It's been a year since we went to Puerto Rico, and looking at the photos of that trip serve only to remind me how much I miss traveling.

We saw this guy in a park in Old San Juan, and I kind of wondered if he wasn't one of those street performers who pose with tourists and then demand a few dollars. The sideburns, eyebrows, and mustache were so over the top, the clothes so weirdly old school, it was almost impossible to believe he was real. But I think he was.
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Topless Coed, University of Michigan

Posted by jdg | 12:59 PM

Ah, Spring in Ann Arbor. There's nothing like that first warm day in March, when all the coeds strip off their Gore-Texoskeletons and bask in the heat of the sun.

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Spring Sky

Posted by jdg | 9:35 AM

This was taken in the same place where I took these photos back in December. The ground was greener then, but today the air tremors with possibility.  

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Wigley's Wall O' Corned Beef

Posted by jdg | 8:37 AM

I lived in Ireland for a year and never ate a meal of corned beef and cabbage. The only people I ever really saw celebrating St. Patrick in Ireland were some hardcore Catholics who climbed his mountain barefoot every year. As far as I know, no one was serving green beer or wearing floppy hats at the top.

* * * * *

There used to be a sign outside Wigley's here that said something like, World's Largest Display of Corned Beef but I wonder if that met with an official challenge or something and they were forced to change it. Either way, that's still one hell of a wall of corned beef, a few pounds emptier now that I've picked out my selection for 2010. I'm baking it this year per Elise's recipe, and sauteing the cabbage rather than boiling it, hoping my Irish-American wife will actually eat some with me. She loves a Reuben now and then, but doesn't like thinking too much about corned beef ("What does 'corned' mean?" she asks in semi-disgust).

If you look under the salad dressing on the left side of the photo, there's a sign above a bunch of little bags of fat. The sign said something like, "One bag of fat per bag of corned beef no exceptions; no we don't sell fat on its own, so don't ask. ---Lois." God, I love Detroit. 

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The Sun Dress in March

Posted by jdg | 10:58 AM

This was the day, and the dress, that created the tantrum when the next afternoon just wasn't quite warm enough for a repeat wearing.

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Fast (and feral?)

Posted by jdg | 10:37 AM | ,

If only his tail had been pointed a little bit more and I'd caught him a second earlier, it would have been cool the way he would have been like an extension of that weirdly collapsing house in the background. He had a newish collar and seemed well fed, and with a definite agenda as he trotted along I hoped this guy had a home to go to at the end of the day.

I followed a pack around the other day and called animal control because there were kids playing nearby (there were two pit bulls in the pack). When the animal control people showed up, they started questioning me, "Why do you care? Who are you?" When I told them I lived about two miles from there (actually it was about a mile and a half) and was worried about the kids in the neighborhood, they said, "You don't live two miles from here. You don't care about kids in Detroit."

It was really odd. I stayed around to watch them, and they never even got out of their truck. 

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Posted by jdg | 9:33 AM

He's been carrying this thing around everywhere, staring through it at whoever pulls up next to us at stoplights, "surprising" his mother when she comes home from work, and scaring his sister. Whenever he sees himself in the mirror, he goes, "I'm terrifying," and stalks off to find another victim.

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So my wife had to buy some work clothes and we went to the posh suburb of Grosse Pointe where they sell clothes I guess she likes. The kids and I were stuck out on the sidewalk after they locked us out of Ann Taylor while she was still in the dressing room, and we saw this awesome sight in the window display of a store a few doors down.

I like how you can see Gram's ghostly reflection in the upper left of the photo.

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Back from the Commonwealth

Posted by jdg | 2:50 PM | ,

So I just got back from an amazing trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, where I met some really bright, engaged students, some talented artists and photographers from the art department, and even managed to spend some time exploring the beautiful city. The lecture went pretty well, and it was great to see a packed house and meet more than a few readers there. Thanks to those who came out as well as those who e-mailed suggestions.

The university put me up in the Colonnade Club in Pavilion VII (on Jefferson's lawn). It was pretty damn nice (and also kind of adorable how all the college hotshots live in those little one-bedroom cells on the lawn and get firewood delivered to their doors).  I heard the word Jeffersonian about 40 more times than I do on an average weekend, and only got lost among the hundreds of seemingly-identical neoclassical buildings once. I really loved Charlottesville and I can't wait to go back.

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