Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Evening on the Union Terrace (until June)

Friday evening I was once again planning to meet the Rosary Ladies for dinner, this time at Brasserie V, but somehow Luxuli couldn’t find us there. Jilly Moose, OK Cap, and I had dinner there, then we went to the Monona Terrace to see a salsa band. I had already checked the website and knew the band would be playing inside, not on the roof, but when we got there, we found a sign saying the concert had been moved to the Expo Center. Adding insult to injury, we passed the grace period by a couple of minutes and had to pay for parking. We did get to the Expo Center and danced to the salsa band, so the evening wasn’t a complete disaster. We did get rained on a lot.

Saturday morning Travalon showed me another example of his phone going nuts: the night before it had sent five text messages to a friend of his that were all emojis, those little emoticons like smiley faces, but these were mostly a staring face. I laughed for ten minutes straight, thinking of what his friend’s reaction must have been. We took Rodney canoeing with us (see the photo on my previous post) and went back into Cherokee Marsh, but we couldn’t go too far because my band had a gig at the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival. Luxuli, Jilly Moose, and OK Cap came to hear me, then we all went to dinner at the Craftsman Taphouse. We ended the evening fairly early, so Travalon and I went home and watched Part Three of the Ken Burns documentary on jazz. It was so interesting, and I love the footage from the 1920’s.

Yesterday Travalon and I took Rodney out in the boat for the first time, and he seemed to love it even more than canoeing. The Union Terrace will be shut down for repairs from tomorrow until next June, so the three of us went there for one last ear of corn and glass of beer as we (humans) sat on those iconic chairs, gazing out at the water. Prairie Man joined us and we had great conversation until the sun was setting, then we headed to Rich’s house for more conversation and some vegetables, like the spaghetti squash Kathbert’s cousin had given her. The plants at Rich’s house look very happy, even though I totally forgot to look in on them while he was on Isle Royale. So it was another great summer weekend, with a lot of time on the water. Next weekend will be a long one – hopefully I get to spend at least some of it boating and/or canoeing with Rodney and Travalon!

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Photos of Rodney

Here are two pictures of Rodney. The first one is of him wearing his little life jacket in our canoe:

The second one is Rodney hiding from Monday:

It's coming!

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Random Work Conversations

There is someone I have to communicate with regularly for work matters, but he and I always go off on conversational tangents. Last time I talked to him, he was learning calligraphy, and he is always coordinating rescue efforts in the mountains. He lives on an island in the state of Washington. Today he called, and we quickly got off topic talking about French existential literature. He said he knew he wasn’t going to like Camus’ magnum opus The Stranger when the first line was: “Today Mom died,” and I said, “I felt exactly the same way!!” He said he was keeping notes on our conversation, so he read them back to me, and they were something like: a difficult customer, Jean Harlowe, Heart of Darkness by Conrad, and now I can’t even remember the rest but you get the idea. Talking to him always brightens my day, but unfortunately I think he may be retiring soon, and the next person will probably just talk shop.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Modal Chord Changes

Yesterday at band practice we were playing a lot of fiddle tunes for an upcoming gig (this Saturday at 4:30 at the Good Neighbor Festival in Middleton, for those who are around), and a lot of these tunes are modal, but the chords often cover that fact up. For example, “Old Joe Clark” is in the Mixolydian mode, and in the B part of the tune there should be a C chord when you are playing it in D major (as we were), but our arrangement had an A7 chord there, as if it were just regular major key. I advocated for changing the chord, so we played the C and then Hardingfele’s husband suggested a C6 would be even better. We all agreed it did sound better – it gives it that “bluesy” feel that straight major key just doesn’t have. We have another tune, “Liza Jane,” that seems to be screaming for a modal chord in the A part – do any of my readers know this tune? Is it in fact Mixolydian and not just major key? Maybe it is Lydian, and that’s why, when I tried a Mixolydian chord, it didn’t sound right. We probably won’t solve this mystery before Saturday, but at some point I’d like to emphasize the modes in our fiddle tunes, to make them more fun and more true to the original intent.

Last night Luxuli and I went on a brisk three-mile walk. It felt great! We agreed we have to do it more often. Maybe not in my neighborhood, though – the cars are supposed to only go 25 mph along the road with no sidewalk, but they sure seem to be zipping by much faster than that.

Travalon is having some bizarre issues with his new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S6. My name in the contacts randomly changed from “Famous” to “Famous Table Tennis rrr 564,” and somehow his alarm got turned on so it went off every morning at 6 am. When you can sleep a few minutes later than that, you do NOT appreciate being awakened, so finally this morning I tried to turn the alarm off. It took some doing, but I finally did it. His phone is not as intuitive as my iPhone. We are wondering if someone actually hacked his phone and purposely effected these changes, or how are they happening? Nothing weird has happened with my phone yet, knock on wood…

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Ode to Boating in the Megan Jaye

I am not the only one noticing that my old blog posts were more creative; the other day Travalon said something about it. (I love how Spellcheck is constantly trying to change his name to Travelog.) Since I have nothing else to blog about anyway, perhaps today I should try to be more creative. Here is an ode to boating in the Megan Jaye, which is what Travalon named our boat, after a yacht that John Lennon once owned:

Gliding over the water
In the brilliant sunshine,
Looking at large houses,
Isn’t my life so fine?
Back into the marshland
We go without a care,
Gazing at the lotus blossoms
Blooming here and there.
Just when it really seems
Nothing could get any better,
The motor starts to sputter,
And there go all our dreams.
Looks like we’re paddling back,
Not motoring home, alack!
At least we can work in tandem.
My rhyme scheme is very random.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Moose on Isle Royale

In my last post I forgot to mention Luxuli’s generosity: she brought over squid ink pasta which she shared with Travalon and me for lunch on Saturday, and after our canoe/boat ride, she treated us and Hardingfele to a quick drink at the Nau-Ti-Gal.

Richard Bonomo has returned from Isle Royale. He went with the Single B-Boy, Handy Woman, and another woman from Slow Food. He said I should change Handy Woman’s name on this blog to Superwoman, because she is so organized. He says he was the slow one on their hikes, but she says they went at a faster pace than she would have liked. The other woman stopped to eat berries all the time. As soon as they got to the lodge on the island, they saw a big bull moose, and one night there were moose out grazing near their tents; they didn’t see them, but they heard them. Rich went out to see what was going on, and a woman at another campsite signaled for him to be quiet, so he was. Unfortunately, he could not see the moose in the dark. It sounds like Isle Royale is the ideal place for Jilly Moose! There are also three wolves on the island, but our intrepid travelers didn't see any.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Another Rosary Ladies Weekend

I hope my readers had an excellent weekend. I sure did, beginning with our Ladies’ Night on Friday. Luxuli, Jilly Moose, OK Cap, and I met for dinner at Brocach, then we went to a choral concert put on by a group that Miss Heartsong is a member of; they perform 16th century polyphony. It was a lovely concert, and Miss Heartsong was glad that we had come to hear her. Then we went to an elementary school playground and ate tres leches cake while reminiscing about our childhoods, and then Luxuli headed home and the rest of us went to Brasserie V for a quick drink. It was a late night, but a fun one.

Saturday morning Travalon had to work, so I ran errands, mostly getting things in the mail. Luxuli and Hardingfele came over and paddled in our canoe, and they are so fast that they could practically keep up with Travalon and me in the motor boat. We all went out into Cherokee Marsh, since it was too windy to head toward the lake – I heard today that two people in a canoe actually capsized on the lake that day and had to be rescued. OK Cap and Jilly Moose had said they would be free later in the afternoon, but I was unable to reach either one and didn’t get Jilly Moose’s message because cell phones are imperfect. Travalon and I went to the Union Terrace, where an Irish band was playing, and hung out with Rodney, enjoying the beautiful evening. We were bummed to learn we had missed the annual Pirates’ Regatta earlier that afternoon, but that’s life.

Yesterday Jilly Moose and OK Cap came Mass and brunch with the usual gang, then Travalon and I went to Paoli and hung out at the Hop Garden, enjoying the lovely afternoon. It was a bit cooler than usual for this time of year, but we were dressed accordingly so we were very comfortable. There was a bluegrass band called Down from the Mountain playing, and the little sandwich shop set up a grill, so we indulged in grilled corn on the cob. Rodney made the acquaintance of an 11-year-old miniature poodle named Jasper. In the evening Travalon, Jilly Moose, OK Cap, and I went to Doughboy’s Pizza in Waunakee, where we sat on the patio enjoying our pizza, then we went to the East Side Club. Unfortunately we had just missed the sunset, and it was very windy down on the lakefront, so nobody else was there and the bartender wanted to close up shop. We just stayed long enough to watch the lights come up on the Monona Terrace and the Capitol Building. Still, the ladies got a good idea of how much fun the place can be. We’ll have to return when the weather is gentler.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Steak Dinner at the East Side Club

Last night Travalon and I went to our first members-only event at the East Side Club. It was a steak dinner, and a couple of guys grilled generous-sized steaks while the rest of us brought side dishes or desserts, depending upon our last names. Dinner was so good, even the fruit tart that we bought at a grocery store because I was too lazy to make a dessert Wednesday night and went to work out instead. The people who sat at our table were all great, and after dinner we signed up to play bocce ball. They made up teams, and Travalon and I found ourselves on opposing ones. Bocce ball isn’t a very complicated game: you just try to get your ball as close to the little ball (the pallino) as possible. According to my phone, we walked half a mile during the game, so it was a little exercise, and it was out on the lawn so we got fresh air. Travalon’s team was ahead of ours most of the game, but then we would tie it back up, and at the end we scored several points and won. It was so much fun! I’m tempted to join the leagues next year. Of course we ended the evening by sitting down by the lake, gazing at the Monona Terrace and the Capitol Building all lit up. I love the East Side Club!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Chicken or the Egg

The theme of the wedding reception we attended on Friday evening was Hawaiian, and so there was a pineapple on every table as the centerpiece. Since nobody had claimed the pineapple on our table by the time we were leaving, I grabbed it. As I was sitting here a few minutes ago eating pieces of the pineapple, a sudden thought occurred to me: the question of what came first, the chicken or the egg, is really a silly one. If you subscribe to the theory of evolution (as I do), then clearly the egg came first because there were eggs before there were ever chickens. Think about it: chickens descended from dinosaurs, which hatched from eggs, so at some point a creature almost like a chicken laid an egg and then an actual chicken hatched out of it. Seriously, why was this question even considered a puzzle? The answer is so blatantly obvious.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Unauthorized Person on the Tracks

This is the first blog entry I am doing on my new MacBook Pro, Boethius. (Yes, I know it was the name of my old bike, but Rich's MacBook Pro is Aquinas, and Kathbert's was Praetorius, so Boethius kind of matches theirs.) It was an adventure just getting started, because the instructions said just push the power button and it would turn on, so I pushed the power button... and nothing happened. I called Apple Support, and they said plug it in, so I did, and then it worked. Odd, because the instructions specifically said the battery would be charged enough for it to just start, but anyway it's working now. So I finally have my own laptop.

I forgot to mention during my last post (which was long enough) that on Saturday, while we were taking the Red Line of the El in Chicago, the train suddenly stopped and the power went out completely. As you may remember, Saturday was beastly hot, so it was not that pleasant on the train with no air conditioning. Then the conductor told us, "An unauthorized individual has fallen on the tracks, so they have turned the power off for the whole system. Once this medical emergency has been cleared up, we will resume service." We all looked at each other in shock, because if there is one thing we all knew, it is that making contact with the third rail generally causes more than a "medical emergency," in that it is usually fatal. Then the guy across from us said, "An unauthorized individual? Can you imagine the person who is authorized to do that?" He pointed at me and said, "'You! You're authorized to fall on the tracks!'" and we all laughed. Later I looked up on my iPhone whether there was any news about the unfortunate unauthorized soul, but all I found were stories about people in May and July who fell on the tracks. One guy died and the woman was in critical condition. So hopefully this person was okay, or there would have been a news item about him or her.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Bike Ride and Croatian Fest

It was a hot weekend, but still a very fun one. I took the day off of work on Friday to participate in the annual Birthday Bash for the Daughter of Denni. We biked from her friend’s house to the Club Tavern, which was just a couple of blocks, and I thought to myself, “I can totally do this!” The next stop was Paul’s Neighborhood Bar, about a mile and half, and most of it through the Pheasant Branch Conservatory on a bike path, so that didn’t seem so painful either. The third stop was partway to the Missouri Tavern on the bike path that goes along Highway 12, and it was in the blazing sun and had some hills, so I fell behind. A really kind soul biked along with me, and she had a speaker on her bike handles, so we had some tunes. Once we got to the makeshift stop, Travalon and I had to leave in order to get to his friend’s wedding reception on time. Thank goodness Travalon was my own personal SAG wagon again this year!

The reception was for Travalon’s friend who got married in Hawaii – this was for all the friends and relatives back home. The bride was ecstatic to see me, since I was one of the few people she knew there. The reception was at a restaurant on the lake, with a buffet dinner and a very loud DJ. Why do they always keep turning up the volume? Some adorable kids danced with the bride and groom and each other, and we sat with a couple who will be married 50 years in September. Afterwards we drove to Gurnee and stayed there for the night.

Saturday morning we found a church on the way that had confession at a reasonable time – our smart phones are already coming in handy! Then we took the train down to the Chinatown stop and got some bubble tea before walking to the Croatian Fest at St. Jerome Church. We met Cecil Markovitch there and had delicious Croatian food and admired the lovely church, but the musical entertainment was not very ethnic; for example, there was an Elvis impersonator. We explored Chinatown and came back to the festival, and by then a band was playing ethnic music. Afterwards Travalon and I stopped at a restaurant we had passed that had posted a review stating they have the best sandwich ever, but while it was a good enough sandwich, I didn’t think it rated that highly. We got on the road kind of late and got home not long before one am.

Yesterday morning Lady Harriet Wimsey was visiting from Florida, so she came to Mass and brunch. She said Freddy Mercury is the Oscar Wilde of rock music, which I thought was a wonderful analogy: he led a disordered life but created great art as he sought the truth. Then Travalon and I took the boat out into the Cherokee Marsh again, and once again the motor died, so we had to row back the whole way. We took Rodney and went to the Doggy Dinner at Liliana’s, but nobody else had brought a dog so we were alone on the patio. Rodney did seem to enjoy his special Doggy Dinner, and the human food was really good too. We were glad to call it an evening early, after all that exercise this weekend: biking all over on Friday, walking over seven miles on Saturday, and paddling for two hours on Sunday. We should be in great shape!

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Big Band Concert on the Beach

Last night I went to Oconomowoc with Travalon to attend a concert with his mother. The group was Ladies Must Swing, an all-woman big band from right here in Madtown, and they played 40’s music in the band shell that is by the beach on Lake La Belle. It was a beautiful setting, and the music was wonderful. Travalon’s mom really got into it and was singing along with a lot of the songs. I hope I’m like that in my 80’s! Maybe I’ll be singing along to the 80’s music in my 80’s, since that is the music of my youth, as the Big Band Era stuff was the music of my mother-in-law’s youth. I like it a lot too, but I don’t know it like she knows it. There was one song they just played and didn’t sing that my MIL said was called “Working for the Yankee Dollar,” and she said it was about prostitution. No wonder they didn’t sing it! There were plenty of little kids around. It was a catchy tune, anyway, as they all seemed to be back then. What a wonderful evening, watching the sunset and the boats and listening to Big Band music. We all enjoyed it immensely.

Tomorrow I may not blog because I’ll be on the bike ride for the Daughter of Denni’s birthday, and then Travalon and I are going to the Wisconsin reception for his friend who got married in Hawaii.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Biking Misadventure

Yesterday Travalon drove my bicycle Eusebius and me to work, with the plan that I would bike home to see how long it takes. At some point I’d like to become less car-dependent, but it’s hard when I’d have to take three different busses and the parking at work is free. After work it was a gorgeous, sunny day and I hopped on the bike but noticed it was riding strangely, so I looked more closely and the back tire was completely flat. How had that happened? It had been fine in the morning. None of my coworkers were able to take me to the bike shop, so I called a taxi and had to wait for twenty minutes, but at least it was only a $5 ride. Once they fixed the tire, I was raring to go, but of course I had told Travalon of my woes, and he came to pick me up. We had dinner at Manna Café, and he was disappointed to see they have taken their chicken paprikash off the menu, then we went to the health club and swam, so I could at least get a little exercise. We did race each other, and I used the water weights, so it was a decent workout, but biking all the way home would have been great. Maybe tomorrow I will bike around Lake Monona with some coworkers after work, and Friday I am taking the day off of work for the Daughter of Denni’s annual biking to bars birthday bash, so I will get my biking fix in soon.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mallards Playoff Game

Last night Travalon and I went to a Mallards playoff game. The crowd was about the sixth the size of a regular game, probably because we only found out at the last minute that they would be playing in town. That was wonderful for us, but maybe a little discouraging for the players to have such a sparse crowd. We went to the stand with healthier food, like salmon burgers, but they were closed so our only choice besides the “brats and burgers” stand was the Philly steaks stand, so that’s what we ended up having. We also got two-for-one beer because a runner scored on a wild pitch. I was so involved in the game that I didn’t even notice the mascot, Maynard the Mallard, sneak up behind me. Travalon got this great picture of him giving me a hug. Afterwards we bought some Mallards gear because everything was on sale, and then I had Ramirez (#0) sign our baseball. My favorite is Gonsolen, but he was nowhere to be seen, and Ramirez is pretty great too. Best of all, the Mallards won! They beat the Green Bay Bullfrogs, who had defeated them in a game we saw earlier this year, so it was payback.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Diana Krall at the Riverside Theater

I hope my readers had an excellent weekend. Mine was definitely enjoyable! On Friday night, Travalon and I met Jilly Moose and OK Cap at the Essen Haus for fish fry, then Travalon headed home and we ladies headed to the Monona Terrace to hear a salsa band. We only heard the last three songs, so we talked about going for a drink at the Tiki Bar at the East Side Club, but we decided instead to get one at the hotel right next the Monona Terrace. They have a very swanky bar called Olive where you can get $10 cocktails, and Jilly Moose and I had one called 40 but Hot that was, as the name implied, VERY warm. It was chocolate liqueur with Cointreau and cream – so good! OK Cap had a maple Old Fashioned.

Saturday morning Jilly Moose met Travalon and me at the Coffee Gallery, then he and I headed to Milwaukee. We went to Mass at St. Josephat’s Basilica, where the offertory hymn was one of my favorites, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.” The organist ended on a major key chord, which is known as a Picardy Third, and since the tune is “Picardy,” I wondered if he/she did it on purpose as an inside joke for all us music nerds out there. After Mass Travalon and I went to dinner at a hotel called the Iron Horse, which has a really cool patio overlooking the river. A former coworker of his was supposed to be working at the bar on the patio, but nobody knew where he was that night. A ditzy twenty-something hostess asked if we were this guy’s parents. What?!?! Maybe if I’d started at age fifteen… I guess to young kids like that, we all just look OLD. Then we went to the Riverside Theater to see Diana Krall, a jazz singer and pianist who was the embodiment of my adolescent fantasies of what I’d grow up to be. She was not only fabulously talented, she was also very funny, and her backing band was amazing – the violinist at one point played his instrument like it was a mandolin, and he was better than I am on the actual mandolin. It goes without saying that his violin playing is much better than mine. The stage was decorated with several old radios that lit up inside, and on a screen behind the performers they sometimes showed old footage of people from the 1920’s dancing. Afterwards we stopped at Coppers Pub at Country Springs, and everyone there knew Travalon, including one of his instructors from college. That guy is also friends with his brother – what a small world!

Yesterday I went to Light Bright’s baby shower, and as usual, my team won the trivia game but I was not even close to guessing the mother-to-be’s current girth. We had pizza and ice cream cake – so much for my diet. Light Bright is having a boy, and the theme of his nursery is fishing, so there was an undersea theme to the shower. I got her a baby book that was on her registry, but lots of women made her gifts, like quilts, blankets, and onesies that said “Future banjo player.” Later in the afternoon, Jilly Moose and I joined OK Cap at her outdoor pool, and soon Luxuli joined us. Prairie Man was with her, but he had Michaela the Dog with him, so he didn’t swim. He called Travalon, who came over and brought Rodney. We did get a talking-to for having dogs on the property, because apparently they have a strict no-dog policy. Travalon brought Rodney home, and OK Cap was asking the condo president if it’s OK for guests to have dogs, but he said no. Just then Prairie Man drove by in his loud pickup truck with Michaela beaming out the window at us, so Luxuli and I couldn’t stop laughing. What timing! We aren’t sure if the condo president saw her… We ended the evening with dinner at the Nau-Ti-Gal. It was too late to go to the East Side Club, but hopefully soon we can all make it over there.

Famous Hat

Friday, August 7, 2015

My First East Side Club Meeting

Last night I went to my first East Side Club business meeting. At first I felt kind of out of place, because everyone else knew each other, and they were all at least a generation older than I am, but then an old coworker entered the room. That was great – we chatted about what everyone from the old place is up to these days. I was specially invited to this meeting because I am a new member, and after all the business talk (a lot like a condo association meeting, if you have ever been to one), they invited us newbies up to the stage and asked us to talk a little about ourselves. I pulled out the old “I’m a semi-professional musician making tens of dollars playing in public” line, and they loved it. In fact, I once played at the East Side Club, for a St. Patrick’s Day event. However, that was in the evening when it was dark out, and so I didn’t realize at the time what a treasure the place is. The chairman asked us newbies to each drink a “shot,” which tasted like cinnamon and was apparently not alcoholic at all, then they asked us to lead the singing of “God Bless America,” which I for one was happy to do. They also have a club song, which is vaguely to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and is about how they never drink from the fountain down the street. Apparently it is a very old song, dating from when horses pulled carriages down the street, and the “fountain” in question was a trough for the horses to drink from. Interestingly, the current East Side Club building is from the 1950’s, and they used to be located in the building where Bunky’s Café is now. I learned all this from my New Member Welcome Package. So now I really feel like a part of the East Side Club!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fantastic Mallards Game

Last night Travalon and I went to a Mallards game. Our tickets were a little pricier than usual, partly because the price included a donation to the Overture Center for the Arts, and partly because we got access to the tailgate party. That meant burgers and brats and beer before the game, so I had one of each. I feel a little guilty about it today, but my iPhone was also tracking my movements during the game, and I walked way over a mile and went up seven flights of stairs, so at least I worked a tiny fraction of it off. The game was terrible at first, because the visitors scored three runs right away in the first inning, and we couldn’t answer them until the fifth inning, but then we scored five so we were up two runs. A small lead, but we’d take it. Then, in the seventh inning – five more runs! Wow, we were up by seven! A lot of people left at that point, but Travalon and I stuck it out to the bitter end. A couple of those runs were because the other team’s pitcher kept walking our guys, so he loaded the bases and then forced two guys home with walks. No home runs or anything that exciting, but it was still a great game. Lots of fun stuff between innings too, like the “diaper race” where all four babies just sat there and wouldn’t go to their mothers, so it was a four-way tie, and the bouncing pony race/bachelor party, with the mascot ensuring that competitors who were doing too well got knocked off their bouncy ponies. I love small-time baseball!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bocce Ball at the East Side Club

Last night Travalon and I went to the East Side Club, since I had read that they have dinner there on Mondays and Tuesdays. “Dinner” turned out to be grilled brats and burgers with a side of chips, but the place was very lively because of the bocce ball games going on. I have played bocce ball before, and in fact once we played it at Anna Banana II’s cottage on Lake Ripley, and Tiffy turned out to be a real prodigy at the game. She swore she had never played it before. It may be too late in the season for me to join the bocce ball league at the East Side Club, but perhaps next year we could look into it. Too bad Tiffy lives so far away – if I had her on my team, we’d win all the tournaments! I have also played bocce ball at night with glow-in-the-dark balls, which was a lot of fun, but there was no indication they did that at the East Side Club. As the sun was setting, the games were winding down, and as darkness fell just a few small groups of people lingered, enjoying the tiki bar and the fabulous view of the brightly lit Monona Terrace across the lake. I tried to take a picture, but it is blurry. You just have to see this beautiful sight for yourselves, my faithful readers. If you go, let me know – I’m always up for a trip to the East Side Club!

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Monday, August 3, 2015

More Adventures in Boating

I hope my readers had an excellent, if very hot, weekend. Friday evening Travalon and I decided to take a moonlit boat ride, and I rigged up a lantern Richard Bonomo had given us to the front of the boat with a bungee cord. Just when I was feeling clever (and beautiful, because Travalon said the light made me glow), the bugs began swarming around me in a big cloud. That made for a very strange ride. At least none of them bit me. Otherwise it was a lovely night, with the second full moon in July, or as they say, a blue moon, though it did not look particularly blue.

Saturday Travalon and I ran errands all morning, including getting a baby shower gift for Light Bright (which I put in a gift bag emblazoned with butterflies, since I forgot she is having a boy) and getting a new seat for my bike. We had Cajun catfish sandwiches at the Big Ten Pub for lunch, even though I had made Cajun catfish for dinner the night before. Guess we just love our Cajun catfish! Then we took our longest ride yet in the boat, going out onto Lake Mendota and admiring the enormous houses along the shoreline. Some of them were just ridiculous, like palaces, and even their boathouses looked as big as our whole condo. In the evening Travalon went to Steak Night at Samba Grill with Rich, Twins Fan, Prairie Man, and another guy, while OK Cap, Luxuli, and I had pizza at OK Cap’s house and then swam in her outdoor pool. (Jilly Moose unfortunately had to work.) We even went in the hot tub, but it was REALLY hot, so then we went in the sauna, but it wasn’t warming up at all. Luxuli made brownies, and I brought one home to Travalon, who enjoyed it – he had been too full to eat dessert at Samba.

Yesterday we came home after church to find a message on our phone that someone had tried to use my credit card number to pay a $97 bar tab in Cancun, Mexico while we were at Mass. Fortunately my credit card company declined the charge, but I had to call a bunch of people about canceling my current card and getting a new one. After that we just wanted to go swimming, since it was so hot out, so we drove to Lake Mills and went swimming in Rock Lake, which is really clean and refreshing. They even have a bar on the shore like something you would see in Florida, so we had a drink there. We also checked out the beach at Lake Kegonsa, which was nice enough but not as wonderful as the one at Rock Lake. We ended the evening by picking up some chicken from Popeye’s and bringing it to Rich’s house to have dinner with him and the married B-Boy, and Kathbert stopped by to blat (as she calls it). I guess that’s a word – Spellcheck doesn’t have a problem with it.

No worries about my credit card – I stopped by my credit union today, and they printed a new one for me in about two minutes. Hopefully this one’s number doesn’t get stolen… Our best guess is that my number was stolen during that big hack of Home Depot’s database, since I had just bought carpeting and a washer/dryer from them for my old condo. 

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