Every Americorps program has to throw something together for Youth Service Day, which traditionally conicides with Earth Day, or comes close. So we went to east-side Hawthorne Elementary to clean up the school and the neighborhood with the kids. Nerves triggered a bit with yours truly, as I was sort of in charge of organizing and leading, and our supervisor for the day, Tony, is an awesome guy, but an intense ex-marine whose strong suit isn't dealing with schoolteachers and young children.
All went fairly well, though, except for a couple of hiccups:
First, Rhothmen and I went with a class to pick up trash in the park. Nice serene community activity, until I start hearing kids giggling like crazy in the little woods back behind. Why?
They found a dildo. A bright-fucking-pink dildo. The unpopular kid, mishearing his compadres, kept grabbing my arm and asking what a "dighole" was. I ignored him, and made sure the object found its way into an opaque garbage bag.
Second, while we were off on that quest, Tony and others stayed back to keep working on the mulch pile. After one thrust of the pitchfork, Tony hears an awful squeal coming from the pile. Removing the covering mulching, six little bunnies scatter, while the seventh is impaled on one of his tongs.
To our great relief, no children were around to see that, or to watch Tony have to finish the poor thing off.
After a solid bike ride I end up heading to the terrace to for beers with Andrew K. and his roommates. There's nothing quite like drinking games by the lake. Suddenly you look up and realize it's dark, and your drunk. We ran into Ilsa, who we'd met at a friends party at my neighborhood dive, the Echo Tap. And parting company with the other fellows, we found our way to
1. a UW women's rugby party in an apartment above a pizzeria on State Street. Finally, some females who can hold their beer.
2. The Plaza. A nice little dive, but one where I was forced to purchase Bud Light. I felt so...dirty.
3. A bat mitzvah, at the Pizzeria Uno. Bucky Badger was there. That's all you really need to know.
I was telling Matt the other day while we were watching "Thank God You're Here" that improv comedy only functions if the actors blindly accept everything happening to them. My life in Wisconsin functions very much on the same logorithm.
Brewers Game! I now have three major league stadiums down, and despite their best efforts to give it away in the ninth, the now-first-place Beermakers managed to hang on to a victory over the hated Houston Astros.
Booing Carlos Lee at every opportunity. "Fuck you for playing for us that one time!"
The sausage race. Although hot dog won, which pissed me off because hot dog is not a real sausage. At least chorizo didn't win.
The fact that they supplement "Take me out to the ballgame" with "Roll out the barrel." There's no mistaking it; you're in Milwaukee and nowhere else.
Getting threatening glares from people all over Downtown Milwaukee after the game. In their defense, I did look a little frattish in my baseball-watching duds. In my defense, I've been living in fairyland Madison long enough that I forgot what it's like to be in an angry, aggressive, real American blue-collar town. I don't like it very much.
But we did finish our day with a monster gyro at Ziggies, right off the Marquette campus. It was awesome, but even if it weren't, I'd still eat there for the slogan on the awning: "Where the leaders of tomorrow eat today." You can almost read it here: