Friday, October 22, 2010

The Toilets of Appleton, Wisconsin

I have been in Appleton, Wisconsin for about 36 hours. On Wednesday night, not long after my arrival, my friend Alison took me to a sushi restaurant. Yes, it was delicious. And I drank sake. But that's not what I want to discuss here. What I want to discuss here is the apparent preference of Appletonians for odd Japanese/European toilets.
Let me explain. After eating sushi and drinking sake and about five glasses of water, I had to pee (it happens to the best of us). So I went into the bathroom at the sushi restaurant. The toilet had a heated seat which, in a public place, is a bit unnerving. Also, it had all these tubes and hoses affixed to the toilet, for various purposes (you can imagine), which made me afraid to sit on it, lest my nether regions were suddenly bathed in warm water. This did not happen.
Well, that was strange, but then last night we went to a fancy non-Japanese restaurant and they too had a crazy/fancy toilet, with a warmed seat and a control panel on the wall for how you wanted the water to spray out and whether you wanted it on your rear or forward parts.
Holy cow, Appleton! What's the deal? Even though I am not a fan of said toilet I can somewhat understand how there could be a Japanese toilet in a Japanese restaurant. I do not, however, understand the presence of a strange, perhaps European, toilet in a regular old fancy restaurant. The only plausible explanation is that Appletonians love their heated toilet seats and fancy bidet style cleansing mechanisms and somehow the restaurantuers of the Fox City region somehow discovered this information (how? diner comment cards?) and have implemented these toilets because, for some reason, the toilets affect how much the diners like their food.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Live from Appleton...

Here are a few of my thoughts from yesterday, gathered in retrospect as I sit here sipping coffee and thinking about how I should probably be drinking water...
  • There is a lot of farmland in the Midwest. This as I flew into Minneapolis-St. Paul. Big squares of brown, and dark brown and corn colored fields and fields of wheat. Also silos and big red barns. Also, sploches of intense red trees and rivers that looked like pieces of yarn that had been flung down. I wish I had an abstract painting of this view. Someone would say, "Oh look. Squares of brown and black and green," but I would know that it was a painting of farmland.
  • Hello! Water! Many, many, many lakes. Little circles and some shaped like tiny fish. Also, rivers. Also, water coming from the sky,  known as rain.
  • Holy Old Fashioned, Batman! These midwesterners know how to drink. And by that I mean, a Gulp sized drink made of brandy and god knows what else. For $3.50. And the whole bar was lit up like Christmas. And some guy in a button-down shirt was dancing next to the bar. To Simon & Garfunkel. 
  • Did you know that there is a drink size at 7-11 called The Gulp? This is the small. Then there is The Big Gulp, which is apparently a medium. This is apropos of the above "Gulp sized drink." I only know this because on Tuesday, when I felt a little high from my massage, I had to stop for a Cherry Coke and I got a Gulp, not Big Gulp, size. 
  • Sushi. Apparently you can get good sushi in Wisconsin. Also, I had sake.
  • Talking with my friend last night, I got several good ideas. Which reminded me that when visual artists and writers get together = KABOOM! So I need to be thinking these collaborative thoughts more often.
  • In room coffee = gack! Even if the label says "Wolfgang Puck."
  • The Wisconsin Fish Fry: ubiquitous. Apparently I am in for a treat. I can't wait to get to the VFW on Friday night, even though I am not Catholic and I think Friday is a fine time for rare steak. Also, I guess I have to drink beer from a can with it. 
  • More later.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Wish I Had Something To Blog About

...but instead I have grading. And laundry. Oh yeah, that. And so much of it. Also, there are dishes.
I know, here I am on the interwebs, writing for god's sake, when the house is being overrun by piles of paper that seem so much more organized than I am.
So what it is that blocks the hyper-productivity that I imagine for myself in some far off otherworldly place where women write and, oh, I don't know, someone else scrubs the bathroom sink, does the grocery shopping and makes dinner?
What ever could it be?
  1. The interwebs
  2. Facebook
  3. Working out (okay, we all know that's #1)
  4. Grading
  5.  Life in general
  6. Self-doubt
  7. Reading
  8. Crossfit videos
  9. Thinking about why I'm not writing
  10. Liking to do other things