Friday, March 14, 2008

You Think You Know Webster University?

Inspired by my buddy Chris' latest blog about the best of the U of M, I thought it would be a fun exercise to do a similar assessment of Webster University because I know Sports Illustrated ain't gonna do it. So, with all the best-ofs they have on their list (and subsequently, Chris has on his), I will do the exact same list about my school.

Best Sports Arena

Grant Gymnasium. Actually, it's the closest thing we have to a stadium. Imagine the gym at your local YMCA. Now imagine it with twice as many seats. Actually, I think Roberts Gym at my old high school is bigger, and it's right across the street. The high school already uses our pool, and we're already using their classrooms, so why don't we just use their gym? I'm sure there's room for us amongst their championship banner they just got to hang.

Best Pizza Shop

Imo's Pizza. While Racanellis is fine pizza, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, and not as the New Yorkers do. But New Yorkers will tell you that Racanellis is not real NY style pizza. But Imos is real St. Louis style pizza. It is thin. It is greasy. It is cut in squares. It's covered with Provel cheese (not mozzerella or provelone). Now, if only Fortell's would open a location in Webster, we'd be set.

Best Outdoor Studying Area

Well, gee, I guess that depends. If you're a philosophy or English student, the best spot is either in the ivy garden outside Pearson House, or the grotto-like area behind Priest House. If you're in Music or the Conservatory, you probably like Loretto Commons, that area outside the Loretto Hilton center that always gets covered with tents and tables when the Opera Theatre opens up in May. And if you're any other student, you don't like to study outside, you study in the Jazzman cafe and drink expensive coffee, and then when you're done you go out to the Library Quad and play touch football or, if you're lazy enough and nobody's already there with a pigskin looking to put together a pickup game, you can throw the frisbee around.

Best Bar

I guess really there are no bars on campus, but there's a couple nearby. Most of them are the hoity-toity Webster Groves bars for the people who live in the WG, not for the people who go to school there. There's the RoadHouse, but that used to be Ellie Frizelli's and before that JP Fields and before that Streetside Records, so confirming that place as the best bar would be silly because it'll be gone in three years. I'd say the best bar near campus is Cousin Hugo's. Great, cheap burgers and fairly inexpensive drinks. If you go there for lunch on a nice enough day, you can get some of their BBQ which always smells tantalizingly good on my way by it if I happen to be headed that way in the middle of the day.

Best Spot for Weekend Breakfast

Einstein's Bagels. They do breakfast okay, but I hate their lunch. But their breakfast is pretty good. Or, failing that, use your meal plan at Marletto's. If you dare.

Best Laid-Back Student Hang Out

Well...there's really only the one student center, and it's being encroached upon by the small but noticeably growing Jockocracy that infests that side of campus. But I guess that'd be the place, the Student Center. They have a Blimpie and a place to get smoothies, and a giant television, and computer terminals and comfy couches. Sure. Why not.

Best Student Section

Um...let me see...student section? I guess by Chris' blog that's defined as the section at a sporting venue where the students sit. students go to games?

Best Pre-Game Spot

Okay...I know this list was made by Sports Illustrated, but come on! Pregame spot? We don't even have a game spot!

Biggest Reason For Excitement on Campus

Surfacing. Definitely Surfacing. Also, the Roots are coming for Springfest. Last year we had, like, Edwyn McCain or someone like that.

Best Week To Visit Campus

The week that Surfacing is happening. Or, failing that, Springfest. Nothing like the drunken debauchery that is the U of M's Spring Jam, we have a mild buzz all week from the imported beer we drink and a contact high from the smoke drifting out of the art building, and we groove to some music and forget to do our homework on Wednesday night, but other than that, it's pretty calm. Unless you're a member of the Jockocracy. Nobody can explain it, but they get super excited about Springfest and drink lots of Bud Light, and then run around the campus yelling, "Damn!" It's a little weird.

Best Off-Campus Hangouts

The aforementioned Hugos, and also Coffee Cartel in the Central West End is kind of the meeting place for all the cool kids from Webster U, Washington U and St. Louis U to gather and make fun of all the Lindenwood U, Fontbonne U and UMSL kids who are afraid they'll get mugged and run into the Starbucks across the street. The Loop is always worth a stop, and Maplewood is a happening place with new clubs and stuff. Washington Avenue is nice, if you're in that financial league. But if you're a freshman and you don't know much about St. Louis, just stick to walking to Old Orchard and going to McDonalds. Trust me. Woo yeah.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Surfacing Update and A New Link!

For those who were wanting it, here's an update on the play. Our first casting session was very disappointing. We only had ten people show up, and of those ten, only four struck me as right for any of the roles in my play. One of the guys, and three of the girls, two of which would have been great in the role of Edna (the old lady), and one of which would have been great for Melissa...until she said she was not comfortable reading a bit of dialogue (the bit that made me want to cast her in the role of course...) because that part is, um...have you ever seen When Harry Met Sally, most specifically, the scene in the deli, where Rob Reiner's mother says "I'll have what she's having"? Yeah. It's kinda like that.

And then, our second session got cancelled due to bad weather. So we had to wait a week, and then we had to contend with a basketball game.

Since when do students at Webster University care about/go to basketball games? I mean...the type of people who would audition for surfacing? It's just weird. To me, anyway. Maybe not to you.

But, we got enough people to cast all six plays (only one person doubled up on roles, the guy I wanted from the first night). We didn't get the exact cast we wanted, but we got the Edna, Delivery Man and Melissa I wanted. We got our third choice for Ben, but that's because our first choice for Ben was everybody's first choice for something. So, should be good. Rehearsals start after spring break. The show is April 18, 19 and 20 at the Loretto Hilton theater, downstairs in the black box theatre (possibly set up as a theatre in the round, which could cause problems for some of the shows but we'll work around it).

Okay, so, there's your update. And now, let me point out some new stuff. First off, I removed a couple of links from my list, most notably Memory Machine's Urban Exploration blog and Alan's Sports blog, because neither of them had been updated in quite some time. I set up a new poll so you can all help me shape my spring break plans. And I added a new link: Whiskey Tastes Better When You Have Problems. Written by my old room mate Chris, it's got all your information on Gopher Football and the daily life of an unemployed Minnesotan you could desire. Go check him out. Tell him Elliot sent ya.

It's 60 here. Last week, it was ice storming. Go figure.