Category Archives: Detroit

The soundtrack of life

It’s rare the TV is off in our house, especially once we brought home our new baby — a fancy 47″ flat screen, HD, Netflix-equipped, monster of a TV. But, on the off chance we turn the TV off for an hour, the house is still rarely quiet.

There’s the tick-tock of the cute Motown/Detroit clock I bought for DD for our first dating anniversary.

There’s the rumble and crash of ice in the ice-maker.

There’s the ding of the elevator in our apartment building, usually followed by the slam of a neighbor’s door as they arrive home.

There’s the muted tones of people talking on the street 2 floors below my window.

Every few minutes, there’s the smooth humming of the People Mover, Detroit’s “mass transit” — an elevated train that runs in a loop of downtown.

Many days, there’s the swish of our washing machine, that can only be slightly muffled by closing the closet door.

If I’m REALLY quiet in bed, I can hear the thump thump of the treadmill in the fitness center that butts up to our bedroom wall.

If it’s a weekend or a Tigers game night, I can hear the honking horns, throbbing bass, and excited yelling of people out on the town.

If a certain neighbor is in a foul mood, I can hear her arguing with her boyfriend, sometimes followed by shattered glass and always followed by slammed doors.

See, when you live in a 2 bedroom loft that also has a combined living/kitchen/dining area and faces a burgeoning downtown district, there’s really no such thing as silence. Even though Detroit is a relatively quiet city, with a density nowhere near its big sisters Chicago and New York, it still has its own soundtrack. And when you couple that with living in a building with thin walls, many of your neighbors’ every day sounds are heard too.

For many people, my soundtrack probably sounds like more of a screeching nuisance than a pleasant melody. For me, it’s the latter. Sure, the thumping treadmill isn’t so awesome when it wakes me up at 5 a.m., but overall, it’s home to me. It’s vibrancy and activity and even security. Knowing there’s someone else close by, even when I’m completely alone, is a comfort that I’m not fully prepared to give up someday when we move to our own home on a nice, quiet, suburban block.

This blog post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Weekly Writing Prompt. Perfect for when I’m just getting back into things and need a little help.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Filed under blogging rocks!, Detroit, writing

Fast forward a year…

Hi guys,

Welp, it’s really been a year. Over a year, in fact. In that time, it’s entirely possible I’ve lost every. single. reader. I had. Hopefully a few of you have hung on to me in your RSS feeds, allowing my little link to wallow away to nothing, hardly even noticeable in your daily blog skimming. Perhaps, when you saw the link light up again, you forgot who I was — I know I do that fairly frequently with infrequent posters.

No blame if you’ve forgotten who I am. I’m just thankful you’ve kept me around all this time. It’s been a busy year to say the least. And at the same time, not all that busy at all. I spend most weeknights vegging out with my husband. (Last time I wrote, he was just a fiance.) Our weekends are often busy, but just as often not-so-busy.

Between planning a wedding, working the 9 to 5, and simply living life, you’d think I would have forgotten about this little corner of the Interwebs. Instead, I think about it nearly every day. Usually in that 25ish mile commute, as my hands grip the wheel but my mind wanders above the Interstate, I think about it over here. I think about how I genuinely miss getting everything out on “paper”. And even more so, how I miss interacting with the people who used to read my jumbled thoughts. I think about potential blog posts, rarely crafting an entire post in my head like I used to, but just thinking about wisps of posts that’ll likely never get written. A topic, a sentence, it all flows in and out again as easily as it comes to me.

And so I often think about coming back. “Next week,” I say. Or, “this weekend, I’ll do it.” For just about 386 days now. Today, it finally happened. And that’s about all I’ve got for now. No major revelations, but hoping that it’s not another 386 days and that the wisps keep coming and maybe starting knocking around enough to put to “paper”.

In the meantime, here’s a little peek at one of my favorite days of the past 386.

Husband and I, happy and newly married, in the park outside our first home (the tall white building behind us).

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Filed under blogging rocks!, DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, relationships, Wedding

A Supergirl Recap

Today, I’m guest posting over at Tomorrow Is Another Day. Angela was so gracious to allow me to invade her space while she enjoys a vacation to one of two destinations, depending on the Air Force’s plane schedules. I’m anxious to hear about her travels, but in the meantime, head over there to weigh in on my honeymoon options!

For those of you who wandered this way courtesy of Angela’s place, welcome! I wish I could say I had some profound post to welcome you to this neck of the woods, but, well, I don’t. I swear I meant to, and then, well, shiz got busy.

Since I can’t put together a coherent original post, I thought it’d be a good idea to provide a little introduction on who I am, by way of a smattering of past posts. Hopefully that alone will entice you to add me to your reader, and I figured my regular readers might enjoy a little catch-up as well.

Some of the posts are a bit, um, old, which just goes to show how rare my posting has really gotten. Which just means if you add me to your reader, you can promise I won’t clog it daily. See? Glass. Half. Full.

So, who is Super Girl?

Well, I live in Detroit. Like in the city limits of Detroit. You know, south of Eminem’s infamous 8 Mile. I like to think this gives me street cred. (It doesn’t.)

I have three kidneys. Organ donation is cool, yo.

I’m getting married to a boy I call DD. It’s exciting and only slightly terrifying.

I used to work in a job that was killing my soul. Slowly. I traded that job — and the 4 block commute — for something that has improved my mental state, even though it adds 60 miles to my car 5 days a week.

I do yoga. “Do” is a fluid term, as I consider it a good week if I make it to class once. But, this one time I did a headstand. That was cool. (Sadly, it hasn’t happened since.)

So, that’s me. Who are you? Say hi, and make yourself at home.

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Filed under About, career, DD (aka My Man), Detroit, Wedding, Y is for Yoga

Super Outfit (and Super Girl) returns!

I’m breaking the blog silence to discuss something VERY important.

It’s not Casey Anthony. It’s not even the Royals’ impending USA tour. Because according to recent media, those two things are THE! MOST! IMPORTANT! EVAR!

I disagree. What’s most important to me these days? What to wear for our engagement photos.

We’re getting them taken in a few weeks and heading to Michigan State University to have them done. Both DD and I went there, and while we didn’t know each other in college, I figured that since we’ll have plenty of wedding photos in Detroit, we might as well get some additional photos at one of my other favorite places.

But, as per usual, I’m pretty stupid when it comes to fashion.

I’m really hoping not to buy a new outfit, but I suppose that’s an option. I’d like to have two outfits — jeans and then a dressier option. But of course, the original options I thought I’d selected just don’t look as good as I thought they did. Or, maybe it’s just me. So…enter YOU!

Without further ado…here’s the first few options. I could scrap the dresses and go for white or black capris in addition to the jeans. I love the wash and fit of these jeans, so I’m definitely wearing them, I just need to decide on a top!

Also, yes, the photos are bad. And yes, I did crop half my face out. I’m trying to maintain some semblance of anonymity on this thing, however futile it may be.

Dresses!

Option 1, the shirt dress. I really liked the idea of this. I like the way it fits on top, but sometimes it can look weird on the bottom. I’ll likely pair it with red pumps (as shown in the second photo) and would also likely try to find a red belt to go with it and break up the dress a bit — right now it just has a black belt that came with it.

 

 

Option 2, the pink, cotton dress. This is a late add after I wore Option 1 today and decided I maybe wasn’t totally sold. This is one of my go-to dresses for summer weddings, but I don’t think it’d be too formal for our photos. It’s summery and comfortable, but also has some bunching/static cling issues because of the fabric. Might be annoying to worry about during the photo shoot.

The jeans!

Option 1. This was my main plan and I’d pair the outfit with black slingbacks. But, if I wear the pink dress, it’d be way too much pink. Also, yes, I’d wear a tank top underneath…I’m not in this photo.


Option 2. A late add when the whole “too much pink” came up. I really like this shirt and I think it flatters me, but I’d hoped to go with more vibrant colors, like pinks, blues or greens.

Option 3. Just for fun. Similar to option 2, but a darker color. Again, if I go with the shirt dress, I wouldn’t do this since it’d be too much black. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll do this one anyway. While I like the shirt, it has a bubble hem that I’ve never loved.


What do you think? Should I scrap the dresses and try capris? And what shirt should I wear?!?!

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, Super Outfit!, Wedding

Frances

Hi! As I was perusing blogland today, I realized that my own blog has a lovely password-protected post right on top. Welcoming, eh? Let’s fix that!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Luckily, Mama Kat offered some great blog prompts this week and then the fabulous Mrs. Weber posted hers and reminded me that I had planned to do the same.

But, because work is crazy and I don’t have much time to devote to deep thinking, I’m going to go with one of the easier prompts: my first car. Because you know what? At almost 30 years old, I still HAVE my first car.

Here’s the thing. My parents weren’t very nice when it came to the whole give your only child everything she wants thing. Granted, they paid for things like my Catholic high school education, my undergraduate degree, and plenty of other necessities, when it came to the fun stuff, well, they weren’t very fun. I was told from the very beginning that I would have to save and buy my own car.

So I did. I babysat. I started working at a local Hallmark when I was 17 and kept right on working there during school breaks once I went away to college. I began working in my college’s freshman orientation office (a job that is, to this day, my most favorite job EVER), and kept tucking those pennies away.

Finally, the summer before my senior year in college, I cashed in my savings account and bought myself a 1997 Ford Taurus. It was 2002, making the car just about 5 years old. It had traveled an insanely small amount of miles and thus was a pretty good deal. Over the next couple years, I happily drove my family sedan back and forth to college. I named her Frances, which is a pretty stupid story on its own, having to do with Dirty Dancing and the fact that I always called my car Baby.

After college, I moved home and had a 60-mile commute to my first job. Frances safely got me to and fro. She was starting to rack up the miles, though, what with all the commuting and the driving back to college to see my then-boyfriend, later-douche. But, aside from the occasional tune-up and oil change, she was riding fine!

Fast forward to 2006. I’d moved out of the parent’s house, cutting down my commute. Frances was still carting me around town, but she was showing her age. The dome light wouldn’t turn off. She was a little shaky and loud. New tires were needed. But, she was still kicking.

Fast forward to 2009. I was moving to Detroit, eliminating my 30 mile commute entirely. Frances would have a much needed rest in a covered garage! But, while driving home, she decided she’d had enough. She stopped in the middle of a left turn lane about a mile from my house and refused to go further. AAA had to come tow her and I thought it was the end. But, if my parents were cheap with the car money before, they were overly generous with it now, as they had financed the majority of maintenance on Frances since I bought her. On that fateful Monday night, my dad and the Ford dealership brought her back to life. I moved to Detroit, where I thought she’d have a lovely retirement sitting in my garage, only coming out for a weekly ride to yoga or book club or a shopping trip in the suburbs.

Fast forward to 2011. I got a new job and a 60 mile commute. Frances tried to step up, but she just wasn’t having it. After a business trip to West Michigan, she made it clear she’d had enough. The sputtering was heart breaking. Though DD and I were newly engaged and thus, my car should now be his problem, I called my dad. He assured me I’d get home and told me what signs to watch for. When I did make it home, he took the car for another tune-up, which cost probably more than good ol’ Frances is worth.

And that brings us to today. Nine years later, she’s still with me. She’s seen me through college, two old boyfriends, one fiancee, two jobs, and five residences. Until a couple years ago, she could carry all of my worldy posessions. I’ve saved up enough money to buy a better car. But, I come from a family that drives their cars until they die, and Frances seems to have nine lives.

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Filed under Detroit, family values, Growing up super

After “that” happened

It’s just like me to announce an engagement and then disappear for weeks, isn’t it? For all the inquiring minds, here’s an update. For those who couldn’t give a shit, I do promise that this won’t become a total wedding blog. Notice the word “total”…I can’t promise it won’t come up again.

Basics
We’ve got the church and we’ve got the “hall”, which means we’ve also got the date next April. I really hate that word, hall. I wanted to do something different from the typical hotel ballroom or neighborhood hall, and I think we found it in one of the local yacht clubs. Their ballroom is lovely, their costs aren’t outrageous – though between all the liquor and snack upgrades DD wants, it’s definitely a bit more than I’d hoped to spend. Thank goodness we have parents who are helping and who loved the venue as well.

We looked at three places and there’s a small part of me that thinks we should have expanded the search to find something even more cost effective, but that would have meant looking at even more non-traditional locales that would have required us to bring in our own food, liquor, linens, etc. As much as I wanted to be different, I also didn’t want the hassle. Though I have experience planning events and my day job is as a project manager, I didn’t want my wedding to get so detailed that it becomes that heinous project I don’t want to manage.

The Budget
Though the wedding is 12 months out, I’m already having dreams and mild panic attacks. At first, it was about the location. Was I looking everywhere? Had I exhausted my options? Was I making the right decision?

Now, it’s about the budget. First, our current budget is much more than I thought I’d be spending on my wedding. The expense frustrates me, and the majority of it isn’t even my money! Second, there will be lots of hands in the pot; DD and I, his aunt, and my parents – who are picking up most of the tab. I’m trying to walk a fine line between involving our families and also making it clear that we (read: I) have certain ideas about our wedding. Thus far, they’ve been great. Fingers crossed. 

Though, I don’t think I will ever full get over the awkwardness that is the money. My parents and I have never really discussed money and in their minds I’m still their little girl so they shouldn’t discuss money. When I sat down with them to try to get a handle on how they were interested in helping (read: how much they were willing to give), it was nothing less than awkward. At almost 30, it’s hard for me to ask my parents to just shell out tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s also hard for me to drain my own savings account that could go toward the future for DD and me.

I think we’ve finally come to an understanding on who will be pitching in and with how much. I hope we have. Frankly, that’s the other thing about the budget that has me stressed. While we have a general idea of how much we have available to spend on each thing, I really have no idea if those estimates are doable in today’s Wedding Business. Yes, that deserves capital letters.

In addition, DD and I have very different ideas on where we want to spend money and where we don’t. For instance, I could give a shit about the late night snack, but I really want to rent fancier chairs. He’s the opposite – oh, and throw in the premium liquor, too!

Perhaps that’s why God made weddings in the first place. To offer the happy couple a little test on compromise and financial planning.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, family values, relationships, Wedding

So that happened

Last Saturday, after a nice little date night, DD and I walked home and stopped in Campus Martius Park. To my shock and awe, he got down on one knee, and showed me this:

Obviously (since it’s on my finger), I said yes.

For now, that’s about all I can muster up for a blog post. It’s been a long week, and has only been made longer by my sudden and immediate interest in planning a wedding. I’ve gone into full-on project manager mode and much to my friends’ surprise, already have a guest list and several potential venue choices, even though we’re not looking at getting married until April 2012.I keep telling DD that I’ll calm down once we’ve got the location and date locked in, but somehow I doubt that will be the case.

But, with all of that planning, there hasn’t been much time to sit and write a blog post. So, I’ll be back. In the meantime, gaze at the pretty bling. It’s what I like to do in my spare time. That, and think about how adult I suddenly feel.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, relationships, Wedding

Protected: Three’s a crowd

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Filed under crazy crazy, Detroit, glass half empty, Hmm, loft style living, rambling nature, relationships

reverb10: Community

Why not go balls to the wall with this whole blogging thing and do one of those awesome meme’s everyone keeps raving about?

Truth be told, I probably won’t follow through on every reverb post (I’m already 7 days late to the party anyway), but I think it will help me get back into regular posting when there’s a particularly good topic or I don’t have anything more exciting to share.

So, Day 7. Community.

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

2010 (and part of 2009 while we’re at it) has allowed me to explore the community where I lay my head. Detroit. Downtown to be specific, but most importantly, the city proper. I’m proud to say my driver’s license has boasted a Detroit address for a year and a half now.

One of the main reasons I moved into the city was to be closer to DD and a community of people like me. For those of you who only hear about Detroit from national news stories, you may be surprised to find out that a young, white, single, successful woman would move into the city to find a like-minded community, but it’s true.

I have close friends just two blocks away from me. I can see my gym from my apartment window. I walk to work and some of my favorite restaurants and bars. A short bike ride gets me to some fabulous parks, grocery stores, and boutiques. I may pass a few abandoned buildings on my way, but damn if it ain’t the best community I’ve lived in.

Last week, I went to the grand opening of a pop up shop. It’s open just for the holidays and it offers a variety of classy housewares and other fun decor. I made sure to bring a friend just in case I didn’t know anyone at the party, but I don’t know why I was so worried. Upon walking in, I saw no less than three other friends, all Detroiters, all interested in supporting a local business and checking out the scene on a random Thursday night.

It’s just one of many examples of the community Detroit gives me. During the cold months, my neighbors and I schedule game nights and dinners out. In the summer, we take walks and go for bike rides. It’s like the neighborhood I lived in as a kid, but with booze and parent-free.

This community of mine is probably short lived. It’s great for singles and newlyweds, and even folks with young kids. But the desire for a house and a yard and good schools for our children will probably have many of us headed for the suburbs at some point. All I can hope for is that if and when I do settle in the suburbs, I’m able to find a neighborhood that offers the same community I feel every day in Detroit.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, loft style living

On Detroit 1-8-7

Detroit 1-8-7 premiered on Tuesday (10 p.m., on ABC). Did you watch it? Did you even know about it?

It’s been a pretty big deal ’round these parts. All kinds of people saying it’s going to destroy our image. It’s only going to position us as the murder capital of the nation, etc. etc.

And then there’s those of us who don’t think the show will be the end of us. After all, our image is already in the crapper. People already think of us as the place where you better bring heat. What can a measly hour of TV do to change or reaffirm that?

Truth is, a TV show ain’t gonna save us — or ruin us. At least, that’s what I hoped would be the case.

After the first episode, I *think* I’m right.

The show opened with a bit of funk combined with gritty shots of the city. From the shiny downtown to the downtrodden homes, they are all real shots of the city. Even down to the street signs, this IS Detroit. Now, there’s some controversy that some of the scenes were shot in Atlanta, but I’ve heard the show’s producers say that that was for the pilot only and all future episodes will be shot in the city.

Personally, I only noticed a couple hiccups that didn’t look like Detroit. As I’m sure you can imagine, Detroit has its own unique look. The show is smart to take up residence here and take advantage of all of the amazing locations that really can’t be found anywhere else.

Bottom line? I’m a fan so far.

I want you to watch this show. I want you to see my city and I want you to love it — abandoned buildings and grit and all. Because I do.

But, I want you to watch it with a caveat. It’s a caveat that anyone with common sense should be able to recognize, but a caveat that the show’s naysayers thought people wouldn’t be able handle.

It’s this: Just because this is a show about homicide, doesn’t mean homicide is the only thing that happens in Detroit.

Just like Law & Order, NYPD Blue, or any of the plethora of cop shows that take place in NYC, it’s just a backdrop, not the norm. Do you stop visiting New York just because Benson & Stabler solved a rape case on last week’s SVU? Sure, there’s crime in New York, but there’s also high fashion, power, and the elite. Hence, shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl.

In fact, I’d venture to say that Detroit 1-8-7 has the potential to serve Detroit like Sex and the City served New York — making the city an extra and equally important character. That is, if they get the details right. It’s “pop”, not “soda” in these parts.

So, check out Detroit 1-8-7 and think of it like this. It’s an interesting cop show, with a fabulous backdrop: The D.

And if you still watch it and think about how sad Detroit is, remember this. I live in a place that looks like this. And I have a view that looks like this. And I live squarely within the city limits.

So there, naysayers. It may not all be roses, but it’s not all homicides, either.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, loft style living