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The future home of School Of Rock.
The future home of School Of Rock.

School of Rock crashing into Shorewood

School Of Rock will open Saturday, Oct. 12 at 4050 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood. 

The franchise, owned by Richard "Rock" Marasco, will provide lessons for young people ages 8-18 and the opportunity to perform concerts in public.

"Basically, we teach kids how to be in a rock and roll band," says Marasco.

Marasco says he plans to hire about 20 musicians to teach guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. (Sorry, kids, Jack Black will not be one of them.)

The school also has classes on performance, recording and more.

Founded 10 years ago in Philadelphia, School of Rock operates more than 100 schools around the world.

For more information, go here.

Sometimes something is purpose-free.
Sometimes something is purpose-free.

Why is this big orange thing outside a chicken restaurant?

Today was another episode of "I’ve driven past this dozens of times and I must find out what it is."

Located in front of Fiesta Garibaldi Chicken Palace, 1937 W. Forest Home Ave., is a large orange – or maybe a mango – structure. It looks like a citrus-themed spaceship as well as something that kids could climb on or interesting outdoor seating.

It’s actually none of these things.

Enclosed by a small white picket fence, it’s not accessible to the public. I could see from outside the little fence that inside the "mouth" of the orange (or mango) is a sink and work space.

Suddenly, it reminded me of the root beer barrels at festivals.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I went in and asked an employee the purpose of the fruit.

"I have no idea," she said.

So I asked another employee, and she told me it was supposed to be used at street festivals to serve mango drinks, but they did not use it as such. (Ah ha! So it is a mango!) Instead, it serves as an attraction for the restaurant.

"People like to have their picture taken next to it," she said.

Good enough for me. So I went back outside and took a picture of it.

The beautiful Elizabeth Kay.
The beautiful Elizabeth Kay.

Popular radio host gets real on air

Last week, Jimmy Fallon went on the "Today" show and talked about his joy over the recent birth of his daughter, Winnie. He also shared that he and his wife endured five years of infertility before opting to hire a surrogate.

This interview resonated with Elizabeth Kay from the Morning Mix on 99.1.

During an audio blog with show co-host Kidd O’Shea, Elizabeth disclosed that she and her husband, Aaron, have been struggling to have a baby for two years and even had a miscarriage last April.

I am not surprised by this emotional announcement. I have had the pleasure of being on the air with Elizabeth numerous times and have always found her to be an extremely intelligent and genuine woman.

Elizabeth shared details from the experience, including the devastating second ultrasound where they found out the heart had stopped beating.

"It was really, really tough," Elizabeth said. "You keep asking, ‘Why did this happen?’"

Close friends and relatives empathized with her and even told her quietly that they, too, had miscarriages.

"It’s such a shame we don’t talk about it," said Elizabeth.

I believe that by telling her story, Elizabeth helped couples living with infertility to remember they are not alone in their difficulties and with their thoughts and feelings.

"I was mad at God. I was confused, looking at my fertile family and asking, ‘What’s wrong with me?’" Elizabeth said.

Like so many couples, there does not seem to be a medical reason for Elizabeth’s and Aaron’s inability to have a baby. Elizabeth says they have tried everything from acupuncture to western medical procedures to tracking to not trying.

Sometimes it just takes time. But time takes patience and patience is extremely difficult to muster when someone wants something so badly. (Meanwhile, everyone else seems to be having a baby.)

"I wish more women would talk about it," she said.

We live in a society where we believe, with hard work and determination, we can achieve anything. Th…

Six shots, two chocolates. No surprise that I left my computer at the restaurant.
Six shots, two chocolates. No surprise that I left my computer at the restaurant.
Jameson makes you happy.
Jameson makes you happy.

Whiskey tasting primes the pump for Irish Fest

Today, along with two coworkers, I went to John Hawks Pub at noon and sat down to a placemat topped with six shots of whiskey.

After making our jokes about liquid lunching like it’s 1959, we spent the next hour with Jameson representative Eoin Derham who told us about the history of Jameson and other fun factoids like that the founder, John Jameson, had 16 kids which is believed to have started the "whiskey makes you frisky" adage.

Derham, who lives in Dublin but is in the United States for a year to expand the Jameson market, told us that Wisconsin is a large consumer of whiskey. (Not surprisingly, in this Land O’Lushes.)

Derham is in Brew City to promote the product both around town and at Irish Fest this weekend.

There are two Jameson lounges at Irish Fest where whiskey lovers can sample different whiskeys or enjoy a variety of Jameson cocktails including the Bloody Molly (a Bloody Mary made with whiskey instead of vodka.)

During our lunch tasting, we sampled six different kinds of Jameson (not entire shots, mind you, or else I would not be able to type this right now) including classic Jameson, Paddy, Powers, Black Barrel, Midletown and Redbreast.

I loved ‘em all. I really did. But I’m an Irish whiskey drinker in general.

If forced to pick, I’d go with the Jameson Black Barrel, which has hints of fruit and vanilla and a slightly "woody" aftertaste. At under $40 a bottle, it’s also somewhat realistically in my booze budget. I also really appreciated the smoothness of the Midleton and Redbreast but, never having developed a discerning enough palate, probably wouldn’t spend $120 on a bottle.

Here’s what the other whiskey samplers had to say.

Hannah Becker intern
Being a 22-year-old college student, my knowledge of good whiskey started and ended with Jameson. So needless to say, I had a blast learning how whiskey is made and what makes each type unique.

Starting out with Jameson was perfect since I already kno…