Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

Ms. Weregun

Posted on April 16, 2014

A Strange Chicago Neighbor

Late last summer I was sitting on my porch enjoying a glass of beer when I had to move over and make room for a coffin to get by.

 That’s right, emerging from the front door of my apartment building was a silver and black casket carried by two muscular, yet feminine-looking boys wearing daisy duke shorts. Now ordinarily you might think this is strange. But not when you live where I do. Not when your neighbor on the third floor of your three-flat is Ms. Weregun.

 The boys loaded the coffin in a truck and said goodbye to Ms. Weregun, who was now standing behind me.

 “Hey Larry, I got something for you,” she said.

 “It’s Liffey.”

 “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

 “Thank you.”

 Ms. Weregun was middle-aged with long straight black hair – it nearly went down to her ass. She looked like a really pale American Indian. She was unkempt although not in a homeless way.

 I first met Ms. Weregun while visiting my upstairs neighbors on the second floor, the Bristol girls. Katie Bristol studies at the University of Chicago and is a rower. Her older sister Emma works in public relations.

 I was having a beer with Katie, Emma, and Emma’s girlfriend when there was a knock on the door. It was Ms. Weregun.

 She wanted to borrow an ice tray from the girls. Katie politely told her they didn’t have an empty one available. During their brief conversation at the door Ms. Weregun was straining to get a look at me sitting in the kitchen.

 “Who’s that asshole,” I heard her say.

 “That’s the new tenant downstairs Ms. Weregun,” Katie said.  “Liffey. He’s really cool.”

 “Well I don’t want him coming upstairs to my place.”

 The Bristol girls moved in not long before I did. They didn’t know Ms. Weregun that well, only that she occasionally stopped by with strange requests (one single match, an empty aspirin bottle, a red T-shirt, a mirror).

 My second encounter with Ms. Weregun came the following Saturday morning when I awoke from my couch under the open front window. She was kneeling in front of the screen, staring at me.

 “Jesus,” I said.

 “Good morning Larry. I was just clipping your bushes here. I hope I didn’t wake you.”

 “No, and it’s Liffey.”

 “Did you sleep well?” Is that couch comfortable? You looked hot and I was going to spray some water on you.”

 “That’s OK, thanks,” I said.

 “I have some friends coming over later and I don’t want you to concern yourself with it.”

 I wasn’t sure how to reply to that but before I could she was gone.

 A day later I was unlocking my door to get in when she suddenly appeared behind me.

 “Larry when you use the bathroom in my place I have to insist you sit down.”

 “I’ll remember that,” I said, recalling she didn’t want me up there anyway. And why would I? I might never get out.

 The following night myself, Aidan, Johnny and Chicago reclusive author Clive Javanski were heading to the Bristol apartment for a card game and a few beers. Ms. Weregun came down the stairs.

 “Larry I want you to give this broom to the lesbians.”

 I gave it to the Katie, telling her Ms. Weregun was giving her the broom back.

“We never loaned her a broom. This isn’t ours.”

“Your neighbor is fucked up,” Aidan said.

 The next morning as I was leaving for a run I ran into Clive walking down the stairs. Apparently he never left the building last night. But he didn’t stay in my place, nor the Bristols’.

“She’s not that bad,” he said.

I looked upstairs at a smiling Ms. Weregun. Then she started doing a dance that involved her crotch sticking out.

I left.

She Stole My Pants

Our three apartments shared a laundry room in the building. Some of my clothes went missing. Maybe Katie, who I was developing a slight crush on, was doing something with them. Weird, but interesting. But no. It was Ms. Weregun. Just weird.

 I figured it out when one of her Boystown boys came knocking on my door – wearing my jeans.

“Hi, are you Larry? Ms. Weregun wanted you to have this witchetty grub she made. It’s Australian.”

“It’s Liffey. Where did you get those jeans?”

He smiled and left.

I looked in the box and it was some kind of larvae worm-looking thing. I gave it to Clive.

Then came the coffin incident. And then a few weeks later Ms. Weregun was gone. The landlord said she had another place in the city and that “she might be back.” He was going to sublet the apartment.

 The next morning there was a carefully wrapped box at my door. It was from Ms. Weregun. Although she had my name right this time I still refused to open it without gloves and a long stick. When I did it was filled with old records she wanted me to store for her. As I went through them I found several nude pictures of her. Some were even taken on our porch.

I still had my gloves on when I gave them to Clive.

 

 

Coming Soon to The Dodgy: Strange Frat, Assholes, Ms. Weregun, and City Babes

Posted on April 9, 2014

In no particular order of appearance, here’s what’s coming to The Dodgy

The Young Martens

Life, love, and death within a college (secret) fraternity.

The Asshole Book Club Part 3

The assholes got together again recently with two new additions. Things happened.

Ms. Weregun

It’s not every day, and not very normal, when you see a coffin being carried out of your three-flat apartment building by three buff boys in daisy duke shorts. Unless you live in my building and your upstairs neighbor is Ms. Weregun. (Now Up!)

City Babes

An interview with actresses Cora Benesh and Jillian Leigh on their new well-received indie film City Baby. The typical Dodgy interview where we find out things like if the duo was a band, what kind of band would they be? City Baby will have worldwide distribution through iTunes (http://bit.ly/1qYrocl) and other VOD platforms for release on April 22.

Jillian Leigh and Cora Benesh image

Jillian Leigh and Cora Benesh of “City Baby”

Being “Shameless” with Nichole Bloom

Posted on April 6, 2014

She played the lead role in the indie drama Model Minority. She was in the party film Project X. She appeared in Teen Wolf. But it’s Nichole Bloom’s scene-stealing turn as Amanda on Shameless that has many viewers asking, “Who’s that girl?”

Nichole Bloom Shameless interview image

Amanda. Lip’s college roommate’s girlfriend. When we first meet Amanda she won’t include Lip in study group and refused to share Hot Pockets with him (“only have two”). But before long she leaps across the dorm room to Lip’s bed. More importantly it’s her help with the books and the babysitting that allows Lip to deal with another Gallagher family crisis. In a recent episode when Lip is asked whose car he’s driving, he replies, “It’s Amanda’s. She’s sorta my, uh…I don’t know.”

While he figures that out let’s get to know Nichole Bloom.

What were your initial reactions about being cast in Shameless and learning about your character?

I was grateful to be cast in a quality show, but I didn’t know that my role would expand to the extent it did. I never expected Amanda to get so involved in Lip’s life. Reading the episodes week to week and finding out something new about my character was fun.

Shameless has always had fun, strong, interesting roles for women. They’re not one-dimensional. How did it feel to become a part of that?

It feels great! I get to explore a very specific part of my own personality that only comes out around a few certain people. Now it’s like anyone who watches the show is seeing this side of me.

 How was it working with Jeremy Allen White (Lip) and meeting other cast members?

Jeremy is a pro. I learned a lot by observing him. I got to meet everyone on set throughout the season. I remember meeting Joan Cusack while I was getting my hair and makeup done. I think she’s so brilliant on the show and it was one of those things I didn’t know who should say hi first, so I got up the courage to act casual about introducing myself, but she was the one person I got a little star struck around because I love her work so much. She was very kind when I did finally say hi.

What did you do around the city when you were filming on location in Chicago?

I just wanted to wander and eat good food, so I would go out by myself any opportunity I had. My castmate James Allen McCune (Matty) shared an enthusiasm for indulging in food with me during the trip. I’ve never eaten so much Italian food in my life. There’s this place called Eataly that was basically a three-story Italian food court, so I spent a good chunk of time there.

 How was the experience of being the lead on Model Minority and playing a character like Kayla?

We had to shoot quickly and also I was juggling finals when we were filming. I remember I was writing neuroscience term paper on set. But that whole experience gave me more confidence as an actor, and I am grateful to (writer/director) Lily Mariye for giving me that opportunity. She’s also a friend now, so that’s an added bonus.

Nichole Bloom Model Minority interview image

Nichole Bloom in “Model Minority”

Due to your role on Shameless you must be getting recognized by more people. Have things changed when you’re out in public?

Usually when I meet people who watch the show they don’t recognize me until someone else tells them I’m on it. Then they’re like, “oooh you’re that girl?!” I think it’s because in real life I’m quite different from Amanda.

Your perfect date?

Oh, whatever. If I’m hanging out with someone I’m really into, I could be in the back ally of a punk venue where it smells like piss and have a great time.

You go home after filming an episode of Shameless - what music do you need to have on? Who are some of your favorite artists?

Sometimes after a day of work I just need to dance in my room. Rap and hip hop hits the spot. Right now I love that song “Bad” by Wale.

Favorite TV shows and/or films?

I don’t have a TV, just Netflix on my computer, so I usually end up watching documentaries.

Food and beverage of choice?

If it had no affect on my health, I would only eat ice cream all day. My favorite drink is beer – Red Stripe.

How has your family reacted to your career?

My mom gets excited for me most. Her side of the family is all in Japan, so they don’t see anything I do. She won’t watch certain scenes I do more than once. It can be uncomfortable for her. She’s really a conservative, old-fashioned Japanese woman.

Do you speak Japanese?

I do speak Japanese; I love whipping it out and surprising people who don’t realize I’m Asian.

Do you enjoy doing comedy and drama equally?

I love both. Comedy is more instinctual for me.

Bloom’s Shameless Future

Next season is kind of still up in the air. I don’t know myself.

Amanda does have a scene with Mandy Milkovich, Lip’s longtime on-and-off girlfriend, who last season ran over Karen, Lip’s other girlfriend.

I don’t die, so I guess it’s left open-ended.

Bloom’s B-Sides

She stars in the short film, Full Circle, with Justin Chon, who wrote and directed it. She also stars in his new movie, Man-Up! She hopes it will be released soon.

“Please ask Justin for me, I can’t get a straight answer from him!”

Bloom appears in an episode this season of Teen Wolf in which she plays a group leader in a World War II internment camp.

“It was an interesting role and different than anything I’ve ever done.”

Bloom lends her voice to the PlayStation video game, Until Dawn, with Hayden Panettiere.

“Working on ‘Until Dawn’ was unique. It was a blank environment with a camera attached to a five-pound helmet, and then you’re running and screaming all the time.”

Bloom is  half-Irish.

Bloom produced, wrote, and directed the comedy short Kiko in America. She plays four different characters and it’s available on the Funny Or Die website.

“I like creating my own material because you still want to be creative when you’re not working on a job.”

Before our conversation Bloom was listening to Otis Redding (“I love Pain in My Heart”).

Bloom’s movie recommendation to The Dodgy is Blue is the Warmest Color which won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. “I love that movie and I did a lot of research on it after I watched it and how they made it. It was really fascinating. I think it’s one of the best movie’s ever.” The Dodgy recommended to Bloom Lost and Delirious. It was a coincidence that our movie recommendations involve lesbian relationships.

Nichole Bloom interview image

Nichole Bloom as Amanda in “Shameless”

 

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