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4/21/09 - Beach & AFF

MOVIE - AFF cont.
ART - Inman Park Arts Festival
LOCAL - Mom vs. The State -ajc-
U.S. - Blagojevich's reality
UNIVERSE - Earth-sized planet found -nyt-
WEB - Last chance goof-off -kenken-

MOVIE NEWS - AFF cont. So far, I've met the writer/star of "Deadland", Q&A-ed with the director of the animated short "Chroma Chameleon", cheered on the underdog director of way-better-than-expected "Killer Movie", and was astonished by the video-taped exploits of 12-year old female impersonator. More on Friday and Saturday!

ART NEWS - Inman Park Arts Festival Just go; it's one of the first and best of all the Atlanta Neighborhood Festivals. The parade is at 2:00 on Saturday and is one step closer to my NYE resolution to "Be In More Parades".

LOCAL NEWS - Mom vs. The State -ajc- Dekalb County homeowners are limited to 25 minutes of outdoor watering 3 times per week, but no car washing. Ma and Pa K. don't water their lawn (it's drought-acclimated, long-rooted fescue), so they want to wash their car. Why should some people get to water lawns for 75 minutes per week, but they can't wash their sedan for 10 minutes? What if it's parked on the lawn? Isn't that just watering my lawn...from my car? It's Guv'ner Sunshine vs. my mom. Stay tuned.

SAVE BLONDIE - Gene Kansas is helping sell "The Clairmont Hotel" for $6.5 million. Don't worry; the 180 residential rooms are for sale, the Lounge is not.

U.S. NEWS - Blagojevich's reality - The court turned down disgraced Illinois ex-guv Blagojevich's request to violate the conditions of his bond to travel to Costa Rica to participate in a reality show. Apparently, filming reality TV pays better than making license plates.

BREAST FEEDING - A study shows that women who breast feed their child for at least one month showed lower risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. The study tried to imply that breast feeding makes women healthier, but it could just as well be that naturally healthier women are more likely to breast feed in the first place.

UNIVERSE NEWS - Earth-sized planet found -nyt- Astronomers discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting a red star 20 light years from Earth. At that distance, it's like looking for the reflection of a needle next to a burning haystack. In other news, I couldn't find my glasses this morning.

WEB NEWS - Last chance goof-off -kenken-

...the rest of the story...

4/14/09 - ATL Film Fest

MOVIE - Atlanta Film Fest
ART - Tongo Hiti -T Vic's-
LOCAL - Piedmont Parking
U.S. - Bo, Bluebeard, Billie Jean
FRANCE - U.S. deports -lemonde-
WEB - Habachy

MOVIE NEWS - Give me a buzz if any of these Atlanta Film Festival offerings at Landmark sound interesting! (As if the AFF isn't enough, the High is showing French Films this Friday and Saturday -high-)

Sun, 4/19, 12:30 PM - Gone With The Wind (TCM at the Fox)
8:30 PM - Animation Extravaganza

Mon, 4/20, 1:30 PM - Deadland
5:00 PM - Animation Extravaganza 1

Tues, 4/21,
4:30 PM - Killer Movie
9:35 PM - Pink Peach Shorts

Fri, 4/24, 7:15 PM - The Girl from Monaco
9:45 PM - Comedy Shorts

Sat, 4/25, 7:30 PM - Rudo and Cursi


Tongo Hiti -T Vic's- Just's the most fun ever...4 hours of lounge, hula, and crooning, all drowning in the High Seas of $5 Mai Tais... ...and hardly any pirates!

Dogwood Festival - Don't forget to celebrate Atlanta's first big festival of the year as it returns to Piedmont Park this Friday through Sunday -dogwood-. Last year's festival was bumped to the Lenox Square parking deck because of the drought; this year, it's back in the Park...and it brought the deck with it!


PIEDMONT PARKING - I see the Atlanta Botanical Garden got their parking pass payment scheme from MARTA's Breeze Card; you must first to buy a $5 parking card before being allowed to then purchase fares to load onto the card. The opening of the new parking deck May 2nd coincides with the closing of the old, free, Park Drive surface lot; can't wait to see how the loss of 100+ free parking spots will affect neighborhood street parking!

I like the sound of these announcement from the Midtown SPI-16 Development Review Committee. It looks like Midtown is in for more outdoor dining opportunities:

"Façade and roofing alterations and patio enclosure for new 24-hour diner (former Jocks & Jills space)"

"Ra Sushi – NE corner of Crescent Avenue at 11th Street: Supplemental Zone patio enclosure for outdoor dining and façade alterations for onstreet bar and ventilation"

Water Lilies - Monet from MoMa at the Museum (coming to the High June 6th) -nyt-


Bo - Seems there's a new dog living in the White House. That beats a (misbehaving, former) President living in the doghouse.

Bluebeard - What to do about the current round of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia? With 20,000 ocean going vessels afloat at any given time, we can't very well arm every boat. If they don't get a bit part in the next Disney feature with Johnny Depp, I'm all for more archaic methods; flogging, keel-hauling, or AA.

Billy Jean - It seems the planned auction of Michael Jackson memorabilia was called off at the last moment -nyt- -julien's auction- Flipping through the catalog, I didn't see anything REALLY a framed copy of an acquittal...or extradition papers from Dubai.

FRANCE NEWS - I didn't find this story on NYT; according to a Human Rights Watch report, a U.S. law allowing deportation of immigrants guilty of a violent crime has had the effect of deporting immigrants guilty of as little as a traffic violation. HRW proposes that the Obama administration "revisit" the law. I already called about this; they are a little busy helping "law-abiding" bank CEO's. -lemonde-

French marines captured 11 pirates off the coast of Kenya. Is it okay...pretty deport them? -lemonde-

WEB NEWS - Michael Habachy has revamped his site; check it out!

...the rest of the story...

3/31/09 - NYC for a Day

MOVIE - "Hunger" -apple-
ART - "Happy Days" -fox-
LOCAL - No State Support
U.S. - Sinking dollar
FRANCE - Parisian window pics -flickr-
WEB - Nifty print ads -ad sneeze-

MOVIE NEWS - "Hunger" is already out in very limited release. Seeing the trailer for this serious film, about a group of 10 already gaunt-looking prisoners sacrificing their lives on a 60+ day hunger strike in Ireland in 1981, made me think that a hunger strike in the U.S. today would last a whole lot longer. -apple-

"Way Faster-er and Totally Furious-er" is out...race you to the theater.

ART NEWS - 3/31 - 4/5 "Happy Days" -fox- A pricey stage musical of the old TV stand-by? Pay money to watch a TV show on stage? Sounds like a "Fonzi" scheme. -review-

4/3 - Shen Wei Dance Arts, "This brilliant New York-based company, featured in the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics" -ferst- Not like those printing press/abacus get to see these dancers.

LOCAL NEWS - NO STATE SUPPORT - While our Atlanta transportation authority, MARTA, is trying to convince the state legislature that it is an asset for the entire state (MARTA is the only major transit agency in the nation that receives no regular, significant state funding"), it seems NYC is having the same problem funding its system -nyt-

DROUGHT'S OVER - According to the state's chief climatologist, the drought is officially over. Someone tell the Piedmont Park Conservancy...can we move Pride back to June, please? -ajc-

U.S. NEWS - Sinking dollar - In light of the failing strength of the U.S. dollar, China wants some world body to administer one world monetary unit; not a single country's currency. What currency? The "Earth-o"? I thought we already had a universal currency...isn't it called "gold"?

FRANCE NEWS - Parisian window pics -flickr-

WEB NEWS - Nifty print ads -ad sneeze-

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3/25/09 - Spring

MOVIE - Monsters vs. Aliens -trailer-
ART - Roller Girls -arg-
LOCAL - ING, HOT & Liquor
U.S. - Victory Garden -nyt-
FRANCE - “La Princesse de Clèves” -link-
WEB - Now you're cooking (w/o) gas -solar-

MOVIE NEWS - Monsters vs. Aliens -trailer- Looks cute, but, unfortunately, when it comes to spending money in this economy, it feels more like a choice of "Movie vs. Dinner".

(If that's not your style, consider this movie alternative: Donors to Shawn's YMCA Kid's Camp-aign will be entered into a drawing for our FAVORITE Metropolis event on Sunday, March 29th, at 12:00 PM - Mimosas, Massages, and "Mean Girls"!)

Enlighten Up - A skeptic's journey into the world of yoga ... you know ... me!

(Come experience yoga for yourself! All donors to Shawn's YMCA Kid's Camp-aign are invited to a complimentary beginner/intermediate OUTDOOR yoga session at Metropolis this Sunday, March 29th, at 2:00 PM!)

ART NEWS - Roller Girls -arg- Okay, it's not really "art", but it's "culture" couches on the front porch...and truck tire planters. It's $12 to get in, BYO-PBR, and then get your cheer on. How can you NOT love the team named "Sake Tuyas"? Or the bomber named "Merchant of Menace"? Besides, it's in the YAARAB Temple and it's probably the only chance you'll ever get to see...THE SLIDE!


ING MARATHON - The ING, Atlanta's spring Marathon, is this Sunday! Both the full and half-marathons start in Olympic Centennial Park at 7:05 AM. -course pdf-

(Need inspiration to cheer? All donors to Shawn's YMCA Kid's Camp-aign are invited to bagels and coffee behind Metropolis at 8th and Juniper Sunday, March 29th, at 8:00 AM to cheer the runners! The intersection of 10th and Juniper is Mile 10 of the Half and Mile 23 of the Full. Go B!)

DRINK MORE LIQUOR - Guv'nor Sunshine won't let you vote on Sunday retail alcohol sales (cuz that big ole ham hock of a man knows what's best for us?), but you can still drink in restaurants! The following hotspot hopefuls are having their liquor license requests reviewed by the MNA this month:

- Ri Ra, The Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1080 Peachtree Street, New Business (In the 1010 Peachtree building....but "1010" is just the name of the building..."1080" is the address...because it's not already confusing enough that it's on one of the 33 "peachtree" streets in Atlanta!)

- Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, Hotel Palomar, SAP for outdoor amplified music (YIPPEE! New outdoor spot on West Peachtree.... because the W is so 5 minutes ago).

- Waterhaven, 75 5th Street, New Business, Old Location (Could be the old "Globe" location? Sigh...I miss the Globe...hopefully this new place will be open in time for "Flicks on Fifth" in June)

- Midtown Mediterranean Diner, 112 10th Street, New Business, Old Location (The former "Jocks and Jills"?)

- Prickly Pear Taquena, 950 West Peachtree Street, New Business, Old Location (Something in Plaza Midtown?)

HIGHLY OFFICIOUS TRIPE - The Georgia DOT is soliciting input on their proposal to use federal money to convert existing HOV lanes into HOT lanes - High Occupancy Toll lanes.

"...lanes in the Atlanta region will allow qualified carpools to ride in the HOV lanes for free while other vehicles would enter for a fee."

At first I knee-jerked against it - HOV lanes are for cars with 2+ people in them, rewarding commuters who double up in one car and promoting fewer cars. HOT lanes are for cars with...what? ...overpaid DOT officials in them? Rewarding commuters who have lots of money? Promoting materialism?

But, I just it's really a High Occupancy AND a Toll it promotes both? The environment and the Wealthy? I guess that way it appeals to both Democrats and Republicans. -HOT-

U.S. NEWS - VICTORY GARDEN - The Obamas are putting in a vegetable garden at the White House, the first one since Eleanor Roosevelt. The article boasts that the garden only cost $200 in seeds, but didn't mention the price of labor to put it in; perhaps the 1st family did it themselves? That's how Michelle Obama got those toned arms everyone's talking about...she's a hoer! -nyt-

GET A CHAIR -nyt- If gardening seems like way too much work, here's an entire article in the New York Times about sitting. More specifically, about the the meticulous ways some LMNOP** Americans celebrate their constructing their own Star Trek command chair. That got me to thinking...why stop there? Why just Captain Kirk's chair? Why not other famous TV and Movie chairs?

I offer up some of the chairs below as being just as good for decorating your home...or Dungeons and Dragons corner of your mom's basement.

FRANCE NEWS - I am reading “La Princesse de Clèves” -link- Not really; that 17th century french classic is a bit over my head, but, it seems Sarkozy has publicly condemned the novel, so his constituents are embracing en masse in a protest! Live le livre!

WEB NEWS - Now you're cooking (w/o) gas -solar- We are always noting that our south-facing balcony heats up like an oven in the summer sun. Well, put it to use!

** "loser male nerds obsessing pubescently"

...the rest of the story...

3/17/09 - Relance, Lance, relance!

MOVIE - Duplicity & I Love You, Man
ART - Variety -adele-
LOCAL - Your Bib # 404 -ajc-
U.S. - Seattle paper goes digital -nyt-
FRANCE - Lance 'relance' -lemonde-
WEB - Reuse plastic bottles -BUOY-

MOVIE NEWS - 'Duplicity' & 'I Love You, Man'. Clive Owens and Julia Roberts are back in theaters with the tagline "Outwit. Outspy. Outsmart. Outplay. Then get out". Let's hope that this incarnation of Julia from the Mismatched Duo Caper genre machine is more "Notting Hill" than "I Love Trouble"...Outlandish!.

With Paul Rudd "out" this Friday in "I Love You, Man", "bromance" hits the big screen

ART NEWS - 3/17 - Variety -adele- "The minute you hear that voice, the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you realize this is someone special. She's just 19, but Adele Laurie Blue Adkins - you can call her simply Adele - sings like a woman three times her age, a soul sensation in her native U.K. who is poised to conquer America with 19, her debut album"

3/19 - Actor's Express is doing "Suddenly Last Summer". "Secrets and denial explode on a steamy New Orleans afternoon in this scorching classic..." -actors-

3/20 - High Museum Jazz -high- DO check out the"Terracotta Warriors" at the High; DON'T check them out in "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (unless, maybe, you are stoned, too). "The army departs April 19th"

3/21 - East Atlanta, Sylvester Cemetery - How often are you invited to a Country/Bluegrass concert that takes place on a performer's grave? Check-out Fiddlin' John Carson's 141st Birthday -sylvester-

LOCAL NEWS - Your Bib # 404 -ajc- I hate it when I'm wrong, but I'm big enough to admit it when I am.

This past Sunday was the first time 45,000 applicants could register for the Peachtree Road Race, online, starting at 7:00 AM. When I first heard that announcement on February 6th, I immediately emailed J - "I would bet that their server goes down at 7:03". Here it is --> "I was wrong." It went down at 7:10.

It came back online later that morning, but, at any rate, for all those folks that weren't able to register online, you have 2 choices - shoot for the lottery this weekend by mailing in the registration form that comes in the printed AJC and pray for one of the remaining 10,000 spots, or have some fun with your own, made-up bib number "404". It's our area code...and the code for "URL not found".

U.S. NEWS - Seattle paper goes digital, only -nyt- Good thing the ajc hasn't done this, yet, or that clip-out, mail-in, back-up plan for the Peachtree Road Race wouldn't have worked.

Real life Wall-e -nyt-

FRANCE NEWS - Relance, Lance, relance -lemonde- Lance's first big "return" to the racing circuit came after being sidelined by cancer in 1996, winning the first of 8 consecutive Tours de France in 1999.

It seems he is returning again this year after being sidelined by...his own retirement.

It's appropriate that the french verb for 'revive' or 'relaunch' is 'relancer'...because that's just what Mr. Armstrong is attempting at the age of 38. (Is that the phone ringing, Mr. Armstrong? Answer it; it might be 39 year-old Brett Favre, who seems to be "re-retired" after a lackluster season with the Jets, August 7, 2008 - February 11, 2009.)

WEB NEWS - Reuse plastic bottles -BUOY- I would love to see this as an installation on Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park during the Arts Festival...awareness!

More green "instructables"!

...the rest of the story...

3/10/09 - Frozen

MOVIE - "Last House" & "Witch Mtn"
ART - These are your arts, on sale -high-
LOCAL - No state stem cells -ajc-
U.S. - Guilty consumption -nyt-
FRANCE - Eat in NYC & Paris -nyt-
WEB - Green Guide -nat geo-

Photo shoot at Beleza and March 1st Snow. After last weekend's gorgeous weather, it's hard to believe the snow pics are from only 6 days prior. Mother Nature isn't fooling me, though; the tomato plants are staying indoors.

MOVIE NEWS - "Last House on the Left" re-envisions the 1972 original & "Race to Witch Mountain", remakes "Escape to Witch Mountain" from 1975.

ART NEWS - These are your arts, on sale -high- I've been a member of the High Museum of Art since 1987 and I don't recall ever seeing so many discount tickets being promoted - 50% off evenings, $5 college night, aquarium/high discount passes. That, to me, is a real sign of the recession.

LOCAL NEWS - No state stem cells -ajc- A Senate Committee in our brilliant state legislature has approved a bill that would to define an embryo as a person, thereby making all stem cell research illegal and putting Georgia in the back of the line in the forward-moving science of stem cell research. Specifically, the bill would prohibit couples from donating their embryos to science or discarding them. Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, argued - “No one’s right for a cure supercedes another’s right to life." So, every embryo has a right to life, but some folks (with MS, Parkingson's, etc) only have a right to a shitty life.

Thanks, Guv'nor Sunshine; those frozen, future taxpayers would have more legal protection than I do; how about passing legislation for a Hate Crimes Bill that would protect us all right here and now? Because this could have been me ---> "Man Attacked Outside Popular Gay Bar" -wsb-

U.S. NEWS - Guilty Consumption -nyt- Finally! I'm cool! I've always been a little on the frugal side, preferring to have money than to spend it ("thanks, dad!"), but now apparently that is trendy: “I do think that maybe now it’s a little bit chic or something to save money, or to be pinching pennies”

FRANCE NEWS - Eating in NYC & Paris -nyt- I like the quote “Americans in a bistro are like ladybugs in a garden, a sign of its rude good health.”

WEB NEWS - Green Guide -nat geo-

"If I had a hammer..." ...I probably wouldn't wear it (exactly) like this --> nyt

...the rest of the story...

03/03/09 - Carol

MOVIE - Watchmen
ART - Chorus Line -fox-
LOCAL - Sonny's Hookers -ajc-
U.S. - Worms
FRANCE - la famille homoparentale -fr-
WEB - Spider, man -flash-

The world lost a beautiful person early Monday morning when my brother's mother-in-law, Carol Ehmer, passed away. She was much more than an "in-law-in-law" to me - she was the warm heart of Thanksgiving, the sweet smells of Christmas, the pastel promise of Easter. She welcomed everyone and questioned no one. Her quick smile, sharp wit, and bright laugh will be missed. God bless you, Carol.

MOVIE NEWS - Watchmen "... takes place in an alternate history United States where the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most costumed superheroes are in retirement or working for the government." Like Pixar doing the Reagan years - "Ronny's Incredibles".

ART NEWS - March 3-8, 2009 - "Chorus Line" does it again at the Fabulous -Fox-

This is the very first Broadway show I can remember seeing; Mom took me and Jay G. to see it in Portland in about the 8th grade.

People often want insight into why each of us turns out the way we do; I joke that seeing "Chorus Line" was a major contributing factor to my "lifestyle".

Several years ago, when looking forward to my 20-year reunion, I very much wanted to see Jay again and tell him how I "turned out" and to joke with him about how "Chorus Line" "did it" to me.

At the reunion, the little joke became even funnier, as I saw Jay across the crowded room...and he saw me...and he threw his arms up in the air...and waved his hands to get my attention... screaming "sweetie! sweetie!"

I guess "Chorus Line" "did it" to him, too.

LOCAL NEWS - Sonny's Hookers -ajc- Georgia's Guv'ner Sunshine is a teetotaler opposed to Sunday liquor sales. He compared allowing a vote on the issue to letting Georgians decide whether prostitution should be legal. WOW! Really? That's stretching a comparison pretty darn far...liquor sales are already legal 6 days of week; prostitution is only legal if you are lobbying the legislature.

The Lorax - Thanks to the state senate passing Senate Bill 164, billboard owners can now cut down all the public trees they want, as long as they replace that 100 year-old oak with some flowers. -ajc-

High budget cuts - I guess it should be no surprise that at a time when the High is offering unprecedented admission deals, it's also having to lay off staff. What surprised me was reading it in the nyt as well as the ajc. -nyt- -ajc-

U.S. NEWS - Good worms, bad worms -vermiculture- -virus-

FRANCE NEWS - la famille homoparentale -fr- This article addresses the beginning of the process in France to recognize and protect the rights of step-parents, regardless of their sexuality. My french is still evolving; I wasn't able to divine the exact term for "step-domestic-partner-in-law".

WEB NEWS - Spider, man -flash-

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