Monthly Archives: August 2009

Brought to you by The GoGos

I’ve had Vacation stuck in my head all weekend long, when-ever I haven’t been listening to Yann Tiersen on Spotify.  Only melan-choly French indie pop can save me from my impatience.  But it’s time for me to go.  Vacation starts on Thursday, how am I supposed to function as contributing member of society until then?

I just want to be in Italy already.  While folding laundry this weekend I created a dedicated vacation stack so I don’t accidentally wear any of my vacation clothes between now and Thursday morning.  We also have a dedicated stack of books and papers on the dining room table with all our maps and hotel info and EasyJet boarding passes.  Vacation reading has been neatly piled next to the bookshelf (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wa, Secret Lives of Moths, The Lost Book of Salem, Bruce Campbell’s autobiography, and maybe The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and Certain Girls as well).  Oliver watchers have been arranged, before we go I will change my voicemail message to let people know that he has returned to us safely in case anyone sees him and calls to let us know (we had two such calls this weekend alone).  My staff at work have been informed that they may only call me, on Jeremy’s phone, if there is a bona fide emergency, involving blood, fire, famine or some other certifiable mayhem, otherwise they should expect to be sworn at in ways they had never before imagined. A new travel journal has been purchased, small enough to fit in my bag but big enough that we don’t have to write in tiny cramped handwriting, it has a kicky image of 1970’s stewardesses and aeroplane passengers.  Addresses have been collected in my Moleskine address book (just like what Hemingway used!) so that postcards may be sent.  Speaking of if you want one and haven’t spoken up already be sure to send me your address.  My grandparents will probably get two, but that’s because I am trying belatedly to be a better grand-daughter.  Everyone else will probably just get one, I am good enough for them already.

All of this is to say, I am ready.  Get here faster Thursday.  It is time to go!

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Additions

Hey look to the right side of the page.  See the blogroll?  See the new link on there?

That’s right, 365 Days of Heaving Bosoms has arrived!  Are you psyched?  Well, you should be.  I’ve chosen my first book, although not read it yet, but if your curious click the link and have a looky-loo.

You know you want to.

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Soon.

This time next week I will be in Venice.  Just pretend I’m on the bridge at the back of this photo.  Wearing an aqua blue dress and green sunglasses and drinking a coffee.

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This is a love letter to a place

The Fogcutter has shut down.

The Fogcutter was the fanciest restaurant in all of Port Huron.  It sat atop one of the tallest buildings in Port Huron, a staggering 6 floors.  I may have mocked it on occasion but I have always respected it for what it was.  A symbol of better things, the glowing beacon of more. 

My first trip to The Fogcutter came when I was in the 7thgrade and the Chippewa Junior High School band was sent off to play a few songs for the Board of Education.  We were all in our Sunday best as we trotted out withmusical instruments in hand to play a few songs (the only one I remember is Wind BeneathMy Wings) for the suited adults as they ate.  Afterwards we were given hot fudge sundaes in tall glass cups with long handled spoons.    I remember these sundaes as being the best ever.  I don’t know for sure that they actually were, but they were from The Fogcutter and therefore were understood to be the best.

This is what The Fogcutter looked like. The exterior walls were windows.  Two of those overlooked Lake Huron and St Clair River.  One had a view of the river and downtown Port Huron.  From these windows you can also see the factories in Sarnia, Ontario.  At night these light up like post apocalyptic Christmas trees.  The interior walls are all brick and dark wood, with pictures of famous boats and other nautically themed items adorning them.  The carpeting is plaid and plush.  The chairs are leather.  There is a lounge that is all dark wood and brick,  from there you can see the prison and the library and the main street though downtown.  You can pretend to see my street, if you are 12 and so inclined.

The Fogcutter defined my idea of elegance as a girl and even after I saw other elegant places, the definition The Fogcutter put into my mind remained.

In 2004 when I was planning my wedding I gave up on marrying in Detroit because of the expense and moved my nuptial plans to Port Huron.  At first I did not consider The Fogcutter.  It would obviously be too expensive.  It was The Fogcutter.  There was no way.  So I found a venue for the ceremony and began ticking through the reception options.  None of them were right.  Finally I took a wistful look at The Fogcutter and realised that my idea of expensive had changed.  4 years of living in Chicago made The Fogcutter seem like a bargain. 

I called their events manager and told her how many of us there would be, since the wedding was on Memorial Day weekend she gave us the entire restaurant instead of one of the smaller function rooms, for the same price.  Memorial Day is not a big day for fine dining in Port Huron (or anywhere else really).  When I walked back into the restaurant for the first time as we made a visit to prep for the reception, I felt 12 again.  I managed to switch back into adult mode as we settled all the details.  Open bar, hors d’oeuvres to be served at the start of the reception, DJ booththere, tables to be cleared after dessert, mundane details.  I left giddy at the fact that I was responsible for that one night at The Fogcutter, I was responsible for the best restaurant in town.  I was no longer a shy 12 year old who had never been any place so nice in her life.

There’s a picture of Jeremy and I arriving at The Fogcutter.  I am wearing my vintage blue lace dress with my hair pulled back and a flower clipped into my bun and Jeremy is in his vintage Oleg Cassini suit (only $10 from the Brown Elephant!) and his old chunky glasses and we look as if we were photographed in the early 60’s.  We also, more importantly, look tremendously happy.

I remember relatively little of the actual wedding ceremony.  I remember laughing when the rabbi did the love is patient reading, I remember Dana crying when she gave us the rings, I remember smiling as we walked down the aisle together.  But I remember so much of the reception.  Laughing with my friends, teasing my brother’s best friend, dancing with my dad, my soon to be step-niece running laps around the dancefloor, nearly falling out of my chair as we were hoisted above everyones’ heads for the Horah, the first dance with Jeremy, laughing over the bar tab (Who drank 3 Bloody Caesars?), sitting in one of the plush lounge chairs with my friend Michael talking about Tori Amos and cigarettes, and so much more.  It was an amazing night and so much of that is down to the fact that the staff of The Fogcutter did an astounding job.  Like I said, I mock Port Huron fairly often, but sometimes things there are just right, and The Fogcutter was one of those things.

A year later we went back with my family for a nice lunch, to celebrate our visit home and as a late anniversary present to Jeremy and I.  The staff remembered us and congratulated us again.  We sat near the north facing window with a view of the bridges and the lake.  I remember being surprised again at how nice it was and thinking that we would have to come back again someday.

And now, clearly, we can’t.  I’m sad to see that The Fogcutter has closed.  Not just for my memories of the place but also for what it stood for to kids like me, dreaming of someplace else out there in the world knowing that perched on the top of their town there is a restaurant filled with delectable bits of elegance with a view that stretches out past the horizon and into the unknown.

This is a maudlin post.   I know.   It’s not like I was planning a dinner out in Port Huron any time soon anyhow.  But it makes me really sad to know it’s gone.  The place was special to me, and I’m sure to a lot of other people as well.

Also, their artichoke dip was delicious. And they made a spectacular Bloody Mary.

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Filed under america, Memory lane

Sunshine Day!

Not only do we leave for Venice in 9 short days, not only is my cat healthy and home, not only is the weather actually nice in London right now, not only did our tomato plants start bearing delicious fruit . . . SEASON 3 OF THE WIRE IS ON ITS WAY TO MY HOUSE AS WE SPEAK!

This weekend I shall be spending some quality time with McNulty, and Freamon, and Kima, and Bunk, and Prez, and Bubbles, and Omar, and Stringer Bell, and Avon Barksdale, and who knows who else.  Fingers crossed that McNulty goes trouserless at least once this season.

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Veterinary Appointments

We took Oliver to the vet this weekend.  This sort of thing is stressful even under the best circumstances but in our current situation we get to add the stress of having a cat who was even more violently opposed than normal to getting into the carrier, seriously it was like he’d been possessed by that same demon who possessed Marlena on Days of Our Lives in the summer of 95, but with more claws.  Then we had to take one bus (with meowing children) to another bus, to the vet.  We got there a little late and found a waiting room full of angry cats and annoyed people, plus one slightly crazy lady who was speaking as loudly as possible about the feral cat she’d taken in recently who was missing a chunk of his tail and oh, there was blood everywhere.

We got called in by my favorite vet at the practice, a really lovely Scottish woman whose affection for the animals is clear and obvious.  We told her the sad story of Oliver’s Disappearance and she agreed with us that he had probably been stuck somewhere.  She weighed him, and he tried to escape, I grabbed him and put him back on the scale, then she gave him his booster shots (he was overdue for those when he went missing) as I held him and he hissed.  Then she gave me some thick leather gloves and pulled out a scary needle that was used to insert a microship into his neck.  He was given a clean bill of health, though she said he could stand to gain back about 100 more grams so we bought him some snacks to help further the cause.

And then it was back on the bus to the other bus to home where he was once more released into the wilds of Nunhead.  He’s been sticking fairly close to home and kept popping back in every other hour or so as he reaquaints himself with all the smells of his territory.

Also done this weekend:

  • blackberries harvested from the cemetery and then mixed into vegan corn muffins
  • one barbecue attended
  • too much cheap rose’ drunk
  • resulting in two vicious hangovers on Sunday
  • vegan burritos made and eaten
  • multiple movies watched, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (original), ET, The Apartment, War Games, part of Karate Kid 2
  • Some tears shed over ET, I always forget how sad that movie is (when ET says ‘I’ll be right here.’ And touches Elliot’s head I totally lost it.

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Filed under culture that is popular, dorking it up, olimuhver

Pop music

I am not typically a fan of autotune.  I do not typically enjoy songs sung by robots (songs ABOUT robots are, of course, something else entirely) but I really like the song Supernova by Kanye West and Mr Hudson.  I love that it deals with class issues as well as love, I love that Mr Hudson looks sort of like Sick Boy from Trainspotting.  I love how earnest it is, for some reason really earnest love songs, regardless of lyrical quality always seem to make me very happy. I love Kanye West (actually a good autotune rule of thumb is that if it involves Kanye I’m okay with it.  If it involves The Black Eyed Peas I am not okay with it.  I also love that Mr Hudson’s band is called The Library.  I think that’s nice, more bands should have bookish names. Here is a youtube link.  Hopefully it will work.  If not I will fix it when I get home.

In other news Gird Your Loins and 365 Days of Heaving Bosoms are tied for the lead in the poll below.  I’m leaning towards 365 Days of Heaving Bosoms as it would be the easiest to adapt for other genres but am willing to be convinced otherwise if you feel strongly about any of the other names on offer.  I know at least one person is a big fan of Tumescence (buut then what girl isn’t? Hi yo!)

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Filed under dorking it up, literatures, Musics, other books