August 23rd, 2007 — 9:43am
This morning I had the opportunity to tour Ogg Hall, the newest University Residence Hall at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as part of a campus staff open house. The six-story residence hall, located next the SERF and directly across from Sellery Hall on the corner of Dayton and Park, will replace the outdated 13-story towers of the old Ogg Hall, which will be demolished beginning in September. Ogg Hall, only the second new residence hall on campus in the last 42-years, is named after Frederic A. Ogg, who was a professor in the political science department from 1914 to 1940. Ogg Hall will house 615 residents this fall with a cluster-style set-up. The cost of the new building was $27 million.
The new Ogg Hall is very impressive. Some of my favorite features are the covered bicycle and moped parking area, a rain garden in the courtyard between the north and southwest wings of the building, the spacious rooms (246 ft.), beautiful views of the city skyline, and the vibrantly colored walls. It makes me sad to think how quickly it will be trashed by students. Soon, the gardens will be trampled, the paint scuffed, the bathrooms dirty, and the charm of a shiny, new residence hall, gone. Which leaves me thinking that places like these are way too nice for college freshmen. Aren’t dorms supposed to be somewhat ghetto? Isn’t that part of the experience? Today’s college freshmen are filthy spoiled. Dorm life should not be posh living. As if. And seriously, why do they insist on keeping the name Ogg, a word that is completely synonymous with ghetto dorm life. I’m confused…
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August 23rd, 2007 — 6:46am
Immediately following dinner at the Weary, Karen, Kim and I headed to State Street for forty-five cent ice cream cones in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the locally-owned Chocolate Shoppe
. Because of the weather, there were very few customers taking advantage of this fabulous deal. When we approached the counter to gaze at the gallons and gallons of magical flavors, the guy behind the counter announced that it was their anniversary and cones were only forty-five cents from 4–9 p.m. “Yes, we know,” we excitedly interrupted.
There were at least five male scoopers behind the counter, who had clearly anticipated much greater sales that night, and they immediately took a liking to us. And how could they not? We all ordered our cones, and coincidentally all chose to include a scoop of “Heaps of Love,” which is a creamy vanilla based flavor with everything-but-the-kitchen sink: chocolate, caramel, brownies, Oreos, pecans, and cookie dough. Well it just so happened that Steve Heaps, the ice cream’s namesake and “master scooper” happened to be working that evening. Steve loved us. After much bonding, we took a picture with Steve, and he even showed us his ice cream scooping hand muscles, but assured us that he’s not usually one to show off his muscles to the ladies. Can you see how the muscle by the thumb on his right hand is so much larger than the left? Clearly, Steve has been scooping for many years. Maybe you can’t see it very well from the picture, but trust me, his muscles were bulging. There’s nothing like a man who can scoop some ice cream.
Before we left, Steve asked for our names and shook our hands. He called us Special K. We asked if he would create a flavor for us, and he said he would. I could tell his mind was immediately churning through the flavor possibilities. We are planning to frame the picture of all of us and bring it to Steve early next week. So that he may never forget his Special K.
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August 23rd, 2007 — 6:03am
Last night, I had dinner with my friends Abby, Mark, Kim, and Karen at the Weary Traveler, which you’ve undoubtedly heard a million times is my favorite restaurant in the whole world. In my creature of habit ways, I opted for the West of the Andes Sandwich (pictured, right), which was delectable as always. It’s a succulent beef tenderloin sandwich with avocado, Pico de Gallo, and chipotle mayo on a soft roll. I feel bad that I don’t venture out and try more of the selections on the menu, because each and every entrée sounds delicious, but I think I would have to go very frequently to get it all in, and of course allow myself permission to order the West of the Andes every few trips, so as to get my fix. Perhaps this winter. Abby would totally join me for the challenge. It’s on.
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August 23rd, 2007 — 5:35am
Thanks to Kelsey for her comment about ReadyMade, a “bimonthly print magazine for people who like to make stuff.” I totally like to make stuff. Therefore, I think I will very much like this publication. I’ve never seen it before, so I went online yesterday to learn more about the magazine. It sounds awesome. It’s like a subscription for instant inspiration. I think I will need to go to Border’s to pick up a copy very soon. One of their recent online articles explains how to whip up a batch of home-made hard cider. Sounds tasty. Thanks for the great tip, Kels!
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August 22nd, 2007 — 8:03am
Check out this great vintage teacup and saucer clock
made by Danny Seo, author of Simply Green Parties
and Simply Green Giving
. I just love craft projects like this that are so unique, but totally reproducible. I think I just might design a clock like this for my kitchen. Karen has a fabulous collection of vintage egg cups displayed in our kitchen, and I think a clock like this one would very much compliment that collection. Danny simply glued
teacups and saucers to a piece of wood, and then added a dial in the center for a fun and stylish piece.
Danny’s is a great blog; you must check it out. I was very happy to see his blog posting on August 8th, titled “Trophy Antlers?” In it, Danny writes that, “As I’ve been scouting homes and stores for Country Home magazine, I’ve seen a trend of vintage trophy antlers and stag heads grouped into collections as part of the home design.” Love it. I’m sure that some of you think my interior design tastes are a little whacky, but I much prefer the terms stylish and unique. Danny’s blog posting totally validates my recent antler purchase, thank you very much. Not that I needed to be validated. Obviously.
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August 21st, 2007 — 9:06am
For the past ten years, Beloit College has produced the College Mindset List, which is an effort to identify the worldview of the entering freshman class. This year’s freshmen, the class of 2011, were generally born in 1989, and thus have very different life experiences, insights, and worldviews than you or I. The list of seventy items is jointly produced by Tom McBride, Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities, and Ron Nief, Beloit’s Director of Public Affairs. The list indicates, for example, that for most students starting college this fall, rap music has always been mainstream, Illinois has been trying to ban smoking since the year they were born, and stadiums and rock tours have always had corporate names. The list is interesting, and also pretty entertaining. But, be warned, it will make you feel old.
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August 17th, 2007 — 10:02am
This afternoon, in honor of my friend Seif, I had Ian’s Pizza for lunch. Generally, I’m more of a brown-bagger, but today—perhaps conveniently—I forgot my lunch and was forced to search for sustenance on State Street. I was immediately drawn to Ian’s, where I ordered a huge slice of gooey Mac n’ Cheese (pictured, right). Seif’s favorite is Steak and Fries, and, I kid you not, whenever she comes back to Madison to relive her college days, she always goes to Ian’s and orders a half-year’s supply to bring home to freeze and eat later. There is no greater fan of Ian’s Pizza than Seif.
Which reminds me, I totally forgot to tell Seif that they are now doing Ian’s Pizza and Capital Brewery Beer cruises on Lake Monona. Seriously, here are the details. Thursday nights (5/31–9/27), $25 per adult, Betty Lou Cruises. You catch that, Seif? And Seif, you might also want to know that Ian’s Pizza is hosting a pizza eating contest on Library Mall on Saturday, September 1. And that’s totally when you’re going to be here for the weekend, right? (Seif is going to win.)
Mmm…Mac and Cheese Pizza. This is good stuff. A true comfort food. I’m not really one to wait for colder months to enjoy good comfort foods. I prefer to eat them throughout the year. Karen always makes fun of me because I’ll order chili during the summer, even on a ninety degree day. But the thing is, I need comfort always.
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August 17th, 2007 — 8:24am
Frye Tina Shorty Cuff, Piperime, $258
Wool Riding Cap, Banana Republic, $48
Here are the trends I love for this fall:
4. Ankle boots
5. Wide-leg trouser pants
6. Cropped, fitted jackets
7. Sweater dresses
8. Skinny belts
9. Trench coats
10. Jewel tones
Two items that I am particularly keen on purchasing for my fall wardrobe are a pair of great ankle boots, and a wool riding cap. Must. Find. Great. Ankle Boots. The two items pictured above give you an idea of what I am looking for. The Frye boots are obviously ridiculously expensive—but a girl can always dream, right?
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August 17th, 2007 — 7:38am
Table in a Bag, Crate and Barrel, $39.95
Blowing out the candles!
Opening presents on the boat, I am slightly confused by the plastic wine glasses, until my mom tells me about the table that goes with them, waiting in the car!
One of my favorite birthday presents from my parents this year was a Table in a Bag
from Crate and Barrel. The hardwood table, perfect for picnics and camping and touted online as a “Table a-go-go,” collapses into a canvas bag for easy transport, and measures 30″ sq. x 17″ H when set up. Several people use these tables during the Concerts on the Square that I regularly attend during the summers, and I have been admiring
them for quite some time. I just had no idea where to find them. And that’s where Jackie stepped in. My mom saw that I was admiring these tables when she and my dad came to join me for a concert last month. My mom later saw the table again at a concert in Milwaukee, and marched up to the people to ask where they purchased it. Nice work, Jackie! In the last few years, my mom has become a master in finding the perfect gifts for me. She’s obviously very perceptive when I talk about things I like.
So I love my new table, and I’m so excited to use it at next year’s concerts, and hopefully before then. It looks so cool when people have their picnic foods spread across it, along with a few candles, and several low-height chairs set up around it. Very vogue, and also much more comfortable than sitting on the ground. Love it. Great product, and the price is definitely right.
2 comments » | Restaurant Reviews, Vacation and Travel
August 16th, 2007 — 10:32am
During our week of vacation, Karen and I of course did a little shopping in Princeton
—at the upscale boutiques lining Water Street, as well as at the many antique stores surrounding the perimeter of town. I found two great new wall hangings for my bedroom that I am very excited to share. Although everyone I’ve shown them to thus far has laughed their heads off, I love my new little antlers and feel very confident they will hold their own in my room among the many other wonders and treasures. Despite the reactions from my friends and family, I have absolutely no buyer’s remorse and remain confident in my great find. Soon they’ll all come around. I found the antlers at Georgie’s in Princeton, which is an upscale boutique that showcases many items from Tracey Porter’s line.
My second purchase, from a garage and garden antique store in Princeton, is a vintage water color painting in a wooden frame. I don’t believe its true beauty is adequately captured in the photo above, so you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that it’s fantastic. Just like the antlers. I fell in love with the unique piece and immediately put my poker face on to barter down the price with great success. Mom and Dad have taught me well. Trash to treasures.
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