Flesh and blood.

Although weekends are the time to sleep in, I don’t do it often, and rarely on Saturdays. That’s because I like to go to the Eastern Market on Saturday morning, and the longer you wait, the less likely you are to find a parking place — is there any self-imposed headache of modern life more onerous than the endless search for parking? — and, well, other factors come into play.

This past Saturday, I decided to do a boxing class at 8, come home to shower, and then take Alan with me to the market. That doesn’t happen often, because he does believe in the weekend as a time for late sleeping. We got there around 11. It was ridiculously crowded, but I lucked into a decent parking spot, and at my favorite fruit stand I stood behind a woman who was buying blueberries, raspberries and shelled peas. She had exacting standards about how she wanted all these items wrapped and packed, but I didn’t stink-eye her until she paid with a credit card.

Yes, yes, Square makes it easy to pay with a card at a place like this, if the seller has the doohickey and a good cellular connection. BUT STILL. THIS IS A FARMERS’ MARKET, LADY. Jeez, bring cash. As she was finishing her purchase, the seller said, “This is the last week for peas.”

“What? Why?” she demanded to know. The seller said, with some hesitation, “Because it’s a spring vegetable? And it’s summer now?” This seemed to arrive as a foreign concept to her, this idea that when things are done growing, you’re done buying. But who can blame her? Peas are growing somewhere in the world right now, and for a price, you can get fresh ones on your table. But really, lady, get a clue.

This never happens at 7 a.m.

It was a good weekend. We’re dog-sitting, for this girl:


She’s a miniature schnauzer who belongs to some friends. We’ve known her since puppyhood, and she’s “a bit of a Hapsburg,” as our friend says, which you can read as: Neurotic. Won’t climb stairs, and when she comes here, has a very difficult time moving from rug to floor to rug; the first time she visited, she stood on the front doormat for 15 minutes, refusing to budge.

We all thought she was being a princess, but after half an hour of this in our house this time, it came to me all at once: “You’re blind, Layla. Or close to it.” It explains everything — why she tracks close to walls, why she walks right next to the sidewalk, but not on the sidewalk, all of it. She’s gotten progressively more comfortable through the weekend, but I still think she’s got a serious visual impairment, and sure enough, the breed is susceptible to several.

She wants to run around the house, and if you stand behind her and nudge her with your shin, she’ll scamper from the rug across that shiny hardwood floor, but you can tell it bothers her, that it requires a certain leap of faith. It probably looks like something dangerous.

That’s so often the problem with purebreds, isn’t it? This is why so many Jack Russell people fought so hard against AKC recognition, which only came in the last 15 years. Pedigrees fuck everything up.

We had a brief respite from the heat Saturday, then more of it today. I took a long bike ride for the first time in a while, and it tapped me out. My legs felt sore and I was famished, but fortunately, I’d put a nice rub on a tri-tip earlier, a cut of beef I only learned of recently. I hear it’s very big in California, but until Saturday I’d never seen it in any meat market here. But my butcher had two, so I bought one. Used a NYT recipe, plus their suggestion for the rub. Oh my GAWD was it good. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself, but left some for tomorrow’s lunch. Gaze upon its deliciousness:


Admittedly, an Instagram filter. But that’s pretty close.

Scant bloggage, but something: The term “government schools” was something I heard in Indiana for some time before we left, so I was puzzled that this NYT story on the phrase’s deployment in Kansas treated it as something new, but there you are. Good god, these people:

Kansas has for years been the stage for a messy school funding fight that has shaken the Legislature and reached the State Supreme Court. Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and his political allies threatened to defy the court on education spending and slashed income taxes in their effort to make the state a model of conservatism.

Somewhere along the way, the term “government schools” entered the lexicon in place of references to the public school system.

“Our local grade school is now the government school,” State Senator Forrest Knox wrote in an op-ed article last year, echoing conservative concerns that the government had inserted itself unnecessarily into education.

The intent was obvious to her, Ms. Massman said. “They are trying to rebrand public education,” she said.

Not to bring you down or anything. Here’s something more uplifting, a story I’d never heard until reading this 20-years-later update — about the day a black teenager saved a white racist from an ass-kicking or worse. A truly uplifting tale.

The week awaits! Fueled with red meat, I’m ready for it.

Posted at 12:03 am in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

34 responses to “Flesh and blood.”

  1. Brandon said on July 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Although weekends are the time to sleep in, I don’t do it often, and rarely on Saturdays.

    Neither do I. One reason not to oversleep: MTV has reruns of Beavis and Butt-head and sometimes Ren and Stimpy as part of its Cartoon Hangover programming block on weekend mornings.

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  2. Sherri said on July 11, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Your tri-tip looks glorious. I knew tri-tip was popular in California (and I don’t have any problem getting it in Washington), but I didn’t know it was rare (ha-ha) elsewhere.

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  3. Dexter said on July 11, 2016 at 2:29 am

    I’d pay a sawbuck for a slice of that meat on a hunk of sourdough bread. I’m starvin’…grocery day tomorrow. Oh let’s see…I have yogurt and crackers and beans in a can, so I will survive. My brother is stuck in Kentucky with a crew of workers trying to sort out a big mess in this factory…faulty out-of-spec parts have slowed production at another factory. He refuses to use debit-credit cards so he wants me to send him a grand until he gets back…go to bank, get cash, go to Walmart, have them send the money electronically , $20 fee for a grand…and he picks up the grand 15 minutes later. I suggested he take that cash immediately to the bank there in Walmart and get a pre-paid credit card. Nope…he’s really a Luddite.

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  4. Dorothy said on July 11, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Brian Stouder – just yesterday I booked a trip for us for next February that includes the Gulf coast of Florida, Savannah and Athens GA. I’m going to enter an original quilt design in a show in Savannah; I won’t know until December if my quilt is accepted but I still want to see the show. It will be really cool if mine is hanging there when I go. And I’ll finally get to see my nieces’s bookshop in Athens. I started designing an original wall hanging quilt for the shop yesterday, too, as a surprise for her. A productive weekend all the way around.

    We’ve never been to Savannah and even though we’ll barely spend 48 hours there, it will be fun to see a new city. I have family in Florida so I won’t have to pay for lodging for five of the nights we’re away. Originally we were going to drive just to Savannah, but upon reflection I thought “If we fly to FL and rent a car to drive back north, that’ll be a great use of our time.” And Florida in February…? Duh.

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  5. David C. said on July 11, 2016 at 6:10 am

    I learned this from Meathead Goldwyn’s barbecue book. Order a NAMP 185D from your butcher, if you have one, and you’ll get a tri-tip. I tried it and it worked. Who knew they had cows divided up by number, I didn’t. We smoked it on the grill and it was excellent.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 11, 2016 at 7:05 am

    So your doggie guest has forgotten nothing and will have learned nothing . . .


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  7. alex said on July 11, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I’ve seen tri-tip on restaurant menus but never in the stores. Autocorrect tries to make it tai-tip.

    There’s a famous old New Yorker cover that’s sold as a poster, and one used to hang in my workplace. It explains perfectly why the NYT thinks the “government schools” nonsense is a brand-new ploy with its point of origin in Kansas, and that the NYT was the first to discover it and decipher it for the rest of us. I look forward to the day ten years from now when the Grey Lady finally takes note of fried pork rinds in vending machines during a stopover in Minneapolis and reports that this remarkable new food was invented in Minnesota.

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  8. beb said on July 11, 2016 at 8:27 am

    “A steak is a steak, of course, of course,
    Unless it comes from a horse, of course…”

    My wife always tries to think of different things to cook for my dad when we’re done visiting. Last year she decided to try cooking a prime rib. She got the rib from a butcher shop in Indiana that she likes and followed someone’s directions and it turned out…. My dad still talks about that being the best steak he has ever eaten. We didn’t take pictures of it cut up but if we had it would have looked something like Nancy’s tri-tip.

    I was aghast the first time I heard public schools referred to as “government schools.” This was clearly an effort to delegitimatize public education. Yet another gift from Ronald “government IS the problem” Reagan. Next they’ll talk about government roads so they won’t have to fix them…

    An interesting article talks about the surprising decline in major diseases from past generations for no apparent reason. One disease was stomach cancer. My thought is: we eat less meat then we used to. Eat less fatty meat, meat that’s better refrigerated before hand and cooked to a better temperature so less food poisoning, all of which over a lifetime could probably trigger cancer in the stomach. I suspect other changes in diet and use of vitamin additives have had like effect. Not that I’m a scientist — not that kind of scientist — but it’s interesting to think about.

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  9. Diane said on July 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    How does Wendy like Layla?

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  10. Deborah said on July 11, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Layla, you got me on my knees, Layla.

    Cute, cute picture.

    I could swear I bought a tri-tip at Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe, but I could be miss-remembering. It was very tough, not that tasty, so maybe it wasn’t that.

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  11. Kirk said on July 11, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Dorothy, if you’re up for a fancy dinner in Savannah, check out the Olde Pink House.

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  12. Dorothy said on July 11, 2016 at 10:23 am

    We’ll eat dinner twice while there, Kirk, and we’ll certainly consider that one! My oldest sister is already making lots of suggestions. It’s one of her favorite cities ever.

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  13. nancy said on July 11, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Layla and Wendy get along just fine, or she wouldn’t be there. They play together, eat next to one another and sometimes nap in a heap — it’s too cute for words.

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  14. Diane said on July 11, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I knew Wendy would be a gracious hostess! :).

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  15. Mouse said on July 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Dorothy shop around,that car rental fee in Florida during February will get your attention!

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  16. alex said on July 11, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Some welcome news riding in on Hillary’s coattails…

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  17. Dorothy said on July 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

    My hubby gets a corporate discount with a car rental place, as do I with my employer. But I’m a born bargain hunter, Mouse! Corporate discounts are not always the best deal, I’m sure. I think we’ll hold off getting the car until two days after we arrive because we’ll be gone for more than a week. If I get the car on Monday, I am positive we’ll be home the following Monday, possibly the day before that. We’re staying with one of my brothers so we don’t really need a car the first two days anyhow.

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  18. Heather said on July 11, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Dorothy, I loved Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room in Savannah. It’s always crowded but it’s worth it. If you like unusual jewelry and clothes, the gift shop at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) is a fun place to check out.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Geez, I go to work for a few hours and all hell breaks loose. Would love to know what’s going on that Baron Hill dropped out of the Indiana Senate race and Evan “Dull” Bayh is now running. Alas, too much work today.

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  20. alex said on July 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Lots of interesting maneuvering going on, Julie. I overheard one of our local judges this morning, very liberal Democrat, whispering that he hopes Pence doesn’t become Trump’s running mate because the Repubs will replace Pence with someone likely to win the gubernatorial race.

    But it’s looking more and more like Pence is the only one fool enough to run with Trump. Hey, if ya gotta go down in a ball of flames, it might as well be a big one, right?

    As for Bayh, the Dems are very serious about taking back the Senate and I suspect Hill’s internal polling numbers just didn’t look good no matter what.

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  21. Peter said on July 11, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    I apologize that this should have been posted on Friday, and it might be long winded, but I have a personal story about today’s policemen:

    My lovely wife and I spent the 4th of July weekend in St. Louis. We stayed at the Union Station Doubletree (18th and Market, which is important for the story, and a nice hotel to boot).

    Saturday morning we took our car out of the garage to do some errands before the wedding. The hotel staff told us that Market will be closed for a parade; just go to the 18th Street entrance, tell the cop on duty that you’re a guest of the hotel and need to park your car, and you’ll be fine.

    Far from it – to the point where I was pulled out of the car and frisked; where my wife had to get hotel staff to plead on our behalf, to the point where someone from the hotel had to drive our car into the lot because the lot entrance was behind the police barrier (25 FEET behind), after the officer in charge intervened.

    They said they had to do this because I was rude to them because I didn’t say please (and I’m not making this up!). The best exchange: “Officer, I can show you my reservation form and room card to prove that I’m a guest of the hotel” Officer: “And I can show you my gun and handcuffs if you keep this up”.

    Two things went through my mind at that point:

    1. In Chicago, this would have never happened – and I’ve been in similar situations – the cop would look at me and either tell me to go ahead or come back in half an hour.

    2. Not to sound entitled, but I’m a upper middle aged upper middle class white man. If I get treated like that, no wonder they had problems in Ferguson.

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  22. Heather said on July 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t know, Peter, that could have happened in Chicago. Last summer I was locking my bike up at the beach and there was a car where it shouldn’t have been–some guy (black) dropping something off. He was arguing with a white cop about it–not being threatening, but maybe a little annoying by continuing to argue. Anyway, the cop starts saying stuff like “I’m a vet. I run toward bullets. You run away from them. Do what I tell you and get out of my face.” I’m not sure what any of that had to do with illegal parking. Talk about escalation.

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  23. Deborah said on July 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Peter, wow. I had an experience in St. Louis where I lived for many years. This was maybe 30 years ago. My dog had broken her leg in the backyard and I had taken her to the vet the morning it happened. I was driving the dog back home and I got stopped by a cop for speeding. I really didn’t think I was speeding because I was thinking about keeping the car from bumping around a lot. But I was in a hurry to get the dog back home and get on my way to work. Anyway, the cop got right down in my face and yelled at me at the top of his lungs. It was intimidating to be sure. I didn’t argue with him at all, but he was on a power trip. In the end, he didn’t give me a ticket but it was a weird experience.

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  24. BethB from Indiana said on July 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    My niece and her husband are both on the police force of a large suburb of Indianapolis. She is a sergeant on the day shift, and he is a detective and works in several “classified” areas and is on the SWAT team. To my mind they are both excellent officers, two that any police force would be proud to have. However, I don’t ever talk to them about current events or politics. It just isn’t something we can discuss because there is that “blue wall” that is always there.

    My older sister, my niece’s mom, is not very sensitive to the nuances of any situation or others’ feelings, so she will probably bring up some touchy subject when we get together Thursday for my grand-nephew’s 10th birthday. He is the only grandchild and well-loved by all, so his birthday is usually a big deal. Other officers who are close to my niece and her husband will probably be there, too. My sister can’t just sit back and be the grandma; she can be counted on to open her big mouth, and, oh boy, watch out. My husband and I are the first to leave!

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  25. Sherri said on July 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I think the whole definition of what a “good cop” is needs to change. The “serve” part of “protect and serve” has been lost, or was never there for some communities. The importance of compliance, that citizens should instantly and without question respond to anything a police officer demands, is totally out of whack. An “us” vs. “them” mindset is self-perpetuating; police officers treat citizens with distrust and lack of respect, and citizens return the favor.

    Policing is a difficult job, but that doesn’t mean that police officers shouldn’t be subject to citizen oversight and accountability. They aren’t soldiers, and they aren’t at war with us. The only way policing will change is if we demand that it change. Laws, like the one in Washington that requires that a police officer can’t be held accountable for shooting someone unless malice is shown, have to change. Attitudes won’t change until accountability is required.

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  26. Icarus said on July 11, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I guess I’m channeling my Inner Nancy. Wife and I have started biking (part way) to work and we are going to dog-sit a schnauzer for two weeks. And I’m all about tri tips.

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  27. Jolene said on July 11, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Another thing that needs to change with regard to cops is the idea that problematic incidents necessarily involve bad cops. I very much doubt that all the cops involved in the troubling shooting incidents of the past few years would have been regarded as “bad cops” the day before those incidents. What’s needed is procedures that put time and distance into confrontations between police and citizens, better communication skills, and more reliance on non- lethal weapons.

    I also heard an idea an idea on police reform this weekend that was obvious once stated. The idea was that anyone attempting to change the culture of a police department has to aim for changes that will endure beyond the administration of any particular chief of police. In big cities, the average duration of a chief’s administration is only about three years, which means that recalcitrant officers can often wait out the interval until the next person shows up with a new set of proposals that can also be resisted.

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  28. Suzanne said on July 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I think another piece of this police puzzle is all the guns out there. Cops, I s would guess, used to assume that most people they stopped were unarmed but now assume most are, true or not. That’s got to make them way more skittish & way more prone to shoot first & ask questions later.

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  29. Sherri said on July 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Ezra Klein interviews and writes on Hillary: http://www.vox.com/a/hillary-clinton-interview/the-gap-listener-leadership-quality

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  30. David C. said on July 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    As someone who had probably been held back because I’m a far better listener than a talker, I can really identify with Hillary. I think she’ll do just fine. The haters are still going to hate, but she and we will be OK.

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  31. Deborah said on July 11, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Great link, Sherri.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Drat – I came online having read the Vox piece on my phone waiting for a no-show, thinking “I should post that on Nancy’s blog”; good on Sherri for beating me to it. A good read written by Ezra Klein.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    But on July 11, you have to see THIS, posted by the “Hamilton” folks on Facebook.

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  34. Sherri said on July 12, 2016 at 12:42 am

    The blue wall in action: http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-cops-working-lynx-game-walk-out-over-player-comments-warm-up-jerseys/386373171/

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