Tag Archives: UW-Madison

Golf, Fish, and Lots of Spirit

Friday was a great day, start to finish.

First, it was UW Spirit Day. It’s a day for UW-Madison alumni to wear their Badger best and raise awareness of the value grads contribute to communities around the world. As I have the last two years, I broke out the Badger gear to show off my pride at work.

Spirit Day 2012

Spirit Day always puts me in a good mood, and the workday went by nice and fast. Score!

After work, I went golfing for the first time this year. Jason is now a member of the Whitewater Country Club, and I think he’s really happy to be back to regular golfing. Jason used to golf every Monday with a few friends, but a different work schedule and a family shifted his routine. I know he has missed golfing all the time, so I’m glad he has the opportunity to go whenever he likes.

As we were loading my golf bag on a pull cart, we were greeted by the local rooster. What the…

Country Club Rooster

I was not expecting that.

Spirit Day was still in full effect – My bag is decked out Bucky style.

Bucky Towel

Bucky Power

It wound up getting rather chilly out and we were basically alone on the course (although Jason tells me that’s the norm). I didn’t do well at all, so I was grateful for the lack of fellow golfers. I definitely got frustrated, but Jason kept me in check (as best he could). I haven’t golfed that much, so I’m not bad from that perspective.

Quiet on the Course

My husband is a beast on the golf course, so I guess I’ll trust his opinion   🙂

My Golf Beast

After golf, we headed to our regular fish fry joint. All in all, it was the perfect Wisconsin Friday.

The Hills Are Alive

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. – John Muir

A couple of weeks ago, I engaged in a Twitter conversation shared by one of my outdoorsy contacts. The basic question posed was about iPods on the trail: Are they okay or do they defeat the purpose of being in nature?

Now, let me start off by stating that I have never used my iPod out on the trail. I always hike with someone, typically with Jason, so it is a social as well as nature experience. However, I always listen to music en route to the trail and post-hike. I had been contemplating popping in the earbuds on our now defunct High Sierra Loop Trip. I didn’t intend to wear my iPod the whole time, but I did hope to find some moments of musical solitude.

So stupid me, I shared that music enhances my experience with nature. This was promptly met with a questioning, dismissive response from the question poser. Par for the course, I’m finding, with the outdoors crowd on social media  😐

Music has played an integral role in my life from a very early age. When other kids were enjoying tee-ball, I could barely wait to start playing the flute. While I’m sure other parents would have frowned upon it, my mom let me watch MTV with her (you know, when they actually played music). As I entered adolescence in a cloud of depression, music was my salvation, my only real friend. I was a band geek – and proud of it. My weekly lessons with a private instructor and other performance-related activities were my main extra-curricular.

But nowhere has music influenced me more than my memory. Songs, sometimes the most random of them, have become inextricably tied to experiences and moments in my life. And just hearing a particular song can fling me back – my thoughts, my emotions – to that exact point in time…

…Summer of 1989. Church camp. Love and Rockets So Alive. Probably the most random song to connect to church camp. Due to it’s popularity, it was constantly on the radio that summer and, without fail, it seemed to be on almost daily when I was in the arts & crafts cabin. I grin every time I hear it.

Church Camp
Me – Front row, left

…Summer of 2000. Working as a Guide for UW-Madison’s SOAR program. Barry White You’re the First, the Last, My Everything. For our retreat at the beginning of the summer, we were each asked to bring a song that meant something to us. One of my fellow guides brought this song. A mix CD was made of all our songs, and we would play this particular song all the time to pump us up before (and during) an orientation session. It was the best summer of my life, so the memories are beyond precious.

SOAR 2000
Me – Front row, center

…Summer of 2010. (Apparently, summer is a big season for me). Yosemite National Park. Cutting Crew Life in a Dangerous Time. Have you ever seen the movie White Water Summer? Kevin Bacon. Sean Astin. It’s excellent – If you haven’t seen it, you should. The song plays during a key moment in the movie, which you can watch (and listen to) here. I had the song on repeat during our drive up to the High Country. It had a slight impact on me.


And even though I didn’t have my iPod on me, I didn’t need it. The song was playing in my head the whole hike up to Nevada Fall.

Getting Closer...

The last few evenings, I have been reminded of how music enhances the experience of nature. Jason and I have been watching The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and it is set to the most amazing soundtrack (which I own, of course  😉 ). When the images combined with the sound brings me to tears in my living room, I think the importance of music in the outdoors speaks for itself.

As I said in at the beginning of this post, I have never used my iPod out on the trail. But I would. Just as nature can be spiritual for people, so can music. Combine the two and incredible things can happen.


iPods on the trail: Nature’s friend or foe?

Fish Fry Rewind

I failed to write about last week’s fish fry outing. Since Jason had buddies over for poker last night, it opened the perfect opportunity to share 🙂

Last Friday’s fish fry was a good one, as Jason and I met my old college crew at MJ Stevens north of Milwaukee.

The group of us have gotten together every few months for fish (primarily) and our past experiences have been, um, interesting to say the least. The first attempt left the group doubling over in their respective homes later that night with stomach “issues.” The second attempt found us at a snooty restaurant, where we clearly felt unwanted, with extremely poor service. The most recent left us all hard of hearing thanks to an insanely loud polka band right next to our table. I don’t know if we could have handled another bad experience  😉

Not to fear. MJ Stevens was AWESOME! The fish was incredible and HUGE! We could order one, two, three, or four pieces. My friend Ryan was warned, but he started the four-piece trend. Jason did it, too. I was smart and opted for two.

MJ Stevens Fish Fry

I only snapped this one bad picture  🙁 . I realized halfway to the restaurant that I had forgotten my point-and-shoot camera. But even when it came to taking pictures with my phone, I felt really shy. I must have been dealing with the “framing paralysis” I’ve read about.

I really wish that MJ Stevens was closer to home. It would definitely become our regular haunt if it were.

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