Thursday, September 30, 2004

Lunch with The Man

Here is a picture of John Brown, the owner of Ringside Boxing in Kansas City. We went to lunch at Mister Goodcents by the warehouse. Ringside is the largest manufacturer of boxing gear in the world. He is a huge supporter of Hoosierweight boxing and of me personally. He has been a longtime supporter of the bouts from the second card I put in my backyard. He has been supportive in many invaluable ways. I see him every couple of months either when he is in the STL or when I am in KC. We discussed business about the fights I am putting together in KC.

John Brown had a different new proposal for me to work on my angle for boxing. It is pretty sound, but it will take a ton of legwork. He knows what he is doing too. The proposal has to do with developing on the professional end. He told me that Bob Arum and Don King are on their way out. They are at the end of their game. DeLahoya is on his way up, but his niche is narrow. He told me I could be the next Don King. Now I have heard that before, but it has always come from people who don't know that much about boxing. Now John Brown said this to me, and such a statement really means something. It is just hard when I have to run a business so lean on the startup. Things are definitely working out though after discussing the ideas, and the state of the business and the opportunities in general. Hmmm.

Read My Apocalips

The first time I saw this poster I had to take a pic. This poster was seen on the abandoned bank just east of Grand on Gravois. It reads "Read my Apocalips" with a picture of Bush and a mushroom cloud in the back. It is beautifully illustrated and a great rendition of guerilla art. I have since seen it at some finer locales around town.

The Couger Tabby on the Mercury

Last weekend I was in front of Kaldi's having a dessert with my 91 year old grandmoms who I drove that night in my Mercury. As we had some caramel apple pie and espresso a cat decided to hold court on my car. Then he decided to jump in and enjoy the luxurious leather seats. Everyone outside was watching this cat move and just started cracking up as he peered in through the open window and then just took a seat behind the wheel. He was ready to take charge.

Jim Utz and MC Rolf on the streets

I went for a spin last week with Jim Utz. We rode down to Soulard Market and up to Artica. Sure enough we bump into Mark Rolf. The man is now working at Bank of America and no longer at Victoria Secret.

Mallard Cocky Roosevelt

Much writing tonight. This is the third post in a row.


So I tape the news every night and watch it. I often watch the news shows on the 24 hour, but the quality of the features are bit more explorative than the standard TV on the news shows later in the night. So I was watching the piece on the preview for the presidential debates taped from the 5:30 ABC news. It shows W walking and waving, and then the commentator mentions that the president appeared confident and cocky about the upcoming debate. I kind of doubled at the word "cocky." The commentator then went on to say that the president went to his ranch then went bike riding and jogging.

Now "cocky" is a strong word to use in a description. Then I thought of Mallard Fillmore comic strip, in which every three days he uses what I consider over the top descriptions of mock newscasts from ABC blasting the likes of Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton and/or John Kerry.

I read Mallard Fillmore faithfully along with Boondocks, Duplex, Get Fuzzy and Mark Trail. I have also been reading that new Pearls in Swine- pretty twisted. Anyway, Mallard Fillmore is the comic strip "conservative" response to Doonsbury. I dunno, Doonsbury is repetitive, one note and too long, and boring. Mallard Fillmore on the other hand is quick, all over the place and more dumb than anything else. Now a strip like Boondocks is fresh, interesting and a moving spirit. However Boondocks is dancing around the deep end in which many comics fall- no longer interesting or sharp due to weird unrelated tangents. Many strips have gone over the line. Funky Winkerbean started off clever and goofy, now it has just turned really weird and out of tocuh with really unconnected topics and downright depressing, plus they make it boring. Then others took a less stark move out of glory and into a sea of mediocrity, like the long slow steady decline of Mother Goose and Grimm (Sorry Mister Peters, yes it is true- stick to the Op Ed for the material is so much fresher in turn making your strips taste fresh). And Ziggy recorded a total loss on his third day of publication during new strip probation period. But I ramble...

So I thought about that word "cocky" on ABC news thinking of Mallard Fillmore's comic strip for the strip's creator would often have the big chinned Peter Jennings saying rather over the top descriptions. Was there basis to either the ABC reporter's use of strong language like "cocky?"

Sure, why not? The guy is going into the election with numbers that are up. I imagine he feels his message is getting across to the American people. Well the president did go for a bike ride and also a run. That in a way makes it seem that he is carefree. Not necessarily, but it certainly makes it seem so, especially cuz he is not in the office and out at his ranch. He does go on a lot of vacations.

So I naturally think of other times our nation was at war. I think of FDR. I think of the fireside chats. He sympathized with the great sacrifices that were made. He was physically taking the toll of the war. In fact the stress was too much for him and he passed away while in office. He really embodied the American spirit at the time. The country was not divided, instead it was united. Sober, somber, serious, understanding of the great sacrifices and motivated.

Something ain't right.

Zombies don't scare me... all that much, er

I am still too scared to see Shaun of the Dead. I am such a pussy. I thought I could get over the initial premise. I had always been fearful of the undead walking the earth dining on living human flesh. I have overcome most of that fear by watching and rewatching these movies off an on over the past ten or so years. Now I am no longer having nightmares about zombies, but I still squirm during moments of the zombie flicks. Now for some reason, seeing a parody of a zombie flick makes me a bit queasy and that is too queasy for me.

It all stems from watching Dawn of the Dead was I was something like 9 years old. I remember the zombies walking through the mall eating the living, all the while my mother was in hysterics. I didn't understand why my mother thought it was so funny at the time, but now I see how it is awfully hilarious. But it still really scares me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I got the Juice

I got juice that I didn't even know about. Damn.

I started off today by dropping off my Florsheims at the cobbler on the Hill. Funny man. There was some odd fella drinking a can of southside brew standing in the doorway. The shoeman, an old immigrant from Sicily was working away. The young guy looked a little odd. Not old world, more of some mook. The mook told me that the old man was the best in town. I sort of ignored him for he was being a bit forward. No big deal. I nodded and agreed he was the man. I talked to the cobbler and he is going to put on a new heal and he is going to patch the sole. Sounds good. Then the mook asked me if I knew why he was the best. I just said everyone knows he is the best, that is why I came. I looked over at the old man and he gave me a glance wave of "seeya, don't worry abou this weirdo." Hmmm. I dunno, but I wound up strolling out thinking, maybe this was some odd stickup job that I ran in on. Then some ragged out gal with a pack of smokes in walked in as I stepped out the door. Hmmm. Maybe there was something fishy going on. I guess I will find out when I go pick up my shoes on Saturday.

I stopped over at Hanake to return some hardware that we were going to use to make the floor of the ring. Considering that we are in flux with the space I have postponed making the floor. It looks like I am going to move locations. I was looking all earlier this week at some spots around town. We got some decent ones as possibilities. I have made countless calls and put bugs in multiple ears. I am sure we can line something up.

I then went over to Viviano's to check in with the guys. They came to the fights and bought good seats. Apparently they loved it. Good for them. I was going in to thank them and to see if they had any extra warehouse space. I asked the young lady behind the register about it. She seemed intrigued about it and called over to the back for a Viviano. She told me none of the family were there, but one of the head guys wanted to come up. Seemed good. Some old Mister Belvedere guy came up, with his brit accent and all. He seemed a bit confused by all this talk of fights and gyms and gave me that "what the hell are you talking about, please move along you mick" kind of look. The girl seemed a bit confused also, but she was intrigued. I looked at her and told her to mention it to the family guys when she got a chance, that I was there to thank them for coming.

So I went up to get the Mercury washed. It is always a relaxing luxury for me. It is cheap- ten bucks, and they do a bang up job. It is up at Custom Auto Care off Vandaventer under the Metrolink tracks. I am trying sell the Mercury, so I need it to have a pro good scrubbing. For the record- it is going for 2200 bucks a 78 Merc Grand Marquis-excellent shape powder blue with a working eight track player. I sat inside and worked on my 'puter as a fella from Hannibal named Pork Chop cleaned my ride. I talked with the owner some for he is trying to open his second location down at Grand and Chippewa. That would be most excellent. He runs a pro shop, and that is not the case with all the hand car washes. Some can be those "funky" kind of parties that you know are not going to last, nor should they last. Geezo, not like that In and Out car wash on Compton and Gravois. Yikes. Apparently Pork Chop used to box, so I invited him and the owner down to my open house for the gym this Thursday night.

From there I rolled down to El Bronco for a bite before I went to the gym. Nothing particularly exciting, other than some six or seven year old kid was playing games with his chums. Kind of funny actually. The kid had the same mentality as I did at his age. There were no boundaries. Fences are things to climb. Yards are things to run across and play in. Property did not have such a strict definition, nor was it much of a concept that meant anything. The kid runs into the taqueria and shuts the door behind him. He was trying to hide from some of his friends or I guess his enemies. Either way it kind of startled the employees. They don't hablo English all that great and they looked worried that I would be upset about some neighborhood kids. I smiled and asked the kid what was happening. He talked all fast like kids do, and I barely could understand anything other than he wanted to know what I was eating. He kept peering out of the window and smiling, like he just got away with something or wanted to get away with something. He kept ducking down as his chum outside the window could clearly see him. He then ran in and out some more. Then he came back in and I gave him a flyer and told him he should come down to the gym. He didn't understand anything I said, but he was smiling. He knew I said something about boxing for he started to move his arms around like a boxer. He then wanted to know if that was my cady outside. I told him yes it was, and I decided not to correct him to say it was my Lincoln Mercury. He waved his chum in and got him to take a flyer from me. They gave me the look that they wanted to stick around. Normally I would let them bug me a while longer, but I decided not to for they were kind of freaking out the employees and I honestly didn't feel like playing at the moment.

But right when I was about to leave was the point when I realized I had juice. Juice that just is. The guy that writes tickets on Cherokee knocked on the window and smiled at me. He pointed toward my car. I recognized the guy. I have given him friendly nods and smiles. He knows me I guess. I never really thought about it. I don't recall having a conversation with him, but I may have. I run on Cherokee often. I darted out of the door and dropped a dime in the meter. I don't think he even cared, he was just giving me a heads up. I thanked the man as he walked on. That is juice. So I went back in paid, packed up my 'puter and rolled down the street. I rounded over on Iowa to thank the meter man. I passed him a flyer and told him to come down anytime and send any kids he knows over if he thinks it would be good for them. He smiled and we parted ways.

Juice. Yeah....juice.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Headed to KC by train

I am headed out to KC as I write this. I am to meet up with Zach and to try to lay the groundwork for the fights. I picked up the train in Kirkwood and the train was promptly an hour late. Now we have been sitting on the tracks for over an hour. Charming. Eh, 25 bucks and I can get work done on the train. They got outlets on it now. Not really all that bad for my productivity increases exponentially when I move. I got my to do list made up and I am pulling things off at a rapid clip.

The scenery is beautiful. We roll along the side of the Missouri river. Looking at it make me think of a time when these trains first arrived and even before they were here. Must have been amazing to see these lands for the first time as a settler.

Funny how things change. I sit here on the train now trying to hijack a wi-fi connection at each stop. Different breed on the trains these days. Back then it was full of speculators, prospectors, those wanting to put down new roots and those who have been kicked out of their towns. Now it is the elderly, cheap, small town folk. I guess I am seeking my fortune though. Now I just need to shoot some buffalo from the window.

I think I am going to try the "fresh" Caesar salad at the snack bar now. Er.



I had training tonight with the kids. The kids were great. A large crew from West End gym came down. They were very well behaved and were working hard. Nice to see form them. Coach Larry had them all working well and the kids were showing mad respect. Good. Roberto worked with them quite a bit too. Mike showed with Joey and some other fighters. Good stuff.

I then headed over to Tanner Bs to catch up on some work. I set up shop in the corner. They got that wifi and an outlet. I can get quite a bit done just plugging away. I ordred a small salad. But it is hard to do work when people started rolling in. Jeez, it was just a Tuesday night. First I saw Paul Brenden. He is an architect and does work with Dave Dwars and old chum from High School. Good guys. Paul came to the fights. Then I saw John Pollaci and Nick Baur. Both guys I know from way back. Funny. Nick has done real well in Real Estate and got himself a house in Compton Heights. Good for him. John Pollaci is doing the loan game like his dad. Our father’s know each other and we have many mutual friends. We talked about things. Apparently they went to that Urban professionals thing which was over at a new B&B on Russell. Sounds like a nice joint.

I then had to take calls and I went outside for the reception is crap inside the restaurant. There I see Andy Schneider and Kathy Best. They told me that Andy was doing well, for they had just talked to him and he was getting drunk with the soldiers from Iraq. They just finished their second tour. Apparently there were a lot of injuries this time out. Ech. I closed the joint down and finished a lot of work. Good stuff.

Busy days

Thursday the 16th

<>I ran around all day prepping for the big party at the Famous Bar. I was making black eyed pea pudding, black eyed pea hummus, Matte’, some pizza from Pizza World, spring rolls from Ban Mi So, some mango upside down cake by Joyce, flat bread crackers and I think that was it. Oh and coffee ice cream. I had to do some photo work with Dilip earlier on so I had my monkey suit on. Doing some promotional work with the gym. <>

Of course things were not correct at the Famous Bar for the bartenders didn’t know we were coming, but they are professionals and handled it well. The only thing that sucked is that one of the coaches needed to bring two of the kids there for their mother to pick them up, and the bartender got extra nervous and we had to kick the kids out. We really need to mature as a country. It was a family situation and we were all looking out like guardians. Oh well. Quite a few showed, Dan, Sarge, Doug, Jen, David, Chanel, Na-do, Barb, Josh, Shen, my Dad, McBride, Marty, Beth, Glenn, Peter, Sara, Rose, Steve and more. Good stuff. We crashed the private rooms hard and put the belt up above the bar. Mark Grey came by late and was apologizing but there was no need for everything turned out great with the exception of the kid situation. <>Friday night the 17th

<>Didn’t do much at first, but I talked to Matt Frederick earlier and he was headed to check out the Whole Sick Crew at Lemmons. I hadn’t seen them in a while and I headed out on my bicycle to see it. It was a beautiful night out. I should ride my bike more often. A good scene was there, but I had missed the whole sick crew. There was some other pirate band from Carbondale that was playing. I sat down and talked to Matt quite a bit about some business and things in general. He is pursuing his PHD and is going to be specializing in polling. That is one smart kid. He already knows what he is talking about, but he figures he will get the documents to authenticate the word. We talked about the election, the mistakes and the future. Very interesting. I saw Matt Pace and Kristin. There were others there, Bryan, Maggie, Larry and others. I saw Tim Rakel at the door. I asked him how business was. He shrugged his shoulders. It looked good to me. I pressed on. He said that last night there were three people. So I told him that business was inconsistent. He told me he got paid the same either way. What a good socialist.

I then rode my bike home, but I stopped at the Famous to have a half pint.

Sept 10&11 2004

Beautiful day for a bike ride.

<> I heard that the Joan of Arc Homecoming was this weekend. I couldn’t pass it up so I rode my bike over there. The weather was perfect. Every kid, parent and neighborhood weirdo packed the festival of meats, booze, throw up rides, quilts and gambling. Sounds like Catholicism to me. <>I locked my bike next to the stage, the stage which I saw Southside Johnny play a few years back at the homecoming. Somebody at Joan of Arc must work for a clever ad agency for they had these little posters asking in several different clever ways of “where is the brat?” in fancy font with pix of the parishioners in funny positions. I looked at the people screaming on the rides. Fun. The carnies looked a little off as normal. This was a gambling heavy party, for they had about a dozen booths that involved some sort of religiously sanctioned gambling ranging from the dull pulltabs to poker and some sort of horse betting. Didn’t figure how that one worked. I took my chance on one pulltab and promptly lost. Eh, it is to a greater cause. But God forbid if I ever gamble without a proper license. Actually, I don’t think God forbids gambling unless you are Baptist or something. But the man does. I don’t even like gambling, but I do like playing cards. There was a concession stand with handmade cut out figures of a hot dog with legs, eyes and arms. It was creepy cool only to be matches by the walking soda guy. <>I went inside to check out the old ladies selling their quilt tickets. I really should have bought one. I wouldn’t know what to do with it if I won, but they wanted three bucks for a ticket and I really should watch my pennies. Eh, I shoulda bought one. They looked very cool, proudly pushing their wares which were pinned up to the wall. Hodaks chicken was for sale in the cafeteria, there was a bingo gambling game going on in a classroom- I think the Catholic age restriction was 14 or 16 or something. Funny.

I sat and watched the Dad’s grill the brats. They all looked loaded and having a blast. Sort of planted into the ground, rocking back and forth, sipping beer and flipping meat. Very primal. Makes me think of some sort of tribal festival. The old women with their wares, the men and the meat, the women handling food, the natives gambling away their possessions, the kids eating too much and screaming, funny music and even funnier dancing, the head voodoo priest walking around like he owns the joint. The whole event was familiar, comforting and peculiar. Culture has many common threads, more than we like to admit.

So I headed out and unlocked my bike and slowly rolled out of the lot. And some guy as I passed told me it was against the rules to ride my bike. Geez, some people think they are deputized or something. I didn’t even put two and two together until about five seconds after he told me I was breaking the rules. I just figured he was talking to someone else. I checked to see if it said anything at the entrances and sure enough there was a list of don’ts on a sheet of paper. Thing is, I was looking at the rides when I walked in with the bike and breathing in all the interesting odors.

<>I rolled out of there and went over to the Art Outside at the Bottleworks in Maplewood. I was there the night before but I really didn’t get a chance to check out much of the work. It was a full house the night before. Crazy. Couldn’t go five feet in the joint w/o seeing someone. . I was drafted when I walked in to move a booth for the Schlafly crew. Funny. I saw Andrea and told her that things looked great but honestly I had just arrived. She put the deal together. She is a sharp one. Did a great job now that I did see it all. Saw Maggie and Larry while watching Maid Right. That was right on. They are cool peeps. They just moved next door to the place they were living so they were all moving and needed to take a rest. They built a band room so they practice in their band the Good Griefs. Maid Right played a song called “my dog Sherman” about the dog chasing bugs. Maggie and Larry laughed for their old bandmate was named Sherman and then they started pointing out similarities between the bug chasing dog and their former bandmate. I also saw Wiktor and Igneshika. They are some cool peeps too. I am doing some work for Wiktor. I need to call him back. They took me to eat inside the bottleworks as we dined. The food at the Bottleworks is fantastic. I could eat there every day. So fresh and original. Balance too. I got to see Jenna, Nannette and Jason at the SCOSAG Booth. I saw Brandyn Jones, she works over at City Hall and she also put things together. She is funny. Really, it was hard not to have fun. Ron from Mad Art strolled by and he was also handling stuff too. Geez, not only is he a po-po, runs an art gallery but now helping on this. I saw Tom Schlafly enjoying the band and then I talked to Greta- she was rocking out in Maid Right, but I then complimented there show. They did a cover of a police song. Surreal. They are much closer to an all girl jug band than the police. They are pretty heehawriffic. They are one of my favorite bands right now. Greta also spun fire at the fights. She is also likely to fight at one of the bouts sooner than later. I ran into Chad Garrison in the beer line, surprise surprise. I bought his beer for him. Funny boy. I saw even more people, but it goes on and on. That is why I came back the next day to check out the art.<>I started at the Scosag booth and Jenna, Jason and Nannette convinced me to put a halo over my head with a decorative head band. They told me all the hip kids were doing it. That was good enough for me, but I don’t think I deserve a halo. Nannette told me that it wasn’t real so it didn’t matter. Funny.<>I started around by Bill Christman’s booth. That is just a downright cool fella and his work is a perfect reflection of that. Popular, but with an octane boost. I like the simplicity, the straight timeless design incorporating a lot of hand painted signs. I always liked those signs. You see them around on occasion. Sometimes they are faded on the sides of buildings. It took real skill to put it together. It doesn’t try to be more than it is. I saw Diane Tororian and her husband with their kid. Very wild kid. She lives over south of the park. Apparently she went to school w/ my sis over at Nerinx. She and her husband were keeping a close eye on their son who was meandering about looking at the pavement while they took a rest, but it looks like they can’t take much of a rest with such a curious kid. And that kid likes to eat. Anything. It was amazing. The kid wouldn’t stop. He would grab food out of his mother’s mouth. It reminded me of a mother robin regurgitating a meal for her offspring. Except in this case it was a brat.<>

<>I walked around saw Craig Norton had his drawings out. I then stopped over at Carmalita’s booth where she had a lot of plates and bowls. Nice stuff actually. I should consider getting some at some point. We spoke of her quest for a Chevy Nova. She was hanging in the back of her booth with her chum. It looked like they were having a small party in the back, but they were just lying low in the sunny time of the day. I then crashed Caroline Huth’s booth. She does very cute work. It sells well and for good reason. She uses a lot of found art and things she acquires at estate sales. It is mostly paper goods, or smaller stuff incorporated into frames. I talk to her about what she is trying to convey and honestly- she is wacky. I good ways. Let me think, yes good ways. There is a nice pic of her with a bird on her hat. I wound up sitting in on her booth while she ran around. It was nice to take a seat on her director’s chair. People would constantly exclaim their amusement at her pieces. I even sold one for her. A small one. We joked around with one of her friend’s dogs and then talked about the word on the street. She then sent me off with some fresh water for my commission.I then rode my bike home. As I crossed over 44 at Arsenal someone shouted at me to “get the hell off the sidewalk!”. I looked over at it was Patrick Landewe and Getchen on their way to the Bottleworks. Funny. I crossed over Arsenal to go on the street and there was Marty Minnegrode pedaling in good fury all geared up and proper. That was funny to see him on the street. He had just gotten back from riding to Crestwood. That is some trip. We chatted as we both headed east and then I broke off at Sublette and headed home. I rested up til later in the night.


<>Later that night I wound up heading out to see my old old roommate Dan Potthast band play, MU330 at the Creepy Crawl. It was fun to see them. I sat in the back with the dignified and legendary Paul Stark. I know Paul from a long time back. Most of us do. He works over at STLtoday and has had quite a few interesting jobs over the years. He has always been a participator in the scene, especially when it comes to the ska music, and film. He hosts the Monday night movies at Fredrick’s Music Lounge. He is the manager over there. Very level headed and always making great observations. He can be a shit disturber at times, but he always seems to be far enough removed so he can just watch the fun. We sat in the back, talked a bit and then I went back to talk to the crew. Dan has been living in Cali up in Santa Cruz living the California dream. He called me up wanting to borrow the Cady, but it looks like that won’t be possible for the steering knuckle is still broke. I have been establishing myself as a parts detective trying to get the correct knuckle for this ride. He wants to use the car for their song Rosa Parks. It is about when the KKK adopted the highway. Dan is doing well, I talked to Ted and he is also doing well. We talked about our gardens, and that guy literally is a horticulturalist these days. I talked to Matt Hahn who is getting married into some very seriously connected family. Reception over at the Starlight room with the in law dad inviting an additional 300 or so on top of their number. He is big on the insurance game. It looks like Matt will be moving down to Springfield for a year while his bride to be studies for school. He is a certified electrician and has been working for years at it.I rolled out of there and met up with the crew at the Famous Bar- always easy for it is close to the crib. I passed on the 3am and went to sleep.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The man is after me!

Long time since my last post and so much has happened. I am in between training sessions right now and I am sitting over at the Hartford Coffee. I only have a few moments, but I plan on dropping quite a bit of text in the next couple of days. I am headed to KC most likely tomorrow morn on the train, so I should have plenty of time to work. My computer won't take the pix off my phone at the moment so I will be w/o pix for a bit. That is a shame cuz I got some sweet ones.

So I got a letter in the mail last week from the city. Apparently the think I got a weed in my yard that exceeds seven inches in height. Man, I guess the city has got too much time on their hands if they are going around measuring supposed weeds. They don't understand that I got my own natural garden. I grew my own black eyed peas, tomatoes, peppers, spices, pumpkins and more. I have made many a meal from tomato sandwiches to black eyed pea pudding to pumpkin ice cream. Apparently there is a hater in the neighborhood of my front lawn garden and called in to complain. I have a good idea who it is. Sometimes retirement is a time when people have too much time on their hands and need to get in other people's business. Such as chasing a neighbor in their car and bumping them cuz they parked in their "spot". Or putting oddly written veiled threats on cars and front doors. I think life is okay if these are the problems I am having. I will chain myself to my tomato plants if the city tries to mow it down.

Anyway, I have been riding my bike a lot lately, going to parish picnics, bumping into some fun peeps, hung out with a character named "Big Hands" and more. Trip trip trip.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Scene from the Labor Day Fights

Here is a great shot by Dilip Vishwanat/ He was on the Top of Pop's Blue Moon for the fights. The scene was surreal with the highway just a few feet from the ring.

Life in the fast lane, er...

Wow. One helluva weekend.

The fights went great. Relatively smooth. Generally successful. The problems had far fewer problems than in previous bouts. Good fights too. A lot of open class fighters. Only one no show. The crowd was bumping. The characters were thick.

The set up went rather smoothly. The night before, on Saturday night I went over to Pop's Blue Moon to meet up with Gate, my chum the G-man spook, who was in town to go to the fights. I went to school with Gate. He worked with me at the station and we still run around quite a bit. He is my main Chicago connection. Anyway, so Gate has been to a lot of the bouts. He came to town cuz his mom came bought some tickets to the bouts and was going to take him. How cute. He is a momma's boy. Like I should talk. My mother was also at the fights. Grandma has been too, the dogtown fights and the Kentucky Ave fights, but they have shied away from taking her more recently for she is 91. I guess it was okay when she was a spry 89. Actually I agree with my parents, but one of the main reasons I created the VIP section was so my grandmoms can come more easily. And after the last fights, seeing how the VIP section has gone, I still think I need to have a bit more calm of a situation. I am working on it. I think I should get her an entourage like a boxer. Everyone move out of the way! Here comes Grandma! Pay your propers. Don't act like a fool. Be nervous, nervous because you want to be proper and nice and not come off over anxious, a fool, loud or out of hand. Hmm. I am going to work on that.

Anyway, so I meet Gate over at Pop's. I got their a bit early, so I talked a few things over with Josh and Terry. The port-a-potties were in the place. We double checked all the other notes from timing, arrival of rentals, security, volunteers, ticket sales etc. Everything was good. Very good. Hmmm. I was waiting for the crisis. And the smaller problems were of note, but overall very small. I worked out a situation in which the rentals were not confirmed properly. It is a good thing I double check. I also had all the staffing issues addressed. The doors were set. Braclets, banks, stamps, lists, will call etc. We had two doors too. I put reliable people in place, three per door. They handled it beautifully.

Anyway, so Gate comes over to Pop's. So Gate does computer forensics for the Feds. He's got a badge and all. Too much fun. After he got the badge, which is just cool, I started sniffing around and I hustled up an old KGB badge. It is badass. I made sure that he absolutely meet me before he left town once so I could get it to him. He now owes me a favor due to this badge. Apparently it worked in quite the funny situation up in Chicago. So we met for a sip of some beer up front, but the band was starting up so we headed back to the private room to talk. Pop's has a nice backroom next to the bathrooms. They often keep it closed, but it can be opened. It has great lighting. So we hear that Thomas Crone was in the house. He was hanging out front. Gate has known Crone for years. He came back eventually and we chatted for a bit. He was a bit quiet that night. He was wearing a suit for he was going to crash a wedding at Mad Art. Not sure what for. Probably just to hang out with the owner and employees. Tracy, Ron, Jamie, Andrea and the crew. He sometimes bartends too. Actually so do I. It has been a while. I think I am going to email Tracy.

Okay, so I am drinking with Gate. We chat with Akita Crone in the back for a few minutes and then we all head out. I wanted to get home early for, quite obviously, I had a big day the next day. Outside I see Josh. And next to him is this big pimped out golf cart. It had metal exhaust pipes. A roof with overhead lights like a jeep. Fat all terrain tires. A chain steering wheel. Geezo. A chain steering wheel. And to top it off it has an electronic horn that plays the theme to Godfather. So I had to ask. And he let us. Josh let us take a spin through the hill on this glorified golf cart. Gate and I hopped on. We rode right over the curb. The thing has six car batteries. The lights were blasting full throttle, while the actual throttle only got us up to a quick walking pace. We slowly rolled over the Edward's Bridge. Then we took a left at Shaw. We stopped at Modesto. I had to see if Roxanna was working. She was already off. Dang. We went over to Bommarito's and I saw the thug wearing a tux and a hat who guards the door. I played the Godfather theme. The thug just stared at us. We then rolled and took a right over at Adrianna's. We rolled around to where Saint Ambrose is and then took some pix on my picture phone as seen above. The great thing then was when we passed up Milo's. There were some other guys on the street who started yelling at us in Italian. It was funny. We pulled back in to Pop's after a thorough run. I wound up heading back home after that. I really needed to get some sleep.

Sunday went great. Too much to write about. Hectic start up. I had some no shows on some help, but Don, Ben and Joey pulled through. Great stuff. Got the ring, tables and everything together. Everything else pretty much blurred into place. I met up with Zack from KC over at the Panda. He came into town with his crew to check out the fights. Good stuff. The young lady boxing student drove a very nice new Impala. Can't remember her name. I got to do better at that. The early gate crashers crashed and we got most of them to pay. The door peeps did a great job. The fights were great. The officiating was fantastic. Everything went smooth. I went to the afterparty at Freddy's which was jumping. Really jumping. Sat down and talked to Peter for a bit. The gym is going great. We decided to add on Roberto Martinez as a coach. Good call. And we added the all female session. Roberto is going to train on that one. He will be great. He actually trains the kids over at West End, so this will be quite a switch. I also sat down and talked with Jen and David. They are getting married next spring. I have known David for over 12 years. Great guy. He has dated Jen for, oh, six years? I used to live in the same four family as him, and then Jen when she moved in with him. He lives over in Clifton in a nice house. Very nice. Dave rides scooters with Jen. I used to tinker with him in the basement of our building. Often I wound up breaking some of the items- one specifically- a hub on a scooter wheel. It had an internal brake park we had to get to. We later found out there was no real way to get it off, but we got it off alright. And never to be put back on. Funny.

So Frank DiPiazza came to talk to us. Frank is great. Funny fella. His family owns Datalia food importing. Frank plays the drums. And he takes pictures. He is really rather good. I recommended Frank to Jen and David for a photog for the wedding. He is not that overdone posed shot photographer, and they are hardly the over the top high maintenance couple either. They are going to do only black and white and just a few posed shots. The rest will be action shots. It is going to be great. David then asked me to be a part of his crew for the wedding. That is really cool. It is the first time I have been asked. I really am happy to do this for David.

More happened sure, but the days have gotten on and it is late. I have been lying low the past couple of days, but I am going to start back into the swing of things for I am in the need to keep things moving. But I am going to need to sleep.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Cobra comes out of the corner to face Sam "the Policeman" Hill

Wow. Things are moving along fast these days. I got twelve fights on this card. It is going to be a long night.

I am turning in and it is still early. I have been all over town today. I met up with Rose Martelli for lunch over at Saint Raymonds and then we headed over to the Panda. Saint Raymond's is a big catering room attached to the Lebanese Church just south of Choteau near Tucker. It is the connected joint in town heavy with judges, politicians, lawyers, union guys etc. The food is great. I saw Roger Englehardt over at Saint Rays. He is a detective for the Police and he handles the fighters for the Police. I spoke with him about one of the fighters dropped out. Roger plans on coming on Sunday. I ordered a kibbi, grape leaf rolls, spinach and tomatoes. Rose ordered a kibbi, dumplings, tomatoes and vegetables. We topped it off with some Turkish coffee. Much needed. Rose just got back from Australia. Sounded like a blast. She went on top of the bridge in Sydney and she apparently was give a futuristic single jumpsuit that latched the person to the railing on the way up. It had an attached jacket, pants and even a hanky.

I showed Rose the Panda AC and then I got ready for the fighters. I then suited up to spar. Zack Thenhaus showed up and so did Mike McLaughlin. I wound up popping Zack at will. He has good movement, but his forehead is just so easy to tag. Zack was having trouble with his wrist, but I think he can fight through it. He really needs to keep his hands up. Zack does work when he comes. Mike is going to make a great fighter. Very disciplined and he has respect for sparring. Cannot wait till he goes full throttle.

I walked around the Panda Paint Company, for I might have to swap out spaces. Long story, but I hope we can find an agreeable space. It was part of the deal for the space that I need to be mobile for if he finds a renter I will need to move rooms.

My father stopped by the Panda to check out the fighters. We then stopped over at Tanner Bs. I have sort of made it my secondary office. They have Wifi, very cool staff, very close to the gym and it is quite relaxing. Oh, and great food. I got a chicken Caesar with a side of vegetables. Good stuff.

Then the run began- shot out of there and over to the Annex. I saw Big Hands Willis outside. He darted past in his beat up Caprice, looked over and saw me, stopped dead and backed up. He wanted to talk I guess. I know so. He is doing a pro show downtown in September. We chatted about the game and cross promotion. He seemed a bit embarrassed by his self named battle ride. The blue Chevy, one of my favorite engines-350- and models, the Caprice Classic was a real solid ride. The Big Hands ride had a ripped out radio, busted windshield, busted vent window, trashed and loud. I liked it. It reminded me of the Impala I owned that got jacked after a double murder when I lived in Kirkwood. I actually was looking for a Caprice last year, but found my Merc. I am tempted to swap out though. Not for that one. I got respect for the battle ride, but I prefer the pimp rides, hot rods or the unassuming sleeper rides. And a beat up battle Caprice might be a sleeper, but its hardened exterior is not unassuming sharp. However, I would pick up a ride like that if society breaks down like in Road Warrior. Actually, if society does break down like that- no law no order survival mode- I will go the way like the Goose and go with the motorbike and create a protection service or avenge someone's death. I think I would survive such decay in society, although I wouldn't want that really... I think about this too much.

I went in to the Annex and it was a full house. Hathman has those kids banging all the time. Sam Hill was there. He is the cop who beat former Olympian and world champ David Reid. Quite a feat, but it was a bit of a, er fluke. Reid had sort of lost his edge, but Hill did beat the man. Hill has an odd style. I have seen him fight several times before. High arms, leans in. He went in to bang against the Cobra, Austin the Nigerian Nightmare and pretty much the entire stable of about a half dozen other fighters. Hathman likes to scream at the fighters. Really scream. It is alarming at first and then starts to seem surreal. Funny guy. Uh.

Reggie from Major Hawkins was there and I solidified the rest of the bouts. I got the big ones and the other ones. After that I went over to Venice Ill to Knuckles. Terry was there with Gil along with a full gym. Very cool gym. Open, warm, realistic and encouraging. I solidified the final fights for the night, calling over to Kenny and Reggie on the phone. Finally. I did get a full blooded Italian which should play well on the Hill. Nice kid too, it will be his first fight. I got some real interesting bouts.

I then rolled over to see Erin Loos Cutraro for she had some tix for me. Robin Carnahan was going to come to the fights, but she had to cancel. Oh well. Erin was there with her coworker Mindy and the other one she introduced me to, her name escapes me, but she is from Canada, Winnipeg to be exact. We had some interesting conversation. They had some pizza and toasted ravioli. I ate two pieces of the thin crust. Pepperoni and mushroom. I then had some espresso out of the new machine, got to keep that stimulant in the system.

I then ran over to Pops Blue Moon to swap out tix. Talked to Terry and I had some whiskey up with a water back. I needed to calm the nerves. Did not do the job. Should have gotten something smoother. I then started over to Mangia, but en route out of the corner of my eye I saw Matt Fernandez inside Modesto. He looked so serious and focused. I rolled back and then went in to say hey. He was with Rocky and a crew. Chatted for a bit, but needed to go to Mangia where I stopped in to see Paul. The crew of lovable misfits were at the bar including the guy from Istartfires- okay that was years ago, but that is how I met him- I loved that band- and he was reading a book called the Infinity of the Mind. Funny. Paul picked up some of the VIP tix. Good call. This thing is going to sell out and the ones in the seats will have it best.

Strolled out of there and headed over to Magees to see Maggie. I am so out of it, for she has dropped the night. She always packed that night, or at least had it jumping. Maggie from the Good Griefs always booked solid shows, a series at Magees and for a while over at Lemons. I know she has been busting her ass trying to make it all work and it does not pay much, but she really always made it work though. I did go in and chat with the barkeep and left some posters. Everyone was immediately immersed in the event. There was a cool dog hanging out, a cross between a whipit and an Australian sheep dog. His name was Pigeon. Very friendly. I then had to go home!!!

Tomorrow I meet with the accountant. Perhaps someday I will actually make money instead of going into debt.

Up to no good

I was digging through my archives. Guess where this pic was taken. I think this was taken about two years ago with a chum of Graham Prichard.

This makes Olympians proud

This is Nadine's in Soulard. It used to be called Ted and Judy's back in the day. Anyway, if you look closely you might notice on the fire escape there is a sorry and amusing tribute to the Olympics with inflatible tubes.

Na-do in the house

I stopped at Chptrx to talk to Na-do. She is going to be singing the national anthem at the next bouts. She is quite excited.

Persistance of the Sunflower

This was a neat pic. I have sunflowers lining my walk to my door at my house. The front couple of flowers had been hacked down, who knows how. The second time this happened I didn't pull up the sunflower. It had clearly been hacked near the base as you can see in this picture. The stem had browned and the plant started to wilt and I figured I could have it start composting right there. But after some rain and a few days, the plant started to grow without roots. It was unreal. There was nothing coming from the base stem, but it was starting to bloom. Then yesterday it started to wilt again. I wish E.T. would stop by and give it another jolt or something.