9 times out of 10, I have my martini on Friday’s between 5:00 and 6:00. Occasionally, very occasionally, between 3:30 and 5:00; rarely ever before 3:30 and hardly ever after 8:00.

But on this day I had my martini at 10:00.

I went downtown Cleveland to the Ingenuity Festival. I got there early because I went after work and so I had the benefit of walking around and checking the exhibits before it got crowded. It was a trip. Part mad scientist, part junk-yard, park flea-market, and part circus. Some interesting exhibits, but far more artistic and ostentatious than practical inventor–which is more what I expected from the title. No criticism there–I just didn’t know what to expect.

An uber cool colleague, Fran, had told me about it. I’ve been wanting to use that word, uber, in a sentence in its traditional form, and there it is.

Turns out Fran used to be on the board of this festival. She suggested it had sort of evolved over the years. It was cool, but definitely a bit disjointed in terms of an overall theme. Sort of like a Cleveland industrial version of Burning Man. There was a of human centered circus act that was comically bad; I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be serious or a parody of human circus acts. Probably it was more effective as the parody.

But overall a pretty cool place. Clearly some people with creativity and time on their hands and access to power tools.

The highlights were massive sculptures that emitted fire on demand. Big fire. And noise. One of them was built to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the year the Cuyahoga River caught fire. That was a pivotal point in the environmental movement in this part of the country. The kids were both scared and amazed by the exhibits.

I left about 10:00. It was a long and cruel week and I was tired. All I had to eat was some circus fries, so I decided to go home and eat and take a martini there. Which I did.

I had ridden the motorcycle and it was a beautiful night. I deliberately got lost a couple of times which frustrated the GPS. I wonder if willful disobedience pisses off a machine? Anyway, I  got home and I had a lovely gin martini on the back patio. Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin. Pretty damn good. And a nice way to close out a nice evening and long work week.


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