The DEFEND Cleveland Show

California Vacation 2014


I just came back from California. It was a family vacation. Normally I hate California and this trip seemed normal.


We flew United

Grudge Match played on the television for the person one row in front and one seat to the right of me. I watched it with no sound. Stallone and De Niro looked painful in a general way. I am terrified of one day having saggy skin.

The movie reminded me that the new season of The Ultimate Fighter was about to start. I thought about whether or not this means that I like MMA better than boxing now.


We went to the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney, Anaheim. They had maybe 50 tvs. The Dodgers and Giants game played on the cinema-sized screen. The announcer sounded old in both physique and time. The screen was so large that it must have been projected so it wasn’t in hd. At first I was unsure whether the game was happening today or 30 years ago. Two very spirited groups, cheering and booing, respectively, back and forth, twinkled around the place. Lone apocalyptic California travelers or hulking tan couples or coastal families.

Tony, our server, seemed very busy. He said how are you and we said good how are you and he said very busy. I ordered Mahi tacos while the kid had chicken fingers and eventually uneaten fruit. My wife had a chicken sandwich with a salad. We each drank two John Dalys which weren’t named John Dalys with extra shots of iced tea vodka on the side. They might have been called something like “Extreme Tea”. Maybe that’s exactly it.

The Haunted Mansion ride is worth the price of admission to Disneyland. We rode it both first and last.


I have family in Riverside. I bought a small Nerf football at a CVS there. My wife and brother and niece could all throw it in a nice spiral. I tried every grip I could think of but could only throw a spiral with an under-handed bowling throw. I tried almost every day.

California cold is not cold. California hot is not hot.


We bought tickets to see the Knife perform in Oakland but couldn’t muster the energy or time for the drive. My mom would have been disappointed. She was already missing me when I visited friends in Los Angeles briefly.

We ate the cost of the tickets but cheated our way out of reservation fees at the Green Tortoise Hostel in San Francisco. If you cancel less than 48 hours before your reservation they charge you for a night. But there is no charge for moving your reservation. We moved it four days into the future and just cancelled the next day with a different person. It seems like a gaping hole in their policy and I’m surprised they didn’t fix it years ago.


The flight home was almost unbearably turbulent. I’m sure someone puked.

They hadn’t changed the movies. If I had an airline I would switch out at least one movie once a week.

The man one row in front of me and across the aisle (we were both in aisle seats) had all of the newspapers. He very hastily perused the sports sections from three different papers and then sent them to the bottom of the pile. I wanted to ask him for them but didn’t want the dialogue.

A little boy ran down the aisle with only his diaper on. I forgot about the paper and pulled my hat over my eyes.


While I was away the Indians became a consistent and lunar .500 team with a decent bullpen. Both of those will change but who knows in which direction.

The Cavs lost to the Bucks. They ended their season wearing that contagious posture of blithe dismissal they got from Kyrie. Which reminds me that I saw a homeless woman in a Kyrie Irving jersey on the side of the road in Riverside. My wife said take a picture but the traffic was too dense to u turn. And where would I have parked?

What else.

Every speculator has Johnny Football coming to Cleveland but even that seems blase.

And as if I wasn’t surfeited enough I expected the weather to have turned.
-Jon Conley

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Posted by on Apr 28 2014. Filed under Featured, Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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