Archive for November, 2009

a funny thing happened on the way to the highlight factory.

….we started winning.

you may not know this but a quick look at the nba standings this morning would show you that your atlanta hawks are currently third in the eastern conference tied with boston and one game behind orlando.

the hawks went through some of the leanest years in professional sports. i would like to say that i was a fan through them, but the truth is i sat around not caring much about basketball and most of that time i didn’t live in atlanta.

i decided two seasons ago though that i needed a local team to root for and i adopted the hawks the year they drafted al horford and that other guy. the hawks rewarded me with a trade for mike bibby and a losing season but a playoff appearance.

and they last year. i fell in serious love with this team last year. i went to more than 25 home games, cheered, yelled, threw things at my tv. and the hawks rewarded me with a 40+ win season and a first round playoff win.

and now this year. we’re on fire. and we’re good. damn good.

the hawks play in detroit today at 1 pm trying to equal their best start since 1997.

come out and support this team, they deserve it. your next shot is wednesday against the raptors.

“Planet Shark Blogger Day” at the Georgia Aquarium

shark

Thanks to the Georgia Aquarium and my multiple blogs, I received invitations to “Planet Shark Blogger Day” this afternoon.  I magnanimously forwarded the invite to a “mommy blogger” friend to see if the display was kid-friendly (because I certainly wasn’t going to bring my 3-year-old around a bunch of flesh eaters).  We both thought the shark displays a bit intense for tiny ones, but the information given was interesting.  For instance:

  • “galeophobia” and “selachophobia” are both terms used to identify excessive fear of sharks (“prudence” is the term for an appropriate level of fear of sharks).
  • in the U.S., you are 200 times more likely to die from a deer attack than a shark attack (this is why my father shoots deer and not sharks).
  • you are 700 times more likely to die in a plane crash than a shark attack (this is why pilots are paid more than marine biologists).
  • the world’s largest fish is the whale shark, which can weigh 13 tons and measure 50 feet (luckily it doesn’t have to compete with the whale whale, its being a mammal and all).

The children and adults enjoyed seeing Nemo and other colorful swimming fish, and petting miniature versions of the creatures that killed Steve Irwin is always an enjoyable way to spend a half hour.

stingray

I did, however, see a preschooler get her head stuck between the bars in a shark cage on display.  I assume this is why preschoolers are not encouraged to drop beneath boats in the Pacific to film swimming sharks, right?

jellyfish

The verdict?  A good place to bring the family on a weekday.  I haven’t been on a weekend, but I assume there are significantly more crowds than I saw today.  But on a Friday at 2pm?  We could molest all the starfish we could find.  Ditto for the sea anemones.

And who wants to be the guy who’s never touched a sea anemone?  Not this guy.

Mattress Factory studio pics

Terry at Architecture Tourist always makes it out to the art galleries, and he always posts pics so those of us who routinely forget these things can see what we missed.  Lately, he has some great pics of the Mattress Factory studio tour, such as this one of my friend Max:

Maxwell Sebastian in his studio

Maxwell Sebastian in his studio

Check out the whole series here, but check out the rest of Architecture Tourist.  Terry  has lots of great content on local art and architecture.

we need you!!!

so here is the deal. we like this site. we love it a lot. some of use have even been writing here for a long time. and we wan’t to see it grow and provide a unique perspective on our city, one that we think is missing on other blogs that cover the city.

but we need some help.

we need some people with a passion for the city who would be willing to write a post here once a week or so on anything atlanta related that strikes their fancy. ideally, you would also be able to come to one author meet-up a month.

it would probably help if you have blogged before but it isn’t a requirement. we can get you all geared up with how to do it.

if you are interested leave a comment on this post telling us why you would like to write here. and make sure you fill out the email in the comment section. it won’t be published anywhere but it will help me get in touch with you.

sweet.

p.s. – you don’t get paid. sorry.

Why the hometown dis, Joe’s?

I was at Joe’s in East Atlanta getting some coffee with James Saturday night after the Hawks blew out the Hornets.  Joe’s has this poster on the wall that really annoys me – it is in the same design style as this old-school postcard.  The one at Joe’s reads, “Atlanta – like nowhere else!” or something along those lines, but instead of Atlanta icons like the one I just linked to, the one at Joe’s has images of Target, Moe’s, and other chains inside the letters of “ATLANTA”.

The joke of course is that Atlanta is like everywhere else, what with the suburbs, the strip centers, and the chain stores.  There are of course PLENTY of places in Metro Atlanta where that joke makes sense.  A successful independent coffee shop in East Atlanta is about the LAST place where that joke makes sense.

I mean, I understand everyone isn’t an annoying home town booster like yours truly.  But there is plenty that is special about Atlanta that a place like Joe’s can celebrate – plenty that a place like Joe’s even represents.  And you will also typically see lots of this sort of thing at Joe’s – posters for the Chomp and Stomp, local music venues, etc.

A snarky poster denigrating the hometown is just out of place.  It is the sort of attitude that I’d expect to see from annoying New Yorkers or something, and that I’d want to respond to with “you are welcome to go back home,” but with more curse words.  So what’s up Joe’s?  I don’t get it.

is it over yet???

i am sitting on the #140 bus headed north up ga 400 to work and i just noticed something:

IT STOPPED RAINING!!!

so, it it over? i sure hope so. one thing is certain, i don’t want to hear the word drought mentioned in these parts again for a long time. i am certainly grateful i take marta and at least avoid the traffic disasters associated with this weather.

how about the rest of you, are you surviving? any flooding? any traffic horror stories to report?

Turning Back Clocks

Last weekend the United States rewound their clocks one hour. Last Monday night I rewound my internal clock to the mid-1990s, while the band Wolfmother rewound Rock and Roll’s clock back the the early 1970’s.

Last Monday night I was given the opportunity by CLEAR to attend, and live-blog, the Wolfmother show at The Tabernacle. When I arrived at The Tabernacle I met with CLEAR’s representative Ben and was told that the show had been moved from The Tabernacle main stage to the basement of the building — the space which was once known as the (new) Cotton Club. I was perfectly fine with the new arrangement as I love shows in smaller spaces, but unfortunately the change in venue also meant that I’d be unable to “live” blog the show because there was no place that I could be positioned to see what was going on without being in view of the bands and in a location where CLEAR’s signal could be received. As a nice gesture I was allowed to attend the show for free in exchange for this post (see, being a Metblogs author does have some benefits!).

The night was actually a triple bill. Unfortunately I never caught the name of the first band to take the stage; they put on a spirited, short set of rock which was well received by the small, but growing audience.

Second on the bill was Ohio’s Heartless Bastards. This band has been getting a lot of indie buzz of late so I was happy to get the opportunity to hear them for the first time. The band, which is a typical four-piece with anything but typical female lead singer, performed an admirable set which the crowd seemed to enjoy. I’ll admit that the band’s sound never quite caught my ear and I was pleased to see them wrap up their set as boredom set in.

With the “Cotton Club” now packed “Wolfmother” took the stage. But first I must inject some math to explain Wolfmother’s lineup…

Wolfmother[2009] = (Wolfmother[2008] – (original_member *2)) + (new_member * 3);

“What the hell does that mean?” you say? The current Wolfmother lineup consists of Andrew Stockdale (lead singer and original member), and Ian Peres, Aidan Nemeth, Dave Atkins who all joined the band after the departure of original members Chris Ross and Myles Heskett in 2008. Wolfmother formed in Australia in the early 2000’s and wound up changing band members after their first cd when Ross and Heskett left the band citing “artistic differences.” The new band lineup was responsible for Wolfmother’s latest cd “Cosmic Egg” which was released earlier this year.

How does one describe Wolfmother’s sound? Easy! Wolfmother’s sound can best be described as the love child of early Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath! Stockdale has brought back the 1970’s Rock and Roll sound with a vengeance, wailing into the microphone and pulling off guitar riffs that have must have Jimmy Page nodding with approval. All that’s missing from a Wolfmother show to make it authentic are acid-dropping teens, psychedelic lighting, and sequined bell-bottom jumpsuits.

Don’t take my description as an indication that I didn’t enjoy Wolfmother’s set. Just the opposite in fact. And, if the full house’s reaction was any indication I was not the only one “into” the show. Youngsters and old farts alike, yours truly is 44, were head bobbing and fist pumping throughout the entire set. Wolfmother obliged with a nearly two-hour set filled with great musicianship and showmanship. My only regret was that I didn’t sneak a camera into the show so that I could include some photos into this posting.

“Next time we play Atlanta we’ll be playing upstairs!” stated Stockdale at one point in the show. And you know, I believe him.

If you ever get the opportunity to see a show in the space formerly known as the Cotton Club I recommend you go. The only thing you need to take into account for this space is that the line-of-sight in the room is weird for such a small, rectangular space. Many locations are visually obscured by signage, poles, or air-conditioning duct work, so get there early and secure a good place to stand.

question of the day.

how low will turnout be in the atlanta mayor run-off?

20%, 15%, could we even get to 10%?

whatcha think?

wtf, atlanta?

from fox five atlanta’s story on the atlanta mayoral race:

Election officials estimated voter turnout could be at its lowest in recent memory, with far fewer ballots cast than the 35 percent of registered voters who participated in recent mayoral races.

wtf?

with crime ascendant, the city in fiscal chaos and three very interesting top tier candidates running, how is it that so few of you could be bothered to go vote.

now i am all about not voting for someone if there is no one on the ballot you can in good conscience support, but show up and write someone in (i do this every two years, when one or another of my friends gets one vote against john lewis.)

i really do want to hear from you city residents who couldn’t be bothered to vote for the next mayor yesterday.

why?

Why are we electing these people?

Even a political junkie like me looked at the down-ballot elections for Atlanta School Board and Municipal Court of Atlanta and thought, “Are you f***ing kidding me?”  Seriously, why are we electing these people?

I have NO IDEA who these people are.  When it came to Municipal Court, there wasn’t even a choice for who to vote for.  “Should so and so be retained?”  I voted no across the board, partly to be a contrarian and partly because I’ve never had a fun experience at Municipal Court – it is poorly organized and takes forever.  I have no idea if the judges have control over that stuff, but hey, that’s what you get for being on the ballot for a job no one pays attention to.

Seriously, these should be appointed positions.  Being elected to these positions probably creates less accountability than if the Mayor or the City Council appointed these positions, simply because no one knows who these people are.  I guess then you run into concerns about cronyism… So there isn’t a good solution?

Bah humbug.  I just don’t think I should be voting for positions that I forget exist except for one day every four years.  I mean, who do you know that could name one School Board member or one Municipal judge off the top of their head?  Let the Mayor or the City Council handle these things.  At least then the Mayor could actually run on an education platform instead of differing to the School Board no one pays attention to.

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