Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cleveland Rocks!

A few Cleveland related items for you today:

- My sister had a hair appointment tonight with our hairdresser Cheryl. While she was there a Browns player came in and set up an appointment to have his chest waxed. Which is just fantastic. But then my sister found out something even more awesome: Cheryl used to do Clay Matthews' hair! Clay Matthews, Browns fans! Remember Clay's beautiful flowing mullet? Yeah-Cheryl's doing. Clay is a Cleveland treasure and just knowing that the hands that touched his mullet now do my hair makes my insides tingle with excitement.

- Let me just say something right now: I LOVE this city. It is my home. It has so many things going for it. I feel like I live in this secret gem of a city-a secret that not everyone is in on yet. I believe in this place, I love it with my whole heart. But holy f*cking shit: this video is literally the funniest thing I have ever seen.

- If you remember, Steph put together a coat drive in January to help homeless men in the area. It was a rousing success, and many people approached her there and said, "What are we doing next?" Fast forward to a few weeks later and she had started a new charity/community service organization. I won't go into all the details right now-more to come on this for sure-but basically this organization is about the betterment of Cleveland. It’s about taking care of the city itself and the people in it. It's about not propagating the negative stereotypes put out by things like the video I just posted above. Oh man I just know Steph is going to hate that video. I should state some important facts about it, though. The guy who created it is from Cleveland. His name is Mike Polk, and he's absolutely hilarious. He's an improv actor and a stand up comedian, and he loves this city. I met him briefly at a charity event a couple years ago, and in addition to being really cute, he's incredibly nice. Non-Clevelanders, please take this video for what it is-just a parody. Cleveland is a wonderful city with so much to offer. Come visit us! You can stay with me, and we'll make Steph do a Choose Your Own Adventure: Cleveland day. You'll see how great it is. Also when you have time, watch this video of Mike's as well.

Now...if you recall a couple weeks ago, I mentioned that Steph, Diane and I did something involving a radio show. It's time to tell you the story. It is really, really long so I think I have to break it up into a couple-three posts or else you will want to kill yourself-or worse, me. (Just kidding-it's only equally as bad to kill me).

So a girl we know who is a charter member of the aforementioned community service organization born out of Steph's coat drive happens to know a local radio DJ. She called up this DJ and told her about the group, and I think you see where this is going. The DJ thought it was awesome and asked for a few group members to come onto the show to talk about it-genuinely a nice offer and a great way to get the word out. But that means someone had to go be on the radio.

Now just a quick aside here: I am not going to name the DJs or radio station. Some of you Clevelanders will figure it out which is totally fine. I'm not so arrogant to think any DJ would ever read this blog (or anyone else for that matter), but holy crap what if they google their name and this comes up and I am ripping on them (which I am about to do)? Horrible. So no names.

So this particular morning radio show has a special show every Friday called Festive Friday where they bring in a bunch of people to sit in the audience and talk about whatever they're there to talk about. What they told our group was that they'd ask us about the organization, do some radio show stuff, ask us some more questions, do some more radio show, talk to the other people there, etc. I went to my first meeting for Steph's organization a week and a half before the radio show. At that meeting, Steph brought it up and literally started begging for people to go to the studio with her. The girl who set it up for us was going, but had to leave really early to get to work. Steph also had to work, but told her employees she'd be in late because she was going on the radio. I would love to have seen their faces when they heard that. Anyway, she was in full on puppy dog mode begging for anyone just to come sit beside her at the radio station. "You won't have to talk. I will do all the talking. Just please don't make me go by myself."

At the other end of the table, I was avoiding eye contact with her because I had a secret: I had that day off and could absolutely go. I confessed my secret to Christy who told me to be strong. Thirty seconds later, Steph and I made eye contact and the guilt overcame me. "I will go with you, Steph." I wish you could've seen her face. It was like a little girl coming downstairs on Christmas and seeing the Barbie Dream House sitting there. Christy was like, "Wow-that was fast. Way to hold off." Then, unable to stop my mouth, I said, "Steph, you know who else has that day off? Diane." Steph said, "Done. I can handle her." Yes, I sold out my little sister. But dammit if I have to go, she has to go.

I would just like to take a quick minute and mention some things about me here that maybe you don't know:

1. I do not listen to the radio. I hate the radio. Especially morning radio. The only times I voluntarily listen to radio are for the 30 seconds my alarm goes off in the morning and at Christmas when Soft Rock 102.1 plays Christmas music 24/7.

2. I did not know what this show was. I am actually familiar with one of the DJs because she's been around forever. And I saw her emcee an Easter Seals event once (she was wasted), but I don’t know her show.

3. I do not have a good radio voice. I have a horrible radio voice. I am from Cleveland. I am nasal. That is just how it is. Also I am not quick on my feet. I am way better in writing than in person (which is sad). In person, I’m a nervous giggler. So I was really nervous that I was going to have to talk.

So Friday came and we had to be at the radio station downtown at 6am. 6am. That's like 4 hours earlier than I get downtown for work. As we were getting ready in the morning, D's and my hatred for Steph grew exponentially. We couldn't believe we were up at 5:15am getting ready to be on the gdamn radio. D and I drove together and met at Steph's place. Diane called her to tell her we were there, and she answered the phone like this, "You're pretty!" cuz she knew, you guys. She could feel the hatred emanating from our car. We got to the station's building which by the way was in the ghetto and was the crappiest building on the block. I don't know why, but I was expecting some flashy fancy building. I mean it's radio, right? It's glamorous! Wrong. It's the redheaded stepchild of the broadcasting world.

We walked in and some intern took us back to the conference room which looked like someone's basement. Then he brought in a family. The oldest son was in his army uniform so we assumed that's why they were on the show. They were really nice and seemed relatively normal. Intern brought us Panera-lots of food and coffee. It was really nice. After we ate, they brought us into the studio. It was massive. And by massive I mean massively small. It was basically the size of my cubicle at work which is basically the size of a hamster cage. We all piled in, and the DJs said hi and asked us why were there. They told us that every time they said "Festive Friday" we should scream and yell and clap really loud.

The DJs asked the family why they were there. This was the mom’s answer: “Our son’s leaving at the end of April for Afghanistan, and we want to go out to a really fancy dinner before he leaves. We couldn’t decide where to go so we thought we’d ask your listeners.” Here was my reaction to that reason: “???” Just complete confusion. Seriously you’re here to ask restaurant advice? I don’t know about D and Steph, but I just assumed no one would call in because, well, frankly it was dumb. So they put her on the air, and she started talking about her son leaving and she choked up. Then I felt like a complete asshole.

Then the greatest thing happened. She explained why she was there and the DJ goes, “Now who’s this young lady next to him?” The mom goes, “That’s his girlfriend. Or fiancĂ©e. I don’t know-which is it?” The son was like, “Fiancee” and the DJ goes, “You don’t know if they’re engaged or not? Do you not approve?” And she said, “Oh no no-we adore her. But you know, he’s going away and she’s young and going to school and has a lot of experiences ahead of her.” D, Steph and I were losing our shit. This lady had basically just disapproved of her son’s relationship on the air. So awkward, so awesome. Then she brought up that she was looking for a restaurant to go to. As I said, I assumed no one would call in. I couldn’t be more wrong. Immediately people were calling in with restaurant advice-some of it just completely horrible to be honest.

See, there’s this whole subculture of people who’s “thing” is to call into radio shows. Like they call in all the time. They are regulars. The DJs even recognized some of them by voice. This subculture is something I don’t understand. At sleepovers when I was 12, my friends and I would call into radio stations to request Milli Vanilli. I have never called as an adult-because now I have the CD. And let’s be clear here: if you are calling to win a prize, that is okay. It’s always good to try and win free stuff.

Anyway, it became very clear that this whole restaurant business was just a ploy for this mom to get on the radio. She was obviously a “radio caller” as I like to call them. Within minutes of being on the air, she started saying things to the Main DJ Man (MDM from now on) that would indicate they were friends. They were not. Asking him about his cat by name, sharing stories about her kids and relating them to stories about his daughter, asking him about his golf game. Creepy? Yes. Uncomfortable for everyone in the room? Yes. I’m just saying I saw the movie “The Fan” with Robert DeNiro and he was a regular radio caller and he ended up trying to kill Wesley Snipes.

This is probably a good place to stop. Radio Show: The Conclusion tomorrow...


Fizzgig said...

ok that cleveland video, made me laugh the 4 times I watched it.

I have no idea what station this was....I only listen to WMMS radio shows....or, the talk of Akron, WNIR. This officially makes me old.

Anonymous said...

This post series makes me nervous. I have no idea what direction you are taking it.

And you nailed my impression of the "funny" video. It's awful. I generally find him funny, but not this time. I'm tired of the Cleveland sucks jokes. Find original material. -Steph

Kristen said...

Clay Matthews??? that's amazing!

and I love this story so far. I can totally feel the awkwardness. can't wait to read the rest :)