Friday, August 30, 2013

Moto Psycho Babble: A Reading

And now for something totally different.

My black  heart's desire is to create useful and interesting content for my neighbors that communicates my love for our city. This, however, is not useful.

But hopefully interesting. This video features a reading of some stream of consciousness scribbling done on my lunch break in honor of the Heat. In honor of the Riders. In honor of my deceased houseplants. I hope you enjoy it!

Stay cool, Muffins.

Friday, August 23, 2013

10 Milwaukee Summer Must Do's

Summer in the cream city is short, but we have a about a month left to savor! And squeeze it we shall. Stumped about what to do with your hotness? Here are a few of my favorite Summer Must Do's:

1) Make an edible abomination at FroYo. At least three-parts breakfast cereal to one-part Yo is required. My favorite part is reading the poster in the shop that promises that not only is eating this frozen yogurt making me healthier, but giving me yeast-infection fighting super powers. I'll take it.

2) Split a bottle of champagne outside Allium Cafe. Enjoy the choice people watching with pretty company. For best results, this ritual should be repeated regularly.

3) Steal a moment alone to enjoy the swings under the Brady Street Bridge. Or find a handsome stranger to push you...into the trunk of their car. Okay, nix the handsome stranger. But really, the swings are a delightful refuge from the heat.

4) Camp out for the summer music series at Denim Park. This petite oasis showcases local music, food truck fair and all of the cutest dogs in the city. However, be prepared for hoards of children and hula-hoopers. You've been warned. Bonus: This series marries my love of live music and Reginald Baylor.

5) Enjoy a Parking Lot Lunch at El Rey's. "Parking Lot Lunch" is simple: Purchase a dozen heavenly pork tamales and scarf them in the privacy of your friends car. Pair with a Juarrito's pineapple soda and the hottest lava salsa your fleshy human face can handle. I highly recommend it.

6) Check out the view from Cafe Benelux. While the cafe's food is consistently mediocre, the view of the Third Ward from the rooftop is worth enduring the over-dressed salad. You get a beautiful view of all the textures, skyline, and raw character of the historic neighborhood. Plan dinner during a thunderstorm to watch the clouds roll in.

7) Sun yourself at Southshore beach. Or pick up rocks. Or snap photos of sail boats. Or build a fort. Or sit in a willow tree. Or find a commendably  constructed garbage bong. Or don't. There are far fewer wet dogs, questionable bathrooms and drunk zombies than other beaches. It's like Bradford for misanthropes.

8) Wear a big hat. It's a thing you do in the summer. 

9) Stomp around Bayview Gallery Night. Third Ward, you're great. But your million dollar paintings of fruit and dixie cups of room temperature wine have left us wanting. Bayview has some exciting pop art offerings, heavy libations and a cute guy selling stick on-mustaches. SOLD.

10) Visit the Watertower fountains at night. Have an illuminated fantasy photo shoot and dip your toes in the water before you are arrested.

How do you do summer in the city, kittens?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

costume of the week: my little pony

This week's costume is actually a costume. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Cheryl Holterman on an extra silly article at the Cutting Group which required a pile of cotton candy extensions. You can check out the shenanigans here.

The Outfit: F21 champagne party dress, Target leopard tights, glasses from grandma's dresser and a wide brimmed hat I scored from a resale shop during last weeks road trip.

I feel like Bob Dylan on the cover of Desire when I wear it.

If Bob had a sweet blue side-pony.

Be sure check out Cheryl's page here!

What are you wearing this week, Muffins?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Blue Jacket

I've been dying to get into this new darling since it opened a few weeks ago and was finally able to coerce someone into giving me a ride to Walker's Point. (Aka: date night.)

It was worth the wait.

Visiting Blue Jacket is like dining in your dream boat house: casual, clean decor with selective bits of driftwood and glass that quietly hint at its maritime theme. A breeze floats through the small candle lit dining room as the entire front of the restaurant is an open window.  

The Shins are softly spinning on the record player. 

Cozying up to the bar, we started with cocktails. The London Fog was my poison of choice: an elegantly mixed and mysterious smokey gin potion. God Bless you, Bittercube.

Nerd Side Note: I would like to high-five management for hiring a designer to create the menu. So often, a good menu is ruined by distracting half-assed layouts. These particularly delicious offerings deserve attention.

Thank you, Mystery Designer, whoever you are. You're an American Hero.

There was much deliberation over which savory morsels we were going to destroy. We were pleasantly surprised by our "small plate" portions. My roasted vegetable poutine was delivered in a small canoe with a generous side of a velvety mushroom gravy.

I was conflicted about licking the plate.

It's gravy. Don't judge me.

The food, atmosphere and company were so divine that I neglected to document any of it. My Real Life at that moment was too awesome for my phone. I apologize dear Reader, I know you REALLY wanted to see poorly lit pictures of my decimated half eaten meat balls.

So here's a picture I didn't take:

With the addition of an attentive and charming waitstaff, our meal felt like a relaxed dinner party with friends. There was no rushing, no shouting over lousy music, no impatient thumb twiddling--

Just a satisfying summer night on the Third Coast.

Get thee to Blue Jacket. You won't be disapointed.
Where have you been nibbling?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Not So Secret: A Love Story

I was being watched.

Our rented house is squeezed between two large apartment complexes with a hundred windows staring down at our little patch of yard. Despite our best efforts to ignore the voyeuristic circumstances, we quickly came to terms with the fact that we had become entertainment.

Yesterday my suspicions were confirmed in the most awesome way possible.

We received a letter in the post from an anonymous poetic neighbor thanking us for our garden.

 When we moved in earlier this year, the "yard" was a dump. And I don't mean unkempt I mean a dump: bags of ancient garbage, skeletons of broken windows, piles of shattered glass, rotting lumber, balls of rusted barbed wire.

Barren save for a gigantic rogue dildo.

A gift from a neighbor, no doubt. Naturally, we were compelled to documented it.

The "yard" was such a sty that the neighbors on either side felt generous enough to contribute their own garbage-- flinging beer cans, fast food wrappers and cigarette butts from their balconies.

I'd never had a garden. I had attempted garden-like efforts on previous rented properties but they were often short lived as the containers were quickly stolen or turned into ashtrays.

We were smitten with our bit of grass. It could have been full of medical waste or beached whales.

We didn't care. The dream of our own little patch of herbs and flowers was so tantalizing that we set out with makeshift haz-mat suits and slowly defunked the yard weekend by weekend.

My seedlings are Little Shop of Horrors ready now. So proud.

With the help of patient and crafty friends, we planted seeds and collected rocks from the lake to build beds, raked out the refuse and mowed. All the while, I felt like we were a cable access program for the neighbors as they pretended not to watch us, slinking behind vertical blinds.

What? You've never seen a blue haired lady in leopard print scream at to-go cup lid lodged in her weed-whacker? 

Several months and many splinters later our little garden is alive: a plump row Fuscia zinnias bobbing. Stalks of sunflowers towering and ready to bloom. Moon flower tendrils creeping while we weren't watching. Birds and butterflies are regular guests.

Receiving a love letter from next door was an unexpected and much needed reminder that the things you do Do Matter. The stuff you pour your love into does not go unnoticed.

Well, Next Door.
You are welcome to share it with us. It's not just our garden anymore and we couldn't be happier.

With Much Love,
Your Not-So-Secret Gardener