Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive

This is me. This is me and my big ass glass of wine on New Year's Eve 2009/10. I've just enjoyed the worst meal in recent memory but I am with my boyfriend at the cusp of a new decade and we are quite simply giddy.

The significance of ringing in a new decade is ironic since it's been at least a decade since I last went out to celebrate a new year, choosing long ago to avoid the drunks, me being one of them. But this year was different. We wanted to go out. This was our first new year together, having met last March.

We thought it best to stick close to home instead of driving to the trendy east side of Milwaukee.  That way, we could ostensibly enjoy a much shorter drive with the drunks. We stayed in our little suburban downtown and opted to patronize a fairly recent development, The Black Trumpet.

Rest easy, this is not a blog posing as a restaurant review. As with all things here on Stalking Sunsets, we must delve into much deeper concerns, find meaning and interpret the signs given us along the way. While there are many quaint, well developed and thriving small town main street USA's here in southeastern Wisconsin, my chosen town is not one of them. We affectionately refer to it as the "Shaw".

We were thrilled when we noticed a former crack house being restored into a boutique hotel with a high end restaurant. This is what we need.  This is going to ignite the city and provide us with that certain something that will bring other developers.  If you build it, they will come. The mayor agreed. He gave them a cool two million in TIF dollars to make it so.  With a few minor setbacks, they opened behind schedule and almost simultaneously, seemingly at the precise moment when the American economy was collapsing and the brutal Wisconsin winter was arriving.

It was like the little hotel/restaurant that could. Only this time, it couldn't.  With very few details and even less fanfare, it was reported last summer a new operator had been procured and the developer was out. The conservatives were in an uproar, as usual. "How could the mayor have wasted all of our money?"

What? They preferred the crack house?

The little development that could is still operating; albeit based on the food and service received, it would seem it may be drawing closer to its inevitable final breathe. Perhaps a change of use may be in order. It would still be better than the small town urban blight it represented before.

Being the hometown champions we are, my boyfriend and I didn't utter a word of complaint. We choked down  that over-cooked steak, laughed when I launched a carrot across the room while trying to wrestle the toughened lobster from its shell, waited patiently when we asked three times for a cup of coffee and even felt sorry enough for the young water who couldn't properly poor a glass of wine to give him the full 20% gratuity. He looked exactly like Chandler, from Friends.  Who could resist?

Then we nestled ourselves into the cozy chairs surrounding the bar, ordered a drink and began to ponder what we should do next.  We still had plenty of time to find some new digs before the ball dropped. Should we stay or should we go? Should we stay or should we go now? If we go there will be trouble.  If we get the point.  My delectable man looked deeply into my eyes and said, "Baby, tell me - what do you really want to do right now at this very moment?"

I looked over and saw a woman setting up her keyboard. She was cute in a young, hip, yet  messy kind of way. She seemed to bring in a crowd of followers. She was preparing to entertain us but we were cocooned  in our little corner at a table too low to see anything.  Further, our lovely wing back chairs prevented us from scootching close together to sickeningly cuddle in the new year.

I declared my intentions right then and there. "What I want is for the couple sitting closest to the singer to leave so we can have the best seats in the house, then I want to be blown away by this talented young woman and I want us to stay here and celebrate our first new year together in the little restaurant that maybe possibly still could right here in the heart of the Shaw."

And with that, it was done.  To my amazement, the couple got up to leave.  I jumped out of my seat, nearly knocking them down, planting myself before they could even get their coats off the chairs. I asked them why they were leaving so early. They said they weren't comfortable anymore. They didn't want to be so close to the singer. Hmmmm, you don't say? I pointed them in the direction of our cushy, wing-backed nest in the corner where more than one dream was fulfilled that night.

Of course, I immediately proceeded to proclaim 2010 to be the year in which I will receive anything and everything I ask for. I began to imagine the possibilities - out loud of course, with my boyfriend, who has grown strangely accustomed to me going off on these tangents.   

My suspicions about the singer were correct.  She had a voice like Joss Stone or Patty Griffin. She could hammer out the oldies, fly to the moon with Sinatra and rock the house with hip hop and pop while occasionally joining the crowd for a dance.  We Old Lang Syned, we kissed and we kept our hearts close to home where a new year and a new decade of possibilities unfolded at our feet.

I don't think it's too late to say, happy new year to you. Ask and you shall receive, but only if you're crazy enough, like me, to actually believe this shit.


  1. Wow....sounds like a very fun night! I like the concept of ask and you shall receive...I'll just have to start asking for stuff and see if it works.

    Ok, so you live in the Shaw?! We are soooo close when we come down there. The in-laws live in New Berlin (coffee and national). We definitely have to get together for a cocktail next time we head down!

  2. "trendy east side of Milwaukee"...seems like an oxymoron. Being from Texas, the only thing I remember about Milwaukee is Laverne and Shirley worked in a brewery there. Nice post and congrats on 50 followers!

  3. What a great night! I'm so excited that you posted a picture of you!

  4. Cathy - you would not believe how close Coffee & National is to me. Let's get together for sure. Remember, all you have to do is ask!

    Julie - that's funny! There are a lot of breweries here in MKE for sure. The one used to film the opening sequence of L & S has been turned into an urban loft condo development. Quite nice one actually.

    Robin & Judy - I love you guys too!

    Carrie Ann - I hesitated to post that pic because it makes me look like I'm carrying an extra 30 lbs instead of the extra 20 lbs I really am carrying. Plus my boobs look enormous. Maybe this will bring in more male readers :-)!!

  5. What a great post and your happiness with the Zen boyfriend positively radiates in it. It almost made me optimistic!

    The big boobs will get you more dude readers. Maybe even a couple of stalkers who may or may not be prisoners.

  6. Candance - you should be optimistic, just look at yourself girl!

  7. "Plus my boobs look enormous. Maybe this will bring in more male readers :-)!!"

    like a moth to the flame, I'm here!! lol!

    found you at Jens Voices, thought i'd give it a read....quite sure i'll come back for another visit :)


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