Sunday, March 11, 2007


It's been a bit embarassing over here at Bean Gables. First of all, I've broken out in a rash of a million tiny and not-so-tiny whiteheads all over my face, neck and behind my ears - everywhere I use this facewash I've been using forever. It's odd, and perhaps a little liberating to be covered in this many pimples. Unlike breakouts of yore, I feel this one is short lived and anomalous, and I'm not that worried about it...just sort of bemused and intrigued.

The second embarassment came at the check-out line yesterday. I've finally dragged A. to John K. King books in Detroit - four stories of used books in an old factory down by Campus Martius. It's a full-day wonderland...A. got the book she'd been looking for on the making of the Atom Bomb, an atlas of images from when they still X-rayed pregnent women (Radiologic Studies of the Gravid Uterus), plus, get this, a Latin to Hebrew/Chaldean Lexicon...with someone's Hebrew letter tabs still in it.

I also hit the jackpot! I wandered around the alternative energy and homebuilding section (I'm looking for home/city solar and wind resources, as well as storm and sewage water sustainable management) - and I found a book on composting human, um, leavings (the author doesn't like to call it waste, since that implies it should naturally be thrown out) called "Humanure." It's excellent - I read aloud from it the entire way home from Detroit...

The embarassment came, like I mentioned, in the check-out line, behind two French-speaking guys who were each spending about $400 on rare books. The young hipster with the saggy pants behind the counter offered one of them my book (which I left there while browsing) and he recoiled and said: "Euh, neuh!" By the time I got up there, I was so abashed I couldn't ask for my book by name - I had to make him point and identify it only by its color.

He looked at the title, looked at me, and said: "Huh. Hard core."