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It's in the cards. Or it's not.
It's in the cards. Or it's not.

My experiences with tarot cards

It’s kind of a joke between me and my co-editors at that I’m on the "tarot card beat." The truth is, I have written a few articles over the last 12 years at about tarot and other occult-y topics.

That said, you won’t find me booth hopping at the psychic faire or wearing my weight in crystals around my neck. And yet, and yet ...

Twice I have received a tarot reading during an interview and, both times, the reading was extremely poignant.

The first time was by Teresa Reed in December of 201o. My father had passed away  the month before and I was feeling blue and I asked her when I was going to feel better. She told me in the spring of 2012. 

"You have one more really hard thing to go through," she said. "It’s going to dominate 2011 but will be over by the end of the year."

I was a little unnerved at first when she said this but refused to believe it. However, a few weeks later, my friend and colleague Tim Cuprisin told me – along with the other editors – that he had melanoma. We watched him fight, struggle and finally lose his battle with cancer just a month before the year’s end. (Actually, on the same day my father died, one year later, but that's another story …)

Sure, sure it could be sheer coincidence that Theresa "saw this" in the cards. But I don’t know.

I had a second reading last week with Jen Cintrón as part of my research for the article I wrote about this fascinating woman and she expressed my biggest fear in the exact words that I use in my own head.

I can’t explain more because putting words on it seems like it would make this fear even more plausible, but I am actually taking a couple of steps to try to proactively prevent my worst feat coming to fruition.

The best I can come up with is that when someone who is really committed to tarot cards puts their best energy into a reading, it will conjure issues that resonate. I will call it an "uncanny coincidence" but I am going t…

Ready for Game Night!
Ready for Game Night!

The gift of Game Night

Through its Miracle on Canal Street program, Potawatomi Bingo Casino donated $35,813 to 20 different charities. was again a corporate sponsor of the Miracle program this year and picked Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center as its partner charity.

Hence, the runaway shelter and education center received a check last week. 

Through the partnership, we – the staff – learned a lot about the organization and how much it does in the community to heal families. was truly moved by the group’s work and decided to make just one more offering to the awesome organization. The company purchased a few new board games and the staff brought in snack items and drinks to create a large "Game Night Package."

I had the honor of dropping off the goods. The staff was, once again, very appreciative and I imagined the kids around the large table in the kitchen area, enjoying a Sprecher and chips while playing the latest version of Clue.

I am planning to do more volunteer work in 2014. The city has so many wonderful organizations that are quietly but passionately working for change and improvement. I look forward to lending a hand and, they don’t know it yet, but my kids’ hands, too. 

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

See ya soon, Pastiche.
See ya soon, Pastiche.

My five "resolution" restaurants

I find myself going to a lot of the same restaurants because, well, I love them. However, I do make a point to visit new joints both for professional and personal reasons and am usually really glad that I did.

Here are five restaurants I hope to dine in at some point during the New Year. 

Braise. I live only a few blocks away from Braise and I walk or drive by it almost every day and yet, I have only had drinks there. Unforgivable.

Ono Kine Grindz. I am likely to visit this Tosa-based Hawaiian grocery store and deli sooner than later in 2014 because it seems like the perfect hour-long escape from a cold Wisconsin evening. Plus, the menu looks healthy and delicious. And I love pineapple.

Antigua Latin Restaurant. I love that Antigua offers Mexican food along with Latin, Cuban and Spanish entrees. My son is Guatemalan and Salvadoran and over the years I have learned to love both of those cuisines, too. As Milwaukeeans, we have many Mexican restaurants in our neighborhoods, but we get very accustomed to the same ol’ fare. This seems like a place on the short list of local eateries that goes beyond tacos and enchiladas.

Wolf Peach. I have never heard a negative comment about this place. People have raved about it since day one, and I really, really have to find out what all of the fuss is about. I really love this space and spent a few special occasions in there when it housed Roots restaurant.

Pastiche. I did pretty well with Bay View restaurants in 2013, and crossed both Odd Duck and Hue off of my must-try list, but one that I did not get to was Pastiche. It looks really warm and cozy whenever I go by and I also really like French food. I just never remember to go here for some reason. Can someone send me a reminder? (Not in French, s'il vous plaît.)

Big check.
Big check.
Little check.
Little check.

Miracle program awards $35,000 check to local runaway shelter

Through its Miracle on Canal Street program, Potawatomi Bingo Casino donated $1,074,391 to numerous local children’s charities. The total – which was announced during Friday’s grand finale – was the second highest amount the Miracle program has raised in a single year.

The 20 Miracle on Canal Street charities each received $35,813. was again a corporate sponsor of the Miracle program this year and picked Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center as its partner charity. 

This afternoon, Potawatomi employees presented an oversized – and a real-sized – check to Walker's Point executive director, Andre Olton. It was one of those genuine holiday spirit moments that are often referenced this time of year.

After the presentation, we were given a tour of the facility, told about the organization’s offerings and served lunch.

The casino also announced its 20-year grand total. Since its inception in 1994, the Miracle on Canal Street program has made 552 donations totaling more than $13.6 million to fund children’s programs throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

"I couldn’t be more pleased with the success of this year’s Miracle on Canal Street program," said Melanie Martin, bingo director at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. "It was the perfect ending to cap off our 20th anniversary celebration."

Once again, Potawatomi pays big.