my oh-so-normal life

Location: California, United States

There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. (the five people you meet in heaven)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Quote of the Day
“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They wake up in the morning and that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.”
---Dean Martin

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Madison Cows

Many years ago, I saw the art cows on display in Chicago. I recently had the pleasure of meeting a new herd in Madison. The really cool thing about the Madison cows is that all (almost all?) are decorated with a Madison- or Wisconsin-related theme. Creativity runs amok with these cows which graze the streets surrounding the Capital. They are great fun; I highly recommend them. However, I don’t recommend trying to talk to them or ride them (especially after long stays at the microbreweries....)

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Madtown has two microbreweries: Angelic and Great Dane. S and I visited both. One really cool thing I’ve found in Wisconsin is that you can ask for a sample of any of the microbrews and they bring you a 4 oz. glass, usually full. The menu at the Great Dane was incredible. I would love to go back there. Just remember, when in Wisconsin, microbreweries are a-plenty, and definitely the reason for many a brouhaha....

Monday, August 21, 2006


S. and I headed from Georgia to her home-state. What a difference in temperature and humidity a few degrees in latitude can make. We flew into Madison (a.k.a. Madtown.) My father had told me years ago that Madison was such a cool place but that the winters were so harsh.

I love Madison! It’s not only the capital but also a college town. There are cool places to eat and shop, awesome microbreweries (more to come later), and a great overall atmosphere. A great first stop. Highly recommended on my list of places to visit.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Georgia still on my mind...

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Friday, August 18, 2006


Whenever I hear the word “grits,” I think of The South. However, I’m a Yankee, born and bred, and while also a foodie, I’ve never eaten grits as an adult. S and I were headed to Wisconsin via Atlanta. (I’ll bet you can’t guess that we were flying Delta airlines....) We stopped at “Waffle King” to grab a bite to eat. As we looked at the menu, S asked me if I had ever had grits and what were they like. Well, when I was about seven, and my best description was “they’re like Cream of Wheat” (never having eaten Cream of Wheat.)

In the end, we each ordered a breakfast special that came with eggs, hash browns, bacon, and a bread. The server was asking us if we wanted grits with that. No, thank you. Somehow, we ended up with grits instead of the hash browns. We asked the server about the grits explaining that “we’re not from around here” and “we don’t know how to eat grits.” She told us that grits are actually made from corn and that people eat them with butter. She said she’d get us some. Still waiting for that butter. The grits were very plain tasting. Salt made them better, but I’m not convinced. My mother told me that one of her friends makes terrific Parmesan grits, but I haven’t yet experienced that. Maybe you have to be from the South, maybe it has to be in your blood. I’m not sure that grits can be an acquired taste.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Georgia on my mind...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Quote of the Day

"I know I'm in my own little world, but it's okay. They know me here."

Monday, August 07, 2006

Irrefutable Proof that I’m a Chick
Not that I really thought it necessary (the proof, I mean), but here it is....

I have been cleaning and trying to sort out the mess at home that has accumulated in my absence. The other day I was dusting in my office. In order to dust off a little cabinet once belonged to my grandmother (one of my prized possessions), I lifted up the basket of dried flowers that was on top only to spot a dead cockroach.

the cabinet

Gross. I grabbed the wastebasket and swept the cockroach forward toward the garbage bin.

Not quite dead.

As it flew toward me, I shrieked, stepped on the basket of dried flowers, smashing it, bumped into the couch, knocked over the chair in front of my computer, and then fell back onto the corner of the coffee table. All in a split second. I stood up and surveyed the scene. Definitely a chick. I laughed out loud. Until the bruise came out that is. Size of a baseball. (And I hate playing baseball because I throw like a chick. Can’t seem to escape it.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wine is Good

Wine can solve all your problems. My dishwasher was detached due to the flood in the kitchen which had necessitated the removal of the flooring. I’d been washing all the dishes by hand and noticed that there was water under the sink. Oh, no, not again. I realized that the water was coming from the hole where the dishwasher hose attaches to the garbage disposal. Innovation is the key to success. Cork anyone?
Wine is good. Wine can solve all your problems.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Home again, Home again, Jiggity Jig

I’ve always thought that time travel is a magical thing. Depart Sydney: Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. Arrive San Francisco: Tuesday 11:00 a.m. I love that. Arriving before you leave is the coolest. (Just don’t remind me that I left on a Friday to go to Sydney and got there Sunday morning. That part is not so cool.) A three-hour layover is more than enough time to have lunch with Tea. We went to Max’s (she told me later that her food blog friends were appalled, but it is just down the street from the airport.) I had a great time with her, even after the ump-teen hours on the flight. I miss San Francisco. I know I need to get back, if only for the friends (and my godson). Today’s quote:

Friends have made the story of my life.”

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Eastern Medicine

When I flew from SFO to Sydney, I slept in a funny position on the plane. I don’t know what I did, but when I woke up, my neck really hurt. Three weeks later, it was worse. I could barely move without pain; therefore, So and I decided to buy some medicated patches that are used in Japan. Since we were staying on the edge of Chinatown, we knew that they would be easy to find. In the first Chemist we entered, we explained what we were looking for, and the woman helping us said, “Oh, Salonpas?” The box they had only contained small patches, and when I asked if they had a larger size, I was told only in other brands. The woman explained that the ingredients in the largest size (a Chinese product) were different but had the same effect. I bought a box of the small Salonpas and one large Chinese patch. So put some of the Salonpas on me when we went to breakfast. I felt much better. I used the Salonpas the following day and decided to try the Chinese patch that next evening. So put the patch on for me, and the sensation was different from the Salonpas. After several minutes, I told her that it felt like it was burning, that my skin felt really hot, but I would wait a bit to see if it went away. So told me not to be so impatient. A couple of minutes later, I told her that I couldn’t stand it anymore, and she took off the patch. She was amazed. I had a red mark where the patch had been, and my skin was hot on that area. I looked at the patch’s package, and it says, “Vorwerk ‘Chili Brand.’” Vorwerk seemed like German to me, but I could find no translation via the internet. (I later met a German guy who told me that there is no such word.) The Chili part, however, was abundantly clear.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Featherdale Wildlife Park
When I had asked JW about things to do in greater Sydney, she told me about Featherdale Wildlife Park where you can see all kinds of Australian animals. Of course, to the non-Australians, this was very intriguing. One day, JW and her sister took So and me to Featherdale Wildlife Park. We had a great time and even better company. We first walked through the birds, then wombats and wallabies. We saw dingoes (“The dingo ate my baby!”), Tasmanian devils, emus, kangaroos, and more, but the best was probably the koalas. The koalas were in individual compartments, and at the end of the area, there was a petting area. A Featherdale employee was watching as people queued up and took turns taking pictures with the animal. After So and I had taken a few pictures, she commented to me that the fur was so soft. “You touched it?” I had been afraid to touch and thus hadn’t. Another employee came out to the other petting area with a second koala. So and I lined up again, so that I could pet the koala. The couple in line behind us had offered to take our picture, and as we stood next to the koala, I reached to pet its rear while So reached to pet near its face. Oooops. The koala bit the sleeve of her jacket and scared the daylights out of both of us. So still asks why I was scared because the koala actually bit her. But, I’m telling you: 怖い (kowai---scary!)

An Echidna. Today's trivia (courtesy of JW): A baby echidna is called a puggle.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
M had told me that So and I might want to try the Bridge Climb as it’s an unforgettable experience. A bit pricey, but quite an experience. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is 134 meters above sea level, and the total time to climb the bridge is about 3.5 hours. We spent about and hour and a half getting suited up, practicing, etc. The climb itself took about another hour and a half. We hiked up one side of the bridge, across the top, and down the other side. Our guide was quite funny, and we had a great time. It wasn’t actually scary, and you’re strapped onto the bridge, so it’s very safe. We got out onto the bridge just as the sun was setting and hiked in the dark. The city is gorgeous at night. The views are fantastic, and Sydney is gorgeous. I’ll never get tired of the scenery.