Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Warning: Contains tourism

My slump from last week might be dissipating. The weather has turned from snowy to rainy, and perhaps this and the sunshine on Sunday have started me feeling better. I think I am coming down from the high of going on vacation for Spring Break, something I haven't done since I was in middle school! Usually I work during Spring Break, but this time I got a chance to visit two of my prospective graduate schools. My twin sister and I went to New York City and I visited CUNY and NYU. Then we took a train to Philadelphia and the twin visited the University of Pennsylvania. When we flew back to Madison, the next day we drove up to Minneapolis to drop off some good old Wisconsin cheese as a surprise for our mother.

New York was amazing. I love urban areas; even though I only got to see a few parts of Manhattan, I really think I would love to live there. We had a hotel off of Union Square, which was cute. The room was on the fourth floor with no elevators, and the size of about three king beds and a bathroom. It had two twin beds, a dresser and table, and a tiny window that looked out on a tiny alley. I spent all of my savings on a ticket to see The Lion King on Broadway off of Times Square. I made Kristen stand in line for a long time to try to get discount tickets and then it ended up being that Kristen only wanted to see the Lion King and there are no discount tickets to the Lion King. She was a little upset, but it was totally worth it. The show was so beautiful; the woman who plays Rafiki has THE most amazing voice I have ever heard. The costumes and puppets were phenomenal and extravagant and huge. The problems with the Lion King are definitely more obvious on the stage, but again, something not for this blog.

We also went to the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, where I saw the brilliant Jenny Holzer exhibit PROTECT PROTECT. Can't discuss this on this blog, but I really liked it.

We went to lots of fabulous places with our gracious host Katy. A couple of favorites: The Galaxy Global Eatery, The Grey Dog, Vol De Nuit, and The Bourgeois Pig. Galaxy Global had a great Sunday brunch. Kristen got Bubba's Waffles, which was a waffle with hemp-nut gelato and a side of fried chicken. I got a fabulous frittata with straw mushrooms and chevre. The Good Dog has great breakfast; anything on the menu looked phenomenal, although we went twice for breakfast. Vol De Nuit was a Belgian beer bar that we were too tired to stay at for long. I love Belgian beers, and the atmosphere was totally worth the visit. The Bourgeois Pig was a nameless whole in the wall with a doorman who looked a little like Johnny Depp. The interior was beautiful and overdone. They had a half-price wine night on Monday and we got a Pinot Noir and a really delicious cheese plate that was too much for all three of us. Katy was such a wonderful host to us, even though we are terribly twin-like when we hang out together. She knows all of the best places to go, and was so very helpful, funny, and smart! I can't wait to see her again, this time when I am less overwrought!

We went shopping around Union Square, the Garment District and Chinatown. I bought a leather shoulder bag (actually a purse, but I refuse to admit that I bought a purse) in Chinatown for $18. There were a lot of fabulous scarves and bags. I wish I hadn't been looking for something so specific, or I would have bought some souvenirs for folks back home. Sorry Midwesterners!

In Philly, I didn't get a chance to see any of my local friends because we were only there for a short period of time. We went to Vic's Sushi Bar and went to another bar named after a dog: The Good Dog. We picked each place because of Chowhound reviews, and they were both pretty good. All the sushi (basic salmon and yellow-tail for me, california rolls for the twin) was good. The Good Dog burger was good, but as a Wisconsinite and cheese-eater I don't think it quite deserves the rave reviews it got. I think the people were more impressed by the good cheese than by anything else, and let me just tell you there could have been more or better cheese. The baked macaroni was great as well, but takes about 20 minutes for them to cook, so don't get it if you are in a hurry. It was hot, gooey, and perfectly done with a delicate crunch on top.

All in all, an exhausting trip. The day after we came back we decided to go for a spontaneous drive to Minneapolis. It was beautiful and almost warm and the entire trip up and back had this beautiful look I didn't know that Midwestern spring could have. The sky was this deep, velvety delphinium blue, and the hills on the horizon were a light, misty sky blue. The fields we were driving past were filled with the husks of last year's growth, sun-bleached almost white-blonde. The wind and the temperature and the loneliness and the sadness of the temporariness of life all created this beautiful atmosphere that I just couldn't get enough of. Maybe that's why I was so depressed last week. I know change is coming. And I am sad to let things go.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


I have been sad lately. I don't know why. I have been grouchy and lonely and miserable, and am probably making my nearest and dearest pretty unhappy.

I've been working 50-55 hours/week, and am very behind with school. I have so so so many things to do...


Friday, March 6, 2009


Things are wonderful in Madison. Last night it was so beautiful that Kelly, Steph, Clare and I sat on the porch swing and drank beer and played the four-headed storyteller. It was hilarious.

I had a chill/productive day. I went to the Writing Center on campus, and they helped me jump start the script I am supposed to be writing. I went to work for a few hours, and then went home and cleaned the kitchen and took one of the dogs for a walk along the lakeshore. Now I am at one of my favorite coffee shops, drinking mediocre espresso and anticipating the evening ahead.

The weather is beautiful, and I will soon go sit on my porch swing and hang out in the sunshine until grabbing some dinner with the twin and going to see the UT's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then I am going to go out and find somewhere to dance/drink/party, probably starting with visiting Laura at the Essen Haus...she's in town from the Bay!

Then tomorrow I am working at the Seed Fair out at our garden plot...what a sign of spring! I can't wait to work in our garden! Then I am spending the afternoon prepping for a trip to Ithaca, and going to see Cloud 9 with Lindsay in the evening. I plan on ending the night at Ofek at their Purim party where I will once again unsuccessfully try to get in everyone's pants. Just kidding. Ofek parties are GREAT!

More later! Love