Thursday, January 8, 2009

Panic in Detroit Rock City

Today, I was sent a link to probably one of the best articles I have ever read about Detroit. It’s an article in Sports Illustrated written by Mitch Albom. Yes, it’s a little long and schmaltzy…but any Detroiter, former Detroiter or anyone who wonders what the heck it’s like to live in the Detroit area should read it. It certainly has made me ponder. It’s nice to know there are others who feel like I do.

It's hard to be a Detroiter. I guess I'm a former Detroiter since I don't live there anymore, but I think it's kinda like being a recovering Catholic. It will always be in you; no matter how hard you distance your self or try to deny it, it will always be a part of your makeup.

Detroit and its suburbs will always be “home”…in that Hallmark “home is where the heart is place.” I was born there, grew up there, spent my best years in radio there. My family and some great friends are still scattered about all over area. Detroit’s a giant metro region that is very spread out. It can take you an hour or more to drive from the east side to the west side. There’s no such thing as public transportation, something I knew nothing about until I moved to the NYC area. And either you get it or you don't. I suppose it helps when you've spent a long time there.

And you can love it or hate it. I know a lot of people that left and never looked back. I know alot of people who want to leave but can't. I left 10 years ago and more or less always check behind me. Sometimes I’m embarrassed and frustrated to admit I’m from there and every once in awhile I want everyone I know to just leave already. But most of the time I keep up on what’s going on. I still root for the sports teams, although I really don’t like to own up to the Lions anymore. I love Vernor’s ginger ale (which you can buy in Seattle ironically) and crave Coney Islands, (hot dog’s with chili), Olga’s (sort of a gyro) and Sander’s cream puff hot fudge sundaes (self explanatory ☺). Yes we are a fat bunch, ha ha. But Michigan summers truly are legendary.

Back in town over the New Year holiday, I got used to having to drive everywhere again. The roads are generally a joy to drive on, and they keep ‘em cleared for the most part in the winter. Yes, there are potholes and what not, but you can drive 70 MPH in most places on the freeway!

And despite it all, people are still nice and friendly; as if all they have left to give is a smile and a kind word and they’re gonna flaunt it.It’s funny, because sometimes I tell people I’m from Detroit and they think I’m all tough. But if I say I’m from Michigan they just shrug a bit. It certainly is a sad little city, and the butt of so many jokes as Mitch said in his article.

it’s the place that built my backbone; my foundation my spirit, and I'm realizing you can take the girl out of Detroit, but man that Motown is still flowin’!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The most dreaded day of the year

I personally think The Monday After New Years...(Shouted in a booming, echoing voice) is one of the most daunting and dreaded days of the year. Back when I was gainfully employed at a “real” job…I would grieve the holiday that just passed.

No more short workweeks, no more cocktails and cookies anytime you wanted, just because it “was the holidays”. It looks bare and empty everywhere…no more plastic colored lights, fake greenery and tinsel to fill the void.

Everything that you put off until “after the holidays” has to get done, or at least now you have to pretend you are going to do it…even more exhausting.

You’re flipping through a calendar, either the one you received as a gift and feel obligated to use… or the one you had to buy because no one got you a you a calendar this year…and all that was left at the Rite Aid was a Barbie knockoff or one with weird pictures of dogs posing with fruit. Thank goodness it was free or 70% off.

I digress….

So you’re flip flip flipping through the calendar and it dawns on you that the next long weekend maybe isn’t until February, if you get Prez day off. Unless your company is very progressive and you get MLK day off. A few people in financial will have Good Friday off, actually all those days off if you’re in financial AND in NYC. But for most people, other than calling in on the Monday after the Super Bowl or taking some vacation time…. Most people won’t have a three-day weekend until Memorial Day!

Yikes! That will turn you back to cookies and cocktails.

None of this applies if you’re in radio, where you work six days a week anyway, no holidays off and there is no such thing as a 3-day weekend. Or you’re not a 9-5 Monday-Friday kind of person, work part time, or have flexible hours and your time is your own, not “the man’s”

Or…you’re a recovering D.J ☺

Happy New Year…you can still say it. Hope your dreaded day was ok.