Limo Rides, Ballet, Sushi, and Hipster Poetry.

Limo Rides, Ballet, Sushi, and Hipster Poetry.

There are days that seem surreal.
I woke up yesterday, and hung with Brad…
Who, thanks to her mother and her coworkers, was the top seller for some fundraiser at her school.
I did my part by buying a hanging “black dress” jewelry holder, and a Christmas plate with a slightly askew moose on it.
Because she was one of the top sellers, she was awarded with a limo ride to StoneFire Pizza.
Baller Status.
(only 6 minutes away from her school)
I let her borrow my camera for the trip.
(don’t tell her you read this.. i said i wouldn’t look at the pics until i saw her next)

First.. Brad had told me that it was going to be just her and another boy, with *no* chaperones.
This, I’m sure, was her first disappointment for the day.

Turns out, she is my niece.
Best Choice.
Her mother told her that if she made good choices for lunch, she could have dessert.
Those are good choices.
For flavor. (kind of)

This is as close to the games that she got at StoneFire.
No Games For You.
Apparently, they pulled the ol’ in-and-out on these kids. (no)
Soggy pizza, soft-serve ice cream, and a 12 minute limo ride was worth $1041 in crappy merchandise sales for her school.
I mean… Who takes a group of kids to a place rive with rides, games, and activities just to sit down and eat?
Jerks. That’s who.

I was reminded of the time my Mormon friend in grade school took me to a “Hawaiian Luau” at her church.
There was promise of a pig on a spit, fresh flower leis, and pineapple upside down cake.
We took a fake plane ride there..
They had set up chairs, standing wall partitions, and were in flight attendant costumes.
There were sound effects, too…
As we were about to take off, the plane was hijacked.
Plane sound effects turned to gunshots, the lights turned to strobe, and there were no survivors.
The rest of the evening was a tour of all of the parts of the afterlife.
Rooms where we talked about eternal damnation, or purgatory.
There was no cake. Upside down or otherwise. (WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!! :/)
(this was my first big souring to organized religions)

Brad did take this awesome self-portrait, so it wasn’t a total loss.
Vera, Sales and Photography
And she had fun.
The excitement of telling the story did not match the excitement from the night before, however.

After parting ways with that little cutie, Jessica picked me up for our afternoon date.
I had gotten us tickets to what was advertised as a Choreography Competition for the Milwaukee Ballet.
It turned out to be 3 different pieces done by 3 different choreographers, and you could vote by ballot for your favorite.
The ticket prices were based on placement, so we went for the cheapest.
Which… Got us in the last row on the second floor of the Pabst.
Jessica informed me that there was a third floor, so I didn’t feel so bad.
The show was beautiful.
My favorite piece was one called “Manifold” by Gabrielle Lamb.
She made dance feel like sculpture.

Here are clips of the other two.
That first one was dark, and craggy.
It made me feel a lot of things.
Mostly revolving around my desperate bucket list need to be in a choreographed dance routine.
Preferably, but not limited to, the flash mob variety.
I would settle for a really awesome street dance off with text message invitations.

The second was the most like classic ballet.

After the ballet, I spent some time at Target shopping for Brad’s Valentine gift..
I’m pretty sure I wrapped the card up in it before signing it.

Then sushi with my Samantha, her brother, her cousin, and a friend of theirs.
I say “sushi” like it’s this adorable thing..
This is All You Can Eat Sushi.
And these people mean business.
I had so much fun, and ate my face off, and am going to get a stern talking to when I enter the weight loss clinic to get weighed today.
I’m trying to think light, but it’s not really working.
Onward and upward, I always say!

I left our sushi spot on the South side to head to Riverwest.
I was invited to a hipster poetry reading by my friends Sue and Alex.
They are very fond of the (headlining?) poet.
The Facebook invite said it was at the pink house on Holton and Locust.
Was this a house? Or an venue?
It was a house.
Look at these cool motherfuckers. They’re not even looking at the camera.
(except for the guy who was trying to stay out of the frame)

And when I opened the door, I could hear poetry at the bottom of the stairs.
As I approached, there was a menagerie of shoes lining the top 10 stairs.
As I came to eye-level with the living room, I was met by the gaze of a room full of hipsters sitting cross-legged in somebody’s apartment.
I could see my friends waving on the other side of the room.
I was expected to take my shoes off and wade through a sea of people during an emotional reading.
Totally did it with that apologetic giggly face I get.
I wedged myself in, and took a couple of pictures..
I didn’t really get the scope of it..
As there were around 40 people crammed into this Milwaukee upper Eastside flat.
Here are some.
(there was a whole room to the left of this picture, too)
Door Guy.
During the intermission, I went outside with my pals.
I was introduced to a woman with this line..
“This is _blank_. I went to school with her. She had a film at Cannes.”
How do you..?
What do you say to that?
My friend said, “My boyfriend lived in the South of France for a year.”
I guess that’s what.

The poet.
Steve Roggenbuck.
Apparently a guy who is rapidly gaining internet fame..
I enjoyed him immensely.
Funny, and ridiculous, and kind of poking all around fun at the state of things.
But with meaning, and depth.
I do think this is great.

What was even more interesting were the movements of the poet groupies.
I watched quite a few approach him after the reading..
“We know Justin. You’re staying on his couch, right?”
“Oh, you know Justin? That’s cool.”
The air was thick with aiming to please this guy who says words on the internet.
There were quite a few people overheard saying they had been watching him since before he blew up.

I liked it.
And I also didn’t like it.
It made me feel old.
But also really excited to be there.
To be part of it.
Which.. Makes me feel old.