Saturday, August 27, 2011

Swinging from trees on a Thursday night: Cycropia!

Summer is the season of festivals in Madison, Wisconsin. The Orton Park Festival started on Thursday, and my friend Mackenzie invited me to watch the Cycropia aerial dance performance. What is aerial dance? Think Cirque du Soleil meets modern dance, adorned with costumes that would earn Lady GaGa's seal of approval. Win.

The Cycropia show included aerial performances on silks, chains, trapeze bars, steel hoops, and ladders (all of which were hanging from a very large tree in Orton Park). Because of the constant movement, it was nearly impossible to photograph the event, so I took some videos and made a YouTube playlist. Enjoy, but please don't try this at home:

A taste of Cycropia:

For my playlist of 6 Cycropia videos, click here!

By the way: this event, like many other fabulous things in Madison, was totally free. Also, now I've been living here long enough that I actually had friends to sit with at this awesome event:

Mackenzie, Rebecca, Kat, & me enjoying the Cycropia show.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Holy cow: escape to Green Lake, Wisconsin.

Yesterday, I took a mini road trip to Green Lake, Wisconsin to have brunch with my good friend Francie, who was spending the weekend at the Heidel House for a wedding. Green Lake is a little town about an hour and a half away from Madison. As far as I could tell, they have one gas station, one doctor's office, and an abundance of cows: country living at its finest.

On the drive back to Madison, I decided to document the highlights from my trip:

The town is called Green Lake for a reason: the huge, beautiful lake. A few people were boating and fishing, enjoying the nice weather.
I found some happy cows hanging out in a corral, grazing and enjoying a lazy weekend. They were happy to smile for a photo.
Cows enjoy sunbathing. Who would have thought?
I ate M&M pancakes with a good friend, plus I got my daily dose of cow. Perfect Saturday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Together at last: Woodman's Foods.

I like my grocery stores like I like my manicures: cheap, sanitary, and thorough. With that said, I have been less than thrilled with the selection of affordable supermarkets in Madison. Yesterday, I was sad to discover that Target doesn't carry fat free Philadelphia cream cheese. In search of said cream cheese, I ventured over to Woodman's Foods on Milwaukee Street after work today, remembering that my coworkers had recommended this store based on selection and prices.

I was pleased to discover that Woodman's offers a wide variety of groceries at affordable prices: exactly what I need. Alas, I have found my grocery store. My cart had a cup holder for my water and a nice little caddy for my new iPhone, which was equipped a shopping list app (because I'm just THAT cool). I proceeded into the store, where I was happy to discover that the Woodman's playlist consisted of a lovely mix of En Vogue and Madonna (did they steal my iPod?). While I had been jamming to Madonna at work today in honor of her 53rd birthday, I was happy to continue the celebration while grocery shopping.

Woodman's has everything. Fat free Philadephia cream cheese: check. Multigrain tortilla chips: check. Trash bags: check. Picture frames: check. Not only does Woodman's have everything, but they have an abundance of everything. I was particularly impressed by the cheese selection, which is comparable to that of Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, OH (that's saying a lot, because Jungle Jim's is a 1.5 acre store). And the prices were fantastic. 

Excited by how much I saved on groceries, I picked up some rainbow feather mice for the kids for 99 cents!
On my way to the checkout line, I ran into Cesca (my skating coach), who told me that this is the best Woodman's in town. Trust me, I will be returning.

Special thanks to Erika and Tonya for the recommendation!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Results from the July poll!

18 votes are in... here are the results from the July poll:

What is your favorite barnyard animal?

Goat - 5 votes
Pig - 5 votes
Horse - 3 votes
Duck - 2 votes
Sheep - 2 votes
Cow - 1 vote

Chickens and turkeys both received zero votes. I gather that my readers aren't poultry fans.

Check out the August poll on the right!

Wisconsin pride.

After living in Wisconsin for two and a half months, I have made this observation: Wisconsinites have a lot of pride in their state. Wisconsin pride is everywhere.

I find this quite fascinating in comparison to growing up in North Carolina, where every notion of local pride is focused on at least one of the following:
1. General Southern pride
2. Confederate pride
3. Wolfpack (NC State) pride
4. Tar Heel (Chapel Hill) pride*
5. Blue Devil (Duke) pride*

*It is noteworthy that while numbers 4 and 5 are quite proud of their teams, they truly despise each other.

North Carolinians have plenty of pride, but it's not focused on the state itself. As far as I can tell, Wisconsinites love their state. They hate their governor, but they love their state. If any non-Wisconsinites don't know what I'm talking about, Google "Scott Walker recall."

I find it amusing that national chains have made some products in Wisconsin and marketed them accordingly for the proud Wisconsinites:

Even California-based Trader Joe's has Wisconsin pride (note the seal at the bottom right).
I believe my official Wisconsinite initiation happened when my three future coworkers (all native Wisconsinites) fed me my first ever serving of fried cheese curds. At the time I didn't know that I had been hired, but I did know that I enjoyed what I was eating and could definitely see myself living in Madison.

Now that I live here, I suppose I'll know when I've truly become a Wisconsinite: when I start feeling the pride.