Perfect Summer Days

bouquetSince the Art Fair ended we’ve had a long run of perfect summer days: warm but not stupidly warm, balmy but not damp unless it actually rains, which it’s been doing in moderate amounts and usually at night.


Inspired by this, I accepted an invitation to a classic summer event I had never experienced before. I went to a baseball game.

Comerica Park, where the Detroit Tigers play, is in the heart of the city, near the opera house. From the opera house parking structure you look right into the ballpark, which I’ve done many times and which always struck me as weird. I’d be all dressed up for an entertainment that combined symphony, theater, and dance, gazing into a crowd of people all dressed up for an entertainment that combined smashing balls with sticks and running until the balls came down.

I’m not taking a position on which is more weird, but I am now prepared to argue with people who say opera performances are too long. The baseball game lasted for 487 innings and they only sang two songs – the national anthem to start off, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame somewhere around inning 342.

But we had hotdogs and crackerjacks and beer and the world’s most expensive lemonade, on a beautiful summer evening, watching the sunset from our seats. The sunset was more action-packed than the game. Which the Tigers, surprisingly, won.


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Art Fair Traditions

The first thing you learn about the Ann Arbor Art Fair when you move here, is that it will be hot and there will be thunderstorms, even if the weather before and after is mild and adorable. This year followed suit.artfair vase

I have an attendance method that involves loose clothing, an air conditioned lunch, and a lot of iced tea. This finely honed discipline enables me to trawl for ceramics, paintings, and garden ya-yas across the whole fair, which is technically four fairs, from downtown Ann Arbor to the far side of campus. It’s a couple of miles as the crow flies but many more as the shopper wanders, hesitates, doubles back, and makes side trips for that lunch and iced tea.

Z mug unbroken

New mug, not yet broken

Ceramics are heavy, so I count lugging them around with me as weight-bearing exercise. If you really like collecting objects ceramics are a great choice, because in the natural course of things the ones you have at home will break. This means you’re entirely justified in getting more.

blank bookMid-ceramics, I took some actual dollar bills that were handed to me last month in exchange for my chapbook, and swapped them for a soft, beautiful, handmade, leather-bound blank book. Poems out, poems in. Like physics, right? Conservation of creativity.

Bags loaded with mugs, bowls, vases, and book, I staggered among booths and tea vendors. A breeze came up, very refreshing, as I made my way to the booth of an artist I especially admired, Andy Fletcher. See his work here. I was innocently buying a painting of a stormy landscape when a very enthusiastic thunderstorm moved in. We waited it out while Doug drove down to get the picture and me. Andy wrapped the picture in a big plastic bag, the last raindrops bidding it goodbye as he carried it to the car.

It looks splendid over the fireplace in my living room. The ceramics and book are splendid, too.

Find the cat’s point of view, here.