Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Guide is 13 years old. And about that bailout money...

Weird to think that my Michigan Accent Pronunciation Guide is older than a lot of people's kids.

Yes, I started this silliness in November 1995. Wanted to capture some of the unique fun that is our accent. The site's been through several versions - this last one has been around for about 6 years now.

I miss my home state and hear worrying reports of the economy there. I read about the $700BB "Rescue Plan" and the idea that the Big 3 are possibly asking for a piece of the pie. Part of me thinks that using our taxes to rescue the automakers is insane. The other part of me worries about people losing their jobs.

What are your thoughts? Should our tax dollars go to help the state's largest employers? Or did they get themselves into this mess their own selves? Should we keep this massive industry from tanking and protect jobs - or will they blow that money and still be in the same situation regardless?

Is this incompetency or circumstance? Whadaya think?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Love letter from Monroe

Looks like someone from Monroe (now living in Bay City) is just a leeettle cranky about my website. Here's what he/she had to say:

ISP: Charter Communications
MESSAGE SENT: Sunday, October, 19, 2008 at 03:24am

YOU ARE SO FUCKING STUPID! NOBODY FUCKING SAYS THESE THINGS AND YOU NEED TO GET A FUCKING LIFE. HALF OF THESE ARE JUST SPELLED WRONG, BUT SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME WHEN SAID OUT LOUD. SO YOU CAN GO SUCK A COCK AND GO TO HELL. Sincerely - a person from MONROE, and yes, I know how to fucking pronounce the city I have lived in my whole life. It's just like MONday, you know, the day after Sunday? And nothing like MONonucleosis which is probably why your accent is all fucked up.

Monroe, your warmth, civility, positivity and general happiness with life have warmed my heart! I love you too. <3

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The seasons come and go... another autumn in Michigan

"It looks like you haven't updated MichiganNative since 2006!" wrote one person who reached out to me about the site.

While not entirely true, what is true is that I never receive any truly original Michiganisms anymore, and so the Michigan Native site sits as a digital memorial to the Michigan Accent.

But there's obviously a huge desire for community around our great state. It's coming...don't get yer wolverines in a bunch.

In the meantime, some visual relief: Red Delicious apples on the tree at Robinette's Orchards, a Grand Rapids landmark.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oh, MichiganNative, what to do with you?

What's up, Michiganders?

WOW, what a nutty week it's been. I got some totally unexpected praise from Jay Nordlinger, managing editor of National Review. I am stunned. And traffic to my silly little page of Michigan euphemisms has quadrupled. Thanks, Jay!

Given the new attention, I've been contemplating what to do with this site. I've been nursing it along, what, ELEVEN YEARS NOW. Started off as a page on AOL in 1995. I am so overwhelmingly busy at work that I cannot give it the time and attention it deserves, nor am I able to respond to all the people that write me. I'm sorry about that, Michipeeps! Work consumes most of my waking hours - bills gotta be paid and the dog needs his kibble, so there ya go.

Please know that I do read every email...I just find it impossible to reply to all. I get emails from people every day, giving me words and phrases they would like added to the Pronunciation Guide. The only problem is, 99% of them are already in the Guide, or are not unique to Michigan. I know, I know...who's got time to read the whole damn thing? And for that matter...who's got time to blog?

So I'm going to pull down the Submit Your Own Addition page and replace it with something different and fun. Keep your eyes peeled.

On being an expatriate...and missing the dirt.

I've been thinking a lot about Michigan lately. I love Washington State, where I currently live. It reminds me of a Michigan with mountains, ocean and bald eagles (which are incredible, by the way). But I miss the sound of robins...lots of the morning. Finding a turtle in the front yard. The Grand River. Stopping at the WhippiDip in Grand Haven for fries and ice cream on a hot summer afternoon. Driving down the Lodge with the radio blaring, or seeing the sunlight come through the trees on Pierce Stocking Drive at Sleeping Bear. Blowing snowdrifts. And fresh-squeezed cider and fresh-baked doughnuts at Robinette's Orchards in Grand Rapids.

And I miss...and this sounds weird...the smell of the earth in Michigan. That peaty, mossy soil. Something about it smells...comforting.

Is that crazy?

I also think about having left, and the friends and family left behind. My family and high school classmates in GR. They're all great and I miss them, and it makes me wonder, what drove me to become such a gypsy, and for others to permanently settle close to where they grew up? I've definitely got the wanderlust...same stuff that drove my ancestors to move from New York/Vermont to Michigan in the 1830s.

Exploration brings appreciation

An online contact from Flickr came out to Seattle on her cross-country roadtrip of nearly the entire US. Rachel hung out with us at a Flickr meetup, and it was so great to see someone from GR exploring the country. Travelling and living elsewhere makes you realize that there are a lot of really cool places in the US: and that while Michigan is just one of them, it IS unique. I appreciate it more having moved around a lot, and I encourage those of you who are able, to spend time elsewhere to get an open-minded feel for other parts of the US. You may return home or you may not, but you'll definitely notice the things you took for granted.

AvalancheI hope you all have a great October. Go, carve pumpkins, hand out candy and watch high school football. You're on my mind!

- Eric

Friday, September 01, 2006


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Statistical smackdown!

Next time you're at dinner you can astound your friends with these fun statistics about MI:

You may have known that the State of Michigan, 9.9MM people as of the 2000 census, is the 8th most populous US state. But did you know Michigan has more people than the individual countries of Sweden, Bolivia, Somalia, Rwanda, Austria, Haiti, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Israel, Hong Kong (city), Paraguay, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Croatia, Ireland, New Zealand, Bosnia, Costa Rica, Iceland and many more?

The Detroit Metro Area, 4.47MM people as of 2000, has more people than the individual countries of Ireland, New Zealand, Bosnia, Costa Rica, Latvia, Lithuania and more. It's also more populous than 28 of the 50 US states.

Hell, even Grand Rapids, my hometown, has more people in its metropolitan area (MSA) than Rhode Island, Montana, Alaska, Vermont, Delaware, North and South Dakota, or Wyoming, and more than Qatar, the Bahamas or Iceland.

Who says you don't learn anything on this site?!? :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Online bloggers are evil!" wailed the print blogger.

More and more, mainstream journalists and bloggers are starting to look and sound like one another.

See the article here.