tuesday marks the eighth anniversary of mr. happy stuff and i getting married, so this weekend, we celebrated. after our grand friday night fajita fete, we slept in a little bit on saturday morning, then went to the first outdoor farmer’s market of the year! woo hoo! it’s back! although the vendors were a bit sparse (not surprising) and with good weather and a late visiting time, the crowds were large, so we ended up only buying honey and maple syrup (yes, we like the sweet, sticky stuff).
a few hours later, we headed out to milwaukee. we had tickets to go see body worlds which was both more interesting and more disturbing than i had anticipated. (for more information on what this exhibit is, follow the link). there was no photography allowed in the exhibit, but i think there are you can see some examples on the website. let’s just say that they are much more… visceral in person. i was fine until i started thinking too much about the fact that they were real bodies. it was things like hair and belly buttons and tattoos that bothered me most–like if you peel off a person’s skin, you can sort of distance yourself from the fact that they were once someone you might have had a conversation with and they just look like a medical school display of some kind. but some of the displays still had hair and belly buttons and tattoos (and other pieces of skin) and they were there to remind us of our mortality. they gave me a bit of the heebie-jeebies. but it was fascinating to see examples of healthy vs. diseased organs and to view cross-section slices of bodies and see metal parts that had been added in different surgeries (knee replacements, etc.). i was somewhat relieved when we’d seen the whole exhibit, but i also sort of wanted to go back through again. but not that bad.
the museum also has a butterfly room which i loved and which i found much more relaxing than the bodyworlds exhibit.
we made our way over to the third ward for our dinner reservations, but we were a bit early, so decided to wander around the shops there. but of course, almost everything was already closed. luckily, the one store that we found open was one that was equally interesting to both of us. it’s an asian antiques store crammed full of very dusty, old, very interesting stuff. and also some new things. there were these awesome wooden bathtubs and fantastic gongs and drums and some beautiful new bamboo furniture that we both drooled over. i didn’t get a picture of the bathtubs (too bad!) but i did get a shot of the freaky puppets they had in the back. i liked this guy’s sidelong glance:
then, dinner at the coquette cafe. oh, yum. we started off with the onion soup (mr. h-s) that came highly recommended by his boss who’d eaten it once, a few years ago and still remembered and raved (it was very good, very rich, and the flavor lasted in his mouth much longer than the rest of the meal!) and a dijon vinaigrette green salad (me–tasty). then, mr. h-s had a lovely steak and fries combo (with a garlic aioli dipping sauce) and i chose (oddly) the salmon with fingerling potatoes and asparagus. (odd, because normally i don’t really eat much seafood.) it was delicious! who knew i would like lemon brown butter sauce quite so much? we finished the meal off by splitting a serving of creme brulee (the waiter assured us it was the best in the city). i think it might have been the best creme brulee i’ve ever eaten. the top was light and crunchy and didn’t stick your teeth together, while the custard was warm near the top and still cool on the bottom (i loved that dual-temperature sensation) and was perfectly flavored with vanilla bean. mmmmmm…… a perfect end to a decadent meal.
today, the weather was g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and we couldn’t resist a bike ride (despite the fact that i have a paper due tomorrow that i haven’t worked on yet). we did our favorite 15 mile ride and i realized i haven’t done this ride for at least 6 months. how sad is that? by the end of the ride, i remembered what it feels like to be tired in a good, exercis-y kind of way. i’m looking forward to getting into shape where a 15 mile ride won’t make me feel tired. as long as i can avoid injury it shouldn’t take tooooooo long.
then, i hurried over to see a play featuring the acting skills of some of my young friends as well as the playwriting and directing and lighting skills of some of my adult friends. there were two different plays and i have to say that, although i may be biased, i enjoyed the play written by my friend better than the first one. they were both fun, but the second one was more fun. it featured lots of his characteristic humor (off-hand jokes like “what did the zero say to the eight?” “nice belt!”) and other silly moments. the actors did a fine job and looked like they were enjoying themselves lots.
i was able to go to part of church this evening, but had to sneak out early in order to make it to see a concert/fundraiser that i’d read about. it was a fundraiser for a local agency that serves the homeless and the concert was an acapella men’s group called cantus. now, those of you who know me, or who read this blog, know that i loves me some good singin.’ and this was good. real good. i missed the first 2.5 songs (went to the wrong venue, then had to park far, far away.) but i didn’t miss them singing bobby mcferrin’s “23rd psalm” or franz biebl’s “ave maria” (which i must have sung in some choir before because i found myself following parts that weren’t the melody and knowing how they went). after the intermission, they sang some livelier tunes (i was particularly fond of their rendition of “let your voice be heard” by abraham adzenyah which they had fun choreographed hand-claps with) then ended the concert with an encore performance of billy joel’s lullaby “goodnight my angel” arranged for an acapella group to sing. this is one of my favorite songs and is on a mixed cd collection i listened to a lot in college, and their rendition brought tears to my eyes. it’s worth the 99 cent download from their website (at least, it was to me). what a great way to end three busy days. now, i think i’ll go to bed with their lullaby in my ears.