Damn you, Jim Utz.
1. Writers, John Wertheim: Just picked up “Blood in the Cage,” a very readable account of the history of MMA, penned by a veteran sportswriter for SI. A much-deeper read than some of the fast-burn, celeb-bio-styled titles on MMA out there. That said, it’s a quick read, important when you’re trying to finish your unsuccessful book-a-week mission for the year. (Only five short, alas.)
2. Projects I, Cheating History: In a couple weeks, I’m going to be repping a new web project by man-about-town/political theoretician Blake Ashby. Will be pimping it heavily in coming weeks, so forgive my less-than-coy advances around that time.
3. Evening, New Year’s Eve: Enjoyed one at Mangia on the last night of Mangia vol. 3. (Who wants to grab lunch the next few weeks? I think I’m open and won’t know where to go.) Alo witnessed young people stumbling up Grand and heard plenty of shots fired. South City livin’, baby.
4. Newspapers, The Evening Whirl: Every so often, my enjoyment of this moves from mild to obsessive and I’m in the latter mode right now, especially with competitor Behind the Bars suffering from a serious content lack. Pick up mine at Burnett’s Market on Sidney, if you’re asking. (Good piece on the Whirl here.)
5. Magazines, St. Louis Magazine: Have a piece on the local lo-fi duo Dubb Nubb in the current edition of St. Louis Magazine, which you gotta buy to read. I’d grouse about info wanting to be free, but won’t, since print pieces pays better than webbies. So, make that grocery store line purchase, please.
6. Recurring trends, The Hideaway: Years ago, I discovered “old people’s bars” like Dino’s Bungalow and treasured each of those finds. The long-running Hideaway‘s got that feel, still, just like Tim’s Chrome, Beffa’s and various union halls. But the Hideaway’s on a main drag and people find it every generation, thinking that they’ve discovered the greatest hang of all. And who can play them? Still, it’s strange walking into a place like it, seeing all the 20-somethings drinking the cheapest beers on-hand and smoking like their 80-year-old neighbors. Years later, same scene, same smell, same guys tickling the keys, same day-after regrets…
7. Snacks to avoid, dried kiwis: Yeah, uh, just don’t buy ’em.
8. Projects II, clip file: Keeping clips here now. As if you asked.
9. Music, Glass Eye’s “Every Woman’s Fantasy”: Love, love, love this record by an old favorite. Love even more that I sent $15 directly to the bassist’s bank account, with the keyboardist sending me the disc with a quick “Hope you like it” note attached. I don’t like it. I love, love, love this record.
10. Projects III, photo a day conceit: So, I like photography (don’t love it) and want to get better, and since I need to take photos of people for assignments, but don’t like asking them for their shots, I should probably ask one person a day to let me shoot them. Got all that? Does anyone think I’ll even take a first photo, 18-hours into the lead day for this? Mmm. I’m dubious.
11. Shows, The Wire: Three weeks in, three seasons down. Now that’s the kind of commitment I need to the above idea.
12. Projects IV, The Same Five Questions: Seriously, got anyone I can bother? Anybody? Next week is make-or-break time, for real. No joke. Seriously.
13. Music, Dear Genre. Like taping WMRY off the radio, in the old days. But different.
An MMA book and a Blake website? Yes. Lunch suggestion: Labeebee’s? Haven’t tried it yet, but it’s definitely on the list.
You know, a day later and I’d have included Pizzeria Tivoli, on Kingshighway, near Gravois. Very good.
And, yes, I love MMA. Meanwhile, I like Blake.
Pizza details, please? Crust thickness? Type of cheese?
Perhaps Blake could be convinced to take up MMA. Bonus points if he’s wearing a tuxedo. Web serial!