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Dallas, Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cleveland, Part Two

When we last left our super hero, er me, I was making my way into downtown Cleveland in the hearse in the rain.

Scratch that. It was a monsoon. Or typhoon. Ridiculous rain. And my $10 WalMart umbrella with super powers used mainly for fighting off villains in Kroger parking lots was nowhere to be found.

Well, there goes a waste of good hair products.

I pulled up in what must've been an area of Cleveland that was used in some Stephen King movie about the apocalypse because seriously, there was not an open business nearby except a Subway restaurant and the masonic temple thingy. So much for going cheap with the hotel reservation, CM.

I pulled the hearse into the parking lot and splashed through the potholes in bare feet. I should've taken it as a sign when the hotel had no welcoming mat on which to wipe my paws, so that when my day-old pedicured toes hit the marble floor, I went into full Herky cheerleader jump pose and landed on my right buttock. The Chinese woman at the desk didn't even look up. I guess that had happened a dozen times that morning. Hmmm, would a little eye contact or a "are you okay?" be admitting liability, Chinese wench?

The place was weird. It was an American hotel chain, but all the decoration was Chinese with those huge vases and Buddha statues everywhere. And they all had price tags on them in case you felt compelled to buy one of those 4-foot tall suckers to take home to the kiddies as a souvenir. "My mommy went to Cleveland and all I got was this lousy vase."

Because it was hours before the official check-in time, she only had one room ready. I'll take it, I said through wet bangs.

Chinese wench: You not intellested in dat loom.
CM: I'm not? Why not?
Chinese wench: It on floor we save for yung people.
CM: *thinking about taking her down at this point*
Chinese wench: Dat floor is where we put noisy people.
CM: How do you know I'm not noisy? Let me have it. *sheesh*

I opened the door to the room and it was lovely. For a Chinese-run American hotel chain whose door I will never darken again in my natural life, but was willing to give it the ole college try this particular time.

After whoring-up for the second time before noon, I did some exploring of the city, grabbed some lunch and talked on the phone with Kas before he had to go to sound check. Yeah, that's how I roll, bro. 'Nuff said.

Fast-forward to later that evening, if you will. I was to meet up with T, M, and S from England who runs Kasim's website and I swear must have a GPS planted on him since she knows where he is more often than he does, for dinner. We were to meet at the mall which provides parking for the venue. Easy breezy, huh? So, I'm waiting for the girls at the bottom of an escalator that takes you up into said mall, but still in the parking garage, right? I turn around and see a girl I'd met the night before at the solo show and she's white as a sheet and shaking uncontrollably. She was on her way to meet up with some Meat Loaf fans for a pre-concert dinner at a different restaurant in the mall and had been mugged only moments before she saw me.

Great P.R., Cleveland.

Anyway we helped her get her wits about herself, patted her on the behind (no, not really, I just like saying that) and sent her on her sad and pathetic way. At least the scumbag didn't steal her front-row-center ticket! Priorities, man!

After dinner we boarded a shuttle bus down to a really cool venue on the river. The Cuya-something River. The sun had come out and it was lovely. The show was amazing. (I know, you're thinking I must be kidding, right?) But really, it was wayyyy better than the show I'd seen in Philly in the spring. It went on for 2 hours and Kasim did well and looked oh-so-hot. What? Like he could look any other way? Thanks, T, again for letting me steal a photo from your camera.
But before too long, the show was over and dammit all, Cleveland rolled up the sidewalks and there was no place to go hang, get a beverage and trade our reviews.

What's up with that, Cleveland? Seriously, the city was dead and it was only 11:00. Oh well. I'd snarfed down enough $7 beers to lull me to sleep.

And sleep, I did. It's nice when the air conditioning is working and it's not raining in through the window. At least this hotel got points for that. And it wasn't noisy at all. Well, except for the sound of dead bodies being thrown down the elevator shaft or cows in pain.

The next day, Friday, I whored-up and met T for lunch and a day of Rock & Roll memorabilia at the Hall Of Fame. It was fantastic! If you're in Cleveland, check it out. But give yourself a bunch of time to do so. We almost ran out of time to see the special exhibit they've got (through this month or maybe next) about The Doors. I can't say I have ever been a fan, but the whole Jim Morrison legend does enthrall me. There's some really cool letters between Jim's father and the US Ambassador to France where he died. Lots of controversy there.

Oh that just reminded me - my friend Merv was a Jim Morrison fan and being the nutball that she is, she used to tell people he had not died and that he was living in her parents' guesthouse. Dunno why. But that's how she rolls, bro.

After the HOF, we grabbed a bite of dinner and parted ways since I was tired and wanted to just relax at my hotel and pack up to go home the next day.

After talking to a friend, M, on the phone for a bit, I was feeling like I wanted to visit the hotel bar for a nightcap. So, I put on some shoes and went downstairs to the hotel bar, which happened to be inside the, dare I say it?, Chinese restaurant. Um, k.

To the naked eye, the place looked like it should have dogs hanging up like meat, but the place totally rocked!

Apparently, all of the other guests at the hotel were Yankee fans who had just seen their boys win against the Indians. It must've been "towel" night at the ballpark, because they all had Cleveland Indians towels on their heads, in a mocking manner, and were quickly emptying the bar of their inventory.

I grabbed a bar stool and enjoyed a couple of Three Olives Cherry vodka with diet coke (my new drink) and became the token southern belle of the ball amongst a sea of New York accents. I was a hit, kind of like Blanche from The Golden Girls at a bar. Good times. And yes, that was a tip-of-the-hat to LindyStars and her Golden Girls references.

At 11:00 the bar closed. Seriously, Cleveland - what's with 11:00 being the witching hour?

We adjourned to one of the Yankee's rooms to play a little Texas Hold 'Em when my cellphone rang.

My mother had become very ill and was being taken to the hospital. In Dallas. Grrrreat. So much for playing poker with cute boys.

I spent the whole night on the phone, stressing and trying to get an earlier flight out of town to no avail. (Remember, it was after friggin' 11:00.) So I stuck with my original flight plan.

I made my way to the airport in the morning, dropped the hearse off at the rental place where they totally didn't believe I'd put any gas in the car (and they were right) and they charged me $30 for that lie.

Though I had a total blasty-blast and the people of Cleveland DO rock, I couldn't get home fast enough. Luckily, my mother made a turn for the better on Sunday and they released her from the hospital. Once I got her and her caretaker settled-in at the house, I went home and took a nap. A four-hour well-deserved nap.

And that, chitlins, was my trip to Cleveland. The End.

Tomorrow night - I'm collecting on my birthday prezzie from BTJ - tickets to see Patty Smyth and Scandal at the House of Blues. I need to find my shoulder pads and hairspray so I can hold my bangs in an unnatural upward fashion for my trip back to the 80's! FYI, the bass player in the back of this photo from 2005? Yeah, Kasim. Just sayin.

Have a great day, y'all. C U L 8 R.


tdawg said...

So CruiserMel, when did you say you are coming back to Cleveland for more?

Or maybe I will have to go to Texas next time?

That heat Thursday had my hair looking like Rosanne Rosannadanna's by the time the evening was over. How come we were sitting in A/C on Wednesday, but were still sweating profusely? Oh yeah, hot guy(s) on stage.

Have fun at the Scandal show tomorrow even though you know who won't be playing bass this time, did you really get to see him before with Scandal..I didn't know!

Bummer that even on a Friday night last week, everything seemed to be closed at 11PM (or 5 PM or 7PM like the place where we met up) there. Guess we were just hangin' out in the wrong neighborhood?

We will anxiously await you report after tomorrow night's show!


Sassy Blondie said...

Wow, Cruiser! Hope your mom is still on the mend?

When I moved to NYC, people would turn and stare at me when I started talking...and by people I mean men. Talk about feeling like the belle of the ball! LOL Good for you, sister!

BTW-One of them wasn't going by the name of Sal Tucci, was he? I enjoyed a short but fun romance with one such Yankee fan who took me to every game of the Subway Series between the Mets and the Yanks. He loved my accent too...

Swishy said...

Oh, my goodness! CRAZINESS! Glad your mom is doing better.

Anonymous said...

I am so mad at my town. If you are brave enough to give Cleveland another chance, I'll send you an agenda with places to play and stay. You were in our stupid chinatown, a place where those born and bred didn't know existed when i mentioned it last week. I'll make sure you see more Midwestern manners next time.

Just Sayin' said...

Hey Mel... Do you think you could wrangle me an invite to Merv's guest house so I could meet Mr. Mojorisin'

I'm just askin'...

ThatGirl7278 said...

You put me to shame. You are truly a rock fan!

Stephanie Regan said...


You got to talk to Kasim on the phone and have dinner with him? I'm jealous! You're so lucky. How can I get his phone number? ;)


P.S. My new Kasim blogspot www.fortheloveofkasim.blogspot.com

Can I link your site to mine since it has a lot of Kasim stuff?

CruiserMel said...

T-dawg - I'm still sad it's all overwith for now. This week I've been saying "this time, last week" alot. Waahhhhhh.

Sassy B - Aren't accents funny? It's true, people are suckers for 'em. Hey, works for me. And no, none were named Sal. That would've been pretty weird.

Swishy - Craziness is my middle name some times. And yep, Mom's doing alot better.

Anon/Steph - I have no doubt Cleveland is a great place. Hey, I spent my first year of life near there and have always felt a pull to that area. Dated a boy in Canton some years back, even. My hotel choices were mine and mine only...and besides, look at all the blog fodder I got to use!

JS - Jeepers, I never have asked what happened when her parents sold that house. Did they take Jim with them? Hmmm.

Thatgirl - ...but I'm very picky, too. :)

Stephanieregan - Welcome to my little blog. In answer to your question, since this blog is about much more than Kasim, I'd prefer you not directly link to me. I mean, anyone reading your blog would get bored reading about my dog, my job, Romanians, etc. But please, you can drop by here anytime you want. All are welcome. I hope I don't sound rude. Okay?

Stephanie Regan said...


You weren't sounding rude. It's ok. I won't link you to my site. I enjoy reading what you have to say about Kasim.

Ok! I'll continue to drop by and please feel free to visit my Kasim blog anytime.


puerileuwaite said...

I think the vases are for the ashes of people who die in the rooms. Just so you know for next time.

I'm like you, not being one to "name drop". So let me simply say that P.S. of Scandal and I had a brief, torrid fling. My little "Warrior" was THE inspiration for the song. True story. But I didn't want the transient "Rock Star" lifestyle, so I broke it off. On the rebound, she hooked up with J.M., who - so I'm told - was a tennis player.

Ask Kasim if he'll play bass in MY new band. We do tributes to 80's tribute bands. I already have a bass player, but he doesn't dress as nice as Kasim. I've already had my little "can't you do better than Men's Wearhouse" talk with him, but it's obvious he's addicted to their "free pressing at any store" policy. So please put the word in, as I've already landed a Shriner's gig* (* a "gig" is a performance, BTW ... Kasim will know ...).

CruiserMel said...

Pugman - Yup, I hear JM plays a little tennis. And he's supposedly pretty good at it. You surely broke her heart. No wonder her lyrics are so profound. Poor poor Patty. She could've had the Pugman and had to settle for Racketboy. It sounds like there's a Lifetime movie there.

As for your tribute to tribute bands...I'll see what I can do. Shriner's gigs are few and far between. Who wouldn't kill for that opportunity? And for the chance to dress in zebra spandex? He'd jump at that.