Glad that’s cleared up.

Danny, ever the stirrer of foul things, wants to throw down. From the previous thread comments:

Hey, Nance, I was at the zoo a few weeks ago and we were checking the Pandas (yes the World Famous San Diego Zoo, of course) and one of the keepers and I were chatting. She said that the Panda was indeed a bear and that if it felt threatened it would attack.

The reason I mention this is I seem to remember a few years ago that you said that a certain editor whom you were fond of sent you a little blurb (cartoon panda with a thought bubble?) on your copy explaining how it really wasn’t a “panda bear.” Was that because your usage of the word “bear” was incorrect with the word “panda” or was it because the editor thought it was a sloth and not a bear?

Because it’s not ursine, is what I was always told. But keep in mind, Danno, that was in the Pleistocene era of journalism, when you could still find a glue pot and a green eyeshade somewhere in the newsroom. Needless to say, it was long before Professor Google, which explains:

After almost a century of debate, scientists were finally able to test the genes from pandas and determine that they are actually a species of bear.

Well, that’s a relief. Or maybe not. It’s always difficult when your long-held beliefs are challenged. Next you’ll be telling me it’s OK to say “first annual.” Then it’ll be time to hang up the ol’ jock.

I also learned in the overnight comments that the one, the only Scott Lemieux was in Detroit Metro earlier in the year. Did he call? Did he arrange a meetup for D-town fans of LGM? Noooo. And to think, this is the man whom Lance Mannion’s wife, the Blonde — who made a ghostly apparition-like appearance in yesterday’s entry, under her pre-internet name, Miss Montgomery — raved so wildly about when she met him in person last year, at some New York blog thing. (Sometimes it sucks to live in the Midwest. Detroit blog things just aren’t the same.I kept pressing for details:

“But what was Roy like? Was Roy everything you dreamed he’d be?”

“Who? Oh, he was OK. But Scott Lemieux was hilarious.”

As should be plain, I am a little discombobulated this morning. I frequently am on Friday, when I hit the week’s finish line like one of those marathoners who cannot go one more step. The week was full of drudgery, but paying drudgery, so it had to be done. I did a 900-word Q-and-A on Tuesday and Wednesday — Tuesday for the interview with Mr. Big Stuff and Wednesday for the writing. I always think Q-and-As, i.e., stories written entirely in the subject’s own voice, will be easier. All you have to do is record your talk, transcribe what they say, edit it down, slap an introductory paragraph on the top, turn it in, send the the invoice. Well. I transcribed close to 3,000 words, which took hours, and then discovered something about Mr. Big Stuff: He doesn’t do tangents, apple-polishing, blather. He spoke in complete sentences, even complete paragraphs. The mild headache of transcription — he spoke slowly enough that I was generally able to keep up with the sound file — was replaced by the big one of trimming. Ugh. I felt wrung out and run over, but I made deadline. Yay me.

On the plus side, I had an errand that took me out to Belle Isle, Detroit’s wonderful park-in-the-river. Like everything here, it’s tragic, too — much of it is neglected and closed and on its last legs. But a pretty lady doesn’t get unpretty just because her dress is torn. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, winds out of the south at a flag-snapping clip; it was a pleasure just to make the circle drive and take it all in. Guess what was in Blue Heron Lagoon? A blue heron.

A little bloggage before I go? Sure:

Crocs are on their last…legs, I guess. Why do people hate Crocs so? I don’t own them, but I don’t care if you do. It helps if you’re around young girls, upon whom they look perfectly fine and make cute pool shoes. My own young girl, at 12, now scorns them, preferring a Ferragamo-knockoff sandal I found for her this-summer “good shoes.” She wore them to the Green Day concert earlier in the week, one of those moments when you can see what she’s going to be when she grows up. Shudder. A little more childhood, please.

I won’t be shaving my eyebrows off. Bad hipster doofus, apparently.

Or you guys can discuss Sonia Sotomayor, if you like. The few moments of the confirmation hearings I was able to endure threatened to explode my brain. Jon Stewart sums it up nicely.

Folks, I’m going to Ann Arbor. Enjoy your weekend.

Posted at 9:11 am in Current events |

45 responses to “Glad that’s cleared up.”

  1. jcburns said on July 17, 2009 at 9:57 am

    We inexplicably have a urban, hip-hop savvy blue heron at Lake Clara Meer (in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park) that we see most mornings on our before-it-gets-too-damn-hot strolls.

    Also, I couldn’t help but chuckle at this video, which seeks to take the suffering of print journalists and turn it into, uh, a late night ‘Save the Children’ infomercial or something. Newspaper journalists, once boundless reservoirs of self-deprecating humor, might have just enough left in the tank to be amused. Off to buy an AJC. Maybe.

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  2. Colleen said on July 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Detroit just makes me sad.

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  3. mark said on July 17, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Wait until you see Detroit, and most of the midwest, after cap and trade. We lost our labor intensive industries to lower cost countries. The energy intensive industries will soon follow.

    Sotomayor wil get 90 or so votes in the Senate. Republicans traditionally give deference to the president on the “advice and consent” thing, after showboating for a while. The unfortunate “wise latina woman” comment, which means basically nothing in terms of her fitness for the Court, resonates poorly with the public, or so opinion polls suggest. She’s being flogged beyond reason with it to chip away at Obama’s popularity, not to undermine her nomination, I think.

    As a conservative, I’m content with Sotomayor. Her opinions fall well within a broad mainstream and, for someone on the bench so long, she has written little that is noteworthy and nothing that has been transformative. She may turn out to be a reliably “liberal vote” but, like the man she replaces, not an intellectual force. And while we will never know what private assurances she gave to Obama, she may be somewhat unpredictable on reproductive freedom issues.

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  4. Jenine said on July 17, 2009 at 11:00 am

    My brows are fine, no decimation contemplated here. But gotta love the sassy advice in the last line of that eyebrow column: “Before shaving off both eyebrows, we suggest doing just one to see if it suits you.” Ha!

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  5. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 11:27 am


    Nance, glad I could help.

    {cracks knuckles}

    Now let’s contact that old editor of yours and let him know … that is unless a seance is required. I don’t do Santeria.

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  6. MarkH said on July 17, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I’m not an attorney, but I couldn’t have said it better, mark. Let’s get this vote over with and seat her. The 2nd Circuit firemens’ discrimination ruling was reversed, so that should be off the table. As I marveled at her tap-dancing abilities, it seemed she may not be predictable in other issues as well.

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  7. Catherine said on July 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Well, those big ol’ black and white pandas may be bears, but the Red Pandas are not in fact bears. Something like a skunk or a weasel. And how do I know this? Remember Shifu, the Red Panda voiced by Dustin Hoffman in Kung Fu Panda? Don’t ever say Dreamworks didn’t teach ya nuthin.

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  8. coozledad said on July 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

    When my younger sister was about four, she found a pair of tweezers, and aping mom, cleared a couple of impressive swathes through both eyebrows. I was the one who first saw her, sitting on the floor with a handheld mirror, trying to determine if she’d been too bold . When she saw the look on my face, she began to shriek. I had to run like hell to get out of the house find a secluded spot to laugh my ass off and wait for mama to calm down.
    I always kept that image in my head, especially at family dinners when the barely masked blood sport of casual put-downs would start to gear up.

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  9. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Catherine, I know what you mean. I learned a lot of things from Looney Tunes regarding the physics of trajectory motion and elastic collisions (think Road Runner and Tasmanian Devil). Later on in engineering school, these concepts came in handy.

    Mary, I asked a coworker about “jolly hockeysticks” and he said that the term’s genesis was as a descriptor for sporty girls at all female boarding schools who played field hockey.

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  10. Catherine said on July 17, 2009 at 11:51 am

    In more zoo news, one of the SF gay penguins left his partner for a female with lots of real estate:

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  11. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Cooz, when my wife was about 13 or 14, her older, pot-head brother told her he knew how to do a shag haircut. It was easy. Just swoop all of the hair over from the back of your head to the front and cut evenly. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

    Oh and when I was about 9 or 10, I went to the barber after watching Charlton Heston in “The Warlord.” I thought that this was a cool haircut and Ralph the barber and my dad agreed and so it was a done deal. Mom was not so happy (she actually cried).

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  12. coozledad said on July 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Funny, That haircut is virtually the only option I have now. That, or Miller from Repo Man:

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  13. MichaelG said on July 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with “first annual”. It’s a perfect example of the hopeful tense.

    My daughter has had long curly hair all her life. Most of it anyway. There was a short exception. One warm summer when she was around five it took us weeks to persuade her to let Mommy cut it short. Finally, reluctantly she acquiesced. Later that day we went to Safeway. An old lady looked over the newly shorn Steph and, in that old lady way, said “What a handsome little boy you have.” Life was miserable around the house for a while after that. Hair’s been long ever since.

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  14. derwood said on July 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    This is why I like this blog so much. I learned Pandas were bears and I get a Repo Man reference in the same thread!


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  15. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Ah, the haircuts of our youth. Here are two good ones of our good friend Lori and her brothers.

    In this first one, we have Lori looking like a big brother to her two little brothers. Her comment on this one was “I don’t know what to say other than that — I am A GIRL!”

    And then there is this vintage 80’s photo. Holy Flock of Seagulls. Duran, Duran called and they want their hair back!

    EDIT: She would kill me if she knew I shared these. Let’s not tell her….shhhhhhh!

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  16. moe99 said on July 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    My mother ruled how my hair would look until I got to high school in 1966. Before then it was pixie cuts, done by some of Defiance’s finest hairdressers. So the hair grew for two years, until sophomore year of high school, Mom told me that if I wanted contact lenses, I had to cut my hair. So I received a mod haircut where one side was longer than the other. But, of course, boys only like girls that had long hair, even if the short haired girls wore contacts.

    Mission accomplished.

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  17. Jolene said on July 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    A propos of nothing in particular, I happened across this very charming article about Barack Obama’s birth and boyhood. I’ve read so many stories about him that I’m surprised I hadn’t come across this before. Enjoy.

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  18. Dorothy said on July 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Danny that second one needs to be sent to Immediately!

    And Jolene thank you for sending that link. I have a very happy and satisfied feeling after reading that article!

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  19. 4dbirds said on July 17, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Meh, everyone knows Obama was born in either Kenya or Indonesia. 🙂

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  20. Sue said on July 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I’m surprised no one’s jumped on mark’s 10:29 a.m. “private assurances” comment. That should have gotten responses from at least three people. Everyone on vacation?

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  21. moe99 said on July 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Sue, Nah. It’s so silly as not to be worthy of note or comment. I never thought Bush got private assurances from his nominees.

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  22. alex said on July 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Private assurance, Supreme Court is mine!

    O, what a foretaste of liberal times.

    We’ll have abortions, and feminize God.

    And castrate the white man and drench him in blood.

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  23. Kirk said on July 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Pandas officially were not bears in the eyes of science when I told Nancy that (at least I think I was the one).

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  24. Rana said on July 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Awkward Family Photos is a wonderful site. I don’t know which is better, the awkward charm of the poses, or enjoying how much family members can look alike.

    I had short hair throughout my childhood, no doubt due to my mother’s unwillingness to deal with the fine, easily snarled hair my brother and I inherited from our father. (She had long, straight, Indian-like hair for a while, before the winds of Colorado prompted to her to have it cut into a Sassoon bob.) Like many short-haired girls I’m sure, I was misindentified at least once as a boy, to my great annoyance, and promptly grew my hair long and pierced my ears as soon as I entered high school. Only a year after entering college I had it cut very short, and since then it’s hovered between chin and shoulder length. I still regret somewhat not taking advantage of my college student status to buzz it off completely or dye it a really strange color. You can get away with that sort of stuff at that age; now it would be more trouble than it’d be worth.

    We will not speak of the feathered era…

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  25. Rana said on July 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Oh, with regards to pandas, even though they are bears, calling them “panda bears” instead of “pandas” just sounds wrong. Similarly, I call grizzlies “grizzlies,” rather than “grizzly bears.”

    On the other hand, shortening “teddy bears” to “teddies” would be more confusing than not.

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  26. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Polar bears.

    Now interestingly enough, polar bears can mate with grizzlies. The combination is sometimes called pizzly bear or grolar bear. This reminds me that Napolean Dynamite’s favorite animal is a liger (lion/tiger hybrid).

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  27. LA Mary said on July 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I think crocs are fine for gardening. You can hose them off.

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  28. Rana said on July 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    *trying very hard to not come up with an “I am so 12” response to the notion of “pizzly bears.”*

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  29. Danny said on July 17, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Rana, hehe.

    Everyone, remember how I discovered a new group that I liked about a year ago (The Cranberries) and remember how they had already recorded everything they were ever going to record and broken up and how I was like Rumpelstiltskin? Well I got that beat…

    Today I discovered another new group … Faces. And they’ve only been disbanded for 35 years.

    In my own defense, I will say that Rod Stewart was also a solo act during his tenure with Faces. So it’s kinda understandable, right?

    EDIT: Walter Conkrite has passed. RIP, Walt.

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  30. moe99 said on July 17, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Ok you Hoosiers, is it true that back in the ’60’s the album by the Kingsmen, Louie, Louie, was banned for sale in Indiana because the officials thought there were dirty lyrics in the song? I remember something like that, but since I was from NW Ohio at the time, I thought I would check with actual residents.

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  31. Kirk said on July 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    They were even better when they were the Small Faces, pre-Rod.

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  32. Jen said on July 17, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I had short hair until I went to college. My mom and aunt had very short hair, so I copied their style. I was mistaken for a boy a couple of times, and my mom and aunt were mistaken for men a few times. In high school, I was quiet a punk and cut my hair really short and spiked it up. (A very butch look, according to my husband.) That, and the fact that I went to my junior prom with my gal pal Erin, probably led to those rumors of me being a lesbian. (Erin and I still laugh about that.) I’ve always been pretty confident about myself, so being mistaken for a boy and having rumors about my sexuality didn’t really bother me much.

    I grew my hair long in college, and realized it was a pain in the butt. I wear it pretty short now, but in a more feminine cut than in high school. I get tons of compliments.

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  33. Dexter said on July 18, 2009 at 1:59 am

    I’m tossin’ my AA sobriety token away, cuz Kid Rock has unveiled BADASS BEER !!

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  34. moe99 said on July 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Off to the Lavender Festival in Sequim:

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  35. Jim Breiner said on July 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Belle Isle was sad and broken down back in 1965. But during the 1920s and 1930s, people from Cleveland, like my Dad and his family, went there for vacation visits.

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  36. Danny said on July 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I would associate Kid Rock more with Dumb-Ass or Punk-Ass

    Dexter, wait ’til someone of more talent puts out a brew. Like Robert Plant or Jimmy Page: Robert’s Red Ale, Plant & Page Pilsner, Led Zeppelin Lager.

    I’m just sayin’…

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  37. LA Mary said on July 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Danny, discover Wilco.

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  38. MichaelG said on July 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Ken Levine has a short and wonderful obit on Walter Cronkite.

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  39. Dexter said on July 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm

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  40. caliban said on July 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    This is entirely to hilarious not to share:

    Which part of whited sepulcher escapes the governor? I’m pretty sure it was only two specific Mountains of Culture he was reclaiming in Buenos Aires, and they were actually Tetons. The Family. The Fellowship. The Mafia. The Cosa Nostra. Except mobsters, in general, have been patriotic in a psychopathic way. These guys think they answer to each other and God has signed off on it. If you shit the bed, Vitter and Sanford and a bunch of otdher Pharisees.

    Chip Pickering was having sex with a female member of the family whose business funded his entire political career. Oh, and Chip is the one son of the ultimate 20th Century racist Mississippi judge.

    Anyway, three data points make a trend. And these jerks call the house on C Street a church for tax purposes. I’d say any politician that’s ever visited the “church” should be chemically castrated and waterboarded.

    And here’s all anybody really needs to know about the health care debate:

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  41. MichaelG said on July 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Where’s Michael Jackson? Did they ever bury him?

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  42. Dexter said on July 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Amanda Rodrigues may be breathing a sigh of relief

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  43. LA Mary said on July 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    MichaelG, Jacko isn’t really dead. He’s working in the Best Buy in Los Feliz.

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  44. MichaelG said on July 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks, Mary. For a minute there I was worried.

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  45. Dorothy said on July 19, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Just one more reason I love to hang out here: the two comments just above this one.

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