WBEZ | Megan Stielstra http://www.wbez.org/tags/megan-stielstra Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Cut to a Real Baby: Who's learning what about sex ed? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/cut-real-baby-whos-learning-what-about-sex-ed-102223 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/246814741_1cc0c86dea_z.jpg" style="width: 300px; float: left; " title="(Flickr/Casey Hussein Bisson)" />&quot;Some of you may remember that earlier this year, Republicans tried to shut me out of a hearing on contraception,&quot; <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCp3CWpiPUE&amp;feature=player_embedded">said Sandra Fluke</a> while speaking Wednesday evening at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. &quot;In fact, on that panel, they didn&rsquo;t hear from a single woman.&quot;</p><p>Fluke, of course, is <a href="http://abovethelaw.com/2012/06/whats-everyones-favorite-slut-up-to-these-days-an-update-on-georgetown-law-grad-sandra-fluke/">the former Georgetown University Law School student deemed &quot;a slut&quot; by Rush Limbaugh</a> after she advocated on behalf of cheaper birth control paid for by her school&#39;s health insurance plan. And writer Megan Stielstra considers Fluke&#39;s absence from said Congressional hearing a problem as well. To Stielstra, it&#39;s a mystery where those Republicans who are particularly concerned with the female anatomy learned what they know about it. &quot;Vague information can be just as dangerous as innacurate information,&quot; she says. Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>My four-year-old son will happily tell you that he has a penis. He&rsquo;ll also tell you that most men and boys have them as well, and that most women and girls do NOT. Rather, they have &quot;something else.&quot; I&rsquo;ve asked him on multiple occasions if he&rsquo;d like to talk about what that </em>something <em>else is and he&rsquo;s always said, &ldquo;No thanks,&rdquo; and then back to his robots, which doesn&rsquo;t alarm me because 1) as I mentioned, he&rsquo;s four, and 2) he&rsquo;s not making federal policy decisions that influence the reproductive rights of every woman in the country regardless of her health, family situation, socio-economic status, political affiliation and private belief system. But last week, out of the clear blue sky, while waiting in a very long line at Target, he said, in that very loud,</em> look-at-me<em>&nbsp;way that four-year-olds have in crowded public places: &ldquo;So, Mommy. Vaginas. Tell me all about them.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>Let&#39;s repeat that: Vaginas. Tell me all about them.</em></p><p><em>It seems to me that there are a lot of grown-up men who should be asking this question.</em></p><p><em>Lately, I&rsquo;ve found myself concerned &mdash; and by </em>concerned <em>I mean </em>angry&nbsp;<em>&mdash; that people &mdash; and by </em>people <em>I mean </em>men<em>, mostly white and old and straight and Republican &mdash; are making decisions about my body &mdash; by which I mean my vagina &mdash; based on false or incomplete information &mdash; by which I mean batsh** crazy made-up fiction. And I&rsquo;m a fiction writing teacher! I love the imagined, the exagerated; except when it&rsquo;s used in legislation.</em></p><p><em><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;</em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your&nbsp;<em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine</em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></p> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 09:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/cut-real-baby-whos-learning-what-about-sex-ed-102223 Megan Stielstra celebrates the 10th anniversary of Ashley Madison http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/megan-stielstra-celebrates-10th-anniversary-ashley-madison-97864 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//ashley madison.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/ashley%20madison_0.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 383px;" title=""></div><p><a href="http://www.ashleymadison.com">AshleyMadison.com</a> ("The Original Extramarital Affairs Site") got started in 2001, and since its launch, the website has dealt with its fair share of attacks from both conservatives and liberals. Recently, it found a new way to get press by putting up a billboard with the tagline "Faithful Republican...Unfaithful Husband," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/adultery-site-ashleymadison-endorses-gingrich_n_1160382.html">accompanied by a photo of Newt Gingrich</a>.</p><p>Writer Megan Stielstra didn't think much about the intent or practice of the site until the night she and her husband were propositioned by swingers. After that, she was inspired to think a little more closely about all the ways the site is being used -- and all the ways it could be.&nbsp;Read an excerpt or listen below:</p><p><em>"This month marks the 10th anniversary of AshleyMadison.com. I’d ask for a show of hands as to who here is familiar with this particular website – better yet, a </em>member <em>– but as it’s online dating service for married people to better facilitate adultery, I wager most folks in this room wouldn’t be inclined to – shall we say - </em>share<em>. Lots of other people are, though: According to the </em>Huffington Post<em>, AshleyMadison boasts 13 million individual members in 17 different countries, with sites in five languages.</em></p><p><em>Naturally, this brings up all sorts of interesting questions, specifically, why these 13 million chose to stay married and cheat, as opposed to divorce.</em></p><p><em>Maybe they’re not quite sure and want to, like, test the water?</em></p><p><em>Maybe there are kids involved?</em></p><p><em>Maybe divorce is too expensive in our current economy?</em></p><p><em>Maybe they’re emotionally compatible but not physically compatible - for a variety of different reasons on which we could speculate; like paralysis, or exhaustion, or having discovered a particular fetish later in life that their spouse is not comfortable… reciprocating… or… receiving - but they’re </em>still in love <em>and want the best for each other so what they do is crack open a bottle of pinot noir, get real drunk and sign up for AshleyMadison.com. Together!—but separate. Maybe they even help each other write their online profiles! That’s a </em>great <em>couples activity!</em></p><p><em>(Sidebar: Isn’t this fun? Imagining all the possible reasons why one might sign up for AshleyMadison.com? We should totally have prizes for the best idea!)"</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 09:03:21 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/megan-stielstra-celebrates-10th-anniversary-ashley-madison-97864 Daily Rehearsal: The 'Reader' covers 40 years of Chicago theater http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-17/daily-rehearsal-reader-covers-40-years-chicago-theater-93184 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/birthday cake_flickr_william clayton.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-17/beirut_boekerJan20_1989.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 239px; height: 100px;" title="An excerpt of one of Tom Boecker's reviews"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. The&nbsp;<em>Chicago Reader</em>'s reliving their past 40 years</strong></span></span>, which includes some really incredible reviews that former theater reviewer <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/reminiscence-from-a-reviled-theatre-critic/Content?oid=4799570">Tom Boeker wrote</a> during his time there. And his feelings now, looking back? "These actors and directors with their hurt feelings, so misunderstood," Boeker wrote. "Was I supposed to lie, say that the earth moved beneath me? I was a critic, with a PhD in theater no less. Look at this way. You've been to one of those art shows at the mall. Wouldn't you say that 95 percent of that stuff was embarrassingly bad? Would you buy it? It's the same with theater, only you've already kissed $20 to $200 goodbye. In retrospect you probably could have used a heads-up on this turkey. So I'd tell people. I'm no artist. I don't make this sh*t up. I just call it as I see it." Some commentors don't quite agree with him, so read along.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;</strong></span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>The&nbsp;<a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/10/14/the-great-follies-smack-down-of-2011/">Great&nbsp;<em>Follies&nbsp;</em>smackdown</a>&nbsp;has arrived</strong></span></span>, and "It’s a draw!" says Bob Bullen. "Both productions, as varied as they are, have their weaknesses and strengths, which, in the end, makes both productions equally well-worth seeing." These productions are, of course,&nbsp;<em>Follies&nbsp;</em>in New York, and&nbsp;<em>Follies&nbsp;</em>right here at Chicago Shakes.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. TEDx Midwest was this weekend</strong></span></span>, with TEDxYouth@Midwest bringing out some absolutely fabulous (theater) folk. Like Joan Cusack. Were you there? Are you young? How was it?</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-17/stage773.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="An artist's rendering of the new Stage 773"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. A Chicago writer who sometimes tells stories for the theater</strong></span></span> who you might remember from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994">a recent Machete performance about <em>Rookie </em>magazine</a>, Megan Stielstra, has a great piece on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-10-17/i-asked-guy-why-are-you-so-fly-megan-stielstra-93183">Claire Zulkey's blog today</a>&nbsp;about turning 30.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5.&nbsp;</strong></span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>The Congo Square Theatre&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-congo-square-makes-a-move-20111014,0,3272976.column">moves to Stage 773</a></strong></span></span>, away from their longtime how at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. The newly revamped space has gotten a lot of attention lately; the grand opening of their new space was yesterday. You'll note that just a year ago,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/loop-theater-endangered-species-list">Jonathan Abarbanel put Congo Square</a>&nbsp;on an endangered species list of Chicago-area theaters.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-17/daily-rehearsal-reader-covers-40-years-chicago-theater-93184 'I Asked the Guy Why Are You So Fly?' by Megan Stielstra http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-10-17/i-asked-guy-why-are-you-so-fly-megan-stielstra-93183 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-17/meganstielstra.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Megan Stielstra is a writer, storyteller, and literary director for <a href="http://2ndstory.com/">2nd Story</a>, Chicago’s urban storytelling series. She’s performed for the Goodman Theatre, the Chicago Poetry Center, and National Public Radio. Her writing has been performed by the Serendipity Theatre Collective, Theatre Seven of Chicago, and Bohemian Archeology in New York. She teaches in the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College and is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Chicago. Her first book, </em>Everyone Remain Calm<em>, just came out last week. You can buy it <a href="http://www.ecwpress.com/biographies/megan-stielstra">here</a> and learn much more about Megan <a href="http://www.meganstielstra.com/">here</a>.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-17/meganstielstra.jpg" title="Megan Stielstra at Grayscale Studios (Photo by Julie Sadowski)" width="550" height="366"></p><p>“Thirty is the new Twenty,” Bridget told me on my Thirtieth birthday. We were having brunch at one of those very hip places, with honeydew mimosas and servers who are really fashion models. Makes you wonder, how do they not spill honeydew mimosas all over their expensive designer clothes? Why do they wear expensive designer clothes to serve breakfast? Why do people wear expensive designer clothes to eat breakfast? Even Bridget had on an electric pink Juicy jumpsuit. And a spray tan. Which made her look orange. Pink and orange. Which is maybe the new black, like Thirty being the new Twenty.</p><p>Bridget turned Thirty a couple months ago since then she’s developed a few—how should I say this?—<em>quirks</em>. The spray tanning, for one. A particular fondness of the word <em>asshat</em> (as in, “Of <em>course</em> we’re having brunch on your birthday, Diane, don’t be an asshat!”). The Valley Girl accent is another. She sounds like Julie in the movie <em>Valley Girl</em>: <em>Encino is, like so bitchin’!</em> <em>Twenty is, like, the new Thirty!</em> which apparently Bridget found comforting, but not me.</p><p>I was in no hurry to replay my Twenties: the indecision. The self-loathing. The dating.</p><p>On my last date, the guy talked about camping in Wisconsin, and I made a list on my napkin.</p><p>How This Guy and the Last Five Guys I’ve Gone Out With Are Exactly the Same:</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">1) They camp in Wisconsin;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">2) They listen to the Foo Fighters;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">3) They drink imported beer;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">4) They have complex relationships with their mothers;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">5) They have responsible corporate jobs;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">6) I had sex with all of them (about which I could write a whole other sub-list titled: <em>How This Guy and the Last Five Guys I’ve Had Sex With Have Sex in Exactly the Same Way).</em></p><p>“Happy birthday!” Bridget said. She ordered two more mimosas from Kate Moss and handed me a card. On the front were tiny pictures of different men, each about an inch wide so several could fit onto the paper. Over them was printed: <em>For your birthday, I wanted to get you thirty hot guys!</em> I opened the card and read: <em>So I DID!</em> and beneath it, in smaller writing: <em>Fastdater, Incorporated.</em></p><p>Bridget was smiling, waiting for me to rush over and hug her. In our Twenties, she and I hadn’t been the hugging kind of friends, but now we were in our Thirties, which were the new Twenties, and I was supposed to hug and wear shimmery lip gloss and know what Fastdater Incorporated was.</p><p>“So I got the idea ’cause I was dating Lance who was a total asshat and this girl I work with Stephanie said, <em>Come with me speed dating</em>! and I went and was like, <em>Wow</em>, and I know how shitty it is to turn Thirty and be alone but this is so much fun!” and then she jumped up, ran over, and hugged me. She smelled like the entire Marshall Fields counter, and I wondered how a number—a three and a zero—could turn my seemingly normal friend into this orange huggy thing. Would it happen to me? Come midnight, would I also turn into a pumpkin?</p><p>“Bridget,” I said into her hair. “What exactly is speed-dating?”</p><p align="center">*</p><p>“This is how it works,” said Tina. She was addressing the sixty Fastdater customers crowded into Leopard Lounge, a dark, smoky bar with—<em>surprise!</em>—leopard-spotted upholstery. The candle-lit tables had been lined up in rows around the room, each with two chairs and a number, one through thirty. “Everyone has a badge,” said Tina. Hers said <em>Hi my name is Tina.</em> Mine said <em>#12.</em> “You’ll meet your first date at the table that corresponds with your number, and you’ll have three minutes until I ring this bell.” She demonstrated: <em>ping ping</em>. “Then, women stay seated and guys move one table over, again and again ’til everybody’s met everybody. Everybody ready?”</p><p>Initially, I wasn’t going to do it. But since my birthday, everything had sucked. Not because something had happened; because <em>nothing</em> had happened.</p><p>How Every Day Since I Turned Thirty Has Been Exactly the Same:</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">1) Traffic sucks;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">2) Edit copy;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">3) Corner Bakery/chopped salad;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">4) Edit more copy;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">5) LeanCuisine/<em>America’s Next Top Model</em>;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">6) Can’t sleep/Sominex, an over-the-counter sleeping pill which knocks you out, but keeps you in this perpetual half-sleep stage. You move slowly. Colors are dull. In conversation, the other person says <em>murp murp mrrrruuuup</em>.</p><p>I needed something to wake me up, a bowl of ice water in my face. So far, Fastdating was doing the trick: the Technicolor leopard print. The vodka tonics. The overwhelming possibility.</p><p>I sat at table #12 across from a good-looking guy in his mid-Thirties; expensive suit, bourbon on ice. <em>Nice</em>, I thought. <em>He’s got all his hair.</em></p><p><em>ping ping</em></p><p>“Bruce/divorced/tax attorney/scuba,” he said, all one word. “What’s your lead?”</p><p>“My what?”</p><p>“Lead, lead, you’ve got to have a lead-in question, like <em>What’s your favorite book, What music do you listen to, Do you like sushi,</em> whatever, something to jumpstart conversation or else you’re going to waste our whole three minutes.”</p><p>“How many times have you done this?” I asked.</p><p>“Look, we’ve pissed away a full minute already. You got a lead yet?”</p><p>“Uhm—”</p><p>“Let’s <em>go</em>!”</p><p>“Uhm… What’s your favorite book?”</p><p>He groaned, like I’d asked the stupidest thing in the entire universe, and then talked nonstop about <em>The Seven Effective Habits of Whoever</em> until the bell rang. On the table in front of us were pencils and paper. He grabbed them and started writing.</p><p>“What are you doing?” I asked</p><p>He groaned again. “You write what you think of the date next to their number. When tonight is over, you enter the numbers you like on Fastdater’s website, and if we both entered each other, then we go out for real.”</p><p>“Oh,” I said, taking paper and pencil. Next to #12 I wrote: <em>Asshat</em>.</p><p><em>ping ping</em></p><p>#11—Tall, Stubble, Polo shirt—sat down across from me and extended his hand. “Eddie,” he said. “I’m a copywriter.”</p><p>“Me too!” I said. We shook.</p><p>“What music do you listen to?” he asked. “I like the Foo Fighters.”</p><p>Next to #11, I wrote: <em>He likes the Foo Fighters.</em></p><p><em>ping ping</em></p><p>“Hi,” said #10. “I’m James. What music do you listen to?”</p><p><em>#10, </em>I wrote: <em>Also Foo Fighters.</em></p><p><em>ping</em></p><p>#9: <em>Foo Fighters.</em></p><p>#8: <em>Foo Fighters.</em></p><p>#7, 6, 5—</p><p><em>ping ping</em></p><p>“Isn’t this weird?” said #4. “Meeting people like this?”</p><p>“I know!” I said.</p><p>“My brothers got me a certificate,” he said. “They thought I needed to get out more.”</p><p>“My friend bought one for me!” I said. This was looking up. I checked him out: older, past Forty maybe; in good shape, like he had a personal trainer. “It was a birthday present,” I told him.</p><p>“Yeah?” he said. “Which birthday?”</p><p>“The big one,” I said. “Thirty.”</p><p>“Oh,” he said. “I don’t date women over twenty-five. Too much commitment.”</p><p>#4, I wrote. <em>Asshat.</em></p><p><em>ping ping</em></p><p>“My favorite book?” said #3. “The Harry Potters. I think she’s developing a global community and—”</p><p><em>ping</em></p><p>“<em>A Million Little Pieces</em>. I’m an addict myself and—”</p><p><em>ping</em></p><p>“My favorite book? Why, the Bible of cour—”&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em>ping ping ping</em></p><p>“Nice to meet you,” said #30. He was very thin, in a suit and fuzzy winter hat. We talked for a while and it was good. <em>I could see this guy again!</em> I thought, and he said, “I should tell you I have cancer.”</p><p><em>Oh.</em></p><p>“I was diagnosed a couple months ago.”</p><p><em>Ohhhhhh.</em></p><p>“I have a hard time talking about it, so I do speed dating to practice. You can say anything to a stranger, you know.”</p><p><em>PING</em></p><p>At that point, I was done. This was ridiculous, it was bullshit, <em>me and my Sominex are outta here! </em>I thought, standing up to leave at the same time #29 sat down.</p><p><em>ping ping</em></p><p>This guy was—first—black—and second—<em>big</em>, wearing a two-sizes too-big baseball jersey and a backwards baseball cap. He had a thin stubble moustache over his upper lip, and around his neck were four or five thick chains with different things dangling from them. He was like no one I’d ever seen in person—this guy was a music video or an album cover—a total one-eighty from every guy who’d sat across a table from me.</p><p>“Wassup,” he said. His voice was deep and scratched. “I’m Tone.”</p><p>“Hi, Tony,” I said, sitting back down. “It’s really dark in here, why are you wearing sunglasses?”</p><p>This guy leaned forward across the table and beckoned me closer. He spoke low, like he was telling a secret. “I don’t want to be recognized,” he said.</p><p>“Are you hiding out?” I asked, thinking <em>The feds?</em></p><p>“No, baby! I got fans, you know, and I don’t want to be bothered with all that right now.”</p><p>“Okay then,” I said. “What’s your favorite bo—”</p><p>“Okay,” he interrupted. “You really want to know who I am?”</p><p>I nodded, and he reached up and lowered his sunglasses so I could see his eyes. We stared at each other for a minute—me searching my memory, searching, searching, nothing—and he put the glasses back. “See?” he said.</p><p>I shook my head.</p><p>“Okay, okay, listen,” he said, and he picked up a pencil and held it like a microphone: “<em>And we go a little something like this, hit it</em>!”</p><p>He sat back, giving me this look like <em>Uh-huh</em>! but I still didn’t know.</p><p>“Were you living in a barn in ’89? Didn’t have a radio in the house?”</p><p>“I was fourteen in ’89,” I told him. “I listened to Debbie Gibson.”</p><p>He slumped back in his seat. Through the candlelight and the vodka, I thought he looked sad. I thought I could make him feel better. “Sing a little more!” I said.</p><p>“Naw,” he said. “I can’t.”</p><p>“Please!”</p><p>“Naw.”</p><p>“Come on!” I said, and before I could even get the words out, this guy whipped a boom box out from underneath the table and pressed <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp-YPWnGmLg">play</a>.</p><p>As the bass and drums got going, he stepped first onto his chair and then the table. I was eye-level with his knees, his baggy denim and hiking boots stepping side-to-side with the music.</p><p>“Hey,” I yelled up at him. “Is that a cowbell?”</p><p>He looked down and grinned as a spotlight appeared out of nowhere and locked on him.</p><p>All around us, the Fastdaters stared. Some were embarrassed and looked at the floor. Some tried to continue their dates as through nothing was happening. Some scowled and others laughed, it was all so completely ridiculous: Tone on the table; the three minute dates; this relentless, sometimes desperate search for love. Still, we were all here. We’d always be here, because—if we’re really being honest—is there anything more important?</p><p>That’s when #30 stood up. Remember #30? The fuzzy hat? The cancer in his bones? He was just one table over so I had an excellent view: he moved his body, slowly, side-to-side. He lifted his arms, swirling them in front of him like treading water.</p><p>Dancing. He was dancing.</p><p>“What’s he singing?” asked the girl next to me at table #11.</p><p>“Funky Comedina,” said her date.</p><p>“What’s a comedina?” I asked.</p><p>“A medina is the oldest part of a North African city,” #11 said, and, in answer to my look: “I’m a geography teacher. But I don’t know what a comedina is, maybe a—“</p><p>“<em>Cold</em> Medina,” said her date. “Funky <em>Cold</em> Medina.”</p><p>“Coming up,” said the bartender.</p><p>“Excuse me,” said the girl on my other side; #13. “I take issue with this song. He—” she gestured at Tone, dancing on the table— “is advocating the use of GHB, also known as the date rape drug. He slips this—” she put up her fingers in air quotes— “‘medina’ into women’s drinks in order to—” again with the air quotes— “‘get them on their back.’”</p><p>For some reason, I felt the need to defend him. “The only ones drinking medina in the song are dogs and a lady named Sheena.”</p><p>The bartender set shot glasses down on our table. “What’s in them?” asked the guy at 11.</p><p>“Vodka, Southern Comfort, Blue Curacao and Cran,” said the bartender.</p><p>“Here,” I said to the girl at 13. “Have a shot. Loosen up.” And then I did the shot.</p><p>And then I did another. And another, and everything became surprisingly clear.</p><p>“Everybody!” I called out, “Have a drink! Medinas all around!”</p><p>That was the beginning. By the end, we were all up and dancing: the Asshats and the Foo Fighters, all the girls in lingerie tops and expensive jeans, one of us looking so much like the other.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-10-17/i-asked-guy-why-are-you-so-fly-megan-stielstra-93183 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 9/10/11: The Passage of Time http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-14/interviewshow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-14/tavi interview.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 227px; height: 250px; " title="Tavi, as discussed by Megan Steilstra">Christopher and Ali talk way too much about cats, so skip the beginning of this week's issue if you're not so inclined. First up, Benno Nelson discusses how art hasn't changed as much as you'd think it might have since 9/11. Megan Stielstra celebrates the launch of&nbsp;Tavi Gevinson's <em>Rookie Magazine </em>by diving back to the 90's, to its predecessor <em>Sassy</em>. Sad Brad Smith brings our sad&nbsp;weather report. And there's a word from our sponser O'Reilly's artisan wafers, courtesy of Doug Hurley. Music from Chris Damiano on your way out. And as usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE (and recorded this week by&nbsp;Nick Freed).&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150); " target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483721-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-09-10-papermachete-radio-mag.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div>This Saturday, we FINALLY have <a href="http://vocalo.org/amp">Brian Babylon</a>, and also Dan Sinker, who's book reminiscing about his time as the <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/MayorEmanuel">Twitter sensation @MayorEmanuel</a>. They'll be joined by <a href="http://ianbelknap.com/">Ian Belknap</a>&nbsp;of the Writer Club; Mel Evans of <a href="http://www.comedysportzchicago.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=491&amp;Itemid=166">ComedySportz</a>; &nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/performers/6">Nancy Friedrich</a> and <a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/performers/237">Colleen Doyle</a> team up; <a href="http://www.english.northwestern.edu/people/savage.html">Dr. Bill Savage</a>, Northwestern professor and <em>Chicago Tribune</em> contributor; and <a href="http://www.hobojunctionproductions.com/page1/page1.html">Josh Zagore</a>n will be back with his good puppet friend Chad the Bird. They'll be talking about the pregnant Beyonce, Mayor Daley's newly reduced bodyguard posse, and James Franco's all-over-the-place-ness. And music from <a href="http://www.blanefonda.com/">Blane Fonda</a>.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 14 Sep 2011 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 9/3/11: The Great Flood http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-08/paper-machete-radio-magazine-9311-great-flood-91699 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-08/2011-09-03 Julia Sweeney photo by Erin Nekervis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-08/julia sweeney.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 294px; " title="Julia Sweeney brings down the house (Photo by Erin Nekervis)"></p><p>When it rains outside the Horseshoe, it rains inside the Horseshoe. But that didn't put a damper on things! We have&nbsp;Julia Sweeney ragging on strollers at the acquarium. Stephanie McCanles comments on reality television and the Emmy season. Bond Benton reports on pro-wrestling. Michael Patrick Thornton with Ed Flynn, a famous LA Storm Trooper, talks politics. Paper Thick Walls wails along with the storm.&nbsp;As usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE.&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150); " target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below. And a shoutout to&nbsp;Aadam Jacobs, who recorded the whole thing.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483711-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-09-03-PaperMacheteRadioMagazine.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On Saturday, <em>The Paper Machete</em> takes on America, which is obviously falling apart at the seams. 9/11, the post office, pro-football, and the end of summer will all be discussed. People joining us; Megan Stielstra of <a href="http://2ndstory.com/">Second Story</a>; Benno Nelson from the <a href="http://thenewcolony.org/">New Colony Theatre</a>; writer and editor <a href="http://www.joelcreese.com/">Joel Reese</a>; comedian <a href="http://www.neilarsenty.com/">Neil Arsenty</a>, and <a href="http://www.sadbradsmith.com/">Sad Brad Smith</a>. With music from Chris Damiano. Be sure to be there, as Christopher Piatt will reveal his real talents!</div></p> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 16:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-08/paper-machete-radio-magazine-9311-great-flood-91699 Daily Rehearsal: David Axelrod, live on stage! http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/daily-rehearsal-david-axelrod-live-stage-89088 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//92772878.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. Hannibal Buress, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-11/daily-rehearsal-dan-savage-homosexuals-88956">again</a>. I'm sorry guys -- but this time I just have to plug Mark Bazer's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-13/video-hannibal-buress-interview-show-plus-fred-89067">excellent interviews</a> with him for <em>The Interview Show</em>, as well as <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-13/chicago-funny-man-hannibal-buress-brings-laughs-home-89077">Buress' old interview with Brian Babylon</a> that aired on <em>848 </em>this morning. It's all archival, but if it's new to you....</p><p>2. About Face Theatre Company is looking for interns in marketing and public relations, management, and development and special events. Email Andrew Cutler at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:andrew@aboutfacetheatre.com" target="_blank" title="mailto:andrew@aboutfacetheatre.com">andrew@aboutfacetheatre.com</a>&nbsp;by August 15 to make your dreams come true.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-12/92772878.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 205px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Someone looks pleased...">3. David Axelrod will be on the upcoming season of <em><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/about/chicagolive/">Chicago Live!</a></em> on July 28. Remember David? He was senior advisor to President Obama. He'll be joined by&nbsp;Poetry Slam Founder Marc Smith, and the understudies for Tony and Maria on &nbsp;<em>West Side Story,&nbsp;</em>Cary Tedder and Kathryn Lin Terza. The new season launches July 21; Chicago Live! is a weekly live stage show for WGN at The Chicago Theatre.</p><p>4.&nbsp;Megan Stielstra has a <a href="http://www.chicagoplays.com/component/idoblog/?view=idoblog&amp;args=Blogs&amp;recentid=128">great story for Chicago Plays</a> that seriously, will make you believe in the power of love and good waitresses. But what does this have to do with theater? She argues that theater tells stories that make us want to relate back and think of our stories.&nbsp;She also thanks waitressing for adding to her theater experience: "So, on behalf of us all, I’d like to say thank you to service industry for helping us pay our rent and live our dreams; for allowing us the flexibility to audition and finish projects; for giving our audiences the space to discuss our art over yummy food; for our after parties (!); for coffee; for wine; and, most of all, the lifelong friendships."</p><p>5. The Actors' Equity Association <a href="http://www.actorsequity.org/NewsMedia/news2011/july11.KathrynVLamkey.asp">has announced</a> that&nbsp;Kathryn V. Lamkey, Assistant Executive Director/Central Regional Director, is retiring. She'll end her work December 29, 2011, after 25 years, and AEA is looking for her replacement.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 13 Jul 2011 15:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/daily-rehearsal-david-axelrod-live-stage-89088