Archive for August 2007

The Antlers Have Found a Home!

August 31st, 2007 — 6:08am

Earlier this week, Karen generously agreed to help me hang my antlers, and other random antique store finds, in my bedroom on the wall above my bed. I think the whole eclectic assortment came together so nicely, and even Karen agreed that it looks great. She said that it looked stylish and much less north woods lodge-ish than she thought it would. I’d have to agree. Last night I actually had a dream that I found another great set of antlers, so that must be a sign that more are on the way.

Comment » | Crafts & Design

Ladies’ Night

August 30th, 2007 — 5:39am

Last night was ladies’ night. My mom is currently swinging single as my dad and brother travel like nomads through the western states before my brother’s upcoming ultra marathon in the Wasatch Mountains on September 8th. Karen and I decided to drive to Brookfield after work yesterday afternoon to join Jackie for a downtown concert and picnic. The plan was to pick up Chinese food from our lifelong favorite—Chinese Pagoda in Wauwatosa—and then head downtown to Pere Marquette Park (on Third and Kilbourn) to enjoy Wade Fernandez, a musician of contemporary American Indian music.

Unfortunately, the rain quickly put an end to our concert plans, but we certainly didn’t let that spoil our fun! We arrived in Brookfield around 6 p.m. and picked up Jackie, who appeared relaxed and carefree, now unrestrained by the continual stresses and demands that come from living with two grown boys. We hit up Balistreri’s, our favorite local pizza joint in Wauwatosa, which serves up the most amazingly thin crust pizza. Next, we headed to Kopp’s so that Karen could finally taste the finest custard in Milwaukee, which I so often rave about. The two flavors of the day were Pomegranate and Grasshopper Fudge. My mom and Karen chose Pomegranate, and I, of course, chose Grasshopper Fudge, which was sinfully delicious. After ice cream, we returned to my parent’s house and looked through several picture albums from my childhood. It was pretty entertaining stuff. Lots of family camping. Some rather scary hairstyles. And that little blonde who always marched to her own beat. It was a fun night. I wish ladies’ night with my mom came along more often.

Comment » | Family Fun

More Pictures From the Lake

August 29th, 2007 — 11:23am
Action shot of Kristin riding. And Karen attempting to take photos while riding herself. Very dangerous!

Kristin and Karen gearing up for a 60-mile bike ride on Saturday morning. Short and sweet, because it’s taper time, baby!

Nightfall on Long Lake.

Karen paddling strong (while Kristin sits and takes pictures) on Friday night.

Comment » | Vacation and Travel

Crazy You

August 28th, 2007 — 12:32pm

Many of you know that I am a vinyl junkie. Some of you have spent quality time with me during vacations searching for the best local record stores. My most recent purchase, and current obsession, is the fifth version of Rewind!, which is a compilation of “original classics. re-worked, remixed, and rewound” from Ubiquity Records. According to the label’s Web site, “the concept of the Rewind! compilation series is simple—our favorite artists cover their favorite tracks, revealing their influences and bringing classic tunes back up to date.” The album features the following eleven tracks that are all cover versions made from scratch (no remixes or re-edits).

1. El Michels Affair “Walk On By” (Burt Bacharach)
2. Black Shakespeare feat. Charlie Charles “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac)
3. The Rebirth “Handle It” (The Sylvers)
4. J*Davey “Dirty Love” (Frank Zappa)
5. NuSpirit Helsinki “No Quarter” (Led Zeppelin)
6. Randy Watson Experience “Be Still My Beating Heart” (Sting)
7. Psapp “Everybody Wants to Be A Cat” (The Aristocats)
8. Osunlade “Crazy Love” (Prince Nelson)
9. Daz-I-Kue feat. Bembe Segue and Colonel Red “Spoiled” (Ben E. King)
10. Henrik Schwarz “Labeille” (Guem et Zaka)
11. Owusu and Hannibal “Caroline, No” (The Beach Boys)

My favorite track is Osunlade’s version of Prince’s “Crazy Love.” It’s just so sexy, and I can’t help but dance around my living room when I’m listening to it. The lyrics are simple, but the beat is what really gets me. Really, you just have to listen to it:

“You have got a strange way about ya’… kinda’ crazy
But I love you just the same
Because you… Oh you make me wanna do
Oh everything
I’m just a crazy fool, lost in the world of love
I get from crazy you
Oh, I’m so strung out thinking ’bout the crazy things you do
Crazy you”

Comment » | Books, Film, and Music

I Smelled Cordovan, And It Was Good.

August 28th, 2007 — 11:49am

Banana Republic has just launched Cordovan, its newest men’s fragrance part of the Discover Collection. At a staff meeting on Sunday night, we were given samples of the new men’s and women’s fragrances. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough samples for everyone to take both, so we had to choose one. I thought it was somewhat odd when several of the mostly-single female employees chose to take the men’s fragrance sample instead of the women’s. They were all giddy and excitedly exclaiming how wonderful Cordovan smelled. But then I worked last night, and quickly learned what all the fuss was about…

I couldn’t stop sneaking sniffs during my shift last night. Cordovan smells like the sexiest man alive. I want to keep a sample of it under my pillow at night. Seriously. It’s a modern, woody fragrance meant to call up “rugged masculinity.” The red bottle is inspired by an old-fashioned inkwell and the notes include leafy green fig, raw nutmeg, and vintage leather. Cordovan is currently available in stores in both 50 and 100 ml. bottles. The 100 ml. bottle is priced at $58. Guys, if you buy this fragrance, the women will jump your bones. And ladies, this is the gift that keeps giving. Perhaps my true calling in life is marketing for Banana Republic…

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Flying Pig Spotted in Minocqua!

August 28th, 2007 — 9:57am

Comment » | Vacation and Travel

Antiquing Adventures

August 27th, 2007 — 7:25am

Over the weekend, Karen and I ventured to my family’s lake house in northern Wisconsin, near Minocqua. As many of you know, antiquing is one of my favorite hobbies, one that I picked up from my forever treasure-seeking parents who spend each day circling new garage and estate sales in the local newspapers.
There are several great antique shops and a fabulous Friday/Saturday flee market in Minocqua that I go to every time I am in town. The antique shop pictured above is one of my favorites. It’s less than a five-minute drive from our cabin, and features a quality array of eclectic offerings. While I didn’t make any purchases there, I had a great time looking around. Sure enough, I had more luck at the flee market. I purchased the tea pot above for $5. I figured you can never have too many teapots, and thought this one was particularly interesting. And for $5, I mean, why not?

Comment » | Vacation and Travel

Blue Moon

August 27th, 2007 — 6:02am

And I totally forgot to mention the best part of the walking tour last Thursday night. The tour concluded with a free tap beer or house wine at the Blue Moon Bar and Grill, my favorite neighborhood bar. Here is Karen and I enjoying our complimentary beverage, a Blue Moon, of course! FYI-the Blue Moon Bar and Grill serves one of the best burgers in town. I have been eating so many burgers lately…I think I am slowly turning into one.

Comment » | Restaurant Reviews

Architectural Digest

August 24th, 2007 — 9:20am
Bradley House, Louis Sullivan, 1910 (106 N. Prospect)
Buell House, Conover and Porter, 1894 (115 Ely Place)

Elliot House, George W. Maher, 1910 (137 N. Prospect)

Gilmore House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1908 (120 Ely Place)

Last night, Karen and I took a “twilight” historic walking tour of our neighborhood, University Heights, with a very knowledgeable guide from the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. We learned more about the fascinating history of the neighborhood, and the many forms of architecture represented. The guide talked specifically about thirteen of the most architecturally significant homes. Four of these are pictured above. The first in the neighborhood was the Buell House, designed by the architectural firm of Conover and Porter in 1884. Originally, the home’s power was generated by a windmill, and the current owner has one up in the yard to commemorate this historical fact.

In the early 1900’s, with its close proximity the university and downtown, the prominent Madison neighborhood housed many University faculty and staff, which holds true today. Our house was built in 1921, and I’m just fascinated with its design and history. I want to uncover the dusty plans at City Hall and follow its roots from the very beginning. I love our neighborhood. I want to live there forever. I also want to take the four other historical neighborhood tours that the Madison Trust offers: King Street, Mansion Hill East, Mansion Hill West, and State Street. I’m always fascinated by historical facts and stories. And when these can be condensed into hour-long walking tours, how can I resist?

Comment » | Madtown Lovin'

What a Ride!

August 24th, 2007 — 6:49am
Post ride: still smiling!
Last weekend I went to Chicago to visit Royce, the guy I’ve been seeing recently—err…my boyfriend?? In addition to a laundry list of other coincidentals, he and I are both doing the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon in a few short weeks, and thought it would be nice to get together for some final training (and make-out) sessions over the weekend.

I arrived at his place in Uptown late on Friday night, and on Saturday morning we drove to Barrington, from which we ventured out on a 100-mile bike ride to Lake Geneva and back. The first thirty-miles were challenging with many rolling hills. Royce is a better cyclist than me, so the pace was fast. After fifty-miles, we arrived in Lake Geneva, and that’s when it began to pour. Hard. We were drenched. The temperature was also quickly cooling.

We rode into downtown Lake Geneva, and despite the weather, throngs of people were out enjoying Venetian Fest. That’s when Royce suggested that we stop at a bar called Champ’s on Main Street to grab a beer, which was music to my ears. We chatted over a Heineken and Miller Light in the beer garden, and then warmed up in the bar for a few minutes. I was dreading the fifty-miles back to Barrington. I was so cold. Eventually, we sucked it up and got back on our bikes.

The ride back was challenging in every possible way. We made the most of it, however, by learning more about each other and asking every question we could think of: What’s your favorite song? Gatorade flavor? Most embarrassing moment? We also kept ourselves entertained by singing songs: Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels” and Counting Crows’ “A Long December,” which I didn’t realize at the time, were extremely appropriate. About fifteen-miles from the end of our ride, Royce got a flat tire. While he was fixing it, the mosquitoes–literally hundreds of them–were eating us alive. Not to mention the rain and cold. It was awful. He quickly fixed the flat, and we were on our way again. Five minutes later, he had another flat. And we were no longer singing. We didn’t have any more tubes (my bike has different sized tires, we came to find out.) At that point, we realized we needed a ride back to the car. Fortunately, the second driver we attempted to flag down was a nice old man who told us that he had a soft spot for bikers. He kindly drove us and our bikes back to Royce’s car, where we promptly changed and blasted the heat.

Although the weather was awful, we both had an incredible time getting to know each other better. Royce said it was the best date ever. I don’t know if I would have called it a date, but the fact that we could still laugh, smile, and sing, despite the rain, cold, flats, and mosquitoes, seems like a good thing to me :)

2 comments » | Racing and Training

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