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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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Cyber-Molly lives for furniture sales.
Cyber-Molly lives for furniture sales.

My other job

About a year ago, I started receiving e-mails from a furniture company on the East Coast. I quickly realized that somehow my Hotmail address ended up on their employee e-mail list and it was believed that I was a sales person at this company.

For some reason, I started reading the e-mails, and now I’m hooked on them. My sales manager, Mark, updates me every week on the company’s numbers, the hirings and firings and basic info like employee parking, building maintenance and extended hours.

I really cannot believe that whoever is supposed to receive these e-mails, another woman with a similar Hotmail account address I assume, hasn’t realized she isn’t receiving communications from her manager. I also can’t believe they haven’t noticed that my address is on the employee e-mail list. Finally, why do these people have Hotmail e-mail anyway and not company e-mail?

It’s all very perplexing, but I have really enjoyed this faux career in furniture sales. I even, boldly, sent out an e-mail to the staff once, welcoming our newest sales associate, Gary, from the Meadowland store.

And still, no one noticed that I don’t work at this place.

Today, Mark sent the sales staff an e-mail saying the numbers were down and he was forced to let go of one-third of the sales people. I am sitting here, at my real job, hoping I don’t lose my not-job before I have a chance to buy holiday gifts for my fabricated filthy rich husband and absolutely-perfect-in-every-way twin daughters.

Does it make you want to howl? Even just a little bit?
Does it make you want to howl? Even just a little bit?

Does the full moon really affect people?

There's a full moon tonight, and just now, while I was at the grocery store, I heard the usual small-talk conversation between strangers in line about how the full moon explains the nuttiness of the day. But do these people really mean it, or was that conversation no more than the "hot enough for ya?" banter I'll hear in the very same line next summer?

I heard that emergency rooms and police stations fill up during full moons, but no one has ever confirmed that as fact.

For me, however, if I pay attention, I believe the full moon does affect my behavior. I do feel a little more anxiety when the night orb is fat, and I almost always feel like having a strong drink or two this time of the month.

The only way I can make sense of it is if I accept that the moon affects the tides, and humans are mostly made up of water, then wouldn't the moon affect us, too?

Yep, smells like death.
Yep, smells like death.

Mortician confirms corpse flower smells like death

When people flocked to the Milwaukee Public Museum this week to get a whiff of the "corpse flower," they unanimously agreed that the flower emitted a putrid smell. However, few museum visitors could be certain the odor was actually like the smell of rotting flesh.

But Elaine Litzau knows for sure.

Litzau, a local funeral director, smells corpses on a regular basis. During a phone conversation, Litzau said it was "weird" how much the plant's odor actually smelled like that of a human corpse.

"I have experienced the smell of a deceased human body past its prime, and the ‘corpse flower’ does live up to its name," says Litzau.

When the museum’s corpse flower keeled over this weekend, most of the staff thought it was a goner. However, the flower recovered early this week and emitted the gag-inducing odor that, interestingly, many Milwaukeeans were waiting for.

Corpse flowers bloom as infrequently as once every 15 years, and then only for a matter of days, even hours. The plant's giant tuber usually produces a leaf up to 20 feet tall and sends up a large flower that can reach heights of eight feet or more.

The museum got this corpse flower in August 2002,  from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brush up on your lists of hard words and buzz over to The Blotto Bee.
Brush up on your lists of hard words and buzz over to The Blotto Bee.

Who loves a drunk spelling bee?

A few years ago, I had the honor of hosting’s adult spelling bees at the now-defunct Room 434 and The Social, and if I learned one thing during this experience it’s that getting buzzed at a bee is a blast.

Hence, I am happy to blog that The Wicked Hop’s Jackalope Lounj, 345 N. Broadway, will launch the first Blotto Bee on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The Blotto Bee happens two Thursday nights a month: Nov. 13 and 20; Dec. 11 and 18; Jan. 8 and 15. (Two weeks on, two weeks off.) Registration begins at 7 p.m., and the Bee kicks off at 8.

Contestants each do one shot before spelling words that, primarily, come from popular culture. The event is hosted by Schoolmistress Susan and her accomplice, Tot Mama, apparently a hot lunch lady who distributes tater tots during intermission.

Registration for the Blotto Bee is $6 and covers one shot for every round you remain in, and a tip for the barkeep. (Admission is free for spectators.) First prize includes a $25 gift certificate to the Wicked Hop, a "Certificate of Achievement" and any confiscated items found in the bad kids’ lockers that week. Woo-hoo.