Friday


13
Sep 19

Half parmesan pretzels and a pie, please

When I was in college — ahh, sweet college — there came this new restaurant downtown. All the drinkers liked it because they had a bajillion beers on tap. I forget the number, somewhere between 27 and 72, I’m sure. Truly it was impressive for the time, and probably still is today.

It was a pizza joint, and it turned out to be a really good pizza joint. You can have the taps, bring be the pretzels:

Ate there a lot in school. And then we moved back there years later and ate there almost weekly. And by then there were more franchises of Mellow Mushroom opened up nearby. So I could enjoy it several places.

And now I live in a college town with exceedingly average pizza. It’s a bizarre phenomena, really. The old Pizza Hut is now a Mexican restaurant, El Ranchero Mexican, which kept the iconic Hut silhouette and gets good reviews online. The consensus best pizza in town is on par with a good day at the Hut way back when. In a college town. Isn’t that sad?

So to get good pizza, to get Mellow Mushroom, we have to go an hour-and-a-half up the road, to the north side of Indianapolis. If you think I’m not trying to find reasons to go there regularly, or how to enlist students from that neck of the woods to bring me some back when they return from home you’re wrong.

So very wrong.

My social media campaign to get Mellow Mushroom to open a store here and clean up is also underway.


6
Sep 19

Sports in spite of ourselves

Here’s the other show the sports guys produced last night. It’s a talk show, and this episode follows the traditional format, but I hear things may be getting changed as we progress through the year. There’s a new host and new producers eager to stretch their legs.

The guy that hosted that show for the better part of the last two years graduated this spring and just started working as a sports reporter for a television station down on the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone that comes through our little station gets hired. For good reason, too. If you stick around these parts for too long, this is bound to happen:

For the last several years, I’ve been trying to find ways to pay less attention to football. It’s grown less important, the older I get. And yet, where I’m from, there are heavy duty cultural implications. Of course, I’m not there anymore, sadly, so that helps. But there’s plenty on television. And it’s good television.

There’s also the safety aspect. It’s become more difficult to enjoy watching people do these things that could potentially be so self-detrimental. But, I’ll watch. Because it is fun. And it isn’t all bad. Way up and way out and all that. Tribal joys

Plus, the ethos. Look at the guys from this school in Indianapolis doing all the right things:

How can you not be romantic about football? How could you not want to be a Marian Knight?


30
Aug 19

Phewwwww

During Ralph Parker’s cubist phase, he drew a lot of inspiration from his brother, Tommy Parker’s work in parking deck stairwells:

Ralph Parker is a misunderstood genius, sure, but everyone around the Parker family knew that Tommy was where it should have started. And probably it was Tommy where it should have stopped, as well. But only after he finished the job.

I understand paint swatches, but this is a public building, which means the personal investment of pretty much everyone is reduced. So this isn’t about determining the proper shade of gunmetal to use when considering the morning sun comes in from yonder window.

Sometimes just enough might not be enough, though. I bet they didn’t even take a carpenter’s square to the corners to make sure they hit this at 90 degrees.

The square in a rectangle is an evocative look, I must say.

Eventually some white hat vandal — Those are still a thing, right? They’re still around? — will figure out if they scrawl nonsense on the whole wall then, some 18 months later, everything will get painted.

And that’s really all I have to say about today, which is mercifully behind us. We have some company coming in later tonight to spend the weekend, which will be lovely. So bring on the three-day.

I hope yours is lovely.


23
Aug 19

Rockin’ on

Today was a delightful and light day. We drove down to one of the family haunts yesterday for the weekend’s festivities. My sister-friend, my friend-sister Elisabeth — we need a term for someone you meet under the oddest of circumstances who decides to keep you for so many years, and who wants you to them around too — and her husband flew in the other day. People have come in from all over, really.

I had a phone call and a teleconference, which isn’t too bad for a day you take off from work, I guess. They happened at virtually the same time, so, really, you could call it multitasking, which is pretty great for an off day.

I did get to sleep in, which is excellent. And there was a late breakfast, a brunch, really, if we need to be specific. And we should be as specific as possible in as many places as possible. We had dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. I hear it is merely OK, but I enjoyed my fajita enchilada. Probably it was the cheese.

We went to listen to some music after dinner. Dueling pianos don’t get enough credit for their easy entertainment potential.

The personality and the enthusiasm was more important than the soaring solos. There were, I counted, six different performers, and they all just cycled through the full array of instruments they had on stage: two pianos, a handful of different guitar set ups, a small drum kit. And they were a pretty talented bunch. It was nice because two or three of them would play, and the others went … elsewhere … and then they would one at a time rotate off. They didn’t take any set breaks. There wasn’t a lot of inane chatter. They just played covers and everyone there enjoyed themselves pretty well. The lady singing at the beginning of the clip might have been the best performer of the bunch. Sadly the audio of her singing didn’t carry over as well as it should. They were taking requests, as they do in a dueling piano setup, and I tried thinking up the most ridiculous songs I could challenge them with, figuring, They must get bored playing the same tunes every show.

They played four of them: Country Roads, Enter Sandman and the like. It was a nice evening, which is especially great for a day off.


16
Aug 19

Happy National Tell A Joke Day

It is National Tell A Joke Day. (Should that be in all caps? How does national tell a joke day look, in comparison?) Did you know it was National Tell A Joke Day? This is one of those holidays that always sneaks up on me. But, fortunately, I caught it just in time.

I asked Siri to tell me some jokes to mark the occasion, because that’s what one does these days. I think I asked for 15 jokes, and these are the best eight of the bunch. These jokes, then, are the second best part of my day:

Now to put this in my calendar so I don’t miss it next year.