24 June 2005

Cleveland- the Story

OK, so what I'm going to do is a "Story of the Cleveland Trip" first, and then post the pictures with captions in the next post. In fact, if you're reading this, you've seen the pictures and figured this out. So.

Mike and actually agreed to split up the car ride- what would be 8 hours going to Cleveland, and about 12.5 coming from Cleveland to Boston to Fairfield, CT (more on that later). So, final driving scorecard after trip:

_________Hours driven_______Hours slept

Awful job by Mike. I, on the other hand, absolutely dominated the drive there, but was really fried on the ride home. We had to swing through Boston because we were using our sister Colleen's car, and she needed us to pick her up to drive her and her stuff home. Thank god she can drive, and did drive home. 13+ hrs in the car on Tuesday. Bad times, no doubt.

But anyway, on the trip to Cleveland Mike and I were energized (when he wasn't sleeping) and clawing at Colleen's iTrip like the apes at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, complete with Mike throwing it in the air like a bone and it ACTUALLY turning into a spaceship. Might explain why it wasn't working and we couldn't listen to the BSMemorial iPod in the car. Bummer.

So, we listened to Mike's CD collection- Wu Tang, White Stripes, Elliott Smith. We also sampled the new Foo Fighters, which frankly sucked big time balls. Unfortunately. We did eventually stop at Wendy's for some grub- initially the highway sign said we'd be on the lookout for Burger King- an acceptable roadside stop- but when the first thing we came upon was a Wendy's, I said, "looks like the first thing up is Wendy's- is that ok?" Mike laughed- Jesus, of course it is. For those who don't know, Wendy's is the greatest fast food chain on the Atlantic North East.

After he disappeared in the Wendy's bathroom for what seemed like 45 minutes (playing a game of Tetris he was "dominating"- coughbullshitcough), we hit back onto the road not far from the destination. On our way, we spitballed an idea for a screenplay we were kicking around, and cycled through our usual quote-fests: little Chappelle, little Rushmore, little Lebowski, little Tenacious D. It should get old, but it never does.

FINALLY we get in to the hotel, and the first impression is- well holy shit- it is DIRECTLY across the street from the stadium. This is tremendous- we will be able to maximize hotel time. A big, big deal for us.

So we amble in, head up to the tenth floor room, and pass out on the respective beds after the grueling ride. Actually, I don't know what Mike was resting from.

After our third consecutive Boy Meets World rerun, we decided we needed to follow up the Wendy's-fest in style. Our initial preference was for room service, but since we hadn't walked around and felt like total lamebags spending from 8 PM on in our room, we headed out to look for grub. Our first try was over at Alice Cooper'stown, a dumb little sports/ rock and roll place brought to us by the Billion Dollar Baby himself. At 845. So some alterna-chick with a tattoo (she was hot, yes) came over and told us the "grill was closed." Thank you, Cleveland.

So instead we headed over for some room service, and in the meantime realized our hotel had this weird little "pantry" section where they had an expansive candy selection, along with various microwaveable meals and snacks- we're talking Stouffers and Hot Pockets- to buy and bring up to the room. We stocked up, to be sure. The room service food sucked dick and cost an arm and a leg- and the lady didn't seem to appreciate my answering the door in my underwear and the apparent jocularity I treated the service with. Oh well. We really made no effort during our stay to clean up ANYTHING- soda, candy, food- and made sure to leave the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on the door to keep from it being cleaned. We're more comfy in filth, I guess.

After waiting through an entire Sportscenter for the Sox highlight, including all the College World Series clips AND a special-report-Outside-the-Lines piece about an embattled lesbian coach, I said to Mike- "dude, after all this we'll see the Payton HR, a Clement strikeout and that's it." Of course, this is exactly what happened.

Rolling out of bed around 1230, Mike and I decided to really head into downtown Cleveland. The place was RAVENOUS with these little fuckin brown bugs- they'd almost brainlessly bounce off your face and just really piss you off- but no bites. So not that bad. We even went by a row of office buildings and the walls were LITERALLY covered in the bugs. I'm not shitting you, it was like Revelations in Cleveland.

Then we walked down to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which sucks- I've been) just for something to do, and the whole time we re-enacted Kyle Gass in the Tenacious D tour documentary miming guitar and humming "Crazy Train"- in front of the R'n'R HoF. I even came up with my own- sung to the tune of "Sweet Child O Mine":
Whoooooa-oh-oa Rock and Roll Hall of Fa-yayme!

It was really funny at the time.

Eventually we hit CVS for bevy's and Subway for the cheap pre-game meal, featuring two extremely nice register guys. The CVS one, noting Mike's Damon jersey, was nice enough to hope for a Damon HR, though in the face of an Indian's win. Cardinal mistake. The Damon HR proves the difference.

So after a meal, a queer lesson in physics (see pic above), and more Boy Meets World ("best show ever"- Mike), it was game time. Woo.

So we had our eyes peeled for Jere, knowing what he looked like from a couple pictures online. Initially, I was pretty worried we wouldn't see him at all. We went right over to the Sox dugout at 530 (our meeting spot), and the Sox fans we crowded there at about 5-to-1 over Indians fans. It worked closer to 3-to-1 by game time, but still- totally a Sox hand in the affairs.

Eventually, after seeing David come sign, and trying to get my Manny jersey signed by Manny, we hung back under the overhang looking down on the dugout area to see if we saw him. Jacob's Field is, without out a doubt, one of the prettiest, most amazing places I've ever been. Just a bright, expansive, clean, opulent place. Not garish and ugly like the BOB in Arizona seems to be- just perfectly enjoyable and well put together.

So as we stood, admiring, someone came up behind me and said, "Tim?" It was Jere- finally got to meet him. It was really great hanging out with him- easy to talk to, funny, and a lot liked I'd pictured him. Decked in full-Sox gear but sans a game-mate, we three hung out and chatted watching the BP festivities and having a grand old time. Mike darted off to try and get his Damon jersey signed at one point (coming ridiculously close like five times, but to no avail).

Jere came over and hung out with us as the game started, but eventually the people were taking their seats, and he had to take off for his seat. On our way to our seats, a nice usher kind of chuckled and said, "is there anyone left in Boston? Doesn't someone have to turn off the lights?" Tremendous job by him. That's just really damn funny.

Really, really great finally meeting Jere though. One might say surreal- my first foray into the "meeting a person after knowing them on the internet," though thankfully it doesn't have the stigma it once did, or my Mom might have been convinced we were going to Cleveland for a to-be-filmed-for-released f-fest with some random guy. That would have sucked.

The game- though tense in the end- was great. Manny silencing the brainless moron booing (and, puzzlingly, "STERRR-OOIIDDS!" chanting) by BLASTING a 3-R HR to help sink the Tribe. I actually really like the Indians, but some of their fans- ouch. One guy was sitting down, looked at our hats, and was like, "Don't like this. Where you from?" like he deserved an answer or some shit. His wife, goofing around, was like "lie, lie!" for some reason. I just said, "Uh, New York." And then I looked away. The Sox fans weren't much better though- the toolbar sitting next to me got all worked up when Manny got thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double, then exclaimed, "well, it doesn't make any difference for his batting average, so I'm sure HE won't care!" Give em hell, bro. Travel five hours to hate on 'em. Awesome.

After the game and the CRUSHING defeat, some fucking chubby bitch and her boyfriend were walking by me and got almost totally passed me when she shoved me and said "FUCK Boston." I turned around and yelled- in a crowd of people- "don't fucking touch me." I turned just in time to see her little stupid tattoo-over-ass-crack and her fat rolls (says the kettle to the pot). Mike said, "you know, a 'belly shirt' doesn't mean you need a belly to wear one." Well put.

So we went back, maximized hotel time while the other suckas drove in their cars. We watched Batman Forever to make fun of it, and just as we were falling asleep, Mike said the funniest thing of the weekend- Bruce Wayne was at Wayne Enterprises when he noticed the Bat Signal, and was a little freaked out when an overzealous employee wouldn't let him discreetly break free to go save some folks. So Mike says- "Isn't it about time Batman made this a full time job?" Goddamn it I was laughing so hard. He's got some seriously good superhero material.

Also, this HBO thing came on about chicks showing dudes how to "please women," and Mike was like, "where's that pen and pad?"

The next morning fucking sucked, and I'd almost rather not talk about it. Barely slept, had to wake up early and get on the road for 13 hours. Shudder at the thought.

We did get to hear not only most of the Sox game on the radio, but all of Randy Johnson's meltdown against TB which, had we not heard of TB's later, greater meltdown, would have been a lot funnier.

What a great park. I'm fucking going back, no doubt. No doubt in my mind.

______________________________ |