July 15th, 2008

krazy koati

The cost of one admission is your mind

[ Sure hope the emergency maintenance was worth it. Probably it was. Why would they joke about something like that? ]

So, Cleveland. I didn't have much of a mental model for Cleveland. Most of what was there was remembering they used to have an embarrassing problem with the water catching on fire, and that it the setting of The Drew Carey Show which I never watched, and of course S Andrew Swann's novel Forests Of The Night in which a genetically modified tiger tromps around a noirish Cleveland trying to solve a mystery that evaporates instantly for this reader when a certain research project is introduced. (I liked the book, although not enough to read the sequels involving uplifted bunnies or whatnot.) Oh, and last year the baseball postseason insisted on using ``Cleveland Rocks'' for every commercial intro and outro, even though the Indians finished fourteen games out of first place and were relegated to ``a kind of fish''. That's not a fair way to assess an entire city, but that's what I had.

But the initial impressions were good ones. The weather was good, which always helps, and the traffic was extremely light. This may reflect that we were coming in as a long weekend approached, and our hotel was somewhere downtown where it could be supposed not many people live. Still, what we saw was a pleasant-looking city with little traffic, and a stadium of some sort just as we were trying to get the navigational device to tell us where the hotel was, and no major bodies of water were on fire.

The hotel, of course, claimed to have Internet access in the rooms and the lobby, but what they mean by that is you can pay extra and get access, or you can use the terminal by the concierge. While I was wandering about exploring the lobby and trying to find such things as where breakfast would be, a pair of people walking in looked at me and asked if I was going to the square dance. I looked as confused as you might imagine I looked, and they repeated the question, then admitted that I probably didn't have any particular square-dance knowledge. I didn't provoke this: it just happened.

Trivia: Alfred Nobel was prescribed nitroglycerin treatment for the chest pains due to his heart disease. He refused to take it. Source: Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules that Changed History, Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson.

Currently Reading: The House That Roone Built: The Inside Story of ABC News, Marc Gunther.