Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NOT my favorite season

The weather has changed here in the last few days. It's chilly, the skies are grey, and it's been rainy. When I go outside I have to wear jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, though I haven't given in and put socks on yet.

I hate fall. And I don't understand why it's so often mentioned as a "favorite season" by so many people. Fans of fall like to rhapsodise about the "crisp" air, the joys of "sweater weather," and the beauty of multi-colored leaves. They carve pumpkins and watch football, apparently oblivious to the coming death and darkness of which their "favorite season" is a sign.

Why don't more people say spring is their favorite season?? In spring the trees blossom, flowers bloom, birds sing, and there is hope. Just think about that first spring day without a coat, or how it feels to drive down the road with the car windows rolled down and the radio on. What could be better than that?

I hate the fact that during fall I have to begin wearing so much clothing. I hate the fact that my finger joints ache, my skin is dry, my sinuses throb, the sky is dark, there are viruses in the air, I'll soon be another year older, and snow is a certainty.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

To market, to market

We finally made it to Eastern Market - Detroit's historic farmers market.

Although I grew up in the Detroit metro area and have been living here again for more than a year now, I'd never been to Eastern Market and - WOW - I've really been missing out.

Eastern Market is 170 years old. It's the oldest and largest market of its kind in America! And it's surrounded by unique shops and restaurants of the sort you wouldn't expect to find flourishing in that part of Detroit.

It's huge, fun, and overflowing with fabulous produce, flowers, baked goods, etc... Plus an interesting blend of people to watch. I can't believe it took me SO long to finally go there. And when I go next time I'll be sure to take more photos!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goodbye to summer

Last moment of Zen... leaving Oscoda yesterday:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

People for sale

I recently read an article about an increase in people willing to sell their sperm or eggs. This increase was attributed to the recession. Sperm sellers can get up to $100 and eggs go for as much as $5,000.
The article noted that sellers must undergo extensive medical and psychological screening, but what it didn't say, and what I find bothersome, is that fact that nobody seems to think there's anything wrong with this. This practice, which has slipped into modern society without much, if any, ethical debate, is essentially the selling of human life.

I don't think human eggs and sperm should be used in fertility treatments unless they've been donated for free. It's just not the kind of enterprise from which a profit should be made. And what really bugs me about this is that it's creating a crop of people who will one day feel cheated of their biological heritage.

I strongly believe that everyone born as a result of these procedures deserves to know the names of their donors, see their photographs, and be told their social and medical histories. Adoptees have fought long and hard for these rights which are finally being recognized and respected. I don't think we should create another segment of society denied the dignity of this basic human knowledge.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Favorite Photo: NYC 2001

It's been eight years since 9-11-01 and it seems like a long time ago to me. So much has changed since then, in the world, as well as my life. That afternoon I was in Kalamazoo at work at the theater and it felt like a silly thing to be doing. All my concerns about the upcoming season of plays, fundraising, marketing, and recruiting volunteers suddenly seemed so inconsequential.

The following months were intense, and personally significant for me too: that's when I began my relationship with BB, my son met his future wife, and a beloved dog came into our lives.

In November of 2001 BB and I took a trip to New York. We called it our "Fuck You Bin Laden" trip. During this trip we went downtown and the air was still full of the smell of smoke, the sidewalks still gritty. We saw the makeshift memorials and stood behind a barricade to look at the rubble. It was hard to make the decision to go down there, on the one hand it seemed disrespectful, but on the other it was an historic moment we wanted to witness. (We felt better about our decision to gawk when, a few months later, a viewing platform was built.) While we were in NYC that fall I took this picture of a flag displayed on a fire escape:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Radio update

Although I'm still lamenting the loss of my NPR signal from Michigan Radio, I've discovered I can get WDET, the Detroit public radio station.

WDET broadcasts Morning Edition, Fresh Air, and All Things Considered, but features a show called Detroit Today in the middle of the day, and plays Jazz in the evening.

On the weekend I can listen to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and Car Talk, but there is no Prairie Home Companion! No Radio Lab. No The Story.

So, this is a good news/bad news kind of thing. But, I'm not complaining. At least I can listen to NPR in my kitchen again, even though the only radio able to pull in the signal is my big old radio/cassette/cd player - which takes up a good portion of our counter space:

I've also recently discovered that there are decent little radios available for purchase that come with FM antenna hook ups. So, when the budget allows I may once again be a regular Michigan Radio listener. Hurray!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Photo quiz

What do the following photos have in common?

Answer: They were all taken by me at the Michigan State Fair yesterday.

The hairy hoof is a Budweiser Clydesdale; the rooster is a Wyandotte; and the stove is the world's largest, originally built for the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago and now a Detroit icon.

BB and I rode the Ferris Wheel, indulged in some carnival food, saw a cow in labor, and felt like we were doing our part to support the fair, which might be the last one. Begun in Detroit in 1849, it's the oldest state fair in the country, but threatened with extinction due to the economy.

I have many fond memories of the fair from the 1960s and 70s, but hadn't been there since 1982. It was fun to see so many things about it that haven't changed, though it did seem smaller,and shabbier, the way those things tend to do over time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

instead of

Instead of blogging I've been busy doing lots other things, including breaking through the landscaping cloth in my garden. This thick woven plastic is about two inches below the soil and is almost impossible to cut. In order to put my plants in the ground I have to remove the wood chips, remove the topsoil, and then cut away a portion of the cloth, which has been in the garden so long it's now connected to the soil by the roots of the weeds that have somehow managed to grow through it.

I understand that this stuff is meant to be an easy way to keep weeds from growing, but the idea of having a garden you can't dig into seems kinda crazy to me. Earth covered in plastic just doesn't seem right - doesn't seem very "green."