Tag Archives: Wisconsin

The “gives zero fucks” approach

Oh Jezebel!

When you tap, tap, tap it in the hole with your commentary, you’ve done well…

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And then, sometimes you have a hole-in-one that just slams home the message. This article accomplishes both. Erin Gloria Ryan taps the ball toward the hole, but the photo and catchphrase “gives zero fucks” is a hole-in-one, slam dunk, all out awesome-fest!

Also – Erin is a Wisconsin native!!!

Ms. Ryan’s opinion and Hillary Clinton’s approach just make so much sense – we are not defined by our appearances! Yes, good looks have been scientifically proven to make life easier; the same is true of being born in the U.S. or to a wealthy family or without a birth defect. Yet, all the time there is this constant yammering onandonandonandon about women’s looks. Waist-size, hip measurements, how big is the muffin top? So, I will go along with the reality that appearance affects image. However, the drive of today’s media to completely define people (women AND men) by appearance is enough to drive a person to seek out the solitude of a foreign country…

…like Ecuador (thought I was going Sicilian, didn’t you?).

I came to some serious realizations during the three months I spent living in Ecuador in 2003. Nobody really notices if you don’t shave your legs, armpits, crotchline – or wax any of those areas, or groom your facial hair, or even trim the hair on your head. If you’ve groaned, or expressed some gross-out factor, I just have to say – get over yourself. It is HAIR people! You want your beef, pork, and chicken to be “natural” so much that Big Food is tagging “Natural” on all of its food products – don’t be afraid of your own nature.

The guy you had lightning conversation with will still kiss you good-night no matter what. The funny girl will still try to make you laugh, and the smart chick will still debate ideas with you. The street vendor will still smile in return, even if your smile is your only attractive quality that day. The bus driver will actually slow down more quickly if you look a little run-down, and guys will talk to you like a real person if your facade isn’t so superficial. What I’m saying is that while I enjoy the costume design exercise we go through for the vibrant colors and self-expression, I am entirely OVER the use of appearance to control men and women, but especially women.

So, I’m joining the Jezebel-Hillary Clinton-GivesZeroFucks movement and continuing to go without make-up, continuing to shave when it suits me, continuing to give zero fucks how my appearance makes any statement on my ideas and actions! Come with me for this wild ride…

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Wisconsin Has Olympic Fever

Well, at least Ellsworth Creamery does…

For those of you who are out of the cheese curd loop, the cheese curd is a delectable nugget of cheese that is served squeaky fresh or lightly breaded and deep-fried. (Note: “lightly breaded” is perfection when it comes to cheese curds, sometimes you get stuck with thick crusty breading and those cheese curds are silly imitators…).

Like most finger foods, the food item itself is important, as noted above – not too much breading!!! However, the fanfare and flair come from the accompanying sauces. Don’t get me wrong, cheese curds are delightful on their own, or with a slight dusting of salt (for bland bread batter), and of course, the red ketchup bottle is the ubiquitous companion to the dive-bar cheese curd dish. However, garlic sauce, hot sauce, and homemade concoctions around the state offer a nice twist on the standard curd experience.

If you go for the fresh curd, you will find even more variety. Garlic & Dill. Jalapeno. Chipotle. The list goes on and on. Just thinking about it makes me long for Wisconsin!

In Madison, Wisconsin, check out the cheese curds at The Old-Fashioned for a light, popcorn like cheese curd experience, the Blue Moon for a traditional serving, or drive to any dive-bar-looking joint and order cheese curds. They often come in a plastic basket lined with some version of wax paper, you know, like the popcorn baskets, or the cracker baskets in some supper clubs.

What? You don’t know about supper clubs either? I hope you know about Wisconsin Friday Night Fish Fry…if not, you’d better start planning your next trip to Wisconsin! Who knows, maybe you’ll see some Olympic swimmers there, gnoshing on cheese curds.

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Wisconsin Nudists?

Just another reason why I love my home state!

In Wisconsin, when you think left, Wisconsin goes right; when you think purple, Wisconsin goes lemon-lime on you!

Here’s another pocket of level-headed people living out their rational dream in Wisconsin.


Source.

As the New York Times reported yesterday, nudists who self-refer as “Naturists” have been enjoying the quiet relaxation of being nude in nature for decades at this beach area on the Wisconsin River.

The Wisconsin River in this part of the state is full of sand bars and a popular place for all sorts of outdoors activities and water sports. I have spent several lovely afternoons and evenings with friends on the Wisconsin River, floating along, swimming, watching waterskiers and wake-boarders. It is fabulous! There is even a floating food boat that sells hot dogs and other assorted street-food (‘river food’ didn’t sound right!).

While I was never aware of being in the company of a Naturist, I have to admit that I saw a whole lot of skin there. Let’s face it, it’s summer and usually hot and humid in Wisconsin, people like to hang out in bathing suits that are more or less completely revealing. I am also of the mind that it’s okay for kids to see adult genitals; in fact, I think it is a whole lot healthier for kids to see them in un-exciting, everyday, non-sexual ways, so genitals in general aren’t so scary when puberty hits!

This crossroads of down-home sensibility (by the Naturists, in case you’re not tracking with me) and the young druggies messing things up (recent influx of drug and sex-related arrests in the area traditionally used by the Naturists) shows one of the drawbacks of the internet. Yes, the article credits the beach’s public exposure to the internet (Where’s Al Gore NOW?). Somebody talked about the nudist beach on the internet and the Naturists’ secret was laid bare.

Fortunately, the internet can also be a force for good. This is true even when you mix down-home sensibility (The Peterson Farm Bros) and young druggies (presumably LMFAO). Without further ado, I give you LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It” versus The Peterson Farm Bros’ “I’m Farming and I Grow It”

First, the original, LMFAO:

Next, the parody contender, The Peterson Farm Bros

I'm Farming and I Grow It di lemarswayer

The fact that these two videos co-exist in my world give me hope that Wisconsin’s young druggies can learn to reel in their police-attracting behavior (do what you want, just don’t ruin it for the Naturists!), that the conservatives who fear adult genitals can relax and laugh (these two videos should really help out), and that when I next get the chance, I can sunbathe nude on the Wisconsin River.

Forward! Wisconsin!

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Cheeseheads Rock!

Before leaving for the U.S. a few weeks ago, my colleague Teresa asked me to bring her something from Wisconsin. Not to be outdone, my colleague Tomas piped up, “I want a cheesehead!”

I told him that he already had a cheesehead in the office, ME!

I’m proud of my Wisconsin heritage and have a deep love for the state that raised me. However, given my Midwestern sensibility and my Wisconsin love for equality among peers (just ignore Scott Walker on this one), as well as the Wisconsin compulsion to please people, I ended up bringing back something for the whole office to share…

A Cheesehead party hat!


Tomas modeling the Cheesehead party hat

To explain why a cheesehead party hat was the perfect office gift from Wisconsin, let me tell you a couple of fun FLC Sigonella Supply Management office facts. Our office has a few oddities, such as a full size disco ball in our common area, and a cupboard full of party hats.

We like to have fun there, hence the amazing pot lucks! I have seen the party hats worn, and a pot luck visitor once arrived in a full size sombrero.

Today I revealed the cheesehead party hat and Tomas modeled it with his usual classy style.


Tomas with Armando and Domenico

My other colleagues were in awe of the hat. Domenico likened it to a brain on cocaine, hollowed out like Swiss cheese…

“uh, what?”

Yea, that’s what I said, too.

Then, I said, “No, Domenico. Cheeseheads are awesome. They have nothing to do with cocaine.”

Yay, Wisconsin!

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Sicilian Trucker’s Strike Update

Cinquecento

Howdy folks!

The Sicilian Trucker’s Strike continues, and I’m here to help you imagine living through it. Tonight we are saving heating fuel by leaving the heat completely off, bundling up and sitting by a space heater. It’s a little like winter camping, except no campfire or s’mores and the bathrooms are better (though just as cold, whoo, that’ll make you gasp!). The movement is gaining momentum as the week has passed, rather than diminishing with time and cold temperatures. The presence near base was going strong when we rolled by this morning at 7am, and the collection of protesters near our house was the largest we have seen tonight.

Today’s strike rumors include:

(Uno) 1. The protest organizers met with “government officials” (which ones?) in Palermo (the big city on the western coast of Sicily). The government officials were trying to convince them to call off the sciopero (strike) earlier than midnight Friday. Due to the incredible leverage the protesters have, I imagine that they would be reluctant to settle for any meager terms. So far, no reduction in the strike duration has been reached.

(Due) 2. The commissary will run out of food!!! Ahh! Start taking aim at the goats with your car, it’s the only way to survive!!! WRONG. The commissary is supposed to get seven truckloads of supplies on Saturday, when the strike ceases. 7!!!

(Tre) 3. Not a rumor = striking a goat (or other livestock) with your car will cost you about 1000 Euro per animal. It could be more if you kill a prized breeder or milk producer. Sicilians value their livestock, drive with care!

(Quattro) 4. We’re going to run out of gas! Okay, this one isn’t so much rumor as it is a statement of fact meant to induce panic unnecessarily. Just like we’ll all die some day, running out of gas is a reality by degree. Depending on your reserves and your resourcefulness, you may run out of gas. We will definitely run out of bombola gas (for heating) if we use it as we usually do, but I can guarantee we won’t run out of cooking fuel for months. And, let’s face it, eating is more important than lounging around my living room in less than a snowmobile suit. Some people may need to carpool or miss a day of work for lack of gas, it’s true, but that is still no reason to panic.

(Cinque) 5. The Mazomanians are coming!!! You know the Mazomanians, right? The dreaded Mazomanians? Who show up unannounced, with pitchforks in their hands and beers in their belts, just waiting to bore you to death and taunt you with the unopened beer that could relieve the relentlessly slow-story-telling misery? Wait, that is just my own rumor, based on the long-winded nature of small-town storytellers the world over. It is just more fun to say “The Mazomanians are Coming!!!”

P.S. Mazomanie is a wonderful small town and the people there are actually really, really nice.

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My melancholy has a name.

Cinquecento

(Uno) 1. Mixing up the holiday potluck with solstice cookies.

(Due) 2. Prepping our bedroom for delivery of our bedroom set! Whoo-hoo, I will have a dresser again after two months of piles in suitcases and bags. I like roughing it, but drawers will be a nice change.

(Tre) 3. The slow tempo and big smiles at work. We take a collective sigh and appreciate more moments at this time of year. While not all in our office celebrate the Christian holiday, we all celebrate the cultural Christmas spirit of the Western world.

(Quattro) 4. Still thinking about making choices that bring me deeper into the reality of my life. So much to think about!

(Cinque) 5. A gorgeous sunset on the longest night of the year. Dave and I had just started leaving work and off to the west the sun was fighting for its last glorious display. It had been playing games with rain clouds all day long, and let me tell you, rain clouds were predominant. At the final moment though, with thick gray clouds covering all of Mt. Etna and about 95% of the sky, the sun burst through the horizon and cast deep purples, brilliant pinks and oranges, and burned a fiery yellow as it promised its longevity and prominence over the rain clouds.

Cento

My melancholy has a first name, W.I.S.C.O.N.S.I.N. – white elephant game on Mom’s side, dinner politics on Dad’s side, feeling like the nooks and crannies of our personalities come together like a jigsaw puzzle when we snuggle in to open presents Christmas morning. My melancholy has a second name, M.A.D.I.S.O.N. Slushing through the snow for a beer at Blue Moon, running into friends, and toasting dreams. Walking home as snow falls from a midnight blue sky, my cheeks burning brightly against the cold. Knowing I safely completed another day as I lock the door behind me and snuggle into bed.

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