Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Farewell to 2014

So now 2014 is almost over, and what a year it was for me! Here is a brief recap:

January – my birthday party and marriage prep classes
February – the BonomOlympics for Rich’s birthday
March – the start of UGGH Club
April – my wonderful wedding shower at the late, lamented Macha Tea House
May – our perfect wedding and honeymoon in Ireland
June –  Callie’s passing and the tornado that hit Light Bright’s house
July – lots of canoeing and my first time in a decade not participating in Early Music Festival
August – more canoeing and our trip out East for my cousin’s wedding
September – our trip up North during the Labor Day weekend
October – Irish language weekend and the start of the weekly Irish classes
November – my big promotion and raise at work
December – the end of one long-term relationship and the beginning of another, re cars

As you can see, it was quite an eventful year for me, and Travalon too! Here’s hoping 2015 will be another wonderful year for all of us.

Famous Hat

Monday, December 29, 2014

Soul Train for Christmas

I hope my regular readers had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was great, but this whole year has been amazing. It has seriously been the best year of my life, and I’m going to have some trouble saying goodbye to 2014. Travalon and I spent our first Christmas Eve together, and as my regular readers know, mine are usually crazy, while he is used to kicking back and relaxing. So we compromised: we ran around getting supplies for the cassata and eggnog, then I made the cassata. My choir put on a half-hour carol sing before “midnight Mass” at 5 pm, and I had a two-line solo. After Mass Travalon, Richard Bonomo, Kathbert, Luxuli, and I went to visit our former organist, who had the flu so we all had to don masks. The most romantic part of the evening was when Travalon and I went to dinner at Lilliana’s, where we had pumpkin soup and salad with gingerbread in it. He had steak and lobster for dinner, while I had turkey stuffed with goat cheese, cranberries, and spinach. For dessert we had pumpkin cheesecake. It was one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. After we got home, we exchanged presents, and he gave me a Soul Train DVD, an iTunes card, Lady and the Tramp stuffed animals, and a mug of Grumpy Cat saying, “There isn’t enough coffee in the world to make me rise and shine.” I gave him a coffee table book on the history of DC Comics.

Christmas morning we went to Mass again (and heard the same homily from the night before), then we drove to the Five O’s to have lunch with Travalon’s family. We gave his mother a blue sparkly poinsettia, and he gave the 42nd Doctor a book about Darth Vader. For dessert there was homemade strudel, as well as our contribution – cheesecake. Then in the evening we went to Rich’s house, where the main course was lasagna. Cecil Markovitch made an amazing Turkish vegetable stew that everyone loved, and I always enjoy the positive reception to my cassata and eggnog. Cecil helped separate eggs for the eggnog, and he is really good at it! We couldn’t stay too late because we all had to work the next day.

Friday I had promised Travalon a quiet night at home, so we put on the Soul Train DVD and danced around to it. I had also promised him we could just be lazy around the house on Saturday, as long as I could go to the Lutheran Third Day of Christmas Carol Sing. He agreed, having two basketball games he wanted to attend that evening. So he dropped me off at Rich’s house and went to watch basketball, while Kathbert, OK Cap, and I figured out how to cook up a “mess of greens” I had bought for hardly anything at the grocery store. We aren’t even sure what they were – either collard greens, turnip greens, or mustard greens. We ended up cooking them with butter, garlic, and onions. Luxuli and Rich also joined us for leftover lasagna, then we all drove in Rich’s new Jeep to the Lutheran church for the carol sing, where we joined Cecil Markovitch. Afterwards my OTHER choir director invited us over for some leftover fruit soup, and then we all went back to Rich’s for leftover eggnog and the cookies Anna Banana II had sent in the mail. Travalon, Catzookz, and Twins Fan joined us as well, so we were there kind of late.

Yesterday Travalon and I overslept, but we couldn’t go to a later morning Mass because we were treating OK Cap to brunch at the Nau-Ti-Gal for her birthday. It was a big one – 29! Ha, just kidding, but if you want to know how old she is, you’ll have to ask her yourself; I will not reveal another lady’s age on this blog. I said we would have to go to Mass at 5:00, but that would be right in the middle of the Packer game, so Travalon called and got our TV hooked up so we can record shows. Rich joined us for brunch as well, and it was quite a feast. Before the game Travalon and I took Rodney to the dog park, then we watched the first half of the game, went to Mass, and turned on the radio to hear what we had missed. And guess what? They were beating the Lions 28-14! We drove to the Free House to meet OK Cap and Jilly Moose for a birthday drink, and in the end the Pack won 30-20, so they are the NFC North champions for the fourth straight year. More good news: today we found out Ndamukong Suh got suspended from next week’s playoff game for stepping on Aaron Rodgers while he was down on the ground. Awesome! There was no penalty called during the game, so we wondered if he was just going to get away with it. He’s a notoriously dirty player.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my 5.6 regular readers! This is going to be an unusual Christmas for me, because I am not singing with the OTHER choir at the Lutheran church for the first time in sixteen years. Christmas Eve just won’t seem the same without all that late-night singing! Travalon and I will probably get to bed at a reasonable hour so we can make it to his family’s gathering Christmas morning. In the afternoon we will go to Richard Bonomo’s house for his Christmas dinner. At first Travalon said his family wanted us to bring cookies, so we got all the stuff to make them, but now they want a cheesecake instead, so maybe I’ll make the cookies for my coworkers. I didn’t get them anything, but one gave me chocolates, one gave me a handmade ornament, and Handy Woman made pistachio craisin bars. No wonder we all gain weight over the holidays! I am not a big one for giving or getting presents, preferring “events” to “things.” If you hang out with me regularly, that is worth more to me than some little trinket, unless it is a really cool rosary. I’ll make an exception for that, but like so many people, I value time over possessions. True confession: I did buy myself a from-me to-me present today at Trader Joe’s. They have ornate pots with four kinds of spring flowers forced to bloom early: tulips, narcissus, paper whites, and crocuses. They are all white and should look and smell wonderful when they bloom in my office. Then next fall I can plant them in Rich’s garden, and they will come back to delight us every spring. That is the kind of gift I love most – one that keeps on giving!

Famous Hat

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sexy Honda

Travalon wanted me to mention this on the blog: last Thursday he watched Return of the Jedi while I did aerobics, then when we watched Family Guy that night, it was the episode spoofing Return of the Jedi! What are the odds of that? Also, I threw out Indigo as a name for my new car, but Travalon said, “You can do better than that! You’re creative.” I was thinking of El Guajeo, after my favorite thing about salsa music, but that is a masculine name, and cars (at least sensible cars like Hondas) seem feminine. Though we saw a Honda Accord parked at the Come Back In that was all sexied up, with a spoiler on the back and a slick paint job and spiffy rims. Who knew a Honda could be a sleek sporty car? It was a two-door and even had a Honda symbol on the gas cover.

Friday evening Travalon and I went to the fish fry at Erin’s Snug Irish Pub, out by his job. It was not quite as cool inside as Brocach, but it did look quite Irish, with lots of snugs, or small side rooms. They did not seat us in a snug, and it was pretty loud where we were. The fish fry was good, and all you can eat, but we just had seconds, and not much at that: one more piece for me, and two for Travalon. They’re not losing any money on us.

Saturday Travalon and I bought a sparkly blue poinsettia for his mother, then we went to see Part One of The Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. It was the longest book, so they have split it into two movies, and this one ended kind of abruptly. It was very powerful to watch all those people rising up against their oppressors in the Capital. In the evening Travalon went to watch a basketball game with his old high school buddy, but for some reason they changed the time of the game so it had already happened. Luckily they found another game to attend, which was very exciting – it went into overtime. Meanwhile, Richard Bonomo and I went to a concert put on by five local Methodist churches. We thought it was going to be a carol singalong, but it was more of a Lessons and Carols type of thing. We enjoyed it a great deal.

Yesterday we went with the choir to brunch at the Come Back In, then Travalon and I rushed home to watch the Packers barely beat the Buccaneers. At least they won on the road, but yeesh, it shouldn’t have been such a chore to beat such a lousy team. Now they are in the playoffs for sure. There was a Diocesan Choir concert that Luxuli sang in, but we didn’t hear about it until after it was over, so we just hung out at the dog park with Rodney and then had a romantic dinner at Bellitalia, a little Italian bistro near where we live. We were pretty full after dinner but had to split a piece of limoncello cake, since it just sounded too good… and it was! We’ll be going back for sure.

Famous Hat

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sparkly Teal Poinsettia

Last night Travalon and I picked up my “new” 2011 Honda Civic, which still doesn’t have a name, although Jilly Moose suggested Midnight O’Flasher. It is not as dark a blue as I had remembered, so I must have been getting it confused with the other one we test drove. Then I headed home in my new car, stopping at the local flower shop to see if they had blue poinsettias. One showed up at our church for the Our Lady of Guadalupe festivities, and it fascinated me so much I just had to stop and see if the flower shop had any. They did! I indulged my inner 15-year-old girl and got a teal one with sparkles on it. The girl at the shop said they are called “paintsettias,” and she showed me one with swirls of lavender on the white leaves and said they call that one the “pukesettia.” There was also a very beautiful dark blue one, but it was larger, so it’s good I didn’t get it – Travalon and I wouldn’t have been able to see each other over it! Right now the teal poinsettia is sitting on our dining room table, the only Christmas decoration we have bothered with this year. I have a strand of Christmas lights somewhere but can’t locate it after my move, and Travalon says he isn’t that into Christmas decorations anyway, or nonstop Christmas music. But then, who does really like that? Who can listen to those stations for more than ten minutes before going nuts? I assume the “teal” poinsettia will bloom white next year, and hopefully in the solarium, where we have no lights, it will get enough darkness to rebloom. Richard Bonomo’s old poinsettias bloom every year. They are never as spectacular, but they are still pretty. Of course, mine will not be teal and sparkly, but it would still be exciting to get it to bloom again.

Famous Hat

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Famous Hat's New Car

Sorry for the silence the last couple of days. I was having some real adventures. Tuesday I left work about two and had an MRI. This was for a study I am participating in about lucid dreaming; people tell me it’s common for writers to have lucid dreams, i.e., dreams in which they know they are dreaming and can control the content. Apparently it isn’t so common for the general population, so they were eager to get an image of my brain. If you have never had an MRI, they stuff you into this narrow tube, and then you have to hold really still as horrible noises like jackhammers and dental drills ring around your head. For this I will be paid $25, and I understand they will also give me a CD of my brain images. Maybe I will post some on the blog, just to prove to you all that I actually have a brain.

For some lovely images now, here are pictures of our church after the Our Lady of Guadalupe festivities. Thanks to Richard Bonomo for these beautiful pictures.

Yesterday I left work early again (after our holiday potluck, so it wasn’t a high-stress day), and Travalon and I went car shopping. I wanted a Honda in our price range, and the dealer had several, so I took two out for a test drive and settled on a midnight blue 2011 Civic four-door sedan. This will be the newest car I have ever owned. We got it for such a good price because it has 90K miles on it, but the dealer told us someone recently brought in a 2005 Honda Civic with 500K miles on it. Half a million miles! Tonight I will go to pick it up, after dropping off the trusty white Hyundai Sonata loaner car I’ve been using. Undoubtedly you will all ask me what I’m going to name it, so I’m open to suggestions. Leave a comment or email me.

Famous Hat

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Concert Weekend

A random note on the check I got from Flo to cover the cost of Erin Caitlyn O’Honda: I noticed the check said 00 Accord, T/L, P/O/S. Now I understand most of that code as standing for 2000 Honda Accord, Total Loss… but my first thought for the last part was “piece of sh!+.” Now Erin was a somewhat banged-up old car, but I thought that wasn’t a very nice way to refer to her. Some people suggested it meant “point of sale,” but does that even make sense? Then after depositing the check, I went to my band’s gig at the Wild Hog in the Woods temporary coffeehouse, and for the first time ever, I forgot to wear my band T-shirt. Oops!! Travalon was a devoted husband and came to hear me, but none of my other readers made it, although many of you ask when my band will play, so I sent an email about this particular gig. See, this is why I usually forget to tell you – you don’t come anyway. For some weird reason there was an open mic right in the middle of our gig, with a fiddler and a guitarist doing Irish tunes, then after they finished, half our audience left. Hardingfele was not happy that they took up a good chunk of our gig. “They should book their own gig!” she fumed.

Saturday Tiffy came to town, and she, Richard Bonomo, Travalon, and I had lunch at the Ale Asylum. Travalon left to watch high school basketball, and the rest of us went shopping for Erin’s replacement. We checked out a couple of Honda Civics and a Kia, but the place was closing soon, and I didn’t want to make any decisions without Travalon’s input, so we were sort of window shopping. We did take one out for a test drive. In the evening Tiffy and I went to the annual Madison Bach Musicians’ Christmas Concert, which was focused on earlier music this year, mostly 17th century stuff. There were a couple of Bachs on the program, but they were like great-uncles of JS Bach. It was very beautiful music.

Yesterday after Mass, Tiffy, Travalon, Rich, Luxuli, Prairie Man, the married B-Boy (but not his wife), another guy, and I went to brunch at the Manna Café. Since we were such a big group, we had to wait for a table, but the food there is so worth it. Then Travalon, Tiffy, and I watched that heartbreaking Packers game. Sure, they can’t always win, but it would be great to know they could win on the road and not just at Lambeau. We left before the end of the game to go to the local handbell choir’s Christmas concert, which was in Monona. Travalon and I got a little lost finding the church where it was held, but it was worth the effort. Even Travalon enjoyed it, and he hasn’t necessarily enjoyed all the concerts I’ve taken him to. He said he would definitely consider going to that one again next year.

Tomorrow is our big cookie exchange at work, so I’ll be baking all evening.

Famous Hat

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ode to Erin Caitlyn O'Honda

This morning I had a moment of panic when I heard there was a fatal traffic accident right by Travalon’s workplace, just about the time he would be arriving for work. I sent him a text, and right away he butt-dialed me, as he is prone to do. Usually it is kind of annoying, but this time it was such a relief because I knew he must be fine. He said the accident happened right after he got to work, and he saw lots of emergency vehicles. What a way to start the work day!

Yesterday I said goodbye to Erin Caitlyn O’Honda. She was parked at the body shop, and I drove over and took everything out of her and loaded it into the trunk of my loaner car. Then I went home and sorted all the stuff, which was mostly paper and in fact mostly sheet music, although I did find a bad review from my previous job and the paperwork from when I adopted Cashmere. Here I thought her birthday was November 28, and it’s really November 29. Like she cares, right? Going through all this stuff made me realize how many adventures Erin and I have had together, and so my usual bit of Friday doggerel will be dedicated to her.

Memories, both good and bad,
Some are happy and some are sad.
Lots are stupid, like the time
I spilled evaporated milk all over – ooh, that slime!
But the stain reminds me of the Haitian party
We drove to that day, and the pudding
I made, how tasty it was,
And the money we raised for poor kids – yay!
I remember the time I popped your tire
Driving over construction debris on the road,
But we were coming back from a Mexican band gig
With my violin and mandolin as part of your load.
Remember the times we drove to Oconomowoc
To visit Travalon at his old place?
I got to know the landscape really well,
Like a familiar, friendly face.
So farewell old friend, you served me well,
And you were too banged up to sell
Or fix for less than the price of a newer car,
But you carried me well and you carried me far.

Mad props to Flo: one week from the accident to the check from Progressive! I got it via FedEx today. And supposedly today they towed Erin to the junkyard. Poor old car.

Famous Hat

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Waunakee Christmas Light Display

Last night Travalon made dinner, then we took a drive up to Waunakee to see their light display. They have a park right downtown with a lovely Christmas lights display, like the one at Olin-Turville Park but on a smaller scale, and it was quite impressive for a small town. The Rotary Club sponsors the light show, and they had people at the entrance to greet us, collect a donation if we were so inclined, and give us candy canes. Travalon donated $2 to the cause. I am not usually a big candy person, but last night I ate my candy cane as we wound our way through the park, listening to the radio station that plays all Christmas music this month. They were playing oldies, like Nat King Cole and Elvis singing Christmas songs, and not those new silly ones like “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” so that helped set the festive mood. Then when I got home, Ethel called! I haven’t heard from her in forever! In September she went on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage that we had always talked about doing, so she told me all about it. Someday I hope to do it myself. Luxuli has done it too.

Today the insurance people called me and told me they were going to total my car and write me a check for not very much money, since Erin Caitlyn O’Honda is fifteen years old. I talked to the guy at the body shop where she presently is, and he said it would be several thousand dollars more to fix her than the check I am going to get, so it looks like I may be getting a new car. Stay tuned.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

True Story: Missing the Skiing Trips

Sorry for the lack of blogging yesterday. It was a very busy day full of subscription renewals at work, then Irish class, and then when I got home, instead of blogging on a computer with a dysfunctional A key, I just wanted to work out. Usually I dance around to the hip hop music on my iPod, but last night I actually ran in circles around the loft. It felt really good. Too bad I hate running anywhere else...

Not that I have that much to blog about, but I can share a seasonal childhood memory. (“Seasonal” in the sense of winter, so sorry if you were hoping for some romantic story about Christmas of yore.) Most of the kids at my elementary school were very well off, because their dads were doctors, so our school had an annual ski trip. My family was poor, so I couldn’t afford to go on this trip, and so I had to go to school those days with the few other poor kids. Most of them were Cambodian immigrants, so I started hanging out with them, especially a girl named Sokvouen. (Which is pronounced “So-QUEN.”) I would go over to her house, and her older sisters would dress me in traditional Cambodian clothes, which we all got a kick out of: this really blonde girl in Southeast Asian clothes. I actually learned a few words of Cambodian, especially the dirty ones, of which I only remember one. The other thing I remember is how to count to twenty in Cambodian. Sokvouen’s family moved to California (it was probably too cold in Minnesota for people who had just come from near the equator), and we sent each other a couple of letters but eventually fell out of touch. Anyway, there is no real point to this story except to say that if my family had had the wherewithal to send me skiing, I wouldn’t have been able to walk down the street and recognize the Cambodian F-word written in the snow, like I did one winter day. And so I have always been a pretty good linguist and a lousy athlete.

Famous Hat

Monday, December 8, 2014

Erin Gets Bashed in Back Again

Friday night as I was heading home from work, someone rear-ended me. At least he was contrite, not like the guy who rear-ended me three and a half years ago, who was all, “I thought you were going to turn!” This time I was turning right onto Johnson from Randall, and I don’t know if the young white guy (student?) who hit me was texting, or what his deal was, but anyway he gave me his insurance info. Erin Caitlyn O’Honda is fifteen years old, so I’m guessing this guy’s insurance is going to total her and give me a check not big enough to pay for either her repairs or her replacement. And I only have liability, so it will probably be up to me to foot most of the bill. Bummer.

Saturday morning Travalon and I went to the Heritage Café on the east side, then we drove to Zimbrick to see if they could fix Erin. Her trunk wouldn’t open at home, but then it popped open on the road, so that was a little disconcerting. Anyway, we got there safely, and they sent us to the rental car place to get a cute little white Hyundai which I have been driving since then. I also went to the DMV to get a new driver’s license, but apparently they are not open on Saturdays. I could have sworn they used to be… In the evening we met Jilly Moose and OK Cap at the Nau-Ti-Gal for dinner, since Catzookz had given Travalon a $10 off coupon for his birthday. It was a slow night, so the waitresses were very attentive. OK Cap had to work at 6 am (yawn!) the next morning, so she missed that horrible game. Richard Bonomo, Luxuli, and Prairie Man joined Jilly Moose at our place to watch that travesty. How could the Badgers lose 59-0 to Ohio State?? It was like we had no offense OR defense! People speculated that they were paid to throw the game, they were out too late partying the night before, someone cursed them, etc., but we may never know how this came to pass. Surprisingly, they managed to get into a bowl game, and it isn’t even the Toilet Bowl, which is where they belong after that performance.

Sunday Travalon and I overslept, so we went to a coffeehouse in Waunakee and then 10:30 Mass at their church up there. It’s a big, suburban church full of families. Then we went to a fundraiser at the Roxbury Tavern for the owner, who had a stroke and can’t pay all his medical bills. Light Bright played with another member of her band, and they were so, so good. Then I went with Rich and Kathbert to the all-University choirs’ Christmas Concert at Lutheran Cathedral of the West while Travalon went to the dog park with Rodney. Music in German and Latin isn’t really his thing. He did come to Rich’s house for some tea later, and then while we were driving home we saw about sixteen cop cars chasing one guy. We found out later he was black – and drunk – but fortunately the cops did not shoot him. It seemed kind of excessive, like there was a terrorist attack. Why would they need every cop in the city following one guy? He wasn’t even going that fast.

Famous Hat

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cashmere's Birthday Poem

Yesterday Travalon received a lovely birthday card in the mail from Ma and Pa Hat. It said they were glad Rodney threw him such a nice birthday party. Neither Travalon nor I was aware the dog was throwing birthday parties for us now, so we assume they meant Rich instead of Rodney. Anyway, it seems blogworthy.

A week ago my little bitchkin (as Hardingfele calls her) rabbit Cashmere turned nine. Age has mellowed her out a little, but she still refuses my affection most of the time, although last night I did manage to sneak up on her and grab her, so she was forced to cuddle with me. Most of the time when she sees me approaching, she runs behind her cage where I can’t reach her. As my regular readers no doubt remember, my boy bunny Charlie reached the ripe old age of nine and one half years, so I may have six more months to try to force Cashmere to love me. The only time she ever came close was at the vet’s office, when she wanted to be with me so badly that when I set her down, she leapt back into my arms - twice! Of course, being a female, Cashmere may outlive Charlie by many months, or even years. I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. Who wants a creature living in her house who despises her? You can no doubt sense my fondness for Cashmere, as evidenced by the fact that I completely forgot her birthday last Friday. Here is a little poem to make up for that oversight.

Happy birthday to my favorite bunny
Who happens to still be alive.
You can be a real honey
When you want a treat, or maybe five.
You are always happy to see me
When I have a banana to share.
Other times, not so much,
And when we’re cleaning your cage, beware!
It seems like only yesterday
You were a young rabbit, leaping about,
But now, after countless bales of hay,
You’re slower but just as much of a lout.
Perhaps I’ll never win your affection,
But you were good to Charlie when he was around,
And if I ever pass your inspection,
Cuddling you is where I’ll be found.

Famous Hat

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Defeat at the Hands of the Blue Devils

I realized today that I completely forgot Cashmere’s birthday last Friday, when I was busy posting a tirade about racism. Perhaps tomorrow I will rectify that and post a birthday poem to her. It’s useless actually doing anything for her; she just runs away when I come toward her. Unlike Charlie, who LOVED his ninth birthday party, she doesn't want any commemoration of reaching this milestone.

Last night Travalon, the Other Couple, and I met at some sort of VIP thing at the Kohl Center before the big game. There were all sorts of hors d’oeuvres, like tiny quiches and bacon-wrapped shrimp (oh my golly, it’s as wonderful as it sounds), and lovely raspberry-and-dark chocolate chip bars. From up there Madtown looks like a booming metropolis, with all the tall buildings lit up around it. I think they’re mostly freshman dorms, but they still look impressive, like you’re in downtown Chi-town or something. The female half of the Other Couple took photos of us and posted them to MyFace. Then we watched the game, which was actually quite a lot of fun. Lots of pomp and pageantry, like three kinds of cheerleader type girls, and some members of the football team came out to show off the Paul Bunyan axe they won against the Golden Gophers last weekend. The halftime entertainment was a very flexible girl named Stephanie who stood on her hands and shot a bow with her feet, hitting the bull’s eye on a target. The game itself was quite close at first… and then it wasn’t. We kept missing shots, while Duke was on fire. They were getting everything in. Prairie Man must be ecstatic, since he was rooting for the Blue Devils. But that’s the danger of a Big Game: the whole reason it is such a big deal is because you are playing a worthy opponent, which means there is a good chance they could beat you. And in this case they sure did, by ten points. Still, it was a lot of fun. I guess I do like basketball, at least live, although it doesn’t seem to have as much strategy as football, but that could be my lack of knowledge.

Travalon and I also had free passes for the parking garage next door, which was handy before the game, but afterwards we were stuck for half an hour while everyone poured out of there. We got home close to midnight, and I kind of overslept a little this morning. I was having a dream where Travalon and I were taking Croatian, or actually some ancestral language like Old Church Slavonic, and we were studying verb conjugations. In my dream they had not just the first, second, and third person singular and plural, but a special form of the verb meaning everyone. You know… I go, you go, he goes, we go, you guys go, they go, EVERYONE GOES! Then I asked about the subjunctive, and the teacher said she wasn’t going to teach us that yet, but then she realized she had accidentally given us that form in an example sentence. The A changed to an E, but I think my subconscious mind stole that right from Spanish. This is undoubtedly influenced by my Irish class, where we are learning the present, past, and future of common irregular verbs, and I keep forgetting to ask if they have a special subjunctive form. Leave it to me to have nerdy linguistic dreams. 

Famous Hat

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Still Alive

Just a quick post to let my readers know I’m still alive and very well, just extremely busy. At work we are getting the renewals for our journals, and it seems like I’m never home. Monday night of course we went out for Travalon’s birthday, to Red Lobster, and last night after Irish class we went to Liliana’s for their New Orleans tasting menu. Then tonight I’m missing band practice for the Duke game. Good thing I’ve taken a break from the OTHER choir this semester, because Thursday will be my only evening at home to recharge. I’ll try to think of something more clever to blog about later this week, but between stuffing it full of new Irish vocabulary and taxing it to figure out mysterious renewal requests, my brain needs a vacation tonight. Luckily watching basketball doesn’t take too much brain power.

Famous Hat 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, Travalon!

Friday evening Travalon and I went to a fish fry with another couple I have never mentioned on this blog, but we are also going to the Wisconsin vs. Duke game with them on Wednesday, so I suppose they do need a way to be referred to. For now I’ll call them The Other Couple. I suppose my regular readers are saying to themselves, “Famous Hat, when did you get to be such a basketball fan?” The answer is that I am not a huge basketball fan, but neither is the female half of the Other Couple, so this is simply a double date doing what the men want to do. I feel a little guilty, knowing Prairie Man and several others I know would love to be at this game, so I’ll try really hard to enjoy it for their sakes.

Saturday morning Travalon and I met Mama Step at the Manna Café for brunch. She wants to have a viewing party for the first episode of the new season of Downton Abbey, but guess who hasn’t seen a single episode of it yet? Looks like I may have to do some remedial viewing between now and then. Travalon kind of wanted to go to the Badger football game, and the weather was actually quite warm (at least compared to what it’s been), but we decided to just take Rodney for a romp at the dog park and then watch part of the game at the Wauna-Bowl. We were going to head to Country Springs, where Travalon had earned a free night in an executive suite with a whirlpool by trying all the martinis in their Martini Club, but we ended up watching the rest of the game. By the time we got to Country Springs, there wasn’t much time left to enjoy the water park, so we didn’t do that (since it costs extra). Instead, we went through the Christmas light display, which was very cool. The whirlpool in our room was great, but the water was kind of lukewarm.

Sunday we’d been planning to go to Mass in Pewaukee, but we got going in time to grab some coffee and head home to walk Rodney before the 11 am Mass just down the road from us. (We have gone to the 9 am Mass there a couple of times when running too late to get to our parish downtown.) Then we watched the excellent Packers game. Can you believe we (barely) beat Tom Brady and the Patriots? Luxuli and Prairie Man were actually at the game, lucky ducks. In the evening Rich threw a birthday party for Travalon (whose actual birthday is today), and Kathbert, Jilly Moose, Catzookz, Cecil Markovitch, and both B-Boys came. Rich made lasagna and actually got two cakes, a turtle cheesecake and a gluten-free chocolate cake. Travalon enjoyed his birthday party; he says he hasn’t had one since fifth grade. Now that he’s part of our gang, that has all changed – we love having parties for any reason, and birthdays are a really good excuse.

Happy birthday, Travalon!

Famous Hat