After we parked --- there's a parking deck which turns from an office parking space to a public done on the evenings and weekends, and at a wonderfully flat rate for the day's parking --- we were interested foremost in eating. We'd hoped to get to Ann Arbor in time for lunch, but between the traffic accident and taking the slower roads we weren't in town until maybe 3 pm. We went to Ashley's, a bar where we often eat, because they make waffle fries with stilton cheese, which we could pretty much eat forever and not get tired of it. I also tried a beer, which is still a rare thing for me; I picked the Ashley's 30th Anniversary Ale off the specials board pretty much at random and found it was indeed a beer, with such properties as are probably appropriate to it. It was pretty dark but not quite opaque.
It turned out there's a record store just next to the bar, up a flight of stairs, and which had the classic skinny, crowded aisles of beaten-up cardboard boxes full of records and CDs. I kept looking over and not quite picking up anything --- it did strike me that since we took my car, we had only my CDs to listen to, and we heard quite a few of the ones that happened to be in the car when we drove to and from Cedar Point last fall --- although there were a few that looked too wonderful to possibly exist. I'm thinking here of ``Music To Read James Bond By, Volume II'', which features a roughly Bondesque woman in bikini sprawled out with a bunch of paperbacks around her. At least one of the tunes is by Ferrante and Teicher. Not quite ironic but also not quite necessary enough for me was The Muppets Bremen Musicians, showing a couple animals in that slightly ragged pre-Muppet Show style of puppet they had.
We walked across the University of Michigan campus to feel the cold, which was turning to biting, and for us to notice the department seals carved into the graduate library's facade. This gave me the chance to posit how Michigan State and Univeristy of Michigan enjoy a relationship which mirrors that between Rutgers and Princeton in many ways, some significant (MSU and Rutgers were both the land-grant schools; U of M and Princeton have more prestigious reputations), some trivial (Princeton and U of M both relocated to their famous spots while MSU and Rutgers stayed where they started); although of course, Michigan State enjoys self-esteem.
On the other side we were able to poke around a while in a long-standing head shop and tctotchke store, which also sells a fine array of quirky birthday and greeting cards. bunny_hugger's picked up cards in the past which left the recipient wondering how any corporation could sell such a thing successfully, so it was well worth looking.
We got to turning around, and on the way back I noticed a pack of college-age kids, the straggler of which was wearing a green fox tail, as if he were at a furry convention. His friends tossed off a joke about how the pup had to catch up, so, I was delighted with this little surprise.
Trivia: Baltimore was the first city in the United States to adopt limited gas lighting, in 1817. Source: Brilliant: The Evolution Of Artificial Light, Jane Brox.
Currently Reading: Year's Best SF 8 Editor David G Hartwell.