Monday, December 31, 2007

What I Learned This Year - 2007

With apologies to Esquire, from whom I shamelessly have "paraphrased" this concept I'm going to start annually listing what I learned from the previous years here. Hopefully you'll read them and gain a modicum of knowledge, insight and understanding...and in a slow moment or two I'll re-read them and not repeat the same mistake twice.

I'm fairly certain that in a few years when I'm chronicled in that august periodical, i can refer back to this entry as my first baby steps at philosophy.

Good isn't the same as popular.
God has a really weird sense of humor. Sometimes it's the only explanation.
People who care are concerned all the time, not just when you're in trouble, or it's convenient.
Love is funny. If I didn't think it was funny I'd be dead by now.
I'm surprised at the things that hurt me. Sometimes it's as little as the wrong word at the wrong time, or a bad concept, and those pains are few and far between. But when things hurt I need the world to stop for while, because they hurt bad.
I'm normally a very private person.
People tell me I'm a good listener, but that's usually so I don't have to talk about me.
I'm responsible for 95% of things that fuck up in my life. The other 5% is fate, but I'm working on that.
I've have three women propose marriage to me on four occasions. I should said yes to one them.
I don't like to give advice, because I then feel responsible. I prefer to ask you the questions you should be asking yourself, then you can reach your own decision.
Nothing is more painful loving someone who doesn't love you back...but then still wants to be friends.
It's not what you said, it's what they heard. It's not what you did, it's what they saw.
The secret to life is to finish what you started. I must have a half dozen half finished projects. If I can get one done I will have beat the world.
Real love doesn't' stop. It can't end. It can suppressed, ignored, subverted, denied...but it's always going to be there.
Sometimes you need to choose the next best option.
Some of my happiest moments of late have been sitting with my grandmother.


Barkeep...a Bookers. No ice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Quick Restaurant Review - West Egg Cafe

As Sporty was with her new man, I slipped out on Sunday with another friend who I'll call Slim to the West Egg Cafe on Howell Mill. We were going to try Slice for brunch, but Slim is a strict veggie and didn't feel the almost $15 for the all you could eat buffet was worth it, as she couldn't figure out what was pure veggie.

West Egg it was then.

It's a converted garage that is akin to an upscale super hipster cool Waffle House. And considering the aggressiveness of the crowd, I prefer Waffle House because I'd expect WF folks to act like that. There was the usual twenty minute wait from what looked like a frat boy fresh off a hangover host, and into the garage like waiting room with few chairs. They have a "lounge" in the back but it was clearly over full.

After ten or so minutes the jaded waitstaff (all in various West Egg gear - tees, hoodies, jackets - I looked for a gift shop) offered us a seat at the bar and we could eat "right now." How homey. We took the bait and grabbed a couple of chairs next to the coffee station and between the door. I really wanted to yell out "steak and eggs, well scrambled, scattered smothered" because if it hadn't been daylight I could have sworn this was the Waffle House.

I can say this, table service was quick. Of course sitting by the coffee bar the waiter was essentially standing right there making espressos and lattes whenever we needed anything, but it was a nice touch. The food arrived briskly. Maybe too briskly because the breeze between the seven feet the food had to move between the ready bar and in front of me chilled the grits to a cold soup. Slim complained of course (ah, the black woman) and we got free potatoes, which were pretty good. And the reheated half my grits. I don't even want to know what happened to the other half.

Slim, my dining partner, is diametrically the opposite of Sporty. Whereas Sporty and I's conversations wandered all over the map, our conversation seemed focused on property values and trends, home security, her new recent ex and skiing. Okay it sounds all over the map but one thing lead to another. Sporty and I would talk movies, then furniture, then go over old times and somehow end up on painting and cheese. There was a certain something about us.

Anyway....

Now perhaps our taking the bar seats was our own fault. Before the food arrived several people leaned over me to get coffee or sugar or tea without thinking. After we finished eating a mother daughter team fresh from Romania literally stood behind us waiting for our dismount to take our places.

All in all the spot maybe okay if they're not as rushed. I've eaten brunch a number of places (I love brunch) and they know they can do better. I'm not in a rush to do their brunch again, but I'd try them if I could get a table maybe. And hot food the first time. But then I'm a forgiving soul.

Barkeep. Mimosa. I love brunch.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Greed slips and falls

Eventually, not quite as sure as death and taxes but certainly a front runner, karma settles up. It has currently called in the books of the mortgage industry for a review and people are less than happy.

Much like the dot.com bubble, the mortgage bubble seems to have popped. Or rather exploded, and rather messily leaving a number of people with a great deal of mess on their hands. Again, we're not all going to be rich! It has been blamed in the past few days on 1)Alan Greenspan, 2) speculators, 3) the government 4) and in the next few days the Illuminati in some form or fashion. What's really happening is a basic law of common sense - what goes up must come down. And since it rose so high so swiftly, the expectations of the fall had to be great. Or should have been.

Now comes the clean up, and the fun begins. Much like the dot.com bust, a lot of folks need to go to jail.

You see there is an interesting caveat in the mortgage securities sales, one that is about to drive up shredder sales. If it can be determined there was fraud in the origination of the loan, the seller has to buy back the security at the value it which it was sold. And if you got a home loan in the past five years, you KNOW there was fraud. Which means the banks which packaged it up and sold it the market might have to buy it back, by now at 60% or less what it was priced at when they were the seller.

This would cause a complete collapse of several major banks, investment firms and mortgage lenders. This is because the amount needed bring the loans back in house is more than they have in funds...combined. Essentially anyone who is not the Credit Union up the street would be in a mess of trouble. Let's not even get started with the lawyers. And since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also are heavy into this item, guess who would have to raise taxes on somebody. White House, we're looking in your direction.

Which is the idea behind our current "best fix" - freezing rates for five years. It puts of the next wave of foreclosures in the next administration, which the Republicans have just about conceded to the Democrats. It should all blow up right around the 2012 elections, forcing higher taxes, a meltdown of financial institutions and putting economic fear back in the populace, just in time for the Republicans to save us. It also gives those responsible time to retire quietly to some warm with lots of rum drinks and women in bikinis.

Now that's what you call a long term strategy. Karl Rove must have dropped in for lunch.

As papers decry the death of personal responsibility on the part of the homeowner, the lenders are slowly backing out of the room before they get noticed. Because nobody told the lenders to give Mary who already had two houses foreclosed on the money to buy a third (with those marble floors she loves) because the fees were outrageous. The people who signed the loans are responsible, but the lender who played with the numbers, the appraisal that said it worth 40% more than it was last month, the manager who let it all ride and the senior management who knew a continuous 35% increase business and fees over 4 years was crazy were all a little bit at fault as well. And since they all got richer...as the economy stagnated, these educated folks of finance had to figure it would give at some point.

And that point for argument's sake would be now.

We're just now getting to where it's gonna get interesting. I'm going to suggest everybody get what they can now and get ready for a long dry spell. In addition to the Georgia drought.

Barkeep. Everclear. No ice.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bar Reading


I think it needed to be said. Looking at what's coming I'm not sure I wouldn't want to leave him his legacy...but we need a strong hand in the future.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A proper hello

Her breath shuddered, from anticipation or excitement she wasn't sure.

His palm on her thigh made it's way up to cup her chin slowly, the pressure of his palm and fingertips thrilling her. His hand never left her body as it made the trip, the heat of hand left her thigh and moved up to her hip, pausing for a moment on her the full ripe apple of cheek. It circled her waist in a detour, the small of her back, then slid glacially up her side, touching the spots most other men would pass over, fingertips dancing.

At her bra strap he paused for a moment, and for a instant she wondered why she'd even wore one. That roving hand traced the line around to her breast, the flat of his palm against the fabric causing a deep gasp. It lingered only for a second, just long enough for her to imagine his hand there without the fabric, just long enough to kick up the heat just another tick. Fingers now guiding, his reach fanned out across her upper chest, and taking care not get lost in her collar, reached her neck.

From the front, his hand slid along the nape, just above her shoulder, that lone hand circling her to the back, the moist heat of it now clearly felt where before the clothes had denied her that last sensation. A finger touched her spine, then even more slowly the hand started forward again, the fingernail of the thumb on her lobe sliding, the light touch of just the tips on the supple flesh of her neck. His finger kept forward until with just the curl of his finger held her chin.

His eyes had never broken contact with hers, his hand hand traveled into view almost on instinct, the pathway of desire on her body clearly marked.

"Hey you" he breathed. His breath was minty mixed with touch of lemon.

"Hey you," she smiled back, trying to gather herself after his nearly intimate hello.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Quick Restaurant Review - Eclipse di Luna

I hadn't been to Eclipse in ages, since the time Kebo had thrown a little soiree around the corner and afterwards some of us wandered back for drinks and to hear the band. How long ago was that? Well, the parking lot was still gravel and they hadn't put on the extra wing. A long ass time ago. Well, Sporty and I popped in as I'd been meaning to take her forever.

Yes, we're still hanging out. Why I don't know. I'm apparently very very stupid.

Anyway, on Wednesday's it's crowded but not as crowded and the music is live. Sporty said she got confused upon arrival, but I informed her this was not the kind of place you stumble upon. You kinda have to know where it is. We were seated immediately...that won't happen on a Weekend....and settled in. She had the mango mojito and me the Sangria. And they make some good Sangria.

For dinner it was the chorizo with the jelly, the hanger steak, the spicy potatoes, the duck breast, and the short ribs. If you didn't know, the Luna is tapas, with long tables and short tables interspersed so that you can order a lot of plates and share. We doubled up on the chorizo and potatoes. Damn good. When mixing the potatoes and they're mustardy sauce with the chorizo and it's dark jelly, the taste was hauntingly good. The short ribs were dry, so maybe a no.

It's not the kind of place you take someone not adventurous, as the menu is eclectic and the waitstaff almost too happy to serve. Our server was the topic of conversation for a good portion of the meal, he was so lively. It's that kind of place.

The Luna hasn't lost a thing in the years since I went last. Now if I can just hold Sporty to her word she won't bring them "others" through here, it'll be good.

Barkeep, another Sangria. Yeah.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It Continues - Family

I had been in my own house roughly three months, maybe a little more. I've yet to put my stamp on it, to make it mine - I'd only just painted, there was no art, little furniture, the landscaping and yard work months away in the spring. It's a shell, a work in progress at best.

Then my father moves in for a week to recuperate after an operation.

You would think I was staying with them, not them staying with me. I watch little to no TV as my parents are ensconced in living room. I cannot cook as my mother has taken the kitchen. They control the heat or cooling depending on their whims. I am an errand boy at best, eating alone in my unfurnished kitchen as they watch FOX news. My mother criticizes my housekeeping and occasionally my clothing selection. My father, as he is prone to do, gives sage bits of advice at what can only be described as inopportune moments.

I love my parents, but thank god it is only a week to ten days.

Barkeep. Everclear. Straight. I just need to make it a little bit longer.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Painting aftermath...the family

My holiday weekend consisted of painting, going to Home Depot, painting, painting, visiting my aunt for Thanksgiving, painting, going to Home Depot, painting, going to Home Depot, painting, Monday, painting and clean-up.

I now know why people pay for professional painters. On the good side I did learn a new skill and helped keep my mind off Sporty.

It had to be done, yesterday or early next year for certain, as the previous clients were color challenged. We changed the front two bedrooms (formerly crimson/brown and yellow/blue respectively) in a nicely muted off-tan that looks warm and inviting. Add in the new side table from Ikea and the square glass lamp, also from Ikea, all that's needed is some artwork and one room is actually finished.

But my art guy disappeared. He used to work in the Bazaar in Little Five Points, has anyone seen him?

The living room, previously a color that we will refer to as "that sickly shade of green" is now a neutral toned brown, with an accent wall sharing the same colors as the bedrooms to bring the whole thing together. So now we've done roughly half the house.

The parents will be in town for two weeks starting today, staying with me, and so there was some urgency to get this done. I figure I have 72 hours before they cease being guests and become my parents again. That strangely is probably also the longest amount of time I had spent with them prior to moving to Atlanta. You love them, but you have to remember to the parents you're always gonna be the child. Even when you're grown up.

Barkeep, Bookers neat. This is gonna be the last drink for a while, make it a good one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bad times

I've known of sometime that Sporty and I are not a couple. It's been three years of hanging out, diners and movies, concerts and shopping. She gave me the security code to her house, we exchanged gifts, I've watched her dog, bought plane tickets for trips and season tickets to watch her sports plans take reality and listened to her talk of hopes, dreams and fears. But we were NOT a couple. I even said so myself when in a little fictionlized story of one of our dinners I wrote that I knew it would not be long before someone else came along and this little play set was no more. I knew this.

But when she actually spoke of somebody else yesterday as we were Instant Messaging, it felt like I'd been betrayed. I felt the blood drain out of my legs and wondered if this would be the beginning of another overly dramatic phase of acceptance of rejection. I have a history of that. A long bad, wait... actually horrible would be a better term, history of doing that.

I've also decided that Instant Messaging is probably the worst form of communication known to man. I now dislike it in a way that I dislike the cell phone, or the telephone. When compared to face to face communication all other forms are horrible ways of hiding behind distance and informality.

I knew this was coming. I mean knew as sure as the sun will rise. So why did I take it so badly? Why am sitting here now with a pit of empty in my stomach. It is as though I have sorrow that my lottery ticket turned out not to be a winner, when I knew it would not be when I purchased it. Why did this feel as bad as my first rejection at 13, when this clearly wasn't that kinda of relationship. We'd both said so.

Sure we called each other baby, and shared baby photos. I know her favorite flowers, got her tickets to see her favorite team play and more. It didn't mean anything.

Cause it didn't.

Barkeep. A water please. That's all.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Poetry

I so desperately want
to run my fingers
along the edge of her soul
the barest pressure
her aura swirled
and feel her essence
slick with anticipation
of my expression
the borders of feminity
swollen with desire
drowning as I give myself mouthful by mouthful
unto supplication
at her core
we touch
our bodies equal and together
our bodies becoming us
her breath at the nape
my hand on her spine
our legs intertwined
our lips touch
mine still wet with her excitement
I want to feel her core
the center of her expanding
our breathing in unison
hearts synchronized
and know the look
her eyes matched to mine
our swagger leaking
into the pool of duo
her body shudder
the smooth glaze of sweat
stifled murmur of joy
that signals her concession
to herself and to us
afterglow

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things I don't intend to do again

As I've grown older, I realize that there are certain things that I will endeavour to never do again if at all possible. These are things that I've either tried and failed miserably, tried and didn't like, or tried and it all went horribly wrong.

I will never again give a woman jewelry as a gift.
I will never sit anywhere but Club Level or Sky box at the Georgia Dome.
I will never again watch a porn with Julian St. Jox in it.
I will not eat at a McDonald's.

and most recently, I will not paint again if I can avoid it.

With the home I purchased, let's just say the colors ran vivid. The front bedroom was a two tone brown and crimson, the second bedroom a two tone yellow and blue. I'm not sure if the previous owners were color blind or autistic. Anyway it's taken two weeks for me to put on primer. The front room took three coats. The second room will be getting it's third coat tonight. I haven't even gotten to the colors I want yet!

I watch the home shows, HGTV and the rest and it all looks so easy. Everything takes thirty minutes. Nobody gets dirty. Everyone looks refreshed when they're done. It's deceptive. It took me thirty minutes to do one wall and I didn't even do the corners! I started rolling out the paint in just sweat pants to avoid destroying anything else! Were not even going to discuss the exertion.

I was gonna pay a guy a few hundred to do it. Retired painter who would be doing me a favor. I should have listened to him instead of my brother who said "fuck that, we'll do it ourselves and save a few bucks".

Fuck that.

Barkeep, I need some old skool Gin. You got Fliechmann's?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Poetry

I touched her
touched her on caramel chocolate skin
running my fingertips
fingertips
finger
tip
across her lips
teasing and taunting
best appreciated by candlelight
on a warm night
under covers
with no others
drops of oil
moisturize the already wet
spot
I touched her
touched her soul
but between it and me
I explored the deep brown sea
of her
her thighs
lows and highs
body on the edge of delicious
I want to sup for hours
at the well of her femininity
a feast of flesh and fantasy
sensation overload
satisfaction mode
tweaking hidden zones
felt in the bones
I feel her body tremble
a heady mix
of fear and anticipation
my fingers and other parts
seeking heat
and striving again
and again
again
ugh
to elicit her vocalization
hoping for
a wordless
appreciation
of the testament
to my attraction
passion flowing in the physical
consuming seconds
minutes
hours
days
stimulation that resonates
through the memory
dreams and breathing
until
just until

that is
me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Blackout?

I did a quick poll of the my fellow workers in the office, and a few of them are going to participate in the National Blackout that's going on today. My online buddies have already admitted to not being compliant.

Which makes the whole thing pointless.

I've gotten a little tired of the historical black leaders, the theoretical president and vice-president of Black people - Jesse and Rev. Al - who fifty years later still want to march and boycott to show strength. They worked then. In specific instances and under specific circumstances they were very effective in showing the power and solidarity of a people disrespected. But just as we set the tools of the that day and age aside in lieu of new tools, so we must do the same with these.

Should we never boycott or march again? Sometimes the old tool is the best tool for the job, so there will come a time when they are most appropriate. This is not that time.

Current estimates set the spending power of the target group at 2 to 3 billion per day. Real money to those whose minds are consumed with small thoughts. To put it in perspective, the US government lost 9 billion dollars in Iraq last year, lost as in "we don't know who we gave it to - we don't know where it is now. That was 9 billion in CASH. Not credits or monies paid toward or contracts promised... billions of actual paper dollars. And nobody's that concerned.

Last year Walmart had billion dollar sales on SINGLE days.

A famous congressional anecdote goes that, "a few billion here, a few billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money" when discussing funding of bills and projects.

The amount we're talking is a drop in the bucket. To small minds a billion or two is ridiculous money. To the people whose minds we hope to change, it is pocket money. The stakes have changed, and the rules of the game must change with with it. The people with purpose must wrap their minds that the world has change. They dream of being Martin and leading the people, but even brother Martin would realize that those things that once worked so well need to put aside for other times.

And let's not get started on the modern March, which we turn into throwback road-trips and excuses to miss work. I listened to students boarding the bus for Jena with hardly a clue as to why they were traveling.

And since the whole project not a unified effort, it's effectiveness is questionable. Wholly questionable.

In an economy with a large number of people living check to check, stockpiling supplies for a few days really wasn't an option. It's payday Friday for a large number of Americans. Children need things and sales start today. The black American icon Denzel Washington's movie debuts today, and opening day receipts are crucial.

And a number of people enjoy the nightlife. The nightlife at black owned businesses.

Which gets me to the crux of my point. The vast majority of the people joining the protest generally tend to focus their dollars at black owned or black focused businesses already. So those businesses are the ones that will suffer as we cry into the wind.

And what was the point of that?

If we must make a statement, then let's make it. But let's find a new approach, a new language, a new tool to get our point across.

Barkeep - Do you have any ripple?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

2007 Football Rant #1

I don't like the Patriots

I have no respect for Belichick, or Brady or Moss at this point. I have no respect for entire organization, the owner or commissioner Goodell.

I have no gripes with the way the team has manhandled opponent after opponent this season. They come out firing with a offense with outlet after outlet and rack up points like no team ever. They are crisp, efficient and focused. The problem is that they don't stop. Up by 30, they keep pounding. Up by 40 and the starting units are still on the field. It is the epitome of bad sportsmanship. And this from a team that needs to demonstrate good sportsmanship at every turn considering their recent track record.

And apart from bad sportsmanship, it demonstrates a complete lack of perspective on the part of the "trappist monk" of football. Brady is going to get hurt. Or Moss or Welker. Bad. The weekly column Tuesday Morning Quarterback will attribute it to the "Football Gods" angry at the hubris of the team. I and ESPN will attribute it a defensive end or linebacker with a free shot who will have Brady on the field saying "I'm Batman".

Some say the Pats are focused because they're angry. And I ask angry at what? Getting caught cheating? They're angry that they got busted? And beating everyone they meet with no remose badly will make us think better of them how? Because right now I think they're still cheating. And that they might have been cheating for some time.

I have no respect for Goodell because after he said they would get to the bottom of what the Patriots were doing, they destroyed the evidence after 4 days and let the matter go. With no explanation of what they found. And no secondary review.

I hope Taligabue didn't go too far.

Barkeep... a Sidecar, heavy on the Scotch.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back in Stride again...

Man am I glad it's Monday. Straight from a four day parley and getting back to work is refreshing.

Thursday night - Vino Libro in East Side Village & Leopard Lounge.

Vino is a wine/tapas bar that looks so damn comfy. The chairs are low and the drinks are strong. Leopard was well, Leopard on an Thursday. Wall to wall and damn fun.

Friday night - Chivas Studio & Strip.
Chivas Regal gave away free drinks, with live music and gourmet food. And nobody came. If they had fifty people in there I would have been surprised. But the drinks were strong plus. Strip is done by the way...they almost had more security than patrons.

Saturday night - House party
Ten minutes from calling it a night, a got a call with directions and walked in on a phat party down off Campbellton Road. The bartender had on red hot pants and fishnets, they had trays of food left, and a stripper pole in the basement.

Sunday afternoon - House accident
It wasn't planned, but over at my partner's spot we ended up getting a little foolish. The Cowboys won, the folks got a little raucous and fun was had by all. Except ole girl who swore her booty was 39, until we broke out the tape measure.

It was that kinda night.

Barkeep - Water. I've been drinking for four days.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Home Update.

It only took a month and half, four trees cut down, a limb removed, six appointments and seven technicians (the last two came in pairs) but the Direct TV is on at the crib. Oh hell yes!

A friend of mine just slipped me the CEO's phone number as they were having problems with Direct TV as well, but it wasn't needed. I really wish I could go back now and get the other busted ass techs who came out to be required to stop back by and see that it could be done.

-->The little light booty fuck who showed up Saturday at 5pm already on the cellphone to his buddy as he arrived.

-->The little bassid who came out and told me no way, and wouldn't even try.

-->The fucker who rode by and never stopped.

I need all of them to ride by and be required to watch as turn it on, give me a full apology. I was prepared to bet the guy who showed up this morning $20 he could get a signal if he stood where I told him too.

Okay in the ensuing 45 days I've been without, I want to say I've accomplished so much. That I read several novels I wouldn't had time to, started a new work or polished an old, maybe took the time to clean up the house or paint. I would be lying if I said those things. I played games on my computer and watched DVDs.

As an aside, why is every copy of Pirates of the Caribbean from Blockbuster I buy so scratched as the be unwatchable?

I've got the Premier Package (all the channels) and Sunday Ticket (all the NFL games) and Superfan (which I'm not sure will work with my old ass box). I may not be back for a while. I was this close to calling Charter, this -><-- close. So close.

Barkeep....Knob Creek. Leave the bottle. Oh yeah.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Quick Film Review - Why Did I Get Married?

This weekend, on opening weekend, I went and saw Tyler Perry's latest Why Did I Get Married, the next in his line of feel good uplifting stories of the Black Experience. I was originally going to see it at Atlantic Station, but I forgot about the Taste of Atlanta and so I dashed up to Phipps. I now remember why I prefer Atlantic Station.

Mr. Perry's world seems to inhabit the same world of the black romance novel, where everyone is well off, well educated and articulate. Well, almost everyone. My favorite character, Tasha Smith's feisty Angela is the black woman I know. Obviously educated and accomplished, but more than willing to unleash if provoked. As much as I want to be mad that the characters lives seem so plastic, I'm kinda glad they're not portrayed as the bad stereotypes. But is there no middle ground to the black character? Either they've made it to the top, or hustlin on the side. Where are the people in the middle?

(In the interest of full disclosure I've had a thing for Tasha Smith since I first saw her in NBC's Boston Commons in the mid-90s)

I won't go into the story, you had to have read it somewhere...four couples get together for their annual retreat, this time in Colorado, only to have the secrets and issues they've been repressing bubble to the surface. This is my take on it: Janet Jackson is stiff at times, Tyler Perry has written himself the Jimmy Stewart/Good guy role, and Richard T. Jones comes across so unabashedly vile it's almost fun to see just how far he can take it. Smith and Jones characters and performances spice up an otherwise bland bit of celluloid. It's a Tyler Perry movie, so you know it will all work out in the end, but that's not why you go. I laughed, I cried, I was shocked, and watched Sporty suck in a breath when man candy hit the screen. So it wasn't perfect, but it was good.

I'm thinking, the good people in Hollywood may need to turn to look at the Perry Method and learn a trick or two. This is the third incarnation of this project, from stage play to filmed version of the stage play to feature film. Having already found out what works night after night, all Perry has been doing with existing works is put the last bit of Hollywood polish on them and he's got gold. In an industry that prides itself on milking every formula and is struck with sequelitis, you would think they would appreciate the "just do it over with a new sticker" concept that's putting the butts in the seats.

One last point. I realize that the film wasn't pre-screened for the media, but Filmcritic.com doesn't have a review up 72 hours after release. And for the #1 film in America? It's a shame.

You need to go see it. Good film.

Barkeep - Maker's Mark and a dash of Ginger. Yeah.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dogs and Direct TV

It was a less than memorable weekend.

I watched Sporty's dogs this weekend as she went out of town for a Flag-Football Tourney (ah, the sportswoman). Much like me forgetting why I will only sit in Club Level or above in the Georgia Dome, I also forgot why I don't own pets.

1. Pets mean you have to go home. Regularly.
2. Pets mean feedings.
3. Pets have accidents.
4. Pets have a unique aroma.

Now I like dogs, much like I like children. I like the kind you can give back to their owners/parents after say 5 minutes of interaction. I can play toss the stick with the cute puppy, or toss the football with the kid, but hey isn't that your mommie calling?

So I spent the weekend dipping out then heading home to check and make sure the "kids" hadn't gotten into something and destroyed something else. And to keep my floors clean, I must have walked them six times a day (it didn't work). The little one apparently won't go if you're watching him. And the only times I wasn't watching him was when I was asleep or not there. You get the picture. He's not invited back.

But I asked for that, so...

...but Direct TV. I'm so ready to ....ooooh. Okay, so I've been without my Direct for like a month and half. Line of sight issues. Three techs have been out. The fucked up part is that the second tech found a spot to get a signal. The first was lazy and the third tech blew me off like I was nuts. I requested the same tech but they didn't send him.

To get the signal adequately, I need to get a branch cut down however. And do you know how hard it is to find a ladder? I mean like for real...apparently ladders are like gold.

The second tech says cut this branch down, you're in the house. The third tech tells me the second tech was crazy. If I hadn't gotten NFL Sunday ticket, Super fan and the Premier Package for being a persistent customer (I've never been nasty with anyone on the phone) I would have quit a while back. As it is, now I just want to be able to watch some damn TV.

As it is, I'm going to have to find a bar to watch the Cowboys-Bills tonight. I'm not amused.

Barkeep, a boilermaker with a tequila shot on the back.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Quick Film Review - Goodbye Uncle Tom

A friend of mine, in effort to help me understand real racism, loaned me a copy of a film he described as the "real deal" concerning slavery. It would "touch me, move me, and give me a new outlook".

This film was Goodbye Uncle Tom.

The film is now part of the Mondo Cane DVD series, shot by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi in 1971. It's cinematic treatment of slavery is extremely different from all other slave epics -- Roots, Mandingo, Beloved. Shot in a pusedo documentary style it shows modern film makers traveling through time to see slavery up close and personal. Shot in Haiti, it depicts graphic slavery, including copious male and female nudity, rape, auctions, beatings and any other unpleasant slavery related act it can conjure up.

You ever have a child come up to you and show you a picture they painted, and you get all funny and tell them how good it was. It's gonna be like that.

I watched it cold with no build up, so I went in with minimal expectations.

I'm going to suggest that if you are a homosexual or bi-sexual racist sadist with a scat perversion in the mood for rough dark meat, then this is the film for you! I can't think of anyone else I would suggest sitting down to see it.

After a scene straight from a redneck or a black militants dream of 20 or so slaves running around a plantation dining room, we go to a cargo ship and arrival procedures. From there to traders and disenfranchised workers to mammys and the like, all the while treated to overdubbed historical texts recited by actors without a trace of irony. The film is exploitation at it's worst. A scene described as heartbreaking appeared almost silly to me, a much maligned shot of small white girl leading her "pet black boy" around by his collar as she frolicked in a field. The later stages of black power rallies didn't even appear to have a basis, as did the blood fantasy ending.

Watching I'm not sure what the purpose is. I looked online and the original filmmakers stated that wasn't a message film, they wanted to show what was going on. It's been called the "most racist film in history", and watching the banality of it unfold was almost funny. Maybe I need help. The people who seemed most proud of it, as I researched this farce, were those black militants who wanted it seen calling the films "based on historical facts".

Maybe it's just me, but I think we can do better than this. I think anyone can better than this. They tried for a African Passion Play...and ended up with nasty soft porn. Bad nasty soft porn.

Barkeep. Just mix some shit in a glass...I need to get this taste out my brain.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The required Halo post (as required by Internet Rule #47854b-Halo)

I don't play Halo. Didn't get the first one, don't have the second one, sure as hell ain't gonna get the third.

For one, I do NOT own an X-Box.

For two, I have no desire to play a game online against someone who just might be so dedicated that in their living room they're actually in full battle dress. It's also why I don't play Warcraft, as an old coworker once told me that upon waking he kissed his wife then scurried off to his computer to see how his auction then went, and before he could control himself was scurrying off on a new quest...almost forgetting to come to work.

I've played GTA, Civ, Age and some of the others. I game regularly. I'm not a noob.

And now I just read what could be considered blasphemy...on online review calling Halo a sci-incarnation of a Madden.

Now I played Madden back when the game had one team's location listed as "Philly". I bought the old Sega system just so I could play. We held the 32 team round robin double elimination World Championship Tournament in my apartment over 3 days...15 years ago! We're talking ancient history here. I can be safely said, I've played a game or two.

I've seen Halo played. It's Doom in free form, Quake for teams, Duke Nuke'em out of development. It's kids stuff.

I know Madden, I've played Madden, I like Madden, and you sir are no Madden by any stretch of the imagination.

I don't know if I can even continue. I'm so hurt by even the comparison.

Barkeep. Evan Williams and branch water. Yeah, cheap ass Evan Ass Williams.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The FAMU-TSU Atlanta Classic - Day Plus 2

In that middle, you just knew I was gonna be reporting in from the field diligently.

Suckers!

Friday - Went out for drinks with co-workers in preparation for the massive hangout. Went to a seedy bar in Marietta around the corner from the job where none of the chairs seemed 100%, they served $4 beers in little teeny ass cups and everybody smoked. Sorry, I associated smoking with herb, and that in turn leads to some chick giving me head.

This didn't look like that kinda spot. I hung out for an hour, but something wasn't feeling right. I got the house, took a shower and had to lay down.

Saturday - Got the call to ride out early, but didn't make it. Showed up at the game and realized that my master plan - buy the cheapo ticket and run into folks - was extremely flawed. I used to say if I went to the dome it was Club Level or better, and now I remember why. Since the dome closed the bar on the 50-yard line, going to the games hasn't been the same. And my age group has upgraded. Afterward, the game (which FAMU won with a blocked field goal in the final seconds) I stopped by a friends house for her family reunion, then stopped by another friends house for his belated birthday function.

Sunday - not a damn thing happened. Sporty was working her second job, my girl called me back over to get some the grub they missed at the FR, and I wrangled with my lack of satellite.

I did however cook a nice steak and baked potato for dinner. Damn that was good. Chocolate pudding for dessert.

Well, that was it. Maybe I am getting old, this used to be a lot more exciting.

Barkeep - Scotch. Glenfiddich. neat.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The FAMU-TSU Atlanta Classic - Day Minus 1

Thursday...Dateline - The Hennesey Event.

What if you gave away free top shelf liquor, free gourmet food, and hot new entertainment and nobody came? It looked like it for a moment, when I bopped into the event and lo and behold it was nearly EMPTY. The little girls in sundresses were stopping me when I had a drink in hand to ask if I wanted another. The bartender was pouring the drinks so strong I had to ask her to lighten it up a bit. Okay it started at nine, which was little funny, and ended after midnight on a week night... but the kind of folks they invited were the kind that could call it in on Friday if need be.

Funny moment this cutie in a black lace dress makes eye contact with me for few seconds, I smile back and tell her that her man is very lucky...you should have seen this dress...and even as lean back this dread locked brother steps in. I'm not paying attention but I look back that way a few minutes he's got his celly out getting numbers...oh kay. I don't say anything, it's not my place, I don't even know her. But we make eye contact a few minutes later and apparently she felt she had to explain herself. She comes over and tells me it's not what I think. I assure her I have an open mind, and ask her the question I ask all women..."Are you happy?". Oddly she then asked me my sign. Maybe I should have asked her age.

From there with the crowd looking considerably better, after Chrisette Michele performed, I breezed over to Leopard Lounge.

And the girl told me it was $20 to get in if I didn't want to wait in line.

Pay money? To get in the Leopard on a Thursday? Or stand in a line? Are you fookaying kidding me? I had to go to work the next morning....actually, be on the track the next morning...so I demurred.

It feels good to be back in stride...

I skipped Shout (which I heard was horrible), the Grape (I didn't need to see everybody the first day), Noir (it was that or the Hennessy thang) and Verve (which I also understand was light, but it was Thursday..Friday is there night.)

Barkeep, get me some gin and tang...I'm feeling frisky.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wait...what?

Goodell is full of it

I hoped to make my next NFL related notation when the Cowboys were 8-0 and looking like juggernauts on a drive to playoffs, but the Pats have forced my hand. This is about some bullshit to the left, and the idea that you can justify what he did borders on the belief in the Great Pumpkin.

The head coach cheats.
Blatantly.
And gives a half-assed apology to no one.
And the commish who's cracking down and getting tough....gives him a fine?

Now this isn't alleged or unproven allegations that there may have been some improprieties. This isn't your name appeared in suspicious or less than reputable company among people of interest. This isn't off the field shenanigans or tomfoolery or criminal activity.

THIS WAS CHEATING AT THE GAME!

And Goodell had the audacity to state he is charged with "maintaining the integrity of the game."

And then to state that their actions had no impact on the game. If it didn't help, then what the hell did you do it for? Knowing the defense play before hand is a huge advantage, and in the hands of QB like Tom Brady, it's like handing him the keys to bakery. If I owned a team that lying ass fuck coach beat, Goodell would have a lot of explaining to do as to why he didn't put the man's shit in a box and show him the door.

Say what you want, all the guys Goodell "cracked down on" never cheated ON the field. Never.

Integrity of the game my ass.

Barkeep...gimme some dirty tequila. in a dirty shot glass.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Old joke...smart thinking.

A man from the city had moved the country and figured he needed a farm animal. So from one his neighbors up the way he bought an old mule.

"That'll be $100 young fella, bring him by tomorrow." The Old Timer said.

On the way home, the Old Timer stopped off and bought some supplies, spent some money dranking and drove up to his house to find the mule dead in his yard. He called the man from the city to tell him the bad news.

"Your new mule died. Sorry"

"Well, just gimme my money back, no harm."

"Can't do that, already spent it."

"Well then, okay. Hey, can you drop the mule off in the morning anyway?"

"But the mule is dead, son."

"So you said, but just drop him off in the morning."

So the next morning, the farmer loaded up the dead mule and dropped off at the city fella's place. A few weeks went by and the farmer was passing and decided to stop in and see what the guy had done with what he bought.

"Hey man, I'm curious, what did you do with that dead mule?"

"Oh, that. I held a raffle to win him. Sold about 500 tickets at $2 apiece."

The Old Timer was shocked. "Didn't somebody complain you was raffling off a dead mule?"

"Yeah, the guy who won didn't like it."

"So what did you do?"

"I gave him back his $2."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Journey through the Bargain Bin

I've moved into the new house, and after my encounter with the Direct TV installer I'm still waiting to see if I can even get the new fall shows.

(Side story: --- I love Direct TV. Love it. And the little punk who showed up Saturday to install it...at 5pm...on his last call of the day...took one look at my setup and told me it wasn't doable. Then I took him the backyard and he got all snippy about how it wouldn't work. So I told him to set the damn thing up anyway. Then he gets a halfway decent signal, and DOESN'T LOCK IT IN! I'm having somebody else come out...and I'm call Direct TV to get his ass let go if possible. I'm not normally like that, but he fucking my Sunday Ticket!)

In the interim, I've taken to the bane of the modern American economy - Walmart. First I found two that actually close at night to my surprise, but I've taken to wandering the one closest to me looking for a distraction. In the back aisle of the Electronics section, I've stumbled across the bargain bin. The previous bargain bins I've looked in at a Walmart usually have had a mix of direct-to-video and Spanish language films, so I was skeptical, then I found this one. On the surface there were nine copies of Along Came Polly and countless Dickie Roberts: Child Star DVDs. But I was desperate and so I started digging.

There, in the among the forty copies of the Man from Snowy River I found Oscar nominee Sideways. And then Wallace and Gromit! These were good, fairly recent movies in among the compilations of no longer copyright protected cartoons and BMX Madness 2007. I kept digging...the Addams Family movies in a double DVD! Rocky and Bullwinkle! People wandered by, decided that the Ultimate Edition of Jim Carrey: Rubberface wasn't what they were in the mood for and left.

I shudder to think what might be even lower in the bin. Maybe Bond? Maybe Pirates of the Caribbean? It's like I've found a spot where buried treasure is abundant....and they also carry pans, shoes and sheets.

Am I ashamed that I've sold out to the corporate vampire that feeds on our national soul, plucking the dream of family business out of the heart of America and selling it to us at low low prices?

Did I mention there's another bin below this one that hasn't even been touched?

Barkeep, um...president's choice soda in a dirty glass.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What hath Sam wrought?

I'm currently in the process of moving. The major stuff is at the new house, I'm having the usual "I didn't think this would be a problem" snafus but I'm slowly but surely toddling along to home ownership.

Note: One day this is going to say I got mugged outside my house...then we'll see what happens.

Anyway, for the last few days as I move I find myself in the bit of Americana that seems to draw us in despite our best intentions, our best works and best planning. The last few nights I've found myself at of all places....Walmart.

I'm not a big fan of Walmart. Aisle after aisle of semi-shoddy stuff and slightly disinterested workers (except for the older greeters, who really seem to like what they're doing) just doesn't say great shopping experience to me. But I needed a shower curtain at 10:30 at night, and a few towels...and some allergy medicine...and a fresh shirt for work since mine are either in storage or in the cleaners...and soda...and $1 DVDs....and some underwear...and, well you see where this is going?

But in the last couple of days I've been two Walmarts that are as strange as any I've ever been in.

They close.

At midnight, the Walmart closes. Whoever heard of such a thing? I'm used to being able to pop into a Walmart at 2am for some coasters, a ladder and nice watch for $6.99, ya know? But I've been to two Walmarts that actually post closing hours! I quite frankly was stunned.

Now these are relatively urban Walmarts, one of them practically breathing on downtown Atlanta, so maybe there are rules I don't know about. It just struck me as odd.

I'm suddenly not sure if I'm in the Walmart because my AC isn't working (long story) or I just need stuff. Well, I find out tonight.

Barkeep...I think I'll have a whiskey. With a President's Choice soda pop.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Well, here we go kids...

After much trial and tribulations, lying home brokers and laconic Realtors, last minute surprises and other bumps in the night, last week with the stroke of pen I officially came into debt. I purchased a home on a secluded side street in a developing part of town, and in a few years hope to recoup my investment two fold.

Translation: I bought a foreclosure house in a sketchy neighborhood and after a little work hope to get back double what I paid.

And what a short but strange trip it's been. I'm seriously going to write a letter to my state representative, asking them to pass a law requiring that a) mortgage brokers be licensed and accountable, b) that any home sold in the state of GA marked AS IS come with a list of what the known issues are and c) that little old guys who do handy work should get state funded retirement.

Since I've bought the house it's been one expense after another (okay, everybody told me this part...just not how much), and as we fast approach D-Day some of the amenities I'd hoped to have are going to have to pushed back until tax refund time. Which thanks to the taxes I had to pay at closing should be rather nice. And now I understand why they have all those sales around that time. Sneaky bassids.

Now comes the real problem: Moving.

I hate moving. I think you should be able to call the local lockup and have them send over prisoners to do it for you. A judge should be able to sentence someone to 50 breakage free moves. I hate moving because you have to throw things out, and I'm a pack rat by nature. All kinds of crap I know I haven't looked at in ages. Last night I found a nicely printed copy of one the books I'm working on (I must have four or five in progress), the notes I wrote in like middle school and a map for a comic book that's been rolling around my head for 15 years. And it's throw it out, or take it with me.

Does anyone know the number of Extreme Home Makeover's moving people?

Well, the lights are on, the water is going to be on shortly and the alarm is coming after that. Then it's move in time.

Barkeep. Do you have any Cold Duck?

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Quick Restaurant Review - JCT Kitchen & Bar.

There is a little cabal of restaurants on a corner of Howell Mill that holds Osteria Del Figo and Taqueria Del Sol with West Egg around the corner. And tucked away in the back, behind the luxury knick knack store and the spa is JCT Kitchen. It is the only space there that has complimentary valet, which was surprising.

Sporty and I dropped in apparently because I'd mentioned it twice when suggesting places. Which is amazing, because I know I've suggested Alfredo's more than a few times and we've yet to grace it's doors. Anyway, we snuck in, got a corner table and waited for the dazzling service and atmosphere all these other reviews seem to gush about.

It was okay. I guess.

We generally love a good appetizer, but the grouping at JCT looked bland. Goat cheese? Angry Mussels? What is essentially cheese fries? Is this a TGI Fridays in disguise? No matter, place looks okay...but then Sporty notices that they don't serve water out of a pitcher, they leave a clear glass bottle on the table. A bottle with no cap. She asks: "What if they don't wash the bottle after every service?" I assure her that they do.

Suffice it to say, Sporty makes it through dinner on one glass of water.

I don't spot the booths until dinner's almost over. (Note to restaurants, black folks always want to sit in the booth. Even we don't know why.) We got there early so we watch the place quickly fill up space, which bodes well.

For eats she's thinking of getting the Skate Wing Pan Roast, until she finds out it's not roast, it's fish. Which is kind of cheeky labeling. So she opts for the Meat & Potatoes and I get the Springer Mountain Fried Chicken. The food is... okay, the chicken just a hair too salty, and oddly cut. Instead of a breast fillet, I get a wing attached breast and a thigh, after I'd mentioned to the waitress I don't eat dark meat. Hello, service? My dinner companion liked her steak, but thought the vegetables were excellent. So now she's on vegetables, which I hope doesn't mean we're going veggie.

The food was so uninspired that we forewent dessert as well. I can usually tell if a restaurant is up to par, as our trips last longer, but this time we were in and out in less than an hour and half. Our record is three and half (at Two Urban Licks).

I wish I could recommend the JCT, but it just seemed so middle of the road. Right down the damn middle.

Barkeep...if you could just touch up this Jameson. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

notes from the dog-watch

At this point I'm wondering if they'll take his pension, 'cause the boy look through.

Yesterday, the two other defendants in the Mike Vick dog fighting case took plea deals that stated they had to testify against the alleged ringleader, Vick. They will undoubtedly corroborate the story of the other defendant who'd already agreed to co-operate with the authorities in late July. I'm not one to cast doubt on one's aspersions of innocence, but this does not look good.

What prompted this missive was reading the "fray" postings that accompanied an article indicating that Vick's lawyers were "in talks" about a plea deal of their own. This came from my reading of the AJC.com's Talk of the Town semi-blog.

By BlackGirl August 14, 2007 11:45 AM
Should Vick be punished…yes. Is he a thug because he killed some dogs, well, what about those that kill deer for fun and call it hunting? Are they too thugs or is that word just saved for young black men?


By hellooooo August 14, 2007 11:58 AM
If Vick is either found guilty or pleads guilty, then he should be punished accordingly. If the NFL has a rule that felons cannot play, then he shouldn’t be allowed to play. I don’t care if he’s pink with purple polkadots, rules is rules. And BG, if a hunter is killing for fun, yes, he or she is a thug… if they kill and then have the meat processed etc., then, no, they are not thugs, they are providers. (I don’t think that particular question is color-coded, personally :-)


I found this bit of dialogue particularly interesting. It's been clear that the division on Vick has run along racial lines, whites condemning him and blacks adopting a innocent until proven guilty attitude, in a throwback to the old south that is at once revealing and disturbing.

The word Thug has been bandied about with great frequency on this issue. And for those who don't see it for what it is, a code for the N-word, that's clearly what it is. Oddly, the aptly named "blackgirl" does not cry for patience...but merely at the usage of the word Thug. It's the answer from "helloooo" which demonstrates the gulf of understanding between the races. Killing and having the meat processed makes it okay? So if Vick can prove he had dog burgers, would it be alright? Dog is eaten in many parts of the world with no outcry, so it's not a crazy notion.

Simply having the meat processed hardly makes it fair or just. Meat is available from other sources, so the hunting isn't necessary. Not any more necessary than putting two dogs in a pit so that money can be wagered. At least the dog had a fighting chance.

It's not a real popular opinion I know. If he broke the law he should go to jail. But I'm going to wait and see if he really broke the law. Innocent until proven guilty, call me crazy.

Bartender...a little hair of the dog. Yes, that means Jager.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What you pay for...

I eat out quite a bit. Not because I'm a lazy slob who likes to dine out - I love cooking, you just don't know - but because of an ongoing "issue" with my current living arrangements.

So I read a lot of online reviews, listen to folks talk about places, hear the stories and all in efforts to find interesting and exciting places to dine. And as such, I've realized that most people don't quite understand how dining out works, or how it's structured or really the whole point of going out. Let me go over a few basic rules and guidelines cause it's more difficult than you think, and I'm sure armed with a bit of knowledge you'll swiftly enhance your dining experience.

Level 1 - Fast food: What you're paying for here is throwaway rights. The food is not supposed to be especially well cooked, or even taste all that good. It's fast, it's cheap and you throw away everything when you're finished - the burger wrapper, the plastic fork, the ketchup packets. You're not paying for service either, so don't get snippy with the lady on fries.

Level 2 - Diner food: What you paid for is not a high quality meal, but the right to not have to clean up when you're finished. I find some of my best best meals in diners, so the quality can vary...a lot...but you're not paying for that. At the end of the meal, they come get the plate and you go home and sleep. That's what the money went for.

Level 3 - Chain food: Your national food chains are in business to make money...not make your dietary dreams come true. You're paying for a little flavor, a little taste, but it's on their terms. Don't expect their "Down Home Cajun cooked Chicken" to even come close to the real thing, or that Key Lime Pie to come from anyplace other than a box.

Level 4 - Upscale dining: You're coming out of pocket $75 -$125 for two at these places. You can expect not only good food but decent service. Don't expect them to do it like your mother did, but you can make an honest complaint here. Because this is the level where food is supposed to be good. This is the level most of us aspire to, and how most people think all restaurants should work.

Which is why we're having this discussion. Restaurants operate on the "you're hungry theory" of profit. It's how hungry you are that determines the restaurant you go to. I find it funny when I see folks upset at the food quality, when all they've really paid for is the right to go home full in 20 minutes. There is one other level, but then you're passed through hungry and gone out the other side.

Level 5 - Foodie: If you get to this level...I dined at the legendary Seegars in it's day, so I'm in...then the service is high, people are waiting with drinks, plates flash back and forth, damn you almost want them to leave so you can eat. The flavors are exotic, the cooking a little different and the whole vibe skewed. True you're coming out of pocket here in the hundreds plural, but what you're paying for again is not the food, it's the experience.

And if you go out to eat for the experience...then you weren't really that hungry.

Barkeep...a rosewater and lime martini with a scrooch of pomegranite. And a Bud back.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Ghost Orderer

In a rush as work was a piling up, I popped around the corner into Popeye's Chicken to grab a two piece and biscuit.

How black is that?

Anyway, I get in line and there are three people in front of me. But I'm wrong. I only see three people in line, but there are in reality nine. There were the three people actually there, and the six other people this "fat chick" ordered for that basically held up production. I hate that, I mean I took the time to come down here and place my order, doesn't that deserve a little respect?

I have the same issue with cell phones on dates. I explain it like this: I get dressed, burn up gas and choose a nice spot. Pay for drinks, an appetizer, two entrees and dessert. I've given you my undivided attention to learn who you are and what you're all about....and if the phone rings you want to spend twenty minutes talking to some dude in his draws on his couch half watching ESPN who would ask you to bring something if you were headed over that way instead of me. And you expect another date?

Women who know this irritates me have been known to ask permission to answer their own phones when with me.

But back to my chicken. So at one point as the sole little chicken order assembly person puts together order after order - for one person - the rest of the orders back up. At one point there are twelve people waiting as this one lady gets her food. And I can see the tensions rising. Odd conversations started up between strangers. People who ordered before the chicken lady started to wonder why they weren't getting served first. I could feel revolution in the air.

I was about to suggest that this manager institute a two meal per person maximum. To write my state representative and offer the idea that a state law be passed to put in a bulk order lane. To call the president and not only have him pardon Ronald Isley but fix this growing "Chicken Inundation Situation". To start a grass roots movement to have the constitution amended to include speedy fried bird as the inalienable right of every man, woman and child in this great country!

Then I got my chicken and I was out. So like whatever.

Barkeep...you got sweet tea, right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Still walking....

I've lost track of the days since we started...it's on here somewhere, but I'm still out there pretty much every morning since we started. I think we've missed only five or six days, and since we walk EVERY day - that's seven days a week, not five and two off or just the weekends - it's working out rather well. We do 2.6 miles on the nice gravel city provided track and with the walk in and out we get in roughly 3 miles.

The people you meet in the park at 6:30am are all focused. And sweaty. Some even have dogs. Occasionally you meet them with their personal trainer. Because we're all running or working out we don't really get much conversation, so I give them little mental nicknames to keep them straight.

There's Lonely. When we started walking she had two friends who walked with her, but they stopped coming and now she's out there walking by herself. And talking on her cellphone. Who she's talking to at that hour is a mystery.

There's Good Friend and Trying. Trying is out of shape, and comes out and struggles her way around the track. Good friend is her friend who is in fabulous shape...who occasionally forgets her girlfriend is in a bad way. She'll come breezing past then have to jog back to her girl.

There's the Indian Firecracker. We actually are pretty cool with her. She's training for a triathlon, taking an intensive Spanish course at the AUC and looks cute as button. Well she is. And I got all that from our brief 10 second conversations as she breezes past.

There's Barbie. Do I need to explain that one? She only runs the two and is out.

This morning we met the Naked Runner. He's not actually naked but he runs shirtless...and barefoot...and looks as though if could run in a loincloth it would be his preference.

I haven't seen Old Man Steel, Parking Lot Dad, Old but Sweet or the Workout Twins lately.

People aside, this outdoor exercise will continue until it gets too cold. Then it's gym memberships and juicing. As a result of all this, my clothes have gotten a little looser, my energy is up, my stomach looks flatter and my posture has improved. I feel pretty good about the whole thing.

Tom on the other hand has lost 60 pounds.

Okay, walking didn't knock that much weight off of him, he also stopped eating. Like all the way. He's been a forty day Juice/Water fast that has him strolling around like a hospital out-patient. I've suggested that he see a doctor as that much weight loss occasionally leads to kidney damage, but his new Zen like attitude has expressed the the idea that a "fast is to heal the body, not to hurt it" and regards my suggestion as being in error. Good thing we have full coverage health.

As his energy levels have fallen I've been adding difficulties to my sessions so that I get the most out of mine: Adding stairs, side sprints, hill climbing, etc. He should be done by this weekend...then we're talking colonics. Which is a whole other posting.

Barkeep...let me get a apple raspberry mango smoothie. Put a little rum in it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Quick Restuarant Review - Six Feet Under Westside

It was warm out, and Sporty wanted Seafood, so we trekked over to Six Feet Under on the Westside. On 11th street, I'd gotten lost earlier trying to find it, riding through residential neighborhoods looking for an Au Rendezvous type spot that was just dropped in. It's on the other end...near the Real Chow.

Anyway, the big deal is view from the rooftop deck. It's real nice. Real real nice. I got there at like 6-ish, and looked around up there but by 6:30 when Sporty bopped in fresh from her workout, we couldn't get seat upstairs. It's that hot. So we got a booth and dug in. She got the crab legs and I had the steak & shrimp, with the crab cakes appetizer and a basket of rat toes (Jalapeno peppers stuffed with shrimp wrapped in bacon - talk about overkill). We're fairly predictable folk if the menu looks a little funny. Or if we're hungry. Sporty ordered the rat toes just to see what they were about. They weren't bad.

I'm not sure what came with my steak, that little half cooked french fry type slaw wasn't bad, but then it wasn't what I was expecting either. Sporty enjoyed the crab legs, not even using the crackers, her Virginia bohemian nature taking over she used her teeth. She looked cute, what can I say? That's why we keep going out.

To close out, we had two shots of the new Patron, which finished off the night supremeo. My one real misgiving was that the valet - cause there is like zero parking - looked like he'd just finished the Peachtree Road race he was so sweaty. As Sporty just moved over that way and I'm in the process, this may qualify as our new go-to spot.

Keep in mind our previous go-to spot was the Bucket Shop in Buckhead. Hey, we like what we like.

Barkeep...two more shots of that New Patron. Cold.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Afternoons

I know entirely too many people who have Friday afternoon free. Either their freelance/entrepenuers who schedule themselves off on Friday or have jobs in which they can say "I'm out" at 2pm. Either way, I'm beginning to despise these people.

At 3pm on Friday, I have people asking me if they can get something to Hawaii...from Atlanta...by 9-ish or so, because that's how they want it to work. Or want something their not entitled too. Or figure it must be slow, so I can get in my issue with no problem. I'm going to use the term crazy, although I'm angling towards stronger language.

They always want to know what's going on later. Like I don't have enough to concentrate now. I realize all of us aren't able, but those who can need to pay a little more attention.

I'm thinking I needs to get my shit together soon. I'm back on the house trail, and once that's down I can cop out on Law School, and get this film thing going and ...yeah, a whole bunch of pipe dreams. But remember kiddies, that if you don't dream you'll never get anywhere.

Or so they tell me.

Barkeep...a little Absolut, pineapple and ginger. With one them umbrellas.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Michael Vick goes to the dogs

In the court of public opinion, Micheal Vick is the anti-Christ. With god given ability to play football and handed security for life in the form of a $150 million dollar contract (okay, it's the NFL it's not guaranteed like the NBA, but still) this young turk and thrill seeker decides to get his thrills by...fighting pitbulls for a few thousand dollars?

I don't know if it's true, and that's the crux of the matter. I took a few minutes to read the indictment, and quiet frankly the words "persons unknown to the grand jury" and the judiciously vague dates came up just a bit too often for me. Maybe Vick did ride around the country with a knapsack full of money and fight dogs, and maybe he didn't. But they need more than what's there to sink somebody.

In reading a few of the comments the vast majority have already tried, judged and convicted him. Comments range from he's "trash and waste of human life" to "he better get used to the name Vicki" to my personal favorite "the NFL should end his contract and donate his entire salary to the Human Society". It's not my favorite because I agree with it, it's because it's funny.

Do I condone dog fighting? Not really. I don't really have an opinion on it. Never really gave it that much thought. And just because it's now news and people in Atlanta have started a fire sale on Falcon season tickets, I'm still not that much in the mood to commit to that kind of thought.

I've even owned two dogs & am trusted to watch other peoples dogs. No, I really don't have that much on an opinion.

But back to the lonely facts and rampant opinions.

Now Pro Football talk is saying after his Vick stated in April that he never visited the property and that he "left the house with my family members and my cousin", his aforementioned cousin Davon Boddie turned on him. Oddly Boddie, who lived at the property with housed Bad Newz Kennels wasn't charged, which only strengthens the argument that he flipped. However how good a witness is someone who has an obvious personal vendetta? If I was a prosecutor, I wouldn't hang my case on him.

Side note: This shows that ignorance in the criminal class runs rampant. Instead of taking the charge, getting the charges reduced and maybe getting a few months or a suspended sentence and fine and then letting his famous and RICH cousin pay him out, this fool - because he's mad - is going to kill the career of his cousin and take 150 million off the table. Because he's pissed. Ain't this some shit?

Unlike a lot of the vocal people I've encountered today, I'm going to adopt a wait and see attitude. The one the justice system uses called "innocent until proven guilty".

Barkeep. Some Old Crow if you got it...

Friday, July 6, 2007

A semi half a work week...

Friday.
I'm like so pissed I'm in the office today.

After that fake out ass Holiday on the 4th, although me and Sporty did have a phat dinner at South City - Vinings (get the buttermilk fried chicken), I was not ready to come back into to work.

Earlier this week something exploded in my thigh...seriously... and I was thirty seconds from going to the emergency room.

For a holiday week the clients seem to ringing up the phones like business as usual.

My realtor has not gotten back anything on my counter to their counter of my offer. (here we go again!)

And then my partner calls and says he's grilling out today..Friday..at 3pm. Like during a workday. Ain't this bout a Kool-aid drinking bitch. Then one of my old running partners in town for the weekend calls and says hey, let's get together for drinks at 7pm. People playing games with me here. Two competeing functions...both of them my peoples...and each acting like that can't be around one another. When I met them they hung out strong, now...pfft!

I wish this were a more philospohical post, but today is merely a rant.

Barkeep.....Bud. Cold. It's that kinda day.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bye Buckhead

July 2007 ends an era, as the last of the Atlanta bars in that adult playground that had become part of the city's identity closes it doors and the "Developers" take over. The city's former sin district - Buckhead Village - is no more. By September the razing of the empty buildings will begin and at the end of 2008, the homogonized and professionally bland will have completed sucking part of the soul out of our fair city.

When I first moved to Atlanta in 1998, I moved to Buckhead. It was vibrant and full of life, Friday nights the streets packed with people roughly my own age drinking and flirting and wandering the streets. True, few of them looked like me as I was black and they were other, but found place after place that let me wander in and spend my money freely. Drinks at the World Bar were $2. All of 'em. On Sunday night's Otto's looked like something out of music video. The Havana Club had a live Latin Band that jazzed up the place. The Backroom at CJ's Landing. The place simply known as Bar. Goldfinger's with the continous Bond films on loop in the basement. The rooftop decks and back alley stages and that little guy in the cart that sold $3 hambugers and $2 sodas at 3am and made a killing.

I had regular forays on Fridays at the now razed to the ground club Liquid Assets, a club that on a given Friday night would 1) let you in free 2) give away free drinks until 10pm and 3) serve a free breakfast buffet at midnight. Many an evening found me a friends with 20 or more to be drunk drinks on the table easing through another warm Georgia night. When I was "between postions" me and similar situationed friend spent many an afternoon after interviews in the Buck ensconsed in a little wine bar before we wandered down to Fellini's to finish off.

At it's height, the Village had over 100 businesses with liquor licences in less than a 4 block radius. I think I went into all of them.

Then things went downhill. The popular consensus was that the infamous incident involving Ray Lewis' friends started the downfall, but it began before that. And as much as I hate to admit it, we finally finished it off. And when I say we, I mean we as in the black people. At least the young black people.

Now we didn't start the problem, the area had always had issues - DUI, rape, assault. It was nothing to see five or six folks hauled off everynight. But one of the cool things about Buckhead in the late 90's was that everybody there, could get into everyplace there. However when "we" showed up, you would have thought the party was in the street. Underage patrons abounded and as far back as 2004 I stopped hanging in the Buck simply because of this. I still hit Mike & Angelos from time to time, but the Friday nights were a no-no.

Older brothers had been hanging out in Buckhead off and on for years. But the younger, wilder crowds eventually followed seemed to believe that sitting on the corner was preferable to actually going in anywhere. Provided they could get in. And their reluctance to leave an area once they realized they couldn't get in scared off patrons who might actually spend money. And so the clubs went away.

I hate to say it, but it's the truth. The change of club hours by the city in a blatantly obvious ploy to build up their own dying venue - the underground - was merely the final straw.

You can blame a certain degree of racism, but that's simply the world we live in. This not to say that all black people or gatherings do this, but once the standard is lowered, the downfall is inevitable. Even among black events. Freaknik. First Friday. We as a social group have a tendency to crowd and then overstay our welcome. And though the places we patronize respect our dollar - which is just as green as the next man - they're in it for the long haul, and we are a fickle bunch. See Shout, Twist, Dave and Busters, and so on. We come, party hard and disappear after having run off their other customers, and wonder why we get strange looks.

So bye Buckhead. Sorry about that. But we still have Midtown. For now. At least until Trump gets here.

Barkeep...gimme and old gin and tonic. For an old friend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tony's not dead. Yet.

Tony's not dead.

The common logic is that we're smart enough to figure out the clues that spell out that the last 10 seconds of "Sopranos" being total blackness is that Tony "never heard the one that got him".
That would make Chase an artist, one who rises above the medium and drek that is so common in television and cable and actually made a show that does what art is supposed to do - make you think. Conversely that would also make us intelligent, thoughtful and observant, able to understand to subtle tones and nuances of quality television and not be spoon fed resolution. Otherwise Chase is a hack who got lucky and we got bamboozled. And we're too smart for that.


Steven Colbert coined the term truthiness to quantify this sort of thinking.

Only one person died in the last episode - Phil Leotardo. And when the shooter stepped up to the side of the SUV and put the gun to Phil's temple to make sure, his wife did something remarkable: she screamed. Phil might not have seen it coming, but he knew if only for a second something wasn't right.


The previous episode Bobby turned and saw the guns, he saw it coming. Sil shot back at his assassins, he saw it coming. So now Tony doesn't see it coming? Now he might have died the next day, or the next morning, or later on that night, but when the screen went black, Mr. Soprano was alive and well. Okay, alive any way.

Let's look at the scene in Holsten's, assuming Members Only is the shooter. (excuse the Star Wars-ian geekiness)


- The shooter would have trailed him there, as they'd just decided Holsten's. There is no piece in the bathroom unless they salted half the restaurants in Jersey (this is not the Godfather!). He would have it on him, probably a 9mm.
- The shooter enters with AJ and takes a seat at the bar, glancing at Tony. Then goes to the restroom moments before Meadow enters.
- The bell over the door rings, Meadow enters and the screen goes black.

So the supposition is that the Shooter comes out of the bathroom, steps up the table puts the pistol to Tony's temple and pulls the trigger - thus the blackness.

Carmella doesn't scream? She would have. AJ sits passively? He would started running. The booth was clearly visible from the outside door, Meadow takes in the scene of her father with a gun to her head and what? Does nothing? The wasn't even a odd look on her face. The shooter clipped Tony with a 9mm from 6 to 8 feet in the head with one shot? Or apparently the shooter came out of the bathroom with a street sweeper and clacked the whole family in one wave.


Let's look at the mechanics of a "hit". In that situation to get the guaranteed kill, the guy comes out of the bathroom and hops into the booth and slaps the gun to Tony's head before anyone can react? Hardly likely. He wouldn't have sat down, it would have been an in motion thing to facilitate escape. The assassination would require the same style of Bobby's hit - Gun's drawn, arm outstretched to get the aim, first bullet in the chest to immobilize, second or third to the head for certainty. Which means somebody at the table, in the restaurant would have seen it coming. Someone would have reacted.

Assume the shooter(s) were the black guys. They were laughing, not the solemn grim faced killers from previous hits in the story reality. And they would have had to come from across the room, with the same weapon out and ready pose that Members Only would have assumed. Tony would have "see that coming".

So what happened?

What Chase did was give us the cop-out ending. It's like one of those "What If" books where you pick how the story goes from here tales only for adults, and with strippers. And they've ripped out the pages that say "the end" on them. Inconclusive to the say the least as far as resolution. A pitch black flash that left you to interpret it on your own. It smacks of sensationalism, not a story from a seasoned storyteller. A better ending would have been Tony looking at a trial, or back into a more mundane than you would think for killers life that made the story what it was. The kind of man who went to work, killed a guy, then came home and ate pie with the wife and kids while they talked about college applications.

Face it, the ending was supposed to be that last bite of the perfect meal, and turns out it's the little burnt bit.

Bartender... stoli. For the Russian.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ooops, out of quarters...

Banished for a year from the NFL for acting the ass, Adam "Pacman" Jones still hasn't figured it out. Instead of picking up stakes and moving to say Arizona, renting a spot in the middle of the desert and spending his days working out and meditating, he's up in yet another urban strip club causing incidents. It's a shame to say it, but he almost deserves what happens to him if it goes bad after this.

Wanted for "questioning" about a shooting incident? Does he realize he's on probation? I mean seriously.

The meat of the story is that at a Strip Club in south Atlanta some men, as men do in strip clubs, offered a woman some money. Only she wasn't a dancer, just hanging out (It's really a big thing now, women go to strip clubs just to hang out. In one or two spots there are more women than men some nights). One of the men with her - allegedly Pacman Jones - took offense and as these things are wont to happen, a scuffle ensued. The group of men who started the incident took their leave, but were followed by men in Pacman's entourage. And that's when the shooting started. Nobody died...this time..but the police would love to speak to speak to everyone involved.

Now I doubt he anything to do with the actual shooting, but it's fairly certain he precipitated it. The crowd this soon to be former NFL star hangs with is a posse of people from his old neighborhood, old buddys and people who are going to get him in trouble. If they really were concerned about him, not the superficial posturing that all "thugs" do, a) they would make him stay home, b) make him move to Brewster, KS (pop. 285) and 95% caucasian or c) realize that they're actions are jeapordizing his future and avail to curtail their activities. But none of this is going to happen, and so another potential great talent is going to be lost to foolishness.

In the venacular of them streets...them Dope boys doing him dirty. Sure, they've got a few stacks in their pockets and if Pacman never plays ball again they'll hook him up for the minute. But that never lasts forever, and it's only a matter of time before someone as dramatic as Pacman ends up in the wrong spot at the wrong time saying the wrong thing. Chances are he'll be with the wrong people and they'll make the wrong decision, and things from that point will only get less right. Given the choice between standing in an alley at 3am with your boys and standing on the field at the Superbowl with your team, the idea that you would choose the former means I might understand less about the human psyche than I realize. Because that choice means the ghetto is in his mind.

Bartender...Thunderbird if you got it. No? How about Wild Irish Rose?

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Quick Restaurant Review - Rare: Soul Tapas & Lounge

Me and Sporty finally made it over to Rare on Piedmont. She'd been working two jobs for a minute to get her house stuff straight and so we'd been on the back burner. We're doing the Lincoln Lounge on Wednesday at Compound so Monday was it this week, and I chose the Soul Tapas spot Rare.

Now on Friday nights, you can't get in there. I mean it's packed like a slave ship the brothers are in there so tight. But then brothers in Atlanta have a tendency to clump - make a spot ultra hot for second then move on - and right now this is it. I went during the week for two reason, a) so I could really feel the whole spot and b) to actually taste the food in comfort.

It's laid out kinda like Bed used to be, only the mattresses are firmer and it's not really bed like. Sporty immediately jumped on it and stretched out, leaving me to order. This was the first sign she really liked the spot. We had the fish and shrimp, piri-piri pork, the ribs and chicken and waffles tapas to start. As we waited we tried to figure out the wax candle table and the old black movie (1940's) that was playing against the wall. It's done by the same folks who did Harlem Bar, so the concept isn't new - just the films are older.

She like the ribs, she loved the pork, she even ate the shrimp and girts. Then Sporty liked the homemade hot sauce. This was a first, cause she only likes one brand of hot sauce. Then we had a second pork and a second ribs. We were stuffed on leaving. Six tapas two drinks and right around $50...not bad. The space will be crowded plus on Fridays, and even as we sat there a unescourted couple edged into our space, but it was all good.

Bartender...another one whatever it was I was drinking.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The last few seconds...

Like many, I thought at 10:03pm Sunday night that my cable had went out.

As I nearly leaned off the couch waiting for a)Meadow to get hit a car b) Meadow to walk in on her father getting shot c) Tony to follow and kill the guy in the bathroom d) Tony to get clipped by the guy coming out of the bathroom e) I don't know, anything...my screen and yours went black on some of the best televsion since Fox's Profit or Action. Or the first season of Sheriff Lobo. (Hey, I like what I like)

Instead I got wrap up. Phil's boys get antsy and like people do in real life realize that making money is preferable to killing so they cut a deal. Tony goes to see Sil and feels bad. Tony goes to see Uncle June and feels okay about it. One of his guys turns and Tony might get indicted. Paulie acts superstitious. AJ wants to join the army then finally stops moping around when somebody mentions Hollywood. Meadow is getting married and is on track to a good job.

For this I sat glued to my seat for 62 minutes?

Okay when they capped Phil in front of the wife and grandkids, now that was cool. And Tony dancing with the Feds. If nobody had died you would have sworn this was a badly written if not boring soap opera and not the freaking Sopranos. And I'm still not sure it was. Are we absolutely sure that they won't sneak the real last episode on next Sunday when nobody's watching?

Tony should burned down Flatbush Wax Removal or whatever that place was. Paulie should have shown up some where with three machine gun toting mugs and flap blasted someobody. Instead Carmella comments on the mail and Janice sits on the back porch trying to figure out how to steal her uncle's money. This is supposed to be well crafted drama? Really?

I've heard that Mr. Chase is oblique kinda guy, but this is ridiculous. Over the past two days I've heard it cursed and praised. There was even a rumor that the guy at the counter in the final scene is listed in the credits as Phil's newphew and the black screeen is meant indicate Tony's life ended. Or that the real ending will only be available on the DVD. Both are lies. This is quite frankly a piss poor attempt at suspenseful ending that leaves the audience empty. Okay, those intellectuals who feel the director was trying to say something subtle feel okay, but the rest of us feel a little cheated.

Compared to their last culturally significant show the always interesting Sex in the City (yeah, I watched) we saw at the end that Carrie got back with Big. We don't know if it lasted or anything, I mean they'd been off and on forever so it could have been temporary, but we had some sembelance of closure. This was supposed to be a smarter show and loose ends are understandable. Sil's still in the hospital. Tony might be going to trial. Meadow might find herself picking between her husband and her father. Those are loose ends. The last few seconds was cheap melodrama worthy of a egostic Oklahoma City Tech School film school student.

I'm not very happy with these HBO folks right now. And no, I really wasn't interested in watching surfers in John from Cinncinati, either.

Barkeep...Knob Creek. No ice.

Monday, June 11, 2007

These feets is made for walking

If you're ever in Piedmont park at 7am, you might spot me walking it out. Last week I got punked into starting an exercise regimen at 6:30-6:45 AM in the park. We do an hour then take it in and go to work.

By punked I mean we middle aged out of shape guys are in the office all the time talking about diets, how we're about to get started next week (always next week), how we're about to start eating better, regain that form we sported in high school or college and fuck like a rockstar again..only this time knowing we'll what we're doing. And she'll love it.

So after two weeks of suggesting a quick break in the middle of the work day, so I could get away from my phone, my buddy asks me how many times I've gone out and took the break. My number was a little low. To prove I was serious I agreed to do this thing at Piedmont. I ain't been up this early regularly since never.

I was surprised to find the park so crowded in the AM. We usually enter over by the Park Tavern, swing wide by the lake then around the track, do three brisk laps (we're supposed to be adding stairs tomorrow) then roll straight down to 10th and back to the corner. Walking now, not running, jeez. In our stroll we're greeted by the Boot Camp folks who are out doing calestenics when we get there (what time do they arrive?) and many the morning jogger.

I get tired watching the Boot Camp folks as they run by.

Me and Tom talk about whatever, and I think we're the only friendly people in the park. I don't really see anybody else talk to anybody else. Okay, the homeless guy was talking to himself, but I'm not sure that counts.

My goal is a six pack. Okay maybe a twelve pack-ish. All I know is that I'm down from a keg, and working my way from party ball down to case. I just want to feel comfortable taking off my damn shirt. As soon as my legs and back stop hurting. And my feet. And my sides. And my butt.


Bartender...Bacardi and diet Sprite.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The utter bastards

I had been consumed with the purchase of my home. Had been as in past tense.

I put off the film I was planning.
I put off the book I'm writing.
I put off the law school applications.
Work suffered as I had to split my attention.
Even this blog suffered - it got depressing to update it.

Two months and $2700 later, still no house. They lied to me, mislead me and and in the end cheated me out of a life changing opportunity. LIFE CHANGING!

I'm turning them into their regulatory agency, gonna get a ruling then sue like a motherfucker.

Barkeep...moonshine. No ice.