Tuesday, May 29, 2007


My babies graduated yesterday. I don't know why I keep referring to them as such. I think it has to do with the fact that they were first-years when I was a junior -- a year where I felt like I was coming into my own. It's four years later (!) and now I get to deal with the fact that next year's graduates will be the last group of people who were students when I was still a student. And I'm still here. Eep.

After the Commencement ceremony Sarah and I decided to celebrate our coolness-despite-our-aging the only way one can: Pat Benatar at the Cleveland Ribfest! Oddly, we weren't the only ones there doing the c-d-o-a thing (imagine that). I drove to Sarah's new apartment in North Olmsted and we took the RTA train into the city. Everyone else on our car had the same destination in mind. There was a guy who brought a bouquet of flowers to give to Pat, but he handed out a couple of flowers to people who would sing a few bars of "Heartbreaker". He was really wasted, but both Sarah and I really wanted him to belt out "Love is a Battlefield". Didn't happen, at least not in our presence.

The rib cook-off wasn't quite what I expected. I pictured endless rows of booths with different preparations of ribs from all corners of the rib-eating world. I think there might have been half a dozen or so booths serving ribs with the rest of the booths serving beverages, hosting radio stations, or selling the tickets to make food purchases. The booths that did have ribs also had the largest trophy collections -- both in quantity and in style -- I have ever seen. I'm curious as to how one gets into the world of competitive rib-cooking (and I'm curious what the jargon is to describe "rib-cooking"). It is an art form. Before yesterday, I was not a fan of ribs, mainly because the few times I had them growing up they were not all that tasty. Part of that may have been an aversion to BBQ sauce I had when I was younger but I overcame that when I had my sampler dinner. Delicious.

We finished dinner just as Pat took the stage and we scooted to the amphitheater. The crowd was more of a hodgepodge than I expected. I would have thought the average age would have been about 40, but there were quite a few youngins there voluntarily which brought the average down to around 30, I would guess. The show started at 6:30 and they had an 8 o'clock curfew, so the set was of the "greatest hits" variety as opposed to "this is off my new concept album..." My favorite revelation happened during the intro to her 5th song. She prefaced the performance with how before every show she debates whether or not to sing it. She doesn't want to sing it, but the crowd practically forces her to. As a result, she made the crowd promise that they will sing the part that she hates to sing. Then the opening riff to "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" started to play over the speakers. Awesome. Of her songs that I know, that one is probably my least favorite and I'm glad we see eye-to-eye on that.

I was still rocking out to "Heartbreaker" this morning when John came in to drop off his keys and get his bowling equipment. I tried to track him and Kayla after the ceremony yesterday but it proved too challenging with the number of people. Also, it is so awkward to say "See you later" to people you really respect when "later" is so open-ended, though avoiding it altogether has a set of cons that far outweighs the pros. After John left, I started thinking about the first time I saw him. It was during one of my first Saturday shifts at the lanes and he and his posse came in. I don't know why, but my gut was telling me that he was going to be an important person during my time at Oberlin. I should listen to my gut all the time.

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