Saturday, January 25, 2014


I haven't been blogging as much, as life has intervened, but I have taken some pretty good walks, and we have eaten well.  My favorite walk is up Wyandotte past one of Charlie Parker's childhood homes, from 38th to Linwood, past the grotto at Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Parrish, where candles are often burning at night, and over to Coleman Highlands.  There are some great boulevards in Kansas City but my favorite is Karnes just above Roanoke Park.  From there you can take a funny little uphill street up to the Thomas Hart Benton house, or go all the way through the park to West 39th for a beer at Fric and Frac or a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  A good walk needs to be 3 plus miles with a refreshment stop as an option.

We have lost the support of Pablo on walks because he does not like 1) cold wind on his butt 2) wet pavement 3) ice melt chemicals on the pads of his feet.  I believe he will opt back in above 50 degrees, but this will take a convincing stretch of good weather, not just one nice day.  The boy is smart.

The catfish with green basil sauce at Thai Place is still my favorite KC dish so far.  My favorite dish was the roasted fennel soup at...  It was kind of bullshit on my part but I believed I had found a simple bistro dish that my world could revolve around once a month. Then one night we went in, in the midst of the first big health crisis my folks have been going through, and the service was aloof, and the soup was a bowl of warm milk with undercooked fennel flecks in it.  The carrot curry we asked for as a replacement had raw carrot in it too.  I got so pissed, with all these big emotions transferring back and forth from soup to family to haughty front-of-house guy and indifferent server, that I vowed never to go back.  Restaurants are under this weird pressure to provide for people who may be in extreme psychological states.  I will go back, I'm sure, because it's a good place to eat, even if I am beginning to feel too uncool to go there in my various Costco jackets.

I also love Tarahumara on Merriam Drive, very close to work--consistently homeade food with vivid flavors and something fresh about the way they do everything.  The crispy edges of the carnitas could go up against pork belly confit at any Fancy Carharts Rustic Bistro. My nephews took me to Chelly's in Waldo and between these two places my Mexican food options are solid.  Later we went to BB's Woodside BBQ and saw an R & B band and had a half rack of ribs for dessert.  Thumbs up.

Reuniting with Minsky's Pizza on Main happened New Year's Day, and when we came out, it was snowing.  The sweetness of life.  We have ducked into a few places that we'll not duck into again because there are other places just like them to duck into, just to check out.  This part of the restaurant and pub ecosystem is necessary and in some ways makes for memorable and intimate experiences between two people kicking around.

The cold, we are told, is remarkable this year.  I've never heard my steering column shudder and groan in sub-zero weather, as I arc out of my parking spot at 6:40 in the morning.  There's nothing like leaving your stocking hat on the dashboard vent, once your car has warmed up, and then putting it on, if only to walk inside.  It's like a spa experience in a hat.

I've written a song or two and kicked the tires on starting a band with friends.  I guess I've figured out that I need to have a job to produce as an artist (not that I ever had other ready options), but my job is really energizing and fun, and I don't mind longer hours.  I don't miss the load-ins and load-outs of being a mainly local artist playing shows in a kind of living room atmosphere.  I miss the people but not so much the rest of it.  There are new musical experiences to be had, but not in quite that way.

Last night we pulled out a couple of classic SST records by Universal Congress Of and I made pork chops and roasted vegetables.

This song kills me, "mystical and candid on a wild day."  The tag ending never fails to totally rock.

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