What’s to Like About Rockford: The Olympic Tavern, Since 1945


When it’s 7 degrees outside, there’s nothing better than meeting up with good friends for good food at a great LOCAL place. If beer is your thing, The Olympic Tavern features a beer menu with 28 beers on tap, 59 bottles and 9 cans, including a brew with the propitious name of SKA Euphoria. If beer is not your thing–since these days I’m a teetotaler too, the food and service are well worth the visit.

My writing critique partner extraordinaire and I like to meet up at the Olympic Tavern because we can easily chat away four hours and the staff won’t kick us out no matter how busy they are. We were just there earlier this month discussing literary and literal loves. I had the crab stuffed sole with champaign cream sauce and had to force myself to savor every bite rather than devour the meal (which is what my taste buds were demanding). Our server was pleasant, attentive, but not intrusive. We could hear each other speak. Always a plus in my book. And I left without spending every dime I earned that week.

The inside has recently been remodeled, but to be honest *I haven’t noticed* I pay attention to the person(s) I’m with, not whether or not there’s new paneling 🙂

On a Friday or Saturday night you’ll definitely need a reservation.

Photograph 1/31/13 Karin Blaski

The Recurrent Crazy Dream Week

dreamstimefree_7308blog.JPGA classroom that seats 30 with hundreds of empty chairs.

A restroom without a single toilet.

A drinking fountain that spews hot water.

Walking to a classroom where I’ve taught every semester for the last eight years, and instead of a door, finding a cement wall.

Forced to teach biology for eight hours when I’m a business professor.

Forced to teach Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations to a classroom of non-english speaking kindergartners, and none of us can leave until I’m successful.

Happy New Year! I started a new college term. Spring semester 2013. Six courses, five preps, a little under one hundred students. The scenarios listed above are some of the dreams I had this week. Happens every semester. Probably stems from previous trauma.

Cue music.

I’m nineteen, living in a college dorm, and I set my alarm one hour early by mistake. Down in the cafeteria, I don’t even notice dozens of mostly empty tables. After coffee and carbs, I’m first to arrive at my first class. That’s not unusual, I’m an overachiever after all. Sitting in my usual spot, center back, I tuck my book bag under my chair, notepad and pencil at the ready. Then I start getting that something isn’t right feeling when bodies fill the seats around me and pull out a strange purple text. Awkwardness is reinforced when “wrong gender professor” settles at the front of the room. And ultimately my doom is sealed when I sit through, too embarrassed to leave, an entire 50 minutes of Intermediate Italian instead of Introduction to Philosophy.

Yeah. So I get these anxiety dreams at the beginning of each semester that go away once I’m settled into the new routine.

Although, I will say as I’ve gotten older, my dreams are increasingly vivid. Must be the B6.

Photograph (c) Gerdien Monique Samsen