City Events, City Life, College Students, College Town Life, Halloween Party, Life, Police, State Street, Surveillance Cameras, The Isthmus, Things to do/Places to go, University of Wisconsin--Madison, University Students, WISCONSIN

Demons and Wizards! The Wicked Witch is Dead!

There is a demon
An evil mind
Inside us
Oh I know, I know
We all know the rules
When water will be shed
The wicked witch is…


Demons and Wizards Wicked Witchon the Touched By The Crimson King” album. 2005


Halloween 2007 has begun in earnest at shortly past 7pm. I can hear one of the bands fairly well if I want to leave my window open to enjoy the tunes. It’s a mite chilly for that this year.

The temperatures are seasonal and within the “normal” range for a Wisconsin Halloween. No global warming heat waves or early snowstorms to report. But we haven’t had a good heavy frost to really kill off the ragweed yet and my “hayfever” is still giving me fits. I may have to break down and ask the Doctor for something to combat the constant drip drip drip of postnasal drippiness lest I get a sinus infection.

But I digress, Halloween is being played out at my feet and soon I will have to take Igor out for another walk to see what’s up. Ruth was whisked away to a dinner and a movie away by friends who thought it was better to get her out of temptation’s way. What a pity that we elders are not encouraged to act on our more frivolous and adventurous impulses.

What could it have possibly hurt for Ruth and I to take a stroll down State Street early in the evening to watch the zombies and freaks collide. Young people aren’t inhuman heathens who might eat us for heaven’s sake. More than likely they would have been delighted by our presence and given us a courteous welcome just as we would have done to our elders back in our own day.

Mary, with the Madison Police Department is back on her loudspeaker monitoring the surveillance cameras on State Street from the Command Post at Fire House #1. I wish I could understand what she is saying. About all I can make out is “For your Safety.” and “Thank you.” The big old spotlight they have used every year since the “riot” to light up the downtown area/State Street is shining right into my windows.

Igor is very nervous about all of the noise and disturbance of what he had begun to come to expect as the norm. Poor doggie.


City Events, City Life, College Students, College Town Life, Freakfest, Halloween Party, Life, Madison WI, State Street, Things to do/Places to go, University of Wisconsin--Madison

Ghosts and Goblins Under a Hunter’s Moon

They did the mash
They did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the monster mash

Bobby “Boris” Pickett

We had two full moons this month again.  Last month it was the Harvest Moon.  This month it was the Hunter’s Moon.  Diana, Phoebe, and Selene’s Moon.  These are the huntress and moon goddesses of Greek and Roman mythology

Tomorrow night is Freakfest, the annual State Street Halloween Party.  I was playing 500 with my friend Ruthie this afternoon and she asked me if I would go with her.  I just about choked on the water I was drinking.

Ruthie is at least 70 years old and is probably closer to 80 and she wants to go to Freakfest.  I haven’t been to a State Street Halloween party in a gazillion years  because I really don’t enjoy crowds all that much especially not drunk and rowdy crowds but I really should go with Ruthie.

I bet it would be fun.  She’s a hoot and one of my favorite people here at the three threes.  She would probably want to wear a costume.  <heh>

It probably wouldn’t be too bad if we go early in the evening before the revelers get drunk and disorderly.  Now that it’s a semi-organized event with a heavy Police and Rent-a-Cop presence as well as limits to the number of attendees (50,000!) and fences to keep the riff raff  and trouble-makers out once they’ve been identified and ejected, it might actually be fun.

Interestingly enough, it’s not just the academic excellence that makes kids want to come to The UW-Madison campus.  This annual party is one of the reasons that the University of Wisconsin at Madison makes it on the list of the Princeton Review’s  top ten party schools.   If you’re disposed to do so, you can get your degree in alcoholism and drug addiction here, too.

Angela Smith, Cindy Harrington, City Events, City Life, Madison WI, Music, open mic, POETRY, Restaurants, Things to do/Places to go, Tom Zografi, University Students, ZuZus

You’ve Got To Listen To the Music!

Dont you feel it growin, day by day
People gettin ready for the news
Some are happy, some are sad
Oh, we got to let the music play
What the people need
Is a way to make em smile
It aint so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message
Get it on through

Oh now mama, dont you ask me why

Oh, oh, listen to the music
Oh, oh, listen to the music
Oh, oh, listen to the music
All the time

Lyrics by Tom Johnston Performed by The Doobie Brothers

Tonight was open mic night at ZuZu’s. Mainly it’s musicians but I read three original poems. Actually I did 2 poems and one experimental Granny rap without any music to back it up. I’d love to find a musician to work with and write lyrics. I wanted to talk it over with one of the regulars after the program but she had other stuff going on and there was no time. Some other time.It was a grand open mic! Wowsers! What good vibes there were rocking and rolling in that house tonight! Cindy Harrington, Angela Smith and Tom Zografi are the co-hosts of this shebang and this trio of musicians makes music friends and neighbors. Plus they draw in some damn fine musicians to join in the songfest.

Tom Zografi opened the show with some really mellow acoustic guitar. Lovely voice. Beautiful original lyrics. Then Kathleen Camilla King did a Beatles tribute in honor of John Lennon’s birthday on the 9th on her mandolin.

Then Angela Smith on acoustic bass (nice very nice), Tom Zografi on acoustic, and Dave Holloway on acoustic. Hicham Lachgar on bongo got up there and really gave us a show. It was wonderful. I should have written down the songs they did. Dave Holloway is new to town and damn that boy can play and sing!

Mark Germain treated us to some lovely classical acoustic after that. I could sit and listen to him play all night long. Technically almost perfect. I’d say perfect but I’d get jumped on for hyperbole. Wonderful feeling. Beautiful sound.

Alicia (Alliey) Thomas sings acapella and she doesn’t sing the easy songs. She goes for the high notes and the ones you need lots of lung power for. She and Angela Smith did a duet called “Down Deep” that I really liked. I’ve heard Angela do it alone and Alicia added some power to it.

More from the band with Ken Kobak joining in with his electric guitar. Then Robin Green, fresh from Arizona who is attending Edgewood College got up there with her acoustic guitar there and brought the house down with her rockin’ and a rollin’! Damn but that girl can make you want to move!

Then ‘Just Duet’ Cindy Harrington and Angela Smith’s duo closed the night out and we were all jamming together at the end with Beatles’ songs. An obvious good time was had by all.

II know I left some stuff out because there was just so much happening there it’s hard to remember it all and sort it out into a coherent Blog. I know I had one heckuva good time at ZuZu’s and the food is reasonably priced and ymmy. I had the Spanikopita which came to my table in a jiffy, so hot I had to let it cool down to eat it! And it was wonderful! All fast food should be this good!

“The Trio” of Angela Smith, Dave Holloway and Tom Zografi is playing at ZuZu’s October 13th and open mic is every Thursday. ‘Just Duet’ and “The Trio” are available for hire and they play just about anything that sounds great with vocal harmonies and guitars. They can be reached by contacting Cindy Harrington at or phone # (608) 843-7933 or Angela Smith (608) 212-0533.


agnostic, Annie Laurie Gaylor, atheism, Christianity, Christopher Hitchens, City Events, City Life, Delphi Forums, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Madison Mallards, Madison WI, University of Wisconsin--Madison, University Students, WISCONSIN

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)

(woof, woof, woof, woof)

When the party was nice, the party was jumpin’ (Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo)
And everybody havin’ a ball (Hah, ho, Yippie Yi Yo)
I tell the fellas “start the name callin'” (Yippie Yi Yo)
And the girls report to the call
The poor dog show down

Baha Men

I’m in a big fuss over at The Poll Vault at Delphi Forums because a bigoted somewhat newbie decided to spew all kinds of anti-Semite and crazy persecuted fundamentalist Christian BS all over us regulars ie., that this is a Christian nation and there is a rich well-organized oligarchy (this is code-talk that means Jews and atheists, friends and neighbors) that has taken over this country and suppressed the Christian freedom of expression and taken god out of everything and away from this great Christian Nation of ours which the forefathers who were all christians (no damnit they were NOT): no prayers in school! no ten commandments in the county courthouses! and a heathen Buddhist Priest praying in Congress?!!!!111eleventy-eleven!!! oh noes!) and we have to fight to get it back and did you know that the constitution does not include the words “separation of church and state?” (Yeah I did. So?) and the way it reads it was meant to PROTECT Christian religious expression because we were supposed to be a Christian Nation that allows other religions to worship as they choose with out harrassing them but they should know their place damnit and it ain’t in public. Whew that was a fun run -on sentence!

She started a poll that asked does the constitution contain those words to begin her little diatribe but you didn’t know that until you were quite a few posts. into the thread. Then all hell breaks loose. Typical bait and switch tactics fundychristians like to pull all the time. <digusted whoosh>

WELL, that got all kinds of people riled up, including and not least of which were the Jewish people that frequent the forum. The Pagans, Deists, Buddhists, and atheists and a whole bunch of other “ists” that frequent that forum jumped right on that BS, too! Soon there were three threads going fast and furious with much passion! Cool Beans!

It certainly got me riled up because as an atheist I am certainly in favor of separation of church and state. Not only that I have studied that issue with a great deal of interest both because I used to be a Fundamentalist Christian; then again as my skepticism grew and I was well on my way to becoming an atheist.

Sooo, we were all in an excited tizzy discussing the constitution and bashing this illiterate fundychristian over the head with her craziness when along comes my arch enemy MrAGent. Now MrAGent and I just do not get along because I find his debating style abrasive, dishonest, cowardly, and just plain out MEAN. When he knows he is cornered and can’t win he begins attacking his opponent’s character and if that doesn’t start a fight he calls them an idiot, crazy, stupid, etc. You get the drift, right?

Well, when Wooly Mammoth (lovely man who happens to be a practicing Jew) stepped up to the plate and said ‘I take offense at what you are saying and you are about to cross a line and you better not’ only in much stronger terms, MrAGent came roaring to the fundychristian’s defense and suddenly we had a REAL flame war! Between forum members! The fundychristian had caused forum discord and separated the hens from the roosters! Whee!

I got massively involved when MrAGent agreed with the fundychristian and claimed that the forum engaged in excessive Christian bashing. I definitely disagreed with him when he said it was an anti-Christian forum. Someone else challenged him to start a thread and keep track of all the anti-Christian posts and I grabbed that idea and ran with it. I created a thread with a title “MrAGent’s Christian Bashing Thread.”

Now the fundamental Christians are coming out of the woodwork to bash ME. It’s a hoot. MrAGent is foaming at the mouth because of some comments I made and I have stopped replying to him because someone else I respect suggested I walk away from a dead horse so I did. So now he is foaming even more and accusing me of being too cowardly to answer his questions about how I bash Christians. Which I am totally enjoying!

Oh yeah, I readily admitted that I bash FUNDAMENTALIST Christians because of their strong-arm tactics in proselytizing and especially when they are like emi–absolute nut jobs who attack the constitution. And the other fundys are attacking from all sides with great furor proving my point that the Fundys ALWAYS pull that damn persecution card when they don’t get their way or someone questions their tactics. Whee! I love these roller-coater rides!

By the way, MrAGent, completely and irrevocably agreed that I should walk away from this dead horse when the other person suggested I should. Can we say Flip-Flop?

Now, to know why I got involved in all of this, took such a lively interest in adding my two cents that I am probably over draw into 2008, and am in desperate need of flame retardant underwear, you have to know that that I am 99.9 percent Irish but I have a Jewish ancestor sooo I’ll be damned if I let any sign of racial or ethnic bigotry pass uncommented upon. Oh yeah, I have some native American blood, too.

I have not mentioned this in the forum because I am not going to pull the “you are picking on me” card. No one would ever guess it in a million years so why play a card that is hidden so well I’d have to go potty to get at it? Miscegenation fries my ass because it is wrong. period. It should fry everyone’s ass.

And frankly, I find that Fundamentalist Christians are the worst offenders. Since I was raised in a fundamentalist Christan church (THE Christan Church–literally)by very conservative fundamentalist people who were as prejudiced as you can get in a totally white bread society, I think it’s my right as a recovering fundychristian to comment on these matters.

Plus I am an atheist. ‘Nuff said on that subject.

Why is this entry written in this Blog you are asking… Because I want to remind everyone that Christopher Hitchens is coming to town to give a speech October 13th at 2 pm. Also to point out to any University of Wisconsin-Madison students that are reading this that the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the infamous Annie Laurie Gaylor reisde here in our fair city. Free thinkers abound in this city.

They are a lot more interesting than those dudes standing on Library Mall telling you kids you are going to hell for being human beings unless you let someone dunk you in water and hold you under while they pray over you. More progressive in their politics, more progressive in their social consciousness, more progressive in their stance on the world period. They are also very Green when it comes to the Environment and Animal Rights is a big issue with many atheists. So there you go.


Acting, Arthur Miller, Authors, City Events, City Life, Life, Literature, Madison Repertory Theatre, Madison WI, Overture Center for the Arts, Play Review, State Street, Things to do/Places to go

Regrets, I’ve Had a Few, Too Few To Mention…

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.

Arthur Miller 1915-2005

W00t! I got the call today, I’m going to be in “The Fabulous Crone Show!” I’m so excited I spit nails! If somebody asked me what was the best year of my life, I would have to say this year. This year is better than last year which was better than the year before which was better than the year before that. The year before that was a pretty damn good year but still, this is the best year so far. <heh>

Speaking of plays, I went to see Arthur Miller’s “The Death of a Salesman” at The Playhouse in the Overture Center for the Arts this evening. This is the third live production I’ve seen of this play over the years. The Madison Repertory Theatre was a splendid performance overall and the best of the three. I enjoyed it immensely.

The performance by Braden Moran who portrayed Biff was superb. I actually shed tears for the angst of that young man trying to connect with his father. Roderick Peeples’ Willy Loman and Patricia Boyette’s Linda Loman were credible and wonderfully engaging as was David Wilson-Brown’s Happy. Edward Marion’s Uncle Ben was appropriately ghostly and wonderfully dapper.

I hope to see more of DJ Howard who I remember from “The Piano Lesson” and Lisa Bozek Maletic whose brief performance showed promise. DJ Howard is just plain out good at what he does and makes you believe you are there with him.

Whenever I have seen or read “The Death of a Salesman” I have always come away with the conviction that one must really develop a sense of self-worth that isn’t tied up in your job or your spouse or your children. You aren’t what you do eight hours a day to earn money and you aren’t the person you married or the fruit of your loins. Things often don’t turn out the way you expected them to.


Badger, City Events, City Life, College Town Life, Football, Madison WI, Politics, Restaurants, Senior Citizens, State Street, The Daily Cardinal, Things to do/Places to go, University of Wisconsin--Madison, University Students, WHEG, WISCONSIN

Welcome Back

See the names have all changed since I been around
But the game ain’t the same since I left out
Ooh you know we need ya, ooh you know we need ya
Right here is where we need ya, right here is where we need ya
Welcome back..
Welcome back, welcome back…

Welcome Back by Mase

The UW students are back in town and the Badger football team has already won a game against Washington State 42-21 to jumpstart the season. The University will open its doors and begin educating young minds again tomorrow.

“The Daily Cardinal”, celebrating its 115th birthday this year, put out its first edition on the 27th with a brand new look. According to Jill Klosterman “The Daily Cardinal”

… balanced suggestions for a modernized look with a desire to maintain timeless appeal.

As a result, the new Daily Cardinal is classy, classic and takes our motto-“complete campus coverage”-to an entirely new level.

The lead story online is the uncertainty about whether or not all of the students eligible for WHEG grants will receive them because the state of Wisconsin has failed to pass a budget. These are low income students who typically get an average of $2,100 in grants from the state. That’s a lot of cash for a student to make up the shortfall for. There are about 75 students in Madison who will be affected but around 3,800 statewide.

Wisconsin is the only state in the union that hasn’t passed a budget this year. It’s September for crying out loud! We’re going to start keeping track of how many shopping days we have left until Christmas right soon. (Not all that many, folks, warm up those charge cards!) So why haven’t our lawmakers passed a budget? Partisan politics, bickering, and power struggles. Freaking ridiculous!

The low income students in our University of Wisconsin system are just an example of the problems this has caused. The state Medicaid system has been ordered to find a way to shave 20% off of its costs for the coming months because they have no money to pay the bills and don’t know if they will get the increase they have requested. That means fewer services like transportation to and from the doctors’ offices for low income elderly and disabled.

The city threw its annual Taste of Madison Labor Day Weekend party to welcome the students back. Taste of Madison always draws huge crowds of people to the Capitol Square and this year was no exception. There were over a 100,000 people milling about sampling the yummy goodness of Madison restaurants on Sunday. Bluphies gets my vote for the winner of unfettered decadence. Deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough egg rolls! Non trans fat, of course.

The weather has cooperated and this end of summer party could not have asked for a better forecast. Sunny skies, low humidity and warm temperatures. No more deluge of rain and flash flood warnings. It’s good to see the sun for the second weekend in a row. The water level on the lakes is still high enough to warrant a no wake restriction, however. That puts a bit of a damper on the fun. No wake=no water sports.

Hopefully it will be just as nice next weekend and we won’t get anymore rain here or anywhere else in the state because next week is the Ironman Triathalon. Prefer something a little tamer? The city of Madison has historic walking tours listed on its site. The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation leads several tours in the downtown area every Saturday.

Judging by the laughter and good vibrations from State Street lasting until the wee hours of the morning this weekend the kids had a good time settling in! The city “feels right” again.

Chiropractor, City Events, City Life, College Town Life, Life, Madison WI, State Street, The Isthmus, The Isthmus Block Party, Things to do/Places to go, University of Wisconsin--Madison, University Students

Strike Up the Band!

Form a line, oh, oh
Come on, let’s go
Hey, Mr. Leader,
Hey, Mr. Leader,
Please strike up the band!

George and Ira Gershwin sung by Tony Bennett
I went to the chiropractor yesterday, Dr Ted Week over on Winnebago Street in the Atwood Neighborhood, just for a tune-up treatment not for any particular aches and pains and goodness I came home and slept for 2 hours. Then went to bed early and slept another 9 hours without having to take a sleeping pill. I woke up feeling really refreshed and actually did my dishes. That’s the best sleep I’ve had in ages.

It’s a dull cloudy day today, a threat of rain in the air. Suddenly after a heat wave with temperatures in the high 80s and 90s with stuffy humidity for a couple of weeks it’s 59* and there’s a hint of fall in the air to welcome the students back to town. Classes don’t officially start until after Labor Day which is still better than two weeks away so the weather is jumping the gun a bit.

Last night I heard a marching band playing and thought for a moment that the students were already back but I suspect it was probably a Band Camp for High School kids hosted by the University of Wisconsin although I can’t find anything on the ‘Net about Band Camps this late in the summer. There were two in June. Nor can I find anything about the UW band being back on campus this early. But I swear I heard a band just after night fall. It was a good one too.

One of my daughter’s foster daughters spent three weeks at the University in various dorms attending these kinds of camps. It was a wonderful experience for her. When my daughter was in HS she attended an Engineering Camp for kids but because we lived in town she didn’t get to have the experience of living in the dorms. More’s the pity.

I miss the University of Wisconsin students during the summer. They take some of the vitality of the city home with them when they leave in the spring and everything quiets down. State Street seems empty even though there are still people on the street, just not so many and not the students. There is a palpable difference when there is a lack of those thinking young minds concentrating on abstract ideas and concrete problems.

I’ll be glad to have them back in spite of the bartime nonsense that begins on Thursday and ends in the wee hours of Sunday morning. What tickles me when it doesn’t irritate the hell out of me is that the Firemen at Station #1 seem to make it a point to make as much noise with their PA system and tools as early in the morning as possible on weekends. Pay back for being disturbed all night long by the merrymaking drunks?

The Isthmus Block Party is tonight. I got my official Email invitation as did probably half the city. :^) I think I’ll try to grab Big Al and drag him along if it isn’t raining. I think he’d enjoy it.  Sounds like they have some good music and fun times planned.