Archive for August, 2010

Tom Sawyer


So, Dillon is trying to raise/save money for an iPad. His Dad told him if he came up with half the money, we’d pay for the other half. The question then became: how does an 8-year-old with an allowance of $4 per week raise this kind of money?

It occurred to me that there is a hot, long, laborious job that I wanted to be completed this summer that I could outsource.  The fence needs to be stained again.  And Dillon and I negotiated terms and he got to work.

He’s been listening to his iPod shuffle while he works, and occasionally I hear him belting out the strains of a song as he paints.  Yesterday I heard the familiar, “way oh way oh waaaay ohhh waaaay ohhhh,” and he runs over and puts an earbud in my ear.  “You need to hear this!”

I already know, as I am the person who loads the music on his iPod.  And I tell him that the Bangles was the first tape I ever bought.  I am not sure he knows what a tape even is, but he says, “This is my favorite song in the whole world!”  I tell him I’ll make sure it’s on my iPod for our upcoming car trip, and he says, “Yeah, put it on FIVE times in a row.  I like it a LOT.”  And I laugh.

We can haz cheezburger


For mother’s day this year I gave several of my favorite mothers (including my own) a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  I loved this book about a family’s quest to eat local, healthy, non-factory-farmed foods.  My mom took this book to heart, and has been trying a similar experiment at her house.  She and my dad ate pretty well and mostly vegetarian (to my dad’s chagrin) anyway, and my dad’s standard joke when she serves up a heaping plate of quinoa is: “well, as long as you made me a cheeseburger.”

So, for father’s day this year, my sister Kate and I decided to take my dad on the Best Four Burger Tour.  Basically, I googled and tried to find a consensus of the best burger joints in Milwaukee and came up with a list: AJ Bombers, Sobelman’s, Solly’s, and Stack’d.  And we made a date to go out for burgers on four sort-of-consecutive Wednesday nights.

Our first burger was at AJ Bombers, where we realized we needed a rubric, which we discussed and drew up on a napkin as we ate.  We decided to go with: Burger to bun ratio, Creativity, Quality of secret sauce, Messiness, and Taste.  We also gave an overall grade, which we borrowed from (You should check out their website if you haven’t, it is awesome.)  I set up a surveymonkey to track our grades, and we were good to go.

Each of the burger joints stood out in their own ways.  [Spoiler alert: at Solly’s the secret sauce is butter.]  The perfect burger is an elusive thing, and I wasn’t disappointed at any of the establishments.  And I am not turning this into a food blog, so if you want to get the ratings you can message me.

But really, this was the best present I have ever given my dad.  Well, I haven’t asked him, but it was my favorite present anyway.  Because it was just awesome to hang out with him and my sister once a week and have a burger.  As a matter of fact, none of us wanted the burger tour to end, so we’re expanding our list a bit.  (Let me know if you have a recommendation.)  Though that might just be to save my dad from having to consume excessive amounts of quinoa.