Monday, October 27, 2014

Leaving Las Vegas: the aftermath

John and me, 1986

On Wednesday, November 5 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., I'll be giving a very personal talk about how the tragedy of my brother John’s 1994 suicide and the nuanced aftermath led me to the keyboard.

Folks, these are the quiet, tender stories.

This event is free and open to the public. 

Location: Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center, Heights Medical Building, 2460 Fairmount Blvd. Suite 312. Parking is free behind the building.

Please make a reservation:  216-229-5959  or emial dmorsecpc  [at]

More information here.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Down the rabbit hole and into the lake

While researching today's development news story, I was obliged to traverse the West 11th Street foot bridge, which spans Interstate 490.

The Interstate 490/West 11th foot bridge

For some reason, I was horribly disconcerted--it was as if the traffic zooming beneath me would knock me over. You should have seen me trying to keep my eyes forward while pointing the camera here and there, snapping pix in hopes of getting a good one.

View from foot bridge. Yikes!

In any event, on the south side of the bridge lies one of Cleveland's quirkiest and oddest chunks of dirt. Go read the story iffin' you want a peek at one developer's vision for it.

Now then--take my word for it--watch this space. Within five years (ten?) a West 11th Street addy is going to be uber-cool.

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Next up, yesterday's story is about some offices that are ... well ... on a boat. The Kearsarge was first launched in 1892 and has the history to prove it. The boat was permanently docked in Cleveland's North Coast Harbor in the late 1980's.

I reported on the software studio LeanDog in 2011 for a feature cataloging the area's most unusual and historic offices. In a partnership with Arras Keathley Advertising, they just sunk $1.5 million into renovations, which is the subject of this week's coverage. Hence, due to your Girl Reporter's intrepid efforts over the years, I can offer up a few before and after shots:

LeanDog galley, 2011

LeanDog/AKA galley, 2014

LeanDog offices, 2011

LeanDog offices, 2014

LeanDog/AKA deck, 2014

Kayak paddles at the ready on the Kearsarge, 2014

The improvements include a new dock, from whence your humble hostess launched upon a 27-foot fishing boat with LeanDog CEO Jon Stahl at the helm and Matthew Volosin, who's in charge of "cadence and execution" at the firm, running crew.

Matt hangs cool on board the firm's fishing boat.
The Kearsarge stands guard in the background.

People, this SO does not suck.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

A developing story

Dear readership,

Your humble hostess has taken on the duties of development news editor for Fresh Water Cleveland. Hence for the past couple of weeks, I've been churning out a lot of copy.

It's an interesting time to have such a gig in this town. I've been in CLE my whole life, so I truly understand the transformation that's going on here. I'm at the street level and I have a healthy dose of historic perspective.

Make no mistake: the renaissance is upon us. That I get to be the Girl Reporter delivering all the details is a pretty serendipitous development of its own.

Now for what I've been writing, with some side notes and images.

I rounded up what's next for Waterloo Road in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood for this article. Took a little road trip down there as well and stopped at Raddel's and picked up Slovenian sausage, smokies and jerky. HELL YEAH

Waterloo Road, Cleveland

Waterloo Road, Cleveland
Now it's Downtown to the 5th Street Arcades. Talk about your transformations. I remember going in this place 22 years ago to get my nails done for my wedding. It was downright creepy.

Not any more.

5th Street Arcades, Cleveland

5th Street Arcades, Cleveland
Cleveland Public Library's downtown branch is one of those magical places that inflates me with breath every time I step into it.

Now dig this: pretty soon you'll be able to amble on in there and scan stuff to your heart's content, including items that are 35- by 50-inches (you read that right), for FREE.

Cleveland Public Library, main branch

Cleveland Public Library, main branch
I've also covered new eats coming to the Uptown neighborhood, apartments and homes that are selling out before they're built in Battery Park and a new charter school where grade school tots are immersed in either Mandarin or Spanish.

¿QuĂ© pasa?

Cleveland's Uptown neighborhood, Nov. 2013

I will not tip my hand on what I'm working on for next week, but know this: one of the interviews included a boat ride (!!).

This will still be the place for my errant commentary and essay, but I must admit that I interact quite a bit on Evil Overlord Facebook, iffin' you're in a mind to friend me over there. I will probably post most of my stories here, particularly if I have an interesting photo or side note to add.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading. It means more to me than you know.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Don't worry, baby, we're both evens

Photo by Herb Ascherman

When I was 28 I was awesome. Everyone knew it.

When you're 28 and you step into the set, everything stops. I mean just LOOK at that smirking two tickling that beauteous eight. Anyone can see that party's going on all night long. I was sittin' pretty at 28.

Then four rolls onto the scene.

Your squares are totally down, jamming with their roots, hanging around the Pythagorean theorem and that. But four? He's the smoothest square around. So when he started with his It's an integer thing and Don't worry, baby, we're both evens and Your beauteous eight is a cube of your sexy two. I was toast. Goddamn four. Just let me be your denominator. Don't you want to be my numerator?

I let him divide me.

I know, I know. I know. But COME ON. It was FOUR.

So that's how I ended up as seven, a miserable goddamn prime—only divisible by one and myself. I might as well have been shackled next to pi and the rest of the irrationals. No one hangs with your primes except your other primes, which are worse than your fractions, if you can believe that.

But seven has its advantages. You've got a little luck in your pocket. So after I'd been seven for three years one night, what happens? Another seven comes sauntering over pretty as you please and gives me that look. I didn't even have to think about it. We got squared.

Hello forty-nine.

And I thought 28 was so fly. Twenty-eight's got nothing on 49. I'll rock this square for as long as I can: flirting with 50, counting with the cubes, adding with the odds.

At least until he comes along.

Because while this game may feel infinite while you're playing it, every number on the board knows it ain't. Whether you're a couple of slinky nines spooning inside 99 or poor ol' one-third, he's coming for you. Every one of us looks the same to his giant dead eye.

Just one tangential glance off of zero and it's the end of the line. You become nothing.

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Text by humble hostess.

Art by Liz Maugans, "When I Was 28 I Was Awesome," 2014, screen print collage, 26" x 40", now showing through Dec. 19, 2014 as part of SCREEN PLAYS by Liz Maugans at 1point618 gallery.

Press: Cleveland Scene.  

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