Monthly Archives: September 2010

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

House Hunting

The thought of buying a home has always scared me.

The idea of being settled and committed to any one place for any length of time isn’t something I typically get behind. In the three years DD and I have been dating, I’ve moved twice. And then there was the one time before that. And then the nine times in college (not counting any time I moved home).

I’m someone who needs to change things up.

But lately, I find myself obsessed with homes. With thinking about where DD and I might go when we’re married. Would we buy in Detroit and truly commit to the city and all that comes with it? Would we head to the old money suburb just outside the city limits? Or would we choose the trendy suburb with the yuppie downtown? Or what about the far-reaching new money suburb full of McMansions?

I drive through each of these neighborhoods on a weekly basis. And as I cruise the tree lined streets, I watch for For Sale signs and mentally nix the homes I don’t like. Back at home, my reader has become increasingly home/design inspired.

DD and I aren’t anywhere near making a decision about a home and I don’t plan to make any purchases on my own. And I really do love my loft. But, I know it’s temporary and that sooner, rather than later, I’ll be in need of something more permanent. As I see cute rooms and paint colors and built-in bookshelves in my reader, it just gets me a bit more excited about the prospect.

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

On business casual, part 2

Today’s post finishes a two parter on business casual attire.

Because one part was too long and two parts extends the boredom that this topic conjurs.

You’re welcome.

Last week, we talked about posture. Today, wardrobe.

When I started my job, we were strictly business professional. Suits ruled my closet. But several years ago, we switched to business casual, with Fridays as a jeans day.

These days, my attire includes lots of solid color tees and tops that I can mix and match with jeans or dress pants and add a blazer or cardigan for work. I don’t do many button-downs because I have rather sizable assets and they don’t enjoy it when things have to be buttoned over them.

read: my boobs aren’t proportional to the rest of my body and pop out at random because I have trouble buying the right size shirt, causing an even bigger wardrobe issue.

One additional caveat — and one that prompted the initial feedback — is that I wear flip flops to work in the summer. They’re what I walk in, and I typically change them once I get to work. But many days, they do creep into my workday. And I get it, flip flops during work time are bad.

So, in light of this feedback, I’ve made it a point to avoid flip flops or change quickly out of them upon arriving at the office. I’ve also added a couple mix and match blazers to the mix. I hesitate to go full-on back to suits because that just makes people ask whether I’ve got an interview somewhere else. But, I may have to suck up and deal.

Obviously, I can understand that I need to up my game a bit. I’m nearing 30, and my work attire should reflect that. The ol’ cardy and t-shirt thing is so age 23. But, I’m fashion-dumb. I don’t know where to go and what looks good. I also have a very young face and that’s going to make anything I wear look, well, young.

On the flip side (because there’s always a flip side with me), I’m annoyed. I feel that I’ve worn the same type of clothing for years and don’t understand why I’m just now getting reprimanded. Other staff wear sandals/flip flops, what’s wrong with mine?

Newer staff seem to wear suits, so maybe there’s been an unofficial shift in the wardrobe and I’m too dense to notice. Or, as with the posture issue, maybe the higher ups are noticing the younger folks because we tend to have a more casual approach to life — and posture, and wardrobe — than a traditional office environment would warrant.

Whatever it is, this is my feedback, and I have to make the changes.

So, tell me. What’s your office attire? Where do you shop? And do you know a good personal shopper?

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Filed under career

On business casual (part 1)

Today’s post starts a two parter on business casual attire.

Because one part was too long and two parts extends the boredom that this topic conjurs.

You’re welcome.

Several weeks ago, I was reprimanded for my “casual work attire and posture.”

Now, I’m not what you’d call an envelope pusher. I don’t have pink hair, no tattoos or odd piercings, and no revealing attire or hooker heels. So, when I heard this, I was rather taken aback.

After talking to my boss, I learned that it was the occasional flip flop appearance (I wear them to walk to work and sometimes they creep into my work day), coupled with the way I sit in my chair, coupled with my more “youthful” attire (I rarely wear a suit and am typically in pants, a solid color tee, and a cardigan) that had drawn the attention of the higher ups.

First…the posture.

We have an interesting work space. I don’t have an assigned work station, and can choose to plug in to a variety of stations every day — from the typical desk and chair to a more casual environment with a booth and table.

Picture a coffee shop, but without all the clamoring for the one electrical outlet and the constant sounds of the cappuccino maker.

Even at a normal table and chair, I routinely curl one leg under the other (I’m sitting at my kitchen table doing it right now). So, put me in a booth with a table that is neither comfortable nor ergonomically correct, and you’re going to find me in all kinds of crazy poses. Because it’s the only way I can get comfortable. And on meeting-free days when I’m at a computer, the typical ankles-crossed posed gets old around noon when my ass goes numb.

Yet, this posture is apparently affecting my credibility. And it’s not just me, several other young staff members have received similar feedback.

There’s a part of me that can see the issue. We constantly have guests visiting, and if they see staff being all slouchy, I guess that reflects a certain image that we wouldn’t want to convey.

But at the same time, I can’t help but think: it’s a damn booth. How do you expect us to avoid carpel tunnel and all the other bad office job-related injuries if our feet don’t even touch the ground to do the proper ankle-cross?!

I could also go down the path of: I’m a creative, and work best in a certain way, which is more casual than how others may work. To get my creative juices flowing, I usually need to be comfortable — not proper — when sitting at a computer.

But I’ll refrain. Instead I’m being much more conscious of how I’m sitting and walking and trying to correct my poor posture.

I realize I’m being a sissy, and need to just suck it up. But c’mon. After 6 years, my posture is influencing my credibility? At this point, shouldn’t my work outweigh whether I prefer to sit cross-legged?

You tell me. How do you sit at work? Do you notice difference in generations? For example, do the whippersnappers sit and walk more casually while the old hats stay buttoned up with feet firmly planted on the floor?

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Filed under career

How I spent my summer vacation: The birthday

As a final nail in the recap posts, I figured I’d touch on my birthday, way back in June.

It passed earlier this summer without much fanfare. On the Monday before, I found myself at a Marine’s funeral. Then came the work meetings and the book club and the catch up and the general things that life brings.

When the weekend arrived, it didn’t seem to warrant much celebration. Frankly, after two weekends of dealing with death and family, we probably would have preferred to collapse in bed and sleep for a weekend. But, DD and I had long before booked a little jaunt to Windsor, Ontario, for dinner.

I can practically see Canada from my apartment, but I hadn’t been since I was 19 and it was the only place I could legally drink. So, I was excited to go for dinner and we found a great little place in Little Italy. DD got me a new and much improved yoga mat and other gear. Low-key, but just what we¬† both needed to get back into the swing of life.

What IS noteworthy is that it was the last birthday of my 20s. The next time June 13 comes around, I’ll be celebrating the big 3-0. While I’m not one to be all whoa is me about the impending end of my 20s, I am one to give it pause.

After a brief conversation with DD last spring, I’m relatively confident I’ll be engaged by the time I’m 30. So there’s that.

More recently, I’ve been thinking that the next decade may mean lots of changes. Changes in career. Changes in my status as a non-mother. Maybe even health changes. I can’t help but think that all of these things are inevitable. Isn’t that the way life works?

My 20s were pretty stable. The love life was rocky, but I found my compliment. The career was a rock. Through thick and thin, I’ve been there since I graduated college. Aside from a kidney transplant, the health was pretty stable as well.

It was good. But I’m probably due for something different. Will my career demand a new direction? Will my health take a turn? These transplanted kidneys don’t last forever, you know.

I think I’m ready for a new decade and all the changes that come with it. There may be a few I’m a bit terrified of — hello, motherhood! hello, second transplant! — but overall, I’m excited. (Except for that second transplant. That can hold off forever if I have my way.)

30 has a good ring to it. Now, let’s just see if I’m wearing a ring when it comes along!

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), decisions, foodie, glass half full, loft style living, rambling nature, relationships, transplant, Y is for Yoga