Monday, March 26, 2007


Meet Althea and her daughter Doris. Doris was moving stuff into her car while her elderly mother supervised. Let me set the scene:

Saturday afternoon, overcast, the ground moist from morning drizzle. A group of four women are jogging down the street. The one closest to the street is wearing a sports bra and short shorts. The other three are wearing t-shirts and shorts of varying lengths. Althea and Doris observe from their porch.

Althea: What are they doing?
Doris: Jogging
Althea: But they're buck nekkid.
Doris: That's how you do it.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Meet Tati. After my first direct interaction with her, I left with the assessment "Bitch all drama'd up with nowhere to go." A bystander who knows her more closely kindly pointed out (in case I missed the nuance) that Tati can be a bit of a drama queen. Everything is something with her.

I can picture it now. A corporate setting -- Tati is dressed in a calculated manner. A suit, a skirt replacing the slacks, very neatly pressed. The color of the blouse selected has taken all current office dynamics and cost benefit analyses into account. Though her hair is down, it is pulled back in a way that adds tension to the room. She is currently writing a lengthy note to be posted on the break room refrigerator addressed to "The Individual Who Did Not PROPERLY LABEL Their Food." Today is Thursday.

Back in the present, Tati is ten years old.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Meet Kevin. If I were straight and 8-10 years older, this is who I would be -- provided that I had lost my sense of social self-awareness.

I encountered Kevin at Heathrow. After arriving 3 hours early, checking in, and going through the initial security, I ended up in the Long-Haul Terminal lounge. I took a seat where I could see the departure board and happened to be a couple seats away from Kevin and his significant other. He and she were chatting about something and reached a lull in the conversation. After a moment of quiet in their conversation, he started to sing.

I saw the sign. It opened up my eyes -- I saw the sign.

He stopped as quickly as he started. Perhaps he was singing along to the music piping into the terminal, but I determined after I focused my hearing that it was not Ace of Base but "Shakira, Sha-KIRRR-a!" playing over the loudspeaker. Kevin and his lady friend continued chatting, gossiping about a new boyfriend in a female friend's life and reached another lull.

Yeah they were dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'

And then he stopped. The thing about the Long-Haul terminal is that multiple airlines use it. Gate 12 could be for an American Airlines flight while JAL could be boarding at Gate 13. I looked over to see if I could get an idea whether or not Kevin would be on my flight. Luckily, he was flying on United (I was on American). Then it happened.

Doo-do-do-do, doo-do, doo-do, can't touch this. Doo-do-do-do, doo-do, doo-do, can't touch this.

I believe I was terrorized.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007


Meet Claude. He is a bowler on the Wayne County Community College District bowling team. I don't really know anything about him beyond this, but he instantly reminded me of anyone who is truly from Detroit.

John had made a ball change and the result was exactly what he wanted. As he passed me he remarked "I'm in love." "With a stripper?" Claude added. I don't think it registered with John that this addition was related to what he said as he didn't even acknowledge that anything was said. I registered a feeling of solidarity. You see, if you inadvertently say the first half of a lyric in the vicinity of a Detroiter, s/he will almost always complete the line with a 50% chance of bursting into song.

I attended an open casting call for a game show a number of years ago which began with going through all 100+ people in the casting group introducing themselves. Some of the intros were bland (such as mine) while others featured people familiar with networking brunches and video dating services. One woman gave a list things she did in her spare time and her likes and dislikes. Item #4: "I like the nightlife." No fewer than eight people immediately followed that with "I love to boogie." In unison. Right down to the cadence.

I have yet to experience this outside of a Detroit connection.

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