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A strange expression explained.
A strange expression explained. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)

Colder than a witch's what?

Winter zoomed into Milwaukee like a witch on a broom, and so did the expression "colder than a witch’s tit." I’ve heard it multiple times in recent days and decided to find out where this odd saying came from.

Personally, it never made sense to me since I imagine witches in front of cauldrons or bonfires, which, one would think, would make their tits quite toasty.

However, the expression most likely came from how witches are portrayed – cold blooded and green-skinned, which seems reptilian-y and cold to the touch. The metaphor could also be derived from the misguided belief that a witch is in alliance with Satan, so she presumably has no maternal feelings and is unable to suckle a child.

Regardless of its origin, the expression is an oldie but a goody, one that tends to fly around like snowflakes in the wind on a blustery Brew City evening.

Free booze bubbler!
Free booze bubbler!

Drink Wisconsinbly and SoulBoxer are giving away free booze bubbler

You might have dreamed of a "Booze Bubbler," but did you know Drink Wisconsinbly Pub actually has one that dispenses SoulBoxer Brandy Old Fashioned? But wait, it gets better: they are giving it away.

"Since the launch of SoulBoxer, we were searching for a way to showcase the Wisconsin soul of the brand," says Jason Neu, SoulBoxer co-founder. "And this bubbler was it."

Drink Wisconsinbly’s table-top bubbler – which has been in use since February – was created to dispense SoulBoxer Old Fashioneds but can be used with any liquid. (Note: Boozy liquids are highly recommended.)

"We realize people can’t visit the Pub and our bubbler every day," says Richard Lorbach, Drink Wisconsinbly’s founder. "So we figured out a way to bring the Bubbler to them."

One lucky winner will receive the Bubbler, keg and necessary CO2 equipment to make the bubbler do its thing. Anyone 21 years old or older can enter by visiting or by stopping by Drink Wisconsinbly, 135 E.National Ave. Entries close on Friday, Dec. 30. 

"Somebody is going to have the best Christmas ever," says Lorbach.

Dominic Inouye is the current Pfister Narrator.
Dominic Inouye is the current Pfister Narrator. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)

Meet the Pfister's writer; apply to be the hotel's artist

Check in early and stay late during OnMilwaukee's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. The next seven days will be packed with stories about historic area hotels, reviews, history, food and drink, staycations and more. Find out what it's like to be a tourist in this town. (Chocolate on your pillow not included.)

The Pfister Hotel’s Artist-in-Residence and Hotel Narrator (writer-in-residence, of which I was one) programs have been celebrated since their inception almost nine years ago. Both programs provide a paid, one-year position to a carefully selected visual artist and a writer to artistically represent the hotel.

The artist works from inside an open studio on the ground floor of the hotel and guests are encouraged to watch the artist work and engage with him or her. The narrator wanders the public spaces – including the Lobby Lounge and The Pfister Cafe – talking with and listening to guests to find content for The Pfister’s blog. Both the artist and the writer work on a variety of other creative projects during their tenure.

Currently, The Pfister is in search of its next Artist in Residence to move into the studio April 1, 2017. The deadline for applications is Dec. 5. Interested artists can download the application here. Abstract expressionist painter Pamela Anderson is the current Artist in Residence.

The Pfister Narrator will be chosen in early spring 2017, but OnMilwaukee recently checked in with current narrator, Dominic Inouye, who started the position on May 1, 2016. Inouye was also profiled today about his ZIPMKE project. He chats here about his life as a hotel writer: what he's learned, what he's doing and where he's going with the opportunity.

OnMilwaukee: What have you learned so far as The Pfister Narrator?

Dominic Inouye: This experience has been a lesson in many things. I’ve learned that sometimes I’m really shy. I guess I’ve always been. This job is about approaching guests and talking to them, and I’ve realized I’ve been mo…

Margaret Henningsen is fearless.
Margaret Henningsen is fearless.

Rad Milwaukee Woman: The Woman's Fund of Greater Milwaukee's Margaret Henningsen

Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event.  More information at

Margaret J. Henningsen, a community activist who has run The Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee since 2011, will retire on Friday. 

Henningsen has won more than 100 awards during her career, including the Black Enterprise Magazine Trailblazer Award; Milwaukee Business Journal Woman of Influence and the Professional Dimensions Sacagawea Award.

Currently she is the board chair and founding sponsor of the I Have A Dream Foundation and a Friends of Housing board member. Previously, she has served on dozens of boards for organizations including Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Habitat for Humanity, North Avenue Community Development Corporation and many more.

Henningsen’s favorite quote, by an unknown author, sums up her own rad approach to everyday living.

"Life is not a cautious journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body but rather to skid in broadside – thoroughly used up, completely worn out, proclaiming ‘WOW! What a ride!'"

OnMilwaukee: What is your personal "mission" with your work?

Margaret Henningsen: My personal mission is that all people – but especially women and girls – are treated with respect and dignity and are able to control their own destiny.

What do you personally receive from the work you do?

A quote I like comes to mind: "We rise when we lift others." That’s how I feel.

How do you define success?

Actually, I don’t define it in terms of myself because I am never 100 percent satisfied with what I am doing. Maybe it…