A half-dozen items in search of a blog.

My god, when was I here last? Sunday? Now it’s Thursday. It was…a week. A few snapshots from it:

1) I’ve been trying to take the bus as often as possible this summer. Saves on parking, saves on gas, saves on peace of mind when I can spend the ride reading or relaxing or doing anything other than gripping the wheel and getting driver’s blood pressure. I generally ride the Detroit city bus coming in and take the suburban system home. There are differences.

The Detroit bus fills up about halfway to downtown. It is hardly ever not full, no matter when I take it. And it is overwhelmingly full of people wearing the polo shirts of various downtown restaurants, or otherwise dressed like people who have to take the bus because they don’t have a choice. The suburban bus is never more than half full, going home. The Detroit bus often features…conflict. Last week, two men yelled at each other for a few blocks, making less and less sense until one shouted, IF THERE’S ONE THING I CAN’T STAND IT’S A DOPE FIEND and the other one shouted back ME TOO and then the argument was over, just like that. It’s good when we can all come together and agree on something.

I’m going to write an epic poem at the end of the warm season, all about DDOT bus #31. I’ll call it “#31.”

2) One day I didn’t drive, because I had to go up to Bloomfield Hills for lunch. It would take, literally, six hours to get to where I needed to go via bus, so I drove. Bloomfield Hills is a wealthy area, and I drove past strip malls of boutiques, specialty groceries and high-end chain stores, because god forbid you do yoga in stretchy pants from Target — they have to cost $90 and come from Lululemon. Beautiful late-model cars glided past in oncoming traffic. If I hadn’t been expected at lunch, I might have stopped at one deli my boss is always raving about. It’s very good, but a tuna sandwich costs $14.

Later that day, the freeway was clogged, and I drove home from downtown on surface streets, along my bus route, some of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. It was…a contrast, shall we say. Nothing like a big city to give you a constant slide show of drama.

3) Here’s a police brief from my community:

4) Here’s a headline from Detroit:

5) Are we going to war with Iran this week? Anyone know?

6) This is old news by now, but check out the pictures and consider: This photographer did his job while a gunman was shooting at him. #EnemyOfThePeople, right?

Into the weekend we lurch. Stay on your feet, people. You never know what’s going to happen.

Posted at 9:58 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

28 responses to “A half-dozen items in search of a blog.”

  1. jcburns said on June 20, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    “Gravel goes missing”—drama on the campaign trail! We’ve lost the former Alaska senator! No? Ah well, a fine Nelsonville headline, Nancy.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 20, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Keep passing the open windows.

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  3. alex said on June 20, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Goddamn enemies of the people. They’d give their fucking worthless lives just to make the NRA look bad. They’re kamikazes and suicide bombers, I tell ya. Probably just trying to get out of having to pay their student loan debts to Medill.

    Good heavens, you really can’t satirize anything anymore.

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  4. Dexter Friend said on June 21, 2019 at 3:24 am

    A habitual criminal from my hometown once got 6 months “down on the farm” , which locals who got sent there called “Bob Evans”, for stealing wire along the railroad tracks. Easy pickins’ for the cops, as the recycle place fingered him and that was that. He’s been dead 12 years now, died early, hard life, many trips to prison.

    I’ve driven through Bloomfield Hills a few times as I’d stay in a hotel north of there a little when I’d go to shows at The Palace of Auburn Hills and Lions games in the old Silverdome. Somewhere in that vicinity I went into a gas station and C-store for a little pack of cookies and a carton of milk, and these smart-ass young dudes started taunting me, as they were loading up on cases of beer. They called me a p-word and other nasty names and I laughed it all off, but remembered it as it was the only time I was ever cookie-shamed. I was on my way to see Elton John at the Palace and in my trunk I had a stash of half-pints of Wild Turkey 101 and lots of beer…they didn’t know me, the man declared “Fastest Drinker of DeKalb County” by the owner of Cricket’s Tavern. I lie…I was declared number 2. Another guy beat me out.

    $$ sandwiches: My favorite comedians are the team of Bonnie and Vos, that’s Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos. Rich also does solo stand-up shows with crowd work. He was on the radio Wednesday telling how he got tired of playing venues and finding no place to eat after the shows, so he began carrying a tiny Foreman grill in his luggage, and frozen turkey burgers he’d pack in a little cooler; he’d pack a little jar of peanut butter and a few crackers and some bread. He said he does this not because he’s cheap, he just cannot walk many city blocks to find a 7-11 with soggy bread day-old sandwiches at night. It’s probably true, as he didn’t complain over his $11 half-a-tuna sandwich he bought in the little food place in the lobby of the building.
    We ate at Bob Evans in Angola last night. It was OK , but we hardly ever eat there. The grease from the meat gravy and the dressing’s spices gave both of us very bad heartburn. I hate that, as I never get heartburn, I never have antacids stashed. Misery, then gone.

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  5. Deborah said on June 21, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Isn’t Bloomfield Hills where Cranbrook is? If so, I’ve been there.

    When I worked in downtown St. Louis I took the bus whenever my MG was in the shop, which was often. I have a lot of crazy bus ride stories from those times, always lots of conflict. There was without fail at least one person trying to save your soul, angrily passing out Christian pamphlets.

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  6. Bitter Scribe said on June 21, 2019 at 10:18 am

    The most chilling (to me) sentence in the NY Times’ coverage of the Iran almost-war:

    One person familiar with Mr. Trump’s thinking said he was pleased with Thursday night’s events because he liked the “command” of approving the strike and the command of calling it off.

    How much of a sycophant do you have to be to think of vacillating, dithering and indecisiveness as “command”?

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  7. 4dbirds said on June 21, 2019 at 10:40 am

    I do love fried mushrooms but I’m not shooting anyone over them.

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  8. Jakash said on June 21, 2019 at 11:22 am

    The #22 Clark St. bus in Chicago has its own Twitter account, “The Double Deuce.” The bio states simply: “I’m a complete shit show.”


    Among several accounts documenting odd or less-than-appropriate behavior on public transportation, here’s “People of the CTA.”


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  9. ROGirl said on June 21, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Deborah, I was thinking about Cranbrook, might go there this weekend. It’s one of my favorite places. They had open studio tours a few weeks ago, you could go into the studio buildings and talk with the artists.

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  10. Connie said on June 21, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Michiganders can get a free pass to Cranbrook and the Science Museum by checking their local library’s web page for the MAP link. The Michigan Activity Pass program provides free and discounted access to hundreds of Michigan attractions of all types.

    When I was a kid growing up in west Michigan we visited my uncle in Birmingham for a week in the summer every year. We always went to the Detroit Zoo. We always went to the Tigers game, usually on free bat day. I didn’t realize until I was older that we were sitting in GM seats. And the women and girls always went to a flower show at Cranbrook.

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  11. jcburns said on June 21, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I just realized we took a picture of ‘your’ bus last time we stopped by for a visit.

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  12. basset said on June 21, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Went to a moving sale at Janis Ian’s house in Nashville yesterday, the sale-company email I got about it said she and her partner were moving to someplace with constant sunshine. Nice place, good neighborhood, but they were sure proud of a lot of that stuff… $6 for a spiral notebook, $1900 for an old couch that the accompanying note said this famous songwriter and that one had sat on to write their songs, $19,000 for one of her guitars, lots of autographed photos of famous people both old and signed to her, quite interesting.

    I took a picture of a framed magazine advert, would guess it was from the 40s, pic of a man wiping his hands and scowling, titled “Is your washroom breeding BOLSHEVIKS?” Apparently if you put Scott paper towels in there employees will not “lose respect for a company that fails to provide decent facilities for their comfort.”

    Went back for it today on 25% off day but it was gone, got Jr. a Johnson/Humphrey poster instead. Someone made an effort framing that one, had doggy pawprints all over the matt and a print of a basset hound. I suspect they were thinking about Him and Her, Johnson’s beagles who got lifted by the ears, and just couldn’t tell the two breeds apart.

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  13. beb said on June 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    This headline made me feel good:
    Elizabeth Warren Announced a Plan to Ban Private Prisons. Then Their Stocks Tanked.
    As the article says, Wall St must think a lot about Elizabeth Warren to sell off stock in private prison company just because she says she’d end them if elected.

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  14. alex said on June 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Hometown girl makes good.

    And Les Moonves and Roger Ailes weren’t her ickiest attackers.


    I was talking with my mom about this earlier. She’s 90 and a fan of Jean Carroll, a subscriber of Esquire and Elle. She says Jean’s take of the “Silent Generation” is spot on. In those days you had no one to talk to about this stuff. You couldn’t tell your parents. You couldn’t go to the police. The men made you blame yourself and you just stoically rode it out.

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  15. alex said on June 21, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Whups, the long story: http://www.thecut.com/2019/06/donald-trump-assault-e-jean-carroll-other-hideous-men.html

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  16. Deborah said on June 21, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I read E. Jean Carrol’s biography of Hunter S. Thompson years ago, that link is quite something Alex. I hope Trump ends up in jail at some point, but he’s been corrupt all of his life and has gotten away with it forever, so chances are he’ll get away with more.

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  17. Dexter Friend said on June 22, 2019 at 2:50 am

    On LOD’s “The Last Word” I heard a sex crimes lawyer said Trump’s latest revealed attack against Ms. Carroll was “first degree rape”…not prosecutable via statutes of limitation, but would have been if it had happened after Access Hollywood/ Billy Bush, as the pattern fits as Trump was recorded revealing his method of criminal attack…what was it?—grab them by the p@$$y, they like that? In the long version, which O’Donnell played, Carroll said Trump pulled down her pants, tights, whatever was next to her legs.

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  18. Suzanne said on June 22, 2019 at 10:34 am

    So, E. Jean Carroll grew up in Fort Wayne, IN. Who knew?

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 22, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Went off on someone wanting to bemoan how the country is going to hell in a handbasket this morning, him speaking from the #MAGA side of the aisle, specifically about child abuse “these days.” He earned a double earful from me about the total amount of time I’ve spent since the mid-1980s listening to women in their 80s or 90s, in hospitals and nursing homes and hospice units, tell me about the abuse and molestation (always obliquely referenced, but clear once you’ve been down that road conversationally) that was so common for them in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and right on into the 50s. The whole “people used to keep their doors unlocked” always gets me riled, because of the number of “and he just came into our house in the middle of the night” stories I’ve heard; and the recurring tale of a sister, a cousin, or themselves becoming pregnant and going “to stay with relatives” and coming back without a child whose ultimate location they did not know. Then on into my own college years in the 70s and 80s when professor predators were so common as to warrant no notice, just shared comments about whose offices not to end up in. I heard, but it didn’t register. Bless you Jean Carroll, for speaking up knowing how many will respond, and at some point, I still think as with profs poking students and uncles and aunts going after nieces and nephews, the tide is going to turn. Even against Trump.

    Meanwhile, my parishioner accepted most of what I said about how we don’t sweep child abuse under rugs or just run them out of town anymore, but we file and prosecute and convict them with news stories at each turn, so you hear about more but I’m entirely unconvinced that you actually have more going on today than 50 years ago, quite possibly yes. “I see your point, yeah, that’s right, I get it.” Pauses.

    “But, so, you don’t like Trump?” No, no I do not. Nor have I, at any point, less so now.

    I need some vacation, soon.

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  20. Sherri said on June 22, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I’m not sure I can have a civil conversation with someone from the MAGA side of the aisle as long as people, especially children, are being held in such awful conditions.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 22, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Literally was told that is “fake news”: proof? It’s only being covered on NPR and NYTimes, not on Fox News. Ergo.

    70+% of this county.

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  22. Sherri said on June 22, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I’m done with people who are that willfully ignorant. I’m not interested in trying to work with them, I’m just going to try to get them away from power. They’re a danger to themselves and others.

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  23. jcburns said on June 23, 2019 at 12:00 am

    This is all amazingly fragile. One of my (reasonable and intelligent) neighbors told me this evening she heard a story on NPR—NPR!—at the end of this week about deep fakes that said that the Trump Access Hollywood tape was itself a deep fake.
    It was not, of course.
    But, concerned, I went to find the story and I did…and it didn’t mention Trump except to mention that he retweeted the Pelosi-digitally-slowed-down to-seem-drunk clip.
    I didn’t know where to go with this except to say “no, that’s not true. I checked it out and it’s not true.” It doesn’t seem enough anymore.

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  24. LAMary said on June 23, 2019 at 12:02 am

    On a more pleasant note, the world nude bicycle ride went through my neighborhood today. Lots of naked guys on bikes.

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  25. Dexter Friend said on June 23, 2019 at 3:42 am

    OMG! LA Mary, I was trying to be anonymous so I flew there to ride naked, and you blew my cover! Oh wait…you don’t know what I look like…oh shit!

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  26. ROGirl said on June 23, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Guy tried to go through security check naked at Detroit airport.



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  27. Sherri said on June 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Best healthcare system in the world…


    My husband is from Cleveland, TN, so I’ve been to Cleveland regularly over the last 30+ years. Ive watched as two forces, Lee University and Allan Jones, have consumed the town. Lee University is a Church of God school, a very conservative Pentecostal denomination. Allan Jones is a very rich man who made his money in payday loans, and owns a significant chunk of Cleveland. I swear, the way he is talked about in the community, he might as well be the feudal lord.

    Complete with the feudal estate: https://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/w-allan-jones-house/view/google/

    It is, of course, trump country, and overwhelmingly white.

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  28. beb said on June 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Nancy bullet point 2 bothers me because it says she didn;t drive to work one day because she had to ride the bus six hours to Bloomfield Hills. Did she drive herself or ride the bus all day? Easily confused minds want to know.

    And speaking of easily confused minds there is this:
    The tl;dr is that the right complains about being dissed by the left but there is never any evidence of them being dissed, forced to becoming Nazis, Racists, to Cruelist to minority people. It’s all in their head.

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