33 and a third

Pertaining to 2/4/20

Quite a few months ago we figured this date would mark 33 and a third years since the day we wed.  Hard to let that one sneak by.  I put in in my phone and only a couple of days ago noticed it was coming up.  Warde Manuel and Juwan Howard had conveniently scheduled a contest in Crisler tonight hosting the hated Buckeyes of The Ohio State University, a nice anchor to the day.  Tuesdays are big teaching days for Kathy with 4 90 minutes classes with 12 students each.

Of course, I had my very busy retiree’s schedule.  After walking Kathy into her office, I was off to the Union to tend to a sick old computer.  In trying to sort out why my 2011 Mac was having trouble with some Adobe files, the help desk guy discovered that the operating system I was running was 4 levels short of current.  The Computer Showcase Technical Support people would take care of it.  I knew from my tour of the newly renovated Union a few weeks back that they were in the basement.  I got to the Union a half hour before the Computer Showcases website said they’d open.  I was forced to purchase a tall latté from Sweetwaters and set myself in the big leather couch facing the fireplace in the William Ward lounge.  Internet was good, of course, so I read and dashed off a few e-mails. The small but necessary tour I took revealed some startling developments which deserve their own post.  Quite a few minutes after opening, I finished my coffee and ventured downstairs.  The same signs that had announced the future home of Computer Showcase were till there.  My phone told me they were still in the UGLI, so off I went.  Except for forgetting that sign in pads worked with fingers, I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much before the youngsters manning the place.  A young Asian woman took pity on my plight and proceeded to find the highest operating system to which I could upgrade.  Not much, it turned out.  I could go from “Sierra” to “High Sierra (I love that Boz Scaggs song)”.  Anything above that, my old computer couldn’t handle.  Much like a patient receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, I had the urge to say “how long does she got, doc?”, but I knew I would be asking for a new computer for my birthday.  I think the necessary bits were being loaded up by arthritic mules, as the update took all of 2 ½ hours.  It was like a dentist’s office without the drilling.  I dove back into the politics reading I’d sworn off, and mostly was elated by what I read, except for Rush’s lung cancer diagnosis.  As I promised I’d avoid politics in this blog, I’ll leave it at that .  The change in venue from Union to UGLI deprived me of my planned perfect walk home.  Like Ways reconstructing your route when you make a wrong turn, I was able to adjust and head back across campus to the LS&A building where I walked through the lobby to be deposited smack in front of the Cube.   Spin, anyone?  Then up Maynard to visit my old friend Bill at Campus bike shop.  When I asked the dour old man behind the counter if Bill and Naomi (his wife when last I’d been there) were in, he said “no, not for 15 years”.  As I talked to the old man, he got to looking more and more familiar.  Sure enough, it was Bill, who had divorced his wife and severed ties with son James, whom we had seen grow up in the shop as a toddler and was set to take over the business.  Bittersweet, but Bill was still at it, more than 50 years in bicycles.  Somehow he’d missed holding a golden anniversary celebration.  I asked him about buying back my 6 bikes, 2 of which I bought from him with the others serviced, now hanging unused from my garage ceiling since my accident 5 years ago left me fearful of riding them.  “Can you bring them by?”.  If my upcoming psychologist’s sessions don’t purge me of my fears, I will sadly take him up on his offer.  After that it was on to Apples and Oranges in Nickels arcade to tell my Apple tale to my friend, proprietor Raoul. He wondered why I hadn’t brought the problem to him, and I confessed I was lured by the possibility of free Adobe stuff thanks to my U connections, which never materialized.  I told Raoul he would need to pass last rites over my 2011 Mac someday, but now was not the day.

The path home up State was familiar and uneventful, past Darai and Connie’s old house, Minnie’s purple co-op, and Tommy’s beautiful stone church.  The construction workers at the Kroger’s site hadn’t made too much a mess of the sidewalk to block passage, and it was an easy walk up the Broadway hill to home.  The mailbox was stuffed, mainly with a package containing a cassette I’d ordered from the MSU museum: “Michigan in Song”.  I was turned on to this work by Ray Kamalay, an Ohio based jazz singer and guitarist whom I first saw at one of the U Hospital Thursday noon lobby shows and later dragged Kathy to see at the West Bloomfield Library.  Ray had produced this collection of songs for Michigan’s sesquicentennial in 1987, and I was so happy to find a copy, in whatever form.  Still unplayed, but I have a functioning cassette player.

A major trip way south to Meijer brought back fixins for Saturday’s feast (separate post), new reading glasses (work great), a query to Sergio into status of my broken watches (still coming) and some new beer, thus setting the stage for the evening’s momentous 33 1/3d anniversary celebrations, which were to take place in the front seat of my Patriot in a Crisler parking lot.  We’d done this once before.  I was to arrive in the parking lot of OBL (Observatory Lodge, where she taught her classes) at 6 sharp.  The game was at 7.  Tho’ laden with drink and victuals, we would resist the urge to consume until we negotiated the traffic across town to Crisler, were my retiree’s parking pass would admit us to a nice close lot, where we could exhale and consume.  This time was to be better than the last.  The subs were from beloved Pizza Bob’s and not corporate Subway, there would be 4 beers not 2, in case we wanted any after the game , and for the special anniversary a present (a squeeze bottle of liquid garlic found at Meijer, which I promised I’d lick off anywhere) and a split of Prosecco (champagne equivalent) with 2 glass flutes.  These were all happily packed in a slightly insulated zippered maize and blue bag dotted with Ms we had received as a wedding present.  We’ll use it a lot more after tonight.

Like a well rehearsed skit it came off without a hitch.  I had cruised by Bob’s just as they were taking our subs out of the oven and they were as always delicious, even better warm.  We debated drinking the second beers but chose the game, getting in less than 10 minutes before tipoff.  The management had laid t-shirts across our seats to give us the option of wearing Michigan gear made in this century.  I kept mine on.  The game was exciting, but we were royally screwed by bad reffing.  Kathy’s former student backup center Austin Davis had a great game – maybe his best as a Wolverine – scoring 11 points in 15 minutes and playing tough throughout.  Had the boys made a few more shots, the bad reffing wouldn’t have mattered.  They’re just not there yet, but we still have the coolest coach in college basketball.  I wish I could afford his suits.

Having that beer waiting for us after the game proved capital, as the time we’d finished – all the while bemoaning our boys fate and thankful we didn’t rest too much of our happiness on the outcome of contests between groups of. teen aged boys – the traffic was mostly clear and we had a smooth ride home.  Cleaning out the car upon arriving was like policing the family sedan after a petting session: beer cans, corks, champagne bottles, glasses glass and plastic, crumpled up papers oh my.  I half expected to come across a used condom.  Retiring to the living room we lit a fire and sat to listen to whatever the Spotify Van Morrison station sent us.  There was way more wine in the house than beer, making the choice of Kanonkop Pinotage 2016 (South African) an easy one.  It might soften Kathy up for my first reading to her of “Feeding the Speis”, coming to this blog soon.  It was an evening we wished would never end, as we’ll never see 33 1/3d again.  45 might be possible, 78 eh?  But bed was necessary so there would be a tomorrow, when we’d get up and do it again.  Amen.

I’m the luckiest man in the world.  Life is good.

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

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