Here it is almost September and I’m just now getting around to August. August was AWESOME that’s why! Although the month started out somewhat rocky as I was prescribed a new medicine while Stark was out of town then dropped my old medicine shortly after he came home because of side effects between the two mixing. I was a wreck making so many switches. And life wasn’t giving any breaks either. At the start of August my Aunt was admitted to the hospital, worrying us all as she continues to battle now six years of breast cancer. My oldest sister did manage to buy a ticket and fly my Uncle here from Germany to be with my Aunt. I chose to be with my Aunt when he arrived in the hospital room, surprising her to the point of instant speechlessness. It was perfect timing too. Stark and I had just finished rolling her over in bed so that she was actually facing the doorway. We were just about to stuff pillows around her to prop her up and as she held on to the side of the bed, there was a knock at the door and suddenly her brother has appeared! It’s been 12 years since they last saw each other and not quite a year since Stark and I last saw him, in Germany. The moment was heart warming.
Those first two weeks were a lot of fun though. We visited with my Aunt only a couple times before she left the hospital and was back at her friends house. From there, Stark and I tried to spend as much time with her and my Uncle as possible – afternoons at her house, dinners at my other Aunt’s house, picnics with the whole family, out to eat with just a few of us, and desserts at my cousins place just up the street from us.
Shortly after my Uncle left, Stark had business in Cleveland. I’ve never had an excuse to go to Cleveland, but I had always wanted to go see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So with days to spare, he bought me a ticket to join him. Whenever he is gone for that long, I love going with him. Week after week just the two or three days he is gone is hard enough. An entire week? Forget it.
So the month was looking up as we arrived in Cleveland. I worked from the hotel room for the first day or two while Stark had meetings. There was just one thing threatening the idea of a good time and that was the day before we left when we ventured to our dentist because my teeth were in horrific pain. For reasons I didn’t understand, my bite was entirely off as if my teeth had all moved over night. The dentist explained to us that he couldn’t fix it, nor was it an easy fix. He referred us to a jaw specialist and physical therapist that I would have to see when we came home and he relayed that it could take at least three months to feel better based on what I was describing (later we’d go to the doctor and find that things were worse than just a random shifting of the teeth and my estimated time of recovery would be at least FIVE months).
In a lot of pain and getting used to not being able to eat almost anything, traveling was somewhat difficult as we searched for soft foods and broth-like soups almost everywhere we went. In addition to not being able to eat most things, my new medicine made it so that I couldn’t eat after 8pm (my absolute latest cut off time). Talk about making traveling near impossible! But we managed thanks to a cute street just behind our hotel that had a dozen restaurants or more.
It was our last full day in Cleveland that Stark and I took advantage of. After meetings and phone calls, we spent the evening venturing to the Rock and Roll hall of fame where we went through three of five floors of amazing music memorabilia. I was overwhelmed and entirely fascinated. I jumped for joy when the very first thing we saw, coming down the escalators to the museums first floor and basement, was none other than Rage Against the Machines first tour van filled with some of their original equipment. The red Astro van seemed fitting. I knew what stuffing in a van felt like on tour and could easily imagine all of them crowded into this small van, eager to find a new stage to voice their opinions and purpose.
The tour continued with so many amazing things – the original CBGB entrance; Purple Haze written on a sheet of notebook paper; a collection of Jimi’s guitars and colorful outfits; an entire section dedicated to Elvis, the king of rockabilly; an entire wall dedicated to The Ramones and The Sex Pistols (which reminded me of that scene in SLC Punk about who started the punk revolution); a wall of Nirvana posters, Kurt’s death certificate, and hand written notes taken from his journals; the original hand written lyrics for Simon & Garfunkel’s Boxer; an entire section displaying Michael Jackson’s famous outfits including THE glove; the notebook Billy Joel scribbled “My Life” in; a dedication to SKA and The Specials and so much more I can’t even describe it all. I wish I had time to sit and watch their video of every person nominated into the Hall of Fame, but we sat just long enough to get to the inauguration of Niel Diamond – the only Hall of Famer I had a personal hand in voting in during my years with Sony Music.
The final two floors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were dedicated to The Rolling Stones. Although I find them interesting and like their songs, Stark is not a dedicated fan and we both wanted to leave in time to see the house from A Christmas Story which was also in Cleveland and turned into a museum. We arrived with 20 minutes to spare, bought our tickets for the last tour of the house, browsed the gift shop quickly, and walked through the museum dedicated to A Christmas Story memorabilia while we waited for our cab drive to return. In the house Stark touched the FRAGILE leg, a major award. He shot the Red Ryder BB Gun. I got on the phone and insisted, “Do YOU know what Ralphie SAID?” And I got under the kitchen sink whimpering, “Daddy’s going to kill Ralphie.” Neither of us dared to put the soap in our mouth as it was obvious that others had done it before. But we faked it for a photo. The house was small but a lot of fun. We had to go for no other reason then saying we did! For anyone planning to go, you should also plan on getting Chinese Food. The original restaurant from the movie is just down the street and still going strong. Fa ra ra ra ra y’all!
Other August highlights:
- Craft Lake City and their Technology exhibit – 3D modeling, virtual gaming, and a life size WallE