August’s 13

Web article, “Transmigrated Duck Heart“: It’s hopefully no knock on anyone ever affiliated with the 52nd City project, but the story featured on our current, web-only issue, “Food,” might be the one that I enjoy reading more than any other. The inimitable Thom Fletcher gives a recipe for duck that makes me smile with each line. It’s a piece that I wished I’d written. Funny, smart… oh, I have to stop laying on the compliments, but I do love it so.

Magazine, “Mass Appeal“: Another month, another magazine nod. I don’t think I’m in the exact demo of the Mass Appeal ad director’s dreams. I don’t own possess much hip-hop in the record collection and my range of athletic shoes is minimal. I’m not living on the coasts and I’ve never gone on a bombing run with my multi-ethnic graffiti crew. And, yet, I find something very much to like about Mass Appeal, which is a sharply-designed, wink-and-nod look at street culture, with enough good writing to augment the hot designs. Me like, no matter what that does to the ad man’s ideal charts.

Corner bar, Frank’s First Alarm: On a recent weekend evening, I walked into Frank’s First Alarm, after a night of wholesome fun playing Scrabble. At Frank’s… there was no Scrabble. But there were three women in pirate costumes, dancing on the bar. That is all I have to write about Frank’s First Alarm, other than “see you there, soon.”

Songs, Part I: Three great tracks, but current, relevant artists, or those with possible hiatus-statuses. Sunny Day Real Estate, “Television,” from “The Rising Tide.” The New Pornographers, “These are the Fables,” from “Twin Cinema.” And The Long Winters, “The Commander Thinks Aloud,” from the “Ultimatum (ep).” Totally addicted to each, and have been for the majority of summer.

Quotes, Chief Wiggum: Worth a quick laugh.

Cafe, Local Harvest: Finally made it into the spot, the new branch of the expanding Local Harvest empire. Breakfast/lunch was quite tasty, especially as someone else was paying for it.

MMA fighter, Wanderlei Silva: There’s something inherently interesting about the tragedy of a aging fighter, hanging around the game for too long, suffering brutal victories along the way, while registering just enough wins to stay active as a trial horse. Used to be boxing provided these storylines, but now it’s MMA and Wanderlei Silva, with his flattened nose, widened ears, tattooed skull and general sense of pathos embodies the weary warrior. Cable would be missed for his fights alone. (Must kill cable, must kill cable…)

Artist, Terrance Hughes: This STL expat is showing at Mad Art tonight and will be on Topic A, on Monday, August 4. His work is quite interesting, indeed. Enjoy.

Film, “Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness“: May’ve noted this film previously, but the Melody Gilbert documentary on urban exploring will get a St. Louis on-screen debut, at the Webster University Film Series, on Thursday, September 11. May seem a random date, but the events of 9/11 actually impacted the UE movement in the years following it, so it seemed a good date to play this fun, interesting look at the subculture. Mark yo’ calendars.

Comic, “The Daily Jerome“: STL-centric, but not STL-only. Been reading this on-and-off for awhile and I enjoy catching up in bulk, reading multiple entries at once. You may like the daily dose. There’s no right answer to how to read online. And remember to buy the Colony t-shirt.

Bicycle, unknown: Does anyone have an opinion on a good, solid ride? Cheap would be okay, too, though it’s not essential. As someone’s borrowed by bicycle for what’s assumed to be an indefinite period of time – they didn’t leave a note in my garage indicating a return date – I need to secure a new two-wheeler. Any thought on the Raleigh One-Way? Hearing good things about it, but open to other suggestions.

Site, Oddee: Someone was kind enough to pass along the site Oddee, specifically when it featured a list of the world’s greatest abandoned towns. Wow. The whole site, though, dedicated to curiosities around the globe is perfect for those looking for an site dedicated to oddball lists. Sweet.

Browser, Flock: I wasn’t aware that there was a blogger-friendly browser until last night, when I was introduced to Flock, which has software and applications that are expressly built in for blogging ease. That’s certainly true for those who are blogging, themselves, though it’s also got some easy bits for those wishing to social network around to clock, or those wanting to spy on their favorites. Good stuff, if slightly daunting to learn all the new tricks. Next month, this nonsense will probably be generated from Flock.

Stefene Russell @ Contemporary

So sayeth Belz:


This Friday at the Contemporary Art Museum is the third installment of the Observable Summer Series, part of the Contemporary’s “Playground of the Ridiculous” – http://www.contempo playground. php?month= 3&year=2008

I will be in L.A., but Observable STILL ROCKS!! -Aaron+
Friday, July 25, 2008

Aaron McNally is the author of Out of the Blue (Caveworks, 2008). His collaborations with Friedrich Kerksieck have been published widely.

John Gallaher is the author of Gentlemen in Turbans, Ladies in Cauls and The Little Book of Guesses. Recent work appears in Field, New American Writing, Iowa Review and The Best American Poetry 2008. He lives in rural Missouri and co-edits The Laurel Review.

Stefene Russell is a co-editor of 52nd City magazine ( and a member of the arts collective Poetry Scores ( which is dedicated to translating poetry into other media, including music, art, film and dance.

The Stable

Three things about The Stable:

1. The place is open. Located on the corner of Lemp and Cherokee, in one of the historic Lemp Brewery buildings. Restaurant and bar. Loads of familiar faces working the floor and the kitchen. Drop by on a Saturday for lunch.

2. They have DJs on selected nights. For example, myself, on Thursday, July 31, time TBD. The turntables, in a strange bit of strangeness, are on loan from Robert van Winkle. Seriously, they are.

3. There’s a pizza on the lunch menu featuring tater tots, ketchup and mayo, tons of cheese and (for most folks) a topping of ground beef. Pure health food, obviously. But curiously tasty.


My plea for a public flogging the other day yielded a small amount of response, though all of it was interesting. For example, one person chimed in with a call for work, sent mere moments after posting. Thanks for that. Another said I should take the day off. Ugh! And another was from a person whom I owe words. And, yet, they were being supportive of my block. Ayie! Nonetheless, good reading was found.

Some of these notes pointed to various articles, books or other forms of organizational therapy. Here’s the run of those, unless I’m forgetting one.

Apparently, there’s a book called “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. Here’s the Wikipedia rundown, as sent along:

Fight your indecision here:

There’s a LifeRemix site? I did not know that:

Three spins (amended)

Royale – Friday, July 11, 6-10 p.m.

Halo – Thursday, July 17, 10 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.

Royale – Friday, July 25, 10 p.m. – 1:15 a.m.

The Stable – Thursday, July 31, time TBD, likely 10 p.m. – 1:15 a.m.

Am just figuring out this “digital downloading thing.” Meaning: lots of new songs. Yay.


After a couple false starts, I just finished up Jonathan Yang’s breezy-and-informative “The Rough Guide to Blogging.” Lots of useful tips in there.

I’d like to test a theory of blogging usefulness, not from the book, per se, but inspired by today’s reading.

Between moving, the start of summer class and some other odds’n’ends (plus, it’s so hot!), I have: fallen behind on some correspondence; become extremely overdue for a trip to the post office; and need to complete some grading. Plus the interviews for stories… that need to be written… oy. Strangely, this could all be accomplished in a fairly compact period of time, but I need some external motivation.

If any willing folks reading this could simply drop me a line with the subject header: FINISH WORK by, say, 3 p.m. CST on Tuesday, July 8, I’d really appreciate it. For those sending notes, I will not share your name, or sell your info to discount mortgage houses. Thanks.

(Update: thanks for the motivating notes. I now have a video shoot at WU at 1 p.m., which makes the above time somewhat untenable. Let’s say, 5 p.m. CST. I will say that I’ve enjoyed a couple of weisenheimer cracks already sent in, as well as the motivating note sent about 10-minutes after posting. Gotta love the web.)

July’s 13

Reunion show, Treeweasels: Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Where: Off Broadway. When: Saturday, July 19. Who: Treeweasels with Magnolia Summer and the Half-Knots. Why: “Original members EJ Fitch (vocals, gtr), Scott Roever (gtr, vocals), and Danny Kathriner (drums) are joined by Joe Thebeau (bass) to present a set of the classic Treeweasels favorites from way back when.” Thanks for the reminder, Joe.

Seafood, squid: Okay, who likes this stuff? Me, no. Have I mentioned that Wei Hong is now online?

Game show, “Cash Cab”: Ran across this little gem while awaiting “The Deadliest Catch.” (Have I mentioned killing cable in July?) The host of this trivia show is Ben Bailey, who seems like a totally, legitimately cool guy. In fact, I would like to be his friend, if anyone reading this has a line to him. We could, like, hang out.

TV II, Euro 2008: I’m glad, as a soccer fan, that every match of Euro 2008 was available via the ESPN family of networks. And, yet, I have to feel as if I lost some time during June. Time that could’ve been spent burning candles and sage for a Germany victory. Sigh. All that time invested. For second place. Mmm. Rrr.

Task, moving: Remind me not to go this route again soon. Those legitimately needing my new digits, just lemme know.

Film, UE: There’s a film out there on urban exploration. It hasn’t played St. Louis. But I’m aware that Mike Steinberg is looking into booking it for the Webster University Film Series. Happy days those would be, indeed! Read up: Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness.

Record, B.J. Ward, “Vocal Ease“: Found this assumed gem at Waxidermy, in an item that includes a clip of the title track. Would spend a couple bucks on this, were an actual vinyl copy to come into my orbit. Have I mentioned that my birthday is coming up?

Out, Belz: Win some, lose some.

Online, books: Great piece on the changing nature of book publishing, book buying, book consumption. From “On the Media.” Every class I have at Webster will hear this one.

Candy bar, Payday Chocolatey Avalanche: Damn, what a delicious sweet treat.

Outsider artist, Skeleton Krewe: A few months back, I jotted down some fan notes of the photos of Skeleton Krewe, a New Orleans flickr photographer, who seems to capture that town as well as anyone could. Noticed, today, that he’s also a painter, in a distinctly outsider art style. Digging these works. Need to save some pennies.

Album, Japancakes, “Loveless”: The note-by-note recreation of the MBV classic. You need this album, really.

Bicycle, Raleigh One Way: It appears that someone’s borrowed my bike and hasn’t returned it. Yeah, I know, “share and share alike.” And, yet, for my next bike, I’d like to keep it all for myself. No unannounced borrowing. A smart person in such matters suggested the one-speed Raleigh One Way as that next bike. Plenty of other bloggers give it up for this ride. So, maybe. Have I mentioned someone stole my bike?