New Year's Day: A Different Flavor of Nuts

First, before I do anything else, I must publicly thank the nameless woman who gave me a jump when my engine went click click click getting gas at Pennsylvania and Layton. Something like 8 big ol SUVs and mini-vans drove in -- not a one had jumper cables. (Must admit, neither did I.) This woman who gave me a jump was on her way to work last night as a waitress (read: her legs were bare and she was cold) but still, saved me. Thank you so much, nameless person, another in a series of Milwaukeeans who restore my faith in people with their kindness to strangers.

Stella and Sam and I headed to the SafeHouse in time for New Year's in London/Dublin, and then trounced around a bit in the blue light of Cathedral Square Park, before getting gas and needing a jump on the way to a friend's party (which was warm and lovely and kid friendly -- I knew all of two people there, and left feeling like one of the family -- thanks Ted and Christa!) and Brian headed to the Circle A Cafe to check out Aluminum Knot Eye. He reports that they are very very good -- a band I want to check out soon. Lots of dynamic and musical changes, heavy, sort of punkish, they play with odd time signatures and overall, I want to see them, and everybody tells me Loblolly should play a set with them. I'll get right on this.

Originally uploaded by V'ron.
So now it's New Year's Day, and instead of going to Bradford Beach to watch the Polar Bears(covered wonderfully by members of the Cream City Milwaukee Flickr Group), I stayed on my side of town to watch the 2nd Annual Polar Bike Plunge. These guys take it a step further by riding their bikesinto the lake. I was kind of worried that they'd get trashed but not to worry. Most of the riders had bicycles and attitudes to match for such a feat. Not everybody rode in, either, but I was still impressed with the guy who's cig stayed lit the mom of the kids who took their first dip and of course, The Littlest Polar Bear whose voray into the water was a brief toe tickler, seeming more like a catholic baptism rather than a pentocostal dip.

And that's kind of how I view the entire thing. Sort of a cleansing, a renewal of some kind or another. It's something I needed to see, and spiritually do. No, I wasn't jumping in this year. "They're nuts at Bradford beach," one observer said, explaining why she was at Bay View. Oh, and riding your BIKE into the lake in 22 degree weather isn't? No, it's just a different flavor of nuts. And I like nuts.

That's my hope for this year: to really get out and do things out of the ordinary, to stake ground I haven't before. I did it enough this past year to realize that this "being safe and secure" thing is, well, boring and it never takes you anywhere. I was kind of jealous at the polar bear bikers, and even the swimmers. Not a one regrets doing it: one Flickr friend says it's the best thing she's ever done. And in fact, not a thing I've done in my life that was risky has ever filled me with regret. Its the things I haven't done i regret.


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