observations III

1) Went to breakfast at Marie Catrib's in Grand Rapids this morning with Hanna, my parents, and dear friend Joseph.  Their apple onion tart is to die for (seriously -- I'm already hungry for seconds!) and Hanna and I discovered their Turkish coffee. *swoon*

2) At Argo's used books and Redux Books in East Town, bought Neil Miller's In Search of Gay America (1989) and Tim and Beverly LaHaye's The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love (1976). I am taking great pleasure in stacking these one on top of each other. Hanna says she might disown me. I promise my review of the LaHaye will include the mid-70s author photo which totally rocks.

3) While Hanna got a kick-ass black & sparkle manicure (at half the Boston prices!) I read the Miller at lemonjello's coffee shop and remembered how his Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present (1995) was, along with Lillian Faderman's Surpassing the Love of Men (1985), one of the first books on homosexuality per se I ever purchased or read. I bought them both at Powell's in Portland (Ore.) on Thanksgiving break in 2001 while I was at the Oregon Extension. Because just that summer Joseph had confided in me he thought he might be gay. Looking back, I'm impressed one of my first impulses was to buy history books!

4) There are ways the logistics of life here feel so much simpler. I don't mean that in a "rural life is idyllic" way, mostly because it's not idyllic here -- or rural. But in a "running errands doesn't exhaust me here the way it does in Boston" way. Streets don't feel crowded and hectic. Sure, the parking can be a bit frustrating, but mostly it's free and available if you're willing to walk a block or two. Downtown's in walking distance. And things are restfully less expensive than in Boston. I know our jobs aren't here, and some of our favorite book stores, libraries, and indie coffee shops ... but I seriously wish there were portkey technology on the horizon, 'cause I feel like my energy level would be so much better if I could live here and work there. I'm just not psychically wired for city life.

5) Off to bake cheddar, beer and mustard pull-apart bread. Food, books, and friendship. At least I can say that our activities on vacation and in non-vacation life are mostly the same, excepting not having to get up for work. And less time spent at the computer, which is restful.


  1. In regards to #4, I always find that anywhere I travel seems less hectic than my regular life does, because I don't have to always be at certain places at certain times. But having things within walking distance always sounds like it would improve your quality of life (something that is mostly lacking in California cities).

  2. God I love people who react to friends' intimate sharing with 'Okay--gotta go read up on some history!' I really do: it's exactly the kind of nerdy that makes perfect sense to me. (Of course ... my partner is a professional historian. So.)