Happy In Bag

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Picture Book

As a child I often marveled at the city scenes depicted in picture books. Images of holiday panoramas were particularly captivating. Did such picturesque places really exist? I'd never seen anything of the sort. Last week, however, I discovered that much of a block on 63rd Street in Brookside resembled the charming illustrations that colored my childhood. Several storefronts were ingeniously decorated. Thanks to the shopkeepers' creativity, I can now live (a bit) happily ever after.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'm pretty certain that people don't go to Pegah's Family Restaurant for the food. The fried chicken and green beans I ate at the Shawnee restaurant last week resembled elementary school cafeteria fare. Instead, customers frequent the diner to nurture their relationships with the personable staff. I had to wait five minutes to pay my tab as an elderly couple exchanged heartfelt holiday greetings with the cashier. It was just as sweet as it was annoying.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fogo Fire

My Christmas present to myself was a December 24 meal at Fogo de Chao on the Plaza. While I'm fairly certain that spending over thirty dollars on lunch guarantees that I'll spend eternity in Hell, I've rarely eaten better.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Transition Game

From an early age I knew that the single most meaningful thing I could do to make my extended family proud would be to play basketball for the University of Kansas. Well, I'm two or three inches shy of six feet and my vertical leap was never more than twenty-four inches. I'm a failure. Because it's in my blood, however, I continue to participate in the ritual. I was in the building last weekend when Josh Selby lived out my fantasy.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm not joining the "Save Streetside Records KCMO" movement on Facebook. It's not that I want the record store to close. I toiled at 4128 Broadway as a clerk and as an outside sales rep for years. But a series of events that I usually try to keep suppressed led to a stint as a stooge for the CEO of TWMC, the current owners of the shop. Under orders from my superiors, I knowingly engaged in regrettable behavior just to stay on the payroll and in the industry. It's a little late in the game for me to issue an apology or to pretend that I'm a paragon of pure intentions.

(Original image of a different retailer by Happy In Bag.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All New Everything

Fresh paint. Electrical outlets designed for the appliances of today. No musty basements. I covet the attributes of a new housing development in North Kansas City. The "neotraditional" row homes just north of the shadow of downtown's skyline are spiffy. Authenticity is overrated.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

X Marks the Spot

Don't judge me by the contents of this blog, the shoes I wear or my resume. If you really want to know me, visit Red X in Riverside. I've been frequenting the combination grocery, liquor store, flea market and Americana museum since I was a child. It's a physical representation of the circuitry inside my head.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Judgment Day

I get paid to write about music. It's my dream. Part of the gig, however, involves my willingness to put other people down. While I'm not as tactful as most of my peers, I take no pleasure in that part of the process. I accept that criticism will occasionally come back at me. I wasn't surprised, consequently, when a friend informed me that the highest-rated radio personality in Kansas City called me out by name this morning.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Kid's Love' em!

As various editors can attest, I'm not a grammar nerd. The proper application of words and punctuation is an ongoing challenge for me. While I'm reluctant to mock the errors of others, I just had to share this outlandish sticker I found on a package of cookies.