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Tales & Ales: Chase chill with a stories and spirits at live lit events

AuthorsBram Stoker

Looking for a good reason to leave the house in the dead of winter? The stories at these live lit events--and the beers and cocktails recommended by the hosts—are sure to warm your spirit.

I [Bleep] You Not! (An Evening of Storytelling Not for the Faint of Fart)
Go: 8 p.m. Jan. 31 at Township, 2200 N. California Ave.
Tickets: $5; 773-384-1865; ticketweb.com
Co-hosts Monte LaMonte ("Off the Eatin' Path" from WCIU-TV's "You & Me in the Morning") and comedian Michael Sanchez bring you true anecdotes about bodily functions gone wrong from storytellers Nikki Pierce and Marco Reyna and comedians Joe Kwaczala, Angela Vela, Mary Pat Bohan and Jesse Baltes, plus poo-themed refreshments including oddly shaped brownies and a kitty litter cake. Join in an audience contest with a truly terrible experience of your own and you could win what the hosts refer to as "fabulous poo-rizes."
Sanchez recommends: "The drink special of the evening [is] a beer/whiskey pairing of Old Milwaukee and Old Grand-Dad for $6."

Tuesday Funk: Not Your Parents' Valentine's Day Edition
Go: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St.
Tickets: No cover; 773-334-9851; tuesdayfunk.org
For the monthly series' 54th installment, founders Bill Shunn and Sara Ross Witt introduce saucy and subversive fiction and non-fiction from authors Gina Frangello ("Slut Lullabies"), Patricia McNair ("The Temple of Air"), Hanna Martine ("Liquid Lies") and Bram Stoker Award-winner John Everson ("Covenant"), plus comedian Mary Pat Bohan, who switches gears from her I [Bleep] You Not! appearance. Shunn contributes a poem to round out the program.
Shunn recommends: "Dare we suggest this fine local beer as our pairing for the evening's reading: Half Acre's Two Tugs, a nice, thick brown ale with notes of toffee and cherry." ($5)

Two Cookie Minimum: Spectacular All Female Showcase
Go: 9 p.m. Feb. 5 at Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave.
Tickets: No cover; 773-709-1401; twocookieminimum.blogspot.com
Local writer and zinester Johnny Misfit presents an all-lady lineup starring singer-songwriter and Curioddity zine creator Dalice Malice, local writers Jessi Lee Gaylord, Benicia Blue, Meghan McGrath and Janna Sobel and comic artist Rachel Foss, who reads from a new work. The series got its name from its original home at Fritz Pastry, where attendees were encouraged to purchase two cookies rather than ponying up a cover charge. It's since moved to the quirky Roscoe Village tavern but Misfit keeps the theme with free cookies for the audience.
Misfit recommends: He sought a draft beer to tie in to the female readers but, "the bar said, 'our taps are very male and very angry.'" The selection that sounds the most female-inspired to Misfit? "Half Acre Gossamer on tap ($4.50)."

Seven Deadly Sins
Go: 8 p.m. Feb. 12 at Cafe Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Tickets: No cover; 773-877-3327; cafemustache.com
"Come for the stories, stay for the sins," says founder Angela Vela (who also appears at I [Bleep] You Not!). Vela hosts pieces on pre-assigned sins by Curbside Splendor editor Jacob S. Knabb (gluttony), Stoop-Style Stories founder Lily Be (wrath), comedians Megan Gailey (pride) and Jeff Hansen (envy) and writers Sarah Gallagher (lust), Chris Bower (greed) and Russ Woods (sloth).
Vela recommends: "The Irish Coffee ($8) for a couple reasons: 1. I often can't decide whether I feel like getting coffee or alcohol. They are plentiful in the coffee-to-whiskey ration, meaning this drink has a bite in the best way. 2. Like the Irish Coffee (Mexican coffee, whiskey, raw sugar and cream), the show is a blend of mixed ingredients that come together for greater good--different styles (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, mixed media) and performers (comedians, readers, storytellers)." 

Solo in the 2nd City
Go: 8 p.m. Feb. 13 at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave.
Tickets: No cover; 312-226-8828; solointhe2ndcity.com
All the single ladies--and the single dudes--discuss various facets of non-married life including dating, sex, dealing with crazy cats and more at Carly Oishi and Melinda McIntire's first anniversary show, which features writers Jasmine Davila, Charlotte Hamilton, Chris Bower (who also reads the night before at Seven Deadly Sins), Blake Dinwiddie and Bitches Gotta Eat blogger Samantha Irby, plus music by DJ Continental and a pre-show champagne reception (7-8 p.m.).
McIntire recommends:  "The $8 special for a martini and manicure. (It's usually $10.) Get your nails did and have a drink!"
Julia Borcherts is a RedEye special contributor.

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