Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day in the Life

Today started out like any other weekend day. The air was cooler than I had expected which was a pleasant surprise. I took Akemi out for a walk at 07:30 and noticed a budding flower in the yard. I wish I knew what kind of flower this is.

Flower in the yard at 07:30

The diseased looking furball was excited to be going out on a walk. As any dog, she loves the sights, sounds, smells, and most of all, trotting by fenced in dogs teasing them to bark at her, which they always do.

Akemi's hindquarter

The "disease" is just a shiba blowing her winter coat; evidenced by this tuft, one of 100s since she started a few weeks ago. If I saved them all, I am positive I could have made a nifty looking sweater.

Tuft of fur

We sniffed some beautiful purple flowers that looked like blooming fireworks at Akemi's park, a triangular tract of grass between three streets that she adores.

On the way back, I noticed that an art gallery closed. It was open just a few days ago!

Closed art gallery on Professor

After putting Akemi back into her cage, I noticed that my keyboard wasn't working. The num lock-caps lock-scroll lock buttons were serially flashing like Christmas tree lights on crack. Ugh! How I detest shopping for stuff like this. This keyboard has served me loyally for nearly 5 years.

Old keyboard - click on the picture at your own risk!

Bug hated my old keyboard since he's a manly stares-at-the-keyboard-and-gets-killed (in game) hunt-n-stab typist who needs all of the letters to be visible on the keyboard. I can't believe how dusty and furry the keyboard is! Yuck! That's typing in the dark for you...having a shedding cat and dog, and eating chips at the desk doesn't help matters either.

I let the hound loose at 08:30. The she-beast ran onto the bed, peeled off on Bug's head, and raced back into her cage awaiting the wrath of the sleeping giant. The giant roared and was now awake, ready to start off the day. I love Akemi. :)

We drove across town to MicroCenter to find a replacement keyboard. I really wanted the better Microsoft Natural keyboard because I like the ergonomic split and raised keyboards more, but opted for a lesser MS keyboard that cost half as much ($14.95). While it would have been nice to have the raised and split keyboard, I didn't need all of the other bells and whistles that came with it.

Ooo, new keyboard. !@#@$ with a strand of dog fur on it already!

Next, we headed for the 18th Annual Great American Rib Cook-Off & Music Festival aka the Ribfest. Free admission was advertised from 12:00 - 15:00. I wouldn't have gone if we had to pay to get in.

As we drove down the hill into the Tower City parking lot, we saw the sign - $10 Special Event. Bleah. It was more than we expected. I was tempted to tell Bug to turn around, but decided against it. It could be our last chance to go to the Ribfest in Cleveland.

Tower City mall level

Since we were early, we decided to share something small to eat. We knew the Ribfest was going to be a $$fest. We meandered over to the food court within Tower City. It's Greek to You was closed. Ugh! So we went to Cajun Grill, which is a Chinese food stall. Duh!

I fell in love with their bourbon chicken almost 15 years ago (time flies!). Something about that sweet shoyu-based sauce and grilled chicken is heavenly! Really, what is not to like about juicy, grilled meat? I don't know if bourbon is actually used. The bourbon chicken platter with white rice and noodles cost $5.00.

Lovely bourbon chicken

With more time to kill after we finished our platter, we checked out the Tower City Cinema listing -- $6.50/person plus free parking for 4 hours! Wee! A win-win situation all around. Our stay at the Ribfest was planned around our targeted showtime.

We were planning on going to see Terminator Salvation in Westlake some time this weekend. The prospect of paying $8.50 for a matinee showing wasn't very attractive, but it was a lot better than paying $10.00/person for showings after 18:00.

Since we didn't want to seem too eager to take advantage of the free admission like the 200 others who were crowded around the Time Warner amphitheater entrance below us as we walked down the stairwell, we got there at 12:10 and walked right in without a wait.

We were immediately approached by the energetic Viva folks giving out free napkins in boxes. These napkins were really plush and rib-cook off mess absorbent.

Ribfest montage - clickie on the pic to see a larger image

One of the radio stations was giving away free "ice cold" cherry Dr. Pepper, so Bug scurried into their tent, nodded at the guy, quickly grabbed two cans, and scooted off. Someone shouted, "It's warm, not ice cold!"

Stall to stall, it was a tough choice deciding which menu item to try. We sure as hell were not going to try each one. On average, a half slab of ribs cost around 11-16 tickets and a full slab was around 22 tickets. Each ticket cost $1.25 each.

I was excited to try the fried mushrooms from the Jack [Daniels] group. A half order cost 5 tickets. Bug wanted to try their ribs and the Carolina ones. Because it was rather warm, the Waffleman truck was also rather enticing.


For the person who is not a ribs fan but was dragged to this event by a significant other, there were other options as well.

Not a ribs stand! Tower City megastructure in the background.

While we were walking back to the ticket booth, we opined on the steep prices. So we continued walking past the ticket booth, past the radio station with the free "warm" (amended by announcer) cherry Dr. Pepper being given away in 3 oz plastic cups, past the family of six sharing their cup of Dr. Pepper, past the Viva towel guys, past the turnstyle, past the parking lot, back into air-conditioned Tower City.

Terminator Salvation was an engaging movie that was paced well. The opening scene was action-packed. Sam Worthington (played Marcus Wright) somewhat overshadowed Christian Bale (John Connor). I do not understand all the negative reviews. The movie was fairly well written and had great nods to the previous movies. I would love to get it on BluRay if it is decently priced, has a commentary by someone cool, and packed with extras...and by extras, I do not mean 10 versions of theatrical trailers.

Those Viva napkins came in handy because we forgot to grab napkins at the concession stand to wipe our grubby fingers of the butteriest popcorn I've ever had. 5 fingers up on doing a great job.

When we got into the car, the clock read 15:40. We had been at Tower City for 4 hours and 10 minutes. Oh-oh. Fortunately, we were let through without having to pay for the extra 10 minutes. Yay!

On the drive home, the stack caught my eye. I love red brick and industrial buildings.

WB & Co stack in the Flats

The bridges look a lot cooler in person. Some of the bridges lift up horizontally to let seafaring ships through, while other bridges pivot at one end, and others draw up from the middle on both ends.

Bridges down in the Flats

We made a pit stop to feed the rugrats and then headed out to a bookstore. Bug has been meaning to get Neil Zurcher's One Tank Trips, while I've been meaning to get the updated copy of Cleveland Ethnic Eats by Laura Taxel. We spent 45 minutes in the bookstore leafing through stuff and then headed home.

Akemi was itching for a walk. What's new?

Akemi awaits

Down the street, someone was stripping the paint off their house, piquing her interest. The loud scraping and crunching intrigued her for several minutes. Holding her interest for more than a minute is pretty much unheard of. She wasn't dying to run across the street to check this out, but she wasn't running away either.

Staring at the neighbors making strange loud noises

As usual, we ran into people who thought she was a chihuahua. It's as if she understands what they are insinuating because she ignores people who accuse her of being something she is not. She is a people lover attention queen extraordinaire - I am certain she gets a bad vibe from them.

Waiting on the porch for the door to get unlocked

The budding flower bloomed.

Flower at 16:30

[Bug woke up and informed me this flower is an iris.]

- Cassaendra

Cajun & Grill
Tower City Food Court
Cleveland, OH 44113

0 deep thoughts:

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP