Greetings from west Michigan. Here’s how you know where you are:
1) This is what passes for workplace benefits in the less-unionized part of the state, and
2) the snow stick.
Ha, that first one’s a joke. I just thought the sign was funny, as the business was deep in one of those light-industrial parks — low-slung buildings with indeterminate names (“FlexCo”) arrayed along a winding road, thundering with truck traffic, dotted with storm-water retention ponds and about as pastoral as a parking lot. Who would want to fish there, you wonder? I’d say the occasional employee looking to spin out his lunch hour with a little fly-casting practice would be a rarity, but evidently they get enough interlopers that they needed to put up a sign.
The snow stick — that little marker on the edge of the driveway — is there to remind plow operators where the curb is. In the world of Lake Effect, you need those sticks.
That’s where I was Monday, working on an assignment, which I have to spend most of Tuesday writing. I’d like to tell you more about it, but it’s a magazine piece, which means standard non-disclosure applies until publication, which is weeks away. Alas.
But hey, it was nice to get out of the house, even for a there-and-back across the Mitten. It was strange to see signs in yards reading, WE SUPPORT PRESIDENT BUSH AND OUR TROOPS IN EVERYTHING THEY DO. (Yes, a real sign. Elsewhere in the same yard: WE LOVE AND SUPPORT AMERICA. Glad to get that cleared up.) Western Michigan is pretty red, but the traffic’s thinner over there, so they’re frequently outvoted by the blue southeast. Movie writer/director Paul Schrader’s from Grand Rapids. I once attended a columnists’ convention — yes, they have them — with a guy who wrote for the paper there. He claimed Schrader put a small, subtle f-you to Grand Rapids in every movie he wrote or directed. I’ve seen most of them, and never noticed a single one, except maybe for the hometown in “Hardcore.” Even Iris, the lost soul girl prostitute in “Taxi Driver,” hails from somewhere in Pennsylvania.
But I can see why he — Schrader — might be tempted. I’m sure he fled as soon as he could.
OK. Because I was out in the actual world yesterday, I didn’t get out in the ‘net world, so I have no tasty bloggage, and my overwhelming impression of what went on yesterday is filtered through the radio — both the NPR affiliates I was able to find, and the rokkin-the-lakeshore stations I turned to when I tired of the plight of indigenous Guatemalans. And so, to bookend this entry with another list of two, here’s all I know today:
1) Alberto Gonzalez deserves to be smeared with peanut butter and set upon by pit bulls; and
2) Bob Seger’s wrapping up his tour with two dates at Cobo, and they’ll be RECORDING. Is “Live Bullet 2” in our future?
We can only hope. Discuss anything and everything in the comments.