July's 13

Why is this thing such a millstone? Foolishness. Anyway, month’s only half-over, so… let’s get to it.

Film I, “Control”: Let’s see. I love Joy Division. I love films about bands. And ones that are shot in black-and-white. Simple things to make me happy, really. So it took two years to finally order this up? Makes perfect sense! Not to say this is an enjoyable film, per se, but what a gorgeously-shot piece of work, with concert footage that’s more realistic than almost any other film of this type. You know the ending, but it’s a fascinating view to get to that sad place.

Film II, Pulp Fiction: Waited even a few more years on this, oh, a decade-and-a-half. And if it hadn’t been on every list of must-see films, I’d have passed for good and would’ve been so much happier. What junk. Well-framed junk, but junk.

Magazines, Raygun: With ’90s music undergoing the resurgence that it’s enjoying, there’s gotta be a run on old Raygun’s, right? To think I sold off a goodly stack of my collection on eBay some years back. Thankfully, many didn’t sell and it’s fun to sift through them, remembering the glory days of Belly, Buffalo Tom and the Butthole Surfers.

Energy drink, Rockstar: Back on it. Scheduling rehab soon. But it’s just so, so delicious. Don’t disagree, as I’m not listening.

Snack, Reese’s Pieces: Speaking of delicious, wish these things didn’t exist. Rrr.

Summer project, weeding: Does it ever stop? Gardeners? A zen approach to this madness?

Bans, cable TV: Earlier today, I happened across the story of Jon Gosselin, a reality show star who is now dating the daughter of his ex’s plastic surgeon, or some such. And he’s pal-ling around with the designer of those horrible Ed Hardy clothes. Somehow, I had no real idea of who this guy was. Oh, I suppose I’d heard of “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” but I couldn’t have ID’ed the stars. And having become far too familiar with the Daisy’s, New York’s and various crab boat captains of the Arctic Sea in recent years, that’s a very good feeling, indeed.

Shoes, Pumas: Desirious. Very desirous. Would like to learn that Puma is a bad, bad company, so that I wouldn’t continue desiring their product. Can someone help me? Or should I just start reading a couple issues of Adbusters to kill the buzz?

Dive bars I, Perigen’s: The finest little bar in Madison, IL. Strange things happen here. Hard to exactly articulate the vibe of this place, but it’s low-brow, just a touch seedy (in that good way) and isn’t, yet, populated by the type of jackasses that haunt South Grand, which allows for the wonderful option of traveling in without expectations. Bud Light Limes are $1 (some nights $1.25) and there’s still a stash of Zima Citrus in the cooler. Just ask and get your citrus/alcohol fix covered. And save an extra tip buck for Dina, the world’s smallest and friendliest bartender.

Dive bars II, Frank’s First Alarm: The flipside of the above. Showing the value of a good bartender, Frank’s recently lost its star mixologist to the dual threats of pregnancy and Columbia, MO. Alas. The nothings behind-the-bar now are disaffected, at best, and the crowd’s always had that sorta loose-cannon vibe. Springer producers would be well-served just raiding this corner joint every few weeks for storylines, which was always a mild part of the appeal of this spot, though without the sugar, it’s all vinegar these days. Still, if I wanna see a fight break out on a random Tuesday night, it’s nice to have options.

Book, “The Blind Side”: Michael Lewis is awesome. What a writer! And what a rich subject for a book: the recruitment of Michael Oher, an out-of-nowhere high student student who’d cause a tremor through the collegiate football landscape. Endowed with size, strength and a storyline that’s more cinematic than most people’s lives, Oher’s story is told with incredible skill by Lewis, who weaves in the social history of the South, the changes in offensive philosophy in the modern NFL and multiple, other storylines that wouldn’t seem to fit together at first (or second) blush. The read of the summer, so far.

Trip, Downtown St. Louis: At some point in the next week, I need to make my way down to City Garden, to enjoy the new, raved-about project. Waiting for two things: these All-Star visitors to disappear; and the opening of Terrace View, a restaurant that sounds like it’ll bring an indie feel to a section of town needing some original, flavorful, organic spots to dine. Wish it were next week, already. Time machine, hook me up.

Awkward, DJing at Halo: Mind you, would love to DJ more at the Halo. No problem there. But last night, a two-time former student and a current student wandered in, after seeing my name on the club’s sandwich board. Knew this type of thing would happen eventually. Gotta lot of weird, divergent interests, jobs and activities, but… funniness is buying a round for cats who are certainly listening to the set with a little bit of added curiosity. Weird. Amusing. Mostly weird.