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ATL 1/14/08

It's Prom Season, April, 1982 - In movie theaters, we are subjected to "Cat People" with Natasha Kinski (hired for the job based on her stellar a poster...with a snake), "Diner" starring everybody (who was the time...including Kevin Bacon, his 2nd movie after "Friday the 13th" and a great start for "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon"), and "Penitentiary II", with a pre-Ghostbusters Ernie Hudson.**

On the radio, we listened to J. Geils' "Centerfold", Human League's "Don't You Want Me", and Toto's "Rosanna". For the first and last time, as a senior in high school, I know backward and forward every single song on Billboard's top 20 list.

** (Don't you laugh about Ernie! This movie, plus several episodes of "Busom Buddies" and "A-Team", is how he worked up to getting a starring role in "Ghostbusters", 1 ...and 2... and the videogame, plus "Miss Congeniality", 1... and 2. No, seriously, this guy must have the world record for playing authority figures, his movie roles including "Det.", "Sgt.", "Det. Sgt." and"Senior Deputy", "Warden" and "Officer", as well as "Major", "Colonel", "Senator" and "Professor")


MOVIE NEWS - "Cloverfield" comes out this Friday - the hush-hush marketing campaign is incredible and so limited in what it shows that I'm thinking the movie will either be incredibly dumb or incredibly exciting. It's directed by J.J. Abrams, so either way, it'll be like Alias - either really good, like Season 1, or really bad, like seasons 2-x.

"27 Dresses" also hits this theaters - don't say anything bad about her movie, or Katherine Heigl'll sic T.R. Knight on you.

ART NEWS - Friday is Jazz Night at the High, 5-10 PM

Saturday is Dolly Parton's Bday...all day long (not just from 9 to 5).

Actor's Express, "Octopus" - "The world premiere of Atlanta playwright Steve Yockey's post-modern love story about sex, risk, jealousy and isolation in the waning age of AIDS. Always one to dabble in elements of magic realism and fantasy, Yockey will introduce a mysterious telegram delivery boy and a ravenous sea monster." January 14 - February 23rd

LOCAL NEWS -Tuesday is my 5th Anniversary at Metropolis!

Don't get me wrong; I love living in the city, but there is something terribly, terribly wrong with our local government. I prepared the diatribe below about the delayed sewer construction and its increasing costs, but that was before the city of Atlanta CANCELED CULTURE!

No more events in Piedmont Park because of the drought? I understand that grass if very important, but parks are people, not fescue. The events in Piedmont Park - The Dogwood Festival, PRIDE, Peachtree Road Race, Screen on the Green - they are part of the solution working towards making intown living great! So don't give up! Don't cancel everything! Give the hardworking, private groups that organize these events some guidelines to follow so we can have both GRASS and LIFE in our parks.

What makes the better headline for our city?

"Atlanta stands up to the challenges of the drought" or "Atlanta cancels events and crosses its fingers"?

WRITE YOUR CITY COUNCIL PERSON, NOW! For Metropolis/District 2, it's Kwanzaa Hall.

(By the way; where does the Piedmont Park Conservancy stand on this? Officially, they say it will be tough on them and their membership drive. But practically? As the official stewards of the park, have they gone on record as fighting for these events? Have they said they are working with the city on a "hardscape"-only solution for hosting these events?

No...but if they do nothing...and allow these events to continue to be canceled...then their originally stated goal - part of the 1995 Master Plan - of reducing the number of people and events in the park will be met.

And if you do nothing, you will have helped.)

SALES TAX AND SEWERS - What's up with our $3.9 billion dollar poop chute? We are currently paying a 1% sales tax that goes towards paying that little bill; if the city council doesn't vote to continue that tax, then our water bills will have to go up by as much at 48%.

I'm all for increasing the cost of water; it is more in the spirit of conservation. Of course, if water costs more , people might be forced to conserve more to keep their bills at about the same level. Then there won't be an increase in the income for the city. -ajc-

MAYOR FRANKLIN TAKING CREDIT - Mayor Shirley had a press conference last week to declare that Atlanta needs to be greener and cleaner. (NEWS?!?) In true politician fashion, she didn't want the speech to be all bad news, so she touted the fact that sewer overflows [into the Chattahoochee] were down last year, from 1000 in 2000 to only 300 in 2007. As reported the previous week, the new sewer overflow system is behind schedule and not yet complete, so reduced overflows are not because of something the city did; the number was lower because sewer overflows are caused by rain, which we didn't have in 2007. -ajc-

NATIONAL NEWS - What the hell does Al Sharpton want from this Tiger Woods thing? Who is stoking the fires of hate, here? I agree that Kelly Tilghman misspoke on the Golf Channel when she used the "L" word (no, not calling Tiger Woods a "lesbian", but I feel like I'm supposed to be afraid to use the actual word meaning "to intervene in the continuing earthly existence of an african-american through cruel, unwarranted, vigilante justice, an elliptical rope, and a tree branch). But fire her? Make it so she can never work again? What good does that do? What does Al want (other than to continue to receive $)? If he wants to increase understanding and compassion in the world, do so by pointing out injustice and taking steps to correct it; send her to diversity training, don't fire her.

Jesus was a teacher, not Donald Trump.

TV NEWS -Everything old is new, again. American Gladiator is back on NBC.

...the rest of the story...

ATL 1/07/08 - Back to Compliance

December, 1980 - In movie theaters, Robin Williams is "Popeye", Dolly Parton works "Nine to Five", and William Hurt has quite a few "Altered States".

On the radio, Blondie wants to "Call Me", Olivia Newton-John believes in "Magic", and Christopher Cross is "Sailing".

And on the 8th of the month, Mark Chapman shot John Lennon.

I know it's December because we are all crammed in front of the Xmas Tree. I know we are in front of the Xmas Tree, because I can see the angel and one lonely red light poking up next to my head. ...and that's why people take pictures in front of Christmas trees; visual clues like that help date a photo without the annoying little LED clock imprint. The tree and my uni-brow are screaming "Winter, 1980!"...

...or it might be December, 1981 - In which case, in movie theaters, Tom Cruise is in his first movie, "Taps"**, and both Fred Astaire and John Belushi are in their last; "Ghost Story" and "Neighbors". Dabney Coleman is doing double duty in both "Modern Problems" and "On Golden Pond".

On the radio, Blondie is in "Rapture", Olivia Newton-John wants to get "Physical", and Christopher Cross tells us that is "The Best That You Can Do". Not much has changed in a year.

**I'm not counting "Endless Love".

Baking gingerbread cookies for the firefighters of Station 15
Christmas mayhem


MOVIE NEWS - Nothing new of note being released this Friday...out of what's currently in release, I can't say enough nice things about "Sweeney Todd"...

...and for those who can't say ANY nice things about a movie, "Cineprov" is perfect! We checked it out last week - $10 to sit with about 25 other movies lovers and hear some pretty darn good improv comedy about some pretty darn bad movies. We saw "Phantom Menace" and will never see it again (the same way).

Of new releases, maybe I'll be able to catch "There Will be Blood" at the multiplex in Compliance... ha! Now that's comedy!

ART NEWS -Alliance Theater, Sophisticated Ladies - I saw this show on Broadway during my first trip to NYC in the 80's; now it's here at the Alliance January 9 - February 10th. "The jazz composer wrote plenty of immortal songs but never a Broadway musical. This revue, by director Kent Gash and his "Jelly's Last Jam" creative team, imagines a night of sizzling glamour from Harlem's Cotton Club."

When I saw this show open in 1981, it was 50 years after folks saw Duke Ellington at the original Cotton Club. Now the show is opening in Atlanta, and it's 26 years after I saw Gregory Hines in the original production on time flies.

I love the idea of the proposed "Capitol Gateway Park" that Atlanta wants to create connecting the State Capitol to Oakland Cemetery. It sure would be nice to open up a scenic view in some way other than by plowing a new road (i.e. Buckhead from 400 and downtown from Freedom Parkway).

In "infill housing" news, Townhomes by Lane Co. is going to shoehorn 41 new townhomes on Monroe Drive across from Ansley Mall. I'm all for infill housing, but not in areas under-served by public transportation. (Or, maybe this is replacing old apartments... anyone know for sure?)

COMPLIANCE NEWS - (I'm back in Ohio on Monday; here are my observations from my trip in December)

Woke up and it's 16 degrees outside. Chatted with the guy scraping his car next to mine; "what kind of a crazy person lives here, anyway?" "me...moving back from Georgia after 21 years...gotta go where the jobs are." Better jobs in 16,000 pop. Compliance than in 5 million pop. Atlanta?

Later that day, he walked into the control room in the plant where I'm working; they eliminated his job at a plant in Atlanta and gave him the option of moving to this one. He took it.

On the way to the airport on the 1st day of winter to catch my plane home, I saw 3 V-flocks of geese also flying out of town.

The local transmission repair shop made me feel a little closer to home. The name on the sign? Tranny Tom's.

NATIONAL NEWS - Out of Iowa, Obama was the lead Dem and Huckabee came out on top of the Republicans...and Britney wins breakdown/basket case of the week (again) while refusing to turn her kids over to their dad; no one had to caucus about that one.

FRENCH NEWS -There is ongoing concern for the actual circumstances around Benazir Bhutto's assassination. Maybe now we can move on from Princess Di's death.

WEB NEWS -I can waste huge amounts of time playing on vectorpark.

...the rest of the story...

ATL 12/31/07 - Happy New Year

Didn't work on the wayback machine project for Dad this weekend, so here's a pic of me and S. hard at work setting up for this year's company Christmas party group photo. Sharing most every aspect of my life with S. gives me one more reason to celebrate a Happy New Year!


MOVIE NEWS - Nothing new...just want to see as many great, new films as I can before the Oscar nomination announcements on January 28th!

Sweeney Todd - Blood - buckets, music - singing!
No Country for Old Men - Blood - unrelenting, music - haunting score
Hairspray - Blood - blushing cheeks, music - singing!

There will be Blood - Blood - in the title, music - unknown
American Gangster - Blood - gang violence, music - unknown
Eastern Promises - Blood - in a steam room?, music - unknown
The Great Debaters - Blood - none, music - unknown
Michael Clayton - Blood - none?, music - unknown
Juno - Blood - ewww, pregnancy?, music - unknown
Charlie Wilson's War - Double feature with "Kite Runner"?
Across the Universe - Blood - unknown, music - loads

ART NEWS - Okay, so the movies they screen at
CINEPROV really aren't "art", but I think that any creation that elicits a response from a crowd is a good thing.

This is a live, MST3000 movie group that meets on Fridays and watches/heckles bad me if you want to go!

LOCAL NEWS - Compound (in "Westside" or "Westown") is closing; a new nightclub is to be rebuilt on that property. Vision II is also planning on opening, across Peachtree Street from the old location. ajc

...and in drought news, the big debate in the ajc seems to be "was 2007 the driest year or not?" To me, it's a moot point; driest or not, it's obvious we used more water than we received and "driest" or not, it's a wake-up call for Atlanta.

NATIONAL NEWS -By now, Britney's impending Aunt-hood is old news; I loved the ancillary damage that the publication of her Mom's book on parenting is on hold. 'It's like Jeffrey Dahmer writing a cookbook...'

FRENCH NEWS - Bonne Anee!

WEB NEWS -Nothing special this week, although I do love going to boxofficemojo occasionally to gauge the level of interest Americans are showing in current movies.

...the rest of the story...

ATL 12/24/07 - Merry Xmas!

Merry Christmas! This me in Beaverton High School's annual fundraiser "Breakfast with Santa". The idea is kids paid for breakfast at a local department store and after enduring an amateurish production of elfen/norwegian/gay/sign language interpretations of Christmas Carols by our drama department, they got to meet Santa. Since everyone should go out at the top, this was my last official performance in the theater arts.
Gingerbread houses and the nurses as CHOA!
Making cookes for the firemen!


MOVIE NEWS - A couple of films are released on Christmas Day; I disagree with making the theater folks work on a holiday, but for many people, sitting in the dark and not speaking to anyone is what keeps a family together.

Good luck choosing between "Alien vs. Predator - Requiem" and "The Debaters", both out tomorrow.

LOCAL NEWS - The Gulch - Central Atlanta Progress released a plan for redoing "the Gulch"...from new Georgia State dorms, west through Underground and a revamped Five Points MARTA, up to Philips Arena. The plans look great...let's just cross our fingers that it's not "Underground Atlanta, take 4". -ajc-

Atlantic Station - Then there are the reports of additional development "bordering intown Atlanta's popular urban enclave". I couldn't believe that was the phrase used to describe Atlantic Station.

There is a lot of new stuff going in (even though I've heard they can't fix/sell the ATLofts already completed there):

- Pollack Partners is building at 16th and Mescalin.
- Sembler has dibs on a property Tech currently owns at 14th and Northside.
- A Houston-based investment group has bought the property at 17th & Northside. -map-

Everyone please join me in nipping this in the's "Westside", not "West Midtown". If it's "West Midtown", what does that make Georgia Tech (sandwiched between there and Midtown)? "Midwest Midtown"?

NATIONAL NEWS -About 450,000 acres of land in the United States is devoted to growing Christmas trees. Operations range from mega growers like Holiday to mom and pop farms in all 50 states. Last year’s harvest of 28.6 million trees had a retail value of $1.2 billion. nyt

FRENCH NEWS -Joeux Noel! (They celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by over-spending, too! Nothing says "Salvation!" like Louis Vitton.)

TIKI NEWS -A vast subnet of Atlanta nightlife, the Tiki culture merits more exploration. What could possibly make you smile more than drinking out of ceramic pirate mug containing a pink drink made from 7 different kinds of rum, watching girls in grass skirts, and dancing with a monkey in a Polynesian fertility mask?

Tiki -1-
Tiki -2-
Tiki -3-
Tiki -4-

I'm there any time you want to go!

...the rest of the story...

ATL 12/17/07

Yes, that's me gettin' jiggy for the Junior/Senior Prom (I was the Junior going with Senior Laura) and yes, that's brown velvet.
There are numerous articles out there about why you should or shouldn't drink at company Christmas parties; you be the judge.

MOVIE NEWS - The Golden Globe Nominations are out, and I'm astonished to find that I'm familiar with every single film nominated in the foreign film category:

4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days (Romania)
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (France, United States)
The Kite Runner (United States) - huh?
Lust, Caution (Taiwan)
Persepolis (France)

While we've only seen "Diving Bell" and already missed seeing "Lust" in the theater, I'm definitely going to drag pumpkin to the other 3...

Other notables (for me, anyway):

Eastern Promises - Best Drama
Jodie Foster – The Brave One - Best Actress, Drama
Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises - Best Actor, Drama
Hairspray - Best Comedy or Musical
Nikki Blonsky – Hairspray - Best Actress, Comedy or Musical
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd - Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
Julia Roberts – Charlie Wilson's War - Best Supporting Actress
John Travolta – Hairspray - Best Supporting Actor
The Simpsons Movie - Best Animated
Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell And The Butterfly - Best Director

...and in the local film category, an Anti-Bush/Pro-Vegetarian Horror Spoof I saw at the Atlanta Film Festival last April is now out on DVD...that's's finally your chance to see... "Blood Car"!

This weekend's new release is "Sweeney Todd" - Johnny Depp is "Running with Scissorhands", again.

ART NEWS - "The Wiz" is easing on down the road to the Rialto, Dec 19-30.

LOCAL NEWS -The 14th Street Bridge Project is about to get all up in my face! Because of the "good" (read "drought-stricken") weather, the project is ahead of schedule and Techwood Drive will be closing early! No 16th/14th/10th Street exit off the connector! (That's what the Midtown folks are reporting, although my DOT contact - "Deepthroat of Transportation" - tells me it may be otherwise...)

New Civil Rights Museum - The ajc reports a new design for a Civil Rights Museum would cost an estimate $125 million to build. They asked folks to vote on whether they thought it was "worth" that much money, but they didn't put it into much of a context. Allow me...

The New World of Coke set Coca-Cola back $97 million.

The High Museum's Renzo Piano expansion cost $163 million (including the new dorms, restaurant, and admin offices).

Bernie Marcus funded $250 million of the cost to build the Georgia Aquarium and there were still additional, corporate sponsors.

NATIONAL NEWS -After going on and on and on for 5 years, Celine Dion gave the final performance of her show at Caesar's Palace on Saturday night. Finally, my life can go on.

FRENCH NEWS -Didn't make it to the newspaper's headlines; the link to Le Monde was hijacked by a flash ad for "Sweeney Todd" (before you could click to continue to the news site.

WEB NEWS -All those boxes to unwrap over Christmas...then...what to do with the boxes?

Cardboard can be cool...

Laptop Case -link-
Decorating -link-
Design -link-
Furniture -link-

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