Thursday, August 31, 2006

a few pix

A sign in the employee bathroom of United Produce on Produce Row on North Broadway and Saint Louis.

A nice sign welcoming American customers informing us that they speak English, and for those here who are not used to English, they also speak "American too." This was seen inside a Mexican grocery in Maplewood. I asked the clerk if he spoke both Spanish and Mexican.

Another sign in downtown Maplewood.


I won ice cream with the Fire Chief Sherman George!

God bless America. I love ice cream. I finally beat Akita at something, and it was the bidding war for this experience. Such high dollar frivolity!

And I won a tour of the state capitol and lunch with state Rep Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

I love lunch!! And I haven't been to Jeff City since the last round of state inaugurations. I can't wait.

Been busy, and I won't be posting till I get a second or two over the holiday weekend.

Thanks to Chris King for putting on such a wonderful auction. And Miss Stefene Russell was a pro in her auctioneering skills.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Father Don

So Beas and I went to lunch today. I drove. I wanted to drive. It is the new Caprice. I am having my honeymoon period. I am such a car whore.

We went to lunch at Saint Raymond's. No big deal. Good food. Saw some good friends.

Saint Raymond's is the Lebanese Orthodox Church. It is a psuedo Catholic church. They don't report to the Archbishop. They sort of run their own operation and just run things by Rome. Lucky them. The joint is a trip. I remember we had a couple of dances at Saint Raymond's in HS.

We saw the unofficial "Mayor". Francis Slay Sr. The elder Slay. The Boss. He runs the Cedars, the joint that hosts the Lebanese lunch. Don and I were walking out of the joint for lunch and we saw him walking toward us. We were outside walking to the right toward the lot. Slay looks great. Nice suit. He looked healthy. He has a confident swagger. Beautiful handmade suit. He looked right at us.


His eyes are beaming. I thought he was looking at me. We had met a few times. He wasn't. He shook my hand out of courtesy, but he was looking at Don. He then gave Don and two handed shake and looked him in the eye.


There was a smile on his face. Don graciously accepted heartfelt salutation.

"Thank you. Good to meet you sir."

Senior Slay then strolled back into the Cedars.

I looked at Don. I started to laugh.

Don was wearing a black shirt. A black priest shirt. There was no white collar, but it was a priest style collar. It was open. You wouldn't notice that it was a priest shirt, unless you were looking.

Don often wears a Roman collar. He does it when he works door. It is quite amusing to say the least. Don is an ordained minister. Granted, he got ordained over the internets, and I don't think the Catholic Church does online vocations yet. The kids do call him Father Don when he is dressed up and is running the door. The staff and even my devout Cat-o-lik parents think it is hilarious.

That respect from Senior, regardless if it was deserved was something else.



I got some fun posts coming about moving and trucks, a story of me from when I was 18 in my first very own crib and some scandalous photos of celebrity couple that few knew was ever a couple twenty years ago.

I got a busy four or five days coming so it might be a sec.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lounging at Central Garage

Watch the video

This was written about a week and a half ago. I was prepping my car for sale and the heat was sweltering in Central Garage on MLK.

I was unable to swap out my stoplight switch on the Bill Blass. I sometimes think I am incompetent when it comes to repair, and more often than I would like this is true. I am not a mechanic, and my tools are haphazard at best. However after jerking around underneath the dash for 45 minutes, I realized I needed to take it to a professional, so I took it to Jack, my mechanic. He owns Central Garage on MLK. He is a great guy and knows what he is doing.

I decided to wait for him to do the work. While I hung out at the garage, I sat next to his regular car repair watching cohort, Lesley Shelton. Lesley is an older fella. He has a special chair with a foam cushion on it so he can sit properly because he busted his hip. Lesley worked for the Post Office as a truck operator for 31 years. We chatted for a while. He has been hanging out at Central Garage for a long time, many years. His son Tracy runs the Palimino Lounge with his mother, Lesley's Ex. I discussed with Lesley his children and such. After some more conversation, I figured out that I know his brother. He said his brother was "a pistol". I thought the last name sounded familiar. What was his brother's name? O.L. As in O.L. Shelton. As in "Club O.L." in Jeff City. Hilarious. I met O.L. about six or seven years ago over at J's Hideout around the corner, and I lounged in OL's clubhouse campaign HQ next door a couple of times. That was a fun/ny scene. Small city sometimes.

My mechanic Jack had to call in another mechanic friend to help him pull the switch out. I felt a bit better about myself after that. If it would have taken him five minutes I would have felt bad about bringing it in, but sometimes that is for the best. And it took every bit of an hour for two pros to do it. I got to have a car to drive. The fleet needs a lot of attention.

I am going to roll north again soon. This city feels far more open to criss crossing about than ever. It feels so comfortable and hospitable. Like family.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hoobellatoo's Experiential Auction

There are some great items in here and even better that are not listed:

Hoobellatoo's First Experiential Auction
The evening of Sunday, August 27, at The Royale

On the evening of Sunday, August 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., the arts collective Hoobellatoo will host its first Experiential Auction in the back-yard beer garden of The Royale, 3132 South Kingshighway.

The items for auction will be experiences with interesting local people. Admission is $10, which pays for your first bid. All bidding starts at $10, and there will be a category of "First Bid Buys It" experiences, so everyone will have the opportunity to purchase an experience for the price of admission.

Experiences on-auction will include: a private lunch with Loop developer Joe Edwards at Blueberry Hill; a round of golf with former comptroller Virvus Jones; a ride about town with entrepreneur Steve Fitzpatrick Smith in his vintage Cadillac; a guided tour of the St. Louis Art Museum and a trip to a St. Louis Cardinals home game with St. Louis American Publisher Donald M. Suggs; one song by your band recorded and mixed by local rock star Jason Hutto; an ice cream with Fire Chief Sherman George; a romantic dinner for two overlooking the Mississippi River, prepared by KDHX poetry host Ann Haubrich of Hoobellatoo and local blues veteran Art Dwyer; a mentoring session on how to compose and record contemporary gospel music by local hip-hop gospel star Praiz' in his home studio; your Tarot read for you, by the poet Stefene Russell of Hoobellatoo; your astrological chart read for you, by the poet K. Curtis Lyle of Hoobellatoo; a night of dancing and drinks in St. Louis' lesbian clubs with hip-hop mix master Adam Long of Hoobellatoo; a tour of the state capitol and lunch in
Jefferson City with state Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal; a sad song about you, by the artist Robert Goetz of Hoobellatoo; a happy song about you, by the songstress Heidi Dean of Hoobellatoo; a portrait of you, by the artist Andrea Day of Hoobellatoo; a printmaking demonstration, drawing lesson and dinner at home with the artist Jenna Bauer of Hoobellatoo; a case of craft beer brewed especially for you, to your tastes, and with your picture (or whatever image you choose) right there on the label, by the poet and brewer Joe Esser of Hoobellatoo; and a bowl of homemade West African fish pepper soup and a beginner's yoga lesson from the writer Chris King of Hoobellatoo.

Proceeds from the Experiential Auction will benefit Hoobellatoo, an arts collective based in St. Louis. They will be used to fund the group's fall release of Blind Cat Black, an eclectic CD in the genre of "poetry score" -a long poem scored as one scores a film. Blind Cat Black will be released Friday, October 13 at Mad Art Gallery (2727 So. 12th St., in Soulard), in conjunction with an Art Invitational of pieces that respond to the poem.

Blind Cat Black was written by the Turkish poet Ece Ayhan (1931-2002) and translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat, a Turkish Jewish rug merchant who lives in Hoboken. The poetry score, produced by Chris King, features All-Ireland piper Michael Cooney, the guy who wrote the Hall & Oats hit "Private Eyes," local bluesman Tom Hall, raconteur and KDHX on-air talent Fred Friction, Pops Farrar, unreleased post-progressive rock from Los Angeles (circa 1981), the poet laureate of Australia, a Sufi oudist from Santa Fe, and assorted pop stars from the Nashville scene (including members of Lambchop) playing jazz on their secondary instruments.

The previous Hoobellatoo poetry score, Crossing America by Leo Connellan, was featured on NPR, BBC Radio 3 and in most local media.

The Royale (314-772-3600; is located at 3132 South Kingshighway, just south of Arsenal, across from the Courtesy Drive-In. It is a full-service restaurant with a fine selection of beers and spirits, including specialty drinks named for each of the city's political wards. For more information on Hoobellatoo or the Experiential Auction, email, call (516) 314-7364 or visit


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bruised peaches and vehicular fun

Funny funny.

I feel like a bruised peach. At least my ears have stopped ringing. I started to ourtight laugh, almost a giggle through my mouthpiece with my hands down in the final minute of the final round. There might be something wrong with me. And the others. We enjoy it too much.

It all went extra well considering the setup. Criminals in hot pursuit of one another in swerving high speed racing trucks nearly crashing into pedestrians and cars on Broadway, crackheads lighting off fireworks shooting anyone within range, bikers riding up and down the sidewalk and way way loud punk rock. And a one legged meth head slowly crutching his way up Broadway and to the unit upstairs. Particularly eerie setting, a great backdrop for the tense buildup. As the Akita said as he was in ritual preparation "It feels like that documentary Gimme Shelter."

Good fun. Good new directional move. After the eve, the PAC is now back on the southside with a member key gym.

It was just worth missing the Ramble. High praise to the heavy handed Don Beasely for his contributions in setting up the evening. Although it feels like Don hit me with a 2x4 to the face. Don and the Akita I think successfully pushed my nose into my head. Now I sound like I still have a cold, but it has to do with the flattening of my nasal passage. I think I may have lost all my cocktail party smarts. So I will apologize in advance for my general spaciness and/or being unable to remember names. I blame my natural stupidity of allowing myself to participate in this for fostering my newly formed deficiencies.


So it looks like I sold the Lincoln. I just took it to get it inspected for the buyer. This is the same kid that looked at my T-Bird I sold last year. My last four motor cages have been a fun range with an old man car, to a villian car, to a pimp car to an undercover car. I have been driving the Bill Blass Lincoln around a little bit extra. One last ride. I cruised around town Friday night to run late night errands and some important research for a test. The Mark V Continental drove well. Perfect night. Windows down, driving slow. The only pic that was missed was outside the Mansion Hotel near Grand and Broadway. Too dodgy to do a slow drive by, even with the police rolling close. It was too thick. Way too thick for a Friday night. There are some great pix from the general roll. There were plenty of other good stops in the middle of the citrus run that night. I visit my dealer every week up on Produce Row.

I like this new Caprice. Deep undercover compared to the Lincoln. The Caprice with the leather seats. Dual exhaust. 350 LT1 a sleeper version of the Vette. Four doors. Four doors! I have never owned a four door. I have driven many four doors, but never owned one. Well, the Valient was a four door, but not a full size. The Caprice is nice. It is much easier to roll with a crew with four doors. The last year for the Caprice in 96.

Cars are such a luxury.

I have been listening to classical music while rolling in the Caprice. I usually do not listen to that music. I started listening during the State of Emergency. I was pretending to be a German tank driver driving my rig around a freshly occupied city in Europe. The Caprice feels like a smooth rolling tank. The music really gives a surreal backdrop to the driving experience, with a feeling of forced peacemaking presence.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pub Def fun

My pal Ben Smith alerted this video to me from the other week. Way funny. How glamorous! Good stuff by Antonio.

Interview, Tours and Myspace Reds

C-Span is showing the entire 60 minutes interview from last night with axis of evil Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I didn't see the 60 minutes interview or look at the transcripts, but it looks to be an interesting interview for Iranian officials are denying they are selling rockets to Hizbullah, instead saying that they are procuring them on the open market. How funny, silly. Scary. I am interested to hear what the Prez says to the US in the interview. I am sure this will be different than what he says at home. I wonder if GW does interviews for Iranian media? I wonder just how repressed Iranian media is. From what I hear there is opposition media, but I cannot recall to what extent they can operate in this Theocracy. I should do some more research.

Iran is a scary country, as is Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and N Korea. And this is no good at all. Nor is this. Be careful with whom you associate. You never know what might develop.


There was an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal this weekend about tours picking up in places like Cambodia, Croatia and such. Unfortunately, even though I get the paper version, I am unable to subscribe to the online version. How some war torn places are able to recover fairly quickly, while some others languish. The tours look fairly interesting. The one tour in Khmer Rouge war torn Cambodia does not offer five star, but they said it was a great tour with decent accomodations. The peace and security for foreigners is supposedly good in these tours, and this was coming from the stuffy conservative WSJ.


I had gotten a friend request on Myspace from an American friend residng in Communist China. I am unsure if it was him, for the page was blank other than his name. I checked on two different computers on different browsers and there was no information. I guess those pinkos really like to stamp out the flow of information. Funny, for I get emails from him. Who knows if I get them all? But he also told me over the phone the goverment shut down his internet connection for a few days. Well, there is no doubt that the Red Chinese listen in on normal people in their country. There seems to be little trust and openess in that society, and a whole lot of wasted efforts. Some simple thick skin might help out those Reds to open up a lot more. That would really help them in the long run. God bless America.


I got some good local content posts coming soon, I am just waiting on some side content to come through and a bit o editing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The mutual assault

So Don and I sparred today. It was rather funny.

Yes, it is fun to hit your employee, and probably even more fun for the employee to hit the bossman in the head. But that is not the only reason why it was funny.

Don is a big kid. We wrestled on the floor of the Royale after hours last week. I have been wrestling more often recently. I used to wrestle in HS and I love the sport. This fostered a bit of a sharpened rivalry with Don.

Now I am only a fair wrestler at best. And I am maybe a mediocre boxer at best. But it is so much fun. The sport is not about how good you are, although smacktalk is fun. I have never been great at the combat, but I have always enjoyed it. I did karate at Traceys for a couple of years, judo over at the YMCA and wrestling in HS for a few years. Combat is fun. I didn't even know how naturally I loved combat until I boxed. I have always been drawn to it.

In this wrestling match last week, Don didn't pin me. I didn't pin Don either. While we are both big boys, the man outweighs me by more than a few pounds. It was fun, for I knew the basics so it was pure play. I know how to not get pinned. But damn, he is a big boy. I did pin SITF Pete though. I need to keep that pecking order.

So I sparred boxing today at training with Don. Don hasn't sparred in a while. And I have really just started sparring again. I knocked around with TC the other day along with Irish Patrick, the same guys I first knocked around with ten years ago. That was fun.

But sparring with Don it was just funny fun. He talks some trash in the midst of combat training. He never did this when we trained before. But now I am his bossman. I sometimes talk trash, but for show at the fights. That is when it gets the best reaction. That was so long ago. Don was trash talking at sparring wtih no one around. I almost stopped and laughed for it is just so funny, but the problem was he would hit me really hard after trash talking me.

Through the muddle of a mouthpiece:

"You want some more of that? Huh?"

I am taken aback and almost laugh, and them bam! A fist in my left ear. The man hits hard for a simple sparring session.

Trash talking? Are you serious? So I hit him with a combo. Right hand to his face followed by a left hand to his ear. Pretty easy for he is a slow fighter. I am not really any faster on my defense, but I can punch marginally faster.

He stops and is dazed after I hit him. So I hold back to give him a sec. It is a cotrolled sparring session.

After about ten or fifteen seconds he recomposes himself, snorts something smart sounding and takes another hard swing to my noggin, now with blood oozing from his mouth.

I have a smile on my face and we continue to trade punches. This was way, way too funny. He keeps trash talking through the entire sparring session. I just relax and have fun. For it is too much fun. We trade blows. I am glad he is slow, or I would be in serious trouble. I do need to get in better shape, but at least I can still trade punches with Don.

We had to stop after just three rounds, for he was going to throw up. Again. He has a habit with the vomit. Poor guy. Bleeding and about to puke. We went outside to the dock where it was raining and he walked around and did manage not to puke.

Trash talking, and then taking a second to catch your breath and then taking a swing. So funny that Don. Sparring is so fun.

I can't wait to hit the man again tomorrow afternoon at the next training. And then for real on Saturday night. I want to make him puke and bleed. So much easy fun.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Recovery, kids and memories

I think last night I finally broke my fever. I had been running a fever since Friday. I am still taking the aspirin to make sure I don't run a fever again. I feel like I am suffering from a mellow case of shell shock.

I am going nuts right now. I finally have a few moments outside of the joint and am stuck sitting next to some people who just moved into greater neighborhood. I forgot the headphones. Damn. I just want to read the election results for a minute, and then I can catch up on some overdue work.

These folks are new and have purchased rehabs in the hood. They have been bitching about kids for the last ten minutes, about how there are kids playing in the neighborhood and this playing is taking place in and across the street from their beautiful homes. I am not sure why it is bad for kids to play, but apparently to these folks it is not a good thing when it is across from beautiful homes that are on dead ended streets in Shaw. Now they are talking about how beautiful their homes are. Those streets in that neighborhood are filled with beautiful homes. I used to rent one of those beautiful homes back in 92 or so.


I know that we used to play in the alleys and in the streets as a kid. On Northeast Avenue and Division. We wouldn't play on Division for it was way too busy, but we would definitely play games that included any of the lawns and into the streets of Northeast Ave and all the time in the alley. The park was too far to walk to. My mother did sometimes yell at us for playing in the street, or jumping the fences but it didn't really stop any of us.

There was another old lady down the other end of the alley that would yell at us. I can't even remember what she would yell at us about, but I do remember that she always yelled at the boys. She would shake her fist at us. I can't remember what we were doing other than playing with army men around her trash cans and the giant cool looking clay mound next to them. She lived behind the kid with the pimp bike with the banana seat and tall orange flag. That is the alley I learned to ride the bike my parents bought Jenny and I from the Sears up on Chicago.

There were also the cool folks who were always nice to the kids too. We knew. Mrs. Jackson aka "Mrs. Jackins" used to make us butter sandwiches and talk to us real nice. I remember her asking us not to just run yelling and screaming through her gangways. I remember trying not to do it, but I also remember her asking us many different times. Mrs. Jackins had the coolest weeping willow tree in her backyard. That tree is still there, as of about three or so years ago when I visited the old neighborhood.

I remember when we moved to Saint Louis I used to visit my buddy Konrad Dick. He was just in town a few weeks back. He bought a joint out in Kansas. He is doing quite well. Konrad lived behind us on our block. We didn't have alleys, so we would cut through yards to get to each other's houses. I remember that we knew which houses had people in them that would yell at us for cutting though. Which people worked and we could get away with playing in their yard during the day. Which people were cool and didn't care if we played in their yard. We often would have larger organized games that would involved the boundary of the block, but everything inside the block was fair game in terms of cutting through or playing in. While we had a game we were playing, the other part of the game was figuring out how to cut across the yards back and forth.

The prohobitions from the old ladies never really stopped us from cutting through. We would just peek and dash. Sometimes we would do it right in front of them if we had to. We were so bad. They would rat on our parents. I don't remember them coming down on us all that hard for we always did it. When we really did something bad, we would hear about it. But in general we were the good kids on the block. There were some freaky kids in the hood. Amusingly freaky.

I remember making a break for it when we lived on Lee. I was a real little guy then. We lived up on the third floor and we had to take this elaborate maze of fire escape steps up to the back door from the alley. I would hit the back door running down to the alley. My mother says I would do this at the least suspecting moment. I would just make a break for it and run. I remember doing this. It was so fun. Those iron grate steps were so cool. All I wanted to do was run over to my friends house below us.

I need to visit Chicago again soon. I just got a letter from my old pal Tommy Stefanski checking to see how I fared during the state of emergency.


I am glad that people are proud of their beautiful homes on the growing southside of Saint Louis. They should brag about it. The homes around here are amazing and beautiful. We have jewels all over the streets here on the southside. I am always happy to see a home that has been invested in. Even if they do bitch about or yell at kids. It is kind of funny. While it drives me nuts it also makes me snicker. I want to go jump over someone's fence right now and run like hell with no care.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

election day!

The Royale will be offering one dollar off your first drink if you vote
in Tuesday's election. Just bring in your valid voter ID card, or that
little "I voted" sticker to redeem on Tuesday.

So come to the Royale for your post voting sip. I will be setting up a
voting booth procured from the 2000 Florida elections for inspiration.

Monday, August 07, 2006

PAC soccer

Coach Akita sent me this pic with this subheading on his extensive and impressive flicker page:

The core of the team that played in the New Dimensions league, over two sessions in the summer of 2006. Sponsored by the Royale/Panda AC, with additional contributions from Hartford Coffee. This team will be morphing into STL United FC this fall. L to R: Effie M, Jermaine W, Ben S. Thomas N, Val McG, Adrian P. Not pictured Amblessed O, Fran M and Melvin W.

On the Road

On the road with Steve Smith

Here is a video my man Dave Grey made. We rolled through the southside last week and he made up this nifty video. His use of music is much better than mine. It is a bit self indulgent for he was video taping me the whole time. But it was a fun easy going afternoon.

Thanks Dave! This youtube is pretty sweet and it posts right to my blogger. Slick.

I am still ill!! I did go see the Warriors earlier, although I am still sick and feel like I just was beaten with a bat by the Baseball Furies. That was great to see on the big screen. I wish there were gangs like this here in Saint Louis. The Baseball Furies. Way cool.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What STL landmark are you?

This is a great quiz on what STL Landmark you are.

I am the abandoned 7-11 on Compton and Chippewa. That is funny.

I am still ill. Wahhh!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Can you diggit!!

Warriors is the late night movie at the Tivoli tonight. My dreamworld. I think I might go tonight. I am getting sick though. Blech. I have been eating all my vegetables. It is not fair.

Smart Ass/Spectator and the heat

I am such a smart ass.

An old teacher came into the Royale. She taught me in sixth grade. I have had several teachers from grade school and high school come in. It has always been good to see Ms. Olendorf, Mrs. Zoellner and Doc Mueller.

My sixth grade teacher who came in taught social studies. I liked that class.

I remember reading in class about post WWII through modern day Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Egypt. The book described relations of Israel and these countries over the years as "quarrels". I knew this wasn't right and ask my this teacher if "quarrels meant shooting people with a gun."


I have been watching/reading/listening to this part of WW III in Lebanon and Israel as a spectator. That is a gruesome way of thinking of it, but that is the way it feels from where I sit.

I read a couple weeks ago when this first started to begin the Israeli army had been calling people in their homes in southern Lebanon with a pre-recorded message to evacuate their houses because they were inside the fire zone and homes were to be bombed from house to house. The army also dropped leaflets on towns warning them that driving trucks would be considered bombing targets. You can see the Flickr of the results of this here. This Flickr is amazing.

I heard on the radio earlier today, that an Israeli family was killed. They had been watching a horror movie on their VCR. They shut their metal shutters as directed by the government, but they ignored the warning that they should stay in their structurally reinforced safe room. They were killed by a rocket fired by Hizbullah.

Unreal lives in these enviornments.

So I watch the Fox News. CNN is okay, MSNBC is a little better, but for the punch, glitz, blood and guts it is Fox News. I usually just grab the simple news reports, but I occasionally watch parts of the "pundit" shows. It is unreal at just how much they support Israel in this war. Unreal.

Hey, it still kind of hot outside. Not quite as hot as it was the other day, but it is still humid. I think I am going to turn off the AC.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meet and Greet

The STL young Dems are hosting an event at the Royale on Thursday:

The Young Democrats of Greater St. Louis
St. Louis City and County
Candidate Meet and Greet
Thursday, August 3rd
8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

The Royale
3132 S. Kingshighway
St. Louis, MO 63139


Please join us on the patio at The Royale for a great event. This is an opportunity for candidates to meet and speak to area young Democrats one on one. Come mix and mingle with the newest crop of loyal Democrats!

For more info call us at 314-724-4310 or email us at

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

*Up and coming neighborhood

Watch the video
How do you know you are in an up and coming neighborhood in our nation's capitol, Washington DC?

The streets are full of trash.

This video footage was taken on the sidewalk on the side street toward the main drag in the up and coming neighborhood of Washington DC. This is a hood that rents one bedroom apartments for over two grand a month and has Audis, Mercedes and Cadillacs. Classy neighborhood.

*I do not endorse or condone trash, nor do I support the existence of or smell created. I have been spotted on a nearly daily basis picking up styrofoam soda cups.