Ann Arbor Village

September 21, 2009

I have a cold.  I live in Ann Arbor.  I attend the University of Michigan for environmental justice and environmental informatics (you know, GIS).  I have 2-3 friends.  I’m taking quantitative courses that are blowing my mind.  I work for a research lab that compiles data and research to advocate for minority activists for the environment.  I am a teaching assistant for an online sociology 101 course for 54 high schoolers.  I’m riding my bike a lot.  I buy sweaters.  Ezra is visiting on Friday.  We are going to a carnival and hayride that serves you a hot cider and a donut.

I miss North Carolina, in particular.

My Home (top), Verb in a tree (middle), Tour de Troit (bottom)
IMG_1035IMG_1085tour de troit


To forego any threatening feelings of boredom, regret, or contempt for my last summer in Greensboro, NC I continue to run about (almost witless) with an agenda and a marker to check off and add with.  I mention (in the subject of this post) that these are the first two weeks of counting down.  Not true.  These are, however, the first two weeks that are clearly apparent (in my brain and heart, whatever) of my departure.  I’ve crossed out/experienced/gathered perspective from the following: 

  • kayaking in the New (old) River
  • spending many evenings cooking southern, fattening meals
  • cycling forty miles through a vineyard and county I was unsure of
  • making homemade pizza/ hiking/ drinking/ laughing in the western part of this state
  • (Also in the western part of NC) Spending quality, lovely time with a friend for life (and) holding a steady garden in his backyard.
  • exceptionally broke with a smile
  • experiencing the Great Flood of Tate St. while doing a radio show with Travis Diehl
  • icecream (Tara)
  • that night I fell asleep at 5am on Emily and Rebecca’s couch
  • playing a steady game of tennis 3 times a week

Next Week’s Additions:

  • ocean
  • little brother
  • the car is parked (no rain)
  • giving away free items to friends
  • peaches (stands on the side of road)
  • a continuation of the love it or leave it philosophy

I’ve done well in the blogosphere this week. (Thanks to my girl Winnie Titch.)

Also, found a place to move to in Ann Arbor.  She does interior architecture, making the home charming, enchanting, and clutter-free.  A gem! 

I’ve been scheming to see the ocean a lot lately.  Myrtle Beach more than likely does not count.  Inspired to go camping at Ocracoake.  Get it in before the landlocked state becomes reality. 

I also have a new addition to life: garden.  Beets, cucumber, tomato plant (5 of them), squash, herbs, zuccini.  We are hoping for the best. 

Off to see Will Oldham tomorrow.  Life is particularly simple and sweet.

This past weekend I found myself in two different conversations with acquaintances about Eugene Chadbourne.  The first conversation, with a mandolin musician who does improv with Chadbourne (who also discounted the price of my viola* by over 200$ because I mentioned I like Chadbourne).  The second was with a daily patron of Tate Street Coffee (large coffee to-go, borrows a pen to do crossword in local paper).  The reason I post is because both conversations highlighted the sad fact that not many people in Greensboro, or the Triad area in general, know about this amazingly unique musician.  Starting with the electric rake, plumbers, the list goes on and on, to the mind-capturing lyrics (everything from war to love to pigs to flowers….), this man deserves a huge following.  I have found more of his records in other states (Michigan and Colorado) than in North Carolina.  Silly! 

Anyways, Mr. Chadbourne is playing this weekend on FRIDAY  and SATURDAY night at The Maya Art Gallery on Tate St. in Greensboro, NC.  (May 8th and 9th).  I couldn’t think of any excuse to not show up to one of these evenings!



* documentation of viola sold to me.  documentation that I love this instrument more than anything else I own (over Macy).  documentation of my entire weekend.

Ritual Ruts

April 26, 2009

I’ve begun reading a book of David Foster Wallace short stories a friend, recently in town, let me borrow.  He told me I would like it, to which I wasn’t sure what that meant but I proceeded without question.  David Foster Wallace, the late prolific, has been ignored on my bookshelves out of fear (mostly).  I fear some authors because of their critical, oftentimes tragic sight.  It happened with Murakami, Ellis and many other young, post-modern writers.  Their literary voice and plot penetrates my days, actions, and auras (I understand I might have gotten a little too dramatic using that word).  A highly affected woman should not be reading House of Leaves or anything Philip Roth writes (but I cannot deny that these books are some of my favorite possessions).

 I looked at the book in my friends car and thought hard about the book and why Wallace never received at least an honorable mention by me.  In all honesty, I don’t want his mastery of “higher” language to screw up my sunny day.  I just want to see it as a sunny day.

Anyways, I read the short stories and it is still a sunny day.

April 23, 2009


Found: beet cupcake recipe

I used:
1 cup shredded, roasted red beets (our red beets are pretty hard, so after we roast them, they tend to stay firm enough to grate and not mash up into pulp!)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped almonds

My method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C)
2. Mix beets, oil, milk, vanilla, and brown sugar well in a big bowl.
3. In another bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
5. Add the raisins to the batter.
6. Line the muffin tins, put one scoop of batter in each cup, and top with a few chopped almonds.
7. Bake for 15 – 20 min until the tops are lightly browned, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Cool to room temperature and store in cool, dry place. If you frost them with whipped cream, don’t forget to refrigerate them.

April 14, 2009



 “Frugalistas” :The rise of thrifty hipsters who get their thrills from no-frill living marks “a re-emergence of thrift as a value,” according to the New York Times. From secondhand shops to homegrown crops, penny pinching’s taken on a new luster.





      cherries-most-pesticides-in-fruit-photo           nectarines-most-pesticides-in-fruit-photo2


April 6, 2009


Unfortunately, I woke to the news of an earthquake in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  This region is a mountainous region east of Rome.  I farmed here over the summer.  I hope the best for Marino y Elide! 

Marino y Elide at Laperegina



homemade ricotta: such a highlight of life….