Archive for August, 2004

The naming of cats is a serious matter.

Which must be why so many cat owners in Virginia-Highland refuse to do it.

It happens, on average, once a week: I’ll be peacefully walking down the street, minding my own business, when a cat appears and assaults me with its cuteness. Aren’t cats supposed to be aloof? Not these cats. Today I was returning from the gym when a gorgeous gray cat with gorgeous green eyes approached me, meowed, and then rolled onto its belly, and then when I had to get home, followed me for a third of a block.

And like most of the cats I run across, the gray beauty obviously belonged to someone — her fur was neat and well-groomed — and she wore a collar, but no tag. There was no way for me to tell whose house she’d come from, or how far she was from home, though she looked pretty comfortable.

I beg you, cat owners of Va-Hi: TAG YOUR CATS. One of these days I am going to snap, pick up your friendly, cute, untagged cat, take him home, kiss him and love him and call him George, and there will not be one shred of evidence that he belongs to you and not me. You do not want this to happen. I have never owned a cat before, my mother is allergic to cats, and my boyfriend dislikes cats. And yet the idea of owning a cat becomes steadily more irresistible every time I get meowed at in the middle of the sidewalk.

Ah, 400…

400 mess.bmp

I know I seem to be either obsessed with traffic or myself, but a guy’s gotta have his priorities. Today I’m traffic alert boy.

My wife just called me. She is, as I write this entry, at a dead standstill in traffic on a feeder road to State Route 400.

She’s been there since about 7:30. It’s 8:30.

According to this article in the AJC (registration required.) some dude took a header off an overpass and is the cause of all this joy.

Atlanta has, in the past year, suffered from a virtual plague of jumpers. First there was the terribly sad instance of the dude who committed suicide after spending the day atop a crane in Buckhead. Then there were, in the space of a few weeks, two different jumpers around the downtown connector who held up traffic for unending hours. I know people who were trapped in those jams so long they switched off their vehicles and chatted up folks around them.

Apparently in amazing jams like that a strange sense of community develops briefly among those waiting for the jam to clear. People get out and get dates, kids play games, others stride up and down the lines of cars trying to find out what the hell is going on.

As I was writing this entry the snag on 400 began to clear, but it was worth noting. What’s a week in Atlanta without a dead body mysteriously clogging up a major thoroughfare? Too bad Keith Kalland passed away, and we won’t hear about the “ubiquitous dead body in the road…”

The Braves and Turner Field

I went to the Braves game yesterday by myself to sit and enjoy being at the ballpark (okay, I brought some reading for a class along for between inning usefulness as well). They won, naturally, in quite an exciting fashion; they scored four runs in the sixth after being down 5-1. The thing is, and this is probably tied to how much I love the Braves (which is an unbelievable amount), but I really enjoy being at Turner Field.

I love how the crowd gets really pumped up about the Tool Race and the Hat shuffle between the innings. I love the concessions (especially the amazing kosher hot dogs they have there and there’s a Gyro place now… crazy). I love that I can go to a day at the park that costs me only $6 (5 for parking and 1 for the Clark Howard Seats). I love that there are no bad seats in the stadium. I love how there is a good balance between the history of the Braves and the present. I love the Chop House. I even love the place there where you can play XBox before the game (and during, I suppose, but I wouldn’t know about that).

I love how the crowd really really hopes that the Braves don’t increase their lead to more than 3 during the eigth inning. Because if it is 3 or less it means we get to see Smoltz come out from the bullpen. I love how they play the emporer’s march from Star Wars when he does come out. I love how the crowd can’t seem to sit down when the Braves are in a rally.

(Okay, one thing I hate – they use the chop way too much. It should be reserved only for late inning rallies. Not when we get a walk with two outs in the bottom of the first)

This year the team has such a young attitude and is playing with a level of emotion that I haven’t seen in years – it makes it so much fun to watch.

This was my tenth game of the year and I’ll probably go to a couple more before the season is over (and hopefully a playoff game). They have $1 seats and $5 seats, so it’s hard to say that you can’t afford to go to the park. And this year they come back from anything. Even a 5-1 deficit.

Economic Changes Over Time

You’ll never see an exhibit on this at SciTrek: Impact of Giant Meteor Felt in Georgia:

ATLANTA (AP) — A layer of quartz grains found in an east Georgia kaolin mine have been traced to the impact of a giant asteroid that crashed near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay 35 million years ago.

And why will you never see this exhibit (or any other) at SciTrek? Because SciTrek is closing; due in part to a lack of funding.

I wonder what State Superintendent of Schools, Kathy “Don’t Call It Evolution” Cox thinks about this move. She is after all, the mastermind behind the proposed changes to Georgia’s curriculum that would have stricken the word “evolution” from Georgia’s science curriculum and replaced it with the phrase “biological changes over time.”

Vietnam and Stuff

Well it seems Vietnam is in the headlines today on The first article I ran across wasn’t so much about the country, but rather The Moving Wall is here in town. The article was very nice. It talked about some of the folks that visited the wall and their story behind a name. Now I am too young to have had friends go to Vietnam, but I do have friends in Iraq, so I can only start to relate. I think this is a great gesture we do in memory of all the those we lost in that tragic war. The Wall is here till Saturday around “dusk” at Brook Run Park.

The other is of course about the Presidential election. Is this a topic I dare dive into? I think I will just go with John Stewart from The Daily Show, and find the comedy in this. I will say that Kerry has a lot of nerve asking…no demanding Bush do something about the Swift boat ads. I’m not sure I want a President who can’t fight his own battles…but who you going to vote against?

Ah I can’t believe I went there!

Anyhow, it was a nice and pleasant (read stop and go traffic, because school has started back) trip into work. The weather was nice enough to roll the windows down, let the sunroof back, put on the sunglasses and listen to the 90’s at 9 on 99x. What’s up with the Don Miller Morning show? It’s just Leslie? Is something going on or are they just out on vacation yet again?

baby, I can drive my car

Getting the formerly-proud DeKalb tags on Gus, my car, updated to Fulton yesterday turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be.

Note #1: The driver’s license renewal center at Memorial and Central, which was apparently legendary for its overcrowding, has moved (as of today) to South DeKalb Mall.
Note #2: Contrary to what the Department of Motor Vehicles says, you do not need to update your driver’s license to update your tags, at least not in Fulton County on a weekday afternoon.
Note #3: If you’re going to the facility that borders MLK, Peachtree and Pryor, you should not park all the way up on West Peachtree unless you really want to see downtown.

So I saw downtown.

Yes, I’m Bragging, But Yes, It’s Relevant.

So, what I’m saying is, I got this here gig coming up in January, now. I mentioned in an earlier entry here on ye olde metroblogge how the good opera-loving folk of Huntsville Alabama (don’t forget, it’s home to the space center and was settled by a number of European transplants in the years following the space center’s being built there…) want me to sing a couple of operas in April of next year-that was shameless self-promotion and I should be flogged. (Not literally, The Chamber is closed…)

But this here little opera is right here in Atlanta, and will be produced by a company that’s been mounting great works on the boards since the early 80’s. I’m not talking about the Atlanta Opera, which is a B house, one tier nationally just below the Metropolitan, with substantial yearly budgets and internationally known singers, but Capitol City Opera. Capitol City’s raison d’etre is at least twofold; one reason being they wanted to provide a place for Atlanta-based opera singers to learn and perform new roles, the other reason for them existing historically has been to mount great operatic works in ENGLISH.

Opera is not by default in Italian, y’all. Since the 1600’s there have been operas written with english as the native language, starting with Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, but it really wasn’t until the 20th century that operas written in English got some legs and became major works in their own right. (A good example for someone who really loves grand Italian Opera but is curious about similar fare written with English as the native language might be the opera Peter Grimes.)

Capitol City does both operas written in English and good english translations of other works. The one I’m taking principal tenor duties in (I may be double-cast with another local tenor, so we don’t all get plum tuckered out from such extensive singifyin’) is Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte.

It’s typical Mozart; a rather silly Lorenzo da Ponte libretto graced by pure, perfect, scintillant music.

Midnight Movies in Atlanta

Apologies in advance. This entry takes a sharp turn near the end….

I went to see Collateral last night at a midnight (12:30, to be precise) screening at the Regal 24 Cinema. Regal 24 is that massive, brightly lit theater on I-85 north. I’m not going to write a full review here, other than to say that I liked the film quite a bit. Instead, I’d like to discuss my experience of catching a film at this theater.

Before I complain too much, I do like the fact that Regal 24 has midnight movie screenings. I tend to work (grade papers, write, research) until late into the night, even on a Saturday. To find a theater that offers midnight screenings made me very happy (and judging by the nearly packed house, more theaters chould consider late night screenings). The snack offerings, including a full coffee bar, aren’t bad (although they are way overpriced, even compared to other theaters here in town).

I probably should have realized a long time ago that Regal 24 offers midnight movies, but there’s a good reason for not noticing. The theater experience itself is simply unpleasant. Perhaps I’m spoiled by my trips to Landmark’s Midtown Art Theater, Graden Hills, and other art house theaters, but the non-stop advertisements are simply annoying. The ad-fest, “The Twenty,” that runs before every film is too grating and too loud, and because the theater is selling the audience’s attention to advertisers for the twenty minutes before the movie starts, you’d think they could at least cut us a break on the cost of a ticket. But Regal’s ticket cost ($8.75) is one of the most expensive in town. Now I know that I could show up right before the movie and skip the ads, but as a film snob, I’m pretty picky about where in the theater I sit (this will likely annoy you if you ever see a movie with me).

Despite my aversion to “The Twenty,” I did find myself intrigued by one of the shows they advertised, a new WB show called Jack and Bobby, made by the creative people behind Everwood and Dawson’s Creek (I’ve never seen these shows, but I’ve heard they’re pretty good). The show focuses on Jack and Bobby McCallister when they are children and seems to ask whether or not their future “greatness” can be seen when they are children, but of course, the family really repesents the Kennedys, something the preview clearly tried to gloss. It’s an odd election-year fantasy, nostalgic for some ostensibly more innocent form of politics (which begs the question: how will it deal with Joe Kennedy’s business connections?). The other notable creative decision was the choice to essentially write Ted (and half a dozen other brothers and sisters) out of the show. Based on the clips I saw and the promotional photo for the show, it’s like Ted doesn’t even exist. Now I don’t expect TV shows to be historically accurate, and gauzy nostalgic shows about a more innocent past are always going to remember selectively. But it seems that for the premise of this show to succeed, it has to write Ted out of the picture. Otherwise we have a connection to the contemporary political scene, and the nostalgia concept would no longer be possible. I’m usually too lazy to watch TV (or at least to remember to watch specific shows), but I’ll be curious to see how this show deals with the highly contested history of this family.

Updated to correct a misunderstanding about Jack and Bobby.

Football Tourney UPDATE

Apparently, it’s NOT like falling off a bike – you just can’t pick it up after a few months of limited physical activity and a diet which consistently involves Amstel, Nachos and Krispy Kremes …!!!!!

So after… 5 interceptions, 3 dropped passes and numerous unsuccessful flag pulls …. we, uh, ok I AM trying to think of ways to avoid the game tomorrow. Anyone got a head cold that I can borrow?

Flag Football RULES!!!!!

I love Flag Football, Kendall. I always won because I played like a Klingon! Attack, Kill, Destroy…….. oh, and attach your flag by stitching it on so the velcro is useless!

It’s A Good Day To Die! Football style. ROCK ON!

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