Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Missed a Jesse Saunders party AND Minx at Oslo

Yes, that's right, I missed both those events. What a sucker. What an amateur - so tired from regular life with three kids, including a baby who is up a lot at night, that I couldn't get up and out last weekend. Well, I have decided to devote some more time and energy to interviews now that I have my equipment. I have one set up for next Tuesday!!! Very exciting!

I keep thinking about all these things I want to write about throughout the course of a day and then when I actually get a chance to write after the boys are in bed, I forget most of my ideas. I want to write more about getting around Detroit and different things that I have noticed about the city and its suburbs. Driving around the city is interesting – I’ve never experienced such a dramatic difference in traffic/road layout and direction as in Michigan. U-turns are a central element to traffic control in Michigan. And I'm writing about this because it is still new and strange to me. For example, if you are coming to a major road, like Woodward or John R, or Big Beaver, you cannot just get into a left turning lane and turn left onto that major road. Instead, you must get into the right lane and turn right onto that major road, even though you really intend to go to the left. Once on the major road, you must merge over to the far left lane and turn around at one of the many U-turn locations on that major road. Sometimes there are traffic lights directing the U-turn traffic, other times, just a stop sign. Then, once you have turned around, you are now heading in the direction you intended. However, even after living here for 1½ months, I still forget about the U-turns built into the major road and the NO TURNS signs for left turns onto major roads, and then end up having to continue straight through the traffic light, only to manage a random U-turn, or drive into a parking lot somewhere up ahead to get back around to be able to then turn right onto the major road. I am surprised how often I still do this.

I have done quite a bit of traveling around Detroit and surrounding areas. Homeschooling activities have given me that opportunity. We have been up to Flint to the FORMAR nature center for a space travel class (about a 1 hour drive NW), we have joined a gym day at the Troy community center (about a 15 minute drive NW). That community center is something else. When we walk in and head over to the gym on Thursday afternoons, we have to pass by the indoor pool with at least one slide, a small children’s pool, big fountains and buckets that dump from the ceiling. Unfortunately, only residents of Troy and people who work in Troy can use the pool and most of the other facilities there. Troy seems like a pretty wealthy city. We have also been to the Madison Heights nature center a few times and plan to keep attending a few times a month for their homeschool classes. Madison Heights is really near Ferndale. The nature center is at John R and 13 mile – yes, the names of roads in Detroit are fascinating just like the city. There are the mile roads – 8 mile, 9 mile, all the way up to about 23 or 24 mile. Telegraph rd., John R. rd., the Lodge, Rosa Parks.

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