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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

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Team Paxton celebrates the life and fight of little Paxton Andrews.
Team Paxton celebrates the life and fight of little Paxton Andrews.

Nothing is impossible

Nothing's Impossible.

Since 2005, this has been one of my absolute favorite tracks on "Playing the Angel" album by Depeche Mode. It's a tune that I can literally play over and over again without becoming annoyed. And then play it again.

On Tuesday, May 15 of this year however, the phrase "Nothing is Impossible" took on a whole new meaning for me.

That day started out like any other. Entering the office and opening my email, still battling the "I'm not awake yet" haze, are all part of my normal M.O. Launched the umpteen browsers I use daily, check. Stare at the running task list of the day. Yep. And then my email notification popped up.

The subject line: Hey Katie, I need your help. The first few sentences: Hi Katie, I really, truly need your help.

And then I kept reading. My eyes were not prepared to read the contents of that email, nor my heart ready to accept the cruel reality that impacted a member of our tight-knit community. In short, I was introduced to John, Danna and their precious 3-month-old little miracle, Paxton Andrews. Now, I had heard of John before – primarily because of the super secret yet not-so-secret hashtag that was used on Twitter to describe a few of my friends' ball-busting personal training sessions they had with John. But that was all I knew.

Two days before Paxton's 3-month birthday, he was taken to the pediatrician for what appeared to be a common cold and possible eye infection. That visit turned into an emergency run to Children's Hospital. The doctors had found cancer all over his little body. The timing of this also happened to be Mother's Day weekend.

The email was not only from someone who I have the utmost respect personally and professionally for, but also filled a void that was lingering since the #saveteecycle movement in 2010. A general sense of wanting to help change lives again, to strengthen Milwaukee. Put those few things together and it was a no brainer for me. I was IN.

So began Team Paxton.

Team Paxton is a M…

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Sometimes, tickets aren't enough. That's when stupid charges come in.
Sometimes, tickets aren't enough. That's when stupid charges come in.

Rogue facial hair and "stupid charges"

Well hello there, nice to see you guys again.

Yes, I know it's been two and a half months since my last post, I haven't forgotten about you. If you follow me on Twitter then you know that my absence has gone beyond blogging, and is for legit reasons.

Recently while getting my hair cut, I had some pretty hysterical conversations. The kind of verbal exchanges that leave you needing to whiz in your drawers, give you a belly ache from a much-needed laughing fit, or allow you to voice a hearty "hell yes" out loud.

Topic No. 1: Rogue Facial Hair
It's not often women sit around and talk about the stray, often gnarly/curly/coarse/can't-look-away-from strands of hair that jut out from our beautiful faces. Most of us have had at least one of them in our lives, and rarely do we like to discuss it in great detail. But on this day, the three of us went there. Sometimes, they are "big and strong and long."

Now, as much as I'd love to provide you the play-by-play of our conversation and the eventual dark vortex of that we spiraled down in (think waxing the lady bits), I give you this little nugget of goodness instead. AMIRITE ladies?

Topic No. 2: Stupid Charges
Do you ever sit back and wonder sometimes, "Man, person XYZ needs a good kick to the shins?" Or, "I wish I could award you an elbow to the chops?" Or how about a more friendly congratulations: "You get a stupid charge." Yeah, I said "stupid charge." Think of it as an added line item on a bill/invoice, or a ticket that you are slapped with – for being a jackass.

What circumstances earn you a stupid charge? I offer the following situations:

  • Using the self-checkout line at the grocery store for a full cart of goods. Stupid charge.
  • Walking into a bar that has a healthy beer selection to choose from and ordering "a beer." Stupid charge.
  • Walking up to and trying to use a kiosk (subway/train station, movie ticket) that has a very clear-as-day sign reading: OUT OF ORDER. Stupid charge.
  • Driving down the freeway for mi…
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Just a little thank-you note, from @bootyp to you.
Just a little thank-you note, from @bootyp to you.

From Katie, with love

<Walks on stage, grabs and taps microphone and sits on bar stool>

For once, I'm going to try and keep this post short. Let's see how this goes, shall we?

Two words, from me to you – yes, all of you. Thank you.

Just over a year ago, Andy asked me if I'd be interested in contributing to the diversity, people, places and things that make up OnMilwaukee.com. I nearly fell out of my Easter brunch chair with excitement and nervous energy. Never in a million years did I ever think that a website I frequently read, referenced and respected would ask me if I would be a staff writer (or blogger, whichever term you prefer).

May 2 marked exactly one year since my first blog was posted here, and I still remember the thoughts and feelings whiz-banging through my head: "I can't write for sh*t, what am I doing on this site?" "What do I have to say that anyone would ever find interesting, informative or entertaining?" Through the murky fog, I reminded myself to just write what was in my head, and most of all: just be me.

You've liked what I've had to say, hated my viewpoints, expressed your opinions and called me ridiculous names. You felt, shared, encouraged, pondered, challenged, related and laughed both with me and at me, and I've loved every moment – whether you got under my skin or not (and if you did, I'll never let you know that).

And while as of late, life has gotten in the way and may not have allowed me to post as often as I would like to (I'm working on making more time for this, I promise), I still remain inspired by Milwaukee and you fine folks that make this community awesome.

So.

Thank you.

Whether near or far, thank you for allowing me to interrupt moments of your day with my random and candid thoughts. I look forward to another year of interacting with you – well as long as Tarnoff & crew will have me!

<Drops mic and walks of stage.>

Katie (a.k.a. @bootyp)

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Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has an, interesting, if slightly distracting, Twitter style.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has an, interesting, if slightly distracting, Twitter style.

What will your online legacy be?

I've been reflecting quite a bit lately. I'm not really sure why, but I'm just going to roll with it and see where it takes me.

As I stare at my empty mug, I think about legacies. Recent events like the fall from grace (and eventual death of) JoePa – and the contributions of social media during the turmoil – lead me to wonder how the participation (or lack thereof) in social networks will factor into one's legacy, either on a personal level or even from a branding perspective.

Let's use Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley for example. Grassley has been widely thumped for his indecipherable and often deliciously crazy tweets – and might I say rightly so. Happen to catch Stephen Colbert's discovery of Grassley? Awesome. Blaming his iPhone's autocorrect as the culprit, he is gaining much attention for his tweeting "style."

I present you with the following:

Exhibit A:

@toddruger: Your tweets draw attention/criticism, often because they sometimes have random punctuation or capital letters. What is the story behind why you leave those in there? Do you pay attention to anyone's reaction to your tweets?

@chuckgrassley: I think there are a couple of factors involved. I suppose a lot has to do with the automatic correcting done by my iPhone. Second, I love Tweeting, but I don't like to type. So, I probably type and hit send a little too quickly.

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Umm. Huh.

Make no mistake, I'm not singling him out because of his political affiliation, rather he's a prime example of how a legacy could become slightly overshadowed by his use of Twitter, rather than his political policies.

Honestly, are his 41K followers following him out of political support, or are they following him because he's a tweeting nightmare? Hell, I'm…

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