I came across my high school year book while doing my spring cleaning. It’s one of the things that I decided not to get rid of and, in fact, I got side-tracked skimming through it, reading what people wrote and looking at pictures. Hilarious pictures. Riotous pictures. Keep in mind, this was nearly 17 years ago. The great thing is that I am still very good friends with most of the people that I was friends with back then. And because I fear you won’t believe just how funny some of the pictures are, I’ve arranged for you to see a Then and Now of the Cleveland crew. Keep in mind that I photographed these from my yearbook and some of the pictures are fuzzy. And to be fair, I’ll start with myself.
See the rest of the crew
As a present, I have arranged for the Yankees to get to the playoffs this year! Happy birthday, buddy!
It was approximately 16 years ago today that I first met Dan and Shannon and Rich and Tricia, when I moved into the D1-East hall of the Aberdeen-Inverness dorm at U. C. Riverside. If I was a newborn on the day that we all met, I would be about to get my drivers license today!
In a similar note, it was approximately 19 years ago today that I first met strausmouse and Andy at Former President Grover Cleveland Humanities “School Without Walls” Magnet High School. (I think I met Norm and Lisa a little later, and I first met AJ more than a year later). Who would have thought that 19 years later, both Eric and I would be living on the East coast, and that Norm would be living in Nanuet, right around the corner from where my Grandparents lived for 30 years?
I had a very nice afternoon and evening with Andy and Mandy today. They picked me up at the hotel at about 1 PM and we headed to Westwood for lunch at In’n’Out which I have been craving since my last In’n’Out meal back at the beginning of March. We then headed back into the Valley.
I went to the Iliad Bookshop for the first time since moving away from Southern California–and was surprised to find that it had moved to a location. Actually, I should say I was relieved. I picked up 5 books while I was there so it was worthwhile.
Andy and I then sat around watching the Lakers get killed–something that filled me unshameful glee. Afterward, we headed back to the west side for dinner. We made a small detour however. Ever since I discovered that Harlan Ellison lived four houses up the street from Eric’s parents (how many time did I drive past Ellison Wonderland in high school and never know it!) we had to drive by so I could see for myself. Sure enough, there it was, gargoyles, signs and all. It is really quite a magnificent house and I grabbed a couple of low res pictures (on my cell phone) to prove to myself that I was there. An Eric was right–it was just a few houses up from his parent’s. (No, I’m not going to post the address–I think Harlan deserves his privacy.)
We headed to the Grove and met Lisa and her friend Michelle, and Joel was there as well. We ate at Wood Ranch and, naturally, I had the tri-tip. Joel was kind enough to bring me back to the hotel, and now I’m finishing up my packing and heading off to bed. My flight is at 8:45 AM in the morning.
I was up early this morning because I went to bed early last night. I didn’t have a big breakfast because I knew we’d be meeting up for lunch later on today. So I walked toward the Santa Monica pier and got a donut on the way there. I sat at the end of the pier for about an hour listening to my “Autobiography” playlist on my iPod.
Lisa picked me up at the hotel at noon and we headed over to the Rose Cafe in Venice where we met Andy and Mandy for lunch.
After lunch, we headed over to the Santa Monica pier to check out the Ashes & Snow exhibit at the Nomadic Museum. This was Andy’s suggestion, which surprised me for some reason. It was an interesting exhibit. The films were somewhat hypnotic. But the thing is: I just didn’t get it. I understood it a little bit better afterward when one of the staff explained to us what the longer-term plans were.
Lisa headed home to nap afterward and I went back to Andy and Mandy’s place to meet their new dog Rudy, who is a very cute dog. We went for a late dinner at El Torito Grill, which was very good. I had a couple of Cadillac margaritas there, bringing my grand total to four. I like them.
Andy brought me back to the hotel close to 11 PM.
My flight back home is at 8:40 tomorrow morning.
Well, I’m just back from Andy and Lisa’s kickball game. They lost, but it was a close game and it came down to a run scored in the bottom of the 5th inning that brough in the winning run for the home team. It was a well-played game on both sides. Lisa had a good play at 3rd, as well as a base hit. Andy played 1st base (I kept calling him “Giambi”). It was fun. Lisa hung around to play a second game, but Andy and I left after the first game and went to The Shack in Santa Monica for some late afternoon snacks. Joel met us there (he played in the kickball game as well).
The game was video-taped and there were player interviews that are going to be used as a promotional podcast in support of kickball to get more people to join up and play. So there was an (amature) camera crew at the game with three video cameras stationed around the field taping the game.
It was beautiful out too, clear skies, a nice breeze and warm (relative to the east coast anyway).
Mom and Dad should be here soon. Dinner tonight at Ocean Avenue Seafood.