You might remember her stunning style from this post last summer.  Well, she’s back, and the color story this season is all about bold yellows and watermelon pinks.  On trend as usual, she’s mixing painterly prints and wearing statement socks with shoes.

No, really:

Dads of America have known it all along.  Socks and sandals, 2gether 4ever.

Happy Birthday, Ada!

Are you seeing this, Anna Wintour?

Ada pictured here with stylist-to-the-stars Cathy G..


…to tell you about our super fun trip to Chicago last weekend, where we celebrated our dear friend Bob’s 25ish birthday and also celebrated the cake-baking skills of his lovely wife Kelly, to whom we are so glad Bob introduced us.


-Helping Bob solve physics. (what a relief to have that done, right?)

-Buying a bench scraper (didn’t know I needed one, but have used it thrice in the last two days.  And I don’t even have a bench!)

-Seeing Kelly’s galley in real life.  This book is lovely and sumptuous and is available now on Amazon (you’ll want to preorder).

-Being an innocent bystander on the L during No Pants Day. For reals people.  It was five degrees outside.  Those were some ugly pale goosebumpy pantsless legs we saw.  I’m no lover of pants, don’t get me wrong, and this would probably be fun in many of the locations where it is held.  But this is Chicago.  The “Windy City”.  The L is short for “elevated” as in “above ground.”  Put your damn pants back on before your no-health-insurance-having hipster tushies end up in my emergency room.

-Coming home and getting that “ooh, we’re home” feeling, instead of that “where are we again?” feeling, for the first time so far in our new house.  And seeing that luminescent glow that is the Aerogarden, beaming at us through the windows like a beacon, welcoming us home.


1.  New B&N eReader awfully cute!

Hello MotoPhoto and intelligence from Gizmodo

B&N hasn’t released the name of this device yet, but per the good folks at Gizmodo it’s awful.  Perhaps iSnob?  Or maybe The Amazing $200 Book *book not included?  I look forward to hearing it, and probably mocking it.  And then wanting one.  Mayhaps the eReader is finally wobbling toward that hallowed tipping point?

2.  The Public Outrage over my not being named a Madison Opera Blogger has not been either as Public or as Outraged as I might have hoped.  Am resigned to sad fact that perhaps I am not a Madison Cultural Icon.  Yet.  All that will change when I crash Madison Opera’s blogger night dressed as my evil baking persona  THE ARTISAN.

3.  As if that isn’t enough heartbreak, I just got a daunting set of revisions back on a project I’ve been working on since recorded time began.  This stinks, but it did give me an excuse to do some particularly enthusiastic emotional eating last night.  If there is a slice of pepperoni left in Near West Madison it must have been in hiding last night.  Poor slice of pepperoni.  Huddling in the rainy doorways, just trying to stay out of sight of the crazed woman stalking up and down Monroe street eating everything in her path.  It’s a rough world out there.

4.  Clear your schedules for my first FESTIVAL CHOIR CONCERT this Saturday.  Come for the singing, stay for the snacks after the show.  Our director, who is a really excellent programmer, I think, has pulled together a night of happy songs (and occasionally, sad song with happy lyrics) to give economic downturn survivors a much needed perking up. Music lovers will recognize Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and the oldie but goodie Promise of Living by Aaron Copland.  Judy Garland lovers will enjoy our snazzy rendition of Get Happy and enjoy Madison’s close proximity to Iowa courthouses. More info:

Jazz Hands!

I will be the one with the food baby in the front row.


In a little less than a week from today, Josh and I will be heading up to the cabin where we got hitched to revisit the scene of the crime.  The trip is close enough now that I am starting to suffer from Disneyworld syndrome, wherein when anyone else asks me how I’m doing or what’s new or do I have the time, I answer, “I’m going to the cabin next week!”  I imagine it must be getting a little tiresome.

To distract myself from the eternities-long wait until next Wednesday, I am going to make pickles.

To distract you from the utter lack of blog-content today, here is a picture of a very cute baby who does not ascribe to Coco Chanel’s theory of accessorizing:

Oh yeah?  Well, before I leave the house every morning I look in the mirror and put one more accessory ON.  Usually legwarmers.


Announcement:  I’m a professor!   (In Faulty Logic Studies)

Starting this fall, I am going to be teaching “mini-courses” at the Wisconsin Union on book publishing.  Tell all your friends.  It is sure to be lots of fun and involve lots of insider stories of that time when J.K. Rowling and I partied hard at Lexington Bar and Books and that other time when I dated Michael Connelly.  I will also probably tell my students some true things, for balance.

Just to keep me from flying too high with this latest good news, the universe spit on me last night after meeting my knitting friends at the gloriously noisy engineering bar we’ve been frequenting every Wednesday.  Actually, it wasn’t the universe, per se, but just a strange man I passed while I was walking home.  I saw him from a long way away and thought, that guy looks like the kind of guy who might spit on me.  But instead of crossing the street, i just kept walking until he was in spitting range and got spit upon.  Lesson learned.

After I got home, and washed up a little, and made my husband the pitcher of Kool-Aid he demanded, I flopped down on the couch to watch a preview of the new Ken Burns joint, National Parks.  You guys, this looks so good.  It doesn’t air until September but you can watch the preview from the above link and get excited about scenery with me whenever you want.  I decided after watching the preview that as soon as Josh and I have, like, money, (and a boat, obv) we need to go see these awesome parks.  Especially the ones in Hawaii.


Sorry, still here.  I’m going to just go ahead and institute a new policy (nay, blolicy) that says if I don’t have a new post up on any given weekday, I’m either stuck under a heavy piece of furniture, out of town, or recovering from having been out of town.  That way all of you fine readers don’t clog up my inbox over and over again with concerned missives.  (Missives, which, sadly, must be stuck in my spam filter.)

Last week I was in Iowa playing in the dirt with my mom—we planted many things, several of which I expect will go on to become deer food, but hope springs eternal.  For those of you who don’t know my mom, she is in the midst of a long and bloody battle with the local deer population, which seems to be approaching the millions.  Since shooting animals in a residental neighborhood is generally frowned upon, she’s erected an electric fence that circumfs (v.; runs the circumference of, for those of you without dictionaries handy) the entire house, making a visit to my childhood home exciting for hosta-eating deer and unwary UPS guys alike.  I know this sounds like something out of a Nancy Mitford novel, but no, this is real.  You’ve been warned.

Somehow though, the deer do get past the fence from time to time, so now she’s taken to spraying the tastiest plants with coyote urine, a tactic which so far seems to be working.  Despite what sounds like it would be a difficult harvesting process, coyote urine is surprisingly easy to get–you can find it at www.predatorpee.com, a site that also sells skunk spray (for deterring unwanted loiterers), bobcat pee (for scaring mice) and mountain lion pee (for those of you with persistent armadillo hassles).  Still not making this up.  A 16 oz spray bottle of mountain lion goes for just under $30.  A bargain if you’ve ever had to scrape armadillo poo off your front porch.

When I got back to Madison, I had a neatly lined-up social schedule ready and waiting, the highlight of which was surely hanging out with Irene’s Heather and her lovely beau.  They took us to Zack’s Avenue Bar, the spot for Friday Night Fish Fry in these parts.  It was truly wonderful, and, Irene, I think it would make a wonderfully kitschy spot for your rehearsal dinner.  Just a thought.

After dinner we mingled with the hoardes at the Isthmus Jazz Festival.  I feel like a dope for not comprehending what a monster affair this would be ahead of time, but now that I’ve heard a few of the headliners I get why this is such a big deal.  I don’t even understand jazz but I do know that the bands I heard were pretty phenomenal.  And there is just something extra good about hearing really good jazz with belly full of fried fish, a few pitchers of Leinies within reach, and two very entertaining new friends, especially when said jazz is being played outside overlooking a vast lake full of sailboats and is FREE.

Honestly, I cannot understand why anyone would want to be anywhere else.