Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Damnies™ now accepting votes

After an intense nomination period, voting for the 2013 Damnies™ is now live. Tell all your friends.

More Snowmen

The recent snow has been warm and heavy. Bad for shoveling, but good for snow sculptures. Damn Arbor reader, Tom Hewitt, just sent in the following pictures of a pretty buff snowman. Looks like it's nippin' out a little bit, probably on account of the cold.


Best snowman ever

Best snowman ever

Check out this snowman next to the Art and Architecture Building. I guess you'd expect the best snowman in town to be on North Campus... it's a lot closer to the North Pole there. Via Stamps School Tumblr.

Hat tip @Juliewbee

'And all the streets were new'

Brad Leithauser has a piece about concision in The New Yorker's Page-turner blog today. He writes about poetry, among all writing forms, as the ultimate testament to the art of saying a lot by not saying much. One of the poems he highlights is Donald Hall's "Exile":
A boy who played and talked and read with me
Fell from a maple tree. 
I loved her, but I told her I did not,
And wept, and then forgot. 
I walked the streets where I was born and grew,
And all the streets were new.
Mr. Leithauser grew up in Detroit, a fact that informed his musings on this poem:
The third stanza echoes in my head whenever I find myself wandering around the old Detroit neighborhoods of my boyhood. Even those blocks that have escaped either renovation or the wrecker’s ball, the ones where the houses look the same, have become different blocks and houses. The change is within, like some reworking of cornea and retina; over time, you can’t help seeing with new eyes.
His post reminded me of Mr. Leithauser's novel The Art Student's War, set in WWII-era Detroit, that I have been intending to read for some years now. I nearly always enjoy Mr. Leithauser's magazine and blog writing, and I'm wondering if it translates well into fiction. Has anyone given the novel a crack?

David Byrne and St. Vincent at the Michigan Theater

The pre-sale of David Byrne & St. Vincent tickets starts at 10 am today. They are being sold through Ticketmaster so...

Anyway, I just thought I'd pass on the pre-sale information to you, incase that's your thing. Also, I just wanted to take this opportunity an reach out to David Byrne. I know you really like biking. I do too. If you want someone to show you around Ann Arbor on a bike, I'd be more than happy to oblige. Just drop me a line.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beat the winter blahs with a beer tasting at Sidetrack

Is the damp snow getting you down? If so, you might want to check out tonight's beer tasting at Sidetrack. Jessica French sent me the following in an email earlier this week:
What better way to beat the 'winter blahs' then with a craft beer tasting?!

On Wednesday, February 27 from 7pm-10pm we will be hosting a beer tasting event that is sure to make you forget all about the doldrums of winter... among other things! The event will be held in our new space (next to Frenchie's) and will feature a ton of micro-brews for your tasting pleasure, as well a buffet of appetizers and finger foods. There will be style and tasting notes provided, as well as plenty of beer geeks and brewery representatives on hand to discuss the brews. To top it all off, we will be raflling off great prizes including beer schwag and Sidetrack gift cards.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the Merch page of our website after February 8th.

Please note, because space is limited, this event will sell out so DON'T wait until the last minute to get your ticket!

For those inquiring minds, here are a few of the beers we will be featuring-

St Bernardus
Dark Horse- Thirsty Trout-porter
Vivant- Triomphe- Belgium IPA
North peak- Nomad-winter cider
Frankenmuth- Munich Dunkel

Sounds tasty. Strap on those cross country skis and head out to Sidetrack tonight. Is it possible to ski from Ann Arbor to Ypsi?

Survive the storm?

Gentle reader, I just wanted to check in with you and make sure you made it through last night's winter storm alright. We here at the Damn Arbor HQ are OK, but our neighbor's cars are not so lucky. Is there a tumblr for trees/branches falling on cars? If not, someone might want to get on it.

From the looks of the DTE outage map, the greater Ypsi-Arbor region got the brunt of the storm. Anyway, I hope you all stay warm and dry. I have had to resort to eatin chocolate chip cookies for breakfast in an attempt to keep my energy up.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pimps of Joytime Last Thursday

Last week I pulled myself from staycation coma and made it out to the Pimps of Joytime at the Blind Pig. I've been through hellfire and brimstone since then, but Damn Arbor, that show was good. The Blind Pig was filled well and with all walks of life. It was an juxtaposition of underage students and an older crowd. At some point the bandleader brought up the crowd, seemingly surprised they had such a warm reception in Ann Arbor but he shouldn't have been. The show was good, like really good. It's hard to put into words but the feeling still lingers.

2013 Damnies™: nominations extended

We're extending the nomination period for the 2013 Damnies™ for just one more day. As per your suggestion, gentle reader, we've added some new categories including best bartender. So make sure you add your two cents.

In Rosemarie's Eyes: The Airport

Hello Ann Arbor! Inspired by my friend Ted Wilson, who gets to write for a great website called The Rumpus, I have taken to the internet. Mr. Connor Barrie has allowed me to spread my musings on this website, D*** Arbor. However, my goal for my writing is to become a regular on, so if anyone has any connections, please share!

The Ann Arbor Municipal Airport
2/5 Stars
thank you for this lovely photo

I've never been to the Municipal Airport, which is why it receives it's rating of 2/5 stars. I have been to many airports in my life, including a few in Michigan. I hardly remember some of them, like the Traverse City Airport, but I am not writing about the ones I can hardly remember, only one I have never been to.

Student Food Co-op today in Mason Hall

If you're on campus and in need of produce today, make sure you stop by the Student Food Co-op in Mason Hall (AKA the basement of Angell Hall). Via their Facebook:

We'll have kiwis, apples, bananas, oranges, avocados, carrots, cucumbers, kale, red and green peppers, spinach and sweet potatoes.

If you forget to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag), we are starting up a bag sharing program so keep your eyes open for that!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Planned Parenthood Party

This thursday, Planned Parenthood is hosting a Winter Soiree at Corner Brewery in the dear ole Ypsi. It starts at six, is thirty dollars at the door, but twenty five if you buy in advance. That ticket price includes some nice drink tickets, including cider and beer. There will be live music and a Planned Parenthood Program at seven. If I had money, I'd spend it here.

Signs of spring

Despite tomorrow's coming winter storm, there are sure signs that spring is just around the corner. Or at least the some trees seem to think winter will be ending shortly. If you'll look up into the branches of a sliver maple (Acer saccharinum) you can see the tiny red buds that line the tops of their branches are starting to swell and bust. Silver maple flowers are not as showy as may other spring flowers, but they do come much earlier in the season.

Another sign that spring is on the way is that the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) sap is starting to run. If you're fortunate enough to have a sugar maple in your yard, and it has a broken branch, look for a maple sap-cicle. You'll find these translucent icicles growing from wounded maple branches when daytime temperatures are above freezing, but nighttime temps are still cold.

As nice as it was to have a real winter this year, especially after last year. All things considered though, I think I'm ready for spring.

Edward II at The New Theater Project

The New Theater Project will be preforming Edward the Second from March 1-31st at Mix Studio Theater in Ypsilanti. There will be three pay-what-you can performances on March 1-3. The official opening is March 8th. Here's a description of TNTP's interpretation of the play:

The adaptation imagines what a naive, young lust would look like on an epic scale. What if an eroticized love affair could destroy an entire nation? What if a break up could strand you, banished in a foreign world?

A party boy, a loser, a pothead, a wastoid, now a king, Edward: not ready for the call of adulthood, crashing in his dad’s basement with his disreputable boyfriend, Pierce. His brother Kent lives under the burden of his beloved father, and his wife Isabel will only put up with it for so long before her ambitions get the best of her. Edward the Second, The New Theatre Project’s first history play adaptation, exists in the tensions between power and desire, pain and pleasure, and past and present. The classic love story--with its unforgettable, explosive ending--is about the impossibility of young love and the casualties of adulthood.

Edward the Second contains violence, strong language, sexual simulations, and nudity. Audience members under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Sounds like a fun sexy time. Tickets are $10 for students/industry and $15 for the general population. You can buy them online here for a modest service fee.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nerd Nite in Ann Arbor

I attended the second Ann Arbor nerd nite at The Last Word thursday night. My subpar photography skills do not do justice to the awesome bar decor nor the size of the crowd. At first I thought it was a bit cozy in there, but Liz, one of the Nerd Nite Ann Arbor organizers, said she likes it that way because it keeps everything more informal and fun. I tend to agree. All three presenters captivated large audience without getting bogged down with powerpoint presentation formality and rigidity. Bottom line, this was a great way to spend a thursday night. Also, good news for those of you who might want more nerd stuff in the southeastern Michigan area.  Liz and Amber (two of the Ann Arbor Nerd Nite organizers along with Hadley) are starting up Nerd nite Detroit on March 28th at Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company along with handling the March Nerd Nite in Ann Arbor.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Match by Match CD release party March 1st

Are you guys getting excited? Match by Match is releasing their new album, Vivat Veritas, this Friday at Woodruff's.

Friday, February 22, 2013

El Otro Lado

El Otro Lado/The Other Side opens today in the Hatcher Library's Audubon Room. The exhibit is part of the LSA's Winter 2013 Theme Semester, "Understanding Race." It features "posters, photographs, archives, books, pamphlets, periodicals, buttons, and other items that illustrate a long history of race-related social protest movements, and that are intended to stimulate conversation and raise awareness about struggles against racism, past and present."

Introducing the 2013 Damnies™

We've been at this local website thing for over two years now--high time we start giving out our own awards. So, in the spirit of the Awards from 2011 we will be conducting our own award competition where you, gentle reader, will be able to vote for the winners! Yay for voting! Here's a list of our current categories, feel free to nominate people/places for each category or to suggest additional categories. You can find a nomination form at the end of this post. Also, if any local businesses would like to become a sponsor of the Damnies, drop us an email, we'll work something out. OK, without further ado, the categories for the 2013 Damnies™ are:

Authentic Mexican Food Cart

El Manantial is a food cart that will be opening this spring at Mark's Carts. Their menu food super good. Currently El Manatial is seeking funds on Kickstarter.

Hat tip: Jeremy Salfen

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New beginnings for Squares?

I was walking down Liberty last night with EJ when I noticed that there was something afoot in the old Squares storefront. You guys remember Squares, right? The ill-fated restaurant that served sandwiches on square pita bread on square plates? The restaurant where it seemed like 2-4 employees were constantly handing out fliers downtown? Well it looked like there was some sort of new server training going on there. Anyone know what's going on? Personally, I think that site has been cursed since Dinersty left.

Nerd Nite tonight

Ann Arbor's second Nerd Nite is tonight. Due to high attendance at last month's Nerd Night, they are changing venues from The Bar at 327 Braun Court to The Last Word. Doors are at 6:30 and presentations start at 7:00. Tonight's presentations include:

Kill It with Fire: Building Giant Art for Fun And Absolutely No Profit - Jane Davis

Coitus and Curry: Divine Sexy Times with Lord Krishna, Becky Bloom

Cupid Wasn’t Aiming For Your Heart: The Neuroscience of Love, Dr. Tiffany Love

What a fun, sexy time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pimps of Joytime at the Pig

Live Music Alliance is pulling the Pimps of Joytime into the Ann Arbor sphere, and it should be so funk. The video below is for their song, Janxta Funk! The Michigan Daily has already written a little about them but my friend provided me a great description of their tunes. 

"Over the course of the past four years, the Pimps of Joytime have evolved into a road tested and audience approved groove machine. Their fluidity is not something you can manufacture; it's authentic, eclectic and funky as hell.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, the Pimps of Joytime are paving their own unique path in the world. What do you do when there isn’t a phrase to describe your sound? You coin a new one of course! Janxta Funk, as Brian J describes it as "a style that is part gangsta, part janky." Janxta Funk ranges from Latin inspired rhythms to deep funky grooves and hot dance beats laced with soulful melody and harmonies. You have to see the band live to truly understand their unique combination of musical elements, ranging from afrobeat to rock, hip-hop to electronica."
They will be playing tomorrow (thursday) night at the Blind Pig with Adam Plomaritas. The cover is $10 and doors open at nine. 

Poor College Students Beware

Kramer and Newman would go to jail 

In legislation news, can returners now could become can racketeers. Michigan is losing too much money on cans brought into the state for our lovely ten cent bottle return. Fines and jail time will be imposed on people attempting to return large quantities of out of state bottles. It seems like it would be hard to enforce and people are comparing it to a Seinfeld episode. You can read more about silly Michigan laws here and here.

Gold Tapes Fest

There's a super awesome festival going on this week, starting today and running through Friday night.

Learn a whole bunch more about every band and hear some mix tapes over on the Gold Tapes/komkil Tumblr. Check out this MetroTimes article to learn more about Gold Tapes in general. Now let's listen to this Useless Eaters track I can't stop playing:

Missed Connections Map

Courtesy of Dorothy Gambrell
Buzzfeed reposted this mapping of Missed Connections by states. The majority of Missed Connections in Michigan occur at "super stores." This might not hold true for Ann Arbor, unless Whole Foods counts as a super store.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Way of the Future

Drapetomania, partially from Ypsilanti, just put out a video featuring a friend of mine, and Pinball Pete's. The group consists of Big Walt and the General Population, and this track features Blackberry Aries and Clavius Crates. While listening you can attempt to recognize some places from the video, I only got a couple. The album, also called Drapetomania, is coming out soon but while you are waiting you can watch another video from it.

Go! Ice Cream

It's exciting to say that Ypsilanti will soon have it's own mobile ice cream business. The photos above are coming from the blog, Ice Cream Bike, which is detailing Rob Hess' foray into the world of churned cream. While the business, Go! Ice Cream, will not be open until this coming summer you can salivate over flavors by reading through the blog. How can anyone go wrong with candied bacon ice cream?

A2 Cocktails

An Old Fashioned and a Toronto (Canadian Rye, Simple Syrup, Fernet Branca) from Ravens Club.

A2GastroBoy has just published a good longread on cocktails and the Ann Arbor cocktail scene. At the end he gives his rundown of the favorite cocktail destinations in town. This has me wondering, gentle reader, what is your favorite cocktail destination in town? What do you think of this whole "mixology craze?"

Dinosaur Gardens

Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo from Chris Sollars on Vimeo.

I've never been to Dinosaur Gardens up in Ossineke, but this video makes it look pretty cool. I'll have to stop by on my next trip up north.

Monday, February 18, 2013

U of M Pi Kappa Alpha hops on viral frat party invite bandwagon

Jezebel is carrying a story from BroBible. To sum it all up, the local Pike chapter hosted an "America" themed party last Friday. To promote the party, members of the venerable fraternity chapter took pictures of themselves with "the American flag in various configurations of dong-drapage; none of the dudes are quite nude, but you can get nearly all of the gist." In case you're wondering what the pictures look like, you can get the gist of the nearly-NSFW above. You can see more on the BroBible site. As an aside, the only frat-party I ever went to was at the U of M Pike House.
Image via Jezeble, who may have stolen it from BroBible

Eastern Accents is closing

Eastern Accents will close on March 16th, Ed Vielmetti is reporting. Carol Sun, the owner, says that the closing stems from a "long-simmering" dispute with their landlord that has recently come to a head. It's sad to see business I assume is profitable closing down just because of a tenant-landlord dispute. I for one, am going to miss their mango pudding.

Happy Hour App

Do you like going out for beer after work with your friends? Well now there's an app for that. Movable Bytes has just released an app, called Happy Hour, that shows you the nearest happy hour deal. Currently the app only supports happy hours in Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Detroit, Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Ypsilanti, but that's probably good enough for those you reading us. I haven't tried out the app yet, but I'll let you know what I think when I do.

UPDATE: Over on our Facebook Page, Andy Price (our most loyal Facebook user), has offered up a review of the app:

This app is a gift from god.
If that's not a ringing endorsement, then I don't know what is.

Good People coming to the Performance Network

The Performance Network's latest play, Good People, is opening this week with a pay-what-you-can show on Thursday. Here's a description of the play:

Set in Boston’s “Southie” district in 2009 Good People follows single-mom Margie Walsh as she struggles make ends meet after being fired from her job at the Dollar Store by her best friend’s son. In the hopes of finding a job, Margie reaches out in desperation to a high school “summer fling” who left the neighborhood to become a doctor. After inviting herself to a chic cocktail party in his lavish home, Margie twists herself into a series of hilariously awkward moments and reveals a secret about their past, putting Margie in the driver’s seat for the first time.
Sound's pretty good. It was nominated for a Tony for best play in 2011. Tickets are $22 - $41, with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups. Shows run Thursday through Sunday until March 31st.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Harlem Shake, U of M edition

If you're like me, you were hoping you could just let this whole Harlem Shake meme blow over. Unfrotunatley some U of M students took it upon themselves to make their own version of the video and upload it on youtube yesterday.

Damn, 34,000 views in just 21 hours. If you are wondering "what the fuck is the Harlem Shake?" Wired has a good discussion of it here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Great Missed Connection

This is pretty awesome. Via Missed Connections:
Crime Scene Scarf, and the Woman Wearing It - m4w (Ann Arbor)

Alright, admittedly it's been a little while since I saw you. And, although it being just that single time, you've left an impression. Not an everyday wistful Jane Eyre kinda thing, only a "Hmm... that's an interesting piece of winter wear. Oh, yeah, remember that woman with the short hair and the peacot ( I think ), with the crime scene scarf? Not only attractive ( woman, not the scarf.. sorry, textiles are good and all, but they don't mean anything to me in 'that' way ), but a tad quirky and overall agreeable to the eyes she was. Or still is. If you've taken the A train off this mortal coil, and have headed to points unknown, then I'm sort of wasting my metaphorical breath, now aren't I?

Ok let's get this car off the curb, and back into traffic. How about we look at the bullet points, shall we?

♀ You were wearing that scarf at Meijer while shopping.

♂ I was also shopping, but sans scarf (there was a hat involved, but it wasn't anything to write Aunt Millie about ).

♀ You have short hair, sorta redie/brownie (?) .

♂ Me? Shaved head, piercing blue eyes, and a beardy thing that makes me look all Irish. No chin hairs, just chops and a connected stash ( not really a Van Dyke or a Goatee, but hey, I rock it ).

♀ ??

♂ I like to speak parenthetically.

So, check the appropriate box below, and send me a reply.

┌┐ YES
└┘ I would like to correspond with you.

┌┐ NO
└┘ You should go farm goats.

( I realize the second option is ambiguous at best, but in the proper order of things, if you think about it, and I mean really think about it, there is a logic to this all it's own. )

This obviously is not you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

have some love for four am radio

Sometimes I am really late on things, like this fundraiser, any assignment, or my period. I don't want this fundraiser to get lost in the hullabaloo of things because I don't want WCBN to evolve into marginal space in Ann Arbor's volumes of history.

Radio is important. And I don't think I am alone with that thought. Without radio we wouldn't have Ira Glass crafting stories into opportunities to connect. We wouldn't have people sent into a panic by Orson Welles, or a plot for the movie Sleepless in Seattle. WCBN is really important. Four stupid letters with no vowels that allow you to hear Bollywood music overplayed on Snoop Dogg. It's the only radio station I ever tuned my alarm to, and you should make an attempt to. Or tune your car to it, or your shower radio. Really anything.

So, support them online, by telephone or going to an event at Arbor Vitae tomorrow. At Vitae there will be music from a bajillion bands, like Ritual Howls, Jimbo Easter, and Shells. The show begins at eight and probably goes until the floors shake, rattle, and break.

Detroit hearts Clark Park

Last night, Lizzy and I attended a fundraiser for Mexicantown's Clark Park and its ice rink. Friend of the blog and master piemaker, Lisa Ludwinski, was also with us hawking her wares for her Detroit-based bakery startup, Sister Pie, and folks from Green Dot Stables were there collecting donations for the park. There was also free beer, barrel fires, karaoke, and fancy mac and cheese from the Mac Shack.

Lisa and her baked goods

It was a great time with people from the community coming together to skate and raise money for their rink. Clark Park remains open today thanks to the efforts of a non-profit, the Clark Park Coalition, which partnered with Detroit Parks and Rec so that members of the community and local kids can skate, play hockey, and enjoy the green space. The park needs a new zamboni, so if you have one, let them know at the link above.

Here's me drinking and standing by a barrel filled with flaming logs and lots and lots of lighter fluid:

Update: I erred when I reported that Green Dot was collecting donations. The donation-takers were handing out Green Dot coupons and stickers. My bad.

This Saturday, Love Bang!

Ann Arbor's hottest mixtape dance party is the Love Bang! this Saturday at the Blind Pig. Doors open at 9:30 p.m., and cover is $8 for 21+, $11 for under 21.

I have now reached a point where I can recycle an outfit I wore three years ago for the last Love Bang I attended. I knew that pink lace leotard would come in handy again. For everyone else, Ragstock has an extensive collection of lace/spandex/red/hot pink/glittery/heart-covered costume-wear, for all your Love Bang needs.

Love stories, by the state

For Valentine's Day, Amazon compiled a list of books about love to match every state in the country. I shot over there in hopes of finding a new Michigan book recommendation, but alas: The Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter, already a favorite of mine. (Nice choice, Amazon; maybe I'll have to revisit this lovely book to offer a more thorough review. Or maybe I'll watch the movie and rant about how terrible it was to be set in Portland. Portland. I'm glad it has a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) Jeffrey Eugenides's Virgin Suicides pulls in an honorable mention.

I have no complaints about these selections. It's a weird feeling, to have nothing to gripe about, so let me again call attention to the fact that the movie based on the best Michigan love story was set in Portland. Did anyone know about this?

While some of the other states have predictably great love stories (yes, New York, we get it, Age of Innocence and Just Kids and The Great Gatsby and Breakfast at Tiffany's and on and on), other states were dark horses of awesomeness. Florida--or, as I call it, "A Michigander's Death Knell"--boasts Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Oh, so good! I (almost) want to apologize to Florida. Ohio has Toni Morrison's Beloved. Ohio, for crying out loud! I guess even Ohio was better than the post-war South. New Mexico, a state I almost never think about, is the setting of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. And--surprise runner-up--My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz. That is the sound of my heart breaking. Washington state has David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars (best novel title ever, plus a bonus courtroom drama), as well as the Fifty Shades trilogy and the Twilight series. Washington, let's call you a draw.

What I also like about this list is that Amazon uses the looser but I think truer definition of love story, beyond romance: a story in which the love--any kind of love--is valuable but not enough. (Oklahoma's pick is The Grapes of Wrath. I would never recommend The Grapes of Wrath to someone who was looking for a "love story," but I don't know that there is a more compelling characterization.) I recently read (and can recommend) My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead, a collection of love stories compiled by Jeffrey Eugenides. His introduction contains the following disclaimer:
When it comes to love, there are a million theories to explain it. But when it comes to love stories, things are simpler. A love story can never be about full possession. The happy marriage, the requited love, the desire that never dims--these are lucky eventualities but they aren’t love stories. Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart. Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name.
What do we think? What did Amazon miss? What did it get wrong?

Thanks for the Valentine's card Common Cycle

Upon leaving my office yesterday I found the above card in the spokes of my bike. Thanks for the Valentine Common Cycle. I loved it, and so did my bike.

Valentine's present from Match by Match

Match by Match has a very special Valentine's Day gift for you, gentle reader. It's a track from their upcoming EP, Vivat Veritas. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A very special Valentine's Day message from Damn Arbor

A few weeks ago, EJ and I had dinner with Mark Maynard, whose eponymous blog is a sort of resistant godfather to Damn Arbor. We had a very good time. Since then, we have been thinking of a way we could express our gratitude to and admiration of Mark. We also wanted to make him uncomfortable. This is what happened. Hope there's room for this on your fridge, Mark!

"Ugly Mark" cartoon by Reverend Aitor via

"Puppet Mark" by Patrick Elkins via

Ben and Erika cartoons by Jon Wilcox

St. Valentine's Day Massacre false alarm at Angel Hall

A University of Michigan DPS K-9 unit departs Angell Hall just before 1 pm today

To be clear there was never any real danger. At around 12:30 pm today The Michigan Daily tweeted "Reports of "suspicious behavior:" in Angell Hall. Police were spotted outside the building." The tweet was quickly followed with another "DPS Spokeswoman Diane Brown said no imminent danger." Holy crap, I thought, I'm teaching in Angell Hall right now. Being the responsible instructor that I am, I said nothing to my students and proceeded to check twitter for more details. @NickVanEck tweeted '“@michigandaily: Reports of "suspicious behavior:" in Angell Hall. Police were spotted outside the building.” With assault rifles' in response to the Daily's tweets.

Cautiously, I peeked out of my classroom an into the Fishbowl. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I ventured into the hallway expecting to find police only to find students advertising Birthright Trips to Isreal. I returned to class. At 1 pm as the next class was filing into my classroom, one of the new students overheard me telling my class that we had missed a big commotion. One of the next periods students shared this tidbit with me. Apparently there was a male student walking around in fatigues with a gas mask and a shirt that said "Love is in the air." Though other reports suggest the student was carrying a sign that said. "Love is in the Air. Be prepared." Regardless, the student I spoke to interpreted it to be some sort of poorly executed Valentine's Day artistic statement--something about not wanting to get infected with love. She said that the student came up to her and "said some weird stuff" then walked away. The only thing mildly out of the ordinary I saw was a DPS K-9 unit leaving as I walked out of the building.

Did you see or hear anything at Angell Hall today? If you have reports or pictures, feel free to leave them in the comments or email them to us.

UPDATE: a Reddit user, yoyoyoyo-yoda, posted the following picture of the person to r/uofm today:

Thanks Brad!

Local Valentine's Day Cards

Check out these Valentine's Day cards by local illustrator, Jessica. Pretty great. According to her tumblr, she is currently accepting new work.

Via: Stamps School


If you're looking for some punny local Valentine's Day tweets, you should probably be following the #A2VDay hashtag.

A special Valentine's song by Alejandra O'Leary

Alejandra O'Leary and the Champions of the West have just released a very special rock-n-roll Valentine's Day song for you, Gentle Reader.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marlene Lacasse

Marlene Lacasse is a photo journalist working for the Daily. On her tumblr, she posts some of the extra photos she takes while on assignment. You should totally check out her photos of:

Pilar's Tamales (Daily article)

Tmaz (Daily article)

Theatre professor OyamO (Daily article)

Artist Sadashi Inuzuka(Daily article)

Sleepy Holler debut EP

You guys know my buddy Jon Wilcox, the Dearborn-based artist behind Journal of a Shut In. He and his friend have just released their debut EP under the name Sleepy Holler. If you're looking for some dreamy Americana with layered vocal harmonies, this album's for you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks

What you are looking at is Ann Arbor, of course, color coordinated based on household income. Rich blocks, Poor Blocks put together a google map of every city in America. The reddest areas mean the average households are pulling in less than ~$16,000 and the darkest blue areas are reaching incomes of over $94,000. When you click on the map you can see the median household incomes, etc. I don't think anything is too surprising about the Ann Arbor, but you can take the map to any city and examine away.

Student Food Coop today in Mason Hall

The Student Food Coop is open from 11 - 5 pm today in Mason Hall. If you're on campus and looking for some produce, check it out.

Selma Cafe Happy Hour

This is quite the week of holidays. I don't want you to think Wednesday is any less important that Fat Tuesday and Fatter Thursday (or valentines day). So here is an event on Wednesday night to consider, if boxed chocolate and paper hearts strike fear into your own real, beating heart.

Selma Cafe, bringers of all good breakfast things on friday morning, is having a happy hour event from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The bartenders for the night are Eric Jones and Adam Bota of The Grange Kitchen and Bar. There will be kombucha beer, non-alcohol drinks and snacks. Tickets are five dollars at the door, and tickets will buy you these delicious drinks. The best part of this event is that it will bring Selma one step closer to becoming its own non-profit. 

Have your pie and eat it too and then cry some

There are already three reasons to eat pie this week.

1. Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day.
2. Valentine's Day.
3. Single's Awareness Day (S.A.D.)

If you're feelin' it for some pie, and you want it delivered (really speaking to the third holiday group here), you should probably check out Why Not Pie. Janice Leach, creator of the site AND the pies, takes orders every week and delivers them to you on Friday in the afternoon. 

All-the-damn-time pie options are:
  • Peach
  • Triple Berry
  • Apple

All of which can be made vegan, and the peach can be made sugar- and sweetener-free. These are all $15 for your regular-sized pie, and $8 for 'lil baby pies that are five inches across. I've had the vegan triple berry, and I can say with certainty that you won't be disappointed by it.

However! Don't forget the specialty pie-of-the-week. There's, you guessed it, a different pie each week, and this week's pie is Red Berry Pie: strawberries, cherries and red raspberries. These pies cost more ($20 for a regular, $9 for a mini), and there are a limited amount that Janice says she'll deliver on Valentine's Day after 4 p.m. Otherwise, they come at the usual time, which is sometime Friday afternoon.

All pie orders, errweek, are due by the end 'o the day (5 p.m.) Wednesday, so get your deciding pants on. If anybody gets me this week's specialty pie, I will KISS THEM ON THE MOUTH or ignore them at a party where I'm the only one they know as I eat their pie and flirt with my fiance.

Paczki Day

Ed: Erika Jost originally posted this article on 8 March, 2011.

It's 5 AM on March 8, 2011. Depending on where you are in the world, it's Karneval, or Mardi Gras, or Fasching, or Fat Tuesday. And, depending on where you are in the world, you've just begun drinking, or you're still drinking, or you're sleeping it off so you can start drinking again soon.

If you are in southeast Michigan, it's Paczki Day, and you're in line at a Polish bakery in Hamtramck.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ty Segall pics

I didn't get a lot of great shots but here you go guys! Sorry so blurry, that's my specialty:

I was impressed with every band last Thursday. Here's one of my new faves since the show:

I think everyone had a pretty good time! We did, and then we had another kind of good time driving back to Detroit in that snow storm.

Thanks everyone!