Charity Work, Then A Jazz Festival! (WI) “DAY 46” – 8/19/10

August 20, 2010 - 12:25 pm - (WI) “DAY 46”


I woke up this morning to a note from Riccio asking me walk his two dogs (Toby-Beagle and Winston-American Bulldog).  I miss my dog (Max), so I was actually excited to get to walk his dogs.  I grabbed the leashes and headed into the streets of Milwaukee.

F.Y.I - I have only had one dog (Max) in my whole life and he is the most obedient dog in the world.  Not because I’m good trainer... just because that’s who he is, I got lucky.  🙂

Stop! Sit! Anything!

Anyway, as I started to walk Toby and Winston, I soon realized that walking two dogs isn’t a easy thing.  The leashes are crossing all over the place, this dog wants to go this way, this dog wants to go the other way.  A freaking nightmare!

Twenty minutes later, I got the dogs back in the house and wrote “DAY 45”.

Charity Work
It was now around 1:30 pm and it was time to do some volunteering in Milwaukee.  Wende was back on board this week and set up a place for me to work at for the day. Thanks Wen!

As in every city, I don’t really look into who I’m volunteering for or what I’ll be doing.  I just go to the address Wendy sends me, at the time it says, and I figure it out from there.


When I arrived at the address, I realized it was a homeless shelter called the Guest House.  Good job Wendy, this is exactly the type of charity work I hope to accomplish throughout our great nation. 🙂


I walked into the building and the first person I met was a jacked up dude named Carl.  He was on his lunch break eating wings and fries. (How do you have abs eating that food when I have luv handles!)  Damn genetics!

Anyway, he was a real cool guy and we talked for a bit as I waited for my contact (Rene) to come downstairs to where I was at.  Thanks Carl!

Rene was a awesome girl with a great demeanor.  She had just graduated from grad school and was new at the Guest House (worked there for 2 weeks).  Anyway, before I got started working, she gave me a tour of the facility while she explained to me what they did there.  So far, this may be the best run shelter that I have been to.

They have 90+ beds available, a wreck room, cleans linens, hygiene products, and many other resources for there guests.  (There is a wait list though, this problem is big.)

After getting the tour, I was put to work.  So far, most of the work I have done has been in the kitchen.  Not today... today, I’m helping out with a golf outing fundraiser.  Basically, they (Guest House) put together a golfing event and get sponsors to fund it.  The proceeds from the event go to the shelter’s needs.

There were a few mundane tasks that had to be done and I was just the mundane guy to do it ;)! (I don’t even know what that means. lol)  Anyway, my job for the day was to put stickers (bank sponsor) on the cocktail napkins they were using at the event.

It was to expensive to buy the napkins with the logo’s on them, so they did it “Rooster Style”... make it happen anyway you have to.  Nice!  I can relate to this.

The problem was... the stickers weren’t made one by one, they were on a huge sheet and were cut out.  This made it tough to peel apart with my fat fingers!  There were 400+ napkins to get done and I told Rene I would do them all.  WHY!, just kidding... but it wasn’t easy and it took me about 3 hours to get them all done.

I was rewarded though... Rene brought me a home made cupcake for my hard work as lead sticker man. 😉  The cupcake was good, Thank you! 🙂

Me "Rooster" and Rene

I hope that the event is success as everybody I met there was friendly and helpful.  They truly seemed to love what they were doing and it shows, I wish everybody there good luck!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot... the best part of the tour was a painting on the wall from one of their former residents who is now a working artist and out on his own!  I love to see when somebody gets back on their feet especially when they are as talented as this guy must be!  It gives me hope! 🙂

It was now 5 pm and my shift was over, so I headed back to Riccio’s.  We were supposed to go to the Harley Davidson Museum today (4 pm-ish), but it will have to be pushed back a day because I got home later than expected (museum closes at 6 pm).

Dinner at Moct
Riccio and I were hungry, so we headed across the street to his local spot (Moct, a Serbian bar).  The people are real cool and Riccio is like Norm from “Cheers” when he walks in.. RICCIO!

Our plan was to head to a festival (Jazz in the Park) that Milwaukee puts on every Thursday during the summer in Cathedral Square.  It started at 7 pm, so we were gonna grab a few pre-game drinks and appetizers before we left.

I ordered wings and duck fat french fries.  I know... duck fat french fries!  I had to try them!  The food was good and you could taste a hint of duck in every fry, nice!

Riccio paid for my meal and drinks as I left the tip.  Thank you so much for everything Riccio, you’re the man!

We walked to the festival (1 mile away) while carrying road sodas ;).  On our way there we passed a famous restaurant that had been around since 1931, Real Chili.  I’m not a huge chili fan but I do eat a bowl from time to time.

I walked in and asked them if I could try it since I’m from NJ and have never been there before.  They said OK, and it was good.  I told them I’d come back later and I did.  Tell you about that later on in the post though... Hint: It got real ugly for me.

We continued on to the festival and it was packed.  There were people everywhere with tables and chairs, catered food, beer, wine, whatever... it was there.  There was a band with a orchestra and a dance floor... This place has it all.

Liquor Store
It was at this point, that we realized that we could bring our own beer to the Festival and not have to pay $5 a glass.  So we headed to a liquor store a few block away to save ourselves some money.

I was already a little buzzed from the captain and cokes I had drank at Moct but we’re at a festival... so beer was needed!

Riccio and Requize

When we walked in the liquor store, I realized I was in Milwaukee.  There were so many different beers to choose from because of all local breweries they have.  A guy who worked there (Requize) gave me the low down on some of them and even told me about a cool brewery tour that is free to the public.  (I forgot where, I got trashed last night ;).)

With all the crazy beers they had there, I chose... Coors Light.. Boooo to me.  Riccio at least got some local beer (Miller Highlife).  There was a beer called Drunk Monkey or something close, I should have got that!

As we were leaving, I started a conversation with a cute girl named Amee.  She had a bottle of wine

Me "Rooster" and Amee

and was headed home to drink it with a girlfriend of hers.  I tried to get her to come to the festival with us but she wouldn’t ditch her friend.  You’re a good friend Amee, good luck in life!

When we got back to the Jazz Fest, I met one of Riccio’s oldest friends, Beckett (he was meeting us there).   Beckett was a awesome guy who was extremely interested in what I doing as we talked about my life and adventure for awhile.

Me "Rooster" and Frank

While we were talking, a Milwaukee legend walked by us.  No it wasn’t Bob Uecker... it was Frank “The Pepperoni Cannoli Guy”.  He has walked around this city for over 30 years yelling in the streets.. “Pepperoni... Cannoli...”  He sells them out of his cooler he carries around.  A nice older man, thanks for the pic Frank...  Pepperoni... Cannoli!

Beckett, Me "Rooster", Mark

After that, I met some of Beckett’s friends who were in the park partying.  They had a serious set up going complete with everything (food, beer, liquor).   We talked and laughed as explained to them what I was up to.

I then spotted 4 hot girls on a blanket by themselves with no guys around anywhere.  I had to approach them.  They we all pretty wasted but in the same breath.... pretty together too.  (I had a great pic but erased by accident. :()

I hung out with them until the festival closed down.  I still remember all their names even though I was as drunk as I could be while still walking.  So to Ashley, Roxanne, Shavon, and Bekah... It was nice meeting all of you.  Hit me up if you wanna hang out again before I leave!

Bars - Beckett
It was 11 pm when we left the park and hit the bars.  The bars around the area were packed, so we went to closest one (Taylors).  From this point on, every drink I had was bought by Beckett, he wouldn’t let me pull out my wallet for anything!

Beckett and Me "Rooster"

He even offered me $200 for my Rooster hat as a way to help out on my trip.  I accepted!  The cool thing is he doesn’t want it now, he wants it when I finish.  So... he gave me a $100 down payment and he’ll give me the other $100 when I finish and send him the hat.

You are awesome Beckett!  I can’t thank you enough!  He even put in a clause for me to keep my hat.  If when I finish, I want to keep it... all I have to do is send him $50 back from his original $100.  People are overwhelming! 🙂

It was now around midnight and I was wasted!  So what did we do... hit another bar.  This next bar wasn’t as packed, but they had a bartender there who was supposedly the Picasso of drinks.

He found out I was from NJ and made me a special shot with blueberries in it, on the house!  It was

Me "Rooster", Penny, Jamie

good but this might have been the shot that put me over the edge. (You’ll find out later. :))

I then saw two girls (Penny and Jamie) at a table by themselves.  I approached them and started talking.  We hung out for a bit but it was getting late so we said our good byes as Riccio and I walked home.  Nice meeting you girls!

Riccio’s Place
We walked in and Riccio immediately passed out.  I was still wide awake... drunk and hungry!  A friend of mine, I met in Chicago called me and we talked for a hour or so.  As we were talking, I was walking to get REAL CHILI!  No!  Why!  Damn alcohol!

The guys at the place were surprised to see me return (2:30 am) as I ordered a bowl of chili over spagetti.  I walked back home as I scarfed down most of the bowl.  It was good for a little while....

I went to sleep around 3:00 am but that didn’t last long... before I knew it I was tasting chili again but this time... it wasn’t going down... it coming out!

I threw up from 4-6 am as I wished I was dead while lying on Riccio’s bathroom floor.  Damn Chili!  Or maybe it was the 12+ drinks... I’ll blame the chili!

Even though I felt like death and still do as I write this... It was a great night and I had a blast!   Score one for Milwaukee!

Thanks for reading!


Comments (1)

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  1. Matt says:

    The pic of you on the bathroom floor is hilarious..God knows we have allll been there..oh and a jazz fest is not complete without a crazy dude dancing like an angel for us to video tape.

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