December 5, 2013
Streetcar supporters are gathering at the Wine Loft at Betty Bar tonight to discuss the issues and regroup. The battle is not over. Join s at 6 at 5th and Plum atop Mainstay Rock Bar. Enter through Mainstay or the double doors on Plum St. by the veterinary clinic.
December 3, 2013
It’s official. Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6 p.m.
Thursday will be a gathering of support for the Streetcar project. I don’t want to turn the Wine Loft into a political arena in this time of divisiveness but sometimes you have to take a stand. If you’re opposed to the streetcar simply excuse yourself for the evening. We won’t hold it against you.
There will be live entertainment. Chico Converse and Josh Eagle have already committed. I’ll keep you posted on who else will be playing.
If someone, with the means and time, could produce a large petition to sign and deliver to City Council it would be greatly appreciated.
December 2, 2013
This week at the Wine Loft at betty Bar:
Monday, December 2, 2013: CLOSED.
Tuesday, December 3: Euchre night. Quickly becoming my favorite night of the week. At 6. With vinyl. And Chef T’s yet to be announced post-Thanksgiving Day menu. It likely involves turkey.
Wednesday, December 4: The rescheduled Willy Denison performance at 6:30.
Thursday, December 5: I think I have an event in mind (possibly controversial). More later.
Friday, December 6: CLOSED.
Chalkboard menu: Chef T has something special in store. I’ll let her deliver the news and the goods. Think turkey.
Christmas goose redux. Cleveland, Ohio, circa mid-eighties.
Nobody told us you had to periodically drain the accumulated fat from the pan before it over-flowed and erupted into flames in the hot oven.
But it wouldn’t have mattered. We were distracted. The steam radiators had fogged the windows in our lakefront apartment. J. waltzed into the living room while I was in a beer-football lethargy. Naked she was, carrying the mirror that rested atop the bedroom dresser, as she had so many times before. She liked to watch. Propped the mirror against the coffee table in front of the sofa. You know what that meant. It meant no more football. And catastrophe in the kitchen.
The exciting part of watching a fire is when fresh wood, the split from a log, cleaved asunder from the whole, already humiliated, succumbs to the flames that have been licking…licking. Wrapping red-yellow tongue hungrily at the fleshy edges before probing the raw grain, into the cleft. Teasing the splinters of the wound.
Without the wood there is no fire but the wood does not need the fire. But the wood finally relents, gives in to the persistent and unrelenting heat where desire meets desire. Erupting in fury. The consumer and the consumed merge at last. Once and forever. Dissolving into eternity.
As much as I abhor the pedal wagon and the pedal-philes, it reminds me of an adventure from a few summers ago. I had grown weary of the parking tickets I suffered in front of the Scripp’s Center where I had an office. Slipping into the 10 minute loading zone to run upstairs to grab the mail. But the old “in-out”, even the time honored variety, never goes as precisely or without complications as one imagines.
A monthly bus pass allowed me to board at the stop near home and spend as much time as desired, anywhere I desired, without running afoul of the law.
One morning, after searching the ‘fridge for O.J. but finding only a bottle of beer that I carried to the shower, it occurred to me that with the bus pass I could traverse our fair city and alight, like a curious and thirsty fly, at drinking establishments, one after another, without risk of automotive sobriety malfunction.
Far afield I roamed, discovering watering holes there-to-fore unbeknownst.
It’s time for another metro pub crawl. Wanna join me?
November 26, 2013
Proposed bylaws and regulations for The International Yooker Society including the Gentleman’s Club and Ladies’ Auxiliary caucuses.
Presented by the Honorable J Mick Stepp, Esquire, presiding.
- Rules shall be according to Hoyle unless the table mutually agrees to play Screweth the Dealer and/or Ace no Face.
- Attendance at each weekly congress is expected unless thou has a damned good reason such as death, dismemberment or detox.
- Thou shall always follow suit. Each table may ascribe its own penalty for reneging. Playing out of turn is deemed a form of reneging. Repeated reneging brings a mandatory penalty of shunning and farting in the offender’s general direction.
- Dealer shall always offer a cut to the competitor to his/her right especially if he/she is reasonably attractive and presents an opportunity for the touching of hands.
- Attendees shall fill Wine Loft coffers to overflowing so that she might continue to provide comfort and succor to the downtrodden and oppressed or the merely irritated and inconvenienced.
- All cards shall be dealt in two rounds of 2 and 3 or 4 and 1.
- A card laid is a card played. Euchre is not a game for the indecisive. That’s called dating.
- Players shall not mark cards by bending corners, applying boogers or grease from thy cheeseburger or any other manner of marring cards for easy identification.
- Pregnant pauses and other signals to your partner such as a rolleth of the eyeballs or a swift kick in the shins is strictly prohibited.
- Bickering and arguing with your partner is expressly prohibited even though he/she may be dumbeth beyond beliefeth.
November 25, 2013
A truncated week owing to the Turkey Day Holiday.
Euchre on Tuesday the 26th. I’ll specifically remind the “euchreists” in the morning. It’s no longer just a game, it’s a movement.
Poetry night with Tim Caudill and Friends on Wednesday the 27th.
You’ll likely be in a Tryptophan coma on Thursday while watching an N.F.L. game. Did you know the National Football League is a non-profit organization?
Anyway, we’ll serve up Chef T’s homemade spaghetti and meatballs and chopped salad to keep your mind off the bird and the ball until the appropriate time.
I re-read Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. It’s a play from the Theatre of the Absurd tradition and readable in one sitting. Though written in the 50’a, it’s frighteningly relevant today. Ostensibly an absurd allegory about French cooperation with the Nazis after the occupation, in its broader context it’s about survival instinct. Is it better to be the friend or enemy of the playground bully and, if you conclude the former, at what cost to your humanity? A provocative topic giving our current politics of bullying.
November 19, 2013
Tuesday, November, 19: Euchre night. Play begins when a foursome arrives. Doors open at 5:30.
Wednesday, November 20: Willy Dineson plays at 6:30.
Thursday, November 21: The Wine Loft is closed to accommodate the Fray concert downstairs at Mainstay.
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
Mencken nailed the position of extremists.
November 15, 2013
A rare Wine Loft Friday happy hour tonight from 5:00 to 7:30 or so. Given schedule conflicts with Mainstay downstairs and Holiday bookings we haven’t been able to do many Fridays. This is probably the last one before the end of the year so don’t miss it. I’ll knock a buck a glass off wine prices.
Last night we enjoyed the Residents and Mike McIntire and the cheesy potato soup and house salad. Chef T made enough soup to last two days but we burned through it in a single evening. I don’t know if she’s making another batch.
Let’s acknowledge the newbies and the rarebies (occasionals): Amy, Patrick, Mary, MrsDLD, Bill and the regulars: Paul and the other Bill and the wish she was a regular and probably will be now that she’e in on the euchre: Tracy. Friends Mary Beth and Pat and Bud and John and Ben stopped in late.
Speaking of euchre we squeezed in a couple of games after the crowd waned.
Ruminations Over a Euchre Game
A self-made man
What a joke
Who burned my chop
Who broke my yolk
Take out the trash
Clear the rubbage
Tidy the shelf
Time for scrubbage
Go it alone
A fly in my drink
Partner stay home
At low tide
Count the bodies
Along for the ride
Cracks in my foundation
Leaks in my roof
Fire the developer
You need more proof?
A self-made man
My ashes are cold
I’ve been euchred
Or so I’m told
November 11, 2013
This week at the Wine Loft at Betty:
Monday, Nov. 11: Closed
Tuesday, Nov. 12: Euchre night. Plus vinyl. We’re expecting the regulars plus a contingent of SPCA mothers whose children ate our beef stew over the weekend. And lest vinyl night start to sound like a broken record (or a scratchy one) we’ll provide topless hula hoop performers. Maybe some of the mothers will join in.
After the weekends Betty sometimes comports herself with the dignity of a woman arriving home early in the morning carrying her brassiere. We’ll make sure she’s presentable by Tuesday.
Wednesday, Nov. 13: The Wine Loft is closed (meaning Chef T and I won’t be there) but Betty is hosting a Beer dinner compliments of Mainstay downstairs. You should check it out. I would if I wasn’t otherwise occupied.
Thursday, Nov. 14: Mike McIntire performs for the Downtown Residents Meetup Group. It’s open to the public so come and meet Mike and the Residents (it sounds like a 60’s band). If you don’t know Mike, I compare him to Tom Waits.
Friday, Nov. 15: Surprise! We’re open for happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30. Last Fri. when Chef T and I were prepping for the Saturday feeding of the kids (T was prepping and I was drinking) a few people came in looking for us. Included were Laura and Will who we joined later at Blinkers. We realized not being open on Fridays has cost us some friends. Had we not been there by happenstance we would never have connected with them. So we’ll do a happy hour but be gone by 8 before the chaos and cacophony begin downstairs and the glassware begins leaping from the shelfs like lemmings committing suicide.
Food: The peasant menu is a delicious potato soup. With or without bacon. There may be some hash left. And fried apples. I hope T will weigh in because I’m busy with the wine and song.
We have a second Wine Loft in the speakeasy tradition. In an obscure, out-of-the-way location with no signage and unpredictable hours. This week was to be the grand opening. Problem is… we can’t find it.
November 4, 2013
This week’s gourmet peasant menu: Corned Beef Hash and Fried Apples.
Hash is the perfect peasant food (potatoes and onions extending a meat dish) to turn into a gourmet dinner entree if you know what you’re doing and Chef T does. She’ll make a small amount of a vegetarian version as well.
We chose hash because we’ve been searching for weeks for a good plate of it. It’s not to be found in Cincinnati.
To be logical is to draw conclusions from facts.
To be ideological is to select facts that fit your conclusion (and ignore those that refute it).
To be theological is to ignore facts altogether.
Excerpts from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind
They are the same people
only further from home
on freeways fifty lanes wide
on a concrete continent
spaced with bland billboards
illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness
Him just hang there
on his tree
looking real Petered out
and real cool
according to a roundup
of late world news
from the usual unreliable sources
October 28, 2013
An exciting week ahead truncated though it is by the Hollowe’en holiday.
Tuesday, October 29, is Euchre night with the addition of several euchre playing wine meetup people. Debbie, did I get the date right this time?
Wednesday, October 30, we have Tim Caudill and friends with a Tom Waits tribute. You have to admit that Tom Waits is a little bit scary in a good way. And Good Time Tim and friends are frighteningly good.
Thursday, October 31 is Hallowe’en. The Wine Loft is CLOSED for a private party. I’m assuming the place will be dead. As a child, Hallowe’en was one of my three favorite holidays. I loved monsters. I don’t plan on going out since I’m still nursing a cold, or whatever the “f” it is that has had me on death’s door. Instead I’m going to watch old monster movies and eat popcorn and drink bourbon. “Beer good. Fire bad.” I’ll start with Creature from the Black Lagoon.
I’m unsure of this abbreviated week’s food. Chef T had mentioned black bean soup. I hope she’s still up for it. My second favorite Chef T soup right behind the butternut squash.
Back to my illness which is on its second week and I pray I haven’t bequeathed it to anyone. I’m pretty sure I’m no longer contagious. If snot had commercial value I’d be a millionaire, a mucous magnate, but the well has run dry. And my ribs no longer hurt when I cough, leaving a more or less pleasant rolling catarrh that could be useful for a walk on part in a Dicken’s play. The advantage of my subsequent loss of appetite and a steady diet of cottage cheese is the loss of another couple of pounds.
I’ll be back to my verbose and irreverent self in no time.