Thursday, December 24, 2015

Reviews of the Year, Christmastime in Cleveland, and Vera

Hey Vera!  Are you going to do a recap of 2015?

Why? It's still 2015.

Yeah, but we only have a week left before 2016.  It's safe to say that you can do a year in review.

'The hell for? When it's time to review 2016, and something happens between now and 23:59:59 on December 31, 2015, do we include that in the year in review for 2016 or 2015? Hmmm?

Oh geez, Vera. Nobody will be interested in 2015 anymore by the time New Year's Day 2016 rolls around.

So?  I still say it's inaccurate to recap a year that is officially not over.  If you wish, Dear Reader, you can scroll through my previous posts for the year to see what kind of mischief I got myself into.

Joy. Hey, another question: when you going to start doing more short stories?

That's a good question. I've had tons of ideas flow through my brain, so there has to be something I can whip up.

Okay.

Meanwhile, it is December 24th, or 24th December, however you write it (based on Eastern Standard Timezone).  As of this typing, the temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) outside.  In Los Angeles, California, USA, the temperature is 48 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius). That's not Christmas Eve weather in the 216 of things.  That's a disgrace.

Where in the got damn fuck is the snow?  I see some people bitching about how warm it is outside and how we should have some snow for Christmas.  These are probably the same shitheads that complain when it gets too cold during summer vacation.  Can't please these people, I tell you.

Well, aren't you happy that it is warm outside?

Hell no! The last thing I need to worry about is the return of the ants in my baffwoom (bathroom).  Plus, when all the units surround my teeny tiny one has their heat on full blast, I have no need to have my heaters on at all (and unfortunately, I still have to open up windows and run fans to circulate the air).

Haha, so I hear that it's warmer in Cleveland than it is in Los Angeles, am I correct?

You are.  According to Weather Underground:

Current weather (in F) in Los Angeles

Current weather (in F) in Cleveland
How's them apples?

So did we officially hit global warming now?

Nope, that's been around since the late 80s. Duh.

Wow, it looks like Christmas is going to suck for a lot of folks who do want snow.  Like you, right?

I do want snow, yes.  But I already celebrated Chanukah; the only things I'm doing tomorrow are going to a Chinese buffet and synagogue.

Um, so what is Christmastime in Cleveland like?

My own personal observations?  Heh,

Growing up on the West Side, there would be this once a year argument over where some of the school scenes for "A Christmas Story" were filmed.  As a former Lakewoodite, the argument would be: "It took place at Hayes!" "No it didn't!  It took place at Madison!"  I'm pretty sure this was argued over by all the school children during the mid to late 80s throughout Cuyahoga County, as each district had their opinions on where some of the filming took place.  (According to Wikipedia, the school scenes were not even filmed in the USA.)

The movie was such a huge hit here in the city (I mean, most shots were done in Cleveland, even though the movie's background setting is set for a fictional town in Indiana, USA).  That house where errybody chilled in?  It sits beautifully on West 11th Street in the Tremont neighborhood, right off of Rowley Avenue.  In fact, the house is so popular, it has been refurbished into a museum and gift shop for fans of the movie.

Christmastime in Cleveland used to be a bigger deal, both when I was younger and before I was even thought of.  Higbee's comes to mind.  Higbee's used to be this big deal department store, which every year would decorate their window places with different Christmas-themed scenes.  Higbee's ended up being bought out in the early 90s and the building was shutdown until 2012, when the Horseshoe Casino opened its doors.

I just discovered recently that General Electric (or GE) does their own Christmas lighting display on Noble Road in East Cleveland.  And apparently these folks do this every year for decades over in Nela (say NEE-lah) Park (bonus; Nela is actually an acronym for the business that GE gained in the early 20th century; National Electric Lamp Association).  This can also explain why there's so much "Nela"-named streets surrounding the GE facility (Nelamere, Nela, Nela Court, Nelacrest, etc.).

When I was younger, my parents would drive my sister and I to Public Square to take a look at all the pretty light displays (because that's what most West Siders knew of; ain't anybody trying to go to East Cleveland, especially during the mid 80s).

Another tradition was some neighborhood streets in Lakewood used milk plastic cartons, cut off the top, and place a candle inside.  The cartons helped keep the candles burning against the wind and the snow.  I had no idea why folks did this, but it was a really pretty thing to see, especially with snow on the ground and flakes dissolving on the tip of your nose.

Yeah, Christmastime in Cleveland isn't what it used to be now.  I think the warm weather has diluted some of the magic and joy with the memories.

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