It was great to have that week of down time in NYC in between NoirCon and Muskego. Necessary, really. I read. Caught up with friends. Took my dog to the park. Recharged my batteries. By the end of the week, I was ready to dive back in to the action.
We left my old stomping grounds on Friday morning, heading for cold, cold Milwaukee. My dog Butch knows the airport routine. He’s a jet-setter who’s flown all over the country and charmed the pants off everyone along the way. Up until that point, we’d always had friendly, accommodating airline staff willing to bend the rules and look the other way in order to make sure Butch was comfortable on the plane. When we were delayed during a stopover on our way to NoirCon, one of the flight crew took Butch out onto the tarmac for a pitstop so he wouldn’t have to hold it till Philly. I guess we’ve been spoiled because I was really surprised when we wound up with a bitchy anti-dog Nazi for a flight attendant on the way to Milwaukee.
As I was boarding the plane, I had the top of Butch’s carrier unzipped so he could look out. Yes, I realize that’s against the rules, but are his little ears really gonna cause some kind of apocalyptic safety hazard? Anyway, this bitch sees his head poking out and says, “That pet carrier needs to be zipped up while you’re on this aircraft.” There’s a big line of people behind me waiting to get on, so I tell Miss Texas 1981 that I’ll zip him up when I get to my seat. She tells me, “Ma’am, you need to zip that carrier up right now!”
Needless to say, he only stayed zipped up and under the seat as long as that bitch was looking. Nobody shoves Noirdog under the seat! And, gee, what do you know, the plane didn’t crash. Nobody died from allergies, or even noticed he was there. Because, unlike most people’s obnoxious, shrieking, e-coli contaminated toddlers, Butch is clean, quiet and well trained.
My lovely con-wife Judy Bobalik was there to pick us up at the Milwaukee airport and take us to the Iron Horse Hotel. Man, is this place great! Cool, quirky, and dog-friendly. I’ve always had a thing for old, industrial buildings, and if it wasn’t so fucking cold (shut up, you Eskimo Midwesterners, it was too!) I would have really loved to spend more time exploring the neighborhood. It was my first time in Milwaukee, really my first time anywhere in the Midwest other than Chicago, and I still don’t really feel like I got to know the city at all. Just the one block stretch between the hotel and the Jordan’s apartment.
Butch had his first doggy nose-to-nose encounter of the weekend, with Anthony Neil Smith’s Frenchie mix Herman. It did NOT go well. Butch doesn’t take kindly to hyper young whippersnappers who want to bounce all over him. It got growly pretty quick and I had to put the kibosh on any further interaction. The next day, Butch met another dog that was more to his liking, but we’ll get to that in the next post.
That evening’s plans involved a meet and greet at the library, followed by dinner and drinks at the Jordans. When the time came to head over to the library, an enormous, astoundingly gaudy bachelor party limo showed up to take us there. Not quite as awesome as the legendary Chicken Limo from Indianapolis, but still pretty pimpin’. The only two things missing were a hot tub and a stripper pole. Given the low ceiling, it would have to be a very short pole. Which then led to dueling smartphones as Kat Richardson and Victor Gicshler furiously googled contact info for a midget stripper in the Milwaukee area. Kat won. Much to my dismay, I couldn’t get anyone to chip in with me and actually book Cupcake for the evening. Maybe next year…