Archive for October, 2013

  • Chapter Thirty- Lunch date at Pho Hai Tuyet


    So life is slowing down for me quite rapidly.  The only real adventure outside of going to the doctor’s office for a check up this week was getting Pho with Little T.  I’ve been craving this delicious noodle soup for days, weeks, years.  I cannot get enough of it.  I dream about it.  And when I’m really struggling to keep food down (pretty much my whole pregnancy) I tell my husband to take the twins and head towards Pho.

    When I lived in Seattle, I could find good Pho just about anywhere.  But I’m not sure where to get it here.  I’ve tried the Brown Deer location of Pho Hai Tuyet, Phan’s Garden, Hinterland’s Monday night happy hour Pho (don’t bother) and now the Layton Ave location of Pho Hai Tuyet.  The first and last locations were delicious (for Pho, but I can’t recommend the rice/veggie dish that Little T had) but are pretty far away.  I need something close.  Something that delivers to my doorstep.  Got any suggestions?


    Anyway, our adventure near the airport was great.  I mean, if you like a lack of service but good Pho, it’s great.  The restaurant had on repeat the following artists: Celine Deon, Whitney Huston, George Michael and Mariah Carey.  So if you have a secret love of soft jams/love ballads, this is your place to go.

    And to get back to the food and be totally honest, the real reason I like Pho is because it’s a vehicle for hoisin sauce, basil and lime.  For anyone who knows me, I’m drawn towards sour and bitter foods, along with anything pickled.  So this dish is pretty much my all time favorite.  And when I get to share it with my daughter, it’s magical.


    Little T trying the Pho.  She remarked that it was “too limey and surprising”.


    But she did like plain rice with hoisin sauce.  Especially out of a fancy spoon.


    And she liked the giant fish tank.

    This thrilling post brought to you by 39 weeks pregnant.


    A. Storm

  • Chapter Twenty Nine- RadioLab at Riverside Theater


    Last week I got dressed up for what I’m sure will be the last time before this baby is born.  You have no idea how uncomfortable I was wearing something other than yoga pants!

    Anyway, my brother in law got tickets to go see the NPR radio program RadioLab at The Riverside Theater.  My husband and I both wanted to go but couldn’t find babysitting, so we flipped a coin and I won.  Woot!


    Will and I found $10 parking nearby, walked to the theater, got lots of “you’re due any day now?!” comments and sat down.


    I wasn’t sure what the show would be like, because it’s a radio show.  Do you know RadioLab?  I used to think the format was too disjointed with all the different audio layers.  I was more of a This American Life kind of girl.  More straightforward with a little music here and there.  But I’ve grown to like RadioLab a lot because it seems to flow more easily for me now, and the content is usually scientific and super interesting in nature.  This show was titled “Apocalyptical“…ooooooooohhh!


    The show opened with comedian Kurt Braunohler, who was hilarious.  I couldn’t tell if it was the pregnancy hormones, or stress, or any number of things, but I was laughing so hard and it felt really nice.

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    The first act opened with hosts Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich coming out to talk about dinosaurs and how they went extinct.  It was fascinating to hear the “new” science on how they could have ended.  I’ll try and sum it up in three sentences (bah!).  Here goes: an asteroid the size of Manhattan hit somewhere in Mexico, scattering parts of the earth (dust, rocks, etc) everywhere including back up into space.  Those particles that hit our atmosphere turned into tiny pieces of glass from the extreme cold temperatures.  Those glass hell balls then rained back down and disinegrated before hitting the earth (yay!) but created so much heat in the process that the temperature could have risen to like 2000 degrees in a matter of hours (not yay).

    Jad Abumrad fascinated me; he seemed like a DJ or conductor, giving the musicians queues and playing with his computer which had pre-recorded audio interviews on it.  The three screens had video of cool things like bullets shooting through water to demonstrate the theories.  As you can see above, they also had props and dinosaurs (I’m sure there’s a term for this…kind of like puppeteering?).  I had no idea this was the sort of radio show that could be live.  So cool!


    Next came a short piece on the element Bismuth and Pepto Bismol, but I missed most of it because I took a trip to the ladies’ room.  And by the way, if you’re pregnant a nice guy offers to take you in the elevator down to the lower level restrooms.  It’s one of those old-timey elevators where you have to manually shut the door.  When I returned to my seat, Will informed me that another perk of being pregnant is that the bartenders will actually serve ice water in a glass ONLY if you have a good excuse, such as “come on man, it’s for my pregnant sister in law”.  Otherwise you have to buy a bottle of water.


    The last piece was about another kind of “ending”.  It started with a short story about a guy who was the last of his line.  No more relatives.  Period.  He struggled with the idea of being the last of his genetic line, the last part of his family to survive.  Jad and Robert (with the help of comedian Kurt) took suggestions for a term for this guy, the last of his kind.  “Endling” is what the original doctor reporting the case called him, but the audience in Milwaukee chose “Caboose” instead.



    In all, it was a really neat experience.  I’d definitely recommend it and go back again.  I so enjoyed seeing the musicians read their music scores and work together to add impact to the story.  The sound effects and digital video added such a captivating piece to the performance, too.  I would love to meet Jad and Robert (and the musicians) and see what rehearsal looks like, how editing before the show goes, and what the interviews are like.  I imagine the amount of work it took to piece this live show together was a lot!

    If you get the chance, check out this show.

  • Chapter Twenty Eight- Currie Park


    This week, I went to run errands while my life-saving babysitter watched my kids (no, I won’t give you her contact information, I’m keeping her all to myself).  Afterwards, I stopped at the nearest outdoor space so I could listen to my audio book.

    Remember last week when I asked how people have time to read?  Well I tried downloading a book I already own and have slowly been listening to Goldie Hawn read 10 Mindful Minutes to me as I fall asleep at night.  Today I thought I could use the 30 minutes I had to spare to listen to the book, while being outside.  Currie Park was close to my errand destination, so I pulled in, came across a lawn chair in my minivan (yes!), and set up shop on the golf course.  I found a nice view of greens, reds, oranges, yellows and the bright blue sky to gaze at while I put on my headphones and sat down.

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    Luckily the few golfers had pretty good aim and didn’t hit any golf balls my way.  They even gave me a nice and friendly wave.

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    While this “adventure” wasn’t exciting per say, it was necessary.  Having time to reflect on myself, my family, and how to maintain a sense of clarity was essential for me today.  The past few weeks have been challenging with lots of emotions and feelings and boundary-testing among my kids.  Last night I decided that I needed to figure out a way to tackle some of the harder situations, so that I can be a good and effective parent.  While I’m only part way through this book, the chapters I listened to today focused on distinguishing the different parts of the brain and what they do.  And how to not let your mind get hijacked by certain feelings/emotions that don’t benefit us.  I found the information useful and applicable and it helped me hit the reset button.  When I came home, I was able to look at all three of the kids and tell them how much I loved them and how happy I was to see them.  Honestly.

    It’s not probably the most exciting thing Milwaukee has to offer, but on a perfect October day, I bet you could find a million other spots like this at which to sit down, breathe, and reflect.  I don’t know how many of my readers are parents of young kids, but I don’t think it really matters.  We all need some time to be outside by ourselves.

    Enjoy your week!

    A. Storm



  • Chapter Twenty Seven- Milwaukee Film Festival (Free the Mind)


    Last night, I took myself on a date.  Not that I don’t like my husband or my friends, but I really enjoy alone time.  So that said, I bought a ticket on Milwaukee Film Festival’s website for Free the Mind, put on some lipstick, threw down some heartburn medicine (you know how the end of pregnancy is, right?), struck my most glamorous pose and had Theo quick snap a photo of me (now that I uploaded this pic, I see what all the gawking is about) , then drove myself to the East Side.



    Have you been to The Oriental Theatre?  It’s a really cool building with lots of charm and history.  When I arrived, I had to park pretty far away (for a pregnant lady, anyway) and the line was very very very long, though it moved quickly.


    I wanted to get popcorn but the line was super long and I didn’t want to be stuck sitting in the most inner seat of a row, so I made do with the York Peppermint Patty that was in my purse.  I found a nice lady sitting on an aisle seat, and sat next to her.  After some chatting, she offered me her aisle seat so I could get up and move with ease.  Then the nice doctor behind me offered to deliver my baby just in case I went into labor during the movie.  What a friendly crowd!



    Anyway, the movie.  I had heard Dr. Richard Davidson on UWUM’s Lake Effect the week prior and was very interested in his research.  Basically he wanted to look at meditation in a scientific and secular way.  His research took this turn after he met The Dalai Lama, who posed a question something like this: we’ve used neuroscience to look at things like fear and anger, why not look at how it affects kindness and compassion?  Brilliant!

    So this movie follows two research projects at UW Madison.  One story line follows a young child with a traumatic beginning and ADHD, and the other story follows Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars dealing with PTSD.  Breathing exercises and meditation were introduced to the participants, and results followed.  I’m over-simplifying this movie, and the research, so please don’t think it’s that simple.  Check out Dr. Davidson’s website and also a local organization called Growing Minds for more information and resources.

    It was a fascinating movie.  I’d love even more of it because I find the science fascinating, and there’s only so much a 90 minute movie can cover.  When it was over, Dr. Davidson took the stage and answered some questions.  I got up the guts to step up to the microphone and ask about resources for learning these breathing techniques and more for parents of young children.  He pointed me to the websites I just mentioned.  And one of the resource lists pointed me to a book I already have.  So special shout out to my mom for getting me 10 Mindful Minutes a year ago.  How do parents of young children read, by the way?  When do you have time?  Anyway, I have more background and motivation to read it after seeing this movie and hearing Dr. Davidson speak.




    The theater is a really cool place, and the film festival is awesome.  You can even pretend you’re famous and get someone to take you pic here ^.  I only wish I had more time to attend more movies and events!  Speaking of, a friend of mine is playing some live music in this event on Friday.


    I will add that part of my amazing solo date night was driving through downtown at night while listening to the radio without interruption.  Seeing the city lights whiz by and hearing a program I never get to listen to was quite nice.

    Hope you have a great week, see you next.

    A. Storm