March 23rd, 2013

krazy koati

So we sailed on to the sun

Our next trip to Ann Arbor, well, the outskirts of Ann Arbor, was a moment in passing. bunny_hugger gets a Spring Break that's absurdly early in the season --- some academic years it actually comes before Christmas --- but that wasn't any reason to not go somewhere or do something. She's often used it as a chance to come east and see me, but that would be silly this year, considering. The choice which worked for us, though, was to spend a couple of days at Castaway Bay, an indoor water park at and run by Cedar Point. Neither of us had been to Cedar Point in winter, and I don't remember going to a real water park (my father insists he'd taken me to Action Park, but I remember only my siblings going, as perhaps at that age I thought I was too cool for abrasions and fractured hips).

The path took us to the outskirts of Ann Arbor at a time a little but not absurdly late for lunch, so, why not eat there? It happens there's a Jersey Mike's submarines which just opened up in what turns out to be walking distance from an apartment bunny_hugger lived one year back in the 90s. We crept along the road to find the place, since it's always like that finding a new location, but there it was, a perfect little slice of Jerseyana kitsch in a setting which ... actually, only gave away that it was Michigan because there was a coney island visible elsewhere in the strip mall. It may have had even more New Jersey stickers decorating every surface than the actual New Jersey-located franchises have, possibly a reflection of that expatriate patriotism attitude.

After lunch (I decided very carefully whether to get a bag of Funnyuns, since I haven't had them in years, and decided not to, based on remembering that I've had Funnyuns before) we drove over to bunny_hugger's old apartment complex only to find that it's gotten a bit upscale in the intervening years. They've got a security guard actually checking admission and everything, so while we could see her old building, it was from afar. They've also repainted so the buildings look less interesting than her description made them out to be. Too bad.

Trivia: Swiss biologist Friedrich Miescher discovered DNA in 1869 by pouring alcohol and the stomach juice of pigs onto pus-soaked bandages (from local hospitals) until a goopy grey substance remained. Its high phosphorous content made it appear uninteresting to biochemists of the time, as phosphorous is not found in proteins, which were thought to be the most important part of the field. Source: The Disappearing Spoon: and other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, Sam Kean.

Currently Reading: Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1919 - 45, Barbara Tuchman.