If you're looking for something to do to ring in the new year here are a few tried and true suggestions from us here at Damn Arbor. If you are looking for a dance party, check out the NYE Bang! at the Blind Pig. The theme is "Black Tie, Black Light" and cover is $15 for this 21+ event. If you don't feel too excited about wearing your tuxedo to the Pig, but still want to rock out, you can always check out Mittenfest tonight at Woodruff's in Ypsi where Lightning Love will be taking the stage at 12:30. Cover is $10 for this benefit for 826 Michigan. If you are looking for something a little more low key, it's hard to beat posting up at your favorite watering hole with some good friends to ring in the new year.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
|Poster from Mittenfest website|
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Look out your window. We've got some snow. It's the holidays so you really have no excuse not to go sledding. With that in mind, I am posting some links to some classic articles about sledding in Ann Arbor:
Guide to Ann Arbor: Sled-DANG! In A2 from Damn Arbor's very own Quinn DavisI will add this: Huron Hills is probably my favorite sledding spot in the city (see this article on the Chronicle). The Arb is pretty sweet for sledding too. But the frozen hummocks of grass kind of hurt your bum as your sled there. And it's borderline illegal. But really it doesn't matter where you sled, as long as you get out and enjoy yourself.
Sledding on Arborwiki
Guide to the Ann Arbor area's best sledding hills by Ed Vielmetti
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Ah, the good old SS Badger. The old ferry that takes cars from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI. The historic ship that needs to be granted exemptions from the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act so that the meddling Federal Government doesn't destroy a good old fashioned small business. So what if the Badger spews thick coal smoke and dumps 4 tons of toxic fly ash into Lake Michigan on each voyage? The government shouldn't be in the business of preventing private actors from destroying public goods. So what if the Badger is the last coal burning ship on the Great Lakes? So what if the owners are using the ships historical status as an excuse to not modernize? Isn't that what this country's all about? The ability of private interests to pervert the public process?
The Badger's permit to dump coal ash into Lake Michigan expired earlier this month, but from the sounds of this Journal Sentinel article, it looks like the company is hopeful that it will be granted a new waiver. I hope the EPA doesn't grant it a new permit.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
wtf Whole Foods? - m4w - 33 (Ann Arbor)Personally, I think it's because Whole Foods has nice lighting. Either that or this is some sort of sinister viral marketing campaign. Gentle readers, why do you think Whole Foods is the site of so many Missed Connections?
Date: 2012-12-22, 9:08AM EST
I had to go to Whole Foods yesterday to see what's going on up there. Will someone who knows please tell me why every third missed connection comes from that place?
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
|Brand New Market T-shirt (gift idea?)|
I think it's safe to say there will be a tomorrow. A part of me was wishing the world would end (as we know it, awakening, blah blah) so I wouldn't have to rely on spell check to spell "tomorrow" any more. Well, even as snow is approaching, the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market will be open tomorrow, as another option for last minute food/gifts shopping for the twenty five. Recently spotted at the market were brussel sprouts, radicchio, that fractal cauliflower thing, and a range of goods including wreaths, trees, spoons and more. Santa will be there as well, from 10 to 1!
Anyway, if you are looking for some last-minute gift ideas, here are some of our recommendations:
1. Books by Michigan authors. Looking for a gift for someone who loves to read? Check out Once Upon a River or American Salvage by our pal Bonnie Jo Campbell. There's also The Lake, the River, and the Other Lake by Steve Amick, which EJ reviewed earlier this month. Even though he no longer lives in Michigan, Charles Baxter's Saul and Patsy and The Feast of Love are great reads.
2. Meat from Biercamp. Fathers are notoriously difficult to find gifts for. If your dad likes meat, stop by Biercamp. They have a facebook post with 7 gift ideas for under $20. There are even vegetarian options.
3. Emeritus Damn Arbor contributor GH recommends a Comet Coffee takeaway mug for your caffeine-addicted friends. He's pretty sure you get $0.25 off of each purchase if you bring your own mug.
4. If you are looking for a sweet stocking suffer, there's Jon Wilcox's Journal of a Shut-In. This mini-comic might not ship in time for Christmas Day, but you can pick it up in person at the Green Brain in Dearborn.
5. Damn Arbor Senior Music Correspondent, Lizzy Courtois, recommends City Bird's Etsy page for some good Michigan themed gifts. Again, they probably won't ship in time for Christmas, but their products are available in stores listed on their website.
6. EJ recommends you check out Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis by Mark Binelli. It's an illustrated rebuttal to ruin porn.
Gentle readers, do you have any favorite places for last minute gift shopping? Feel free to share them in the comments.
I've no sweeping, poetic sentiment or condemnation about my city's particular appetite for arson, just a shell of a home that now contributes to the blight on my block. I'd long ago moved on from that neighborhood, but I did move back to Detroit a few years ago.
I want to be a part of the rebuilding of my beloved city. But first, I must tear down the scorched brick house that was my home for most of my life.Her article brought a tear to my eye.
Wolverine State Brewing Company will be hosting a traditional Festivus party this Festivus-day. It have all the trimmings from your family's Festivus celebrations of yesteryear: an airing of the grievances, feats of strength. No word on weather there will be an aluminum pole.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I had a conversation with Matthew Altruda last Thursday about whether it was better to go to an end of the world party on the 20th or 21st of December. Matthew made a good argument that it was better to go to a party on the 20th because you don't know when on the 21st the world might end. That said, he might have been baised because he's hosting an end of the world show tonight, at the Blind Pig.
That said, if you're in the "celebrate the end of the world on the 21st" camp or if you are looking for something a little punkier, then perhaps Friday's show at the Blind Pig may be more your style. It even features a reunion of the Pussy Pirates! Isn't it wonderful how the holidays can bring back defunct bands for reunion shows?
Gentle readers, do you have any special plans for the end of the world? Are you going to party it up, spend time with loved ones, bug out to your secret cabin in the woods? Personally I think I'm just going to go to dinner with some friends who are in town for the holidays.
Are you a creative type? Have you ever wanted to live in an underground venue? Well if so, you're in luck: Far House is looking for new housemates. Via Criagslist:
This is a call to local doers, builders, makers, hackers, movers, shakers, posi punks, anarchists, (sub)urban farmers, culture jammers, radical queer folk, artists, crafters, musicians, noise makers, concert promoters, zinesters, screenprinters, filmmakers, community/events organizers and other progressive outsiders.If you've always wanted a chicken run, but hate chickens, this place is for you.
One of Ann Arbor's premier house venue collectives is looking for new housemates.
Here's a little about us and why you may want to live here:
We've been home to a very diverse group of artists, musicians, community/events organizers and activists, among others.
We've played host to dozens of underground concert events (local and touring artists), dance parties, skill shares, potlucks, film screenings, art showings and other various social functions and plan on continuing those traditions.
While this may make us sound like a rowdy party house (we are absolutely not), we've established a reputation for respecting our guests and our guests return that respect.
We have never had issues with things being broken or stolen, people fighting or police showing up.
We have a greenhouse in our backyard (could use a little TLC), raised bed gardens (same), an outdoor compost bin (again), a fire pit, a large deck, a hammock - and a chicken run (minus chickens at the moment) for chicken keeping (eggs, not meat).
All images are from the Craigslist post.
If you're like me, then you probably have noticed the cartoon cat graffiti that has been popping up all over town this fall. I've been pretty intrigued by it. Most of the cartoons have been pretty small and could could go unnoticed to the unobservant. I also like the way cartooning on 3D surfaces allows the artist to escape from the tyranny of the panel and the page. See, for example, the cartoon on the Church St. Structure.
It turns out that the artist behind the cartoon cat graffiti is an acquaintance of an acquaintance. So through an elaborate series of clandestine letter drops we arranged a meeting. During our conversation, we covered a wide range of topics from the ethics of graffiti (trying not to be too much of a dick.), the differences between cats and dogs in comics and gender stereotypes as they relate to cat ownership. I'm intentionally leaving out many personal details about the artist to protect their identity.
BCB: So, who are some your biggest influences?
[REDACTED]: I really like Bill Waterson and the guy that does Bone [ED: Jeff Smith] I can't remember his name right now, but I really like how much he's able to do with so such simple characters. I also like Krazy Kat. In terms of street artist though, I'd have to say Space Invader. I like that he was able to get his name out there just by putting up something simple over and over.
BCB: How did you get started drawing your cartoon cat graffiti?
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The show has something to do with Matthew Altruda's birthday but mostly it's about ancient mayan prophecies and good tunes. It has a really fun website with a ticking doomsday clock and a coveted url. The first show starts at 9:30 on thursday with it's sister show being friday night, if we survive till then.
|Credit to Tree Town Sound Fbook|
Biercamp, it's not just this summer's hottest summer camp, it's now Ann Arbor's newest microbrewery. On their Dec. 17th meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to grant Biercamp Artisan Sausage and Jerky a microbrewery license. And there was much rejoicing.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
11-year-old Eric Stamatin of Shelby Township found a mastodon bone while playing in the stream behind his house with his cousin. I cannot express my jealously. I guess this is why Shelby Township was ranked as a better place than Ann Arbor to live. Apparently the place is freaking full of mastodon fossils.
Via CNN, H/T Megan Banka
Gentle reader, do you find yourself living on the fringes of society on North Campus? Do you ever wonder where you can go to get food? If so, look no further than Om Nom North, the website that answers "the question 'What's still open on North Campus?'" The page breaks North Campus into four geographic locations: On-Campus, Plymouth Rd. Food Emporium, Krogerville, and The Outer Rim. Sounds a little like Middle-earth. I like the website's minimalist aesthetic and also this humurous message at the bottom: "This website brought to you by Diet Mountain Dew, Taylor Swift, Python, and the letter 'Q'."
Monday, December 17, 2012
It has been a while since I have posted anything. I buried myself in graduate school and kinda shut everything else out for a while. I am studying the immune system so vaccinations and influenza fall into my area of interest. I started to notice more people have been calling into work sick in the past week or two. Seems that flu season is starting up a bit earlier than usual. There are at least 12 lab-confirmed cases in Washtenaw county already Flu Tracker Washtenaw County. If you were planning on getting vaccinated, now is the time to do so. For those of you who are unsure about the influenza vaccine or vaccines in general here's some general information....
Looking for some local indie rock to help you ring in the holidays? Well look no further than the Suburban Sprawl's annual holiday sampler.
My favorite tracks include: Christmas Card by Lawnmower. Nothing says emo Christmas like an old school Jimmy Eat World cover.If you are itching for some new music from some sweet local bands, you really should check out this year's Holiday Sampler. Heck, while you are at it, you should download the 2011 Sampler too. They are free so don't have anything lose.
Somerset Solo by Sylvan Lanes. Sylvan Lanes is the pseudonym of Frontier Ruckus' Matt Mailia. Do shopping malls bum you out around the holiday season? Then you can relate to Sylvan Lanes' folk-rap hybrid about a depressing trip to the Somerset Collection.
Tell Me What I Am (A Letter To Santa From A Regular Guy)by The Next Door Neighbors. The Next Door Neighbors just want to know if they are on the naughty or nice list. I'm sure you can relate.
Christmas Lights by Woodman. Very few songs are written from the point of view f Christmas lights. This song is one of them.
Kringle Kringle by Flip Flop. A tribute to the "turn of the millennium crunk rap" era. I think.
The Ramadan Song by Sadam Andler. This is undoubtedly the low point on the album.
That illusive elf, Mark Maynard. This picture is really meta because it captures Mark taking a picture for his blog. I'll let that sink in for a second.
This picture is actually if the end of the night. When the parade to Woodruff's was starting.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
A reader, Lisa Nichols, sent in the above picture. Looks like the cartoon cat graffiti bandit has struck the ladies restroom at Espresso Royale on State St. Gentle Readers, if you have seen more of this street artist's work, please send it in.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
EJ and I have been thinking about going for a drive to check out some Christmas lights. Any suggestions of neighborhoods to check out?
UPDATE: My sister Colleen just sent in this video she took from the corner of "Textile and Somewhere." Thanks, Colleen.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Oh man. This is going to be so sweet once people start geotagging their Missed Connections. Unfortunately, there are only two showing up right now. I imagine a day when all Missed Connections are geotagged so that people can search for the perfect place to share lingering glances with a stranger.
bike: Silver/gray Bianchi Boardwalk with Specialized handlebar extenders, black rack on the back, steel pedals with black toe clips, red cables, red LED light on seat post back. "yorktown cycles" sticker on down-tube last seen: friday around 7:30pm outside "The Abbey" apartments on church between hill and oakland. BIG REWARD IF FOUND.Keep your eyes peeled folks.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Or so his boss told us.
"Seth has a West Coast swagger and a Midwest work ethic," said Jeff Paquin, the restaurant's managing partner. "He works as many hours as I do. It's not healthy."
Jeff is lanky and wears black frame glasses. He looks like the kind of guy who could order you a good whiskey cocktail. (Maybe it was the subtle suggestion of his t-shirt: "A whiskey bar with an appreciation for gin.") So BCB and I asked him to surprise us with a couple of drinks.
"We want to be mature, not pretentious," Jeff was telling us when the waitress walked up with our drinks.
"Huh," she mused, "I always thought we were pretentious but not mature."
Bob Seger got it right when he sang about Ann Arbor more than 30 years ago.
His song Mainstreet still captures the feel of the Michigan college town’s downtown, although pool halls and department stores have now given way to a staggering number of restaurants, brew pubs, concert halls and quirky stores such as Vault of Midnight selling graphic novels or Cherry Republic with nothing but products made from Michigan cherries.
They also had some very nice things to say about our friends, Appleseed Collective. To our neighbors to the north I say this: if you're looking for some place warm for a nice winter getaway, look no further than balmy Michigan. I'm sure your Loonies and Twonies will go quite far here.
|AG and Maia|
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I noticed a spike in traffic today from a website called Operation Mongoose 2012 (the 2012 is to distinguish it from the Operation Mongoose in 1962). It turns out they are the group behind the memorial on the old Borders Flagship Store. From their site:
Concept: We are going to go to the old and original site of Borders Bookstore in Ann Arbor and host a memorial of sorts for printed books. We are going to put paper tombstones on the blank store front of Borders and invite the public to write out either a memory of borders, the title of their favorite book, and or a passage from their favorite literary work on the tombstones. We will also have ripped out pages from books with sayings painted on them like “Why don’t you read me anymore?” We will have a sign with clear concise instructions for people to write on the tombstones as well provide sharpies for people to use in order to make their mark. We will monitor and record the results of our experiment.Looks like mission accomplished.
Purpose: Printed text is a dying art form. Digital text is rapidly replacing printed literature. Ann Arbor is the city where the very first Borders was created over 40 years ago. It was a staple in the Ann Arbor community. This “memorial” serves as a commentary on the loss of a mainstay in the community as well as the dwindling form of printed books.
Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband: Krampus, the scary Christmas troll will be heading to Corner Brewery this Saturday. From MarkMaynard.com:
The 2012 Krampus Ball will commence at 8:00 PM this Saturday night, December 15, at Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery (720 Norris Street). Entry is free. Costumes are expected. And, if you dare to bring a child, it will be immediately consumed. As is our tradition, in addition to having incredible music to shake your asses to, there will be two special brews – one naughty, one nice.You can RSVP for this event via FaceBook if that's your thing. Hope to see you there.
Image via Wiener Bilder, 6. Dezember 1896
The entire first act of last night's Daily Show was all about right-to-work in Michigan. While it does feature J.Stew rapping, it didn't really make me feel better about the whole situation. MarkMaynard.com has a good analysis of the money behind right-to-work in Michigan. Well, I assume it's good. I haven't read it cause I'm a little bummed out still.
Here's the link to the Daily Show on Hulu.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
That said, I feel like everyone who reported this should have dug a little deeper. The original posts by citizenthrowawayx had a unsettling tone that should have alerted us that these posts were just a glimpse of something much larger. For example:
I take no pleasure in this at all but I had no choice. Let's just say I don't appreciate people lying about me in court and filing false police reports. What you see here is just the tip of the iceberg.Reading that it should be obvious that this whole outing was not part of a simple workplace dispute. That comment, in addition to others made me suspect that this may have been part of a domestic dispute. I had even planned on going to the circuit court to look for records like a real journalist, but I guess I don't have to now. Now I just feel a little dirty for having helped propagate a dirty, desperate attack against someone's character.
The tweet led to a post by someone using the handle citizenthrowawayx. The post was of a scanned image of Ms. Miller's resume and an official report from Columbia College that she had not, in fact earned a BA there as the resume claimed. Citizenthrowawayx posted the following statement along with the scanned transcript:
I don't like seeing my tax and your tuition money going toward paying someone ~ $100k/yr in earnings obtained through fraud, so I'm posting a little FOIA dump you all may be interested in. This information is publicly available. Having been royally screwed over by by this woman's lies myself, I decided to file a FOIA request with U of M to obtain these documents. I knew since she's a pathological liar that she probably lied on her application for the job, which as it turns out, she did. No surprise there.Harsh words from citizenthrowayayx. Nevertheless it appears as if the compliance hotline came through in the end. Part of me wishes we lived in a world where if you were capable of excelling at your job, it wouldn't matter if you had a degree. Then again, I realize that misrepresentation to get yourself considered for a position isn't fair to those who don't misrepresent themselves.
I work at U of M myself and we constantly get these emails about integrity and reporting fraud and illegal activity... all lip service, apparently. I was asked to produce a copy of my degree certificate for my job, which I did. Perhaps it's a different situation cause I'm not a professional liar, but regardless an academic institution relies on its reputation and should at least have some minimum standard of honesty in the job application process. It's all about earning that degree that says something about you, right? Otherwise what's the point? We can all just make fake CVs or order PhDs from diploma mills and make a pile of money too.
(ps. I don't really have a problem if anyone figures out who I am, but why bring myself unnecessary attention? I'm not the one who's engaged in fraud here and you can verify this information yourself if you want)
I was unable to attend the protest at the Capitol today. Fortunately my younger sister is there and was able to send me some pictures. All photos by Colleen Connor Barrie.
Looks like there are a lot of folks at the Capitol today.
Colleen says: "Best dressed award." I'm inclined to agree.
Let me preface this by saying I really haven't really done any research on the current Right-to-work legislation in Michigan or about Right-to-Work in general. So if I'm putting my foot in my mouth, can you please correct me in the comments? Thanks.
As I understand it, the current Right-to-work bills in Michigan would put an end to the agency model we currently have in Michigan. Under the agency model employers are can hire union and non-union employees. Non-union employees are not forced to join the union, but do have to pay a fee to cover the costs of collective bargaining. This basically creates a free rider problem, whereby workers benefit from the efforts of collective bargaining but do not have an incentive to pay for it.
Anyway, under the current legislation, the agency model would be outlawed except for police and firefighters. This is either because firefighters and police are so important and lawmakers don't want to screw them over, or it's because the Republicans in Lansing really really dislike these public safety employees (remember, right-to-work makes things better for employees). Sometimes it's hard for me to get my rhetoric right.
It is this ache for the essence of fictional Weneshkeen and towns like it that draws together the stories in Steve Amick's "The Lake, the River, and the Other Lake." Mercifully, none of the characters seek soft-focused nostalgia in Weneshkeen, though it would have been easy to explore that route in a book about a summery Michigan town. No, the tales here are sharp and complex, and the characters are surprising.
Monday, December 10, 2012
On Saturday, we posted a picture of this sweet tandem bike, or twosie. A commentor, informed us that it might be the famed twosie of Michigan Offensive Tackle, Taylor Lewan, who has been known to ride a tandem bike around Ann Arbor. Well, as of Sunday night, the bike was still locked on Campus. But more importantly, it appears as if this may not be Taylor Lewan's bike. Or at least it's not the same twosie that is pictured in the MGoBlog interview linked to above. This leads to the natural question: are twosies/tandem bikes an up and coming trend in Ann Arbor?
Soul Night // Blind Pig // you accidentally took my coatSounds like someone is really missing their coat.
Date: 2012-12-08, 1:57PM EST
Reply to this post email@example.com
I totally get it, it was a mistake. It was a black puffy coat, like countless others, so it was easy to pick up on accident. But I really miss my coat, and am cold all over without it.
Black, thigh length, downy, hooded, I've had it for four years and would love to have it for four more. Not a very fashionable coat. In the right pocket there was a pink grapefruit chapstick, and in the left a lone black glove without its match and two used tissues.
If you have it, I'd really appreciate if you could get in touch with me and return it!!