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Kitty Dunn

What does Kitty have to say?


 
Posts from May 2013


What the heck is a "beach read" anyway?
About this time every year, I see lots of articles on line and in magazines about great "beach reads."

What exactly makes a book a "beach read"?  Is it just a book with a summertime feel?  One that takes you all summer to read? One that you don't care if it gets splashed on or squirted with Coppertone?

I read books year-round, and I don't think there's one kind of book that I like to read more in the summer than the winter. If it's a book with interesting well-developed characters and a good story, I'll read it any time of the year.

Here's a book some might conisder a great beach read: Beaches, by Iris Rainer Dart.  It's a great book, but it's really sad. I guess I would not want to read that one on a beach because I might use my towel to dry my tears, and would then get sand in my eyes.

If you have a good "beach read" you'd like to recommend, I'm open to suggestions. But I probably won't read it on the beach. I might just be outside on a plastic lawn chair.
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How long before the bacon boom bursts?
It's not that I have anything against bacon. Really, I don't. If I happen to be at a greasy spoon and the server offers me a choice between bacon and sausage, I will take bacon.

And without bacon, a B-L-T would just be an L-T.

But what is with the world's fascination with bacon? Do we really love it so much that it has to be included in every other kind of food? Why can't bacon just be bacon?

What pushed me to the edge on this issue? I found a news story online about a place in New York called Baconry. It's where bacon meets bakery, and they're now offering 23 carat gold chocolate bacon.

As if chocolate bacon weren't superfluous enough, does it have to be sprinkled with gold dust?  By the way, this store offers "birthday bacon" which is sprinkled with candy confetti, chocolate chip bacon cookies, and gluten-free bacaroons...macaroon with bacon, I presume?

Several breweries offer bacon flavored beer. The best name? "Aporkalypse Now Oatmeal Bacon Stout," and it comes from a Canadian brewery with an appropriate name--Hogsback Brewing Company.

There's even bacon flavored lip gloss.

Enough already. Let's put bacon on the plate next to a couple of eggs, where it belongs!
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Topics: Hospitality_Recreation
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Locations: New York


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A Wicked good time!
The Broadway musical Wicked has flown back into town, thrilling fans at the Overture Center now through June 9th.

I got a chance to see the production for the 2nd time last night, and once again was blown away. Even though I saw Wicked in 2010, I had forgotten most of the story--so it was (almost) new to me...and unlike some musicals, the plot was intriguing, the songs and dialog were a great mixture of drama and humor, the dancing was amazing, and here's the kicker...even a Wizard of Oz purist like me enjoyed it!

I tried reading Gregory Maguire's book Wicked when it came out..but just couldn't get into it. Maybe now that I know the story, I'll give it another try.

If you want to go but don't have a whole lot of money--this is a pretty cool thing the Overture Center is doing...selling a limited number of $25 tickets for every show. Here's how it works--go to Overture Center 2 1/2 hours before showtime and get in on a drawing..and 30 minutes later they'll draw some names for a limited number of main floor seats for just 25 bucks! Sweet!

Find out more about the production here.
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Kitty used to be a Goth--almost
Today is World Goth Day, a day to celebrate the post-punk, anti-establishment, dark clothes-wearing subculture.

I'm pretty sure  I was a Goth for at least for  little while, for two reasons.

1) I almost hardly ever wear pastels.

2) I used to listen to a lot of the Smiths in the '80s.

It all started when I found a Smiths 2-record set("Louder than Bombs") in the giveaway pile at a radio station where I worked.  For some reason I was attracted to songs like "Unloveable," "Shoplifters of the World Unite" and "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."

I listened to that record over and over again. And then for Christmas the next year, my brother bought me the Smiths "Strangeways Here We Come," and that had some doozies on it as well, including "Unhappy Birthday," "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me," and "Girlfriend in a Coma."  Pretty dark stuff, isn't it?

But I think that the very fact that I used the word "doozie" disqualifies me as a Goth.  But don't worry, you won't catch me wearing pastels any  time soon.

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Madison's summer music fests: Marcia Ball, Bottle Rockets & more
Madison's summer music festival season kicks off this weekend with Brat Fest at Willow Island, where there are more bands than you can shake a bratwurst at!  Check out the Brat Fest website to plan your itinerary.

Next up is the Marquette Waterfront Fest at Yahara Place Park June 8th and 9th. This year, there's a definite international flair, with bands including Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars and Hurray For the Riff Raff, from New Orleans.

Jump forward to La Fete De Marquette July 11-14th at South Dickinson and East Washington Avenue on Madison's east side. 105.5 Triple M is excited to be a part of La Fete again this year, as they welcome a wide roster of stars, including Marcia Ball, Kenny Neal and Irma Thomas.

Atwood Summerfest happens July 27th and 28th with a fun list of bands that include the disco group VO5 and even a bluegrass Madonna tribute band!

On the horizon, there's Orton Park Fest August 22-25th, and while a full itinerary has not been published, I did see on the Bottle Rockets website that they'll be there on August 24th.

And that's followed by the Willy Street Fair in September...but I don't want to even think about that, because that marks the END of summer.

Hope to see you out and about at one of these festivals this summer..and if you insist, yes, you may buy me a beer!
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New food of the week: Kale
Last week, I decided I would try one new, healthy food a week, and asked my facebook friends to make some suggestions. 

The first thing I tried was mango. I'm sure I've had other mango flavored things, and mango as part of something else, but it was the first time I bought the actual fruit and ate it. It was tasty and sweet, but a bit messy and hard to deal with. And now my sister tells me that a lot of people are allergic to the skin of mangoes, which are a relative of the poison ivy family.

So this week I tried kale. I looked through a bunch of recipes and found nothing that sounding particularly appetizing...so I made something up. I removed the stems, then ripped up the kale leaves and stir fried them with onion, garlic powder and olive oil. That didn't take long! When they were wilted, I added in some red wine vinegar, and finally topped them with some Trader Joe's peanut satay sauce and a few peanuts.

It was delicious!  It was chewier than expected..because that's okay. That way it seemed heartier than other greens like spinach.  I know I still used something pre-processed (the Trader Joe's sauce), but still a healthy choice.

What food should I try next week?
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Topics: Hospitality_Recreation
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People: Joe


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Who said it? Dolly, or the Dalai Lama?
The Dalai Lama is back in town, sharing his message of peace and kindness with likeminded individuals, and the Wisconsin legislature. He also held a private meeting with Gov. Walker, who said he mostly listened to what His Holiness had to say (wise move).

One of the other times that the Dalai Lama visited, it came to my attention that his wise advice is not that different from another well-known prophet...yeah, you guessed it, Dolly Parton.

Can you tell the Dalai Lama quotes from the Dollyquotes? Answers below. No peeking!

1. Storms make trees take deeper roots.

2. Computers totally blank me out.

3. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

4. Leave something good in every day.

5. If you don't like the road you're walking, pave another one.

6. Sleep is the best meditation.


Answers below.
-------------------------------
-------------------------------
-------------------------------

-------------------------------





1,4,5: Dolly  2,3,6: Dalai
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Locations: Wisconsin
People: Dolly PartonWalker


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Video is out of this world--literally!
This might be the coolest thing you see all day.

Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut who's currently living on the International Space Station, and apparently he had some free time on his hands. He's made a pretty amazing video featuring his cover of the David Bowie song "Space Oddity," and it's gone viral on the internet, with more than a million views in one day!

Hadfield recorded the vocals and guitar on the space station, and the rest of the instrumentation was created back here on Earth.

Hadfield's singing voice is not bad--and the images on the video are pretty gorgeous. That is if you can stop staring at Hadfield's mustache long enough to notice!

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5 fun facts about Bono
Everybody knows that Bono likes to wear sunglasses, that he likes to drone on about various political topics, and that he's done a pretty good job as lead singer of a band that's maintained popularity over the better part of three decades. 

But did you know these things about the man born Paul Hewson 53 years ago today?

1. He's the only person to be nominated for a Grammy, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and the Nobel Peace Prize.

2. He doesn't like his band's name. He preferred "Feedback" to "U2."

3. He once said, "the only thing worse than a rock star is a rock star with a conscience."

4. He appeared as himself in a short student film titled "Sightings of Bono" after learning they were trying to find a look-a-like to play him.

5. His favorite food is fish n chips. And he really also likes chocolate chip cookies. Okay, I don't know that part for sure, but who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?
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Video: Sir Paul attacked by grasshoppers
Paul McCartney has long been a fan of the Crickets, but it wasn't Buddy Holly's band that was on stage with him the other night in Brazil. It was a swarm of grasshoppers!

Apparently the grasshoppers were big fans of Paul's music, and Paul got to know one so well he named it Harold.

And when he performed "Hey Jude," he sang the line "the movement you need is on your shoulder" to one of the bright green critters.

It will be interesting to see if any insects cause trouble when he plays a sold out show at Miller Park this July. Mosquitoes aren't nearly as humorous.

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An open letter to rabbits
Dearest rabbits who live in my yard,

It looks like spring has finally arrived, and that means it's time to start thinking about planting a garden. In my mind's eye, this garden has tomatoes, peppers, sugar snap peas, and some colorful, aromatic flowers.

But year after year, my little happy vision is disrupted by you!  Oh, you look so cute and innocent with that twitchy little nose and that funny little way you have of hopping across my yard.  But I know what you're up to. I know your modus operandi, you Sylvilagus floridanus.

You're going to eat whatever I plant. Even if it's a flower you don't want to eat, you'll snap it off and leave the dead remains lying askew, taunting me.

If I put up a fence, you'll eat through the plastic to get to whatever I'm trying to protect.

If I scatter dog hair in the area of my garden, you'll laugh a silent bunny laugh as you munch away on my crops.

If I buy an expensive anti-rabbit spray, you'll carry on unabated.

So Mr. and or Mrs. Rabbit (and family), what will it take for you to allow me my gardening dream?  Could I plant a special carrot patch just for you? Is it cold hard cash that you're after?

Please respond as soon as possible, before I make a trip to the nursery.

Sincerely,
 
Kitty
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In the Kitchen with the McCartneys
Paul McCartney's daughter, Mary McCartney, is an amazingly talented photographer, and now she's taken that talent into her kitchen, as she shares some of her family's favorite vegetarian recipes in the book Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking.

The book is absolutely gorgeous..and while I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, some definitely look tempting, such as the hummus, avocado, and chili jam sandwich, or the ice cream celebration cake. Some of the recipes seem kind of like no-brainers (really , a recipe for popcorn?) but the beauty and simplicity of it almost make it an excellent coffee table book.

I got a chance to chat with Mary about her book, and memories of cooking with her mom, the late Linda McCartney, as well as her dad, the former Beatle.  I was pretty nervous, but hopefully I didn't come across like a complete fool. (Listen to the interview here).

In the interview, I refer to a youtube video of her dad teaching us how to make mashed potatoes.   I don't know why, but I just can't get enough of this thing.
 
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Madison Craft Beer Week: Kitty's Picks
So much beer, so little time!

Madison Craft Beer Week starts this Friday, May 3, and runs through May 12th. There's so much going organizers had to print a 59-page field guide just chock full of malty, hoppy, foamy fun events.

Here's my list of picks for Craft Beer Week, some quirkier than others.
 
1. CASK ALE FESTIVAL: 1-5pm Saturday May 4 at the East SIde Club on Monona Drive. Sip special cask beer from a variety of guest brewers. Two that look especially enticing to me: Common Thread, a special collaboration beer made by brewers from all 8 Madison breweries, and Hinterland Luna Stout with cocoa nibs. Tell me, who can resist cocoa nibs? ($25 in advance, $35 on Saturday). And starting at 2pm while a limited supply lasts, Triple M will be there handing out copies of Live From Studio M Volume 8.
 
2. SPRECHER PATIO GRAND OPENING: The official party goes from 2-6pm Saturday May 4 on the patio at this popular westside bar and restaurant, but there's also an event from 1-3 pm which includes unlimited samples of beers from Sprecher and other area breweries, and a brat! Tickets are $15.
 
3. MUSICAL CHAIRS WITH WIS. CRAFT BEER: The Old Fashioned on the Capitol Square has a unique spin on the childhood game Monday May 6th from 6-9pm. Walk around in a circle, and when the music stops, drink the beer in front of you, and guess which one it is. Get it wrong, and you're out. They're promising great prizes for the winner.  You're encouraged to sign up ahead of time at the bar.

4. LEINIES FEST AT BUCK AND BADGER: This two night event goes from 5-9pm May 6 and 7, and features a meatball eating contest Monday night and a corn dog eating contest Tuesday night. Lots of Leinies beers on tap and members of the Leinenkugel family will be there signing autographs. Mmmm...corn dogs.

5. BELLS LUAU ON THE LOT: Saturday May 11th Dexter's Pub is having a luau on their parking lot starting at noon, complete with lots of Bells beers on tap and a pig roast!

Get more info about Craft Beer Week here.
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World's Worst iPod - Barry Manilow Copacabana
As you can probably guess, Kitty was on vacation so Jonathan managed to get Barry Manilow's Copacabana on the air this morning for the World's Worst iPod. The song actually made it to number 8 back in 1979. All you Fanilows out there enjoy....
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Kajagoogoo "Too Shy"
Gotta love the '80s! Depending on who you're talking to, Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" is either a song that defines the decade, in a good way, or it's a song that gives all other '80s songs a bad name. It made it to #5 on the charts in...
Read More
Discover & Download: Bad Suns
This Week's Discover & Download is: Bad Suns - 'Salt'
5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Birthday Boy Neil Young
Happy 69th birthday to my favorite self-proclaimed "rich hippie," Neil Young. I remember when I was a kid, I hated Neil's voice. I didn't even particularly care for his songs CSNY albums, but the guy grew on me, and he's now one of my...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Mac and Katie Kissoon "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep"
There was a lot of love this morning for a song that made it up to #20 in 1971 for the brother sister team of Mac and Katie Kissoon. The pair hailed from Trinidad and this was their only Top 40 hit.
Freebies for Veterans
Today's the day to thank a vet! Many restaurants are doing their part to say "thank you" by offering free food items. Since restrictions vary depending on where you go, you may want to call first to make sure you understand what you need to do to...
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Discover & Download: Guster
This week's Discover & Download is: 'Simple Machine' by Guster.
World's Worst iPod: Robbie Nevil "C'est La Vie"
"That's just the way things go," croons Robbie Nevil in the soong "C'est La Vie." Despite the fact that the theme seemed to fit the way a lot of people feel today, there just wasn't enough to support playing it in its entirety. Released...
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Recent Blog Posts
World's Worst iPod - Barry Manilow Copacabana
As you can probably guess, Kitty was on vacation so Jonathan managed to get Barry Manilow's Copacabana on the air this morning for the World's Worst iPod. The song actually made it to number 8 back in 1979. All you Fanilows out there enjoy....
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Kajagoogoo "Too Shy"
Gotta love the '80s! Depending on who you're talking to, Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" is either a song that defines the decade, in a good way, or it's a song that gives all other '80s songs a bad name. It made it to #5 on the charts in...
Read More
Discover & Download: Bad Suns
This Week's Discover & Download is: Bad Suns - 'Salt'
5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Birthday Boy Neil Young
Happy 69th birthday to my favorite self-proclaimed "rich hippie," Neil Young. I remember when I was a kid, I hated Neil's voice. I didn't even particularly care for his songs CSNY albums, but the guy grew on me, and he's now one of my...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Mac and Katie Kissoon "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep"
There was a lot of love this morning for a song that made it up to #20 in 1971 for the brother sister team of Mac and Katie Kissoon. The pair hailed from Trinidad and this was their only Top 40 hit.
Freebies for Veterans
Today's the day to thank a vet! Many restaurants are doing their part to say "thank you" by offering free food items. Since restrictions vary depending on where you go, you may want to call first to make sure you understand what you need to do to...
Read More
Discover & Download: Guster
This week's Discover & Download is: 'Simple Machine' by Guster.
World's Worst iPod: Robbie Nevil "C'est La Vie"
"That's just the way things go," croons Robbie Nevil in the soong "C'est La Vie." Despite the fact that the theme seemed to fit the way a lot of people feel today, there just wasn't enough to support playing it in its entirety. Released...
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