Saturday, December 29, 2007

Colors & Light

I decided to seek a peaceful holiday celebration this year with family, mostly the two very important members of mine. There was quiet snowfall, the annual Zar holiday mix, wine, those coconutty things my mom makes, a happy and constant little voice, a few wrapped gifts, and a full heart. There were also movies (stay tuned for reviews) and baking. Now I contemplate many thoughts of leaving behind a very, very vivid year and think about what the new one will bring.

Joy to you all, my friends, in whatever form you need it. And wish me luck on the new soup recipe.

Monday, December 3, 2007


"Enjoy every sandwich. Love each other a lot."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The King is 70

My dad has always referred to himself in the third person as "The King". We're very used to it. As his 70th birthday in January neared, my mom wanted to plan a very special celebration of this jump to a new decade. She loves surprises as much as I do (which is a lot) so planned a surprise party for The King two months early. It was held at the country club where he golfs so that he could be lured there unsuspectingly on a Sunday afternoon. And WOW, was he ever surprised. 80 of his closest friends showed up, as well as his family and what followed was declared the best day of his life. I'm sure this was due in part to the performance on ukulele by ME of a song called "It's Good To Be King". There was also lots of cake, cheap beer, and tears of joy. Long live The King!
At one point, my nephew Little M approached me outdoors, nodded his head in the direction of a parked golf cart, and said, "Someone left the keys in that. Want to?" Yes, Auntie wanted to. The youngster and I had a fine joyride all the hell over the golf course, and I even drove for awhile. We ran the power down on the cart, then parked it and walked away whistling. I like to lead by example.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


With inspiration from the Chef's bottle of the week series, I must share my experience with Ommegang Brewery's specialty stout known as Chocolate Indulgence. I can highly recommend every beer I've tasted from this fine brewery, and the CI is on the short list. It's not sweet-ish at all, just a flavorful but not overly powerful stout with the distinct cocoa powder finish. The last glass from the bottle is the most cocoa-y delicious! Do indulge.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Let it be known that playing The Latin Playboys at en elevated volume does not, in fact, obscure the barely tolerable stench of a collegue's too much perfume in the workplace. GACK...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dia de Los Muertos

I'm a bit late posting this photo of my annual creation in honor of Day of the Dead, Nov. 2, which was celebrated quietly and thoughtfully this year with the silver owl overlooking the special day. I thought of them all with love and some longing. I discovered, after returning from celebrating my niece's 15th (!) birthday, that it is an appropriate day to acknowledge lost loved ones after all. Alice left us today, slipped away like a whisper. I'm grateful for her easy passing and sorrowful for the husband who will miss her. It was certainly one of those Circle of Life days that Fancy and I seem to notice more and more. I think about how my namesake, the birthday girl, will be going to NYC in a few months and I feel strangely fine.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This image was supposed to be attached to my previous post, but magically disappeared. Poof!


Lucky, happy me. I got to once again experience Mr. Robyn Hitchcock and his imcomparable music, this time in reverence at our own favorite club. Such a strange atmosphere, so quiet, attentive and, Everyone (except Marco) was hushed and well-behaved, seated in rows on folding chairs set up specially for this early (again, for we oldsters) show. My friend Bobbette and I found a good spot on the edge of a pool table behind theseated folks. We gasped in unison several times as the dreamy guitar sounds of "I'm Only You", "You and Oblivion", and "Balloon Man" launched into the dark room. The songs take me up at least five levels higher than any other favorite bands.

I tried to take a few photos, but the lighting and distance were against me. Luckily, my friend Cheese was front and center, and grabbed this stage shot. I did take the other photo of RH signing cd's after his set. He was wearing reading glasses on the end of his nose. Delightful.

Monday, November 5, 2007


A happy belated Hlloween to you and yours from The Dude, Exene, and Maeve the Kitty!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lucerro Numero Uno

Last Sunday we celebrated the very first birthday of our little friend Lucerro, brother of Ace, son of Chef Joey and Dainty. What a delicious afternoon! Something that's proven true over and over since we had Rosebud is that kid parties are REALLY fun. Lucerro's bash had all the essential elements of the good life: friends, food, drink, and music. And cake! Plates heaped with delectable Meditteranean bites covered the tables, as fine ale and kiddie cocktails by the pitcher flowed. The Outtatoons, Madison's only cartoon song cover band, rocked the room. Love, baby, love and happiness was everywhere. I can't until little Lu turns 2.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Become What You Are

Newness in rock and roll land: we, the band, have changed our name to the Wrong Ways (after the song from our cd More Please). I'm really happy about this. Why, you may ask, would we do such a thing. Well, MaeRae was old and outdated, too attached to my previous band. It was an alt country band with me and Eddie as fixtures with no idea who else would be in it nor where we'd go together musically. We desire to shed the alt country tag since we've evolved into a rock band of five solid players over the past several years. I don't want the entity to be named after me, as my respect for my four bandmates is immense. And I like change. It's fun!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Question du Jour

Yesterday Rosebud asked us, "Do all bees like all flowers?" This is typical of the questions she asks us. I'll be sad if she ever stops wondering about things like this.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rosebud and Lulu

Here are my two current favorite photos of Rosebud and her best girlpal Lulu, who are bonded by a really lovely, pure little girl friendship. Lulu cried when she had to go home that day. I think of my dear friend Ames who I've been playing with for 40 years and wonder if these two pink girls will be friends through years and maybe even decades. I hope so.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A few weeks ago the band had a gig at the High Noon, nothing out of the ordinary. Showtime grew close and four of the five of us where there. No Burke. I really thought he'd just forgotten the gig and we ended up going on without him. Right before we took the stage, my friend Hobs said he'd give Burke a call, just to see if he might be on his way. In the middle of our set, Hobs handed me a note that read, "Burke is in the hospital...". He'd was just out of surgery with a totally unexpected ailment.
The good news is that Burke is going to be just fine. The punchline is that dear Burke, much loved for his kind, loving self and much respected as one of the most talented, hard-working musicians in town, has no health insurance. We all know how bad healthcare in America is, but man, this hit close to home. Suddenly this poor guy has a bill in at least five digits and no help from the powers that be to pay it. It isn't fair. It's preposterous. Nothing makes one realize that more than seeing a loved one go through it (with the exception of going through it oneself).
And nothing has reminded me more that crisis can bring out the most beautiful things in people and in a community. A benefit was called for and the stellar local club opened its doors to all of Burke's people. And we came in droves, paying a cover charge that would go to our little patient, then reaching further into our pockets to dig up more green for him. The place was packed. Hugs and happiness ruled the evening. Burke was overwhelmed with love and went home with a good chunk of help in his pockets. It wasn't everything, but it was something. We do what we can to take care of our own when the government won't. It was a glorious thing to behold.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Chinese Music

At bath time Rosebud likes to lay immersed in the water with only her face and toes exposed to daylight. She likes to listen to underwater noises and as you can see, takes great delight and pleasure in them. Today she told us that she hears Chinese music in the bath. "It sounds like water," she said.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We Wed

On August 26 we finally completed the celebration of our marriage with a big, happy party. We called on all our friends and family from near and far to join us in feasting, singing, and making maniacal merriment. It was so huge, dazzling and magnificent that I haven't been able to post. I will never forget what it looked like and felt like to stand onstage at the celebratory rock club with my arm around my beloved Papa M and look out to see our dearest peoples from New York, San Francisco, Canada, Minnesota, Alabama, and sweet Wisconsin looking back at us. I was awash in love and still am. I hope I never come down. I can't fully express what it meant to me, but I think you all know. Here are some photos stolen from Haus Frau, with more to come from Papa M's treasure chest.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More Summer-bration

We're still getting a lot of summerbration out of these remaining warm weeks of festival season. Ah, we are so lucky to be able to stroll just a few blocks and find $3 witte beers under giant tents! And blue ice cream along with live bluegrass music! And, on one special occasion, free train rides on a real, live train! Oh, glorious summer, we have a few more lovely dances with you before hibernation season sets in.

Rosebud a la Weegee

Our own teeny Rosebud took this lovely photo of Papa M. It would seem that she has something of a photo-knack at the tender age of four. Who on god's green earth does she get that from???

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I'm on the thingie with The Judge! Please note that this duet was completely impulsive and absolutely unrehearsed. Please also note the American Idol Big Finish:

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Father Jane

Please welcome the newest recipient of a free Rock Mama cd, former Go to the Go Father Jane! Thanks for delivering that cd, Papa M. It seems that Jane has hooked up with local band Hoor Du Jour a la Exene and Knuckel Drager, and we'll be seeing her rock out down the street from time to time. That's very nice. But, oh Father Jane, your pixie face is way too cute to have so much makeup all over it. You're painted up like a hoor. Please go wash your face, then keep rocking mightily in your hot priest mini dress! Thank you.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


There has been much celebration this summer, with more to come. It's typical for this our city to bust out after long, cold winters with festivals and parties, all about food, community, music and gooooooood livin'. It seems that as I get older, all of the joys and sorrows of life become very vivid. There has been much to celebrate: birthdays, children, new homes, new adventures, and even just the friendships we have. Here are some shiny moments from the many celebrations the Marine Environment has been a part of this summer of '07.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Delightful Meager Harvest!

Thanks very much to a truly effective scarecrow and Papa M's diligent green thumb (and despite urban bunnies), a former gravel driveway has become our bountiful garden! The corn was delicious, but the bowling balls were a little tough.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Papa M Simpson

My dear husband....