Pfister Hotel

Coke A Cola and the Meanderthal

When I first discovered Coke’s name

to be Coke,

I admit, I was taken aback

with the fact that it is the unusual title

for this amiable human

I often see in the lobby.

But Coke is used to the awe

of people discovering his name,

and ups the…

21 Mar 1:08 PM 0 Read More...

Whispering, 1925

My term as Pfister narrator is almost up, so yesterday I finally booked a room.  My best friend Jessie drove in from Ann Arbor for the occasion.   Jessie promptly plopped on the plush puff bed as soon as we had entered and perused our room, #332.

She then jumped to…

16 Mar 11:32 PM 1 Read More...

A Psychometric Questionairre

Yeah, humans are social creatures

you know, we see faces

inside clouds, fungus and tea stains.

Children conduct full-length conversations

with “pet” rocks and plush dinosaurs,

then as adults, they still try to assign meaning

to their frighteningly mysterious days

through science, philosophy, religion,

art, astrology or psychology.

Pfister…

28 Feb 11:58 PM 0 Read More...

When you look at some modern art it can stump you.

Barbara has been giving tours for the Milwaukee Art Museum over a half century.

“When I first came to the museum, there were eight employees.”

This January I started my fifty-second year.

I retired when I was 50,

but I’m still going in,

teaching and working

‘cause I…

24 Feb 11:46 AM 0 Read More...

A Mom Letter and a Dad Letter

I was taking a picture of the roses in the lobby when Val, the bartender summoned me over to see something. I took a stool at the bar and waited for a moment as Val rustled around in her bag, elbow deep.  At last she exclaimed “Ah!” and pulled out…

19 Feb 12:26 PM 0 Read More...

This is Howard. I just met him in the kitchen.

Anja: How long have you worked in room service?

 

Howard: Nine months.

 

Anja: What does that all entail?

 

Howard: Well… amenities, doing orders, and uh, being very uh… kind and gentle with guests hospitality wise. You make them feel wanted, and if they want anything, you do…

13 Feb 7:30 PM 0 Read More...

Butter on a Plate & Hat Swapping in the Bathroom

The whole hotel is my beat so I’ve got to drift.
I’ve got to find the swirled butter on the plate.

Regard this spiraled stack of paper napkins. This miniscule, considered bit of hospitality intrigues me.

 I like to chase the shadows of bicyclists with my camera from…

10 Feb 4:53 PM 0 Read More...

What I'm Whytching in the Pfister

Concierge Peter suggests

we all need to practice

“whytching,”

watching our surroundings

while wondering why,

or how is it like that?

To behave like the elated toddler

who discovers everything is dimensional:

it can be crawled over, pulled, pushed

bitten and unraveled to reveal

what is at the end,

and…

02 Feb 3:14 PM 1 Read More...

We Ate Our Last Meal Together At The Pfister

We ate our last lunch together at the Pfister,

my Grandma and I

and family,

I wrote a story about it the other week,

except then I did not know it would be our last meal

when I sat next to Grandma

and we both ordered the salmon salad

from…

17 Jan 12:30 PM 0 Read More...

The Backside of Everything You Will Never Think About

Roving the lounge

I roll up to a family

with one of those dual seat strollers

and make my introduction,

“Are those two ‘youngins’ twins?”

“They are almost Irish twins,” says the mama.

Irish twins?

I’ve never heard

of that one

what does that mean?

 

Says mother:

“In…

12 Jan 9:29 AM 0 Read More...

“could you please send me a boyfriend who does yoga?”

 

Katherine has been coming here for years

she was married for three decades

to a man who came to the Pfister to just to jog.

He died ten years ago

so, recently she asked the divine,

“could you please send me a boyfriend who does yoga?”

After she asked…

23 Dec 10:29 PM 0 Read More...

The Gifts In Life Have Nothing To Do With Money

Jennifer is here. She just quit her job as the director of a troupe of tribal belly dancers. I learn that tribal belly dancing is more athletic than traditional. Apparently traditional belly dancing much more wiggly.   I believe it, having taken belly dancing in college and finding it fairly impossible…

15 Dec 11:07 PM 1 Read More...

The Woman Who Eats Cake Every Day

Debbie was working as a pastry chef when a customer came in wanting a cake like the one they saw in Martha Stewart Magazine. The customer said they’d been to every bakery in town, but no one would do it. Debbie was shocked to hear that, but the bakery…

09 Dec 6:52 PM 2 Read More...

The Rock of the Day

There is a couple from Madison that comes here every year. They spend the week after thanksgiving sitting quietly side by side in the Pfister café, the wife with an unidentified electronic contraption, the husband with a book of games to solve. It is a docile, wintry afternoon, one in…

05 Dec 12:28 PM 0 Read More...

Too Old For Santa's Knee

The day after Thanksgiving, Santa makes an appearance at the Pfister Hotel the same evening as the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.  That’s great, kids love the opportunity to tell the man direct what it is they wish for.  But what about everyone else?  Once you grow up you still…

29 Nov 6:43 PM 0 Read More...

"What Are You Doing For Thanksgiving?"

 

The following people shared their Thanksgiving Plans:

 

Name: Ariana

Location: Artist studio

Context: One Pfister Artist Niki’s interns, Arianna spent her day crocheting condoms into upholstery for Niki’s fainting couch.

“I’m going to my fake aunt’s house. I actually met her on the bus…

26 Nov 9:38 PM 0 Read More...

Employee Benefit Implementors Ruminate While Sipping Glog

The following monologue was created from a conversation I had with two women as they waited for Val to serve them some hot glog. Note: multiple voices and perspectives speak as one.

 

We’re not down here too often

we work in Brookfield and have clients here

so we…

23 Nov 11:28 PM 0 Read More...

Sevens And Apples

 

Right now in the Mystery that is the Pfistery,
there is a basket out in the lobby
a tisket, a tasket of apples,
all sized small
enough
to keep inside my blazer pocket

my pocket’s apple is named King David

cause I’m told these are King David…

20 Nov 2:08 PM 0 Read More...

Shrunken Heads of Old Men & Angels of Light Hibiscus

 

Each time I go to work someone from the staff is bound to show me something.

 

Once, Rick the bellhop tells me about his boston terrier, Mugsy.

“She grows more and more into a creature every day, and less like a dog. She has creature tendencies.”

Such as…

16 Nov 2:50 PM 0 Read More...

Eavesdropping in the Pfister

I am sitting in Blu by myself so that no one will distract me as I eavesdrop in on the conversations. Some old ladies are giggling about martinis. An old man is taking all the plush chairs away from my table to build a nest for all his companions. One…

12 Nov 1:17 PM 0 Read More...

"Don’t worry, I’ll hold your monkey"

The following story was copied only by memory. Bob requested that there be no pictures taken of him or recordings of his voice. I did not have a pad to write on. This is not how I usually do things, but I liked the challenge.

 

Bob and his lady…

30 Oct 10:27 PM 1 Read More...

She Works 7 Days A Week As A Fashion Designer

“My biggest bugaboo is blue jeans, sweatshirts, flat shoes.

I can’t stand it.

Every time I get on an airplane,

I’m over in Italy,

I’m over in Paris,

I’m over London,

I can tell without even asking which gate I’m supposed to go to

where…

20 Oct 12:23 PM 0 Read More...

A Room Full of Barometric Gages

Inside the rouge ballroom is a top-secret gathering of the stylish.

 

The nation’s first four-year fashion program (Milwaukee’s own Mount Mary College!) is holding a reception for AIDS awareness. There is to be a conversation between Timothy Gunn, American fashion icon who hosts the television…

15 Oct 9:54 PM 0 Read More...

Pin the Eagle On the Mother

Five moments of learning from the past week at the Pfister.

 

1.

A kid from Chicago comes to my typewriter and gawks. I allow him to type whatever he wants:

“HAa Liamisthe greatest Pat and Kerianne suck and wish they could do this hahah”

 

2.

A girl comes…

12 Oct 3:21 PM 0 Read More...

Anyway, I Was Converted

Here is the conversion story of Monica who joins her friends Jan and Tom at the Pfister every Sunday after they all attend mass at St. Catherine’s.

 

“I hated it.

I was opposed to it on moral grounds.

Disgusting,

brutal,

a waste of time.

 

Then the Packers…

07 Oct 10:55 PM 0 Read More...
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