Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cherries Look Outrageous To Me?

Saturday Looks Outrageous To Cherries? The mash-up names go on forever, but Saturday Looks Good To Me's awesome cover EP of Outrageous Cherry tunes does the job quickly and then gets out. It's a unique collision of two of metro Detroit's greatest indie-pop acts, with SLGTM's Fred Thomas lending a dreamy, lo-fi aesthetic to OC's polished power pop. "Our Love Will Change the World" and "My Suspicious Midwest" are the highlight jams, but all six fast-moving tracks are well worth a listen.

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

Free show tomorrow at Vail Haus

Gentle readers, when was the last time you went to a co-op party? It's probably been a while, hasn't it? If you're interested in scratching that itch, why not check out the free show tomorrow at Vail Haus.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Skyline High School could be yours for just $7,540,765

Via Ann Arbor's Craigslist:
Skyline high school for sale!! - $7540765 (2552 N. Maple road)

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'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.

h/t: @dokas

Are you playing the Ann Arbor District Library's summer game?

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.

Red-tailed hawk hunting on the Diag

I saw this red-tailed hawk on the Diag this morning. I was surprised how close it let me get.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys

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.

Local Theater town hall meeting tonight

The abrupt announcement from Performance Network that they would be suspending operations last week came as a shock to us. If you're interested in the future of local professional theater in Ann Arbor, a group called Theater Nova is hosting a meeting tonight at 7:00 at Hathaway's Hideaway tonight. The meeting has been organized by PNT's associate artistic director, Carla Milarch, who absolutely killed it as Richard III.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Word of Mouth is having a story slam this thursday at Literati.  Audience members share their stories, five minute interpretations of the theme SPACE, to their receptive and kind peers. You can check out past work here  or here. 

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

Dave Eggers at 826Michigan

Tomorrow the Robot Repair Shop will be hosting author Dave Eggers. He is known for writing What Is The What  or A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.  His tutoring pet project in San Francisco  turned into the 826National, which brought us our robots, and have brought other cities sasquatches, spies and more.

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.

Farmers Market Survey

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, 

The Ann Arbor Farmers Market Staff and Public Market Advisory Commission are requesting input regarding priorities and plans for market infrastructure improvement projects. Please consider sharing your input! We will also have hard copies of the survey available on market days in the market office.
Click on the link below to fill out the survey:"

AAPS students pen Op-Ed for NYTimes

Madeline Halpert and Eva Rosenfeld are managing editors at their high school newspaper here in Ann Arbor. In their contributed opinion piece for the New York Times today, they discuss the events that led them to devote an edition of their paper to their peers personal stories about mental illness. From the article:
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.

Rutherford Pool opens tomorrow

Ypsilanti's newly restored Rutherford Pool in Recreation Park opens tomorrow. I'm pretty excited that EJ and I will have a swimming pool in our neighborhood. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What's up with this Squirrel?

This squirrel prevented me from cutting through Frog Island to get home. What's wrong with it? It looked like a baby and was acting normally. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Allen Creek Greenway Event Tomorrow

Free pizza tomorrow from 4-6 at Pizza Pino on 221 W. Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor, courtesy of Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy. Come out and add your input to the downtown trail's master-plan at the Greenway Community Design Charette.  Learn about the plan to add a trail connecting downtown Ann Arbor's Argo Pond all the way to the Big House.  Email Evan, evan@allencreekgreenway for more info.

Arabic for the Win

Click to Enlarge
It's not surprising to any Michigander that our third most common language is Arabic, unless you are from the UP. It'd be interesting to see how this map evolves over the next ten years, maybe the Filipinos will start to move east and unseat those German states.

42nd Street on Liberty Street: Finale

TOMORROW! TOMORROW! (Oops, wrong musical.)

This is the fifth and final installment of our week-long piece following a newbie's (my) initiation into musical theater with Ann Arbor in Concert. Our show is at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 17, at the Michigan Theater. Tickets are available here.

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

42nd Street on Liberty Street: 'Shadow Waltz'

This is the fourth installment of a week-long piece following a newbie's (my) initiation into musical theater with Ann Arbor in Concert. Our show is at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 17, at the Michigan Theater. Tickets are available here.

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

42nd Street on Liberty Street: 'I Only Have Eyes for You'

This is the third installment of a week-long piece following a newbie's (my) initiation into musical theater with Ann Arbor in Concert. The previous two days can be found here and here. Our show is at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 17, at the Michigan Theater. Tickets are available here.

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:

This my husband, my mother-in-law, and Quinn's fiance shwerking. Alex, get out of our heads.

More than anything, though, Alex is kind of a tap genius:

LOL whut.

Cubist sticker

Saw this sticker on the Diag this morning. As far as street art goes, it's pretty good.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

42nd Street on Liberty Street: 'Young and Healthy'?

Dancers rehearsing, intrepid choreographer Alex Miller front and center.

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.

Ypsilanti, full of Satanists, or Good, Giving, and Game?

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:

View Larger Map

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

New fountain at the Law School?

Water is pouring out of the ground above the underground portion of the Law Library. Is this a new fountain, or a water main break. Don't worry gentle readers U  of M Police are on the scene. 

Bad weather right now; seek shelter

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.

42nd Street on Liberty Street: 'Audition'

Here is our director, Mike Mosallam. He is exactly this excited all the time. This video is the only introduction I had to Ann Arbor in Concert before auditioning, and all I thought was: yes. Yes, please sign me up to dance for this man.

This is the first installment of a week-long piece following a newbie's (my) initiation into musical theater, specifically community musical theater with Ann Arbor in Concert. I laugh, I cry, I "sing," causing other people to laugh and cry--it's been a roller coaster. Our show is at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 17, at the Michigan Theater. Tickets are available here.

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?

Canadian Map

Redditor, erdmanbr, uploaded a picture of a Canadian map of Michigan. Two observations:

1) Ann Arbour does look pretty fancy. Maybe we should change the name of the town.

2) Apparently Canada thinks Ypsilanti is in Metro Airport.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Allen Creek Greenway

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 Saturday May 17th from 4-6 PM 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,

Trebuchet contest

There is a trebuchet competition right now on the lawn by the Dennison Building. I see no way this could end poorly. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Get ready for 42nd Street at the Michigan Theater

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.

More cheesy Missed Connections

It's been a great week for cheese-related Missed Connections. Here's another one:
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

Stolen bike alert

Gentle readers, someone stole redditor meimagino's bike while they were working. Not cool. Here's what meimagino had to say:

Around 9:30 pm on May 7th, my bicycle was stolen from outside the Target on Carpenter Rd. It looks like this:

  1. Back angle

  2. Side view

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.

Hope they get their bike back.

Cheesiest Missed Connection

Click To Enlarge

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?

Somebody doesn't like the Street View Van

View Larger Map

Redditor, formershooter, found this gem on Google Maps at Liberty at Thompson.

Mayer Hawthorne this Saturday on Washington

Hometown hero, Mayer Hawthorne, will be playing a show this Saturday on Washington Street. If it's anything like his past shows, you won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Transit Millage Passes

It appears as if the Transit Improvement Millage passed. Results have not been certified, but it looks like "Yes" won by a good margin in every municipality. Thanks to everyone who voted.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Initial election results

Gentle readers, I'm coming to you here live at Estabrook Elementary School to bring you live results from today's AAATA Transit Millage vote. 

Initial results for the City of Ypsilanti Ward 2, Precinct 2 & 4 and 1& 3 are as follows:

2 & 4--Yes: 211 No: 50
1 & 3--Yes: 444 No: 87

Vote today!

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

Let's talk about the transit millage

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:


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.

The 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.

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

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride tomorrow

Hey everyone, let's go ride bikes! Bike Ypsi's annual Spring Ride and Festival is tomorrow from 9 - 2 in Recreation Park. EJ and I will be there with our bikes. Stop by and say hi. Here are the details.

Free Comic Book Day

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.]

Water Hill Music Fest Tomorrow


edit: this was a draft that probably shouldn't have posted like this but I have been pretty busy 
sorry public

Friday, May 2, 2014

Doodle For Google

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

Bomber Plant Saved

Associated Press
A big win came to Ypsilanti history enthusiasts. It was announced today that efforts to save the Willow Run Bomber Plant have succeeded. The plant will be bought and converted into a museum. Those organizing the preservation of the plant are still short of their goal, but still will be able to purchase it. You can donate or check out what they are doing here.

Commuter Challenge starts today

Get Downtown's Spring Commuter Challenge starts today. I'm sharing this video with you all because it talks about the Mayor's butt.