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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Now, where the hell did I go wrong?
Now, where the hell did I go wrong?

Time to buy the shotgun

Last night, Janet needed to hit the grocery store and Target, so I stayed home and played with the kids. We hung some more stuff on the tree, made dinner together and watched a SpongeBob. After a rollicking bath, we read books and they went to bed. Now, when I lay in bed with each of my chilluns, I try to bond a little before shutting the light off and slipping out of the room. "What did you work on today at school?" or, "Who did you play with?" are just a couple of the FAQs.

But, I never get anything "juicy" during these moments -- until now.

I'm lying face-to-face with my 4-year-old daughter, and she's being her normal, tight-lipped self when asked questions about her day. "No, nothing" is her favorite response. God forbid she tells me what letters or numbers she worked on. And after I approach the subject several different ways, I give up. "Okay, give Daddy a kiss good night, and I'll go."

And then she drops the bomb: "Daddy, there's no kissing in the classroom."

"What? There's no kissing in class? Who told you that and why?" I inquired.

"Miss Shannon," she said.

"Why would Miss Shannon tell you that?"

I was afraid to ask.

"Daddy, Malakai is my boyfriend," she giggled.

Someone may as well have planted a steel-toed boot in my gut. I nearly puked.

"Malakai is your boyfriend?" I carefully continued, "Did he kiss you?"

"Yes," she sweetly said. (A second, much harder boot, slams my lower intestinal tract.)

"Did you kiss him?" I asked.

"No."

My head was spinning. I was poisoned and just needed to get up and out of the room or I was going to die in there. I gave her a quick peck on the forehead and said good night. Trying not to make a big deal out of it, I left the room with a smile.

Now, where the hell did I go wrong?

Although I can vividly remember kissing Lori Kleveeter when I was just 5years old, I do NOT remember giving my sweet daughter permission to have emotions, curiosity or …

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Do your part to shapeshift the economy.
Do your part to shapeshift the economy.

Go! Spend! Go!

OK, dig it. I’m at Lambeau Field on a particularly nice afternoon. The Packers are doing well and there’s a general good-mood-thing happening among the fandom. These moments are made for "the wave," right? Feeling inspired (and a little loosey-goosey), I leap to my feet and attempt to initiate said wave. Whilst flailing my arms, I scream: ONE … TWO … THREE … UP!

A smattering of fans responds.

Again, I make a run. ONE … TWO … THREE … UP! And, hey, a lot more join in. I’m thinking this is good. A few more screaming attempts to raise the crowd lead to a wave actually making its way completely around the stadium. WHEW! It was an exhilarating feeling and I was proud of us all that wonderful day in Green Bay.

So, here’s my plan: I’m starting a major-league-style wave to fix our economy. WHO’S WITH ME?! It’s gotta start somewhere. My budget for holiday spending is $800. BUT, I’m tossing in an extra "hundo" just to get things rolling. But, it doesn’t stop there. I’m also donating more than normal, I’m fixing long-time ills in my house (increasing its value) AND I’m tipping my mail carrier. And on top of all that, I’m also ASKING for higher-priced items (going the extra mile, I know).

I can see it now. From our little Milwaukee, a tsunami of cash will roll across this great nation of ours. Need I remind you of the butterfly effect?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

Anything is possible. So, I’m asking you to join me. A few bucks thrown around here and there will help us all in the near future. And, just a heads up, I already spent some holiday cash at Art vs Craft. This weekend, I’m hitting Mayfair and Ma Jolie on the East Side. That leaves plenty of good shopping for you cover.

I figure if we do this right, I can sell my house in February for $220,000.

Economics are largely dictated by perception. If you think something is overpriced and don’t buy it, it might be. If a bunch o…

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What does your Facebook status say about you, really?
What does your Facebook status say about you, really?

Michael Stodola is writing a blog

Michael Stodola is...
(wait)

Michael Stodola is happy to be home with my family.
(jeez ... way too sappy)

Michael Stodola is culling chumps.
(nah ... trying too hard)

Michael Stodola is pitchfork.
(hmmm ... odd yet plain, cool yet genuine)

Is it just me, or has a Facebook status become the hottest accessory going? I've gotten to the point that I'm tracking response rates. I'm quickly learning what evokes comments and what doesn't. In turn, I'm also developing pet peeves about status updates. Many updates are too obvious, and, like a poorly told joke, they complete the thought for you. Lots of them are pitiful attempts at humor. And most simply beg the question: Who cares?

Thousands of people join Facebook each day and they (or should I say "we?") just want to tell the world about themselves. We long to confirm we are not alone out here. And between our personal insecurities and our sound-bite culture, the Facebook status has quickly and organically become the vehicle that satisfies.

I have found that in the world of Facebook status updaters, there are six distinct groups:

The Literal -- Sheila Parks is finally cleaning her basement.
These folks seem content with their life, or are trying to
convince themselves of their desired contentment.
Creativity is low, honesty is high, my interest: non-existent.

The Clown -- Bob Owens lost his virginity down the sewer!
This group loves LOL! Obvious grabs at humor not to mention
attempts to create hilarious responses to others' updates.
Creativity is medium, interest is medium.

The Poser -- David Wells is thumbing his way through Peru.
What they really want to tell you is how cool they are.
Don't you wish you were THEM right now? No creativity, plenty of pity.

The Playful -- Laura Decker is ready for more Butterball, please.
Females usually dominate this group. They're friendly, loveable and non-threatening. Everything is medium -- with occasional high sweetne…

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