The List Goes On

I am amazed–amazed, I tell you–at the amount of progress I have been making on my Wisconsin Bucket List.  Really, I’m amazed at the amount of stuff I’ve been doing in general, especially considering Snowmageddon occurred last week as well.

My progress is due mostly to the enthusiasm of my terrific friends, of course.  In just three days last week, we managed to accomplish five things.  That’s 12% of my list completed already.

Boom, baby!

To begin, on Wednesday night, just as the Snow Dragon was petering out somewhere in Ontario, these fine people literally risked their lives to come together for #2 on the list: Anti-Twilight Party version 3.0.

It has become tradition with our motley crew to get together, drink a lot of alcohol, order Glass Nickel pizza, and watch each Twilight movie as it comes out.  I had to do this one last time before I left, not out of appreciation for the film, of course, but in order to scorn and scoff at what may very well be the downfall of American civilization in dvd format. Chris’ tv is a good old fashioned hard-screen monstrosity, and so we spent the length of the movie groaning, rolling our eyes, and throwing shit at the tv as we slowly succumbed to our food comas (who thought to put chicken cordon blue on a pizza anyway?).

It was, as always, a very satisfying experience.

Cut to Thursday evening.

Natalie and I went out on Thursday into the blistering cold for a good old-fashioned movie date.  After dinner at Sunroom Cafe (Sunroom didn’t make the list, because it is so commonplace in my life, I hadn’t even thought about missing it yet), we walked down State St to cross off #3: catch a movie at the Orpheum Theatre.

We saw Vision, a pretty great German film on the life of one of my most favoritest people ever: Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth century polyglot, healer, and theologian.  I’ll spare you the medieval commentary and just say it beautiful and the music was great.  If you’re looking for supernatural behavior to affirm her saintly status (as I admit, I kind of was), prepare to be disappointed.  But if you’re looking for a film about a brave and beautiful and brilliant medieval woman… this is the film for you.

The Orpheum, which I failed to photograph properly, is our most famous former movie palace, built-in 1926.  Some pretty great acts come there, and I’ve seen a number of amazing and strange films too over the years (namely, this one.. and also this one).  Knowing how to get to the stage door theatre by cutting across the main lobby is one of the top twenty signs you know you’re a local.  Especially because it’s creepy back there, like the paint hasn’t been changed since The Orpheum was built, and you’re sure you’re going to run into the ghost of a flapper.

I suppose there are worse things.

We ran back to Natalie’s to get Simon and then headed off to complete #4, eat at Greenbush Bar for the best pizza in Madison.  I tell a lot of people that Glass Nickel is my favorite, but really that’s because I don’t want them to know about my secret love affair with this little pizza joint in the basement of the Italian Workman’s Club in the very last but of what used to be the old neighborhood.

We talked, we ate, we drank wine, you know how it goes.

Friday morning I ate breakies with Jen at Bradbury’s, maybe my favorite cafe in Madison.  That’s another thing I do, place I go, that is so common, I just can’t bring myself to put it on any sort of formal list.  Local, seasonal ingredients on crepes?  Yes, please.

Now, cut to Saturday.

Saturday morning, bright and early, Karen and Chris and I went out for brunch by the Capitol and then crossed two more things off the list.  First of all #5 Eat ice cream at The Chocolate Shoppe.

There are a lot of good ice cream places in Wisconsin, so eating top-notch local ice cream is pretty much common practice around here.  Back in undergrad, before I was 21, pretty much all we did was eat it.

Here’s Chris making his decision.  He chose… wisely.

They also have an enormous monster mural on the back wall which is entirely too rad, bad, and awesome.

After ice cream we walked up to the Capitol for a monumental event.  We went on #6, A Tour of the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Basically, this is like a New Yorker taking the morning to go see the Statue of Liberty.  You just don’t really do it.  I mean, everyone’s been in the Capitol.  It’s pretty much the center of the universe around here, with the best events and concerts and, of course, the farmers’ market taking place right around it.  Everyone’s cut through it in the dead of winter to get to Walgreens or something like that.  But I, personally, had never even been off the ground floor.

The tour was worth it.  I found out a lot of cool things… that I don’t really remember.  About, you know, like fossils in the walls and statues of Badgers.  It made me proud of my home state, which is good, but let’s be honest–when am I not proud of Wisconsin?

Oh yeah, that’s right–our new governor.  Funny thing is, he has to walk past a giant badger statue engraved with our state motto of “Forward!” every morning to get to his office.

But anyway.

Karen liked legal stuffs.

I like that the design was originally for an art museum, so it has all this great natural light.

Pretty much the best idea for a winter morning in Madison, ever.

And there you have it!  Numbers two through six of my Wisconsin Bucket List!

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~ by Rachael on February 7, 2011.

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