i tried ethiopian food for the first time this month (thanks, chels!). assessment: i really dig some of the dishes.
i spent a week in utah (provo, mostly) visiting family and the occasional friend. after a large snowstorm, i ventured outside. i slipped. right on my sparklebum. in the middle of the street. it hurt my pride more than my bum. but i took this picture (featured above) to prove i wasn't the only one having problems that day. please note the creative use of slip-n-slide parking.
other highlights included:
1) "high school musical" dance party with toddler nieces;
2) shooting a film in 24 hours for the lds film festival;
3) lunch with hoff
i continued east to my beloved home state to see more family and, especially, to see off baby rach, who left for a full-time mission for our church to romania on january 16. i might have visited her facebook photo album today because i miss her so much. you just don't get over a gal's absence when you've shared a room with her all your life, ya know?
i went to my parents' church in detroit for the first time. the last hour of services (relief society) was delivered in both spanish and english - that is to say, a young woman spoke a few lines of the lesson, and an even younger woman repeated, translating everything into spanish. i was very impressed by her skill, and by everyone's patience with the affair.
after staring at the art museum out of my parents' living room window each day, mom and i were inspired to pay it a visit. we spent most of our time in the modern and contemporary art exhibits. my favorite piece came from the african-american contemporary art collection and consisted of a small wooden crate and a recording of billie holiday singing "strange fruit". to my chagrin, the islamic art exhibit is still under construction.
a trip to kalamazoo found my brother, ben, and his family well. aside from contracting strep throat and exposing their whole family to it, it was a lovely visit. my sister-in-law and i had a very interesting discussion about the kalamazoo promise, a private scholarship program that prompted their move from suburban detroit to the home of western michigan university.
as usual, driving past beautiful 1920's homes (ratio 3:1 abandoned to occupied) in detroit fills my head with all sorts of save motown schemes. of course, the kalamazoo promise feeds on that. seeing as i don't currently have those kinds of funds to offer, my latest hoo-haw is more entrepreneurial. a tea-and-cocoa house. the non-coffee lounge cafe. a place where people can come to unwind and listen to the blues while drinking peppermint tea or dark chocolate cocoa. we'll see what happens.
next stop on the map is beverly hills, mi, which is home to nephew duo:spasticfantastic and co. they recently moved into the house of my childhood dreams, and i am very happy for them. below is their housewarming gift to my parents when ma and pa moved to the city, for which i am also very happy:
if i ever doubted that i was born into the right family...
i've often wondered if i am biased toward michigan. after all, i grew up here for 14 years and had a nice time of it. on the other hand, i don't particularly like muggy summers or organ-freezing winters. i do love the great lakes, dense forests, autumn leaves, apple-picking, the architecture, the history...my bias was confirmed when i pulled over and got out of my car to take a picture of this coffee house:
c'mon. who wouldn't love a place with a chain of coffee shops named after reindeer?
I Wrote a Column for Outside and They Published It on the Internet! - I'm currently waiting to board a cross-country New York-bound germ tube as I type this, but my latest column ponders the question all thinking cyclists* ha...