Hung up.

Today I plan to spend most of the day at the Volkswagen dealer’s, getting the car serviced. I assume the internet service is still a single crappy, for-your-convenience 90’s-era PC with track ball mouse — yes, way — so I’m taking a bunch of work that will benefit from no internet distractions.

That includes you guys.

If I’d had time, I’d have written something yesterday for today, but yesterday was like today, only sunnier and warmer. I did get a chance to see “Hung” on demand, the latest set-in-Detroit series to take advantage of those fat tax incentives. I believe most of it is shot elsewhere, but the credit sequence and the pilot had some serious D-town locations, the most amusing being the final scene, in which the main character finds his son waiting in an all-night line to buy concert tickets. The line is at Harpo’s, and both Alan and I guffawed at the idea of a nice suburban mom allowing her teenage son to spend the night outdoors at the corner of Chalmers and Harper Avenue in Detroit; he’d be safer in South Waziristan. I seem to recall the former Mrs. Eminem used to buy her drugs in that neighborhood.

Otherwise, I liked the pilot. The rest? We’ll see. Anything with Jane Adams can never be a waste of time.

No bloggage, but why I love the New York Times: Their reporters can use “Stygian” in a lead.

Back later, I hope.

Posted at 9:11 am in Detroit life, Television |

29 responses to “Hung up.”

  1. Dorothy said on June 30, 2009 at 9:51 am

    My favorite line from the NYT article: The avenue is littered with oil stains, broken glass and dirty piles of something resembling eggplant. What a sad way for those guys to go…

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  2. LAMary said on June 30, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I remember how streets like that in NYC smelled in the summer. Right now I’m wishing I didn’t.

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  3. MichaelG said on June 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    You can go to MS’s Bing thing (I use and see that toxic dump pretty close up. It isn’t very attractive. But right near by is a huge tennis facility. As part of the continuing commentary on things newspaper, I noted that the writer got a byline and at the end of the piece five other people were credited with having helped. Is the NYT sensitive about this stuff after the scandals of a few years ago?

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  4. adrianne said on June 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Nance, your first-class snark on MJ’s death made it – in its entirety, no less – in the New York Post on Sunday. It was reprinted under a headline called “The King and I: Reflections on the death of a pop icon, very strange man.”
    Alas, in the same story, they printed the latest drivel from James Lileks on his death. Anyway, congrats on making it to the big city!

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Are they sensitive? Hahahahahaha . . . and i just love the lengthy work for hire stuff newspapers make us fill out for our pittances these days, most of which dates from that serial flapdoodle and the whole question of reprint right$ for ink-stained wretches (short answer, well, if we did have them, we don’t now for durn sure).

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  6. Danny said on June 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Yay, Nancy!

    Hey, do they contact you before they print what you wrote and is there any reward involved?

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  7. Jason T. said on June 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Jimmy Lileks was quoted, too?

    “As I was driving to Target with Gnat, reflecting on the sort of design aesthetic that would put a picture of sun-ripened tomatoes on a box of dried noodles, I couldn’t help but think of my father’s generation — the men who fought in the Big One — and how their struggle against the forces of global evil had paved the way for Michael Jackson — a curious sort of fellow whose music I remember from my days at the U, when I was waiting tables and still fancied myself a ‘leftist,’ back when leftists were still semi-respectable ….”

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  8. Jason T. said on June 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    P.S.: I can’t find a link anywhere at … man, visiting that website is like a trip back to 1999.

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  9. MarkH said on June 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Here’s the link:

    Good on you, Nance.

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  10. James said on June 30, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Geez! Are the incapable of providing a link to the original blog? What weasels!

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  11. nancy said on June 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks, Ace. I had no idea that was coming.

    For the record, the broken clock now tells the correct time: I actually liked what Lileks said about MJ, especially the part about grabbing his crotch to check if it was still there.

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  12. moe99 said on June 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Just out: MN S.Ct rules for Franken.

    Oh, and I thought this essay about MJ was on a par with that of our hostess.

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  13. Dexter said on June 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Of course “Hung” was going to use photos of Michigan Central Train Depot to illuminate Detroit’s decay, and they were timely with the tear-down shots of Tiger Stadium , just a little over a year old, but I was dismayed when I saw the shots of the Book Cadillac Hotel in ruin. The entire hotel has been painstakingly restored to beauty and has been open for months.

    The show itself is pretty good, too. Now that we have been introduced, I am ready for the hilarity to begin.

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  14. Dexter said on June 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Ah geez…now ya got me focussing on New York City summer-smells, and I am taken back to 1977, a Brooklyn playground, deserted at noon, so I got my ball out of my car and shot a few hoops , but the whole area reeked badly of piss. This was near The Brooklyn Museum; I was visiting a friend, who was essentially run out of Brooklyn by armed robbers at the subway entrance and by burglars who broke into his apartment and stole everything he had. New York in the 1970s was treacherous.

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  15. moe99 said on June 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Someone should tell the Gov. of SC to stfu:

    I’m not sure what I would do if I were his wife and heard that he’d described his mistress as his soul mate.

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  16. Jolene said on June 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I think if I heard that someone were “trying to fall back in love with” me, my response would be, “Save yourself the effort. I’m gone.” At least, I hope it would.

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  17. MarkH said on June 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Agreed, moe.

    We get it, Guv. Now please go fix your life.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Man oh man — “stfu” is not a phrase that i like much, but if it were ever appropriate for a situation, this would be it. Stop talking to the press, sir.

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  19. brian stouder said on June 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    So, how many puns and jokes (not to mention buns and pokes) are in that Sanford piece (so to speak), seemingly throwing themselves at us?

    Exhibit A:

    He said that during the encounters with other women he “let his guard down” with some physical contact but “didn’t cross the sex line.” He wouldn’t go into detail.

    hmmmm. Well, he doesn’t refer to Mr Happy as ‘The Guard’, apparently…but – leaving that aside – what IS “the sex line”? (Bill Clinton, call your office)

    Sanford said the casual encounters happened outside the U.S. while he was married but before he met Chapur, on trips to “blow off steam” with male friends.

    Between all the Governor’s references to “Sparking” and steam-blowing-off, it sounds like he (immodestly enough)considers himself to be a 19th century coal-fired locomotive.

    and finally we come to this infelicitous bit –

    He previously announced he would reimburse the state for money spent during a government trip to Brazil and Argentina in June 2008 when he saw Chapur. It was then, he said, that their relationship became physical, and the e-mails they’d exchanged for years reflected their anguish over what they had done. “Now I am frightened,” he told the AP, describing his state of mind at the time. “It was before safe. But now it’s not safe. We gotta put the genie back in the bottle.”

    Forget putting some genie back into his bottle; Sanford’s (apparently impossible) challenge was trying to stuff Mr Happy (or ‘The Guard’), back into his knickers!

    What a maroon Sanford is! Remember the old euphemism (for masturbation) about “shaking hands with the governor”?

    Ohhhh – never mind!

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  20. MarkH said on June 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    The site is a little quiet this evening, so OT back to the altMJ/Sherlock Holmes film thread for a sec. Jeff, I was miffed at myself for not remembering that Rondo Hatton was the Creeper in “Pearl of Death”, and not “Woman in Green”, me being such a fan of all those Rathbone/Holmes films. Maybe it’s because I always had the hots for Hilary Brooke, the femme fatale in “Green”. But, I am sure she was the one with the dwarf in the siutcase in that one!

    Brush with Greatness, Three Degrees of Seperation Dept.: The father of a woman I worked with in Columbus grew up with and knew Rondo Hatton very well. They remained close friends, and when Rondo died, Tom accompanied his friend’s body home on a train for burial in 1949. His facial disfigurement was commonly attributed to the effects of mustard gas in WWI, but later medical information showed that he (may have) had a genetic pituitary disorder that allowed out-of-control bone and tissue growth. At least, that’s in wiki’s bio. Nice homage to Rondo in 1990’s “The Rocketeer”, btw.

    Lastly, in the memorable quotes section of IMDB’s “Pearl of Death” page, there’s this gem: see the last one attributed to Holmes, after all the usual fun at Watson and Lestrade’s expense:

    Yes, spoken by RathBONE, of course.

    EDIT: Brian, I posted this before I saw your Sanford post, but, well, somehow the inclusion of that Holmes quote is, ah, well… a bit too obvious.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 30, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    A varnished eel? As opposed to a stained and polyurethaned eel, i suppose.

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  22. basset said on July 1, 2009 at 12:07 am

    last week, with my own ears and in person, I heard a Columbia University professor say during a lecture in Nashville that crime “is no longer an issue” in New York. Make of that what you will, I still ain’t goin’ there.

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  23. CrazyCatLady said on July 1, 2009 at 1:08 am

    I’d go to New York in a New York minute! I’m from Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten. Last summer I remember a friend warning me against going to Memphis because it was ‘very dangerous’. I went anyway. It was very similar to Detroit, in that if you know where you can go and where you can’t, you will be ok. In my town I go where I want and need to go. I am just more careful in certain areas.

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  24. moe99 said on July 1, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Bassett, I was in NYC in 1981, on a subway Sun am when a guy carrying a gun walked through the car as bold as brass. The 80’s were scary times there. But when we took the kids on a cruise to Bermuda in ’98 and stayed in the upper W. side both before and after our cruise, I could not believe how much things had changed for the better. There I was with my kids and instead of freaking out, I was actually relaxing and enjoying myself. You really should visit, it is so different and so much fun.

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  25. Danny said on July 1, 2009 at 2:48 am

    My theory is that you can go almost anywhere in the world that you want between the hours of 8AM and 1PM. All the bad guys are sleeping it off from a full night of murder and mayhem.

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  26. Jason T. said on July 1, 2009 at 9:49 am

    JeffTMMO @ 21: Varnishing the eel? So that’s what Gov. Sanford calls it!

    Zing! I wonder if Jimmy Fallon needs any writers?

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  27. judybusy said on July 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Huh. I was a nanny in NYC in 1985, basically a fresh off-the-farm 20-year-old. Mostly, I had a blast living there, and don’t remember being too concerned about crime. I’d been an exchange student in Brazil and my family spent part of the time in Rio. They did a really good job of teaching me common sense about being in cities. That, and luck, kept me safe.

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  28. LAMary said on July 1, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I lived in NYC and with the exception of having my pocket picked once, nothing bad ever happened to me. I’ve had my car radio stolen a half dozen times in LA, and once in a very posh suburban area of Denver a guy tried to jump me. Crap happens everywhere.

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  29. MarkH said on July 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Jason T., click the link in my previous post for the unusual source of Jeff’s line. And, yes, it could gain legs in the horndog/popcult lexicon.

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