Random Ramblings in the first week of school
- The mosquitoes. I know there isn't a verb in this previous sentence fragment, but no verb is necessary. These are not your regular mosquitoes. These are post-apolyptic, super-turbo-chraged, radiocative, Sam's-club-volume mosquitoes. Bug repellent does no good: these bastards drink DEET for breakfast and wash it down with a human blood chaser. They nailed Sammy, and one got him near his eye, and yesterday it was swollen nearly shut such that he looked like Apollo Creed at the end of the first Rocky movie. All the new kids in his K-4 class freaked out when they saw him. A visit to the doctor and some prescription benedryl-cum-anti-inflammatory stuff that tastes like crap has helped him considerably, but he hates his medicine and I had to convince him to take it last night. "But mommy, I'm not sick," he said, eyeing the vile potion in horror as I measured it into a medicine spoon. "But, sweetie pie, Sam-a-lama, number-one-son, you look like hell. Take the medicine already." These bugs are going to ruin any plans I had to go see Paul Cebar and his wonderful Milwaukeeans at River Rhythms tonight. High temperatures this evening, humid, and by a body of water. Love ya, Paul, but I'm going to have to pass tonight.
- I just got an email from my friend Melanie, who runs the Milwaukee Rock Theatre company. She's built this thing from the ground up, and they've put on some impressive shows. I particularly like that instead of simply being a reperatory company that just does and re-does "Tommy" and whatever, they either put a different spin on it (their version of Tommy had a female protagonist who specialized in chess), or take a collection of songs and build a story around it. So this email was asking me to vote for them as "Best Theatre Company" in a WISN "best of" type poll. I did it because she asked, not because I like these stupid polls. I hate "best of" things in general. I voted for MiROC, but this was in a field that included other local great theatre companies, like the Boulevard Ensemble or First Stage Milwaukee, that deserve recognition, also. I won't say one's better than the other. They serve different niches and audiences, and they all do it well. If anything, stuff like this reminds me we have a lot of quality here in Mil-town, but all a stupid poll like this does is determine who's got the biggest mailing list of computer-enabled nerds willing to take time out for a few mouse clicks. The ridiculousness of WISN's poll is especially evident in the "Local Bands" category. Here's a sample of your offerings: Boogie Men, One Drum, Heidiboxer, Athas, Cue the Violins, The New Loud, Decibully, Liam Ford & The Men IN Black, Eddie Butts Band. Notice a trend here? Of course you don't. Because all these bands are working in totally different genres, clubs, shooting for totally different audiences. Some play originals, others are strictly cover bands. Again, it's going to be a contest of who has the best email network. And this one is particularly stupid because here's what you have to do to vote. 1) click on the candidate. 2) give your email address (and it's not like MKE Magazine's Blog of the Week contest, where they're only using a legit email address to avoid ballot box stuffing -- only one vote per address -- you can tell by the checkboxes afterwards you're getting on a mailing list. I can stomach MKE's Blog of the Week, because there's only three or four to choose from, you get directly linked to the competitors, it doesn't claim it's the best, simply it’s a most popular that particular week, and its user friendly. And it's turned me on to a lot of great local blogs, like Phat to Fabulous). No, then they send you an email and you have to click on the message in the email to complete your voting. FOR EVERY CATEGORY you have to do this. 3) Then you MUST comment. You can't simply vote for your favorite. You have to say why, and then wade through tons of nondescript "Oh, they're the best and everybody else sucks" comments. And did I mention how user-unfriendly this was? I have friends who can barely figure out how to comment on this blog, wait till they see this user-hostile poll at WISN. So now this is a contest of who's got the biggest email list full of people who have nothing better to do than answer polls like this and go through all these steps. Ugh. I hate pitting artists against each other to begin with. I hate "Battles of the Bands" and I hate stupid "Best Of" polls.
- The upcoming weekend, if not destroyed by mosquitoes, looks to be a good warm-up to the last few festivals of the summer. (The Bay View Bash and nearby Global Music Festival is the 15th, following weekend is the Center Street festival….). Friday night, if I didn't have private plans, I'd be at Points East for Rev 500 (a surf band!) and Deke Dickerson and the Echophnics. Saturday night is a CD release party for a band I know nothing about at the Mad Planet called the Saltshakers, but the Mighty Deer Lick and the Box Social are the supporting acts and that alone is worth it. The Saltshakers' Cd will be given out free to anybody who shows up, and I love a good free sample anywhere.