Monday, December 31, 2007

Lists about St. Louis

We moved from South City in June to humble Charleston, Illinois, and I enjoyed my five years in St. Louis. So I thought I'd offer a list of what I miss and don't miss about St. Louis.

What I miss:
Soulard Market
Lindenwood Park and Francis Park (the latter Hannah always described as "the mermaid park")
K&W Sausage Company (aka "the German butcher")
Extensive beer selections at supermarkets
Good Italian restaurants
The new doughnut shop--Eddie's--on Kingshighway, south of Chippewa
Fraternity cronies
Our little home on Plainview Avenue

What I don't miss:
The "Where'd you go to high school at?" mentality
The self-appointed best baseball fans in America
The idea that pork "steak" is good
St. Louis style pizza
St. Louisians' unnecessary use of prepositions (see high school question)

The Dialect ("highway farty" etc.)

Not-So-Bold Predictions for Iowa

To start this blog off right to show my geekiness by posting on New Year's Eve (Amateur's Night), I want to share my thoughts on what will shake down on Thursday.

Being a native Iowan, I had the pleasure of returning to Waterloo to visit my parents for the holiday (I now live in the fine burg of Charleston, IL). The intensity of this caucus is something I've never seen before in the state. Since my Dad is registered Democrat and he caucused in '00, ole Virg is a sought-after man for sure. I've had him keep all the campaign literature he's received, which I've perused, and no one--unless you don't watch TV or read the newspapers--can get away from the glut of TV commercials.

Regardless, from looking at all of the campaign propaganda, I was most impressed by Edwards' literature. While one can justly criticize how credible his claims about his ability and will to go against the system, he's doing a good job of tapping into Iowans' values and beliefs. In a state that takes their caucus seriously and collectively likes to think of itself as working class, Edwards is preying upon the anxiety of the middle class by talking about economic issues. His pr documents and a number of his commercials that refer to Maytag shutting down, I would suspect, hit home with many Iowans who are fearful of what our economy has become. In addition, he's been to Iowa before, and he has a good network built in the state.

Obama is doing well, no doubt, and Clinton is robotic especially when Bill is along for the ride on campaign stops [Their stop along with Magic Johnson (?!) in a grocery store was comical.].

While I'm certainly biased because I'm supporting Obama, I see Edwards pulling off a upset on Thursday. I predict the win, place, and show going like this: Edwards, Obama, Clinton.

What complicates matters, however, is what happens to the caucus goers whose candidate doesn't garner 15%? If I recall correctly, I think the supporters of Richardson, Dodd, and Biden can defect and then caucus for someone in the running. I could be wrong about that arcane fact about the Iowa caucus, but I don't see supporters of the aforementioned latter three going with Clinton.

Then again, my dislike of Clinton nomination might be coloring that read too. As one of my friends described it, we're "ABC" Democrats: Anyone But Clinton.

What I wonder also is what happens when Richardson, Dodd, and Biden drop out? Will they throw support behind a certain candidate or let the field play out? Richardson in the debates seemed very deferential toward Clinton, but who would want to be the VP in the Clinton Administration Part Deux? He'd be more frustrated than Gore was with Bill.

On the GOP side, I see Huckabee messing up Romney's spending spree in Iowa, which only strengthens McCain, who I think will win New Hampshire. McCain is the best national candidate for the Republicans, if they want to go that route.

I'm back...

One of my New Year's resolutions is to recreate a blog and keep up with it this time.

So to my handful of sometime readers, welcome to Planned Obsolescence!