Saturday, November 24, 2012

Internet-ional Fame

Here's a riddle for you:

What's bigger than the whole big wide world?

. . .

All right, well, I guess I won't wait for a response.  The answer is "the internet."  You can email me and tell me if that's what you were thinking.  Now, guess who's taking over the internet.

. . .

Oh.  Right.  This time the answer is "me!"  (You can email me again if you want to.)

Last week, I received the following automated email from, the free web design and hosting site behind the new and improved

"We just wanted to congratulate you on all the people that have been visiting your site lately!  In the last week alone, your sites have received over 229 page views!  Since it looks like you're well on your way to internet stardom . . ."

Did you read that?  Internet stardom!  An automated email thinks I'm going to be a star!*  Regular people have recognized my potential for years.  Now, artificial intelligence is hopping on the bandwagon, too. went on to suggest several ways to better index my outlandishly popular website, ways to better link to it, even ways to make some serious cash off of it.  I would add one more thing to this list:

Set the thing up so it doesn't count hits from my own browser.

- - - - -

* Said automated email also thinks I have more than one site.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

On a Mission From God

According to Wikipedia, The Theater on the Square in Sullivan, Illinois "is known as one of the best places in the midwest to see a professional live stage production. Actors such as Mickey Rooney, Vincent Price, Alan Alda, Ann Miller, Ben Affleck, Don Ameche, Betty Grable, John Carradine, Leonard Nimoy, Forrest Tucker, Stubby Kaye and Ann B. Davis have done shows there."  That list is about to get bigger.  

As I write this, I am nestled on a couch in the same housing that once held each of those famous performers.  There are board games nearby.  There is faux leopard skin on the wall.  There are five sleeping actors resting up for tomorrow.  And there is, 100 yards away, a sign outside the Theater on the Square that reads:

Wait.  Wait.  Not that sign.^  That sign is only relevant in the post-script to this entry.  I'm talking about this sign:

Damn it.  Not that sign.  That sign* is only relevant because I'm comparing our little traveling troupe to the Blues Brothers.  (I'm Elwood.)  I'm talking about this sign:  

. . .

Oh, wait.  There is no sign.  Well, anyway.  We're doing a show here.  We're getting the boys back together, and we're playing this town for everything it'll take.  We've got a full pack of pop tarts, half a bag of bagels, it's cold, and we're wearing animal heads. 

Hit it.


* Sullivan, Illinois: 98.68% white

^ Okay, so the weird part about that population sign is this.  I'm waiting . . .

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Secret

I need to share something with you, something I've discovered that's changed my life.  You might think this is a joke.^  You won't think so after you're enlightened:  

Here.  Open your eyes. *

Do you see?  You can have your dreams.  You can become one of the greatest people in history.  You can have everything you want:  happiness, health, and wealth.  You can have, do, or be anything you want.  

So what do you really want?  

(To write!  To write!  To perform!  To perform!)

I come to you today not just as a man with a dream, not just as a man on the precipice of immortality, but as something even greater: as an idea itself.  I am eternity.  More, I am a living testimony to the secret.  

But what is the secret?

It's simple.  When you desire something from the very bottom of your soul, and you request that something from the universe, then all of your wishes are fulfilled.  Knock and the door shall be answered.  If you call, I'll pick you up.

(To write!  To write!  To perform!  To perform!)

For example, this past August, in the face of disappointment, I decided to remake myself.  I gave the universe formal notice that I would like to be on stage as much as possible.  I wanted to write and perform to the point of exhaustion.    

Open your eyes again:  you can have what you want.  Last night, I performed in A Reasonable Facsimile's TV Reruns, then gave an encore that people just couldn't shut up about.  This morning, I rose at 6:30 to perform as John Adams in American Eagle Productions' 1776.  This evening, I performed a piece about the Smoot Hearings at The Encyclopedia Show.  Tomorrow, I'm Adams again; on Saturday, this guy.  Next Tuesday, I'm reading at This Much Is True.

Gosh.  You really can have what you want.  I am performing to the point of exhaustion and loving every minute of it.  Now, I am putting another request to the universe.  


* Please tell me you didn't watch that whole thing. 

^ Oh, wait.  Shit.  It is. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Welcome to Your (My) Life

It's 10:30 pm.  I'm sitting on stage in a cardboard box.  I'm holding a microphone.  I'm wearing a straw hat.  There's this great rhythm behind me, some groovy music, and everybody's watching.

"This song goes out to the former governor of Massachusetts, Willard Romney," I say boldly into the microphone.  Crickets.  Damn.  I thought that would win me the crowd.  I mean, this is Chicago.  This is a gay-themed restaurant in Chicago.  This is a gay-themed restaurant in Chicago full of drunks and actors.  And Romney lost less than 24 hours ago to the city's favorite son.  Yet, so far the cardboard box has garnered a stronger response than my political banter. 

Well, I'm sure the song itself will get them.

Welcome to your life . . .

Ooh.  That was a little high for me.  I should have started an octave down. 

There's no turning back . . .

Oh, great.  Now, my throat's closing. 

Even while we sleep . . .
Okay, what is going on here?  The notes in this song are bouncing around like water droplets in Jurassic Park.  Is this song changing key?  It is.  I'm sure of it.  On purpose.  The lady running this thing hates me because I laughed at her song when she performed*.  She's messing with the music. She's fucking with me. 

Everybody wants to rule the world . . .

Oh, hey.  That "world" part sounded good.  

I banter some more.  "The second verse will be on key," I say.  The second verse sneaks up on me.

It's my own design . . .

Oh, God.  That was worse than the first verse.

It's my own remorse . . .

She hates me.  She fucking hates me.  Why is this lady doing this to me?  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry I laughed at your song.  "Remember what I said about the second verse?" I banter.  "Politicians don't usually keep their word!" 


 . . . rule the world . . . 

I got the "world" note again.  I'm good at that one.  Maybe I have a one note range.  Oh, shit. 

There's a room where the light won't find you. . .

Oh, shit.

Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down . . .

Oh, shit. 

When they do, I'll be --

OH SHIT.  Give me my note back.  Give me my note back!

. . . world.

Ah.  I am a deeply talented singer of the word "world."  Is that a karaoke track?  Can I sing "world" over and over again to the roar of an adoring crowd? 

It's a good thing this karaoke stuff isn't competitive.  But if you'd like to do better than me, give it a shot

Personally, I'm going to bed.  Tomorrow morning, I'm playing the lead in a musical.


* In my defense, it was a funny song.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fifty Tints of Beaver (Chapter Two, Part Two)

Fifty Tints of Beaver
Chapter Two
Part Two

I’ve never been one for new technology, but today was the day I was going to try.  I eagerly go down in the basement.  God, look at all the cobwebs down here.  No one’s explored these regions in years.  The metaphor slaps me in the face like an overused metaphor.  It’s kind of unpleasant under here.  I see why those cleaning products are so popular.

I snap out of my thoughts when I find what I’m looking for.  An old brown box.  I slip my fingers between the soft, damp edges of the top.  I peel the worn cardboard away and reach both hands inside.  I grab blindly and sloppily until my fingers stroke a keyboard.  My old IBM laptop.  This is from an older time.  When me and Al were all over each other.  Three, four times a day.  When my muscles were firm and agile.  Before my skin was beginning to loosen around my bones.  Ugh.  I can’t think about it.  My butt bumps the concrete wall, and I barely feel it.  Plenty of padding there. 
I haul the laptop up the stairs and back into the kitchen.  While I plug it in, Arabelline swats at the cord.  I kick her away.  Bad kitty.  She’s right back at it.  I kick her away again.  Bad, bad kitty.  She falls on her side, fully exposed to my abuse.  Stupid cat.  I plug my little internet adapter into the side of the laptop.  Now I know why I bought this thing.  So how do I find the mailman?

The computer tells me that I need a network to get on the internet.  I’ve never had a network in my house.  This is so stupid.  So cold.  So passionless.  I click around on some things on the screen.  Something called “Sillybus” pops up.  When I click on it, the old IBM laptop connects to the internet.  Okay, so apparently that’s a network. 

I go to the web sites that I know are popular with Stefan.  I look on the  There are plenty of pictures, but no way to find the newly discovered object of my fantasies.  Hmm.  I know.  I’ll look on the postal service website.  Nope.  Plenty of slogans there, but no pictures of mailmen.  The internet leaves me deeply unfulfilled.    

Then I notice a folder on the computer desktop I’ve never seen before.  It’s called “Sillybus.”  So, that’s what this network thing is.  I click on it, and it opens to show me pictures, documents, and videos with names I don’t recognize.  These aren’t my files.  Should I open them?   I look at the names, but they’re all just numbers.  101111.  011312.  123111. 

I close the folder.  Even if I’m burning on the inside right now, I’m not a criminal.  I’m not going to spend my time looking through someone else’s files.  To distract myself, I order some more assorted creams from the company I’m loyal to.  Loyalty is so overrated.  The website asks me if I should sign for them upon delivery.  I check “yes” and continue to click around.  My mind wanders.  I see the mailman coming to my door.  I invite him in.  His shirt catches on the door frame, on a splinter.  “Let me help you,” I say, and tear the gentle fabric away with my teeth.  He puts his hands on my hips and presses against me.  I bite his neck, my incisors sinking in as he moans and throws me to the couch, rolling my sweatpants down from the waist while he buries my face in the cushions.  I love that he can see me, but I can’t see him.  I feel docile.  Take me.  I’m yours.  Ravage me.  He tears my panties away and has his way with me.  My shirt is still on.  I can feel the button of his pants against my softest womanhood as he finishes.  This is exactly what I ordered. 

When I refocus on what I’m doing, I realize that I’m clicking through the “Sillybus” folder again.  I’m choosing a file.  021211.  A video comes up on my screen.  Oh my God.  This is . . . she’s . . . this is Jill and Richard!  I recognize my next door neighbors, a young married couple that’s always fighting.   They keep their shades down an awful lot.  Now I know why.  God, look at you in lingerie.  You look good.  I click through other files in the “Sillybus” folder.  My screen is flooded with pictures and video.  Sometimes Jill is behind the camera, sometimes Richard.  Sometimes neither of them.  Then, I come across a video labeled “110212.”  Oh my God.  These numbers are dates.  And that’s yesterday.  I click.  Another video.  This time, both Jill and Richard are in front of the camera.  He’s wearing a suit, and she’s wearing a short skirt and white button-up blouse.  The camera shakes.  There’s a giggle.  Oh my God.  Who’s with you?  Some third person is filming!

The screen goes black.  Arabelline has pulled the computer cord out of the wall with her paw.  Aggghhhh.  Stupid cat!  I shove her aside with my foot again.  I plug the computer back in.  The screen boots up, but when I get back to my computer desktop, the Sillybus folder is gone.  Agghh.  Stupid, stupid cat!  I look for it everywhere, but I don’t know enough about computer to find it.  Or maybe it’s just gone.  Eventually, I close the laptop and go back to fantasizing about the mailman, which leads me to recess into the living room.  I really can’t take much more of this.