C'mon Yolanda, What's Fonzie Like?!?!!?

Fonz Closeup
Originally uploaded by johndecember
Well, I gotta go with the guy in Stingl's column the other day who answered Mr. Winfield's question with "Alec Baldwin." Here's a shot of him, from flickrite John December (I've been so busy that I work 2 blocks from this and I still haven't had a chance to shoot this in person), and we all still can't believe it. Really, I never for a minute was expecting "art," and for all the whining Mike Brenner did (nobody in Milwaukee gives a crap about him anymore, so he went whining to the Associate Press in a story picked up by the Chicago Sun Times --who obviously didn't realize that Brenner's "I'm leaving if you put this up" schtick has gotten pretty shrill, which is why it didn't run in the JS.) I never thought it left a bad mark on the city at all. It's actually funny to watch Brenner still getting his panties in a bunch over $70K spent on a fun city toy, because if he knew anything about philantrophy, he'd know that $70K is nothing: Michael Cudahy shits $70K every day after breakfast.
OK,OK, OK, it's not art, but for $70K I don't think it's too much to ask that it not be butt ugly. It doesn't even look like the Fonz, not during the show, not even like Winkler (in age-weather wrinkled glory) now. According to all reports, Winkler was wonderfully, effusively gracious at every moment he was here, and according to Stingl's column: "When the veil was lifted, Winkler proclaimed the statue to be 'truly beautiful.' " Well, say whatever you will about Henry Winkler, but either he has no ego whatsoever or he deserves an Oscar for that performance -- anybody else would have broken character when the veil as lifted and screamed "WTF is that! You people paid $70K for that? That doesn't even look like me! That doesn't look like anybody! Jesus!" But Winkler actually convincingly acted like he was thrilled. He could teach us all a few things about acting -- and laughing at ourselves.

I guess the craftsman (see, Mike, I'm not calling the guy who made this an "artist" so just you pipe down) said (again from Sting'ls column) that he worked off one photograph. What, from some loser at a Fonzie impersonation contest? For $70K you couldn't have found maybe a few other snapshots online, or rented a few DVDs of Happy Days episodes? Really, do your research. And I won't even complain about the teal color of the pants. I'm hoping that they'll turn denim blue after a few winters of oxidation.

OK, Fonzie rant off. I like the idea, I liked the concept, and I think its fun and will continue to be fun. As they've been saying in the Olympics -- start value, 7.2; execution, well while the jacket is perfect, we're going to have to deduct a few points for the teal pants and that face, whoa, that's worse than falling off the balance beam. Overall score: 13 -- that puts it out of medal contention.

Last weekend was Milwaukee's answer to Chicago's "Taste of Chicago" -- Zoo A La Carte and I have to rank it very highly. Excellent portions of very good food for very reasonable prices -- nothing was more expensive than 10 tickets ($5) and you got your money's worth. I didn't try Aladdin's offerings, because I know how good their food is (but couldn't resist some rosewater lemonade, described by Stella as "What really nice lotion would taste like if it tasted good" -- and I have to say she nailed that). There was this really good beef mushroom stuffing tenderloin stuff from some place out in Waukesha, which I would rave about here, but the chick who served it to me was, well, let's just say this particular place didn't have their A list servers working Saturday evening. "Don't strain yourself" I told her as she finally worked up the energy to hand me my entree. Two booths later I'm capitulating and patronizing a chain outlet, Texas Roadhouse, and Waukesha joint, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You're forcing me to rave about a chain joint's service -- the Roadhouse has this thing down. And i have to admit, their ribs kick it.

There were plenty of good little acts dotting the smaller stages all over the zoo, and Lou "You're as Cold as Ice" Gramm was warming up by Lake Evenrude, but on our way out we passed the regular party stage to catch a few songs from the Love Monkeys, sucking the life out of an already dreary Tom Petty song. Do any of you Monkey actually love An American Girl? You sure didn't sound like it. You sounded (and had the stage presence to accompany) like you've been married to her for about 20 years, have grown quite bored with her but you're too lazy to ask for a divorce. I take back everything (well almost everything) I said about Bobby Way and the Wayouts: at least they're not afraid to look like they actually try. I'm sorry, I just don't get what the BFD is on the Love Monkeys. Hire them for a wedding? Perfect. Buy a T-Shirt or other Merch? Why? Honestly, why?

Thank God i live in Milwaukee, where there are plenty of excellent cover and original bands to drown out this mediocrity. coming up this weekend and future:
  • The Danglers are signed on for every other Tuesday at the Up and Under, starting September 9. I'll definitely get my fix this fall.

  • Live (or at least good DJing) is coming back to, get this, Quarters in the form of a Ladies' Night. The first Thursday of the month will be run by, and occupied by women artists.

  • Speaking of Ladies' Night, the Dark Horse project hits Club Anything on Friday.

  • Head out to the Dragstrip this Saturday, and see the Cocksmiths at 4ish. Perfect. "I love the smell of ethanol in the evening!"

  • Stella, who's been at Discovery World camp all week, learned about water testing today, and reports that according to her findings, Lake Michigan is now clear enough to swim in and support life, and the Ph is a solid 7. So I'll allow the kids to take a dip at Bradford Beach this Saturday afternoon, while Couch Flambeau plays at the Bradford Beach Pavillion -- they start at 3.

I feel better now. And it's Thursday night, which means DJ LoFi is at Kochanski's Concertina Hall tonight and every Thursday night. What a perfect pairing. It's, as Jules Winfield would say, cool.


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