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Let's get sh*t done this week and feel good about ourselves.
Let's get sh*t done this week and feel good about ourselves.

Join me in "Loose Ends Week"

The big picture aspects of life – relationships, employment, housing and finances – are challenging enough, and yet the minutia can really take a toll on a person. Many of us are keeping it together, for the most part, in our homes and at our jobs, but details like "don’t forget to make that doctor’s appointment" or "you owe her an email" nag and nag and nag.

With that in mind, I decided to dedicate an entire week to tying up a few loose ends in my life that have been dangling over my head for a while. For fun, I threw it out on Facebook and received a positive response from others who wanted to take part, as well. And so I randomly chose this week, July 17-23, as "Loose Ends Week," an unofficial celebration of commitment and completion.

And now, OnMilwaukee readers, I challenge you to join us this week in tying up a few of your loose ends. I recommend writing out a paper list – with no. 1 on the list being "make a list" so you can immediately cross something off – and then jot down a few other things that you’ve been meaning to do for some time that you are going to do this week.

How is this different than making a to-do list any other week of the year? It’s about holding yourself accountable and receiving support. Pledging to yourself (and, if you want, to others) that you are going to do something this week might make it more likely to happen and also provide the warmth and satisfaction of knowing other people are struggling to get it all done, too.

The purpose of Loose Ends Week is not to add extra stress to your life. It’s intended to make you feel accomplished and give you a "woot woot" moment when you finally make that call or finish that unfinished project that’s been mocking you with its unfinishedness.

If you want to share your intentions to participate in Loose Ends Week, post this story to Facebook, invite your friends to participate and feel free to tag OnMilwaukee and include the hashtag "looseendsweek." Or, of course, just par…

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Beer + shower = awesome
Beer + shower = awesome
Multitasking.
Multitasking.

The joy of the shower beer

Editors' note: This story originally ran March 3, 2016. Only applicable links and lead intro have been changed. 

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

I have taken a bath with a glass of wine before, and I've drank coffee while showering, but last night I joined the ranks of millions (?) and experienced my first shower beer. 

Turns out, everything that’s been written and said about drinking a cold beer in a hot shower is true – it’s completely fun and refreshing. Unexpectedly, it was also inspiring – I shaved my shaggy winter legs for the first time in two months because, quite frankly, I didn’t want the sudsy party to end.

Best of all, I learned a few things during my shower beer, too. I think my choice of a can – a delicious Miller Lite – was a good one because there's no fear of breakage. I also realized that the fact beer makes me have to pee is not a problem in the least when shower beering. I was, after all, standing over a drain.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t drink beer naked often enough (probably because I’m not and have never been a nudist, the Hamm's bear or a frat boy) and, as long as I don’t step on a bottle cap or overdo it and slip in the tub, there's absolutely nothing wrong with mixing hygiene with getting slightly hammered.

There are a lot of shower beer selfies out there, but I made a showerbeer vid. Also, the first person who comments that my tub really needs to get caulked is automatically volunteering to come over and do it. 

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Jason McDowell: karaoke ninja.
Jason McDowell: karaoke ninja. (Photo: Andy Tarnoff)

What are your karaoke go-to songs?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Whether buzzed on Miller Lite and belting out "Pour Some Sugar On Me" or completely sober and crooning "Let’s Get It On," karaoke is a crapton of fun for many people.

Even Tonic Tavern bartender Mark Waldoch got into it. Although, when he first heard that karaoke was happening every Tuesday night during his shift, he was less than enthused.

"At first, I thought a karaoke night would make me want to kill myself," says Waldoch. "But it turns out, people are genuinely happy singing karaoke and we all need that now so hard. Sh*t, I need that."

Some karaoke-ers are adventuresome and regularly try new tunes; others stick to the same ol’ songs. Here’s what the OnMilwaukee staff likes to belt out – some buzzed, some sober.

Jimmy Carlton
Sports writer / editor

"I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys
"Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers
"Bust It Baby Pt. 2" by Plies (featuring Ne-Yo)
"Drunk on Your Love" by Brett Eldredge

Lori Fredrich
Senior writer

Various songs by Ani DiFranco
"Let’s Dance" by David Bowie ("I love to pull out my man voice," she says.)

Jason McDowell
Creative director

"Orange Crush" or "Losing My Religion" by REM.

Jeff Sherman
President

"Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks
"Drunk on a Plane" by Dierks Bentley
"Parachute" by Chris Stapleton
"My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown

Molly Snyder
Senior writer / Editorial manager

"Crimson & Clover" Joan Jett version
Anything by Johnny Cash
"Islands In the Stream" by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton ("Only when I can duet with Andy Tarnoff.")

Carolynn Buser
Editorial director 

"Bitch" Meredith Brooks
"Party in the USA" Miley Cyrus  ("Don't judge, she says.")
"No Scrubs" T…

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Heck, it's a dime cheaper than Three Buck Chuck.
Heck, it's a dime cheaper than Three Buck Chuck.

Cheap wine uncorks a new winner

As a consumer who has purchased cases of Charles Shaw "Three Buck Chuck" wine from Trader Joe’s, I was certainly willing to give a couple of bottles of Winking Owl – available only at Aldi for a mere $2.89 – a taste test. And since Saturday is National Wine Day, here’s my "two cents" on the bargain vino.

I was skeptical at first because the wine is made by Gallo, which is one of my least favorite cheap wines – second only to Boone’s Farm. Both were repeat culprits in sloshy high school drinking experiences and even their labels make me wince. (And, simultaneously, crave Duran Duran songs.)

Conversely, Winking Owl's label is very appealing. In fact, it's possibly the most adorable wine label I've ever seen. And that's important to those of us who don't have bathtubs of knowledge when it comes to wine. We pick by price, recommendation, intuition and the label.

I bought a few bottles of Winking Owl wine: chardonnay, merlot and shiraz. There’s also a cab sav and a pinot grigio. Like Charles Shaw wine, I found all three of them to be a very drinkable. They were also a little watery, but The Shiraz – which was particularly good – had the most body.

I would certainly buy Winking Owl again, but before I do, I must get to the bottom of my latest burning question: do owls wink?