Defining Moments

Do you ever try to add a little meaning to your life by just, um, saying it means something? Well, I do, like today, before I read xkcd, I said to myself, "This comic will define my life." I mean, why not? What have I got to lose? I can always take it back, right? Well, I said that to myself, and click here because it's a little bit funny.

It's funny because it's pretty much true, if you just delete the title above it about the Discovery Channel and assume that I'm singing to myself.

There actually ARE locks between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona

I've seen it a hundred times and never even given it a thought!

Barko Video

I made this animated video of my Uncle Dennis's song, "Barko the Clowndog". Much thanks to my dad, for converting the file to something that could be seen on youtube!

I realize the video is a little odd, but so are the people who made it! :)

Wild Grasses

A Prairie Flower

"I'm a little prairie flower
growing wilder hour by hour
nobody cares to cultivate me
I'm as wild as wild can be"
-A Donald Duck record I had as a kid

Ain't that the way of things?

The old farmhouse with condominiums cropping up around it. Ain't that the way of things, these days?

This is the beginning of the story. What comes next?

She wasn’t photogenic. The best part about her was how she laughed when...

What is that?

What's this? Far in the distance? Is it... no, it can't be... COWS? IN WISCONSIN?


I enjoy hanging the laundry on the clothes line in the summertime.

It's so... peaceful.


When I wrote, "We kind of live on a hill," the emphasis should be on the "kind of". What I meant was, we live at a much higher altitude than the Isthmus, therefore our house didn't flood for being lower than the lakes. That's all! We don't really live on a hill. Just a nice, safe altitude above "lake level".

Happy Solstice! Here's some borrowed comedy...


Email this to all of your friends and family!!!!

There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American’s PATRIOTIC DUTY to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.

Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.

Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times, even in the shower. One
time he DROPPED THE PIN down the drain, and he PATRIOTICALLY disassembled his entire plumbing to retrieve it.

Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag, and he has an American flag in EVERY ROOM in his house. Some days it takes him OVER 45 MINUTES to get out of his house. He also ends every sentence by saying, “WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.” On the INTERNET there is video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.

Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It’s upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups. He does FIFTY SITUPS every morning, which is the same number as OUR FOUNDING FATHERS did to commemorate our FIFTY STATES.

Barack Obama take his daughters HUNTING every weekend — HUNTING LIBERALS, that is. Liberals are ALWAYS IN SEASON.

Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic, which is the language JESUS SPOKE before he learned English. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.

Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW. If elected, he has pledged to build a MEGACHURCH inside AIR FORCE ONE.

Barack Obama’s skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL. His blood is the color of the AMERICAN FLAG. His fingernails are the color of APPLE PIE. He rubs AMERICAN SOIL on his chest every 20 minutes, then cleanses himself with HOLY WATER.

Barack Obama buys only AMERICAN GOODS. His sole possessions are a FORD PICK-UP TRUCK, a GEORGE FOREMAN GRILL, and HALF THE STATE OF MONTANA. He drinks only APPALACHIAN MOONSHINE, eats only FREEDOM FRIES, and travels exclusively by JOHN DEERE TRACTOR.


[source:, and then improved upon by dive into the mark]

Okay, you'll probably wonder at first why I'm posting this video

No, I don't know this girl. I'm not in the video. But the thing is, Isa Chandra Maskowitz wrote the best damn cookbook ever, Vegan with a Vengeance! Which is a vegan cookbook geared towards punk rockers! At first, these two things might seem a bit unrelated- vegan and punkrocker- until you think about it. How many vegans do you know? I know one. And she's a singer in a punk rock band. (A FANTASTIC punk rock band, I might add.)

I rest my case.

But wait, the real reason I love this cook book- beyond that it's cool and has great stories and such- is that it has absolutely the tastiest recipes I've ever tasted, from any cookbook, vegan or not. I originally checked it out from the library, then I decided I had to have it, now I've made ten or so recipes and they really do rock! All of them. They rock so hard, I don't even know how to describe it. And I haven't even gotten to the dessert section yet! And she even wrote a whole other book on cupcakes!!!! Oh MY GOD!!!!

Prius Haters...

There is something about Prius drivers which generates some negative feelings. It's like it's not just a car, it's a statement? I'm confused by the whole thing, honestly, but out in Palo Alto, California, apparently Prius drivers are taking over like a plague and driving people nuts with their bizarre, fuel saving driving habits. Out here in Wisconsin, not so much. Prius drivers just seem to drive the same as everyone else. I've been watching.

Anyway, just to confuse matters more, here's a funny comic.

To turn it around, I think the best drivers are Honda Civic drivers. Nothing crazy going on there, just your usual, run of the mill, law abiding citizens. Even the tricked out ones don't seem to drive poorly.

The Flood

I'm sure Brian will soon be publishing pictures on his blog, but I just feel like mentioning that a lot of places around here are flooded! A few roads are closed due to bridges being out. One of our usual walking places had the bridge washed out. Olbrich Gardens is flooded in big parts- though prettier that way, I think. The ducks are loving it, of course. Everywhere you go, there are little lakes and streams that aren't usually there. It's pretty strange. It isn't supposed to rain all week, though, so maybe things will get better.

To follow up on the rising floodwaters entry: the Wisconsin Ducks (tour boats which go on land and water) were saving people from their flooding homes a few days ago. Now their website advertises a tour of the drained Lake Delton! Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade! It seems a bit twisted, but I have to admit, it's the only tour they've ever offered that I've ever had any interest in taking.

Pig in Boots

This pig is prepared for the rain! Who says pigs are dirty? Copied from


It's what's for dinner.

No, really, this is homemade seitan... but it really looks like boiled brains, doesn't it?

The Rising Floodwaters

Around here, the water is rising. We're hoping that the farm we invested in is okay. (Very selfishly hoping, I might add.) That tornado a few days ago had a lot of rain to go with it. The only immediate effect in our yard was that all of my seedling daisies washed away, and a bunch of tomatoes and squash sprouted up instead. I can certainly live with that!

The biggest news, of course, is that Lake Delton is gone. It washed away, and took a bunch of houses with it. For those of you who don't know Lake Delton is (or was) in Wisconsin Dells, which is this little vacation resort with obnoxious casinos and the Tommy Bartlett Thrill Show. The billboards for this guy which line the Interstate are so repugnant, you can't help but wonder if God didn't just smote him by taking his lake away. Not that the lake being gone is a good thing. I just think that, if they should get rid of a few of those billboards, that would be a good thing. (No one was hurt.) When the lake went away, it pushed away the dirt barrier, washed away a bunch of houses, and created this horrible mound of water which is threatening all sorts of dams, flooding places worse than they were, etc. I ought to admit here that I have heard nearly everything from word of mouth, rather than actually reading news articles. That would take time which I could better spend rambling on my blog or playing the piano.

Our house is dry. Brian knows people at his work who have stayed home to pump the water out of their basements, but our house is dry. We kind of live on a hill. Please remind me, the next time we want to move closer to a lake, that our house was dry in June of '08. Those lakefront houses always look so tempting and beautiful in the summertime.

May I take a message?

tornado update

According to this, five people were hurt in yesterday's tornados. We have a lot of tree limbs sitting around and we had some flash flooding this morning. Last night, we ran downstairs because there was a tornado warning and suddenly there were these incredibly strong winds outside. Then it calmed down within a minute. We went back up, and my spatula was on the floor of the kitchen. I guess I just threw it down and ran! Then the siren went off again, and we grabbed some food and went down to the basement for about an hour. I found this picture at the weather service web site, but I'm not sure if it was really taken yesterday. Anyway, very exciting stuff.

oh, crap

The tornado siren is going off. Is it for real? We shall see!

the Carbon Yard

My Aunt Lou (Hi there! I know you read this! You lurker.) used to be in this band called The Carbon Yard. They very much rocked. They were sort of garage band grunge before grunge actually happened. It sucks that everyone in Seattle stole their act.

I was very much a fan when I was about fifteen. It was just the coolest thing in the world, if you were a disgruntled suburban teen, to know people in an actual cool rock band in the city.

Actually, though, I think they lived in Oakland, which would be, well, NOT the city, but whatever.

I had this huge crush on this guy in the band, Randy, who, when I look at the pictures now, actually appears quite homely- but never mind. He was so, oh, I don't know, sensitive, you know? He reminded me of Heathecliff in Wuthering Heights- or whatever Bronte book Heathecliff is in. He seemed to have this hopeless crush on my aunt, who was older than him and disinterested, as far as I could tell. He was dark at brooding and drank a lot. And I was fifteen. There was this one night when we all were watching that movie, The Ruttles, and he sat next to me on the futon, and drank like, ten beers, and I didn't move, I didn't move! I couldn't! For two hours! I mean, Randy was sitting next to me, for Chist's sake! RANDY!

His name probably isn't even Randy.

I seem to also have this memory, which may be this sort of false made up memory, for all I know, of my cousin Allie- who was about ten at the time- erecting a giant poster of Randy in the club house, and worshipping it with her stepsister, Erica. They were kneeling in front of it, bowing down, and giggling hysterically. I could be completely making this up. I have no idea.