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ATL 6/9/08

My little namesake and her BIG SISTER...


MOVIE NEWS - "The Happening" opens June 13th. The title describes what M. Night Shamalan's career WON'T be if his latest flick isn't good.

As a neighborhood alternative to "Screen on the Green", Flicks on Fifth is back...drought doesn't cancel asphalt events!

JUNE 11 - I am Legend
JUNE 18 - Horton Hears a Who
JUNE 25 - The Bourne Ultimatum
JULY 9 - Hairspray
JULY 16 - Superbad
JULY 23 - 21

ART NEWS -Staring 6/10, Mama Mia is at the Fox.

6/13 - Vocalist Kayla Taylor performs a soulful mix of jazz standards – featuring Kenyon Carter on saxophone at Fernbank – Martini’s and Imax at 6:30 p.m.

6/14 - While I'm contemplating participating in the "World Naked Bike Ride" in Portland, Atlantans should join Shawn for Tongo Hiti & The Dames Aflame in "Kung Fu Hustle" at Trader Vic' him and join him!

6/15 - Tony Awards - All I can say about that is ... "a place, where nobody dared to go...the love that we came to know...they call it Xanadu"

LOCAL NEWS -FISHTANK - I'm not saying that the Georgia Aquarium is playing "copy catfish", but they've seen the success of Jazz at the High and now host live jazz on Fridays, May - September. Jazz Journeys will showcase a variety of Jazz artists in the Aquarium's atrium from 7-9:30 p.m. What does that say about the success of the "World's Largest Aquarium"?

SHOPAHOLIC - H&M opens in Atlantic Station June 13th. -ajc-

BOTANICAL GARDEN - Sunrise in the Garden, Saturday, June 14th to celebrate the 104th Birthday of the Park. The gates to the Atlanta Botanical Garden will be open for free entry from 6am-8am. After you have experienced the Garden, join us at Magnolia Hall Courtyard for breakfast. I hear there is a lovely view of the new parking deck from there.

U.S. NEWS -GM is closing 4 truck/SUV plants. -nyt- It is also considering discontinuing the Hummer, making it more challenging to spot jerks on the freeway.

FRENCH NEWS - Some good has come of being on facebook; Csaba Kajdi found me! He's my little Hungarian "brother" from my language school days in Paris. In 1996, he made it to the U.S. during the Olympics and today has made it in Budapest and Paris with his own modeling agency!

WEB NEWS - A funny little gay-themed video...if you need a smile. -protect yourself-

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ATL 6/1/08 - Centennial Park

Screen on the Green - Friends...Centennial...Competing Soft Drinks
Atlanta Tornado Damage, 2 1/2 months later
Peachtree Jr - Short race...No drought here...Warming up
Midtown Reflections


MOVIE NEWS - "You Don't Mess With The Zohan" is 2008's Summer Sandler flick. This time around, he is a kill-you-with-my-pinkie, Israeli special forces agent fighting his way through cultural misunderstandings in an unflattering wig. It looks like it has everything you'd want in an Adam Sandler movie - the phony cross-culturalism of "Spanglish", the forced tough-guy image of "Longest Yard", and the creepy homophobia of "Chuck and Larry". If only this were a flick about a taser-wielding celebutante fighting her way through a crowd of unflattering paparazzi - 'Don't Mess with the Lohan' is something I might pay to see.

June kicks off the Coca Cola Fox Film Series:

“Shine A Light” — 7:30 pm June 5
“Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” — 2 pm June 8
“Atonement” — 7 pm June 8
“Casablanca” — 7:30 pm June 17
“No Country for Old Men” — 7:30 pm June 18
“Enchanted” — 2 pm July 13
“Ben-Hur” — 7 pm July 13

Look for more flicks in August - hopefully "Ironman"!

ART NEWS -Wednesday, June 4th, Chuck Palahniuk reads and signs at Perimeter College; part of his "Snuff" tour. The author of "Fight Club" observes life from a very odd angle...

LOCAL NEWS -Screen on the Green - I'm super sad it's not in Piedmont Park, but we still went. Two things stood out:

1) It took place across the street from the "World of Coke" attraction and within the shadow of the world headquarters of Coca-Cola. One of the sponsors was Pepsi (with the brilliant campaign of handing out beach balls with the Pepsi logo on the outdoor showing of "Jaws"!)

2) A second sponsor was the Piedmont Park Conservancy, which meant that if you donated money to your local park, some of those funds were used to move this event OUT OF THAT PARK!

Tribute Lofts - S & I ride past these new condos on Freedom Parkway almost every weekend. Some of the units would seem to have a good view, and they have unarguably good access to both Freedom Park and downtown, but for me, none of those attributes overcame the Quonset Hut meets Hotel Six "architecture". It would seem that the impending auction of 40 units means I'm not alone. (Total Unit: 147. Sold to date: 68. Up for Auction: 40. In question: 39).

U.S. NEWS -Bricks and Mortar Real Estate prices are suffering, but "real estate" on the internet is selling well! Domain name "gasprices" just sold for $225,000. That's 56,000+ gallons of gas!

Food prices are going up; and as consumers look for ways to cutback on food costs, sales of "Spam" are up, too. Look for spikes in consumption of Raman Noodles, generic cheese puffs, and other college-consumed food!

I've watched with interest the effect that high oil prices is having on commodities other than automotive gasoline; surging prices of synthetic fertilizers is sparking a renewed interest in poultry litter and bird guano -nyt- Quite possibly the only time my reader will see a link from me to a story about Peruvian Boobies.

On a Nitrogen per pound basis, "commercial" comes in at about $0.35/lb; organic chicken poop is around $2.50. -Commercial vs. poultry-

FRENCH NEWS - French fashion mogul Yves St. Laurent has died (I'm certain there is no connection to the world-wide release of the "Sex in the City" movie). He helped empower women through fashion with their own feminine versions of the tuxedo and the pantsuit. He also designed the tux I wore to prom - yes, the "boy" version. He did NOT design my date's dress...

WEB NEWS -I've given up the pursuit of being trendy - I just try and make everyone do what I'm interested in! If you want to see what other folks find interesting, check-out trendwatching.

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ATL 5/26/08 - Change

Temporary views - Going up and coming down...


MOVIE NEWS - If "Sex and the City" isn't your style, check-out "Poultrygeist". I don't know how the release of this "satirical sexploitation zombie chicken gross-out musical extravaganza" slipped past me!

Saw "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Mess" (just like $151 million worth of ticket-buying movie-goers this Memorial weekend). It was fun, but COME ON! ***SPOILER*** A snake? There are plenty of vines in the jungle when Shia LaBeefcake has to Tarzan his butt through the trees faster than a speeding monkey to catch up with a frickin' jeep! But is there a single sprig of kudzu to be found lying around when Indy needs a hand up? Nope...

ART NEWS - Sweeney Todd is at the Fox (without Johnny Depp, though).

Happy Birthday Ian Fleming - It's the 100th anniversary of the birth of James Bond's creator. Have a martini; shaken, not stirred.

Thursday, May 29th - The relocated "Screen on the Green" starts with "Jaws" in Centennial Park. I'm going to go ahead and think this is a good thing; SOTG was super crowded last summer, so maybe a successful summer in Centennial Park this year will lead to 2 SOTGs in 2009, one in Piedmont and one in Centennial. Dream Big!

The rest of the films include:

6/5 - The African-American Film - "Big Momma's House" ('06 "The Wiz", '07 "Carwash")

6/12 - The Gay Film - "Chicago" ('05 "Mommy Dearest", '06 "Breakfast at Tiffany's", '07 "Funny Girl")

6/19 - The Family Film - "E.T."('05 "To Kill a Mockingbird", '06 "Willy Wonka", '07 "Casablanca")

Then, Viewers Choice Film can either be Family, Gay, or Super-Straight - "Back to the Future", "Footloose", or "Rocky", June 26th.

NOTE: I am extremely upset about the new rule for Centennial Park - you can not bring in alcohol (although it is available for purchase). Now that Guv'ner Sunshine has signed new firearms legislation into law, you can bring F$%#ING GUN to SOTG, but not a beer? How twisted is that?!?

Saturday morning, May 31st - You can't run the Peachtree Road Race July 4th if you are under 12, but you can run the Peachtree Junior! in Piedmont Park! Come out to cheer on the kids or sign-up to volunteer. It's terribly adorable.

Saturday afternoon, May 31st - East Atlanta Beer Festival, 1:00 - 5:00 PM. $30 in advance online, $35 at the door. -tix-

LOCAL NEWS - Peace Corps volunteers are giving a talk and answering questions in Piedmont Park May 31st at 11:00 AM -link- I understand that Peace Corps volunteers have expertise in many fields, often agriculture-related...they will be answering questions like "how to I grow grass in an urban, drought-threatened public environment without alienating everyone!"

The 14th Street Bridge is now closed for the next 18 months "to replace the aging structure". "Aging" 19? Are we sure it's not the drought?

It's official - Piedmont Park is close to drilling wells to irrigate the park. To me, that sounded like good news, because it would make the survival of the precious grass independent of rainfall, but the Piedmont Park Conservancy still won't say our festivals can come back. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I don't see anyone working to bring culture back to OUR PARK! -ajc-

Buildings going up and buildings coming down - There is little enough history left in Midtown - Metropolis replaced "Stein Club", Spire in place of "Copacabana Motel", Viewpoint buried "Backstreet" - let's not allow Georgia Tech to tear down the beautiful Crum & Forster building - "a Renaissance revival palazzo" - without a fight! -petition- -maria saporta-

U.S. NEWS - Gas is expensive, but you have a choice - don't buy it! -cnn-

FRENCH NEWS -I can not find a single story on about gas prices.

WEB NEWS - I want a jazz club like -this-

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ATL 5/19/08 - 1780 to 1980

"I want something in a coconut...yum...arggghhh!
I spy with my little eye...Crush...yup, that's a lampshade
From the 1780's with pirates to 1980's w/ Tom Cruise!


MOVIE NEWS - 19 years after the last installment, the 4th "Indiana Jones" arrives in theaters this Friday. This has to not suck.

ART NEWS -Friday, May 23rd - In anticipation of next week's release of "Sex in the City", Cineprov is screening/mocking the final episode of the TV series.

Sat-Sun, May 24-25th - The Decatur Arts Festival.

LOCAL NEWS - Online Atlanta "booster" film from "Sturgess Fillmore". Every second of this is funny...starting with the title... "Yesterday's City of Today, Because Tomorrow is Soon!" -video-

And even though they left this off the "Sturgess" video, it is none-the-less v. cool; cliff-dwelling peregrine falcons nesting in an Atlanta skyscraper! -GDNR-

U.S. NEWS -Free Gas Bandwagon - Organizations from Taco Bell to TV Stations to Chrysler Motors to God are jumping on the new "give away" bandwagon; if you want to attract new customers, you have to draw them in by giving away what's hot, and these days, it's not iPods or even's gasoline.

TONY NOMINATIONS - "Xanadu" was nominated for Best Musical! So was some other stuff... -nyt-

FRENCH NEWS -The Cannes Film Festival started May 14th. It includes the world premiere of the last Indiana Jones film.

WEB NEWS -I really like the way kyle cummings ... draws-thinks-smiles ... especially this "i heart hugs" print.

I'm no halo enthusiast, but I can sure waste some time with these online games.

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ATL 5/11/08 - Midtown

Midtown, Stone Mt River of wildflowers


MOVIE NEWS - This Friday, "Prince Caspian" comes out...the movie, not the character...sigh...

ART NEWS -Riverdance is at the Fox May 13-18.

Tuesday, May 13th, is Movie Night in Metropolis at Club M. Grill out beforehand and then settle in to enjoy Will Smith in "I Am Legend" (and so can you...)

Friday, May 16th, is Jazz Night at the High, followed by...

...the Metropolis 80's Party! "By the Power of Greyskull!" "I love it when a plan comes together." "That's Incredible!" "Party on!" "Isn't that special?"

This Saturday, May 17th, Trader Vic's presents Swashbuckler Soiree with live entertainment by the Tongo Hiti band with Monkey Zuma and the Dames A'Flame Dancers.

Sunday, Outwrite Books welcomes Augusten Burroughs to the Alliance Stage to read from his new book. Tragic, funny, real. Go to the bookstore to get a free ticket to Sunday's event.

LOCAL NEWS -Midtown recycles electronics every third Saturday -link-

I am Bootcamp (and so can you!) - Going strong into week 4!

NATIONAL NEWS -Irvine Robbins the ice cream man died at age 90. Living long on 31 that's good advice!

75 college students arrested in a drug raid. Really? Only 75?

Country-wide gas pricing -nyt-

NYT reports that people believe more expensive wines taste better. Do I believe that? Of course! NYT print edition costs more than any other daily publication!

FRENCH NEWS -As of 9:00 AM Monday, the top three stories on Le Monde are China, Burma, and Beirut. On CNN, the leads are China, Myanmar, and Gas Prices

WEB NEWS - This place in the cyberworld is a little ... off. -asofterworld-

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ATL 5/4/08 - Gas & Biking

Piedmont Park - Grandpa's guitar...kite...hottie
Spring flowers - Iris...Oakleaf Hydrangea...Petals


MOVIE NEWS - Speed Racer is pulling into theaters this Friday looks like "Tron" takes on "The Matrix" ... on acid... with Hotwheels! I think I'll pass...

ART NEWS - Sweet Auburn Festival, May 9-11 - Auburn Avenue Neighborhood, Auburn Avenue and Courtland Street -link-

Shake on the Lake, May 7-10 - Get your free tickets during the day at the Piedmont Park Visitor's Center, head to the lawn at 6:00, see the play at 7:30. Shakespeare's plays have been going on since the 17th century...even the Piedmont Park Conservancy can't cancel that!

LOCAL NEWS - BIKING - We did it...biked to Stone Mountain and back with a stop at the Dekalb Farmer's Market. We burned up to 3000 calories and earned us some margaritas by the pool! -calc- Plus, we save a gallon of gas each time we bike to the Dekalb Farmer's Market.

BOOTCAMP - Here's the route, including optional 1-mile track run; try it yourself if you like before joining us Tuesdays and Thursday at 6:00 AM, Saturdays at 8:00 AM! -link-

BUDGET - Atlanta is facing a $140 million shortfall. Sensibly, Shirley is trying to correct that by reducing the city's expenses (firing city employees) and increasing its income (raising taxes). The radio has given voice to many of the ex-workers who have said things like "I pay my taxes and they still fired me" or "I've worked for the city for 28 years; they have no loyalty." No one was quoted saying "my job is vital to the day-to-day functioning of Atlanta and people will suffer if I don't come to work every day."

BARGAIN - On the way to pizza and beer at Ray's on 5th St (between W. Ptree & Spring - $6 pitcher of Coors Light & $14 pizza), stumbled across the new clothing store "Drew Lewis" (6th and W. Ptree), a sort of urban-y Nautica vibe. Check 'em out!

NATIONAL NEWS - 28 DOLLARS - Hillary and McCain propose a summer moratorium on the federal gas tax, saving $0.18 per gallon in tax. That would save the average American about $28 this summer (the extra income will buy <you 2 T-shirts at The Gap, 2 movie tickets + popcorn, or 2 wine glasses at Crate and Barrel)...

...unless, of course, the lower gas prices cause increased demand, forcing the gas price even higher. Gas would still be expensive AND we will have lost out on billions of dollars in federal revenue... $$$ that had been ear-marked for little things like repairing collapsing fricking interstate bridges in Minneapolis.

300 DOLLARS - "Economic stimulus" checks are going out. There is an IRS website with answers to many FAQ's (except for my did Prez W propose to pay for this loss of federal revenue? Oh, yeah, he didn't...)

PRICELESS - Don't forget the #1 woman in your life on Mother's Day this Sunday! I love you, Mom!

FRENCH NEWS - This past weekend's tragic cyclone that caused up to 10,000 deaths was the top headline at Le Monde. While the 1989 military junta forced the west to change the English version of the devastated country's name from Burma to Myanmar, the cyclone didn't care what it was called. (The dictatorship hasn't gotten around to changing the French version - they still call it "Birmanie".) wikipedia

WEB NEWS -Some times I get stressed out about space and organization and time management ...but wait! There are websites to help out with that like REAL SIMPLE & Unclutterer. But honestly, the more I read about how to organize, the messier I feel I am!

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ATL 4/28/08 - Inman Park II

The Hoho's!
Butterfly Ball - S & The Dames ... Us ... King-sized!
B. Ball - C. so crazy ... with me ... with hubby!
What's a parade without Trees Atlanta ... volunteers ... and wigs!?!


MOVIE NEWS - This Friday, we have "Iron Man", "Made of Honor", and "Son of Rambow". I-Man has a butt-kickin' tin can costume and Robert Downey Jr., "Made of Honor" has the built-in "McDreamy's McBest Friend's Wedding" audience ... but "Son of Rambow", about two kids filming their own sequel to "Rambo", has THE TAGLINE of the year..."Make Believe...Not War." Awwwwwwwww! (Hint, hint, Prez W!)

ART NEWS - Terrence McNally's "Some Men" starts its run May 1 at Actor's Express. If you liked "Love! Valor! Compassion!", you may want to check this out. (Or just see L!V!C! again...)

LOCAL NEWS - FOOD - Green Market starts this Saturday (May - October) in Piedmont Park from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Buy fresh produce (but don't step on the grass).

...and the Morningside Market year 'round on Saturdays 8:00 - 11:30 AM

...and East Atlanta Village Market on Thursdays at 4:30 PM

...and the somewhat cheaper organics available at the Dekalb Farmer's Market. We will be biking there THIS SUNDAY (link map)...LEAVING the Metropolis Lobby at 8:15 AM...bring your helmet and backpack! (That's right! In addition to the regularly scheduled BOOTCAMPS on Tues and Thurs at 6:00 AM, Saturday at 8:00!)

RETAIL - It's the Metropolis Market Day on Saturday, May 3rd, on 8th Street at Peachtree. Come buy/sell your stuff from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

DOGWOOD PARKING DECK FESTIVAL - I feel confident that Atlanta's first big spring festival of the year will be back in Piedmont Park next year; not because the PPC & the city council will have come to their senses, not because it lost $200,000 at Lenox, but because the new deck in Piedmont will be done! They can have it there! Save the grass!

PIEDMONT PARK - Maria Saporta's column this week speculates that our city council is trying to keep our festivals out of our parks. Really? Shocker!

INMAN PARK FESTIVAL CHECKLIST- Dance the night away at Butterfly Ball - CHECK. Bike to friends' for croissants & coffee - CHECK. Head to 1113 Colquit for parade float update and beer - CHECK. Wander over to Bass Lofts to verify proper keg tappage - CHECK. Roll over to Edgewood to join Trees Atlanta in parade (with beer stop) - CHECK. Mid-way through parade, put on wig and switch to 1113 float & vodka - CHECK. Back to both Bass and 1113 for further craziness before biking back home - CHECK & DONE!

OVERHEARD - At Caribou Coffee: "The Hooter's in Zurich was my most unremarkable experience in Switzerland."

In Cartersville:

A - "You goin' to the race this weekend?"
B - "Not unless I get a driver."
A - "Why can't your son drive you?"
B - "2 reasons - 1, he'll be drinking with me, and 2, he ain't old enough to drive."

In the front hall:

A - "Alright, then...see you later."
B - "Really? Why?"

FRENCH NEWS -Not really news, but we saw Audrey Tatou's latest french language flick - "Hors de Prix / Priceless" - at Landmark Art. Sweet little falling in love flick...with prostitution! Sort of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" meets "Pretty Woman" (and Chanel instead of tiaras).

Le Monde does print an article about the Six Crises that threaten world order - Financial Markets, Money, Economy, Food, Energy, and the Ecology... but what daily problem doesn't fall under one of those categories? What'd they leave out...bad hair?

WEB NEWS - Consume less!

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ATL 4/21/08 - Inman Park

Happy 1st Anniversary - Megan and Kevin
Appalachicola Cemetery
Born Cork County Ireland...Drowned...Died of Cholera
Don't really know what this sculpture is all about...
Our sand sculptures - Gator & Frog...Porpoise...Squid and Teddy Bear
Wide open sunset sky


MOVIE NEWS - Shelter, is a gay-surfer-growing-up-coming-out-young-adult-angst-flick starring Brad Rowe. From the trailer, it looks like he plays the romantic interest to a guy having trouble with his sexuality. Brad's movie debut 10 years ago was in "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss", where he played a guy having trouble with his sexuality. What goes around comes around.

ART NEWS - Inman Park Festival - Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, 2008. The highlight for me is the parade at 2:00 on Saturday. Look for Trees Atlanta! (While in the neighborhood, check out the home decor at City Issue.)

Rent is at the Fox April 25-27.

"Doubt" is at the Alliance Theater through May 4th...I really want to see this!

LOCAL NEWS -THIRST - Taco Mac finally opened up in my basement last Wednesday. Within 90 minutes of opening, there was a line waiting to be seated. S & I signed up for the beer passport program - consuming 125 different beers gets you a plaque on the wall! After that accomplishment, I hope there is still a reason to go in May ;)

DROUGHT - Atlantans are cutting back on water usage, which also means the city is receiving less income/money in the form of water & sewer bills, which means the city is scrambling to make payments on issued bonds!

For example: Let's say the average, pre-drought, monthly water bill was $50. When people conserve and cut back 15%, the city now gets only $42.50. Multiply that by 100,000 households and you get a loss of $750,000 PER MONTH!

The city "NEEDS" that "lost" revenue - one way to get that money back is to increase the water rates by 17.6%.

A better way is to not raise the rates on reasonable, conservative water usage (let's say 1000 gallons per month per bedroom), but increase the rate by 50% for anything over that (if you still "NEED" to water a lawn, wash a car, raise a hydroponic pot garden.)


HOUSING MARKET - Suburban growth down 70% in ATL, but intown is holding steady - 'Drive til you qualify' is not longer a valid 1st home purchase principle with gas prices as high as they are.

WILDFLOWERS - Hike Arabia Mountain this weekend! Wildflower season is winding down.

NATIONAL NEWS - TEXAS MATH - 126 moms + 60 dads = 416 undeservedly messed-up kids.

THE POPE - His Holiness came a callin' on DC and NYC. We didn't get to hang, but I did get my Catholic on... my adorable nieces had their 1st Communion. All that "Stand/Sit/Kneel/Stand/Repeat" kept me awake, so I noticed:

There is a Hymn 666, 'We are the Living'. I just thought that was funny.

The head priest at St. Jude's is very Irish; I kept expecting him to spout off a limerick - 'There once was an apostle from Nantucket...'

Eggs Benediction is the perfect 1st Communion brunch dish.

FRENCH NEWS -The french like the Dalai Lama, too, making him an honorary citizen. How he positions himself during the Chinese Games will be interesting. -lemonde-

WEB NEWS - has great tips for making little improvements to your life; I really like wha the site had to say about cooking!

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