From the Internet

Meet Our Readers

For our last show of the year, we’re tackling Online Dating with Beth Spencer, Nancy Hightower, Brittany Meyer, Gina Wynbrandt, Gina Watters, and Special Guest Co-host Alicia Swiz. Unlike some (but not all!) attempts to find love through the Internet, it’s gonna be awesome. Come see this talent-packed lineup before you go into a pie coma. It’ll give you something new to talk about with your aunt.

Alicia Swiz

SWIZ_eqHeadshotAlicia Swiz is a Jersey Girl In Chicago by way of North Carolina. A professor and a performer, Alicia uses humor and candid observation to provide insight and awareness about gender, feminism and media. A pop culture lover with a critical eye and an activist heart, Alicia draws from her personal experience and academic training to facilitate conversations about what it means to be a feminist in 2015. Find her at or watching Bob’s Burgers.

Gina Waters

Gina WattersGina Watters is a writer originally from Michigan, but has lived in Chicago long enough to remember the Washington Red Line stop and a city without a single H&M store. She has previously read her work at “Story Sessions’ Campfire Show”, “Essay Fiesta”, “That’s All She Wrote” and “Write Club”. She hates the phrase “bucket list”, but if she were to have one, it would only include two things: to ride a Segway and to hold a baby goat. Not necessarily at the same time.

Brittany Meyer

DSC_7437Escaping Florida only three years ago, Brittany moved to Chicago in hopes of finding a career and romance. After giving up on that, she turned her attention to stand up comedy and a cat named Lil’ Rue McClanahan. Brittany has written for ‘The Women in Comedy Festival’ and her own office newsletter that she mostly keep to herself. You can see her every month as producer and host of ‘Strip Joker,’ a new, body positive, comedy showcase at Gorilla Tango Theatre, tickets available now for February 11th, March 10th and April 14th through GTT’s website. See everything Brittany does on her website,

Beth Spencer

spencer.headshotBeth Spencer is a wastewater engineering librarian who spends her days researching biosolids and dewatered sludge, but she likes to cut loose at night by dabbling in comedy, crochet, and music trivia. Beth occasionally puts her undergraduate degree in creative writing to use by blogging about gum she’s purchased on clearance, sending greeting cards to celebrities, and sporadic live lit performances.



Gina Wynbrandt

tumblr_n6o0i1SKzy1qashb7o1_1280Self-described as “the Carrie Bradshaw of comics,” Gina Wynbrandt is an artist living in Chicago. Her work focuses on romantic humiliation, personal insecurities, and pop culture. She was featured in Best American Comics 2015 and nominated for an Ignatz Award. She loves sitcoms, teen pop stars, makeup, the Internet, and being the center of attention.


Nancy Hightower

photo by April O BergelerNancy Hightower has published weird fiction and even weirder poetry (possibly the result of having grown up in the South and her dad working for three televangelists). She tried to get a PhD studying Henry James, but then realized she would never get invited to another party. She switched to creative writing and got the PhD, which meant that while there were parties, there were no jobs. So she taught a very cool class on the grotesque in art and lit at the University of Colorado until she finally published a novel, then moved to NYC three years ago, where all the weird people live.


The Dress

This weekend, a friend of a friend posted a dress on Twitter and I fell in love. Parrots and palm trees on smooth white polyester. Size 8. H&M. Shift cut. Dreamy. It made me think of bare arms and good times. Pool parties and Lost Lake. Not waking up in icy darkness with a head full of dread.

That dress was a tropical vacation in a long and shitty winter.

It’s at the Unique on Irving and Kimball, she tweeted back. If you go it might still be there. I went back to her post and looked at it. Looked at it again.

And I went. And I ruffled through a million other inferior and just plain weird dresses but I got it. It was $3.40 because Unique has half-off days. And then I got fancy cat food for my fancy cat and the bus came on time and it was perfect.

Sometimes when I’m in a particularly bad one, I complain to my dude that I need a big win. A really big win, a windfall, my ship finally coming in, a Powerball-level punch to my racing heart and sad sack mind and all the things I want to change or go away. And then I realize I’m an educated white girl of average build with features in a more or less okay arrangement – my whole life is a win. (I still want to win the lottery. I still want everything to suddenly work out all at once.)

But sometimes it’s not the big win. It’s a three-dollar dress. And sometimes it’s not even that, although yes it is perfect. It’s the walk there, the anticipation, going slightly off path and succeeding. It’s breaking routine – a reward and more often, a necessity.


What does it feel like to be an unattractive woman?

Normally I use Quora for questions about WordPress, wireframes, and APIs, but a few weeks ago this post caught my attention: What does it feel like to be an unattractive woman? A taboo topic often unacknowledged, much like the women in the comments.

The answers are quietly heartbreaking, infuriating, and familiar: being passed over for prettier people, feeling invisible, the unspeakable cruelty of children and teenagers. Familiar, but not the same: I’m a white girl of average body size. I won’t deal with a lot of scenarios described by the commenters. So I’ll save the stories about my own issues with appearance for another day (don’t worry, they’re coming). In the meantime, go give it a read.