The one with the Cleveland Creep

June 13, 2011

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Finally I’m getting around to posting this. Way back on June 4th I had the privilege of being part of a Books for Bloggers event. It was held at Visible Voice Books in Tremont and allowed an intimate conversation between Cleveland bloggers and Cleveland mystery writer, Les Roberts.

When I received the email invitation I was excited. It allowed for me to bring a guest and I chose my lovely Wifebot, who of course could have attended as a local blogger herself.

A little bit of honesty time. When I first move to Cleveland way back in 2002 someone suggested I read one of the books in Les Robert’s Cleveland series. It went something like this:

Person: Hey yo you’re into writing and new to Cleveland. There is like this author who writes mysteries set in Cleveland.*

(*Nowhere near how it happened.)

I looked up the name and picked the first book in the series—Pepper Pike. I read it pretty fast and really liked it. I decided right than that I was going to get to know Milan Jacovich real well, but you know things come up. I hadn’t read another in the series since. I sort of forgot all about it until I received the email.

The event was to promote his new book, The Cleveland Creep and was sponsored by Roberts’ publisher Gray & Company.

Les met with us in Visible Voice Books’ quaint upstairs meeting room. I was happy to see the room because I’ve been considering it for a reading of one my plays.

(More on that later bitches!)

It was intimate and the author easily fell into a back and forth conversation. It wasn’t long before he was weaving story after story for us, and it felt like we were all old friends. He (obviously) can really tell a story. It was interesting to hear about how Cleveland grew on him and you could tell the love he had for the city.

The meet and greet was very lighthearted and filled with humor. He answered questions and signed the books.

(Free bitches!)

I was happy to meet @ADHicken who I’d enjoyed on the twitter.

(Wait that didn’t come out right.)
(T.W.S.S)
(Not her but you know the royal her–nevermind!)

And her blog Clue Into Cleveland is always a fun read. It was cool to meet her hubby @ScottHicken and @timzaun (who you’ll see more from down below.)

(That’s what she said!)
(Sorry.)

Roberts’ has lived in both Chicago and L.A. but fell in love with Cleveland and couldn’t leave. He’s lived here 21 years and tells how the city has influenced him and his writing. When asked about what needs to be done for the future growth of the city his first reaction was said with humor and care:

“Oh Boy”

After a chuckle he dove into what he felt needed to be done. I snagged this from TimZaun.com because it was a little more thorough than my notes. His site is a very good read. He snapped the picture above too (Hooray for lazy jimi!)

• We need to stop the brain drain of Cleveland’s upcoming talent-young residents or transplants, choosing to be educated here; and then leaving town for larger, more progressive cities.
• Government needs to make it easier for businesses to locate here with tax incentives, etc.
• Officials who embody the “What’s in it for me?” mentality need to be replaced with individuals committed to helping Cleveland thrive.
• We need more writers to promote Cleveland’s assets.

The Cleveland Creep is Roberts’ 25th book and more importantly 15th featuring Cleveland private eye Milan Jacovich. I will have a longer review up soon but I will say that it is an excellent read. Once you talk to him it is hard to hear his voice as you read. It was near me and I opened it up just to read the first few pages and was instantly hooked. The story is a fast and smooth read. The book is filled with some wonderful prose. Jacovich’s humor and love for Cleveland mirrors that of Roberts. There is a tinge of sadness to the pages as the Cleveland private eye deals with age and loss. This only adds to the gritty realism and edge the series has.

Les Roberts will return in 2012 with Whiskey Island. The story will revolve around a Cleveland city councilman—who is corrupt—sound familiar?

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the one where we cram it all in

July 20, 2010

Thats what she said!

There are a lot of bloggers out there that post a weekly recap of their weekend. It usually involves going to a lot of cool places with their friends. I am not one of them. Mostly because you know I like to make shit up.

That and I don’t really go out partying it up on the town. We do a lot of stuff. We like to celebrate the things to do in Cleveland and there are a ton of things. There are slow days for us and then there are times where we go to a play, dinner, a concert and a movie in one day. If need be we just cram it all in.

That’s what she said.

This weekend was one of those times. Friday there was what the kids are calling these days a “tweetup”. It was called the east-side tweetup and was held at the Willoughby Brewing Company. We were invited and you know went and stuff.

Oh was that not good enough? See I’m bad at this. The Three Shillelaghs headed over to Willoughby Brewing Company. Hilarity sort of ensued. I was still sort of limping. The pain in my heel had mostly subsided by then. We parked and then started walking toward the restaurant. We didn’t even get across the street when the wifey’s (kat clearly) flip flop broke. The back part just fell right off. Just as she walked it fell off and as she marveled about it and tried to walk on the rest of the shoe died. We walked on discovered it was further than we thought went back and got the car. Drove to it found there was absolutely nowhere to park and ended up parking right by where we originally did. She had to basically walk with the shoe in her hand the whole way and then fake like it was on to get inside.

The night was cool and met some new peeps which always a good thing. I wasn’t that impressed with the menu (though did not have anything) and the apps were expensive. The jack and ginger was tall and that good. The waitress was pretty awesome even if she got sort of busy and there were a few times I sat there like this:

‘more jack daniels please”

But you know more desperate sounding. All in all a good time was had. After we left we stopped and got us some Chick-fil-A. Yum.

Saturday was such a full day that the wifey made an itinerary. I never actually saw it but I’ve heard it did exsist. The Three Shillelaghs packed the car and headed on down to Akron for the:
National Hamburger Festival

Yay.
It was so hot.
(how hot was it)

It was so hot that on the way there a minivan caught on fire. Okay so that probably isn’t true. A minivan was on fire on the opposite way as we drove to Akron though. It was hot as all get out while at the festival that consisted of a bunch of places to get hamburgers for a 2 block radius. I was sort of disappointed by it. I mean it was cool and all but it lacked stuff. The only merch were shirts and Jughead comic books. A vast majority of the events seemed to be taking place at night and we’d have to be gone way before then to keep our schedule. I was going to attempt to be in the bobbing for burgers contest but oh well.

There was this:

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That’s right there was a Barney Fife look alike walking around the festival. How awesome is that? Also as we approached he yelled out:

“I’m Barney Fife bitches! What mofo wanna take a picture with me?”

Ok not really but I almost asked him if he would. Later he threatened to arrest us if we tried to sneak back in. The burgers were tasty and the one we got was from Steel Trolley Diner. Their banner said get your burger branded. I ordered the Marley Burger: A ½ pound burger topped with Jamaican jerk sauce and Orange chipotle mayo. It was tasty and they indeed did “brand” your burger. Unfortunate (or hilarious) they have std as their initials.

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Yes my burger said STD on it and I still ate it.

We left there and went home to nap for a little bit. Then we hit up the Cleveland Cinematheque for Animal Crackers. After some Marx Brothers brilliance we ate some Aladdin’s and then hit up Parnell’s Pub for some x-mas in July. It was for Thirsty Dog’s 12 dogs of Christmas Ale. Tasty! Then I had one tall Jack and Ginger. From there we headed over to the Capitol Theatre to see the late shift showing of Memento. It had been a while since I’d seen it and I really looked forward to it. On the way there the wife tried to destroy the happiness that is the Marx Bros. by saying they were probably very unhappy. This discussion went up until the movie started and included several other people getting involved. Then I won tickets to see the late shift showing of Pulp Fiction.

Sunday was a more relaxed. The wifey headed over to her mom’s house to do laundry and thesis work. I stayed home wrote some and watched soccer for a bit. Then I watched George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead. It was decent. I was preparing for Monday’s viewing of Survival of the Dead. Later that night we went to a new Indian Restaurant called Indian Flame. It was delish. A review with pictures will be written soon as we go a second time.

Monday we went to breakfast and then picked up Lindsay. We headed over to the zoo to enjoy free day. It was pretty sweet even if it was packed and my heel was hurting again.
The wife and I on the Australian adventure train:

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It was fun but got weird when the driver said:
‘Oh my mate lookit the kangaroo ova there. Ain’t she a beaut? Why I’d like to stick me little dingaroo in her pouch. Boomerang bitches”

All that but you know with an Australian accent or you know probably not at all.

We encountered a lady wearing leggings that looked like jeans as jeans. It was not pretty and I wasn’t fast enough to snap a picture. Later on the wife and Lindsay marveled at the Rhino’s dong.
After that we went home for some resting and lunch. I almost set the apartment on fire. I forgot the package my Sammy was in had metal like shit inside and yeah it started to burn in the microwave. After a nap that did nothing for us we headed out to see Survival of the Dead which was pretty good.

Damn I’m tired.

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