Thursday, February 08, 2001

Knip's Eye View

Something fun about February

        The thing Tom Moehringer likes about February is, well, nothing. Nada. Zilch.

        “I call it the F month, that's how bleak it is. Winter and Cincinnati, two words that go together like slit and wrist. So you take matters into your own hands.”

        Which he has been doing for several years by planning happy hours every Friday in February.

        Friday Dive Nights are announced in January in 75 fliers Moehringer mails to F-month friends. About 50 usually show up.

        “This year we have a theme,” Moehringer says. “Bars of the World, and it's a problem. Cincinnati has ethnic restaurants, but not ethnic bars. We have Irish, but the rest are all in restaurants.

        “So we'll start out Irish at Haps (last week), then go Mexican at Don Pablo because it has Mexican beer. Cheap too. Then Mecklenburg's because they have smoked beer, and then Newport for Barts on York. It's not English, but York is close to Yorkshire. And a friend owns it.”

        Part two of the F-month plan is Bowl With Elvis (If He Shows), a midnight do complete with Elvi outfits, fake sideburns and Elvis tunes through the PA.

        “I've got the alley reserved, so we'll see if it comes off.”

        Sing it: Looks as if a Northern Kentuckian is about to make some music with her favorite boy band, thanks to Make-A-Wish.

        To wit: 16-year-old Nadaqua (Wish has a policy about first names only) was diagnosed with leukemia last year and went right into chemo and radiation. Now she's ready to claim her wish.

        Being a music lover, that would be to write and record a song with Los Angeles boy band No Authority. Wish got together with Smash Music, Authority's management, and set it up.

        So, come late February, Wish will send Nada and her family to Los Angeles for a week. She'll spend a day writing with the group and then hit the studio.

        Current plans call for it to come out March 20 at the American Culinary Federation Black Tie Event, a Wish fund-raiser where eight guest chefs will whip up signature dishes for a night of grazing at the Phoenix. Nada will be there to debut the new song. (398-6660 for info).

        Shaping Up: Meanwhile, keeping up with old friends, we find Ronn Rucker and Lester Ballance q moving right along with their Miss Cincinnati Pageant.

        They're the pair, recall, who have the franchise to bring back the Miss Cincinnati pageant, which will feed into Miss Ohio, and then Miss America. Cincinnati has had only one official feeder pageant since 1990.

        Both have worked on the Miss Northern Kentucky pageant and did some work with Heather French of Maysville, last year's Miss America.

        So anyway, they announced their plans late last year, and since then have had 12 solid applicants, Rucker said.

        Plans are in place for a late March pageant — plenty of time to get ready for Miss Ohio in June and Miss American in September — at a site to be determined.

        To compete, women must be 18- to 24-year-old Ohio residents. Call Rucker at 244-7666 for info.

        Contact Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330. Read his previous columns at the Enquirer Web site on Cincinnati.Com.


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