Essay

Since You Never Asked: "OMG You Need to Stop the LOL"

Feb 29, 2016
AR Images / Fotolia

Facebook made news last week when it rolled out a group of emoticons to go along with its infamous “like” button.  Those new options, like “wow” and “angry,” have generated perhaps predictable controversy.

No one asked Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West, but he believes the downfall of communication goes a fair amount further back:

Since you never asked…

Christopher Polk / / Getty Images

Lake Effect presents “Since You Never Asked” - a new series from contributor and essayist Jonathan West. This week, Jonathan rehearses his Oscar acceptance speech:

Since you never asked…

…here is my Academy Award acceptance speech.  You’ll hear it again, of course, when I win all the Oscars.

(Clears throat.) Uh, hmm.

Mr. George Clooney, when you just tore open that envelope and said my name, I literally could not believe my ears. I’m thrilled that I can now call you, “the handsome man who read my name off of a card.”

Essay: Love Lost

Feb 12, 2016
Takumi Yoshida / Flickr

If you needed reminding, Sunday is Valentine’s Day. And Lake Effect essayist Joanne Nelson uses the occasion to think about her Milwaukee girlhood and loves gone by.

Chris Connelly, flickr

All the concern about immigration and border security has Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank thinking about a time when, at least along the US/Canadian border, things were a little different.

Between Montreal, Quebec, and Syracuse, N.Y., there is a large river, high mountains and an international border. In the 1940s, when my Canadian father was courting my American mother, the border was the least of those barriers.

Sergey Nivens / Fotolia

As Lake Effect essayist Christianna Fritz learned at a young age, sometimes adults have a strange reaction to an otherwise perfectly innocent word:

Essay: Groundhog Day

Feb 2, 2016
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

By this point today, the famous groundhogs among us should have made their weather predictions for the winter.  But when you’re done reading the accounts of Punxatawney Phil and his colleagues, Lake Effect essayist Joanne Weintraub essayist Joanne Weintraub urges you to revisit a seasonally appropriate movie:

Essay: I'm Ready

Jan 28, 2016
Photographee.eu / Fotolia

Saving lives is part and parcel of being a doctor. But as essayist Dr. Bruce Campbell well knows, it’s not the only part:

Win McNamee / Getty Images

One of the longstanding issues that advocates for both private and public schools agree on is the need for more and better role models for disadvantaged kids in Milwaukee.  It’s an issue about which Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist has some optimism:

Civic discourse by nature is often contentious.

Passionate debate doesn’t necessarily inspire profound expression.

We are an opinionated society.

From talk radio.

To the political arena.

Or amid public discussion on the merits of building a new arena.

Essay: A Tribute to Angelo

Jan 23, 2016
Angelo's Piano Lounge / facebook.com

We lost Angelo Mortellaro last week. He was one of Milwaukee’s great characters and his former bar on Van Buren was the kind of place that is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape. Lake Effect essayist Marge Eiseman has this remembrance:

Essay: My Two Milestones

Jan 22, 2016
Hugh O'Neill / Fotolia

Lake Effect essayist Jerry Huffman recently turned 60 years old – and he already has already surpassed two big milestones for 2016. He reflects on how growing older has given him challenges not only professionally, but also physically after recovering from a stroke. Huffman explains how those events have changed his very definition of living:

jordi.martorell / Flickr

Does it feel to you like all the international news comes with a side order of doom and gloom?  Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says there are reasons to keep our collective chin up:

“Nattering nabobs of negativism,” is probably the most enduring of the many alliterative pronouncements of Spiro Agnew, Vice President in the Nixon administration until forced to resign because of corruption. This particular phrase, penned by Nixon speechwriter William Safire, derogatively denigrated diligent reporters for placing bad news above good.

oliverhuitson / Fotolia

Some might look wistfully at a picture of urban decay in their hometown like the images photographer Eric Holubow has captured in Milwaukee.  However Lake Effect essayist Christianna Frtiz has given quite a lot of thought to her personal idea of home:

Essay: What Is it Worth?

Jan 13, 2016
NWFblogs / Flickr

Have you filled up your car at the gas station recently?  Really, if you’ve filled up any time in the last few months, the trip feels like a walk down memory lane, at least when you pay the bill.  But Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank says gas prices need to be viewed in a larger context:

Antti T. Nissinen / Flickr

Lake Effect essayist Elaine Maly's birthday is tomorrow.  But as she looks ahead to the next one, she also looks back at a notorious one from her past:

Essay: Christmas Gifts

Dec 23, 2015
mac9416 / Flickr

Tomorrrow is Christmas Eve – or maybe more accurately, tomorrow night is Christmas Eve.  Some among us will open their presents at that juncture, while others will wait until Christmas itself.

For Lake Effect essayist Elaine Maly, the timing of the gifts isn’t really the issue:

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