January’s 13

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.

April’s 13

Is it still April? Oh. Good. Shew.

Questions, open: I really need some questions. Can you help me?

Slow web reading, “11 Ways Tomorrow’s Internet Will Change Everything“: Looking for a size-8 tinfoil cap over here!

Obsessions, “Wax Poetics” magazine: When you get close enough to start thinking about finishing out the up-to-now complete set of a magazine, but then realize that you have, reasonably, about $200 of investing to do… well, you have hit a crossroads in life and in prioritizing, friends.

Bands, Nada Surf: Been a fan since “Popular” put them on the Point-ey map, though they’ve never been in that must-listen-all-the-time vein. But they’re cover of “Enjoy the Silence” from the new “If I Had a Hi-Fi” may put them back into heavier, personal rotation. And you have to love their ingenious website.

Conundrums, rain barrels: How long would you wait to connect with that one guy who makes free-to-you rain barrels before figuring that you might not get one this year even with some heavy spring rains to come? I’m figuring on another week, before officially flipping out.

Lenten sacrifices, Phuc Loi: The hardest part about giving up restaurant food for Lent? No visits to Phuc Loi. Just looking at these pictures wasn’t quite enough.

New garden experiment, onion patch: Planting onions might just be the signal that middle-age is all-encompassing and official. But they’re so fun to plant! And I don’t children, so watch else to watch grow?

Moral reprehensibility, “Kick-Ass”: Roger Ebert’s got it right. And, yet, it was still fun to watch. Yet awful and icky. Yet fun.

Purchases, cable TV: It’s back. Been nice knowing all of you.

Energy drinks, “Lime Wrecker” by Rip It Energy Fuel: Only 99-cents for immediate headache induction and crash-ready sugar rush. Oh, yeah! (More on this soon, elsewhere.)

Books, “The Soccer Book“: Like, the best book on soccer. Wow. Buy it for that special person in your life. (And that’s not me, as someone special already made that buy, thanks.)

Marathons, movies: Inspired by a recent fundraiser from Cinema St. Louis, I’m moved to try a 16-hour cycle of films, with no particular form, other than something light for the waking-up, pre-noon hours. With school about to end, this will happen soon. Very soon. And “Scarface” factors heavily in the planning.

Second seasons, “Flight of the Conchords”: If “I Told You I Was Freaky” isn’t the best thing to ever air on TV… well, I can’t accept another possibility.