Friday, July 30, 2021

One Last STL Hoedown

We were forced to skip last year's installment of our popular Christmas party, and now won't be around for next Christmas. I completed my Master's in Data Science, and we are leaving town, so naturally we decided to throw a Going Away/John’s Graduating/Christmas 20&21 Party.

Skipping town has been a nice opportunity to mop up some things on my wishlist. Gioia's is famous for their hot salami sandwich and I've been curious about this frozen pizza situation.

We had a real good turn out.

As is our custom for Christmas parties we had a white elephant gift exchange. This time was different though because rather than having people bring gifts all of the stuff was things that we were trying to get rid of. It was decent stuff for the most part left over from a side hustle that I had going where I would buy a lot of stuff to pump online retailer's sales numbers. Anyway, the only gag crap gift that I recall was a gallon of some industrial type of acid that I'd never heard of. Fittingly a friend of Emily's I'd never met with a stick up her butt got the bad present!

Danny and Ale even came down from Springfield, Illinois to kick it.

People were loving the random decorations we dug out of our closet.

There was even a mermaid set of decorations that was probably meant for a little girl's birthday party.

I'm going to miss my friends!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Party Prep

There was a period of time where I was running side business that involved buying a lot of junk on Amazon. The vast majority of it ended up in the trash but I saved a lot of random party decoration stuff. Well it was now time to have one last random party at our apartment and the decorations were ready to be deployed.

We had burgers at the downtown branch of Hi-Pointe Drive-In.

I was pretty excited about the Coming to America reference on the wall.

We had about 8 million balloons to inflate.

I blew up so many balloons that I started to get light headed from lack of oxygen. Here Lydia is looking super excited about her accomplishment. I've never had my own balloon arch!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Saved the Worst Muny Show For Last

At this late date we're just packing, cleaning, and trying to squeeze the last drops out of St. Louis,

I'm looking forward to some of the pleasures of living in a blue state.

We went to the Muny in beautiful Forest Park.

Smokey Joe's Cafe may be the worst show ever devised. There's literally no story and no spoken words, it's just a smattering of unrelated songs smashed together. I'm not quite sure why this show even exists. We left at intermission.

Ted Drewes is a better show than Smokey Joe's and it's a frozen custard store.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Goodbye My Treasures

My parents were visiting and they must have heard from Lydia that any possession of mine that I've ever loved must be destroyed. First she came for my video games, but I said nothing.

We emptied out and recycled my vaunted beer can collection.

This stuff is also in trash heaven.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

That's A Paddlin'

Something that has been on my St. Louis wish list for years has been a ride on one of the paddle boats docked on the Mississippi near the Arch. I used to very much enjoy free movies in the Before Times and I have a secret network of sources that I use to gain access to sneak previews all over town. One of the promotion companies that runs those also hosts the occasional little event in support of a movie release. This time was a river cruise advertising Disney's Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson. I even somehow conned Seago into coming with. When you're leaving possibly never to return people actually want to hang out with you. It's kind of like a crappy little shop makes so much money on their going out of business sale that they decide to stay open type of thing. This particular shop is definitely still closing but the uptick in business is appreciated.

I don't remember this clipboard dude's name but I've seen him working at so many free movies that it's kind of embarrassing. 

One is called the Tom Sawyer but today we were riding on its sister ship the Becky Thatcher. You don't get more Missourah than that.

They has little drawings and contests and things where you could win tickets and prizes. I won nothing.

The boat had a cash bar though where everyone was a winner.

We cruised past the Anheuser-Busch brewery. I drank a lot of beer there too while I was employed there but it was all free. So free.

Seago and I then headed to what I think we both agree is the best brewery in town: Perennial. The name of this place always makes me laugh a little bit because there's also a local non-profit named Perennial that teaches people to like... craft things out of recycled materials... Anyway a friend of a friend works at the boring one, and more than once they've told me they work at "Perennial", I get all excited, they explain they mean the lame one, and then I must with my face make it clear that I am very disappointed in them. I see this person so seldomly that I've done this to them more than once because I forgot about the previous conversation. Anyway, you know a supreme court justice summed up what happened next better than I could:

"I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted anyone."

I did however assault this hominy lager. "Hominy" is also just a very fun word to say. "Hominy".

They had some fancy bottles of aged expensive stuff that normally you have to win a lottery or wait in a long line to obtain, but I think covid might've messed up the supply lines or something. We walked out with some easily procured treasures as a result.

We were in an Uber and were headed to some restaurant. I chatted up the driver who happened to be I want to say Kurdish Iraqi, and asked him if there was Kurdish food in town. He said all the cool kids eat at Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant in the Grove so we changed course and headed there.

The Sultan Pilau was fun to eat. They described it as "basmati rice with lamb shank meat, almonds, pistachio, raisins, walnuts, and carrots served inside a filo dough pocket served with salad" but I would call it a softball full of deliciousness.