MASTERMIND. (Says them.)

I'm the subject of Concentrate's "Mastermind" feature this week. I'll note that I did not end up buying the rainbow Nikes at Puffer Reds, but did go back after the shoot for some black timberlands, having supinated the snot out of my old boots.

According to the article I'm sharing the issue with, Ann Arbor's finance community is disappointingly out of the loop. They're still stuck in a rut at that old dive, Cafe Zola, when the Masterminds clearly prefer Bombadill's, the Ugly Mug, Cafe Luwak, and Beezy's.

I should know better.


For those who have a touch of both hypochondria and arachnophobia, the internet is DEFINITELY NOT a good tool for answering the question, "What kind of spider did I just find (and adrenally smoosh) in my basement?"

Fortunately, I have enough self-control to venture only as far as Extension articles, and avoid both google images and wikipedia.

That is all.

The perils of living where you work

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Probably every planner has at some point used the phrase "live where you work". It has a few contexts - one is a general recommendation that commuting by car has negative social consequences, and that therefore people ought to live in the community they work in. Another is more equity-minded - that communities should guarantee enough affordable housing supply that the people who are working in the community can have the choice to live there; this is particularly used in reference to public servants in gentrifying communities, such as teachers, policemen, etc, but also for the people who serve you coffee and pump your gas. Finally, it's a exhortation to planners themselves that living in the community one plans for is the best way to comprehend that community, as well as building the community's trust in you because you've essentially put yourself in harms way for any mistakes you might make.

I've always subscribed to the "planners ought to live in the communities they work for" theory, but it has its downsides. Not least of all is that you can't really turn off - wherever you go, people will be asking you about planning, so it's hard to get a mental or emotional day off without leaving town. Thus far, though, I've always found that the people who corner me at the food co-op or Bombadill's are people who are asking questions in a friendly vein. They're interested in what's going on around town, they know I might know, and they know me well enough to be comfortable asking. I don't mind that at all. There are plenty of people around town who probably have reason to be sore at me for my work related capacity, some of whom I run into, but they typically avoid eye or other contact.

So getting cornered and harangued yesterday at the Shadow Art Fair was somewhat new to me. Here I am, my recently purchased beer in one hand and recently purchased art in the other, coat over my arm, searching for Linette to summon to the Severed Unicorn Head Superstore table, when I get flagged down.

"Say, you're one of those planners, aren't you?" says the guy, "Richard something?"

"I am. I'm sorry, I don't remember your name?" (he gives his name; I recognize him, but not in regards to anything work-related I can remember anything about)

"Have a seat. I'd like to know, what's next for Ypsi? What are you up to?"

"Well, actually, I'm trying to find somebody, so..."

"Fine. In two words or less, what are you all doing? I mean, you kicked out 555, you tried to steal the Freighthouse, and locked it up when you couldn't have it - what are you going to ruin next?"

Um. Right. So I admit, I did in fact miss a beat at this point while trying to decide between fight or flight.

OCDing on a lazy Sunday...

So I'm sitting here at the kitchen table, immersed in hunting down and merging similar categories in ArborWiki - e.g. moving the pages tagged as Category:Bakery to the larger Category:Bakeries. And I'm thinking that, man, this is an obsessively geeky way to spend an afternoon.

Then I hear, "tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap" over the Radiohead, and look over to Cara, who looks up and says, exasperatedly, "The problem with entering beats into iTunes is that some songs change tempos!" And I feel better.

Okay, now it's actually 2007

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The New Year is a more hazy concept for me than for most, I think, due to my acknowledging the winter solstice as an ending/beginning mark, and my birthday being wedged in there. Clustered in with the cultural meanings of new beginnings attached to Christmas and New Year's, this means I end up with a ten-day transitional period where I haven't quite decided whether a new year has started yet or not. The following is therefore a loosely organized braindump of things I've been thinking about for the last week:

2006 was notable for the number of growed-up milestones it included:

  • I finished that last grad school project in February and formally graduated in April.

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