Monday, February 28, 2005

From Chris:

I am 46% Hippie.
Wanna Be Hippie!
I need to step away from the tie-dye. I smell too good to be a hippie and my dad is probably a cop. Being a hippie is not a fashion craze, man. It was a way of life, in the 60’s, man.

That seems a little high to me ;)


Conundrum. Tom told me his flight got in at six a.m. Monday. I got up at 5:30 today and drove up to the east terminal where I was to meet him. No Tom. I read the William Faulkner short story Barn Burning and chatted occasionally with cold security guards who were impressed with all the heavy duty cleaning equipment in the back of the van. “Looks like you’re here to work son.”

When Tom still hadn’t appeared by six thirty I figured I better go inside and look around. I parked in the garage and wandered through the terminal, hitting an ATM so I could cover parking. The only flight arriving from Ohio was scheduled at arrive at seven ten so I figured Tom got his wires crossed and he must have been leaving Ohio at six, rather than arriving.

I wandered off to get a Starbucks Latte and then parked myself in front of the arriving flights doorway, which he would have to walk through at some point, right? Seven ten came and went. No Tom. I went and stood by the luggage carousel. I have no contact numbers. I called home. M.B. had left for work already. Tom has my home and cell phone number, but has called neither. Tom doesn’t, to my knowledge, have a cell phone.

Did he miss his flight? Is he in custody for Ohio contraband? Is he getting in at six p.m. instead? As my mother would say, “Is he dead in a ditch somewhere?” I have no idea. His car is in front of my house and his keys are on my dashboard, so at some point he will need to make contact.

Two hours is long enough to wait at the airport, don’t you think? Security was starting to look at me funny. I hadn’t planned on going into the building so I wasn’t wearing socks. People in airports without socks when it is snowing outside are innately suspicious. I am a suspicious looking character anyway. You never know what I am up to. I don’t know what I am up to. People like people to have purposes and there is an aura of purposelessness hanging around me that is palpable.

I guess Tom will either call or catch a taxi.

Some people have this thing about them, a quality of going left to get right, sort of an innate confused wander. It’s fairly simple to get to my house from Kville and I had drawn him a map that somehow he didn’t use last Thursday. He stayed with interstate seventy past the inner belt until he ended up downtown. He got off on Grand for some reason and then he found Delmar from Grand, driving city streets checking addresses. He eventually got here about and hour after he would have gotten here had he followed the directions. He sort of doused his way here. So I’m left thinking that there is something in Tom’s nature, some sort of travel karma, that creates these sort of mini dramas of misplaced timing. I don’t feel critical about my wasted morning, only slightly confused because generally I am anywhere that I am going before I’m supposed to be there. Ah well, wish us luck.


Sunday, February 27, 2005

For Keri an Jen

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.


After all my traveling I guess I needed a low-key weekend. I had dinner with Angela on Friday and we watched I Heart Huckabees, which is now in my top ten for the year.

Yesterday I did next to nothing. I lounged around reading Frank Herbert’s The Jesus Incident. Apparently I am on a science fiction bender what with the two Gibson books I devoured this week. I watched I Heart Huckabees for a second time and an odd little film Brad loaned me called Eulogy. Brad and I met early morning by the Rugby fields in Forest Park and took Sebastian and Rosco for a long walk, so I guess I exercised. I slept a lot yesterday as well – two multiple hour naps. I hate waking up at six p.m. in the dark and having to figure out what day and what six it is.

Today I am renting a carpet machine and cleaning my sister’s carpets – exciting! We made a deal that she would pay and I would labor so that I could run the thing home and do my own carpets as well. So perhaps some cleaning Karma will gateway me into a productive week. I have to get Tom from the airport tomorrow at six a.m. so don’t let me forget. Once again I did not will the lottery, so methinks I need a new plan. Dan and Seth have both suggested that I become a Gigolo so that everywhere I go people know the part I’m playing. I don’t really know what to say to that.

Anyway - Vick just called to remind me to bring the Armor All for her car - looks to be a cleaning day - does that mean spring is here?


Saturday, February 26, 2005

Seth sent me a shot of the warning signs down in Dogtown Valley, as well as informing me of the name. This is the area where Jackson's is and Nick's pub as well.


Friday, February 25, 2005

Interesting: Stolen from Chris and Melissa - not what I would have ranked myself as...

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (96%)
3. Liberal Quakers (96%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (90%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (82%)
6. New Age (82%)
7. Secular Humanism (81%)
8. Taoism (70%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (66%)
10. Bahá'í Faith (60%)
11. Reform Judaism (55%)
12. Sikhism (55%)
13. New Thought (53%)
14. Nontheist (52%)
15. Hinduism (50%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (50%)
17. Jainism (48%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (47%)
19. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (46%)
20. Scientology (43%)
21. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (32%)
22. Jehovah's Witness (29%)
23. Seventh Day Adventist (23%)
24. Orthodox Judaism (22%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (13%)
26. Islam (13%)
27. Roman Catholic (13%)


In Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 Sate of The Union Address he declared war on poverty. Many have speculated that if it weren’t for the Vietnam War, great strides could have been made in eradicating poverty, but the effort is now generally considered to have been a failure. I’m not so sure that the police action undermined the effort. In a country known for waging un-winnable wars on abstract concepts like drugs and terrorism, poverty is just one more amorphous and ambiguous enemy that rocks the boat just enough to keep the other passengers in their seats. It’s a war we don’t want to win.

I’m watching the St. Louis local newscast on channel 5 and one of the lead female reporters is doing a cover story on area homeless. Part of her tag line is that she lived as a homeless person for four days twelve years ago. She’s raising awareness and I don’t want to ridicule her attempts at semi-sincere pseudo sensational identification, however I have to point out that I’ve seen this wrinkle before.

I recall a male newscaster when I was in high school using the same tag line. He had spent a few days a few years earlier living homeless and used that experience as the source of his credibility to speak on the issue. I think he was on a different channel so perhaps the idea is that every station needs a reporter that has lived on the streets, just like they all need doppler radar for their action forecasts.

This gambit must be a proven audience draw. How many market stations are there? How many times has this meme repeated itself? Do they draw straws for this detail? How homeless is the reporter who still has a home? Are four days on the street for a well off newscaster enough of a fixed point to leverage a city into action?

And what am I buying, and what are they selling besides the ad breaks for Wanda, queen of carpet? Couched within the call to action there is a healthy dose of middle class fear and cultural but-for-the-grace-of-god guardrails. Then I start to see them, the source of the reportage; the signs of our healthy economy and I think that for all the mixed motives of the ad backed cultural regulators in the media, there is still some human concern in operation.

I am driving to see an afternoon movie on Wednesday. Constantine is playing at the Chase at one fifteen so after the noon news I race up there. At the edge of the Central West End I see the stereotypical man with shopping cart. I’m at the northeast corner of Forest Park. The newscaster’s tales of homelessness on the rise in St. Louis are still hanging in the air from the post lunch teaser, reminding me to come back at five and learn more about families in need.

“This time it’s not just individuals, whole families are living in shelters, tune in at five and again at six to find out what living homeless is doing to the children.”

Where’s William Blake when you need him? At least the kids aren’t dying of black lung as cherubim chimney sweeps. You have to wonder about the American cult of potential and opportunity that automatically values the suffering of children over all else. The illusion of innocence is itself a powerful American naiveté. It allows for the conservative hypocrisy of working against abortion at home while sending eighteen years olds to war, to kill and die, as though murder and death were matters of degree.

The cart pusher in the park is wearing mechanic’s coveralls and worn shoes. He has his shopping cart piled high with what looks like foam rolls, perhaps potential bedding, and he is pushing his cart along the bike path opposite some of the wealthiest condos in town; four wheels spinning singular circles on the uneven blacktop.

I am wondering how many police will drive by him and pretend not to see him. I wonder if he sleeps in the park. I wonder about grocery stores building assumed cart theft into their depreciation accounts. Where is he going?

Thursday I am on my way to a job interview for a bartending job at a local pub. I pull up to the edge of the highway on ramp and sit waiting for the light to change. I am at the southwest corner of Forest Park, near the Jack Kennedy memorial rock. There’s an elderly black man with a tight-cropped beard holding a cardboard sign that says homeless on it in red marker or crayon. He’s doing the silent intersection grift.

I roll down the passenger window and call him over. I pull seven bucks from my pocket and hand him the ones. I keep the five for myself thinking it’s my only cash and I might somehow need it at the bar. What could I possibly need with the five? Am I going to have a pint of Guinness during the interview? Will he buy booze with the two like I might with my five? Does it matter?

He’s back at the corner with the money pinched in his gloved hand, the kind of gloves that you wear skiing, the kind where your fingers are immobilized by the thickness of the insulation. He takes one glove off so he can shift the money to the pocket of his jeans, to get money he has to show lack of money. He can’t be standing there with his two bucks on display. He knows the rules. He’s been at this more than four days.

The wealthiest nation on earth, tune in at five six and ten to get all the latest.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

The thinning of the herd. I took another van load of stuff up to the mall today – it’s odd to note what’s sold. The thirst extinguisher decanter shaped like an old fire extinguisher with a music box in the base that plays How Dry I am when you pick it up, the Old Style neon light, the quilt rack, some martini glasses, the Battle Star Galactica model, and other things that I may not have noticed. We’re probably approaching two hundred for the month of Feb, which will in turn cover booth rent for March.

Is this a losing proposition? At least the stuff is out of my house to the tune of many van loads of crap. I can always do a fifty percent off sale and liquidate the booth. If you figure that they are open seven days a week and they have to pay several someones to be there from ten am until seven pm then it seems to work out. One hundred and fifty a month is not much overhead for your own business.

I was riding a high from the much needed trip home, but as I settle back in to look at my insurmountable debt, student loans in forbearance, credit card debt still through the roof, insane utility bills from the spike in gas prices, I really have no idea how I am going to dig out. I guess instead of one good job I get to get two shitty ones. Nick’s pub is hiring tenders so I’m off to interview – wish me luck. Some days all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. Even if it is a shit job, it’ll do me good to have some structure. This no reason to get out of bed stuff has gotten quite old.

In positive news I’m putting up a linguist named Tom from Truman tonight, he has an early flight in the a.m. and we are ever the Kville hotel. Tom has a great sense of humor and I’m really just getting to know him so I’m looking forward to a loop wander or just a few drinks at the home bar.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tuesday a.m.

My head's not clear yet, but I think I'll write anyway. Do you designate days? If my life were a grade school classroom and I was asked to help make the bulletin board for today I would cut out white cars and blue highways from construction paper, because today is drive recovery day. I left the snowbound farm yesterday at ten a.m. and arrived home at eight forty five p.m. That's very good time if you consider that we spent an hour and a half at my brother's place in Milwaukee having lunch. I hadn't seen him in a year. I hadn't been home in year. I didn't really know that.

You'll be happy to know that I did stop in Sun Prairie on the way up to buy a power ball ticket. You'll also be happy to know that I didn't win, so there will be no wrangling with camels or needle eyes in my near future. What I did win on my trip was family time and some closure. I hadn't realized that I was avoiding going home.

We moved a great deal when I was a kid, every three or four years. It seems like that rhythm has stayed with me because I seem to reinvent myself on that schedule. I may have lived in Kville for ten years in an attempt to put down some roots, but I still moved houses and identities on that same schedule, from undergraduate, to graduate student, to teacher. Those were all very different lives with different friends and different ways of being in the world. I am changing again now, but into what I have no idea.

Amid all the shifts of my three-year lifecycle there has been one constant: my grandmother's farm in mid state Wisconsin.

Wednesday p.m.

I've decided to push my nostalgia back a little bit, into the history of my family. This is my Grandmother Laura's one room school house in rural Wisconsin. It's still standing and is a short drive from the family farm.

Laura didn't grow up on what is now our family's proverbial home base. While she was working as a domestic in a wealthy Chicago suburb for the Bell family - yes the phone company Bell - her parents began renting the farm for ten dollars a month.

She bought the property in 1954 with money she made working in the Wisconsin Tissue Mills paper plant in Neenah, on the Northern edge of Lake Winnebago and she continued to rent the second floor to her folks. Here's a marriage shot of Freddy and Laura from 1926.

She and Freddy divorced soon after my father was born and he died not too long after from pneumonia and a collapsed lung.

She raised three boys by herself - this is Easter 1940 - the short one is my father

I like to juxtapose photos that show the passage of time - either forward or back ward. In this picture my father is on the far right.

I sat around the kitchen table on Sunday with all three boys (the youngest of whom is 73), my mother & my aunt Shirley while it snowed heavily outside, while the Daytona 500 spun itself out on the kitchen TV. We talked about family history and we looked at some “new” pictures of the farm. My grandmother had been befriended by a women from California named Helen Arnette and Helen in turn had been to visit my parents. She'’s descended from Levi Peter Schumacher, the man who built our farmhouse in 1887.

So we get to do more then and now shots of the farmhouse.







I took one of those career aptitude tests in high school and it told me that I had the most in common with firewatchers and florists. “Great,” I thought, “good thing I have allergies to nearly every form of growing thing.” I read a description of the fire-watching career and apparently it involves eating lots of breakfast cereal and playing video games while occasionally looking for smoke from the glass walls of your tree fort. Blah.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I'm back, but what a story to come home to. My flag is at half mast and will remain so for some time.


Friday, February 18, 2005

I spent yesterday prepping for my trip today to Wisconsin and checking in at my booth. I’ve been open a little over a week and have made $120 dollars so far. That’s an ok start if I think about it as a hobby rather than a money making proposition. I’m getting to the point where I am running out of surface area so I think I’ll just leave it for a week and hope it thins out.

I told Angela that she should write about last night because it was her epic bar tour. She went out to the Ritz Carlton after work for cocktails in honor of her friend Betty who passed away this week. She’s written some remembrances of Betty on her blog. Her passing was more difficult for those who knew and loved her both because it was sudden and because of her desire to not be a burden. Betty did not allow visitors at the hospital and there is to be no funeral, just a glass of wine and a toast. Her son plays for the San Francisco Philharmonic so donations are being made there in her name in lieu of flowers and her ashes are going back with him to be spread in the ocean.

After the wake Angela went to Schlafly Bottle Works for a Webster Alumni event, our friend Nicole coordinates those events, and the stragglers from that bar scene went up the street to Jackson’s’ to hear The Rhythm Rockers. I met them there. We also ran into Angela’s brother-in-law Tim. He’s a friend of the bar’s owner, thus our glasses mystically became bottomless.

As per usual we danced our asses off. The Rhythm Rockers do mostly Stevie Wonder, KC and The Sunshine Band, Parliament Funckadelic covers – you get the idea, low rent James Brown. It was a very odd crowd of a few post college fraternity/sorority types, several middle-aged truck drivers, a massage therapist I know, many wealthy county golfer construction types, and the women who prey on them – believe me I do not mean that the other way around. Well, let’s say it’s mutual.

At one point a women with large blond I-love-Bon-Jovi hair in a black and white checkered tube dress, evocative of the nearby White Castle or Steak N’ Shake, got up on the low rise stage with a tambourine and was “playing it” using her left ass cheek in a sort of crouched position facing the audience, which caused the dress to ride simultaneous up and down in both asset revealing directions. The women I was dancing with, two sisters one of whom works for Nicole, covered my eyes to protect my modesty. Many noted psychologists would have proclaimed that moment a self-esteem slama jama of stripper style pseudo salubriousness. It was undiluted transgression.

On the opposite side of the dance floor were these post flapper New York chic girls with bare shoulders and pressed hair that reminded me of the hawk people feather wigs on Buck Rodgers in the twenty first century. The thing is, Jackson’s is the first borderline bar I’ve been to in some time with that extreme a mix of people. It’s not a large place; think of a shotgun New York apartment with all the walls knocked out and a bar that runs the length. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the entire bar was dancing from entrance to bathrooms, and there must have been two hundred people there in groups of four and five.

There are several bars in this district that literally runs along the railroad tracks that parallel Arsenal and Manchester through the center of the city. That’s the magic of the modern liminal zone: the track’s sides have gone dodecahedron in surface area so it’s impossible to say what side of the tracks you are on, just that you are next to the tracks. There’s no sure aesthetic hierarchy and everybody’s dancing with everybody else.

Ah well, off to the land of squeaky cheese curds and deep fried perch. I get ten hours in car today heading vaugly Green Bay. I’ll buy a lotto in Sun Prairie so wish me luck.


Thursday, February 17, 2005


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla


Wow, did I need that. Denny’s was closed so I trucked down to Uncle Bill’s for salty ham steak and over easy eggs with hash browns. Two bites of my short stack and I was ready to go back to bed and sleep the dreamless sleep of the dead. I’ve been on edge this week and that sound slumber seems to have set me right.


I’ve been getting a lot of advice lately, good advice, on how to be in the world, what I should do next, etc. I’ve been told that I need to give myself options and I think that’s true. I’ve been told that smart and clever are two very different things. I think that is true as well. I've been told to avoid more loans at all cost and to score a 160 plus on my LSAT so I can go to UMKC for free. My random sleep schedule has me up at 3:45 am for no real reason so I am off to get breakfast at an all night place. Denny’s I guess, and then perhaps a day of laundry and job searches.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I abused caffeine today and now I am jumping out of my skin. Both of my legs are bouncing up and down in that uber-manic fidgety way and I imagine I’ll be up until three.

I was having major writer’s block on these two promotional articles that were due on Tuesday and then Hotmail crashed so it didn’t matter that they weren’t done because I couldn’t send them anyway – outside of my control. So today I resorted to the writer’s tried and true method of mental kerosene – two pots of coffee. The articles are done, they are sent, and I am left with Tigger legs and a palpituous heart.

Maybe I’ll crank out a rough draft of the trial Alive magazine article that’s due Tuesday.

Yes folks I actually got an email from an editor who liked my samples. She gave me two topics to choose from, either a healthy hobby or at home manicure tips. Hmmm – going to have to go with that first one because I have so many healthy hobbies to choose from and my nails are not so cured.

I did learn two exciting things in my lateral research on manicures (talking to M.B.) that I feel I should share with you: no self-respecting lesbian would have long fingernails and lesbians cruise hands. Who knew?

I have a feeling that I could write something transgressive about metro-sexual pedicures that will simply be unprintable, at least in Alive magazine. I don’t want to be that kind of writer, do I? The cues from Cosmo crap could kill me.

What do you think? Pets. Books. Blogging. Junk Shopping. Being Unemployed. Hobbies on the Cheap…

I am trying to figure out something about myself in this odd phase of life. I am trying to make this setback into an opportunity, and many other fine cliché’s, but all I am really managing is just barely managing. It’s a tip of the tongue moment though. I can feel it forming. Maybe going to Wisconsin this weekend will help me get some closure and get going again.

I went to IHOP yesterday just to get out of the house and I couldn’t decide what to order. That’s a stupid feeling, to be so indecisive that you can’t pick from price or hunger something so simple and immediate as a meal. I may be having a mental health episode.

In this weeks mental health episodic we have cooking with Carlo and a Willie B walk on:

I had this candelabra that I was going to sell in my booth and it was covered in wax so I boiled a pot of water and dipped the thing in there to melt off the wax. It worked great until I left the room. Never leave the room when boiling antique candelabras. I was just gone a second, but in that moment the candelabra began to wilt like willow bending to the water, proving that it was not in fact made of silver and so not worth what I was going to try and get for it anyway.

To add insult to injury, while I was trying to bend it straight using hot pads for insulation, the candelabra broke in two and knocked the ceramic olive oil container off the counter, shattering it and leaving me standing in a large puddle of oil with a hot broken candle holder and a dog in danger of olive oil poisoning.

Then William Burroughs emerged magically from the oil puddle like the melting witch from The Wizard of Oz, only in reverse and with a fedora instead of the pointy hat. He handed me a copy of Jack Black’s You Can’t Win and went to the freezer to make himself one of his cocktails: a rum and coke with a Benzedrine chaser. So, Will is living in the guest room now and has several interesting theories about how to get the oil out of the linoleum, “Burn the fucking place down, that’ll teach um.” You gotta love old Will for practical incisiveness and mystical black opps manifestations.

That’s part of why you read this blog, curve balls from the land of crazy.


Leaf in a stream, drifting. Young Carlo wonders what will happen next. What can you make happen? Suddenly it seems like every restaurant in St. Louis is hiring. Is it a spring, warm day young grass thing? I think I am going to go to Wisconsin for the weekend, get in some family time, last chance to get away. Then I will return to a fabulous new job serving people cheese. I guess I am going back to restaurant work since I can’t seem to come up with anything better. Underemployed is at least employed.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Country Name
38 Festus Missouri United States United States
8 Saint Louis Missouri United States United States
7 Seattle Washington United States United States
4 National City California United States United States
4 Waterloo Illinois United States United States
4 Kirksville Missouri United States United States
4 Puyallup Washington United States United States
3 Wytheville Virginia United States United States
3 Florissant Missouri United States United States
3 Reston Virginia United States United States
2 Chicago Illinois United States United States
1 Calgary Alberta Canada Canada
1 Buffalo New York United States United States
1 Newton New Jersey United States United States
1 Columbia Missouri United States United States
1 New Haven Connecticutt United States United States
1 Overland Park Kansas United States United States
1 Antwerp Antwerpen Belgium Belgium
1 Milford Ohio United States United States
1 Cary North Carolina United States United States
1 Mission British Columbia Canada Canada
1 Mt Laurel New Jersey United States United States
1 Hingham Massachusetts United States United States
1 Bronx New York United States United States
1 Honolulu Hawaii United States United States

Sure, I've got readers from all over the place, but I'm huge in Festus! Must be where the server is.


That second Long Island ice tea was the worst idea I’ve had in years.


Monday, February 14, 2005

Shit. Now I’m a fan boy. I’ve been reading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition and it’s really good. I’m not going to review it as I am not into the review blogs, but I am going to wrangle with it. He drops half snippets of Yates and uses acronyms for obscure philosophies that he doesn’t explain and I am catching all these curve ball references given in shorthand. For every caught ball my brain hands out a little serotonin pleasure cookie and I am left wondering who his audience is.

In feeling like it’s personal I have to ironically conclude that I am one of a type. This is mass appeal mass marketed pulp on the surface, but there have to be vast hoards of more than moderately well informed readers for this Spruce Goose to fly. Or is the illusion that catching allusions makes us well informed, when our true condition is that we are conditioned and he’s just pushing the preprogrammed buttons. It’s the question all would be novelists must ask themselves, is literature a middle class psychosis? We are a small and shrinking market kids, the creative class in indentured servitude to the loans and credit debt that perpetuate fictions of station and material comfort. Anyway that's me. You?


Driving without directions to an unnamed restaurant in a city I don’t know well, young Carlo leaves St. Louis in his usual vaguely planned stance of winging it, trusting in the power of the cell phone to lighthouse me into port. I hadn’t fully decided to go to Kansas City until I went, packing quickly and making dog arrangements on the fly.

I cleared the bridge over the Missouri on the way into St. Charles at 5pm. Clicking on the mental travel clock, I figured three and a half hours to traverse the state and arrive slightly late for an eight thirty game time. I lost some speed taking the dog to South City and then I stopped at my sister's to reclaim my black corduroy jacket, smokes and sunglasses left there the night before.

I don’t smoke, but occasionally I do, buying one pack of Camels or Camel Lights every three months or so. It’s something to do when you’re driving, and asking for a light, giving or getting, is still a ubiquitous Midwestern bar hello. As a Camel smoker among my friends I am odd man out, they are a mix of Marlboro and Marlboro Light smokers, or GPC on the cheap, with Vick and Mary Beth bringing up the menthol rear in something Virginian and slim-like, or koala cool on the eucalyptus tip. I’ve always thought smoking menthols was like drinking Tab cola. It’s functional fashion; no one else is going to ask for a sip.

I made it to Kingdom City when the rain started, and by the time I reached Columbia, roughly halfway there, I knew I was in for a shitty drive. I stopped for gas, a power steering fluid check, a double shot can of Starbuck’s espresso, and a power ball ticket. The lady who sold me the ticket told me I had nice hair and I was on a road trip in an off the map gas station so I figured I had a shot at it. Gotta put your nickel in the slot of “somebody wins it” from time to time.

Do you know about the lottery triangle in Wisconsin? There’s a Bermuda like zone of wealth generating convenience stores in-between Madison and Sun Prairie on 151. They’ve popped out a statistically unlikely number of millionaires in an already statistically unlikely multi-state government grift. Whenever I pass through there I try to breathe in a little luck, chow down on some of the local jerky and wonder what the magic is. Maybe it’s karmic runoff from all the life transformation and insight up at UWM. We should sick some MIT boys on it, they cracked Vegas after all.

Back on the divided highway, in the dark and mist, I was playing tag with trucker’s break lights, my wipers on high speed and every passing action a wind-sheer wet-out that would make you feel like you were in a car wash if the wheel weren’t suddenly pulling to the right. The water on the road erased the lane paint and after Columbia there are no more reflectors, no bumps to keep you coloring in the lines.

Not that you can see it, but you know that there is a large ditch to your left from which they are always extracting jack knifed rigs that have an aluminum can crunch quality to them or RVs missing a side so you can inspect the floor plan as you zoom past the wreckage. You spread your intuitive field out all over the vehicle you’re in and remember your father’s Zen instruction of knowing where all four tires are at all times. The right side of the road, also invisible, oscillates between threat of falling rock from the limestone hills this road was cut through, and river wash gorges carved out by former courses of the Missouri and Mississippi. They are of unlikely slope and end in formidable forest.

I wondered if the vibration coming from the right front tire was the result of an alignment issue, the quality of the pavement (only Mississippi’s is worse) or something more structural in the van. I chalked it up to a combo of factors, noting that it evened out after I hit a stride. Despite the conditions, and your driving instructors admonition that you drive to them, the speed of traffic hovered around my preferred eighty MPH. In the forced conformity of multi vehicle motion, slow is more dangerous than fast and avoiding the mergers is major.

I normally come into K.C. from the North so I had to rotate my mental map of the city for an easterly approach. Checking my messages I learned in two brief cell snippets that the destination was the local incarnation of the national Buca Di Beppo chain on The Plaza and that BJ had already gotten the hotel room within walking distance, stocking it with poker fixings and booze. Jason claims that the bottle of Gin didn’t give away my surprise participation – this was a surprise birthday party by the way – but you have to figure that pine scented bottle must have foot printed some part of his limbic with a clue, as he’s Crown n’ Coke and BJ is Rum n’ diet. The gin jug just screamed trifecta.

The drunken bartender giggled at me some directions involving 35 in the downtown, but the shouting local guy she passed the phone to talked me in off of 435 and along side streets into The Plaza like a pre Reagan air traffic controller – all skill and will. I do know The Plaza from the days of Kelly and Angela B, so once I had it in sight I was fine.

Kelly was a Kearney girl from up around the Jesse James farm, killing a year as a dental hygienist’s assistant so she could reapply to med school. I did the long distance driving from Kirksville to see her and we’d slip into town to go dancing. She had a camel hair coat that matched her golden brown hair that was light and long and would spread out like an oriental fan when I spun her fast or it would reach out and tickle the floor in a dip. Sometimes we would both travel and get a hotel in Columbia where she eventually went to med school. Last I heard she was an Air Force doctor, a Lieutenant by education when she walked in the door. Kelly was The Plaza by night, kissing in her car as the limos rolled by.

Angela B. grew up in the suburbs, her mom worked for Hallmark as an ink chemist. K.C. is greeting card H.Q. so if you’re seeking whom to blame for manufactured holidays, K.C. is ground zero on this Valentine’s Day weekend. Angela one-upped her mom by getting a Ph.D. in chemical laser sample analysis.

BJ still thinks of Angela B. as my “one who got away” but as I’m sure you’ve realized by now there are more than one of those, and they keep on getting, or I do. Life is a river and rafts are for sharing as long as you’ve got the next town in common: serial monogamist walking. Angela and I often coffee shopped the caffeine scene and wondered the water wonders in the city of fountains. Angela was The Plaza by day, holding hands in the grass and figuring on a future that faltered.

So once I runway-ed onto the main Plaza strip at the end (or the start) of this odyssey, I just had to park the boat. Handily Buca abuts the West 26th street terrace free parking garage and I got a rock star spot right by a door from the garage that leads directly into the restaurant through the kitchen. A kitchen entrance always feels very Swingers.

Four flights of stairs down and a maze wander past the prep chefs and I had Jason grinning out his Carlito Bandito greeting while BJ got me a double from the giggler. Halfway into my first drink the host called us to table, so for all my randomness I hit a five-minute window like a well-angled capsule reentry, not a heat shield out of place on this Gemini mission.

We had a theater major turned waitress as our flight attendant and we were winning friends and influencing people before the first pasta turned anti. Were there nine of us in that booth or eight? Do we count the couple from Springfield who were buying BJ drinks? Things rapidly get hazy from here, meshing together in a blur of cab doors and clubs, searches for pens and paper to heave anchors from the flow. “That girl you were dancing with was very married.” “I know, I asked permission.”

I’m going to stiff you on the payoff.

Eight a.m. and the hotel TV clicks on. Time to go save baby Triton Emily from the in-laws and secure a greasy breakfast. There was no point in packing for this trip. I arrive home to St. Louis in what I was wearing when I left it twenty-seven and a half hours earlier. Jason has a good life, with good work, good friends, and good fun. I hope he had a good birthday, I’m sure he did.

I have to admit when I hold that baby, as when I hold my sister’s kids, something in me has turned a corner. If God’s cookbook had a recipe for joy in it, it might be: start family, season with solid friendship, stir.
There’s your Hallmark ending for you, couldn’t help it what with the K.C. Hallmaric radioactivity. I hope you’re happy. If you want some VD (Valentine’s Day?) cynicism I’ll remind you that Jason bought a ring at a store in The Plaza for a college girlfriend who we only refer to now as The Noxzema Girl, and when he got it back from her cheating ass the store wouldn’t refund the purchase, they claimed it was flawed. He sold it somewhere and got his head clear in a cash-in-hand European wander.

On a personal note, my Angela B. eventually got married on the plaza just this year to the guy she dated before me. I was invited, but saw little point in doing that to myself.

Romance is a trance and love a commodity measured in diamonds mined by DeBeers. Cheers!


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Whirlwind tour. Jo got in late on Saturday so instead of touring St. Louis I just took him right to the airport. I got up early and took M.B. to the airport to fly to Virginia so it was another Carlo’s airport taxi day. I got to visit both terminals.

Post M.B. flee, I spent most of the morning waiting for Jo to show up and I had one of those cleaning fits that starts innocently enough, just a little straightening up, and then I had the cover off the stove, the kitchen walls (to the ceiling) and the dishwasher scrubbed down, the kitchen floor mopped – including moving appliances, the couch and the upstairs vacuumed (with is that word spelled that way?), both bathrooms cleaned, etc.

So after the Jo show I mothballed his car, which I will be minding until May, and then I loaded up my own vehicle, ran the dog over to Brad and Beth’s and headed out for Jason’s Birthday party in K.C. That is a story that perhaps I’ll tell tomorrow. We had a boys gone wild night and then I drove back today, stopping off in Columbia to have dinner with Paul & Caroline. Now it’s home alone and Jazz Unlimited with Dennis on KBIA. Currently, at 10:10, it’s Clifford Brown. Dennis is hosting a thing tomorrow on the music and poetry of Mingus that I am thinking about going to, or Madahoochie – hard to say. Both? I am embracing a sprite-like mobility.

What do we think of me becoming a lawyer? I got a pitch today from the lawyer boys that I must say has got me thinking. Honestly, it’s what most of my peers did so think of the crib sheets I could get.


Friday, February 11, 2005

Well, Beth and Mary met Vick and I up at Syberg’s. We had cheap well drinks, free Pizza and mustard hot wings. The band was good as cover bands go and when they quit at seven p.m. the girls had a hankering for a new scene, so we split for the Loop and regrouped at Riddle’s to catch The Rockhouse Ramblers – oh for a swing partner cause that rockabilly was happening.

Riddle’s has an astounding menu from which we had portabella mushroom caps, a Mediterranean lentil salad, and chilled trout with a creamy dill sauce. Beth also had the heart shaped mousse with raspberry sauce and I made an Ed Gein joke about her heart that only Mary got – maybe you got it too. I told the “I love your sweaters” story and the “stepping into nothing” story so I was a bit of the raconteur. Sorry, but these are best told live.

Everyone was exhausted by ten p.m. so we did the walk back to the cars. I briefly checked out blockbuster and Jake’s Leg at Cicero’s, but there was nothing I wanted to rent at either location – so home and sleep and book and blog. I’m on the market in junk shops, job fairs, and singles scene’s, but I am not getting credible offers. Ah well. I’ve always been this other kind of person that doesn’t fit. It shouldn’t surprise me that I’m a puzzle piece in the wrong box.


Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I haven’t sold anything yet out of the mall and I am beginning to get a little worried. Maybe I should have just spent the rent money on a digital camera and gone the ebay route. Still, it does feel good to have less stuff in the house. I keep surprising myself with what I am willing to part with – which it turns out is almost everything.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, it’s been a mixed few days. My new landlord attempted to say that I had not paid first and last months rent, only a deposit. I took the original lease over there and we got it straitened out – good news. The gas company is attempting to retroactively bill us for “estimated” gas use from August on. So we got an eight hundred dollar bill that they think we are going to actually pay: bad news. Come and read the meter fuckers, we have not used 800 dollars in gas in addition to what we have already paid you.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, Jo, the guy I am writing for, is leaving for India tomorrow and I get to store his car for the nest two months. I’m spending tomorrow driving him around St. Louis and then to the airport. Way to go Jo, it’s the guru that you do so well.

Hannah’s mom called to ask if she could print an edited version of my story about working Bingo in the Epilepsy Foundations newsletter – so I get another screen credit to add to the old portfolio. This screen credit is better than the articles in The Healthy Planet as I am not surreptitiously selling anything. I asked her to find me a job. Maybe the Epilepsy Foundation will hire me to write humorous pieces to liven up the rag and increase circulation. Nah.

I am about to go drinking with my sister V and I think Beth might meet us there. V called earlier and bemoaned not going out much, so we are off to yuppie trendy county hell – otherwise known as Syberg’s Happy Hour. Make with the workaday drunks, it’s karaoke time! Well, hot wings and a gin & tonic anyway. So if you want to stalk me, I'll be there in about an hour. I'm the guy in the blue shirt.


From The Writer’s Almanac -

“It was on this day in 1778 that Voltaire returned to Paris after living in exile for 28 years… He said, "Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."”


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Mona Lisa holding a laptop
You are a Modern Renaissance blogger.

Your blog is about nothing about
everthing all at once. This is not to say you
don't have your own particular style, it's just
that part of that style is not limiting
yourself to one particular topic. This is your
blog; you'll write about whatever strikes your
fancy. And why not? Some of your favorite
blogs, like Crescat Sententia, seem to be doing
just fine without a unifying theme.

To lodge compliments or complaints visit
http://deathintheafternoon.blogspot.com. The
following quiz is void in the following states:
Deleware, Washington, and Wyoming. Death in the
Afternoon(TM) reserves the right to change quiz
results without notice.

What Kind of Blogger Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

“Time for a new post.” says Jen.

Where are you? I am someplace odd. I am at my crossroads. The signs read empty life selling insurance and magical life telling stories. Every truth’s a lie and every lie’s a truth at the crossroads, so make your deal and get real.

I went to the Fat Tuesday parade downtown last night and then John and I walked over to the landing. I took the metro link downtown so I wouldn’t have to deal with my car and I’d have train time later to sober up. Since this blog now has a searchable subcategory of Beatle Bob sightings, Beatle Bob was the last man on the last float. I did not catch any of the beads he was throwing.

I did have a pulled pork and pickle sandwich. It was very cold out, two pairs of gloves cold; all the colder for a certain urban dampness resultant from arch obscuring fog rolling off the Mississippi and a slight mist that arrived with the start of the parade, having dumped most of its moisture in a Kansas City snowstorm. I had an Irish coffee at our first actual bar, The Train Wreck, to warm up. Oddly, that bar was nearly empty, but for the older and colder set. They were handing out Bacardi promotional T-shirts and everyone was putting them on to warm up. We looked like the Bacardi softball team.

Out in the streets it was a mostly younger crowd and there was that odd element of breast worship. There were flashing girls on the shoulders of their strapping “protectors” getting clocked in the head from all sides with worthless booty – pun intended. This was made all the more strange by the presence of police officers with large wooden clubs. Their clubs, not really nightsticks but clubs, had these brass fittings on the end that suggested strongly the suckiness of being struck by one. Think of a trucker’s tire knocker and then add a foot and a half, make it thicker and put a mental cap on it. They were positively medieval and I am sure that today more then one brittle tibia is bemoaning an encounter.

There was a clear mood to those officers and it was initially boredom; good-natured guard dogs corralling drunken sheep, warriors without a war. I’m reluctant to write about last night because there was something too much about it. Everyone who was there drank too much, it was too cold, it was too crowded, and eventually the police were too needed.

At one point we were in the back of a three-tier bar, Morgan Street Brewery, which is built into the slope of a hill. To get to the area we were in you need to enter from the street, traverse a restaurant, ascend a staircase, pass miles of pool tables and acres of bar, exit the building to cross a courtyard, walk through another bar and ascend more stairs to the dance floor.

We’d been dancing and were outside cooling off, actually thinking about leaving, when a wave of about forty or so people (this is a large place) came out of the first building and into the courtyard. My friend Dan was out in the front of this wave and, after a handshake and introductions, he explained that the bacchanal on the street had turned ugly. The rumor in the crowd was that a racial fight had broken out, black’s on whites, and we were well off in our removed location. Sex and violence have been holding hands in America for a long time, give them a drink and they start to round the race bases.

I didn’t see any blood or violence, but I can infer from the number of large white police vans leaving the area that several drunks met tank last night – the ethnicity and motivation of the combatants remain a mystery to the non-observer, but we can take a good look at the rumor wave. St. Louis’ racial mix can get edgy; on the dance floor it was pure percolation, but the white flight rumor race lets you know that economic tensions can sometimes get social. Even if the fight wasn’t real the fear was and no one left for a long time, we just went back to drinking and dancing.

Ah well, a city works on its issues in a population-swelling orgy of blood boiling frenzy. I suppose that’s the idea, the final excess that leaves you longing for the peace of lent.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Today I have become a different kind of man. Yesterday I was a buyer. I even bought the space and the time that have allowed me to become this new man. Today, with my Neon Old Style sign and my Battlestar Galactica model on display I became a dealer. I took shelves and whatnot over there, but I am still pricing my table full of detris at home. I don’t like it so far. It’s still too new and many of the people I met today were rude. They are sellers. They are trying to get more than they paid for something. It’s like this: you bought the dope, but they knew the guy who sold it and so they skimmed off you. That’s who these people I met today are – they’re lampreys on the capitalism shark. Well, it’s good for an essay or two, if not for some hard currency. Ah well, that’s me, taking the link down to the Fat Tuesday Parade.


Support your local Chris Meme –

Two-story townhouse with basement storage just up from the Delmar Loop – very smart and historically well informed chain-smoking lesbian roommate, dog, cat, three fish tanks full up with fish. If I don’t get a job soon I’ll be living in my car.

The Unforgettable New York Times Bestseller - American Gods – by Neil Gaiman – It’s fluff, I’m trying to relearn how to read fluff. “Powerful and gripping” USA Today – so you know it’s crap, fun crap, but crap nonetheless.

My mouse


The New Yorker

Didn’t we cover this in the living situation portion? My sister thinks having one would do me a world of good. I am in no hurry. I know I’d make a good father, but this question so puts the cart before the horse. I like being an uncle too, so if it doesn’t happen I’m ok with that. Uncle’s have it good and are not required to change any diapers.

When my dog hears an ambulance and pretends he’s a tundra wolf doing call and response navigation, a purring engine, a purring cat, and a purring person, running water.

Powerlessness in the face of universal horror and the unavoidable ugliness and selfishness of much of humanity. I’m not a misanthrope, but it does seem like there are a lot of sucky humans out there doing sucky things to each other and to themselves in numbers too astonishing to contemplate. I think maybe competitive capitalism is probably the wrong way to go as a society, at least with the current ethics of greed. It’s a tough call. Competition does seem to encourage excellence, but only in a climate of good sportsmanship. I’m with Zizek in thinking that fear is the seed of most evil deeds.

1. Tito Puente 2. Where am I? 3.What the fuck was that dream all about? 4.Did I really? 5.Yes, I suppose I probably did. I usually do. 6. Now What? Breakfast? Does the dog need to go out?

Home - many, if at all. Cell – depends on how long it takes me to find it (in the couch under the dog).

11. What happened to eleven?

Tito Puente

Friendship – traveling together in good spirit and support

Beets – Fried Chicken – medium rare grilled yellow fin tuna steak with cracked black pepper and a little lemon juice – venison – Julie’s filet in the cracked peppercorn sauce and hundreds of others

Vanilla Vodka Martini, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, walnuts, and a banana – chocolate on skin – is that too much? Jesus, I need a girlfriend. Nope. I got to figure my shit out first.

Is eighty-five fast? If you figure in the rotation of the planet I suppose it’s really fast. Currently eighty-five is my favorite speed.

Depends on when they eat, I just leave the food dishes full in the Kitchen

There ain’t nothing like a big ass Missouri thunderstorm to put me in a good mood. We get cumulonimbus cloud formations here that can make whole mountain ranges look insignificant. Thor himself has a pad over in the West End from which he hurls electric zeitgeist like a mad racquetball player bouncing kilowatts and gigawatts off of the vapor shields of Mount Olympus (cool).

Kit car – 1957 Volkswagon Beetle with a foot cut out of the frame and a dune buggy body slid on like a cell phone cover, with dual glasspacks and eighty inch white walls.

Do you really need to ask that at this point? We could change the name of this blog to Supersonic Gin & Tonic.

Gemini on the Taurus Cusp = schizophrenic and stubborn (but I’m of two minds about that).

Yes – what an odd question.


Silly question

Many times – falling in love isn’t hard – it’s keeping it alive that’s tough.

In the cupboard it’s empty, on the counter it’s full, on the bar one measures with utility, like watching the gas gauge on a long trip, rinse, repeat. It’s full when you fill it & empty when you drain it.

2001 – Citizen Kane (I’m not just saying that, I really love it, my first VCR had a repeat button and I would just leave it looping while I did my homework) – This is like the food question – I like too much to answer succinctly.

Right according to who? Fuckers. I hate that shit. THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO ANYTHING EVER ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!!!!!! Got it? The whole universe is wide open and we’ve got all these little control Nazis trying to pretend it isn’t. Look up in the sky at night. Are your eyes on the right stars? Stupid question.

Generally? Infinity. Locally, there’s a six inch gap in dense material filled with various gasses in the common ratios followed by several layers of carpeting, a hardwood floor, some plaster, another large gap filled with gasses, my grandmother’s quilt, my sick roommate, the couch, another hardwood floor, plaster & then pipes, a gap, a turkey roaster, concrete, sediment, a mixture of clay and limestone which is going to be a bitch when that earthquake hits, molten core, possibly a dense metallic center to that molten core, etc.

I’ve always liked seven. Three is ok. I prefer primes and odds.

I like going to the baseball game, football on TV is good, not basketball or hockey. I’m really not that much of a sports guy. I didn’t play any organized sports as a kid, just the sandlot variety. I got my first job at fourteen so while you were at practice I was at work.

He seems to be the best thing that’s happened to Vanessa in a very long time.

Jen suffers from a Meme addiction, but maybe not – she’s hit the meme hard of late and might need a break

I've met a lot of new people recently and for some reason age has come up. Three different women on three different days have guessed that I am 27. Such an odd thing. Do I look 27? Do I act 27? Did they want me to be 27. Hard to say.

Beach in shorts on vacation, Mountains in a car on the way to and from vacation– I love driving the Blue Ridge, city mostly until you get a vacation. Depends on who you’re with though. The people make the place.

Same thing – shit people make cause you gotta do something, right?

Same thing – one just stops short. As a writer it can be useful to put your horror just after the comedy so the mark has further to fall. That might be my new philosophy: writing is a grift and all readers are marks.

I’ve liked morning a lot of late, around nine – I also have always really liked ten thirty at night. I thought about saying gin-thirty, but honestly I seem to be growing out of that. It’s hard to dance drunk, you can’t keep the beat and your liable to drop people when you get your swing on. I would rather dance than drink any day.


Monday, February 07, 2005

Today is my Father’s 73rd birthday – we just did the call – so I thought I would post this picture of an early hangout session in our Kitchen in New Guinea circa 1973.

I hadn’t learned how to play sheep’s head at that point and I was only on one or two bottles a day – so things were a little tamer than they are now, but I think we sill had a good time. Happy Birthday Dad


On the advice that at this point in my life any motion is good motion – any change would be good for me - I am taking a risk. Chuck called from the antique mall to offer me another booth – his third and final offer. It is in a great location near the front of the mall. So, prorated for the short month, I now have a storefront at Treasure Isle’s Antique Mall.

I signed my first month-to-month contact this a.m. and will be stocking it with my un-displayed Kitsch. I am also considering an Ebay version of the store to experiment with which is more effective. When (and if) I get it up and running I’ll link to it here so you can get a good look at the junk that’s been chasing me.

Here’s the thing. There’s a river in Caracas Venezuela that my father saw when he visited back in the eighties. It flows higher in the center than at the edges. A wide expanse of water narrows and then sharply turns as it comes up against an underground formation of granite that actually reverses the flow; this combination of forces and stasis seem to bend the laws of physics and curve the surface of the water – with nowhere else left to go, the river gets concave.

I need to reverse the flow of material into my life, quit being the whirlpool at the edge that catches debris, and by reversing the flow perhaps I too can seemingly bend the laws of physics. So, to murder this metaphor, my booth at the antique mall is like that underground rock, we’re going to shoot the broad river of my collectible crap at it, into the narrow confines of a six by eight stall, and see if we can’t get some physics defying results where it turns - flows past the register and out into the world. They have a no returns policy so once it goes, it's gone.

In other news - sadly, the bus is an albatross and will be going in the Nemo-Trader to be sold for so much steel scrap. The wiring system is fucked, critter consumed. The bus also bit me when I was putting the new battery in, part of the housing hooked the ring finger on my right hand carving a spiral gouge from where the finger meets the back of the hand to just under the first knuckle on the opposite side.

Sunday-with-the-bus could be summarized as blood and mud as I also got my van stuck at the bottom of Tom’s hill and had to use creative means to become unstuck – we built a plywood ramp. Creative means to get unstuck - sound familiar?

I was cleaning out the basement last week and got bit by a brown recluse so my right forearm is all bandages and triple antibiotics. No broken eggs – no breakfast I guess. Anyway – with Mitchell’s couch and bed out of the basement for University City large item clean up(and chewed up by an industrial wood chipper last Wednesday), the bus in the paper, and the clutter at an antique mall perhaps this series of material albatrosses can be properly disposed of and I can get more obsessed with my future than with my past.


Home. Safe. Sleep.


Friday, February 04, 2005

It's over.


At the Dukum on the second round of Boodle's Gin & Tonics... adrift in the ville. Always odd to blog from the Dukum. Awaiting the verdict which will come either tonight or tomorrow a.m. It went to the jury at seven p.m. Better to be here than many other places.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Remind me to tell you all later about my trip to Cahokia today and the venison roast I just trussed up and made a mushroom ruby port sauce for. I’m off to Kirksville tomorrow so don’t look for me at Mardi Gras.

Jes, Cicero’s drunk talk aside, where am I going to park the bus? Chris, does Fuzzy or any other of your friends know where a self respecting nut job can park his thirty-five passenger school bus? Seth, any leads on a large parking spot? It has a 500 cubic inch 1980 nickel plated Cadillac engine in it. My goal is resurrection. Chris & Vanessa, do you want to do to the ville? I can promise a wild ride and comfortable accommodations.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Universal Assurances:

Mary took me out tonight for Mai Lee. I ordered Vietnamese fried chicken. When our food arrived the waiter brought me Vietnamese chicken stir-fry. I am not one to complain and it was quite good in its own right. You have to love snow peas out of season. Then, halfway through my meal, he arrived with what I had ordered, apologized and took the first dish away. Mai Lee – our combined total with two entrées, two Tsing Tao, two appetizers and the extra half meal was under twenty-five dollars. In my humble opinion they have the best prices, the best portion size, the best tasting food and the best service in St. Louis. Eating there is like winning the lottery.

Post meal Mary wanted bar so I figured we should rerun my last Tuesday solitary misadventure and catch the vibes trio at Riddle’s Penultimate. They had swapped out vibes players and the drummer took some time to ease into his timing after his dinner break, but they were good – not as good as last week – but good. The odd notable would be the jazz version of Neil Young’s Southern Man. The disappointment would be their relative lack of soloing.

Then, just before the start of the second set, Beatle Bob arrived. Mary and I were at the bar drinking Guinness. He stood immediately behind us and danced the next two sets. I got a recognition hello from the other night at Cicero’s. I am currently viewing Beatle Bob as a Bodhisattva. His t-rex hipster groove thang reminds me to shut up and dance.

Mary, “Good food, good music, and a celebrity sighting. What do you want out of life?”

Karl, “It’s official, you spent a night with Beatle Bob. That makes you a confirmed local.”

For obvious reasons I am not in a good space right now, but I am getting lots of help from my friends. Thank you all very much for your love and support. I spent most of today with my sister Sandy and her kids doing the family WTF – talking our way through this. My goddaughter is three and has a university level vocabulary.

(This picture is a year old.)

We played one thousand and one imagination games of her invention. My nephew can measure his life in weeks, but had nothing but smiles for me, and a slightly leaking diaper, over the hours in which I held him.

Jen once told me she thought the overall theme of my blog was humor and hope in the face of tragedy. If you only get two guns at the OK Corral, those are the ones you want.