Monthly Archives: August 2019

Wendy’s

My Dad and I went to Wendy’s today. We went inside. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted so initially I did not mind when no one came to take my order, even though I was standing first in line and right next to the register. But after a significant delay, even I began to notice that no one was coming. I could see the employees putting together orders. Just no one came!

Eventually someone noticed the long line growing behind me. Another employee stormed over, shouting over his shoulder as he did: “I have to do EVERYTHING here!” 

He took my order with ill-will. I ordered my meal to go. 

The first person who noticed the line, a manager perhaps, walked over. The employee who took my order kept loudly complaining.

The manager began placing my food on a tray for dining in. I tried catching his eye to mention I was to go. I even said, “Excuse me…” a few times. He could not hear me over the employee. 

Finally, I spoke loud enough and pointed out I was to go. He looked at me blankly for a moment, picked up my fries, and tossed them in the trash.

Then he threw my chicken nuggets in the trash. 

I must have looked shocked. He just shrugged and mumbled something about it being on the counter. Then he got me all new chicken nuggets and fries. 

Meanwhile, the first employee continued his running commentary. “You see? You shout for sour cream, no one does anything. I have to go get it. No one does anything here…”

Employee of the week, that fellow. 


Spoiled Palate

Today my friend and I went out for lunch and I made a horrifying discovery. Thailand spoiled my palate for seafood! 

Or at least, mediocre seafood. 

We ordered shrimp dumplings and ramen with seafood. My friend enjoyed it all. None of it tasted good to me! It tasted frozen, fishy, and not like it came straight from the fisherman!

Because, duh. I live in Wisconsin. Not a coastal city famous for its seafood. 

I suppose I’m pleased to see my tastes improve beyond that of a teenage boy. But it sure feels impractical. I’ve been spoiled! 


TA Training

I am TAing this coming semester for an undergrad class! It is a very exciting opportunity. I have no idea what I am doing. 

I read the handbook very carefully and it said TA training would take place today and gave a building. I asked the department I am in for more specifics. They didn’t know anything more either. 

But it said all day training so I took off work today and showed up at the building. All for nothing! If the training did take place, they hid it well. I wandered around the entire place and found nothing. 

Which is fine and all, but I still have no idea what I am doing. 


WiFi!

I finally have WiFi at my apartment. It is like freedom! Not that it will change much of what I do. I plan to post this, find the book I started last night, and finish it. Then go to sleep.

But the fact is, if I wanted to watch a movie, or hang out on Facebook, or anything else…I could!


Artistically Minded

I am not artistically minded. Anyone who saw my old apartment could tell you this. I hung no pictures; my furniture theme is “free to me”; and I usually cover it all with layer of books and papers anyway.

I have lived in my present apartment over a month now with generally the same results.

My sister, who is moving in with me, is quite another story. She came to drop a few items off. Within a few hours, she transformed the built in shelves into an adorable display of fake flowers and pretty decorations. Our living room now has a Color Scheme. (Pale pink.) My couch is threatened. (“It is so ugly!”) And my stuffed Captain America has been banished. (He does not match the theme.)

I must say, the place looks vastly better. I knew there was a good reason for having her move in!


Libby App

My library has an app that allows access to audio and e-books. I love it. But for one reason or another, I never switched my account from my old phone to my new one. I did so this weekend.

And lost all the books I had on hold! Some I had been waiting months for. Most inconvenient.

But perhaps more inconvenient, some of the new books I put on hold immediately came in and now I have to find time to read them!


Happy Summer Memories

Some days I stare at my computer and wonder what the heck to write about. (If you ever wonder which days those are, look to the ones where I talk about books. Books are my inevitable go-to for inspiration.) Other days, I seem to drown in things to say. As this happens to be one of those days where I cannot seem to pick which thing to settle on, here are three happy summer memories that occurred over the last few days:

  • I got to see Ginnie and her kids. Ginnie and I have been friends since high school (maybe middle school in my case) and I am always grateful to see her. Old friends who continue to stick around are some of the best people out there. And if she was not enough, Ginnie has 3 adorable children! We took them to the Madison’s Children’s Museum and had a lovely time. I highly recommend the place. 
  • Friday night I saw my nephew AND went to a neighborhood bonfire! Both proved super fun. One of the neighbors is my age and also entering her 3L year of law school. It is always fun to compare notes and bemoan our life decisions. 
  • Finally…I attended a birthday party for my  cousins! I got to see family and celebrate three of my amazing cousins (plus my brother) last night. They all continue to age at a rapid pace. Delightful company and food…what is not to love? 

LuLu for Governor

Yesterday I got to visit the Wisconsin State Capital with my friend Ginnie and her kids. 4-year-old Louisa loved the place. We suspect she thought it was a palace. 

As I watched her, I imagined her years later, all grown up and governor of the state. Wanting to instill such a vision, I said: “You know, Louisa, someday you can work here!”

Louisa looked quite pleased and puffed up her chest. “Yes,” she said matter-of-factly. “I will work here when I am 5.” 


Addendum: David Koch

Billionaire philanthropist David Koch died today and I just wanted to write a quick post in recognition. Though Charles Koch loomed larger in my AFP experience, it was always the “Koch Brothers” together that took the political flack and lead the way for the organization. Their generosity made it possible for people like me to run successful field offices and change the future of my state. The Koch Brothers’ political advocacy empowers people and I am a living testament to that. 

And despite all the headlines focusing on his political affiliation, it should not be forgotten that David Koch’s philanthropy centered on the medical field: he built hospitals and funded cancer research. He directly and indirectly touched countless lives. 

The world is a sadder place without him. He will be missed. 


Further Adventures With Kathy

Besides the adventure at Barnes and Noble, Kathy and I ran into an inordinate number of adventures on Wednesday. Perhaps I need to take the occasional half day from work more often. Or hang out with Kathy more. 

It started with the ice cream truck. I have not seen an ice cream truck since maybe grade school. But all of a sudden we heard the tinkling of music and the truck not only pulled into my apartment complex parking lot, it put on the breaks and turned off the engine as though it intended to stay for a while. Obviously, we needed to go buy some ice cream! ‘How handy,’ I thought. ‘A blog post for tomorrow! Only think, they still have ice cream trucks.’  

Then we went and painted pottery. A group of inner-city high schoolers, chaperoned by several weary looking adults, apparently rented the party room that day. They liked Very Loud Music. The owner of the pottery store kept walking around tut-tutting and asking if anyone very much minded the music. She would tell to turn it off immediately if we did. But it made them so happy…

So of course we said we did not mind. 

The students left and a very skinny man with a very large Adam’s apple came in. He was working on a coaster. A very, very detailed coaster. Apparently he came to the shop semi-regularly to work on it. A woman joined him a few minutes later. She walked around, decided nothing caught her fancy, and started cutting up square for a quilt. 

Minus the music, it quickly became painfully impossible not to listen to our neighbors’ conversation. And was there much to listen to! The woman carefully asked the man about his job (he nearly lost it recently and now one mistake could get him fired), his mental health (determined not to commit suicide, meeting with his counselor weekly, getting a new counselor, in fact, because old one retiring), and his social life outside of work (nil). We learned a great deal about him. It was almost embarrassing. Every now and then Kathy would say something to me so we could have our own murmured conversation and hopefully remind them of our existence. It did not work. 

We then had our Barnes and Noble excursion. But the adventures did not end. Going back, we got turned around and the GPS sent us on back roads. 

Now, I must blame the atmospheric thriller I am currently reading. It created a spooky atmosphere in my imagination. Madison did the rest. I thought I knew Madison fairly well. Turns out, I do not. We passed cemeteries and accidentally drove into a spooky arboretum and got turned into fancy subdivisions that looked like they belonged in rural, suburban neighborhoods. At one point, the hard, bright lights of a car shone behind us and instead of feeling glad we were not alone, I felt my nerves kick into gear. “This is the point,” I told Kathy, “where our car breaks down and that person murders us.”

But we did not. In fact, we made it to my apartment without much hassle. We then decided on a movie and went to the local Pick N Save for a Redbox movie. 

Even this did not go quite normally. Mind you, it is 9:30 pm at night and pitch black out. A lady with a sleeping child sat outside the store singing loudly as if to drown out the pop music. She smiled and by the time we left had gathered a small crowd. (Actually, they might have been with her and had no choice but to listen. Hard to say.)

The store smelled like dog food. We got Isn’t It Romantic because, duh, that’s my new favorite movie and if you haven’t seen it yet I will make you watch it. 

And so we did.