Brian Kluge and the Beauty of Decline

Ceramic cubes
Photo by Brian Kluge

I met Brian Kluge at Midwest Clay Project for his interview. As of July, he’s the studio’s owner and invests a deliberate portion of his time and energy in its artists. He works with burgeoning students and practicing studio artists to help them find the balance between being at the mercy of the material and manifesting their intentions.

Atlas Improv Co. Is On Your Side: An Interview with Artistic Director Daniel Row

Photo by Nate Chappell

Some people love to paint pretty pictures while others prefer taxidermy, carpentry, or writing freelance for local magazines. As I pursue the latter option, I’ve decided to explore another passion—improv comedy. Follow me in my journey over this and future issues as I chase my dream of becoming Madison’s most adequate improvisor. To kick things off, I spoke with Daniel Row, the director of Atlas Improv Co.

People Pleaser

Sandy Eichel
Photo by Sandy Eichel

In case you didn’t catch the first episode of our series, I am a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist trying to preach the gospel of not “shoulding” all over yourself. I should be this, I should be that. Yep, I’m talking to you. The people that are always yearning to make things nice for other people and thinking they are never good enough.

Off Broadway Drafthouse: Neighborhood Bar Serving Up Local History

Drafthouse Mussels
Photo by Eric Tadsen

Craft beer, great food, and highlighting the historical significance of the area were Joe and Rita Klinzing's intentions for Off Broadway Drafthouse in Monona. Their slogan, “Come for the beer, stay for the food,” has people continuously raving about the food, beer, and service, and it keeps getting better.

From the Editor

Photo by ZDA, Inc.

Because of our company’s local focus, I frequently find myself in Buy Local conversations. While the discussion continues about how to spread the importance of buying local, I sometimes hear some question as to whether the messaging is still necessary—like people believe the work is done. It’s far from done, and the importance of people understanding why may even be more important as our consumer world evolves.

Wealthy Living: How Financial Planning Can Improve Your Mental and Physical Health, and Reduce Stress


Stress affects us all in different ways. It’s nasty. Regardless of how you experience stress, having money problems only amplifies it. The good news, we can do something about those money problems. Wealthy (healthy) living is something I think most of us would agree is important. Reducing stress levels while improving mental and physical health has obvious benefits. But what does financial planning have to do with it, and how can it improve the quality of our lives?

Is Brewing Now in Session?

making beer
Photo by Kyle Jacobson

Defining a beer isn’t the science some purveyors and homebrewers wish it to be. Anytime I hear people arguing over the differences between an American Pale Ale (APA) and an Indian Pale Ale (IPA), I can’t help but roll my eyes. True, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has worked hard to clarify and classify all fronts of beer, but that’s not something I would ever want someone who enjoys beer to get hung up on. It’s like arguing what shade of blue the sky is today, as though the proper definition will somehow affect the overall enjoyment of atmospheric scatterings of light.

Juice Bars

The grow room at SuperCharge! Foods
Photo by SuperCharge! Foods

Folks in the Madison area who are looking for ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets can turn to one of several establishments offering juices, smoothies, and other healthy alternatives. Three such places are Forage Kitchen on State Street, SuperCharge! Foods on East Washington Avenue, and Saints Madison Juice Company on Williamson Street. Each has a slightly different approach to health and wellness, but all carry juices.

Natural Healing

front yard landscape
Photo by ZDA, Inc.

“On a good day, this is an uncertain age…but even in these hectic times, you can count on having at least one sanctuary, a world of your own design and composition, a retreat where turmoil stays outside and peace, solace, and even a measure of control are inside. That sanctuary is your garden.”

Quisling Clinic

Quisling Terrace
Photo by Gorman & Company

Quisling—a prominent medical family in Madison for much of the 20th century whose name can be seen on the family’s former clinic at 2 W. Gorham Street in Madison. Today the building is Quisling Terrace, a 60-unit apartment building developed, restored, and managed by Gorman & Company, which opened in 2000. It features a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom units, and residents have access to a resident lounge, fitness center, and rooftop terrace with grills. Many units are designated as affordable housing.

Inappropriate Urination

cat from Dane County Humane Society
Photo by Dane County Humane Society

One of the most common reasons an owner brings a cat to my practice is for urinating outside the litter box. I love cats, but finding urine on the floor or smelling it in a pile of clothes is aggravating. Many people think their cat is urinating on the floor out of spite, but cats don’t have human emotions. So if it isn’t spite, what is the problem?

Reclaim, Restore, and Repurpose: Architectural Junk Becomes Another’s Treasure

reclaimed lumber
Photo by Eric Tadsen

Treasure from a bygone age sits in the Deconstruction Inc. warehouse on Madison’s far east side. The growing collection that ranges from 50 to 200 years old has been carefully salvaged, cleaned, and organized, just waiting to be repurposed for a special project and return to usefulness. Homeowners, contractors, developers, and DIYers come from far and wide in a hunt for architectural salvage, reclaimed lumber, and vintage décor in hopes of finding a distinctive architectural element that will find new life to adorn a home, office, or business. Some have searched for years at the bottom of bins and under unorganized piles at flea markets, antique auctions, and architectural salvage yards. Their extreme patience pays off when they discover the mother lode of locally sourced, pre-1940 salvage.

Fitness is a Lifestyle, not a Resolution, at Capital Fitness

Capital Fitness
Photo by Eric Tadsen

Many people make an annual New Year’s resolution or birthday wish to start losing weight or getting fit. Since it takes more than a wish to achieve long-term success, it’s challenging to know where to start. After all, a temporary effort produces only a temporary outcome.

Dentists and ER Doctors Work Together to Ease Patients’ Pain While Reducing Opioid Usage

Dentists and patients
Photo by More Smiles Wisconsin

According to the American Dental Association, approximately one person shows up in emergency rooms (ERs) every 15 seconds due to dental pain. Dental pain is the number six reason for people to seek ER care for pain. In Dane County, that translates to thousands (4,235 in 2015) of people every year who turn to ERs or urgent care to help relieve their pain.

The Importance of Sleep

woman sleeping

When I was finishing up my internship as a psychologist, a postdoctoral student arrived at work at the VA hospital and announced that she had not slept at all the previous night because she had been working on a presentation for a professional conference. Though she joked that she probably shouldn’t be at work, she reflected that her judgment was poor, not realizing until that moment what a bad idea it had been to drive herself to work that morning.

Rainbow Project: The Reciprocal Nature of Giving

child and family counseling and resource clinic
Photo by Floor360

Of the many things that make Madison unique, one of the most revering has to be the relationship between the community and its many volunteers. Most cities are too big for outsiders to notice the impact of local organizations, while others are too small to sufficiently grow a force to back a wider range of causes. Due to this unique setup, Madison creates an environment where those working hard to help the community are supported by those working hard to keep the city cohesive.

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