What's going on LiveJournal. It's May, and that means that I just got back from my (apparently) yearly trip to Akron-- Err, Cleveland... Or is it Akron? Anyways, I'm not sure how meaningful this story will be if you don't know these people, but I'll give it a shot. Here it is, Akron 2015.
Saturday, May 16, 2015: I had packed the night before (a first time I hadn't packed the morning of), I had picked Jordon up a few days earlier, I woke up, everybody showered, we tossed our bags in the back of my dad's truck, we all piled in, and we were off to Tampa International Airport for our flight into Nashville. A girl named Brittany's dad had dropped her off stupid early (something like three hours before the flight) because he had to work and wasn't able to take her any later, which meant that my goals and dreams of being the first one there were shot. That's fine. I was running off very little sleep anyways. I always get anxious before a big trip. Everyone slowly trickles in, check in, and wait a good hour for our flight. That was no problem. I had fun bullshitting with everyone. Time for the flight and it's Jordon and Melissa's first flight. I was in their shoes last year! I sat next to Jordon, the flight takes off, everything was fine. We all had fun. The only downside was, landing in Nashville, I didn't see a city. At all. I saw a lot of mountains and a lot of water... But no downtown. Out of the plane and we have to race over to our next gate as we're now boarding. I was used to this from Atlanta last year. Catch our flight to Cleveland (Yes, Cleveland. 45 mins. away from Akron, but it was the only way to ensure that we all got on the same flight). This flight went fine also, and we come in to Cleveland where I don't see a city... But I did get a view of Lake Erie... And it is MASSIVE. I can't even begin to explain how big that lake looks from the air. We land, get out of airplane, and play the waiting game. Wait for everyone to get off, wait for everyone to use the restroom, wait for everyone to get lost; Wait, what? Yes, we had at least three people leave the group and get lost. It was a pain in the ass. We finally get the group together and wait for the shuttle to pick us up to take us to the rental car place. I never realized that rental cars were separate from the airport. Akron's airport was so small we could walk to the rental car area. At this time, it was time to start driving. 45 minutes towards Akron. We stop at a Target and pick up our shower supplies, then we stop by a local eatery (I can't remember the name, but it will be in the pictures at the bottom... If I can remember to put them up) and I got a big ass chicken sandwich for like $10. I wasn't complaining. We head to the dorms (yes, dorms), unpack, then head to the lounge, BS with each other some more, then crash. It was a busy day full of nothing.
Sunday, May 17, 2015: Wake up at 9:00 am to get ready and go to IHOP. This was the plan, it was on the FaceBook page, we were all excited about it...
A little back story: We got three vans for this trip. Three drivers. Two of the vans went out to breakfast. Last year, Chelsie went behind everyone's back to get to the A.A. house. I thought it'd be a secluded thing. Surely she had no say in this trip, right? Well, yes... I will have to say that she had VERY little say in this trip. It doesn't change the fact that she...
So anyways, the second van was following the first, and I was in the van with Chelsie. I hear Chelsie make a comment about a place that wasn't IHOP... The restaurant we had made reservations for... The restaurant everyone was promised. I was (at the time) under the assumption that plans had changed while I was showering and that everyone was aware of this change. I was wrong. We pull up to Wally's Waffles, get out of the van, and listen to everyone's confusion as to why the fuck we're there. Chelsie walks into this TINY little restaurant and tells them that there are 12 (I believe) of us. They were COMPLETELY unprepared for us. We wait... And wait... And wait... And wait... I head outside to BS with Alex and Jordon. Chelsie eventually makes her way outside and, instead of saying, "I fucked up, lets go to IHOP," decides to get on her phone and start calling other restaurants nearby to see if they can fit us. Mind you, WE STILL HAVE RESERVATIONS AT IHOP! Jordon had called them three times to ensure them that we were still coming. On the fourth call, where he told them plans changed, they cussed him out. We finally get seated and we had to shovel our food down as we had somewhere to be at I believe it was 10:45. We literally paid before our food came out. It was a good waffle, but the service was poor, it was underhanded, and they were not ready for us.
Breakfast ends, and we make it back to the dorms to meet the last van with about two minutes left to spare. We were going to be getting sweaty, dusty, and just plain dirty, so I wanted to change into some other clothes. Thanks to Chelsie, that wasn't possible. Oh well. We go to the Center for the History of Psychology, get a half-assed behind-the-scenes tour, and then get a quick explanation of what we're going to be doing. The museum is going to expand, so they're going to remodel the first floor and move the offices to the second floor. No problem. So, we had to clean out the third floor so they could move all of the clutter from the second floor. We busted our asses for a good two hours and it was fun. They told us that the museum will be closed for our trip next year (due to remodel), and that the speaker we were told was going to be at this speaking series would actually be speaking in October. This wasn't the end of our trip though... We then get food recommendations from the museum, a place called the Barley House. We go to the dorms, shower, get ready, and head out to this restaurant that we made reservations for. They were well prepared (by a good three hours) for a group of almost 20 people, right?
So, we show up to the restaurant, 19 people, they have us set up at a bunch of tables they pulled together. The first thought was that the place was HUGE. There were about five tables seated before us. No problem. We order drinks, some apps, and then our food. Next thing you know, some people are getting their apps and others aren't. Then we realize that they tried to stagger our food so every fifteen minutes, five of us would get something. We had no idea who our waitress was, and every time we asked a waitress for something, she replied that she would "tell [our] waitress" and would then go get it herself anyways. I ordered a spicy burger, and the joke was on me... It was INCREDIBLY spicy. I couldn't eat more than half of it. By the time the checks came out (with 20% off of everybody's bill), there were about three people who had just received their food. Now, there were about five tables seated before us... Their excuse for this atrocity was that they were "backed up" before we had even arrived. I have no idea how that happened, but whatever.
We then decide it's time for some ice cream, so we headed out to the most backwoods part of America I think I've ever seen, where a lone ice cream shop stood (and nothing else nearby with the exception of it being at the edge of a neighborhood). I had to pee like a mother, and had to get the key for the bathroom. Pee, grabbed a milk shake to calm my heartburn. I was messing with the kid and we were laughing back and forth. I asked if he'd get the caramel or the butterscotch. He said he hadn't tried either. So, I order butterscotch. I always do caramel. A few minutes later, another woman (employee) walks by and sees him making the butterscotch and makes a comment about "old people" always ordering the butterscotch. I ask if that's true, and he laughs and says yes. So I then tell the woman that he said it was his favorite and that's why I was ordering it. Joke's on them, that shit was delicious. Anyways, while there, this guy in his old school Camaro pulls up, sees a group of our female psych members, and apparently made a few raunchy gestures. To repay him, Barry Silber rolls his window down (as we were leaving, obviously), puts his fingers over his lips to form a V, and sticks his tongue out as if he's licking a vagina. The guy didn't see him, so we had to swing back around. This time the guy looked, gave an uncomfortable laugh, and then we proceeded to drive away.
Some of us went bowling, some of us went home. I ended up going bowling. It was fun. Then it was time to come home. Hit up a lounge, BS'ed for a while, slept.
Monday, May 18, 2015: This was, by far, the busiest day on our trip. We woke up, showered, got breakfast, then went to the Center for the History of Psychology. Showed the new people around, got some new pics myself, talked with people. Overall, just had a good time. Then we went to the school and had a Q&A with Dr. Levy, head of Psychology at UA. He is always a really cool guy, and was more than happy to answer all of our questions. He then gave us a quick and dirty tour of their psychology department, but we had to be silent as it was finals week for their grad students. I got a card from a professor there who works on psychology of aging. I still need to email here. Barry apparently plays golf with her dad down here. Tour ends, and now this is where we were supposed to get a tour of the campus. Supposed to being the key word. They had told Todd that they couldn't give us a tour, however, we saw many new students getting a full and comprehensive tour of the campus. Well, we have some time to kill. I'm pretty sure we got lunch, but I can't remember where. Then it was time for our talk. Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, who you'll know for her research in memory, and her disproving of repressed memory, was our guest speaker. Now, to say that Todd is her biggest fan is a complete understatement. Todd went online and bought every book he could find of her's, got it expressed shipped, etc. So, before the talk, I'm asking where she is, and someone points to the middle of the room and says, "Right there, red sweatshirt." So, I walk on over. I got lucky, right as I got there, she had finished up a conversation and was just standing there waiting for another one. "Dr. Loftus," I say as she turns her head towards me, "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Mark, my club and I flew all the way from Tampa to see you." Now, for as big as she is in the psychology world, she was extremely down-to-Earth. I then tell her that Todd is her biggest fan, and she then utters the words, "Well then, I guess I have to meet him!" Todd will later ask me "what [I] did" to make this moment happen. That is the true story. She meets Todd, signed at least one of his books, took a club photo with us, and took an individual photo with every member of the club. We then sit down, eat our salads, and prepare for the talk. Salad's done, my chicken parm comes out, I eat that. It was ok. Not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. Then I devoured the cheesecake that was in front of me. It was amazing. The talk went into Dr. Loftus' early life, into her study on memory, she addressed her critics, and we had an awesome time. The highlight for our members was when Blue-Eyes (Yes, that is his last name) went to get a book signed by her. She hadn't written it, but her experiment was in it. She simply turned to Blue and told him that the author of this book was full of "bullshit." She told him that she had never met the author before (as the author claims she has) and that none of the interview had actually happened either.
Dorms, get undressed, and head to McDonalds. Well, the guys at least. Ladies (and Alex) went to Taco Bell. So, I've been ignoring a big plot of this story. Jordon has a HUGE crush on this girl named Brittany (Yes, the one who beat me to the airport). So, we've been trying to get him to say something to her. He has NO idea what to say or do. Brittany also knows about his little crush, which became painstakingly clear when, during the talk, she leans in and whispers to him, "I'm not wearing any panties." Yes, he reacted exactly like you'd think he would... Shocked look, no follow up. Well, it came out at McDonalds that Alex also had a huge crush on Brittany. So, we ate, back to dorms, then downstairs in the lounge to B.S. Then sleep... Or so I thought. Apparently Jordon and Alex (along with Brittany) had stayed up all night waiting for the other one to fall asleep so they could try to get alone time with Brittany.
Apparently, while I was sleeping, everyone else decided to have an "important meeting" to hash out all of the problems everyone was having with each other. Ok, cool. It didn't affect me. Until I was trying to find out how this year compared to last year, and one girl comes up and tells me that "we're" no longer focusing on the past. Seriously, go fuck off somewhere. Go shave another side of your head. The adults are talking here.
Sunday, May 19, 2015: Wake up, pack, drop off keys, head into Cleveland. Big plans today. Head to Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Make it there, phone call to Todd, one of the vans had a gas tank break. Gas was flooding out at an alarming rate. Todd goes to rescue them, we're down a van. Not a problem as one of the people who joined us rented a car. We had a couple of hours to explore the museum. Then Stormy comes looking for me, I jokingly run away, I find her a few minutes later, go to find out what she wanted, she's a complete bitch the whole time. She goes off to do her own thing. Come to find out, "her own thing" included going to see Lake Erie... Without me... With Jordon... Yup, you know... An experience I'll get to have again tomorrow, right? So, after finding this out, I try to get to the lake so I can experience it too, alone... I got about half way there, and then had to turn around. The vans were coming to pick us up. I'd like to say that this isn't typical Stormy, but I'd be lying. She's selfish as fuck, and this is just another example. Head to the airport, check in, get some food, then the flight back home. Want to guess who couldn't respect my wishes to leave me the fuck alone? Got home at around 10:00. Tommy picked us up, took us home. Sleep in my bed. End.
Afterthoughts: Clearly, the University of Akron didn't give a shit that we were coming. Everything we did was an afterthought. The dorms were beat up, the not being able to schedule us a tour, hell, even some members of the museum made us feel sub-par. Dr. Ludy T. Benjamin was a huge figure to us last year. I don't expect him to remember us, but I'm wearing a name tag that even states where I'm from. He didn't remember us. Some of the museum staff did though, and it's those people who made us feel special. The museum was genuinely happy to have us, as was Dr. Levy. Honestly, I thought the museum would've been as exciting as it was last time. Unfortunately, once you've seen it, you've seen it. There was almost nothing new, and everything was in the same place. I was really hoping for an awesome experience, and it was lackluster. I enjoyed hanging out with my peeps, and being on the trip, and the RnRHoF, but the rest was pretty crappy. We'll see how everything goes next year.
And now, for pictures (In absolutely random order)!
This is a picture of Akron from the third floor of the Center for the History of Psychology.
This picture is meant to demonstrate the hills in Akron. At one of the hills, our automatic van started rolling backward.
Shelfie. Yes, one of those books dates back to the 1500's.
And here's the restaurant I couldn't remember the name of: Rockne's.
The next few will just be exhibits at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Me with Dr. Elizabeth Loftus.
A shot of Lake Erie from the second floor of the RnR HoF.
This is as close as I got to Lake Erie.
Gibson Cafe at Nashville's airport.
Me with Stanley Milgram's shock generator.
Stanley Milgram's generator.
Elvis display at the RnR HoF.
This is where the Browns will be taken to the Superbowl.
Me showing the Bobo Doll who's boss.
To those of you who were too lazy to click the link above, this is Barry.
And the single worst restaurant on our trip goes to...
Until next time.