Thursday, May 6, 2010

You, Me, AJ Bombers & the Arts...TOMORROW night!

Just a reminder folks, this is it, GO TIME.

In 24 hours I'll be wrapping up my stint Guest Bartending for the Arts @ AJ Bombers. If you haven't already blocked your calendar from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. TOMORROW (Friday). Here's five reasons why you should.

5. Celebrity appearance! The one, the only, Michael L. Arnold, a.k.a. Dad, will be making his first social outing in Milwaukee in three years. Don't miss an insight into where the heck I came from!

4. FREE transportation! AJ Bombers is conveniently located at Water & Knapp, right on the Route 15 bus line. Even more convenient? Tomorrow, in honor of 150 Years of Public Transportation, the Route 15 is FREE all day!

3. World-Famous Food! Food Wars on the Travel Channel filmed at AJ Bombers today, so its burgers will soon be out on the basic cable scene. Order one and wash it down a cold one -- proceeds of your beverage going to the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts.

2. Fabulous giveaways! Throughout the night I'll be "auctioning" off prizes including shirts, Brewers tickets, Milwaukee Iron tickets and of course, tickets to United Performing Arts Fund member groups.

1. Great cause! Hopefully I've convinced you that this means a lot to me, but I'm sure the arts mean something to you as well. I'd love for you to leave a blog comment as to why YOU support my efforts.

Can't make it out for the party? You can donate online here.

Hope to see ya at AJ Bombers!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

why ride wednesdays: entourage

I'm going to use the Wednesday posts building up to the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts to briefly touch upon my relationship to the performing arts and why I'm motivated to ride and raise a significant amount of money for them.
The Milwaukee Rep's Entourage: Support the arts, support your friends.

My dear friend Heather has been involved with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater's Entourage program for almost as long as remember knowing her. This program is designed to get young people into the theater and offers a nice socializing opportunity before and after the show to check out local restaurants, chat with friends, or meet new ones.

Over the years, my friends Ben and Kate, who I introduced to Heather and Entourage, have since become involved in the planning committee. I really try and get to at least a couple of the events each season, because not only am I supporting the arts, but I'm also supporting an organization that values getting young people involved in planning events around the performing arts. How are you supposed to stop the "graying" of the theater if you don't consult young professionals on how to attract other YPs? The really great thing about the Entourage volunteers that I know put in a lot of time, but I don't think they're required to put in a lot of money (unless that gang has secret trust funds that I'm unaware of). I give the Rep a lot of credit for engaging people for a committee without having dollars tied to it.

This outlook also transfers to keeping the prices extremely low for the performances - just $15 for play tickets and the social event.

This season I had the pleasure of seeing both Happy Now? and  Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak as part of the Entourage program. One was a relationship dramedy and the other a slapstick mystery. This group definitely mixes it up, which is really important in showcasing the diversity of the theater company. With an exciting 2010-11 season on the books, I'm sure I'll be thrilled at the lineup the Entourage team throws together for next year.

Hopefully you've enjoyed this insight into why I'm so passionate about the arts in Milwaukee. Perhaps it's motivated you to online here for my ride efforts?

Or you help me raise money in as super fun way on Friday, May 7, 2010 • 5:30 PM to 9 PM - Guest Bartending for the Arts @ AJ Bombers

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

thank you tuesday: 25%

A HUGE thank to those who have donated so far to my Miller Lite Ride for the Arts fundraising efforts. I'm already 25% of the way to my goal with $380 raised.

So shout outs today to the following folks:

Chris M. - Fellow biker extraordinaire. Support his ride for childhood cancer research here.
George B. - My favorite former boss and employer branding expert.
Paul C. - We planned conferences in another life, but bonded over a shared love of rock n' roll. Best source for live in studio recordings I know.
Greg & Angie Q. - The funnest couple in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. I'll put money on that.
Ellen P. - One of the coolest women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and who inspires me to be a better person.
Marty B. - Twitterer, runner, app reviewer, another inspiration.
Sarah A. - My YNPN marketing co-chair and all around awesome woman.
Jane S. - Generous tweep.
Sarah S. - Twitter and #fitmke rockstar, future push up coach. You can win a date with her too!
Kristen G. - 1/5 of the Five Point Filter. Sailor and music geek. Fabulous.
Marley D. - Dear old friend. Kickass lawyer. Not-so-dirty hippie. Amazing chica.
Madeline G. - A person doing truly unbelievable things. You must check out the work of CORE/El Centro organization she founded.
Caroline A. - Grad student doing great things in the community.

Thank you all. You're incredible.

Want to be on the honor roll? Donate online here.

Or help me raise money in as super fun way on Friday, May 7, 2010 • 5:30 PM to 9 PM - Guest Bartending for the Arts @ AJ Bombers

Monday, May 3, 2010

monday munchies: tastes of spring!

I could not be more thrilled that Farmers Market Season is slowly beginning. Following the Rock N' Run on Saturday, our gang headed over to to the West Allis Farmer's Market to see what we could dig up.  

I picked up spinach, mushrooms, bread from a little old lady that looked like my late Aunt Mary, rhubarb, a red onion, and some asparagus (I am allergic to grocery store asparagus, but all natural stuff is just fine and SO FREAKING TASTY). I also bought some flowers and herbs to plant on my balcony garden.
Celery cutting, German Chamomile, Russian Tarragon from the market and my chives that survived the winter indoors.

 Alyssum and Impatiens. I bought them from the CUTEST little old man. He sang to the customers, showed me pictures of his garden and had a sweatshirt that said "Man plants...God grants." 

Gardening aside, you and I both know that no trip to the market would be complete without me getting busy in my kitchen. The recipes I made were relatively healthy too.
Low-fat quiche using local eggs, spinach, mushroom, asparagus, Parmesan, and Saxon Creamery Green fields cheese.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins - using fresh local rhubarb and frozen local strawberries from summer 2009.
 It's going to be one tasty summer!

Mileage Monday

I'm using Mondays to keep you all posted on how my training is going. I'll be reposting some stuff from Daily Mile so if you follow me there, you can probably skip these posts.

As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to really intently train for the ride this year, so no skimping on workouts. Here's two of my biggest accomplishments from last week:

Sunday - 54.1 miles (biking) - Well I didn't really mean to end up in Cedarburg...

Picked up my road bike yesterday and had planned to take it for a 25 mile spin today. I was especially nervous as I got pedal clips for the first time and am terrified of falling. The guy at the shop yesterday said to take 2-3 days to get used to them, but that wasn't going to jive with my schedule. I practiced quite a bit in Juneau Park, going from tree to tree yesterday, and felt fairly confident when I started this morning.

To my surprise, I think I have the move down! And wow, it really does make a difference in your ride.

I was also a little nervous going back out there after so many months of running and just casually biking. But really, this was like going back to an old friend. We picked right back up again where we left off. And this time I had the strength to keep pushing and explore whole new territory.

My goal last year was to find the Interurban Trail, and today I finally did. I couldn't stop then and pushed myself about 11 miles up it until I hit downtown Grafton and thought that I should probably turn around and head back (all I was running on was a strawberry rhubarb muffin). The weather, the sights, the smells, they all were just too nice to NOT be out there all day.

Honestly, one of my favorite parts of biking is watching the scenery change. On nice days, I love watching people in different areas of the region take it all in. I especially love that the people in the poorest neighborhoods always seem to be having the most fun and enjoying life, while in the richest area there's nary a soul to be seen. I love watching the cultural shifts from perfectly coiffed white children playing soccer on their manicured facility in Cedarburg to Latino families playing a pickup game of the same sport in a Milwaukee County Park to African-American kids playing hoops on school court in Riverwest. Just getting to be a silent passerby whizzing through the socioeconomic fabric of Milwaukee, well it's one of the coolest parts of being on two wheels.

That and the very cool part of the ominous clouds holding off for my entire ride. I look forward to my next adventure!

Saturday - Rock N Run - Mile Pace of 8:53
Not my best run mentally, even though I did fine physically. Really confusing set up and apparently the organizers were unaware of the lacrosse game going on at Hart Park, so the whole route had to be changed and we lost .7 of the 3k. It was hot, I have blisters and my allergies were in full effect. At least I had a group of great friends to go with and we had a super fun day afterward. Plus the proceeds all went to United Way & UPAF.
Total mileage for last week: 60.04
Total workouts: 6

You can continue to push me by clicking the link to donate online here.

Or make me hustle more and attend this event on Friday, May 7, 2010 • 5:30 PM to 9 PM - Guest Bartending for the Arts @ AJ Bombers

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