Saturday, May 31, 2014
What other local bands need to do cover EPs of each other? I'm gonna hold out for Third Coast Kings doing Blue Snaggletooth, m'self.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Skyline high school for sale!! - $7540765 (2552 N. Maple road)I'm guessing this has something to do with the budget proposals discussed at last night's AAPS School Board meeting. @schoolsmuse has a good blow by blow on her twitter feed.
Ever want to buy a high school? Now is your chance! You get the mental hospital design, mixed with the long white hallways and 2,500 staff and students. What a bargain!
I've never played the AADL's Summer Game, but it looks like lots of fun. If you watch carefully, I hear that there are two codes in the video.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Did anyone see Animal Plant's Blood Lake over the weekend? Set in a sleepy beach town in Michigan, this made-for-TV-movie from the creators of Sharknado, stars Shannen Doherty and Christopher Lloyd. Though Blood Lake has opened to decidedly negative reviews, it's nice to see Animal Planet bringing some much needed attention to the threat posed to the Great Lakes by invasive aquatic species.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Sorry about the lack of posting. I am trying to get a big person job and Ben is trying to be a big person. It is all very difficult.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
If you don't wanna meet Dave Eggers, or have him sign his name into something you own, at least walk down to the shop on liberty to buy a piece of robot whimsy that supports literacy and education. Check out more info at Literati's facebook page.
|credit to AAFM FBook Page|
If you are a regular frequenter of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, you should consider helping them out by filling out a quick survey. From their Facebook page,
"ATTENTION ANN ARBOR FARMERS MARKET CUSTOMERS:
With the help of other journalism students, we interviewed teenagers from around our school district who shared stories of depression, eating disorders, homelessness, prescription abuse, insomnia and anxiety. Many discussed their personal struggles for the first time. All agreed to attach their full name — no anonymity or pseudonyms. Following online recommendations of the Student Press Law Center, we asked the parents of each student to sign consent forms for the articles.Ultimately the school's administration prevented Madeline and Eva from publishing the articles. I guess this just goes to show you, if you can't get something published in your high school newspaper, just go to the New York Times. In all seriousness, read the op-ed, it is quite well written.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
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The thing I didn’t realize about being in a show like this is that, though you know the other performers only a short time, you fall a little bit in love with everyone.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
This post got a little dark; we'll be back to cheerful tomorrow.
A quietness, a sharp attentiveness snaps over a room when a choreographer is blocking a number, putting dancers in their positions on stage. As in life, it all seems grandly random and happenstance--the instructor dawdling among the dancers like an over-pollened bumble bee, the syncopated ”you’re here, you’re here, you: here” that you can’t anticipate--a microscopic lesson in being in the right place at the right time. And, as in life, the results endure. Zig and your final pose is next to the lead; zag and you’re fighting off the back curtain to stay in the stage lights.
For as many warm feelings that have surfaced during my participation in 42nd Street, there’s some pain here too. There are larger lessons I learned on stages like this one.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
At some point during rehearsals, the other dancers and I developed a sort of hero worship/Stockholm Syndrome in relation to Alex Miller, our choreographer. His choreography twisted the brain and his rehearsals beat feet to pulp, but he was the fountain of the creativity, the keeper of the vision, the answer to every question. “We’ll just ask Alex,” we would say. And “what’s on the video?” And “Alex: do you want it like this or like this?” We pored over recordings of his instruction, burning into memory the little quirks in his demonstrations, a practice that quickly escalated into obsessing about his personality generally. The choreographer looms large in the imagination. For instance, we like to talk about Alex's omnipresent flat-billed baseball hats (is there a better term for those? I have been calling them "Alex hats") and wonder why he often pulls them down so low over his eyes that he can't possibly see. (Are we so difficult to watch?) Alex also love-love-loves Harry Potter and weirdly seems to identify with the Hufflepuff house (he has a least one article of clothing advertising such--who likes Hufflepuff?). During our first rehearsal over a month ago, Alex taught us what "shwerking" is, so this is what Quinn and I had our families do during dinner on Mother's Day:
More than anything, though, Alex is kind of a tap genius:
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
This is the second installment of a week-long piece following a newbie's (my) initiation into musical theater, specifically community musical theater with Ann Arbor in Concert. Day One, "Audition," can be found here. Our show is at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 17, at the Michigan Theater. Tickets are available here.
On the first Sunday of dance rehearsals, as if by script, our leading lady appeared about twenty minutes late with her arm in a sling.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry” she said, though everyone was chattering in alarm over her. “Don’t worry! The doctor said it will be fine for the show!”
I had met Grace, who plays the female lead Peggy, the Monday before at the informational meeting for the production. I recognized her last name, and it turns out she lives a few blocks from my parents’ house in Grosse Pointe, where Grace attends the same high school I did. (I didn’t know this at the time, but Grace would also go on to reliably steal my carrots during rehearsals and tell me I looked like Lady Edith from Downton Abbey, a comparison that she insists but that I cannot believe to be a compliment, especially after Grace herself showed up to one practice wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “I’m a Mary.” All this to demonstrate that Grace is sufficiently adorable and lovely and talented and charming to exhibit borderline sociopathic behavior--what? I said “borderline”--and still be generally loved by everyone.) Like a real pro, Grace/Peggy picked up the choreography--though perhaps not all of the “armography” (dreadful word)--and sang us through the first part of the finale, the eponymous "42nd Street," all while holding her forearm precariously against her body.
They’re not kidding about the show going on.
Redditor, ReverendSlick, noticed that a rooftop in downtown Ypsilanti appears to have the Number of the Beast on its roof. It's possible that the rooftop markings stand for "ggg" Dan Savage's acronym for good, giving, and game. Examination of the orthographic image below suggests it is the number 666 and aimed at the residents of the building across the street:
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Damn Arbor's senior weather correspondent, Dana P., is currently sheltering in the back of the Meijer on Ann Arbor Saline road. (Meijer, a million reasons, a single store.) You too, gentle reader, should seek shelter right now.
Quinn and I arrived at Slauson Middle School on a Saturday afternoon in March, about ten minutes early. There was a debate event going on, so the parking lot was nearly full and we ping-ponged around the building following signs, printer paper taped on doors, arrows and scrawled handwriting: “42nd Street Auditions.” Arrow pointing right.
We walked into a crowded hallway, reminiscent of the dance recitals of our childhoods: women and girls sprawled over white institutional tile, the floor punctuated with implausibly large piles of shoes and clothing (picking up on the excitement, all dance bags explode like Roman candles during practice). There was a red-lipped pale girl with dark hair and an oppressively straight spine typing on a laptop--she had that Anne Hathaway/Emily of New Moon look musical theater girls seem to favor. A woman handed us worksheets to fill out with our performance experience; the form indicated that it could be supplemented with a resume. Quinn and I exchanged glances. What exactly had we walked into?
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Calling Ann Arbor Artists, Walkers, and Pizza-Eaters! The Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy is ramping up on a project to create a master-plan for a greenway trail along the flood-way of the subterranean Allen Creek in downtown Ann Arbor. Working with UM students, this master-plan needs a bunch of input and help from average Ann Arborites. Come support the vision to create a trail connecting Argo Pond all the way to the Big House. On at Pizza Pino 221 W. Liberty, join us for free pizza and garlic knots. Learn more about the plan, the vision, while adding your own thoughts, images, and designs to the greenway trail. Art supplies will be provided and we encourage you to send images of your favorite bits of Ann Arbor (who knows what could be incorporated in the design and master-plan!) For more information, a copy of our flier, or to send images for the greenway, talk to Evan,firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, May 9, 2014
Gentle Reader, did you know that the song they play on PRI's Market Place when the stock market does well is actually from the musical, 42nd Street? Ann Arbor in Concert is putting on a performance of the Broadway Musical next Saturday, May 17th at the Michigan Theater. This show is going to be awesome, especially because both Erika and Quinn will be in the show! You wont want to miss it.
Green Stadium Hardware Shirt - w4m (Plum Market)
You always have three cheeses in your basket. So [cute]. Come back soon. :) I left this for you once before. Hopefully you get to see it.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Around 9:30 pm on May 7th, my bicycle was stolen from outside the Target on Carpenter Rd. It looks like this:Hope they get their bike back.
The body is distinctive, unless someone paints over it—it has black and silver marbling, not solid colors. The gears are super rusty and slightly bent (a car hit it last year when it was on a bike rack), and only 1/3 of the gears work because of said damage. The tires are thick, almost mountain-bike size.
IF YOU STOLE IT: Thanks for getting caught on camera so I know what you look like! Give me my bike back, we'll call it even, and I won't have you prosecuted. I love my bike and I just want it back. It's a parts bike, so it's not even worth the bolt cutters you left behind. (?!) But if the police catch you with it, then god help you, because I certainly won't. So give me back my goddamn bike.
IF YOU BOUGHT IT FROM SOME GUY: I've reported it stolen, so you really don't want to keep it. Give me back my bike and I'll reward you.
IF YOU SEE IT AROUND TOWN: If someone is riding it, I'd appreciate it very much if you made a note of their description and where you saw them, and called the non-emergency number for the Pittsfield police: (734) 822-4911. If you find it dumped somewhere, and you pick it up for me and get it back to me, I will reward you.
IF YOU SEE IT IN A PAWN SHOP OR BIKE SHOP: Call the Pittsfield police, please. And also contact me so I can go get my bike back.
I have no idea what good this post will do, but I wanted to exhaust every possibility. :/ This is my only form of transportation other than the bus, so I'm having a really, really bad day.
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I thought missed connections were going through a dry period, maybe I can still blame that on the polar vortex. Anyways, these two belong together, like pepperoni on pizza. Whodathunk anything this beautiful could've happened near Rick's?
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Polls in the City of Ann Arbor, The City of Ypsilanti and the Charter Township of Ypsilanti are open from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm. You can check to see where your polling place is on the Michigan Secretary of State's website. A list of polling places can also be found on the Washtenaw County Clerk's website. If you're looking for some great election day coverage, you have to check out the Ann Arbor Chronicle. They are live blogging the whole thing. Happy voting gentle readers.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Please vote on the Transit Improvement Millage tomorrow, May 6th. In fact, why not plan out when you will be voting tomorrow, right now. You can double check where your polling place is on the Secretary of State's website. Polls are open from 7:00 am until 8 pm tomorrow. If you're still trying to make up your mind about the proposal, the ballot language reads as follows:
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT MILLAGEThe money will be used to fund the AAATA's 5 Year Transit Improvement Plan. Broadly speaking, the plan will increase the frequency and duration of some bus routes as well as add some new routes. You can see specifically which routes will see extended hours and the new routes by reading the plan. The millage covers the City of Ann Arbor, the City of Ypsilanti and the Charter Township of Ypsilanti. The millage would add 0.7 mills to the property taxes levied in these three municipalities. If a house has a market value of $200,000, the millage would add about $70 per year to the property tax bill(1). Currently, residents of Ann Arbor pay 2.0 mills towards the AAATA and residents of the City of Ypsilanti pay 1.0 mills. Ypsilanti Township does not currently have a millage for the AAATA, but the Township pays an annual contract for service amounting to about $330,000.
To improve public bus, van, and paratransit services—including expanded service hours, routes, destinations, and services for seniors and people who have disabilities—shall the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority levy a new annual tax of 0.7 mills ($0.70 per $1000 of taxable value) on all taxable property within the City of Ann Arbor, the City of Ypsilanti, and the Charter Township of Ypsilanti for the years 2014-2018 inclusive? The estimate of revenue if this millage is approved is $ 4,368,847.00 for 2014. This revenue will be disbursed to the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and, as required by law, a portion may be subject to capture by the downtown development authorities of the Cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and the local development finance authority of the Charter Township of Ypsilanti.
I support the millage. I think the AAATA is reasonably well run, efficient organization. They compare favorably to both national and state peers. As the population of the region grows and ages (pages 48-50), it makes sense to invest in public transportation within Washtenaw County's Urban Core. Increasing bus frequency and the duration of service hours will allow more trips to be made on the bus, instead of by car.
Some folks have wondered why the AAATA is having a vote on the millage in May, instead of August or November, at a cost of $100,000. If they were to wait, the funds from the millage would not be available until Summer 2015 property taxes were paid. With a May election, the millage will be included in the Summer 2014 property taxes. This means the AAATA would have funds available from the millage as early as August and could begin making improvements as early as this Fall.
Gentle readers, there is some talk in the community that suggests the AAATA is a poorly run organization, or that it has too much management, or that the transit expansion millage is a secret plot get money to build a monorail, or that the AAATA is trying to destroy our roads by driving empty buses all over them. I was going to take time and address all of these critiques. I decided against that. But I will say this: The AAATA is run by professionals who work hard to optimize the service they provide to us. They have done a good job, and they will continue to do so. If you have any questions about the millage, please let me know and I'll do what I can to answer them.
1. For the purposes of this calculation I am assuming market value is equal to appraised value and that the assessed value is 50% of the appraised value.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
It's Free Comic Book Day. According to our agents in the field, the line is less than 30 min long. MarkMaynard has a pretty good interview with the Vault of Midnight folks about FCBD. Why not head on down to Main Street and grab some comics?
Photo stolen from Kirk Westphal's facebook page. [Hope that's cool Kirk.]
Friday, May 2, 2014
A Logan Elementary student was named as a finalist for the Doodle for Google contest. I implore you to go to this link and vote for Hannah Hu's piece. If she wins the contest she will get a thirty grand for college and fifty grand for her school. This is a great opportunity to support Ann Arbor schools and students without evening leaving your couch.
Thursday, May 1, 2014