Archive for April, 2010

What? Thrashers highlights!

I am not a hockey fan.  I don’t dislike hockey, and actually really enjoyed going to college hockey games when I was in Michigan.  However, I haven’t been to a Thrashers game in a few years.  I’ve had fun when I do go, but frankly, I just forget the team exists.

So I was catching up on my Google Reader items, and found this lovely video.  At first I thought, “hey, cool, this guy gets knocked out.”  Then I realized, “hey, the guy doing the knocking out is a Thrasher.”  Turns out it is the Thrashers’ first round draft pick Evander Kane.  Turns out it is also the first Thrashers highlight I’ve seen all year.

h/t goes to Raiford, who shared with this advice: “Why you don’t pick a fight with someone named after Evander Holyfield.”  That about sums it up.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIjEQHMjNcM[/youtube]

theater worth seeing. sunset limited at theatrical outfit.

Photo credit: Chris Bartelski From left: Pete Thomasson as White, E. Roger Mitchell as Black

just a few short weeks ago, I was completely unfamiliar with cormac mccarthy’s one-act play the sunset limited. actually i am not even sure i knew that cormac mccarthy even wrote plays. a few weeks back i heard two actors talking about a product of the sunset limited they were performing in, that was taking place in downtown atlanta. the interview, broadcast on am 1690 (a definite favorite of mine), and subsequent several minutes of dialogue from the play they performed on the radio, intrigued me tremendously.

thus, when scoutmob (twitter; @scoutmob) showed up in my inbox the next morning with a 50% coupon for the same play (thanks scoutmob!) i decided to check it out.
so last night i went to theatrical outfit (twitter; @theatoutfit), which is in a small theater next to the rialto and saw one of the best stage productions i have ever seen in this city.

a one-act play that deals with complex issues like race, religion, faith and futility and suicide is not an easy thing to pull off (see the wikipedia entry on sunset limited for a primer on the plot), and to make it work, the actors better be damn good. and in this production they were.

the actor playing “black” was amazing; forceful and tender and with an incredible grasp of the rhythm of the dialogue that mccarty wrote for him. in fact through most of the play i kept thinking that he was overpowering the actor playing “white” and this was my one criticism of the play.

until the end, when i realized the director had done this intentionally, keeping “white” subdued and almost and blank canvas for “black” to paint on. It stayed this way, until about 2/3 of the way through the play, when “white” burst forward dominating the stage and “black.” very impressive feat of acting to pull off if you ask me, being able to hold back like that and then scream forward right at the end.

it’s a complicated work and i am still digesting what it means and what i truly think of what was presented. However, you only have a few more days to see this, so i wanted to get this review out, because if you are a theatre fan or a fan of cormac mccarthy you really owe it to yourself to get downtown and see this before it closes out.

sunset limited
theatrical outfit
through april 11
balzer theater
84 luckie street nw
atlanta, ga 30303
678-528-1500

Dear Falcons: Please pick Graham

Apparently the Falcons have zoned in on Michigan DE Brandon Graham as their pick in the first round of the NFL draft.  While Mark Bradley wonders if the Falcons should take Derrick Morgan, I would like to selfishly state that the Falcons should pick Graham.

He is a beast, and is generally regarded among Michigan fans as being at least equal to Pro-Bowl Steelers Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, another monster DE out of That State Up North.  Michigan has really sucked the last few years, so Graham has flown under the radar, but check him out tearing up the Senior Bowl:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AINhjlisAMk&feature=player_embedded#[/youtube]

Also, I want some Wolverines around to root for around these parts.  I keep an eye on Chad Henne and Jake Long down in Miami, but I want some Wolverines to play for the Falcons!

things still to do.

i have a list of things in atlanta that I have never done. it is always amazing to me how much stuff there is to do and how little of it i seem to have done. for example, it took me more than three years of living here to finally make it over to the martin luther king historical site. pretty silly, i have to say. on this particular five year stretch here in atlanta (i lived here once before for three years from 1998-2001) I still have yet to make it over to the high museum.

anyway, my list includes:

the wren’s nest
the margaret mitchell house
stone mountain laser show
the cyclorama
georgia state captiol
noah’s ark animal rehabilitation center (and home of evidence the zebra)
kangaroo conservation center
center for puppetry arts
the ben king heritage trail

okay that last one isn’t real. But it SHOULD be.

i’m sure there is more i haven’t done yet, but those are the things that cross my mind. i probably need to write it down to make sure i keep them all together.

how about you? what’s on your list of things to do in this town that you haven’t made it to yet?

Braves over Cubs, again – is Chipper back?

I’ve been pretty absent here lately.  I’m finishing up my final semester at GSU, and sometimes I have focus on taking care of that stuff.  However, it is spring, which means that I’m following the Braves religiously.  The last few seasons I’ve started the season rather gung-ho, but lost steam around the all star-break.  I really like this team however, and I think they’ll keep my attention for a while.

Some random thoughts after today’s game:

  • John Smoltz isn’t bad as a broadcaster.  I really enjoyed getting some insight into the thought process of a world-class pitcher.  Don Sutton is a hall of fame pitcher, but maybe since I never saw him pitch he just sounded like another announcer to me.  When Jurrjens was struggling in the 5th, Smoltz said something along the lines of, “He’s not trusting his pitches.  You have to just focus on making the pitch, and let the pitch take care of the result.”  Rather Zen.  I liked it.  I still think he took ‘roids, but he’s a decent announcer.
  • When the Braves were down 2-1, I thought, “this might begin to tell us something about this team.”  I probably judge every Braves team against the 1991 team – there weren’t any world-class players on that team, but it was maybe the best team I’ve seen.  It was hard not to just love the chemistry and the grit.  For most of the 2000’s, I haven’t really felt the same connection with the players that I did in the early 90’s.  That started to change with guys like McCann, Prado, and Jurrjens coming up.  Young guys that grew up in the organization (yeah, yeah, we traded for Jurrjens in 2007, I know).  Last year the Braves were 27-25 in one-run games, which I think is telling.  They were 11-30 in 2008.  These Braves don’t quit.
  • If Chipper can keep this up all season we will be real tough to beat.  This lineup has the potential to be very, very tough on opposing pitchers.  If McLouth can get some production out of the 8-spot and Glaus can put up around 20 homers, pitchers don’t really get a break.  No automatic outs (ahem, Franceour).  Those are some pretty big ifs, of course.  I’d like to see more out of Cabrera, as well, but I don’t get the same bad feeling as I do about Glaus.  My gut feeling is that McLouth will do okay, but I’m not sure about Glaus.

Extremely high doesn’t begin to cover it

Ahhhh....chooooo!!

Today’s pollen count is 5733. Yes, you read that right. 5733. Extremely high is 120+ so I’d say today’s count is extremely (bleepin’) high if anything. I’m sure that the majority of you are suffering right along with me (and I even had sinus surgery in November 2008).

According to the article here, we’re approaching the record set back in April 1999. Today’s count is more than double what it was yesterday. The forecasted rain for tomorrow should give us at least a brief respite from the yellow blanket covering the city. I hope.

There are some things you just can’t escape in the South: the countdown to college football beginning in the Spring, the grease at the Varsity and pollen.

Signs you are a jaded baseball fan (is there any other kind?)

So, yeah, James and I are going to opening day.  I really SHOULDN’T go, as I have a test tonight.  I’ll have to leave the game a bit early to make it, but g-d, it is opening day and I have an opportunity to go.  I graduate this semester and I’ll admit a little bit of grad-school senioritis has set in.  The weather is just too nice.

Like every spring, I’m gung-ho about the Braves, and as usual I’ll probably go to four of five games, until about the end of June when I’ll start asking myself, “when does fall football practice start?  Denard Robinson sure is fast… ”

I’m quite appreciative of the tix, but I’m definitely wearing my Braves jersey from little league back in the day.  Unbelievably, it still fits.  I’ve never owned a REAL jersey, like James’ Mark Grace jersey, but I’m considering getting one today.  Do you think they have Heyward jerseys yet?  He’s the savior of the franchise, right (it is that time of the year after all)?  Y’know, other than Jeff Franceour.  Or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Hey, remember Wes Helms? Or Wilson Betemit?

So Tommy Hanson has worked out nicely, but I’ve just seen too many franchise saviors get traded or fall flat.  All signs point to great things for Heyward, so I’m hoping of the best.

Why are we sports fans?  We must all be masochists.  I usually remember this about the 9th inning of the first game the Braves lead when they pull out whoever the lame closer is for the year.  By mid-year we’ll have a rotation of three decent guys, and no real closer.

For today, though, it is opening day.  The weather is great.  Heyward is still a demi-god on the way to full-fledged deity status, and hopefully I’ll get to see the Braves ruin James’s day.  I’ll thank him for the ticket by simply smiling and not gloating TOO much.

i’m gonna be *that* guy.

i hate to say it.

even though i love the hawks and want to see the braves do good, and consider myself to now firmly be an atlantan, when it comes to baseball i will never be able to cheat on my one true love.

the lovable losers from chicgao’s northside, the one and only, chicago cubs.

as most of you know, the braves will be opening the 2010 major league campaign today at turner field. and they will be doing it against the cubs.

so my mark grace jersey from 1998 is now out and ready to go. and yes, i am going to be *that* guy. the obnoxious guy who shows up decked out for the visiting team and cheers so loud for them you want to kill him. the guy who knows every stat about every player that’s ever played for the visiting team and won’t shut up about it.

so if you see me out at the ted today and you have the urge to punch me, i understand. i feel it every time i go to philips to see the hawks play the lakers or the cavs or the knicks.

but before you cock back and aim a fist my way, remember, 102 years. that’s how long it will be this year since the cubs one the world series.

btw – the best part of all of this is that atlanta metblogs own ben k. will be going with me and my cheering for the cubs is going to annoy the ever living daylight out of him. BONUS!!!!

Ride Bikes!!

I used to be embarrassed about my fair weather cycling proclivities. I ride a bike to work, but only when it’s fun. To me, this means the temperature is over 45 degrees, under 90, and nothing is falling from the sky. This knocks me down a rung on various extreme groups’ cool ladders, but I’ve come around to it, as it means that I arrive at work wearing a reasonable amount of mostly dry, semi-professional looking clothing.

Image from nobrakes atlanta. I, personally, opt for brakes on my bicycle, but to each his/her own

Now that I’ve established that I’m not one of those cooler than thou fixie kids, a militant anti-car type (do we even have those in Atlanta?) or one of the hard core spandex and clip-clop shoes cyclists, I would simply like to point out that springtime in Atlanta is a beautiful thing to experience.  I would also like to put forth that one of the best ways to see it is on a bike – you move more efficiently than on foot and, on occasion, you can move more quickly than by car. It’s certainly a great way to explore Atlanta – I think it heightens the sense of responsibility and appreciation for the city when you ride our streets.  James has pointed out (in several entries on metblogs and elsewhere around the web), that most forms of alternative transportation (walking, biking, taking the bus or MARTA), are great ways to challenge yourself and see the city differently.

On my way to work, I smell the mustiness and spray paint fumes of Krog tunnel, get a birdsong morning ride by of MLK’s house, wait for the little kids in the crosswalk walking to Hope Elementary, bump down the cobblestones to the cool quiet of the urine-smelling underpass, continue through the throngs of students walking to class at Georgia State, smell the oatmeal and ramen (? I swear something smells like ramen by Peachtree Center) of office workers’ breakfasts, and join the string of bikers riding up 5th street to work and school at Georgia Tech. If I have to go to work, I couldn’t come up with a much more pleasant way, unless they added bike lanes or gave out free snoballs or something on Peachtree.

Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

But this is just to work! Have you considered the myriad of other perks for bike transportation? Sure, there’s exercise and enjoying the outdoors, but there’s also NO PAYING TO PARK.  No waiting for a valet guy. No circling the block to find a spot, no inching back to get less of your tire on the yellow curb. No problems getting dessert, as you’re going to burn it off on the way home.  No sitting in traffic on Marietta Street or Capitol Ave waiting to get to Phillips or Turner Stadium. The traffic cops will wave you through. And when you get there, you’ve got a free spot right by the entrance!

I love bikes in the springtime.  And would be remiss if I didn’t link to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which is working tirelessly to incorporate safe and enjoyable biking into more Atlantans’ lives. Though I bet most of them do ride when it’s under 45 degrees, they won’t judge me for not doing so.

Oh, and fair warning, stay tuned for more cycling-centric posts from me.

Go, Team, Go!

I had every intention of writing a post after reading this but upon sitting down here at my computer, I’m at a loss for words. Probably because I can’t stop laughing about the “New South” girls they want to find. So I’ll pull a Linda Richman. Talk amongst yourselves. Here’s a topic. The Atlanta Falcons want new cheerleaders. Discuss.

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