Rotisserie Chicken

It evades me at every turn and yet it's my favorite 'special day treat food' in the whole wide world.
Just thinking about the spits going round and round as the succulent juices are falling and dripping from one little bok bok to another!

It's toooo much god damn it!

Especially when every time I go to purchase said beautiful luscious bird with crispy golden brown skin and moist delicious insides, they are SOLD OUT!

I swear to god!  EVERY SINGLE TIME!
this is not my first chicken run!
I'm talking like 6 times!
I'm not even counting the time in Puerto Rico when my friend Maria and I stopped by 10 different slow cooking natural charcoal rotisserie chicken vans on the side of a highway on the way to an afternoon on an island...but in that case, we did find one with chickens ready!  HWA HA HA!!!!  I'll tell you though, it was concerning, one after the other, "not ready" "not ready" "not ready", at least it was nice to be in a place where the people have a sacred respect and understanding of the happiness a slow roasted chicken on spit can bring to ones life!  I mean, look at that smile on Maria's face!  That's called triumphant!

But today....it's like the chicken gods are out to get me!
What?  Have I not done my part for birds everywhere by hosting my living room to a turtle dove who sprays her caca all over the wall and her food all over the floor?  Yes, yes, she looks so cute, but when you least expect it, while curled up cozy sitting on the sofa watching a quality romantic comedy...yep, that's the moment when a certain odor wafts into the nostrils....yep....even birds do it....bird fart, and for a little thing, that cloud of putridness can reak chaos for hours!

So!  I'd say that whatever gods of birds are around these days owe me one nice juicy chicken!
But NO!

I walk in at a reasonable hour!  6pm!  Dinner time!  You'd THINK THERE'D BE SOME BIRDS TO BUY!

So, while purchasing my 1 singular disapointing bratwurst instead from the lovely meat man at Jenifer Street Market, I feebly whisper what's screaming inside my cranium...

me:"Um...sir?  What time do you usually sell out of chickens?"
He looks over at the empty heat oven display window...below the spits of awesomeness.
butcher guy: Oh...we're out?  Would you look at that!  All sold out!  That was fast!  
me: "Uhh....yeah.  You did.  What time do you normally sell out?"
butcher guy:  "HEY GUYS!  What time did we sell out?!?"
guys....: no response, they obviously feel that this question is below their concern...my guy is also losing interest quickly, they don't understand my deep and unquenchable chickenless suffering.

me: Well...what time do you put them out?
the dudes son/butcher guy (I'm catching on the neurons aren't firing so fast...but he answers after a moment of silence!): 2:30!  Every day!  You want a chicken?  Come at 2:30!

me while wandering down the cereal aisle:  2:30!  Got it!  Next time!  I'm on it!  
Whose gonna be standing at the butcher window come 2:29 and 30 seconds?!?  
You see this?  That's what I'm talkin' about!  So, tonight, that's what I'll be dreaming of....


Door County

We just went with my good friend Lynn to Door County Wisconsin for a long weekend.  It was filled with longs walks and bike rides, puzzles, wine, long conversations, art galleries, beaches and cherry pie.  It was relaxing and wonderful and nothing like what I remember.

Door County holds a double meaning for me, both as a getaway vacation to revive the spirit in nature, but also as a ghost of a time when my spirit was working thru a different kind of revival.
I worked at a kids summer camp in 2004, my Junior year of college...1 decade ago....I was 21 years old.  21 for anyone is a tough year, but for me, it was that particular summer I feel I came most into my own of where my life would take me next, making tough choices that would clarify where I would wander next.

Going back was like spotting an old friend at a busy intersection and having them brush by and then stream back into the crowd again without saying hello.  Every corner, every building was a blotchy memory I had forgotten, both happy and sad ones, even boring ones, but when I saw it again, little memories of conversations and people and thoughts rushed back with an uncomfortable feeling attached to them.....where did all the people I remember go?  What happened next?

It's funny how things change and stay the same all at once.  Confusing and clear. 
Fish Creek and Egg Harbor, older ladies in Oldsmobiles hat shopping, old men in bars, some restaurants closed down and ice cream parlors simply closed for the season.  It was a place of transition for me, going thru it's seasonal transition itself, preparing for the financially appreciated tourist season when the locals weren't yet frustrated or overburdened.  Help wanted signs in windows and store fronts preparing to open their doors with joke cards, sun hats and refrigerator magnets.

It was a happy and sad feeling all mixed together to go back and I still don't know whether or not the tears streaming down my face were from allergies and wind or moments streaming thru my mind I can no longer remember, but can still feel.

I think we all have places and times like this.  All I can think to do now is to honor it and thank it for everything that has come since.  I look for forward to the next time we can return!


Inner monologue of a percussionist with a first chair violinist

Hope you're enjoying that chair...... Sure looks comfy.....cuz I'll be back here standing and watching said comfort for the next 4 hours of rehearsal.......hmmmm......bitch. 

No.. I'm not jealous....so you get to play pretty arpeggios for two hours straight....right at the end of all that??  I get a solo!  And when I play?  My hair flies back like Thor!!  Really!!!!  Does your hair fly back when you play?  I didn't think so!

301, 302, 303....we should get an award for our incredible capacity to count measures of rests and not get lost.....accept, you know, when we get lost....and of course the count down is towards a delicate gockenspiel solo of thirty second notes at forte.   Do you ever get lost?  I didn't think so. Do you ever stop playing?

Sometimes, I feel pretty certain half the string section is just pretending. Seriously.....how would anyone ever know with all 200 of you?  

Yes. I have conductor envy. Every time he looks at you, he's all lovey dovey happy and life is perfect.  When he looks at me, his face is red, he's about to fall off the podium, his baton is about to break in half and I don't think he's breathing....and that's my cue to come in!  Enter timpani!!!!

Yeah....that's right....7 different triangle beaters for one triangle. 5 different base drum mallets.  20 different timpani mallets. 6 pairs of cymbals. How many bows you got?

While you're debating with your stand partner who is going to flip the page this time, I'm probably murmuring the words, shit shit shit as I try to flip my music over by myself while holding 50 pound cymbals in my hands and casually strolling in two seconds over to the bass drum for the thunder of god to commence!...you know, just so you know what's going on behind you.....waaaay back there in the pit..

the pit!  Percussion pit. Not a very nice name is it!?!  Like arm pit......but...eh, it's home. 

And when the rehearsal ends and you're hopping off for lunch?  Yeah, I'll be rolling around timpani and base drums for another 30 minutes just as I did before rehearsal skipping breakfast and coming in 30 minutes early....but no, don't offer to help, I got this....it's called bad ass. 



Easter for me marks actual spring. 
Little blue flowers, the beginnings of tulips and daffodils. Life is coming back into the world!  

There's no better time then to go check out a movie about snow in summer!  I wasn't pushing myself towards it in any manner.....I haven't been a fan of any Disney movie since Ratatouie...and haven't seen a princess movie since Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin....

This one was unique and special but also close to home based in a Scandinavian setting where it's cold and a main character is an elk!

The one liners were witty and the story line and main themes of the movie were touching and brave with a surprise ending not so Disney-esque......it made me happy to see the 5 year old in front of emotionally dancing along and belting out the song playing during the ending credits....news flash girls.....it's ok to be strong inside and be and do what you want!

This is one of those moments where you should just give in and watch it!  Like reading Harry Potter....it ain't no war and peace, but it'll give you the warm fuzzies and once in a while, that's just what the doctor ordered. 


wedding photos

We got married in May of 2009.
We had both digitial and physical old school film photos taken at the wedding.

One minor little insignificant detail.
We never had time to develop the film!

Today!  Tonight!  Right this moment....what...4.5 YEARS later, we are processing the film!
It's kind of exciting in that we have absolutely no idea what's going to be on them.  If it even works.  It's old film. 

Like, one of those crazy shows where they open up a vault, or garage, or whatever!  Low and behold there's a 24 carat gold necklace in a coat pocket or something! Well, this isn't that exciting, but it's fun!  Get to see our wedding day in images and perspectives never before seen!  By anyone!...well, the photographer!

Last year, for our anniversary, I asked for our wedding photos to be developed and Rodolfo got so far as to purchasing all the developing chemicals, which was pretty good!  A step in the right direction!

Today, has also been a bit on the romantic side, including brunch at Sardine (a pretty snazzy restaurant in town) - I got a mimosa! - A wander thru Chazen art museum, followed up with big mugs of coffee and a cookie for an afternoon snack.  It's fitting to end it with quality time together bringing forth to the world images that legally declared our love.


Perhaps to come, I'll include an actual photo!  


keys and beds

Back before our year traveling, I had the crazy idea that I wanted to take pictures of all the beds we slept in and what key we used to get into our hotel/motel/hostel/shack at each stop.  

I like the concept of trying to catch a glimpse at just one simple thing in all of these different cities and cultures that could be compared and contrasted.
This proved ridiculous and never happened.

As life goes, some of the beds we slept in were not the quality I'd want my mother or grandmother to witness, and the keys....kind of boring!   Or I just never remembered to take pictures of them, even from the very beginning.

When it came down to it, when I was surrounded by beauty, nature, exciting street vendors and adventure around every corner, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home to a hotel was take a picture of a bed or a key!    I just wanted to put my pak down, brush my teeth and in all likeliness, in truth, zone out playing a game of solitaire on Rodolfo's I-phone.  We fought over this simple pleasure daily...who got to play solitaire on the I-phone.

But back to my big idea....looking back.

Here's my current keys:
These include: House keys, work key, car key, gym scanny guy, and of course, the required in Wisconsin beer key!

When the trip was upon us, I still remember losing key after key (I had a much thicker keychain before we left to travel) as I quit my job, then moved out of our apartment and lastly left/sold our car to my mother and left her the car keys...traveling, you have no keys!  There's something cleansing about this process.  Keys are a sort of chain holding us to responsibility.  If we lose our wallet or our keys....it's a huge deal.  We know where they are at all times and if we don't, it's trouble, so not having that chain holding you down...just imagine it!  It feels fantastic!!!  Like being a kid again or something!  Responsibility free!

Something that is kind of funny about staying at hostels and hotels in most other countries outside of the States, most places attach a funny looking big thing to the key so that's it's harder to lose or forget...in that, it's really hard to carry around in big cities!  This funny looking log thing hanging out of your pocket!  Or, just a big piece of wood or metal in a rectangle shape with a number or letter on it.  Very rarely did we have those credit card type plastic cards.  Only in bigger cities in the more expensive hotels.  Thank god, because the last 3 times this past year I've stayed at hotels in the States, I've had those plastic credit card keys fail me when coming back from the free Best Western breakfast and had to ask the front desk clerk which room I was in...with a styrofoam coffee cup in one hand and a free donut balanced on my ipad in the other..because I couldn't remember and didn't want to wake someone up unexpectedly while flipping my card thru the magnetic scanner of a strangers door!

So there's a strong momento of the trip!  There's nothing like a real key with a real number connected to it!  This electronic scanner barf is bull crap.
(The same thing would happen to me in Santiago with Rodolfo's fathers door.  I would stare at it for 5 minutes before feeling totally confident that I was on the right floor before sliding the card thru the door scanner and hear that soothing click, that meant, Sarah, you're home free, you didn't fudge it up.  Go you.

Here's our current bed:
I love our bed!  Love it!  Best bed I've ever had!  A Serta mattress lovely thing purchased incredibly cheap (almost scammed really) by some lovely friends of ours who had to move out of town in a hurry....we've slept so amazing!  Nothing like what we had on the trip...or before the trip...really, it's the best sleep of our lives!

I will say I do remember the worst sleep I had on the trip.  Both Rodolfo and I had melt down panic attack moments on the trip that we can laugh at now, but in the moment it was terrifying....feeling like you're trapped in a place you can't be and there's no way out and both were related to not being able to sleep..due to horrible sleep depriving circumstances.  Things we take for granted here in our comfy bed/room/home.  

Chiang Mai.  Son kran week. The hottest days of the thai year. I'd decided that we needed to stay at the cheapest place possible of course.  The room was similar to a prison cell.  The bed was a wooden board with a thick blanket for a mattress and a sheet.  I think there was a very small sink as well.  Well...some time around 1am, I started sobbing.  It was hot, I was tired, there were loud drunken noises from a bar close by and I remember repeating over and over again, I can't do this anymore!  I can't do this anymore!  Rodolfo had to calm me down rubbing my back telling me we just had to try and sleep and that it would all be better in the morning.  The next day we booked ourselves into one of the more mid range hotels that included a lovely breakfast, air conditioning, tv and a MINI FRIDGE!  (which I used to keep Rodolfo's birthday cake in, yes...I was going to make him sleep in a shit hole on his birthday, I'm a horrible wife).  It was heaven!l

I do however remember a certain routine R man and I got into at every pit stop.
When you sleep in a lot of different places, your backpak becomes sort of like what in my imagination is a tortoise shell of many different rooms in one bag.  A Mary Poppins bag of tricks if you would...or layers upon layers of artifacts that need to excavated daily!

We packed our bag in an order of need....necessaries on top and less important further down...the hard to reach spots filled with presents or gadgets, shoes and sweaters.

The very top was always, ALWAYS pajamas, tooth brushes, iphone charger and plug adaptor so after a long day of walking and wandering, we could easily just plop down without thinking and fall asleep.  Under that would be a change of underwear and under that, a plastic bag of clothes and a bag of toiletries.  We kept the laundry detergent and scrub brush in a side pocket (to wash our undies in the bathroom sink....(praise to edificio underwear once again) and our cotton sleep saks, and pillow covers in a bottom pocket of the bag...(pillow covers were actually cotton sarongs we used on the beach as well, but were perfect for all other sorts of needs...even a skirt at times.)

So my big idea never came to fruition.  But it was a cool idea!
Other ideas included, taking a picture of: 
our breakfast every morning (in many countries, breakfast doesn't really exist) 
all types of transportation
the hotel rooms themselves
all the kinds of crazy fruit

Things that would have been cool to have documented looking back:
 - one spot of skin....I'm pretty darn certain, my shade of skin changed drastically between climates, as did my hair color
 - it would be neat to just know how much I weighed throughout the trip.  I have hunches, but we never had access to a scale.  I do know I lost muscle mass in Asia from the heat, and probably lost bone mass or something in Africa from malnutrition, but boy did we puff back up in Spain and France!
 - the signs/names of hotels we stayed at
 - the signs/names of restaurants we loved
 - the signs/names of parks and cities we loved 
(all 3 I would have used to write good/bad reviews now that I have reliable internet at my finger tips - some places should not exist, others deserve praise!  Also, perhaps some day, it would be fabulous to get to go back and see some of the places we loved the most!)

Yes!  Winter makes me itch for adventure!  Luckily for me, I have a ticket booked to Puerto Rico this coming February with my great and dear friend Maria for a ladies road trip!  Whoo hoo!!!!!


snow man snow

I wasn't aware of this very important fact until last week, when my brother in law Martin requested that he wanted to make a snow man....

There are different kinds of snow!

I think the last time I really thought about snow quality was back on the cross country ski team, running with polls down the sidewalks waiting for the first snow of the season to arrive, or melting on wax to my skis and needing to know figure out which wax to put on for which kind of snow we had....not that I remember or know any of this information now, just that there was a blue, red and yellow wax and I knew to ask my brother which wax I should use.  I still remember the smell of the wax heating on with the iron and slightly burning my fingers when I worked to smooth the wax into the skis...looking back, I believe this was my favorite part of skiing!  Playing with hot wax!

But back to this whole snow man snow concept.

The prettiest snow, the kind that falls in pretty fluffy patterns that you catch on your mittens and stare at in wonder and awe at the amazement that is nature...sucks for snowmen!

The thick tufts of snow that fall from the sky in soft chunks like cotton candy...no good for the men of snowness.

What we luckily discovered after a visit to Devils Lake State Park this past weekend is, yes, PERFECT SNOWMAN SNOW!!!!  30-40 degree weather, the snow is just about turning to slush.  The sun hitting the snow right around 2pm in the afternoon, so that the snow is just beginning to melt and forms an ice cube when you squeeze it in your palm!  That's the ticket!  I also didn't realize that not all of us are born with the knowledge of how to roll snow off the ground and pat into a ball, so I also got to share that information with a couple of my favorite Chileans!  Here's a photo of proof: