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January, 2011:

Shit to do… Tuesday and Wednesday

SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NERVES OF STEEL? Tuesday, February 1st The Hungry Brain @ 8 pm Facebook invite

The 2nd Hand’s reading / variety show / donkey show that everyone and their mother loves. Hosted by Jacob Knabb Harold Ray, you’re liable to see all sorts of entertaining things appear on the stage of the Hungry Brain. Readings, music, puppet shows… mediocre singing in a(n) Southern accent Appalachian accent. (Some might disagree, calling the voice of Harold Ray a gift from the Gods. Which makes the rest of us Atheists… or something…)

Apparently Mairead Case is doing some sort of graphic novel slide show. I do not know what this means, exactly… I can vouch for Mairead though, she’s a pretty cool person. She was the first person to show me this awesome video of Danzig showin’ off his book collection (I think):

The Encyclopedia Show: Punctuation Wednesday, February 2nd 1012 N. Noble St @ 7:30 pm $5.00 for students $8.00 for grown-ups (and those smart enough to not keep their student IDs) Facebook Invite

The Encyclopedia Show is the brain child of Robbie Q. Telfer and Shanny Jean Maney. An extravaganza with both literary and performance art merit, it’s off the wall entertainment (it is also off the hook, and off all other things that would make it cool). And! It’s held in a theater, as opposed to your average, seedy bar. Don’t think for a second that the Encyclopedia Show, because it’s in some fancy schmancy theatre-place, is classy. I mean. It tries to be classy. It’s not. It really isn’t. And, you know, that’s a good thing. So go watch Robbie’s elbow patches in action.

On a separate note, my parents totally went to one of the shows. My mom said, “That co-host girl [Shanny] is so cute.”

When I pointed out to my mother that Shanny’s married, she replied, “Well so am I!”

We all know that doesn’t matter one damn bit, mom.

Peeps performing: Dasha Kelly, Kevin Coval, Gabriel Gudding, Jill Summers & Susie Kirkwood (sisters, GROSS), Jus Love, George, Halle Butler, and Megan Mercier.

Write Club Chapter 10 @ the Hideout

I walked into Write Club a few minutes late (who shows up on time for a reading?) and immediately raised my hand when I realized host Ian Belknap was asking for volunteers. What were they asking of these volunteers? I don’t know. I missed that bit. I just like to volunteer for things. Anything. They could have been asking for people to fellate Tolstoy’s long decayed body and my hand would have shot up. As it turns out, I was picked to be one of the judges, which brings us to the explanation of how this show works…

Two people face off against each other, each with opposing topics, each supposed to speak in favor for their own topic. Good and evil, for example, could be two topics that might be used. Up and down. Virile and impotent, etc. At the end of a face off the audience cheers and jeers for their favorite piece. The three judges then interpret the insane reactions from the audience through a combination of their keen senses coupled with their intelligence, deciding who won the match.

The audience Friday night seemed like a perfectly intelligent bunch. The kind of bunch that knows the name of those little umbrellas in fancy drinks. I don’t know the term for those umbrellas, I’m not one of those bunch, not smart enough. Now, imagine my frustration at the realization that these people are completely unable to communicate who their favorite writer is through clapping and cheering. At all. As one of three judges, I found that I had the hardest job in the house.

Ian Belknap does a great job making sure Write Club sticks to its faux Fight Club theme. Though I’ve heard Write Club started long before Chuck’s book, so it’s hard to say who is stealing… borrowing… from who. Still, he’s got a fight bell, he’s got bitchin’ rules the audience is supposed to memorize (I’m entirely against rules of any sort, so I don’t remember ‘em), and Ian occasionally inspires you to want to punch someone. Primarily him. It’s a good atmosphere. A great reading.

One key difference between Write Club and Fight Club: the people in Fight Club are better looking.

Here’s a quick rundown of the matches:

Patrick Carberry vs Joel Chamara | Dry vs Wet | Funny last name vs Funny last name

Joel went first and dazzled the audience with his defense of everything wet. It’s very hard for me to not make a joke about him making me wet. Or the audience or judges. Anyways… Patrick proceeded to incite tears (ironic?) from the audience with his sad story about Dry, cinching the match. It was a close one. I suspect that Joel’s lack of tie really hurt him.

Robb Q. Telfer vs  Dean Evans | Open vs Shut

Dean’s comparison of Open to a young, carefree, retarded girl he had a crush on in high school really pulled on the heart-strings of all of Dean’s fellow losers in the crowd, really gaining him an early start. Robbie defended himself with what most would call an unorthodox approach, speaking in favor of shut, instead of his assigned topic of open, confusing the crowd with his sarcasm. Personally, I think Robbie won, and not only because I owe him for numerous favors (of the non-sexual sort), but the other judges disagreed.

Lisa Buscani vs Ian Belknap | Rise vs Fall

Lisa’s story of a woman’s rise from quiet wife to entertainingly and deservedly righteous woman (deciding to give everyone a big “fuck you”) easily beat whatever Ian’s piece was about. I found myself wondering if Ian ever wins. At least he’s a good host, right? Right?

All in all, I definitely plan on attending another Write Club. It’s fast paced and has a format that almost guarantees entertainment. It doesn’t seem as susceptible to long, boring bouts of prose like a lot of reading series you might find yourself at. I’d recommend it to everyone, especially because it really seems to hold up your mother’s mantra of, “it doesn’t matter who wins and who loses, as long as everyone has fun.”

And to think, we all thought she was a lying bitch.

Shit to do… Sunday, January 30th

Sunday Night Sex Show The Burlington 3425 W. Fullerton Ave @ 7:30

Tomorrow night comes the super-sexy-fun-time that is known as Sunday Night Sex Show. And by sexy, I mean funny, since sex stories tends to be more awkward and entertaining-in-a-bad-kinda-way than they are sexy. Especially with writers. Hosted by Robyn Pennacchia, it tends to have a good mix of writers telling their tales. This Sunday will include:Patrick Allen Carberry (see previous post for funny name comment), Lauryn Allison, Nikki Patin, Kate Hamlett, Leigh Freskos, and Rachel Collins.

The Burlington is one of the darkest bars I’ve ever been to (good news for all of us fugly writers). I highly suggest you bring a flash light, just in case you need to double check the goods you might go home with. If you wake up with Sasquatch, don’t blame me.

Christ… I really went hyphen crazy in that first paragraph.

Shit to do… Friday, January 28th

Chist! Friday the 28th has too much shit going on. Here’s a quick rundown:

Windy City Story Slam Semi Finals Multi Kulti 1000 N Milwaukee Ave @ 8:00 pm

The Windy City Story Slam is probably one of the toughest readings in Chicago. Honestly, you show up and wonder whether you’ll end up piss drunk with everyone at the end of the night, or in a fist fight before the readings even begin. I meant that in a good way. As it turns out, they’re actually very nice people. (I meant that in a bad way.)

People apparently reading: Brian Murphy, Fred burkhart, Luis Tubens, Nicolette Kittinger, Maggie Ritchie, Noel Hufnagel, Gint Ara, Enid Maldonado, and Franky Migacz. The show’s a good choice.

WRITE CLUB – Chapter 10 The Hideout Chicago 1354 W Wabansia @ 7:00 pm

I’ve never been to this! Hosted by Ian Belknap (who also plays the part of the Fact Checker in the popular Encyclopedia Show), it looks like a fun time. The jist: two writers face off with two different topics. One on one. Mano-a-mano. I couldn’t help but notice that Ian had a goatee at the last Encyclopedia Show, which now seems to be missing. Despite this lack of goatee, you should go.

What will he look like tomorrow?! (pictures ganked from facebook without permission, cough cough)

People who might be reading: Lisa Buscani vs. Ian Belknap, Patrick Carberry (has a funny last name) vs. Joel Chamara (reminds me of Chimera… you know, the mythical beast), Robbie Q. Telfer vs. Dean Evans.

Seeing as how I’ve never been to one a these here Write Clubs, I plan on goin’ tomorrow night.

Knee-Jerk Volume 1 Release Party 2020 North Oakley Avenue @ 9:00 pm

Knee-Jerk is typically an online only journal, but apparently they’ve ventured out into more complicated and typhoid-ridden terrain. I might be getting print confused with Oregon Trail. Sorry. Either way, good job for printing your latest issue of Knee-Jerk, guys! I remember taking a class with Casey and Steve, two of the editors. They seemed inseparable, like a couple, but the kind of couple who fight about whether they want their relationship status declared on facebook or not. It was a bummer, I’d have made a move on either one, but not together. That, uh, that’s just too much dick.

Readers include: Michael Czyzniejewski, Mary Hamilton, Lindsay Hunter, Jacob Knabb, and Kathleen Rooney!

I will probably go to this after Write Club. If I remember correctly, Gallery Cabaret has super cheap Leinenkugel pitchers. If you lack shame, like me, you can buy one for yourself and drink straight from the thing. I won’t be drinking though because, I, uh, never drink. Never have.

Cult Fiction: The Dark Hunt Lucky Number Grill @ 8:00 pm

A genre reading! Wait, aren’t genre readings for dorks and kids and losers and those guys in the stall next to you when you use a public washroom who’s shitting is just way too loud to be healthy? No, it’s for everyone. Genre is great. Especially horror genre. I haven’t been to one of these, but any reading with a burlesque show in the middle sounds good too me. The Burlesque Dancer in question, Mia Morte, used to actually work at a comic shop with me. Does that ruin her allure? Having worked with  me, not the comic shop part.


That’s about it. Go out, have a fun Friday night. If you know of any other readings ever, feel free to email me at geekocracy@gmail.com. I’ll do my best to post ‘em up on this here site.

Apologies go to everyone who gets made fun of in these posts, and whose pictures get used for my entertainment. Feel free to email me to sort things out.