Life continues swimmingly here in Appleton, Wisconsin. More hanging out with great kids and librarians (and very cool principals which is always a welcome surprise). More conversations about books and life and teens and culture and what is important. I took the Best Nap of the Century during my break and woke up feeling ready to take on the world.
Here are some things that amuse/intrigue me about this part of the country:
Human-scale living: most of the buildings downtown are only two or three stories tall. People smile at each other. Are these facts connected?
Great town names; stuff you say over and over again like incantations: Oshkosh, Neenah, Kaukauna, Menasha.
Extremely good hot wings served in the restaurant at my hotel.
Harry Houdini grew up here. (I have a bizarre fascination with him. Someone remind me to riff on that in a couple weeks.)
So did Edna Ferber.
They make paper here. Not so good for rivers. Very good for authors and readers.
The slightly Scandinavian accent around “o” vowels as pronounced by people who have lived here their whole lives.
Favorite image du jour. This is the popcorn machine that magically appears in the Madison Middle School staff room every Wednesday (Hump Day) to give teachers the extra boost they need to get through the rest of the week. I want a machine like this to magically appear at my apartment every Wednesday!!! It made Very Good popcorn. (Yes, I whined until they gave me some.)
Here are the some of the folks who came out to the Appleton Public Library tonight. Thanks!
Thursday morning at 9:15 I’ll be speaking at the Neenah Public Library. The rest of the day I’ll be at Appleton West High School. Tomorrow night from 7-8:45 pm I’ll be back at the Neenah Public Library. Friday I head to New London (not too far from here) and on Friday night – if the weather cooperates – I head back to PA.