Saturday, April 30, 2005

I am French

I was a bit taken aback at first. I didn't know what to think about it. French. I found it interesting. But I needed to find out more.

I was outside Black Bear for breakfast today talking to an older fella named Andre. He had an accent. We were plating our food up in the kitchen and we started to discuss the food. We talked about the teas and coffees they had. I had some mint tea. He had some mango tea. We talked about the buckwheat pancakes and what else it is used in.

I asked him about where he was from. He had and accent. It sounded particularly unusual. He was from France. We started to talk and figured out that he was from Brittany. He talked about home and his bloodlines. He is Celtic. His people have strong connections to the Scottish, Welsh and Irish.

Andre told me that they use the same kind of bagpipes as certain tribes in England. Many of the songs are the same. He also told me he spoke a Gaelic language. I think he said Celtic, but he had a funky accent and I had to ask him three times to say bagpipe for I misunderstood. He spoke of the food, languages and music. I told him I was Irish and he started talking about the music, making motions of playing instruments.

Andre then spoke of a trip he recently took to France. It was a festival celebrating the ethnic Celtic heritage of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. He said thousands of people came to Brittany from all of these countries for this. The roots, he said are thousands of years old, but they are still strong. Andre described this big festival of music, food and more was one of the greatest festivals he had been to. He had promised himself that he would return for this festival. There had been a festival for thousands of years of just Brittany and now more recently people from all over the area of the sea of this Celtic culture celebrate as one common ethnicity.

Andre was also very complimentary of the "No War" sign in the window at Black Bear. He thought it was great that we can display such signs in our country. He picked up several copies of the Confulence, and spoke with an eager interest about the topics on the cover.

I had to leave to get to the market, but I found out that Andre is one of the owners of Cafe de France in Clayton. He gets his car worked on at the shop at the interesection of Pestalozzi and Jefferson. He had long been aware of Black Bear, but he had not been.

I think I might make my way up the Clayton side to check out some of my people's food.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

RIP Hasil Adkins

latest news on the passing of this legend. About, oh, six or seven years ago I was supposed to go pick up Hasil in a Lincoln with Mark from the Way Out. It was a hell of a show.

Vietnamese Doppelganger/AssShakes/Cockfighting

This is a story I wrote out about four years ago and sent around to some friends. I had dug it up to post on the blog. I did make some minor corrections from the original email from spelling to proper word usage from that evening. It is all true:

======

I was alerted on Friday at Freddies by two sharp eyed southsiders after dining at the Vietnam Palace that my twin is working as the manager of the new Vietnamese restaurant, just north of the Asian Grocery and across from Schnuck's on Grand. Apparently he is a Vietnamese ringer for me down to the scruffy face, pants and even hat. He is also relatively tall.

So a crew of us went to eat there later on Saturday night before going to the Famous to see the Civiltones and later to go to a funky party on Nebraska.

Five of us rolled in at 9:30 and we looked around w/o a sighting of my twin. There was a large Vietnamese family just talking away and eating dinner like it was in their own home at the main table. It was very interesting. The waitress spoke very little English and was very passive. Our table was only a little dirty and was never wiped down. The menus and waters took a while to get to us even though there seemed to be plenty of staff running around and few tables for a Saturday. It was only us and the large family in the no-smoking section. It doesn't bother me really about the service, but I hope for more but understand that new restaurants, especially new immigrant restaurants will have a lot of kinks to work out. I ordered two orders of the spring rolls and another of the pork, but we only got the spring rolls. We had to swipe flatware off the other tables. We did get water. The menu looked fantastic, and the rolls that we received were exceptional. She was very timid about getting the orders, but she did take our orders which consisted pretty much by us naming off the numbers of the order.

We still had yet to see my doppelganger. I remembered that my chum's who recommended the joint also said they had a great tomato shake. This was intriguing, so I got up to grab the menu to see if they had this on their menu. They indeed did, along with pineapple, strawberry, durian, mango, jackfruit and more. I was tempted to take the recommended tomato, but I was curious about this mysterious durian. My fellow eater Erik said it is a very ugly fruit from SE Asia that tasted like ass. Hmmm. That doesn't sound very good.

The next time the waitress stopped over to check on us in her passive manner, I inquired about the shakes. I asked her for a suggestion and she pointed to the Durian. The shake that tasted like ass. Hmm. I guess I really didn't have a choice here. I come to a place like this to get the real deal, so I got to go with the Vietnamese favorite even if my friend Erik says it tastes like ass. I also order a tomato shake just in case.

At this point Katy points out my doppleganger. He was refilling our water. I nod to him and compliment him on his hat. He looked a bit confused, but I am sure the communication barrier was the only reason for that. This man indeed looked like my Vietnamese double. He was wearing those slacker looking painting pants that I wear and a chef's coat, but I don't wear a chef's coat. He had a similar cap, was relatively tall and had some more minor scruff on his face. In other words, this was one good looking Vietnamese man. I noticed that he stood in front of the kitchen after assisting the waitress and was nodding his head to these small groups of young Vietnamese men who would walk into the kitchen. They didn't look like they were on the clock. Two groups of about four passed through and then I started paying closer attention. What if this guy is really like me? Hmmmm.

So we got the ass flavored shake. We all seemed nervous about it. It was yellow. I sniffed it. It didn't smell like ass. It stunk like the water that collects on top of garbage bags when you leave it outside when it rains. We all smelled it with each one of us snapping our heads back from the pungent odor, with the exception of our friend Sara. She said it didn't smell all that bad. I drank some. It tasted even worse. It tasted like I was sipping on sugar sweetened rotting trash. Erik tried it and reeled back from the taste. Sara tried it and liked it. She said it tasted far better than it smelled. It was pretty good in fact. Erik then said it tasted like a dirty toilet. I disagreed and said it tasted like garbage juice. Then Sara said she couldn't drink it anymore. Why? She said she didn't make a connection to the ass taste, but now that I had mentioned garbage she could only think of the trash. The durian sat on the table without another sip. The tomato shake never made it to the table. Either the waitress really doesn't understand Americans or she very much does and was laughing at us. Either way it was fun.

I noticed that another crew of four arrived and my twin nodded the fellas in. I also noticed that there were about 35 iced coffees set up to serve, with the tops on them and the condensed milk at the bottom waiting for the hot coffee to be poured on top. But the restaurant was nearly empty and any sort of dinner rush was way over by the time we got there.

The food arrived. I ordered some sort of hot spiced chicken with rice. It was in red ink on the menu under the Chef's specials, a different colored ink from all the others, so I figured they were either proud of this particular dish as a Chef's special or that there was something about it where they needed to set it apart. I was drawn to this spicy flavored concoction somehow. Perhaps my double would eat this. The meal was awesome. Perfect. Fantastic, and the price was one of the cheapest on Grand. Everyone else had a pretty fantastic meal too. The service was lackluster at the Vietnam Palace, but we do become spoiled by the above and beyond excellent service up at Pho. I must recommend, but be wary of the service, the communication barrier and the garbage juice shake.

As we finished up the help or my twin didn't seem to realize when the appropriate time was to drop the check. I went up to ask for and tried to sneak a peek in the back room. I wasn't able to really tell what was up, but my doppelganger seemed to know that I knew something was going on, but he was cool with it. After all, I was his Irish-German American counterpart.

We paid up 33 bucks for five of us w/ apps and meals, plus the ass shake. I noticed that my double nodded a few more of his chums into the back. As we left, they started pulling down the blinds on us, even though more people were coming in.

I left a two dollar bill in the tip as a sign to my doppelganger. I figured I needed to make a gesture of peace to my twin before we combine our forces.

I hope to in the next week to gain the confidence of my double and get in on whatever good stuff is happening in the back. If he truly is the one and is anything like I would be if I were a Vietnamese immigrant to South city, I would be running some sort of gambling, dice game, rabbit fighting or some sort of absurd fun out of the back of my business. It is not a matter of if it is true, but more of exactly what I am doing back there.

I figured he thinks like I do, and if I can gang up with him we can rule south Saint Louis with an iron fist. We can bully around the West End and the County for sport. Together we can bring together an axis in South City.

Now I am off to seek the triumvirate of power in my trio with an exhaustive search for a Bosnian doppelganger. I am going to go back to Grbic on Meramec to see if they got any thuggish looking Bosnians with stupid hats.

Steve

PS It is all true, but I wouldn't do animal fights. Not even my twin would do this.

Austin is the new Branson

I read a report on how old people are all doing this urban thing. They selected several cities, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin etc. and pointed to hyper growth in certain populations in certain neighborhoods.

They interviewed old folks/new retirees that have moved to the big city to enjoy culture, walking etc. etc. in order to escape the suburbs. Funny how that cycle works. They get the hell out and now they can't wait to get back in. Hard to figure which society is the one Americans are trying to escape from. All this logic is too complex for me. I know where I like to roam.

So the interviews cover a smilin' old codger and his silver haired wife in Austin Texas. They were slowly ecstatic, as the old folks can be. They cited how much they loved the area, walking, culture, but the old man quoted, "Where else can you go one night to see funk, and another to see classical?"

Huh? That is Austin? Wow.

Austin is the new Branson.

That would make Radiohead the new Eagles.

God bless America.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Smoking?

Smoking or Non-Smoking? Please respond.

Monday, April 25, 2005

RIP Matt Hely


Matt Hely was a great fella. Always on, excited about life. He knew the streets of Saint Louis, all the ins and outs. He had some great and interesting family. He worked as a part time carnie and paid his bills as a hearing testing guy at factories in the midwest. He would eat glass, swords, fire and just about anything. I met him years and years ago. He performed at a few of the Hoosierweight Fights back in the day. He died of brain cancer at 50 on April 21st. There is a big shindig for him at City Museum tonight.

I know he is doing alright now in the big top in the sky. We will miss ya Matt.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Latin Conspiracy



So I was watching the first inaugural Mass for the new Pope when I got home way late last night. It was amazing, freaky cool. A tradition that has been around for thousands of years. The ceremony was just so real. I would have loved to have been there. I crave to have had that experience. The connection and flow of history was potent. The garb was garish Roman traditional with the golden vestments and crucifix cane. His decked out crew was all around him as he walked about Vatican City as has been done for centuries. He looked like a force to be reckoned with. Straight face. Bad ass. It reminded me of old movies about Roman Church and even scenes from Star Wars. In fact he looks a bit like the Emperor. I don't know about this new Pope. His story sounds sordid. We will see what sort of moves he will make. I am more of a fan of the rebellious types that push things forward. The Jesuits are often the rebellious type. I am curious about what Benedict has to offer. My Mom was a big fan of Pope John and Pope Paul. The rebellious types. Social justice. I am a big fan of Liberation theology. Oh, a Catholic can support lofty humanitarian goals.

As I watched all this ritual I began to understand why people fear and hate the Roman Catholic Church. It is the biggest cult in the world. The crowds. The strict tradition. The chants. The statues. The doctrine. Cannon Law. The money. The Latin. The decked out guards. The words.

I love it.

Many believe that the Catholic Church conspires to control the world. If we really did control the world we would all be speaking Latin. Hmmm. That would have been fun. Latin is a fun language.

I took Latin in High School. The Reverend Doctor Mary McConaghy and Father Bailey. Great teachers. I learned early from the Mrs. McConaghy- Vestrum Virum Facit(I think I got that right). I still follow that advice to this day.

Bar ownership

It is quite funny. You have to smile a lot.

So far the word from the goonish frat boy southsider camp- at least according to one person that overheard this from a distantly connected party- is that I am "getting rid of the dart machines and turning it into a gay bar."

I love rumors. They make for excited anticipation.

We are making progress on the changes. We have started much of the rehab of the interior. It is interesting for we have to operate during this. We need the revenue.

The staff are all firecrackers. Gi Gi, Rose, Rose, Rocky, Matt, Allison, Mandy and a few more I have in the wings. A crew of "bad asses" is the word on the street. Tough, warm, smart, independent and friendly. I got Seth and his crew rolling making progress on the construction. Good crews.

It is going to be interesting by the end of the eight weeks. Making a few drop ins will be very interesting during the transitional phases. I move in this week. I got a lot of work to do.

Funny Guy

Now my Father said that Elton John made a song about the Pope. Benny and the Cards. Funny guy my Dad.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Guilt Pt 1

I watch the News Hour as often as I can. Usually every day. I tape it.

Since the wars started they have been doing this tribute at the end of the program. It is called The Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is a listing of the US Soldiers that have been killed that previous day, or at least what has been reported by the military. They put up in silence a picture of the soldier with their name, age, branch, rank and hometown. They flash it up there for us to see. To witness. They do this every day they release casualty reports. It is usually at the end of every newscast. Sometimes there are one or two. Sometimes there is no Honor Roll. Sometimes it can be over a dozen.

At first, what, two-three years ago or so I would watch this and think about the sacrifice. Now without thinking I instinctually pick up the remote because I want to fast forward through it, turn it off or stop the tape. I do it instinctually because I feel it is boring piece. Kind of like a news story on pills for the elderly.

I feel awful because I have to force myself to stop pressing any buttons on the remote and watch it. It is hard. I look at the faces. They are mostly men. Some are my age and older. Some are younger. Sometimes only 18, 19. Some are guys well into their 30s even 40s and sometimes even older.

I am having difficulty paying attention to it. I have been turning my head not wanting to watch it. There were about nine the other day. This is screwed up. I want to witness. To see. But it is hard. It is hard when I see the faces of healthy men. I see the towns they are from. I think about their families. Their lives. Their dreams. And now they are dead. They have made the ultimate sacrifice. How are we honoring them?

I feel awful. Every time I watch the news. It is just a number now. They say ten. Five. Six. Two. Fifteen. Then I see it. It is no secret.

Are we even aware of what we are doing? Do we really take note? Is there honor for these men and women in our everday lives?

Monday, April 18, 2005

RIP Johnnie Johnson



I have neglected to put out my propers to the passing of the greats of rock and roll Johnnie Johnson. He passed away a few days ago. I might try to make the wake. I went to Oliver Sain's wake and it was one of the most soulful and real wakes I have been to. Hundreds of friends, family, fans paid their respect in a musical tribute. I haven't figured out where Johnson's wake is to pay my last respects.

The Post has done some very good obits in respect to Johnson over the past week. It is good to see the proper respect being shown above the fold.


I also neglected to note the passing of Evelyn West. I never saw her, but she was always mentioned by old timers when waxing about the old days. John McGuire from the Post did an excellent piece on her life when word got out about her passing.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

For Sale: Detroit's Finest



I am selling my 1971 Ford Thunderbird. I need to pick up a van for the new business and to cart the kids from the gym around to all the fights and tournaments.

Here are some pictures of the car after I got it washed at Custom Auto Care. I should have wiped it down a bit for it got some pollen on it overnight. It is that time of year.


The car has a 429 Thunderjet engine. It is a real hot rod. It is the fastest car I have owned. It will do burnouts. It is a perfect getaway car.


The car has the beautiful suicide doors, or for the lovers out there- kissing doors. They close soft, tight and easy for this classic Detroit steel.


These are beautiful hubcaps. I am not even slightly tempted to get rims or spinners with such beautiful stock caps.


And this is the beak. The "bird with a beak" is what it is called. One of the designers from Pontiac came over and worked on Ford and used the classic nose that Pontiac Lemans, GTOs etc became known for. It is particularly pronounced.


This is my favorite aspect of the car. Not the beak. Not the doors. Not the hot rod engine. The favorite accessory; a wood steering wheel. The former owner had covered it up with some nasty soft plastic. My father owned a 70 GTO with the wood steering wheel and I had always wanted to get a car with a wood steering wheel. I finally got it.

The neigborhood street urchins flocked around the car today and asked if they could sit in it. I am always welcoming to the kids, so I let this particularly grubby young one who reminded me of Beaver Cleaver from the end of the block to jump in. I wasn't expecting him to climb in to the front seat to pose, but he did. I had to tell him to move over so I could get a better picture below.


Here is a better view.


And she has a great backend. I am always a fan of that. The turn signals are sequential, so they race to the direction the car is turning. As the kids say, it is "tight".


The car is for sale at $4600. She is driving sweet. She has had some electrical work done to her to fix the turn signals. New brake master cylinder. New alternator, starter, battery, voltage regulator and two new tires. I don't have documentation, but the old owners said it had 25xxx miles on it, and it now reads 30xxx miles. It might be 130xxx, but either way she drives sweet. The top is original, it is a repaint about two years ago, the interior is outstanding. It has AM/FM. The heater makes noise when on. The right front window needs a new motor. Email me on the Holla button if you want more info.

We need to protest KETC

They are having yet again another pledge drive. They had a pledge drive last month. I am unhappy about this. I can't watch Washinton Week or the McLaughlin Group. This makes no sense. And they have the worst pledge programming.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Wireless Car Wash

My favorite hand car wash, Custom Auto Care at their new location on Grand and Chippewa are now wireless. These guys are constantly hooking me up in terms of proper car washes and details on the rides. They have a computer that has high speed internet access. And that is insane considering that most hand car washes are fast and loose businesses. Johnny, a cool fella who I used to work with back on Locust often washes my car. I talked with him and the manager D'Wayne at the bar last night after they took care of the Eldog and we worked out a deal if I brought in a router I would get some free washes. And this is great for I don't have to run up on the Grand strip coffee houses to get a wireless internet connection, and I can sit here on the line of chairs and watch the cars get washed while I work. This is a much more comfortable atmosphere to work. I see everyone else working, having a good time, and it motivates me.

It is safe to say, that Custom Auto Care is the only wireless internet hand car wash in town. They have a lounge which you can watch cable TV, a line of chairs outside where you can watch everyone enjoy life and you can even mosey up the street to the "African Restaurant".



And I am here today because some punk egged my T-Bird(which is still for sale) last night. I am not going to go into too much, for I give the whole thing far too much attention, but someone and their juvenile crew has been punking me, my friends, my business, my neighborhood and most importantly my family. Now it would be easy to excuse if the parties were actually juveniles, but they are far from it. They are adults that are too old to be playing the role of punks. The car is truly a secondary consideration, for it is a temporary vehicle- and all vehicles no matter how fun are essentially nothing and disposable, but my family is something else. My people and my hood I hold close. We have addressed and are continuing to address the situation and I am confident that a peaceful and happy life will be had for all.

Friday, April 15, 2005

News

Much has been happening in the past week. I have been overwhelmed. It is a good week.

I don't have time to get into the dirty details, but I bought a bar with a small kitchen. I took possession on Tuesday. It is currently operating, but under the old deal. We are going to switch things up to something new in about a month. I will post more details about the upcoming new joint as they come along. I won't be able to blog quite as much, but I said I was going to cut down before. I will be calling the place "the Royale Food and Spirits". I will give more details when I get a few moments.

Karl Rove


There was a great Frontline one hour documentary piece on Karl Rove earlier this week. I finally watched the whole thing. Genius. Hardcore. That man is something else. Watch this piece. It is an hour long and you can watch it on your 'puter media player while you work.

The scene that burns into my memory is him clowning with reporters while they threw snowballs at him at a campaign stop in the 2000 primaries. They were just outside the campaign bus fooling around in rural New Hampshire. I can't believe he goaded the reporters to throw snowballs at him as he danced around. It made my stomach turn. He is so good.

He reminds me of a certain urban spin doctor in his methodology, but Rove is creepier.

I am being bought and sold

So this is weird. Some Malaysian kid who watches way too much TV owns something like 60% of the fantasy stock of my blog. I am not sure how any of this really works, but there is a fantasy website that rates blogs like a stock and people buy and sell their stakes of fictitious dollars in a site. And some weird kid from Malaysia owns my blog in fantasy dollars. I feel the need to buy it back or something.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

P-I-M-P



This is a picture of the young artist Anthony Floyd trying to pry a dollar out of my hand. Anthony is the son of Larry Floyd, the coach for West End City Rec. Larry is a great coach. Larry handles Preston "Little Man" a terror at 75lbs and winner of several tournaments over the past few years. He also coaches Juzzton Hill a smooth performer who has been rising rapidly. Larry brings his son to most of the fights. Little Anthony immediately comes up to me and asks me for a dollar.

I look at Anthony funny and ask "Why?"

He giggles. He is in the first grade. He will grab your hand and keep whining how he wants a dollar with a pure smile on his face.

I ask him again "what are you going to do for a dollar?"

He smiles and looks cute then turns away. First graders like him get away with murder with that look.

I told him he needs to learn how to do something. He is all ears. I look around and see he had his shoebox with crayons, markers and pencils. He likes to draw. I asked to take a look at his drawings. He showed all of his favorites. He likes to color. He likes to draw superheroes. I bought a couple pieces from him for the rock bottom price of a dollar.

The problem is that I see this kid around a lot at all the different fight cards in town. And now he expects that I will be purchasing his work every time I see him.

"Give me a dollar!" he yells as soon as he sees me.

Oh jeez. How many dollars is this going to cost? I see that he has brought his box of crayons.

"Okay, I will give you a dollar if you draw a picture of me."

He busts out his tools and begins to draw right on the bleachers. And this is what he drew:


O how I must look in the eyes of a child. Apparently Anthony must think I am a pimp. I guess this should come to no surprise for grown adults will call me a pimp and wave and smile as a drive down the street. I usually just grin. It is funny. This is all pretty funny.

The photo was taken by one of the student coaches Jen O'Hare the other night at a fight card out in Saint Charles. Some of the coaches competed on the card.

Here are some more pictures taken that evening:


This is a family unfriendly photo of coach Roberto and Helen. They are funny. Helen has very sharp skills and hopefully will step into the ring. She works very hard at the gym and also loves to hang out with the kids. Helen has very fun hair. Helen, "Big" Jen and "Betty Boop" Jen bought Roberto a new pair of shoes. It was quite amusing. They are nice shoes too. They bought them because they didn't like his shoes and would make fun of them.


This is Coach Ron and Coach Doveed just prior to the fight.


This is Kris and "Big" Jen. "Big" Jen can hit very hard. She has some great natural ability.


And here is an interesting photo of "Betty Boop" Jen and Helen. The trio is the basis of one of the crews that come to the gym. They have been coming since August. They have come along quite a bit since coming in. They could all compete.

RIP Saint Nick


I love found pictures. I love found items. It is a great pic. This pic says so much to me, it just makes me smile. The pic has been on my fridge for the past few years. The pic was taken by Betha Whitlow.

Peeps


Here is a picture of some peeps meeting a their fate, not unlike the frog in the slowly heated water that ends up boiling. I prefer to race the peeps in the microwave. The first one to blow up wins. The pic was gifted to me by Lynn Josse.

New crush, Catholics booing Bush

I have a crush on Gwen Ifill.

She has been filling in a few nights last week on the News Hour. She was wearing a saucy spikey necklace on Wednesday that looked like barb wire. I think it was that punk rock edge that won me over. And her mad skills asking the experts smart and concise questions.

I now tape Washington Week. It is hosted by Gwen and is broadcast on Fridays at 7pm. I watched it last Friday night. It is very, very interesting. And not because I have a crush on her. They do discuss quite a bit. I prefer the rowdy combative style on McLaughlin Group, but the substance is very much there in the civil discussion on Washington Week. Washington Week had an interesting crew on the roundtable discussing the Pope.

Most everything on the news has just been regurgitation of what is happening in Vatican City, retrospectives on his life and little else. Washington Week discussed some interesting bits on analysis of how Christianity has changed in the US and anti-Catholic feelings have been very much altered over the past twenty years. It used to be often reborn heavy duty evangelicals from the south that would be alarmed by papists, but now that anti-Catholicism is manifested in other ways. The new christian right in the US identifies with the Pope on selective issues. This is the interesting part. Picking selective issues and making them work. Which issues are the important issues in America? We talk of the "morals" guiding the vote. There is no lock on morality by any party. Learning how to adapt to this is going to be the key.

There was another interesting development in this Catholic dynamic. Bush was booed by Catholics outside the Vatican mourning the passing of the Pope. There is a lot to this, and if Democrats could figure it out they could make huge inroads back into the Catholic vote. But neo liberal self righteousness starts to turn into uncharacteristic intolerance that can alienate Catholics far more than necessary. Finding the common ground is very important, but it is up to the Democratic party to agree to really do this in a proper way. Burning the entire bridge is suicide.

The Pope stood up for a lot of great things that needs to be remembered. Things that people do not know. He opposed the death penalty. He opposed war. He reached out to the third world like no other world leader. He supported humanity and opposed oppression in all forms, both in communism and of capitalism.

There are a lot of interesting politics behind the courting of the Catholic vote by the right in the US, the explosive growth of Catholicism in the third world, the negative growth of Catholicism in the US and Europe and more. There is a lot to be understood. We often look to close and not step back.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Creative Connection

My Creative 100 peer Tara Hunt has got her own blog a couple months ago. That was a weird little conference hosted by Richard Florida. I went down skeptical and wound up having a blast while in Memphis. It has been too long since I have been down there. I need to go again soon.

Tara is way fun. I visited her up in Toronto a couple of years ago. I feel bad for I was invited for dinner one night and couldn't make it. And often as it goes on vacation I was exhausted by the time I met up with her. She has quite a cool thing going up there. I should visit again and do it on a full nights sleep. I think I was a bit overstimulated and just trying to absorb the New York of Canada.

She wrote a nice little piece on me. Funny. I didn't know Richard Florida pulled her aside to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. Funny. I think too many people were taking the conference way, way too seriously. There was real discussion and ideas, but they were making it about as interesting as a trip to the dentist. The occasional dj spin between sessions and workshops pulled the whole thing way off base. And while they stressed creativity, they gave us crappy hotel food. Jeez, we were in Memphis. You are supposed to eat good food in Memphis. The conference felt like a "cool" corporate retreat at times. And it doesn't matter what you do, but a corporate retreat is not all that fun. But the whole thing was fun. Florida and his handler Rodgers Franz invited me to come to the Creative Class compound in Pittsburgh and hang out. I am not sure what that would entail. I should have taken them up on that. I got too much going right now, and the money and time restricts me for the moment.

I think that Tara and her man Ken should meet me down in Memphis for a weekend for a nice vacation. It is long overdue for me.

My links are live

I updated most of the links above my header- deep background and rackets in particular. I need to get that view from the street updated.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Letter from my Father



Poem circa mid 80s


Sunday, April 03, 2005

KDHX Pledge Drive


I love community radio. Simple. I don't really buy much music cuz I listen to KDHX. It saves me a lot of money. I don't own an ipod, I have only an am/fm radio in the t-bird(which is for sale). Pledge drive is going on right now, and instead of buying too many cds, I pledge to KDHX. I do get to hear the new music and when I do hear something I like I will pick up a new cd. Often I get one for pledging. It is well worth it. The STL is very lucky to have a station like KDHX. Most cities don't. I love that the people on the air are playing the music they love. It is so pure. So if you don't listen, start. Well start after pledge drive. After you listen, you will soon pledge. If you do listen, pledge now. Unless of course you are a member. Actually, listening during the pledge drive is not all that bad. They play more music than they used to and it can be amusing to hear some of the guys shill, for they are not salesman. They are music people so they just gush so raw and pure.

Pope Letter


Here is the letter of reponse from the Vatican from the picture and letter I wrote the Pope back when the Pope came to visit Chicago when I was a kid. I remember asking my mother who the Pope was. She told me he was the closest person to Jesus in the world. This was quite an impression to me. I was in first grade at Saint Giles school and the Pope's visit was a big thing. I was excited. I remember people were staying overnight in the park to wait on his visit.

I was so excited that the Pope was coming I drew a picture of him flying over the Chicago skyline. It was out of respect. The Pope was a super human figure to me, and in a way he still is. I didn't know much about him and what he did, other than the excitement and reverence about him, especially from the Polish families. I remember when the Pope John Paul was elected. I remember the previous Pope had only been in office for a short period of time. It was odd. All of the tradition surrounding the passing of the Pope and the election of the new Pope. Amazing. Seeing all of this happening again is bringing back a lot of memories from a long time ago.

I have always had fond memories of the Pope. I am saddened by his passing, but he lived a very amazing life. He did a lot of amazing and great things. I don't always agree with a lot of things he did and supported, but he did some very amazing things to move towards a peaceful world that few want to give him credit for. I went to go see the Pope several times when he came to Saint Louis a while ago. I couldn't miss it. It was fun and easy. I would hop on my bike and go to the lean part of the lines and watch that popemobile fly by. My old chum Jose got to go up to him at the dome with his family. That was very cool. The freaks were out in force. Great experience.

Someone below thought I was being offensive about the Pope. I am not sure what to think about that really, but it brought back a memory of twenty years ago from grade school of someone taking offense about something to do with the Pope.

I remember as a kid in grade school, my PE teacher Ms. Rice told us just how awful it was to see how they were making fun of the Pope on TV. I had no idea what she was talking about. She then described an episode of something showing the Pope getting down on his hands and knees to kiss the ground. But in this comedy sketch they drew in a picture of a cigar butt on the ground and it showed him picking it up. I never saw the comedy piece, but then I had a picture of the Pope in my head picking up a cigar butt outside of a plane after he landed while kissing the ground. Odd how a memory works.

Ms. Rice also made me stand at the fence, a schoolyard punishment, for yelling out "oh my nuts!" after being slammed and being dropped to the ground with a kickball to the groin. She asked me what I meant by that. I looked at her funny and didn't say anything. She then asked me if I meant "nuts" by what "squirrels eat off the ground". I was even more confused. I was just hit in the groin and was somehow in trouble and a grown woman was asking me if I thought nuts were what squirrels ate. Funny.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

RIP PJPII

In the spirit of the moments, I have some pictures I drew of the Pope when he visited Chicago back in the late 70s. I will have to ask my mother where they are. I sent him some of the pictures and he sent me a letter back. If I remember correctly believe he was wearing a cape and flying across the Chicago skyline.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Mark Trail has gone scruff

I feel a particular bond to Mark Trail today. In today's cartoon, availible only in the print version of the Post has Mark with an unshaven face. He rarely has an unshaven face. And he is wearing a funny hat, just rolled in from the snow and is hanging out with his dog Andy. He is such a straight arrow. Mark is the man.

I also do not have a shaven face today. I think I am going to meet up with Warren this afternoon and get a shave and a haircut. He is working on his shop and said I could come by anytime to get that done.