Monday, October 31, 2011

The Domestic Partner Benefits Ban Plan has an essential story on MI's proposed Domestic Partner Benefits Ban, and its effects upon U-M and other public universities. Needless to say it would be terrible for the community if this went through.

South Hall

The law school's new academic and administrative building, South Hall (701 S. State St.) is nearly complete, and several administrative units are in the process of moving in. Because I have friends in high places, I went to visit a friend who is in Admissions and got to tour (part of) the new building. It definitely has the new car smell and looks great. The classic Gothic exterior belies the classy modern hallways and offices - contemporary without being sterile, probably a result of the great lighting. Law school classes will start meeting in South Hall next term.

Eric Cantor protest

Just got back from a quick visit to the Eric Cantor protest/funeral for the middle class. Pretty good turn out; I'd say between 75 and 100 people. Lots of people were going into the League to see House Majority Leader Cantor's talk. I overheard some people saying the room was overflowing. The protest crowd was pretty disappointed that Cantor et al. were prescreening comments for the Q&A session.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone. Watch out, I hear velociraptors are afoot.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Invasion of the zombie bankers

House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, will be in town tomorrow to celebrate Halloween. In honor of his visit and "Funeral for the Middle Class" a group of zombie bankers will be having their own "Funeral for the Middle Class" outside the Michigan League at 12:30. From their Facebook page:
Please come, and please come in a spooky costume. Eric Cantor's vision for our nation is SCARY!!!!!!

After our Funeral for the Middle Class we will silently and respectfully fill the auditorium to hear Mr. Cantor's speech, and eagerly awai the Q & A session at the end.

The event is free and open to the public.

Hat tip: Joel Batterman

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guide to Halloween

Washtenaw Dairy has dry ice for $1.25 per pound. Go buy some and have fun. You can put it in punch to make "witch's brew." Or you can put it it water to make spooky fog. Dry ice is essential for a great Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Place that photo: You, me and Obama, dude.

I love walking by this gnarly wall every day - there is just so. much. going. on. And yet. And yet! Les artistes managed to make it werk. I mean, that owl is totes smizing. That and due to the first comma and lack of a second, I want to read this as, "Aye, the wise owl buhleev een HOHPE!" buuuut I'm not sure that's what they were going for.

Also: I may have believed that that was an octopus strangling a spotty planet until just now.

Today is stealing what should have been yesterday's Place! That! Photooooo! So if you know where this peely, unwieldy wall is located within the grande ole bordeurs of Anne's Arbour, please let us know in the comments below. So much rhyming! Also: For those of us that Tweet, know that we will damn the gentle reader that locates it first on our Twitter feed, so be sure to leave your Twitter handle along with your guess. Otherwise, we'll, as usual, damn your damn name.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jack and the Bear

Caught local band Jack and the Bear busking on the Diag tonight.

'Arc of Justice'

The 2004 National Book Award winner is this year's Great Michigan Read, as decided by the Michigan Humanities Council. Well done, guys: this is a good one. In "Arc of Justice," Boyle examines the circumstances, personalities and cultural isms that made Detroit the way it was in the 1920s--reflected through the lens of Dr. Ossian Sweet on trial for murder--and aspires to explain Detroit the way it is today. This book hits the historian's sweet spot: it has both the research to impart fact and the lyricism to emanate truth.

I caught Mr. Boyle at the Flint Public Library last night. He's making the Michigan rounds (though, as an OSU professor, he wisely skipped Ann Arbor), winding up tonight in Detroit. Mr. Boyle is an engaging speaker, conspicuously a frequent lecturer, and, at the author talk, he rehashed in efficient detail the first approximate half of the book, punctuated with playful anecdotes obviously geared toward a Michigan audience. (One must grow weary of trying to teach Ohioans.)

Really, really occupying Flint

The Occupy Flint tent city moves in across the street.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Movie review: Answer This!

Answer This!, the latest movie from brothers Chris and Mike Farah, is a fun movie and definitely worth seeing. The movie is about a perennial grad student, Paul Tarson, played by Auggie from Covert Affairs. Paul is an 8th year Ph.D. student who awkwardly dates a freshman in the discussion group he teaches and drinks in most of the bars in Ann Arbor while avoiding finishing his dissertation.

The film clearly "gets" Ann Arbor and U of M. There is a small slip up when the trivia team, the Ice Tigers, erroneously refers to 8 Ball as "The 8 Ball." It's great to see our city (and our bars) featured so prominently on the silver screen. There are some strange movie magic moments where characters are seen walking into one building only to be in the interior of another building. But all in all, Answer This! could serve as a tourism promotion for Ann Arbor.

There are definitely some problems. In particular, the romantic relationship in the movie doesn't quite make sense. Also, aside from the love interest and the server at Ashley's, there are no female characters; the film probably doesn't pass the Bechdel Test. Unless you consider an all female trivia team screaming "Yeah!" after their third place victory dialogue between two female characters about something other than a man. But maybe this is more reflective of widespread societal and film industry problems rather than a specific issue with this film.

Still, Answer This! is a fun little flick. You should check it out. It looks like it's playing at the Michigan Theater through Thursday, November 3rd.

Detroit, America's 5th most mustache friendly city

According to new research from the American Mustache Institute, the Motor City is the 5th best city for mustached individuals in the country. That's something we can all get behind.

UPDATE: The Daily has a timely repost of an article on 'staches from 1951:
60 years ago this week (Oct. 28, 1951): Murray Kushell, executive vice-president of the Better Grooming Foundation, reported that college women admire mustaches. Kushell also stated that one main reason for the rapid increase in mustaches is that men discovered that women secretly admire being tickled when they are kissed.

This assertion was flatly denied by the women questioned at the University, and most insisted that they could not think of anything worse than prickly facial hair.

“Heavens, no!” a University senior replied when asked by the Michigan Daily if she liked “cookie dusters,” or moustaches. But she added that they weren’t bad on older men.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An interesting news story was brought to my attention today. On Friday, an 87 year old man from Indiana was stopped on I-94 near Ann Arbor and in his car police found 2.9 million dollars worth of cocaine. He was arraigned in court and released on a mere $10,000 bail.

Full story here.

Aurora borealis

If you're like me, you missed last night's northern lights. If you're wondering what they looked like, you can check out this awesome time-lapse footage of the lights shot over Lake Michigan.

I'm still kicking myself for missing this.

Hat tip: Ed Vielmetti


Check out these awesome shots of the aurora from the Ann Arbor area by Ethan Pollard:

Ypsi-Arbor Music - Industry or Scene?

Concentrate Media is hosting a discussion about local music tomorrow at Woodruff's in Ypsi. There will be free food (and there is rumor of free drink). From Concentrate:
WHAT: Concentrate's Speaker Series event: Ann Arbor-Ypsi Music - Industry or Scene?
WHEN: Wednesday, October 26th from 5-7PM
WHERE: Woodruff's (36 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti's Depot Town)

The event is free and open to Concentrate's readers, but seating is limited so you must pre-register. The presentation will begin around 5:15 p.m. and run for an hour or so, with questions taken afterward.

Looks pretty cool, and not just because of the free food.

Hat Tip: MarkMaynard

How to make a Bang! poster

Keepin' It Wheeler presents: The Making of the BLOOD BANG! Poster from Jeremy Wheeler on Vimeo.

The Bang! is known for its iconic posters. Have you ever wanted to make your own Bang! poster? Now you can. Check out Mr. Jeremy Wheeler's instructional video above.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Peanut butter and ramen

Requests for food donations from Occupy Ann Arbor. I am a little worried about their sodium levels.

Overdue link updates

I've been meaning to update our links for a few months now. I've been reading these sites for a few months now and would like to share them with you, gentle reader. Without further ado, here are the new additions:
Ann Arbor Chronicle - I just notice today that under the Chronicle's banner, it says "it's like being there." If by "there" they mean a city council meeting, they are entirely correct. That being said, the Chronicle's extensive coverage of local politics is often less painful than actually watching the meetings that they report on. Mary Morgan and Homeless Dave along with their ragtag band of contributors provide an invaluable service to the community through their hyperlocal journalism. Though their articles are generally on the dry side of objective, the @a2chronicle twitter feed adds some humorous insights to their articles.

Local in Ann Arbor - At times, it has been surprisingly difficult for me to get up to speed with political and development issues in Ann Arbor. Local in Ann Arbor offers thoroughly cited analysis of local issues. There is enough information in Local in Ann Arbor's articles that you can understand the issues and reach your own conclusions. Data is wonderful.

Mark Maynard - Mark, can we put aside our differences? I know DA won best blog on the Current this year, but there are bigger fish to fry. Let's work together to take on best local website winner, Dynamic Lawn Care Co. has great coverage of local progressive goings-on and Ypsi-centric stories. I really enjoyed Mark's idea for a drink called a "jive turkey."

Michigan Exposures - Run by an Ypsilanti resident from Bay City, Michigan Exposures has great pictures of our great state. It's got everything: eagles, architecture, ships, nature, football and more. Looking at Michigan Exposures' photo essays, you feel a real sense of pride in Michigan.

Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom - Ann Arbor's blogosphere is filled with food blogs. Meg stands out not only for the depth and variety of her articles, but also because of the frequency with which she posts. Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom. has lots of great recipes and reviews of local food.

Vacuum - Ed Vielmetti is the real OG of the Ann Arbor blogosphere. He has insightful posts, and great maps. The topics are broad, from storms to house fires to neighborhood meetings. Vacuum is always worth a read.

Motown to Tree Town - Semi-anonymous commentary and opining on political and development issues from the Motor City to Ann Arbor. MT2TT (M2TT?) is a good source of news from Detroit and the surrounding area.

A2GastroBoy - Anonymous and snarky. A2GastroBoy clearly loves dining and does not hold back his opinion.

Well there you have it. New additions to the blog roll. Gentle reader, do you think we are missing any local websites? What are your favorite local blogs?


My beloved Oberon is hibernating until the spring. Mark's Carts will close in a few weeks for the winter. The Wednesday Farmers' Market goes on hiatus not long after that.

Friends, winter is coming.

Of course, that's not all bad. Fall's a great season - just this past week my sister, who lives in DC, asked me wistfully "Have the trees started changing color in Michigan? They don't do that here." We get apple cider and hayrides, and a certain holiday fiend named Erika eagerly awaits Christmas carols on the radio. I may even be looking forward to enlisting my esteemed co-blogger Mr. Connor Barrie to reattach my snow tire to my bike. Biking through the snow, not so much.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves - we've still got plenty of fall to enjoy. Readers: what's your favorite part of the season?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Frat Wars

I tumbld across an interesting post on Unoriginal College, a self-described "GDI in a FratCastle." From his post, Frat Wars, which chronicles a prank war between another frat and his housemates:
So, what does this all come down to?

I am the equivalent of Belgium in Wold War 2. Sure I’m “neutral” but to get to France, Germany has to throw rocks through MY windows…

One thing that I have learned about frat guys having lived with them now for 6 months is that the thing that binds them is not some sense of brotherhood; it is not drinking together; it is not swapping stories of women they have deflowered. No, what binds them is their common inability to take initiative in problem solving, as our window has been broken for over a month now.

What does this mean? I am going to an old stomping ground: 704 Hill St., now home of Sigma Phi Epsilon tomorrow afternoon to have a talk with one “Jon Smith.” No, I’m not trying to maintain his anonymity. That’s actually his name.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Liberty and Division

It's not just a series of Stopped. Watched. posts from the Chronicle. Liberty and Division is also a novel. The spy thriller takes place in Ann Arbor and on the campus of the fictional "Michigan Polytechnic" University. From the Amazon product description:
On a cold November Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, over 114,000 fans pack the stands at Michigan Polytechnic Stadium for the game of the year. Within minutes of the opening kickoff, missiles containing high explosives and poisonous gas rain down, one after the other, into the country’s largest football stadium. The siege leaves 4,200 dead and thousands more critically wounded, but this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.

Newly promoted Special Agent Dr. Jason Drake leads the team investigating the most horrific terrorist attack of our time. Early evidence points toward an Islamic fundamentalist group, but before the dead can even be counted, two more heinous crimes are committed in the normally sleepy college town. An assault on a top secret bioweapons research lab, resulting in the theft of four pounds of weapons grade anthrax, is followed minutes later by a break in at OncoCure Biosciences, a biotech company focused on cancer therapeutics. Jason soon discovers OncoCure’s best drug candidates weren’t touched, but a failed molecular compound, which may be capable of causing the worst epidemic in the history of mankind, is missing.
Sounds exciting.

Hat tip: Homeless Dave

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Legend of the Dogman

While I was driving back from Occupy Bois Blanc Island on Monday, I happened to be flipping through local radio stations and came across this gem of a song:

Just in time for Halloween. Gentle readers, do you know of any other cryptids or spirits haunting our great state?

Who is Mayer Hawthorne?

A friend of Damn Arbor suggested we review Ann Arbor native, Mayer Hawthorne's latest album How Do You Do. Instead of reviewing the album, I'm just going to post this short video from two years ago that explains the origins of Mayer Hawthorne. Enjoy.

Who is Mayer Hawthorne? from Ruby Hornet on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Place that photo: House of PANE

Okay, okay, I know I already did the "blahblah of pain" thing. I can't not call this the House of PANE though! Too punny to back down.

If you're new to the game, this is... wait for it...


First person to scream out the correct location of this here photo gets to be damned on our Twitter feed. Please place your Twitter handle along with your guess below, or else we'll just damn your damn name.

There's a bit of a twist to this photo, which may throw some of you off. I hope. If not, I fear that this photo will be put to rest in thirty seconds flat. I mean, come on, who just puts shutters on a wall?

Occupy Ann Arbor Student Assembly today

There will be an Occupy Ann Arbor Student Assembly today on the Diag at 4pm.

Edgefest, A.V. Club style

Edgefest is happening through the 22nd at the Kerrytown Concert House. If you're like me you are surprised to find out that a something as XXX-treme sounding as "Edgefest" is not in fact a hardcore show, but rater a celebration of jazz' classical roots. Also, you may have overlooked A.V. Club Ann Arbor's often hilarious preview of the concert series. An excerpt:
Act: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Who it is:
Legendary San Fran reed riders who broke onto the scene the same time as the Sex Pistols and never stopped blowing smoke, fire, and ashes from brass.
Sounds like: Something people who dislike saxophones will hate.
For fans of: Panic attacks, multi-tasking, North American birds of prey.
Annoyance level for unsuspecting friend/significant other who accompanies you: A lot less obnoxious than how important and amazing you will repeatedly insist they are (even though you are 100 percent correct).

Sounds like an interesting concert. While I dislike panic attacks, I do love North American birds of prey.

The Rova Saxophone Quartet plays this Saturday.

Markley jack-o'-lanterns

Saw these jack-o'-lanterns on the ledge outside Markley the other day.

Analyzing Ann Arbor dining

Anonymous food blogger A2GastroBoy is at it again. He is attempting to statistically analyze the Ann Arbor dining scene. You can take the survey here. Last year, 82 qualified respondents took the survey. You can read the results. As someone who is very interested in the results of the survey, I encourage you to participate. From last year's survey:
Respondents were given nothing for their time (other than the pride of participating in history!). We’ve consciously omitted the names of some local businesses from the results so as not to inappropriately offend or do harm upon the fine, hard working folks who’s establishments did not score well. The survey is not intended for commercial use. All rights are reserved by A2GastroBoy. Suck it.

Suck it indeed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy Detroit demands BOA halt foreclosures

Occupy Detroit participants are demanding Bank of America end foreclosures and foreclosure related evictions. The next demonstration is at the Detroit BOA headquarters at noon this Friday, the 21st.

Hat tip: Adam Warner

Charlie Slick and De La Montaña

Charlie Slick is playing a show tonight at Woodruff's with Stepdad and De La Montaña. Cover is $5, doors open at 8 pm and the music starts at 9. Looks like it'll be an eclectic night. On a related note, I feel that I should point out that way back in the day (high school), my ska band used to play shows with De La Montaña's Madison Velding-VanDam's emo band, The Plot Thickens. Anyway, here's a De La Montaña music video and a Charlie Slick and Thunda Clap music video.

De La Montaña "City Slicker" from Madison Velding-VanDam on Vimeo., please cite your sources


I'm not saying you got your information about the Bryant Elementary play structure fire from my article yesterday. I do find it suspicious that exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes after I wrote about fire, you posted about the same thing. Honestly, I'm glad that you are reading Damn Arbor. That said, in the future when you find out about stories from us, could you please give us a hat tip? I think it's more than fair to expect you to link to our articles when you receive information about a story from us. I shouldn't have to post a link to our articles in the comments of your stories. Not only is it an unfair chore for me, but I also become subject to insults and ridicule from some of the other members of your site.

On Damn Arbor we strive to always credit and link to our sources. In the past when we've written articles on the same subject as stories in the Com, we've acknowledged it and provided links to those stories. All I'm asking is for you to do the same.

I look forward to continuing our journalistic relationship.


Adam Warner interview on

Damn Arbor writer Adam Warner was interviewed over the weekend by none other than Ypsi super blogger Mark Maynard. The interview focused on Adam's involvement with local labor advocacy organization WCAT. From the article:
The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT) is part of an AFL-CIO and We Are The People initiative to bridge local labor, community groups and individuals to organize coordinated action against state legislation that threatens a decent standard of life for Michigan workers and families.

WCAT is a great organization. Y'all should definitely check out the interview.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Play structure fire

Apparently somebody set the play structure at Bryant Elementary on fire on Sunday.

Yikes. Look at those hydrocarbons burn. As far as fires go, that one looks pretty spectacular. Hope the kids get a new playground soon.

Mitten lit

Yesterday on NPR, Jennifer Wilson gave a shout-out to two Michigan novels. Charles Baxter's Saul and Patsy chronicles the marriage of the title characters in the fictional small town of Five-Oaks Michigan. From the review:
The story unfolds over the years as Saul and Patsy start a family, and their quaint lives are infiltrated by children — their own, and others' kids. One in particular jars their complacency — Saul's mentally imbalanced student, Gordy, who stalks the family. Jonathan Franzen gets all the brainy Midwestern-writer applause, but I sure like the quieter Baxter, with his funny and thoughtful prose that doesn't scream but speaks.

Steve Amick's The Lake, The River & The Other Lake sounds like a great read too:
Being an Iowan, I feel weird shouting out The Mitten twice, but this sprawling novel about a fictional tourist town in Michigan lake country is so jam-packed with quirky and awesome characters, I can't help it.

There's the Ojibwe Indian, Roger Drinkwater, who is driven mad by Jet Skis. The lonely widower, the Rev. Eugene Reecher, who grapples with a porn addiction. The bigoted orchard owner Hubert vonBushberger, who is blindsided when his son secretly marries a migrant worker — she shows up for work pregnant at the start of the season — and vonBushberger's daughter, who makes matters worse by bringing home a Japanese dude. Think of this as an edgy, dark Lake Woebegon.

I haven't read either of these books, so I can't fully endorse them. Hopefully one of us will read them soon and we can offer full reviews. I'll keep you posted.

Occupy Bois Blanc Island

A brief solidarity protest held yesterday. Occupy Bois Blanc Island was in the spirit of other micro solidarity protests in Michigan.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Lake Effect

The Atlantic has an interesting article about the possibility of revitalizing the Great Lakes region by focusing on the Lakes themselves. A proposal entitled the Great Lakes Century, headed by a director from the design firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, specifically highlights improving water quality as an economic stimulator. You can read more about the project here; I'll leave the expert analysis to my colleague Mr. Connor Barrie.

South Asian Satiation

The Ann Arbor AV Club has chosen Raja Rani as its latest Strangelunch entry. They highlight the $8 buffet option as a major reason for going, but I have to say that I have never been impressed with Raja Rani and haven't set foot inside in three years. Their food seemed too greasy to me.

I have always been a Madras Masala* man (despite not being South Indian), because 1) their food doesn't make me ill, 2) they have a nice space (despite their buffet being a weird side alcove), and 3) most importantly, they have doses. A dose is a South Indian dish that's basically the love child of a crepe and a burrito. And it's amazing. Get yourself down to Maynard Street and check it out.

In the interest of full disclosure, I rarely go to Indian restaurants in A2 because I'd rather go to my parents' house. My mom is a better cook than any Indian restaurant and she always will make my favorites.

Zaragon West

It's hard to believe that you can already reserve a space for August 2012 in Zaragon West. Sometimes I wish there were better housing options between overpriced student slums and overpriced luxury student high rises.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Answer This!

Answer This! is opening locally this coming weekend. I'm pretty excited. Not just because the movie looks like it will be fun, but also because I will be able to see so many of my favorite bars on the silver screen. Check out the trailer:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wolverine Country

CommonConsensus makes several cool maps that show regional homogeneity in the US. The map above shows the NCAA loyalty of different regions in the US. It's interesting to see the divisions between MSU and U of M as well as the tiny patches of Central Michigan and Western Michigan.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Flint, too

The 99% in downtown Flint.

Zingerman's gets a shout out from Brooklyn's Hospitality

Looks like Hospitality crashed in Ann Arbor last night. I love it when Ann Arbor just shows up in some feed, like it so often does. I wonder what they had?

Catch 'em opening for The Rosebuds at the Stick in Detroit tonight. Early show! Check out their track Friends of Friends if you aren't sure:

Occupy Ann Arbor picture

Snapped a picture of last night's Occupy Ann Arbor General Assembly in Liberty Plaza. Heard discussion about occupying the park on Saturday.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Place that photo: Knockin' on heaven's door

It's Thursday, gentle reader, meaning it's time for another installment of "Place that photo." Recognize the location of the award-winning photo above? Then show yourself! The first reader to list the correct location below in the comments will be damned in our Twitter feed, so please leave your Twitter handle, or we'll just damn your damn name.

Um, why isn't this the entrance to my house? The woodwork is immaculate, there's a lion doorknocker and some shiny thang for a doorknob. If only the see-through door came down to the floor - further proof that nothing is perfect, and whoever lives here has a ridonc heating bill.

SlutWalk Ann Arbor

SlutWalk Ann Arbor, a protest against victim blaming in cases of sexual assault, will be on October 22nd. Check the Facebook page for details. In case you need some examples of victim blaming, check out the comments in this article from the Com.

Occupy Ann Arbor, General Assembly

Occupy Ann Arbor's second General Assembly meeting and rally will be today at 6pm in Liberty Plaza. More information here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Michigan Nurses marching

I came back to campus this afternoon to the sound of horns honking and loud chanting. I was curious and tracked down the source of the sound: a seemingly endless line of U of M nurses marching up North University. Their union is protesting cuts the hospital wants them to take in their new contract. You can read more about the nurses' position here.

Hatch Detroit

There is a "contest" (I'm not really sure what else to call it) called Hatch Detroit going on right now. Users can vote once per day for up to four semi-finalists, out of ten competitors, and subsequent rounds will culminate in a final winner receiving funds from Hatch Detroit. The winner will receive $50,000 and various business services. Full disclosure: a friend is behind the Anthology Coffee proposal, and I really hope he wins because I love coffee. There's a lot of interesting proposals, though (I am particularly partial to Hugh), so check it out.

"Ann Ardor" dress: Does this sum up Ann Arbor?

ModCloth has this Ann Arbor themed dress for sale:
Flatter the land that you love right back as you browse the Main Street in this biscuit tank dress under a khaki coat. Walk in your stacked wood wedges and woven white tights over to the history museum to reminisce on exhibits you explored as a child.

I don't know, does this dress exemplify Ann Arbor? While most Ann Arbor natives do gush about the zeal they hold for their city, personally when I'm visiting I hope my parents have better things to say to me than to do the same about my cute dress... but to each his or her own, I suppose.

Read on and/or order — if you wind up wearing this dress in Ann Arbor, report back with pics! Don't think I will; it's cute, but not really my style.

Looking for a Hipster

Via Ann Arbor Craigslist:
Looking for a Hipster - 21 (A2)

I have a thing for hipsters and/or scene guys :]

I'm really into music, and you should be too. I love art, coffee shops, dancing at Necto on a Friday night. I have two tattoos. I'm 5'4, white, curvy with long curly hair and wear glasses unironically.

I like guys who are at least as smart as me. Otherwise our conversation will be boring and it just won't be a fun time. Bonus points if you're a musician or a tattoo artist :D

Put your favourite book in the subject line.

There is just so much to say here. I hope this is ironic. I hope this is not ironic. Ladies, watch out, there is a Canadian and/or British woman trying to steal your hipster/scenester/musician-tattoo artist boyfriend.

PSA: Don't date hipsters

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ann Gnarbor

You know why they call it that? It's because Ann Arbor is totally gnarly, or "beyond radical" according to Urban Dictionary.

MSU Dairy Store

In a somewhat ironic turn of events, immediately after linking to A2GastroBoy's thoughts on Lansing's dining scene, I found myself on the campus of MSU yesterday looking for a bite to eat. My housemate suggested we check out the Dairy Store. The Dairy Store sells products from the schools dairy program including some really great cheese and ice cream. I decided to go with a waffle cone of pumpkin spice. It was great. Super rich and creamy with a great mix of spices. The homemade waffle cone was fresh and sturdy. One of the best ice cream cones I've had recently. The Dairy Store also has an extensive selection of grilled cheese sandwiches and on Monday's, you get free tomato soup with the purchase of a grilled cheeses. How great is that?

Gentle readers, if you find yourself in East Lansing looking for a bit to eat, check out the Dairy Store. Going there kind of made me wish we had an ag school at U of M.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Poutine Michigan

Apparently "Michigan Style" poutine involves replacing the more traditional gravy with bolognese. Who knew.

Picture by Tony Pierce. H/T Honey Jets

Lansing's dining scene

In preparation for this weekend's game against MSU, I thought I'd share A2GastroBoy's recent post trashing the Capital Region's restaurants:
Lansing's a fair sized city, in fact, larger than Ann Arbor. According to the 2010 Census Lansing has 114,297 residents, 464,036 when you consider the entire metropolitan. Similarly, Ann Arbor has 113,934 residents, 334,791 including the surrounding community. Wouldn't population alone warrant some at least some greatness?

And East Lansing is a University town. Not only is MSU enrollment nearly 2X U of M, but it's a land grant college founded on agriculture. Ag is food. Shouldn't they be leading the gastronomic revolution? And Lansing is the State's Capital, arguably the most powerful zip code within the great State of Michigan. Wouldn't that attract lots of elite dining events?

Tragically, no.

After ranting a bit more, GastroBoy goes on to list several Lansing-area restaurants that are decent, but not great.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


The crowd is starting to gather for TEDxArb. You couldn't ask for a nicer afternoon.

Quidditch today

Looking for something to do today? There's always TEDxArb. If you are looking for something a little more active, then there is pickup Quidditch in the Arb. Meet in the main valley at 2 pm. Don't have a broom? Don't worry, the U of M Quidditch Team has extra.

Image courtesy of my little secrets

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Sugar House

This semester I'm working for the ACLU of Michigan on Fridays, and on my way back from Detroit I usually stop in at Astro Coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my friends who works there mentioned to me yesterday that a new bar had just opened up between Astro and Slows - the Sugar House. It's been in the works for a while, but I'm a little ashamed to say it was the first I'd heard of it.

The Sugar House is going for a speakeasy vibe, but it's definitely more successful than the Ravens' Club, probably because they're only focusing on drinks. There's a lot of great touches - a hostess at the door, a great antique map of Detroit on the brick wall, a kickass chandelier, and beautiful wooden floors. An extensive seasonal drinks menu is definitely the place to begin, as many of the mixes are made in house. Because they're not accepting credit cards yet and I didn't have a lot of cash on me, I only had the chance to sample their Autumn Old Fashioned, figuring that it's hard to go wrong with Jim Beam Rye.

I daresay it was the best Old Fashioned I've ever had. Served with huge ice cubes, apple cider syrup, and Angostura bitters, it was smooth, rich, and definitely autumnal. Of course, there's beer and wine on offer too. I'm already trying to figure out how to plan a return visit so as to work my way down the drinks list.

The Sugar House, 2130 Michigan Avenue,

W/Th: 5 PM - 12 AM • F/Sa: 5 PM - 1 AM • Su 5 PM - 11 PM

Grabbing the bull by the balls

Every time I walk past the Chop House, I can't help but notice the bull balls on their logo. I mean, c'mon: almost 20% of the lines in the logo are dedicated to bull genitalia.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Michigan Football: The Reckoning Part III

So here we are again, an undefeated start filled with a thrilling win over Notre Dame and a victory in our first big ten game of the season. We have seen all of this in both of our two previous seasons. Even many aspects of the team from last year remain the same: this offense still runs out of shotgun spread formations and has been almost entirely dependent on Denard's legs, even more so than previous years, due to his shaky numbers passing. So what has changed for the better? DEFENSE.

I am not going to say that we will have a top ten defense in the country by the end of the season, because I don't think we will but there is a clear difference between the way they perform now, and in the previous two years. First off, the defensive secondary has made huge strides. Last year teams could throw completions of 20 yards or more at will. The number of missed assignments that left receivers open was ridiculous. You could almost count on teams converting 3rd and 15 or 3rd and 20. This year the defense has forced teams to earn long completions. There haven't been very many plays over 20 yards by opposing offenses this season, and that is the first and most important sign of improvement. It doesn't mean we aren't still vulnerable. Notre Dame ran and passed all over us in the first half of that game, and without the epic collapse that only the Fighting Irish seem capable of, we were handled. We still are not great on defense, but we are most certainly better than before. And that is enough to give me hope that 5-0 now, wont end in 6-6 or 7-5.

This is the point of the season where we faltered previous years. Northwestern is our first test against an decent big ten opponent on the road.

Occupy Ann Arbor photos

Nevbav has some good photos of yesterday's Occupy Ann Arbor General Assembly on the Diag. Check them out here and here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

36 Hours in A2

The New York Times has turned their eyes to our fair city in the latest installment of their "36 Hours" series. Receiving the Grey Lady's imprimatur are a few of our favorites:

• the "elegant and glass-covered atrium" of the Nickels Arcade

• the "intimate" Comet Coffee (adopted home of GH)

• Van Boven, which apparently caters to "well-dressed fraternity boys"

• Moe's Sport Shop, for game prep

• The Diag, a leafy oasis

• The "architecturally stunning" Law Quad, aka Hogwarts

• Dominick's, but for the sangria rather than the food

• Mark's Carts and the Friday night bands

• UMS and the Ark, for saving culture

• Angelo's for brunch, and the Farmer's Market for exercise

• Zingerman's, of course

• Monahan's for po' boys and chowder

• The Big House

• Palio for post-game drinks

• Pacific Rim, Frita Batidos, or Logan for dinner

• The Cavern Club for live shows

• The Michigan Theater, and the State's midnight shows

• The Arb (adopted home of BCB)

• Cafe Zola's enormous brunch

• UMMA and the Kelsey Museum for classy art

• The Bell Tower and the Inn at the League, for accommodation

I have to say that the Times got it mostly right - I'd quibble with a couple choices (Palio?) and they left out a few things, including my favorite "secret" bar. Readers, what do you think of the NYT's assessment of our town?


One of A2's best dance parties, Ann Arbor Soul Club at the Blind Pig, will feature a couple of special guests this Friday: local gadfly and friend of DA Forest Juziuk, who's soon off to San Francisco, and Robert Wells, a longtime AASC mainstay who decamped a few months ago for greener pastures. Doors are at 9:30 PM.

Place that photo: Wall of PAIN

Why, yes I am going to use my phone's retro cam program every single time for these. And yes you will be "damned" by Damn Arbor's Twitter if you're the first person to guess where this intense wall is located. Leave your Twitter account name below with your guess if you wish. Otherwise, we'll just damn your damn name.

Seriously though, how b'dass is this thing, wherever it is?! It looks like it's either the shoot to hell or the way to heaven. Or both! It could always be a two-way street. All I know is I'm going to put this thing in my dining room one day, make everyone wear suits of armor and have the noisiest dinner on top of it that you ever did hear. And they say we're not great neighbors.

Liberty Local

Liberty Local, an indie craft fair, will be this weekend from 10 AM - 6 PM on Saturday and 12 PM - 5 PM on Sunday at the Ann Arbor Art Center. With two floors of indie craft goodness, Liberty Local will be held in the historic Walker Carriage Building, home of the Ann Arbor Art Center.
Think of it as an indoor indie artists’ market, showcasing the best in independent craft.

Each of the 35 vendors from all over Michigan (and even a few from our near-by neighbor Illinois) was selected because of the high quality of their original handcrafted work

Proceeds from a $1 admissions fee will support the programs of the Ann Arbor Art Center, the place where creativity and community meet. Food and beverages from some amazing local vendors will be available for purchase at the Art Center.

Announcing a Film Series and Social Forum - The Power of Working People

I've had the pleasure of working with a group of people from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor that came together in response to the actions and planned actions of Governor Synder and the Michigan legislature against - what a promising, albeit nascent, movement is now calling - the 99%. And while our work continues to concern state legislation that attacks workers, the unemployed and students, we recognize that effectiveness of our efforts is dependent on our awareness of the depth and extent of the crisis and the persons and groups it affects.

The group is the Washtenaw Community Action Team (affectionately known as the "Double-U CAT").

We are students, unionists, lecturers, teachers, nurses, pensioners, youth, social and economic justice advocates, Michiganders, community members, and so on. We planned the Stand Against Snyder Demonstration that took place at last year's UM commencement and turned out 2,000 people from all over the state; we supported the effort to repeal the emergency financial manager law by hosting town hall meetings and organizing petition drives; we stand in solidarity with the nurse's union and the graduate students trying to unionize as research assistants -- among other things.

The WCAT is hosting a film series at several locations in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor during the months of October and November that will lead up to a social forum on Tuesday, November 15th. The series is called The Power of Working People and the social forum is on Rebuilding Working People's Power.

The idea behind the film series and social forum is to place the 2008 economic crisis and the legislation and attitudes it has precipitated in the context of the history of labor and its relationship to political power. The goal through the screenings and discussions is not only to understand the power of working people, but also to start the process to restore it.

The two films that will play are 1979 Academy Award nominated With Babies and Banners: The Story of the Women's Emergency Bridge and 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Inside Job.

With Babies and Banners tells the story of the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936-7 and the story of the formation of the Women's Emergency Brigade by 23 year old Genora Johnson Dollinger.

Inside Job explores the consequences the collusion of big business and government had on financial policy and practices in the United States leading up to the collapse of the U.S. financial institutions in 2008 and the subsequent $700 billion bailout. Three years later we continue to reel from the fallout of the 2008 collapse and decisions made thereafter.

The social forum -- taking place Tuesday, November 15th @ 7pm -- will pick up where the films left off by exploring how the political class and big business have exploited the economic crisis to push anti-worker policies at all levels of government.

Featured panelists include: Jane Slaughter (LaborNotes, Labor Journalist & Activist); Maureen Taylor (Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, 2010 US Social Forum organizer); Tom Weisskopf (Professor of Economics - University of Michigan)

The forum will also feature reports from social justice and community organizations, union leaders and students -- providing the opportunity for us to learn from each other's struggles and a chance to work together.

For more information about WCAT and times and dates of screenings visit our website You can also RSVP for events on facebook .

You can also join our meetings 7pm, Thursdays @ 330 E. Liberty St. (Floor 3).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Violin Monster leaving migrating

The Violin Monster just tweeted this. I was worried he was leaving for good. Fortunately, he'll be back in April to grace our streets.

Sputnik on the Diag

I was walking across the Diag this evening to grab some grub and saw this life sized recreation of Sputnik I. Pretty cool.

Hummingbird wars

You probably can't tell from this terrible picture, but there are 7 or 8 male hummingbirds having a turf war for control of these flowers. Anyway, if you have time, you should check it out yourself. The birds are in the annual beds on the east end of the Arb's Peony Garden. They are out there now and will likely be there through this evening.

Occupy Ann Arbor

Via +-x/: Occupy Ann Arbor will have it's first organization meeting tomorrow on the Diag at 5:30.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Campus bike racks

I thought this picture of the bikes parked by Mary Markley was a good follow up to G$'s post yesterday about bike parking on campus.

Fashion Voyeur: a new fashion blog from the Daily

The Daily's got a new fashion blog and it features analysis of street fashion. So you know, time to start wearing clean clothes folks. Above is their guide to dressing for that ever more illusive job interview. I'm not sure if I agree with their argument for short-ish skirts or tie clips. Other than that though, seems like pretty sensible advice.

Image via the Daily

Monday, October 3, 2011

Anti-abortion rights rally on the Diag

If you haven't been on the Diag today, you may not have noticed the gigantic display put on by an anti-abortion rights organization. You can't tell from my mercifully low-resolution photo, but the display boards are pretty graphic. Some of the undergrads I follow on the tumblr are pretty upset by the display. Some of those links are gory so follow at your own risk.