About Cleveland

Sorry, no rants about the suburbs this time. At this point, I’m trying to be more grateful that my parents could afford to live somewhere safe, in a big house, and send me to nice schools as I grew up. I don’t see myself living there, certainly not in the near future, but they have their good points.

And fresh air. They have that. But really, I don’t feel like I need the open air that much. A crisp city street breeze and parks in the vicinity (like Schenley, or even the Cathedral lawn) are good enough for me.

I wrote this earlier today. Man, remember when I used to write creative things sometimes? Now it’s all just updates. Where did that little creative burst go? I hope it returns. Anyway, here’s this:

I’m currently trying to get back to Pittsburgh a day earlier, because the opportunity came up and I figure, might as well. I feel a little bad because I had originally said Friday, now it’s Thursday, and my parents are sad. I guess it doesn’t really matter that much, because shoot, I didn’t see them much when I was home. I’d wake up ridiculously late, they’d be at work until 6 or 7, we’d eat dinner, or not, then they’d go to bed. So practically, it doesn’t really matter. But still… as I left, my dad tried to take an account of everything we did, as if making it into a list would make it more permanent. “Well, Dan, it was nice having you home, thanks for cooking*, thanks for going to Wai-su-wa-shi-sa-shi**, thanks for trying to fix the computer… um… and playing ping-pong***…”

* I made chicken curry with cashews. Maybe my favorite dish that I’ve made so far. It’s really good. I also made a “moroccan-style” meatloaf and left it with them. Hooray for trendy online recipes.

** or Daishin japanese restaurant (see previous post about sushi). My dad has this thing about calling things by their real names, in that he can’t. It’s easier to make up a goofy fake name than to say the real name. Sometimes saying the real name sounds too cutesy. Maybe this is because, if you take the time to get the real name of a place correct, you are showing that it was worth the effort to do so, and in a sense giving tacit approval to it. And if you call one place correctly, and not another, well, you must favor that one over the other.

*** Well. Ping-pong with Dad. We’ve played since I can remember. When we were young, of course, he could always wallop me if he wanted, but hey, time goes by, I get better, he stays about the same. Now I can take him usually 3 out of 4. It happens with everything, right? The kid gets older, defeats the dad. And hey, it’ll happen with me someday. But the weird thing is, our attitudes have both changed.

Let me just say, my dad has a real competitive streak, and I inherited it in a big way. I was the worst loser as a kid- which was tough, because I’d usually lose sports. Games I was better at, so I was usually okay. (except when I’d, say, move my ships in Battleship. Good lord, I was a competitive kid.) But when I was winning, I was a pretty good winner. But anyway, I’d usually lose ping-pong, obviously, so sometimes I’d complain, or whine, or have a little fit. Which is clearly ridiculous, but this isn’t about my little peccadilloes, it’s about my dad. Maybe I’ll analyze myself later.

So now I win most of the time, and so my dad has the competitiveness most of the time. He never says anything about it, but I can definitely tell- he gets a certain way that he never does at any other time. Real serious-like, not smiling, and the only words he says, usually, are the score. He starts fighting for points- his paddle hits the wall or something, and he calls for a redo; or I’ll try some dumb trick shot, jokingly, and he’ll count it as a real point. I give him a look like “you’re kidding, right?” and say “okay, 4-2”, and he’ll say pedantically, “no, it’s 4-3”. I try to keep things lighthearted. But then I start losing, and I feel the exact same way he does.

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