Obsession, Nerdery, and Witches

The Witches, Salem 1692 When I was in the sixth grade, I became somewhat obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials. I don’t remember what got me started, but I know that I worked my way through the books in my school library, and then used my dad’s alumni library card at (what is now) Binghamton University* so I could get better books — the ones with transcripts of primary source documents. Because as an 11 year old I thought I could understand 17th century trial records?

I’m sure I thought I could (and did), but in hindsight… well, I think it’s kind of adorably nerdy that I tried. Continue reading

They Say It Rocks

The Cleveland skyline from Lake Erie.
The Cleveland skyline from Lake Erie.

The weekend before last I took a trip to Cleveland, to see BFF Wendy, who moved there a few years back. It wasn’t my first trip there — it was, in fact, my third — but I don’t think I’ve been anywhere before that left so little of an impression on me. As much as I racked my brain, I could conjure up almost no recollection from my first two times there.

I don’t think this is necessarily Cleveland’s fault, though. My initial trip was a “visit the parents” trip with (unbeknownst to me) a very-soon-to-be-ex boyfriend, and the second was a “get out the vote” trip (as part of my brief foray into political activism) that involved virtually no sleep. I don’t think either circumstance was designed to leave me with much in the way of memories.

Wendy, on the other hand, wanted to show off her new hometown in all my favorite ways — mostly involving local food, craft breweries, and historic neighborhoods. (Girl knows me, that’s for sure.) And did she ever deliver. I had such a good time that when I got back my brother asked me if I’d been hired by the Chamber of Commerce, since I’d been posting such glowing things on Twitter all weekend. And he’s right: I came back with a bit of a crush on Cleveland. Continue reading