Friday, December 15, 2006


Don't know if you've seen this:

Zoo Names New Panda 'Hartsfield-Jackson'

(AP) ATLANTA Children sang and performers put on a lively dance Friday as Zoo Atlanta unveiled the name of the nation's newest panda cub - Hartsfield-Jackson, a 12-pound ball of adorableness too sedated to attend the hoopla.

Hartsfield-Jackson, which officials said “celebrates the diversity that both our city and the bi-chromatic panda cub symbolize,” was the most popular name in an online poll at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Web site out of 10 names chosen by the zoo, city officials, Brand Atlanta’s corporate partners Home Depot and Coca-Cola, and randomly selected focus groups. William B. Hartsfield was the longest-serving mayor in Atlanta's history, and previously inspired the name for the Zoo's famous great ape Willie B; Maynard Jackson was a three-term mayor who helped bring the Olympics to Atlanta in 1996, and who also loaned his name for the institution's beloved ocelot Maynard G. Krebs.

Li’l Peach, Whatizit and Perimeter Pete were among the other choices in the poll that drew 57,000 online votes.

Lion dancers performed to ensure good luck and prosperity for little Hartsfield-Jackson and Chinese-American children sang "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing" in Chinese.

The honoree did not make an appearance but could be seen via video feed sleeping in her secluded habitat.

Hartsfield-Jackson took her first shaky steps in seclusion this week, a milestone that means her public debut is just a few weeks away. Until the debut, panda fans have been keeping up with the cub and her mother, Dim Sum, on the her online panda cam, access to which is available on a pay-per-view basis on her blog.

Nine-year-old Dim Sum gave birth Sept. 6 to the fifth giant panda born at a U.S. zoo in the last six years. Dim Sum and Hartsfield-Jackson’s father, Yao Ming, remain unmarried at press time.

Hartsfield-Jackson will return eventually to Chengdu, China to breed. Dim Sum was inseminated in March through a new process that aims to get a nearly pure semen sample from a male panda using “massage,” zoo officials said.

After several years of trying to inseminate a rhesus monkey, a lemur, and a recently dismissed zoo-keeper with samples of panda semen, the zoo decided to artificially inseminated Dim Sum, an actual panda, at the end of March.

Dennis Kelly, the zoo's president and CEO, said he hopes to impregnate Dim Sum again in 18 months.

"This is a happy day along a journey that's going to continue," Kelly said with a wink after the ceremony. "We expect more work will be done." Within moments of the announcement, zoo officials explained to Mr. Kelly that he would not be an acceptable semen donor for the future impregnation, after which he stomped off in an apparent huff.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


According to today's AJC, state Rep. Timothy Bearden has just filed legislation that, if passed will make it illegal for "any Georgia city or county from issuing any official forms or documents in a language other than English."

Bearden is the Republican representative of Villa Rica, Georgia.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Original REM Line-up To Reunite

REM will perform three songs with original drummer Bill Berry on September 16 in Atlanta, when the band is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Is the AJC short-staffed today? They haven't yet posted this story, nor the one in the previous post about someone firing a missile at one of our U.S. Senators.

Georgia Senator Nearly Killed In Georgia

Two Mondays ago, while visiting Georgia (the country), Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia (the state) had a missile fired at him while traveling in a helicopter. Luckily, the assassins missed.

Chambliss was one of six U.S. senators on the helicopter, the most well-known of whom was '08 Presidential contender Senator John McCain.

The would-be assassins were likely seperatists from Georgia (the country)'s South Ossetia region. They're supported by Russia. Yesterday, they fired at and downed a helicopter carrying Georgia's defense minister.

Pretty scary, eh? One man with a missile nearly killed six U.S. senators, among them the possible next President. Might the U.S. have responded by attacking South Ossetia? If so, how would their Russian allies react? All I can think to say is Crikey!

UPDATE: Reports now indicate that the incident may not have happened. I think it's entirely possible that it did happen, but that a lot of people in three countries (U.S., Georgia, & Russia) would like to downplay it. Pure speculation on my part.

Anyway, the "did it or didn't it" happen angle only makes it juicier story.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My 'Lanta Projects McKinney Loss

My 'Lanta projects that challenger Hank Johnson has defeated incumbent Rep. Cynthia "Can you hear me now?" McKinney in the Democratic primary for Georgia's 4th District congressional seat.

My 'Lanta also projects that 'power' might get a bit lonely now that 'truth' won't be around to 'speak to' it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Grady Patient List

Earlier today I stopped by Grady Hospital to visit a friend.

When I stopped at the information desk to ask what room my friend is in, the desk clerk wrote my friend's room number on a scrap piece of paper. The scrap paper is actually a patient log that lists the full names and room number of people who were patients at the hospital on April 8. My scrap lists Jones through Lewis.

There's not much I can do with the information, I suppose, but I do find it disturbing that Grady Hospital is essentially handing out lists of patients' names to random people who stop by the information desk. I'd be mighty peeved if my name and room number, past or present, was being handed to strangers, especially since matching a patient's name to a room number could conceivably reveal the nature of someone's hospital stay -- "Room 7K04 -- he must have cancer," "Room 2A16 -- that's the infertility clinic," etc.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ralph Reed in a nutshell

Garrison Keillor on Ralph Reed:

"If a preacher secretly accepts a bucket of money from a saloonkeeper to organize a temperance rally at a rival saloon and maybe send in a gang of church ladies to chop up the bar with their little hatchets, this would strike you and me as sleazy, but others are willing to make allowances, and so Ralph Reed's political career is still alive and breathing in Georgia."

Read the rest on

And if you still haven't read Doug Monroe and Josh Latta's hilarious illustrated biography of Ralph Reed, you're missing out.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Newspaper reports Dallas Austin brought heroin to Dubai

Although the AJC reported this morning that he's going on trial for cocaine possession, Dubai's Khaleej Times newspaper reports today that Dallas Austin admitted to Dubai authorities that he had heroin in his possession when he arrived in the emirate.

". . . the officials searched his baggage and confiscated one gram of Heroin and some steroid capsules," said the source, adding that Austin was taken to the airport detention centre and a lawsuit filed against him at Rashidiyah police station.

The source divulged that, during the police interrogation, Austin admitted that he had brought in the drugs from the US. "He told the investigation officers that he bought the drugs in the US for his personal use and forgot to remove it from his bag and pocket before he came here."

Either way, not good.

Free Coffee On Tuesday

Free coffee today!!!

On Tuesday, June 27 between 2pm and 4pm, Joe's coffee shop in East Atlanta will be serving you, the valued customer, a free large coffee. The offer includes cappuccino, latte and regular good old fashioned American brewed coffee.

The offer is a part of a promotion for the The Devil Wears Prada, which is actually a good movie.

Sit, drink FREE COFFEE, stay awhile, use the free Wi-Fi.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dubai Doobie Don't


News of Dallas Austin's arrest in Dubai on drug charges was picked up by the AJC today. According to the story, Austin has been in custody for over a month.

It appears that one of the reasons that the story has eluded media coverage for so long is that Austin's associates may have been lying about it.

The following, insanely stupid story, appeared on Atlanta photographer Sandra Rose's web site on Sunday, two days after the New York Daily News first reported Austin's arrest:

According to Dallas' close friends and associates, Dallas was not arrested or charged with transporting coke into Dubai. Rather, he lost his passport in Dubai and is now vacationing in London while he waits for immigration to issue him a new passport. My sources tell me they have been in touch with Dallas by phone "daily" and they blame rumors of his arrest on "haters".

He lost his U.S. passport in Dubai, so he's incommunicado in London until he gets a new one? What kind of crap is that? Just because I'm a hater doesn't mean I'm stupid.

Original blog post:

Atlanta music mogul Dallas Austin has reportedly been arrested in Dubai for possession of illegal drugs.

Mr. Austin's arrest marks the second time that he has made Atlantans regret that our city leaders chose him to be our musical ambassador to the world.

The first time was this song.

Pissiness aside, let's hope that he's able to wriggle out of this mess without experiencing too much of the awfulness for which the UAE's criminal justice system is notorious. Imprisoning non-violent drug users accomplishes nothing.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

No Trees Atlanta

Who cut down all the trees and why?

Does anyone know?

(the intersection Virginia and Highland, early evening June 23, 2006)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Another victory for Big Taco

Gwinnett puts stop to traveling tacos
Mobile vendors out as county's rules get tighter

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/19/06

To some, they are eyesores. To others, they offer a fast, cheap meal. Whatever your take on mobile taco stands, they're out of business in Gwinnett County.

The last of the food trailers known for $1 tacos rolled out of the county last month, a casualty of new rules meant to limit street peddling.

What used to be a mobile taco stand sits idle at a body shop in Duluth. Gwinnett County no longer allows rolling food vendors. Officials say the rule promotes good order and benefits established businesses.

Read more

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Attention, Zombies!

Atlanta is the 17th brainiest large city in the U.S.

So says BizJournals, the national newspaper publisher that puts out the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The brainiest city is Seattle, followed by San Francisco and Austin.

The full charticle is available

Friday, May 19, 2006

Coffee, Ice Cream and Produce in Southwest Atlanta

My neighborhood coffee shop, Capitol Coffee, has been the best neighbor a caffeine-addicted, under-employed writer could hope for.

Located feet from the where the Beltline might be if it ever gets built, Capitol Coffee is a friendly, integrated meeting place with comfy chairs, a shaded patio, free Wi-Fi, and a staff so friendly that I've been late for several appointments because I end up sitting and talking with them.

Capitol Coffee recently took another step toward the summit of Mount Awesome when it added a Farmers Market to its menu.

Every other Sunday, from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Capitol Coffee will have fresh, organic produce for sale, including fruit, veggies, and eggs. The market also features cut flowers, honey, stone ground grits, handmade soap and organic coffee.

The Capitol Coffee Coffee Farmers Market is this Sunday, May 21, from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Capitol Coffee is located at 1213 Allene Ave SW, Atlanta GA 30310.

Map of 1213 Allene Ave Sw
Atlanta, GA 30310-4200, US

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hey, Vern, please stop.

The following, very bizarre press release arrived this morning from the office of Dekalb County CEO Vernon Jones. It is a response to this excellent column by the AJC's Cynthia Tucker.

I repeat: this is a real press release.




May 17, 2006

As the old saying goes:

"You don't get into a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton."

I want to apologize for aggravating the AJC by saying DeKalb County Government’s hiring practices are better than the AJC's and Cox Enterprise’s hiring practices.

I want to plead with the AJC, “I’se tired. Please don't whup me no mo!!" I don't know many ways I can say it: I have not, will not, shall not condone racism in DeKalb County’s hiring practices.

In the words of a great American, Forest Gump, “that's all I gotta say about that!"

• Vernon Jones

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Boy Dancer

Other than my friend Omar, who plays in the horn section Washington High School band, my favorite performer at last Saturday's Atlanta high school marching band jamboree at Lakewood Stadium was this spectacular dancer. He wasn't the only boy dancing on the field that afternoon, but he was definitely the only boy dancing like that.

For those of you who can't see the video link above, try this one.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Move that bus

Former Atlantan, current star of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, just got a lot richer:

From today's New York Times:

Ty Pennington, a home improvement guru, seems to have made a connection with the public. More than a third of people who knew of him said his endorsement would help sell them a product, according to a new study by the NPD Group, a market research firm that examined the influence of 86 celebrity endorsements featured in ads last year.

In the study, no one had a higher positive "purchase influence" than Mr. Pennington.
Incidentally, the celebrity with the highest negative purchase influence is Anna Nicole Smith. Sorry, TrimSpa.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Spaghetti Rainbow

Afternoon rush hour, I-85, at Spaghetti Junction, May 4, 2006.

I was driving. Ms. Christi took the picture.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Report: The Sunday Paper is Ralph Reed campaign literature

I love The Sunday Paper.

Really, I do.

Week-after-week, no other newspaper in town is as good at jamming advertorial, fascism, and Jesse Jackson into such an appealing package.

I've just found one more reason to love it.

According to a report in the conservative Washington Times newspaper, The Sunday Paper is an organ of Ralph Reed's campaign to become Georgia's next lieutenant governor.

The report, in Wednesday's edition, describes Lisa Baron's sometimes smutty (always insipid) weekly column as part of Reed's "strategy" to broaden his appeal beyond his devout Christian base. Lisa Baron is Reed's campaign spokesperson.

A snippet from the Wash Times article:
Some Republican eyebrows were raised when Mr. Reed's campaign for lieutenant governor hired Atlanta publicist Lisa Baron, whose column in an Atlanta weekly has ventured into risque subject matter in language not often publicly employed by Bible Belt social conservatives.

It's apparently part of a strategy by Mr. Reed to downplay his Christian Coalition past and play up his "mainstream" Republican credentials.
Will The Sunday Paper fire Ms. Baron? Will The Sunday Paper, at the very least, investigate the Washington Times allegation and respect its readers enough to share its findings?

A real newspaper would do both of those things.

Of course, a real newpaper wouldn't have hired Lisa Baron in the first place.

(For more on Ralph Reed, I highly recommend The Book Of Ralph by Doug Monroe and Josh Latta.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New York Times Art Critic Ponders the Georgia Aquarium

The New York Times art critic Edward Rothstein wrote a story about the Georgia Aquarium for today's paper.

A snippet:
And this aquarium's risks are not of tanks fracturing or sea water growing stale, but of isolated spectacles and too little information.

And another snippet:
It is almost completely the creation of a single man, Bernard Marcus, co-founder of the Home Depot, as a "gift" to the people of the city in which his company began

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tax advice for My' Lantans

I was working on my taxes in Turbo Tax today and ran across a few tax credits you won't want to miss:
- Passive activity credit
- Credit for alcohol used as fuel
- Orphan drug credit

Plan ahead for next year!


"Do we serve lunch? How much does it cost? I'm sorry, but I just don't know."

(Location: University Avenue and Metropolitan Parkway, in beautiful Southwest Atlanta.)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

James Risen In Atlanta

James Risen, one of the two New York Times reporters who kindly informed us that the Bush Administration is illegally wiretapping our phone calls, will be in Atlanta tomorrow.

The following is from the Atlanta Press Club's web site:


WHAT - James Risen helped break the story and wrote the book on what has become known as “domestic spying” authorized by President Bush, allowing the National Security Agency to conduct covert surveillance of suspect international communications originating or terminating in the U.S. After holding the story for perhaps a year, The New York Times published an article by James Risen and Erich Lichtblau detailing the NSA program on December 16, 2005. The story has sparked a national security leak investigation by the Department of Justice. The Atlanta Press Club hosts Risen on Fri., March 17 for a Newsmaker Luncheon and book signing.

WHO - Risen is national security correspondent for The New York Times and author of STATE OF WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. He writes on the intelligence community and how it is used in U.S. foreign policy. He has covered the use of U.S. intelligence capabilities in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Risen was a member of the reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting of Sept. 11 and terrorism. He is co-author of two other books, The Main Enemy and Wrath of Angels.

WHERE - The Commerce Club 34 Broad Street, 16th Floor Dining Room, Atlanta, GA 30303 For directions, please visit Because of limited parking at TCC, please consider using MARTA, whose Five Points station is across the street, or nearby parking decks on Marietta St.

R.S.V.P. - This luncheon is open to the public. APC members may purchase individual tickets for $28 each or tables of 10 with signage for $280. Nonmembers may purchase individual tickets for $35 each or tables of 10 with signage for $350. Parking is not included in the ticket price. Tickets and tables may be purchased below or by calling 404-57-PRESS. Payment must accompany reservations, and there is a 24-hour cancellation policy.

Friday, March 17, 2006
Event Starts - 11:30
Event Ends - 1:00

34 Broad Street
16th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303

Members - $28
Non-Members - $35

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Marc "Soolaiman" Fournier Tribute This Weekend

From Michael Fournier:


For Immediate Release until March 19, 2006

WHAT: Soolaiman Memorial Show

WHERE:The EARL, East Atlanta

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 2006


On March 18th, The EARL in East Atlanta will host a memorial show for Marc Fournier, better known to many Atlantans as Soolaiman, lead singer for the Hot August Knights, a popular Neil Diamond cover band. Proceeds from the show will benefit YouthPride, an organization serving gay and lesbian teenagers in the greater Atlanta area.

Cadillac Jones will open the show. A house band assembled and led by Hot August Knights bassist Stiff Penalty will headline, playing Neil Diamond songs behind a variety of guest vocalists, including Mike Geier of Kingsized. Other events are planned for the evening.

Fournier, who sang with the Hot August Knights from 2001 to 2004, passed away unexpectedly in November after a brief illness. As Soolaiman, he interpreted Neil Diamond’s songs for audiences in the Boston and Atlanta areas, very often donating his time for a variety of charitable causes.

Additional information will be posted at

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Atlanta is Gentrificationizing!

I know this because I read it in today's New York Times!

Gentrification Changing Face of New Atlanta

Published: March 11, 2006

ATLANTA, March 8 — In-town living. Live-work-play. Mixed income. The buzzwords of soft-core urbanism are everywhere these days in this eternally optimistic city, used in real estate advertisements and mayoral boasts to lure money from the suburbs and to keep young people from leaving.

Loft apartments roll onto the market every week, the public housing authority is a nationally recognized pioneer in redevelopment and the newest shopping plaza has one Target and three Starbucks outlets.

But although gentrification has expanded the city's tax base and weeded out blight, it has had an unintended effect on Atlanta, long a lure to African-Americans and a symbol of black success. For the first time since the 1920's, the black share of the city's population is declining and the white percentage is on the rise.

Read the rest of the story.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My 'Lanta My 'Story

The other day, My 'Lantan Reid asked an interesting question. StoryCorps is in Atlanta capturing life stories for posterity, but who is capturing the StoryCorps story? Who, Reid wonders, is gonna StoryCorps StoryCorps?

Inspired by his question, I took my voice recorder down to the StoryCorps van to record a StoryCorps story.

On this recording, the first in probably not ongoing feature we call My' Lanta My 'Story, we hear from Shawn and Paula Patch about their experience in the StoryCorps recording booth.

Download My 'Lanta My 'Story - The Patch Saga

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My 'Gusta

Here's the first part of a cool BBC Radio documentary about James Brown. It's streaming Real Audio.

I'll leave for another time the rant about why I have to turn to the BBC to hear a radio documentary about one of Georgia and the U.S.'s greatest musical artists.

Golden Blizzard at Young Blood Gallery - Saturday, March 4

Love Hurts, a new show by Atlanta's Golden Blizzard art collective, opens at Young Blood Gallery & Boutique on Saturday, March 4.

If you've never been to Young Blood, shame on you. The exhibitions that Young Blood hosts are always interesting and fun.

You can check out some of Golden Blizzard's work on their Flickr page.

Not that it matters, but I'll be there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ariel Pink tonight at the Drunken Unicorn

Here's the blurb from Tight Bros. Network:

Ariel Pink - all ages - 9PM - $8

After years of recording in relative seclusion in the hills of Los Angeles , Ariel Pink (the first non-Animal Collective member on the Paw Tracks roster) makes his official Paw Tracks debut with “The Doldrums”.

Recording at home with only a guitar, keyboard, and 8-track (the drum sounds are all unbelievably created with his vocals), Ariel Pink blends Lite FM and warped lo-fi pop into something beautiful and confusing, yet highly addictive.

Vowell in Leathers

As possibly the only person who attended both the Sarah Vowell book reading at the Carter Center and the AMA Supercross at the GA Dome last weekend, I've been asked to compare the two events.

The parking lot: Sarah Vowell - plenty of Kerry/Edwards stickers. Supercross - "Osama, these (sticker) colors don't run".

The pre-event setting: I noticed a few thousand more "Fox Racing" jerseys at the Supercross than at the Sarah Vowell reading. Also, the Supercross sold huge beers. Advantage, Supercross.

The show intro: Sarah Vowell - a brief, understated introduction by the Carter Center's Public Affairs director. Supercross - the lights dip to black, the music (U2's "A Beautiful Day") builds, a series of firepot explosions ignite, lazers dance around the dome, some loud Emo song kicks in, racers (lit by multiple spotlights) ride out of a smoke filled stage, announced one at a time by that gravely voiced "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday" announcer as they rev their motorcycles and do long wheelies into the infield. If Sarah Vowell could do a wheelie she would have had a chance. Strong advantage, Supercross.

The event: Topics discussed by Sarah Vowell - presidential assasinations, the State of the Union Address, the actual threat of and reaction to terrorism versus its depiction in mass entertainment media, the writing process. Topics discussed at the Supercross event - sponsors. Heavy advantage - Sarah Vowell.

General comparison: The racing was much better at the Supercross. Sarah Vowell couldn't compete with Chad Reed's ability to land a set of jumps with one foot out and immediately throw his bike into a tight turn while boxing another rider out of the inside position, or his comeback from a bad qualifier race and his battle with Ricky Carmichael in the main event. Ricky Charmichael took the checkered flag.
In summary - More brains and wit at the Carter Center. More adrenaline and tinnitus at the Supercross. It was a draw.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Huddled masses? Anyone?

I was driving to Joe's coffee shop in East Atlanta when I passed this guy. He was standing next to Moreland Ave with flyers in his hand for a company that does tax preparation.

I pulled my car up next to him, rolled down my window and asked him, "Why are you wearing a Statue of Liberty costume?"

He answered, "I'm supposed to wear a sailor's uniform, but someone took it."

Of course.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Larry Turner, a.k.a. Reverend Larry, has died

Larry Turner has died.

Known around town as Rev. Larry, a local blog reports that Turner died of a heart attack two weeks ago. I was not able to find an obituary to confirm what day he died or the cause of his death.

Turner used to sing in group called Moonshine Killers. I did not know him personally, but did once see him perform at a fundraiser to raise money for efforts to lobby the state legislature into legalizing/decriminalization marijuana. Here's what I wrote about him in July 2003.

Performing at the event was a ragged-looking gentleman named Reverend Larry. His first song was about all drugs, his second about cocaine. I thought his third song -- with an early line about loving "big ol' titties and cheese grits" -- might be about love, but it turned out to be about an ice cream man selling dope from his truck. It was called "Dope Truck."

I've read two notices indicating that Lenny's will host a memorial service for Rev. Larry this Saturday, February 18, but bar also has a fundraiser for Youngblood Gallery that night, so I suggest calling the bar before going.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lust Least

Creative Loafing's "Lust List," their annual guide to the "sexiest Atlantans," came out this week, and if their selection of "hotties" represents "Atlanta's finest" (as writer Alyssa Abkowitz put it), then, boy, is this city in trouble. You don't really have to read through the profiles to learn about the callowness, banality, and vapidity that pass 'round these parts for sexiness, though (although music fans may want to clog their iPods with the Hot Listers' recommendations of Cher, Madonna, Dave Matthews, and the like): one glance at a portrait will invalidate all of the Loaf's selections (and question the credibility of the rag in general).

Check out Anton Matthews, bartender (50% of the Loaf's picks are bartenders/servers/waitresses, one is a sun tan salon owner, another a hairdresser, one a receptionist, one a headshop manager, 1 a cop and 1 a preacher. Care to guess what most Loafers do in their spare time?). Note the cellphone attached to the belt, ready for an urgent message from the President (or some dude calling him to tell him that some chick's pulled "a boob out" -- Anton's favorite attention-getter). Surely no one reading this will need to be told what poor Alyssa obviously doesn't know: cellphone as belt-attached fashion is the least sexy statement a person can make.

How depressing is it that the cop is the only person profiled who you might actually be able to talk to?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Melt Your Cold, Cold ...

Thanks to global warming -- uh, I mean "climate change" -- the winter has taken a little while longer to come this year, but it's definitely here now. The Georgia Department of Health has issued its usual set of guidelines to help us through the season. If you're driving, for instance, be sure to stock your trunk with several warm blankets, a flask full of Knob Creek, and a copy of Jack Pendarvis' "The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure" (you'll still probably freeze to death, but at least you'll be laughing along the way to rigor mortis). If you're planning on shovelling snow, be sure to start at your front door and work your way towards the street; that way, the Department of Sanitation can more easily cart off your cardiac-arrested ass. Senator Saxby Chambliss suggests wrapping yourself in the warmth of the US flag; Governor Sonny Purdue recommends the same, unless it's an election year, in which case a Confederate flag will work even better.

But what if you're really, really cold, though? You know: the kind of cold that chills you down to the cockles of your, well, cockles? Singer, songwriter, and amateur urologist Harry Barris wondered to himself about the discomfort brought about by gonadal frostiness. His solution to keeping one's nether region toasty was to dance, as the chafing of adjacent orifices produces enough heat to warm the surrounding region. Red Nichols (trumpet), Miff Mole (trombone), Alfie Evans (clarinet), Frank Signorelli (piano), and Ray Bauduc (drums) wholeheartedly concurred, and produced the following balm to act as encouragement. I'd suggest that you liberally apply to the affected area; repeat, often, as necessary.

The Original Memphis Five
: Taint Cold (1926) [buy]

This Weekend in Atlanta:
It's frosty cold, so I'll be watching my new DVD of Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show and eating some pizza from Savage. Pick up your black slacks, black turtleneck, and black sports jacket from the cleaners so that you can mingle amongst the twitterati at the annual Art Papers auction (7p - 11p at Mason Murer Fine Art). It'll set you back $25 to get in, so plan to suck down lots of Grad Student Zinfandel to get your money's worth. Sunday afternoon is the monthly New York Corned Beef Society meeting at Twain's in Decatur. We're fixing dinner for friends (bean quesadillas and tortilla soup), so feel free to grab our table out front. If all else fails, you can puke out corndogs and popcorn and see how long it takes a clown to cover it up with sawdust -- the circus is in town!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Atlanta's CBS affiliate just teased tonight's 11 o'clock news broadcast with the Britney Spears no-car-seat-baby-story, comparing it to Michael Jackson dangling his kid off a balcony.

WTF? Isn't there any, oh, ACTUAL NEWS tonight?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Check out the AJC's list of famous people who attended Coretta Scott King's funeral. It gives new meaning to the phrase "no particular order."

(note: boldface type added by me)

Notable figures attending
By Tuesday, February 7, 2006, 01:30 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Those now at the church include:

Maya Angelou
Dr. Joseph Lowery
Stevie Wonder
Dr. Dorothy Height, National Council of Negro Women
Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin
Kweisi Mfume, former NAACP president
Sen. Barack Obama
Rep. Cynthia McKinney
Actress Nicollette Sheridan
Singer Michael Bolton
Atlanta City Council president Lisa Borders
V-103 radio personality Frank Ski
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Sen. John Kerry
Sen. Bill Frist
Howard Dean, Democratic Party chairman
Former mayor Bill Campbell and wife Sharon
Valerie Jackson, widow of late Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson
Georgia Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor
Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox
President George W. Bush and Laura Bush
Former president Jimmy Carter
Former president Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton
Former president George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush
Andrew Young and his brother Dr Walter Young
Hank and Billye Aaron
Comic and actor Chris Tucker
Former surgeon general Dr. David Satcher
Former Gov. Roy Barnes, Marie Barnes
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Al Sharpton
Dick Gregory
State Sen. Vincent Fort
DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones

I suspect it's just in the order in which the reporter saw them.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Brand Atlanta Commercial During The Super Bowl

Brand Atlanta HQ just sent out this press release:

Feb 03 2006
Brand Atlanta Super Bowl Commercial

The Brand Atlanta Campaign has purchased one 30-second spot during SuperBowl XL airing Sunday, February 5 at 6 p.m. on WSB-TV Channel 2. The spot will air locally in the Metro Atlanta market in a prime position during the game. The campaign ad “Open Hearts,” created by Grey Worldwide and Lattimer Moffitt Communications, features the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Clark Atlanta University Marching Band marching and playing together. “Open Hearts,” directed by Kenny Leon, also features a voiceover by actor Samuel L. Jackson and “The ATL” by Dallas Austin as background music. The spot highlights the diversity and openness of the region.

“This is a very strategic investment for the Campaign. The commercials are such an important part of the fun of watching the SuperBowl that viewership is almost guaranteed,” said Mark Goldman, President, Grey Worldwide. “This is a tremendous opportunity to efficiently reach a large captive audience in the Metro Atlanta area with Campaign messages. We want to encourage as many residents as possible to visit to learn about the exciting things happening in Atlanta and then to get out and experience all the region has to offer.”

The spot is part of the Campaign's overall advertising plan that launched in November 2005. The SuperBowl broadcast will net an estimated audience of more than one million viewers in a 75-mile radius surrounding the Metro Atlanta area.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Putting the "prick" in bishopric

Did anyone else spot this little tidbit in the AJC's coverage of the passing of Coretta Scott King?

Her body was expected back in Atlanta early today aboard a private aircraft owned by Eddie Long, bishop of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Why does a minister need a private jet? Only heaven and Bishop Long's accountants know for sure.

But I'm just gonna go ahead and assume that it's another one of the nifty perks he gets for running the Bishop Eddie Long Ministries Inc. charity.

Bishop Eddie Long Ministries Inc is a tax-exempt charity established to help the needy and spread the gospel.

According to a September 2005 report in the AJC, however, the largest recipient of charity from Bishop Eddie Ministries Inc. was, you guessed it, Bishop Eddie Long -- to the tune of $3.07 million between 1997 and 2000 alone.

It's good to be the bishop.

Political Humor Tonight At The Five Spot

Tonight the Five Spot in Little Five Points is hosting a State Of The Union Address viewing.

While President Bush yammers on about how we're "making good progress" a group of local stand-ups will provide running commentary.

Will it be funny? I don't know. I'm just so happy at the thought of comedians joking about something relevant that I'm ready to grade on a curve.

One of the participants will be Brian Bannon, the smartest, sharpest and most reliably funny local comic I've seen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

NY Times Ranks Atlanta Attractions

Today's New York Times has a graphical feature titled U.S. Correspondents' Guide New York Times writers share their favorite haunts in 10 U.S. cities.

The Times' Shaila Dawan wrote the feature's Atlanta section. Watershed is her favorite restaurant. Lullwater Conservation Park is her favorite place to walk. Macon is her favorite getaway.

The full list is worth checking out, if only to get a sense of what kind of impression New York Times-reading Americans have of our city. It's probably also a handy guide if you're entertaining out-of-towners.

If you don't have the time or inclination to mess around with the graphics, it's also available as a PDF.

Wine and Clove Cigarettes, Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about the new Actor's Express musical Love Jerry and the protest against led by Nancy Yoder.

I haven't seen the play and probably won't. I'm only really interested in the debate about it.

Ms. Yoder responded to the post and, more importantly, has written a position paper on the play which I have posted in the comments section of this post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wine and Clove Cigarettes

There's a new musical at Actor's Express called Love Jerry by Megan Gogerty.

The play has drawn praise and criticism for depicting its child-molesting main character as an actual, multi-faceted person rather than just an evil caricature.

Among those praising the play are Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Inc's statewide coordinator, Sally A. Thigpen,

"It's a story that's played out in millions of homes everyday. Megan has written a script that just pulls the lid off the issue, " said Thigpen, as quoted in today's AJC.

The loudest critic of the play is a Lawrenceville woman named Nancy Yoder.

"We need a clear message that this will not be tolerated," Yoder said, also quoted in the today's AJC. Yoder picketed outside the theater's world premiere last night.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course, but before giving any creedence to Yoder's opinion, keep something in mind -- Yoder was picketing the premier -- meaning she was picketing a play that she hadn't actually seen.

What sort of person pickets a play she hasn't yet seen?

The answer to that question is revealed at the end of Wendell Brock's excellent story about the whole hubbub in today's AJC.

Yoder said she will continue to protest but that she thinks her message will be lost on Actor's Express patrons. She said she fears some Midtown residents, "smoking clove cigarettes" and drinking wine, will sit in their homes talking about how great the play is.

(Correction: I misread the AJC story and said in the first version of this post that Yoder didn't see the play. I apologize to Yoder and to anyone who read the first, uncorrected post).

She used to live here

She used to live here. She doesn't any more*.

Cat Power (real name: Chan Marshall) has a new album out today. It's called The Greatest. I don't have it yet, but I plan to buy it after hearing the gorgeous and melancholy title track (Cat Power, melancholy?). Matador Records has posted the song on their web site as a free download.

Listen to this MP3 of "The Greatest" by Cat Power from the album The Greatest.

(I just read a blurb in Mojo magazine saying that she still, in fact, lives in Atlanta. Oh, well.)

Friday, January 13, 2006


Certainly there was a less funny way to word this headline.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sure beats man milk.

(Buford Hwy near Shallowford)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Diet secrets!

This has nothing to do with Atlanta, but . . .

"I eat whenver I'm hungry, usually five small meals a day,"
-Lindsay Lohan on how she maintains her "bikini bod", as quoted in the January 16, 2006 issue of US.

"I was sick. Everyone was scared. And I was scared too. I had people sit me down and say, 'You're going to die if you don't take care of yourself.'"
-Lindsay Lohan on her bulimia, as quoted in the February 2006 issue of Vanity Fair.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Nelson's Mandala

This is from Eyedrum's web site. Emphasis mine.

Opening reception.
Small Gallery: Nick Nelson.
through January 28th.

An installation consisting of 4 large wall mounted mandalas created from phototransfers on scotch tape, flowers, and wall drawings. Included in the installation is Asphodel, part of a previous show in Memphis composed of 3000 photo transfers of a single flower.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Is that like Police Cops?

This car was parked illegally on Auburn Avenue on New Year's Eve.

Don't ticket me -- I'm the Security Police.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Not a racist?

Today's New York Times SportsSunday features a great story about Bobby Grier.

Playing for the University of Pittsburgh in 1956, Grier was the first African-American to play in the Sugar Bowl.

Pitt's opponent in that game was Georgia Tech. Grier's presence on the Pitt squad was such an affront to segregationism that Georgia's then governor, the late Marvin Griffin, actually demanded that Georgia Tech pull out of the Sugar Bowl in protest.

"The South stands at Armageddon," Griffin said in a telegram to Georgia's Board of Regents, detailing his request that teams in the state's university system not participate in events in which races were mixed on the field or in the stands.

"The battle is joined. We cannot make the slightest concession to the enemy in this dark and lamentable hour of struggle."

Black people and white people playing football together will bring on Armageddon? Alrighty.

Believe it or the most bizarre part of the story is not the quotations from the governor's rant, but rather, his son's downright bizarre attempts to whitewash them today.

Sam Griffin Jr., Gov. Griffin's son, is the publisher and editor of The Post-Seachlight newspaper in Bainbridge.

Referring to his father's actions:

Sam Griffin Jr. said his father was opposed to Georgia Tech's playing in the game as a matter of upholding segregation laws. If he had not, Griffin Jr. said, his father's critics would have panned him.

"It was a gotcha either way," said Griffin Jr., who edits and publishes The Post-Searchlight newspaper in Bainbridge, Ga. "It was one of those things like, 'Are you still beating your wife?' There wasn't a whole lot he could do about it."

Griffin Jr. added: "No one was going to get elected back then who didn't run on that type of a platform. He was not a racist. I don't know if you can understand that or not. A segregationist believes in segregation, equal but separate. It was the way things were. It had been that way for 100 years."

I don't expect someone to disown or trash his father, but how can someone honestly say that that Gov. Griffin was not a racist?

If you're the governor of American state and you loudly stick-up for support a racist political agenda, then DING-DING-DING! that makes you a racist.

"No one was going to get elected back then who didn't run on that type of a platform."

That doesn't mean Gov. Griffin wasn't a racist. It simply means that he was an unprincipled man who promoted a racist agenda in part so that he could get elected.

"There wasn't a whole lot he could do about it."

Yeah, it's not like he was governor or anything.

How bizarre.