Second Supper Vol. 10, No. 6
A La Crosse Original: Nick Shattuck's first album features fan favorites
EE FR INSIDE: LA CROSSE SPARTANS' NEW DANCE TEAM BUSTS THE STEREOTYPE • PAGE 6 VOLUME 10, NO. 6 | FEBRUARY 18, 2010 Census jobs still available here PHOTO BY MAURA HENN Page 7 La Crosse Original Nick Shattuck's first LP features fan favorites Page 12 PLUS: SOCIAL NETWORKING • PAGE 2 | STATE POLITICAL REPORT • PAGE 4 | THE ADVICE GODDESS • PAGE 8 2// February 18, 2010 Second Supper Social Networking L'Editor CELEBRITY CRUSH: Stewie Griffin FIRST CONCERT YOU WENT TO: Shoeless Revolution! I was still in momma's belly. WHAT IS YOUR BEVERAGE OF CHOICE? Mmmmm. Boob milk. Second Supper 614 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601 Phone: (608) 782-7001 Online: secondsupper.com Publisher: Roger Bartel email@example.com Editor in Chief: Adam Bissen firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: Mike Keith email@example.com Sales: Jenaveve Bell firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: Ansel Ericksen email@example.com Contributors: Amy Alkon, Erich Boldt, Nick Cabreza, Mary Catanese, Brett Emerson, Jake Groteuschen, Maura Henn, Shuggypop Jackson, Matt Jones, Caroline More, Anna Soldner, Ralph Winrich Second Supper is a weekly alternative newspaper published by Bartanese Enterprises LLC, 614 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601 WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? "Goodnight Moon." It's good. You should read it. NAME AND AGE: Olive Cecelia, 3 months TELL US YOUR GUILTIEST PLEASURE: Sleeping. All the time. I mean ALLLL the time. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? In my mom's bed in downtown La Crosse. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE? Not getting what I want., the second I want it. CURRENT JOB: Unemployed TELL US A JOKE: There was a little baby boy and a little baby girl. The baby boy says, "I'm a boy and you're a girl!" The girl asks, "How do you know?" The little boy goes, "I'll show you when the nurse leaves." So when the nurse leaves, the boy lifts up his gown and says, "See. ... I have blue booties, and you have pink!" DREAM JOB: Toy tester LAST THING YOU GOOGLED: Babies can't type! IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE? With my mom! WHAT'S THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT? I haven't bought anything, silly. I'm a baby. WHAT'S IN YOUR POCKET RIGHT NOW?: Nothing. Baby pockets are pointless. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE? Learn to do EVERYTHING. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF SECOND SUPPER? The pictures. The colored ones. IF A GENIE GRANTED YOU ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD YOU ASK FOR? Credit card HOW DO YOU KNOW SARAH (LAST WEEK'S INTERVIEW)? Dear Reader: The Mississippi River claimed another young man this week. As a community, we reacted in the expected ways — much sadness, some ire and a general feeling of “What else can we do?” As a newspaper planning its coverage, Second Supper went through a similar cycle, for we've learned all too well how river drownings cut to the very marrow of La Crosse. But we had to write something, so in a fit of introspection often dubbed writers block, I took a walk Wednesday night from my downtown apartment to the river beneath the Cass Street Bridge. I won’t claim to know the route Craig Meyers took on his own final walk, but my path was wide and easy, with gently sloping asphalt and a surprising brightness from lights glowing on clean snow. I don’t know what I expected to find down there, but the scene wasn’t somber. Traffic raced overhead, hotel guests plodded on Stairmasters, and the ice cracked ominously. Upstream, it was worn bare with footprints and a macabre pattern of auger holes. I continued my walk past bouquets of flowers and a single white candle. Before long I was back in my neighborhood and startled by laughing faces chasing cheap chicken wings. It was an odd juxtaposition, my sadness and their frivolity, but it’s one I think we’ll live with for a while. After years of writing the same editorials and seeing the same deaths, I just don’t know what else we can do. She's my mom! My Reality? — Adam Bissen We put those ATM fees back in your pocket. I‘ve got money, I never carry cash. With Altra Plus Checking, you can get up to $20 in ATM fees refunded every month and earn an outrageously high dividend on the money in your account. Ask us how. • No minimum balance required • No monthly service charge Open 7 days a week inside Festival Foods, La Crosse 608-787-4500 • www.altra.org fits my life Membership eligibility required. A+ Checking available for personal accounts only. The use of four free Altra technology services is required to receive ATM refunds and dividend rate. ATM fee refunds available for withdrawals made from A+ Checking. Dividends calculated and paid each calendar month on the daily balance. Please contact Altra for complete account details. Second Supper Things To Do Support Habitat for Humanity benefit The Top Greek foods 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Baklava Dolmades Gyros Spanakopita Retsina Feta Ouzo Coolest named Wisconsin counties 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Outagamie Barron Rock Iron Ozaukee Door Marathon February 18, 2010 // 3 FIRST THINGS FIRST Habitat for Humanity-La Crosse Area will hold its fourth annual Raise the Roof fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 20, in North Hall at the La Crosse Center, 300 Harborview Plaza. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the event, which features classic rock music performed by The Remainders. The Grand River Singers and Amanda's Academy of Dance also will perform. Other highlights include a raffle, silent auction, casino games featuring guest dealers from the La Crosse Spartans, and food from area restaurants. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Students and military personnel get in for $5. Tickets are available at the Habitat ReStore, 434 3rd St. S. For more information about Habitat for Humanity or the event, call (608) 785-2373 or visit the Web site at www. habitatlacrosse.org. 1 Chew on this documentary A screening of the documentary film "Fresh" begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, in the Graff Main Hall auditorium, 1724 State St., on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. Produced and directed by Ana Sofia Joanes, the film explores the environmental and ethical issues related to industrialized food systems. The film features, among others, urban farmer and activist Will Allen, sustainable farmer Joe Salatin and author Michael Pollan in the search for nourishing, natural food solutions to address problems such as food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and morbid obesity. For more information, contact Matt Vogel at (608) 785-8977 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 Take advantage of play's extended run By popular demand, The Pump House Regional Arts Center has added a performance of 5,000 Lbs.: Seven Soldiers' Stories at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. All other performances of the original play, based on extensive research and interviews with Vietnam veterans, sold out following its debut earlier this month. Tickets are $15 for members and students, $18 for non-members, and $21 dayof-show. For information, call (608) 785-1434. The Pump House, 119 King St., is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. 3 Learn about author's Dakota heritage 4 Diane Wilson will read from her first book, "Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past," at the Hot Reads for Cold Nights program at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at the La Crescent Public Library, 321 Main St., La Crescent. The book is a memoir that blends fiction and history as Wilson retraces her family's Dakota heritage across five generations. For information, call (507) 895-4047. The event is free. Lighten up and enjoy a good laugh She goes by Retta. Or, on MySpace, Retta the Joke Diva. Her resume includes roles in several movies, including "Slackers," multiple television appearances, including "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and her own half-hour Comedy Central special. And she's coming to La Crosse. Retta will appear at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Cellar of the Cartwright Center on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. There is no admission charge. She grew up in Newark, N.J., and graduated from Duke University. Before comedy, she worked in pharmaceutical research. 5 COMMENTARY 4// February 18, 2010 Second Supper The WisPolitics.com Stock Report RISING POLITICAL ADS More than eight months out from the fall election, the ad wars have already begun. The conservative national Committee for Truth in Politics is up with a TV spot in several Wisconsin cities targeting Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl over bank bailouts, Feingold foe Terrence Wall is up with a TV ad, and GOP guv hopeful Mark Neumann has reserved time for his first buy of the campaign. Meanwhile, Dem lawmakers are looking for ways to fight against what some expect will be a tide of corporate, labor and independent spending with an open guv’s race that some think could hit $50 million in total spending. VIRTUAL SCHOOLS ENROLLMENT COMING SOON KJOME RENTALS READY TO MOVE IN? One Bedroom Upper, 527 Division, La Crosse $495.00 Heat Included Large Studio, 720 Main St., La Crosse Fully Furnished $425.00 All Utilities Included Small Efficiency, 612 S. 7th St., La Crosse $650.00 Heat Included, Laundry, Storage, Parking. Two Bedroom, 612 S. 7th St., La Crosse $425.00 Heat Included, Parking, Laundry All Month-to-Month Leases Cats Welcome! 1-877-452-2155 Toll Free # Come Home to the Best! A new audit finds a mixed bag on the performance of students in Wisconsin’s online schools. But it also shows they continue gaining popularity with enrollment numbers expected to bump up against a cap in just a few years. Lawmakers reached a compromise on virtual schools in early 2008 to keep them open after a court ruling. That deal included a cap of 5,250 students, and with 2,951 enrolled during the 2007-08 school year, enrollment is expected to hit capacity before long. While advocates call for the abolition of the cap, others are more cautious, especially after reading the audit’s other findings. The findings show virtual school students score higher in reading, but lower in math compared to the statewide average for public school students. Spending on those students varies widely compared to traditional public schools, and the districts losing students to those with virtual schools take a hit financially. Dem lawmakers say they want more time for the schools to establish a record before considering changes to enrollment limits. MIXED PAYDAY LENDERS Assembly Democrats seem intent to pass tougher regs on payday lenders this week, with Speaker Mike Sheridan engulfed in a controversy over his relationship with an industry lobbyist. But the first signs of opposition pop up as Republicans begin to assault the bill as protection for the speaker rather than the public, with one GOP legislative leader calling for a moratorium because of the “taint.” There are also signs that the Assembly and Senate aren’t on the same page in their approaches to regulating the industry, and insiders are watching to see how those differences are resolved. Insiders say Sheridan needs the bill to pass more than Russ Decker and believe the speaker will have to defer to the majority leader in final negotiations. They say Sheridan needs a strong bill to prove to the public that he wasn’t influenced by his personal relationship. But even that may not be enough to save him as speaker, some argue. Some see the Republican attacks as a way to knock down the bill, but others argue the GOP isn’t necessarily opposed to the legislation. Their bigger beef is how this is playing out to give Sheridan cover, and they’re going to remind the public about it along the way. ASIAN CARP FIGHT The White House promises action on keeping invasive Asian carp out of Lake Michigan, but it comes nowhere near the approach that Wisconsin officials prefer. Federal officials pledge $80 million and offer 25 proposals that include steps such as reducing the openings on the Chicago navigational locks and increasing educational and enforcement tools. But many Wisconsin officials want Chicago’s navigational locks closed, period. HIGH-SPEED RAIL Even before Tuesday's Joint Finance Committee vote on high-speed rail, Republican critics and skeptical citizens had become more vocal about a federal grant they say could end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year in subsidies. Those critics include the two leading GOP guv candidates and the top Republicans in each house of the Legislature. Supporters counter if Wisconsin doesn't use the money for rail, some other state will and Wisconsin will lose out a big long-term economic development driver. They also argue that all transportation is subsidized to some extent, and rail shouldn’t be treated any differently. Backers also tout the resulting jobs, but how many is unclear. Gov. Jim Doyle heralded 13,000 new jobs when the money was announced. But a closer look at the numbers shows a max of 4,732 jobs in the project’s peak year and just 55 permanent positions to operate and maintain the trains, tracks and stations starting in 2013. WISCONSIN ECONOMY Two reports offer a mixed view of the state economy. A new Wisconsin REALTORS Association report shows home sales for the year back to their 2008 levels, with fourth quarter sales up 25.6 percent above the same quarter in 2008. At the same, time home prices were down by modest margins. The state Revenue Department, in its latest forecast, predicts a weak recovery as Wisconsin attempts to rebound from the worst job loss figures since World War II. The 163,800 jobs lost during the recession also exceed previous state projections. In November, Revenue projected a peak-totrough job loss of 143,000 jobs after saying things wouldn’t be as bad as previously feared. Wisconsin employment declined 0.5 percent in 2008 and is expected to drop 4 percent in 2009 once the final analysis is done. The state is expected to begin adding jobs in the second quarter of 2010, though the year overall is still expected to post a decline of 0.7 percent. FALLING MIKE SHERIDAN The controversy over Mike Sheridan’s relationship with a payday industry lobbyist stretches into a third week as insiders wonder whether the Janesville Dem can survive as the Assembly speaker. The latest news involves another trip to a location where the lobbyist also traveled and travel reimbursements to the state stemming from an amended campaign filing. At least publicly, most fellow Dems appeared to support Sheridan as his office continues to field questions about inconsistencies over what he’s said about his relationship with the lobbyist. Still, insiders circulate the names of Assistant Majority Leader Donna Seidel and Caucus Chair Peter Barca as potential successors, while some suggest Majority Leader Tom Nelson is angling for the job. It doesn’t help that the story refuses to go away. The latest drip involves Sheridan’s travel to conferences in California and Georgia and a D.C. event that were also attended by Shanna Wycoff. Insiders almost universally believe Sheridan has handled the whole episode poorly, saying his initial failure to tell all only compounded his problems and set reporters off on a hunt for anything else they could dig up. Even worse, some say, is the appearance that Sheridan has misled his caucus — a big-time problem that could lead to his downfall. UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS Some 100,000 out-of-work Wisconsinites face losing their jobless benefits at the end of the month, and state lawmakers are asking the feds to step in and grant another extension. Those facing the cut off would have been eligible for another six weeks under a federal extension approved in November. But Wisconsin will miss out on those additional benefits because its average unemployment rate fell just below the threshold of 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s unemployment fund is now looking at a projected deficit of some $2.8 billion by the end of 2011 — and that could mean higher business taxes. SUPREME COURT COLLEGIALITY The discord among Supreme Court justices is palpable from the reading of recent court papers as the high court deadlocked on whether Justice Michael Gableman should recuse himself from a criminal case. The court’s more liberal justices - Shirley Abrahamson, Ann Walsh Bradley and Patrick Crooks - wanted to require briefs and oral arguments on Aaron Allen’s motion to force Gableman off the case. But the more conservative justices — Dave Prosser, Pat Roggensack and Annette Ziegler — voted to deny the motion. Gableman didn't participate in the decision, and the 3-3 deadlock meant the petition was denied. Second Supper Dispatches from HQ New business offers holistic care for dogs For all of you dog owners out there, Heartfelt Pet Massage is a new business unique to the La Crosse area. Providing holistic health treatments for your fourlegged friend, therapist Jennifer Cole offers massage to help calm overactive dogs, for older dogs with stiffness or pain, or for any dog whose owner just wants to pamper it. Other spa treatments available include paw treatments and aromatherapy. The original location where the business was set to open fell through, and as of Second Super press time, different downtown storefronts were being considered. In the meantime, house calls are available. For more information, contact Jennifer at (608) 782-2009 or by cell at (724) 636-0293. Local man participating in Egyptian excavation Archaeologist and La Crosse resident Christian Driver has been selected to participate in the prestigious Penn-Yale-IFA excavation of the Abydos site in south central Egypt as the assistant photographer. Abydos, arguably the most sacred site of ancient Egypt, contains the oldest known royal burial grounds and the Temple of Osiris, which was the site of an annual pilgrimage that was attended by thousands. Driver will be in Egypt for two months, and will be posting art photography he takes on the side on his blog at http://bluemorocco.blogspot. com/. Upon his return to La Crosse in late May, Driver will have a gallery showing at a location to be determined where prints will be sold. You can help choose play for community theatre Patrons of La Crosse Community Theatre will choose one of the plays for the 2010-2011 season Friday. The Patron's Pick competition at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, features staged readings from two plays being considered for next season: Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley against Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan. The readings will be presented at the theatre, 118 5th Ave. N. The vote is open to the public. Patrons vote free, while others can purchase a ballot for $5. Ballots will be counted after the readings, and the winner will be announced that night. The theatre also is accepting votes by e-mail. Send an email to the box office (boxoffice@lacrossecommunitytheatre. com) with one of the plays in the subject line by noon Friday to have your vote counted. Mexican restaurant opens Friday in Onalaska A locally owned Mexican restaurant will open Friday in Onalaska, in the building that formerly housed Bakers Square. El Charro, which is owned by Noe Rico and his wife, Juana, will be the sixth fullmenu Mexican restaurant in the La Crosse February 18, 2010 // 5 COMMUNITY and Onalaska area. It is located at 1227 Crossing Meadows Drive, near Interstate 90, and will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Noe Rico, whose nickname is El Charro, will be the master chef. The restaurant will have bar, daily lunch and dinner specials, and can seat around 200 people. The restaurant occupies the former Bakers Square building, which opened in 1992 but has sat vacant since April 2008. Unlike the sterile décor of that national chain, El Charro is painted an inviting shade of red and decorated with keepsakes from Mexico. Voter turnout low in primary Voter turnout in La Crosse County was a whopping 5 percent Tuesday, as 3,601 people cast a ballot, according to the unofficial tally. Although she took third place in the statewide primary for District 4 Court of Appeals, Judge Ramona Gonzalez was the leading vote getter in La Crosse County. In the only election that took place at all 40 polling places, Gonzalez, a La Crosse County Circuit Court judge, collected 2,382 votes. Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard gathered 709 votes, and Richland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Leineweber netted 443 votes locally. Statewide, Blanchard claimed a commanding victory with 28,157 votes. Leineweber with second with 12,964 votes, and Gonzalez finished third with 12,782 votes. Despite the narrow margin between her tally and Leineweber's, Gonzalez opted against asking for a recount. Blanchard and Leineweber will square off in the general election April 6. Incumbent Monica Kruse led the race for the La Crosse County Board seat in District 29, which serves the Town of Onalaska, but her two challengers appeared to tie. Kruse collected 133 votes, or 66 percent, while both Hubert Hoffman and Jake Speed netted 35 votes. According to county laws, a coin toss or another method can be used to break the tie, but the loser could then request a recount. In the Supervisor 4 race for the Onalaska town board, Sandra Thompson topped incumbent Howard Kelly, 198 votes to 178. Jake Speed, who ran for both the county and town boards, finished third with 28 votes. Incumbent Tammy Gamroth topped the race for the District 29 County Board seat, which serves the Bangor and Rockland areas. Gamroth received 211 votes, or 45 percent of the total, while challenger Brian Kapanke received 166 votes, or 35 percent — which would set up a rematch of the 2008 race. And in the county’s final election, residents of the Bangor School District approved two referenda to exceed revenue caps and a general obligation bond. Send your tips for Dispatches from HQ to email@example.com. e ll b il 8 i s w pr er ed A n n c Wi oun n an Wat of o ch for d ur P oetr etails y Sl am La Crosse poetry contest •1st place: $100 •Gift certificates •Other awards •Publication in Second Supper 1. Free verse (maximum 60 lines) 2. Haiku (three lines) 1. Enter no more than one poem per category. 2. Each entry must be original, not previously published. 3. Entry must include category, poet’s name, address, phone, e-mail. 4. Poet must be permanent, temporary or former resident of La Crosse, Onalaska or La Crescent. 5. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. March 18. 6. Entries must be typed or done on computer or word processor. Second Supper Poetry Contest 614 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Authors retain rights to poetry but agree to allow publication in Second Supper. Submissions will not be returned. 6// February 18, 2010 COMMUNITY Second Supper Spartans' dancers have spirit, yes they do 214 Main Street impulseoflacrosse.com Downtown La Crosse 608.782.6010 (Across from US Bank) But work ethic, athleticism, talent bust the stereotypes By Anna Soldner email@example.com It's 10:45 p.m. on a Tuesday at Misty's Dance Unlimited in Onalaska. The buzzing electric guitar chords of Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible" resonate from a hallway. The sounds lead me to a spacious dance studio, virtually bare aside from a few ballet bars skirting the edge and gigantic wall-to-wall mirrors. Twelve young women in sweats — ponytails swinging in unison — leap, jump and turn, each landing pounding the wooden floor. In between eight counts, Coach Kelly McAvoy runs over to pause the music and the room is suddenly silent except for the sound of gentle panting. "Good. Now let's take it from the top," McAvoy says. It's another of the rigorous twice weekly practice sessions for the La Crosse Spartans dance team, which is honing its Every 1st & 3rd Thursday routines for the new local Indoor Football of the month League team's first preseason game Feb. 21. The team is comprised of dancers ranging ___________ ________________ in age from 18 to 25 selected from among 27 young women who auditioned in January. In addition to performing at Spartans home games, the squad also will help promote the new team, coached by Gilbert a member of the Green Bay Packers Open bar access to: Brown, Hall of Fame, at community events. "We were looking for talent, personDomestic/Import Beer, ality and skill," explains Jessica Berg, team Rail, Call Drinks choreographer and, like McAvoy, one of the dancers. "We needed someone who & Martinis we knew was going to put on a good show. Someone who would add oomph, who would catch your eye, a real crowd-pleaser.” Most of the women have been dancing as long as they can remember. Over half have formal dance training and nearly all were members of high school or college dance teams. Three coach high school dance teams. "We are all working so hard balancing jobs and education," says Emily Pearse, who coaches the Logan High School dance team. The dance team will perform almost every weekend during the spring football season, but the women agree the time, energy and effort are worth it. "I never thought I would be 25 and still on a dance team — especially in La Crosse," Aubrey Hollnagel says. "It's nice to have a team where we all love dance. As I get older it's harder to find that." After watching and talking with the dance team, I realize they have more in common than just love of dance; they all have confidence, spirit and contagious energy. Furthermore, they have the level of confidence needed to shrug off the inevitable stereotypes and criticism. Slightly hesi- ____________ Tuesdays _________ Karaoke 9 - Close Wednesdays _________ Wine & Martini Night _________ __________ Thursdays ___________________________ 18+ Night Fridays Open Bar Package 11pm - Close $25 Fridays & Saturdays DJ w/ Music Videos & Dancing 9pm - Close Happy Hour Daily 4 - 9 is smoke free Always Free Juke Box Tues - Thurs: 4:00 pm - 2:00 am Fri - Sat: 4:00 pm - 2:30 am PHOTO BY ASHLY CONRAD The La Crosse Spartans dance team will perform at the team's preseason game Sunday, Feb. 21, at the La Crosse Center. They are coached by Kelly McAvoy. At A Glance WHAT: La Crosse Spartans vs. Green Bay Blizzard in Indoor Football League preseason game. WHERE: La Crosse Center WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21 FYI: Buy tickets at lacrossespartans.com. tant, I ask how they respond to people who cast dancers as "Barbie Dolls" who are at the game only as eye candy for the male fans. "Well, I think at this point it's working well for us!" blurts veteran dancer Danielle King with a laugh. She has been dancing for 17 years, including five on the UW-La Crosse pom squad. "We brush it off. We know who we are and that's all that matters." The women don't as easily brush off people who discredit dance as a sport. "We make it look easy," King retorts. "You don't see the sweat and hard work. That's why people think it's easy." "It takes a lot of talent and control," adds Tessa Leithold, who also is a gymnast. "Try to get a basketball team to dribble at the exact same time!" Tiffany Brookman has competed in several sports. "I feel like I'm in better shape dancing than playing soccer," she relates. "It is as mentally challenging as other sports." Sound strenuous? Without a doubt. These women work hard, but not without some rewards. There is no pay involved, but there are perks to being a Spartans dancer. They receive free gym and tanning memberships at Anytime Fitness, hair, nails and makeup courtesy of ESpa, and free Big Al’s pizza following performances. They also are able to help the community by promoting the Gilbert Brown Foundation. "The Gilbert Brown Foundation does so much — from food drives to giving kids something to be excited about. We are only going to make the community better,” Pearse says, her teammates nodding in agreement. McAvoy, whose lifelong interest in dance includes serving as captain of the UW-Platteville dance team and teaching various dance classes, initially contacted the Spartans to find out if they had a dance team and when tryouts would be held. One thing led to another, and she became the Lady Spartans founding coach. "It was unexpected, but I felt like it would be a great learning and growing experience, as well as being able to continue my passion as a dancer while leading a new team in the community," she recalls. Her goal for the team's first season will be simply to get the Spartans name out in the community through events and promotions. "I'd also like to make it known that we are a group of intelligent, hard-working women who all have a passion of dance, and would love to show La Crosse the talent we have," she says. The Spartans season begins Feb. 26, but they won't play their first regular season game in La Crosse until April 11. The season concludes in June. As the new football team comes together on the field, the dance team likewise will be growing as a team on the sideline. “I am looking forward to the camaraderie. I really love everyone so far,” gushes Berg. “By the end of the season I am sure I’ll be in tears.” Maybe so, but for now there’s nothing but smiles. "You don't see the sweat and hard work. That's why people think it's easy." Danielle King La Crosse Spartans dance team member Second Supper COMMUNITY U.S. census jobs count By Caroline More Special to Second Supper Lindsey Bracken checks job opportunities, including a position helping conduct the 2010 census, at Western Technical College. There are still some census jobs available in this area, but they likely will be filled in the next few weeks. PHOTO BY CAROLINE MORE How to Apply If you are interested in a job with the U.S. census, contact: EAU CLAIRE OFFICE: (715) 833-6611 ONLINE: www.2010censusjobs.gov TOLL-FREE: (866) 861-2010 TTY: (800) 877-8339 The Census Bureau also will send out field workers to ensure that people without a permanent address, such as the homeless or those staying with friends, become part of the official count. "The number of people who live in dwellings, or could live outdoors, bears a heavy weight on the level of funding that a geographic area will be able to have designated to a vicinity," said Jeff Bluske, director of La Crosse County Department of Zoning, Planning and Land Information. Furthermore, the census affects how congressional district maps will be redrawn in the 2012 redistricting. The census helps determine which states gain or lose congressional seats based on population shifts. Very few would disagree that the census is important. Meet Annette Armagost. In late January, she made her first phone call to get the lowdown on how to land a census job. Armagost was interviewed via telephone. Then, on Feb. 2, she was invited to a testing session at the Village Hall in Bangor. "I was shocked because the area (in the building) that was set up to take the test could have handled twenty people. And it was just another girl and me," Armagost said. Earlier this week, Armagost learned that she passed the test with a near perfect score. She is standing-by to receive another phone call that should clarify where and when she will begin working for the census in La Crosse. Armagost is expecting her third child in April and says being a census worker suits her family because the job is temporary. Her facial expression lights up when she talks about the imminent employment opportunity. She also does not seem to mind that the pay scale for census workers ranges from approximately $11.50 to $15 hourly. ©2009 Treasure Island Resort & Casino One week ago, Lindsey Brackin was living in Buffalo City, located an hour's drive north of La Crosse. With her boyfriend in tow, in the middle of winter, she headed off to a considerably larger city for three primary reasons. "Schools, a bigger town and the chance to get a good paying job" are why Brackin, 25, boarded a southbound bus to La Crosse. She also desired a locale that was “more exciting” than the small town of 1,000 residents that her father calls home. Now, she is pursuing a job as a census worker because she believes it will be a stepping stone toward a career. "I was focused on becoming a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) because it revolves around working with people," said Brackin, who intends to see that goal through once she is educated in the field of care-giving and nursing. However, as a fill-in measure, she called the Eau Claire Census Bureau field office to try to land a short-term spot on the federal government's payroll. "It is always good to help people and if I get paid for that, why not?" said Brackin. She concluded, with a giggle, that she is able to "sell garbage to a garbage man." According to the La Crosse Job Center, there are 900 jobs that still need to be filled in Wisconsin for the 2010 census. The jobs are a good fit for people with time available in early summer, such as college students. "We encourage college students to apply right now because the canvassing will be in high gear during May and June," Census Bureau spokesman Jim Accurso. "That is also when students are ready to work." The jobs are a good fit for many others, as well, including those forced into unemployment by the recession. "It is work, plus job experience, and you will earn a decent paycheck," said Dick Jones, spokesperson for the State Department of Workforce Development. Applicants also need a driver's license and access to a vehicle. The jobs mostly involve canvasing neighborhoods and knocking on doors of households where the census forms, which are mailed in March and due April 1, have not been returned. February 18, 2010 // 7 8// February 18, 2010 The Universe and Other Small Things By Ralph Winrich Special to Second Supper Ever wonder where you came from? No, not mom and dad — I mean the very atoms that make up every part of you and your environment. While this might not be the thought you wake up to every morning, it bears looking into. The fact is you are recycled stuff; every atom in your body was once somewhere else. You may be carrying around atoms that once were part of Attila the Hun or Julius Caesar or anyone else that lived a thousand or so years ago. But where did those atoms come from? At one time they were inside a star and at some time they have been in the vast cold emptiness of space. So how does this work? How do the stars make atoms? Making atoms takes a lot of energy. Nature makes energy in two ways: one is by splitting or tearing apart — this is called fission, it’s how an a bomb works; the other is putting things together — this is called fusion and it's how the stars work. You get more Impress your out-of-state friends. Show them our Web site. www.secondsupper.com (You can read it, too.) Second Supper COLUMNS energy by putting matter together than you do taking it apart (now there’s a romantic thought). Atoms of the different elements are put together inside stars in a process known to physicists as nuclear fusion; it’s the alchemy of the stars. Under tremendous heat and pressure, for example, our sun converts hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, into helium. We're talking about numbers here only a physicist could understand. This is not something you can do in your oven. In this process a little something is left over, and that is the form of energy that heats us each day. If it stopped there, you wouldn’t be reading this. After all, hydrogen and helium don’t make much in the scheme of things, except a gas that someday might make a great fuel for cars and a gas that makes people talk funny. However, if you remember the periodic table you had to study in Chemistry (yah right, I slept in that week), you know there are many more elements beyond helium. To make these elements you need bigger and hotter stars than our sun. The bigger, hotter stars burn the helium, too, after a while, and in that process make other elements, such as Na (sodium), which helps your blood, up to a point. Next comes magnesium, good for all sorts of things — like helping cells reproduce. Bigger stars work their way up that periodic table you might have missed until they reach iron. In this process of making elements, the star requires more energy, which it gets by burning the previous element — sort of like a sacrifice play in baseball. But in the all-star game here, iron doesn’t quite play fair (yes, we’ve all known elements like that). Iron requires more energy than the star can give. In the process of burning the element before iron just to satisfy iron's needs, the star loses so much mass that it gives up and implodes. The end result is so much energy that all the other elements now appear. These are the elements that make up your body, the ring you wear and so much more In this explosive process, elements are cast into space to some day seed other places and, after considerable time plus recycling, make up the face you see in the mirror each morning. Alas, it appears that your lucky stars are the unlucky ones. The Advice Goddess By Amy Alkon firstname.lastname@example.org The newborn ultimatum My wife has gone baby crazy. She's demanding I get her pregnant — between screaming "You're a horrible person," "I know why your ex cheated on you," and "You're a cold and heartless machine." We have been married for eight months. Last year, she had a miscarriage. She's always been difficult, but things have gotten really bad. A counselor we're seeing deemed her a "loose cannon." He said we should get our relationship healthy, then consider having a baby, and set up rules for us that my wife ignores. Last time I reminded her we agreed to wait on the baby, she called me "pure evil," and for the third time, threw her engagement and wedding rings at me and said to sell them. She says if we don't have a child right away, she'll hold me responsible. Obviously, the dynamic here isn't good, but the real problem is she can be amazingly sweet and giving. These extremes really scare me, for our future as a couple and as possible parents. — Shell-Shocked Should you bring a child into the world with a raging psycho who can occasionally be nice? Um...well...sure...assuming you've already struck out with all the crack-addicted prostitutes. ("Aww, look, little feller's got his daddy's eyes and his mommy's Hep C.") While other guys' wives spend long hours reading self-help books, yours apparently favors how-to guides to totalitarianism ("The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Despots"?). Now, it is possible some of her behavior traces to some postpartum-type upset; maybe hormones running wild after her miscarriage. Then again, you made it clear in our e-mail exchange that she was rather witchy prepartum. Sure, it's tough for a woman who sees her eggs on the reduced-for-quick-sale rack. But, clearly, there's something radically wrong here — something that begs for more intervention from a mental health professional than a set of rules. Regarding her ticking clock (with the loose cannon attachment), there are a lot of things you can call a woman who goes off on you like she does, but let's hope the last thing anybody'll be calling her is "Mommy." As for what she calls you, we all get embarrassed by the little names our partners give us when emotion takes over; you know, Booboo, Sweetiepants, Pookie, or, in your case, Pure Evil, and Cold and Heartless Machine. You've spent so long with an exploding woman — an emotional blackmailer who tries to hell-state you into meeting her demands — that the nasty life has become normal life. In fact, the way you put it (from your hotel room in Stockholm syndrome), the real problem is that she's "amazingly sweet and giving" — when she isn't nearly putting your eye out with her rings. You need to recognize her behavior for what it is — domestic violence that can lead to more serious violence, should she run out of expensive jewelry to bean you with and reach for something a little heavier. It's fine by me if you want to hang around looking for the good in some woman while she bends silverware with her screams, but you and your wife aren't just two people making each other miserable. One of you is desperately trying to make a third person. You need to do everything in your power to see that your as-yetunborn child remains unborn. While I'm not usually one to explicitly advise people to end relationships, in your case, let me make this perfectly plain: Get out before she straps you down, hooks up the vacuum cleaner, and takes your sperm. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, at AdviceAmy@aol.com or Second Supper, 614 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601. (c) 2010, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. 315 fifth avenue south • over the co-op www.pfc.coop serving lunch & dinner every day weekend brunch Saturday & Sunday Second Supper ARTS Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre Film: ''Mac and Me" (1988) Director: Stewart Raffill Stars: Christine Ebersole, Jade Calegory Writers: Stewart Raffil, Steve Feke If there were awards given out to the most derivative, shamelessly commercial films in existence, they would be named The Mac and Me Memorial Award. But this E.T. clone — down to the fact that Mac stands for Mysterious Alien Creature — helped explain one of the great mysteries of my existence: why the hell Wesley Willis made a song called “Rock and Roll McDonald’s.” In his most famous tune, the schizophrenic bard calls the fast food giant “the place to rock,” adding that “people flock here to get down to the rock music.” This is a weird thing to say, even for Willis, and for years I didn’t know what he was talking about. I think I know now; he had to have watched Mac and Me. What goes down is one of the grandest and most ridiculous group dance scenes in cinematic history. The warnings come as soon as we see a gang of kids popping and locking in the McDonald’s parking lot, but nothing can prepare one for the greater madness within. While Ronald McDonald purveys his gilded kingdom, every person in the packed restaurant erupts into spastic line dancing. Even the employees stop drudging out fries and Big Macs and flip out behind the dancing E.T./Yoda baby in its teddy bear disguise. This is one the most insane things I’ve ever seen on film. But lest one believe that this flick has just one original trick in its stable, allow me to point out the other ace that Mac and Me has up its sleeve. Extreme Cripple Abuse. This film’s version of Elliot is a wheelchairbound kid with wheels of fire. Following the Burger Dance Orgy, the kid grabs his pet alien and escapes from the federales, leading them on a high-speed wheelchair chase down California hills and highways. At one point, he holds onto the back of a moving truck for speed. After somehow slowing down enough to wheel through and trash a Sears, he gets back on the road, where his brother lifts him — wheelchair, alien and all — into a moving van. What’s most odd about this is how he slowed down after skitching on the truck, due to the fact that the brakes on his wheelchair broke earlier in the movie, when he careened down a hill and flew off a cliff into the pond below. Yes, this movie dares to throw a kid in a wheelchair off a cliff. So while this movie was obviously made by a cinematic Hamburglar, and the product placement in this film is atrocious (apparently Coca-Cola heals aliens), the complete goddamn insanity of Mac and Me is entirely its own. Robble robble. — Brett Emerson 'Passing Strange: The Movie' (2009) Director: Spike Lee Stars: Stew, Daniel Breaker, De'Adre Aziza Writer: Stew The opening scenes of the hit Broadway musical Passing Strange introduce us to a cliched story of a middle-class youth rebelling against both his religious upbringing and his nagging mother's draconian demands and expectations. In this case, "Youth" (Daniel Breaker), a product of 1970s South Central L.A., practices Buddhism, smokes pot with his choir mates and forms an amazingly untalented punk band. These painstaking early moments, peppered with the first — albeit least impressive — of a series of outstanding musical numbers, suggest that Passing Strange offers no more than what's required to qualify as standard bildungsroman. But fortunately, Spike Lee's filmed-musical version, Passing Strange: The Movie, expands in theme, in scope, and in sheer volume of creativity, taking viewers on a journey that spans decades, continents and music genres. An on-film immortalization of the musical's final performance, Passing Strange offers a wider audience the chance to experience Mark "Stew" Stewart's semi-autobiographical stage show in candid, unfaltering detail. That most of the musical's incredible raw energy translates so flawlessly to film owes as much to Stew's boundless imaginativeness as to Lee's concert filmlike approach (there's even a tangible Stop Making Sense quality to the way Stew and his band initially walk out on a barren stage, only to have the on-stage happenings crescendo as the play progresses). We follow Youth as he explores bohemian pockets of Amsterdam and the revolutionary underbelly of Berlin, and as the songs evolve topically in tow with Youth's experiences, progressing seamlessly from one style of music to the next, Lee's camera is right up in the action, practically on the stage, providing the movie's audience a deep focus, both visually and thematically, of the story's endearing, heartbreaking and inspirational capacities. The result is a sensory kaleidoscope that, excepting the movie's initial sequences, never leaves the audience bored. Passing Strange's smorgasbord of extraordinary music leaves little to be desired, and the film repeatedly introduces song/dance/performance numbers so enthralling that the prospect of having them last forever would not go unwelcomed. Something also must be said of the performances (three of which earned Tony nominations), which are flawless and dynamic to the point of making aspiring young actors want to throw in the towel. The pieces could not have fallen more perfectly into place. Passing Strange is worth its weight in repeat viewings. This is one of '09's best movies. (Passing Strange: The Movie is now on DVD.) — Nick Cabreza February 18, 2010 // 9 10// February 18, 2010 Second Supper ARTS 'The Wolfman' (2010) Director: Joe Johnston Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self; 1941 screenplay by Curt Siodmak PHOTO BY ROGER BARTEL Visitors to the Pump House Regional Arts Center view one of the portraits that is part of an exhibit promoting a new Wisconsin Public Television documentary about the Vietnam War. The portraits feature Wisconsin men and women who served in the war. The exhibit continues through March 13. One of the funniest moments in Broken Lizard's 2006 Beerfest finds actor/director Jay Chandrasekhar waking up naked in a field next to a bloody deer carcass and exclaiming, "Not again!" That one moment sums up the distressing confusion and crippling guilt of having no idea what happened to you the night before better than the cliched werewolf flick scenes it parodies, and it accomplishes it within the context of a night of binge drinking, no less. It's difficult after witnessing that scene to give any weight to moments in creature features like The Wolfman when the protagonist, in this case an overqualified Benicio Del Toro, wakes up in a field and finds himself covered in stale blood. The motif has been sliced so thin that it almost parodies its own inability to draw from the audience any response whatsoever. The same can be said of The Wolfman in general, which in its mediocrity settles so readily for the mundane and expected that its attempts to explore the inherent savagery in humanity easily slip through the grasp of even those looking for it. The Wolfman's problems begin with a lack of plot, a deficiency that spreads like the clap and infects the development of the already two-dimensional stock characters. Much of the first act is so cluttered with stagnating exposition that it appears we've joined a movie in-progress and the characters are kindly catching us up to speed. Good news for aspiring screenwriters: the rapid accumulation of expository monologues — about Benicio Del Toro's past, about the rocky relationship with his father (Hopkins), about the history of the mysterious murders that occur on full moon nights, etc. — sets the bar extremely low for anyone trying to sell a script. If you want to learn how to write a screenplay with neither plot nor characterization, then by all means search for The Wolfman's script online. The film even comes up short on its bread and butter, blue-balling horror junkies with its baffling, choppy wolf-attack sequences and campy wolf transformations. The creature designs reportedly remain faithful to those in the 1941 original, but because the wolves look less horrifying than they could, it's hard to look at them and not see a glint of Michael J. Fox winking back at you. Despite forgetting to include any semblance of plot or characterization, The Wolfman takes itself very seriously, and is made with just enough sheen to disqualify itself as pure schlock. You know a film is bad when, during a scene in which a werewolf rips asunder a man's intestines and eats them, you find yourself mentally going over the list of grocery items you'll need to pick up at the store once the movie is done. — Nick Cabreza Medium: Literature Stimului: Robert Jordan, 'The Eye of the World' Anno: 1990 Reminds you to support the retailers, restaurants, taverns and bands that support us. We are funded solely by advertising so if you want to support us, support them! conscientious commerce: Music to our ears Growing up, fantasy books full of wizards, knights and gods were my bread and butter. My favorite authors in the field — David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist and Terry Brooks — contributed book after book to my collection while I ignored many other such sorcerous authors. What these three did that I find lacking in many fantasy authors was refuse to let the genre define the work. The omnipotent artifacts and super-duper spells were background to their characters’ personalities and development. Thus, the standard plucky hero versus shadowy villain conflicts that played out in the background were rendered largely irrelevant. Like I didn’t know who was going to win the battle between good and evil. The fun was in meeting the people involved. Unfortunately, fantasy writing has a huge problem with convention. A good fantasy story could happen anywhere, but the genre too often serves as the prime instigator of historical wishful thinking, trading in the reality for a rose-colored prance into the Middle Ages. The knight-errants, wizards and busty wenches get all Ren Faired, polish up their thees and thous, and wave a sword at the darkness. Substitute those pesky medieval drawbacks like religious extremism, serfdom and the Black Death with shiny spells, more obvious monsters and world-saving quests. And the result, more often than not, is that the genre dictates the story. A new wave of fantasy writers is taking the tired formula and injecting modernism into its structure to take it into a new direction, but many authors continue to pander to style over substance. So, not long after I became an adult I gave up on reading anything new from the swords and sorcery crowd. One author who never crossed my path was Robert Jordan. I’m not sure why; I had always heard that he was a shining beacon in the field. It just never happened. Recently, I decided to plug that gap and read the first book in his Wheel of Time series, and I really enjoyed The Eye of the World. It was a great piece of storytelling that delivered believable characters and wasn’t afraid to turn both convention and plot on their ears for the good of the tale. Jordan’s most glaring nod to the usual is in his use of the old favorite Farmboy Hero (fantasy seems to abhor city slickers who save the day), but as for the rest, even his depiction of God versus the Devil shakes the paradigm. In fact, the opening volume of The Wheel of Time was so good that it will be some time before I read another book in the series. Currently at 12 novels averaging 600 pages apiece, Jordan has created an epic that requires serious investment, even by fantasy writing standards. I just don’t have the time anymore. Sorry, Dungeon Master. — Brett Emerson Second Supper February 18, 2010 // 11 MUSIC music directory // February 19 to February 25 FRIDAY, February 19 Milwaukee DEL’S BAR // 229 Third St. Dox Phonic (rock) • 10 p.m population THE AVETT BROTEHRS // March 6 Riverside Theatre • $25 NEUIE'S NORTH STAR // 1732 George St. The Str8Up Band (Southern rock, country) • 8 p.m. JOHN TESH //March 8 Northern Lights Theater • $20-$30 NEUIE'S VARSITY CLUB // 1920 Ward Ave. The Freezers (rock covers) • 9:30 p.m. POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. SOMA (jam) • 10 p.m. STONEY CREEK INN // 3060 S. Kinney Coulee Rd. String Ties (bluegrass) • 7:30 p.m. THE ROOT NOTE // 114 4th St. S. The Search for Bigfoot Tour (hip-hop) • 8:30 p.m. THE WAREHOUSE // 324 Pearl St. The 608, The Kings, Satellite Status, Wrecking Crew, T Hen (local hiphop) • 7 p.m. THE WATERFRONT TAVERN // 328 Front St. Chris Bucheit & Steve Meger (jazz guitar) • 8 p.m. SATURDAY, February 20 FLIPSIDE PUB AND GRILL // 400 Lang Drive The Junkyard Saints (f/ Joe Cody, Rick Weeth, Mike Von Muchow and Les King) • 8 p.m. 596,974 THE MAGNETIC FIELDS // March 4 Pabst Theatre• $25.50 MOOSE LODGE // 1932 Ward Ave. Silver Express (dance music) • 7 p.m. ONALASKA AMERICAN LEGION // 731 Sand Lake Road Good Tymes Band (classics) • 7 p.m. just a roadie away BLACK EYED PEAS, LUDACRIS // March 11 Bradley Center • $47.50-$79.50 Unfortunately this page isn’t in color, or you’d be marveling at the electric blue hair of Madison funk and soul singer Karri Daley. Still in her 20s, Daley is a seasoned vet on the Wisconsin soul scene, playing frequently with her Madison band Old School and even collaborating with the legendary “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield. For her La Crosse gigs, Nighthawks Tap assembles an ace backing band dubbed the 3rd Street Ramblers, and the group will perform again this Saturday beginning at 10 p.m. Previous attendees raved about Daley’s big voice and the hotness of the group. It will also give you a chance to see that hair up close. MY SECOND HOME // 2104 George St. The Fabulous Baloney Skins • 8 p.m. VALHALLA HALL (UW-L) // 1725 State St. Big Band Cabaret (w/ UW-L “Tuxedo Dance Orchestra”) • 7:30 p.m. NIGHTHAWKS TAP // 401 S. Third St. Karri Daley & the 3rd Street Ramblers (soul, blues, rock) • 10 p.m. SUNDAY, NORTH SIDE OASIS // 620 Gillette St. Paxico (rock) • 10 p.m. POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. The Mark Joseph Project (f/ members of Down Lo) • 10 p.m. THE JOINT // 324 Jay St. Proto Melei (rock) • 10 p.m. February 21 POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. Som'n Jazz (jazz) • 10 p.m. MONDAY, February 22 DEL’S BAR // 229 Third St. JBS SPEAKEASY // 717 Rose St. Sowbelly Bitchhog, Droids Attack (heavy rock) • 10 p.m. THE WATERFRONT TAVERN // 328 Front St. Chris Bucheit & Steve Meger (jazz guitar) • 8 p.m. LA CROSSE CENTER // 300 S. Second St. The Remainders (Raise the Roof fundraiser) • 6:30 p.m. THE WAREHOUSE // 324 Pearl St. Killian’s Fault, Release the Hounds, Miss August, Reaping Asmodeia (punk/emo) • 7 p.m. RJD2 // March 14 The Rave • $16 WEDNESDAY, TUESDAY, February 23 February 24 DEL’S BAR // 229 Third St. Cheech (solo) • 10 p.m. NIGHTHAWKS TAP // 401 S. Third St. Howard Luedtke & Blue Max (blues jam) • 10 p.m. POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. Mitch’s (open jam) • 10 p.m. RECOVERY ROOM // 901 7th St. S. Dox Phonic (open jam) • 10 p.m. Cheech & Chubba's open jams • 10 p.m. POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. Shawn J. Wooden (“Wise guy” open THE ROOT NOTE // 114 4th St. S. Bryan Cherry, Grey to Blue (soul, jam) • 10 p.m. roots) • 8:30 p.m. THE STARLITE LOUNGE // 222 Pearl St. The Larry Price Trio (jazz) • 8 p.m. FLOGGING MOLLY // March 12 The Rave • $23.50 THURSDAY, February 25 DEL’S BAR // 229 Third St. Nick Shattuck (CD release) •10 p.m. NIGHTHAWKS TAP // 401 S. Third St. Dave Orr's Damn Jam • 10 p.m. POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. Fayme Rochelle and the Waxwings (bluegrass jam) • 8 p.m. POPCORN TAVERN // 308 S. Fourth St. TBA (mystery) • 10 p.m. THE JOINT // 324 Jay St. SOMA (open jam) • 9 p.m SPORTS NUT // 801 Rose St. Big Daddy Cade and the Blues Masters (blues) • 8 p.m. THE ROOT NOTE // 114 Fourth St. S. Jazz jam • 8:30 p.m. THE STARLITE LOUNGE // 222 Pearl St. Kies and Kompanie (jazz) • 8 p.m. 12// February 18, 2010 Oh hi, right now I'm listening to a compilation album of '60s girl groups, but that's not important right now. First things first. I have to clean some egg off my face. Last week, I reported that Li'l Wayne had checked in to serve a year-long sentence at Rikers Island on a gun possession charge. Well, hold the press, Weezy got his sentence delayed to March 2 due to a dental emergency. While rumors have been circulating around the Internet that this dental surgery was to remove his diamond encrusted grill so as not to be the target of some thugs who will try to rip it out of his mouth while in lockdown, it seems the official report given to the media is that Lil' Wayne has a cracked tooth. Fo Realz? I give this amazingly ridiculous unfolding man drama the Shuggypop Stamp of Awesome. And now on to something completely different. Forgive me for getting a little bit bitchy, but I absolutely hate the Internet radio site Pandora and others of its ilk. In full disclosure, I have a personal bias against this site. When they first launched many years ago, I tried to get a job with them at their Oakland, California office. Things were good and I was all set to be a part of team Pandora when the rug was pulled out from under me due to some flimsy excuse on their end. So on that note, suck it Pandora. But that personal beef aside, here is why this site makes me shudder. In the modern era where mega-media corporations such as Clear Channel have created a monopoly of the radio airwaves nationwide, pumping out their bland conformity of banal programming, the FCC, which is the branch of the government in charge of overseeing and issuing licenses to broadcast, have basically been catering to corporate lobbyists the past 10 years and not issuing any new licenses, forcing any independent upstarts to broadcast online if they want to be heard. I am a first-rate supporter of DJs as unsung artists as well as taste makers. A good DJ is somebody who should be respected as the bastion of culture that he is and esteemed in society. So with DJs being squeezed out of the FM marketplace and onto the Web if they want to be heard, along come these robot sites like Pandora to further kick an artist when he is down. Aside from their skills of selecting and mixing, a good DJ also has a deep knowledge of the music and personal stories that can be passed along via their on-air banter that is lost with these Internet robot stations. The golden age of radio is forever ago, and I'm not sure exactly when commercial radio took the nose dive into the toilet that it has, but it's a travesty to me that cultural artisans such as DJs are becoming relics of a forgotten era. Le sigh. — Shuggypop Jackson ENJOY YOUR SUPPER ONLINE AT www.secondsupper.com MUSIC Second Supper A La Crosse orginal Shattuck's first album features fan favorites By Brett Emerson email@example.com The progression of Nick Shattuck from bedroom guitarist to touring musician has taken many years, but at the end of this month he will reach a major milestone in his career. Following a few sporadic months of recording, Shattuck will release his first album, titled “Chorus and Verse.” Described by him as “12 of the most requested songs when I play live shows,” the album was produced by Matt Olson of Brahman Shaman. Though the center of “Chorus and Verse” remains Shattuck’s voice and acoustic guitar, the work also brings to light his recent experiments with backing musicians. Most notable are a few contributions by Joe Gantzer from T.U.G.G. on electric guitar and Margit Severson providing violin. Nonetheless, Shattuck maintains that these changes are consistent with those in his live show. “The one thing I conveyed to [Olson] was that I don’t want to make an album that sounded overproduced. I wanted it stripped down, that what you hear is what you’d hear live. And really, when I play now I’ll hire a drummer and a bassist, and a violinist will play a couple songs. [Margaret] has played with me multiple times. Sometimes her schedule doesn’t work out so she doesn’t play, but that’s the luxury of being a solo artist. I can hire my friends to come on and play locally, or bring a couple of them on a small little tour, or I’m confident enough and I have enough material to play completely solo with my harmonica and guitar. But I can replicate every single song on my album in a live scene.” Those songs are part of a catalogue that stretches back almost a decade; the oldest track on the album dates back to 2002. That was a time well before Shattuck took his music into the outside world. A native of West Salem, his only musical experience during his formative years involved playing trumpet in school. Shattuck took his first guitar, purchased with high school graduation money, with him to UW-Oshkosh. It was there where he began to teach himself the instrument, but it would be many years, following his return to La Crosse in 2006 to become a grad student, before he would translate those budding songs into a physical act. It wasn’t until the end of last year when the idea of recording an album began to take serious shape. “You almost assume you’re going to make an album if you’re an original artist and have enough original tracks. It’s always been on my brain, but the last three years amplified it. Starting last summer I really started thinking about it, and last fall I started plotting out what I wanted and put the work into it.” It was at this point when Shattuck sought out Matt Olson to produce his al- PHOTO BY MAURA HENN Nick Shattuck's first album, "Chorus and Verse," features 12 of the songs his fans request most often at his live shows. Unlike many local muisicians, Shattuck rarely plays covers and has written over 50 original songs. bum. The pair originally recorded a single song to determine how well they would work together. After deciding to pursue it, the creation of Shattuck’s album was delayed due to what he cites as illness and financial issues. “Chorus and Verse” was ultimately assembled over a period of a few quick weeks in January. When asked to describe Olson’s producing style, Shattuck praises both the helmsman’s forthrightness and restraint. “I would recommend anyone to go to his studio. Matt’s got great equipment, but more importantly he has a lot of experience. He knew that it was my first album and pretty much my first experience in a studio environment. He knew how to play to that and when to be demanding. At the same time, he realized that this is my project and that I have the ultimate say.” Choosing 12 songs out of what Shattuck estimates as a 55- to 60-song arsenal wasn’t an easy project. In the end, he decided to listen to his audience. “What songs do I pick? I have all these new songs that I think have progressed in songwriting. I think I’m a better lyricist now. But at the same time my friends and family and fans request the songs I wrote eight years ago. Strangers come back the next show and request these same songs.” Despite wanting to insert more of his newer material, there wasn’t much disagreement between the artist and audience as to what to include. “These are my favorite songs too, for the most part. Let’s say I plan out a set list for a gig and try to hold 3½ hours of music. I’m all original songs, and even though all my songs are part of my life and I liked them a lot at some point, there are still what I consider filler songs. Then I have the ones that I really enjoy — the ones you want people to remember — and I spread those out throughout the night. These are those songs.” Shattuck’s plan with the resulting collection is to build a solid music career out of it. Of the thousand discs printed of “Chorus and Verse,” a number will be sent around to venues, promoters and anyone else who might be in a position to help his career. On the live end of things, Shattuck plans to continue writing and touring, playing wherever will have him. The final goal is to become more than a person who plays music, but a person whose life is completely defined by it. “Chorus and Verse” will have two release parties, one at Del’s Bar on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 10 p.m., and one at The Root Note on Saturday March 6, at 8:30 p.m. Both shows are free. Second Supper Food & Drink Specials Editor's Note: Food and Drink Specials is a free listing for Second Supper’s regular advertisers. For information, call (608) 782-7001. Sunday BARREL INN $2.25 for mini pitcher CHUCK'S All day everyday: $1 Doctor, $2 Silos $3 pitchers, $1.75 rails EAGLE’S NEST Open to close: $2 U “Call” it HOWIE’S Happy hour 4 to 9 p.m.; 9 p.m. to close: Night Before Class - $3 pitchers of the beast IRISH HILLS Happy Hour 4 to 7 p.m. daily JB’S SPEAKEASY $1.75 domestic bottles PETTIBONE BOAT CLUB $1 off fried chicken PLAYERS Price by Dice SCHMIDTY’S $6.95 lunch buffet $9.95 breakfast buffet 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER $11 buckets of beers (pregame-close), taco specials during game THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., Shots of Doctor $1 all day, everyday THE HELM All day (everyday!) specials $1.25 Old Style Light, $1.50 LAX Lager/ Light, $1 shots of Dr. THE LIBRARY Sunday Fun Day - Wristband Night TOP SHOTS $5 Pitchers/$2 bottles of Miller products (11-4pm) $2 Corona Bottles, $2 Kilo Kai Mixers , $3 Bloodys (7-1AM) TRAIN STATION BBQ Ask for great eats WHO'S ON THIRD Happy Hour until 10 p.m. $1.50 domestic taps, $2 rails from 10 to close Monday BARREL INN Buck burgers BROTHERS $2.50 Blatz vs. Old Style pitchers BODEGA $2 BBQ Pork Sliders CHUCK’S Monday-Friday: Happy Hour 2 to 6 p.m., 50 cents off everything but the daily special Guys’ Nite Out: $1.50 silos EAGLE’S NEST 7 p.m. to close: $1.50 domestic pints, $1.50 rails FEATURES Free beer 5:30-6:30; Free wings 7:30-8:30, Free bowling after 9 HOWIE’S 9 p.m. to close: $3.50 domestic pitchers JB’S SPEAKEASY $1.75 domestic bottles PETTIBONE BOAT CLUB Kids eat free with adult PLAYERS Happy Hour all night long, two-for-one SCHMIDTY’S BBQ sandwich SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER $2 can beer (2-6 p.m.) $11 buckets of beers (6-close) SPORTS NUT Buck Burgers THE CAVALIER Martini Ladies’ Night, James Martini: vodka, triple sec, orange juice THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., Shots of Doctor $1 TOP SHOTS $1.75 Miller/Bud Light Taps, $2.25 MIcro/Craft Taps, $2.50 Cherry Bombs (7-1AM) WHO'S ON THIRD $1 taps of PBR, $1 rails February 18, 2010 // 13 YOUR GUIDE TO CONSUMPTION Tuesday BARREL INN Bucket Night, six beers for $9 BROTHERS Wristband night BODEGA 2-Fers, Buy any regularly priced food item and get one of equal or lesser value for free CHUCK’S 50-cent taps domestic, $3 pitchers COCONUT JOE’S $2 Tuesdays, including $2 bottles, import taps, beer pong, apps, single shot-mixers, featured shots, 50-cent taps EAGLE’S NEST 7 p.m. to close: $1.50 domestic pints, $1.50 rails FEATURES Taco buffet 11-2; $1 Pabst bottles and $1 bowling after 9 HOWIE’S 9 p.m. to close: $1 rails, $2.50 pitchers, beer pong IMPULSE Karaoke 9 p.m.-Close JB’S SPEAKEASY $1.75 domestic bottles PETTIBONE BOAT CLUB 2 for 1 burger night PLAYERS Karaoke @ 10 p.m., 2-4-1 Happy Hour 5 to 10 p.m., all you can drink rail mixers @ 10 p.m. SCHMIDTY’S Tacos SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER $2 can beer (2-6 p.m.) 12" pizza: $8.99 up to 5 toppings (4-close) SPORTS NUT Tacos $1.25 THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., Shots of Doctor $1 THE LIBRARY Half price tequilla, $1 domestic taps and rails TOP SHOTS $1.75 Rails, $1.50 Domestic Taps, $3.50 Jager Bombs (7-1AM) TRAIN STATION BBQ 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., extra side with sandwich; 4 to 9 p.m., $1 off rib dinner WHO'S ON THIRD Wristband night, includes rails and domestic taps, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $3 call doubles, $2 Bud products Wednesday BARREL INN $6 all you can drink taps and rails, 8 to midnight BROTHERS 10-cent wings 9 p.m.-close, $1 Miller High Life bottles, $1.50 rail mixers; new - $2.50 call drinks CHUCK’S $2 Pearl Street Brewery beers COCONUT JOE’S $1.25 for 1 pound of wings, $1 PBR/PBR Light bottles, $1.50 Rolling Rock, $2 jumbo rail mixers, $2.25 Bud Lights, $1 shot of the week EAGLE’S NEST 7 p.m. to close: $1.50 domestic pints, $2 craft pints, $1.50 rails HOWIE’S $5 all you can drink IMPULSE Wine & martini night JB’S SPEAKEASY Happy Hour 5 to 7 p.m. LEGEND’S $1 shot of the week, $4 domestic pitchers, $1.25 1 pound of wings PETTIBONE BOAT CLUB $6.99 AUCE pasta PLAYERS Karaoke @ 10 p.m., 2-4-1 Happy Hour 5 to 10 p.m., $1 Pabst cans, Dr. shots @ 10 p.m. SCHMIDTY’S Chili dogs SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER Wings, Wings, Wings... $2 off 14: pizza, $2 can beer (2-6 p.m.) SPORTS NUT 15-cent wings THE CAVALIER $1.50 taps 6 to 8 p.m. BEER Review Hop Harvest Central Waters Brewing Company Amherst, Wisconsin Writing a weekly beer review is a surprisingly time-sensitive endeavor. Like most critics I try to keep up with new releases, but even after two and half years in the review game, I’m still playing catch up. So while February may be the month of bocks — following a season of winter warmers and Christmas ales — I still need to rep this October release, a Wisconsin gem that’s still readily available in stores. Central Waters’ Hop Harvest is an ode to autumn, with 98 percent of its ingredients harvested in-state and brewed fresh with a “wet hop” technique that’s rare in this part of the country. To wet hop a beer, brewers throw freshly picked hops directly into the kettle, which gives the finished product an earthier “dirty” taste than a beer brewed with dehydrated hops. The technique is far more common in northern California and the Pacific Northwest, due to that area’s abundance of hop farms. That the tiny Central Waters Brewing Company attempted such a beer is a testament to its gumption. That it succeeded is a credit to its craft. The Hop Harvest pours a light golden color that’s so cloudy from hop resin that it’s nearly opaque. It has a one-finger head that is rather short-lasting, but that could be because I’m halfway through a 22-ounce bottle, the only size in which it’s sold. Despite the name, the aroma is hardly hopAppearance: 7 py. There’s a bit of piney-ness and some Aroma: 6 earthy grass smells, but the pale malts are most distinct in a Taste: 7 rather sweet-smelling Mouthfeel: 7 blend. As an American Pale Ale, the Hop Harvest doesn’t have Drinkability: 7 much bitterness, vis-àvis an IPA. Instead it has an earthy, grassy, Total: 34 woody flavor with a greasy mouthfeel, almost as if this beer sprouted out of the ground and leaked into a pint glass. The Hop Harvest has a strangely buttery aftertaste, but it’s still pretty drinkable. Because whenever a local brewery tries something this fresh, you outta drink it whenever you can. — Adam Bissen THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., Shots of Doctor $1 THE LIBRARY Karaoke, $2 double rails & all bottles TOP SHOTS SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER Ladies night, 2 for 1 drinks (6-close), $2 can beer (2-6 p.m.) SPORTS NUT $8.99 12-ounce T-bone THE HELM $1 Vodka Drinks, $1.00 12 oz Dom. Taps, $1.25 12 oz prem. Taps, $3 Orange Bombs THE LIBRARY Beer Pong Tourney and wristband night TOP SHOTS 5 Domestic Bottles for $10, $5 Micro/Import Bottles $11.50, $7 Micro/Craft Pitchers (7-1AM) TRAIN STATION BBQ 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Barn burner $7.95; 4 to 9 p.m., Hobo dinner (serves two) $30.95 WHO'S ON THIRD $8.50 Fish Bowls, $2 Miller products $2 domestic bottles, $2.50 Skyy/Absolut mixers, $2 Dr. shots (7-1am) TRAIN STATION BBQ Special varies WHO'S ON THIRD Ladies' Night: $2 top shelf, $1 Pink Tacos Everyone: $2.50 bombs, $2 taps, $3 Jack/Captain doubles Thursday BARREL INN 25-cent wings, $1 shots of Doctor BROTHERS $5 domestic taps, wells and Long Islands. $1 shots with wristband CHUCK’S Ladies’ Nite Out: $1.50 rail mixers, $2.50 X bombs COCONUT JOE’S Happy Hour 7 to 9 p.m.: $2 for all single shot mixers and all beers. Wristband Night: $5 college I.D., $9 general public EAGLE’S NEST 7 p.m. to close: $1.50 domestic pints, $2 craft pints, $1.50 rails FEATURES All you care to eat pizza buffet, 11-2 HOWIE’S 9 p.m. to close: $1.25 rails, $1.75 bottles/cans IMPULSE 18+ night (1st and 3rd Thursday of each month) JB’S SPEAKEASY Happy Hour 5 to 7 p.m. THE CAVALIER All Mojitos $5 THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., Shots of Doctor $1 LEGEND’S After comedy: Pint Night - $1 pints of rail mixers and domestic taps, $2 pints of call mixers and import taps, $3 pints of top-shelf mixers PLAYERS 2-4-1 Happy Hour 5 to 10 p.m., $2 Captain mixers, $1.75 domestic beer, $1.50 rails, $1 Pabst cans @ 10 p.m. RALPH’S Southwest chicken pita $5 SCHMIDTY’S Tacos Friday BARREL INN $4.50 domestic pitchers BROTHERS $3 Bacardi mixers, $3.50 Bacardi Hurricanes BODEGA Fish Tacos: 1 / $2.50, 2 / $5.00, 3 / $6.50. CHUCK’S After-Class $3 Pitchers, $1.75 Rails COCONUT JOE’S Happy Hour 7 to 9 p.m.: $2 for all single-shot mixers and all beers, $2.50 jumbo Captain Morgan mixers, $2.50 jumbo Bacardi mixers (all flavors), $3 Jagerbombs EAGLE’S NEST 3 to 9 p.m.: two-for-one domestic bottles and rail drinks FEATURES All you care to eat fish fry 4-10; unlimited Glow-N-Bowl $9.99 HOWIE’S 9 p.m. to close: $2 Captain mixers, $2 bottles/cans, $3 Jager bombs IMPULSE $25 open bar (incl. martinis, calls/rails, imports/domestic) 9-Close JB’S SPEAKEASY Happy Hour 5 to 7 p.m. LEGEND’S $3 jumbo Svedka mixers, $2.50 Corona bottles, $2.50 Cuervo shots PLAYERS 2-4-1 Happy Hour 3 to 9 p.m. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 GRAY MATTER 14// February 18, 2010 Maze Efflux Second Supper 'So many words' Throwin' em out at random for you By Erich Boldt By Matt Jones Specials CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 SCHMIDTY’S Fish sandwich SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER Friday Fish, $2 can beer (2-6) THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., shots of Doctor $1 THE LIBRARY $3 Bacardi mixers, $3.50 Bacardi Hurricanes TOP SHOTS $2 Captain Mixers, $2. Long Island Mixers, $3 Effen Vodka Mixers (7-1AM) TRAIN STATION BBQ 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chicken on fire $7.95; 4 to 9 p.m., Bones and briskets $13.95 WHO'S ON THIRD $1 off Three Olives, $2 domestic taps Saturday BARREL INN $10 pitcher and pizza BROTHERS $3 Bacardi mixers, $3.50 Bacardi Hurricanes CHUCK’S 12 to 3 p.m.: Buy one, get one domestic beer; Holmen Meat Locker jerky raffle COCONUT JOE’S Happy Hour 7 to 9 p.m.: $2 for all single-shot mixers and all beers, $2.50 jumbo Captain Morgan mixers, $2.50 jumbo Bacardi mixers (all flavors), $3 Jagerbombs EAGLE’S NEST Open to close: $2 U “Call” it FEATURES Prime rib dinner 4-10; unlimited Glow-N-Bowl $9.99 HOWIE’S 9 p.m. to close: $2 Bacardi mixers, $2 domestic pints, $1.50 shots blackberry brandy JB’S SPEAKEASY Happy Hour 5 to 7 p.m. THE JOINT $2 domestics and rails, 4 to 8 p.m., Shots of Doctor $1 LEGEND’S $3 jumbo Svedka mixers, $2 Jonestown shots PLAYERS 2-4-1 Happy Hour 3 to 8 p.m. SLOOPY'S ALMA MATER 2 for 1 pints/pitches w/ student ID over 21 SPORTS NUT 15-cent wings THE LIBRARY $3 Bacardi mixers, $3.50 Bacardi Hurricanes TOP SHOTS $5 Miller/Bud Light Pitchers, $2.25 Leinies Bottles (7-1AM) TRAIN STATION BBQ One-half chicken three bones $12.95 To advertise Food & Drnk Specials, contact Michael Keith at michael.keith@ secondsupper.com or call us at (608) 782-7001. Sudoku Answers below WE'RE HIRING! • Advertising account representative E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ACROSS 1 Rd. crossers 4 Scone, basically 14 Petting zoo critter 16 With courage and boldness 17 Electronics brand 18 They help you look formal with little effort 19 Rapper who formed St. Lunatics 21 IRA for the selfemployed 22 Good News! manufacturer 25 "I won't miss it" 29 Overwhelms 31 Ending for switch 32 Son of Aphrodite 35 Swedish university city 38 1993-94 Stanley Cup winners 39 "Deadwood" entrepreneur 40 Get into a culture 41 Daytime TV shows, in old slang 42 Ten-code user 43 Broadway actress ___ Rene Scott 45 Mortal ___ 48 Sign out? 52 Jungian self 54 Frighten, like a horse 55 "Weird Al" Yankovic album featuring "Addicted to Spuds" 60 Kings of ___ 61 "Have we met?" 62 Dorothy the goldfish's owner 63 Amphetamines user 64 U-turn from NNE DOWN 1 The word on the street? 2 George with a notable 2008 wedding 3 Wee 4 Shopping network Answers to Feb. 11 puzzle "From milk - We derive these new phrases" that turns 25 in 2011 5 Ending for sex or text 6 "___ You Better Before You Were Naked on the Internet" (From First to Last song) 7 Make do 8 Estonian currency 9 Drum for a beatnik 10 DeVito/Midler black comedy 11 Triage scale for ERs (hidden in RESIDENCE) 12 "A.M. ___" (1990s SNL ad product) 13 Functional introduction 15 He played Dauber on "Coach" 20 Distressed dog, for example 23 They may be taken with a guide 24 Throws out 26 Get on the soapbox 27 Like some calculators 28 Gets high 30 Area of southern England 32 Major jerk 33 Filmdom's "one man army" 34 Tribute to the recently departed: abbr. 36 Indian bread variety 37 Pigtails, for example 44 Town crier's repeated shout 46 World Chess Champion Viswanathan ___ 47 With a ___ the hat to (acknowledging, on blogs) 49 Yuletide tunes 50 Rugmaker's devices 51 "___ what I mean, Vern?" 53 Bryn ___ (Pennsylvania college) 55 Hockey game pts. 56 Alley-___ 57 Polygraph indication 58 "Shall I compare thee ___ summer's day" 59 Laugh syllable For answers, call (900) 226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Or to bill to a credit card, call (800) 655-6548. Reference puzzle #0455. Have an opinion? Send your letters to the editor to Second Supper, 614 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601 or by e-mail to email@example.com. Letters should be signed and include phone number for verification purposes. Please limit letters to no more than 300 words. Second Supper reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity and grammar. For more information, call (608) 782-7001. Second Supper February 18, 2010 // 15 THE LAST WORD Y Marks the Spot By Brett Emerson firstname.lastname@example.org The process of abandoning all the distracting entertainments that I’ve used instead of being creative and awesome is going well, even though it’s not yet complete. I packed up all my video games in my sweet Nintendo box and shipped them off to storage. Without my PS2 to serve as a functional movie player, I borrowed out my DVD collection. Being that I don’t have or want cable, this left the remaining television with nothing to play. There are still a few games and films on my computer, but I’m quickly getting bored of them. The random episodes of computer gaming feel like the spasms of a dying habit, brief moments of future nostalgia. I’m looking forward to a day when I’m finally alone, not expecting a hundred-hour game to prop me up and replace the life I should be living. One thing that I’ve replaced all those flashing bits of solipsism with is the humble, magnificent board game. My return to the games of my childhood began with finding a chess board and a game of Risk, though I never played the games with a constant routine. At the time, there were still too many shiny screens to stare at. But as the electrical distractions are fading, I’m finding that I really enjoy sitting down with other people and playing in the powerless arcade. Like said arcades of yesteryear, there’s much to be said for having thinking, tangible opponents and teammates, as opposed to villains of programming and faceless players miles away. There’s accountability, connection, time limits and unpredictability, which is to say that there’s more to a board game than the skill and consumption of entertainment on which it is based. But I’m going to call out one particular board game, and that is The Game of Life. This year, the board game celebrates the 150th anniversary of its original foundation and the 50th anniversary of its modern incarnation. Like many classic games it has endured revisions and alterations to its formulas, more often than not for the worse. You can’t go into a department store and expect to come out with the board games you remember. That’s why I never bothered buying a New Coke version of Life. But fortune smiled when the version I remembered from my childhood was unearthed from a musty vault and brought back into the light. It was Life — '80s Style! Everything I remembered was here: big money, uncomplicated rules, station wagons filled with blue and pink child pegs, and the spinner! Oh God, the SPINNER! We dove in and entered the world of high stakes living. It was every bit of glory I remembered. But after the second or third time my life was over and I went to Milton Bradley Heaven with millions of dollars in my estate, I began to question the game’s format. Maybe it was due to this version of the game coming out in the Reagan decade, but Life was a really difficult game to lose. I counted and checked the spaces not long after, and confirmed my suspicions. For all the spaces that heralded fantastic fortunes, there wasn’t much that would completely knock a player out of the game. Even then, one would have to be consistently unfortunate to really dig into bankruptcy. Life, it turned out, was forgiving, generous and insanely optimistic. Exactly like real life. If you so much as caught a whiff of uranium or were within 20 miles of a bubblin’ crude, people would be throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at you as though you were a play-money stripper. On the other hand, if you were unfortunate enough to have landed on a space in which a meteor crashed into the planet, revived the dinosaurs, drastically altered the planet’s atmosphere, reverted the world’s economy to the barter system, bulldozed your worldly possessions into rubble, and then tentacle-humped your spouse and children to death — well, you’d probably only be out around $3,000. Yes, The Game of Life is a horribly rosecolored bit of wishful thinking, a wholly un- realistic take on the human condition in the modern age. In fact, the only aspect of the game that had any truth to it is that, should you miss out on all the sweet high-salaried jobs and be saddled with a University Degree, your salary is $16,000. Well, I have a college degree. I make $16,000 a year. The Game of Life understands me! Oh, wait. I forgot to consider 30 years of inflation. LIFE SUCKS! The hell with it. I’m just going to go back to playing my version of Operation. The rules are simple: you light up the red nose, you take a drink. Now that’s a trickledown economics I can get behind — and the health care is better. 418 Lang Dr. La Crosse Fridays $11 Cuts Across From Menards www.hairstation.info Downtown La Crosse, above Fayzes - 782-6622 top shots joke of the week Q: What is the difference between snowmen and snowwomen? Check out our new Beers on Tap! A: Snowballs. Good People, Good Drinks, Good Times SUNDAY $2.00 - 1 Player, $3.00 - 2 Players 50 Cents Off Drinks, $1 Off Pitchers MONDAY TUESDAY $1.75 - Miller/Bud Taps $1.75 Rails $5 Pitchers $2 Bottles of Miller Products (11-4 pm) $2.25 Micro/Craft Taps $1.50 Domestic Taps $2.50 Cherry Bombs $3.50 Jager Bombs $2 Corona Bottles (7-1am) (7-1am) $2 Kilo Kai Mixers $3 Bloody’s (7-1am) Saturday WEDNESDAY $2 Domestic Bottles $2.50 Skyy/Absolute Mixers $2 Dr. Shots (7-1am) THURSDAY FRIDAY 5 Domestic Bottles 4 $10 $5 Micro/Import Bottles $11.50, $7 Micro/Craft Pitchers (7-1am) $5 Miller Lite/Bud Light Pitchers $2.25 Leinies Bottles (7-1am) 608-785-0305 $2 Captain Mixers $2 Long Islands $3 Effen Vodka Mixers (7-1am) 16// February 18, 2010 Second Supper connect nationwide and save. 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