Wednesday, July 13, 2005

So now that I've been in Madison for over a week, I thought it might be a good idea to update so I don't fall too far behind... We've had some adventures...including, last Friday, wandering around Madison, visiting the Gap (yay for cheap capris) & getting Andrew set up with a new bank. The weather has been mostly great -- quite hot!

Last weekend, we were in search of Farmer's Markets... we visited one kind of sketchy one in the Wal-Mart parking lot (which was fairly successful since we got tomato plants & lettuce plants), as well as the more established one that is usually "on the square" but this Sat. was down a few blocks since the Art on the Square had taken over. It was a very, very hot and sunny day, and getting in line with all the other slowly staggering about lookers was excruciating. So we got our tomatoes & broccoli & onions & basil & lettuce and got out of there! In the afternoon we took a walk to the park that's like 5 minutes from Andrew's place... the water was looking kinda yucky, but nice views of the lake.

Sunday we took a trip to Sun Prairie, thinking that perhaps the last of the strawberries would be waiting for us at this family farm we looked up online. No such luck. So we got a good look at real farm country -- lots of long roads and cornfields. Much of the dairy products we've been buying are actually from Sun Prairie. We went down their quaint downtown, which was quite dead on Sunday (as a sign proclaimed on one shop, Sunday is "for church & fishin' "). We realized that the Georgia O'Keeffe Memorial Ave did indeed have something to do with the town... a sign alerted us that O'Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie! On the way home, we stopped by a liquidator's, and I found Luna bars for 59 cents (which I'd been looking up online that morning) & horehound candy (which I never can find anywhere). So that was fun... in the evening we took our mango fried rice leftovers to a park, and ate as twilight came on.

Monday was a huge shopping day -- Andrew was off to the University in the morning to talk to a prof, and I stayed home to work on stuff after sleeping in. In the late afternoon we went to Woodman's to buy supplies for dinners for the rest of the week... took forever... Woodman's is the biggeset supermarket... but doesn't have very good organic produce (ie they haven't got much, not even organic apples). So we still had to supplement with Jenifer's market. But oh well. We were starving by the time we got home, so I did the appetizers/ I'm-going-to-faint-while-making-dinner-if-I-don't-eat-somethings (brie & pesto roll & cheddar & granny smiths). As an aside: Jenifer St. Market had THE BEST granny smiths I've ever tasted (and organic, too!!) Anyways, Andrew made his famous pesto, and all was well again.

Yesterday we were on a pretty good schedule, we were quite proud of ourselves. We headed off to the zoo in the afternoon -- saw a gi-normous Galapagos Tortoise (apparently they grow up to 4 feet in diameter, and can weigh hundreds of pounds), bears (black, grizzly, and polar -- all actually awake!), flamingos (I bet they're confused, what the f*&# are they doing in Wisconsin??!!), giraffes, an ostrich guarding her egg, and, best of all, five young lions! The lion cubs were born in Oct., were available to be seen in late April, and are now frolicking about in their own large playing area. The entire time we watched them, one or another was stalking an oblivious brother or sister, chasing one another along the rocks, or pouncing in a not-so-stealthy manner. Adorable! We realized how much smaller they were than adult lions, when we saw the female/ male pair. Huge! The seals & river otters were also active & funny -- the seals kept gurgling as if trying to get something out of their throats. It was good weather -- slightly drizzly but cooled down (thankfully).

For dinner, we had sushi night -- w/ mango, avocado, cucumber, and smoked salmon. Stuffed ourselves, as usual. And we were actually ready to settle in for a movie before it was dark out!

Movie watching lately... I'm catching up on zombie-genre movies, so I finally saw Shaun of the Dead. I LOVED the part where they're all pretending to be zombies to "fit in" and get through the crowd of dead. Hilarious. And all the fake outs, and the proper British manners that get in the way of surviving zombie attacks. And that the main character took so long to realize what was going on. Great! And for Merrie: Coldplay definitely was involved -- if you watch the TV clips they show after the attacks at the end of the movie, one includes a shot of Coldplay, and the name is even mentioned! (I guess the lead was a zombie-extra.)

Then last night we saw 28 Days Later, which we decided was just a rehashing of other zombie movies, namely Day of the Dead. The filming was so dark you could hardly tell what was going on... in a way that wasn't necessarily beneficial to the film (the whole oh-we-don't-know-what's-going-on-any-better-than-the-lead feeling can only work for so long). Calling it an infection instead of reanimation didn't really hold me... even one of the directors slipped by calling them "zombies or the infected" in a commentary clip of a deleted scene. And you never really get WHY the infected are so intent on going after other humans. Unlike zombies, they don't need human flesh to survive... and you'd think that "rage" could be directed against other targets as well. And how exactly do they survive at all, if we never see them eating or drinking? It just doesn't make much sense. And some of the infected, which supposedly have been running about for weeks, looked pretty damn healthy, not scrawny. Lots of similar stuff from the genre... like fortresses or protected areas run by soldiers & what do you do when a loved one turns into an infected & the issue of infecteds that look like children. And the ideas were old -- they struck me as pretty similar to Romero's Day of the Dead (the uninfected turning on one another, the threat of the women being subjected/ harassed under might-is-right, the question of who's more "human" (using infecteds to kill off unsavory uninfecteds, and filming the main character, Jim, in a similar manner to the infecteds when he's on a rampage in the final scenes in the house.)) We weren't terribly impressed... but it was entertaining while it lasted.

Also, we've been playing Scrabble -- I won the first night, and Andrew won the second. But I still maintain that his win was reliant upon my crappy letter selection (who gets four i's at once?? and w/ two u's?!) Yes... I take it too seriously.

Today there was a great op-ed piece by Sarah Vowell in the NYT -- here's a link. She's hilarious, and it doesn't hurt that I agree with her!

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