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Topeka’s guide to art, entertainment, lifestyle + local flavor

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Vol. VI Issue VI January 15 - February 29, 2012

Urban Cuisine + Martini Bar

“The ultimate dining experience.”


Mon - Fri: 11 am - 2 pm


Mon - Thu: 5:30 - 8:30 Fri & Sat: 5:30 - 9:30

ay D s ’ e n i ent l a V y p ap ra fo Join us ner din special

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m ak e res er vati


4005 Gage Center Drive 785.271.8646 • photo by Lydia Barnhart




BoURBoN PECAN ChICkEN organic chicken, flamed with bourbon, served with toasted pecans and an organic honey sauce served with market fresh sides


The definition of the neighborhood bar... Locally owned. Local ingredients. Local, friendly staff and patrons.

PESTo CREAm ShRImP grilled tiger shrimp, served over handmade linguini with our house made, delicate pesto alfredo sauce CENTER CUT FILET mIGNoN hand cut center filet, sliced and glazed in a zinfandel reduction and gorgonzola cheese. Served medium with market fresh sides

M - F: 11a - 3p / W - SAT 5p - 10p | 5th + KS 232.6726 |

Stop by tomorrow and try out our American comfort food for lunch! Open daily at 10 am. Serving breakfast all day! 37Th STreeT by WALmArT | 246-6866 | FAn uS On Fb @AbigAiLS.TOpekA


seveneightfive magazine Jan 15 - Feb 29, 2012 | Vol. VI Issue VI

Kerrice Mapes

| in this issue |

Poetry Editor

Dennis Etzel Jr.

Weekender Editor

Rio Cervantes-Reed


Marketing Specialist

3 history geeks - celtic fox 8 extreme gyms: strength guild + the shop 11 the Pope, the President and the alligators 16 v-day: single and ready to mingle

Rio Cervantes-Reed


Kerrice Mapes + Rio Cervantes-Reed

Layout / Illustrations

Aymen Ghali Amanda Reynolds Kerrice Mapes



Tommy Anderson Amber Bonnett Regina Budden Robin Cremer Tony Davis Dennis Etzel Jr. Cale Herreman Larissa Keller Gary Piland Matt Porubsky Patrick Porubsky Rio Cervantes-Reed Kevin Reed Josh Rouse Melissa Sewell Boone Smith Macie Smith Michelle Ullom Tom Wah Janice Watkins Erin Wynkoop

2 brunch at java bar 4 BEER: ale alchemist + mug shot 15 abigail’s grill + bar 22 quincy plaza - cultures collide 26 Monster - behind the bar ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

14 5Q - Slow Ya Roll 21 poetry - blue island review 25 for the love of vinyl 28 hole in the wall

seveneightfive direct


Tiffany Bonnewell EJ Drake Amber Farmer Adam Koger Gary Krohe Colin MacMillan Josh Rouse

subscription for only $20 a year

P.O. Box 750491 Topeka, KS 66675 Subscribe online:


Rio Cervantes-Reed Larissa Keller Jill Lira Kara Garcia


Liz Bell

Bar WArs

Jared Hitchens

seveneightfive is a free lifestyle magazine highlighting entertainment, art, local businesses + more in Topeka. Disclaimer: seveneightfive strives for accuracy in all of our materials, regrets errors, but cannot be held responsible. We recommend contacting venues to confirm dates and events (sometimes they change).


|on the cover|

Aymen Ghali


Aymen Ghali, lead guitar for Soul Rebel and the Beast is an accomplished musician as well as a graphic designer. Flexing his muscles previously with poster design and ads for Tailgators, Aymen’s pursuit for all things creative lead him to seveneightfive. And we’re happy it did. By day, Aymen can be found teaching music lessons at Manning Music and at night, co-hosting the Wednesday night “All Star Jam” at College Hill, practicing with either Soul Rebel or Gypsy Jazz or just hanging out with a Stella, no doubt creatively brainstorming his next big project. This is Aymen’s first cover design for seveneightfive, fitting for his passion for vinyl. Look for more from this creative talent in the near future and make sure to check out Soul Rebel and The Beast at the Granda on January 28. [see ad above] photo by Nique Prokop | | See her work in the March issue of seveneightfive

menu proclamation • one item from a local restaurant

menu proc ladies who brunch

@java bar


s a seveneightfive gal, there are not many things that will get me out of bed before noon on a weekend. However, when it involves a new breakfast menu at the Java Bar, located in Ice + Olives, SE 29th & Croco Road, a few other seveneightfive girls and I made an exception. I’ve “proclaimed” about the Cuban sandwich at I+O before, but when I found out they were serving breakfast I was giddy with delight. Their bistro specials and brunch items are made fresh and light, perfect for my girlfriends who are now “ladies who brunch.” We sampled a variety of dishes (why you go with four people taste, pass and repeat) but hands down, the winner was the European Breakfast. Two eggs, any style (I take mine over-medium) with ham, smoked salmon or bacon (I chose the ham); potato latke (ask for a

Upcoming Events for YPs Government Brown Bag FREE / Drinks provided, bring your own lunch

Wednesday, February 8 | noon - 1p 1200 SW Executive Drive

Insiders Series Members FREE / Guests $10

Wednesday, January 18 | 5:30 - 7pm

Extreme Recycling | 712 SW Topeka Blvd., Building 3

Thursday, February 2 | 5:30 - 7pm Bimbo Bakeries | 5005 SW Wenger St.

Monthly Networking Socials Members FREE / Guests $5

Jan. 26: Senate Luxury Suites Feb. 16: Orange Leaf YP Summit | April 5 Ramada Convention Center

Fast Forward is a program of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce designed to offer young professionals a place to socialize, network and grow in leadership potential through a variety of yearly programs. For more information or to RSVP: 2

by Kerrice Mapes • photos by Rio Cer vantes-Reed

Java Bar @ Ice + Olives 3627 SE 29th St | 29th + Croco Shops at Thunderbird Square 215.8460 Brunch: Sat & Sun: 8a - 1p View full menu at:

side of sour cream) and a spinach and mushroom sauté with tomato, toast and fresh fruit was divine. The eggs were cooked to perfection without the massive amounts of butter you find elsewhere, and my introduction to potato latke didn’t leave me disappointed. However, it was the little touches that really won me. The fresh fruit acted as dessert and the spinach and mushroom sauté with tomato was divine. The Java Bar has weekly brunch specials including quiche and Sandi Busch (co-owner) promises me eggs benedict that will have me writing another menu proclamation. Regular menu items include a lox and bagel platter, French toast, Spanish breakfast (eggs, chorizo, tortilla) and their breakfast wrap (eggs, spinach, mushroom, tomato and Gruyere cheese, served with pico de gallo). As they say, location is everything, and Java Bar is perfectly located for easy shopping at Ice & Olives and Lakeside Wine & Spirits while you wait, or you can grab get a hot cup of PT’s coffee and hold your table down. Weekend breakfast is served from 8a until 1p on Saturdays and Sundays. For a printable menu visit the website at While you’re there, sign up for their newsletter, which will give you a heads up on off-menu breakfast specials and more. aseveneightfive



coming soon

submitted by Debbie Bisel SCHS

a little Guinness with your law books The Washburn University School of Law opened in 1903. . . in the Celtic Fox. Finding a group of law students inside the Celtic Fox Irish Pub, 118 SW 6th Street, is not that unusual, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Finding a group of attorneys in the Irish pub is not unusual either, especially during the legislative session. Finding either group actually studying in this building is astounding! Not so in 1903. There were 41 eager students in that original class, climbing the stairs to the third floor. If they were fortunate enough to be near the windows, they would have had a commanding view of the Capitol where many of them, no doubt, hoped they would be working some day. Otherwise, their view consisted of huge, cubby-holed desks, reminiscent of Bob Cratchitt. Since many of the upper windows were missing, pigeons roosted anywhere they fancied. It was a mess and the desks were too large to remove when Fox Builders and Real Estate purchased the property in January, 2002. So Mike Fox kept the law school‘s large furnishings, though not in tact. “They were 14 or 15 feet long,” said Mike Fox, “too big to take out of the building. So we cut them down and rebuilt them. We used them.” While the Celtic Fox Irish Pub occupies the first floor of both 118 and 116 SW 8th Street, the second floor of 118 is a photography studio and there are lofts on the third floor and above the dining rooms on the 116 side. Each one features a piece of the original Washburn Law School. When the buildings were purchased, Mike decided to connect them with a stone-lined arch that looks as if it has been there for decades. For several years, there was also a business/secretarial school on the second floor while law was taught on the third floor.

FRESH: Recipes from RowHouse These recipes came to the plate here in our little kitchen. All of the pictures are of our plates just like they are served—no stunt doubles, no pretend food. It was all made with a lot of love, a little luck and a pinch of salt. greg fox | owner of RowHouse

According to the Kansas State Historical Society, the law school moved to 725-727 Kansas Avenue in 1911. A couple of years later, it outgrew that space and went to 211 SW 6th Street before moving to Washburn’s Main Campus in 1918. By the way, tuition in 1903 was $50 per year -- about the same amount as today’s bar tab for some lawyers who stop by their favorite pub to argue legal points or to escape the stresses of the profession. After a variety of businesses occupied these quarters, The Celtic Fox opened in September, 2003, almost exactly 99 years after the law school was founded. The ever optimistic and industrious Mike Fox thinks he could still find some room to house a law school should Washburn University decide to return to its downtown roots. Who knows? Perhaps a work-study plan would find law students serving Guinness and Jameson to pay their tuition. aseveneightfive

This may be the architect’s first rendering of the building in 1880s. Compliments of Mike Fox.

avail a at Ro ble only wHo use

ale alchemist + mug shot • it’s all about the beer

beer+ russian imperial stout


know imperial (like causing impairment) is not a word and I know that our winter has been extraordinarily mild but if you want something to warm you up try this. This strong heavy ale was originally produced in England for export to royal Russian court. It is high in alcohol (>9%), loaded with hops, and not for the amateur beer drinker. If you are not interested in brewing this recipe and waiting at least six months for aging I recommend three commercial brews: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by the Northwest Brewing company, Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout by Leinenkugel or the seasonal Imperial Stout at the Blind Tiger. I typically like to mention a food pairing with these brews but not today. Today this is the meal. Bottoms up my friends.. aseveneightfive

Russian Imperial Stout 5 gallon batch • • • • • • • • •

12 lb Dark malt extract 0.5 lb chocolate malt 0.5 lb black patent malt 0.5 lb roasted barley malt 3 oz Cascade hops (60 min boil) 2 oz Fuggle hops (1 min boil) 2 packs of ale yeast 1 pack of champagne yeast to add to secondary fermentation 1/2 cup corn sugar for priming

Patrick is a Topeka native with chemistry degrees from Washburn and KU. He currently works as compound curator and purification chemist at KU and is an part-time adjunct professor at Washburn. He loves spending time at his family’s deli with his wife, son and little one on the way.

mug shot

A quick word about beers found around town. by Kevin Reed


t is unfortunate there are things we have no control over. For instance, the playoffs are in full swing and the Kansas City Chiefs are nowhere to be seen. While our spirits may be rattled as our favorite teams fall, they can be soothed by the choice of our favorite beers. Whether you are watching the game from your sofa or at a sports bar, the right kind of food and beverage can make it a more pleasurable experience. The Horizon Red Ale, India Pale Ale and Extra Pale Ale from Summit Brewery of St. Paul, Minnesota, all add a nice touch to traditional appetizers and main courses. Since the Midwest is known for our barbeque, I recommend Summit’s Extra Pale Ale for those who like to tear into a slab of ribs. The light bronze color and caramel finish provide a nice balance to spicy rib sauce, or a sweet complement to honey-tinged sauces. The earthy hop bite and juice citrus contributed to the Extra Pale Ale’s Gold medal win at the 2010 World Beer Cup, and a silver medal win at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. Summit’s India Pale Ale is the beer of preference for your chicken wings, potato skins and fried pickles. The spicy herbal hops and slight caramel sweetness of the IPA is also due an introduction to your platter of nachos, or if you dare, chicken satay. By now I am sure you are wondering, “What about pizza?” Mmmmm, pizza... Mmmmm, beer... The Horizon Red Ale, “Brewed with Exceptional American Hops,” as the label boasts, has a deep amber hue and intense apricot, pine and grapefruit notes that holds up to the red tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and the pile-up of spicy pepperoni and any added peperoncini or jalapenos. I hope you can take some of my recommendations as a starting point for discovery into the line of brews by Summit Brewing Co. While your team pines for that coveted ring, you can always choose how to toast their effort. Cheers!

Meet the Brewer!

Pigskin’s, 2833 SW 29th (Brookwood Shopping Center) invites you to join them Tuesday, January 24 from 8 to 11p. Summit Brewery Co. representatives will treat you to tastings of their Extra Pale Ale, winner of the Gold Medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup and the Silver Medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. You might try Summit Oatmeal Stout on tap (“Beer of the month”) at Henry T’s.


bud light goes platinum


our first hint that Bud Light Platinum is different than regular Bud Light is the brilliant blue bottle. Your second hint... well, there is no second hint. Our blind taste test didn’t find any taste difference between BL and the Platinum version. So why bother switching? What if I told you the alcohol content is higher? Oh, got your attention there. Bud Light Platinum’s Alcohol by Volume is 6%, where as Bud Light’s ABV is 4.2% (Budweiser is 5%). If you are a regular light beer drinker, you can still enjoy the crisp freshness of a Bud Light with Bud Light Platinum. And as always, please drink responsibly. Bud Light Platinum will be debuting at your liquor stores and bars just in time for the Super Bowl. [National sales begin Monday, January 30. Look for your cool seveneightfive bars to carry this come SB time] aseveneightfive

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chili cook off

ANNUAL CHILI COOK OFF SUPERBOWL SUNDAY February 5 Skivies Bar & Grill 921 S. Kansas | 234.0482 Judging at 3:30p / Eating starts after

A BENEFIT FOR POSITIVE CONNECTIONS (TOPEKA AIDS PROJECT) 100% donated $5.00 DONATION for all you can eat. To enter: See bartender for registration sheet, deadline is Feb. 3rd. 15 entries is the max, so don’t delay. $5 entry fee. Must make one crock pot of chili to enter. Go to Skivies for more information. Prizes awarded.

silent film festival

February 24 - 25 | FREE Featuring entertainment for movie lovers of all ages. Go to for full movie lineup.

waiting room January 13 - March 15 Alice C. Sabatini Gallery | TSCPL

“The Waiting Room: Lost and Found,” is an interactive installation examining women’s health. Visitors will view distinct sculptural chairs that serve as symbols for a particular health issue. Coincides with the release of the book, “A Waiting Room of One’s One,” compiled and edited by Sarah Smarsh, assistant professor of English at Washburn. For more info, go to

sic Ba s ’ 3 n Me ut $1 C

& ut $20 C c si m Ba Tri ard r Be azo R ht 20 aig es $ r t S hav S $120) s Ki(dup to 1 sic Ba p s ’ u n me 0 & Wo ts $2 Cu

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e lleg t o & C un ry disco a t li t Mi den u t s

Debonaire’s All Types of Hair


Shop 611 SE Carnahan Ave


8:30am -5:30pm Tues - Thur 7am- 5:30pm Fri - Sat

seen + noted

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Don’t miss a beat. Get all your music and art info sent to your email weekly. Sign up at (Click on icon that you see to the left.)

jam for social justice by Rio Cervantes-Reed


gnorance is truly bliss. Whether you’re a working-class hero, or a battling it out in a dog-eat-dog world, maybe a hard-studying (and hard-partying) student, a homemaker taking care of the kids, or a lucky one leading a life of leisure, it’s easy to become complacent about some of the tragedies going on in the world around you. So imagine how shocking it is when you learn some of these tragedies can occur in your own community. For eight years the Social Justice League of Washburn University has organized the WU Slavery Awareness week. Along with the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice they will hold several events this year to raise your awareness about slavery, focusing on what’s going on right here in Kansas. To expand your awareness and learn more about what you can do to advocate against human trafficking and modern day slavery, consider attending any or all of the following events: Feb. 24 | 7:30p | WU Andrew J. & Georgia Neece-Gray Theater | Performance of, “Ruined,” the Pulitzer-winning play by Lynn Nottage, who wrote the piece after traveling to Africa to interview refugee women who had been victimized by the war in Congo. February 25 | Celtic Fox | Freedom Project Showcase | 3-5p Jam for Justice | 5p February 27 | 7p | WU Campus, Henderson Resource Learning Center, Room 100 ”Not My Life,” a documentary on global human trafficking, highlighting a Kansas case. February 28 | 7p | Henderson, Room 100 KS Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board Panel Discussion Jam for Justice line-up is: 5p | Bridges 6:30p | Chris Aytes & The Good Ambition 8p | Alexander and The Grates 9:30p | Ellie Smith & The Commotion 1p | Cowboy Indian Bear




n an Friday night last November, over 100 people stopped in at the Boobie Trap, at 6th + Washburn to look at and listen to eight regional and musical acts as they took their turns on stage for the inaugural LOUDsoftLOUD live event. seveneightfive was there, and we were very impressed with the turn out and the talent of the night. If you regret missing it, (and if you weren’t there, you should regret it) you have another chance. Chris Aytes (of Chris Aytes & the Good Ambition) has scheduled a winter edition of LOUDsoftLOUD for Friday, February 17, downstairs at the Kansan Grill, 705 S Kansas Avenue, beginning at 8p. According to Chris, “The goal is to feature the local and regional music talent, and also the venues where these performances can take place. Topeka has all the makings for a great music scene.” The line-up for LOUDsoftLOUD winter includes Jeff Toda, Joey Desch, Aaron Lee Martin (Wichita), Valenteen Green, Interior Sea, and Chris Aytes & the Good Ambition. The cover charge for this all-ages show is $5, with a discount for high school and college students with their school identification. aseveneightfive

monster winner

Valentine’s Day because love isn’t complicated enough.

Congratulations to Nathan Biester, the winner of the online vote for Monster drink of the month. Learn a little bit more about this innovative bartender. In three words, how would you describe your bartending style? Experimental, Megatronic, Fast. Who would you most like to have a drink with? Thad Castle, Bill Murray, and Ke$ha. Where are you most likely to be found when you’re not in this bar? Crestview Park, Lake Shawnee, or laying in bed watching Netflix. Best hangover cure? Blueberry Pomegranate Gatorade, Pizza Rolls, sleep til noon. Favorite drink to drink? I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with best bros.....MOJITOS. Favorite drink to make? Chocolate Martinis actually...I get to draw stuff with chocolate how fun is that! Worst pickup line you’ve ever heard? Yeah, I’m gonna be a lawyer, you should give me your number so I can help you out someday. Most unusual liquor you’ve ever seen? Wide Eye Mango Chili. Drunk food of choice? Panchos Chicken Chimichanga! aseveneightfive “Oprah Winfrey” - Winning Monster Recipe by Nate Biester What’s in it: SoCo | 3Olives Cherry | Blue Curacao | Grenadine Sour Mix | Sprite | Blue Monster “The Color Purple”

Congrats to Jamie at Oscars for taking 2nd place with her Coffee Cake recipe and Marty at Pigskins came in 3rd with his Jailbait shot.

Coming Soon

Make it less coMplicated. Make it hilarious at “laughing Matters.” February 10 & 11 Laughing Matters Late Night Show Tickets $10 Call 357-5211 * tickets typically sell out early

Fresh Fish & Seafood Shop

SEAFOOD THYME Gage Village (b/w Skinnys & Juli’s) | 7

Extreme gyms

p h o t o s b y G a r y K r o h e • “ T h e S h o p” b y L a r i s s a K e l l e r “Strength Guild” by Amber Bonnett

it’s a philosophy:


by Amber Bonnett

“We laugh together, we lift together, we learn together, and at times we party together.”


Strength Guild

3532 SE 2nd St. 707.373.7566 General classes: monthly unlimited $75 Personal training (call) Drop-in; 1 day $10 / First class FREE

he history of physical training is a long and colorful story. Ancient Greeks built gymnasiums as not only a place for physical training, but as a social arena in which members engaged in athletic, intellectual, educational, spiritual, and philosophical pursuits. Hercules, son of Zeus, the Greek champion of Olympians, held amongst his attributes courage, strength, ingenuity, and supreme sexual skills. In fact, the word “gymnasium” is a tribute to the gods, entomologically stemming from the word gymnos, meaning “naked,” as a tribute to the beauty of the human body and physical and mental health. True to the spirit of the origins and the idealism of the 8

Phillip and Sarah opened Strength Guild last September with the intent to help others transform their bodies and their lives in ways that have helped them transform their own. “The day I was able to love me in my own skin I had the desire to pass that on to at least one more person,” says Sarah. Originally from Topeka, Phil has spent the last decade working in the fitness industry as a student and coach all over the world. Record holding athletes in Washington D.C., Thailand, Phoenix, and Montana all contributed to his education. Sarah has over a decade of experience coaching and training as an athlete herself. An accomplished endurance athlete who runs 100 mile Ultra Marathons, her latest venture is competing as an Olympic lifter. Strength Guild is anything but generic. It holds itself to a stylish and honest philosophical core. “Strength Guild [the website www.] came about two years ago as a backlash against all that is wrong with the fitness industry as a whole. An industry full of misinformation and snake oil salesman. A world full of fly by night so-called coaches who on Friday are regular Joes and by Sunday evening after a weekend course and paying their financial dues have purchased the right to put the name “trainer” or “coach” by their name though they have little to no education, time under a bar or credibility. We have seen a huge decline in such in the meaning of the word coach and for those who are real coaches its sad and frankly an insult to the profession,” says Phil. “You wouldn’t let your local tree trimmer cut your hair would you?” For these two, it is a lifestyle that they are passionate about, about their profession and their people. “We always love when we see one of our new people come in and go from couch potato to two

“What you will never see is a treadmill, mirrors, carpet, and pink dumbbells.” This gym boasts efficiency and simplicity.

months later they are smiling and competing next to us and the others in an Olympic meet. We don’t want or need everyone to come here. We want those with a passion and joy for it. People that add to the group, not drag it down. Other than that we of course are working on full teams in varied strength sports for those interested and the ability to keep bringing monthly contests and more awareness of strength and fitness to a town in need of it. That and all the while sticking to our guns and not changing to fit the status quo… What you will never see is a treadmill, mirrors, carpet, and pink dumbbells.” This gym boasts efficiency and simplicity. Free weights comprise a large amount of their tools, along with four platforms, squat racks, cage, Strongman equipment, ropes, cars, kegs, and tires. There is a half mile running trail and five acres that is ever evolving to help people reach their goals. “Most importantly, a strong core group to help progress and support you headed by two very accomplished and competent fun loving coaches.” “Strong competent women is really where it’s at! But the downside to it, is my hubby now knows I can lift and move weight without a problem...I can’t pawn off the moving of furniture on him,” says Sarah. What kind of students gravitate to Strength Guild? High school kids, SWAT team members, firefighters, amateur and professional athletes and grandpas. “Anyone can be a great fit if they have a desire to progress, learn and find joy in getting stronger and perfecting a craft. If you are serious about making a positive change in your life or have aspiration to be the best you can be at something or just need a few instructional sessions give us a ring if you feel you can fit in to our group. If you are a good fit you and we will know it real fast and the other facility members will support you full on day and night. If you are not into learning, into earning your stripes before you are let loose a bit or if your are into paying your penance on a treadmill, this isn’t your place. We would gladly point you elsewhere. If, however you have a real passion for fun, progress, learning, then come join us.” aseveneightfive >>continued on next page

lifestyle • two local gyms push your body to the extreme

word, Strength Guild inspires its members to pursue not only physical prowess, but provides a learning environment as well. What makes this gym special? “Nudity, Ha! That’s an inside joke but it does happen at times. Competent coaches with a real joy in seeing you learn and succeed at your own chosen goals, the ability not only to tell you what to do but the wisdom and education to tell you why and how so you are growing mentally as well as physically. That and a core group of like minded people that are there to support you as well,” says Phillip Stevens, co-owner with his wife Sarah.

results are painful


by Larissa Keller


hen I first walked into The Shop, it reminded me of a small hangar built to work on cars or store airplanes. The floor is concrete, with jigsaw mats covering one half, and a few flat benches, rowing machines, and pull-up bars along one wall. Why so much open space? Shouldn’t a fitness center have treadmills and every weightlifting machine and free-weight imaginable? Not for the workouts held at The Shop. Nearly every attendee for the 5p workout at The Shop was wearing a shirt that reads “Results are Painful” on the back. By the end of the hour-long workout, every sweat-soaked member leaning against the wall or sitting on a tractor tire, trying to recover, was the epitome of that slogan. “I enjoy the results, and I enjoy the...well, it’s painful” Steve Lobell, member, said with a grin on his face. The warm-up consisted of shuttle runs (remember running across the gymnasium floor picking up chalkboard erasers?), lunges, and push-ups. Immediately following the warm-up, three trainers supervised the members while they performed a mini version of the workout of the day (WoD), ensuring proper form was used to avoid injury. After the members were ready, Scott Cole, co-owner of The Shop, started the timer that was mounted on the wall. The workout began. Some members started struggling at the beginning, some made it halfway through before their bodies started to deteriorate, but by then end, everybody was completely spent. Trainers provided encouragement through the entire workout, correcting the members when their form started to slip. As members finished, they stood next to those still working out, shouting “you can do it!” The workouts are performed in heats: three people performed the WoD, and when they finished, four new people started the workout. After a five minute break for the first group, tire-flipping began. Three members had to flip tractor tires a total of 100 times. When they were done, they were huffing, their shirts were soaked through with sweat, but they were all smiles. “The best thing about it is mentally it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Halfway through the workout, you’re doubting yourself, and then you have everybody supporting and rooting for you and cheering for you, and it makes you go and you keep going and then you finally get to the end and say ‘I did it,’” Michelle Rose, member, says after the brutal workout.

The Shop

One of the goals of the trainers and members at The Shop is to constantly improve their fitness abilities through pushing their bodies as far as they can go. Their website lists their workouts as containing “sprinting, jumping, lifting, running, carrying, dragging, and throwing.” Members never know exactly what the WoD will consist of until they get to the gym, but they know it will push their bodies, making them even better. aseveneightfive


The Shop

Larissa’s WoD: • • • • • •

10 deadlifts 20 wall ball throws 10 hang power cleans 20 kettlebell swings 10 front squats 20 box jumps

• • • •

10 push-presses 20 pull-ups 10 back squats 20 burpees

5614 D South Topeka Blvd. 925.3791 - Scott Cole Learn more about the workouts + the trainers.

obtain what you desire 2601 SW 17th St

Call Theresa @ Envy today! 233-5577


14-day wear • No chip • Mirror Finish



by Elizabeth Lumpkin

the Pope, the President, and the alligators

President Obama is giving a speech in Osawatomie on Tuesday...” I vigorously shook Jack awake well before dawn on a Sunday morning in early December. “He’s giving a speech in Osawatomie this Tuesday!”

Jack rolled over and one eye creaked open a millimeter. “Hez wat?” “The President’s giving a speech in Osawatomie on Tuesday! Tickets are being handed out today, first come first serve! C’mon get up!” Jack was nonplussed. “Jon Bon Jovi is not dead. Justin Bieber is not anybody’s Baby Daddy. And the President is not giving a speech in Osawatomie in 48 hours. Quit believing everything you see on Facebook.” Snoring sounds soon rumbled around the room, mocking me for waking him up before dawn on a Sunday. Against his better judgment, Jack was finally pried, objecting, from his warm nest and propelled out into the cold dark morning, both of us bundled in clothing suitable for Mt. Everest. There was sure to be a line for the tickets and Kansas winters can be unkind. We spent hours standing outside in the cold waiting for our tickets, and even more hours standing in line two days later, waiting to get into the high school gym where President Obama would give his speech. It gave me time to reflect on what compels people to make a departure from their day-to-day lives to go see a President or a Pope or a rock star, and most of all, how they remember the experience years later.


and the alligators cont. I saw the Pope once. I’m not Catholic. But with all the hubris

of youth, I had worked two part-time jobs during college, and used my earnings to set out on a $10-a-day exploration of Europe, and even travelled behind the Iron Curtain back when there actually was such a thing. One fine sunny afternoon, I was in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, staring with no small awe at Michelangelo’s Pieta and all of the other famous papal artifacts that had populated my Art History textbooks and classes in college. All at once there was a stirring, and a whispering that grew to a reverent murmur. Suddenly, Swiss guards swept past me perhaps 30 yards away, flanking a procession of Cardinals and other clergy. And there, visible for only a minute but frozen in my memory for an eternity, was Pope John Paul. You don’t have to be Catholic for such an experience to affect you. Unlike many other experiences that happened that summer, that moment in The Vatican has

ordinary people, surrounded by common Americans from all walks of life, I wondered how the non-VIPs, people like us, would remember the experience. And what insight we each might gain from it. Friends and acquaintances weighed in with their own memories of the famous and infamous, and filled in the blanks for me as I waited in line, fiddling with Facebook on my phone. “I think half or most of Topeka West all skipped school to go see Gerald Ford when he was here at the Capitol in 1975 or 1976.” -Tara Nicholas, Topeka I had forgotten Ford had been to Kansas in the mid-70’s, although I vaguely remember my Father and brother talking about it. Another friend had an even more specific memory of two Presidential visits to Kansas.

“I got to see Ford at the Capitol, and I drove a bus in Clinton’s entourage with all of the media (Wolf Blitzer, etc.) when he was here doing one of his town hall meetings, I believe it was in 1992. We ended During my own surreal hour, a mere 20 up at KCI on the tarmac for them to load on Air Force One. or 30 yards from the leader of the free We all got to meet The President world, watching him give a speech that and shook his hand. It was an experience I will never forget.” he hoped would resonate into history, -Charlie Barber, Topeka

what do I remember?

Another friend was not to be

never faded in my memory, even though it lasted only an instant and happened a quarter century ago.


As we stood in line to get into the Osawatomie High School gymnasium for the President’s speech, I watched as Bill Self and other well known dignitaries and luminaries were ushered past the line and into the VIP entrance. I wondered how these people, famous in their own right, would experience the meeting of a President of The United States, arguably the most powerful man on Earth. Would they, accustomed to being intimidating, feel intimidated? Would they hope to shake his hand? Would the President realize who these famous people were, or even care?

A colleague in the restaurant industry with me had an interesting memory of a brush with fame.

But most of all, as we stood in the line for

“I got to see Clinton’s airplane when I was in Idaho once!” -Beverly Biehl, Frisco, Texas

“Herman Cain stopped by my booth at the National Restaurant Association trade show once. Does that count?” -Richard King, Lawrence It seems even infamy, when it comes to brushes with presidents and presidential wannabes, is all good. What about politics? If seeing the Pope so moved me, despite my notable absence of Catholicism, does seeing the President make a difference to those who hold a difference

of political opinion with the man? Apparently, yes. “Love him or hate him... there is always something so amazing about being in the same room as our leader.” -Nicole Cherry, Topeka “At the time I met him I was not a Clinton supporter, but I can tell you the man had charisma like no one I’ve ever met, It was a very surreal experience,” -Charlie Barber Surreal was a good word to describe it, and one that was repeated over and over again as common people recounted their Presidential sightings. As President Obama strode across the stage to the podium that cold December day in Osawatomie, perhaps 20 yards from where I stood, it did feel surreal...or maybe like I had suddenly found myself trapped inside a CNN news clip. I half expected to see Helen Thomas waving her notebook and asking the President questions.

One Topekan’s experience seeing President Obama It seems like just about everyone has a memory or two of meeting someone important or famous or both, and how it affected them. “I think meeting or just seeing a President validates our feeling that we do have purpose in America. On the planet, really. He, or someday she, is a major figure in our lives and has the most powerful position in the world. I was in the crowd when Ford came to Topeka. My mom took me to see him and even excused me from school, and she was a Democrat.” -Brian Hodges, Topeka Even sentience doesn’t seem to be necessary for a memory of a Presidential sighting to linger. “I saw President Eisenhower when I was 3 months old. Obviously I don’t remember it but my parents were sure thrilled.” -Susan Hudgens, Topeka

A President is fallible. A President has similar hopes and dreams. Yet, I wondered why anyone would ever sign up for such a job.

Sometimes, a memory of a Presidential sighting marks a place in history, a snapshot in time before the world changes forever. “I saw President Kennedy at the Naval Academy in Maryland just a few months before the assassination.” -Pat Chambers, Owensville, Missouri “I shook hands with Truman when I was 10 years old. I also met Johnson at the old KC airport after he announced he was not running. There were only about 50 people there.” -John Stubbs, Topeka For some, the memory of a President is far more personal. “My grandparents worked for the Kennedys in Hyannisport and my mother worked on Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. It

was equally a great treasure meeting him.” -Jolene Malloy Savage, Topeka “My birthday is inauguration day, and I have seen Reagan and Clinton. I am sad I am missing President Obama.” -Maxie Havens, Topeka “I was at White Lakes when President Ford came to town. The President’s motorcade stopped and he came to the crowd. He shook my right hand and reached for my left hand. When I tried to shake that hand, my arm got caught in a photographer’s strap and I lurched towards the President. In half a second, I was on the ground and had a gun in my side. President Ford told the Secret Service to put me down and laughed and asked if I was OK. Seeing Presidents can be dangerous.” -Ron Marsh, Topeka Perhaps the most interesting insight into the effect of seeing a President came from someone who served as a member of a Presidential Security Detail. “One of the proudest moments of my life was directing a motorcade for George W. Bush. I’m really a patriotic bawl bag, so no matter your political affiliation, being in the same room with people like that makes you realize you’re one degree of separation from everyone really. And to be that close to the most powerful person in the world and be trusted to have a gun’s unbelievable. You almost expect to get sniped from 1,000 feet even though you are supposed to be there. It was surreal. But my most interesting Presidential moment was seeing the top of Bill Clinton’s head in a stairwell. For what it’s worth, he has a very well hidden bald spot.” So during my own surreal hour, a mere 20 or 30 yards from the leader of the free world, watching him give a speech that he hoped would resonate into history, what do I remember? What stands out? What will I carry around with me with more clarity than a photograph?

A President is fallible. I cringed when the President said how glad he was to be in Texas and quickly corrected himself. A President has hopes and dreams for the country that aren’t so different from the ones each of us hold for ourselves and our own families. It was clear the weight and responsibility of his office weighed heavily on him. He was distracted, ever so slightly, in a way that made me wonder about the things he deals with every day that will never be reported in the newspapers or make it into the history books. This President has a gaunt and slightly haunted look about him. I wondered if they all do when you see them up close. Or if the unprecedented economic meltdown, multiple wars, and ongoing daily threats from global terrorism had taken a greater toll than normal on this particular President. I wondered why anyone would ever sign up for such a job, let alone stick around for a rehire four years later. Jack, wide awake by now, provided insight. “I imagine that being the President is a calling,” he said. “It must take a depth of conviction, a religious conversion of sorts, that one is called to lead, called to be President.” I wondered why it seems every Presidential candidate is driven with that near-religious sense of destiny, but like a movie trailer that is better than the movie it advertises, seems far less convincing when you’ve paid your ten bucks for a ticket and you’re getting to the part in the popcorn bucket where it isn’t buttery any more. “It’s probably pretty tough to clean the swamp when you’re up to your ass in alligators,” said Jack. aseveneightfive


5Q: Five questions with Slow Ya Roll


Slow Ya Roll b y To m m y A n d e r s o n photo by Amber Farmer


low Ya Roll is the go-to band for variety. Justin Fowler, keyboard/vocals, and Brian Schmutz, guitar, prowled around from open mic night to open mic night looking for a bass player and a drummer. Destiny soon gave them Sean Walker, bass guitar, and David Hysten, drummer. Eventually, Elvin Graves, vocals/handpercussion, “snuck into the band” and they’ve been playing music for the past year. They’ve played around 50 shows in their short career and will be releasing their first album in early 2012. How would you describe your sound to someone who is deaf? Elvin: It’s feel good music; you can feel it even if you’re deaf. Sean: You feel it coming from a real place within us. David: Hard and soft… at the same time. Bryan: From the Soul. Justin: With sign language. Where is your favorite place to play a show? Justin: The Jazz House. It has the best sound and the best atmosphere. Elvin: Tailgators. We play there a lot and every time it feels good. Sean: Wherever there’s a crowd that’s really digging it and jamming out to the music. Bryan: Joletta’s. We got the best responses from people who have never heard of us. How would you describe your relationship with your instrument? Bryan: My guitar is like a kid; it’s part of me—I’d never give it up. Sean: My bass is like an old friend to me; I’ve had this for 11 years. Justin: I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my keyboard. Elvin: My tambourine is like my right hand man and my voice is like my soul. David: My drums are like a woman. You have to care for it, understand it, and love it.

Why Slow Ya Roll?

It just came to us ya know? When you’re having a hectic day, you’re moving a hundred miles and hour, and you’re all stressed out, you realize that you need to slow ya roll and live in the moment—taking it all in. Fan them on Facebook:Slow-Ya-Roll Look for their CD Release Party this March. What’s the greatest band killer, and how does one surpass it? Getting all the people in one place and finding people who are committed to the advancement of the band. We became more than bandmates; we became brothers. Also, you need to communicate, like in any team. You need to know what every player is up to, get over individual egos, and focus on the goal. Oh, and finding people with a sense of humor helps. Where do you derive your sound? All of our different back grounds in music. Justin comes from neo-soul and R&B, Sean came from classical and heavy metal, and Bryan came from punk. We blend our backgrounds with classical and contemporary funk, ska, reggae, and even pop to create a unique sound “derived” from the soul. aseveneightfive go to for the full interview and more photos

“the” neighborhood bar by Larissa Keller • photos by EJ Drake

Renovations help local couple finally find the perfect stop for their dream bar.


hen Dennis Parker, former owner of Scoreboard at 21st and California, discovered That Place was up for sale, he immediately told his stepson Frankie Saiya. Frankie, and his wife Abigail, had been planning a bar business for two years, but hadn’t found the perfect location. After tossing around ideas of sports bars, college bars, etc, they decided on a neighborhood bar, and knew “That Place” at 37th and Plaza Drive would be perfect. “It’s a great neighborhood. I’ve lived two blocks away since I was sixteen years old. I bought the house from my mom and I’ve lived there ever since… There’s a lot of great working class people in this neighborhood and that’s who we want to cater to,” said Frankie. There was one big obstacle with the building: the interior. From October 1st until November 16 (opening day), Frankie and Abigail, with the help of numerous friends, gutted the building and made it brand new. The atmosphere is clean and inviting, a drastic change from pre-Abigail days. Four layers of tint were removed from the outside

windows, allowing passer-bys to see all the work that has been done. Everything seen and unseen inside the building has been replaced. Even the wall in the women’s bathroom was moved to accommodate women larger than a size 0. (Gone are the days when your hip grazed the wall while doing your business.) The pool tables and cues are brand new, and pool leagues will start soon. The mirrors behind the bar might seem new, but they are one of the only remaining items not replaced. However, it did take hours to clean, and Frankie had the mirrors etched with beer names and Abigail’s logo.

for people to hang out. Join them for their grand opening on January 28.

Frankie and Abigail have many plans for the future as well. They hope to add on a smoker’s patio in the front of the building before summer, and would like to add a window by the kitchen to grill by the side of the building. Josh Vowell and The Rumble have an open jam on Sunday nights, and karaoke is on Wednesdays. Stay tuned for improvements and events, as Frankie and Abigail are striving to provide a great place

The effort that has been put into Abigail’s is well worth it. Take a seat at one of the brand new booths, and let the bartender bring you a menu and take your order. Frankie and Abigail are striving for a neighborhood feel with great food, great service, and great atmosphere, and every bit of work they have done so far is pointing right at success.

The bar has a kitchen big enough for Frankie and Abigail to cook good, fresh American comfort food. “If we can do fresh, we’re doing fresh. Our chicken tenders are handbreaded, hand-seasoned,” Frankie said. The fresh food doesn’t stop with the chicken tenders, either. The pork tenderloins have their own seasoning, and Frankie worked on the hamburger seasoning for over a year before getting the taste he wanted. The menu is still in the trial stage, and Abigail’s plans to offer new foods on a regular basis to get a feel for what the customers want.



lifestyle• valentine’s day

by Regina Budden * illustrations Amanda Reynolds

single + mingle

does being single in Topeka suck as much as the holiday?


ebruary 14. Third grade. The night before, my mom made me sit at the table going through a list of the people in my class, checking off names, matching a valentine for each person. My best friends got the coolest ones, the cards with the funniest jokes or the nicest messages. The nose-pickers and the “smelly ones” received the classic “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Choosing the right card for the right kid was difficult, almost stressful at 8-years-old. Unfortunately for some, the perils of Valentine’s Day never get easier. Specifically, for singles. Especially singles in Topeka. “I generally steer clear of dating anywhere around February,” said Barbara Wiggins, 43, executive director at Topeka Performing Arts Center. “I often go with my married friends to things on Valentine’s Day. I always try to make it into something that takes the pressure off of having a date.” Barbara, a single Topekan, is familiar with comments from married friends that can make Valentine’s uncomfortable, and she’s not alone. Melanie Lawrence, a 33-year-old civilian employee of the Kansas Highway Patrol, is also familiar with the stigma of Valentine’s. “In grade school you could give everyone little hearts, but now it’s definitely a couple’s exclusive holiday,” Melanie said. Joey Little, 37, a social media marketer who has lived most of his life in Topeka and also hosted a New Year’s Eve single’s mixer at Abigail’s Bar and Grill, recognizes the need for more single-oriented activities. “There’s culture in Topeka, but not a whole lot of culture-type things for single people,” Joey said. “You can go get a coffee or a Jäger-bomb, and that’s it.” Unfortunately the lack of single-specific activities has made the dating scene in Topeka fairly difficult. Barbara said the absence of single’s

mixers or social groups led her to join “It’s Just Lunch,” a matchmaking firm in Kansas City, to find dates. “If there are single’s groups in Topeka, I don’t know anything about them,” Barbara said. “Most of my friends are married, and their friends are married, so… I just don’t feel like I can find what I’m looking for in Topeka.” Melanie is involved in the Topeka Catholic Singles Fellowship, where she leads a book club. However, given that she is the only member under 40, she said that it hasn’t been a resource for dating. “The main idea there is that you can go out and try new things, go to new restaurants and businesses and you don’t have to try it alone,” Melanie said. “You…just have to be interested in the Catholic religion [to join]. But it’s common unity to find other people to go do something with.” Without many in-person singles activities, many turn to online dating, however Joey said he would usually avoid that as an option. “It sucks especially for women because they start getting texts from all these weirdos who just want pictures of …” Well, you get the idea. But the Topeka single’s scene is on the path of change, a change that is welcome to the unattached all over. “More households have pets now than children, and there’s definitely more people who aren’t living the traditional lifestyle,” Melanie said. “And there are definitely more people in their 20s and 30s that are choosing to make Topeka their home. There’s a younger movement that I think is rejuvenating things.” “Most of my friends got married right out of high school, and now they’re reaching the age where a lot of them are getting divorced and are newly single and are getting on Facebook looking for something new,” Joey said. This influx of single and newly-singles might mean the beginning of opportunities that Topeka businesses can take advantage of. Because many active social media users tend to be single, Joey said it would be easy to target the online community with Facebook parties and tweets. “You have a small group of businesses in Topeka that use Twitter and might tweet every once in a while, but businesses don’t utilize their social media to get people to their places,” said Joey. “It doesn’t have to be a bar or a coffee shop. I mean, Briggs Kia could put together a mixer with some snacks and drinks. People just have to be creative.” No matter what single Topekans do this Valentine’s Day, Melanie said it’s just important for people to figure out what that day means to them. “If you’re single, get your friends together, spend a day for self pampering or just find some way to show the people around you that you love them.” aseveneightfive

illustrations by Amanda Reynolds

7 things I love to do, and you should too! 1. Taking photographs 2. Listening to music 3. Love to DJ 4. Draw 5. Carolina Panthers 6. Seattle Washington 7. Going on random adventures 8 bars and eateries I tend to frequent, for obvious reasons. 1. Long Island Iced Tea at Topeka Sports Cabaret 2. Tip special at Grover’s 3. All the sushi at Sakura 4. Combination rice at Oriental Express 5. Cheesy potatoes at Lonnie Q’s 6. Pepperoni pizza at Glory Day’s 7. Pad Thai at Tup Tim Thai 8. Fried catfish at Cameron’s First Market 5 events you must attend, and if you do, you get to see me! 1. First Friday ArtWalk in NOTO - Feb. 3 2. Topeka Invitational Tournament at Highland Park High School - Jan 19 - 21 3. Living The Dream Banquet - Jan 14 4. My little brother’s basketball games Saturday mornings 5. My little brother’s karate tournament Jan 20 Get to know a seveneightfive staffer as they share their top picks, Topeka secrets and what they are absolutely into at the moment.

ArtsCONNECT First Friday Art Walk 1NIGHT | 40+ art shows

February 3 view map + gallery info

EJ - simple: Born and raised Topekan, always on the hunt for creativity and mental stimulation. 17


hn LIBRA Yer long, arduous journey is finally coming to an end. All the toil, suffering and sacrifice over at long last. Wait, that’s not until September. Nevermind.

LIBRA Yer long, arduous journey is finally coming to an end. All the toil, suffering and sacrifice over at long last. Wait, that’s not until September. Nevermind.

SCORPIO I’ve decided to give all the other signs a little breakYo thisChicken-dude, Lost my job. Lost my car. And month and not remind them how fabulous, gorgeousnow and I lost my girlfriend. How’s 2012 looking? Any hope? amazing all Scorpios Isn’t Signed, Rock Bottom that sweet of me?

SCORPIO I’ve decided to give all the other signs a little break this month and not remind them how fabulous, gorgeous and amazing all Scorpios are. Isn’t that sweet of me?

Dear Rock, SAGITTARIUS Face So, yer pretty darned sure - the job sucked, the car was junk and the girlfriend was Skanktoes is woolying the just looking for an excuse (aka, walnut wookie with he who is any guy with a pulse...) With all smelly? Again? Keep washing theyes, useless crap gone, 2012 is those hands, Bucko! (And I am the truly the king oflooking sick pretty great.- RR sexual euphemisms.) ____________________________

SAGITTARIUS So, yer pretty darned sure Ms. Skanktoes is woolying the walnut wookie with he who is smelly? Again? Keep washing those hands, Bucko! (And yes, I am the truly the king of sick sexual euphemisms.) CAPRICORN In a parallel universe yer a king or queen of something and waited on by scantily clad minions! Sorry, I guess Hooters will have to do in this universe.

LEO It’s a new year and time for a clean break with the past. No more late-night restaurant surprise bathroom love, Bucko! (Wait, was that yer New Year’s resolution for 2012 or 2013?)

ARIES CAPRICORN it’s cold and bleak and the In a parallel universe yerSo a king icicles are hanging like daggers or queen of something and over yer head. But Wynkoop don’t let yer compiled by Erin waited on by scantily clad sexillustration life spoil by theAmanda weatherReynolds for ya! minions! Sorry, I guess Hooters will have to do in this universe. TAURUS Admit it. I was right when I told AQUARIUS Once in a while it’s goodyatothings just were gonna get a lot easier when you-know-who lay back and watch theifclouds Don’t you want to know you are a “Downtown Julie bailed. Well, face it—yer a lot float by. Okay, boring but good. Brown”? @College Hill Tavern easier now, aren’t ya? PISCES We single girls don’t all you cute married ladies Fred called and he’sneed notGEMINI happy As promised, here’s yer tough about theinstains on his @Flying new swimming our pond. Monkey love: Stop making people feel leprechaun outfit. And no, they owe ya something they bleach andin diesel fuelbeen won’t I have never my life so enthralled by a mullet. don’t! I know yer a banker, but get them out. He tried that @ The Dugout no excuse! already. Write the check,that’s Bucko. ___________________________ CANCER Tequila Thursdays turn into WTF Fridays The best cure for insomnia? the Blue Guru? @Question The Dutchfor Goose While I realize yer never Great going sex and lots of it. Guess who’s to be totally sure I’ll keep yer still gonna be known as He looks like Jesus! Get him a Three Wiseman shot! Sleepless in Topeka for now? identity a secret (as if), ask @yerself Celtic which Fox is worse: Not LEO knowing the answer or having It’s a new year and time for a If yer youfriends have Jager Bombs + know ya askedwifi the- you have everything. clean break with the past. No @question? College Hill Tavern Email me! more late-night restaurant surprise bathroom love, Bucko! No___________________________ tea no shade. We have the right to refuse service to (Wait, was that yer New Year’s anyone. @Dutch Goose for 2012 or 2013?) * Astrological predictions are resolution about as

VIRGO Okay, I get it. Yer not into that sort of thing anymore. No more rubber underwear, ski masks or oily sheep for you! It’s only the straight and narrow from now on. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

timely as old presidential wannabes VIRGO risingNYE in theparty polls. Newt Gingrich’s Yeah, was so crazy I took a crap the next day Okay, I get it. Yer not into that time hasfoil come—AND and saw confettiGONE. in it! sort @Pigskins of thing anymore. No more Channelling Ronnie Reagan’s failed rubber pahleeeze! Been underwear, ski masks or Beeconomic sure topolicies, RT + Tweet @785HeardNoted with your oily sheep for you! It’s onlyallthe there done that. Not going back. favorite witty tweets you hear out-and-about Things have changed a little from straight and narrow from now 1984, Buckos. Or have they?-on. RR. Riiiiiiiiiiight.


Ruprecht Roosterdamus, The Psychic Chicken TM


2012 Yo Chicken-dude, Lost my job. Lost my car. And now I lost my girlfriend. How’s my 2012 looking? Any hope? Signed, Rock Bottom Dear Rock, Face it - the job sucked, the car was junk and the girlfriend was just looking for an excuse (aka, any guy with a pulse...) With all the useless crap gone, 2012 is looking pretty great.- RR ____________________________ ARIES So it’s cold and bleak and the icicles are hanging like daggers over yer head. But don’t let yer sex life spoil the weather for ya! TAURUS Admit it. I was right when I told ya things were gonna get a lot easier when you-know-who bailed. Well, face it—yer a lot easier now, aren’t ya? GEMINI As promised, here’s yer tough love: Stop making people feel they owe ya something they don’t! I know yer a banker, but that’s no excuse! CANCER The best cure for insomnia? Great sex and lots of it. Guess who’s still gonna be known as Sleepless in Topeka for now?


?*@! overheard out+about


AQUARIUS Once in a while it’s good to just lay back and watch the clouds float by. Okay, boring but good. PISCES Fred called and he’s not happy about the stains on his new leprechaun outfit. And no, bleach and diesel fuel won’t get them out. He tried that already. Write the check, Bucko. ___________________________ Question for the Blue Guru? While I realize yer never going to be totally sure I’ll keep yer identity a secret (as if), ask yerself which is worse: Not knowing the answer or having yer friends know ya asked the question? Email me! ___________________________ * Astrological predictions are about as timely as old presidential wannabes rising in the polls. Newt Gingrich’s time has come—AND GONE. Channelling Ronnie Reagan’s failed economic policies, pahleeeze! Been there done that. Not going back. Things have changed a little from 1984, Buckos. Or have they?- RR.

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Poetry Readings January 19 | 7p Bosco’s Blue Island Review Poets January 21 | 7p Blue Island Review Release Party The Raven January 22 | 5p Taproom, Lawrence Jen Tynes and Michael Sikkema January 27 | 7p The Raven Book Store Jo McDougall and Al Ortolani - Book Signing January 30 | 5p Ben Lerner Washburn Mabee Library If you would like to be informed of other Top City poetry readings, please look for me on facebook under “Top City Poetry Reading Series.”

blue island review

poetry + liturature


by Dennis Etzel Jr.

Katie Longofono and Mary Stone Dockety The Editors of Blue Island Review, a literary journal out of Lawrence, are hosting a special Topeka reading of those published in the latest issue. The event will be at Bosco’s at 7pm on Thursday, January 19, 2012. As Katie Longofono and Mary Stone Dockety are the editors, they are also terrific poets. Here is a sample of their work. Most of these poems are from Mary and Katie’s collaborative chapbook “Honey and Bandages.”


I shot you in the kitchen. It wasn’t fair; there was no shine to reflect my face, anxious, floating behind you. I let steel fade, gloss overrun by our grime and dust. I made sure you wouldn’t see. You held a knife, preparing our supper. It was loose in your grip and fell with a tinny clang when the bullet wedged in your ribs. I didn’t aim

to kill—just to nudge, to send you away for honey and bandages. I didn’t want to see your face so I took you from behind, kissed your shoulder. I knew you would slump there, against the counter for a moment. I went, quiet, leaving you with carrots, blood, dinner for one.

Traveling by CarMary Stone Dockery Black tongue highway spreads against edges of rock as if inside a bleeding mouth. Above, sky to crawl into, not out of, blue and lovely like a smooth preserved stone. We wing along the mouth of Colorado, lift within its hushed vowels, reel and spool its hidden consonants concrete edged thinking maybe boulders will fall for us smattering inside the mouth in shards like pieces of hard candy hot to touch


Mary Stone Dockery

Kansas was a loft we broke into one night driving on I-70, her fields empty rooms, dusty and waiting. We discovered her vacant when we ran out of gas, nothing but darkness opening before us, behind us, beside us. The flashlight batteries flittered, failed, and a dark ceiling swallowed us as we walked the shoulder of the highway, conscious of her darkness, its gloom and shadows a too-quiet space, your sundress scuffing my bare leg the only sound, a rasp, or was that your breath or mine, I can’t be sure. You said someone had forgotten to pay the light bill for Kansas, her scent all tumbleweeds, her foreshadow of wheat and soybeans a day-time promise. In the dark, nothing but obscurity, we felt her black sky nearer to us, it touched our skin, forcing us to whisper as if a child slept in the other room, and linking arms we found her darkness familiar, cozy, its mystery a home of its own. We knew in daylight her sky would be different, blue hues doming over browned and emptied fields, all indigo and premonition, her sky nothing more than a mirage, what we keep looking at because it begs us to, taunting us to reach for it.

>>go to to read more from each poet

local flavor • quincy street plaza | downtown topeka

quincy plaza downtown corner boasts local ethnic restaurants

collaboration by Josh Rouse, Richard Kelly + Rio Cer vantes-Reed, • photos by Adam Koger + Gary Krohe

cultures collide

by Josh Rouse


espite being a culturally diverse city, some areas of Topeka are notorious for ethnocentrism, the idea that one’s culture is superior to others. This is no more apparent than in restaurants, where fast food chains are champion and foreign foods often are turned down for more conventional and greasy - alternatives. Quincy Street Plaza, located at 10th and Quincy, has traditionally challenged the appeal toward American “cuisine,” instead hosting restaurants with a foreign flare. Since its grand opening in 2001, the downtown Topeka location has been a cultural melting pot, as businesses such as Lido’s Pizzeria, Giovanni’s Pizzeria and Cafe and Constantino’s Fine Italian Cuisine have been a key part of revitalizing the area, despite many of the businesses leaving shortly after setting up shop. Currently, the area is occupied by KS Daily Grind, Arturo’s Mexican Restaurant and Toucan Express Bar & Cuisine, as well as The Globe Indian Restaurant, which has been a mainstay of the area since 2002.



rturo’s Mexican Restaurant opened in 2006, in an area formerly occupied by Don Julio’s Mexican Restaurant, a Taco Tico and a Chevrolet service center, which was wiped out by the 1966 tornado, according to an interview with building owner Ted Scott in the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The Shop

5614 D South Tope 925.3791 - Scott C info@theshoptopek www.theshoptopek Learn more about t + the trainers. Arturo’s menu has many of the traditional Mexican favorites, including steak and pan fried tacos and fajitas, as well as a few dishes which are more rare in the Topeka area. “A lot of people come in for the tamales and the chili rellenos, which a lot of other restaurants don’t have,” said Alex. “The Saturday chicken and molé is very popular.” The restaurant is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, with hours from 11 am to 8 pm, and is within walking distance of several downtown businesses, including BSNF Railway Company, the Kansas Board of Regents and the Break Room.

Alex Caballero, an employee since 2009, said the restaurant received a lot of business from other businesses in the area and state employees.

“I think we’re really well-priced compared to a lot of the other Mexican restaurants,” said Alex. “A lot of the business that we get is people that come in almost three, four times a week for their daily lunch, so they need to find somewhere where it’s good and affordable for them.” Arturo’s offers a daily lunch special, but they do not have a full liquor license, so they can’t serve margaritas. All the alcohol they serve is bottled.

“Most of our business is during the lunch hour, a lot of the state people,” said Alex. “We mainly survive on them. Our nights are pretty quiet, downtown is pretty quiet in the evenings.”

“We have good food and cheap beer,” said Alex. “We don’t have margaritas, but everyone’s like ‘Wow, two bucks for Mexican beer, you can’t get that anywhere,’” and that’s every day.” aseveneightfive

+ the daily grind S

by Richard Kelly • photos by Gar y Krohe

ome people are willing to try where others have failed. The operators of KS Daily Grind can certainly attest to that.

Operating out of a quaint location at 1001 S.E. Quincy St. where Lido’s and Giovani’s pizzeria both operated in the last few years prior to their closings due to lack of business, Dwight Martin and Lisa Church opened KS Daily Grind Oct. 23. The duo hopes their unique version of an on-the-go coffee establishment provides them a steady business Originally, roasting coffee was a personal project of Martin. In fact, Dwight first tried his hand at brewing beer to no avail and he took to coffee following this. Ten years later, now living in Kansas, Martin decided it was time to test his coffee’s likeability with area residents.


Topeka Blvd. ott Cole bout the workouts

photo by Adam Koger

Quincy Street Plaza, has traditionally challenged the appeal toward American “cuisine,” instead hosting restaurants with a foreign flare

Qunicy Street Plaza The Globe | 117 SE 10th | 354.1500

Arturo’s Mexican Resturant | 105 SE 10th | 233.9000 KS Daily Grind | 1001 Quincy St. | 286.7633 Toucan Express | 1003 SE Quincy | 233.5900 Stuff’s Hair Salon | 123 SE 10th | 266.5559

Following the successful sale of his coffee at the Topeka Farmer’s Market last spring, Dwight and Lisa made the decision to open the business. Dwight and Lisa, the only two employees of the business, blend six types of coffee each day. The day I visited, they offered Costa Rican, Italian Roast Espresso, Papa New Guinea, Donut Blend, KS EF-5 and Decaf Colombian. I chose to test the Costa Rican and wasn’t disappointed. The smooth blend was not too strong but not too light. Asking for the favorite blend of the customers, Martin replied that he’s a coffee drinker who prefers darker blends but said the Costa Rican blend was the blend that customers love. Martin also shared that customers don’t realize that lighter blends often have more caffeine, which is a benefit customers are looking for.

quincy plaza cont. KS Daily Grind sends leftover food to the Topeka Rescue Mission and serves “Going to the Dogs” water - bottled Lindyspring water where proceeds are donated to the Humane Society. KS Daily Grind | M-F, 6a - 4p.

the daily grind cont. Lisa reaffirmed his statement, including that she loves her coffee with sugar and cream and that the Costa Rican blend compliments their creamers perfectly. When you grab a cup, you’ll originally be treated to a “no fluff ” version. But by allowing the customer to dispense the coffee themselves from a container for each blend, the creamed coffees are then a do-ityourself project. KS Daily Grind offers customers a machine which dispenses their favorite flavors such as French vanilla and mocha into the coffee. Hoping to feed mainly off the downtown lunch crowd, KS Daily Grind offers a daily deal for their customers. Each day, for $5, you can get a sandwich or soup, a bag of chips, a can of soda or small coffee and a cookie.



here had been a lot of chatter about Toucan Express Bar and Cuisine, 1003 SE Quincy Street, so I had been curious about it for some time. I’m quite familiar with Brazilian rodizio grills and churrascarias where the waiters bring various dishes and/ or shave meat from skewers onto your plate until you say when. Knowing that Toucan Express was not one of those, I wondered what else it could be. My lunch companion and I made our trip to Toucan Express on one of those unseasonably cold Kansas days (humor intended) when a few stray flakes were falling. Not wanting to risk a parking ticket at the meters at 10th + Quincy, we took a free spot on Kansas Ave and hurried to the restaurant on foot. We were greeted at the door by Leila Roepke, the owner, who showed us to the dining room and invited us to pick a table. I was surprised that at 11:30a there was only one other couple eating. My companion and I picked a table close to the buffet (it is buffet-only at lunchtime, $9.99 for dine-in, Monday-Friday, 10:302p) and after ordering a couple of sodas, grabbed a couple of plates to load up. I skipped the salad cart and went right for the main course. The first item was the jasmine rice, which is just a lovely 24

by Rio Cervantes-Reed

site, beautifully cooked to perfection. I topped it off with some black beans, then continued down the line, adding small tasting portions of chicken stroganoff, Brazilian lasagna, pot roast and steamed veggies to my plate. I added a small bowl of potato soup. For dessert I had rice pudding. Before you question the presence of stroganoff and lasagna on the menu, it will help to know that Brazil is as much as a melting pot as the United States, and has culinary influences from Italy and Germany. Everything was delicious, I couldn’t think of a single item that was out of line, however I became more curious about traditional native Brazilian foods. After talking with Leila she handed me their dinner menu which contains dishes such as Rice Piamontese, which is jasmine rice with cheese, bacon and raisins, Muqueca, shrimp or fish sauteed with coconut milk, cilantro, lime, red palm oil, onions and tomatoes, Chicken with Okra, stewed together with polenta, and Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada, a black bean stew with sausage, dry beef and pork. I’m excited to return during dinner service (which starts at 5p) to try these native dishes. aseveneightfive

A unique aspect of the business is what happens after they close at 4p. Their leftover food is often taken to the Topeka Rescue Mission, where it is served to those living at the homeless shelter. The business also serves “Going to the Dogs” water, which benefits the Helping Hands Humane Society in Topeka. The bottled Lindyspring water’s proceeds all go to the shelter. “Some individuals come in to support us just because they know the causes we serve,” said Lisa. While business has been slow at times since opening, Dwight and Lisa are not operating their business on loans, as they accrued enough money through their coffee sale at the farmer’s market. They said they are on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, and more to help boost their marketing. “We’re hangin’ in there,” said Lisa. In the spring, the plan is to utilize the patio area of the business to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. Lisa also expressed interest in making fresh-squeezed limeades. The business will also participate in Top City Thursdays, which will mean staying open later for customers come spring. As I left, I was ultimately impressed with the humble demeanors of Dwight and Lisa and the hospitality they both showed to their customers. If you value fresh, flavorful cups of coffee, are looking for a location to grab a quick snack, or are looking to grab a nice breakfast or lunch, take a trip to the KS Daily Grind. You won’t be disappointed. aseveneightfive

for the love of vinyl paying homage to two local electronic djs and sharing a vinyl secret “You play someone a great record and they don’t react to it, you know it’s time to get them out of your house.” - Miriam Linna, former Cramps drummer [Feb. 2010 | Vinyl Returns | Amber Bonnett]

Exactly a year ago, seveneightfive writer Amber Bonnett wrote about the rise in vinyl and its attributes to the local music scene. Today, we are compelled to let you in on a little secret about a local vinyl gem and pay homage to two local DJs who started a scene years before “the scene.” Enjoy the mix. *** Need more vinyl love - check out the Vinyl Ambassadors, mixing Jazz and more, each First Friday ArtWalk at The Flying Monkey.


scratching the surface “Sometimes, the best artists and best music are the ones no one has heard of.”


deejay’s job is finding that perfect balance between art and audience. Mixing sounds and scratching records, beat matching, phrasing and slipcueing take a nuanced knowledge of and feel for music and rhythms. But getting beats and bodies to come together to create that hot, sweaty mess of a dance floor can be a challenge. Jason Peters, president and COO of local business Tradepost, began working with this musical art form in 1987, while he was a senior in high school. He was immediately hooked on both the music and mixing in the scene and started deejaying soon after. His original exposure to the idea of mixing came in the fifth grade when he watched the 1989 Olivia Newton-John movie, “Xanadu.” At that point, Jason knew he had the “bite” on music mixing even if he didn’t know what a deejay was at that time. “I didn’t even know I wanted to be a deejay,” Jason said. “I just knew I wanted to blend music together.” The biggest influence from “Xanadu” was a scene involving two individuals with very different music tastes. 26

by Richard Kelly • photos by EJ Drake

“There’s this part in the movie where this young guy and this old guy are talking about starting this night club,” Jason said. “The old guy, his vision is that there’s this big band that’s playing and it looks like an old ‘20’s club, and the young guy has got this crazy rock band playing that has the ‘80’s bad hair look. They keep going back and forth talking and while they’re doing that, it switches the music back and forth between them. At the end, the weird thing is the two visions start coming together. I saw that and just thought it was so cool how they did it.” In 1998, Jason walked into a now-defunct Topeka computer business looking for music software and met Travis Williams, who is now director of technology for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. The duo became fast friends and deejay collaborators, working under the name, “The Hit Squad.” But Travis had some skills to learn -- including mixing old-school, with records, not computers. “I was forced by Jason to learn to mix the right way,” Travis said. “I was basically given two records and he said ‘You’ve got an hour. Figure it out.’ So, there was no sync button

or key adjustment. I had to learn. I didn’t get to play for a year out (in public) before I felt worthy.” In the early 2000s, a venue known as Pure Energy opened at Forbes Field. Renowned deejays from other states, even other countries, would make the trip to Topeka to play in front of audiences of 300 to 1,000 people. Jason and Travis were right there with the rest, even running some of the events. “For about six to eight years, my website [Syde-Sho] was pretty much the website to go to for any of your electronic music,” Jason said. “My site was there if you wanted to know where the parties were at or where the deejays were, and that was pretty much for the Midwest. We had people on the website that posted from Omaha, Wichita, St. Louis, but Kansas City was pretty much our hub.” Unfortunately, Pure Energy didn’t last and Syde-Sho more recently lost steam due to Facebook’s popularity. Following the closing of Pure Energy, the most recent attempt by Travis and Jason was at a venue called Axis. But it, too, didn’t make the cut.

We’re not sure where the Topeka electronic scene is going, but the current efforts are at least another start. “We couldn’t find enough people to support the music,” said Travis. Roughly a year and a half ago, another effort was put into reviving the electronic music with the addition of a dance event called Resistance each Thursday at the Boobie Trap Bar, 1417 W. 6th Ave. The venue routinely plays all types of electronic music, not only top-40 hits. William Johnson, a regular DJ at Resistance and Washburn University student, can attest that although Resistance receives a fair attendance, it’s often the same individuals, much as it was for Axis and Pure Energy when Jason and Travis tried to bring the electronic music scene to life in Topeka. “One of the things I’ve noticed about Resistance is it’s really its own microcosm,” said William. “Typically the people that go are the ones that enjoy the music already.” And when Travis looks at the local DJ landscape, he knows he would love to see Topeka blossom to a scene where deejaying can consist of more than top-40 music at multiple venues. But he isn’t sure if a majority of the city is at that point. “I don’t know if Topekans are ready to hear it yet,” said Travis. Jeremy Gaston, co-founder of Resistance, did note that while electronic music may be something most Topekans don’t follow, the recent rise of electronic elements in top-40 music may add sustainability to the scene at The Boobie Trap and in Topeka. “If you listen to top-40 music nowadays, artists are doing remixes with Deadmau5,” said Jeremy. “Even the bigger acts, like Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, are putting out very house-type music.” Beyond the sounds changing in music, a popular tactic to helping

Topeka residents discover events like Resistance is through continued social marketing, according to John Powers, aka DJ Powerhouse, a recent guest DJ at Resistance. He said that social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are continuing to lead word of mouth to events and increase attendance. Jason said ultimately, the key to the survival of an electronic music scene in Topeka will be the marketing tools. “One of the things that you always put in your budget when you’re putting on a one-time event is 5,000 to 10,000 fliers,” said Jason. “You have to make fliers like crazy. I mean, everyone’s pissed off when they come out and there’s something on their windshield, but you got to do what you can to get the word out.” Back in Jason’s basement room, I was able to see some of the fliers Travis and he used to advertise their past events. I was also able to see rare records from artists such as Kid Rock before they became popular. Seeing all of these items reminded me that sometimes, the best artists and best music are the ones no one has heard of. And more people may be beginning to hear that music in Topeka, according to Travis. “I think about a year and a half to two years ago, kids, ... ages of 15 to 19, started to listen to something that wasn’t on the radio and started to go beyond their dial and go onto iTunes,” said Travis. “And the people that were listening to Bassnectar, Skrillex or Deadmau5, who are those larger artists, kind of spread to where the electronic base is now.” Neither Jason or Travis are sure where they see the electronic scene going at this point, but Jason did say the current efforts are at least another start. “If there are hipsters and they’re bringing people to a venue, that’s cool,” Jason said. “They’re at least exposing people. It’s a gateway.” aseveneightfive

hole in the wall secret vinyl headquarters


t doesn’t matter if you’re a neo-vinylphile on a shoestring budget trying to fill in some missing pieces of your expanding record library, or a serious audiophile on the lookout for that rare Dave Mason Alone Together LP with the marble colored vinyl. Or maybe you’re just looking for some cheap kitschy LPs to spin when your sardonic friends come over for an evening of cocktails and weirdness at your space age bachelor pad. You’re going to find all of that and more in the record department of Hole in the Wall in downtown North Topeka. Nestled in the southwest corner of the little shop that has everything is quite possibly the largest and most affordable collection of LPs in the City. And unlike some of the trendy establishments in the area that alphabetize and categorize their entire product, HITW has everything all thrown together in one big genre busting pile, making the hunt for vinyl treasures that much more exhilarating. Because you just never know what’s going to pop up behind that next record. Thumbing through a stack, I heard a spark of recognition emit from cool but quiet, seveneightfive photog EJ Drake, who was on hand to take pictorial evidence of our musicalogical dig. He pulled out LL Cool J’s second record, proclaiming that he listened to it when he was a youngster. A few stacks over we unearthed a Telly ‘Kojak’ Savales LP which elicited chuckles of recognition from both of us. 28

by Robin Cremer

• photos EJ Drake

You’ll find releases by ‘70s rock icons Heart, Journey, Styx, Kansas, and a wide selection of disco and movie soundtracks, as well as a heaping helping of quirky comedy records. You may find records by long lost faves and wonder where the hell they’ve been over the years, while others will leave you wondering how the band had the audacity to release the amazingly butt-ugly item you’re holding in your hands. This to me is the beauty of seeking out and collecting vinyl records from the sixties and seventies. The sound quality isn’t as great as some would have you believe, unless you own one of those high-end two thousand dollar turntables. However the artwork on most LPs, especially the gatefold albums with lyrics and other items of interest from the era, is incredible considering what you pay for these days. Almost all records go for three bucks, but there are several stacks going for five dollars and up, depending on their rarity. These are the vinyl days, my friend, and North Topeka’s Hole In The Wall is the vinyl stop for all your vinyl needs. In closing, I’d like to leave you with a quote from that great Athenian philosopher and vinylphile, Socrates, who once said, “As for me, all I know is that CDs are great and Mp3s are cool, but nothing warms the soul more than dropping the needle into the grooves of a spinning slab of vinyl.” Rock On, Socrates! aseveneightfive

Hole in the Wall 835 North Kansas Avenue 266.4043

PIGSKIN’S HAS IT ALL! Nothing is better than award-winning BBQ, cold beer, hot sports and toe-tapping music. Join us for the BEST GAME IN TOWN!


1 Feb. 2 S! . s e u T GRA

Y PARrTdi Gras PDarrteyux

Ma ing DJ eux feature Dreux Cr & th

Sat. Jan. 14 Sat. Jan. 21 Sat. Jan. 28 Sat. Feb. 4 Sun. Feb. 5 Fri. Feb. 10 Sat. Feb. 11 Tues. Feb. 14 Sat. Feb. 18 Tues. Feb. 21 Sat. Feb. 25 Wed. Feb. 29

Rob Wade Band HeadHandsFeat Country Rock Josh Vowell & The Rumble Beans & Cornbread Super Bowl Party! Love Sux Party with DJ Dreux Urban Safari Reggae Dance Band Valentine’s Day at Boss Hawg’s featuring Mark Camacho Blue Orleans Concert Party Gras! Mardi Gras Party Revolver Concert Leap Day Sadie Hawkins Party featuring Josh Vowell & The Rumble

WEDNESDAY NIGHT JAM With Josh Vowell & The Rumble: Jan. 18, Feb.1, 15, and 29 KRAAZY KARAOKE With DJ Dreux: Every Friday night 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. 2833 S.W. 29th Next to Dillon’s at 29th & Oakley | 785.273.7300

w w w. b o s s h a w g . c o m

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Jan 15 2012 _ 785  

s p in m e Topeka’s guide to art, entertainment, lifestyle + local flavor Vol. VI Issue VI January 15 - February 29, 2012

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