Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm slowly coming back from my long absence adjusting to major life transitions. Can you tell it's been a bit big? I'm homeschooling my kids full time now, transcribing...still, intending to catch up on a few straggling interviews and follow-up interviews, and getting ready for a year of serious writing. We're in Ann Arbor now, James is in the MFA program at the University of Michigan. He got excellent funding - full tuition remission and then some. This is such a wealthy town and university - so different from Detroit, as I'm sure you can imagine, and even really different from Bloomington, IN, where we lived for 7 years before Detroit. The resources available to grad students are incredible. And I stand outside watching the kids play, talking to other mothers and listening to them complain about not having enough money, even though their husbands are also grad students with great funding and stipends. Yes, we're all relatively poor and qualify for food stamps. But are you seriously complaining about getting paid to be a student?! I guess if you're used to having a lot, it's hard to adjust to having less. But don't they know that Everything Is Going To Be Alright.

I know, financial support for graduate students who are employed by universities to teach undergraduates is extremely important, and U of M has a strong history of unionizing graduate student employees and forming major alliances with other university employees. In 2008, the Graduate Employee Organization organized themselves and stadium construction workers to strike for one day in order to bargain for a new contract.

We've been exploring Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Walking trails and island hopping at Galup Park in Ann Arbor. Trying hard to be frugal at Zingerman's. Enjoying deep fried veggies (that's a me only thing, none of my men have much love for that!) and eggs on burgers at Blimpie Burger. Jerusalem Garden is pretty nice too. And you know I've already made two trips to Encore to buy some records. Tadd Mullinix has some "Tadd's picks" sections - I frequent those frequently. Tadd, possibly known as James T. Cotton, Dabrye, SK-1 of TNT (with Todd Osborn...there's a Tadd n' Todd tab in the electronic bin!) worked/works occasionally at Encore.

A few voyages to Ypsilanti too. Chilli dogs at Bill's Drive-In; we were just there today. My two year old grabbed a hot dog with mustard off the tray while sitting ON the picnic table; the hot dog rolled out of the paper it was wrapped in and landed on the ground; one of the two black dogs who either belong to the restaurant owner or one of the residents behind the restaurant, or both picked it up in one chomp. And then proceeded to breathe and heave until he swallowed it. I'll admit I was concerned. But all was well. Haven't gone to Kluck's Drive-In yet, but I plan to soon. We went raspberry picking at a farm in Ypsi. Have I gone to the Elbow Room yet to see Todd Osborn, no. But I will, I promise.

Sorry I don't have photos of these places. Why would I ever remember to bring my camera anywhere, ever, at any time, to do anything!!??