City Life, College Students, College Town Life, Crime, Downtown Madison, Freakfest, Halloween Party, Madison WI, Police, State Street, Surveillance Cameras, University of Wisconsin--Madison, WISCONSIN, Wisconsin State Journal

An the Goblins Will Get Ya If Ya Don’t Watch Out!

Little Orphan Annie’s come to my house to stay.
To wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away.
To shoo the chickens from the porch
and dust the hearth and sweep,
and make the fire and bake the bread
to earn her board and keep.
While all us other children, when the supper things is done,
we sit around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun,
a listening to the witch tales that Annie tells about
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!

“The Little Orphan Annie” by James Witcomb Riley

The big Halloween Party weekend has come and gone for another year. Freakfest was a huge success at least in terms of safety and lack of violence and property damage. According to “The Wisconsin State Journal” it only cost the city $500, 000! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 34,000 people attended and paid the $5.00 admission fee and only 175 of them got arrested.

It was pretty tame from my point of view except that the last band was really loud and one of the points of exit must have been close to home because there was a significant amount of boisterous foot traffic on my street which made my dog nervous. The light went out well before 3:00 am though.

Three years ago I listened and watched as the tension with at least twice as many people versus a much smaller police force came to a head and the riots began. Walking down State Street the next morning was almost like walking through a warzone Our Mayor and City Council deserve congratulations and Thanks for turning this annual gathering into a safe but fun party once again.

Unfortunately I had developed a fine case of insomnia but the city was calm and quiet by 3:30. There weren’t even any house parties with loud music disturbing the peace nearby. No screams and cries for help like I heard this past summer when one of the rapes took place nearby. No arguments from domestic disturbances. Pretty tame for a Saturday night. Gosh, it’s good to have the students back in town!

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City Life, College Students, College Town Life, Downtown Madison, Freakfest, Halloween Party, Life, Madison WI, Police, State Street, University of Wisconsin--Madison, WISCONSIN

Butterflies and Queens! Sluts Are In!

Igor and I met up with Kathleen when we went out for the last potty run of the day. I saved up both of our energies so we could make a long circuit of the periphery of State Street and scope out the scene. Kathleen said she could not get a taxi to come and pick her up to go to Escape on Willy Street because they were so busy tonight.

Walking down Broom Street we met plenty of people young and old in costume. As usual Devils, Death, Ghosts, and Witches made appearances but there were an awful lot of male and female Butterflies and pretty young men cross-dressing. There was one exceptionally large Milkmaid with yellow trashbag braids and a blue gingham dress that I know was supposed to be an imitation of some brand name dairy product. I simply cannot recall the name of the brand name at the moment to save my life! He did a great job with the costume though–everyone will “get it.”

There was a disturbing amount of emphasized cleavage to be seen and hotter hot pants than anything worn in my day. Honey, didn’t those seams crawling up into your crotch hurt? I mean seriously, you are going to do yourself some permanent damage if you make those kinds of fashion choices very often. Plus you need to lose some of the chub to pull it off more delicately.

I read another blog this afternoon about sluttiness being in and it looked like a lot of these girls bought their costumes straight out of a Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog. Thigh high stockings and mini skirts or hot pants with push-up cross-your-heart wonder bras beneath skimpy tops that left nothing to the imagination seemed to be the norm. The girls had goose pimples the size of goose eggs on their midriffs. The guys, of course, had the sense to dress warmly. I guess the age old competition for the best spermatic DNA is still being waged.

There really didn’t seem to be as big a crowd as they expected. At least not at 9:30. It was bustling and lively out there but it’s bustling and lively every Saturday night. This was just jacked up few notches. It was just as busy last night if not more so when I was out. There seemed to be about as many people outside of the cordoned off area as there were IN the State Street area two and a half hours after the party started. I know it’s cool to be fashionably late but gee…

Everyone was nice and friendly. Several people called out that they liked my dog. I like my dog too. He behaved very well in nerve-wracking conditions. I was quite proud of him.

There didn’t seem to be any blatant public drunkeness although there were a few partyers who had obviously had plenty to drink and smoke. One happy young man invited us to follow him to a house party for ganja and drink. Wasn’t that generous of him? <grin> It wasn’t his house or his party! Probably not his ganja or drink either.

The band that is playing now is pretty good and just loud enough to be enjoyable. That damn light is obnoxiously bright. I hope it keeps everyone safe.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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I’ll Be Watching You

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Ill be watching you

STING “I’ll Be Watching You” (Feat, The Police)

So it begins, the constant eyes watching our every move as we make our way to and from work or play. The authorities are putting up the first security cameras in my neighborhood. It will be set up at the bottom of State Street according to reports from WISC-TV Channel 3. Police officers will be able to monitor the feed from their patrol cars.

I don’t know how to feel about this Orwellian touch of Big Brother intrusion into the daily lives of our citizens. Part of me hates it because…well, because I’m a liberal and I’m supposed to hate any intrusion of the government into my privacy. I don’t want to live in a world where we’re under constant surveillance by the authorities.

But To be honest with you, I’m worried sick about the crazy, awful stuff that has been going on in my neighborhood out on the streets after dark. I’m scared to walk the streets after dark without an escort. And there are all kinds of people out and about on the well lit streets in my neighborhood after dark so it’s not like I’m going off into some dark alley somewhere.

Heck, I’m almost scared to scurry across my courtyard to the grocery store and back without an escort. Someone got mugged in MY COURTYARD late at night (actually in the wee hours of the morning) not too long ago! But they were flashing cash, having stopped at the ATM. I’m not that dumb. But still…

I heard the horrified screams of the victim of one of the recent rapes from the safety of my apartment earlier this spring. It happened two blocks away from me. I heard her terror and her pain. I called 911 and then I listened to it happen and felt awful because I couldn’t help that victim any more than I already had.

I’m having a hard time finding a solid reason why it isn’t a good thing to have those cameras there on State Street. I mean, seriously, if we had the cash we could put a police officer on those same street corners 24/7 watching for the same things they are watching for with the cameras. It’s a public place, haven’t you already given up some of your rights to privacy by walking out your front door?

The Bobbies in London are going to be wearing helmets with cameras soon. The UK already has surveillance cameras everywhere, now their policemen are going to be filming every step they take. Bobbies doing double duty so to speak.

It’s a sad comment on the break down of society that we have to even think about taking such steps as putting surveillance cameras up because we don’t have enough manpower to keep track of the criminal element amongst us and protect ourselves from them much less bring them to justice. It may be Orwellian but the question has to be raised:  Don’t we have too many missing persons and too many unsolved murders in this town to sit here and be opposed to surveillance cameras just on principal?

Damn, it hurts to say that! This could be a very slippery slope we are starting down.

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