Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'll glitter and gleam so

baubles, bangles, bright
shiny beads
sparkles, spangles
Let the festivities begin.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gesu bambino

When blossoms flower e'er 'mid the snows,
Upon a winter night,
Was born the child, the christmas rose,
The king of love and light.
The angels sang, the shepherds sang,
The grateful earth rejoiced;
And at his blessed birth the stars
Their exultation voiced.

My best pal these days at 3:00 am is Pandora.

Pandora will play with me when everybody else is asleep. Let's see what "Erik Satie" will get me. How about "Red Garland"? Tonight the spin was "Roches (Holiday)" based on a "Here's What I'm Listening To" rec from a recently confirmed friend on Facebook.

Roches (Holiday) will get you a lot of flamboyant choir music: Cambridge Singers, Vienna Boys, Morman Tabernacle. Pedal to the metal organ chords. Add to that, quavering and angelic soloists.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to Recognize a DUI Wisconsinite

Deer Season opens this weekend. Let's have a successful harvest as I've used up the last of the venison. My favorite locavore recipe is Ropa Viejo - old clothes - which features the plentiful tomatoes, peppers, onions and venison.

I don't have the recipe on hand to share but you can find it in EATING CUBAN

Thursday, November 12, 2009

She is a brown skinned Negro, the only Negro in La Farge.

When I'm kicking back, I'm doing it in the Kickapoo Valley. When googling, I'm often checking out some aspect of Vernon County. It's where I am when I'm not manning the front desk for the graveyard shift.

Day before yesterday, Ron Johnson, a neighbor on Kettle Road and a jeweler stopped by with a report and a map for the Planning Commission for Whitestown.

I didn't get a chance to tell him how much my daughter liked his earrings. She'd received them as a guest gift at a wedding she'd attended one ridge over this past summer. Her favorite earrings. Silver vertical rectangles with a dandelion design. Ron was jogging back up the hill with his dog trotting alongside at the moment I wanted to comment on his lovely designs.

When googling to figure out a way to complete the compliment, I found out that he'll be showing his wares at the Small Town Christmas Celebration in LaFarge but what was far more distractingly curious was this archived article about "Small Town La Farge". Check it out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Prepared to Tempt the Most Jaded Appetite

After attending a seminar on legal ethics, my dear friend George is coming into town. Just in time for fish fry. What better spot than Kegel's? Supper clubs, even if they are a peculiar Wisconsin institution are disappearing at an alarming rate. Rarely will you find one with the interior still recognizable from its heyday six or seven decades ago. But compare the barroom today with that of yesteryear. You'd know your way around.

and I do want to tell my friends about this place.
I'd like to mention that I haven't made an entry in DG - Digging the Graveyard - since I met George. He emerged as the answer as to how someone is supposed to get a life when working third shift.
Just tonight, I found another lovely companion for the wee hours: WGBH
Did you know that Smetana was one of eighteen children? His father had had eight children with his first two wives and the composer was the first son of the ten children with the third wife.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Am enjoying the world of Charlie Chaplin as told by Glen David Gold in Sunnyside.

Particularly interesting are the references to the Athletic Club, Mr. Chaplin's home early on in Hollywood. His Athletic Club bears quite a resemblance to my Athletic Club. They have reciprocal membership and the buildings date from the same era.

Athletic Clubs:

Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

The vintage photographs have you wondering if you're in California or in Wisconsin.

But maybe the bowling gives it away that you're in Milwaukee. The above ballroom is Los Angeles though and how similar it is to Milwaukee's.

I have a little bit of a hard time accepting that Milwaukee has such a pervasive rube reputation. But then I can be reminded (quite harshly I might add) as I click through the blogosphere.

Just tonight I come across this preoccupation with crap places featuring Milwaukee and that was about a half-hour after this little slap in the face. Go ahead: punch "Milwaukee" into the search box and you'll get these two (brewski-referenced) heartaches:


I want you in my life so bad, I’d move back to Milwaukee. And I hate Milwaukee.


It’s been four years, and merely seeing the word “Milwaukee” leaves me feeling bruised.

Does everybody deplore Milwaukee?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Therapy From Dusk to Dawn

Whatever gets you through the night.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June is Busting Out All Over

See those biased-cut asparagus stems? That's what I learned this week from Heidi Swanson's blog, 101 Cookbooks. I've done the diagonal cut with carrots and summer squash forever; makes everything cook faster and looks pretty, but I've always just done asparagus as a whole spear.

Go Diagonal with your Asparagus!

This was my quick, cheap and so delicious supper last night:

sauteed onion, yellow squash and asparagus - - tender tips on their own, stalks cut as elongated coins on the diagonal.

1/3 bag of Quorn, which is described as Quorn, a non-animal protein made from fungus. I don't know what it is but it's not meat nor dairy nor soy and has supplied me with a slew of half-off coupons for it. PFF for sure. That's chicken-style hunks of Quorn in the top photo.

Asparagus was way-cheap. Just there for the picking.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Would You Be Interested in Any Local Attractions?

I rarely see guests on the graveyard shift. The occasional late-night, TMTD* candidate but most of the wedding guests and members are checked in before I get here and they haven't even shown up for continental breakfast by the time I leave. However, should anyone want directions or a suggestion for a local eatery or a lead on the latest art exhibit, I am exceedingly well prepared having read cover-to-cover all available travel brochures and local attraction booklets displayed upon my counter.

I'd certainly suggest the upcoming Wright & Like 2009: Preservation Done Wright Tour next weekend in Madison. I'd love to go myself, but - the rub - all activities take place when I'm sleeping. I'll have to make do with these Architecture sets from Lego.

* Too Much To Drink and we have a great deal on this late night rate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Major Advantage

The major advantage for a night owl wage earner? Being able to attend to family tasks during the day.

Scored major points in picking up Mom at the airport from her weeklong stay in Denver. First time she'd traveled solo - ever. With Dad having passed away some six months ago, she's been going through a bunch of firsts. She hadn't yet taken his greeting off the cellphone which I realized when I called to see if she was at the gate or at the baggage claim.

The flight attendant had spilled tomato juice on Mom's white jacket and after futile Shout wipe swipes, it was decided that Midwest Airlines would provide a replacement jacket. In-flight chocolate chip cookies and wardrobe upgrades: sweet. Arrangements were made at the counter just as her luggage appeared on the carousel.

We managed to be in and out of the airport within the parameter of "free parking" - 30 minutes. Righteously so as I was also the designated chauffeur and bearer of medical records for my brother Terry who has finally (thankfully) agreed to an assessment of a horrifying infection of his lip and mouth.

The flexibility afforded by graveyard shift hours is especially appreciated when approaching the miasma of CSP - the Behavioral Health branch of County Services. Terry has skirted the medical authorities regarding his lip since Dad's funeral. Dad had been my brother's most effective advocate and I have been less than graceful in filling Dad's shoes.

After months of unsuccessfully trying to get Terry to at least see the barber, I resorted to bribes of cigarettes and ham sandwiches for a preliminary clean-up. No dice. When the calls came from his rooming house last week, during what is designated as my sleeptime, I was happy to be alerted that he was ready to deal with his lip.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

They Say The Neon Lights are Bright on Broadway

The neon lights guide the way with the flame atop the Gas Company being the first beacon.

When the flame is red, there's warm weather ahead!
When the flame is gold, watch out for cold!
When the flame is blue, there's no change in view!
When there's a flickering flame, expect snow or rain!

The flame has also been used as a navigation aid by Great Lakes captains. After all, the flame is 21 feet tall, it weighs four tons, and it can be seen from as far away as 30 miles!

Once I've checked in with the flame - flickering or not, I head west for two blocks catching a glimpse of the Pabst sign in the distance, but then turning on to Broadway when I see the Blatz insignia.

To review: Gas, Pabst, Blatz. Gas, Pabst, Blatz and I'm ready to start my shift.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not a Whole Lot of Takeout in the Middle of the Night

Pizza Shuttle will deliver until 3:00 am but that's about your only late night option. Look at the size of that pizza. No, I'm going to have to bring my lunch. My 3:00 a.m. lunch. My PFF lunch. (Poor Folks Food) Vegan to boot which puts me in great blog company as many are describing their vegan adventures on-line.

Tonight's brown bag: Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

Beans & Barley Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad
½ pound Wah King Chinese noodles (see note)
1 to 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup non-hydrogenated peanut butter
2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce (see note)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons shoyu
2 tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoon sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon garlic puree or 1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili paste (see note)
¼ cup warm water
3 tablespoons sliced green onions
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts

Cook noodles in 2 to 3 quarts salted water until tender. When they are done, drain and rinse in cool water.

Gently toss with the oil so noodles are lightly coated and do not stick together when they cool. Set aside.

In blender or food processor, mix together all remaining ingredients except onions and peanuts. Combine sauce and noodles in large bowl and gently toss to coat. Divide among 6 dishes and garnish each serving with the onions and peanuts. Makes about 6 side-dish servings.

Note: Wah King noodles and mushroom soy sauce are available at Asian and some specialty food stores. Soba noodles or linguine can be substituted for the Wah King noodles.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Topsy Turvey

"Have you ever worked third shift before?"

No. I hadn't.

"It may take some getting used to."

It's been six weeks now. It will take some getting used to. I begin my shift one day and finish it the next and am never quite sure whether it's yesterday, today or tomorrow. All three happen during my eight hour shift.

One thing that took no time getting used to is the commute. Six minutes by car. Sixteen minutes by bike. By bike is best. As described by a weekly dose of architecture one just pedals the beerline to the marsupial bridge and you're downtown.