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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hot in Cleveland


Every morning in Africa a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

Don't worry, I'm not in Africa. I just love that quote. Although, I do have a few friends Ally and Marisol who are. These ladies are doing the Peace Corps and are very brave.  Check out their blogs!

But, yes. I have done it. I've moved to Cleveland, OH and started my job with City Year.

I was offered a different position which started a month sooner than I had planned on. This meant I had ten days to buy a plane ticket, pack up my life, say my goodbyes and move to Ohio. But since I was unemployed, this couldn’t have come at a better time.

I am very aware that I am not very good at the goodbye part of leaving and there are quite a few people that I did not get to say goodbye to (and I am sorry about that). But at this point in my life, nothing ever really feels permanent. I don't feel the need to end things, because nothing is ending. It's just another thing I am off to do, but KC is my home. I'll always be, back... sooner or later.

I rode the Cleveland public transportation all by myself. Anyone who has ever traveled with me knows how moronic I get having to navigate and such on my own. I am perfectly OK with people or my GPS (Veronica) telling me when and where to go. Simply, I just don't do well with times, directions, or explanations. At least not in English.

So my first day on the bus I learned that there is more than one 6th and Superior, an east and west, who knew? Not me, apparently. I got off on the wrong one and walked around for a bit. An old man tried to help me, but once he said "patriotic" and mentioned flags I was lost. The doorman at the Hyatt was no help either, just kind of looked at me. But don't worry, Google.maps saved my life. Because of all the time I had scheduled to get lost (trust me, it was an inevitable factor), I was 30 minutes early. So, by my standards it wasn't all that bad.

As a new senior corps member (my new position), I still have no idea what I'm doing, yet no one seems too concerned about that. I figure if they're not worried, I'm not going to worry about it either. They just keep saying "you'll learn that in Boston".  So let's hope my week-long training in Boston does just that.

I have also met one of my housemates (although I won't be moving in to my new apartment until late July). He is a very chill and funny guy who seems to know a lot about the city, understands my sarcasm and shares my love for David Robinson. He has picked an excellent location for our apartment AND introduced me to his friends that he's had since the age of 5. I know he probably didn't think that was a big deal, but the only friends I have from when I was 5 are my siblings. I have been to so many schools I have no idea what it would be like to have friends for that long. They all seemed so close and were very nice.

It was pretty awesome and I was only a little awkward, which was [only half] my fault. We met his friends at the Greenville Inn Bar in Chagrin, OH. Which it definitely sounded like a party from the outside, but on the inside it was…well, it was old.  Not the building or anything, but the people.

If any of you have ever seen the show 'Hot in Cleveland', please watch the pilot episode, you'll know what I'm talking about (it has Betty White and is funny), but I'm almost positive this place inspired the show. I couldn't find the link for the pilot, but in honor of the Cavaliers I found the LeBron is Le Gone. Like the show, in this particular bar whenever a woman (not needing to be so attractive) would walk in all eyes would flock to her and if she appeared to be single, she stood out. I myself began to see them as slightly more attractive then they actually were, but realized it was only by comparison. I know this sounds bad, but you know the place I'm talking about, women were not dressed for their age nor their body types. I think all women are beautiful, but you have to dress to your body! I've seen size 4 women look way less attractive than a size 16, simply because they were not dressing for their bodies. Realistically, this was just one of those bars that if you had just broken up with your boyfriend (or had just gotten a divorce) and you wanted obscene amounts of attention and free drinks, this is where you would come (as long as you didn't mind a slightly more 'mature' man).

Let me clear this up, I am by no means saying that older people can't go out and have a good time, in fact I'm all for it. Go out, blow some steam, it just caught me off guard and was something I was not used to being a part of.  Because I'm not talking a 30-old (because that is not old), but rather a 50 plus-old.

There was a live band which was neat and they played good music, but they were definitely targeting a specific audience. I was assured that this was not a typical place for my housemate and his friends to find themselves in, a fluke in communication if you will, but frankly I found the whole situation hilarious.

That night I was actively participating in my favorite sport (or at least what should be considered a sport): people watching. My favorite of the night? Oh there were so many, but I will go with the 55 year old man wearing an orange sherbet button-down tucked into his tight, black, boot leg jeans. He had the moves and hips of a 25 year old. You would have had to have been there to appreciate his side-shuffle-turns, because I certainly did.

Huddled to one spot by the bar, my housemate, his friends and I sat around talking as they were saying goodbye to a friend who was moving to Wisconsin. The loudness of the band made it slightly difficult  to talk to people, therefore, I admit it was [a little] awkward having me sit there some of the time. But his friends were so nice and they tried their best to include me in conversations (even if I didn't know what was going on exactly). My housemate was excellent at filling me in on the circle's drama and I even got to see some of it unfold (slightly). Boy loves girl, girl loves boy, boy and girl break up, boy and girl getting over a slight stage of hating each other. You know, typical stuff.

Overall, I had an awesome time and the thing I love most about new cities is meeting people. Well, that and people watching, but mostly meeting people.

I promise, once my life is a little more settled and I can wrap my mind around the fact that I live in Ohio I will update on my soon-to-be new health, nutrition and fitness routines (and uniform. Also referred to as the maniform).