Monday, July 31, 2006

Castro

I hear from a good friend this evening that Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother. Sounds like big news, so I go online to get more information. I go do a google news search and see a story pop up from the KC Star and CNN. I tam not happy with those options and decide to check STLtoday, for if I am going to read the story, I want to read my paper's report.

Now this is fresh news and there is nothing on this yet. But of course on the front page it tells me it is hot outside. Okay, that is the front page of our newspaper. And then I click on the news. And there is a giant picture of a child playing the drums.

sigh.

Fidel, I just want some information on Fidel. And so I check the NY Times: Front Page with big pic. Now I get to read the story. I would prefer to read about this from my boys in my own neighborhood. I would think that this might be important for people in the neighborhood to know. Like this war that is going on. In Iraq. In Afghanistan. In Lebanon/Palestine/Israel. North Korea. A WW III, as Newt Gingrich claims.

It *is* hot outside.

Passionate Ex-Pats

I did learn a few interesting things while in DC.

I was lucky enough to have many good friends in DC. There was one interesting common theme in many of the conversations.

The ex-patriots really wanted to talk about Saint Louis. And they were passionate in their desires to talk about it. They wanted to talk about it as a place, a community, activity. It was a very personal conversation.

I wasn't opposed to the conversation, but I honestly wasn't prompting or participating much in talk about home when I was in a new town which I had been eagerly exploring. I had groups of different ex-pat Saint Louisans, most of whom did not know each other. We had all met up at certain points and had liesurely meals, conversation and activities and such(e.g. museums, tours). And when we sat down to talk over a drink or two the topic fell on Saint Louis. There were rather contrasting opinions in the convesation, from disappointment to jubulation. Three of the people had moved to DC in the past year. One person hadn't lived in the STL since high school. The other was originally from DC, but had lived in the STL for ten years and moved out about three or so years ago.

They all moved to DC for different reasons. Some for work, some for family, some for marraige. Seeking new opportunities, coming home, landing a new gig, good job, spouse. Everyone had full lives taking advantage of the many offerings of DC and surrounding areas. These are not the kind of people that watch TV.

I could deconstruct the conversation, but I really did not actively participate in the conversations. It was fun to spectate for a minute, but it went on for quite a while. The passion was strong. Most of the conversation seemed to focus on the strong community, race, city life, balanced life, neighborhoods, business, unrealized opportunities, progress and lack of progress, opportunities and the quality of life. There was no solid conclusion of the discussions, but the topic was popular and the passions heated, far more than I expected.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wonderful flick


I went to see a movie last night. It was one of those locally made movies. A. Anonymous. I was assured it was good. It was far better than that. It was fantastic. Hilarious. It reminds me of Best of Show. It is a mockumentary on a self help group.

The writing is superb and the characters are hilarious. They did a fantastic job. An amazing job. I first had to get over that I knew almost all the characters. It is hard to watch a character when you know the person. I takes a minute for my suspension of belief in that kind of situation. And once I did I nearly fell out of my seat. The humor is really subtle, but not. More than one time I put my face in my hands. Ray Brewer is a nutjob. Grace with the straight character the whole way through playing off of Brewer and Mizz Jones. So rich! And Tony with that ball and the smiley face. The whole thing. All the characters were just so ridiculously rich. And cameos by Gus Torregrossa from Gus' Fine Fashions and Shoes. This movie involves huffing, Mexican wrestling masks, passing out and more. George was perfectly convincing, and quite creepy funny weird in his execution of his character. Lordy lordy!! Two technical praises- the movie was a good length and the editing worked well with the writing.

Okay enough already. Here is the site.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Report from Cherokee

We rolled in late Friday night to keep the order. And honestly, it was far more like Mayberry than I had ever seen. In fact it was nice to have people on the street late at night, like normal people enjoying a beverage on a sidewalk patio late at night. We would wave at the police and neighbors as they walked by. If this is what the STL is like in a state of emergency, then we certainly don't deserve the moniker of "the most dangerous city." We walked the alleys, the sidewalks, gangways and streets. The night on Cherokee was best described as sleepy. I was thinking there were to be roving gangs of hooligans, wearing old football pads, riding on motorcycles and homemade cars, weilding meat cleavers and ax handles. Instead it was more suburban with the exception of the spontaneous sidewalk cafe. While there were only a few people walking around, it did not seem dangerous at all, in fact the only menace were the bat weilding children that people brought with them.

I did realize my first on Cherokee. I finally was able to serve a beer to some of my fellow south side citizens.

The comments left on the blog last night reminded me why I moderate this blog. You can comment on this blog as many people do. It is not always happy nice comments either. I approve most comments that most would not, but there is a point. You don't dog my family, you don't drop racist rants, don't villify kids for existing and there are other even worse comments. And at least take credit for what you say. And for your comparsion between minority kids on Cherokee and to those kids in Clayton- you have got to be kidding me. Have you ever run with kids from the suburbs? I have and still do on occasion. Hell raisers with plenty of passes. Check my experience from Clayton if it is so dang crime free.

Friday, July 21, 2006

State of Emergency and keeping the streets safe

So I have been rolling across the city in the Eldorado in this State of Emergency. I see why they called it. It is surreal, but the easy going pace has not gone away. I still have visions of keeping the order by driving through the neighborhoods with some other civic minded people handing out provisions. Not unlike the Duke in his caravan across town in Escape from New York.

I saw a small series of UE trucks driving down Sidney in the middle of the 4 way stop neighborhood. I yielded to them and waved them through to not stop. I think that these trucks should be able to drive around like emergency vehicles during a state of emergency.

The streets were blocked off all over with trees more than a day afterwards. There is at least one tree down per street if not more. Fences knocked over, crap all over the streets, awnings from homes in the middle of the parks, roofing material everywhere. Broadway is blocked off by what looked like a sattelite dish.

Watch the video
The kids are in the streets having a blast. The hydrants are open all over. The kids have put tires around the hydrants and put 2x4 in front of the water creating a wonderful spray of water to play. I am sure it is unsafe and should be stopped, blah blah, but it is a site that puts a smile on my face everytime I see it. It is great seeing people having relief in such a situation. Honestly, I am just jealous. I really wanted to take a run through the water. But I wear these nice pants and shirt. Maybe I should readopt my scruffy boy lifestyle and wear tattered pants and run shoeless like Huck Finn.

I heard reports that there has been some looting on Grand. I told the person it sounds like business as usual. I wouldn't go as far to think of what happened as looting. That is almost too forgiving.

I also just heard that there have been a series of break ins on Cherokee last night. I am going to go down and hang out with my peoples. I am going to bring some refreshments down with me so we can relax and enjoy the evening. So if you want to come to a civic peace keeping party, come down after 10pm in front of the new Proper Shoe, or if it is raining Goal the soccer shop. I am going to get there around 10pm. Activity of people keeps the neighborhood safe. Finally, I am officially serving on the streets of Cherokee.

The Royale Cooling Center is open

Hot? No power? Thirsty?

At the Royale we have the finest unofficial cooling center offering full power, air-conditioning, food and fully stocked bar. If you are in a spot, I can offer you some ice, just bring down a container(supply is limited). Haven't checked email? Bring you laptop down for our wi-fi is working. Need to power up your phone? We have power outlets underneath the tables.

So bring Grandma down for a nice cool lunch or come down tonight to take the edge off with a summer cocktail.

3132 South Kingshighway
just south of Tower Grove Park on the southside

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lebanon, Vacation and Biondi

I heard the term WWIII for the first time on the Sunday Morning shows.

A friend told me it was time to join the Merchant Marine.

I am very interested in what is happening in Lebanon. Last year I was hanging out with Father Andre in the Saint Raymond's compound. He invited me to go to Lebanon. Every year a large crew goes to Lebanon from Saint Raymond's. The Mayor, family and such have gone to Lebanon. They go back to the same area they are from. Well Father Biondi and Father Andre are stuck there.

I wish I would have gone on that vacation. I would like to witness up close what is happening. Why is this happening? What about the order is changing? How are people reacting? What do people do when a war starts? Do people deny it? The Poles lived in denial that they were targets of Russia and Germany. They were caught with a sneak attack. Did they not see the writing on the wall? What is the writing? I should have gone. Maybe next year if they are still letting people in. I am annoyed I need to schedule my time more. boo hoo.

So Father Biondi is stuck over there. I have no doubt that the man will survive. I know if he needed to he would make sure his crew is safe, even if that means he has to have one of his guys weild a shotgun.

I remember we used to have these student leader meetings with the man. These were always highly amusing. The cafeteria tried to be hip and order pizza for us and put it in fancy metal chafing dishes. It was always funny to open up a fancy buffet to see a circular pizza curved up around the edges of the bunson burner warmed dish.

The kids love pizza.

So Padre used to joke a lot. It was always funny. Always funny. "Sure Boss" funny. And it usually was funny. I have many stories, but one of the quick ones was when the annual rumors of opening a basketball arena was making the rounds. There had been a dispute with the lease at the Keil, and there had been a story in the Post mentioning that SLU had some sort of plans to build an arena.

Then Padre started joking. Funny. Someone had brought up the story in the paper.

"Who told the paper all that?"

"We'll just have to find out that leak and break his kneecaps. Heh."

The man is funny. He wasn't always popular with the students, but I loved having him as the President. Anyone that can get the students riled up so much has to be doing something. Not necessarily the right thing, but doing something, and that is more than most do. I think he has been productive and showed progress in many ways but not without casualties. But he is so damn entertaining. Especially at another meeting when he gave one of the Sanker twins a neck massage and whispered in his ear. But that is another much better story. That image is still in my head.

I know Padres will get back. I hope they have some fresh stories to tell. Those guys are plenty tough.

I am sure that Biondi has already filled the temporary power void created by the war. I wonder if Biondi will take advantage of my Jesuit drink special when he gets back. I can't remember what Biondi drinks. Maybe I should get a drink called "the President". All I remember is that his dog, Gancia or something, broke a bottle of booze and licked the booze and glass shards up off the floor. What booze was that?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

sigh

I was changing out my newspaper rack. I got to make sure that the papers are fresh. They have been a mixture of new and old copies.

So I pull out an look at yesterday's paper. I look at the Post, then I look at the Times. Ouch. We are on the verge of WW III and the newspaper tells me on the headline that it is hot out in July in Saint Louis. I haven't heard the term WW III spoken so plainly since the Cold War. Wow, you know what, I didn't notice that. It is hot outside. Dang.

I am glad that I buck up and get the Times. Such powerful pictures on the front page. Just like a National Geographic.

New posts soon

I just had an insane funny week. And it was busy on top of it. Non stop, including a broke down AC on a Saturday night. We pulled it out.

I got a complaint that I had no new "local" content up. I got three posts I need to edit, one on exciting missed vacations, STL passion around the nation, Bosnian flattery/insults, trashy neighborhoods, kids cleaning and working, NYC infamy vs STL infamy, and uncle Larry B. But I got to edit the updated drink menu today/night and have a board meeting so no posts for another day or three.

Here is a quick post I never put up:

Allison told me that she wanted a chip implanted to my skin so I will answer my phone. I was upstairs and had fallen asleep and didn't wake up for the world.

I don't like answering my phone sometimes. It rings a lot.

Monday, July 17, 2006

From a friend

A good friend suggested I use this term.

"If you have a blue collar or no collar, and you listen to WNYC, you're going to turn the dial because you know they aren't talking to you; they speak the language of the suites, not the language of the streets."

Suites vs. Streets, very usable.

Above spoken by Curtis Sliwa.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Carbon Neutral World Cup

The World Cup has gone Carbon Free. This means they are offsetting the global warming by 100,000 tons of co2. Fans ride the subway for free, they are harvesting rainwater and they have solar panels on the stadiums. Now if I can figure out how to get the Eldog to run on water. I would drop a water engine in the Cady if they made one. Sweet. I hope the exhaust would smell like ice cream.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Black Water of Imperialism

This crime is hilarious. Sounds like a publicity stunt. I mean really, what was Pepsi going to do? Is Pepsi's ultimate aim to steal the secrets from Coca-Cola and put out a new powerful cola with this new recipe that would finally defeat Coke? I wonder what the kind of people steal recipes from Coca-cola. I bet they wear capes and have great nicknames. I bet that Coke needs to hire the superheroes to catch the villian. Something like from the Tick.

RIP Fr Richard Bailey SJ

I don't keep up with my HS news that much, but I just heard from an old classmate that Fr Bailey passed away back in Februrary.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tourist DC

Watch the video
Here is a video of my tourist experiences in Washington DC. I still have to edit about one or two more pieces. This is pretty standard. Church, the Capitol, getting a sip in Baltimore, Museums and more. The pic is of Ms. Eleni Pelican Gotleib. She ran around town with me and over to Arlington. The Washington Monument pierced her fingers.

And check out this pic that I took at the Air and Space Museum. It is interesting how the Cold War is being explained to the kids.


New Site

Mister Chris Carey is the editor of a new site part owned by Mark Cuban called Share Sleuth. There is still some content to come, but I like the direction it is heading. It will be interesting.