Friday, October 28, 2011

John M. Mancock


I wonder what this entry is about.  

I know!  It's about something exciting that happened to me today, October 28, for about 35 minutes in the home of a female stranger.  It was something that felt really good.  It was something that led to an invitation to spend time with this woman on a weekly basis.

The first thing you should know, dear "like"-rs, is that I was a virgin to this act.  When I arrived at this female stranger's house, I knew I was about to do something I had never done before, and I knew the process would be intimate.  I'd been practicing for the encounter late at night for the past three days, all in the privacy of my bedroom.  I was nervous, a little scared, and just sweaty enough to be self-conscious. 

The conversation we had at the beginning, once I entered her house, helped to calm me.  I began to feel kinship.  Soon, though, the actual act began, first in the dining room, then in the living room, then back in the dining room, where I got a little louder than I meant to be.  There was intense whispering.  There was skin-on-skin contact.  There was even laughter. 

The woman's dog, penned into the back hallway, barked and growled furiously at the noises coming from the dining room, noises that should have been familiar to a dog. 

My performance anxiety remained until, finally, she said the words I'd been waiting to hear:

"I think you'd make a great John Hancock [in this local touring musical production of 1776]."

I sign the contract tomorrow.   I think it begins like this:

"When in the course of human events . . ."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Murder in St Louis OR The Team's All Here

It's been about four months, and I'm starting to adapt to the Chicago lifestyle.  I now tell people directions by saying, "It's just cardinal direction of east / west street name on north / south street name."  I've had two deep dish pizzas and even a "Chicago style" hot dog from a vendor near the "Shedd Aquarium" and the "Field Museum."  I've cursed the weather.  I've listened to Sweet Home Chicago on the radio.

I'm basically a real Chicagoan now. 

There's only one problem.*  Employment.  See, most true Chicagoans have "jobs" in or near the city, and those "jobs" allow them to rent or own property, as well as to feed and clothe themselves.  If I'm going to continue to fit in here, I'm going to need to do as the Romans** do. 

My solution: I'm embracing my new city's dark and seedy past.  First, I became a murderer.  Then, I sent myself and all the shit I could manage to Saint Louis.^

Translation: Today, I got back from my first road trip with the Murder Mystery Company, and whereas I didn't make any actual mob hits or dump any actual bodies in their river*** down there, I did visit the toilet at least 8 times**** while on the trip.  And I did enjoy the company of other actors and murderers, all of whom have been living here much longer than I have and somehow manage to afford food, shelter, and clothing.

Translation of the translation: I think there's a chance for me here. 

Unnecessary reference: Theo Epstein has assembled his work team in Chicago, and I've begun to assemble mine.^^^^

* I'm not speaking in regard to my current situation.  I literally mean that there is . . . only . . . one . . . problem.  Period.

** By "Romans," I literally mean people in Rome.  However, since I've never been to Rome, I'm going to emulate Chicagoans instead. 

^ In case you're unfamiliar, in the year 1900, the city of Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago river, thereby sending a century of trash, waste, and dead bodies down to Saint Louis.  I'm pretty sure this is how the Cubs / Cardinals rivalry began.

*** The Mississippi.  Duh.  Did you really need a footnote for that?

**** Not always #2!  Gross!^^^

^^^ I eat veggies, but not that many veggies.

^^^^ I just wish it didn't take so many damn footnotes to assemble a team and communicate the fact that it's been assembled to the world.^^^^^

^^^^^ By "the world," I literally mean the entire world, the population of which, I am convinced, reads my blog on a "Daley"***** basis.

***** You get it.******

****** if you get Chicago*******

******* like I do!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Send Me Your Douchebags!

Well, I'm eight omens up the ladder of fame.  I think that earns me some soapbox time.  (Just like it did back when I was only two omens old!)

If you're reading this post, then it's probably not meant for you.  You're probably someone who can already identify a "douchebag," scientifically speaking, and you know that you're not one of them.  Please identify the nearest douchebag, punch them in the teeth, then send them to my blog to figure out why. 

If you got sent here by someone who punched you in the teeth, please keep reading.  I'm glad we got your attention.

Dear douchebag:

Is it a surprise to you that I just addressed you as "douchebag?"  I'd like to think it is, because I'd like to think you don't realize how much of a douchebag you are, and that's why you're still such a douchebag.  After all, I'm clinging to the remote possibility that all humans, every single one of them, are good, just that some are misguided.  And if you know how much of a douchebag you are, but you're acting the way you are anyway, then . . . well . . . there goes that remote possibility.

Let's assume for the sake of my soul that you don't know how much of a douchebag you are.  That gives us a little hope.  Let's further assume that the person who punched you in the teeth and sent you here believes that you can get better.  I agree with them.

So get better already.

Sorry.  I forgot.  You don't realize what you're doing that's making the rest of us call you a douchebag.

Well, for beginners, you're emotionally unavailable, and not in a to-your-vapid-girlfriend kind of way. (Though, truthfully, you're probably that, too, and boy, is she vapid!  And while we're on the subject, I hope she knows that you're going to dump her as soon as the sex gets dull.  As if sex with you was ever interesting.  She just doesn't know better.  You know that, right?  No.  You don't.  You're not astute.  You're a douchebag.) 

Back to emotional unavailability. 

You haven't accessed a feeling since you started burying them around age 11, when you were having those weird homosexual feelings and didn't want to deal with them.  I'm sorry.  Did I just imply that you are a latent homosexual?  Does that insult you?  That's another sign of how much of a douchebag you are.  The rest of us have stopped fearing the world, gone out and met people of different races, orientations, and persuasions, and found at least a little bit of comfort with diversity.  You, I know, still prefer to spend time almost exclusively with members of your own race, gender, and persuasion, to seek comfort in them, and to mock everyone who doesn't share those things in common.  We all know it's a sign of your fear that you don't branch out, but you don't recognize that.  (See previous paragraph.)  You think you're still in the cool crowd, which stopped existing for the rest of us at age 15. 

Speaking of recognition, you don't experience it much.  True beauty, injustice, need, hope, courage: these things are all lost on you.  You don't empathize.  You don't communicate.  You destroy the things we build.  You're careless.  You're aloof.  You're, in the words of my eleven-year-old self that also knew you then and beat your ass at King of the Hill, "no fun."  

In conclusion, we all know that the haunted house you're wandering through isn't real.  We all know the actors are just that, and that they aren't going to touch you or actually hurt you.  We all know the noises are coming through speakers and the walls are moving because of the electrics.

So let me just remind you that you paid for this shit.  At least try to use your imagination and have some fun, instead of ruining it for the very real people who are trying to entertain you.  


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eighth Omen: OGACIHC

"ESRUC EHT ESREVER" is scribbled in graffiti on a Storrow Drive overpass.  At least, it was in 2001, when I moved to Boston.

At that time, the Red Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1918, the Celtics were hoping just to keep up with the mighty New Jersey Nets, and the Patriots were still starting some guy named "Bledsoe." 

Six years later in that sleepy little college town, the 3-time Superbowl champion New England Patriots went undefeated in the regular season, the Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship (over LA, no less), and the Red Sox wrapped up their second World Series title.  I don't remember seeing the graffiti on the overpass after that year.

When I came to Chicago this summer, I told everyone I met what I've learned about myself:

Wherever I go, I turn the sports teams of that place into champions.  (By the way, I'm beginning to think some of my "like"-rs take this blog as insincere.  Those people should know that I am as sincere about omens, luck, and ERA's as sports fans are.  I even have statistics about how much better my blog entries are in "day entries" versus "night entries."  And when I type left-handed, forget it.)

In case you still don't take this as seriously as I do though, consider the recent news about Theo Epstein.  I can tell you that everyone here is talking about him.  And no sooner does the famous Red Sox GM announce that he's (like me) coming to Chi-town, than the Bears start throwing* games left and right, too, in preparation for a renaissance.  And as the NBA season approaches, the Bulls are too ashamed to even take the court for the first two week of their season after playing second fiddle to the Miami Heat last year.  Everything is primed and ready for me (and Theo) to turn things around, just like we did in Boston.

Still don't believe me?  Fine.  Let me add that I watched my first Atlanta Braves^ baseball game in 1990.  I'll let you do the research on that one.

The omens so far:

1. My Zeitgeist Stage check
2. I Burned My Face
3. A Book
4. I'm on National Television!
5. I'm an inspiration to the young!
6. Prophecy!
7.The T Pays Off
9. ??
10. ??
11. ??
12. ??
13. probably a giant check

* Get it?  See, the Bears are known for relying too much on a passing offense!  See?  See?

^ Okay, so I never lived in Atlanta, but the Braves are really the team for all of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, and I was living in one of those states at the time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello. My Name is John Michael Manship. You're Reading my Blog. Prepare to Sigh.

It's been a big week.  Like, a blockbuster week.  And this kind of week can only be summed up one way:  by mangling adorable quotations from the most quotable movie of all time into self-centered versions of their former selves.  Here goes:


Westley: Who are you?  Are we enemies?  Why am I in this blog?  Where is Buttercup? 

Inigo: Let me explain.  (rethinking) No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.  Buttercup was married to Sean Penn for a little over twice a decade.   All we have to do now is forget about her broken-up wedding, help some guy get famous, change our words accordingly, then let him go to sleep . . . after I kill Count Rugen. 


Vizzini:  You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia."  But only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha . . . (falls over and starts working in a haunted house) 


Westley: Give us an audition slot.

Second City:  We have no audition slot.

Inigo: Fezzik, tear his arms off.

Gatekeeper: Oh, you mean this audition slot.


Inigo: I admit it, you are better than I am.

Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?

Inigo: Because I know something you don't know.

Man in Black: And what is that?

Inigo: I . . . was accepted into the Second City Conservatory!


Westley: What are the three terrors of Navy Pier?  One, Oktoberfest.  No problem.  There's a "v" sound preceding each "w" word; we can avoid that.  Two, the early mornings, which--you were stupid enough to discover what those are like, so in the future we can ask for those off, too.

Buttercup: Westley, what about the T.O.U.S.'s?

Westley: Tourists Of Unusual Size?  I don't think they exist.  (as he is mauled by a giant Midwestern tourist rat)


Inigo: It's very strange.  I've been in the novel-writing business so long.  Now that it's done, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.

Westley: Have you ever considered being human again?  You'd make a wonderful John Michael Manship.


This blog entry will be available this summer on Beta and VHS.