austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

What a wonderful day for you and me

So we woke up Monday, secure in the knowledge that class was cancelled and the snow was horrible but we didn't have to go out in it.

Naturally, the snow wasn't horrible. The storm had petered out, and while there were a couple of inches on the ground there wasn't anything really deserving the cancellation of class, and it was presumably even less up at her school. Too bad, but I still hold the decision was right when it was made. And I was feeling better, too, with a much more stable stomach and while I would probably have been able to take the commute without getting sick, again, the decision looked right when it was made. So instead we puttered around bunny_hugger's house a little, digging out the driveway and sidewalk, and doing bits of the laundry that would finish cleaning up the remnant mess from my most unfortunate evening. I'm embarrassed by that, admittedly, but what was there to do?

Well, too much puttering around the house gets to be too much and while driving might not have been a very good idea one wonderful thing of bunny_hugger's house is that it's in an actual city. As in, there are places to go in walking range; from my parents' home, you have to walk a mile just to get to a Wawa. There, you can walk a mile and get to a restaurant, a blues bar, the former location of a comic book shop, an animation studio (she hypothesizes it does work like those creepy computer-animated things for used car dealership commercials), and an Internet cafe. Also a bookstore in that vaguely post-hippie model of not being exactly general-interest, but not being narrowly focused either.

Even the ``post-hippie'' description may be a bit misleading since it isn't all, like, 101 Ways To Put Rainbow-Themed Bumper Stickers On Your Car even though that is an option. There's books from local authors, certainly --- bunny_hugger even found one she'd been looking for that seemed to miss the bigger bookstores --- but also what have to be admitted as general interest books, like Pearls Before Swine collections. They also had a copy of But Didn't We Have Fun?, a grand book about the development of baseball before it became an approximately organized sport around 1850. (Short version: the Doubleday thing is complete bunk. The Alexander Cartwright stuff is overblown. Rounders is a red herring, just the local name for base-ball games where Cartwright grew up when he was a kid, which he assumed to be how stuff happened since time immemorial; he was much like a human being in that way.)

They also had a section of used books in back, some of them a pretty impressive set of university-library castoffs (Research Opportunities in Elizabethan Drama? Wow. But a volume of a journal regarding papers on the subject, not a surprisingly heft job catalogue) mixed with the books of Jacqueline Susanne? This set us to wondering about who the Jacqueline Susannes of today are, and whether she's still writing, come to think of it. We both have new-book-store work experience in our pasts, mine much older than hers, so I remember days when we were swimming in Sheldon Leonard books (I think he's dead), but who's his successor? Stephen J Cannell?

To play up the post-hippie bookstore nature of the place, though, the used books are for sale for what you feel like paying, with recommended prices but a sign saying, more if you can afford it, less if you can't.

After checking a shiny-objects store (they were closed) we went back to the Internet cafe which is adjacent to the book store, and shares a wide open door during normal hours, and which bunny_hugger reports was formerly a sporting goods store. It doesn't really show, although the space is huge for an Internet cafe. We got cookies and a muffin and hot chocolate with whipped cream and, you know, it turns out a place like this is a grand place to sit and hold hands and look at each other while the hot chocolate cools, and is drunk, and a muffin is ripped into shreds and eaten a bite at a time, and the sun sets, and it seems like if all time were spent like this it would be wisely used.

Mind, we still had to walk back through the darkening skies, and the slushy snowy mix, but her road wasn't actually that bad. Again, had we gone in to work, returning would have been under pretty good road conditions. And again, I still think the decision was right when made.

But bunny_hugger considered that it'd be really nice to have a fire, for which she'd need wood, and there's a hardware store nearby but a little too far to walk to ... so we swept off her car and drove off anyway. The hardware store proved to be closed, which she recognized before I even located the store, which was directly in front of us.

It still seemed like it was possible other places might have wood, so we went looking first to a Kroger's, which bunny_hugger rejected after driving slowly past the front window, and then to a Meijer's, which looked similarly unpromising. I suggested we go inside anyway, since even if we didn't find anything we'd have some kind of adventure and what are the odds of that? For example what are the chances they'd have set up displays of ``One Hop Shopping'' with lavish piles of Easter-ready candy of all shapes, sizes, and textures from chocolate to sugar to chocolate with sugar? Some of it even had caramel inside. It's a great season if you can just somehow get into chocolate rabbits or chicks.

Or candy in general: one of the sales aisles features what bunny_hugger considers old-time candy, with treats that I like such as Clark Bars and Fifth Avenue bars, or ones that I never had until recently such as Zagnut bars. She asked what exactly the difference was between a Clark Bar and a Fifth Avenue and this caused me to realize: I don't actually know. I've liked them for pretty much my whole life and never realized until that moment that the Fifth Avenue bar was a ripoff^W attempt to capitalize on the success of the Clark Bar. There were a lot of temping alternatives, anyway, and we got to picking up just one more, and one more after that, and another, to share. Also I got a pack of Mentos to chew while flying back home, which would be the next day, alas.

We didn't get any wood, unfortunately, so no fire. And while bunny_hugger's rabbit was let out early, he didn't feel so very much like playing and after some attempts at nibbling the WiiFit Balance Board --- a new bit of naughtiness --- went back to his cage to sulk. He didn't even try nibbling my socks. But we did watch the Father Ted Christmas Special, which while very funny also meant we've exhausted the series; we'll have to be content watching repeats. And we got back to the rest of WKRP In Cincinnati, taking in every episode because I'd mentioned how Futurama DVDs have commentary tracks on every episode, something bunny_hugger didn't know, so she was motivated to advance her Netflix queue, considering.

We also watched The Big Bang Theory, which holds a curious spot for us: neither of us really likes the show but we kind of like watching it. That is, I don't make any effort to find it or watch it, but my parents often leave it on, and I find it entertaining enough and I like the effort made to have the nerd references (pop cultural and mathematics/physics) get the details right. Comedy often plays better when the nitty details are as accurate as possible and this is one of the shows that respects that. Futurama is another. But I feel like there should be more to a show than getting Cylons and superstrings right to really watch it faithfully. It's a competent sitcom but so what? bunny_hugger's feelings are maybe more involved than this and I'm less confident that I could fairly summarize them, but she has it to record on her Tivo-alike, so it's enjoyed at least that much.

And so that closed the last full day together this trip; we may not have done very much, or very big things, but it's hard to be more full despite that.

Trivia: Despite the competition of around 260 small- and medium-sized companies in that era, the Hershey corporation introduced only one new candy bar in the 1920s, 1925's Mister Goodbar. Source: Hershey: Milton S Hershey's Extraordinary Life Of Wealth, Empire, And Utopian Dreams, Michael D'Antonio.

Currently Reading: Dragons of the Cuyahoga, S Andrew Swann. (PS to bunny_hugger: the background of the book is a zone of real life magic explodes over Browns Stadium. A little side item is Disney negotiating with Cedar Point to build a real Magic Kingdom amusement park, now that it's an option. Cute.)

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