An Outing on an Outing

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One of the things I love about living smack in the middle of downtown is being able to walk all over the downtown area without having to worry about traffic, parking and all the headaches that come from having to drive to the downtown area.

It also means the local farmer’s market is JUUUUUUST down the street ūüėÄ

I usually go down there, get some fresh cheese curd, various veggies I’m gonna use for the week, and stop for my brat-breakfast (brat, kraut, spicy mustard, nekkid (no bun)).¬† I also grab something bakery for the SQO, and any other odds or ends that strike my fancy.¬† (found a fantastic smoked tomato sauce a couple of weeks ago, and the DIL almost drooled when she found some pickled okra).

I always finish my Saturday market excursion with a stop at my favorite coffee place for a good cup of cold brew:  The Steaming Cup.

Here’s a longer shot of the building in the background…it’s the building with the conical top on the corner:

Downtown Summer 2016

This morning, when they took my order & gave me the number to hang on to…I was stunned.

 

50 outing

 

 

HowInHell did they know I hit the big Five-Oh???

 

 

 

I feel so….’outed.’

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Business Signage and my Brain

Just a quickie today…

I’ve been driving in to work the last couple of days because unforeseen events and extremely muggy weather put me in the damn car again.¬† But I did drive past a sign for an Italian restaurant in my area that was advertising Steamed Mussels the other day.

My first thought?  Why are they so mad?

My next thoughts?  Well, they went off on several different tangents, most of which got discarded for either being unworkable or running head-long into a mental brick wall, but eventually the various voices in my head agreed with the final sentiment:

That’d be a great name for one of them hoity-toity pampering spas featuring a lot of high-end saunas.

They could call the place Steamed Muscles.

 

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Murder in the Concrete Jungle

You get a lot of time to think when you’re pounding the pavement. ¬†Sometimes I just mouth the words to whatever song is blasting away on my iPod. ¬†Sometimes I mull over a string of numbers (work numbers, keto numbers, financial numbers, etc…). ¬†And sometimes, I have long, in-depth conversations with the various voices in my head…just to work shit out.

Sometimes, it’s the only intelligent conversation I have all day…

For a while now, I’ve called this little stretch of my walk the Cathedral.

 

It’s nothing that special, really. ¬†The owners of this particular piece of property decided to plant bushes all along the boundary of their lot. ¬†Those plantlings did what greenery does, and grew – eventually getting tall enough to clasp branch-hands with the trees on the median. ¬†For the entire spring & summer, the branches have been trimmed back over the sidewalk so people don’t have to push through the bush to get where they’re going – but they haven’t trimmed more than that.

 

It’s a landmark on my journey where I stop for just a moment, and breathe a huge sigh of relief. ¬†It’s here that I get out of the hot sun and soak in a little shade. ¬†In my head, this little canopy is the ‘official’ boundary between the industrial leg and the park leg, and marks where I’m ‘officially’ on the way home.

But this morning – I walked up to the Cathedral in horror.

 

LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID!

Cathedral 5

 

The Cathedral has fallen!  Those murdering bastards BUTCHERED it!

**SOB**

I got half a mind to march up to the door and give ’em a serious piece of the mind I’ve got left.

…Deep breath…calm and focus…oh yea, that’s right…I don’t do confrontation…

Cathedral 6

Upon closer inspection of the carnage, I can kinda/sorta understand why the bushes had to come down.  Looks like they were tangling up the power or cable lines running to the house.

 

But still….SLAVERING HEADBLIND SOULLESS BASTARDS KILLED MY LANDMARK!

OK…I feel slightly better now…

Couldn’t they have allowed just ONE more Autumn display of color that I could aim my camera at before the wholesale slaughter ensued?

Cathedral 3

 

 

 

Walkabout Down Memory Lane

I may have mentioned I started walking to work this spring…

 

Ok…so I’m kinda obsessed, and ya’ll get to share.

This morning, I was passed by a commuter on roller skates.  She was a middle-aged lady, wore a fairly standard backpack, and sported a bright pink helmet with matching knee and elbow pads.  The wheels on her skates may have matched the bright pink of the rest of her ensemble, but had been darkened slightly from use.

She was also on the street – which is a hell of a lot smoother than the sidewalk I was currently pounding.

I had to giggle just a bit – but not loud enough to put her off her stride. ¬†I’d hate to cause an accident with my rather hard-to-explain mirth.

See – I did the roller skate thing a long time ago.

Remember wavy

Look out!!!! It’s the ‘memory shimmer!’

I officially became a teenager in the tender year of 1980.

but I’m still 29 thanks to ‘female’ maths

In this year of big, permed hair, screen-printed satin jackets, and eye-blistering neon-colors Рone of the biggest social gathering places for those newly minted teens was the skating rink.  There, you could blithely roll your heart out on a stretch of perfectly level, perfectly straight, and perfectly clean poured concrete, while the punk music blasted out of the speakers and stage lights flared, spun and flickered across the painted expanse.

All your classmates were there, too…doing what teens do worst – attempting to flirt with the opposite sex.

Well, except for me.  I was more interested in actually skating.

At this age, I didn’t yet understand the biological Human directive to form pair bonds…

I had a pair of rink skates. ¬†Not the little metal numbers you had to screw onto your shoes (although I owned a pair or two of those, too…) – but a real pair of above-the-ankle leather boots with the wheel assembly permanently bolted onto the hard sole. ¬†I dressed ’em up with hot pink wheels, neon-purple, sparkly laces, and pink/purple puffballs strapped to the toes. ¬†I even had a bright blue satin jacket with the rink’s name screen-printed across the back.

The rink was within walking distance of home, and I went there every chance I could. ¬†Not that there were a lot of chances in 1980. ¬†The parent’s divorce was final, and Mom had moved back to the ‘ancestral’ part of Wisconsin with my and my little brother in tow to work a 2nd shift job in a nursing home. ¬†Guess who got the responsibility of making sure I and my little 10 year old brother had food at night?

I can still wield a can opener with the best Olympiads!

So 1980 was memorable, if only for the year I got my first ‘real’ skates, learned how to heat up cans of food, and realized I had little awareness of or interest in the whole boy/girl attraction thing.

I loved my skates though…they represented freedom & frivolity!

Now…I’m just gonna fast-forward through the remains of the 80’s. ¬†The fashion trends are starting to make a comeback, anyway, so why remember when I can just look out a window and see the same stuff on the street?

Yea!!! ¬†I’m 20. ¬†Out on my own for the first time eveah! ¬†Just me and my wits against the rest of society!

Damn…this sucks. ¬†

A broken-down car, some mother-fu*k3#! stealing my bicycle, less than $50 in the bank, a tiny efficiency apartment with a lecherous landlord, a job waiting tables in an extremely depressed segment of the US…

Yea…I had to walk to work. ¬†But, unlike now…back then I resented having to do it. ¬†I’d rather have had wheels.

Can you see where I’m going with this? ¬†I HAD wheels – my old trusty freedom-loving skates. ¬†And, unlike the bicycle that went off on its own, the skates I could bring inside the restaurant for protection against the tender mercies of the more ‘unsavory’ elements in town.

So I skated to work once…

 

 

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ONCE!

It didn’t go so well. ¬†First…I was out of practice. ¬†Second, the sidewalks had cracks and pits and ankle-breaking perils (sticks, small stones, various debris) randomly scattered about. ¬†Third – curbs. ¬†Do you know how difficult it is to step off a curb with wheels strapped to your feet???

Lastly Рthere was traffic.  Both other pedestrians and actual cars.

There were no cars in the Skate-Rink…and everyone rolled the same direction.

Welcome to real life!

 

I did survive that trip in to work…sweaty and shaking but intact and unbroken. ¬†At the end of that shift serving grouchy people burgers & fries…mopping up various spills and cleaning tables that the public left incredibly messy – I didn’t even bother lacing the skates back on. ¬†I just looped ’em over my shoulders and walked back to my little shelter.

I don’t think I ever wore my skates again.

 

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