Remember how I said this was the Winter That Wasn’t? Well, it’s winter now. Here’s a picture of our boat slip. In five more months, there’ll be a boat there.
I took Kate and a friend to the park today, because finally there was ice to skate on, and skate they did. Every time she puts her new skates on, she gets better at it; it’s a pleasure to watch, at least until the wind off the lake strips off all my mascara and I have to step inside the rec center to warm up a bit. There were two teenage girls in there with their mother, complaining that there was snow on the ice and why wasn’t anyone shoveling it off?
“It’s just a dusting, really,” I said, gesturing to the several skaters already out there, gliding around unimpeded. They glared at me. OK, don’t mind me. The fancy-shmancy private-school indoor rink a couple miles away opens to the public every Sunday for two hours; I’m sure they’d be more comfortable there anyway. I went back to watching Kate and her friend write their names in the ice and felt grateful they won’t be teenagers for a few more years.
I guess when they are, I’ll be back to watching them the way I did when they were toddlers, but in this nice in-between period I was free to take a little stroll along the lake, which was just like “Stranger Than Paradise,” only with maybe a little more blue and gray in the shot. I couldn’t really take the time to frame it because the wind was pretty strong and my eyes kept tearing.
I admit to getting tired of it by March, but all things considered, I sorta like winter.
And now it’s Monday, yet another of the days that make me suspect the Grosse Pointe Public Schools hate working parents — it’s an in-service day for teachers, so no school. Last week was the MLK holiday. Next month will be a one-week winter break, followed six weeks later by spring break. It’s hard to imagine that two weeks ago I daydreamed of going back to work in an actual office, with adults and everything. Not until it’s legal to kennel 10-year-olds. (You can kennel infants and toddlers, but once they grow up a little, the deal’s off.)
A young man was released from prison here last week. I wasn’t here for the full length of this story, but I gather it went like this: Nathaniel Abraham, at 11, was the youngest person in Michigan convicted of homicide, back in 1997. He was released from prison last week, the day before his 21st birthday. For his final court date, he chose an understated, I’m-ready-to-go-straight costume — an ivory suit with pink pinstriping, accented with pink shirt and pink alligator shoes, a matching fedora, the whole ensemble topped with a rabbit-fur coat.
Of course, in Detroit, a city where racism is the bass note of every song we hear, from hip-hop right down to the Muzak in grocery stores, this image was greeted with …not quite hysteria, but the sort of calm, reasoned discussion you see on lunatic-politics discussion boards. From across the metro area, a million voices rose as one and shouted: Pimp.
Eric Zorn had one of his very entertaining, supremely time-wasting Lank of Linkin’ roundups today, including this entry: Before you click on The Beast’s annual list of 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2006 (raw language warning), see if you can guess who’s number one from these excerpts: “… nakedly self-serving … has so successfully snowed America that he could go around kicking puppies all day and he’d be applauded for his authenticity. In reality (he) is as phony as slimeballs come.”
I guessed Donald Trump. It wasn’t him (although he was on the list, at No. 21). I must be losing my touch.
And now Monday begins in earnest. I guess we’ll go skating again.