Sorry I didn’t write on Thursday. Travalon and I hung out with our neighbors on our dock for Thirsty Thursday, then they all left but we kept hanging out. Sometimes you just need to hang out on the dock on a beautiful summer evening. Then we watched the movie Zootopia, which was a very clever take on race relations. I said to Travalon, “Everyone should see this movie!” and then I googled it and found it had grossed over a billion dollars, so apparently everyone has. If you, gentle reader, have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It is an animated movie about different animal species living together in a big city, and it spoofs cop movies and Mafia movies brilliantly.
Friday evening Travalon and I went to a Mallards game. It did not start off in a most promising manner, because the Mallards gave up three runs in the first inning, but at least they got one themselves. As the game went on, they tied it up, pulled ahead, and got a home run! Then the Green Bay Bullfrogs got a home run and tied things back up, so the game went into the 10th inning. The Bullfrogs didn’t score at all, and I told Travalon, “I really have to go to the bathroom, but if I leave now, they’ll get a walk-off homer.” I decided to sacrifice for the team, and my strategy paid off: the Mallards did indeed get a walk-off homer while I was in the bathroom. So I missed it, but they won!
Saturday morning Catzookz wanted a friend of hers to meet some other “sociable” Catholics in town, so Jilly Moose, Rich, Travalon, and I met the two of them for brunch at Off Broadway. I was curious to try this new restaurant anyway, since it was recently opened by the relative of a coworker, and it is very good! It is where there used to be a dive bar called the Paradise Lounge, which has apparently moved downtown. I had the cherry waffles and Travalon had the spinach bacon omelet, and we split them. They were so good! Then Catzookz’s friend had to take off, but the rest of us went to a park in Monona and then walked a few blocks to another park on the shore of Squaw Bay. Rich, Catzookz, and I explored a woodsier part of the park, which was quite an adventure since I was wearing fancy sandals instead of sneakers. Later in the afternoon Travalon and I went to the Hop Garden in Paoli to sit in the shade and drink their version of shandy, made with kambucha, then we headed to a restaurant in Monticello called the Dining Room because we had heard it was a) amazing and b) closing soon. Both turned out to be true, but they will still be open through most of September, so you do have a chance to try them. They are not closing for lack of business but because the proprietors are getting a divorce. How sad.
Yesterday Travalon and I went to Grampa’s Pizzeria for brunch, since we had seen a sign in their window that they now have brunch and we had never been there. It is a beautiful space in an old gun shop (the “Grampa” in the name refers to the name of the gun shop), and the food was really good, but we seemed to be the oldest people in there by a long shot. I guess it’s a really hip, trendy place. So many places in town are now because of all the twentysomethings with money who work for the big software company in town. Then we got Rodney and took him for a birthday “walk” (he was carried for a lot of it) at Pheasant Branch. We could hear a party in the distance, so we took a stairway that seemed to lead up toward the sound, and we discovered Colombia Fest. The music was wonderful, lots of salsa and cumbia, and people were singing karaoke but they were actually all very good. Perhaps Colombians have a better sense of their vocal talents than the average Anglo in a karaoke bar. Travalon and I were about the only Anglos at the festival. Then we met Rich, Cecil Markovitch, the Single B-Boy, Jilly Moose, Catzookz, Twins Fan, and OK Cap at Greekfest because who can get enough of ethnic festivals? The music there was wonderful too, and the food was really good. Then we all moved to the Union Terrace, where we were joined by Prairie Man and Michaela the Pomeranian, my OTHER choir director, and Kathbert for Rodney’s 17th birthday party. It was a beautiful evening, and we had a wonderful time. Can you believe Rodney is 17? That is an age you would expect for a cat, not a dog. He loved being fussed over by everyone.