Well, that was a great weekend. Long, too much driving, but I got it done, the mother-to-be was showered — did I mention this trip was for a baby shower? — and I drank approximately 17,000 gallons of beer. My lord, they love their beer in Wisconsin, don’t they? And by 17,000 gallons, I don’t mean to say that I was drunk the whole time. It’s just that however many I had felt like 17,000 gallons. Beer used to be all I drank and now it’s more like once in a while. I felt… bilious. But happy. Perfect weather, old friends, a couple hours of WXRT on the radio.
And sunsets over the lakes:
The University of Wisconsin student union is the best I’ve ever been to, on yet another lake:
But I got home in time for “Succession,” which I see many of you have been discussing. A killer episode in a killer season. I will grieve its disappearance after next week. I’ve had my eye on Jeremy Strong since I saw him in “The Big Short” and it’s great to see him with such a meaty role.
And after <200 words, I can already tell I'm tapped out. Accept these photos and I'll be back later in the week.
Jeff Gill said on May 22, 2023 at 9:27 pm
We accept them.
Isn’t the student union a Frank Lloyd Wright design?
Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2023 at 10:01 pm
Growing up in northern Illinois, I went to Wisconsin a lot and I concur about the beer. Hope it’s not still the last bastion of smokers.
I don’t want Succession to end either. The writing, the acting, most of all the music; they all have me enthralled. As much as I’ve thought about it, I don’t have a clue as to how they’re going to wrap it up. I do know that we’ll be dropping “Max” after it’s over.
We were supposed to make an airport run this afternoon, and the entire rest of the day has been spent getting delay updates, until finally the flight was cancelled. It’s our niece’s dad and mother-in-law, returning from their grandson’s college graduation. They’re both in their 80’s, one has Alzheimer’s, and they irritate each other. Oh, and it was their second flight of the day, too. Should be some great stories!
Our niece is flying in tomorrow, I really don’t know what they were thinking having them come today by themselves. Anyway, our turn tomorrow, fingers crossed for better airline luck.
Ann Fisher said on May 22, 2023 at 11:05 pm
Jeff Gill. No, there’s a different building with a nice terrace on (I believe) a different lake that’s by Wright. Monona Terrace. A convention center.
Dexter Friend said on May 23, 2023 at 4:13 am
In 1984 , I, my brother, and a friend, all subscribers to The Progressive Magazine, rode to Madison in a rented van, hauling bicycles, to The Edgewater Hotel, where we got drunk and slept, readying for the next day’s bike ride out to here: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/WHPD-Images/tn/984268.jpg
the Bob LaFollette homestead, for the big bash known as the 75th anniversary celebration of the magazine’s founding. A great gathering enjoyed a fine picnic, brats, sides, and kegs and kegs of Point Beer, a refreshing lager, and tasty. Several speakers, including luminary Sid Lens spoke; others followed, and then the guest of honor spoke. I was thrilled to meet him, Studs Terkel. Molly Teuke, an editor, had picked Studs up at the airport in her ratty, rusty old Datsun car. Now, we 3 , brother, pal, and I, stood out a bit in our jeans and sneakers, as we didn’t know that on this warm fall day it would be a suit and dress affair. Studs exited the car and I hailed him and he walked over to us, and in his inimitable style, began interviewing us, with little notepad and pen jotting notes in some kind of shorthand or hieroglyphics. My brother, a salesman with his own signage company, used to teach high school journalism, and Studs focused on that. I told Studs I was a factory worker and Mike, the pal, told him that he was a janitor. Well, now Studs had something to work with. As he railed against Reagan et al, he worked us into his speech…”and three men drove here from Ohio and Indiana in a rental van and bicycled here from downtown just to attend this picnic, one a teacher, one a factory worker, and one a janitor! Let’s give them a round of applause !” And by gawd, these elite liberals clapped their hands like Walter Mondale had been introduced. Later, I sent a letter to Studs congratulating him on his Pulitzer, and he sent me an inscribed copy of his book “Hard Times”. I saw him one other time, before this, in 1981 at Solidarity Day in D.C.
As the day was ending at the LaFollette homestead, Studs told Molly (the editor) to interview us for a story in the magazine, which she dutifully did. It did not make the magazine, but instead was a long write-up with photo in the newsletter.
I really enjoyed that trip, the lakes, the farmers market right on the Capitol steps. We did raise too much hell at the hotel, what with the distractions of more Point Beer and some herb that Mike had smuggled in, and my brother’s slamming doors and singing way too loudly (we nearly were booted out).
I was so impressed with UW and the town, I insisted that Vanessa have a visit there before committing to OSU. She wasn’t interested. C’est la vie….
Deborah said on May 23, 2023 at 5:44 am
Madison is a great town, also nice surrounding countryside. And yes lots of beer in WI.
We’ve got some flights ahead, not looking forward to that part of the holiday weekend, in fact I’m not looking forward to the weekend at all. Getting together with my husbands family again in California. It will probably end up being fun, hopefully. I am looking forward to being in NM again on Monday, mountains and clean, dry air.
I started watching Succession, I’ve just started the binge. It’s quite good.
David C said on May 23, 2023 at 6:07 am
Oh yeah, lots of beer. I’m in the second drunkest city in the nation. The folks in Madison are pikers. They’re only fourth. It gives a real sense of safety when I’m riding my bike to know that three of the top ten drunkest cities are within a 20 mile radius and seven of the top ten are in my state.
Dexter Friend said on May 23, 2023 at 7:21 am
Spooner, Wisconsin. Drunkest damn place I was ever in or at.
Suzanne said on May 23, 2023 at 8:26 am
We vacationed in Door County Wisconsin 30+ years ago and I remember being so amazed at the large beer selection in every restaurant and bar, even the tiny local places. This was the era when most eating establishments had maybe 2 or 3 beers available but Wisconsin doubled or tripled that number! Glad to hear that the Dairy State is carrying on its traditions.
Julie Robinson said on May 23, 2023 at 9:39 am
Waiting to board our plane after an incredible breakfast from a local place that’s also in our neighborhood. The new terminal is shiny and beautiful with a very cool video installation. NYC here we come.
We did hear that our family members finally got back in the wee hours after 18 hours of travel. Yikes.
Jeff Gill said on May 23, 2023 at 10:19 am
Ann, thank you.
alex said on May 23, 2023 at 10:43 am
Used to love camping in Wisconsin. (No, I never visited the Bong Recreation Area, but I turned Governor Dodge State Park into a bong recreation area more than a few times.) Also used to camp at a place called the Hefty Skillet near Baraboo. Carefree summers when I was young and not tied down by any obligations. Or worries about impending neo-fascist takeovers of the government.
JodiP said on May 23, 2023 at 12:21 pm
Dexter, what an incredible story. Hard Times had such an impact on me when I read it.
I lived in Madison from 1988-1993 as I earned my degrees. I saw incredible music there, including solo Philip Glass on piano twice, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and the Kronos String Quartet. There was an Afghani restaurant that was our go-to spot. I still long for the house made salad dressing. I tried to get the recipe, but nope. My ex and I were live-in attendants. That income and super low tuition allowed me to graduate debt free and with some savings.
There was a gorgeous bookstore there, Canerbury Books, with a 6 room hotel on the second floor. Each room was decorated with one of the tales from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. We stayed there several times when we got respite coverage from our work. They also had a great cafe serving fresh food.
Julie Robinson said on May 23, 2023 at 3:48 pm
Guys, I’m in the famous Drama Bookshop,owned by Lin Manuel Miranda and Tommy Kail. And it’s on the same street as fabric stores, so I’m in hog heaven. After the first one I wasn’t allowed to go in any others. Dang!
Dorothy said on May 23, 2023 at 5:22 pm
Oh how fun, Julie! I went to a quilt store in NYC (Gotham Quilts) when we went in 2018. I’m going to a much better quilt store in Virginia, Web Fabrics, in July when we head to the beach for a week. I’ve been to Web twice before so I know what a treat awaits! This will be our first time renting a house for the entire family and we’re all getting pretty psyched for the weeks to fly by. Jack is walking everywhere now and I’m willing to bet running is not that far off. Olivia wraps up kindergarten next week and how in heaven’s name did that year go by so fast?
I watched the first 3 episodes of Succession, season 1, and really wanted to like it. But I found the characters so unlikeable I just didn’t want to try to justify spending time with them, even if they are flat on the t.v. screen. To be honest I felt that way after watching the first episode of Schitt’s Creek so I didn’t return to it until 3 years later. And I’m glad I did. Maybe I’ll do a turnaround for Succession in a year or two.
Sherri said on May 23, 2023 at 6:38 pm
Working in tech, I encountered a fair number of people who were intelligent, not obviously on the spectrum, ambitious, and just seemingly alien. They just didn’t seem to get how to act like a human. You could see them try to follow a formula for human interaction, and it was often painful. They were terrible at telling jokes, but they knew that telling jokes was appropriate and even important in some contexts, so they would try. Because they were smart and ambitious, they could be pretty successful, to a point, but they always hit a ceiling until they could learn a little bit more about how to act like a human.
That’s how DeSantis strikes me. If he stays in carefully controlled situations, he can fake being human to a degree, but when he has to step out of those environments, he’s completely at a loss. Bill Clinton had that ability to walk into a room and make everyone feel like he wanted to be their best friend; Ron DeSantis acts like he wants to run away. I sympathize, I know the feeling, but I’m not trying to run for president. He can’t schmooze even with legislators and donors, and he won’t talk to the national press. How does he think a presidential campaign works?
Trump attacks the press all the time, but he loves the press. He’s never happier than when he’s talking to the press.
Jeff Gill said on May 23, 2023 at 8:54 pm
Vance endorsed Bernie Moreno today in the Ohio GOP Senate race. I’ll be voting for Connie Shultz’s husband in any case, but sheesh, just when you think J.D. can’t go any lower . . . full MAGA.
alex said on May 23, 2023 at 9:37 pm
Trump’s a stone-cold sociopath. DeSantis just plays one on TV.
Deborah said on May 24, 2023 at 12:10 am
Tonight I watched episode 7 of season 1 of Succession and lo and behold it took place in New Mexico and it was truly shot there. At first I expected it to have been shot in Southern CA, because a lot of people wouldn’t know the difference, but it was definitely NM. One scene where Shiv was in a car in the parking lot of a Hilton hotel being serviced by her former boyfriend, is in Santa Fe, and is really near our condo, literally only blocks away. I had no idea. Anyway, I’m hooked on the show and will be watching until I’m caught up. Of course the characters are all completely despicable and one can just imagine the Murdochs or the Trumps.
Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2023 at 10:11 am
Vance is a chud and the sock puppet of Peter Thiel. He’ll be nothing but trouble for as long as he serves and with Ohio now a truly red MAGA state, that’s likely to be a very long time. I despair the loss of Sherrod Brown, but fail to see how he can win any more.
The cast of “Succession” is uniformly excellent and I love learning about the details of the characters. “Esquire” recently did a piece on the choice of watches worn by the characters that was quite brilliant. And apparently Jeremy Strong is quite the fashionista. The plain-looking ball cap he often wears is a $1,500 cashmere cap. His sunglasses are $980 Oliver Peoples, etc. The show’s costume designer days Strong is really dialed into the whole process.
I have no idea how the series will end, but damn, it’s been great.
ROGirl said on May 24, 2023 at 11:36 am
More in the $600 range, but who wants to wear a baseball cap that will probably get hot and itchy if you wear it for longer than about 10 minutes?
Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2023 at 3:28 pm
ROGirl, I stand corrected on the price of the ridiculous baseball cap. I should’ve use Mr. Google to be correct.
Here’s a link to the Esquire article on some of Kendall Roy’s coolest get-ups.
And here’s a link to the watches worn by the Roys and their cronies. I’m a watch geek –I own nothing worth more than $300– so this was a blast to read.
The penultimate episode of “Succession” didn’t advance the storyline much and I remain utterly baffled by who will wind up in the throne, but my dark horse choice is dorky Cousin Greg Hirsch. After so many and so frequent betrayals among the Roy siblings, wouldn’t it be a hoot to see the comic relief character win the big prize?
tajalli said on May 24, 2023 at 4:26 pm
Dorothy, I know what you mean about just not wanting to marinate in a series with repugnant characters. Might have gotten to episode 3 of Schitt’s Creek, maybe not. Just reserved season one of Succession: the clothes might be worth watching, maybe the story line will be more engaging, who knows.
There are such great recommendations for reading and view here, overall. Just finished watching Tar – truly stunning acting and the ending was “an yet, she persists”.