7th - Anja Notanja Sieger

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...

Peasant With Potomac Fever Ning-Nongs

I’m fifty-seven and one day old today.

I walk dogs.

Pitbulls.

Never mind all the bad PR that they’ve gotten

they only get nasty if you abuse them

or

if you train them to be killers,

to fight in the ring against other dogs

my friend and…

05 Feb 10:36 AM 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...

The Underwood Typewriter Girl of 1945

I am sitting at my Remington, clacking away at the lobby’s desk when a man approaches me. Chuck, a New York businessman, tells me about his mother, Anne Bernich, who served as Underwood’s Typewriter Girl of 1945. According to Chuck, “Although her typing skills were amazing, she was…

06 Jan 4:43 PM 0 Read More...

To Properly Crash A Wedding You Just...

In the lounge by the fire I meet a clump of kids and their parents. There are six empty mugs of hot cocoas and the dad tells me they all came here to enjoy the holiday décor. The nearest décor (that I suddenly notice with fresh décor…

03 Jan 9:53 PM 0 Read More...

Wasn’t One of Our Ancestors a French Bishop Or Something?

Two of my second cousins are in town

so my Grandma and Mom take us all out

to a Monday noon lunch at the Pfister café.

My cousin Courtney, lifelong Texas resident

introduces us to her new husband, Michael

who, to our collective delight is as Wisconsin as

Green Bay…

01 Jan 5:36 PM 1 Read More...

In Which I Get A Massage

A few weeks into December, a generous and innovative customer commissioned me to typewrite five short stories to give to their various family members on Christmas day. Being the purist that I am, I decided that all the drafts for these stories should also be crafted on a typewriter. After…

28 Dec 11:43 PM 1 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...

Santa and His Retired Friends From The C.I.A.

On a Friday night in December, there is man in a Santa hat having a drink with a bunch of his friends in the lounge. To make conversation I ask him why he’s got that hat on (though the reason is obvious) and one of his many friends says…

20 Dec 8:58 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 Short Man

A guest in the lobby told the following story that took place over thirty years ago. He told me four other stories similar to this in the period of an hour.

 

I get a phone call from Short Man, he wants to see me. We were best friends in…

13 Dec 12:06 PM 0 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...
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