What's so complicated about ordering water?
What's so complicated about ordering water?

The bartender's five-letter word

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Hornitos, OR-G, Party Armor, Red Stag, Absolut, Fireball and Malibu – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

You hear it often, in some bars more than others. Usually the word makes an appearance once a bar patron is a few drinks in. Sometimes it's uttered within minutes of bellying up to the bar. It elicits mixed reactions from bartenders everywhere, and I guarantee you've used it yourself.

What is this controversial word I'm talking about?


Ordering a water at a bar is a lot like playing Russian roulette. No matter how well-intentioned you are, there's always a chance you'll get "the look." I'm sure you've seen it: the dead-behind-the-eyes apathetic face that tells you you've already been written off with an unspoken "Well, why are you at a bar then?"

Bar patrons obviously have a right to ask for a glass of water, and there are multiple reasons to do so: You're the designated driver. You're already a few in. Your friends wanted to go out, but you're just not feeling it. All perfectly acceptable.

So, why hate on H2O? Simple. Bartenders know they're probably not going to get tipped. Bar-goers generally treat asking for water like a time-out round. If you don't have to pay, you don't have to tip, right?

Not quite. What you're paying for when you tip is a service. Think of it like a restaurant: If you get your meal at 50 percent off, it's still proper etiquette to tip your server on the full 100. The same principle applies here. Just because it's a bar doesn't mean you can get away with not being polite.

Obviously, if your bartender is terrible, it's your money and you can dole it out accordingly. I'm not your mother and I can't tell you how to behave. But, at the risk of sounding like her, at least try to say th…

"The Artist" took home a total of five Oscars, including one for Best Picture.
"The Artist" took home a total of five Oscars, including one for Best Picture.

Who won what at the Oscars

The 84th Annual Academy Awards awarded its coveted gold statues honoring some of 2011's best film performances Sunday, Feb. 26.

While "The Artist" took home expected wins for Best Picture, Best Actor and Directing in addition to Costume Design and Original Score, surprise underdog "Hugo" took command of the technical awards with five Oscar wins.

Get the complete list of winners and nominees below. Category winners are noted with an asterisk.

Best Picture
*The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
*Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
*Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
*Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Actress in a Supporting Role
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
*Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated Feature Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Costume Design
*The Artist
Jane Eyre

*Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Documentary Short
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Big…

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in "Wanderlust," in theaters today.
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in "Wanderlust," in theaters today.

"Wanderlust" ends the search for big-screen funny this weekend

Look no further than the nearest theater playing "Wanderlust" for your comedy fix this weekend. Re-teaming the guys behind "Role Models," this new venture is a laugh-out-loud mix of sharp humor, over-the-top parodies and – naturally – awkward full-frontal nudity.

"Wanderlust" opens with husband-and-wife duo George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) still struggling with the hectic lives they've convinced themselves they need to have to feel like they've "made it." In short order, both end up out of work and are forced to leave their overpriced, glorified closet of a studio apartment to move in with George's jackass brother Rick (co-writer Ken Marino) and his wife Marissa (Michaela Watkins).

The lead-in has its share of laughs, but – literally and figuratively – that's just the beginning. En route from New York City to George's brother's house in Atlanta, the couple stumbles upon the hippie commune (apologies – "Intentional community") of Elysium.

Right about here I mentally cut to the writers' room and an exchange that probably went something like this:

"How do we make d*mn sure the audience knows this is where the hippies come in?"

"Gratuitous male nudity, duh."

And so, the first slice of hippie life George and Linda (and the audience) are treated to is an extended full-frontal of Wayne the nudist (played shamelessly by Joe LoTruglio).

From here the audience is introduced to the cast of caricatures that make up the Elysium community (and many more opportunities for naked Wayne jokes). While the sheer number of quirky hippie weirdos overwhelmed me at first, "Wanderlust" does a great job of managing them and keeping the stereotypical jokes from falling flat.

What also helps prevent hippie burn-out (I couldn't help myself) are the scenes at Rick and Marissa's yuppie abode interspersed between time at Elysium. Not content to simply make fun of the hippies, the movie takes this opportunity to skewer the upper class, too.

The hysterical douchebag…

Losing the Times and Rosebud cinemas is a hard blow for Milwaukee film.
Losing the Times and Rosebud cinemas is a hard blow for Milwaukee film.

Times, Rosebud closings mark sad ends to two Milwaukee movie landmarks

Today was a day of mourning for Milwaukee moviegoers. When news broke that The Times and Rosebud cinemas would close their doors at the end of the month, it spread quickly. Remorse, questions, pleas and calls to action soon flooded the theaters' respective Facebook pages, clearly illustrating the impact these independent movie houses had on their fans.

Unfortunately, business is business, as co-owner Larry Widen put it, and no eleventh-hour fundraiser is going to bring these two pieces of Milwaukee cinema history back from foreclosure. They'll finish off the weekend quietly, the theaters will go dark for good, and that - tragically - will be that.

"The bank has chosen not to work with us anymore, and we've been asked to leave," said Widen. "We're going to try to get through the weekend as best we can and hold our heads up and not really talk about it too much with the customers other than to say, 'Yeah, it is too bad.'"

The two theaters have suffered at the hands of many things, chief among them economic downturns and the struggles of keeping a single-screen theater viable in a big-screen-focused environment.

"These last couple of years have been tough economic times, and we've just been fighting valiantly, David (Glazer) in particular," said Widen. "We really tried our best. We can't get these (theaters) back.

"I don't know that we would be in this position today if we had been able to put on the extra screens that we were looking to do. The single-screen theaters are very, very hard in this market to run. As quaint as the Times and the Rosebud are, as much emotion as people have for them, at the end of the day, people want choice. It prevented us from becoming stronger financially so we could have warded off what's happening now."

There's no mistaking the sorrow expressed by the Times' and Rosebud's many devotees. Talking with Widen, who has made his work at the theaters a labor of love since 2007, the sadness and frustration is even more evident.

"A 'shame…