Gave this blog a major facelift today. Avoidance behavior for moving to Modern Persian Lesson 7. Sometimes my brain stops being absorbent in finite stretches of time, and this is one of those times. I need to do something menial for a while.

In other news, looking at these posts, this is a lot about ME and not a bunch about MADISON! I don’t like that, so I’ll attempt to put in some tidbits about Madison.

  • People still won’t shut up about the damn Snuggle House. This is a professional snuggling establishment that just opened on East Main, blocks from me and around the corner from where I work. There was, at first, a fair amount of fretting that this would turn into some sort of backroom “massage parlor” front not unlike the nail salon in Bethesda that was recently shut down for being a prostitution front. Madison, being the progressive place that it is, does not stigmatize sex workers – most of the people were actually worrying instead about how said hypothetical sex workers might be treated. But the Snuggle House was very transparent about its sexual harassment policies, its employee protection procedures, and so on. Most people, at this point, got tired of talking about the Snuggle House. I was one of them. In moving to Madison I had gotten used to the one thing about it that was truly Midwestern – the “mind your own business” culture. That is how I feel about Snuggle House: I will not patronize this establishment, because I have better things to do and I can’t afford it, but I don’t care if you do. An Isthmus column made a very good point in this respect: “Snuggle House good or Snuggle House bad? Try thinking of it like this: If you patronized the Snuggle House for anything other than a lark (that is, if you were really in the market for professional cuddling), would you be proud to tell others you did so, or embarrassed?” And again: “I’m tired of Madison wringing its hands over the Snuggle House. We’ve fretted over it so much that we’re starting to look ridiculous. Just let the damn business open and get on with your life. You want to pay for cuddling? Be my guest. You want to cuddle with your partner instead? Fine. How about we all just do what we want and instead obsess over something that really matters.” My thoughts exactly! But people wouldn’t quit, so Isthmus sent a reporter there to check it out. Talk about a quiet city – if this is what’s controversial in Madison, I’ll take it, I guess.
  • Thong Cape Scooter Man was sighted again on the way to work today. Truly a unique character. What a guy.
  • Kabul and Hüsnü’s, two South Asian mainstays of State Street, are being torn out for a high-rise. This is not boding well with longtime residents of the corridor, who say that their neighborhood’s character is being sacrificed for the profit of new development. I’d have to agree, though I have a less influential voice here. Mayor Solgin doesn’t seem to have an opinion, which makes sense – the State Street Mall was his original brainchild, but this is a good move for Madison’s greater economy.
  • Madland ran a post called “Is the city of Madison greatest/the most racist city in the US?” As it concludes, I think we fall somewhere in the middle. I certainly don’t think we’re the most racist city in America. You could do a lot worse. Chicago and Milwaukee both come to mind, regionally speaking.
  • In sports, Wisconsin lost to Penn State today, which means that they’re pretty much out for a Bowl bid.
  • Our Republican-controlled State Legislature recently passed an extremely controversial measure that creates Choose Life license plates. Democrats have proposed a parallel measure for drivers with pro-choice views such as myself. Few Wisconsinites believe that this measure, if passed, would get past “Scumbag Scottie.” This is not the first time that our current government has done this – when the State Legislature was out of session over the Independence Day holiday, Walker signed a restrictive ultrasound bill that is currently being challenged in federal courts.
  • Our state has started de-icing our roads with cheese brine. (If you can think of a more Wisconsin sentence than that, please let me know.) Apparently it’s cheaper than rock salt.

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