except Smirnoff vanilla. I don't care if it's on sale. Do you want to do this right or not?

I KNOW you chilled your martini glass, right? Sweet jesus, okay, run that thing under the tap and stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes. If you're in a rush you can poor man's chill it with ice water, but c'mon. Once you're chill, you need chocolate syrup to swirl in the martini glass. Put your syrup in a squeeze bottle with a thin tip and refridgerate it -- makes the swirl-line nice and thin and it won't run down the side like a mofo. A chocolate mofo.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Martini
2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Chocolate Chip Cookie Liqueur
1 oz. Godiva Liqueur


Shake-a-shake-a-shake-a in a cocktail shaker. Not too much. You ever see a bartender shake a drink for a million years? Tell em to knock that shit out cause they're watering it down. A martini is like a crying baby. You want to shake it just enough to get it to stop crying, but not so much that, uhhhh, you know what, nevermind. Pour your martini in your chilled and chocolate-swirled glass. It should look real nice. I wish I had a picture. I don't. Drink, enjoy. It's super sweet. Your teeth's gonna fall out of your head. That's part of the fun.

Epilogue: Need a place to kill that bottle of vanilla vodka? Vanilla vodka + Orange Crush = Creamsicle. You're welcome.

Monday, May 05, 2008

top 10 iTunes

I'm lazy about updating my iTunes library. A lot of the music on my iPod is from CDs I checked out from the Wilmette Public Library when I was house-sitting for my parents in February 2007. I'm not sure the top 10 most played songs is representative of my musical taste, but there is no denying that these are the songs I happen to skip to if I'm waiting for the train.

  1. Lake Shore Drive - Aliotta Haynes Jermiah. I wish I had experienced Chicago in the 1970s, if only to understand why my parents think I'll be shot anytime I tell them I'm meeting friends in Wicker Park.
  2. She Took a Lot of Pills (And Died) - Robbie Fulks. One of these days I'll come up with a title as great as the title of this song.
  3. Van Helsing Boom Box - Man Man. I'll flip to this song when the clouds turn grey and I fear I will be struck by lightning because I'm listening to my lightning rod iPod.
  4. Without Love - Hairspray (2007 Movie Soundtrack) I LOVE THIS SONG AND MOVIE AND ZAC EFRON AND ALSO THE 1989 MOVIE AND BROADWAY MUSICAL SO SHUT UP!!!1!!1!!!.
  5. King Twist - Hazel. This song opened the Steppenwolf production of The Butcher of Baraboo.
  6. Lollipop - MIKA. Was on Charlie's iPod boombox during the marathon weekend painting and building the Killing Women set last summer and I couldn't shake it cuz it's all hippity pop bippity bop.
  7. Now and Then There's (A Fool Such As I) - Elvis Presley. Elvis doing Hank Snow's country tune, and there's a fool such as I for this country ditty.
  8. Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me) -Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons - my favorite Four Seasons song can beat up your favorite Four Seasons song.
  9. I Gotta Get Drunk - The Little Willies. Norah Jones leads a second song about substance abuse in my top 10!
  10. Sure Shot - Beastie Boys. If I'm doing something totally mundane while listening to this song, like pulling a bottled Frapuccino out of the 7-11 fridge, it makes me feel a little more bad-ass.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

actors!

I love actors. I love 'em. Unless they are assholes. But sometimes asshole actors are good actors and that's annoying. Otherwise, yes, I love actors. I've been fortunate to work with many good actors who are remarkably asshole free if you don't consider their anatomical asshole, which I don't, 'cause everybody has one of those. Is it hero worship? Maaaaybe. I've acted (a little) and I know I can never be a capital letters ACTOR. I don't got the chops or rib-cracking open heartedness or balls or guts or courage. Don't gots the skillz to pay those billz yo. That acting shit's difficult! If you are an actor who serves the play well with your energy and talent, the playwright may want to hug you and kiss you and perhaps do consensual things with you. Who knows. Time Out Chicago had a nice feature on actors, talented men and women you may have encountered if you dip your toes in the Chicago theatre pool every now and then. Michael Patrick Thornton's performance in The Good Thief was kinda - well - great. Can I explain to you why? I can't. Not really, not if you didn't experience it. The nature of thea-tuh. One and done. Pow.

I think about actors when I show up for the first few rehearsals for one of my plays, when their business becomes my business. This weekend I sat in on the first few table readings of Psalms of a Questionable Nature. I'm excited about the group of people working on it. Table readings are high-wire acts of discovery (actors) and restraint (playwrights) and discovery and restraint (actors and playwrights). Could I act my play better than them? Ha ha no. Uhh no. I want to be as helpful as I can and there's a fine-line-high-wire: feel it cutting the arch of the foot and have faith the actors will find that moment. They'll make those discoveries. If it's in the text, it will be found by actors and directors and designers and audience.

on wine

I bought a bottle of cabernet sauvignon called Funky Llama because it was called Funky Llama. Here are other wines I've bought based on their names: Side Show, Red Bicycle, (something) Penguin something I don't know. I'm not a wine connoisseur. I'll be happy so long as it doesn't taste like llama ass. I don't know what llama ass tastes like. I guess I'll be happy no matter what.