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.

The 13 Series Special Edition: Projects, DOA

After punching up a few dead project ideas, I realized how depressing a concept that was. But I also started the process along, so here’re 13 more projects that are in the ditch, with wheels spinning. In a day/two, happier stuff, if that’s possible.

1. A book on O’Connell’s. (Not my idea, actually. Awaiting okay from money sources.)

2. A blog on Gaslight Square. (A new book is on the way this fall, negating need. I think I’ve picked these bones clean, from my needs/wants perspective.)

3. A Collinsville Road photo series on Flickr. (Too lazy to pack a camera, but this could still happen. Interesting road!)

4. Asummeratthetrack.wordpress.com. (This one was up, got six readers and the day I took it down, two people asked about the track. Let’s repeat: six readers, two questions on the day it was blown up. Oy.)

5. A Venice Cafe book/zine. (Interest was there, interest wasn’t there. From all parties. Alas.)

6. Some type of Silver Tray component online. (May resurrect this via the new, improved kdhx.org site. No point having all these orphan sites out there.)

7. A Way Out Club zine, in celebration of the 16th birthday of the club.  (See #5, above.)

8. A book on burlesque. (There’s this guy, he’s got lots of pictures and scrapbook-worthy content. But books cost a lot to make. And, honestly, I ain’t that into the burlesque scene.)

9. The Messhuggah Sessions. (Owner Patrick Liberto saw multiple reasons why this would annoy his already-highly-annoying clientele, at STL’s most-awesomest coffeeshop. And my principal interview subject got super rich and famous.)

10. 100 Untold Rock Stories of St. Louis. (Yeah, whatever. I agree. Had an artist lined up, who kills it. Something else, sometime.)

11. Lou Thesz for the Walk of Fame campaign. (Seriously, Lou Thesz should be on the Walk of Fame about 20x more than Nelly. And I’ll argue with you all day as to why.)

12. A soccer video on the last season of STL United. (Just a little documentary. Would’ve cost the US Soccer Federation a couple thousand dollars, for a vid that would demonstrate the challenges of inner-city ball. The USSF spends its money as it sees fit. Cool enough. And I hope the US National Team gets hammered every match from now ’til eternity.)

13. Political blogs for square candidates. (Connect with the youth and all, through the miracle of the WWW. Maybe still something here, but politicians don’t make decisions for themselves.)

Over, out. Something else soon.