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...

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.