Category Archives: Cleveland

This is the Browns’ Year

They said we couldn’t do it, but we proved the haters wrong. The Browns are, against all odds, 2 and 0 at losing their starting quarterback.

RG3 masterfully lived up to expectations and went down in game one. Nobody was sure if McCown was up for the challenge, and he fought hard to the last minute to prove that he, too, could go out.

Now, it’s Cody Kessler’s turn. We’re counting on you, Cody!

Go Browns!

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What About the Browns?

The Browns snapped a seven game losing streak, yay! Johnny Manziel didn’t play terribly*, yay! Brian Hartline is injured for the rest of the season, boo!

(*I have stopped watching the Browns, so it could have been all dumb fucking luck for all I know.)

The narrative now, at least what I’ve seen on social media, is that Johnny is going to make an argument (on the field) for why we shouldn’t draft yet another quarterback.

There are a few games left in this dumpster fire of a season.

My prediction?

Johnny does reasonably well. The Browns don’t draft another QB. Another dumpster fire season, with Manziel playing a big role. We have 3 different starting QBs next season. Jimmy Haslam sells the team or floats selling it.

Now I am not saying we need to use our very high draft pick on a QB. When has that worked out for us? All that I’m saying is Manziel likely doesn’t have it, and next year’s season will be as bad or perhaps slightly better than this one.

I probably won’t watch.

Molly Shannon & Free Range Parenting

This evening I saw this Atlas Obscura item posted on This.cm about people mailing themselves places. I don’t know why, but it got me thinking about fellow St. Dominic’s School graduate Molly Shannon.

I had thought she had snuck herself onto a plane via luggage, which is generally similar to mailing yourself.

And NPR did an interesting item on travel, which featured this Molly Shannon story.

Here’s an excerpt:

OK, parents, I would actually warn you not to let your kids hear this next story, except the thing that the children in this next story accomplish would be impossible for any kids to do today. Basically, they go to the airport, and they try to hop on a plane to go to another city. The comedian Molly Shannon told what happened to Marc Maron on his podcast, WTF, which is a great podcast. They did this in front of a live audience in November, 2011.

Molly Shannon

I hopped a plane when I was 12. We told my dad– me and my friend Anna were like, we’re gonna hop a plane to New York. And he was like– he dared us.

Marc Maron

How old were you?

Molly Shannon

We were like 12.

Marc Maron

Oh, good. That’s good.

Molly Shannon

We went to the airport, and we had ballet outfits on, and we put our hair in buns. And we wanted to look really innocent. And this was, again, when flying was really easy. You didn’t need your ticket to get through. And we told my dad, and we were just like– we saw there were two flights. We were either gonna go to San Francisco or New York, and we thought, oh, let’s go to New York. It’s leaving early.

So we went. We said to the stewardess, we just want to say good bye to my sister. Can we go on the plane? And she was like, sure. And then she let us on, and it was a really empty flight, because it was out of Cleveland, Ohio.

And we sat back there, and then all of a sudden, you just hear, like, vroom. The plane takes off, and we were like– And we had little ballet outfits, and buns. And I was like, hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women. And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

And then the stewardess that had given us permission to go say good bye to my sister came by to ask if we wanted snacks or beverages. And she was like, can I get you ladies something to eat? She looked like she was like, oh, mother [BLEEP].

So we wondered if we were going to get in trouble, but she ended up not telling anyone. And then when we landed in New York City, she was like, bye, ladies. Have a nice trip.

Marc Maron

I just, like, I’m– it’s such an exciting story, but the irresponsibility of all the adults in this story is somehow undermining my appreciation of it. You were 12-year-old girls in ballet outfits, and everybody was sort of like, have a good time! What world was that?

Molly Shannon

It was crazy! It was a crazy world.

Marc Maron

What did you do in New York?

Molly Shannon

Well, again, because I had a crazy childhood, we called my dad, and we were like, we did it! And he was like, oh God! Molly! Oh, jeez, well, try to– so, basically, he couldn’t–

Marc Maron

Try to what?

Molly Shannon

He didn’t know what to do. He said, try to see if you can stay– go find a hotel that you can stay in, and me and Mary– my sister– we’ll come meet you. We’ll drive there.

But basically, we didn’t have that much. We just had our ballet bags and a little bit of cash. So we went to a diner, and we dined and dashed, and we stole things. We were like little con artists.

Marc Maron

Wait, did you actually make it to the city?

Molly Shannon

We made it to the city. I was like, how do you get to Rockefeller Center? Because I had just seen TV specials.

Marc Maron

Nobody said, are you girls lost? Nothing like that?

Molly Shannon

No. Nothing. So we did try to go to hotels, and my dad would call and ask, could they just stay there until we get there? And none of the hotels wanted to be responsible. So he was like, all right. You’ve gotta come home. And he was like, but I’m not paying for it, so try to hop on one on the way back. So we tried to hop on many planes, but the flights were all so crowded. So we ended up having to have him pay for it, and he made us pay it all back with our babysitting money. The end.

Marc Maron

So that was the big punishment?

Molly Shannon

Yeah, that was– there was no punishment.

Marc Maron

Well, no, I know. I mean, clearly.

Molly Shannon

He loved that kind of stuff. Like I said, he was wild.

Marc Maron

I love the– the sort of strange, nostalgic excitement you have for– for this borderline child abuse.

Ira Glass

Molly Shannon, talking to Marc Maron on the WTF podcast, which I recommend, and which you can find on iTunes or through an internet search. We spoke with the other girl in that story, who has not talked to Molly Shannon in a while, didn’t know that she was telling that story publicly, who confirmed all the crazy details in the story. She says they held hands and prayed while the plane took off.

Growing up in Shaker, I also had parents who would let me do crazy-by-today’s-standards things. Like walking home from school, or biking all over Cleveland. (In first grade I biked about a mile to my new classmate Liam’s house, and his mom was surprised my mom let me.)

The Shannon story is just pure, unadulterated awesome. And while we think it wouldn’t happen nowadays, it has — though it has to be much less common.

I often wonder what the world will be like when my children are 12. And I worry.

That’s What Roosters Do…

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Apparently owning a rooster in Moreland Hills, Ohio that crows in the morning is not allowed.

h/t Mom for sending me the local police blotter from Cleveland.com.

I Tried to Warn You, Cleveland

UPDATE: Cleveland.com has posted an update: “This story and headline have been revised to clarify the possible train closure would take place late at night.” Of course, we’re still far away and won’t know for sure what will happen until it does. For those wanting to people watch and take the RTA in, you may be out of luck. Or, RTA might be told by Secret Service they have to make changes at the last minute and lots of people could be screwed.

Last year, when Cleveland was a finalist for the 2016 GOP convention, I wrote an item for the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggesting that if offered the convention, Cleveland should say no.

Of course, in true Cleveland fashion, I was labeled a heretic in the comment section for merely suggesting it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and that Cleveland wasn’t well-prepared for it.

The Editors at Cleveland.com suggested I jump into the comments, which is never a good idea. Yet, I did anyway.

Today, I read at Cleveland.com that the RTA might be shut down to the public, which is precisely something I posited might happen in the comments section to a reader.

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I hope Cleveland does well with the convention, as I love my home town. But this report is just the first of many to come, and my guess is Clevelanders won’t like the medicine.

Side note: At work, we have already received a prospectus on renting out a home in Shaker on Lee Road next to the RTA. What might have been a good selling point might not be so good if the trains don’t stop at Lee Road and go all the way to Green.

The Return of 10 Cent Beer Night

The fine folks at ClotureClub.com have shared a pretty good deal the Washington NHL team is putting on. $79 for unlimited beer/wine/food, and a t-shirt.

Not a bad deal if you like hockey. Now, Washington hockey fans are notorious for knowing little about the sport other than that we had a really good Russian guy donning number 8, but they’re not hockey hooligans like in good hockey towns (a dying breed, really.)

But, this town does like to drink. So who knows what could happen.

All I have to say is Cleveland has tried something similar before. It didn’t end well.

Details below:

 

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Hot Pockets, US International Tax Law, and Corporate Inversions

Here’s a recent appearance on One America News Network where I discuss the global economy, corporate inversions, and everyone’s favorite treat: Hot Pockets.

This Guy Isn’t Homeless, He’s Running for Governor

I came across this video of California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari living in Fresno, California on the streets for a week, trying to find work. I’ll admit I was skeptical that the 10-minute video would be compelling campaign advertising. I was wrong.

Kashkari has come from pretty much nowhere in the polls to be the Republican nominee in the California governor’s race. Just like he sort of came from nowhere to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Bush and Obama, specifically charged with overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Not a popular job. Of course, to the far left he is a boogeyman because he worked at Goldman Sachs. To the far right, he’s a boogeyman because he helped administer, well, bailouts.

Elijah Cummings, an embattled Democratic congressman from Baltimore, asked at an oversight hearing whether or not he was a “chump:”

“Mr. Kashkari, in the neighborhood I grew up in, in the inner city of Baltimore, one of the things that you tried to do was make sure that you were not considered a chump … What really bothers me is all these other people who are lined up. They say, well, is Kashkari a chump?”

Kashkari apparently did not take that flogging very well.

Kashkari heads to a Home Depot to find work.

Kashkari heads to a Home Depot to find work.

Kashkari’s background, which I had not researched, surprised me a bit.

He’s from Akron, Ohio. He’s a Cleveland Browns fan with, according to the Plain Dealer, dogs named “Winslow and Newsome.” He went to Western Reserve Academy — a nice private school, but didn’t go to a top-tier college. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign to study engineering. (He got an undergrad degree and a master’s.)

It was only after he attended Wharton for his MBA that he went into finance, and followed Hank Paulson to the Treasury department.

Former Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi wrote a column about him with the headline: Bailout Architect Runs For California Governor; World Laughs. He joked “It seems Jerry Brown has become his own personal Dolph Lundgren.”

In the piece, he noted that Kashkari isolated himself in the woods after the flogging from Cummings, et. al., where he built a shed, chopped wood to lose weight, and helped with Hank Paulson’s book.

Taibbi concluded: “Anyway, having this guy run for public office is like a gift from the blogging gods. How funny will this get? Will this one go to 11? I’m taking the over.”

One nice campaign video does not a winning campaign make. (Kashkari has a few nice videos…) Then again, most politicians prefer to post pictures on Twitter showing “look, I’m eating Ramen Noodles in my well appointed Washington house” rather than go and live on the streets for a week.

I don’t know if a 10 minute YouTube video on poverty will convince Democrats dissatisfied with Gov. Brown to consider Kashkari as a recipient of their vote, but one thing’s for sure — Kashkari’s trip into the woods may be funny joke fodder for Matt Taibbi, but Neel Kashkari isn’t going to be anybody’s chump this go-around.

Watch the video here:

Update: Kashkari’s campaign is hurting for cash, nearly broke.

The LeBron James Redemption

Friend and former colleague Scott Campbell shares this excellent rendition of LeBron James’s quasi-apology letter… in the voice of Morgan Freeman in the classic film The Shawshank Redemption as performed by comedian Frank Caliendo. (Which was, to those who don’t know, filmed an hour away from James’s home in Akron at the former Mansfield Reformatory.)

I highly suggest watching the video. Caliendo is very talented and does an amazing impression (his specialty.) Had never heard him do Morgan Freeman before.

I wondered what the Caliendo track would sound like put to the score of The Shawshank Redemption. So I put the track to music to find out.

Here it is:

EDIT: Apparently there was music when it ran, but it was edited out.

Johnny Manziel’s Trademarks

Here is a list of trademarks filed by once-suspended and new Browns player Johnny “Football” Manziel:

JOHNNY FOOTBALL, JMAN2, JMAN, MANZIIEL, JIIM, JFF, THE HOUSE THAT JOHNNY BUILT

If you were wondering whether “The House That Johnny Built” was part of an obligatory NFL-star charity that builds houses for people, think again. It’s for:

Athletic apparel, namely, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats and caps, athletic uniforms; Athletic footwear; Athletic pants; Athletic shirts; Athletic shoes; Athletic shorts; Athletic skirts; Athletic tights; Athletic uniforms; Clothing for athletic use, namely, padded elbow compression sleeves being part of an athletic garment; Clothing for athletic use, namely, padded pants; Clothing for athletic use, namely, padded shirts; Clothing for athletic use, namely, padded shorts; Clothing, namely, athletic sleeves; Footwear for track and field athletics; Gloves for apparel; Short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirts; T-shirts; T-shirts for men, women and children; Women’s athletic tops with built-in bras

Can’t forget those built-in bras!

Take a look at the trademark for “Johnny Football” and you’ll see it’s pretty clear you’ll hear radio ads for motivational speaking engagements in the near future:

Educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational and educational speakers; Educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational and educational speakers in the field of self- and personal improvement; Entertainment and educational services in the nature of competitions in the field of entertainment, education, culture, sports, and other non-business and non-commercial fields; Entertainment in the nature of football games; Entertainment services, namely, participation in football games; Entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a sports celebrity.

At least he’s preparing for a future as a QB chewed up and spit out by Cleveland.