Thursday, August 31, 2006

Belated Anniversary

That fleur de lis : its having this eerie pervasive presence in my life, and I'm not even catholic. Zany!

I know my posts have been pretty, um, reticent (?) of late, but I've got a lot to say/think/do about this 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
I'll save it for later, though.
In the meantime, I'm in the midst of a get-lost-in-the-internet sojurn (the internet is so cool, btw!), and I fell into this fella's blog and he had a list of all these New Orleans blogs.
Check'em out.
I know something good will come out of all of this. I just hope sooner than later, and I hope to be a part of it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This is awesome

I am so loving Wikipedia right now.

Cute dress, too.

RIP Naguib Mahfouz

RIP Naguib Mahfouz

I'm not going to pretend to have a graduate degree in anything that would allow me to grasp just how cool Naguib Mahfouz was, but I studied enough of him in my undergrad years to be able to say that his voice was a very special and important one, and will be missed gravely.

I have Professor Roger Allen - who boldly stepped outside the uppity professor box to be both a great professor and inspiring teacher and educator to lowly undergrads like myself at the U of P -- to thank for many things, but today I gotta give him his propers for nominating this guy for that um, nobel prize he won (impressive, huh?)...and for filling our bright eyed and bushy-tailed minds with little perspective on the whole east-west-whatever hullaballo courtesy of Mahfouz and his Cairo Trilogy...among other things. I'm a lot wiser courtesy of these these fellas.

Did you know that there's a poem that if you recite it on a plane in an arab country (and if you're a man, I'm assuming), passengers on the plane will be compelled to stand up an applaud? I know this, thanks to Roger Allen. He's so cool.

Catch Prof. Allen on NPR talk of the nation (audio available at 5pm ET ) the Lehrer news hour tonight at 6:49pm ET! I always wanted Prof. Allen to be all over the pundits, but his priority is obvi teaching and not spotlight seeking...still I wonder what he'll have to say tonight. Talk about a guy who knows things about things (and still manages to be a pleasantly eccentric british bloke) Did I mention how cool this guy is? mm hm.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Elvis Costello

EC turns 50-ish yesterday, and is expecting a kid with Diana Krall - excellent! You gotta love this guy more than slightly. I do!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Maybe you wanna BE an American!?


Maybe I do.

**These are my comments upon seeing the ACTUAL documents that formed the foundation of MY great nation...yes it is MINE.

It was a corporation-led adventure, but adventure nonetheless. We all experience america differently, right? But its all sorta the same. Whatever, insert poignant "we're all sleeping underneath the same big sky" thought here : _________.
Then try trying to belive it. Come on!
Starbucks. Sleep Inn. Target. Old Navy. Outback Steakhouse. The United States Capitol (?) - but I'm not hating. One time I was chillin' with Bono, and he told me "America's not just a country, it's an idea." (mind you, i was chillin with him and like a bajillion other penn kids, but he was talking to the balcony...of the giant football stadium...facing the sun...whatever, i felt it.) It's all part of the amber waves of grain, y'all. As momma says, you can't have the whole without the parts, and if you take (or hate) a part of the whole, then you're messing it all up. Get it? Momma also says "snakes on a plane" a lot now - believe me she has been impressing locals all across the greater Washington DC area. Its giving her major street cred.

I read the Declaration of Independence and I've read the Constitution of the United States, and they are some liner notes, dude.

In honor of bono, I wrote a song about america, and my sis choreographed a little accompaning jig.

America: Best country EVER!

Of course there is more to come later: Ghost of john quincy adams, swing dancing in the almost house of the VP of the USA (in a SUPER cool neighborhood), running into cool meg from casa loma (yes she still has the fish dress), near loss of $2 bill - and suggestion, by Mr. Dreamy, that I, "should like, make a coffee table out of it, or something" and like, other stuff. DC's pretty magical, but next time I go, I'm going to make up better must-see lists for myself and like, bring a moped. For now, M and I rep our city (and dis another, doy).

Go Pioneers.

Webster GROSS...!

Tomorrow we head for Cinci-nasty, home of many an impolite boy my aquantainces and I have been lucky to have encountered in our past. And maybe there's more? Will I be brave enough to be a french fry and go out to discover this homeland of Nick Lachey? I sorta wanna save what's left of me for STL, but if there's a will (and daylight, and dibs on the rental) there's a way.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Keepin' it real in the Spin Capitol

So I talked to this fella at Eastern Market in Washington DC - i think he asked if he could have my hair. I said, "NO!" -- but he ended up telling me he had just come over from Africa.
Now, DC is a pretty random acts of violence/crime city, so I was wary - and I hate that a lot. I wish I were a 7 foot tall like, American Indian kung fu master or something intimidating like that so I would not feel so damn defenseless in the face of all the lovely culture around me that I really just want to talk to. I don't speak 3 languages for nothin', folks.
I love me a good market!
I asked this penn dude if he ever went to the amish market on 43rd in west philly, and he said no! &#$^%*#$? Needless to say, he is dead to me (for many reasons, this one being high up on the top 10).
I remember when me and Steph would venture to like, 50th street to get an apple popover because hey, there was a mini amish market there, and we the one we ate was on a picnic table prefabricated for chess-playing. We also bought a pitcher (for lemonade) for like 50 cents from some store with a lot of cooooool fake hair. Mind you, i think we were in the area where the Prince of Bel Air met those boys that were "up to no good" and who "started making trouble in the neighborhood" -- if you catch my drift. But it was day, and it was a good apple turnover, and you gotta love the amish. Moral? markets have really good apple turnovers, tomatoes and kooky folk, even if they are a bit scary.
Risk it.
Anyway, they were playing Nancy Wilson and Al Green at the market, it was mucho appreciated. Observe as I remind meredith what you're supposed to do when you hear music.

DC so far has been very corporate, yay american starbucks time, but I can dig it, obvi. I take time out from cynicism to love my zany country and all its idiosyncratic craziness.
Here's to you, USA! It's a very diverse city innately, as well as by virtue of the fact that many a different folk like to visit.

I went running with my buddy Scott and he got mad at me for breathing deep the air of democracy, and semi-screaming "best country ever!" in front of some south indian lookin' folk at the frickin' foot of the capitol --- I'm like, people need to know that I love my country, and they need not take offense. If I were in france (& i will be soon) and someone said, "Zeeiisss eeez zee beeeest coooohntreee eeeveeerrrrhhgg" -- I'd be like, "oui, man, oui, allez-y" (which translates, roughly to "yeah man, yeah, you go"). Because why not love the country that gave you freedom and sesame street?

I'm hoping tomorrow or wednesday day to grab that car and drive the streets of DC and find some real people. Thus far I've been searching out DC blogs and finding the occational tip 10% of the time, whilst 90% of the time I'm being burdened with folks' relationship problems.

Oooooh, yeah, I don't care. (and I'm proud of my stl for having non-therapy, doy?)

Also, bloggy hipsters here have a chip on their shoulders the size of the lincoln memorial when it comes to interns (my sister-esque folk). Oh I just want them to drop the resentfulness and tell me where to go to meet real DC people. I really would not like to be clued into how much they hate themselves while they diatribe on and on about how hateful the interns' youth, vigor, beauty and overall bushy-tailed optimism is. These atributes are not bad things - most cities would benefit, if not cater (like the business of DC do) to such youth and fervor and overall city centric blind soulmate-esque love. Most cities have been killing to eliminate the brain drain that is plaguing them, while the movers and shakers here are resenting them (at least in the blogosphere) ??
Also many of these arty fold seem to be dealing with dealing with not liking new york. Don't like it, its ok! Snakes on a plane, man - snakes on a plane. Just b/c its new york doesn't mean you have to like it. You can, though - sure. But you also can also not like it. I believe ghandi once said, " Be the new york you want to be in the world." Right?

It all makes no sense, and its getting in your way, cool ppl of DC! Can you dig it?
I hope I manage to hang out with these inferiority complex be-weighted people...I can only hope that they are not turned off by my optimism and hope for like, things?

ps the vintage here is about $200 dollars more expensive than the stl....and I'm really only exaggerating by $5. Seriously. Whoa. If I had lived here age 12-20 I would be facing age 23 with like, a pair of jeans. Only. I'm sad that Rock star rags is going kaput. If you know things about things, or you're my mom and her crew (=both?), you know what I'm talking about -- giant vintage clothing warehouse in North city? This fella Bill, who would steal all my moves on the dance floor - but it was ok b/c he was trying - would save us dancing gals the goodies, and cut us deals b/c he knew those dresses were going to LIVE. I have many a dress from there, thanks to bill! Anyway, there's a dancing gal here in DC who is 5'10" and danced with the crew back in STL -- we would go to rock star rags back in my senior year of HS -- it was sortof hilarious b/c, much to my suprise, and despite the fact that I was 5'3" -- we wore the same size, and had to be very diplomatic over dresses a'plenty in the heart of north st. louis. I gave her an awesome red plaid dress, and I wonder if she still has it. SHe's emo now, so maybe she will give it to me. If she's smart, though (and she is) she's sold it.

Sooooo is the score stl-2 dc-zero-ish??
I don't know, I'm trying not to let predjudice color my experience here in america's capitol. I feel like Dc's gonna pull ahead bigtime tomorrow -- Tomorrow I go swing dancing at The Jam Cellar with what I'd call some of the best dancers in the, um world? I'm not being brown nosey, but hey, these dudes and dudettes keep it real and they love to frickin' dance. What is not to admire!? I'm excited like whoa, and already planning the outfit. Hopefully the little dead foot that could (my right foot) will pull through. It will. An over-zealous rock step killed my foot, and many more overzealous ones will bring the foot entirely back ---b/c life is crazy like that. I'm in the spin capitol of the world, after all, and you can bet I'll be spinnin' on some dance floors. Spin doesn't only come from the pundits!

Maybe I'll teach'em some St. Louis shag - if they're lucky. They are, so hey.

These swing dancers seem to be a really great and truly american coalition of peers (Since Ben Franklin's Junto--- it was the bomb, and I can thank profesh Zuckerman for showing me that light, grazie), and they're making life better for the world, and I gotta love it, and I gotta love that dance is the reason for all of it. Any city would kill for this crop of dynamic duos.

Is social dance the band aid of our fragmented society? Do I even have to say, doy?

Frankie Manning, who I met at the Casa Loma ballroom when i was like 16 years old, says something about how when you dance with someone, you have to believe and be in love with them, and with the music for 2 and a half minutes...otherwise, its just not worth it. That's the way to live, k?

I like how I think everyone else's clothes are so 90's tastic. It was a decade of hope and of the Gap... not for me least not Gap wise. And like, I'm still hopeful. I sold that dress on Ebay, it now lives happily in florida! It was too high waisted for me anyway.

Expect a more detailed post about the DC later.
In the meantime, keep dancing please.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Show me staters represent

So I just spent a lovely evening with my two best gals, and we totally brought it.
There were fresh pears, Helen the best bartender ever, tall irish-catholics, and STL roller girls (arch city rivals?), in all their pink hair bettie page hair glory (excellent choice with the fishnets and pink leopard skin mini, roller girl comradette, and no I am not being sarcasto-mean). Twas grand, figuratively, and eventually literally.
*because we were having fun, and eventually went to bars on the street called "Grand" ...badum bum!*

I've always wanted pink/red hair.

Anyway, there was much discussion of keeping it real, much trying of random drinks made out of fruits (but not fruity drinks, there's a difference) and much STL representing. Our talkin' was a bit like feeding meat to the tigers, b/c we are all serious stl-ettes, but we were all just like, you know, we have lived el
sewhere, and for some reason, ain't no lovin' like the one St. Louis' got.
We're really into the pretention-less, genuine nature of our stl brethren. Propers to you. All of you. Even the black barbie doll, i heart you as well.

We went to The Buttery, reccomended by my new best friend Stevie f. Smith - owner of the ever-relevant Royale, and 30 something stl gangsta: (I think he does other stuff, but whaev, do your own research - this blog is about ME!)

Excellent reccomendation, new best friend! Thanks!

I so enjoyed dancing with James the accident prone all purpose cook man to classics like "bed of roses" by bon jovi, some Sam and Dave B-sides and like Johnny Cash--- let us not forget other obscure country favorites that blythe knew ....all in addition to others, including "what's goin' on" and "Always be my baby" by marvin gaye and mariah, respectively, and respectfully.

Yes we sang along. Yes we were young and full of life.

You wish you were there.

We went there post south-side romp, and it was just lovely. There was dancing, and I ate a slinger, b/c I don't front - and blythe had the best grilled sandwich of the southside (professed mr. james) regrets, to be sure. Aaanyway, royale-mangia-buttery was a triumvirate of southside nightime fun and did I mention that you wish you were there?

I'm listening to the live recording of the Marc Broussard concert I went to see about a month ago -- one that had a sortof unintentional paradigm shifting effect on my life...(not all that uncommon for Mr. Broussard...added to the chuck berry concert the night before and it was just no wonder).

- he coughed in the middle of a song and he said he had a cold, and I yelled, "me, too!" That's how I roll. -

I leave you with Blythe's album cover - --- and a hope that you will
not dance like nobody's watching, but rather dance like EVERYBODY is watching, and you are a really good dancer.
That's what I do, and it's really awesome.

St. Louis dances like that, too. Just watch.

its 4:25am, and i'm signing off. Rep your city.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

One month

One month from now I will be a french citizen. Not forever, but for sometime. Am I sad to leave America? Hell yes, I love america, usually quite blindly. Am I sad to leave St. Louis? Hell yes, I am in the thrall of this city, once again. But I'm getting the hell out of dodge b/c hey, I'm blindly crushing on where I am right now. Distance fans an affection strong, and extinguishes one that is weak. I got that from a college buddy's AIM profile about her fiance, I admit this - and I cite my sources. In the meantime, I am going to be loving me some america, and I will leave the deconstructing my americanness for when I am an ex-pat.
Have I ever mentioned that I am like, so done deconstructing all the matricies of power that encompass my ancestry? Leave me alone, I'm tired of rebuilding myself in less oppressive ways - as an individual, I think I'm rather a force for good. This is neither here nor there?
Get excited for the last month - its going to be an excellent push for greatness, stlness and love, always love, people.

Monday, August 07, 2006

who hid the 20-somethings

So, in my attempt to live up as much St. Louis as possible, I've found that most of the (real) movers and shakers have a very 30 year old vibe. What gives, are all the 20 somethings eating sushi in Clayton? What are we supposed to do with ourselves? I have a very good feeling that I do not want to eat sushi in Clayton with the 20 somethings. Go to france seems to be my answer. In the meantime, I am happy to party with my elders.

Maybe I see but don't see them b/c I can tell they wanna play quarters with me or something. Oh but I do not judge - try not to at least. I am enjoying my not-party-in-the-park with the yuppies summer -- quite a shift from my stint at ALIVE magazine. Not that one is better than the other, but there are different strokes for different folks (though I still wonder where all the funky but responsible 20 somethings go to die/disappear). I am reminded of when I was in high school and I'd drive down Cherokee or somewhere else b/c I got lost on my way to this or that and just dream of a greater st. louis -- the one of the past or of the future...and here I am older, and I'm at it again - trying to be an STL connosieur, and I am soakin' it up!

I would like to own all of Cherokee someday. I would especially like to own the Casa Loma Ballroom and really kick that into some culturally relevant dancing high gear (in addition to rehabbing it in time for my wedding reception to as-yet-unforseen and i decided that today in the Great Wedding Discussion over Eggs Benedict of 2006) ... its a legit ballroom, and because dancing is so important to the neighboring people, and to me -- could it be crafted into something totally relevant and singular? Tcha! How do I get it...?

I see all these businesses opening up - for better or for worse as far as their enterprising owners are concerned and I just gotta wonder, how!? Does it take the decade to figure it out? Yes? I looked at all the whartonites, like the ones who started Bubble Tea (so gross, but $$ and I guess it served the community) and insomnia cookies (I think its 50% wharton)...well what am I talking about I clearly need to call up my wharton buddies...are you reading wharton buddy? Would you like to talk business? You know you would!

With all this craziness going on in the world -- though I'm about to go an ocean closer to it in a month -- it seems like America needs to turn inward and fix what is fixable. Internationalism is important, but why does my alma mater have to be soooo focused on becoming an international university, altruistic across the world, when my buddy from Lafayette, LA tells me that houses in new orleans are still spray painted with warnings of dead bodies? I hope, in my Great European Tour of my 20s, that I will be able to gain some sort of perspective from the lives of others and bring that experience -- like my Penn street cred -- straight back to the Heartland, a place that set me free, and if I do come back, I truly was it's to begin with.

I remember my high school teacher, Mr. Teson, would gaze wistfully at me and say, "you're never coming back, are you Lori?" -- maybe he was wrong. I do not know, yet...I would like to get some fixin' happenin' in n'orleans, tho. Maybe I'm supposed to go there. Hm?

In other news, I now know an authentic St. Louis Shag from like the 30's. I'll have to post more about this later, b/c I feel very authentic about it all, and will be going on a teaching blitz probably starting a minute ago.
What is this blog for, if not to announce my love of the dance.

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