Red Light, Green Light

As reflected in the second-floor window of the MSOE Campus Center across the street from my office around 5:45 last night 😄

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“Slice of Ice” almost ready!

County parks workers began putting down the water earlier this week, and today I saw the Zamboni smoothing over the snow we got yesterday.

I’m at Starbucks (of course😄), which is apparently the only Starbucks in the U.S. and probably therefore in the world that is part of a park. Definitely the only Starbucks with an ice rink and skate rental!

Milwaukee’s Slice of Ice rink opens tomorrow, December 15, with FREE skate rentals from 4-6 pm. ‘Tis the season!

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Rupi Kaur, Stealth Bestseller

In looking over the bestseller lists in the Saturday/Sunday Wall Street Journal this weekend, I was surprised to see two books on the “combined” nonfiction list by an author I’d never heard of. Additionally, although that combined list usually features books that have appeared on either the hardcover or e-book nonfiction list, neither of this author’s books appears there. But there they are on the combined list, The Sun and Her Flowers and Milk And Honey.

So who is Rupi Kaur, and where did she come from? I don’t know enough yet to give a complete answer to those questions, but here’s what I’ve learned so far. Kaur is an Instagram poet with 1.9 million followers, whose posts seem to be relatively short poems and photos with generalized insights about life. Very accessible and fairly universal, especially in their appeal to the experiences of young women everywhere and possibly, in particular, young women of color. Kaur follows no one from the account where she posts her poems and photos, so those 1.9 million followers are presumably people legitimately interested in her work and not the quid pro quo I’ll-follow-you-if-you-follow-me followers that seem to be attached to so many writers’ accounts.

Here are links to Kaur’s website and her Instagram in case you’re intrigued and want to see more. Personally, I am thrilled to see poetry on the bestseller list!

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A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

My first reaction upon seeing the flag at half mast in Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park this morning was: “Oh no! What happened?”

Then about two seconds later I remembered. Today is December 7th.

The clip below of the USS Arizona exploding and sinking is from a 1942 Castle Films “News Parade” feature. Horrifying yet compelling, the footage is hard to turn away from, with billowing smoke that’s a spectacle worthy of a Hollywood film. But this is no movie, and watching it I can’t stop thinking of all the people whose deaths it represents.

It’s good to remember Pearl Harbor today . . . even though it would be nicer to forget. Here is Pathé newsreel footage of President Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech vowing that we never would.

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A different view of the new Milwaukee Bucks Arena

I spotted the new Milwaukee Bucks Arena on the way to Starbucks for coffee this morning. Do you see it?

Do you now?

For comparison, here is a photo I took of the arena under construction back in July:

As of last Monday (November 27) the side of the arena I drive by every day looked like this:

Only because I remembered that rather striking turquoise-and-yellow color combo from summer did I realize what I saw reflected in the office windows this morning. That new arena is coming along pretty rapidly!

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Birch and Moon

My old iPhone doesn’t take the best photos at night, but when I saw the moon shining through the branches of our birch tree as I arrived home from work, I couldn’t resist at least giving it a try.

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A Puzzle in Tree Shadows

Such strange light mid-morning today. Very bright sun in a cloudless sky, yet also somehow very “gauzy.” It’s not hazy today, nor is it humid or even slightly overcast, so the gauzy quality makes no sense. But you can see how soft some of the shadows are. Even if they are thrown down by more faraway trees, those trees aren’t so distant that I’d expect such faint shadows.

Actually, I think I just figured it out, but sadly it’s now almost 1:00 pm, so there’s no chance to check my theory out. I’m guessing that the fainter shadows are the result of sunlight reflecting off the glass of the Grohmann Museum’s atrium and then casting shadows of those branches from a different angle and with a weaker light. I suppose that might also explain the strangely gauzy quality of sunlight, as well.

Don’t you find it frustrating to notice things and not have time to explore them in that very moment? Now I’ll never really know for sure. Such is life, I guess😄

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