Sunday, August 30, 2015

I was driving home early Sunday morning







* I walk through them. Never looking down. Quick, but steady. I hope I don't trip and fall. They're in my yard, my driveway, exactly where I step off the porch. Exactly where I step into the car. I fling myself into the car, slamming the door, sometimes catching my hair in the door, sometimes catching my clothes in the door. I exhale. I exist with nature. Even scary nature. Sphecius speciosus, Eastern Cicada Killer.

* Giant panda of the Midwest: Ancient yet endangered, lake sturgeon stage a comeback.

* Sturgeon moon.

* Through Bakersfield. Listening to gospel music....... (Jagger, Richards.)

Posted by: Marie at 8:25 PM |

Saturday, August 29, 2015

He was walking along the road














* And I asked him, where are you going. And this he told me...

Posted by: Marie at 9:26 PM |

Sunday, August 02, 2015

You're the queen of the underground










* Illinois' own Havana dreams of linking arms with tropical counterpart:

Once the rural playground for Chicago's captains of commerce and Al Capone's gangland lieutenants, the Illinois River town of Havana is dreaming big once again.
Mayor Brenda Stadsholt, a former high school guidance counselor, wants this rural hamlet of 3,200 to become a sister city with the legendary beach-and-nightlife mecca of Havana, Cuba.
Pie in the sky for a town dominated by grain elevators and surrounded by fields of green beans, watermelons and cabbages? Stadsholt thinks not.

* For better or worse, it's all about to change. Photos: Cuba's moment of transition.

* And you can send me dead flowers every morning. Send me dead flowers by the mail...

Posted by: Marie at 6:55 PM |

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Using ideas as my maps







* Wednesday, July 28, 1965: 'This ... is why we are in Vietnam':

President Johnson begins his news conference by announcing plans to increase U.S. troops in the Vietnam War from 75,000 to 125,000, along with doubling the monthly military draft quota from 17,000 to 35,000. He also lays out the reasons for America's increasing involvement, including this passage:
"We did not choose to be the guardians at the gate, but there is no one else. ... Three presidents -- President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, and your present president -- over 11 years have committed themselves and have promised to help defend this small and valiant nation. Strengthened by that promise, the people of South Vietnam have fought for many long years. Thousands of them have died. Thousands more have been crippled and scarred by war. We just cannot now dishonor our word, or abandon our commitment, or leave those who believed us and who trusted us to the terror and repression and murder that would follow. This, then, my fellow Americans, is why we are in Vietnam."

* summer of 77:

Of all the years of my life — and that’s nearly 53 of them — 1977 is the year I could tell you the most about. It was a time so jam packed with intensity and emotion and drama — I don’t recall any other year of my life being quite like that one. Of course, I was barely 15 at the time and there’s enough emotion and insanity inherent in that alone to make the year worth telling about. But there was something so different about 1977, especially the late spring and summer. Especially in New York.

* “We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I.... (Byrds version.)

Posted by: Marie at 10:31 PM |

Friday, July 17, 2015

I was born lonely down by the riverside




* GI Bill pays for unaccredited sex, Bible and massage schools.

* Thoughtful: Can Detroit Save White People?

* Seriously? Michael Bolton is trying to save Detroit. Yes, that Michael Bolton:

A fan leans in for a hug. A cop on a horse invites him to visit the stable. A bald man who sings in a Bolton tribute band asks for a selfie.
“It’s $22.50,” Bolton says, smiling. “You got PayPal?”

* I discovered the wonder that is Detroit a long, long time ago. This is my Detroit story. One of ‘em, anyway. Such as it is.

I was living in Chicago at the time. My dearest friend had moved from a small Illinois town to one of the inner ring suburbs of Detroit. Except for her older boyfriend, who had his own situation, she knew no one in the Detroit area. She needed company and she needed it bad.

I got to her apartment on a Friday night. First thing in the door, her cat hissed at me. Her cat hissed at me all weekend. I was starting to understand why she didn't get a lot of visitors.

After dinner, we went to a disco on Eight Mile Road. I danced with a couple really nice engineer types from the automotive industry (not at the same time), all of whom proposed marriage to me right there, right then. Seriously.

Saturday morning, after an early breakfast, we drove through the streets of Detroit to the Yacht Club, which is on an island in the Detroit River. The boyfriend was already waiting for us.

It was a beautiful, old boat -- all teak and varnish and brass -- but very well cared for. I remember him saying it had two Olds Marine V8s. The sound of those engines idling in the shallows was so deep, so throaty. So beautiful.

As soon as we untied from the dock, he asked, “have you ever piloted a boat, before?”

Me? Piloted a boat? Hell yeah I’ve piloted a boat. Many boats, as a matter of fact. I was raised on the water. I am a sea dog.

“Okay, good,” he said as he installed me behind the wheel. “Just don’t drift into Canadian waters, because I lost my Canada flag.”

Why, will Canada shoot us out of the water if I do? But, he didn’t hear me as he and my friend had already closed the door to wherever they escaped to down below.

And, so it came to be, me piloting a 36 foot cruiser up and down the Detroit River, on a calm, sunny day, waving to other boats, avoiding eye contact with the Canadian Coast Guard, while my friend and her much older boyfriend were getting it on below deck.

It felt so good, my bare feet on the smooth, wooden planks, the sun on my shoulders, hands loose on the wheel, as I guided her out into open water (it’s a wide river). It changes your posture to be solely responsible for so much power. It changes you.

It was nothing like my prior boat piloting experience, which you probably already guessed consisted of not much at all (i.e., my dad’s 14' foot Alumacraft with the 25 horse outboard, a canoe or two or three, and a plastic paddle boat, all on the Midwest’s tiny lakes and streams).

Side note: I don’t actually remember ever seeing the Canadian Coast Guard out there, but I’m sure if they saw me going up and down the river all day, alone, they probably wondered what the heck is going on here.

Also, the usual apologies apply here in case you already heard this story.

* And I was just thirteen when I had to leave home.... (Seger.)

Posted by: Marie at 9:30 PM |