Alcoholism, City Life, Downtown Madison, Drug Addiction, Family, gentrification, Homeless, Homeless Shelter, Madison WI, Real Estate Development, WISCONSIN

Gentrification Redux Take II

Goodness gracious, another person responds with real dialogue about an issue! Wonderful!

Christopher Patton wrote in response to Gentrification Redux:

I don’t think urging people to use the police force as a proxy to handle ‘bad apples’ really solves the problem of homelessness or drug addiction. It is merely another attempt to push societal problems out of sight instead of trying to confront them on a personal, interactive level (Cliff Fisher and you might have more in common after all). If you truly value your community than you won’t relegate it’s policing to a group that upholds the power structure by treating already disadvantaged people unfairly.

I’ve dealt with alcoholics and drug addicts my whole life. I am, in fact, what I would consider a non-addicted alcoholic who made the decision early in life that I would not go down that path because the way I drank and the effects of alcohol on me WHEN I drank could too easily have led to addiction.

I was lucky because I became educated before the booze took over my life. Many of my family members and my children’s father’s family members did not have that advantage. Alcoholism and drug addiction claimed their lives. Some of them were homeless as well.

The one thing I know about an addict and had to learn through painful demonstration over many years of trying to save the alcoholics and drug addicts I have loved is that they will not give up their addiction until they become convicted that they have no other choice. They have to hit their own personal rock bottom.

People hit bottom when they have to suffer the consequences of their behavior. You may believe that involving the police in curtailing the abusive behavior of people who are drunk and strung out on drugs is treating an already disadvantaged person unfairly. I happen to believe holding everyone to certain standards of civil behavior is more than fair. It may be the best thing that could ever happen to an addict.

I’ve learned that the only kind of love that truly helps an addict or alcoholic is tough love. It’s the same kind of love a good parent gives their child. The best present I ever got from my son is a kitschy little plaque that begins “I had the meanest Mother in the world…She loved me enough to say no.”

I’m more than willing to interact with the homeless and would agree that there are definitely social issues that need to be addressed to solve the problem. I’m not advocating that the homeless be thrown in jail wholesale but I know better than to try to confront alcoholics and addicts “on a personal interactive level” while they are using.

They don’t have an interactive level in that state. It’s a waste ot time. Basically there is no one home because they aren’t going to remember the interaction the next day anyway.

B

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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!

B

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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.

B

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Apartment life, City Life, Dogs, Downtown Madison, Life, Madison WI, Off-leash Dog Parks, Pets, Play

Working Like a Dog

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’d been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright
You know I feel alright

John Lennon & Paul McCartney performed by The Beatles

I took Igor to the dog park at the bottom of Broom Street last night around 5ish when all the pups and their Moms and Dads were there but he was way too overwhelmed by everyone–people AND dogs. He really is a shy dog.

The people there were really nice and friendly but my dog just isn’t up for socializing yet so we went back early this afternoon when we had the park all to ourselves and he was overjoyed to be off the leash and allowed to run free.

img_0267igordogpark2.jpg

It’s absolutely fantastic that the city provides a fenced area for folks to take their dogs to play in the downtown area. I’d hate to think that Igor would have to spend the rest of his life on a leash.

There are four off-leash dog parks in Madison. We are about six blocks from the dog park downtown and I feel very fortunate to live so near one. The dog park permit is $20.00 a year, $10.00 for Senior Citizens and Disabled People (that’s me!) or $3.00 a day. That’s a bargain!

B

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"Igor the Mighty", City Life, Crime, Dogs, Downtown Madison, Madison WI, Pets, Police, The Isthmus, WISCONSIN

Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog

 I memorize every line
I kiss the name that you sign
And darlin, then I read again right from the start
Love letters straight from your heart

by Elvis Presley (words and music by Edward Heyman and Victor Young)

OK, here’s a question for all you dog owners out there. Do your dogs fake poop?  I take Igor out for one last walk every evening around 11:00 PM and we always walk the same route. He noses around until he finds a place he wants to pee and that could be anywhere but he always stops in the same spot to poop. A spot which he seems to need to locate exactly by smell.

Then he takes the pooping stance. You know that “Omigawd I’ve got to dump a big one and it ain’t gonna be pretty” contorted dog stance? The one that makes you look away and pretend that that isn’t your dog on the end of the leash you are holding in your hand. The one that makes you cringe because it looks like something so damn painful is about to happen. The one where they get “that look” on their face, like they’re concentrating on something very important.

OK so he makes the stop and takes the stance and does the poop dance. You know, the poop dance. Those four or five steps a dog takes when they are are all hunched up in the contorted poop stance with that far away look on their sweet faces while they are actually releasing the poop from their colon. THAT dance.

Ok, so Igor does the poop dance in the same place every night but I’ll be damned if I can ever find the evidence. I swear, there is NEVER any poop there. I thought maybe I just can’t see the poop. Bad night vision and all that but when I go back to look the next day I could never find any evidence of poop.

I really doubt if there is a poop patrol out there cleaning up after Igor and me. But one never knows and Madison has laws about leaving pet waste laying around. I don’t want to be breaking any laws. Especially not shitty laws.

My friend Kathleen has started walking with us for the past few nights and she couldn’t see any poop either. So tonight she reminded me to take my flashlight and brought hers along as well. We decided we were going to solve this poop mystery. Dogs just don’t FAKE poop.

Igor fakes pooping. Every.single.night. He goes throught the ritual of pooping but he doesn’t poop. He pretends to poop!

Why? Why does he assume the stance, get that look on his face, and embarrass himself and me every.single.night? What’s with that?

B

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