Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Ann and Her Arbor
Dave and I made a little trip to Ann Arbor yesterday -- the home of the University of Michigan, Dave's graduate school alma mater. Or, as the sign in the window faintly says, "the biggest little city in the middle!"
We drove westward in late morning and got there just before lunchtime, in order to walk up and down Main Street and explore some of the quirky shops. Dave bought some U of M swag, including a shirt for his dad, and we found an ice cube tray that makes cubes looking like tiny maps of Michigan -- which, given the state's quirky shape, is pretty impressive feat of design. (We haven't tried it yet so we'll see how well it ultimately works.)
Our goal was to have lunch at Zingerman's deli, and we did indeed stop off for some salads. (Dave's mom has been feeding us so enthusiastically that we just couldn't handle any more than that.)
In case I left the impression yesterday that everyone in Michigan is a raging Trumper, here's a photo of a house around the corner from Zingerman's with campaign signs for progressive Democrats. I have no doubt that people in Michigan run the full range of the political spectrum, even in the more rural northern part of the state -- but I must admit that up there, I only saw Trump signs. I think Democratic voters in rural areas may feel less comfortable putting out campaign signs, given how strident Trump's supporters can be.
After lunch we had an adventure. We happened to see a billboard for a place called "Cookies," which is actually a marijuana retailer. (I guess pot is legal here, to a point.) Dave wanted to ask about edibles for Crohn's disease, so we set out to find this place. Through a comedy of errors involving Google and Dave's phone, the first place we visited was called "Insomnia Cookies" -- we walked in to find a menu full of things like snickerdoodles. At first we thought they were pot-laced cookies but no, Insomnia Cookies is apparently an actual cookie shop. The girl at the counter seemed completely bewildered when we asked for marijuana.
We quickly beat it out of there and found the REAL Cookies, and after presenting our IDs we were admitted to a gleaming room filled with displays of buds under glass and various cannabis products in trendy packaging. Dave had a conversation with the staff about Crohn's but he didn't buy anything. Given that we're staying with his parents, and he's about to cross state lines to visit Drum Corps finals in Indiana, and he'll afterwards get on a plane to the UK, it didn't seem wise. An interesting experience, though. I've never been in a marijuana store before. The place seemed very clean and secure but it still kind of gave me the willies.
We hopped back in the car and went next door to a coffee shop where I got coffee that was allegedly flavored with Michigan cherries, but tasted more like mild Robitussin.
Then we got on the road for home. Soon after we arrived it poured rain, and water was gushing like crazy from the chipmunk downspout, so I guess that little guy found somewhere else to live.
I was sorry to hear last night of the death of Olivia Newton-John. Like the recent death of Nichelle Nichols, this one hits home for me. She was a superstar when I was in junior high and high school, and the sex symbol with whom I and all my gay male friends pretended to be in love. (None of us were out then so we all put up that facade. We laugh about it now -- our simultaneous infatuations with "ONJ.") I remember buying her "Physical" album at Tampa Bay Center, a once-popular mall that no longer exists. She had a terrific voice.