Summer is party time, and it won’t be long now before we can’t open a magazine without hearing about some rapper’s coming-out party in the Hamptons, where guests sampled hors d’oeuvres made from fetal veal, served by waitresses dressed as mermaids, who swam around the perimeter of a fountain with trays held high. Upon arriving, everybody walked through a footbath of Cristal, just to get their toes all tingly and refreshed. At midnight, fireworks erupted from the ass of the ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s David, and as a lovely parting gesture, everyone got a goody bag contained gift certificates for round-the-world cruises and Lancome’s summer line of eye shadow. In Style will have all the photos.
Someone will bitch about the fetal-veal canapés. It’s not included in their Zone diet plan, or something.
Sunday morning I did my Alter Road loop ride, about 12 miles, maybe a little less. Alter Road makes a 90-degree turn at its southeastern terminus, and there’s a park there — Mariner’s Park, little more than a parking lot, a field and a fishing plaza overlooking Windmill Point, where Lake St. Clair narrows and becomes the Detroit River. It’s never deserted; no matter when I come there are always at least a few people with rods set in the brackets, trying their luck.
On Sunday, the white bass were biting with a vengeance. Everybody’s bucket was full, and those who had double hooks on their lines were bringing them up two at a time. A party atmosphere prevailed among this mostly middle-aged and older crowd — old-school floating from a boom box, lots of laughing and comparing the biggest on the stringer. One lady brought a portable grill, and was firing it up to make some lunch with the abundant catch.
No one asked me to either party, but I think I’d rather attend the second one. From the looks of the clothes everyone was wearing and, especially, the cars in the parking lot, no one here had a lot of dough. (There was one aging Ford Taurus that looked like it was, literally, held together with silicon sealer, Bondo and superglue.) But they sure were having a good time. It was the ten thousandth reminder that parties don’t turn on the food, the venue or even the occasion. Parties turn on the guest list, and the spirit everyone brings to the event.
Something to remember when you’re planning your Fourth of July soiree.
As for me, I was up early on an empty stomach. Package 2 of the 50th birthday present from my doctor is the usual blood work. You know I’m going to put off opening Package 3 for as long as possible, but the nurse was very stern: “We’ve had several patients who refused to accept this present, who are now seeing oncologists.” Got it. Anyway, after an hour spent with a growling stomach, cooling my heels in various waiting rooms, I rewarded myself with scrambled eggs with black beans and salsa, basically a breakfast burrito without the tortilla. And now I feel at one with the world and in love with all humankind. What a way to start Monday.
So, a bit of bloggage? Sure:
Hank Stuever tackles the question that’s been keeping you up nights: Just who wrote ‘Footprints,’ anyway? It should not surprise you to learn that lawsuits are involved.
The Chinese take the Soviets’ place as medal-mongers. Just one more thing I hate about the Olympics:
The American and Chinese (rowing) programs are drastically different.
In this Olympic year, about 60 United States rowers receive monthly stipends of $1,200 from the U.S.O.C. Last winter, they trained together for about four months, all expenses paid, but for the most part, they pay their own way.
Some, like Matt Muffelman, work part time. He is an associate at the Home Depot in Ewing, N.J., where he answers gardening questions like, “Are those mums squirrel-proof?” and “Where is the mulch?”
In non-Olympic years, most United States rowers work full time or attend school, often following training schedules prepared by coaches who live elsewhere. Some stop rowing.
Bryan Volpenhein won a gold medal in the men’s eight at the 2004 Olympics, then moved to Seattle for culinary school, preparing for what he called “real life.” Now 31, he returned last spring to the national team’s base in Princeton, N.J., where it rents boathouse space. Some rowers live communally, but Volpenhein house-sits for a professor. For meals, they fend for themselves.
Needless to say, the Chinese do not fend for themselves.
Someone — Jolene, maybe? — wondered if I had anything to add to the Michigan delegate fiasco, how the story was playing here, and the answer is: Not loudly. The fact is, we have bigger fish to fry — it’s hard to overstate how bad the local and state economy is at the moment; we’re heading into “Roger & Me” territory — and that’s good news for the architects of this bloody fiasco, who have largely escaped punishment. I’m not tight with the Hillary camp, but I’d think they’re smart enough to see the writing on the wall and settle for the 50 percent solution reached over the weekend. Brian Dickerson at the Freep has more, but I think the best course of action is to say, “We made our point,” sit down and shut up.
I won’t say anymore, because like I said before, I’m feeling in love with mankind this morning, and want to stay that way. Despite what the self-portrait, taken just moments ago, suggests:
Have a merry Monday.