Apparently, I am a month overdue with a report on Cleveland.
Oops. Sorry. Life has just been ... well, life. A lot of things have happened: I wrote a short story in 24 hours (will hear back about it by the end of the month). I got dumped. I went to Alcatraz, at night (might do a quickie blog post about that soon, since I have some pictures). I did my taxes and got my refund, half of which I promptly used to buy myself a new computer. My new computer came in pieces, so I put it together, but have not yet turned it on, mostly because I didn't yet have the Operating System. The OS (Windows 7, if you must know) came today, but instead I had to watch the Sharks make a magical comeback in game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so turning the new computer on will come tomorrow.
And that's just part of the adventure that has happened to me. Oh, end-of-March, most-of-April. How you have been gusty.
So yeah, Cleveland. A brief summary:
I know, I know. Couldn't resist. Though I did not see Drew Carey (or Betty White, for that matter) on the Ohio leg of my trip back east at all. Alas.
Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised — having kept my expectations low — but I really liked Cleveland. As in, I wouldn't mind going back there again, if I had someone to stay with that was a good friend. This time that friend was actually my oldest cousin, Jason.
I remember back when I was a wee thing of three (or was it four?), being incredibly intimidated by my much older boy cousins (Jason has 6 years on me, I believe, and his brother Ryan has 3). But now here we are, both in our 30s, all grown up. Kind of weird, but much cooler than being shy and wistfully wishing I could play with the big kids. Because heck, now I am one of the big kids.
Giant stuffed apes notwithstanding.
I drove in the Wednesday night (not a bad trip, and I think just those 8 hours of open road, with only myself were exactly what I needed to smooth my ruffled emotions), and on Thursday I took a bus downtown to visit my company's office and then head over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Highly recommend. It's not exactly a museum you need to go to more than once (or maybe twice) in your life, but they've got a great exhibit of the history of rock and roll, with a lot of listening stations playing the classic foundations of the genre. I spent a good three hours there, and barely felt it.
Plus, it's right on the shore of Lake Erie. It's weird to be on the edge of such an expanse of water, and know it's not sea or ocean.
And really, I think that was the last real money I spent on the entire trip. Auntie Roz and Uncle Charlie, you both did something right in raising your sons: I was kept well-fed and well-entertained the entire time. There's a lot of good food to be had in Cleveland, and J's boyfriend, Gen, is a marvelous cook. Not fair at all.
The "point" of this venture into Ohio was to see the Trashcan Sinatras. I have to admit: this was the better show of the trip. We sat up close (maybe 10 feet away), the crowd had a great vibe, and the band were having fun that night.
We did a bit of exploring, especially around Ohio City and Tremont neighborhoods. Saturday before I had to head to the airport, we hit up the West Side Market.
Seriously, this is what the SF Ferry Building should be, instead of the touristy, bland, overpriced bourgeois crappy thing it is now. It's like the Farmer's Market, but every day. And better.
We picked up some fish and Gen served it up as sushi.
And then Jason and I walked off the luncheon around Tremont while Gen went to his job, before finally dumping me off at the airport.
Did Cleveland save my trip? No: it was a great trip overall, I had just forgotten that in the swirl of birthday and back issues. But it reminded me that leaving this little piece of 7x7 every once in a while is the best thing I can do to realign myself emotionally.