A one-dog weekend.

Now that the weather’s turned chilly, Wendy has turned into a lapdog. Nothing makes her happier than being permitted to jump up and make herself comfortable on a lap, outstretched legs or — this is a me-only privilege — stretched way out on my belly, with her nose tucked under my chin. It’s so cute you’d die. And sometimes it’s comical, as when I went out to call Alan for dinner Sunday and found him in his recliner, dog in place, her chin on his chest, both looking peaceful and cozy, except one was snoring and the other just looking sort of content.

I’ll let you figure which was which.

I love it. Spriggy never was up for snuggling. He always had to be unencumbered and ready to spring into action, just in case someone rang the doorbell.

So it was a dog-on-lap sort of weekend — cold and blustery on Saturday, autumn chill Sunday. The crap-reduction project continues apace, although most of the crap reduced this weekend was soap scum. I let the cleaning lady go, and am back to doing it myself for the first time in more than a year. New miracle product: Barkeeper’s Friend. The liquid kind. It KILLS soap scum.

But I got a few bags carried out, did some Swiffin’, put some sweaters into the get-outta-here pile. Rowed 4,200 meters on the erg Sunday. Saw “Cloud Atlas,” which seemed far, far longer (and was). And then Sunday afternoon brought the news of Lou Reed’s death. I knew to wait for Roy Edroso’s take, and of all that I read, it’s the best. Five tight paragraphs — the world’s blatherers could take a lesson.

Bloggage? I has it:

There was a homicide at a bank drive-through on Friday, the victim trapped in his hot-pink BMW with the “ask me about my grandchildren” front license plate. I offer it mainly for the chilling photo of the bullet-starred window and this quote, from a witness who heard the shots and immediately dropped to the ground: “I grew up on the northwest side of town,” he said. “It’s a natural reaction.”

What was the thief after? He didn’t jack the car, or even rob the victim, who was an older man known to rarely carry more than $20 or $30 at at ime.

Speaking of chilling, another homicide from last week, this one near Boston, a 14-year-old alleged to have killed his math teacher with a knife, and get this for a killer detail:

WCVB-TV, an ABC affiliate, citing unidentified sources, reported that the suspect killed Ms. Ritzer with a box cutter and then went to the movies, seeing Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.”

Fort Wayne peeps: Joseph Paul Franklin is set to be executed in a few weeks, whom the world mainly knows as the would-be assassin of Larry Flynt, but you locals remember as doing the same to Vernon Jordan in your fair city. And yeah, he did it:

He now regrets shooting Jordan. Although a federal jury acquitted him of shooting Jordan, Franklin admits he, indeed, shot the civil rights leader. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him now,” he said.

Finally, the holidays are coming, which means Mitch Albom is in fundraising mode, and writing self-promoting columns about it. This latest one is very strange, detailing an event that will honor retiring Tigers manager Jim Leyland and Judge Damon Keith of the federal bench, who are white and black, respectively, and the event is called “Detroit Legacies: In Black and White.” Hmm, OK. And why should you buy a ticket?

Tickets are just $40, and everyone attending will be given an autographed copy of my new novel, “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” a small way for me to thank my city.

And this blog, my friends, offered free and digitally autographed with my very own name, is a small way to thank you. Let’s have a good week.

Posted at 7:50 am in Current events, Detroit life |

30 responses to “A one-dog weekend.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 28, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I thought you just got one phone call from heaven.

    Sherri, I added a description of the Medical Loan Closet program at the end of yesterday’s thread this am; truly, if anyone is part of a church or group that would like to start one, we’re happy to help. There’s no competition when you’re not charging anything!

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  2. coozledad said on October 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Throw in a copy of John Mcnaughton’s Harry Homeschool and the Deathly Repressed Urges, and you’ve got a XXXX’XX deal, Mitch.


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  3. beb said on October 28, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I grieve for the untimely death of Marcia Wallace who voiced one of the unforgetable characters on the Simpsons (Edna Krabapple) and didn’t know this has played the Receptionist on the Bob Newhart show. I remember the show. I remember the receptionist; I did not know that was her. I was also shocked by the death of Lou Reed because I knew he was important in the history of rock and roll, but confess that aside from “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” have never heard any of his music. I guess my musical exposure has largely been limited to Top 40 AM in my youth.

    I’m rather disturb by the news that a 12-13(?) year old boy pointed a toy gun at a Sheriff’s deputy and got short seven times in return. It’s like the deputy must have unloaded his gun into the kid. What kind of training are our police getting these days?

    And did you hear about the Washington Times reporter whose house was searched by officers of Homeland Security and local police on a gun-related warrant and in the process they confiscated all her confidential files on Homeland Security Whistleblowers. She had been reporting on TSA misconduct. I guess they didn’t like that. That seems like a violationf og her 1st and 4th amendment right as well as being brazenly jack-booted thuggery.

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  4. Peter said on October 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Oh my, that “Loaded” album – I must have worn out the grooves playing that one all the time.

    Roy was right about that voice, though – you have to question yourself when even Patti Smith sings one of your tunes better than you can (Pale Blue Eyes).

    And as for Ms. Wallace – sad that she’s gone, and how about Ned Flanders? A widdoweeower for the second time?

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  5. Deborah said on October 28, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Funny, when I think of Lou Reed I don’t think of his music, I think of this iconic poster by the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister which fits him to a T:

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  6. brian stouder said on October 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I will say that as soon as Beb said “Marcia Wallace” I thought “Carol” – and the big ’80’s hairdo.

    She was a beautiful woman, indeed.

    (and why I remember her so clearly, but cannot tell you even generally where my belt is in the morning is another matter!)

    The VH1 Pearl Jam thing is very good, but only if you can ff through all the commercials.

    One artist that I never had much use for, but who I like more and more (and more) is Neil Young – who indeed had a steadying effect on Eddie and the band

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on October 28, 2013 at 10:27 am

    …everyone attending will be given an autographed copy of my new novel, “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” a small way for me to thank my city.

    A very, very small way.

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  8. brian stouder said on October 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

    and indeed, to be picky – why would he say “autographed” rather than “inscribed”?

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  9. Charlotte said on October 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I wrote much of my novel to Lou Reed — Magic and Loss. An astonishing album. Listened to it yesterday on the headphones while doing house and garden chores (battening hatches, we got snow overnight) and it’s like he wrote his own elegy. Kind of killed me.

    And baseball fans? How about that World Series game? When Big Papi can outrun your fielding, there’s a problem. As for Uehara picking off the first base runner to win the game — yikes! Someone is in big trouble. We’ll have to see what weirdness ensues tonight.

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  10. Judybusy said on October 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Yesterday in Minneapolis was gorgeous–sunny, no wind and about 55. Perfect for cleaning out the garage, which was demolished this morning. We are getting a new one built, assuming a glitch can be worked out….While in the process of getting everything processed for our re-fi-with-cash-out-loan, I was informed that the IRS never got my 2012 tax return. I had sent in my small payment with the coupon provided by TurboTax, and it was cashed. The state got their return, and duly sent me my refund. I was shocked my federal return didn’t actually get transmitted! So, I filed in person this morning at a thankfully close IRS office. Unfortunately, I was told that it will take 6-8 weeks to process and get the necessary transcript to prove I filed. Did I mention that the garage was torn down this morning? And it’s getting dicey about pouring the concrete? Well, we do have $ for that at least. So, I hope to get this worked out and close next week. And, apparently, you can just send money to the IRS, no questions asked.

    Happy belated, Alex! It sounds like you had a great dinner.

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  11. alex said on October 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. It was a fabulous meal — a combo with filet mignon and Alaskan king crab legs.

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  12. Jolene said on October 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Sounds wonderful, Alex. Many happy returns.

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  13. LAMary said on October 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I’m guessing Mitch is taking a tax deduction of full retail for all the books he gives out at the charity event. Maybe even a little extra for the inscription,

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  14. Dexter said on October 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    As the story was pieced together, I realized that the I-69 exit-enter ramp area by the Fort Wayne Marriott where Franklin shot Vernon Jordan was the same area I had been using for many years, since I-69 had been completed. I knew that area perfectly well, and I had driven past where Franklin had faked car trouble, just three hours before he blasted Jordan, where early in the morning Franklin shot Jordan for “race mixing”. It was so close, he could not have missed that shot. He fired a bullseye. Vernon Jordan was fortunate to have survived that attack. I am not sad about the upcoming demise of Franklin

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  15. Prospero said on October 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Good pictures of Lou Reed with Bowie and Iggy.

    Judybusy@10: A glitch? Oh hell no. You have to throw the whole thing out and start over. Baby, bathwater and all. The whole shebang.

    Mitch among the remaindered. The last conceivable person you want to be on the other end of the line when heaven calls you up about the five people you want desperately to avoid when you’re spending Tuesdays with Morrie. Mitch Albom, boy blunder.

    Charlotte. I played Songs for Drella twice yesterday. It’s also a fine album. Magic and Loss is truly astounding. He kind of wrote the rough draft of it in Halloween Parade.

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  16. Sherri said on October 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Wonder if Mitch is doing the Greg Mortenson dodge, using his charity to buy copies of his book to generate royalties for him?

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  17. Deborah said on October 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I didn’t know you could get executed for attempted murder. I thought you had to actually kill someone?

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  18. Deborah said on October 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Ok, I finally went to the link and now realize he did kill, quite a few.

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  19. Dorothy said on October 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Hey Alex, happy birthday a little bit late! If it was this weekend, it coincided with my anniversaries. Saturday was 40 years since Mike and I met; Sunday was 34th wedding anniversary. We bought a house in Dayton! Well, technically we didn’t buy it yet but our offer was accepted. Four weeks from today the moving van should, hopefully, be pulling into the driveway by 9 AM. Now if only I could find a job. Anyone have any suggestions for a position as an Executive Assistant there?

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  20. alex said on October 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I always wondered how Franklin managed to pull off the deed from an exit ramp on the interstate. How did he know which room Jordan was staying in or what time he’d be returning? You’d think he’d have been concerned about the cops checking out his car on the berm with the flashers on.

    For those who don’t remember, this incident was eerily reminiscent of the MLK assassination scenario. Jordan was shot in the back as he was returning to his hotel room after appearing as a keynote speaker at an event in town. The incident was all the more strange because Jordan was basically busted taking a woman back to his room with him, a white woman with big blonde hair and too much eye makeup who drove a whore-red luxury car with a monogrammed license plate.

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  21. alex said on October 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Dorothy, if you like the college campus as an employment setting, you might look into my partner’s alma mater, the University of Dayton.

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  22. mark said on October 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I’m delighted your dog is working out so well, Nancy. It always puts a smile on my face to see a picture or read an update on his activities.

    I didn’t live in Fort Wayne when Franklin shot Jordan. Several years ago I dined with Jordan and mutual friends in Virginia. Although I was introduced as being from Fort Wayne, Jordan made no mention of the shooting or his visit here. It didn’t seem like the kind of topic that I should bring up. He did mention his time at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.

    He is a really impressive man who dominates a room in a very easy and pleasant fashion.

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  23. adrianne said on October 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Nance, more tales from our former newspaper that will not be named: Happy birthday! Here’s a $1.25 token for the machines!

    From Jim Romenesko: On their birthday, Fort Wayne journalists get a little — and I do mean little — gift from Fort Wayne Newspapers CEO Mike Christman: It’s a $1.25 vending machine token. “Has to be the most insulting note I’ve ever gotten,” says a gift recipient. “Rather you send me nothing for my birthday than make me walk downstairs for a free stale pop. Meanwhile, think anyone at our paper can get a new battery pack for their equipment? No way. Christman won’t approve that.”

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  24. alex said on October 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Mark, remember the 60 Minutes segment with Mike Wallace and Katharine Graham where they kept getting bleeped when quoting Vernon Jordan about his and Bill Clinton’s favorite pastime? Is Vernon a bawdy good storyteller?

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  25. mark said on October 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Alex, I thought he was a very good storyteller. I don’t recall anything too bawdy, but there were four ladies present, two of whom he’d just met, so that may have restrained him. The conversation was mainly about business and politics in Asia, with an emphasis on the frustrating and the funny. I had the least to contribute on that topic and was quite happy to mainly listen. He was very funny and has done/been/met remarkable things/places/people. Even while dominating the conversation, he was quite good at making others at the table feel appreciated and involved.

    I’m told Bill Clinton is even better at this, but I’ve never met him. I do wonder what it is like when two or more of these larger than life types are at the same table or participating in the same conversation.

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  26. Peter said on October 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Adrianne, my sister worked at a place where they gave you a vending machine token for a birthday or positive review.

    She didn’t get any tokens after she sent a thank you note for one that said “if it’s all the same with you, I’m going to keep this token and work real hard to get a few more so I can make a meal out of it”.

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  27. LAMary said on October 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Speaking of soap scum, I discovered using one of those shirred tulle body scrubber things with whatever you use to clean sinks or tubs is really effective. I was using Bon Ami or Barkeepers Friend powder with this hot pink thing and the crud was coming off faster than using those sponges with the scrubbie side. They’re also bigger so a larger area of crud removal is happening. I just have to remember that the hot pink one is for scouring and the white one is for me.

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  28. Dexter said on October 29, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Lots of sports haters here, but this is a really big weekend coming up in East Lansing. The Backyard Brawl. It’s M v. MSU and it gets ugly and mean. It’s college football. Now that Notre Dame and Michigan have concluded their contract and will never play again, and acknowledging that OSU-M is the big money maker with national interest, this one, this weekend is the real rivalry game, the real blood and guts game, the real tension-filled contest, the real McKoy, by gawd.
    It’s on TV if you live anywhere near Michigan.
    U-M football:
    Sat, Nov 2
    3:30 PM ET ABC
    At stake: The Paul Bunyan Trophy http://tinyurl.com/pdz5nqm
    Michigan State

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  29. Basset said on October 29, 2013 at 6:08 am

    And at seven-thirty or so that night, thousands who never went anywhere near the field will be crowing about how “we” won. Never have understood that.

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  30. MaryRC said on October 29, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Nancy, if you want to remove soap scum, vinegar is the thing.

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