Thursday, January 31, 2008

Black Forest Theater in South Dallas

So, to say that this place looks amazing and awesome would pretty much be an understatement.

Black Forest Theatre on MLK Blvd in South Dallas

It would be so great to see Cafe Soul (Feb 15th at Lucas School house...GO!), in such a wholly appropriate venue. Man, I love Cafe Soul a lot. It's as close as I've come so far to those soul revue type performances that I can't stop watching on youtube. I'd rather see'em live.
Oooo, Marc Broussard could go there, too.
It's not a black/white thing, k?
It's a soul thing.

And Erykah Badu started the whole rehab. What an awesome lady.

hat tip DuBruit

A President Like My Father

Listening to my dad rant last night after Edwards dropped out was what I imagine it would be like to step back in time to when the Democratic party was a party of the people, NOT just fancy schmancy poseurs. I'm not backing down on that business, either.

Let me tell ya about dad.

Dad's a fervent southern/new deal/yellow dog democrat. His grandfather came here from ireland to dig ditches in the bootheel of missouri. Fast forward to when he was lucky enough to meet my mother, and now I have an Ivy League degree.

My sister and I are the John Edwards of our family. When John Edwards proper dropped out of the race, the voice of earnest 20 somethings like me got a lot quieter.

Sounds like we're giving up. We're not, its just a shame.

"Yet when John Edwards tried to build a campaign around ... issues he was subjected not only to the opposition of the establishment and its media but a notable tone of ridicule whose subtext was: why would anyone want to bother with such things? Especially a guy as rich as Edwards?

And when he pulled out of the race, Edwards was treated to more of the same, especially from such faux hip websites as Gawker, Radar and Fark:

Radar: The pretty-boy presidential candidate scored just 14 percent of the vote in yesterday's Florida primaries. . .

Fark: John Edwards announces he will drop out of race today to spend more time with his hair.

Gawker: John Edwards will end his 49th run for president Wednesday after failing to capitalize on his angry hobo-under-the-bridge message.

These sites, like much of elite America, are led by spoiled offspring of generations who had to struggle with just the sort of issues Edwards was trying to raise, but from which they now consider themselves immune by their education, status and cleverness. "

Sortof embarassing, ain't it? I really feel this argument. The crux of it is a large part of the people-based why of me staying and setting up "shop" here in St. Louis.

Read the rest here. Seriously, skim it.

Makes every point I would've continued to make for John until Nov and I'll make for myself forever. So many points.

John Edwards for president (of the shadow government) of the USA!

As God is my witness, I'll never watch Oprah again.

I'm hoping that John Edwards (the only guy that could've beaten McCain, despite the collective svengali-ing Obama's been doing) will take up the cause of NOLA, healthcare, and the struggling middle class in a private sector way, grow a beard, make a movie about it, get an Oscar and win a Nobel prize.

That's how you do it now, right?

I like my shadow government presidents Pretty and Populist. Frankly, that's how I'd like my ACTUAL president, but its not looking so good in that area.

From now till Tuesday, I'm going to have to decide which of the two dems are the Robin Hoodiest, and vote for that one. I won't say which one seems to more likely, in my mind, rob the rich and give to the poor (though I've picked one), because I am STILL an Edwards Girl.

John Edwards for President (of the Shadow Government)

I was so looking forward to living in a more swedish/scandinavian (healthcare-wise, though I am not averse to a nice meatball) United States of America. John's gonna find a way to do it more expediently and better than he ever could have as president.

We'll wait and see what happens in the General.

Crime maps

The cockamamie ideas have to go somewhere, people.

I wish St. Louis had a better one of these, in chicago
And since I hate comparing StL to Chicago, one of these - the font's cooler, too - in Oakland, CA.

We (meaning St. Louis) supposedly has one here, (and a PostDispatch graphic designer, who I found through the proverbial tweet, makes some cool interactive maps here) but I've never ever managed to get it to open b/c it crashes Firefox and I'm afraid to try again (for the 7th time or so). I wonder what is up with the crime map as it is, though. Who made it, how does it keep updated, where does the info come from, all the little algorithms that seem to come into play when you're making a dynamic map-type thing, etc....I wanted to look up the location of this.

Wouldn't that be nice, just to know what's up? It would be SO nice.

Perhaps it's time to talk to the computer science departments at the top-notch Universities in the area. Call me an optimist, but wouldn't it be a wonderful way to not only pool the resources of the brains that visit our city during the school year, but also to bring the people a little closer to their lovely crime-fighting policemen. Not everyone can be as lucky as me and get tips from the ones who visit your coffeshop.

It's usually not the easiest situation 9especially if you look at the issues the Oakland crime map has had), combining police work with computer programming, because the policemen have work to do that's v. serious and crime maps just wanna make a little dot on it, and maybe that's not as serious. Still. It's an opportunity. A lemonade out of lemons situation. And if college kids work on it, they'll get to know the city better!

Talk about an unintended consequence, getting to know your city better through tracking its crime -- but you gotta start somewhere, right?

Just a thought. And a coworking space (or an awesome meeting room with lots of plugs, but that's a little redundant) would be a great place to do it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Anyone know what a speakeasy is in this town?

So, ok. Sauce Magazine, I love you. But your very talented writers have described the Sol Lounge (in the back of the new Grind coffeehouse, which has a Glorious amount of space for study) as the a place that "serves up the perfect pint and a speakeasy feel."

So I'm thinking, Oh my gosh, beer and a speakeasy. Two Very Awesome Things! Will there be bathtubs filled with bud?!?! Maybe some red velvet curtains and someone soloing on clarinet, that sorta thing. Wow. You know, maybe I should bring my tap shoes.

Now don't get me wrong, it's a cool place.
My sis and I stopped by for the Young Dems State of the Union viewing party (which was, apparently, a dress-down event. Didn't get the memo that we wear sweats to bars now, ya democrat hooligans.) and had a pint.

It's visually stunning! Big ol' tv screen. Blue bricks! The blue bricks are awesome, and in different shades that match the fishtank/fireplace...kindof a decorative non-sequitur, but I liked it. The bar was cool. There were blue lights. DJ booth. Little living-room looking loungy areas with little mod couches and gossamer to separate the one from the other.

But...there was NO local beer on draft (not. even. Bud. C'mon!)
- perfect pint, no check
Aaaaand, the place was more "bar from the Post-it episode of Sex and the City" than smoky Chicago the musical fare. I guess it was the high ceilings - they kinda ruined it. I was thinkin' it'd be more like my favorite almost-a-speakeasy joint. it wasn't. I guess what they means was that it is sortof hidden. Ok then, speakeasy location, but not feel.

Cafe Sol was definitely a more interesting take on the whole "used to be a warehouse, now it's a bar" model like lush, f15teen, etc...etc...etc... and so on forever. Heaven knows there are warehouses a'plenty. I'll go back though. It's a cool place for what it is, its still a good place to get cred for even having HEARD of, the coffee house is really cool, and it's on Lindell, which is a cooler street than ya think.

I might be wrong?!

Went back to Sandrina's with my kid sister last night and.... it was pretty nice! Maybe a bit over drywalled, which is a shame, but eh.

The last time I went I was a little put-off, plus it was near closing, but maybe I can be done with that and end this whole miniseries happily. I hope. Then, there were just lots of ---though I'm sure they were lovely, kind and charitable --- sortof Xtremely bland types of people. Not exactly Helen Fitzgerald's, but not exactly what I was expecting either. Whatever. Now, on Monday nights at least, not a lot of company, but good company.

- The sis and I brought the total of patrons to about 6, which was fine.
- The bartender, Trish, was teriffic.
- My sister and I even saw some guy I met at the Prom (the grown up one at mad art...weird on a couple levels, huh?)
- We discussed our favorite theme parties, Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes, CEOs and Business Hoes, Barbarians and Librarians, etc..etc...
- M, my sis, found the bathroom stall in the ladies, "innovative!"
- The bar itself was cool, wooden, and the light fixtures nice and tulipy. I liked those.
- I've never been much for white/off-white/beige walls. The overwhelming beigeitude of the bar area takes away from an otherwise kindof awesome bar. Should've taken a picture or two.
- I don't know what the dining room used to be like, but it was more restaurant than bar, except for upstairs.
- It was friendly, slightly weird, and st. louis-y.

So, I of course had to ask Trish about the jukebox, and she immediately says, "oh, i can change the music if you don't like it!!" -- which of course wasn't necessary b/c she was playing Allison by elvis costello, one of my Favorite Songs. Turns out it was her ipod. So that was a good sign, Trish has excellent taste. We did some exploring upstairs. We were on a jukebox hunt -- it was in disrepair, but cool in a different way from mine...I still think mine has better Italian classics, not just relying on Sinatra to be up to code.
Come back to Sorrento, hellooo?

I hope they do get their 3am license - it would be a nice place to have around, and maybe the late nite vibe'll keep the riff-raff out, or at the trophy room...which is not without its merits, if you're in that sortof mood.

I'll happily admit having been wrong. Man, I hope I'm wrong! We'll see though, one of these weekends. I still think the remodel might've hurt more than helped, but I don't know much, other than my own opinion.

Now you know it, too.

Le Saint Louis - Faites-Le Vous-Meme

I think there 3 schools of people in St. Louis and in the US as far as cities are concerned.
  • There are people who want/need to live in a BIG monster city (Chicago, LA, DC [maybe], SanFran, NYC) for their work. Things like acting, wall street, the presidency and some Silicon Valley-type work come to mind.
  • There are people who want/need to live in a BIG monster city (Chicago, LA, SanFran, NYC, Portland) b/c they're into "city life" and they want the city be very obvious. "Ooo look! A subway! A tenant apartment! People wearing weird sunglasses and big scarves! I feel like I'm in europe and I can walk EVERYWHERE!" The city part of the city is all set up for you to enjoy, and you see it in the movies - so you have some idea how to act in these types of cities.
  • There are people who want/need to live in a smaller, dirtier city (StL, Memphis, NOLA, Philly) because there's more opportunities to do something regionally/universally "new" and there's more room to stretch. Maybe they have time to figure out how to act, maybe these are fixer-upper type people looking to bring a little something more to a town that's forgotten itself, maybe they're artists developing their work before they move to hit it big in NYC. I don't know.

Anyway, while looking for a map that shows where all the red light cameras are in St. Louis and I came up on this letter printedin an/the RFT blog from a confused Indiana-type-of-hoosier who's really struggling to find his place in St. Louis, poor guy.

"Please, good reader, tell me. I am either blind, ignorant, or too caught up in my own issued to see it. ...What the hell is this town about? I really do wish to know."

I mean, I told him.

To me, St. Louis is the town that built the City Museum across the street (more or less) from Lucas Park Grille. When you think about it, that's pretty cool. Sounds like he just needs to drive around - have some donuts, maybe.

Maybe he should have a one of these. The Devil's Delight

I also can't tell if he's trying to disrespect or if he's genuinely asking for help. But most frustration comes out in a tone a lot like his letter, so I'll just assume he's distressed. I will say though, St. Louis is not an obvious city. But that's part of what the town is about! Still, there should be some way to translate St. Louis for poor stl transplants. Hmm, that's something to think about.

One of my favorite tshirts says, "La Nouvelle Orlean - Faites-le vous-meme." It means, "new orleans - do it yourself." It means a little more than that though.

What's true for cities like NOLA is true for St. Louis. I happen to think it's one of the best things about my town. Gotta get up and do something.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

sometimes I watch 2 movies

It doesn't happen too often b/c I'm not really a movie person. There's just not enough pomp to go to a theatre and I get ancy sittin' around.

So it's a good thing I got sick! It really knocks the spaz outta you.

Even then, I only managed to watch a lot of Keith Olberman/Tina turner on youtube aaaand Mr Smith goes to Washington! Oh the monument montage. Gotta love that Frank Capra, and Jimmy Stewart is extremely adorable.

But hey, the movie ended so suddenly! He passes out, the silver knight guy yells and roll credits! I was like, Yay Jefferson Smith!...? Yay America! I guess!...?

Clarissa was awesome, though. That girl could WEAR some hats.

So, next: I accidentally slept all day today - I had a little lack of sleep issue these past two days, and it's turned me nocturnal. I feel dumb complaining about lack of sleep when John Edwards probably hasn't napped since Iowa, but still. It's been weird.

So ok, today I slept through the time I'd typically use to do things like, curl the hair and call the friends, so instead - it's movie time.

And I saw ONCE, finally! It was good, I felt the love. More love than March of the Pengins, if you can believe it. Now WHY did everyone bill that as some sort of true love story? I was really hoping see something along the lines of The Big Hearthrob in the Snow : Pengins Fly on the Wings of Love -- like Noah and Allie, Nick Sparks' The Notebook love, but with penguins+morgan freeman+a little imagination -- but it was all pretty much lost on me. And I am not a prickly, cynical type of gal when it comes to seeing love.

I guess it just goes to prove what I suspected all along...pengins don't know a thing about romance!

They're just like those TV-watching wisecrackin' punks I saw on Beakman's World back in the day. Can I mention that I saw Beakman's World on TV today? It was awesome. And the wisecracking penguins were cackling with their smokers cough (naturally) by the tv as usual.

Did I really watch that show 10+ years ago? My, it is timeless.

So all penguin-non-love aside, there was something nicely real about the love or whatever you'd call it in ONCE - very good "meet cute" stuff that I always find just fun and sortof intriguing to watch. I sortof hate it how inudependent movies are always 20 minutes short of a wonderful ending, and just end in mundane normal posssible possibility but probably not possibleness. Like Chasing Amy. What was up with that ending!?! I know why, but I also am like, why not have a full circle awesome love story. If awesome love stories are good enough for Nick Cassavetes, they're ok by me - I'm just sayin'.

The musicy stuff of ONCE was cool to see - i guess the process of ONCE (and the fact that it took about a hundred thou to make) was the most important and I'm glad he kissed her on the cheek and bought her a piano.

music consumption of 1999 throwback

Remember when you'd search your name in Napster?
Where else would I have found the classic, "Tell Lori I Love Her" - by Keith Whitley?

I think it was one of the first songs I downloaded. That and like, I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats b/c my History teacher at the time mentioned the band, and I wrote it down in my Planner. I think I was like 17 at the time.

I just discovered songbeat. Its like old napster! But wayyyyyy more legal. That's a good thing. Oh my goodness the gifts of What I liked about Napster was the whole, "ooooh, I must hear this random song that someone mentioned like, once or I saw it in a magazine (or heard from my history teacher, or has my name in it) and I want to hear it." Bam! You could search for it on Napster. There was so much obscure stuff, and then *poof!* gone.
The Man taketh away.
Makes me think about Empire Records.

What is it about The Man and Music? Contentious stuff!

Anyway, Songbeat approximates that music treasure hunt, so I'm happy. And its sortof pretty, too. And way easier than hoping that the random guy who set up Danny Kaye on has the song about the Congo (its a great song - how I long to have it on my profile...wait, is that dorky?). I'm liking songbeat wat more than LastFM...though I am learning to love the for what it is. Though I'm not so sure about having people see how much I've listened to Alan Menken and the soundtrack to Princess Diaries 2 (its uplifting and light! and I was a college senior - it was heavy times) , the awesome doo wop stuff that I would not otherwise have found is worth it! That's what you want. Stuff you wouldn't have found dovetailed from stuff you already like.

Though people/whoever on have tagged Marc Broussard COMPLETELY wrong, and I have no idea how to fix it...yet...maybe I could attach him to Bill Withers and Donny Hathaway a it stops sending me to Howie Day and such. Perhaps though, there is no one similar enough to Marc to make me happy.

This could be possible.

Come in from the Cold

Oh my, I was exhausted from the caucuses, and then I got this crazy cold disease thing. Let me tell you, it was crazy. I was well at 5pm last Saturday, and by 6pm I was basically driven to uselessness (re: watching too much MSNBC) sick. The Nyquil sleep was nice though.

Anyway, I'm back! Life in the 3rd week of January in the City of Saint Louis is great. I'll give you a run-down.

I saw John Edwards yesterday at his rally at the Carpenters' Union Hall. I really do like him. We'll see what happens. I vote how I WANT in the Primary. I'll pretend its the general, and my mind alone could WILL John the nomination. Right? Right.

I also had a great interview this past Friday -- it was just a fun interview. Who knew!? I suppose I can share that in this here forum. Come to think of it, I've had a couple other interviews that were actually fun. Only the other fun interviews did not result in a Donny Hathaway John Lennon cover! That's good stuff, however you look at it.

A friend and I were talking about how much we hate the interview question about your strengths and weaknesses, and how annoying it is that everyone answers the weaknesses with something that will show that they work too hard, but it's something they're trying to overcome....that sortof thing. You'd do it, don't lie! It's an act everyone puts on when they're playing the interview circuit. Interviews are the new vaudeville.

So we came to the conclusion that the next time that question gets asked, why not play it for laughs and just say that my biggest weakness is illiteracy.

...And I've done very well, thank you - and I don't appreciate you bringing it up!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sandrina's - bummer

It's now a hoosier bar!


I missed it in its no-signed, no-tank-top-allowing "heyday." There really is no place to lounge from 1:35 to 2:45. As I type it, it doesn't seem important, but at 1:35am, it sure does. Mangia Italiano just does not cut it. Is it really to be that I was 17 when all the cool stuff was happening in the great city of St. Louis?

I cannot believe it.

Oh St. Louis, be liberal with giving your 3am licenses to people who won't put a sign on their bar.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sandrina's - is it true!?

Ok, so I'm really excited about my Windows Movie Maker moment - but I just thought I should mention that I drove by Sandrina's and the OPEN sign was ON! Lit up! Woo!

I can't wait to go. Mangia is not fun and not classy. I hope that Sandrina's keeps the no tank tops rule because come to think of it - I am bothered by tank tops (and the tatoos that peek out from beneath them)! So, ok -that makes me an 80 year old, i don't care so much -- because if not getting fashion irony for frashion irony's sake is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

The night I drove by Sandrina's OPEN sign I also drove around Carondolet and the Ivory Theatre and South south broadway (what a concept!) addition to finding a nunnery (there are those who call it an abbey, i think?) and a lot of bungalows, I drove by a lot of awesome looking - and patronized - taverns.

I also think we accidentally ended up in Afton for a bit.

Iowa for Edwards Video

Whipped up a little somethin' from all the footage I took on my trusty digital camera of Meredith's Iowa Caucus for John Edwards.

So here's your inside look into an actual satisfactual Iowa Caucus!

Here's a link to the show if you can't play it (especially in your blogreader):

First one to comment on the actual video wins!

I also posted a blog on the edwards site -- so far 20 or so people have viewed in the past hour, and I even found someone who'd worked with Meredith in Ottumwa! Yay internets!

Iowa Caucus time

Good times had by all discovering the AWESOME small towns of Southeast Iowa and participating in the caucuses (as much as a Missourian could).

Mer was in her element, and it showed. All her counties did EXTREMELY well. Even at the bars after the caucuses, the Obama people there did not celebrate as hard because they didn't realize that whatever caucus Meredith touches turns to Edwards gold.

What's not to love about Johnny Reid Edwards? Did y'hear him on the debates last night? Slightly repetitive yes, but fighting for the underdog - double YES. What a concept, huh? I wonder just WHO Obama's going to build consensus WITH. Lobbyists? At least I know for sure that John Edwards is not even inviting those cats to the table. In his words, "...they'd eat everything!"

Mer sneaks a peek
Mer looking from the sidelines as the caucus is in action in Centerville, IA!

Also, I made a little 8 minute video with clips from the whole caucus process if you're really interested in the nuts and bolts. I'll post it up for ya as soon as its uploaded!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Best Year Ever and Voting

Ok, first things first:
My sister is going to be on Good Morning America tomorrow (Jan 2nd) MORNING with Johnny Reid Edwards eating pancakes in Centerville, IA. Yeah! She is the fiercest blonde democratinista since I don't know when. Y'all know she'll be busting out the hot rollers in a couple hours from now.

As for me, I'm on nocturnal hours as a result of new years I'm posting this 'round 3am....and I'm getting ready for....

the road trip to the IOWA CAUCUS 2008! History in the making, and I'm gonna be an ingredient at the Ottumwa Caucus. It's too bad I'm missing The Royale's mini-caucus (I didn't know Missouri used to have a Caucus...that is something I could get INTO! Caucuses strike me as conviction with a dash of showbiz...I'll get back to you as to whether or not that's true), but I don't really care so much. The Kirkwood delegation of Youth in Government will be making a SHOWING in Iowa!

Resolutions 2007: I didn't make too many official resolutions,. but here are some informal ones.
Rehab Dead foot - not back to running yet, but back to dancing!
Grow Hair on my head - I know I'm not really "in charge" per se of this, but it actually started growing this year, which was awesome...I don't think its been this long since I was 12.
Career path - found it last year, following it now...trying to keep the path IN ST. LOUIS
Do good for the STL homestead - so far the only good I do is go out and make friends, but I am very good at representing. I have gotten myself into some scraps!

Resolutions 2008: oh I've got some! Aside from the pursuit of an actual satisfactual career here (natch) in the great St. Louis, I am going to resolve to :

- Be more like Beyonce at all times
- Start online tshirt racket highlighting esoteric StL pride...all designed by local artists or graphic design/ad least think of a name
- Stay positive
- continue growing out my hair
- Be a part of an StlBlogger unconference, reach out to StL and StL's university geeks
-----possible meet up with Memphis, NOLA, StL blogger peeps
- Get the Historic Hat Mart, prepare more coworking research
- revisit local musical theater
- Visit New Orleans, Memphis, Philadelphia, Santa Fe
-----possible meeting friends in NYC, LA, SanFran...blah
- attend web conferences
- kick choreography into gear with the Alleycat ladies
- find or start Krewe de Vieux type marching krewe for StL's mardi gras
- enjoy my bachelor lifestyle
- consider getting a dog
- keep it real
- more blogging about river city livin'

ok, enough. Times they are a'changin' and things couldn't be more exciting.
Watch out for Meredith on GMA!
Happy New Year.

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