Fall Photos: The Electric Library of Light

These were taken outside the Madison Public Library, early morning on a Saturday. During the summer, it is light at this time. During autumn, not so much. There is something surreal about walking in the dark downtown—in between the time when college partiers were stumbling on the same sidewalks and when the farmer’s market vendors…

Fall Photos: Question Marc

My other half took this picture outside of the Madison Public Library downtown branch. We were en route to the farmer’s market. Who could resist the pun?

Fall Photos: State Street, Saturday Morning

I love hitting the Madison Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Early, before it gets too crowded. Walk around the square, then up and down State Street. It’s such a peaceful time of the day. It’s also a great way to get exercise while enjoying the summer weather.

Chicago or Bust

I was supposed to meet my Dad today in Chicago. I drove here through a gnarly thunderstorm. When I arrived at our meeting spot (hi, IKEA), I got a call from my Dad. His flight was cancelled. D’OH! It was raining hard, and visibility was low. I was in a strange town driving around in…

Fall Photos: Tractor Sky

Photo ops abound! I try to see the art in the everyday, which plays into my idea of appreciating the little moments. Quiet moments are just as poignant as loud events. So I am posting pictures that have until now, have lived only on my iPhone. Up first is a tractor silhouetted against a bright…

Stop and Enjoy the Fall Colors

I’ve been so busy with a new and with home renovation projects to stop and appreciate the fall colors. Autumn is the best part of living in the Midwest—the trade-off for grueling winters. So the other day, I took Greta for a nice long walk. Although this picture came out well, it was one of…

Farmer’s Market

  Now that I’m used to getting up early for work—4 a.m, don’t judge me—I woke up early Saturday morning and went downtown. It was a great morning to get some exercise with a traveling coconut milk latte.

Veggie Enchiladas

Kraig made grilled veggie enchiladas with sweet potato, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeños, yellow squash, and zucchini. He smoked all of the veggies first on the Traeger Grill, then cooked the enchiladas on the grill He made homemade enchilada sauce too. On the side, we had brown Spanish rice—also made on the grill—with a homemade…

Cold Dish, Hot Peppers

On the menu today is spicy gazpacho. This mix of tomatoes, cilantro, leeks, green onions, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, avocado, shrimp, tomato juice, jalapeño, cucumbers, habanero, and fresh garlic packs a creeper heat that catches up quickly after a few bowls. Topped with more avocado, fresh mozzarella, and Goya Sazón seasoning, this gazpacho…

Doggy Spa Day 🐶

Greta, world-famous Supermodel extraordinaire, spent the morning at the groomer today. Our groomer limits appointments to under two hours, and only has a few dogs in the shop at once. It’s nice to work with a professional who displays empathy and passion for animals. This is the last time I’ll take her to the groomer…

Microstory: Dissonance (3) 🖥

As the last of the pin-stripe brigade filtered out of the room, the blond called out: “Elliot, may I speak with you?” Elliot turned from the door. He tried to muster a poker face, but it came across as resignation. He sat at the opposite end of the conference table. “Sure, how are things with…

Storm Flower

I feel there is a metaphor here. Even with chaos on the horizon, one can find beauty or peace? Don't let the thunderclouds get you down? Think of gray as just another color, not a shade of darkness. Storms need not present as portends; without rain, nothing grows. The "calm before the storm" one is…

Microstory: Dissonance (2) 💻

Among a group of the guilty, there is always one jittery Jim, a nervous Ned, or a Tim with a tell. Among this group of silent executives, that weak link was Elliot Oliver. Elliot had worked at the company for over twenty years but he was constantly overlooked and consistently under-appreciated. He gave his life…

Microstory: Dissonance (1) 💻

The ice-white blonde in the little black dress entered the room like a socio-economic sharp in the major-chord menagerie of middle class men. “Gentlemen,” she began, standing at the head of the conference table. “There are twelve  chairs here and thirteen of you.” She let her words hang in the air, like air freshener mist…

Library Research Award 🏆

When I finished my MBA, I entered my thesis in a library research award contest. I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks, so I figured I didn’t win. Then, lo and behold, the coordinator emailed me to inform me I won, stating my thesis was “the clear choice.” Library Research Award winners receive a $100…

Exemplary Essentials: 7/17

  WHAT IS ESSENTIAL? This is an old column I wrote years ago. The former incarnation was titled “Five Groovy Things.” However, I am not sure if the word “groovy” plays in the Millennial-dominated digital world. So, here is the new version. Essentially, these are exemplary products, activities, and pop culture phenomena that are rocking…

All the world’s an arcade.

My nephew and I spent a two-player day at the local arcade this week. This place is straight out of the Eighties. One can play pool, pinball, air hockey, car racing, basketball hoops, Space Invaders, Defender, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Mortal Combat, and Dance Dance Revolution. In proper parlance, it was totally rad! The…

Reinvent + Rebrand

  Sometimes, one has to make a change. Reinvent. Renew. Rebrand. I found a black-and-white picture, took it to my barber, and walked out a new man. Last week, I finished my MBA program. This week, I am ready to start a new career. I feel like I pressed a reset button. I shook myself…

Slightly Wrinkled

The man in the crisp, blue dress shirt and navy dress pants realized almost immediately that this meeting was a waste of time. He was excited about this job interview for days. He planned. He prepared. He pondered. Although he was not interested in the company, he did leave this meeting with something of value: a realization. The forty-something interviewee…

Quietly Unique

“I’ve been biting my tongue my whole life,” the mother said softly. “First, it was my mother. She had no problem with me paying the bills, but God forbid I have an opinion on anything. Then it was my your father. I don’t know how I lived with him for all those years. You finally get…

Nesting

Recently, we discovered our family has grown. A mama finch is watching her babies on our front porch, behind a silk floral arrangement. Mama Finch picked the right house. This is a household that loves animals. It is nice to have something about which to smile in the middle of chaotic world politics and life’s little…

Unconditional Love

I was having kind of a blah, downer day. While walking my dog, I looked over and there she was looking right at me. I thought: “how can I be sad when I have this amazing little dog in my life?” Pets don’t care about our career or our credentials. They aren’t concerned with physical appearance. They can’t…

You: I

You beckoned, and I went to you. I hate these legs. They betrayed me. You asked, and I admitted my feelings. I hate this voice. It portrayed me. You said you loved me, and I loved you back. I hate this heart. It broke me. You embraced me late at night, and I fell asleep…

Daytime Dark

Daytime dark, I always say, casts the reticence of white with an agreement by gray.

March in Madison

Driving through town, I was struck by the juxtaposition of a foggy day versus clear intentions. 

In the Interim

Stress, like steel in my joints— a makeshift structure waiting for a foundation. Wondering, in the interim: Am I good enough? Will intention match convention? Please help me make a difference. Stress, like steel in my neck and in my back and in my temples— and one electric-energy answer can melt it away. Wandering, in the interim: Which…

The Patient Promise

Characters come and go. Adventures whirl and wane. The story continues. Find your magic. I’ll be here. I am a constant.

She, the Protagonist

She wants to love. More than anything, she wants that. She collects people like books on a shelf: some colorful; some nondescript. Some have a spine. Others can barely stand up unless propped against another. The get-a-headmistress curates collections: bound; convenient; poetic; prosaic. She wants to hate them all, more than anything, she wants that….

Applying myself

I am applying to graduate teaching programs at Edgewood College and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am beyond excited. I believe teaching is the path for me. I want to make a difference in the world, and this is the place to start. Now, I just have to be patient until I hear back….

Snowfall, PowerPoint, and the Future

It looks like we might have a white Christmas after all! Today marked the first snow day of 2016. The first snow always seems so picturesque: it’s like living inside a snow globe. We made homemade vegetable soup to mark the occasion. It seemed very snow day-isa. In MBA Land, I finished the PowerPoint assignment for…

Of Computers, Crossovers, classrooms, and Christmas

It’s been awhile since I blogged. I’ve been busy with a research project—on the efficacy and contributions of online tutoring to the digital pedagogy—and of course the holidays. Here are some quick-hit updates: • The newest addition to our family is the newest MacBook Pro. I had a thirteen inch before but switched to the…

Seeing Red

Here is a way to see red that doesn’t involve the election.

Portrait Mode

I am trying my hand at the Portrait Mode feature on the iPhone 7 Plus. So far, I have had nominal success. There is a learning curve to the distance—eight feet is the recommended distance—which may seem logical but can be tricky because you have to balance the light as well. Also, the feature seems…

Sweet: Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Then for dessert, we had pumpkin cheesecake with a cinnamon/graham cracker crust. This  also was prepared on the Traeger grill. What a treat—very creamy and definitely restaurant-quality!

Savory: Poblano & Corn Chowder

Dinner: Poblano and corn chowder with red peppers, mushroom, onion, cilantro, fresh corn, and tiger prawns. Started on the stove, then smoked on our Traeger grill. Delish!

Making the Grade

Yay me! I am not posting this to be braggy-braggy. It’s just so rewarding to see hard work and sacrifice pay off. I love being a graduate student so much!  

BarkBox

Someone got a BarkBox in the mail. This company rocks!

Comfort Food

Kraig did homemade chicken and dumplings today. Although I didn’t have any (vegetarian), it definitely smells like a restaurant in the house today. Have a great Sunday everyone!

I, Voter

What a score to have early voting available. Why not do it now and avoid long lines in November?  

Real Estate Marketing

  I just finished a contract marketing job for a great client selling a great condo. Rather than sell through an agent, she opted for the FSBO route. I created a website, designed flyers, and created an on-site sign for the property—her condo association prohibits yard signs. This was a great experience in every aspect. It…

Michigan State of Mind

In Madison, one tends to get dirty looks while wearing a Michigan State shirt. I forget about the whole weekend sports thing. I still think of Saturday as cartoon day.

Always Remember, Pt. 1

The curtain was about to rise. A quiet audience, dapper and divine, sat in anticipation. The theater was dark save for red velvet and stage-light white. Backstage, dust floated in the spotlight aimed at an actress. “What’s my first line?” the star whispered frantically to the wings. The stage manager smiled defiantly. It was the…

On the Town

We went out downtown on Friday with a group of friends. It was nice having old school bar adventures. I ran into other friends, chatted with random strangers, and knocked over a metal fence separating the bar patio. Just like old times!

My Fair Puppy

“One must always remain chic,” Greta said, “even when drying off from a bath.”