Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just another day, part II

Yesterday we spent the gloomy, misty afternoon working on our apartment building- you know, keeping things safe, sanitary, and attempting to make it a little bit nice too. It is adjacent to the high-voltage power lines that occupy a wide green median at 20th street. It's become a dumping ground- and when mattresses end up there, whoa! Instant playground!

Hard to see above, but Red Shirt is airborne.

The nurse part of me that is concerned about public health and safety in Milwaukee's north side population was easily won over by the easily-amazed part of me that said "OMG backflips!!!" and went to get the camera.

Executing high-risk behavior + No Trespassing signs+ bedbugfilled mattresses+being pretty much right in traffic=awesome moves.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Just another day

Went shopping today, hit the thrifts. Blessed Again Resale at 76th and Hampton is always a good bet. There I ran into local author John Hoh and discussion of the history of Lutheran hymnals ensued. So, in the parking lot there is still a giant pile of snow. Not really snow per se anymore- it's shrunken dirt. There was a dude in the parking lot selling CD's and DVD's out of an old van. Business was good. Just another Milwaukee day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Unnatural disaster

We won't be getting anything from FEMA for the flood damage we got this year, and that's ok. We neither need nor want it. Real disasters like Hurricane Katrina are FEMA-worthy. I'd like some disaster relief for this, though. At least we got to keep his security deposit.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Situation all clear.

(Almost) all systems have returned to normal, as of about 6pm yesterday. The Great Flood of 2010 wreaked havoc in Riverotterland- you may know that we own and maintain an eight-family apartment building and four other duplexes besides the one that we live in, and had a total of three basement sewer backups 7/22. We're finally all clean and sanitized with the currently necessary appliances and hot water heaters running. I have a lot of people to thank for assistance and gifts and time and food and etc. So, in something like chronological order:

Kathy, for food, cleaning assist, extra gloves, hot shower, and gin-and-tonics.

Char and John, for emotional support, food, wet vac, dehumidifier, extra cleaning supplies, and cleaning help.

My mom, for understanding, a huge bag of rags and towels, bleach, dinner, and a box fan.

My boss, who gave me the week off. I didn't even have to ask.

Brain's workplace, who gave him the week off and sent "four womens, ready to work!" They did, too. Awesome.

Kreuter, for tireless work and good company.

My dad, for a dehumidifier and a box fan.

Mr Sebald, for - yes- a dehumidifier.

Pabst Blue Ribbon, for making the situation tolerable.

FEMA, for making a dramatic appearance two doors down with Scott Walker and news cameras, and allowing me to tell them ALL about the turds in the basement. With photos. Which I won't show you here. Here's a monarch butterfly instead.

We now have monarch caterpillars on that plant, fattening up and enjoying life, waiting to metamorphose into their next stage: metaphorically, I am as well, even if it's just back to normal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh, crap.

We had Weather last night, alright. This is a pic from after it had mostly subsided. Treacherous flooded streets. Manholes and sewers spewing poopwater like geysers. Cars with blinkers on and people randomly pulling U-turns trying to snake their way through rising waters. Frantic calls to my mom in the next county hoping she could figure out by telepathy or satellite or something which streets were dry enough to drive on. Finally parking four blocks away and scrambling up the incline under I-43 above the flooding, then wading the rest of the way- soaked. Last night was...intense! At least I didn't end up in a sinkhole or struck by lightning. The constant- literally- sirens we heard while cleaning up the six or seven inches of shitwater from the basement served as a sobering reminder that there were lots of people out there who were worse off. Our downstairsika cooked us an amazing dinner and made me a gin and tonic, we comiserated with the neighbors, and then we got to work carrying bucket after bucket after bucket of Hepatitis C and gonorrhea and ringworm and ... out of the basement.

Home Depot was out of bleach this morning and sump pump hoses and dehumidifiers, expecting trucks from neighboring counties to bring more supplies for the gloved hordes. We had one bottle left from last week's sewer backup floating around down there.
Guess I'd better get back to work.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


What's cuter than baby anything? Not much. These geese live in and around the retention pond nearby.
Here you can see that a couple of the babies have a different wing feather coloration. I was told by a woman who (lives? works?) happened to be across the street from the pond that these two different ones are sort of foster geese that the adults in the previous photo are raising. Since she walked across the street and honked at them to get them to come to her- and they all came running!- I figured she must know what she was talking about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oak Leaf Trail construction

So, the convenient bridge over Capitol Drive that turns the Oak Leaf Trail into a magical Bicycle Superhighway is under construction (heavy sigh with exhalation of ozone action alert air).

Yes, I can manage the detour through the Baker's Square parking lot. Yes, I still get to avoid getting run over by people racing to get Egg McMuffins at the drive-thru. But, man.

City streets are much more interesting than a bunch of trees anyway, right?

Here is the mockup of the new bridge. It looks pretty. It is supposed to be done by November. Besides, all the clear-cutting required by the project reveals this long-hidden masterpiece, below.

Construction details and updates are available here and here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Woodland flowers

Brain and I found ourselves in South Milwaukee the other day on a sunny late afternoon. There's a historic mansion on the golf course that needed some exploring, then we headed out to the Seven Bridges Trail.

How can it be a violet if it's yellow? Maybe it's a viola.

Apparently, the Seven Bridges Trail that we followed is known for paranormal activity. We noted none.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (above) must have kept that away while we were there.

Trillium-above- is my very favorite. It's a woodland sprite, elusive, delicate, threatened by invasive weeds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I can see your Kiku

I wish the owners of the Kiku restaurant downtown would not have named it something so obscene.
It's kind of like this. But maybe I'm the only one that thinks so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ex Fabula

What? There really is forensics for adults? YES! It's called Ex Fabula- a series of true-storytelling events. Last night it was held at Stonefly in Riverwest. Real people (real people, just like you and me!) come prepared, put their names in a hat, and a few are chosen at random to get up on stage to tell their own true story using the night's chosen theme as a guide, however loosely.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous to be in the audience. Would it be anything like the poetry slams they used to have at Y-Not II back in the '90's? (No, thank heavens.) Would any of the storytellers be unrelentingly boring? (No.) Would it be painfully hip? (No!) It was awesome. The proctors or whatever you call them- the people in charge- run a pretty tight ship.

The next Ex Fabula event will be held on Friday, May 14th, in the decadent splendor of the Turner Hall Ballroom.