Monday, October 31, 2011
Just got back from a quick visit to the Eric Cantor protest/funeral for the middle class. Pretty good turn out; I'd say between 75 and 100 people. Lots of people were going into the League to see House Majority Leader Cantor's talk. I overheard some people saying the room was overflowing. The protest crowd was pretty disappointed that Cantor et al. were prescreening comments for the Q&A session.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, will be in town tomorrow to celebrate Halloween. In honor of his visit and "Funeral for the Middle Class" a group of zombie bankers will be having their own "Funeral for the Middle Class" outside the Michigan League at 12:30. From their Facebook page:
Please come, and please come in a spooky costume. Eric Cantor's vision for our nation is SCARY!!!!!!
After our Funeral for the Middle Class we will silently and respectfully fill the auditorium to hear Mr. Cantor's speech, and eagerly awai the Q & A session at the end.
The event is free and open to the public.
Hat tip: Joel Batterman
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Answer This!, the latest movie from brothers Chris and Mike Farah, is a fun movie and definitely worth seeing. The movie is about a perennial grad student, Paul Tarson, played by Auggie from Covert Affairs. Paul is an 8th year Ph.D. student who awkwardly dates a freshman in the discussion group he teaches and drinks in most of the bars in Ann Arbor while avoiding finishing his dissertation.
The film clearly "gets" Ann Arbor and U of M. There is a small slip up when the trivia team, the Ice Tigers, erroneously refers to 8 Ball as "The 8 Ball." It's great to see our city (and our bars) featured so prominently on the silver screen. There are some strange movie magic moments where characters are seen walking into one building only to be in the interior of another building. But all in all, Answer This! could serve as a tourism promotion for Ann Arbor.
There are definitely some problems. In particular, the romantic relationship in the movie doesn't quite make sense. Also, aside from the love interest and the server at Ashley's, there are no female characters; the film probably doesn't pass the Bechdel Test. Unless you consider an all female trivia team screaming "Yeah!" after their third place victory dialogue between two female characters about something other than a man. But maybe this is more reflective of widespread societal and film industry problems rather than a specific issue with this film.
Still, Answer This! is a fun little flick. You should check it out. It looks like it's playing at the Michigan Theater through Thursday, November 3rd.
According to new research from the American Mustache Institute, the Motor City is the 5th best city for mustached individuals in the country. That's something we can all get behind.
UPDATE: The Daily has a timely repost of an article on 'staches from 1951:
60 years ago this week (Oct. 28, 1951): Murray Kushell, executive vice-president of the Better Grooming Foundation, reported that college women admire mustaches. Kushell also stated that one main reason for the rapid increase in mustaches is that men discovered that women secretly admire being tickled when they are kissed.
This assertion was flatly denied by the women questioned at the University, and most insisted that they could not think of anything worse than prickly facial hair.
“Heavens, no!” a University senior replied when asked by the Michigan Daily if she liked “cookie dusters,” or moustaches. But she added that they weren’t bad on older men.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I'm still kicking myself for missing this.
Hat tip: Ed Vielmetti
Check out these awesome shots of the aurora from the Ann Arbor area by Ethan Pollard:
WHAT: Concentrate's Speaker Series event: Ann Arbor-Ypsi Music - Industry or Scene?
WHEN: Wednesday, October 26th from 5-7PM
WHERE: Woodruff's (36 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti's Depot Town)
The event is free and open to Concentrate's readers, but seating is limited so you must pre-register. The presentation will begin around 5:15 p.m. and run for an hour or so, with questions taken afterward.
Looks pretty cool, and not just because of the free food.
Hat Tip: MarkMaynard
The Bang! is known for its iconic posters. Have you ever wanted to make your own Bang! poster? Now you can. Check out Mr. Jeremy Wheeler's instructional video above.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Ann Arbor Chronicle - I just notice today that under the Chronicle's banner, it says "it's like being there." If by "there" they mean a city council meeting, they are entirely correct. That being said, the Chronicle's extensive coverage of local politics is often less painful than actually watching the meetings that they report on. Mary Morgan and Homeless Dave along with their ragtag band of contributors provide an invaluable service to the community through their hyperlocal journalism. Though their articles are generally on the dry side of objective, the @a2chronicle twitter feed adds some humorous insights to their articles.
Local in Ann Arbor - At times, it has been surprisingly difficult for me to get up to speed with political and development issues in Ann Arbor. Local in Ann Arbor offers thoroughly cited analysis of local issues. There is enough information in Local in Ann Arbor's articles that you can understand the issues and reach your own conclusions. Data is wonderful.
Mark Maynard - Mark, can we put aside our differences? I know DA won best blog on the Current this year, but there are bigger fish to fry. Let's work together to take on best local website winner, Dynamic Lawn Care Co. MarkMaynard.com has great coverage of local progressive goings-on and Ypsi-centric stories. I really enjoyed Mark's idea for a drink called a "jive turkey."
Michigan Exposures - Run by an Ypsilanti resident from Bay City, Michigan Exposures has great pictures of our great state. It's got everything: eagles, architecture, ships, nature, football and more. Looking at Michigan Exposures' photo essays, you feel a real sense of pride in Michigan.
Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom - Ann Arbor's blogosphere is filled with food blogs. Meg stands out not only for the depth and variety of her articles, but also because of the frequency with which she posts. Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom. has lots of great recipes and reviews of local food.
Vacuum - Ed Vielmetti is the real OG of the Ann Arbor blogosphere. He has insightful posts, and great maps. The topics are broad, from storms to house fires to neighborhood meetings. Vacuum is always worth a read.
Motown to Tree Town - Semi-anonymous commentary and opining on political and development issues from the Motor City to Ann Arbor. MT2TT (M2TT?) is a good source of news from Detroit and the surrounding area.
A2GastroBoy - Anonymous and snarky. A2GastroBoy clearly loves dining and does not hold back his opinion.
Well there you have it. New additions to the blog roll. Gentle reader, do you think we are missing any local websites? What are your favorite local blogs?
Friends, winter is coming.
Of course, that's not all bad. Fall's a great season - just this past week my sister, who lives in DC, asked me wistfully "Have the trees started changing color in Michigan? They don't do that here." We get apple cider and hayrides, and a certain holiday fiend named Erika eagerly awaits Christmas carols on the radio. I may even be looking forward to enlisting my esteemed co-blogger Mr. Connor Barrie to reattach my snow tire to my bike. Biking through the snow, not so much.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves - we've still got plenty of fall to enjoy. Readers: what's your favorite part of the season?
Sunday, October 23, 2011
So, what does this all come down to?
I am the equivalent of Belgium in Wold War 2. Sure I’m “neutral” but to get to France, Germany has to throw rocks through MY windows…
One thing that I have learned about frat guys having lived with them now for 6 months is that the thing that binds them is not some sense of brotherhood; it is not drinking together; it is not swapping stories of women they have deflowered. No, what binds them is their common inability to take initiative in problem solving, as our window has been broken for over a month now.
What does this mean? I am going to an old stomping ground: 704 Hill St., now home of Sigma Phi Epsilon tomorrow afternoon to have a talk with one “Jon Smith.” No, I’m not trying to maintain his anonymity. That’s actually his name.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
On a cold November Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, over 114,000 fans pack the stands at Michigan Polytechnic Stadium for the game of the year. Within minutes of the opening kickoff, missiles containing high explosives and poisonous gas rain down, one after the other, into the country’s largest football stadium. The siege leaves 4,200 dead and thousands more critically wounded, but this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.Sounds exciting.
Newly promoted Special Agent Dr. Jason Drake leads the team investigating the most horrific terrorist attack of our time. Early evidence points toward an Islamic fundamentalist group, but before the dead can even be counted, two more heinous crimes are committed in the normally sleepy college town. An assault on a top secret bioweapons research lab, resulting in the theft of four pounds of weapons grade anthrax, is followed minutes later by a break in at OncoCure Biosciences, a biotech company focused on cancer therapeutics. Jason soon discovers OncoCure’s best drug candidates weren’t touched, but a failed molecular compound, which may be capable of causing the worst epidemic in the history of mankind, is missing.
Hat tip: Homeless Dave
Friday, October 21, 2011
Just in time for Halloween. Gentle readers, do you know of any other cryptids or spirits haunting our great state?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Act: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Who it is: Legendary San Fran reed riders who broke onto the scene the same time as the Sex Pistols and never stopped blowing smoke, fire, and ashes from brass.
Sounds like: Something people who dislike saxophones will hate.
For fans of: Panic attacks, multi-tasking, North American birds of prey.
Annoyance level for unsuspecting friend/significant other who accompanies you: A lot less obnoxious than how important and amazing you will repeatedly insist they are (even though you are 100 percent correct).
Sounds like an interesting concert. While I dislike panic attacks, I do love North American birds of prey.
The Rova Saxophone Quartet plays this Saturday.
Respondents were given nothing for their time (other than the pride of participating in history!). We’ve consciously omitted the names of some local businesses from the results so as not to inappropriately offend or do harm upon the fine, hard working folks who’s establishments did not score well. The survey is not intended for commercial use. All rights are reserved by A2GastroBoy. Suck it.
Suck it indeed.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Occupy Detroit participants are demanding Bank of America end foreclosures and foreclosure related evictions. The next demonstration is at the Detroit BOA headquarters at noon this Friday, the 21st.
Hat tip: Adam Warner
I'm not saying you got your information about the Bryant Elementary play structure fire from my article yesterday. I do find it suspicious that exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes after I wrote about fire, you posted about the same thing. Honestly, I'm glad that you are reading Damn Arbor. That said, in the future when you find out about stories from us, could you please give us a hat tip? I think it's more than fair to expect you to link to our articles when you receive information about a story from us. I shouldn't have to post a link to our articles in the comments of your stories. Not only is it an unfair chore for me, but I also become subject to insults and ridicule from some of the other members of your site.
On Damn Arbor we strive to always credit and link to our sources. In the past when we've written articles on the same subject as stories in the Com, we've acknowledged it and provided links to those stories. All I'm asking is for you to do the same.
I look forward to continuing our journalistic relationship.
The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT) is part of an AFL-CIO and We Are The People initiative to bridge local labor, community groups and individuals to organize coordinated action against state legislation that threatens a decent standard of life for Michigan workers and families.
WCAT is a great organization. Y'all should definitely check out the interview.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The story unfolds over the years as Saul and Patsy start a family, and their quaint lives are infiltrated by children — their own, and others' kids. One in particular jars their complacency — Saul's mentally imbalanced student, Gordy, who stalks the family. Jonathan Franzen gets all the brainy Midwestern-writer applause, but I sure like the quieter Baxter, with his funny and thoughtful prose that doesn't scream but speaks.
Steve Amick's The Lake, The River & The Other Lake sounds like a great read too:
Being an Iowan, I feel weird shouting out The Mitten twice, but this sprawling novel about a fictional tourist town in Michigan lake country is so jam-packed with quirky and awesome characters, I can't help it.
There's the Ojibwe Indian, Roger Drinkwater, who is driven mad by Jet Skis. The lonely widower, the Rev. Eugene Reecher, who grapples with a porn addiction. The bigoted orchard owner Hubert vonBushberger, who is blindsided when his son secretly marries a migrant worker — she shows up for work pregnant at the start of the season — and vonBushberger's daughter, who makes matters worse by bringing home a Japanese dude. Think of this as an edgy, dark Lake Woebegon.
I haven't read either of these books, so I can't fully endorse them. Hopefully one of us will read them soon and we can offer full reviews. I'll keep you posted.
Monday, October 17, 2011
I have always been a Madras Masala* man (despite not being South Indian), because 1) their food doesn't make me ill, 2) they have a nice space (despite their buffet being a weird side alcove), and 3) most importantly, they have doses. A dose is a South Indian dish that's basically the love child of a crepe and a burrito. And it's amazing. Get yourself down to Maynard Street and check it out.
In the interest of full disclosure, I rarely go to Indian restaurants in A2 because I'd rather go to my parents' house. My mom is a better cook than any Indian restaurant and she always will make my favorites.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
CommonConsensus makes several cool maps that show regional homogeneity in the US. The map above shows the NCAA loyalty of different regions in the US. It's interesting to see the divisions between MSU and U of M as well as the tiny patches of Central Michigan and Western Michigan.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Catch 'em opening for The Rosebuds at the Stick in Detroit tonight. Early show! Check out their track Friends of Friends if you aren't sure:
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I came back to campus this afternoon to the sound of horns honking and loud chanting. I was curious and tracked down the source of the sound: a seemingly endless line of U of M nurses marching up North University. Their union is protesting cuts the hospital wants them to take in their new contract. You can read more about the nurses' position here.
Flatter the land that you love right back as you browse the Main Street in this biscuit tank dress under a khaki coat. Walk in your stacked wood wedges and woven white tights over to the history museum to reminisce on exhibits you explored as a child.
I don't know, does this dress exemplify Ann Arbor? While most Ann Arbor natives do gush about the zeal they hold for their city, personally when I'm visiting I hope my parents have better things to say to me than to do the same about my cute dress... but to each his or her own, I suppose.
Read on and/or order — if you wind up wearing this dress in Ann Arbor, report back with pics! Don't think I will; it's cute, but not really my style.
Looking for a Hipster - 21 (A2)
I have a thing for hipsters and/or scene guys :]
I'm really into music, and you should be too. I love art, coffee shops, dancing at Necto on a Friday night. I have two tattoos. I'm 5'4, white, curvy with long curly hair and wear glasses unironically.
I like guys who are at least as smart as me. Otherwise our conversation will be boring and it just won't be a fun time. Bonus points if you're a musician or a tattoo artist :D
Put your favourite book in the subject line.
There is just so much to say here. I hope this is ironic. I hope this is not ironic. Ladies, watch out, there is a Canadian and/or British woman trying to steal your hipster/scenester/musician-tattoo artist boyfriend.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
In a somewhat ironic turn of events, immediately after linking to A2GastroBoy's thoughts on Lansing's dining scene, I found myself on the campus of MSU yesterday looking for a bite to eat. My housemate suggested we check out the Dairy Store. The Dairy Store sells products from the schools dairy program including some really great cheese and ice cream. I decided to go with a waffle cone of pumpkin spice. It was great. Super rich and creamy with a great mix of spices. The homemade waffle cone was fresh and sturdy. One of the best ice cream cones I've had recently. The Dairy Store also has an extensive selection of grilled cheese sandwiches and on Monday's, you get free tomato soup with the purchase of a grilled cheeses. How great is that?
Gentle readers, if you find yourself in East Lansing looking for a bit to eat, check out the Dairy Store. Going there kind of made me wish we had an ag school at U of M.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Lansing's a fair sized city, in fact, larger than Ann Arbor. According to the 2010 Census Lansing has 114,297 residents, 464,036 when you consider the entire metropolitan. Similarly, Ann Arbor has 113,934 residents, 334,791 including the surrounding community. Wouldn't population alone warrant some at least some greatness?
And East Lansing is a University town. Not only is MSU enrollment nearly 2X U of M, but it's a land grant college founded on agriculture. Ag is food. Shouldn't they be leading the gastronomic revolution? And Lansing is the State's Capital, arguably the most powerful zip code within the great State of Michigan. Wouldn't that attract lots of elite dining events?
After ranting a bit more, GastroBoy goes on to list several Lansing-area restaurants that are decent, but not great.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Looking for something to do today? There's always TEDxArb. If you are looking for something a little more active, then there is pickup Quidditch in the Arb. Meet in the main valley at 2 pm. Don't have a broom? Don't worry, the U of M Quidditch Team has extra.
Image courtesy of my little secrets
Saturday, October 8, 2011
The Sugar House is going for a speakeasy vibe, but it's definitely more successful than the Ravens' Club, probably because they're only focusing on drinks. There's a lot of great touches - a hostess at the door, a great antique map of Detroit on the brick wall, a kickass chandelier, and beautiful wooden floors. An extensive seasonal drinks menu is definitely the place to begin, as many of the mixes are made in house. Because they're not accepting credit cards yet and I didn't have a lot of cash on me, I only had the chance to sample their Autumn Old Fashioned, figuring that it's hard to go wrong with Jim Beam Rye.
I daresay it was the best Old Fashioned I've ever had. Served with huge ice cubes, apple cider syrup, and Angostura bitters, it was smooth, rich, and definitely autumnal. Of course, there's beer and wine on offer too. I'm already trying to figure out how to plan a return visit so as to work my way down the drinks list.
The Sugar House, 2130 Michigan Avenue, www.sugarhousedetroit.com
W/Th: 5 PM - 12 AM • F/Sa: 5 PM - 1 AM • Su 5 PM - 11 PM
Friday, October 7, 2011
I am not going to say that we will have a top ten defense in the country by the end of the season, because I don't think we will but there is a clear difference between the way they perform now, and in the previous two years. First off, the defensive secondary has made huge strides. Last year teams could throw completions of 20 yards or more at will. The number of missed assignments that left receivers open was ridiculous. You could almost count on teams converting 3rd and 15 or 3rd and 20. This year the defense has forced teams to earn long completions. There haven't been very many plays over 20 yards by opposing offenses this season, and that is the first and most important sign of improvement. It doesn't mean we aren't still vulnerable. Notre Dame ran and passed all over us in the first half of that game, and without the epic collapse that only the Fighting Irish seem capable of, we were handled. We still are not great on defense, but we are most certainly better than before. And that is enough to give me hope that 5-0 now, wont end in 6-6 or 7-5.
This is the point of the season where we faltered previous years. Northwestern is our first test against an decent big ten opponent on the road.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
• the "elegant and glass-covered atrium" of the Nickels Arcade
• the "intimate" Comet Coffee (adopted home of GH)
• Van Boven, which apparently caters to "well-dressed fraternity boys"
• Moe's Sport Shop, for game prep
• The Diag, a leafy oasis
• The "architecturally stunning" Law Quad, aka Hogwarts
• Dominick's, but for the sangria rather than the food
• Mark's Carts and the Friday night bands
• UMS and the Ark, for saving culture
• Angelo's for brunch, and the Farmer's Market for exercise
• Zingerman's, of course
• Monahan's for po' boys and chowder
• The Big House
• Palio for post-game drinks
• Pacific Rim, Frita Batidos, or Logan for dinner
• The Cavern Club for live shows
• The Michigan Theater, and the State's midnight shows
• The Arb (adopted home of BCB)
• Cafe Zola's enormous brunch
• UMMA and the Kelsey Museum for classy art
• The Bell Tower and the Inn at the League, for accommodation
I have to say that the Times got it mostly right - I'd quibble with a couple choices (Palio?) and they left out a few things, including my favorite "secret" bar. Readers, what do you think of the NYT's assessment of our town?
Liberty Local, an indie craft fair, will be this weekend from 10 AM - 6 PM on Saturday and 12 PM - 5 PM on Sunday at the Ann Arbor Art Center. With two floors of indie craft goodness, Liberty Local will be held in the historic Walker Carriage Building, home of the Ann Arbor Art Center.
Think of it as an indoor indie artists’ market, showcasing the best in independent craft.
Each of the 35 vendors from all over Michigan (and even a few from our near-by neighbor Illinois) was selected because of the high quality of their original handcrafted work
Proceeds from a $1 admissions fee will support the programs of the Ann Arbor Art Center, the place where creativity and community meet. Food and beverages from some amazing local vendors will be available for purchase at the Art Center.
I've had the pleasure of working with a group of people from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor that came together in response to the actions and planned actions of Governor Synder and the Michigan legislature against - what a promising, albeit nascent, movement is now calling - the 99%. And while our work continues to concern state legislation that attacks workers, the unemployed and students, we recognize that effectiveness of our efforts is dependent on our awareness of the depth and extent of the crisis and the persons and groups it affects.
The group is the Washtenaw Community Action Team (affectionately known as the "Double-U CAT").
We are students, unionists, lecturers, teachers, nurses, pensioners, youth, social and economic justice advocates, Michiganders, community members, and so on. We planned the Stand Against Snyder Demonstration that took place at last year's UM commencement and turned out 2,000 people from all over the state; we supported the effort to repeal the emergency financial manager law by hosting town hall meetings and organizing petition drives; we stand in solidarity with the nurse's union and the graduate students trying to unionize as research assistants -- among other things.
The WCAT is hosting a film series at several locations in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor during the months of October and November that will lead up to a social forum on Tuesday, November 15th. The series is called The Power of Working People and the social forum is on Rebuilding Working People's Power.
The idea behind the film series and social forum is to place the 2008 economic crisis and the legislation and attitudes it has precipitated in the context of the history of labor and its relationship to political power. The goal through the screenings and discussions is not only to understand the power of working people, but also to start the process to restore it.
The two films that will play are 1979 Academy Award nominated With Babies and Banners: The Story of the Women's Emergency Bridge and 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Inside Job.
With Babies and Banners tells the story of the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936-7 and the story of the formation of the Women's Emergency Brigade by 23 year old Genora Johnson Dollinger.
Inside Job explores the consequences the collusion of big business and government had on financial policy and practices in the United States leading up to the collapse of the U.S. financial institutions in 2008 and the subsequent $700 billion bailout. Three years later we continue to reel from the fallout of the 2008 collapse and decisions made thereafter.
The social forum -- taking place Tuesday, November 15th @ 7pm -- will pick up where the films left off by exploring how the political class and big business have exploited the economic crisis to push anti-worker policies at all levels of government.
Featured panelists include: Jane Slaughter (LaborNotes, Labor Journalist & Activist); Maureen Taylor (Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, 2010 US Social Forum organizer); Tom Weisskopf (Professor of Economics - University of Michigan)
The forum will also feature reports from social justice and community organizations, union leaders and students -- providing the opportunity for us to learn from each other's struggles and a chance to work together.
For more information about WCAT and times and dates of screenings visit our website You can also RSVP for events on facebook .
You can also join our meetings 7pm, Thursdays @ 330 E. Liberty St. (Floor 3).
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The Daily's got a new fashion blog and it features analysis of street fashion. So you know, time to start wearing clean clothes folks. Above is their guide to dressing for that ever more illusive job interview. I'm not sure if I agree with their argument for short-ish skirts or tie clips. Other than that though, seems like pretty sensible advice.
Image via the Daily
Monday, October 3, 2011
If you haven't been on the Diag today, you may not have noticed the gigantic display put on by an anti-abortion rights organization. You can't tell from my mercifully low-resolution photo, but the display boards are pretty graphic. Some of the undergrads I follow on the tumblr are pretty upset by the display. Some of those links are gory so follow at your own risk.