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The Milwaukee Ale House offers brewery tours, too.
The Milwaukee Ale House offers brewery tours, too.

Rapid review: Milwaukee Ale House

October is the third annual Dining Month on All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2009."

Milwaukee Ale House
233 N. Water St., (414) 226-2337

The Milwaukee Ale House offers food, drinks -- including onsite-brewed beers -- and live music in an upbeat setting overlooking the Milwaukee River.

Menu: Good ol’ American.

Price: Inexpensive to moderate.

When to go:  Check out Trivia Night at 8 p.m. on Mondays; Swing lessons for $6 on Tuesday nights; and live music on Wednesday-Saturday nights.

Dress: Just about any dress code is acceptable, from super casual to business dapper.

Don’t miss: The Ale House’s "homebrewed" beers: Sheepshead Stout, Pull Chain Pale Ale, Louie's Demise, Solomon Juneau, Downtown Lites Honey Ale, Flaming Damsel, Schooner Brown, Session Ale, Pressing 78 Porter, Ulao Belgian Wit and Ale House Weiss.

Parking: Find street parking or spring for a pay lot on Water and Chicago Streets or St. Paul and Water Streets.

Lizzie Skurnick: Not an Old Hag.
Lizzie Skurnick: Not an Old Hag.

Boswell Books hosts hip poetess

"Famous poet" might be an oxymoron these days, but it’s safe to say that Lizzie Skurnick’s name is well known in contemporary poetry.

Actually, Skurnick’s a poet, blogger and critic with a vast array of publications under her hat, including The New York Times,, The L.A. Times and the Washington Post. Her live blog, Old Hag, is a Forbes Best of the Web pick, too.

This week, Skurnick takes the mic at Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. It’s a free event, something that we Milwaukeeans always appreciate.

Skurnick’s work is poetic and accessible, but don't take my word for it. Find out for yourself:

Of course you wind up in a heap.
Don’t mistake this for remove.
Love can be a parallel, a rack-
and-tine array with teeth
For every groove. It isn’t cheap.
It’s only earth. For whatever
That seems worth. As if leaves
Minded when they fell. That
To be seen is to be swept away.

It’s foolish to say I hear bells,
but I think that’s the name,
"Bells." ("Bells 2"?) It was playing
the day I met you, informing
the world that you’re mine,
you’ll come when I call, your
heart lit to the ceiling, loopy
with feeling. A brilliant cut
snapped open, snapped shut
in full circle, trilling, you
want me to answer. I do.

Last call for your Boston blog.
Last call for your Boston blog.

Last chance to write a blog and win a free trip to Boston

I had a blast in Boston, and you can, too, if you write a compelling blog this weekend telling us why you deserve free airline tickets.

As part of the Free Recession Buster Getaway Contest series, presented by and AirTran Airways, we're offering up a chance for one of you to win a free trip to Boston as well as netbook on which to document your travels.

From Fenway to Newbury Street, there is so much to see and do in Boston, so start thinking about how you would spend your time if you won a free trip, and then start typing.

The contest ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m., and our editorial staff will pick the winner next week. Here’s a recap of my amazing adventure in Boston last month.

I really hope he doesn't start sending annoying forwards to me.
I really hope he doesn't start sending annoying forwards to me.

Baby's first e-mail account

I’ve passed quite a few parenting milestones, from the first lost tooth to the first day of first grade, and yesterday was yet another Major Mom Moment.

I was not expecting it to affect me, but while creating an e-mail account for my 7-year-old son, I almost teared up. Either I was having a particularly hormonal day or there was something more to this task.

Part of my emotional reaction came from the fact that I know I'm losing control of his life, more and more every day. It’s not like a Gmail account is the gateway to Internet porn, but at the same time, he’s on his way to accessing the daunting, cluttered, uncensored cyber world. As the person who sometimes still pre-watches his movie to make sure it's age appropriate, this is difficult for me to accept.

Also, my oldest son was adopted from Guatemala, and he wants e-mail to communicate with his biological brother who is just a year older and lives with his adoptive family in Virginia. I agree that e-mail is a great way for the two brothers -- who have not seen each other since they were babies -- to get to know each other.

I am thrilled about this connection, but know that my son has a lot to understand about his past, and communicating with his older brother might only speed up the process. There are going to be so many questions soon, and I won't have very many answers.

But I’m not going to think about that right now. Instead, I'm going to send my son his first e-mail with lots of easy-to-read words in it like "I," "love" and "you."