Soldiering on.

I’m of two minds on Dick Clark’s appearance on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. First mind: Good for him, soldiering on after a stroke left his speech muddy and his body partially paralyzed. Just think, a generation ago he would have been put out to pasture and not allowed near a camera, lest he bum someone out. So rock on, Dick Clark.

Second mind: What the hell was he thinking? A veteran news broadcaster once told me he was effective only until his appearance and delivery became a fatal distraction from what he was saying. (Of course, as a man, this guaranteed him 25 more years on the job than the women in the newsroom.) Not that what Dick Clark has to say on New Year’s Eve is so mesmerizing, but still.

It was oddly appropriate for the weekend, though, which had the theme: Soldiering on. Alan was hard at work on yet another of the projects which have saved us thousands of dollars over the years (installing a garage door opener, this time), when he went down to the basement with a hacksaw and a piece of steel to perform some manly surgery on it. A minute later there was an extended clatter that suggested much more than the steel was falling.

Relax, he didn’t have a stroke. He just tripped on something in the work room, nearly recovered, tripped again and smashed face-first into the wall, splitting his lip and necessitating a trip to the emergency room Saturday night for five stitches. He came home with three no-nos until they come out — no beer from the bottle, no smiling and no kissing. So as midnight struck and the sound of gunfire resounded from the direction of Detroit, we leaned toward each other and Alan said through his stitched-up lip: “iss e, I ick Cark.”

I hope karma allows him this small joke without too much payback. The split lip seemed to be pay-forward, in a sense.

That gunfire — that is the sound of Detroit celebrating. Yes, it’s what you’d call tops in stupid. Alan had only been on the job a week when he came to work Jan. 2 to find a bullet hole in one of the department’s windows, a gouge in the wainscoting and other evidence that, duh, what goes up, etc. I let the dog out — trepidatiously — shortly after midnight and it sounded, no kidding, like high noon in the Green Zone. Some of it was fireworks, but one thing life here has taught me is the difference between the pop-pop-pop of fireworks and the pop-pop-pop of semiautomatic weaponry. And there was more gunfire than firecrackers.

The first house we looked at when we were house-hunting here was in the Park, the first street of the Pointes as you come north/east from Detroit. One of Alan’s colleagues lives there. She said they spend New Year’s Eve “on the floor.” How festive.

(If you click on that link above, you’ll see the city’s suggestion for an alternative activity: “Hugs, not Bullets.” It’s like they have meetings to think of the lamest possible alternative, to insure the original undesirable activity goes on forever.)

Ah, I didn’t sleep well last night, so I’m going back to bed to get a little more. In the meantime: The WashPost tells us what’s in and what’s out. Study up. There’ll probably be a quiz.

Posted at 9:48 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

24 responses to “Soldiering on.”

  1. Dorothy said on January 2, 2007 at 11:10 am

    “Extended clatter” was what I heard on September 22nd when my handyman fell off of a ladder, 11 feet in the air. As I was reading this I gasped a little, hoping Alan didn’t suffer the same fate. (I sort of doubted it, as he was sawing something and not climbing something. Still…) I’m sorry he got hurt. Bet it smarts like hell!

    Aren’t emergency rooms fun? (That is sarcasm, in case it’s not coming across.) When we arrived at the hospital that night, I needed help getting him out of the car. A male nurse came out to get Mike into a wheelchair, plopped an ice bag on his ankle, and promptly forgot about him for two more hours. I left to clean up the spilled paint, grab a shower and walk the dog, and came back to find him still in the chair in the waiting room, his sock now wet from the melted ice. I went back and asked the guard as politely as I could when it was our turn, and that’s when we found out that they had “forgotten” about him.

    BTW we returned the rental wheelchair last Friday, two weeks ahead of schedule. He’s healing pretty well, and walking with a cane these days. I don’t think his ankles will ever be the same size again, though. Breaks and dislocations do that to bones.

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  2. brian stouder said on January 2, 2007 at 11:22 am

    The D (Detroit) night may have been pierced by celebratory staccato pops; but that is still a little better than the nasty staccato bursts of “we lost the damned game” gunfire in the D (Denver), directed at Darrent Williams’ stretch Hummer(!)

    actually, the Denver gunfire may have been even more pointless than that…but past a certain point, one wonders if a thing has reached ‘absolute pointlessness’ – akin to absolute zero, wherein there is simply no sense at all, even including cosmic random chance

    Dorothy – ugh! They ‘forgot’ you!??! See, when we flew to Texas a few months back, I developed a theory on the way ‘customer servce’ by the airlines works, which I won’t bore you with except to say it must be exponentially worse in ERs

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  3. Marcia said on January 2, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Hugs, not Bullets?

    Dear God. That’s enough to make me shoot someone on principle.

    Poor Alan. Hope he at least got some good drugs out of it.

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  4. Dave B. said on January 2, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Nancy, Once while cleaning gutters at 1225 Illsley, I found a .22 cal. bullet in the gutter. It probably came from a New Years celebration, unless it was a coon hunter down by the river. By the way, I saw in the paper there was a burglary at 915 Oakdale last week. Maybe you’re safer in Detroit.

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  5. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    My ER trip last week was very speedy, but I think the words “chest pains” get a lot of attention when combined with “previous heart attack.”

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  6. Dorothy said on January 2, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Mary are you okay?? Did not realize you had a previous heart attack. Be well!!

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  7. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    No, it was my neighbor. I took him in.

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  8. Dorothy said on January 2, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Oh jeez. Yah that’s right. How is HE doing??

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  9. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    He had a minor heart attack, but he’s home now. Both he and his partner are pretty frail, so the kids and I have been checking on them, bringing hot food, walking their dog. I got in touch with the social worker at the hospital where he was treated, and she’s looking into a home health aide for them.

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  10. Rich B said on January 2, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Anyway, it would’ve been lower case Mary who’d of had the heart attack.
    In any case, a very gracious surrender of your name.

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  11. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    I’m curious. Was the veteran newscaster Mike Wallace?

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  12. nancy said on January 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    No, some local guy. Wallace didn’t retire until he was, what? 88, 90?

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  13. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    He hasn’t, has he? He’s still going.

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  14. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    He comes out of retirement occasionally, it seems. That’s why I recall seeing him sort of recently.

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  15. nancy said on January 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    He’s officially retired, but works when the spirit moves him.

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  16. brian stouder said on January 2, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    It never made sense to me when CBS shoved Walter Cronkite into the pasture (albeit a nice green one) – and slammed the gates behind him!

    They might as well have taken 10% of the corporate franchise and burned it in the town square (at Martha’s Vineyard, no doubt)

    I think Mike Wallace is living proof that CBS has (long since ) learned that lesson

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  17. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Dick Clark has a reputation for being a fairly difficult person (choke, gag, gasp). YOU tell him he should hang it up.

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  18. LA mary said on January 2, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Okay, I have to say it. Someone in my office got some godawful perfume from Santa and it’s stinking up the whole office. I think Ann Landers used to get letters about this sort of thing.

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  19. Dorothy said on January 3, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Oh Mary, I feel for you. Way back in 1975 at my first office job after high school, the switchboard operator (Velma, God love her) used to drown herself in perfume. I can’t believe I never said anything to her. I think we just suffered in silence.

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  20. LA mary said on January 3, 2007 at 11:50 am

    The offending perfume wearer has called out sick today. We’re spared.

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  21. Jenny said on January 3, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Alan, i hope you’re feeling better. If you need some pain medication, mom’s got some good stuff left over that i saved.
    As for the beer bottle, use a straw.

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  22. Jenny said on January 3, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    by the way, happy new year!

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  23. ashley said on January 4, 2007 at 1:48 am

    One year in Miami we were camped out in the Orange Bowl parking lot for New Year’s Eve. A bullet fell outta the sky and landed 6 inches from my mom, embedding itself into the log we were sitting on.

    And Meekat Manor is in! You so damned far ahead o the curve, girl!

    Crazy Wire fans are in, so we’re both ahead of the curve. God only knows where this puts Laura.

    And yea for Amy Sedaris. Once people found out she didn’t really look like Florrie Fisher, her stock went way up. If I were single, I’d do her…but you can’t really go by me.

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  24. michaelj said on January 4, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I go to extravagant lengths to avoid New Years Rockin’ (Chair) Eve, but somehow, it seems impossible without avoiding other people entirely. My immediate thought about Dick Clarke was “Holy sh*t, somebody damaged the painting.”

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