Iowa City

Summer To-Do

I love lists. If you know me, you might have an idea of how much I love lists. I love making exhaustive lists. Sometimes I do this as a means of procrastination, but other times it’s because I need to motivate myself, and breaking tasks down into their components helps get me over the hurdle of actually starting a thing. I saw an idea for seasonal to-do lists on a mama vlog I keep up with, and I decided I wanted to make it a thing. With having a baby and being back in school, having a running list is hopefully going to help me get through this summer in a fun and productive way, instead of letting it speed by and waking up on the other side with nothing to show for the season.

Summer, ahoy!

Family list

  1. Go camping
  2. Go to the Farmer’s Market at least once a week
  3. Go on family bike rides as much as possible
  4. Make cookies for neighbors
  5. Walk to Heyn’s for ice cream once a week

Clare List

  1. Throw a laid-back 1st birthday party
  2. Figure out a craft project we can do together at this age (tie-dye? finger painting?)
  3. Play in the front yard
  4. Swimming lessons!
  5. Figure out how to do a back carry with our woven wrap

Health/Beauty List

  1. Get a pedicure. My feet are not summer-ready!
  2. Make some soap
  3. Make some homemade surf spray
  4. Find that tinted moisturizer of my dreams. My Laura Mercier oil-free TM is okay, but I don’t love it.
  5. Figure out a recipe for the perfect smoothie

I’ve also got a list running over at our house blog for home-related things. What’s on your list this summer?


Seriously, weather?

39w weather

What is this happy horseshit? Was this kind of weather REALLY necessary for the very end of my pregnancy? Obviously, if I’d been a planner, I’d have scheduled my third trimester to happen during the blissful autumn season, instead of sweating like a beast and letting the 100+ degree heat lead my feet to balloon up like Barney Rubble scale models.

I’ve got an appointment today, with the “mean” midwife on my birth team. Some people like her, but mostly I’ve been hearing horror stories about how she makes snide comments about various things, like when the parents (married!) don’t have the same last name, or insinuating you’re a terrible person if you gain too much weight during your pregnancy. I can’t imagine how she’ll react to the fact that I started my pregnancy overweight, but I’ll hopefully have the presence of mind to let her know she’s being rude if she does so.

I’m bringing in a hard copy of our birth plan (I’ll probably post it later), one bullet point of which specifically references something we heard about an experience with this midwife, where the couple delivering felt as though they weren’t permitted to push in any position other than lying back, reclined, sort of in the “traditional” position. Part of the reason why I wanted to work with midwives is that they’re more accepting of positions that are ideal for the mother and situation, including squatting, side-lying, being on all-fours, or whatever, so hearing about that experience with this midwife was startling to me. We’ll see if she says anything about it.

Update: She definitely wasn’t as bad as I had been led to believe she’d be, but she did spend the most time during the visit talking about my weight. My BP was in the 130s/80s, baby’s heartrate was in the 120s, and my total weight gain this pregnancy has been 22lbs.

 She kept referring to me as “fluffy”, and said that heavier women have more trouble going into labor on their own, and that since I’m  “Bradley girl”, she knows I want as few interventions as possible, so she wanted me to be walking 2+ miles per day, or swimming the equivalent, to get my body primed and start things moving. So, we’ve got our final Bradley session tonight, and afterwards (thankfully after dark), my partner and I will be taking a nice long walk around our neighborhood.


Aerial Iowa City

Did I ever tell you about that time that our friend Forrest took us up in his private plane to fly over Iowa City and Coralville? It was pretty righteous, as far as things like that go. It was also three years ago, and this has been sitting in my WordPress drafts since then. Oops. Wanna see?






Holy crap, lookit how long my hair is!




The Reservoir

Coralville Dam/Reservoir

The Mighty Iowa River

The Mighty Iowa River



Municipal Airport

Fonty goodness


MacBride Raptor Center visit

I was feeling particularly snarly on Monday, overworked/overwhelmed/pissed about my lost social life/pissed about my lack of private time, so Kevin decided to be the best guy ever, take a night off from the neverending garage project, and drag my sullen ass out to the Macbride Raptor Center to dip my toes into some nature. I’m so thankful that he did.










(Looking through these photos is particularly helping me today, since I decided to try a new foundation that is currently blotchy and flaking off of my skin, making me feel like a troll. Sigh.)


2 Dogs Pub in Iowa City

IMAG0221Last night, we decided to try out a new beer/food joint in town before heading to the grocery store (who wants to shop on an empty stomach?), so we headed over to 2 Dogs Pub on 1st Avenue in Iowa City. They bill themselves as having a sports-pub theme, but as not being a full-blown sports bar, so my expectations weren’t super high. I was pleasantly surprised.

A few weeks ago, we decided to walk downtown from our house to have beer-dinner at a local sports bar, The Vine, since it was closest to our house and has a semi-okay beer selection. The Vine in Iowa City is a pretty good illustration of that type of place: basement atmosphere, dark wood, dark paint, lots of tvs, a couple of non-Budweiseresque beer choices on tap, and passable food. I used to love the place a lot when I still ate meat, since their wings are city-wide famous, and back when I didn’t have very good taste in beer, but my palate has since matured.

This new joint was nothing like that! Bright and airy, with a sort of divider between the back bar area and the front, which probably makes the front more family-friendly. They have a great fucking beer selection (24 taps for draft beer), with plenty of microbrews and a nice representation of Iowa-brewed beer.

We seated ourselves and were served promptly. I picked a pint of Empyrean Dark Side Vanilla Porter, a favorite of mine, while Kevin chose some Iowa beer that neither of us can recall now. We both decided on chipotle-black bean burgers with fries: I had mine “Animal Style” with Thousand Island dressing, caramelized onions, lettuce, and American cheese (trying to recreate my usual wrap from Baldy’s, RIP), and Kevin chose the “Border Crossing”, with salsa, jalapeno slices, pepperjack cheese, and garlic aioli. The burgers were delicious, perfectly cooked with really good flavor profiles. The fries were perfectly fried, not too greasy, not too salty. For dessert, we split a tiny funnel cake, which came with fudge sauce and raspberry coulis for dipping. YUM!

The place had high ceilings, so at first we were afraid that sound might echo (have you been in the new Noodles & Co. yet? Ugh, impossible to have a conversation!), but I didn’t notice a problem with noise at all, and the place was fairly busy. It might be a little ruckus-y if the joint is full, but that’s to be expected. There were several TVs scattered around, but they were at that perfect height on the wall where you don’t notice them if you’re not looking for them. They were also all blissfully silent. Classic rock played softly from speakers overhead.

Overall, we both dig the place quite a lot. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a quick bike ride from our house. For two people, where we both ordered burgers, beer, and split a dessert, the bill came to $29. Not bad at all.


Tandem ride


We went on a 2-hour bike ride yesterday, with our vintage Schwinn tandem bike. My, what a difference some endurance and increased strength makes! We got the bike a few months ago, and had only really taken it for a swing around the neighborhood once, and I was grossly sweaty, fatigued, and overworked when we were done. After a few months of increasing my stamina on stationary bikes, I was able to make an incredible loop that probably logged at least 5 miles on the thing. Five miles doesn’t seem like a lot, but on a tandem, and with hills thrown in there? That’s pretty great. It gave me a good chance to feel the lovely autumn air and see some nice scenery, as well.


2010 Semi-Annual Midwestern Concert Bonanza!

It’s that time again! Here it goes:

Iowa City:
Sat 05/15/10 – Henry Rollins – Capitol Theatre (Davenport)
Sun 05/16/10 – Barenaked Ladies – RiverCenter / Adler Theatre (Davenport)
Fri 05/21/10 – The Tallest Man On Earth – The Mill
Sat 06/12/10 – The Mountain Goats – Blue Moose Tap House
Sat 06/12/10 – These United States – The Mill
Sat 09/18/10 – Janis Ian – City Park

Des Moines:
Sun 06/06/10 – Marcy Playground – House Of Bricks
Sat 07/03/10 – “80/35 Festival” – Western Gateway Park (Spoon, Will Whitmore, Modest Mouse, The Walkmen, and more)
Sun 08/08/10 – The Black Keys – Val Air Ballroom (West Des Moines)
Sun 08/15/10 – “Iowa State Fair” – Iowa State Fairgrounds Grandstand (VANILLA ICE!)
Sun 10/10/10 – Willie Nelson – 7 Flags Event Center (Clive)

Fri 06/11/10 – These United States – Memorial Union Terrace @ UW
Sat 06/19/10 – CocoRosie – Barrymore Theatre
Wed 07/14/10 – Simon & Garfunkel – Kohl Center Arena
Fri 10/22/10 – Arlo Guthrie – Monroe High School (Monroe)

Thu 05/06/10 – 30 Seconds To Mars – Sokol Auditorium / Underground
Tue 05/11/10 – Matt Pond PA – Slowdown
Sat 05/15/10 – Mastodon – Sokol Auditorium / Underground
Mon 05/17/10 – Mono – The Waiting Room
Sun 05/23/10 – Less Talk More Polka – Duffy’s Tavern (Lincoln)
Thu 05/27/10 – Insane Clown Posse – Westfair Amphitheatre (Council Bluffs)
Sun 05/30/10 – Earth, Wind & Fire – Harrah’s Casino – Stir Concert Cove (Council Bluffs)
Sat 06/05/10 – Damien Jurado – Bourbon Theatre (Lincoln)
Mon 06/07/10 – Blitzen Trapper – Slowdown
Sun 06/13/10 – The Mountain Goats – Slowdown
Sun 06/13/10 – The Psychedelic Furs – The Waiting Room
Fri 06/25/10 – Mates of State – Slowdown
Sat 06/26/10 – Henry Rollins – Sokol Auditorium / Underground
Tue 07/06/10 – The Hold Steady – Slowdown
Sat 07/24/10 – “Maha Music Festival” (Old 97s, Spoon, Superchunk, The Faint) – Lewis And Clark Landing
Sun 08/01/10 – Al Green – Harrah’s Casino – Stir Concert Cove (Council Bluffs)
Wed 08/04/10 – Better Than Ezra – Horseshoe Casino / Whiskey Roadhouse (Council Bluffs)
Mon 08/09/10 – Gogol Bordello & Primus – Harrah’s Casino – Stir Concert Cove (Council Bluffs)
Sat 08/28/10 – The Black Crowes – Harrah’s Casino – Stir Concert Cove (Council Bluffs)
Sat 10/09/10 – The Flying Karamazov Brothers – Lied Center (Lincoln)
Fri 05/20/11 – Vienna Teng – Holland Performing Arts Center

Sat 05/08/10 – Joel McHale – Chicago Theatre
Tue 05/18/10 – Them Crooked Vultures – Aragon Ballroom
Wed 05/19/10 – Conan O’Brien – Chicago Theatre
Fri 05/21/10 – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Vic Theatre
Sun 05/23/10 – Imogen Heap – Riviera Theatre
Tue 05/25/10 – Jill Scott – United Center
Thu 05/27/10 – Toots & The Maytals – House Of Blues
Sat 05/29/10 – Smoking Popes – Lincoln Hall
Sun 05/30/10 – Brian Jonestown Massacre – Metro / Smart Bar
Wed 06/02/10 – Erykah Badu – Chicago Theatre
Wed 06/02/10 – Gwar – Durty Nellie’s (Palatine)
Fri 06/04/10 – New Kids On The Block – The Venue at Horseshoe Casino (Hammond)
Mon 06/07/10 – She & Him – Millennium Park
Tue 06/08/10 – Matt Pond PA – Lincoln Hall
Wed 06/09/10 – Damien Jurado – Schubas Tavern
Thu 06/10/10 – George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic – The Cubby Bear
Fri 06/11/10 – Phish – Toyota Park (Bridgeview)
Fri 06/11/10 – The Psychedelic Furs – Metro / Smart Bar
Sat 06/12/10 – Concrete Blonde – Vic Theatre
Tue 06/15/10 – Cute Is What We Aim For – Reggies Rock Club
Fri 06/18/10 – CocoRosie – Metro / Smart Bar
Fri 06/18/10 – Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby – Schubas Tavern
Mon 06/21/10 – The Books – Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Tue 06/22/10 – Mates of State – Lincoln Hall
Fri 06/25/10 – Mason Jennings – Lincoln Hall
Mon 06/28/10 – Mirah – Lincoln Hall
Fri 07/09/10 – “Weird Al” Yankovic – Star Plaza Theatre (Merrillville)
Fri 07/16/10 – Old 97’s – Navy Pier
Sat 07/24/10 – Built To Spill – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre (Tinley Park)
Sat 07/31/10 – Al Green – The Venue at Horseshoe Casino (Hammond)
Wed 08/18/10 – Blondie – The Venue at Horseshoe Casino (Hammond)
Wed 08/18/10 – “Honda Civic Tour” (New Found Glory, Paramore, Tegan and Sara) – Charter One Pavilion @ Northerly Island
Sat 09/25/10 – Bill Cosby – Hemmens Cultural Center (Elgin)
Tue 10/05/10 – Willie Nelson – Rialto Square Theatre (Joliet)

Thu 05/06/10 – Low – Varsity Theater
Fri 05/07/10 – Joel McHale – Mystic Lake Casino (Prior Lake)
Fri 05/14/10 – Henry Rollins – Pantages Theatre
Mon 05/17/10 – Barenaked Ladies – The Orpheum Theatre
Tue 05/18/10 – Conan O’Brien – The Orpheum Theatre
Tue 05/25/10 – Toots & The Maytals – First Avenue
Fri 05/28/10 – Brian Jonestown Massacre – The Cabooze
Sat 06/05/10 – She & Him – First Avenue
Tue 06/08/10 – Local H – The Rock (Maplewood)
Wed 06/09/10 – Matt Pond PA – 7th Street Entry
Fri 06/11/10 – The New Pornographers – First Avenue
Sat 06/12/10 – The Psychedelic Furs – First Avenue
Sat 06/19/10 – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (with MGMT and OK Go) – Walker Arts Center
Sat 06/26/10 – Ween – The Roy Wilkins Auditorium (Saint Paul)
Thu 07/01/10 – Mirah – Cedar Cultural Center
Thu 07/01/10 – Tool – Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul)
Sat 07/03/10 – The Hold Steady – The Cabooze
Tue 07/13/10 – Joan Baez – Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater (Apple Valley)
Wed 07/14/10 – Modest Mouse – The Orpheum Theatre
Sun 07/18/10 – Wolf Parade – First Avenue
Sun 08/15/10 – The Black Crowes – Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater (Apple Valley)
Sat 08/21/10 – Blondie – Treasure Island Resort & Casino (Red Wing)
Mon 08/30/10 – Lady Gaga – Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul)
Sun 09/12/10 – Pavement – The Roy Wilkins Auditorium (Saint Paul)
Fri 10/08/10 – Willie Nelson – Mystic Lake Casino (Prior Lake)
Sat 01/08/11 – The Flying Karamazov Brothers – Orchestra Hall

St. Louis:
Tue 05/11/10 – The Forecast – Firebird
Wed 05/12/10 – Reverend Horton Heat – Old Rock House
Wed 06/09/10 – Erykah Badu – Fabulous Fox Theatre
Fri 06/11/10 – Brian Jonestown Massacre – Off Broadway Nightclub
Mon 06/21/10 – Blitzen Trapper – Off Broadway Nightclub
Wed 06/23/10 – Passion Pit – The Pageant
Mon 06/28/10 – The New Pornographers – The Pageant
Thu 07/01/10 – Henry Rollins – The Pageant
Mon 07/12/10 – “Weird Al” Yankovic – The Family Arena (Saint Charles)
Sat 07/17/10 – Lady Gaga – Scottrade Center
Fri 08/06/10 – Gogol Bordello – The Pageant
Sat 08/28/10 – George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic – Chaifetz Arena

Music Festivals:
Pitchfork (Chicago)
Lollapalooza (Chicago)
LouFest (St. Louis)
Lilith Fair (Chicago/Minneapolis/St. Louis)
Soundset (Minneapolis)
Warped Tour (Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis)


30 Before Thirty!

I’ll be turning 30 years old on July 12, 2010, and I decided to partake in the project where you make a list of thirty things you want to accomplish before your 30th birthday. I don’t have long to go, but I’m hoping I can polish off everything on this list by making the items reasonable:

  1. Hang curtains (whether store-bought or handmade) in every window of the house, and get rid of every shred of miniblinds that have been haunting my windows and my dreams since we moved in.
  2. Install hardwood flooring throughout the main floor of the house (!!!).
  3. Pay off my credit card.
  4. Brew a batch of stout beer.
  5. Plan and start saving for an autumn vacation in Vancouver/Seattle.
  6. Grow delicious foods from heirloom seeds from Baker Creek, including a healing herb garden.
  7. Get a really great haircut from my bestie JoAnn at G Spot Hair Design, one that is an actual hairdo rather than something I pull back into a bun everyday.
  8. Get new glasses and contacts.
  9. Paint every room in the house something other than “Ultra White”.
  10. Scan all of our photos and organize them somewhere online.
  11. Update my Iowa City tumblr at least once a week.
  12. Continue my weight loss/fitness streak. Weight Watchers is working!
  13. Throw a May Day party.
  14. Organize and clean the basement.
  15. Try sewing another purse.
  16. Bake the perfect Blondie.
  17. Finish watching the whole Arrested Development series (we’re on an extended hiatus, mid-season 2).
  18. Create monthly music mixes without missing a month.
  19. Try making homemade ketchup.
  20. Build a pergola on the patio to continue cultivating an awesome backyard oasis.
  21. Finally part with (donate) the ugly fleece that’s clogging up my fabric stash.
  22. Go scooter camping in Palisades.
  23. Buy a bike helmet so I can safely ride all over town.
  24. Start really using the calendar/scheduling app on my iPhone to help keep my life more organized.
  25. Try raw milk.
  26. Mail goodies to my faraway friends.
  27. Build a respectable cocktail station.
  28. Start a food blog with aforementioned JoAnn.
  29. Make a batch of Navratan curry.
  30. Throw a fabulous 30th birthday party on my patio.

Semi-Annual Concert Bonanza

Iowa City:
Sun 01/25/09 Willy Porter  The Mill
Sat 02/14/09 Marah  The Picador
Fri 02/20/09 Mason Jennings  The Englert Civic Theatre
Sat 02/21/09 William Elliott Whitmore  The Picador
Sun 02/22/09 William Elliott Whitmore  The Picador
Tue 03/03/09 Duncan Sheik  CSPS / Legion Arts
Tue 03/17/09 Bonnie “Prince” Billy  The Picador
Thu 03/26/09 Squirrel Nut Zippers  Redstone Room (Davenport)
Tue 04/07/09 The Hold Steady  The Picador

Des Moines/Ames:
Wed 02/04/09 tapes ‘n tapes  The Maintenance Shop
Sat 02/28/09 Andrew Bird  Hoyt Sherman Place
Mon 03/16/09 Bonnie “Prince” Billy  Vaudeville Mews
Fri 03/27/09 “The Harlem Globetrotters”  Wells Fargo Arena
Wed 04/22/09 New Found Glory  People’s

Fri 01/23/09 Cursive  Slowdown
Sat 01/24/09 Cursive  Slowdown
Fri 01/30/09 Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin  Box Awesome
Thu 02/12/09 Peking Acrobats  Orpheum Theater
Mon 02/16/09 Marah  The Waiting Room
Fri 02/27/09 Andrew Bird  Slowdown

Tue 01/20/09 The Killers  UIC Pavilion
Thu 01/22/09 Animal Collective  Metro / Smart Bar
Thu 01/29/09 Vic Chesnutt/Elf Power  Empty Bottle
Sat 01/31/09 Gene Ween  Schubas Tavern
Fri 02/06/09 Sybris  Schubas Tavern
Fri 02/06/09 Rhett Miller  FitzGerald’s
Thu 02/12/09 Fujiya & Miyagi  The Bottom Lounge
Thu 02/12/09 Antony & The Johnsons  Vic Theatre
Sat 02/21/09 Smoking Popes  The Cubby Bear
Sun 02/22/09 Juana Molina  Morse Theater
Sat 02/28/09 Dropkick Murphys  Congress Theater
Sat 03/07/09 tapes ‘n tapes  Metro / Smart Bar
Sat 03/07/09 John Prine  Genesee Theatre
Sat 03/14/09 Bonnie “Prince” Billy  Vic Theatre
Tue 03/17/09 Flogging Molly  Congress Theater
Sat 03/21/09 “The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini Fest” (DeVotchka, Les Claypool)  Riviera Theatre
Sat 03/28/09 Bloc Party  Riviera Theatre
Wed 04/01/09 “Speaker Series” – Al Gore  Chicago Theatre
Sat 04/04/09 Morrissey  Aragon Ballroom
Fri 04/10/09 Andrew Bird  Civic Opera House
Fri 04/17/09 Vienna Teng  Schubas Tavern
Thu 04/23/09 David Sedaris  Paramount Theatre
Sat 05/02/09 Joel McHale  The Venue at Horseshoe Casino
Sun 05/03/09 The Books  Museum of Contemporary Art
Sun 05/24/09 Boyz II Men  Private Function
Sat 06/20/09 Matthew Sweet  Naper Settlement

Fri 02/06/09 tapes ‘n tapes  First Avenue
Sun 02/08/09 Rhett Miller  Fine Line Music Cafe
Wed 02/11/09 Fujiya & Miyagi  7th Street Entry
Sat 02/14/09 Antony & The Johnsons  Pantages Theatre
Mon 02/23/09 Flogging Molly  Myth
Sun 03/01/09 Dropkick Murphys  Myth
Thu 03/19/09 Bonnie “Prince” Billy  McGuire Theater
Thu 03/19/09 “The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini Fest” (DeVotchka, Les Claypool)  Myth
Tue 03/24/09 Squirrel Nut Zippers  Varsity Theater
Mon 03/30/09 Bloc Party  First Avenue
Sat 04/04/09 Margaret Cho  Treasure Island Event Center
Mon 04/06/09 Morrissey  The State Theatre
Fri 04/10/09 Art Garfunkel  Orchestra Hall
Sat 04/11/09 “The Harlem Globetrotters”  Target Center
Sat 04/11/09 Andrew Bird  The State Theatre
Thu 08/06/09 The Guess Who  Private Function

Kansas City, MO:
Thu 01/29/09 Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin  Jackpot Music Hall
Mon 02/02/09 tapes ‘n tapes  Jackpot Music Hall
Thu 02/12/09 G. Love & Special Sauce  Harrah’s North Kansas City
Fri 02/13/09 Joel McHale  Uptown Theater
Sat 02/14/09 B.B. King  Midland Theatre
Tue 02/17/09 Marah  The Record Bar
Sat 02/21/09 Rufus Wainwright  Uptown Theater
Tue 02/24/09 Flogging Molly  Uptown Theater
Fri 02/27/09 Ryan Adams  Uptown Theater
Mon 03/16/09 Andrew Bird  Liberty Hall
Mon 03/16/09 “The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini Fest” (DeVotchka, Les Claypool)  Beaumont Club
Tue 03/17/09 Joan Baez  Liberty Hall
Tue 04/07/09 Morrissey  Midland Theatre
Tue 04/07/09 Bonnie “Prince” Billy  Granada Theatre
Wed 04/29/09 Reverend Horton Heat  The Bottleneck
Sat 05/02/09 The Killers  Capitol Federal Park At Sandstone
Fri 07/24/09 Reverend Horton Heat  The Crossroads
Sun 10/11/09 Lewis Black  Ameristar Hotel & Casino