Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What is Wisconsin pride? An interview with someone who knows.

She wasn't born and raised here, but Carrie Ouradnik oozes Wisconsin pride. And if she ever has any doubts, a glance at her right arm is a good reminder.
Carrie's tattoo, by Danielle at Blue Lotus Tattoo.
I met Carrie through a fellow knitter, and in addition to our shared hobby, we share a love of animals, and of course, Wisconsin. Tattoos usually come with a story, so I chatted with Carrie to get the juicy details.

Aviva in Dairyland: Where are you from?
Carrie Ouradnik: I was born in Minnesota but raised in North Dakota.

AID: What brought you to Wisconsin?
CO: My boyfriend at the time was getting his Master's at UW-Madison, so when I graduated from college, I moved here to be with him. That was back in January of 2006.

AID: When and why did you get your tattoo? What does it mean to you?
CO: I got my tattoo on March 30, 2013. Madison, and Wisconsin, mean a lot to me. It's my adult home, and even though I have moved away a few times (Seattle, Fargo, Indiana) I always end up longing for Madison and moving back here. It's a great size, low-crime, affordable city with beautiful, educated, inquisitive, fantastic, and kind people from all over the world. I have lost myself and found my true self here. Being a part of the Walker protests in 2011 really solidified my love for the people of Wisconsin, and I had been meaning to get some sort of tattoo to commemorate not only the great experience I have had in Wisconsin in general, but the overall solidarity and beauty of those few months. Also, it was my "happy divorce to me" tattoo!

AID: How would you describe Wisconsin pride?
CO: I'm not oblivious to the downfalls (ahem, 7 months of winter), but there's something here about family and community and generosity and celebration that just can't be ignored. A lot of people have pride in where they're from but I don't think people wear it as proud as us Sconnies.

AID: What's your favorite place/Madison landmark?
CO: To be perfectly cliche, the capitol building. I love that the people who made this city possible also wrote into the rules that you can't cover up that view, no matter where in the city you are. It still leaves me breathless and full of immense pride, whether I'm inside or seeing it from Verona.
Runner ups: Dane County Farmers' Market, Olin Park, Ha Long Bay (yes, the Thai restaurant).

AID: Do you have a favorite cheese?
CO: This is a trick question! I've got a soft spot for fresh squeaky curds, aged sharp cheddar, and smoked provolone. But I'm not going to turn ANY Wisconsin cheese down.

Carrie with her dog Riley, enjoying the view of downtown Madison
Photo by Amanda Red
Huge thanks to Carrie for taking the time to be a part of Aviva in Dairyland!

Want to keep up with Carrie and her life? Follow her on Instagram or friend her on Ravelry.