Saturday, April 19, 2014


Had to get permits taken out at City Hall to allow this much fun at one rock show.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Saturday, April 12, 2014


Half of a Yellow Sun African Roar 2013 To the Moon and Timbuktu: A Trek through the Heart of Africa Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away The Tuner of Silences Cutting for Stone What Is the What The Book of Secrets Paradise Maps The Yacoubian Building The Seven Veils of Seth: A Modern Arabic Novel from Libya Children of the New World

I'm continuing my armchair traveller's project to read a book set in every country in Africa.  It's a fun project and continues to teach me about geography, religion, history, and the diversity of a continent that I had almost a grade-school level awareness of, far too far into adulthood. 

The reading mission has turned into an actual travel bug.

Part of each read, for me, is to try to pick up on some new music.  In the case of Half of a Yellow Sun, the great Nigerian highlife singer, Rex Lawson.


Sunday, March 30, 2014


Late Friday we heard about Alejandro Escovedo playing at Knuckleheads  and spontaneously hauled ass down there.  It was a great show in a venue that was new to us, down in the East bottoms [thank you Steve for correction].  The show really rocked and it was amazing to see a packed house of all ages going nuts for A.E.  I wished that Billy Barnett had been there. The last song was "Real As An Animal," shouted out to Scotty Asheton.

Then we got up Saturday and drove over to Jefferson City for my dad's 89th birthday and some farm time.  Pablo got down with his cousin KC, chasin' voles, chewin' antlers, and rollin' in stuff.

Baseball starts tomorrow.  I'm more excited about being in KC to see a lot of games with my friends and family than I am about the goofy expectations heaped on this pretty solid baseball team.  I think to beat last year's 86-win season, the offensive production will have to be vastly improved.  I don't think the pitching has improved.  I would love for them to make the playoffs but I don't quite expect that they will.  I am keeping my expectations low and hope to enjoy the ride and hope they do too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


A while back I started re-learning cursive.  I have no idea whether this is legible writing, but it is improving. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014


We laid it on good for my 45th birthday week and did a variety of things, starting with a walk to The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and brunch at the museum's Cafe Sebastienne.  The Kemper is small, with just a few wings, so you need not delay your meal for long, out of duty to fine art.  We enjoyed the paintings of Hope Gangloff and the photographic portraits and video of Neeta Madahar, in the current exhibition  Dressed Up.

Neeta Madahar: Falling
Wednesday, the day of, we walked to Jazz on 39th and had chicken pontchartraine and deep fried boudin balls with an alfredo seafood sauce.  There were no "healthy choice" or "for light appetites" sections on the menu.  I got a neat pen, a Captain Beefheart record, and some nice books.


Thursday we walked to The Tivoli and saw The Day of The Locust, part of their movies about movies series.  It was a really intense film, and as I had not read the book, I did not know that rioting and cataclysm was the ultimate direction of all the weirdness.  Burgess Meredith really put on a show.  Amazing film, a must see, from the greatest era of modern American film.

Yesterday we attend the TEDx webcast at the Nelson, in an auditorium full of Benton paintings, with friends. I've seen TED talks here and there and it was fun to absorb a number of them, though my brain shut down after three hours.  For every two hours of TED talks, one half hour of ping pong, bowling, or art museum whiffle ball should be scheduled.

My favorite talk was by city planner from New York who spoke about creating soulful park environments along with development.  It made me think of the weirdly abandoned, unconscious riverfront in Kansas City and whether the city has anyone visioning a meaningful future for it.  There is a cool walkway observatory off the River Market, but along the river proper is a good go-to spot for shooting execution scenes in shows like The Wire or The Sopranos.  Out in Parkville you can walk the river at English Landing Park but that is about it for access, that I am aware of.  

Then good beer and dinner at Haus on 31st with old friends, and over to the grand opening of Vandal's (at The Black And Gold) on Broadway, for punk rock with Drop a Grand and The Big Iron.  I'd never seen The Big Iron.  My friends Dave Peterson and Matt Kessler and Wade Watkins would like--kind of Lazy Cowgirls/Social D vibe with some hardcore.  Drop a Grand was as good as I've seen them.  They should be on Sub Pop.
Drop A Grand kicking ass at Vandal's

Got a copy of the new Workbook 25 by Bob Mould.  I bet I'm not the only one who experiences this as a very personal kind of mile marker.  Great present for a significant birthday.

The week hurt too because we said goodbye to a hometown friend who changed our lives, Chris Gile.  RIP Chris, we will try to keep it funny and real for you.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I man this outpost when it is snowing.  I allow a glance or two at a mystery novel and also sip coffee, but mainly I am keeping an eye on deadly winter weather, and opening and closing the door for the dog.  This is a sacrifice I'm willing to make.