The Rare Green Violet is Back, Baby
1958 – what a time to be alive. The drive-ins were popping, the doos were wopping and the baby boomers had yet to drive out nation into an age of self-important decadence and degradation from which we may never recover.
What was I doing in that wild year? Why, I was slammin’ with the cool cats, the paper shakers and the dreamboats down by that antsville passion pit over in fat city with my shades on and a shiner from this bird dog I been hounding, you dig me? More specifically, I was in Grafton County, roaming the woods in search of a flux capacitor. Walking the trails, I noticed a spiky green plant sticking out of the dirt. I plucked it, assuming it was a weed. Well, 63 years and five time paradoxes later, turns out I messed up. That plant was the Green Violet, and it was never seen again in the entire state of Wisconsin after 1958. That is, until this past week, when Ryan O’Connor, a conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources found hundreds of them growing in the western part of the state. Good to know past mistakes can be rectified (although there’s probably not much to be done about that whole age of self-important decadence and degradation thing)
A New Night Market in the Deer District
Just the other day my homie Allen called me up. He said, “Come to the Deer District, my little onion. There’s a brand new night market starting up on July 28.” I said, “A brand new night market, you say? Would you care to provide pertinent details?” And he responded. “Of course, my bountiful watermelon. Arthur Ircink, who publishes Edible Milwaukee and created “Wisconsin Foodie” on PBS put together this weekly market, which will run Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. with local food vendors peddling their wares.” Allen had me interested. “Can vendors still sign up?” I asked. Allen spoke again. “Why yes, my rotting grapefruit. Vendors can still sign up.” I said, “Do you think they’d let me set up Archer’s Mysterious Meats tent?” And he said, “No, my lugubrious cantaloupe, I don’t think so.” I then hung up on Allen because I was tired of the whole fruit and vegetable nickname schtick. But I was glad he called. Always good to hear about cool, new Milwaukee events that support local businesses and bring Milwaukeeans together. My vendor application hasn’t gotten a response yet, but I have a good feeling about this one.
To Van Gogh and Beyond
When I first heard about the “Beyond Van Gogh” show opening at the Wisconsin Center, I was super excited. Van Gogh, a weirdo loner artist prone to chopping off ears and giving them to prostitutes because his pal didn’t want to hang out him anymore – my kind of guy. Plus, this exhibit is a whole new take on Big Vincent, with the paintings stretched out across floors and ceiling, so you can literally walk within in his art. But then I heard that tickets are flying off the shelves, and my heart sank. I can’t like popular and successful things – what would happen to all my art scene street cred? But this show looks so awesome, I may just have to get over it.
Upon first seeing this headline, “Milwaukee Deacon Becomes First Clergy to Experience Weightlessness Aboard Zero-G Flight” I thought … huh? I have to say that in all my decades in Milwaukee media, I never thought I’d be reading a 1,000-word article about a flying deacon. Has the Journal Sentinel been monitoring my nightmares? If they publish a story about a band of floating priests pelting a weeping boy with potatoes, then I’ll know for sure.
This story was about Gary Nosacek, the deacon at Three Holy Women parish in Milwaukee. He traveled to Las Vegas for a Zero-G flight, which involves a plane flying on a steep incline up to 24,000 feet, and then leveling off and flying down, creating zero gravity in the cabin and causing everyone, including this man of God, to float. Now the article says that by doing this Nosacek has become “the first Catholic clergy – as far as he or the company he flew with knows – to experience weightlessness in a zero-gravity flight.” The key here is that “as far as he or the company he flew with knows” bit. Because listen. We’re being lied to. By who? Everyone, man. I think there have been secret space priests for decades now. In fact, I think the Catholic Church probably has a squadron of them – they’re called the “Flying Fathers,” and they travel from planet to planet spreading the Word to confused aliens. Have you ever heard about the Vatican library, the locked files? That’s what’s in there. I’m sure of it. This Nosacek guy is just a cover-up. “Oh, look over here, sheeple. It’s the first clergy to experience weightlessness.” And then behind our backs, the Flying Fathers are swooping through the skies expanding the Holy Roman Empire to Pluto. The truth is out there, people.
The Bucks basketballed a little this week, and managed to pull this series out of the depths. It’s all tied up and we’re ready to rumble.
Milwaukee’s First Ever Naked Bike Ride
Maybe my great-great-great-great-great-Grandfather was a Puritan or something, because this kind of thing makes me viscerally uncomfortable. Milwaukee has scheduled its first ever World Naked Bike Race for Sept. 11. The event is a protest for body positivity, and participants are encouraged to “bare as you dare.” Meaning you can just go shirtless or let all the floppy bits get some sun. Technically, you’d be violating public nudity and local indecency laws, but according to the organizer, John Jankowski, there’s safety in numbers. In the Journal Sentinel article about the event, Jankowski said that if all the naked people stick together, the cops won’t mass arrest them. But, you know, not too close together.
I know no one’s gonna listen to the little Puritan man cringing in the corner, but I have one request: Can everyone please stand up on the pedals instead of sitting on the seat? Please? Or at least take a few extra minutes to really clean the chasm first?
Also, I don’t know if this is weird to ask, but … why did they have to schedule it on 9/11? Jankowski points out in the JS article that the original date was June, but they had to move it because of COVID, and 9/11 was picked based on the schedule of the folks hosting and the timing over other events, like Summerfest.
“It’s not throwing a dart at a calendar,” Jankowski said. “We don’t want to take away from 9/11, we have plans for a small remembrance.”
Is it going to be a naked remembrance? Because, please no.
Stephen A.’s Weather Opinions
Talking about sports, to me, is like discussing the finer points of clipping your fingernails. Actually no, I actually kind of care about fingernail clipping (you really want to make sure you get an even curve – I’d recommend the Tweezerman Rockhard Stainless Steel Cuticle Nipper with the half jaw.) So I find it hard to care even slightly about ESPN’s “First Take” and host Stephen A Smith’s opinions, but this week, he stepped in territory I know well – the weather. When Smith arrived in Milwaukee for the NBA Finals, a Bucks fan heckled him about his fellow hosts referring to Milwaukee as “terrible,” last month. Smith hit back by saying, “Quote me accurately. It’s cold as hell. And even though it’s 70, I left 110-degree weather, and three hours later, it’s 40 degrees worse. Like I said.”
I wrote this entire article here about how that doesn’t make any sense, but I am more than willing to beat that dead horse. Seventy degrees is perfect. When it hits 110 degrees outside, you start to melt. I am not a candle, Stephen A. Smith. I am a human being.
Although, to give Smith his due, he was being confronted in public and just mouthed off with the first response that came to mind. If someone heckled me, I’d probably panic and yell, “Please leave me alone. I’m very frightened by people, and when provoked I will scream and run.”