Tuesday, May 29, 2007


We had such a lovely three day weekend, one that was difficult to leave. One of the best, brightest bits was a surprise visit from our pal John! He's a comedy writer, a former 'Sconnie boy who now resides in Brooklyn and has this tendency to appear at our door as though by magic. It usually goes like this: Ring ring! "Hello?" "I'm a-pickin'!" and I'd immediately shout back, "And I'm a-grinnin'! Where are you?" "About 5 minutes away from you. Wanna have lunch?"
John has been my friend for about 15 years. I was an honorary groomswoman in his wedding (though I wore the bridesmaid dress) and was included in such bachelor party activities as "Wanna come over and blow shit up on the proch?" We used to try to out-birthday gift each other. He gave me a Roloflex camera. I gave birth to Rosebud on his birthday. (I win) This past weekend both of his parents were feeling unwell, so he flew back to take care of them. Between putting them down for their naps and picking up their meds, he cozied in to our loving home, exhaled, and played with Rosebud while we relished his presence. It was hard to see him leave and it was hard for him to go. I so look forward to the day when he and his wife Lovely Cindy are back in the bosom of the Midwest, he writing crime novels and she playing with her new puppy. Love yer guts, John.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Date Weekend with Big Sunglasses

About once a month our parents ache for a visit from Rosebud, so she's off for some grandparent time for a few days. This, of course, means date time for RockMama and Papa M! We are very fortunate. We miss her terribly, but distract ourselves with all manner of fun, grown up adventure. Last weekend was such a three day date weekend. We watched several movies! Nowhere in these movies did we see the Animaniacs nor The Powerpuff Girls! We saw The Science of Sleep, which was very lovely, very pretty, rather fun and kind of heady. We also saw What's New Pussycat ("introducing Woddy Allen"!), which, after some thought, I recommend. It's very cool, hep, fun to see all the yummy hairstyles and clothes and young Peter O'Toole. It dissolves into a madcap mess, but that's forgiveable, all things considered. Probably best not to analyze too much. :)
Date weekend included white trash grilling in the driveway! I only regret that we have no photos of this. Papa M fired up our thrifted grill, set up a few chairs, and made a table of an organ bench, which held our condiments and plates. I brushed fresh asparagus from the farmers market with basil olive oil and put it right on the grill, along with a foil pack of potatoes, carrots and red peppers. I also had a veggie burger and Papa enjoyed several sausages, coutesy of my mom. The sun was warm and bright and the Doppel Blonde was cold and wet. Divine.
The next day we ventured to the 10th Annual WORT Block Party. I had the honor of playing the very first party with The Quickies, and all the best weirdness and WORT-ness remains. It's kind of the kickoff outdoor fest of the Madison season, so we were pleased to join in. Our pals The Motorz played a great set as we socialized and wandered into the No Crap On Tap beer garden. Truly, there was nothing but microbrewed, specialty deliciousness. Much discipline was required, and careful choices were made, including a flavorful IPA, and a lemony white beer, which was the perfect balance for the spicy, hot Jamerican veggie pies that we munched on for strength. Large sunglasses were the style of the day and love was in the air. Papa M and I love our mama & papa time together, but were tres happy to get our Rosebud back after the fest was over.
Huzzah! Summertime has officially begun!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Good-bye, sweet tiny Charlie and Molly. Our love is with Mama Nomi and Papa J.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mothers Day

Last Sunday was Mothers Day, a special day that I'm still kind of amazed that I qualify to celebrate. Rosebud is nothing short of miraculous and I am overjoyed to be her mother. Early Sunday morning she crawled into bed with us and cuddled up with me for a long sleep-in. The child is human Sominex, to which Papa M can attest. Hours later, I awoke face to face with my hazel-eyed wonder smiling at me. "Do you know what day this is?" Rosebud asked me. I played along, "No, what day is it?" She poked her finger right up her nose, still smiling, and announced happily, "It's Mothers Day!" She made my day. Papa M made my breakfast. I got the Queen treatment, which was very fun.
We visited my mom Amzing Grace for awhile later. AG is a dear, dear person, closer to me than I ever imagined. She does not, however, care to have her photo published, so I'm holding out here.
That evening I enjoyed the second annual Mothers Day Beer Gathering with my true blue fellow hipmamas Beth, Andrea and Julia. We are extended family and mighty community. Between the four of us we have made six gorgeous children. Within we four are two social workers, one nurse, one archivist, four musicians, three writers, four partners of musicians, two gardeners, and four close friends. We met at Mickey's outdoor patio and soaked in the gentle springtime evening air and a few pitchers of delicious beer. Historically, we've been the Sierra Nevada Salon, but our favorite libation wasn't available. We enjoyed the Cream City Pale Ale instead, which proved to be a very flavorful, satisfying pint. (I would like to point out that the small and glassy appearance of my eyes in the Mama photo is due to more to allergy season than Pale Ale.)
If anyone ever tells you in a threatening, ominous way that motherhood, or parenthood will "change everything" in that robbing-you-of-your-life way, deck 'em.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Festival of Beer

Two Sundays ago I wandered outside and much to my surprise found our building surrounded, nay INVADED by multitudinous strangers. Most seemed to have moved in quite comfortably, bringing chairs, snacks, reading materials, and friends to keep them company. Why, oh why were hundreds of people camped out around our home? Clearly they were not there to catch a glimpse of me, as I was mostly ignored when I made such a glimpse available to them. Upon further investigation, I discovered that they were there awaiting their holy grail: tickets to the Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival. The Cork & Bottle was selling tickets and these drinkers were serious as damn. Doors opened and both the tickets and the mutitude of drinkers were gone in (I'm serious) two minutes. These dedicated beer tasters do not mess around. Bless their hearts.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Favorite Things

My favorite thing that Rosebud said today is this: "Mama, will you get the sun out of my eyes? It's making me crazy."

The favorite thing she did is hand me a bouquet of tissue paper flowers that she made and said "Happy Mothers Day!". The flowers are now in a Kahlua vase and the sight of them makes me giddy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Papa M decided to have a fancy moustache for a little while the other day. It was a silent, univited guest in the house, but certainly not without its own flavor of intrigue. Fascinating, yet after a moment, one had to avert one's eyes. He decided he looked a bit too distinguished, too je ne sais quois, too Inspector Clouseau and shaved it off. Nothing says "I love you" like getting rid of a moustache like this one before leaving the privacy of one's home.

Monday, May 7, 2007

I Am a Gardener

As of yesterday, I am officially a dirt-digging grower of plants, especially since Rosebud bestowed the title "Gardener" upon me. Huzzah! Could it be that Rockmama's lifelong black thumb will finally turn a modest shade of green? I believe that with the help of Papa M (and ONLY with his help), it could be so. We've secured a fine dirt patch behind our apartment building, and will be co-gardening with neighbors Storey and Kori. Storey warned us that we may encounter difficulties including hungry rabbits, diseased dirt, and vagrant strangers, but we'll go forward fearlessly. If we end up with a surviving tomato plant or an ear of corn, we'll be pleased. And I like the fresh air and exercise. Seriously. If I'm getting exercise, I do NOT want to know about it, so gardening is perfect. Progress reports shall be forthcoming. Oh, glorious spring!

Friday, May 4, 2007

If I were a comic book character, I'd look like this.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


We live above a liquor store and an acoustic musical instrument shop. Today I'd like to raise a glass to the former, the Cork & Bottle. Along with serving as an excellent and accessable source of fine wines and ales, the C&B also functions for our family as a playground and think tank, and provides musical entertainment. Rosebud has been given toys and birthday parties there regularly, and plays complex kid games with employee Dickey almost every day. Countless ideas have been hatched there, inluding the notion for Jimmy's and my acoustic Queen cover duet Farouk Assault. The Cork & Bottle String Band has often rehearsed in the back room and, when the weather is kind, the driveway. Jimmy performed the wedding ceremony for Papa M and me. The place is also a museum of local curios, including the boozelabra and the menagerie of plastic reptiles and rats. There is a liquor store poodle named Bob. Teena and Connie are the queens of the place and we try to take good care of it all. Thank you, C&B, for being a treasured room in our home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Little Miss Trouble

Last weekend we helped our friend Thuy (for those of you not fluent in Vietnamese, it's pronounced Twee) celebrate her birthday! She had a party in her backyard, one of those dreamy parties that makes me looove my city and community. We tend to celebrate in kid-friendly, food-friendly and beer-friendly ways, and this shindig had all three PLUS sparkly, summer-like weather. Thuy's sweetheart Bucky manned the grill while other well-wishers loaded down the table with orzo salad, cold asian noodles, quiche, and some delicious things I couldn't even identify. I had three plates of food and many beers. We sang happy birthday and Rosebud and I shared a yummy slice of chocolate almond cake.

Papa M fortified himself with a few bratwurst and played with the kids for awhile. Seriously, I never knew that children and adults could have so much uncompromising fun. We even let Rosebud run with a pack of kids for a bit, all on their own. Pictures were drawn, popsicles slurped, and Miles learned how to play "Iron Man" on Bucky's 12 string. Pap M grabbed a fabulous shot of all the kiddos, as you can see.
I was ultimately giddy with socializing. Multitudes of revelers showed up to wish Thuy a happy special day. There were several Andys with dandelion crowns. Our friend Page makes his own beer, which I now refer to as his Secret Weapon. He brought a rich concoction, undoubtedly a cousin to barley wine, which was very delish. Yet, I do believe that one glass of said libation was the cause for Rock Mama to go to bed early that night.
And summerish celebrations were thusly kicked into action. We were up bright and early for 9:00 church in Rio the next morning. That's another story...