Thursday, October 30, 2008

Regarding Scary Things That Crawl Out of Televisions

I just like to be prepared, that's all.

If I'm planning a trip to a restaurant, I'll check the menu online. If I'm planning a trip to a park, I'll look for the hiking trail maps. And if I'm driving somewhere, whether I've been there or not, as I have absolutely no sense of direction, I'll check a map. If I'm looking for a new book to read, I'll read reviews.

Mike thinks that researching a menu is cheating, but I think that it's smart because I want to know what to expect. Left to my own devices at the restaurant, it would take me seventeen hours to decide on an entree, and then five hours to eat it. But really, I think that it's just good sense = have you seen the menu at the freaking Cheesecake Factory? It's a NOVELLA.

For restaurants, I think that looking ahead is fine. Sometimes I'm bad, though. And this has everything to do with the screen. I don't stop at reading reviews - I want to see clips, I read the spoilers, I read the extended plot versions, and I read the comments on message boards. I discover the twists before I even see the damn movies.

I know that I shouldn't.

But I never once searched for my Christmas presents early. I wanted to be surprised. There are just some things that I won't do.

Mike and I are watching The Ring tomorrow night (in response to learning about our Halloween plans, my brother said, "You're watching a scary movie on Halloween? How cliche!"). I've been wanting to see it for years, but I've been too much of a chicken-shit to give in. But I knew that I would watch it eventually, so I never read about it. Really. I know the plot, roughly, mostly from the trailers (and from the trailers of spoofs like Scary Movie 3). I also know that more than one person has told me to avoid it as I will never sleep again, supposedly.

Mike has promised to keep me safe, but if I can no longer look at a future televsion without freaking out, that will make me very sad indeed. Because I like tv. I like tv a lot. TV is awesome.

And while I do love a good slasher flick once in a while, I enjoy psychological thrillers more. The Sixth Sense, Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, and The Others sent chills down my spine and had my heart racing like few others. I love scary movies, and I love to be scared.

Then there are movies based on video and computer games. These tend to scare me more than anything - at least so far. Silent Hill? Holy shit on toast, that movie scared the bejesus out of me. And then I imagined playing it as a game and decided that would be even more scary because I would be in control - or not. The only video/computer games that I remember being scary were Tombs and Treasure for Nintendo 1.0 and The 7th Guest, a game my cousins had for their first computer. Read the wiki for 7th Guest - it's fucked up. I can't believe my aunt let us play it to begin with.

Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes with The Ring. I'm really hoping that I don't pee all over Mike's loveseat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


See, here's the thing, Alcon:

I understand that you need to make sure that the saline solution is at the correct salinity levels and parts per million or whatever the hell your scientists decree.

But do the packaging needs differ THAT MUCH that you need to charge almost the same exact price for a 1/3 ounce bottle of saline drops as you do for a ten ounce bottle? Of the same exact solution? And don't say, "Hey, the store sets the prices! Don't blame us!" LIARS. Target actually has the best prices around, so don't feed me that crap. (Though I suppose I should be happy that my saline has never given me eye fungus.)

I wouldn't care that much except that apparently, all of a sudden!, I have dry eyes. And I'm back in my glasses. Which... don't seem to be working for me any longer.

Let me start at the beginning!

My contacts have scratched and scarred my corneas (awesome!) and my ophthalmologist and cornea specialist are pretty sure that my eyes have developed an allergy to the plastic in the contact lenses themselves (which, ALSO AWESOME!), and I am to wear them on a verrrry limited basis. Except when I do, dry eye syndrome says, "Hey! Give me drops! Ex! pen! sive! rewetting drrrrrrrrrops! NOW! NOW! NOW!" And this happens every thirteen minutes or so.

So I'm not exactly able to save that little 1/3 ounce bottle for more than a few days, really.

AND! The longer that I wear my contacts, my vision drastically reduces. So there's that.

But let me tell you about my glasses, since you asked.

So when you have contact lenses, you generally also have glasses on hand for those lazy Sundays, days of pinkeye, or days when you just don't care and maybe you won't brush your hair either! Because the lenses in your glasses are farther away from your eyes, they are usually a slightly higher prescription. (In my case, my contacts are -7.00 in my right eye and -6.50 in my left eye, while the lenses in my glasses are -7.25 and -6.75, respectively.)


Why is it that wearing my glasses right now does absolutely nothing for me? I can't see near. I can't see far. I would not like them in a car. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I Am.

Seriously though, when wearing my glasses, I cannot drive. I cannot read. I cannot see the computer screen at all. I'm wearing them right now, squinting and half of an inch away from the screen, but I am pretty much relying on spellcheck for this one and hoping that I haven't forgotten to type the "L" in public or something, as spellcheck thinks, "Oooh, legitimate word! Hilarious, embarrassing typo, but completely legitimate!"

It's like I am both nearsighted and farsighted all of a sudden and perhaps I need bifocals?

They told me to hang in there and see if the STEROID DROPS and antibiotic pills work. Until then, I can't really do much. Unless you want to pick me up first.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm Tired so Here Are Some Pictures of Autumn

I didn't line them up like that!

rainy day

with flash

without flash

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Little Brother's Wedding

On October 11th, I watched my little brother exchange vows with the love of his life. It was sweet and beautiful and a bit like a dream. They've been together for so long and while we all knew that it was only a matter of time, I guess you're never really prepared for your only sibling's wedding.

So, please don't let what I am about to tell you change your mind about the goodness of the day, because it really was good. But the drama was DELICIOUS.



Date: Wedding Day
Place: Hair Salon
Time: 11:00 a.m.

I walked into the salon, ready for my hair appointment. I had dropped off the Lady an hour earlier and left to collect my niece. We didn't think that it was a good idea for a three-year-old to endure four hours in a hair salon and so spared her from the boredom as long as we could. When I returned with a perturbed Alexis in tow, my mother's hair was... oh Mylanta, it was bad. Like, horror movie bad. Like, maybe the stylist was trying to make her look ninety? Either way, I was NOT having it.

"No. That needs to be redone."

And lo, it was redone. It didn't look great, but it looked better. And it pained me, because I knew that my mom wouldn't have said anything if I hadn't gotten there in time. And it was her son's wedding. No woman wants to look borderline retarded at her son's wedding.

(Sidenote: We got our hair did at this particular salon because Kari's long-time stylist had just taken a job there. And to be honest, it really didn't matter what the rest of us looked like. Kari's hair looked amazing in the end and that's all I cared about. Really. I know, because this is about to get ridiculous with my bitching, but it was fine in the end and my bitching ceased.)

And then, it was my turn.

I started by telling the stylist that I wanted my hair parted on the side with it angled over my forehead and with some volume in the crown. Like I had for Kelly's wedding. Basically, something "classy and elegant with no curls." I should have known from her attire that our ideas of what that meant were going to differ. Drastically.

What you can't see is her leopard-print bra!

The first attempt resulted in her flat-ironing my hair, teasing the top, slicking back the sides, and letting it fall back like a waterfall. For a wedding. It looked just like Portia's here, but worse (if you can imagine):

"Oh my God! We're having a fire... sale. Oh, the burning!"

"No, I don't like it." Her: "No?" Me: "No, not at all. I really don't like that style." Her: "Oh, well, a female bartender comes in every Friday and I do her hair like that and she says that she gets all kinds of tips and dates!" Me: "That's nice. I don't like it."

Just my hair and about a can of "freeze" spray.

For the second attempt, she put my hair half up and half down. When she reached for the curling iron, I had to stop her again. Me: "I really don't want curls." Her: "No? Well you should have said something!"

Fuming, I reiterated, "I just want something pulled back, off of my neck, and elegant. Please." At this point, Kari's hair was finally done and we needed to get going. The third attempt got me this, which I hated, but accepted:

Hi! I'm so five years ago!
Also, I have no volume at all!

I later learned that this woman was the co-owner of the salon. I don't know why this blew my mind, but it did.


From there, we headed to the makeup place where some people got their faces all did up. I had already done mine, so what did I do? I ate Burger King. And it was goooooood.

The limo whisked us away to the church, Kari and Steven got married, things were lovely and nice, and I only cried a teensy bit, and then we exited the church.

There were people... EVERYWHERE.


Date: Wedding Day
Place: Park in which the chapel resided
Time: 5:30 p.m.

Not just people. High schoolers. In HOMECOMING DRESSES.

Oh sweet God, they were surrounding us.

And here's where it gets bad.

When Steven and Kari rented the chapel, it included use of the grounds - i.e., the gazebo and covered bridge, for photographs. Additionally, we only had about 40 minutes before we had to get to the reception hall.

It was a gorgeous day. Absolutely amazing. And it was a gorgeous park. I can see why people flocked there to take pictures before the big dance. You know, the dance that happens every year in high school? At which most people spend four years and therefore have the opportunity to attend the fucking Homecoming dance FOUR TIMES?

And you know what else I remember? I remember being in high school. I remember thinking that I was the SHIT. I remember being on Homecoming Court and thinking that the world had STOPPED and therefore I can say that I completely understand that Homecoming is a huge fucking deal to a teenager.

But a wedding day? I knew what that meant from the time I was trying on my mom's shoes. A wedding is a big deal. A huge deal. And it doesn't happen four times.

These little bitches refused to move from the gazebo. "It's MY Homecoming! Go take pictures somewhere else!" It took the 6'5" photographer to get people to move. And even then, the maid of honor and I had to BLOCK the entrance to the gazebo because these little whores were trying to get in.

I am not kidding!

Their mothers? Were even worse. I can't even get into it, because I don't want to make assumptions about their lives or their views on marriage, but I was appalled. Some were nice and accommodating, and many congratulated them, but when their dates started to threaten us, Kari started to get stressed.

We got the shots we wanted, in the gazebo and the covered bridge, and we were out of there in fifteen minutes, tops. I hope those little bitches enjoyed their dance, and I also hope that they totally didn't contract STDs from their skeevy dates wearing white tuxes with tails, top hats and canes. I totally hope this didn't happen.


The thing is? Kari and Steven didn't deal with this. Other people did. And in their minds, it was a perfect day. And that's how it should be. Other people should handle the crappiness and the stupid things that happen, and the bride and groom should get lost in bliss and remember the day for what it was: a day of unity.

The reception was a blast - my cousins were in from Wisconsin and Arizona, both my great aunt and my papa were happy and partying, I got to wear a pretty red dress and dance with my honey, and there was cake.

Kari and Steven's wedding day confirmed what we've all known for years: They're a family. The marriage license made it legal, but it was the fluffy white dress that made it a memory.

Here are some of the pictures from the night, and all can be seen here.

My Mike and me


Me and my Dad

The New Family

Congratulations, Kari and Steven!
And Alexis and Savannah!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Deck, or How I Start With a Lovely Story and Then Let it Progress Into a Story of VENGEANCE

When I first moved into my current apartment, I knew that I had a pretty sweet deck, but it was covered in snow and ice and didn't really consider its potential.

Then it got warmer. And warmer. And I started to go out there more, wearing fewer sweaters and more tank tops. All of a sudden, it was summer. I was laying out in the sun, or reading, or... that's about it. Those are the two main things.

And then, autumn. Ahhhhhhh. My favorite, my precious. Autumn is the best season in Michigan, if for nothing else than the scents. It smells like leaves and apples and fireplaces and leaves. And leaves. Leaves! Pretty leaves of all colors that don't go from green to brown to the ground in a matter of a week. Then, the crispness creeps in. Slowly at first, only in the mornings. When you head out the door in the morning and there's a slight nip in the air? Amazing. And then there are all of the other things: the football, the apple orchards, the SWEATERS. Oh man, did I forget how much I missed this.

So this is the northern view from my deck on a happy, good, color-changing, autumnal kind of day:

Look at the pretty treeeeeeee!

Months ago, the Lady bought me a bird feeder. The finches, they did not come. Then, one awesome day, they were just... there. And they have been arriving ever since, gobbling down thistle and eating me out of house and home. Seriously, those little bastards are getting chubby. I mean, I know that winter is coming, but there are a few little finches that just chill there all day. Then I walk by the window a little too quickly for their comfort levels and they take off like bats out of hell. And then they return 45 seconds later.

So I've become accustomed to my sweet little birdies. But for a few days in a row, I came home and the feeder was no longer hanging outside my window. I went outside to investigate, and there is was. It had fallen? I don't know. So I replaced it each time only to come home and find it fallen.

And this is what I saw on my deck when I got home from ballet the other night. The same exact sight as the previous days.

It was a crime scene. Thistle? EVERYWHERE. Feathers? EVERYWHERE. And then, out from under the small table, a grey menace darted out into view.

The evil bastard cat of the apocalypse! Look at his eyes! Look at them BURN with intensity and pure, unadulterated EVIL. I chased him away and went inside. "To hell with you, CAT," I thought. "TO HELL."

And I thought, "Well, that's over."


Since that fateful night, that fucking cat has been my nemesis. When I get out of the shower in the morning, and the sun starts to peek out from behind the trees, the birdies start arriving to begin their gorgefests. I check on them and say "hello birdies!," because that's what you do in the morning. Then I yank the door open to the deck and more often than not? That bastard cat takes off like lightning. But he always stops at the end of the yard to glance back. Has she gone inside yet? Can I come back for some additional gourmet dinners?

So now, I am upset. I am sure that the birdies think I'm a horrible person. That I'm basically luring them to their potential DEATHS, and yet? They return. "Oh yay, there's that little person who fills this cylinder thingie with thistle!" The cat? Not scared of me. He probably loves me! "Oh yay, there's that little person who brings me such joy in the form of little yellowish birds!"

Well, I am here to tell you something, devil cat. I will never bend! I will never break! I will thwart your every move! Unless I'm at work, or at Mike's, or napping or something. Erm... Otherwise, watch out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Potatoes. Twice-like. Eat!

Just so you know, I'm not taking credit for this side-dish recipe (I found it online at some point). It's freaking awesome. When I had access to fresh herbs (i.e., my neighbor's herb garden), I made them for myself at least once a week. And after I made them for my dad's birthday, my parents flipped out and make them pretty often as well.

Twice Baked Potatoes

smallish redskin potatoes, similar in size
olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh or dried herbs like rosemary and thyme, chopped finely
(If you use dried herbs remember that they have more power than fresh - don't use too much!)

Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil. Place each of the potatoes on the sheet like so:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.

Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes once or twice - flatten them out to about the size of a cookie.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and chopped herbs. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for twenty minutes (or longer if you want them crispier).

Mmmm... crispy.

They are SO GOOD. And you won't miss the butter. Besides, olive oil is better for you anyway.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Emily just called.

"I just needed to tell you that I started reading Twilight last night. And I had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep. And that was only because the words were blurry."

Welcome to the dark (yet SPARKLY) side, Em. WELCOME.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Velociraptor and Me

It's been a very long week and I was at work until 10 last night, and so this is either really, really funny, or I am really, really about to lose it.

I could survive for 47 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

I also have absolutely no desire to try and fuck with the html code so that this is centered, so I hope y'all don't mind looking at this in its uncentered state (the aesthetics of which make me angry and might possibly give me a migraine).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicken Pesto Pasta

My brother got married this weekend, and I can't wait to tell you about it, but I made a great dinner tonight, and I needed to share it with you immediately. It's not the most beautiful looking plate of food, but trust me on this one. Because it's freaking awesome.

Years ago, I fell in love with a dish at The Cheesecake Factory, a chicken pesto pasta with mushrooms, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. It had a cream-based sauce, and though the portion was huge enough to feed me for days, it was still too fattening and too rich to make me feel good about myself.

(I'm not really that hard on myself, but I knew that there was a way to create a similar dish without sacrificing too much of my health. Besides, dairy makes my tummy mad.)

I've been really good about eating the many things that I've frozen in the last few months, like tortilla soup, pasta sauce, and , and I was needing something fresh. On a rainy day, comfort food seemed the only thing to hit the spot. I shredded about half of a rotisserie chicken, but I'm sure that sliced chicken breast would work just as well. Additionally, I lovepestos of all kinds, but I find that using both basil and spinach works well - it results in a slightly more mild pesto.

Pesto Chicken Pasta

For the pasta:
1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
olive oil
8 ounces dry pasta, medium shells

olive oil and pine nuts, for garnish

For the pesto:
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed tightly
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed tightly
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh grated parmesan

Remove about half of the chicken from a small rotisserie chicken and shred with your fingers or two forks. Set aside. You can freeze the remainder of the chicken for up to a month.

In a small pan, toast the pine nuts until golden. Set aside.

In a deep pan, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Turn the heat to medium. Add sliced onions and mushrooms. Toss to coat in oil and reduce heat to low. Add a little salt. Cover, stirring occasionally.

In a food processor (or blender), blend the basil, spinach, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and a little salt and pepper. When chopped finely, let the food processor run and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. When the pesto starts to pull away from the blade and stick to the side, it's about ready. Scrape the sides and pulse the blade a few times to make sure that everything is incorporated. Set aside.

Add the shredded chicken to the onions and mushrooms. Mix thoroughly and cover, keeping the heat low.

Bring water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. When cooked, turn off heat, but do not drain. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the chicken mixture. It's okay if it's not fully drained. Next, spoon the pesto atop the pasta. Slowly mix together, adding some of the pasta water a little at a time. In all, you'll add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of water, depending on the consistency of the sauce you desire.

Lastly, mix in the tomatoes - you want them to be warm, but not runny. For each serving, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle pine nuts on top. You could add a little more parmesan, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

Have a glass of wine! Chardonnay, I would think.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cut it Out, Mother Nature

When a native Michigander considers a typical day of weather in this mitten of a state, he thinks of unpredictability. A complete and utter clusterfuck of temperatures. Today was no exception.

When I left the house to walk to work? 68 degrees with something like 90% humidity. By the time I had walked about a mile, I was sweaty and gross and caught the bus for the rest of the trip.

About five minutes after I arrived at work? Rain. So catching the bus wasn't just laziness on my part. It was good planning!

Ten minutes later? 50 degrees. (I know, because that's when I closed the window in my office.)

When I left for lunch with the girls? 58 degrees, low humidity, and chilllllllly. I was glad to have my coat.

When we emerged from MONGORRRIAN (which was, as I expected, no better than the last time I ate there -- eight years ago)? 70 degrees and sunny. Coat come off.

Then we went here for a little treat. This has nothing to do with my story.

When I left work at 5:45 for ballet class? 60 degrees.

When I left the ballet studio for home? 50 degrees.

Now? 49 degrees.

Michigan, thank you for making this day insane. I'm actually surprised that all of the changes in temperature and barometric pressure haven't dealt me a massive migraine.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Finally Happening!


That is how many hours need to pass until my little brother is officially no longer living in sin.

So that, my friends, is where I shall be. Dressed in red:

I am so excited I can hardly stand it. When I received the invitation in the mail, weeks ago, I couldn't help but start crying. There it was, my little brother's full name, in print. I cannot explain to you how happy it makes me to know that I will see him marry his sweetheart tomorrow.

Life is good, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Anklyosaurus Angst

"No, I don't know why Heather hasn't written about us in a while."

"I mean, she promised that she would."

"Chicks these days. I'm telling ya."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Post In Which I Attempt to Explain How Ridiculous I Am

You know, I've gone on and on about how I don't like to kill wayward insects and spiders and rodents that find their way into my home. It's not their fault that they invaded my space! And I still feel that way. Really, I do.

But how would you instinctively react when a seemingly mindless task like, say, washing the dishes (dishes that may or may not have been piling up in your sink for days), results in a huge, brown, spindly-type spider creature POPPING UP AT YOU? Like, jumping in your general direction? Like, all you did was pick up a plate from the sink, and there's a spider in your face?

Immediately, immediately, I was convinced that it was a brown recluse, come to kill me in my sleep, but was waylaid by the sink morsels.

(After a little research on the internets, I have determined him to be a house spider, mostly because there really aren't any brown recluses in Michigan, but also because I am trying to preserve my own sanity. Anyway, they're quite common.)

I shrieked, he drowned. It was a horrible way to go, I understand.

Now? I am convinced that, in the last moments of his life, he telepathically called out to his brethren to HUNT ME DOWN. Hunt me down and bite me in my sleep and make me pay for my horrible crime.

Because apparently, in my ridiculous mind, all members of the animal world can communicate intelligently and effectively. WITHOUT HUMANS KNOWING.

Or maybe I just need to stop watching the Discovery Channel.

Whatever my problem, I have found myself checking before slipping on shoes or oven mitts.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Flames, Flames! On the Side of My Face... (but actually just flames everywhere)

My doctor diagnosed me with migraines back in July, and in addition to giving me a lovely prescription, he ordered an MRI.

Which I did not get, mostly because I was terrified of what they would find. I just wanted to pretend that my headaches were related to hormones and/or stress and be done with it.

Then... last week. Of the seven days of last week, I had migraines for oh, five of them. The pain was intense. It was burning, throbbing, intense pain, and I couldn't do anything to make it stop. The other two days gave me mild, annoying, we're-here-to-ruin-your-day headaches, but at least I didn't feel like I was going to die. (I'll tell you who tempted fate, though - the douche with the jackhammer outside of my office who apparently had orders to jackhammer himself to CHINA. It was nonstop except for a few brief, teasing moments where he'd take a breath and I would get my hopes up and sigh in relief and try to recover from the onslaught of ear-splitting SOUND, and then it would start again. This went on for two hours. I was ready to go throw bricks at him. But man, even with safety earmuffs, if it was that bad for me, it must have sucked for him.)

Right, so that week was complete and utter hell, with my head threatening to explode at any second, and so (with urging from my honey, mostly) I called and made the dreaded appointment. I ordered me up a Magnetic Resonance Imaging test.

I was in and out of the hospital in under and hour, which is simply amazing considering my hospital track record. I was this close to fainting when they inserted the IV, but I held on. That clammy, cold feeling is just too fun to miss out on! Plus, apparently you can't faint if you're already laying down? I don't know. I took the nice lady's word for it.

I thought that I had MRIs before, but now I am convinced that they were all just different forms of CT Scans. The MRI machine was LOUD. The technician gave me war plugs, and I almost scoffed - it couldn't be that loud! But holy Christ, that first noise almost sent me through the roof. Good thing I was strapped in there like a mental patient, or I would have jumped and ruined the whole thing.

Twenty minutes later - with a break to cover me with a blanket - it was over.

Do you want to see my brain? Do you?


My forehead is eternally huge, even here.

They sent me home with a disc of the images and although I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking at, I think that it is pretty damn cool. I'm still a little on edge, because the results are on their way to my doctor as we speak, and I don't know what he's going to find. But I think that knowing is better than being completely ignorant to the situation.

And knowing also gives me the chance to show you all my crazy Roger Rabbit eyes:

This one isn't so bad...


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Historic Photos of University of Michigan Football

Having a blog has finally paid off!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Megan at Turner Publishing. She offered to send along a copy of a new publication for possible review on my blog. And I was all, "A book? I love books! Here is my home address, there you go, enjoy!"

When I thought about it a few minutes later, I wondered... was she for real? Or did I just send my home address to an internet stalker?

The book arrived a few days later, thank goodness, and as excited as I was, those few days of worrying taught me a lesson. Maybe, don't do that again. Maybe looking into a P.O. box or something would be a good idea. You know, if my popularity takes off.

As I paged through the book, reading the captions and marveling at the ways in which Michigan Stadium had changed over the years, in mind there was only one acceptable recipient of this book: my dad. I would like to share his review with you here. (How lazy am I, seriously?) Take it away, Dad!

"I've been a fan of University of Michigan football since the 1960s. My first visit to Michigan Stadium was in the fall of 1965, when I was in high school. As a freshman at U of M in 1968, I attended all home games on my student ticket (if my memory is correct, a student only paid $6 per game at that time). And of course, I've followed the Wolverines every season since then.

Recently, I was given a book titled, Historic Photos of University of Michigan Football by Michelle O'Brien. I was immediately fascinated by this collection of 180 classic photographs from the Bentley Historical Library, which covers the first one hundred years of Wolverine football (1879-1979). Every devoted Michigan fan should find a copy of this book.

All photos are in black and white and are arranged in chronological order. The book is divided into four sections, each covering an era of Michigan football, and each section is preceded by approximately one page of introductory text by the author.

As most people do when first examining a book of photographs, I flipped through the pages to get an overall impression of the book. When I noticed that the photos were in chronological order, I looked for photos from the 1968 season. One of my favorite memories from 1968 is the day Ron Johnson rushed for a monumental 347 yards in one game (yes, I was there). I was pleased to find an action photo of Ron Johnson carrying the ball against Northwestern in 1967. I don't fault the author for using a great 1967 photo rather than one from the 1968 game, so long as Ron Johnson gets the credit he deserves. Moreover, the caption beneath the 1967 photo reads, "He ran for 347 yards in a 1968 game against Wisconsin," so I was mollified.

After spending a few moments looking at photos from 1967 and 1968, I went back to the beginning of the book, and I read it cover to cover.

Ms. O'Brien has done a first-rate job in the selection of photographs and the writing of the accompanying captions. Obviously, even the most exciting photograph means very little without a good caption. The captions in this book are consistently excellent, including all the necessary information concerning time, place, and subject, as well as additional facts concerning the person featured. So, even though the book has minimal textual material, the captions are sufficient to inform the reader of the most significant events in Wolverine football history.

As for the photographs, many of the action shots are magnificent - even stunning in their power. My favorite photograph in the book is a double-page spread of Tom Harmon rushing the ball against Ohio State in 1940. I felt as though I was actually on the playing field with the players. This photograph actually caused my heart to start pumping faster. Throughout the book, there are dozens of great action shots featuring legends such as Forest Evashevski, Ron Kramer, Tom Mack, Dick Vidmer, Garvie Craw (who, I believe, never rushed for negative yardage in his career), Billy Taylor, Rick Leach, Anthony Carter, and many others.

In addition to the action shots, many of the photos are in the nature of portraits, featuring Fielding Yost, Gerald Ford, Fritz Crisler, Bennie Oosterbaan, Tom Harmon, and a host of others. Plus, numerous photos show Michigan Stadium and its predecessor fields. To add a little human interest, photos of campus life give the reader a feel for the various eras of university history. My favorite in this category was an amusing photo of a homecoming "twist contest" in 1962.

All in all, the book is extraordinary, perhaps because it features many extraordinary persons and events. I haven't even mentioned Bo and Woody and the greatest game ever (1969). I am convinced that anyone who loves the tradition of Michigan football will enjoy looking at this photo book time after time."