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Happy Fireworks!

This will be the first year my husband and I will go to State Fair Park to see the fireworks.  Have any of you gone in years past?  Are they pretty good?

No matter, I suppose. Whether it’s the Big Bang at Summerfest or if it’s the small town, Eagle River fireworks, I know I’ll love it.  I’ve often driven around town to catch more than one fireworks display.   Often I would be downtown for the Big Bang on the 3rd and then a local fireworks display on the 4th.  The more I can see, the happier I am.

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Your Entertainment Dollar

In just a few weeks we will be presenting "All Shook Up" the musical based on the music of Elvis Presley. Rehearsals are underway four nights a week and many more hours are being devoted to set building, costuming and a variety of behind-the-scenes occupations.
We realize that all our efforts do not guarantee a financial success. We are, for the most part, a volunteer organization. We may be working very hard, but we realize that your entertainment dollars only go so far and there is a lot going on every summer competing for your attention.
Let fantasy guide you this month. Plan on escaping your everyday world and experience a live show reminiscent of those light-hearted Elvis movies you watched again and again. The songs in "All Shook Up" are Elvis classics. These are the songs you loved, danced to and turned up the radio to hear.
So save on high ticket prices, parking fees and gas. Our ticket prices are only $1 for adults and $1 for seniors and students. Our theater is located at  West Allis Central  High School  Auditorium at 85th and Lincoln, parking is free on the Lincoln Avenue or in the  West Allis Central  High School  parking lot across the street. Our theater is air-conditioned and refreshments will be sold in the lobby before the show and at intermission.
Steve and I will be working the box office at each performance. We will be the first ones to welcome you and let you know that we appreciate your being at the show. "All Shook Up" runs July 18 the, 19th 25th and 26th, the curtain rises at 7:30. We also have a 2 p.m. matinee July 27. See you at the show!  

Is it a dry heat, or is it monsoon season?

Bowling, Vacation

Not even the Albuquerque Journal can answer that question.

But armed with Mark the Editor's expense account, I am off to the dessert southwest Friday morning for five days of sun and floods in search of the truth.

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An Open Letter to Modified Harley Riders and Screaming Crotchrocket riders

crotchrockts, Harleys, motorcycles, noise ordinances, West Allis

Dear modified Harley rider and screaming crotchrocket rider, 

What right do you motorcycle riders have to disturb the quiet that is required for most normal people to sleep at night? 

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Help 400 animals find homes!

Join the Wisconsin and Ozaukee Humane Societies in celebrating summer by saving a life. Our goal is to find homes for four hundred cats during the month of July, in addition to loving families for lots of dogs and small animals, too.  As part of the celebration inspired by Independence Day, every adopter has the opportunity to receive terrific prizes and free stuff!

·         Adopt any cat whose coloring is red, white or blue and receive a free gift and a certificate to attend a free Cat Behavior Seminar! Even if your new cat is wearing an item in one of those three colors, you will receive a gift. Be on the lookout! ·         Adopt any of our mice, named after some of our nation's heroes and receive a complete cage and setup for only $10, while supplies last! ·         Adopt a rabbit and you will receive a discount on our popular Wabbitat! ·         Adopt any one of our Petite Pals including rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, birds, gerbils, hamsters or mice during the month of July and the fee is waived on a small animal friend! ·         Anyone who adopts a dog during the month of July will be given the opportunity to draw for a prize ranging from dog treats to a complete dog kit with everything you need to bring home your new friend!  

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CHARGE (I mean change) IT!

I believe it is time for men and women to start taking charge of their lives. 
For so many years, since the beginning of time, we have used the term "head of household".  When this comes to mind, your first thought will usually be the man in the home.  It was not until divorce began that head of household was changed to refer to the man or the woman in the home.
For at least eight years, I have been head of my household.  To me this means I have the right to make the rules in my home.  Now, whether they are followed or not is a different story, but so far so good.  I take my role seriously and have raised children who are proud of themselves.  They take care of our home and have their designated areas they are responsible to clean on a daily basis.  Sometimes, chores are not done until "later", but for the most part, our home is a place we like to be.
I wonder how many people have taken a different role.  How many others have chosen to allow someone else to be head of their household?  Have you ever observed parents who are truly not in control of their children in a public place?  Does this frustrate you to no end? 
I believe we as men and women have to reinvent who we are.  Whether you are in a relationship or not, it is time for you to take charge of your own well being.   Are you at a point in your life where you are just frustrated?  Are you tired of being tired?  Feel sort of like Rodney Dangerfield where "you get no respect"? 
Well, Aretha, it's time you take back your life and get some r-e-s-p-e-c-t.  It is time to take a long hard look at who you really are.   Do you remember a time, long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away when your "no" meant no?  How about when you were "for sure" about what you wanted?  Remember that one tiny bright spot in your life where you felt on top of the world?  You haven't?  Well, then maybe it's time for us to hang out. 
Through a lot of work, prayers and the love and support of friends, I have come a long way.   I now know who I am, what I want, and I live my life to the fullest.  I say no when I mean no, later if I mean later, and yes if I mean yes.  I no longer feel guilty when I do not want to "hang out" with someone who drains the life out of me.  I now know what quality means. 
I can admit there was a point in my life where I did what I was told.  I really was not raised to have a voice.  This affected me for many years.  I have done years of work, went to Al-Anon and began to establish boundaries.  Had I not done this I would still be in the same relationships.  These are relationships which were unhealthy.  I had befriended people who I thought really cared about me, when in the end, it was all about those "friends" using me for the benefit of themselves. 
What does it take to get to this point?  You know, the point where you have amazing people in your life?  I mean, let's get serious. If you are doing drugs, you cannot certainly expect healthy people to want to be in your company.  It's not fair.  Birds of a feather? Well, the same applies to you Parakeet.  It is time you fly in the opposite direction you were flying as of yesterday.  I have not clipped your wings.  I want you to fly North instead of South.  Just do it. 
If you have been a hot mess for longer than a year, guess what?  Life is too short.  If you think you can "begin tomorrow" you are dead wrong.  Today may be your last day, tomorrow may never come.  Isn't that a song or something?  If it's not, let me contact Josh Groban so we can collaborate. 
Moving forward.  Even if you are an alcoholic, drug addict, suffer from an eating disorder, etc, then guess what?  You too can change.  It is a minute by minute process.  Initially, it is recognizing that what you are doing is not working.  It is causing you harm and heartache.  The meaning of insanity is "doing the same thing while expecting new results".   The next step in a lifestyle change is making the conscious decision to stop the behavior.  Every time you choose, (and yes, I SAID CHOOSE), to participate in an unhealthy behavior SHAME ON YOU!  It is time to quit blaming Tom, Dick, Harry or Larry for your bad behaviors.  It is time to say, I messed up, I chose to do the wrong thing, or I… whatever.  It is time to realize that your life is your choice.  This might be a relief.  You might finally say, WOW, no kidding?   Guess what?  It's true!?  Let's say before this exact moment you have chosen to participate in negative behaviors.  There is good news!  You can CHOOSE from this day forward to do something positive.  Yep, you heard me, you can choose a new path for your life TODAY! 
Let me reiterate, it is not going to be easy.  If you are used to relying on "something" to get you through the minute, hour or day, then let me stress the importance of seeking professional help.  The following step is joining a support group.  There is a group out there for everyone.  Someone else has walked in your shoes.  Believe me, when you walk in the room, and someone else tells their story, you will see 95% of the room nodding in agreement.  You will feel at home.  It is not necessary to share until you feel comfortable.  The first step in healing is to move in the right direction.
As soon as you join the group you will learn how others got through to the other side.  How refreshing is that?  They usually assign a mentor or big brother to each newbie.  Be very careful, this person may have the same experience, but be very weary of the fact they may be new in their healing as well.  Ensure the person you are connected with has been through treatment or healing for a few years and is on the straight and narrow. 
Over time, you will realize that it is possible to start over.  At some point you will choose new friends, family members, etc.  With each step, you can become the head of your own household.  As you begin your new life, you will see yourself with a whole bunch of r-e-s-p-e-c-t and become friends with those who look to you for guidance and support.  You will eventually be the teacher, and not the student. 
I will congratulate you now on the start of your new life.  It is never too late.  Not until you take your final breath and move towards the light. 

Our guest blogger: Maureen Georgenson

Maureen plays Mayor Matilda Hyde in our upcoming musical, “All Shook Up” and she took a few minutes from her busy mayoral schedule to write an “official” response to the concerns of the townspeople regarding that new phenomenon -- rock ‘n roll music. Sounds like our fair mayor may be getting “All Shook Up.” From the desk of Mayor Matilda Hyde: 

            It has come to my attention that many citizens disagree with the enactment and enforcement of the Mamie Eisenhower Decency Act.  The act was designed to protect our young people from the negative effects of the bebop culture.  By prohibiting loud music, tight pants, and public necking, we were trying to keep our community peaceful and decent for everyone.  There were some benefits to the arrival of rock and roll in our town, however.  A certain level of community spirit took hold where citizens helped one another and engaged in dialogues about the needs of our townspeople.  One group has even persuaded me that the old fairgrounds should be reopened to serve as a gathering place for all.  I learned firsthand the energizing effects of guitar playing, and have gained the ability to listen to those citizens whose voices are seldom heard.  Therefore, let it be known in our community that the Mamie Eisenhower Decency Act is officially abolished.

 Our musical opens next week! See what all the excitement is about! “All Shook Up” show times are at 7:30 p.m.  July 18,19, 25 and 26 and at 2 p.m. July 27.

It's happening in Waukesha, too

Other blogs, Restaurants

Thanks to (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Father for spotting this.  Thomas Doyle is correct that if we don't patronize local restaurants in favor of chains, more of this will happen.  And with the current economy, chains can withstand a slowdown better than an independant can.

From WestAllisNOW's unofficial travel reporter: Albuquerque, NM

Bowling, Craps, Gambling, My-Sugar-Na, Nostalga, Restaurants, Vacation

Travelogue from my trip to the USBC Nationals last week in Albuquerque, NM.... 

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The Denny's PBA tour is bypassing Milwaukee

Bowling, Las Vegas, Miller Park, PBA Tour, Reno, US Cellular Arena, USBC Masters

For the past four seasons, the USBC Masters qualifying has been held at AMF Bowlero in Wauwatosa (with the finals held twice at Miller Park, and once each at the US Cellular Arena and the State Fair Expo Center).  In January it was announced that the Masters was leaving Milwaukee, and would instead be held in Las Vegas.  Although it was a blow to lose the Masters tournament, at least the Masters was going to become part of the USBC national tournament is that will be held in Las Vegas in 2009.  Unknown is whether the Masters will stay in Las Vegas, or if it will continue to follow the USBC nationals (which are in Reno in 2010, Orlando in 2011, Baton Rouge in 2012, Reno in 2013 and Orlando in 2014).

Shortly after it became clear that AMF Bowlero was losing the Masters, I spoke with the general manager of Bowlero, Roy Brent, who stated that the PBA was looking for a way to give Milwaukee a regular stop on the 2008-09 tour.  Unfortunatly, that didn't happen, as the released schedule does not include a stop in Milwaukee.

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Water. Precious, precious water!

I just replaced the kitchen faucet.

You guys just don't know how big of an accomplishment this is.  In renting the first 20ish years of my adulthood, I've never had to replace a faucet.

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Mamma Mia! or Batman?

Las Vegas, My-Sugar-Na, Nostalga

What a silly question.  Of course I saw Mamma Mia! this past weekend and not Batman.  Are you daft for thinking otherwise?

Everybody is Ohhh'ing and Ahhh'ing Batman's record setting weekend, and based on the critics opinions, there is a reason for it.  Meanwhile, Mamma Mia! was a distant, distant second this weekend (with about 1/7 of the attendance) and the critics were far more iffy about this movie.

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I think this blog is long overdue. It will be my most controversial yet. I am willing to take one for the team. After reading this, you will realize what team I am on, and I believe that some of you will be joining me. I am taking a deep breath, wish me luck!

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Let's Fix What We Have First

Bike Trail

I recently read an article about the creation of new bike trails in West Allis.  I can't seem to get my hands on the article, so I'm going by memory.  Please forgive me if I get some of the details wrong.  If any of you saw it and can send me the link, I'd appreciate it.

The long and the short of it seemed to be that the City was having a disagreement with the railroad company about the proposed location of a brand new bike trail.

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Sales tax a Good Option for Parks

The Milwaukee County Park Department was once regarded as the best urban park system in America and was the envy of other large metropolitan areas. It served as the national model for public investment in open space, recreational facilities and programs. This is no longer true. While the rest of the nation has discovered the wisdom of upgrading park facilities and investing in new parks our park system has experienced a significant decline in funding due its reliance on the property tax as a means of support.

From 1983 to 2007, the county’s overall tax levy grew by 112%, out-pacing inflation, yet during that same time, the park system’s share of the levy shrunk by 18%.  Factored for inflation over this twenty-four year period, the reduction in park funding is a sobering 65%.  This reduction has led to an unconscionable build-up of deferred maintenance and a loss of nearly two-thirds of the full time workforce.  As staff levels have dropped there has been a related increase in the perception that our parks are not as safe as they once were.

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Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

We, the West Allis Players, want to express our deep gratitude to everyone who attended our show, "All Shook Up." We had almost 1,000 people in the audience and from the general reaction, it is safe to say that everyone had a fantastic time!
We barely get to catch our breath before auditions begin for our fall show -- but before we write about that, I wanted to invite everyone attending the Wisconsin State Fair to visit my husband's winning SPAM entry. The official title is the Great American SPAM Championship. The theme this year was Best Appetizer and he entered "Ham and Jam and Spamalots," complete with a knight of the Round Table guarding the treats. The appetizer was a won ton base with ham, cream cheese, raspberry jam and little slices of SPAM cut into shields. Too cute! Steve is now entered in the national competition, competing with the winners of other fairs around the country. If --  he  make that  or WHEN -- he wins, he gets a trip (and it had better be for two) to the SPAM JAM WAIKIKI in Hawaii in spring of 2009. He appeared on Channel 6 Fox News last Sunday.
Steve just entered four items this year and won two ribbons. I won nine, but his victory is much more noteworthy. I am so proud of him. So if you get a chance, wander over to the Horticultural Building and visit our food.

Three data points equal a statistical trend

Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers, Other blogs

April 3 at Wrigley Field - Cubs 6 v. Brewers 3

April 30 at Wrigley Field - Cubs 19 v. Brewers 5

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Four data points is a statistical certanty

Milwaukee Brewers

The way I look at it, the Brewers and Cubs are 4-4 against each other this season.  The two best teams in the National League have played to a dead heat against each other.

A different statistical trend that needs to be watched... the combined score of the Cubs/Brewers games that Knobbleknees has attended with me is 26 to 6.

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Day 1 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

Free market, State Fair, West Allis

As I stated last year at this time, it was a pleasant surprise that there were no unauthorized cars parked in our driveway when I left for work.  However, I wasn't at work an hour when (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Stepson, Grizzly, called and asked if an exhibitor could park in our driveway at no charge.  Since Grizzly has been volunteering with this organization, I had no problem with it.

I don't foresee me being as gung-ho about parking as I was last year.  In hindsight, I spent a whole lot of lonely hours for not much money.  I think timing is more the key.  Sure, my neighbor one door west may sit outside all day long and park two cars, but to me, all day long isn't worth $10.

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Tired of all the Hoopla

Brett Favre, football, Green Bay, media, NFL, Packers, sports

Before I say what I've got to say, I want to firmly state that I'm an avid Packer fan. I've never had the opportunity to attend a game in person but I don't miss a game on TV. I've been to many Packer parties, enjoyed the snacks, the Jello shots and I've whooped, hollered and boo'd with the best. I've got my favorite players, I wear my Packer beads along with my Antonio Freeman shirt. So, here's my gripe.

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