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ATL 2/25/08 - The Oscars

40th Birthday portrait!!!
Juno / Atonement / There Will Be Blood
Between flicks / S isn't sure about this / Michael Clayton
"Juno" headband - Check! "Blood" cross & 'stache - Check! "No Country" Sheriff's badge - Check! "M Clayton" black suit - Check! "Atonement" letter to Cecilia - Check! We ARE the movies!


MOVIE NEWS - The Oscars! For the first time ever, I've seen all 5 Best Picture nominees prior to the ceremony. I'd already seen "No Country For Old Men", so Saturday, the schedule was:

11:15 - "Juno" (Landmark)
1:00 - Pizza (Mellow Mushroom)
4:00 - "Atonement" (Tara)
6:30 - "There Will Be Blood" (Tara)
9:30 - Publix
10:30 - "Michael Clayton" (DVD)

For what it's worth, we LOVED "Atonement", "Blood" was tough to sit through, and the oversight of "Sweeney Todd" was robbery.

(After the ceremonies - Loved Marion Cotillard's Gautier fish gown! Hated Tilda Swinton's black satin kaftan with missing sleeve! Loved all of Jennifer Garner! Hated all of Jennifer Hudson's gutted snake/sheet wrap around! Loved Katherine Heigl's sassy curly bob and red gown. Love Helen Mirrin, but the silver sleeves on the red dress were way too matador meets Santa Claus.)


LOCAL NEWS - PEACHTREE ROAD RACE - The race will now veer from last year's course from 10th onto Juniper, finishing at Juniper & Ponce, with the crowds continuing down North and Piedmont to the Civic Center.

Interesting; in addition to closing Peachtree Street, the Race will now impact traffic on all those roads, too. Did the DOT plan this?

DRINKING SAFELY - In Georgia, we can drive to a restaurant on Sunday to drink, and then drink, and then drive home, but we can't drive to a liquor store to buy beer to consume at home. If you think this is silly, sign the online petition.

GUV'NER PROGNOSTICATOR - "Perdue Expects Delta to Stay in Atlanta". That's a comfort...coming from the guy that "expects" the drought to be solved by prayer.

DRINKING SAFELY 2 - We at Metropolis don't have to worry about that whole drinking/driving thing; prior to opening, the new Taco Mac in my basement has applied for their liquor license (unlike the folks that previously occupied the same Metropolis retail space).

A BOOM IN PIEDMONT PARK CONSTRUCTION - The construction of the parking garage has begun in Piedmont Park (how's that going to affect your precious grass during the drought, you vapid, vacuous, vociferous vultures?!?)

How did I find out? From the newspaper? No. From posted signage? No. A warning letter from the precious Piedmont Park Conservancy? No.

From the Midtown Neighbor's Assoc. newsletter:

"Atlanta Botanical Garden - Rock Blasting Notice Please be advised that the General Contractor constructing the Parking Facility for the Atlanta Botanical Garden is scheduled to begin rock blasting activities as early as Wednesday, February 13, 2008..."

...AND ON THAT NOTE...Debbie McGowen, Princess of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, announced her retirement. Boo-frickin-hoo. -ajc-

COMPLIANCE NEWS - Overheard at the Asian Buffet (you know the place...the sushi buffet... with mac and cheese...and mashed potatoes...and a smoked ham):

Mother leaving restaurant, whose son wandered to a man at another table: "I think he wants to go home with you."
Man: "I've already got 2."
Mother: "We've got 8; you can have him."
Man" "I'd love to have 8...but..."
Mother: "She told you to get off, huh?"
Man: "Naw...we just can't afford them"

In the Taco Bell - "Heh, guess what? I've only got 1 month left on my parole!"
Boss - "Great! What about your meeting?"
"Which one? Oh, yeah, I missed AA last night..."

FRENCH NEWS -Marion Cotillard's Best Actress Oscar...what else? -lemonde-

WEB NEWS -Find local electronics recyclers -here-

...the rest of the story...

ATL 2/18/08 - Compliance The End

Me and Ma in Paris, 1995

New Orleans - Endymion Parade, Audubon Park, Mardi Gras doors


MOVIE NEWS - ALL 5 Oscar nominated movies are playing back-to-back for $30 Stonecrest and Colonial. (And even better for Metropolites, the Social Committee is showing "Michael Clayton" in Club M...George Clooney! For Free!)

ART NEWS -"Bathhouse, The Musical" is playing at the Theatre Decatur through March 15.

We loved "Octopus" at Actor's Express...and there's one weekend left in the world premiere run. (But be warned - this ain't your Momma's gay multiple-partner relationship play with nudity!)

COMPLIANCE NEWS -It's the week leading up to the Oscars...back home, Landmark is showing both the live action shorts and the animated shorts, plus "Juno", "No Country For Old Men", "Charlie Wilson's War", and "Persepolis".

Here in Compliance, I can go see "Fool's Gold" or "Meet the Spartans" or "Rambo".

Or not. Sigh

LOCAL NEWS -Piedmont Park - They tore-up the natural wetlands that were developing around the bridge north of the field by Park Tavern to install a new planting...there's no water for the lawn, but plenty for new plantings!

The tire tracks dug into the grass by park vehicles were still evident over a week after I first noticed them. We can't sit on the grass for SOTG, but it's okay to drive on it?

Screen on the Green has been re-located to Centennial Park. Apparently, the drought forcing event cancellations in Midtown hasn't been as strongly felt all the way downtown. (I'm actually kind of ok with this. SOTG has been getting a little too crowded; when the city decides to let us back into Pedmont Park, I'd like to see the event expand to both parks.)

NATIONAL NEWS -143 million lbs of beef recalled...According to the Minnesota Beef Council:
"A 1,000 pound steer will provide about 430 pounds of edible meat." That's 332,558 (former) cows. More yummy beef trivia -here-

The primaries are secondary to me...what's really buggin me is the "Economic Stimulus" package...

Why is it that conservatives hate people money to pay for frivolities like food and shelter, but it's okay to give away money to everyone in the name of "Economic Stimulus"?

And moreover, the more you make...the more you have actually PAID in taxes...the smaller your "package" will be. People who paid ZERO in taxes are getting stimulated. What the hell is that? Of course they need to be "stimulated"...they don't even frickin WORK!

WEB NEWS -Some news outlets are reporting on the death of the TV theme song in today's climate of short attention spans and TiVo. Things got a little slow one day in Compliance, Ohio, so we spent the morning listening to movie theme songs. -here-

...the rest of the story...

ATL 2/11/08 - Mardi Gras

Me and Bro at Uncle Dayne's place in Bakersfield, CA. My namesake was part of the Invasion of Normandy that helped turn the tide in WWII; we lost him in 1997, but not before I got to visit Omaha Beach, write his name and story in a guest book, and come home to tell him about it.

A little different for the blog...S got a new snapshot camera for Groundhog Day, so I actually get to be in some of this week's pics!
Parades - Thoth and Endymion (Bacchus' rival krewe)
New best friends
S wasn't shy about it being his special day.
Mardi Gras Goodies
Bourbon Street


MOVIE NEWS - Metropolites! The next two Tuesdays are Oscar movie night at 7:30 in Club M - the 12th is Ratatouille and the 19th is "Michael Clayton".

And in theaters this Valentine's Day, I'm betting/hoping that Doug Liman, the director of "Bourne Ultimatum" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" doesn't let us down with "Jumper" - "Anywhere is Possible". Hayden Christensen can't act his way out of a wet paper bag, but I'm assuming he can teleport out of one.

ART NEWS - Get Coffee and get Jazzed. 7:00 PM this Friday, February 15th, at the Starbucks at 7th and Peachtree, a certain local photographer would love to share a cup of coffee with you and talk about his Paris photos. Jeff is the featured photographer for February and would be totally caffeinated to see you there!

We are then heading to the High for Friday Jazz (riffing on the Piazza until 10:00 PM).


FAV THING TO COME HOME TO-11 messages on the answering machine; 5 from Mitt Romney, 2 from S., who called home while tipsy with important info we didn't want to forget (but couldn't figure out how to jot down? Drunk dialing always works; drunk writing...not so much)

FAV TWISTED ADVICE - You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.

FAV GOAL -We're going to try and do all the seven sins...starting with gluttony. 'And when you get through them all?' It's New Orleans...after the Seven Sins, we start on the Seven Dwarves. (We actually just ended up doing gluttony all weekend long...and Sleepy.)

FAV STRAIGHT GUY QUOTE (SAID TO ME) - "If you weren't so funny and so gay, I'd have to kick your ass."

FAV BEAD TOSSING STRADEGY - There's no way I was going to stand on a balcony with a bunch of strangers & scream out 'show us your (body part)'. Too degrading...for me.

But being on a balcony at Pat O'Brien's on Bourbon Street, we had a responsibility to make people do something to earn their we made the guys do...push-ups. And the girls?


At least half the guys wouldn't do the push-ups...and the girls? More than one would rather show us her boobs.

'Those don't work on us! Do a cartwheel!' When the guys did it, we cheered them through it---'1,2,3,4,'re your beads...go wash your hands!' Making them get down on their hands and knees in the filth on Bourbon St... isn't that still pretty degrading?

Sure...but only for the moment...not for photographic eternity that a boob/penis lasts on the internet.

LOCAL NEWS -Dogwood Festival at the mall - thanks Atlanta City Council, for chasing culture out of Midtown. Perhaps it's in part due to the DOT closing the exits from I-75/85 to 10th and 14th streets until 2010 - what's the point of having events in Midtown if you can no longer even frickin get here?

2010! 20-frickin-10! In 2010, we are supposed to have spaceships on the way to Jupiter and personal robot valets and iTV's...but what do we get in Atlanta? A new bridge? the way...replaces one that is only 24 years old?

NATIONAL NEWS -There was a tragic shooting at a city council meeting in Missouri. While violence is unconscionable, it's not difficult to imagine being frustrated by repeated attempts to GET THE FRICKIN CITY COUNCIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE A TERRIBLE, UNBENDING, UNFEELING, UNINTELLIGENT public policy.

FRENCH NEWS -Continuing coverage of the American primary elections is front page news in France, describing the neck-and-neck Obama-Clinton battle and McCain vs. The Huckster. How many Americans can even name the French president?

...the rest of the story...

ATL 2/04/08 - S's Bday

Fall, 1986 - Georgia Tech Graduation
The Graiviers
Lindsey & Ryan

MOVIE/ART/COMPLIANCE/WEB NEWSJust got home from S's big bday in New Orleans for Mardi Gras (well, we came home before the actual day of Mardi Gras, so had to settle for only celebrating Samedi Gras, Dimanche Gras and a little bit of Lundi Gras.)

So, next week will be the photo post...this week, all the news that matters for Mardi Gras in New Orleans...

MOVIE NEWS - Check-out "Pelican Brief", "The Big Easy", and "Live and Let Die" for a little taste of New Orleans.

LOCAL NEWS -It's Mardi Gras!

NATIONAL NEWS -It's Mardi Gras (and the Giants won something...)

FRENCH NEWS -C'est Mardi Gras!

WEB NEWS -More New Orleans news is -here- and -here-.

...the rest of the story...

ATL 1/28/08

Fall, 1982 - Georgia Tech
Abandoned Farmhouse on the way from Ft. Wayne to Compliance.


MOVIE NEWS - Coming up this Friday - "The Eye", a terrific Japanese thriller is remade starring the 3 time Razzie-nominated Jessica Alba. Competing with that is "Over Her Dead Body", which is the only way I'd see this crazy-dead-wife-didn't-they-do-this-in-Ghost flick (starring Eva Longoria as the "Desperate-to-break-into-major-motion-pictures Housewife.")

...and the Oscar Noms are out. Biggest surprise for me? The Foreign Film Nominees. My reader may recall that I was excited about the Golden Globe Noms for Foreign Film; I was familiar with all the nominated films.

I've never heard of a single one of the Oscar nominees:

“Beaufort” Israel
“The Counterfeiters” Austria
“Katyn” Poland
“Mongol” Kazakhstan
“12″ Russia

ART NEWS - There's a new photographer on display at the Starbucks at 7th and Peachtree starting this weekend, February 2nd. Start your Saturday off right by enjoying some Paris with your caffeine! Coming soon -"Like we want to see Jeff on even more caffeine" Evening over Coffee.

LOCAL NEWS - "HEY! YOU! GET OFF MY LAWN!" - Piedmont Park is not alone in having to come up with creative solutions for preserving its green space; Central Park was considering imposing crowd limitations in addition to requiring groups to post bond to repair damage. The uproar from the people who use the park got them to change that. (The Piedmont Park Conservancy's 1995 Master Plan -pdf-.)

And reader, mark these words, because you've never read the likes of them here before; I like Guv'ner Sunshine's proposed state capitol plan! Not only would it make good use of the old World of Coke building (by moving state history exhibits into it from existing, crowded space in the Capitol) and add green space to connect to the proposed "Capitol Gateway Park", it proposes to tear down a DOT be replaced with parking. HA! -ajc-

Proposed budget for the new Lawn (& accessories) - $26 million
Proposed budget for drought resolution measures (like watering the Lawn) - $40 million -ajc-

COMPLIANCE NEWS -I gotta question living in these "above/below" parts of the country; "above/below" as in "today's low will be 1 deg 'above' zero". 1 measely little degree. Cuz that's so much warmer that 1 'below'...

NATIONAL NEWS -Gamecocks for Obama.

FRENCH NEWS -You can't even avoid the American presidential race in France, as "Obama succeeds at winning the black vote" makes international headlines.

WEB NEWS - iPods aren't just for breakfast anymore. Every Monday afternoon, I go online with itunes so my podcasts can update. My favorite weekly shows are produced for NPR (shocker); 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me' & 'This American Life'. Where else do you learn about how kids really want us to talk to them or what should Oprah do, knowing Iraqis watch her show?

...the rest of the story...

ATL 1/21/08 - Compliance

June, 1982 - High School Graduation!
(Typical) Life in Compliance - Restaurant...Suburb...Church


MOVIE NEWS - This Friday,"4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" - on several "Best Foreign Film" lists - is in limited release (meaning NOT Atlanta). What WILL be out in Atlanta includes "Meet the Spartans", standard spoof in the vein of "Scary Movie", and "Rambo", standard spoof in the the vein of anything Stallone has done since "Rocky".

ART NEWS -The Fox Theatre, Jan 22-27 - "The Drowsy Chaperone" - The musical winner of 5 Tony awards makes its way to Atlanta.

History Channel, Jan 21, 9-11:00 PM - "Life After People" - Okay, TV isn't really "art", but apocalyptic survival is pervasive in today's cultural landscape, with such post-disaster fare as "I Am Legend" in theaters, "The World Without Us" in bookstores, and Britney Spears everywhere.

Even at 12 years old, I can remember reading "Swiss Family Robinson" and "Mysterious Island" and thinking 'people need engineers.'

LOCAL NEWS - DESIGN - Looks like the ultra-cool Aquarius condos may be back on track. With solar and wind power generation incorporated into the tower and an automated parking garage, it would be a real technology first for Atlanta. Robotic parking systems are in place in other countries and are a nifty idea...when they work. Like my friend Michael said "I'll buy into the SECOND building in Atlanta with that technology.
-ajc- our parking garage, we can barely get the gate to open...much less get a robot to tell us where our car is parked.

The Central Atlanta Progress / Atlanta Downtown Improvement District passed out awards in design excellence for 2007. Check 'em out - CAP/ADID. I have a soft spot for nominee French American Brasserie...designed to feel like dining in Paris.

COMPLIANCE NEWS - Took a break from my daily Work/Work-out/Work/Run routine here to see "Cloverfield" at the mall multi-plex. While sitting in front of Pizza King, waiting on my co-worker, I overheard folks approaching the theater. "Whoa...check out the line" said one teen; "it's huge".

"The line" had maybe 20 people in it - quite the crowd here in the wide open spaces of Oh-Hell-Hole!

NATIONAL NEWS - VIOLENCE - "We are not a nation at war; we are a military at war. We are a nation at Walmart."

The McPaper reports "75% of areas of Baghdad secure". Now if only they could boast that kind of success in AMERICA's cities!

Back home, NYT reports on 2 economists who conclude violent crimes are DOWN by 1000 per weekend during the last decade because of violent films in theaters. DOWN? It seems that during prime crime time, the bad guys are in a dark theater, munching popcorn & watching surrogate crimes, instead of in a bar, drinking & prepping for their own sprees.

This certainly disputes other economists' contentions that violent films (and music and video games) cause violent crime rates to go UP.

Who's right? I say lock all the contentious economists in a bar endlessly screening 'Saw VI'; the survivor is right.

FRENCH NEWS -Le Monde reports on Clinton, Romney, & McCain's campaign victories. How many Americans can even name the French president?

WEB NEWS - As a wedding photographer, I've been lucky enough to work with the most tasteful brides in the south, but I can still understand the pain of the dresses shown on uglydress.

...the rest of the story...