Hate to say it — I was really looking forward to a true blizzard — but what hit last night wasn’t anything close. Total snowfall of maybe four or five inches. Lots of wind, which made driving difficult, but the apocalyptic scenario promised all week fizzled. When will I learn? Take the forecast, divide by two. I did just check the weather radar, and there’s another big blob moving through at the moment, so we’ll get more, but the worst is over, and it wasn’t all that bad.
I did finally get enough sleep last night, with Kate being off school. Our district is infamous for never calling snow days, but they did today.
So now I’m drinking coffee and reading about Egypt. Also, thinking about my Arab students at Wayne State, who have been one of the great pleasures of this job. Many of them could easily make the grade at places like Michigan, but I suspect they come from conservative families who wouldn’t allow their sons — but especially their daughters — to leave home for a college dormitory. So much the better for me. I discovered a kindred spirit, i.e., a fellow Mitch Albom non-fan, in one, a girl who wants to be a sportswriter. Big hockey fan. She goes to Red Wings games in a jersey and matching hijab.
I just sent her this story, which I posted on Facebook last night. Delta airlines just did a special edition of their in-flight magazine all about the wonderfulness that is Detroit, a real boosterama of in-flight journalism. When I saw it was a million pages and stressed such unknown, uncovered stories as the blooming artists’ community and film industry, I gave it a pass. So I’m grateful someone else didn’t, and found the part where Albom is asked what he loves about the city, and he replies:
“I can walk into a coffee shop and see people reading my work or clipping columns to mail away, to give their loved ones a piece of home. As a newspaper columnist, there is a real sense of the community embracing you as one of their own wordsmiths — and that’s one of the reasons I’ve never left.”
This is an old theme with our boy, and he’s written several astonishing columns pledging he’ll never leave because you love me so much!!!! (Meanwhile, people who work close to him will tell you he’s looked many times for his next local fan club, but can’t find one worthy of him, i.e., a media market with four pro teams, a sizable newspaper and a radio station that will host his show and meet his salary demands, which speaks very well of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, in my opinion.) Anyway, let me see the hands of anyone who believes Mitch Albom has ever walked into a coffee shop and seen a single soul “clipping columns to mail away.” He’s not even trying anymore, but I don’t think they put the A-team on this project in the first place, as just this brief, four-question visit with Mitch includes a usage error (Detroit is “family-orientated”) and misspells the name of Joe Louis Arena.
Anyway, I think my student will get a kick out of that.
OK, it’s time to go outside and get a-blowin’. I think I spent 14 hours at or near a keyboard yesterday, and frankly, I’m real damn sick of it. A swell day to you, whether you’re digging out or digging in.