Archive for July, 2005

I am sad.

Friday, July 29th, 2005 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

Good bye, National Liquor Bar. I didn’t visit you often, but I always had fun when I did.

Head. All. Spinny.

Friday, July 29th, 2005 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Hi internets! Did you miss me? I missed you. I’m sorry I’ve neglected you this week. It’s been a busy one. Let’s recap.

Friday was the STaLL show/birthday night out. Excellent company, cocktails all around and a fun show. Special thanks to the STaLL guys for the little “Happy Birthday Anne” signs on the backs of their guitars and for the cool t-shirt. You guys are the best. Photos are here.

Saturday turned out to be an interesting day. We had some rather nasty storms move through the area, so there was a lot of time spent watching Intellicast and various local weather updates and waiting for the impending doom to arrive. The storms missed the East Side/Downtown for the most part, though you’d never have known that was going to happen, what with the tornado sirens going off and all. (Memo to the City of Milwaukee: If you set off the tornado siren, do it for tornados. If you start setting it off for things like high winds and thunderstorms, we’re going to start ignoring it and that would be bad.) Because of uncertainty about the weather, plans to see Caitlin Cary at the Downer Ave. Bike Race were scrapped in favor of grilling out at my friend Jonathan’s, as he has a semi-covered balcony. We grilled up some very tasty vittles and watched the Festa Italiana fireworks. Turned out to be quite a nice evening. Ha — take that, weathermen!

Unfortunately, Sunday was one of those miserable horrors of a summer day, with 95+ degree temperatures and 6 zillion percent humidity. It was rather like being in a sauna, if the sauna you frequent has an unyielding sun and low-hanging haze. But all was not lost, as Fes from 9622 was in town, and we were determined to have ourselves a lovely evening, weather be damned. It was too hot for a proper pub crawl, but we hit a couple different local haunts: Water St. Brewery for dinner and some local microbrews, the Harp (where the a/c was out, so we retired to the riverside deck), the Safe House for some spy-related fun (photos: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), and a final stop at the Wicked Hop before calling it a night. Fes is 9622 regular #3 I’ve met this year, and I have to tell you, so far it’s an excellent, witty, fun group.

Whew. Good weekend. Took Monday off of work, but spent most of it cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, hiding from the heat, etc. You know — all the dull, but much-needed, things.

Most of this week’s been spent on deadline, and doing things like getting my hair cut and running to the post office and such. Except last night.

Last night, Bruce Campbell was in town, promoting his new book and movie. The festivities were taking place at the Oriental, which is the Best Theatre in the World (and I’m not just saying that ‘coz it’s closest to my house). Our group included Steelbuddha and MHG, our coworker Tim and his girlfriend Megan, some friends of Megan & Tim’s and, later, my brother. We waited in the ginormous line outside the theatre, but it was worth it once we got to Bruce. He was utterly charming and actually chatted with you while he signed your book. Seemed like a very personable guy.

After the signing, we retired to the patio at Hooligans for a few cocktails and some food while we waited for Bruce’s talk and the movie showing. While we were sitting there, Ted Raimi walks out of the bar and heads up the street. I stayed at the bar, but SB, MHG and Tim & Megan’s friends went after him and got some photos. Turns out he’s a nice guy, too. (Two nice celebs in one day. What are the odds?) After the food and cocktails, we returned to the theatre for a short talk from Bruce and Ted and the showing of The Man with the Screaming Brain. It was a late night, but it was all worth it.

On tap for this weekend: Gallery Night, landlord stuff (ah, the tenant switchover. what fun) and possibly a trip to Iowa for the Sweeney family reunion. Guess I’ll sleep next week.

Deadlines trump blogging

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 | Life in Czeltistan | 5 Comments

Trying to finish up a site by this afternoon, so blogging’s taken a back seat. Would have done it last night, but the internets connection at home is down. Again. *grumble*

So, meantime, here’s a little story on a cool popcorn & candy wagon near my house. Their popcorn is awesome.

As for the parking lot behind it becoming retail space, I have only one thing to say (Hide the kids, rant ahead): Fuck you, Mike D’Amato. Y’know what’d be nice? Having one goddamn parking lot left on our side of town. Grrr. How do you keep getting re-elected?


Friday, July 22nd, 2005 | You Call This News? | No Comments

Yeah. I don’t think this guy could have convinced the cops he wasn’t huffing paint. Though if he was in Milwaukee, he could have just claimed to be making a statement about Marquette’s nickname fiasco from earlier this summer.

Virtual cake for everyone

Friday, July 22nd, 2005 | Life in Czeltistan | 14 Comments

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Etc.

Apparently someone just down the block is celebrating. That’s nice of them, but as it’s after midnight on a school night, I wish they’d shut the hell up. Oh, and knock it off with the fireworks. The 4th was weeks ago. Let it go.

(Yes! I’ve officially become the cranky old cat lady of the block! Do I get a sash or some kind of badge to wear?)

And now, to begin my b-day with one of my favorite activities: Sleeping.

Lede goes here

Thursday, July 21st, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | No Comments

Anecdotal Leads for News Stories Reporting the End of the World

An hour of respite

Thursday, July 21st, 2005 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

Despite a rather nasty storm (with scary churning cloud action!), Steelbuddha and I needed an hour away from the computers, so we ventured out to one of the area’s fine watering holes for some lunch. You can read all about our thrilling adventures at SB’s blog. (Thar be snarking.)

Two important lessons were driven home at the end of the hour. The first is that even though The Wicked Hop’s veggie wrap is astonishingly tasty, it is also the size of my head and should not be consumed in its entirety in one sitting. The second lesson is that I should never leave my camera at home. On the walk back we passed one of the small local shops in the Third Ward. They had a rather large puddle in the middle of the sidewalk outside their door. Rather than curse the new lake forming between their establishment and their potential customers, they chose to float three little rubber duckies in the new water hazard. The duckies looked like they were having a fine time.

A film list I can use

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 4 Comments

Films ordered by the use of the F-bomb.

Huh. I’ve only seen 29 of the 43 and only 3 of the top 10.

Best. Obit. Evar.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 | You Call This News? | No Comments

Thanks to mowokyboy for passing along this fantastic obit. And a follow-up column on it, in case you’re curious.

FYI, the Wisconsin photographer mentioned in the follow-up column was Dale Guldan. I worked at The Milwaukee Journal newsroom for a few years in the late-80s and knew Dale. Contrary to what the nice people from Raleigh/Durham think, he deserved every inch of ink he got. Dale was a very nice guy and a helluva photographer.

The campaign begins

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 1 Comment

Get your position here

You bet yer sweet behinds my title will be Minister of Righteous Anger.

15 years already?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb, Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

I still remember the day Roald Dahl died. Upon learning of his death, I called a friend and insisted we go to the bar and tip a pint in his honor. He’d never heard of Roald Dahl (though he was familiar — via the movie — with Willy Wonka), but he still thought the drinks were a good idea. I can’t believe that was nearly 15 years ago.

My aunt and uncle had gotten me a copy of James and the Giant Peach when I was little. That was my first exposure to Dahl, though not the only for long. The two Charlie books are still some of my favorites and though I was an adult when Matilda came out, I still really enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ll bother with the new Willy Wonka movie, though. I was never a fan of the old one. I was indifferent towards it until they got to the part where the square candies that looked ’round were supposed to appear, but didn’t. For some reason, that irritated me enough that it ruined the whole film. That was my favorite thing in the book when I was little and how dare they leave it out? (Yes, I’m weird. You should have figured that out by now.)

So anyhow, all this is just leading up to the fact that I was digging through the New Yorker’s archives and found they have a lovely piece on Dahl from May, and I wanted to share. Oh, how I’d love to go to the estate opening some time. Maybe Felicity will stretch her definition of “children” to include big children who haven’t quite grown up yet. I think I would qualify.

Har har

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | No Comments

Google Moon

Zoom all the way in.

Happy Moon Landing Day.

Google Maps: Even cooler than we thought

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005 | You Call This News? | No Comments

How Google Maps helped a guy get out of a traffic ticket. Very, very nice.

The same, but different

Monday, July 18th, 2005 | Design-y Bits | No Comments

Metro Bits has a very cool page of international subway logos. It’s interesting to see how many different ways you can come up with a logo based on the letters “M” and “T” and how many systems share nearly identical logos.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see how many I recognized. I have a fascination with subway maps and logos, and to some extent, stations. (Speaking of which, check out Metro Bits’ station photos.) I try to get a system map every time I’m on a new one and I think I’ve still got a token or card from every system I’ve been on. (I may be missing the Vancouver one. Darn — I’ll just have to go back.)

Memos from a weekend

Monday, July 18th, 2005 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

To: The Airshow Organizers and/or the US Military:
My kitties request compensation of the equivalent of one kitty life each to replace the amount scared out of them by your fly-bys of our apartment this weekend. They spent much of the daylight hours underneath the bed, fur puffed out, muttering little kitty swears. (Their mom secretly thought it was pretty cool, but let’s keep that information under our hats, shall we?)

To: The asshat in the Jetta I almost t-boned this weekend:
The Blue Angels or the road you’re crossing: You must choose one of these to look at. If you choose the former, please pull over to the side of the road until your curiosity is sated. Also: When you’ve just pulled out in front of a moving car and nearly caused its driver to slam into you, saying “Oops” and then driving off quickly is not the proper response.

To: The guy walking to Bastille Days, discussing history with his lady friend:
It’s better to just stay quiet on a subject than to say something like “…but only American history, not world history. World history’s too boring.”

To: The Milwaukee Police Dept.:
If you’re expecting 150,000 people at the lakefront for an event — especially when there is another free event going on six blocks away, perhaps having someone around afterward to direct traffic and pedestrians would be a swell idea. Those of us who live in the area and have to navigate through the mess would really, really appreciate it. (Secondary note: Having 4 cops at one intersection and none anywhere else does not constitute “having someone around.”)

To: The sun:
Ok. Enough. We get it. You’re hot. Very spectacularly hot. Bravo. Now bring back the cooler weather. Please?

Noisy birdies

Thursday, July 14th, 2005 | Life in Czeltistan | 2 Comments

Lookie what flew over my building at work today. Hello, Blue Angels.

Initial thought: “What’s wrong now?”
Secondary thought: “Oh, must be an airshow this weekend.” They really should publicize these things better.

Ahh, the movies

Thursday, July 14th, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 2 Comments

Forty things that only happen in the movies

Um… #20 hits a little close to home.

While My Ukelele Gently Weeps

Thursday, July 14th, 2005 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 2 Comments

Here are some words I thought I’d never hear myself say: You’ve got to check out this guy and his ukelele.

Jake Shimabukuro’s got a video of himself playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps on the ukelele. (Quicktime ahoy. 9mb) He’s fantastic. Who knew someone could coax that much sound out of a four-stringed instrument? Check out his site if you wanna hear more.

Small follow-up

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 | Bloggity goodness, Fun With Teh Intarweb | 1 Comment

Well, that’s fantastic. I am now the number one Google result for “squirrel venting”.

Poor squirrels.

Quick — someone see if Hell’s frozen over

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 | You Call This News? | No Comments

The NHL owners and players have reached an agreement on the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement!

Well finally. It’s about time there was some good news.