Letting go.

Another weekend so perfect it needed to go in a record book somewhere: Temperatures in the low 70s, cool nights, skies of such clarity it hurt to go outside without sunglasses. Kate took the ACT on Saturday and then hit the road for a no-parents Up North weekend with three friends and I decided not to worry about it. That’s a difficult thing to do, but at some point it has to be done. She’ll screw up; of this I have no doubt. I just have to accept that the screwups are something I don’t have much control over anymore. This was my advice as they left:

“And what do we do if we see a deer in the road?”

“Hit it!”

That’s exactly right, and advice every Michigan driver should know and heed. Never swerve. That’s how tragedies happen. Hit the deer. We have plenty.

(Obviously this is advice for if you see a deer in the road when you’re traveling toward it at high speed. You don’t just randomly speed up and run Bambi down on, say, a country lane. But you knew that.)

Speaking of cars, Alan brought home a monster Friday — a Chevy SS, which looks like a four-door sedan on the outside but has so much horsepower its ass end threatens to break loose on the regular. Gas mileage: 18 combined and say what? Eighteen? Yes. It’s less fuel-efficient than the Yukon he brought home earlier in the week. But so powerful, it’s a rolling Viagra commercial.

This is a perk of being on the auto staff at one of the Detroit dailies, one Alan barely uses. Of course my worry is more about carjacking than that he will fall out of familiarity with the product line, but it’s always fun to cruise up to Harrison Township and get some ice cream with the Underground Garage on the satellite radio. He works very hard. He deserves a little fun.

The car, and the weather, was a welcome distraction from self-torture, i.e., reading some of the response to the Iraq situation. I’m sort of done listening, and this John Cassidy piece on the New Yorker website says it all:

Senator John McCain, whom the President telephoned on Friday, has called on Obama to fire his entire national-security team, claiming, “Could all of this have been avoided? The answer is absolutely yes.”

McCain is right; it could have been avoided. If, in the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush had treated the arguments of Feith, McCain, and other advocates of the Iraq War with the disdain they deserved, we (and the Iraqis) wouldn’t be where we are today.

If, in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion, Paul Bremer, the American proconsul in Baghdad, and his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, had not decided to disband Saddam’s army, the one institution that somewhat unified the country, the Iraqi state would be stronger. If, in addition, Bremer and Rumsfeld had ordered enough U.S. troops onto the streets to preserve order, then Iraq might (and it’s only a might) have held together peacefully instead of degenerating into sectarianism, anarchy, and violence.

This is a bigger clusterflick than Vietnam, albeit with a lower body count. But what we’re looking at now, in the Middle East and now Africa, is going to have worse fallout, I’d wager.

So that was the weekend, topped by a visit to the market that yielded garlic scapes, fresh spinach and all the dark green leafies we expect at this time of year. And strawberries. And peas. I’m going to salad my butt off this week.

I think the lead to this story might say more about our pathetic world than anything else I can find at the moment:

Farrah Abraham: reality star, singer, pasta sauce creator, sex tape maker and now, erotica author.

I hope that’s my epitaph someday. With the name and a few details changed, of course.

Almost time for “Game of Thrones,” and a new week, to start. Best wishes for a good one for all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 32 Comments

Just another day.

Circumstances have me working at home this week, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it, at least in summer. Up early, swim, shower, put on yoga pants and a tank top and DON’T TAKE THEM OFF ALL DAMN DAY. I have to say that I equally enjoy those days when I get up, shower, put on makeup and head off downtown like a grownup, but in summer, days like this are sweet. You feel like you’re getting away with something. And the fact some actual yoga was involved is only the icing.

And now I’m sitting here catching up on the news and whoa! Eric Cantor loses his primary? This is like the end of “Fatal Attraction” where Glenn Close, having been drowned in the bathtub by Michael Douglas, suddenly rises out of the water with all her strengths and powers intact. The tea party lives.

Also, there was another school shooting Tuesday. A friend of mine is traveling in France for a month. I sent him a link to ShootingTracker.com, just so he can keep up with all that’s been going on in his absence.

It’s a beautiful day that others will remember as the worst of their lives. Isn’t that the way it always works out? I think the message is, if it’s a good one for you, enjoy it.

Because I have little else in my mind, let’s keep it light. When did Tom & Lorenzo stop calling Prince William’s wife Cathy Cambridge? Because I’m not digging Cathering, Duchess of Cambridge all that much. Even though I love her outfit. If I were a size-0 princess, this is exactly the sort of thing I’d wear. Keep it simple, keep it classic.

The modern dog leash is patented. I had no idea. Wendy and I use one ourselves; it’s really the only way to walk a terrier.

And with that, I wish you another perfect summer day. (Supposed to rain here.)

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 37 Comments

A passing thing.

Summer colds are the worst. There’s always a likelihood they will happen during the loveliest days of the season, meaning you’ll have the poisoned feeling of lying on your bed all day, too weak to do much more than watch “Mad Men” season-one episodes on your iPad, while the sun shines outside and the leaves wave in a gentle breeze.

On the other hand, why the hell not? It was a great season.

And now, as the weekend wanes and the forecast calls for Monday with a chance of Tuesday, I think the corner has been turned. Paid a bunch of bills and took a short, slow bike ride that didn’t reduce me to a puddle of snot, so evidently the rumors are true: These things aren’t fatal.

In the meantime, I love stories like this. A note from my old boss, Richard:

So I’m sitting in the passport office in the Northfield Township Office in Glenview, explaining to the supervisor why I can’t find a passpost I got more than 22 years ago. I mentioned I moved at least a dozen times since then and that it was in a box somewhere. I mentioned Fort Wayne among my moves.

“Fort Wayne?” she asked. “Do you know Nancy Nall?”

“I hired Nancy Nall,” I answered.

“I love her blog,” she responded.

She knew you weren’t feeling well yesterday and even asked about Kate.

In even more coincidental weirdness, it turns out the passport supervisor also worked with Richard’s wife at a cooks’ store in the Chicago suburbs. Her name’s Jill. Hi, Jill! Glad you met Richard. It’s a tiny little world, ain’t it?

A slow weekend, but there were some outings. Kate’s band played at a bar in Hamtramck. I love their neon; I tried to capture Kate outside and failed miserably, although I had a good time blowing this picture up huge and noting all the noir details:


The guy passing by, waving. The car parked at the curb has a Maine license plate The gas station in the background, where a beatdown was happening as we arrived. (Like good urbanites, we ignored it and hurried inside before the gunfire started. As Elmore Leonard once wrote, if it isn’t our business, it’s probably dope business, and dope business isn’t our business. Paraphrasing.) The light on the glass block above the door. The mysterious black spots on the sidewalk — are they petrified gum? How do they survive, year after year? And of course the model closed her eyes.

The neon got blown out because I metered off the street light. One of these days I’ll learn to take a decent picture.

And one of these days I’ll take some shots of the back yard, which is now more or less fully planted and operational. Later this week, maybe.

I also need to get cracking on my book project. Photos might be more common over the summer.

Hopping to bloggage, one thing my malady this weekend allowed for was to finish Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations.” It seems everyone needs to preface their remarks about it by saying “it’s really long,” and it is, but it’s not preposterously so — maybe 15,000 words, and well worth the hour or so it takes to read. His through-line is the story of African Americans in Chicago, and I don’t have much to add to Neil Steinberg’s thoughts, and he didn’t have much to add other than: read the thing. At least we owe this much:

Broach the topic of reparations today and a barrage of questions inevitably follows: Who will be paid? How much will they be paid? Who will pay? But if the practicalities, not the justice, of reparations are the true sticking point, there has for some time been the beginnings of a solution. For the past 25 years, Congressman John Conyers Jr., who represents the Detroit area, has marked every session of Congress by introducing a bill calling for a congressional study of slavery and its lingering effects as well as recommendations for “appropriate remedies.”

A country curious about how reparations might actually work has an easy solution in Conyers’s bill, now called HR 40, the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. We would support this bill, submit the question to study, and then assess the possible solutions. But we are not interested.

I didn’t join in the Maya Angelou mourning last week; I generally don’t get too upset when 86-year-olds leave the world behind. But I was delighted by this video of Dave Chappelle in conversation with her, and you might be, too.

Now off to, as Grantland calls it, fight night in Westeros. Have a good week ahead, all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 36 Comments

It figures.

I go through that entire brutal winter without so much as a sniffle and then, just as the sweet, sweet summer is dawning, I get a cold — sore throat, the whole nine. Yesterday I came home from work, crawled into bed, and didn’t get out until Alan brought me Thai takeout.

And today I am absolutely slammed.

So open thread for today and maybe tomorrow.

Posted at 8:02 am in Same ol' same ol' | 80 Comments

Eat the candy.

I’ve lost a bit of weight. Not much — I still have 12 pounds to go before the CDC no longer considers me overweight — but enough that my clothes don’t fit right anymore. As much fun as it is to be able to insert your fist between your stomach and waistband, it’s equally a pain to have to keep hitching your pants up. So I’ve been rewarding myself with a little shopping. The closeout place I like for cheap workout gear and this ‘n’ that has been throwing one of these into their delivery boxes:


Speaking of losing weight. Let’s see if we can count all the silliness just on the front of the label. These are “dark chocolate covered real fruit juice pieces.” Please explain how juice, a liquid, can come in a “piece.” Then there’s the mysterious açai berry, which I’ve been seeing in my junk mail for a couple years now — apparently it’s a superfood, or a weight-loss aid, or something. But there’s blueberry in there, too; I have to assume it’s juice, so… this is a mixture of acai and blueberry juice, somehow pieced out and covered with dark chocolate. It’s a “natural source of flavanol antioxidants.” What is this stuff, anyway? It’s health-food candy. It’s not a Snickers bar, it has antioxidants! Antioxidants go in pursuit of free radicals in your body, which everybody knows are rilly, rilly bad. So eat the candy. Guilt-free.

It was tasty, I’ll give it that. Sixty-five calories.

Getting back to the CDC and its body-mass index, which has been criticized for being stupid and inaccurate: I’m going to keep trying to lose, but entirely without any pressure or expectation; the BMI is just a guideline. After years of being nauseated by my thighs (but not enough to lose my appetite), I’ve decided to accept them. I’ve said before that the truth of being female in this culture is, the body you hate today will be the one you wish you still had tomorrow, and I’m going to appreciate mine while it still works and is still relatively pain-free. Strength, flexibility, balance, fun — if it hits on at least three of those cylinders most of the time, I’m going to call it a good day.

Yoga helps with all of this, which may explain its popularity. But for someone like me and, maybe, you — those of us whose heads tend to go buzz buzz buzz all the livelong day — it provides a solid hour in which the sole command is: Pay attention. I have a couple of good teachers at the moment, who are gentle and kind and walk that careful yoga line between too little and too much woo-woo. The other day I was sitting in the deepest twist I could muster, concentrating on breathing and back muscles, and reflected that most of us pay attention to our stomachs and genitals and not much else. I’m willing to believe that breathing deeply in this twist somehow makes my internal organs happy. How can thousands of years of flexible little Indian dudes be entirely wrong?

I can’t get on the antioxidants bandwagon, but I will eat their candy when it comes along.

Sorry to be boring.

A little bloggage:

We’ve discussed the wedding-industrial complex here many times, but I thought this blog post from Esquire.com made an important point: As a proportion of wealth, the typical American wedding is far more expensive than the Kanye/Kardashian affair in Florence over the weekend. And then there’s this part:

The culture that demands a big wedding hurts the poor worst of all. In 2005′s “Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage,” Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas explained why even women who didn’t have much money wanted a lavish wedding. “Having the wherewithal to throw a ‘big’ wedding is a vivid display that the couple has achieved enough financial security to do more than live from paycheck to paycheck, a stressful situation that most believe leads almost inevitably to divorce. Hosting a “proper” wedding is a sign that the couple only plans to do it once, “given the obvious financial sacrifice.” This is the equivalent, financially, of cutting of your arm to demonstrate how strong you are. The needs of a big wedding also leads to poor people marrying later and less often than rich people, which brings with it a host of negative socioeconomic consequences.


This man is a hero:

The father of a young man gunned down Friday during the rampage in Santa Barbara said he is asking members of Congress to stop calling him to offer condolences but nothing more for the death of his only child, Christopher Michaels-Martinez.

“I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s— that you feel sorry for me,” Richard Martinez said during an extensive interview, his face flushed as tears rolled down his face. “Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.”

If a few more people said that to a few more members of Congress, daily, things might change in Washington. Maybe.

Let’s go out on a bitter laugh; the Onion nails it with just the headline: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' | 25 Comments

An assembly.

Last year the Grosse Pointe schools got a lot of bad local publicity, and a little bad national publicity, over the spectacular mishandling of a speech by Rick Santorum at one of the local high schools.

Long story short, the superintendent got played by the teenage Young Americans for Freedom chapter. They allegedly raised the money to pay Santorum’s $18,000 speaking fee — something I don’t believe for a minute — and came to the principal with the request he speak during school hours. Even though there was a perfectly fine policy right there in the rule book saying clubs have to hold these sorts of functions after hours, the principal said yes, then no. The YAF recognized the giant blinking neon sign over that one, and exploited it. There were a few days of yadda-yadda, much of it truly embarrassing, and finally, the sage of Pennsylvania was permitted to speak.

No one remembers what he said, although I’m sure it’s Googleable. Oh, here it is: He challenged them to lead.

Even the YAF must have figured it wouldn’t be able to fool the administration two years in a row, and this year’s speaker was a great deal less sexy: Steve Forbes. Yep, that guy. Parents were presented with an opt-out option, but the hell with that, I figured, let the young people behold this sage of the late-20th-century GOP and hear his lessons.

The Freep said he gave the young people “an economics lesson.” It was not “be born rich, fail to save the family business from the rocky shoal of the internet, then fall back on a still-considerable personal fortune,” but rather, the virtues of a flat tax. What a letdown, although I’m sure Forbes himself was absolutely thrilled that someone wanted to pay for this message, one he’s been delivering since much of his audience was in utero. Loved this detail from the story:

Asia Simmons, 15, of Harper Woods and Chloe Ribco, 14, of Grosse Pointe Woods described the talk as cool and interesting.

(Kate Derringer, 17, disagreed, calling Forbes’ address “really boring.”)

Reporters got a little more out of him, asking about the Detroit bankruptcy. Guess what he said?

Forbes predicted that Detroit could recover quickly after bankruptcy with the right approach, namely a lower tax burden.

Do these guys ever get tired of beating this drum? I guess not, when a trip to Michigan on a lovely spring day is dangled in front of them.

Kate said he also praised corporations for the good work they do. Funny. Kate’s been working almost a year for a corporate-owned ice-cream restaurant that shall remain nameless, and we’ve used it several times to illustrate the need for unions in this country. Once ice cream season slows down in the fall, hours get cut way back — totally understandable. But along with the cold weather came a new wrinkle: On-call hours. Workers are expected to make no other plans for their on-call shifts and stand ready to come in if summoned, but if not summoned? No pay.

“Now you know why labor needs a voice,” I told her many times last winter, sometimes humming “Solidarity Forever.” I’ve also counseled her to quit and find something better, but it appears, like her mother, Kate never found a rut she couldn’t love. (I think that line originates with Laura Lippman.)

So, then, as the opening weekend of summer yawns before us, some bloggage:

I recall when this art theft happened. My friend Adrianne said she’d written a paper on “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” and had spent a lot of time in front of the canvas, absorbing its composition. She felt a real wound when it and 12 other works were plucked from the Gardner Museum walls and taken who-knows-where; it was an early lesson in the power of public art, one I’ve thought of many times as Detroit’s own art collection has been threatened.

Now it turns out they think they found at least some of the pieces — in the hands of organized-crime figures with Italian names. And here I thought those folks were all about Lladro.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone. Let’s enjoy every last burger.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' | 64 Comments

Some thin Tuesday gruel.

I keep meaning to tuck my Russian grammar book into my bag on mornings when I take the bus, and forgetting. After the phone gets boring, I end up looking out the window, and today I decided I’d been too hard on “Twelve Years a Slave.” I found myself thinking about Michael Fassbender, who plays an exceptionally cruel slave master.

His performance captures not only the cruelty (the easy part), but the way slavery corrupted everyone it touched. It’s kind of a brilliant performance, in fact, as his character, Epps, has to beat, rape, humiliate and otherwise be almost one-dimensional in his insane evil. And yet, there’s something behind his eyes that says, this isn’t easy for me, either. How the hell did he do that? I guess that’s what great acting is.

And with that, I feel like I’ve said what there is to say today. It was an enervating day, but it ended with grilled chicken and a black-bean salad thing I sort of made up on the spot, and it was great. Could be a lot worse.

So let’s get to the bloggage:

You Lynda Barry fans take note: She’s alive and well and teaching at the University of Wisconsin. Alan and I saw one of her plays in Chicago early in our courtship; it remains a wonderful memory.

Gordon Willis, an artist with sepia, is dead.

I was struck by the photo accompanying this story about Flint’s fiscal problems. I recall being there a few years ago on assignment, taking a turn off a main drag into a neighborhood and being shocked — it looked like rural Mississippi, or something close. The picture captures it well.

I need to sleep. See you in the morning, all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' | 30 Comments

The fire, still burning.

I just deleted a spam comment from a user called EXTREME BIGGER PENIS. Does that work? Has it ever worked? Is there an individual in the history of the internet who said, “Yeah, that’s just what I’m in the market for,” and clicked? Obviously someone must have, or they wouldn’t keep trying.

Maybe EXTREME BIGGER PENIS is like $170 French bra — just one of those things you dream about, but never really expect to have.

Hope everyone’s weekend was great. Mine was pretty good, although I didn’t go to the market. Sunday was Flower Day, which really means Flower Weekend, which means I’d turn back if I were you. Seemingly every suburban family in metro Detroit descends on the market, each dragging a wagon behind, intent on buying a yard’s worth of bedding plants at discount prices, while also stopping for lunch and absorbing the Authentic Urban Atmosphere ™ in the bargain.

A friend of mine was up bright and early and thought he could get in and out at 7 a.m. Sunday. No dice.

Ah, well. What I did instead was grill a little and drink some wine. Watched two movies — “Let the Fire Burn” and “Twelve Years of Slave,” which was sort of an all-bummer double feature. I liked the both, but “Let the Fire Burn” will stay with me longer. It’s a remarkable piece of work, about the MOVE disaster in Philadelphia in 1985. I recall paying a lot of attention to it when it happened, because the two Philly papers were part of Knight-Ridder, my own paper’s parent company, and lots of people in Fort Wayne had some sort of connection to the place.

But I was too young and ignorant to truly grasp the horror of what happened, too quick to accept the journo-description of MOVE as “an activist group,” which is not what they were. They were, “Let the Fire Burn” makes clear, a like-minded group of crazy people who were dedicated to, and desirous of, a lethal confrontation with police, who screwed up their end of things in every way possible.

If you lived through it, you know what happened: Something like 30 square blocks of working-class Philadelphia burned, because MOVE was dug in to the last man (last child, really), and the cops wanted no survivors. It’s a horrible, tragic story, told entirely — and this is why I think it will stay with me — through contemporaneous video. There are no talking heads, no looks back through the lens of time, but rather, archival news footage and public-TV video of a post-disaster inquest, the sort of thing no one pays attention to outside of the immediate circle of those affected. It gives it a you-were-there immediacy, and if you’re paying attention, you are simply astounded.

“Twelve Years a Slave,” on the other hand, was simply a well-made, well-acted and well-written bummer from the first frame to the last. I feel about the same way that I did after watching “United 93″ — glad I saw it, even gladder that I never have to see it again.


Other than that, it was the usual weekend: Cooking, exercise, shopping, errands. And so we notch another week off the indefinite number we are allotted. I wish I had more money to travel; it would be nice to notch out a few in some place like Istanbul or Beijing.

Bloggage? Sure:

Chihuahuas! On the loose, gettin’ in trouble! In Arizona!

This NYT piece on “trigger warnings” is getting beaten up all over the internets. I don’t want to pile on, but I’d be interested in hearing alternate views.

And so we launch ourselves into another Monday. Here we go.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 30 Comments

Lean in and be beheaded.

I’ve been reading the Jill Abramson story. That’s the New York Times editor who was abruptly cashiered today, or so the story is shaping up. I read the first news-alert piece today from the NYT, which called the transition “unexpected.” My first thought was, someone has cancer. But now it appears, via Ken Auletta at the link above, that it was a more prosaic reason:

As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect. Sulzberger is known to believe that the Times, as a financially beleaguered newspaper, needed to retreat on some of its generous pay and pension benefits; Abramson had also been at the Times for far fewer years than Keller, having spent much of her career at the Wall Street Journal, accounting for some of the pension disparity. Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, said that Jill Abramson’s total compensation as executive editor “was directly comparable to Bill Keller’s”—though it was not actually the same. I was also told by another friend of Abramson’s that the pay gap with Keller was only closed after she complained. But, to women at an institution that was once sued by its female employees for discriminatory practices, the question brings up ugly memories.

Pushy. Well, that’s what leaning in will get you.

Abramson is a big supporter of the Knight-Wallace Fellows, and visited Ann Arbor when I was there. She’s smart and personable and has a truly distinctive voice, this sort of nasal New York drawl, if that makes sense. (You’ve heard of people who have “a face for radio?” Well, she has a voice for print, but she made a joke about it, so she gets points.) She answered every question directly and seemed truly comfortable in her skin. The Times had recently taken some flack about publishing photos from the horrible ambush of American contractors in Iraq in 2004, where the bodies were dragged and burned and hoisted up for public view like charred barbecue. She explained why they made the call they did. Beyond that, I don’t what to say other than she was right to point out the pay discrepancy.

You could make the argument that the NYT had been overpaying for a while, and it was just bad timing that Abramson took the editor’s job when the publisher decided the salary had to return to earth. But she was also underpaid when she was managing editor, and apparently there’s a deputy m.e. who earned more than she did. I have a feeling this is a more-will-be-revealed thing.

So. Many years ago, I made a dismissive remark about cats in a column. I’m not a cat hater, but I’ve never had one of my own, and I guess I fell for the cruel cat stereotype that they’re aloof and would happily watch their masters writhe on the ground in pain, asking only that the hoomin please leave some food out before heading to the hospital. I got a note for a woman who claimed her cat had awakened her — by jumping on her chest and meowing loudly — during a break-in at her house. I forget the cat’s name, but I did a hooray-for-Mr.-Jinxy column and that was that.

Evidently heroism runs in the gene pool. I had no idea.

Not much more to add today, but there’s this: The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad has three songs on Bandcamp, which you may listen to and download, if you’re so inclined. They were produced by my friend Jim Diamond, who did them gratis because he’s a mensch. He said they added some percussion in post, and Kate played the cowbell. “Move closer to the mic, Kate, I need more cowbell,” he said, noting that’s the first time he’s ever spoken those words in his career. It got a big laugh. I expect the DVAS won’t be to everybody’s liking, but I hope Borden digs ‘em, because he knows his girl groups.

As for the lyrics, I have only this to say: Johnny Cash didn’t really shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

Happy Thursday, all.

Posted at 12:31 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' | 25 Comments

The big day.

No breakfast in bed for me yesterday; I get up earlier than everyone else in the house every day of the week, and Sunday is the one day of the week I can linger in the gym. Isn’t Mothers Day supposed to be about what mothers want?

So I got up, walked the dog, made pancakes-bacon-coffee for the house and was en route to hitting the weight rack and Pilates before anyone else was even moving. Now it’s late afternoon, and I’m barbecuing ribs. Also: Mac and cheese and collard greens. If that sounds more like a Fathers Day menu, you’re not alone, but it’s a lovely day and it just seemed to require ribs.

But the big project today is the back yard, which is finally starting to shape up. The decision last fall to cover the bare ground with leaf mulch paid off; with that and the steady snow cover, we didn’t have nearly the mud problem I anticipated. And now the plants are going in. Wendy has grass to pee and poop in — sod, but it really made more sense than waiting on seed to sprout. We loaded up on bedding plants at the Eastern Market, and with any luck, we’ll have a pretty nice place to hang after a couple of weeks. We have furniture and a fire bowl and, depending on the landscape architect’s inspiration (that would be Alan) a nice varied landscape of this and that.

Somewhere in there was a nice Delmonico steak and some sautéed morels. That’s Livin’.(tm)

I spent some time paging through social media today, where many people were posting photos of their mothers — the still-young ones, the old and stooped ones and the faded black-and-whites of mothers already gone. It reminded me that time is fleeting, and so are morels. Sauté them in butter, then.

What went on in your world?

A bit of bloggage before the week begins:

Alaska isn’t really the Alaska you see on reality television.

Michael Sam’s boyfriend. Whoa — nice abs.

Monday awaits. Attack it.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' | 25 Comments