kc goes ape

I’ve been having a bit of a rough go at things lately.

This past Sunday, as the morning sun crept through my window, by 9am I already maintained that I would stay in bed all day. Birds chirping, cat purring and waiting to be fed, I had no plans for the day and I had no motivation for anything this Sunday had to offer.

Then my text tone went off, and my heart stopped.

I frantically shuffled around the bed in search of my phone. My heart sunk when it wasn’t who I was waiting to hear from: more proof that I was making the right decision for the day. Then I actually read the message I received:

“Do you want to Go Ape at 1:30?”

um. What did you just ask me?

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Apparently there is a local zip lining/tree top adventure course located in the Metroparks in Strongsville — called Go Ape. Not exactly something I would jump at on a regular Sunday (let alone one where I’m feeling sad and unmotivated), but it felt like this was one of those times I just had to suck it up and agree to go.

We started with a quick, overwhelming lesson with a lot of information and all of it ending in “you could basically die if you don’t follow these rules.” So that was great. I would recommend going with someone who has done it before, just for that simple fact. There were 5 courses to complete (the first one being a small “intro” course); each beginning with a climb up into the trees, a handful of obstacles to get through, before ending with a zip line back to ground level. You have to book in advance, and lucky for us, this weekend was 25% off so we only paid $45 when all was said and done. It was a bit crowded, I assume because of the promotion, so there was a little bit of waiting time between obstacles and courses. But it was enough time to calm all of my nerves between the adrenaline rushes.

The website recommends closed-toe shoes, workout gloves, and tying your hair back. All very appropriate recommendations — after about the 3rd course my hands were hurting without gloves.

I never really thought I had a fear of heights — but being 50+ feet above ground, with only two cables keeping me from imminent death, I definitely had some involuntary hand trembling and knee shaking going on. It didn’t help that I kept looking down like a psycho. There were times I wanted nothing more than to turn back around and get on solid ground. I think I almost pissed myself no less than three times.

Overall, though, I have to admit it was beyond exhilarating. Actually getting through the courses took some strength and patience, but getting to that zip line at the end and the freeing feeling of it all — it was 1000% better than staying in bed all day. Everyone should do something that scares the shit out of them at least every once in a while. Lesson learned.

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Check it out for yourself, you can book now at www.goape.com.

How the Cavs broke the NBA in 2017

The switch.

I will be the first to admit it. I lost my faith during the regular season this year. Everyone kept talking about this “switch” the Cavs will flip come playoff time. The “switch” that will allow them to dominate after an okay regular season.  The “switch” that would once again send us to the finals.

I honestly didn’t believe such a “switch” ever existed. I didn’t think after the season we had, that we would even make it out of the Eastern Conference. We have arguably the best player to ever play in the NBA on our team, and if we couldn’t dominate the regular season, we had no chance to make it to the finals again, let alone win. I even bet a pizza on it.

And ladies and gentlemen, I am here to say…

I was wrong.

I was taught at a young age that practice makes permanent. That is to say, maintaining good habits during the practice is oftentimes more important than the practice itself. If you get lazy, that stays with you. There is only an added benefit to practice, so long as it is executed properly. Watching game after game of the Cavs acting lazy and tired on the court all season long, I was understandably worried.

The 80/20 rule.

The Cavs discovered this season that they can operate under the Pareto principle and still dominate in the playoffs. Oh, what’s that? You’ve never heard of the Pareto principle? You may know it as the 80/20 rule:

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Some of the most successful people I know live by this principle. In its simplest form, it states that you put 80% of your time in 20% of your work. So, the regular season of the NBA has 82 games. It’s my firm belief that the Cavs (or more likely, just LeBron) realized that it is not vital to try and win all 82 games, and in fact, it is illogical to do so. We went 57-25 last season, compared to the Warriors’ impressive 73-9, and we still came out victorious. This year we were just 51-31, still making it into the playoffs, but earning a second-seed position. LeBron sat out 8 games this year, compared to 6 games last year. By contrast, Steph Curry only sat out 3 games in each of the last two seasons.

The Cavs are 12-1 this post season. They are the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach the finals with one or fewer losses in the playoffs since the 1995-1996 Bulls (and, the Bulls finished 72-10 in their regular season that year).

LeBron figured out how to rig the system in his favor. And, if you think about it, by employing the 80/20 rule, he isn’t really rigging anything, per se. He just figured out a way to get his team to work smarter, not harder. Isn’t that the true American dream?

Will it pay off in a championship again this year? If you had asked me a month and a half ago when we barely beat the Pacers 108-109… I would have said no chance. But now, I’m not so sure.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough… Game 1 of the NBA Finals is June 1st at 9PM. See you all there.

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12 things that have happened since the Browns’ last win

“That’s Cllllllllllleveland — with 12 L’s — to you.”

Welp. The Browns are 0-12. If you’ve followed them at all these last few seasons decades, this may not come as that great a shock to you. But it is actually really hard to be this bad.

Historically, the Browns have been garbage. That’s just a fact. But every season — though they may be historically losing seasons — there comes a game or two where we should not have won, against a team we should not have beat, but for some reason we pull it out by the skin of our teeth. Going winless is not the norm, even for terrible teams. This year is different. Twelve weeks into the season and it is abundantly clear that we can’t win at all, especially after being outscored 174-67 in the second half so far this season. Is it possible we will go 0-16?

Since 1944, only four teams have gone winless in the NFL for an entire season: the 1960 Dallas Cowboys (0–11–1), the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0–14), the 1982 Baltimore Colts (0–8–1), and most recently, the 2008 Detroit Lions (0–16). So the Browns will be in some good company, if you could call it that.


I’d like to take this time to take everyone back to the last time we rejoiced in a win…

The day was December 13, 2015. Our starting quarterback was none other than Mr. Johnny Football. Our opponent: the San Francisco 49ers (who, might I add, are currently an unimpressive 1-10 after week 12). Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Here’s 12 things that have happened in the world since the Browns’ last W…

1. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Oscar he always deserved.

2. This video, for some reason (unknown to me), became a thing:

3. Pokémon Go happened and I started getting random texts like this:

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4. Zika.

5. Ryan Lochte told everyone he was robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics, really he is just drunk and rachet. Rio was not happy.

6. Brangelina divorce, making love questionable for couples everywhere.

7. This lady couldn’t stop laughing over a Chewbacca mask:

8. Brexit.

9. Everyone’s favorite silver-back gorilla, Harambe, was taken far before his time. Reassuringly, at least one person out there writes him in for president (it was probably Biden).

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10. Donald Trump becomes president after what seemed like the most painful election in modern history.

11. Cavs win the first franchise championship — this one still brings a tear to my eye.

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12. Indians actually go to the World Series and ironically blow a 3-1 lead (I ain’t mad at ya, boys).

And there you have it. A world that keeps truckin’ along, despite the Browns. Well. As they say, I guess there’s always next year… Until then… Thankfully next week is a bye-week.

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This was always our year: Part II

 

Cleveland is on fire (and I say that to include the dumpster fire that is the Browns so far this season, mind you), and there is no stopping us now. The Cavs win the championship for the first time ever and now, with an impressive record of 91-65, the Indians clinch their first division title in nearly a decade?? Is this real life? Hello, October 🙂

As long as you get blackout drunk every Sunday morning before the Browns play, it’s good to be a Cleveland fan in 2016.

More locker room fun at Bottlegate.com.

This was always our year

I was up early this morning.

The streets were quieter than usual, probably due to the fact that most of the town was still sleeping off the previous nights’ celebration. Though it was quiet, there was something different in the air. Something that this city hasn’t felt in 52 years. Victory.

We all wake up this morning as champions. The entire city of Cleveland. For everyone who ever doubted us, for Believeland, for everything else we’ve gone through… we made it. We are all winners today. And damn, does that feel good.

 

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It. Happened. !!!!! #cleveland #mycity #ahhhhhhh

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“Put no trust in a brother. Acknowledge no one as a friend.”

AKA in millennial terms: Trust no man. Fear every bitch.

The title quote is what Amenemhat I, the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty, said from the grave about being murdered in his sleep. Try and figure that one out. If you missed the Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt exhibition that hit the Cleveland Museum of Art between March 13 and June 12, you done fucked up. Tickets were just $15, and with a membership to CMA, the first ticket was free and the next was 50% off. They make it so easy and cheap to get out of the house and learn something. Keep in mind that the actual art museum is still free to attend, too.

More than 90 percent of the 157 objects on view in the current “Pharaoh” show” came from the British Museum in London. The rest were from Cleveland’s own collection. I didn’t know at the time, but I soon learned from my friend that within the last ten years, Egypt has been trying to crack down on art that was obtained illegally and/or given out as gifts, and as a result working to get a lot of these relics shipped back to Egypt. I wasn’t able to find anything to support this claim, but she also said tighter regulations would mean that certain objects found in the exhibit we went to would not be allowed to leave the country as soon as they return to Britain. Either way, when you visit an exhibit like this, you really never know if you’ll be able to see anything like this again.

These objects were so beautiful and so perplexing. Combined with the fact that everything in the exhibit was thousands and thousands of years old and from an ancient civilization that we know so little about… it was really hard to wrap my mind around what we were actually seeing. So I did what any typical white girl would, and took pictures (for Instagram primarily, and also for later reflection).

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[Shabti of Pharaoh Seti I. Dynasty 19, reign of Seti I, c. 1294–1279 BC. Tomb of Seti I, Valley of the Kings, Thebes, Egypt. Blue faience; 22.8 x 9.6 x 9.6 cm. British Museum, EA 22818. © Trustees of the British Museum, London.] — I just liked the color of this dude.

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[Three kneeling figures in poses of jubilation, c. 715–332 BC. Late Period. Egypt. Bronze; h. 24.5–30.5 cm. British Museum, EA 11498, EA 11496, EA 11497. © Trustees of the British Museum, London.] — Yes, this is their jubilant pose

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[Figure of a squatting baboon, c. 1391-1353 BC, carved during the reign of Amenhotep III in red quartzite.] Fun Fact: this little guy, who so strikingly resembles my cat, Charles Barkley, also visited CMA in an exhibit in 1991-1992.

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According to this Beginner’s Guide to Egyptian Art, all of these images, whether statues or relief, were designed to benefit a divine or deceased recipient. They were not meant for public viewing: just to honor or connect with another realm. This may explain why we have such little understanding of the meaning behind most of it, we were never intended to see it in the first place. Even my favorite little baboon is meant to represent a divinity whose identity still has not yet been revealed by scholars. For something we know so little about, their artwork was meticulous and mesmerizing. What these people were capable of 3,000 years ago still baffles me today.

Be sure to check out the upcoming exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art… I promise you will not regret learning a little.

Did I ever tell you guys my grandpa shot hoops with LBJ in 2002?

I finally got a chance to watch Believeland last night, which originally aired prime time Saturday on ESPN. And while I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the people they interviewed for it (I’m looking at you, Windy), I thought it was well put together. It was probably super depressing for anyone who has lived through the heartbreak that is Cleveland sports, but, in all honestly I think it was mostly a learning experience for my generation.

As a 25-year-old female who was born and raised in Cleveland, I never rooted for any other teams. I never saw any relevance in any other teams besides the Browns, the Cavs, and the Tribe. I heard stories from my dad and my grandpa about the painful history in Cleveland sports, and I knew we hadn’t seen a championship since my dad was all but five years old, but it’s hard to put that disappointment in perspective when you haven’t experienced 90% of it first hand.

It’s important to note that I only started actively following Cleveland sports when I was a freshman in college, so around 2009-2010. I worked for my school’s football team so I started paying more attention to the Browns, and learning the differences between NCAA football and the NFL. I began to familiarize myself with players, stats, coaches, and all that–partly because I was around dudes like 75% of the time and that’s all they wanted to talk about, and partly because I found it all so interesting. I like learning new things because I’m a freak, but whatever.

When I look back at my own recollection of monumental moments in Cleveland sports history, there are two major ones that I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when it happened. You probably know where I’m going with this. First time being, where I was (Myrtle Beach) and what I was doing (sitting on the couch, trying to get everyone to hush while I listened) when The Decision aired, and where I was (at my old apartment sitting on my roommate’s massive sectional) and what I was doing (eating peanut butter, responding to a twitter message about it) as soon as the SI article was tweeted and LeBron announced he was coming home. The fact that those two moments are so ingrained in my memory, made Believeland a lot more meaningful to someone like me.

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In my lifetime, the Indians have been to the World Series twice (and lost), the Cavs went to the finals twice (and lost), and the Browns were the quintessential “Maybe Next Year” team (just as they have always been). Last year when the Cavs made their playoff run, I knew there was no way we would win a championship. But something feels different about this year. Up until last night I had no doubt in my mind that 2016 was our year. No doubt in my mind that we were bringing a championship home. As it stands today, we are 9-0 in the playoffs–sweeping the first two teams–and damn, do we look good out there. This team is fun to watch. They look like they are actually having fun. That’s what’s different about this year… there is no longer these vibes of frustration and disappointment all over the court. I can’t explain it. I just have a feeling.

And then all of a sudden, last night I’m plucked off of my cloud; woken up from my dream state, and reminded that this is what always happens. It gets so close that we can actually see it, touch it, taste it, feel it… And then it’s ripped away from us, in the most painful way possible. The Commissioner’s Trophy was literally in our locker room and it had to be removed. The champagne was popped in the dugout. The drive, the fumble, the move. The shot, the decision, the return. It begs the question, what will this city do if it finally happens? And more importantly, what will we do if it doesn’t?

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kc goes to Pittsburgh

As you can probably imagine, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten out of Cleveland. Not counting our weekend getaway to roofie island, the last time I went out of town was when I went to Vegas in January
 for work. Yikes. Note to self, get out of town more plz. So. My friend Mike and I had been planning a day trip to Pittsburgh for months now, and finally followed through last weekend.

Before you say it, yes… I know. Fuck the Steelers, right? You wouldn’t believe how sick to my stomach I got walking around the Strip District
 but we didn’t go as sports fans. We actually went as classy ass motherfuckers who wanted to visit a few art museums and fancy restaurants. But still, the Steelers suck.

Our first destination was the popular Andy Warhol Museum. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did; it’s this 7-story building with three rooms of exhibits on each floor (give or take), each exploring a decade in Warhol’s strange, strange life. Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh and was clearly out of his mind, making a lot of his work hard to understand but interesting to look at. My favorite part (obviously) was all the cats he drew.

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He came out with a book entitled 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. It literally contained drawings of 16 cats named Sam and, you guessed it, one blue pussy.

 

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But his well-known prints were actually very cool up close too, seeing more than just the Marilyn Monroe ones and all the different ways he experimented with silk screens and colors was sort of hypnotizing.

 

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And don’t even ask what the hell was going on in this room (excuse my cameo):

 

 

Our next stop was the Carnegie Museum of Art. Having gotten very familiar with the Cleveland Museum of Art, I was excited to see what another city’s renowned art collection had to offer. Honestly, though, the Cleveland Museum of Art blew this place out of the water (and CMA is free to the public, too
 this place ran us about $20 a piece). The rooms were not as fluid as you’d like them to be, so most of the time we found ourselves sort of walking in circles and having to back track so that we wouldn’t miss something cool. And don’t get me started on some of the weird ass shit they let in there. Further proof that people in Pittsburgh are a little weirder than the rest of the world.

 

 

With our admission to the Carnegie Museum, we also had access to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It sort of brought us back to our childhood; marveling at the dinosaur bones (which I wasn’t convinced were real at first—they seriously looked like plastic). I hadn’t seen anything like that since I was super young and gained a whole new perspective on the experience.

One quick loop around the historical market district known in Pittsburgh as the Strip District was enough for us
 It had some really cool local vendors but between the cold, the Steeler paraphernalia, and all the yummy smelling food around every corner (with dinner reservations in less than an hour) we cut that visit short, and headed straight to the restaurant after what seemed like a long day already. (Although, I do wish Cleveland had something more like that and less pop-up fleas and Bazaars)

I didn’t put it together until I got home and told my dad about it, but the restaurant we went to was pretty famous for us non-cable-havers. Growing up without the Food Network, the only cooking shows we had access to was on the public broadcasting station on Saturday mornings. My dad and I would always watch this little Italian woman named Lidia whip up some mean dishes. So when Mike and I ended up at Lidia’s Pittsburgh, I didn’t realize at the time what a treat we were in for.

The food was pretty pricey, but well worth it. We got the Fritto Misto as an appetizer, which was fried calamari, fried shrimp, and a mix of fried vegetables all served with lemon and marinara. It was basically a little taste of heaven. For dinner, I got the Cinghiale, which was a wild boar stuffed ravioli (I mean that’s basically pork, right?). It was delicious as expected. Even the pinot noir I had was unlike anything I’d ever tasted before (if there is one thing Italians do really well, I’ve found it’s the pinot). I almost wish we would have saved room for desert but I could barely move after what we did eat.

 

 

Tell me that doesn’t look delightful. All in all, it was a pretty successful trip, and it was nice to get out of Cleveland for a while and see what a different city had to offer. I probably won’t be going back there until AFTER football season…