Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Sorry for the silence yesterday – I had things to say but no time to say them. Friday Travalon and I went to a fish fry at Paul’s Neighborhood Tavern, which was delicious, and then we went to our old favorite Le Tigre Lounge. Saturday Travalon and I met the Rosary Ladies for coffee, then we drove to Mineral Point and had a wonderful lunch at Brewery Creek Pub after walking along the trail that runs all the way to Monroe. This might be a fun bike ride, readers! Then we drove to Galena, IL which is like Mineral Point on steroids: cute old buildings, fun little shops, and lots of hills. We toured President Grant’s house and then walked down the main drag, poking our heads into some antique shops and stopping at a café for homemade sodas. Then we hiked up a hill to where all the churches were and stopped in the chapel of a very old Episcopal church. We passed the Catholic church built by Father Mazzuchelli just five minutes before Mass, so Travalon suggested we attend it. After that we had a fantastic Southern cuisine dinner at Chef Ivo’s Place, and then we explored the De Soto Hotel and went next door to a shop specializing in root beer from all over the country.

Sunday we had a birthday party at Richard Bonomo’s house for our organist, who will be 80 on Thursday. She is retiring at the end of next month, so if you know anyone who plays the organ and is willing to accompany a choir, give me a holler. We’re getting desperate to find a replacement.

Famous Hat

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mood Ring

An update to Travalon’s Challenge: he has actually eaten some of the broccoli.

When I have nothing to say, I can always scan something and put it on my blog. Here is the mood ring I bought in New Glarus last weekend. It changes color all the time when I am wearing it, but it seems to have less to do with my mood than with the ambient temperature. I have seen the background become black, teal, green, orange, purple, and indigo. The design on it appeals to that adolescent side of me that still loves neon colors, and also my tropics-loving side.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blooming Sun Star

Ma Hat and I have been exchanging photos of our blooming plants. She has an impressive array of amaryllis that are blooming, both solid red and red with a white throat. I have an ornithogalum dubium that I received yesterday for Peon Awareness Day or whatever they are calling it these days. And what is that, you may ask? One name for it is sun star; it is also called star of Bethlehem, orange star flower, snake flower, or chincherinchee, which is even more intimidating than the Latin name. Here is a photo I took with my cell phone:

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Travalon's Challenge

Travalon specifically requested that I blog about this topic, so here goes: like many guys, Travalon is not necessarily good about eating vegetables, but he did say that broccoli was tolerable with enough cheese covering it. I personally believe broccoli is about the best thing you can eat and can totally tell the difference in my skin tone the day after I eat it. If it’s doing that much magic on the outside, imagine what it’s doing on the inside! So I challenged Travalon to eat one cup of broccoli three times a week, and I don’t care how much cheese he puts on it. He told me he has actually purchased the broccoli, but I haven’t heard that he has consumed any of it yet. I will keep you appraised of how he is doing with his challenge.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nylon Stocking Rant

Why did anyone ever think nylons were a good idea? I never wear them, except today, when I wore a skirt and wanted to look particularly professional. It only took a few minutes to remember why I never wear them. At least they didn’t run, but they are remarkably uncomfortable. This got me to thinking: where did the idea that women should wear nylons originate? Blaming men is too simplistic, though they of course may not be entirely innocent in this matter. I am guessing that silk stockings became popular when skirts got shorter, more for warmth than anything, but silk stockings run so nylon stockings became all the rage. People rarely wear them anymore, I’ve noticed, because we all find them so uncomfortable, and anyway they do still run, if not quite as badly as silk stockings. Hopefully they will come up with a better stocking at some point, or else I will do what the college kids do and just wear tights next time I wear a skirt on a cool day. Is there an age limit on wearing tights?

Famous Hat

Monday, April 22, 2013

Forgot to Title this Post

I hope all my readers had a great weekend. Friday Travalon and I went to Marrakesh Restaurant for dinner and had delicious sea food entrees, then we went to the Free House Pub for some European beer, and then we saw Light Bright’s band perform. Saturday Travalon and I met Catzooks and Richard Bonomo for lunch at C’s Bakery, then the two of us drove to New Glarus to check out a couple of cute little shops, and then we headed on to Monroe. We were planning to take the Minhas Brewery tour (it’s the historic Huber Brewery building), but the last one had already started, so we took a walk around downtown Monroe, stopping at a café called Bean and Barrel and to Baumgartner’s Cheese Shop and Bar, both around the Square. We had been planning to go on to Freeport, Illinois and get Fighting Pretzel T-shirts, but it was getting late, so we headed back to town and had dinner at David’s Jamaican Restaurant.  Then we stopped into Rich’s place to have a cup of tea with him and Kathbert. Yesterday was such a blah day; I overslept and missed Mass in the morning, then a bunch of us went to brunch at the Parkway and I hung out talking to Luxuli for quite a long time. Afternoon Mass was long because of the homily about the Vatican II document Gaudium and Spes, and I really didn't do much the rest of the day. Today is beautiful out, so I will make up for my laziness yesterday by walking home.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

All Day Conference

Yesterday I was at an all-day conference and attended classes on etiquette, communication, personality traits, and body language. They fed us well, and it was fun to have a day off of work, but the classes really were the best part. I could use some remedial instruction in body language! The speaker told us if you spend two minutes in the Power Pose (think of Wonder Woman with her hands on her hips), you actually feel more powerful and your confidence soars. I am willing to try it – what do I have to lose but two minutes standing in a silly pose? And I’m passing this tip on to all my readers too, many of whom are women, since we women tend to stand and sit in poses that make us feel less powerful and confident. Another power pose is to raise your hands over your head as if you have just won an Olympic event. I could go on and on about the etiquette of handshakes and voice mails but will not bore my readers with too much detail unless it is demanded. The interesting thought I will leave you with is from the Communication class: you start with a set of facts, you tell yourself a story about it, that makes you feel a certain way, and then you act a certain way. You cannot change the facts, so the place to make the change is the story you tell yourself. That will change your feelings and ultimately your actions. As the speaker says, this isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s worth trying.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

World of Beer

Sorry for my silence yesterday – it was just a crazy day. This weekend Tiffy came to visit, and it was so good to see her. We went to a silent movie with Richard Bonomo and an early music concert, just the two of us. The silent movie was Girl Shy with Harold Lloyd, and it was predictable but very funny. Before the movie there was a vaudeville show, and my office mate Light Bright’s band was one of the acts. Then Sunday I went to visit Travalon. We went to the Olympia Spa, and I got my birthday massage a few months late. (I was supposed to get it on my actual birthday but had the flu or some nasty virus that day.) Then we went to an Irish pub in Milwaukee called County Clare, which was a lot of fun, and we finished the evening at a place called World of Beer on Brady Street, which had over five hundred types of beer available and dozens on tap. I tried samples of a blueberry beer and an Abita vanilla beer. Abita, as you may know, comes from a town just north of New Orleans, and they have all kinds of flavored beer, like raspberry, strawberry, and pecan. Now that the weather is getting better, Travalon and I will be continuing our pilgrimage to the state’s best taverns from the book Bottoms Up, so stay tuned for that.

Famous Hat

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wrong Letter

As you remember from a few posts ago, I lazily let autofill put in an email address for me, and it chose the wrong one, so I asked a random faculty member how his weekend was. I’m not sure what went wrong this time, but I meant to send a letter to one person and apparently accidentally sent a letter meant for someone else. Did I choose the wrong file? Did I not save changes, since it was the same letter with different recipient information? Whatever happened, the person who received the wrong letter must be really impressed with me, and I was trying to make my best impression. Oops! I don’t expect to hear from her again.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fish Stapler

I have nothing to say today, so I'm just going to post a scan of my office mate Light Bright's stapler. It looks like a trout. She got this in Nashville, in case you want one for yourself.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What's My Job Description? Who Knows?

I need a new sort of job, one that can be summed up easily. Take ditch digger; the job description can be summed up in two words: “Digs ditches.” My job cannot be so easily explained, and that may be part of the problem: I have no idea exactly what it is they want me to do. Light Bright says she feels the same way, that every day she comes in and pretends to know what they want her to do. She imagines they would not last a day in this job themselves; they would quit and say, “Don’t I have someone to do this sh*t for me?”  I don’t need someone to do anything for me; I just need a job I can wrap my head around. Don’t those sort of jobs exist anymore? All I ask for is a job I can explain to other people.  If you know of any jobs like that, be sure to let me know. Thanks!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Rich's Garden

Usually on Monday I blog about my weekend, but this weekend I was sick and don’t have too much exciting to report. I did take a look at Richard Bonomo’s garden yesterday, and four hyacinths I planted last year are coming up. A bunch of onions I planted last year, which I thought had died in the drought, have come up as well, but not much else is going on. We trimmed the rose bush back – were we supposed to have done that in the fall? There is no sign of life from the rose bush, but almost nothing is showing signs of life right now, since March was so cold. Inside of Rich’s house, there is some exciting news: one of my amaryllis plants has a bud! I will post photos of it once it is in full bloom. At my house, my Christmas cacti, my neantha bella palm, and one of my aloes are blooming. Spring is finally here!

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tulips and Jellyfish

Sorry for my long silence, but I have been suffering some nasty bronchitis. To make it up to you, I will post some lovely pictures. First, here are the tulips Travalon gave me for Easter, which are in the window at my work office:

And here is the jellyfish in the aquarium at my doctor's office. One person took a picture of it with her cell phone, so then we all decided to do so.

This photo does not really do it justice, but it had lovely gold designs on it.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Post

Sorry for my lack of post yesterday, but I was having a very hellish day and couldn’t think of a good April Fool’s joke to post. Hopefully all my readers had a wonderful Easter! I spent most of the Triduum with the Bishop at the OTHER church in our merged parish, but Good Friday I went to my own church for the noon service. Then Jilly Moose, Luxuli, her husband, and I did Stations of the Cross outside, where the cathedral used to be. It was a beautiful day that finally felt like spring. We realized we did the Stations of the Cross backwards because we were going downhill – oops! Saturday night Travalon came to the Vigil Mass with me, which was beautiful but quite long, with numerous baptisms and confirmations. Lots of people were boarding the Barque of Peter this year! Sunday I sang at my church and the Lutheran one, then Richard Bonomo had a very large dinner party at his house with roast lamb and all sorts of salads and breads and desserts that people brought. Travalon came to the party, and he gave me some beautiful orange tulips for Easter. What a wonderful weekend! Too bad it was followed by April Fool’s Day, on which I felt like a fool. Maybe sometime I will post that story, but this is an Easter post.

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