Monday, July 22, 2019

Jimmy Buffett and Milwaukee

I hope my readers had a good weekend. I have already blogged about our fun Friday night, and most of Saturday we were very lazy. We drove to Elkhorn and ate at a drive-in that listed “tacos” on the menu as $1.99 but “mini tacos” as $3.69. Not sure how that makes sense… Then we drove to Alpine Valley to see Jimmy Buffett. Good thing we got there about an hour early, since we had no problems getting our rental chairs and finding a good spot on the hill. Apparently they oversold the concert, and some people couldn’t get in but had to stand way back in the parking area. Jimmy himself was great, very energetic despite his age and doing everything I wanted to hear (although I was unfortunately powdering my nose for the first half of “Pencil Thin Mustache”). He did his two liveliest numbers, “Volcano” and “Fruitcakes,” back to back, and had beautiful shots of the South Pacific as the background to his most spiritual song, “One Particular Harbor.” Getting out of the parking lot (which is all grass, causing some people to get stuck) was a two-hour adventure, and we didn’t get to bed until 3 am. We did get a beach towel to cover our rental chairs, which had been left out in the storm earlier that day, and we ended up with a tiny beach ball someone sent our way after the concert was over. There were lots of beach balls and inflatable sharks being tossed around during the concert, and when I saw everyone, I thought, “I have found my people!” – they were all wearing Hawaiian shirts.

Yesterday we went to a later Mass and then had brunch at the Manna CafĂ©. We headed to Milwaukee so Travalon could show me some cool things he discovered a couple of weekends ago when he went there while I was busy with the Early Music Festival. We walked down to a beach with big rocks you can sit on, enjoying the breeze and the view of sailboats out on the lake, then we went to the Oriental Theater, which is beautiful inside, to see The Last Black Man in San Francisco. It is a sort of slow-paced, slice-of-life movie about two black guys who move into an empty old Victorian house that one of them used to live in, with a timely message about gentrification. It’s happening to us on a smaller scale in Madtown with all these well-paid people moving in who work for the healthcare software company south of town. After the movie we went to a coffee shop with plants hanging from the ceiling for horchata-flavored cold brew coffee, then we tried some different things at the nearby food court: pasta, falafel, French fries, and brownies. We sat outside, enjoying the reasonable temperature after the furnace of the previous week. When we got home, I just collapsed into bed, being sleep-deprived from our late night on Saturday. I must have caught up – I popped out of bed before my alarm this morning.

Famous Hat

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Teal Beer

Thursday after work Travalon and I went to the "rooftop music" event the University has every third Thursday in the summer. I have been on the rooftop many times myself, but every time Travalon has gone, they hold it inside for various reasons - this time it was due to extreme heat. The band was All That Jazz, and they were really good! They didn't know my requests of "The Ramble" and "Topsy" (guess my taste in jazz is too old and obscure), but they did play Travalon's requests of "Summertime" and the John Coltrane version of "My Favorite Things." Their last song was "Fly Me to the Moon," which as many of my readers may remember was the first dance at our wedding, so we danced to it. We love those old standards!

Here are some photos from my noontime walk on Thursday down to the Allen Centennial Gardens. First, a lavender hibiscus! How often do you see something like that?

I just love this bright red flower, but I can't remember what it's called.

The koi think I am going to feed them! When I looked at them, they all swarmed toward me.

Sorry that this isn't such a good photo, but it's a red water lily! They have also had magenta and lavender ones, but most of them are either white or yellow.

I also took a picture of a magenta-flowering magnolia that is still blooming at this late date, which amazes me, but the photo didn't really turn out. You can barely see the flowers.

My succulent with the bright pink flowers is blooming even more. The leaves are very cool too - that's the reason I bought it, I had no idea it would have such pretty flowers. I'll try to post a photo of the leaves sometime.

Then last night Travalon and I had a quiet evening at home in the air conditioning, since ours still worked. (There was an explosion at the power plant - it was on national news! - and 13,000 people in town had no power on the hottest day of the year. My bus buddy saw the explosion out her office window! I saw the thick black smoke afterwards. Amazingly, nobody was injured.) Travalon made catfish for dinner, then we thought maybe we should go out for a quick drink at Mariner's, since we can walk there. Travalon reminded me that there was a teal beer at Octopi Brewing that he thought I might like, since it is a raspberry sour, so we went there instead. On the way we saw this stunning sunset with fascinating lines... fading contrails? Those same lines were in the sunset the night before too.

Here is my teal beer! It is as tasty as it is beautiful. And I love the Octopi logo on the glass, of an O made with an octopus tentacle.

Good thing I tried that beer because they are down to their last keg! They think it will be tapped out today. There might be some still for sale in cans at Woodman's... For my second beer, I had a sour made with Tabasco sauce, lime, and salt. It was really tasty too, if not as photogenic.

As we came home, the heat lightning to the north was so crazy that it looked like the sky was full of strobe lights. What a storm that must have been! I tried to make a video, but it didn't turn out at all, so you will just have to imagine it if you didn't see it.

Famous Hat

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Magic Cube Pyramid Instructions

My "Rubik's Tetrahedron" is actually called a "Magic Cube Pyramid" (by Fanxin), which doesn't seem right since a pyramid has a square base, and of course a cube has six square sides, but my toy has four triangle sides. On the box it notes that "The difficulty:" is three stars out of five, and also this mysterious phrase: "Match Special-purpose." The instructions, which are in Chinese characters that I can't read and English, are even more enlightening:

Angle block on the base block rotate freely, in the reduction process angle block does not play any role, can be neglected.

1. Rotate cube, make the 3 blocks of red face in a plane:

2. Make the red edge block in the plane, this is very easy, try to understand;

3. Cube from another direction, to turn without the red base block into the next diagram;

4. General at this time there are three edge blocks direction or the wrong place, sometimes two. Then you can swap any red-faced edge blocks as the switching point, and dislocation edge blocks, perhaps to swap a few times, you can restore. You can restore.


Famous Hat here again. Doesn't that explain everything?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Midsummer Photos 2019

I believe it's time for another pictorial post. First is Travalon's favorite animal at the zoo: the red panda!

This is one of my succulents in bloom. It has a lot more buds, so if it blooms fully, I will take another picture.

Here are some photos from when we saw Banana Wind at the East Side Club: the new, improved tiki bar; a close-up of the neon flamingo now on top of the tiki bar; and the band itself.

The Daughter of Denni pointed out that they have built a new music hall, and soon this one may no longer host concerts, so I took a picture of it before the Participants' Concert at the Early Music Festival to always remember how weird-looking it is. The suspended glass hexagons may have something to do with acoustics, or maybe they are just there for aesthetic purposes.

Outside of the current music hall, if you look toward the art museum, you see a lot of pretty lights.

And if you look toward the Union, you might see a lovely sunset.

At the Mallards game, I got Superman ice cream, which is basically vanilla ice cream dyed red, yellow, and blue. For some reason I thought the yellow was lemon, the red was cherry, and the blue was raspberry. However, they made a lovely pattern all swirled together.

This is the Millie of Dragons bobble head, seated on her Iron Throne.

And this is Maynard riding a unicorn that is pooping out a rainbow. Don't they make a perfect pair?

I thought my cycad was dying, but I moved it into the southern-facing window with the succulents, and now it is growing two new leaves. I love how the larger new leaf has curly edges.

Sometimes the harvest from my garden plot is cute! Check out this squash. We ate this tonight, along with lettuce and kale from the garden and corn on the cob from the Ashippun Firemen's Picnic.

And finally, this is a magenta petunia growing in a crack in the sidewalk here in town. Last summer I featured another magenta petunia growing from the curb in Reedsburg. This seems to be a thing around here. Is someone going around planting magenta petunias in strange places, or how are they ending up growing in cracks in cement like weeds?

Famous Hat

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Rubik's Tetrahedron

Yesterday when I went for my lunchtime walk, I went to the Allen Centennial Garden, hoping to see the bald cardinal. It was a very hot day, and not too many people were around, so I had high hopes. Instead, a female cardinal alighted right near me, so I started talking to her: “Hello lady cardinal, are you Baldy’s wife? I was looking for him. Is he around?” She listened, then flew away. Then I realized a person was nearby who might have heard me talking to a bird. Still, it gives me hope that if Baldy the Cardinal can find someone to overlook his flaws, so can we all. I know Travalon overlooks a lot of flaws in me!

Also yesterday, my new toy arrived in the mail. At Anna Banana II’s family cottage, one of the kids was playing with a Rubik’s Cube, and I remembered once having a sort of Rubik’s Tetrahedron that was much easier to solve, with four triangular sides in neon colors. I looked online right then and impulsively purchased one that looked just like my childhood toy. When it came yesterday, I saw with delight that it was exactly as I had remembered, and I immediately scrambled the red, green, blue, and yellow pieces. Then I tried to solve it, but it seemed to be taking forever, so I complained to Travalon that I was not as smart these days… and then I solved it! In like eight minutes. It was worth the $9 to feel smart, but don’t look for me to purchase a Cube. I never was able to solve that one…

Famous Hat

Monday, July 15, 2019

Early Music and a Mallards Game

I hope my readers had a good weekend. Mine started Thursday night, when Travalon and I went to the East Side Club to see Banana Wind, a Jimmy Buffet cover band. The weather was perfect, and the band was excellent. When the Daughter of Denni had asked what I was doing that night, since there was also an Early Music dance party, I said something she would not approve of. She said, “Something religious?” since she is a devout atheist. I said, “No worse,” and she laughed and couldn’t imagine what that would be, but I happened to know she detests Jimmy Buffet, so I said, “We’re going to see a Jimmy Buffet cover band.” She said, “You’re right – that is worse, but that was a hell of a lead-in.”

Friday I took the day off of work, and Handy Woman gave me a tour of the press’s new home in the university library. Most people were on vacation, so I only got to say hi to a few of my old coworkers. Then she and I met Rich, Tiffy, and the Daughter of Denni for lunch at the food carts on Library Mall. She and Rich had to go back to work, but the rest of us went to the Participant Concert at the Early Music Festival, where various classes show off what they have been working on all week. Afterwards a bunch of us (including Denni himself) hung out on the Union Terrace, then some of us had dinner at a Thai restaurant before the concert, which was a German vocal ensemble called Calmus. They were incredible! And the soprano and tenor had the cutest eight-year-old daughter who joined us in the audience.

Saturday Travalon and I met Tiffy and Rich for coffee at the new place in the old hat shop building, then Tiffy and I joined Denni’s family to see his granddaughter perform at Girls Rock Camp. The girls (between 8-18 years of age) have one week to master instruments and write a song, and her group was the youngest, with a song called “I Wrote This Song.” They were very cute, and she looked like she was having the best time playing keyboards onstage. Some of the older groups wrote surprisingly catchy tunes. Afterwards Tiffy, the Daughter of Denni, and I walked to Fete de Marquette and briefly watched a Cajun band, but it was very hot so we walked to the Avenue Bar for ice cream drinks. We went to Sujeo, a Korean restaurant, for dinner, and then Tiffy and I caught the bus back to campus to see the closing concert of the Early Music Festival, where all the participants perform. I have never seen so many cornettoes on stage at once! They did a lot of Schuetz and Monteverdi, and a different version of Allegri’s Miserere than the one I always hear. The small chorus was in the balcony behind us, so that it did sound as if their voices were coming from heaven. The sound of the huge orchestra and choir is really something amazing to hear, and Tiffy says this is always her favorite concert of the festival.

Yesterday Travalon and I went to Flix Brewpub to see Toy Story 4, a very sophisticated story for a children’s movie. I cried through half of it and laughed at the rest of it. It was so good! We had never been to this movie theater before, and they bring beer and food to your seat. My kiwi sour beer was fine, but Travalon’s honey beer was amazing. One of the regulars at the Early Music Festival, a buddy of Denni’s from college days, has Mallards season tickets and he couldn’t attend the game yesterday, so he gave them to us. We missed the top of the first inning, but good thing, because our Mallards gave up five runs, so who wants to see that? They never caught up and ended up losing 9-5. We aren’t Game of Throne fans (have never actually seen it), so at first we didn’t care about the Minnie of Dragons bobble heads, but the people around us all had them, and they were so cute. After the game we begged for one, and they did give us one. Minnie sitting on the Iron Throne, surrounded by dragons, is a perfect companion for our other Mallards bobble head of Maynard sitting on a unicorn that is pooping out a rainbow. As Travalon can tell you, I am not a huge fan of bobble heads of real people (the one I saw of Davante Adams was terrifying and looked nothing like him), but I find that I do enjoy bobble heads of cute ducks with mythical creatures!

Famous Hat

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Litany of Humility

Yesterday there was another free early music concert, this one at the Lutheran Cathedral of the Midwest. The vocal ensemble was from Milwaukee, and they sang lots of Tallis and Byrd. Kathbert was there too, and afterwards she said the vocal ensemble from Monday’s concert is doing a concert of music about Mary the Rose in December, and wouldn’t the piece set by our OTHER choir director’s friend to my poem about Mary the mystical rose be perfect? She said I should mention it to the director, but I was kind of embarrassed, so she did. My OTHER choir director was at the concert too, so I asked him if he knew whatever became of the piece. He said as far as he knew it was still in the choral library at the church, so I asked the current choir director. He took me down to the choral library and gave me a copy of both “The Mystical Rose” and the Christmas piece the same composer had set to another poem of mine, “This Day When Heaven Descends to Earth.” I gave them to the professor from Eau Claire, who promised he would make copies and give them back to me. I don’t know if anything will come of this – years ago the composer tried to get the pieces published, but at that time nobody was interested. Which is a shame, because I thought they were lovely pieces. Maybe the lyrics are okay too.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. On our road trip to Dubuque, Anna Banana II and Luxuli said how they had been doing daily prayers for priests, and the Friday prayer was the Litany of Humility. They warned it was pretty hardcore, but since it was Friday, we prayed it. Nobody needs humility more than I do, so I have decided to pray it every Friday myself. In case you would like to pray it, here it is:

Lord Jesus. Meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Famous Hat