the motor city.

A few weeks ago, I saw an episode of South Park where someone murdered someone else while in Hell. My immediate question was "Wait, what happens when you die in Hell?" My question was answered when the murdered character came back to Hell unhurt a few minutes later. Someone asked him, "Hey, didn't you die?" His answer was, "Where was I going to go - Detroit?"

I've not died even one time, but I went to Detroit. No one seems to have anything nice to say about this city. In fact, everyone made grimaces whenever I told them I was headed here for a business trip. Even sitting at the airport, a nice old lady on her way home to Sarasota, Florida looked at me sympathetically. What's so bad about Detroit, besides the fact that all anyone knows about it is based on an Eminem movie? An old city forgotten and not restored, the Motor City is covered in a thick layer of exhaust and exhaustion.

I flew in on a Thursday night where all I could see below me was the lights of anonymous houses in anonymous cities. I saw a big city that sprawled out in all directions, and then the lights suddenly stopped along some long invisible border and all was dark below. I realized that I was over a lake, not a Great Lake for nothing, and tried to think back to what I should do in the event of a water landing. I could see the city behind, growing ever distant, and then I could see more lights ahead, another city with similar abrupt borders growing ever closer. Water, water, everywhere.

The captain soon announced that we were beginning our slow descent into Hell, no, Detroit, but all I could see were lights, yellow, green, red. I couldn't see the decrepit buildings, the shady crime areas, the drug deals, the sadness, the loneliness, the depression, the blues that go with every city, just the yellows, the greens, the reds. Detroit twinkled at me, and I felt hopeful.

At night, from 50,000 feet and counting down, Detroit is beautiful.



I stumbled on this website today, NoScruf.org. Feel free to browse the site, look at the hairy, beautiful women. Watch the informative, amusing video. Become irritated at the words which follow around your mouse pointer.

In case you're on dialup, I'll give you the gist. This site is basically the home page of an organization of women who have decided that they are sick and tired of having to snuggle up against stubbly chins and cheeks. They have declared that they will not shave any part of their bodies until their boyfriends return to a soft, smooth, pre-adolescent state in terms of facial hair.

My, what a stupid cause. Just think what these women could do if they actually attached themselves to something worthwhile. I'd be down with some swimsuit model who stopped shaving because she realized that it was a ridiculous requirement imposed on her by society. But not shaving because she's against not shaving?

First of all, I have no problem with scruff. You know what? I like it. True, I've lovingly and delightedly stroked a smooth chin, but a little prickly growth never stopped me either. I love my man all the way down to the hairs on his chinny-chinny-chin. I'm usually too excited that he's within kissing distance to worry about anything else.

Besides, these women are going about it all the wrong way. They think they're feminists, but no, rather than try to liberate women, they're trying to imprison men. They shout, "If we have to follow stupid rules, then you do, too!" They should be throwing out the stupid rules altogether. Rather than threatening to not shave, they should tell their boyfriends, "Hey, I won't impose silly hair removal ideas on you if you won't impose them on me."

One more thing: I invite you again to go to the site and look at the beautiful, hairy women. Those bikini lines, they're looking awfully smooth and neat, no?



business classless.

I was full of my own importance as I walked from the south parking lot of the Greensboro airport Thursday afternoon, carrying a sensible brown bag containing the company laptop, important business papers, a stack of my business cards, and two fresh, clean notepads. By the time I made it to Gate 44 to sit and wait for my flight, I was already tired of being a business woman, because the things they had to carry were heavy.

Everywhere that I carried the laptop, I was intensely aware of it. Not just because it was heavy, though it was, but because it made me feel very grown-up. Who cares if I was in jeans or if I drank milk instead of coffee at the continental breakfast? I was a business woman and I was on a business trip. Don't believe me? Here's my card. Lookit, that's my name.

Saturday afternoon, I lugged my business woman bag back to the rental car and dumped it in the passenger seat. Something was stuck to the bottom of the bag, a big white blobby something. My business woman pride immediately deflated. I had gotten something on the company's bag, and worse yet, I had gotten bubble gum on the company's bag. The day before, I had chewed some gum after lunch. Then when I was done with the gum, I had put it in the thick paper nametag they gave me at the client's office. But the paper was so thick that it wouldn't stay folded around the gum, and apparently, I had put the bag down on top of it.

This...this, well, this is exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me. I'm a trifle klutzy, so it wasn't a huge surprise that I got something on the bag. But why couldn't it have been something grown-up, like lipstick or coffee? I mean, I don't wear lipstick and I've quit drinking coffee, but that's not the point! Why did it have to be bubble gum? Why did I have to get the gum out of a bright red gumball machine when I had gone out to lunch on the company's dime? Why do I still get gumballs out of bright red machines?

Oh well. Being a business woman's not that cool anyway. They have heavy stuff.


business class.

"So are you going on vacation?"
"No, I'm traveling on business."

"Now, are you flying home tonight, dear?"
"Oh, no. I'm on a business trip."

"Alright, ma'am, your room is located just around the corner there. Are you staying with us for business or pleasure?"
"Uh, business."

I sat in three different airports, two different airplanes, and one hotel yesterday. I was wearing jeans, sandals (which I had to take off in one of those airports), a t-shirt that said "HERE COMES TROUBLE" in big black letters, and pigtails. Yes, I looked like a true business traveler.

You know, I sometimes don't even believe it myself. I feel that I must be entirely too young to be here, or at least entirely too Sandra. But here I am, blogging my disbelief on the company laptop in a Hampton Inn outside Detroit, hoping that the clients I'm here to see aren't having the same doubts.

And now I am not going to take the time to come up with some clever closing to this. I have to get up early and go to work tomorrow.


lots of potential.

Officer Bowman was a good D.A.R.E. officer. It wasn't because he was a very nice man or because he loved kids or because he really believed in the program. It wasn't because he'd been a D.A.R.E. officer for years and years and years. It wasn't because he had a special connection with every fifth grader he came across. All of those things were true, but none of them were the reason that Officer Bowman was a good D.A.R.E. officer.

Officer Bowman was a good, no, a great, D.A.R.E. officer because he really didn't want you to do drugs. Not the general you, the specific you. He had a way of making you think that he didn't want you to do drugs because he knew that you were a good kid and that you had lots of potential. Officer Bowman believed in you.

I ran into Officer Bowman this weekend, older, greyer, only a little heavier. I recognized his voice first, a voice that sounds like a Southern Fred Rogers. Then I recognized his face and asked if he used to teach D.A.R.E. at Gamewell Elementary School. His face lit up as he told me that he knew he recognized my face and asked me my name. I told him and he acted like it had been on the tip of his tongue the whole time. Officer Bowman must have met thousands of kids in all his years as a D.A.R.E. officer, and it seemed doubtful to me that he would recognize me based on an eleven-year-old he knew twelve years ago. But then again, he was Officer Bowman, and he was so genuine that I thought maybe it was possible. We chatted only a little while, and I left feeling like Officer Bowman still believed in me, believed that I was a good kid and had lots of potential.


free ice cream!


I promise that this journal has not become a photo blog. However, it has long been a hobby blog of a girl who is not always very attentive to the task of updating it. It will please you to know that the guilt of not posting for a whole week has been eating at me the whole time I was off doing the things that I opted to do instead of updating.

But it is Thursday, and Thursdays are easy.

I took a walk one day a couple of weeks ago around my neighborhood with my camera and my mp3 player - I was just looking to get robbed. I live near an elementary school, and I found this sign up in one of the windows. I can't decide if bullies are not allowed in the school at all, or if they just have to enter through another door than the one that is below this sign. In any case, I did not go through the door, but that was mostly because it was locked.

At the same time, there are these fluffy clouds in the reflection, and the combination of a pretty, peaceful day with no bullies is a marvelous one. Maybe this is the door to heaven. Nah. That door would say "No bullies" and "Free ice cream!"