Saturday, January 11, 2020

Onesie Bar Crawl

It was time for the annual Onesie Bar Crawl. This year we continued our tradition of just showing up at the bars wearing our onesies and not actually paying to participate. Sorry for party rocking.

Got some crooning done at Carson's, as is traditional.

Sometimes when you mess with the lion you get the claws.

Big Daddy's had inexplicably tiny beer pong happening outside in the tent.

Beer nerd trivia: Big Daddy's was once the headquarters for the Koch and Feldkamp Brewery, which didn't survive prohibition. Louis Koch's great-great-grandson Jim Koch (founder of Sam Adams' Boston Beer Company) found the recipe for his beer that was brewed in St. Louis, and the rest is history. You're welcome, Boston.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Post Malone and My Short Roulette Lucky Streak

Post Malone was about to come to town and the local bar The Post did a promotion with a St. Louis radio station to give away tickets. I convinced some work friends to attend, and then some old work friends from Anheuser-Busch showed up as well. It was a weird worlds colliding moment for them to meet each other.

The game was kind of fun. There was a specially marked tallboy in this cooler and if you fished it out you won the tickets. I'm so confused about where the damn can was. I tried 2 or 3 times and so did many of the people I knew and none of us pulled it. What the heck are the odds of that? How many cans could possibly be in there. Eventually someone grabbed it. I was sad.

I did take this magnificent Bud Light home with me so I was happy about that.

Afterward someone came up with the bright idea to hit the Ameristar Casino.

I don't usually play table games because I'm too cheap, but one of our Uber drivers on New Year's said something about betting on 20 black on the roulette wheel since it had just become the year 2020. I put a bet there and a couple other places.. and it landed on 20 on the first spin! I stopped betting immediately. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, etc.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Colonial Politics, Cuban food, and Ill Gotten Ski Gear

We're weird and we went to the Old Courthouse for the 1769 Twelfth Afternoon Ball.

"Celebrate the end of the holiday season as St. Louisans did in 1769. The Twelfth Afternoon Ball at the Old Courthouse recognizes the completion of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which leads to Mardi Gras. This year’s ball highlights music, food and dancing from 1769. Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole will perform 18th-century music, Deborah Hyland will lead dances from the time period, and food historian Suzanne Corbett will demonstrate historical food recipes common to St. Louis dinner tables during the 1769 holiday season. King’s Cake will be served, and the king and queen of Mardi Gras will be crowned. Historical clothing is not required to participate."

"Fort San Carlos and the Battle of St. Louis

On May 26, 1780, St. Louis was attacked by an allied force of American Indians and a small number of British and French-Canadian fur traders. The British hoped to gain control of the Mississippi Valley by occupying the Spanish-governed settlements on the west bank of the river.

St. Louis had been warned to expect such an attack, and had on hand an organized militia of citizen-soldiers, regular troops of the Spanish Army, and reinforcements from Ste. Genevieve, a village 80 miles to the south. Still, they were outnumbered more than two to one. The village was protected by an encircling entrenchment and a stone watchtower named Fort San Carlos. Led by Lieutenant Governor Fernando de Leyba, the defenders repelled the attack with musket and cannon fire. The battle lasted over two hours, but the attackers finally withdrew. DeLeyba reported 21 villagers killed and 71 captured out of a total St. Louis population of about 700. Spanish control of the west bank of the Mississippi was retained."

"ON MARCH 10TH, 1804—213 YEARS ago today—the city of St. Louis went through a brief, well-organized identity crisis. The day before, it had been Spanish. In the morning, it was French. And as soon as noon hit, it was American, as it has remained for all the days since.

This multi-part switcheroo, which historians call “Three Flags Day,” was the symbolic and bureaucratic culmination of the Louisiana Purchase, in which France sold a massive swath of territory to the United States for pennies on the acre. The deal came as a surprise to the American government, which had only been trying to buy New Orleans. Instead, they got a piece of land that effectively doubled the size of the country and today makes up 15 U.S. states.

The deal was equally surprising to the Spanish, who had ceded the land in question to the French very, very recently—so recently, in fact, that they were still effectively running most of it. The sudden need to play catch up led to a strange 24 hours for St. Louisans."

Lydia's been wanting to eat at Mayo Ketchup for a while so we finally made an appearance. I personally am not a fan of mayo so the name of the place makes me sad, but the food was pretty good. It's a Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban mix, but I think I was personally most interested in the Cuban fare. I went there and beat Obama, don't like to brag though.

We played Settlers of Catan at Zoe's house.

Vinny played too.

So I found this Breckenridge Brewery contest where you get amazing prizes. I tried with like 8 different emails addresses using incognito mode on my browser and all sorts of other dark internet arts. All I got were these damn "sorry here's some coal" messages.

As usual I sent the link to my dumb friends and they proceeded to effortlessly win all sorts of dumb stupid prizes.

Joel won a holiday pint glass and even sent me pictures of himself opening the comically large box.

Zoe won a pair of friggin hundred dollar ski goggles with a custom Breckenridge Brewery head strap.

Next we went to Parlor and we beat the Simpsons arcade game. It's amazing what I can accomplish when my mom isn't being stingy with the quarters. 

The girls like Tapper because it's free. I agree.

Later Trevor and Kyle came over for some board games.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Art and Technology

Loving family members have been gifting me Best Buy gift cards that were piling up in the drawer because never had anything that I wanted to buy.

I finally thought of something! I had some remaining money on my card and I asked the cashier if they wanted it. They said they weren't allowed to accept it and if I left it there that they would have to put it in the store's safe. Ok.

I pretty much use the Google Nest Mini to play Jeopardy everyday and to play music on occasion. 

A St. Louis pro tip is that at the Saint Louis Art Museum the traveling paid exhibits are all free on fridays. This time was Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. Per website:

"Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt presents outstanding examples of 17th-century Dutch painting from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition features many of the subjects for which the Dutch are well known, including landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and scenes of everyday life—or genre scenes as they are now commonly known.

Seventeenth-century Dutch artists lived in a period of far-reaching change—political, religious, social, economic, demographic, and even geographic. The Protestant self-ruling Dutch Republic, which gained independence from Spanish Habsburg rule in the course of the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), quickly rose to international prominence. An expansive worldwide presence transformed the Dutch into leaders in global trade and established a vigorous merchant class at home.

Many of the paintings in Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt bear witness to overseas travel, trade, and territorial expansion. Other works bring the people of the young republic to life, while yet others evoke the physical world they lived in—city and country—all year round.

The exhibition celebrates two remarkable gifts to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and from Susan and Matthew Weatherbie. Included are paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, and other celebrated 17th-century Dutch artists.

Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and presented in St. Louis by the Betsy and Thomas Patterson Foundation. The St. Louis presentation is curated by Judith W. Mann, curator of European art to 1800; Elizabeth Wyckoff, curator of prints, drawings, and photographs; and Heather Hughes, senior research assistant in prints, drawings, and photographs."

Portrait of Johan van Musschenbroek and His Wife, 1685 or 1688

"Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606-1669

Reverend Johannes Elison, 1634
oil on canvas

Maria Bockenolle (Wife of Johannes Elison), 1634
oil on canvas

This pair of Rembrandt portraits depicts Maria Bockenolle and her husband, Reverend Johannes Elison, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Norwich, England. As the embodiment of education and culture, the minister wears a long, sleeveless outer garment, called a tabard, the attire of an intellectual. His broad learning is expressed further by the printed book-probably a Bible-and a handwritten journal on the right. He expresses his faith by drawing his left hand to his breast. Maria wears dress fashionable for women in England, including the broad-brimmed hat. Such hats, more commonly worn by men in the Netherlands, were trimmed in beaver fur. Extinct in continental Europe by the 17th century, beavers were only available through trade in North America.

Life-size, full-length portraits, typically chosen for royal or noble patrons, were far more expensive than the usual bust or half-length formats. This pair, commissioned by the couple's son, a wealthy merchant, hung in his house in Amsterdam to demonstrate his status and success. Johannes and Maria resided in Norwich from 1608 until 1639. Dutch Calvinists went to England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, fleeing the Catholicism imposed by Spanish rule. The Elisons most likely served a congregation of such immigrants."

This one was one of my favorites. I liked this whole exhibition a lot because it was long enough ago that it was unfamiliar, but contemporary enough that I could relate to the scenes. This one was fun because of the "drinking" tobacco part.

"Jacob Duck
Dutch, c.1600-1667

The Smoker, 1650-55
oil on panel

An off-duty soldier gazes listlessly up at the tobacco smoke curling out of his mouth. Tobacco, native to the Americas, was imported into Europe in the 16th century. It was embraced, first as a medical cure-all, and then as an intoxicant to rival alcohol. In fact. people referred to smoking as "drinking" tobacco before the verb "to smoke" came into use. Several white clay pipes are featured in this composition. One of them rests on top of a brazier, the ceramic vessel that held hot coals used to light a pipe in the days before matches. Everything else-the soldier's pose and expression, the two women (of perhaps ill repute), the card game, pearls, wine, and candlestick-strongly suggest this group is up to no good.

Utrecht artist Jacob Duck specialized in guard room and tavern scenes that highlight the military men who kept the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648) going. When this painting was made, the war had only recently come to an end."