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Buggin' Out 

Icky things happen at Forest Fear Factor.

SAT 8/21

Nora Sindelar guarantees that you won't turn as green as the "insect vomit" she'll dare you to eat at Saturday's Forest Fear Factor. The woodsy take on the TV reality show challenges the brave-hearted at seven stations of slimy stunts, including one where you're defied to pet a four-and-a-half-foot black rat snake named Miles. "People are just afraid of the forest in general," says Sindelar, a Geauga Park District naturalist. "There are some legitimate fears, but we're going to show people how to calm those fears."

Tell that to the easily frightened, as armies of daddy longlegs run up and down their arms. Or when they're asked to stick their hands into a vat of crawling mealworms. "We're not trying to laugh at people's fears," Sindelar explains. "Just try and take on whatever you feel like doing. Nothing will be forced upon anyone." Confront your fears from 7 to 9 p.m. at Big Creek Park's Frances Hall Amphitheater, 9160 Robinson Road in Chardon. Admission is free; call 440-286-9516. -- Cris Glaser

Damn Yankees
The best team money can buy comes to town.


The Indians' surge back into Central Division contention dovetails with the only Jacobs Field visit this year from the New York Yankees, in town for night games Monday through Wednesday. Their $200 million payroll translates to a few extra Hummers in the players' lot, but it doesn't mean much to Tribe players. It's Cleveland, after all, that sports the American League's best record since the All-Star break. "I don't even think about when the Yankees are in town," claims All-Star catcher Victor Martinez. "I just take one game at a time." For fans, looking ahead has become increasingly tempting: The bullpen that torched the first half of the season is now falling back into place, anchored by Bobs Howry and Wickman. "Our bullpen has been up and down all year, but they've been working really hard," says Martinez. The Tribe takes on the Yanks at 7:05 p.m. Monday through Wednesday at Jacobs Field, 2401 Ontario Street. Tickets are $5 to $40; call 216-420-4487. -- Matt Leavitt

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

WED 8/25

Sharon Hargrove knows all about sacrifices. And we're not just talking about a batter giving himself up to advance a base-runner. As wife of former Indians manager Mike Hargrove (and mother to his five kids), Hargrove has spent much time on the road, trying to raise a family and, more important, trying to keep it together. She even wrote a book about it -- 1989's Safe at Home: A Baseball Wife's Story. "I married [my] high school sweetheart in an itsy-bitsy town," she says. The plan was "that he'd coach, and I'd raise the family. I got even more than I was dreaming of." Hargrove talks about being a baseball wife at the Western Reserve Historical Society (10825 East Boulevard) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is $5; call 216-721-5722. -- Lucy McKernan

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