[ always tell stories ]

With Focus On ARTvision, No Time to Post

(ATLANTA :: 27 November 2009) We’re in the final throes of ARTvision 4... And much of my time has been spent organizing our 25 or so artists who have generously donated more than $13,000 in donations.

Now we’re working on getting everything sold!

Meantime, check out the new header capture for December/January... “
Answered.” - an ARTvision entry that’s for sale right now for the benefit of Positive Impact.

Check it out. Meantime, more announcements to follow in the New Year.

Happy 80th Funk-day To My Father

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

A Chance Meeting Of A President & Journalist

If you can muster the resolve to see an event through non-partisan eyes, this should be one of them.

The Kindness Of Strangers, Friends And The Pharmacist

(ATLANTA :: 15 November 2009) I’m really not one to pray. At least, not very often. And when I do, my prayers usually come in the form of silent intention, meditation or other such low-toned thoughts that help shape how I’d hope the world around me might look.

I took ill on Thursday - and I don’t mean a sniffles, 24-hour-thing sick. I mean, it was the start of something awful... flu, possibly swine flu, and then it blew up on me this weekend - to the point that I called my doctor today, after hours, to see what to do.

I was amazed to find that he agreed to see me on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the office, saving me from four hours (or more) of ER waiting. So, we re-diagnosed everything and I went on my way. I was so grateful I
Yelped about it.

That kind visit was after Kim came to the house and brought me fruit, and before the pharmacist at CVS, Ashley, took my order and filled it quickly - being just as friendly and nice and she could be. The previous pharmacist, Jamie, was noticeably absent after having her first child - and I found out that she had relocated closer to home in Buckhead.

So my point being: prayers are sometimes answered without them ever being spoken. And it’s in those moments that we see the greatness of people around us.

Photo: “
Answered.” by WP

Usually A Throwaway, This Final SNL Skit Killed


Bronzen And Skinnier, Wynona Covers The Foreigner Classic


MANners: Ban Douchebags From The Gym. Now.

Here is the latest installment of a semi-regular series on wp.com. For your consideration, these are specifically related to gym-goers who have their cell phones attached as an appendage:

peeing: don’t let me hear the splash of your urine clashing with the blather of your conversation. sadly, that’s exactly what happened. and the call was answered while at the urinal. how is that possible? seriously?

seated biking: do you seriously think the person on the other end of the line wants to chat with you while you’re sweating? is the call really that important?

training: I’m thinking that your attention should be paid to your client, NOT to your texting friends or buddies who need to reach you for their steroid fix. keep the phone in your locker buddy.

More to follow.

(Image courtesy of

Check Out The Costa Rica Slide Show


Partying With Purpose & Impact

We came together at The Granite Room to kick-off the giving season with a bang... and I even got to sing with Alexis Vear.

Next up? ARTvision 2009. Watch for details soon.

Notes from the YouTube video:

“Atlanta's own Positive Impact threw its second-annual "Parties with Impact" gala at The Granite Room in Castleberry Hill. Alexis Vear (accompanied by guitarist Matthew Smith) headlined the event, with clips including "Step Out," a song Alexis wrote about Eddie's Attic; as well as covers of "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2 - a duet with Will Pollock (additional backing vocals by Todd Price). Videography by Will Pollock & Todd Price; edited by Will Pollock. ARTvision 2009 sales launch on December 1st. For more, visit www.positiveimpact-atl.org.”


It's True

NYCityMama Adventures

Push This Puppy To The Finish Line


'Fit To Print': Thanks To Mama Jean For Loaning Her Fingertips

Check out Mama Jean up top on wp.com! Taken on our boat in the South of France.

She’s reading The Times and enjoying the start of our day.


This is also a Pride 2009 preview picture, and depending on how things go, could be an ARTvision piece.


MANners: Puffed Up Chest, Deflated Relationship

Here is the latest installment of a semi-regular series on wp.com. For your consideration:

dating: avoid overpromising. don’t self-aggrandize. don’t use your relationship toward a narcissistic end, rather, feed it for the future. don’t try and be someone you aren’t able to become, or engage someone without knowing yourself first. if you see into your own soul, you’ll allow yourself to know others.

flying: if you’re a TSA agent checking passengers’ IDs, don’t be gossiping with a co-worker and not paying attention to what you’re doing. it’s rude to passengers, for sure, but you also might miss the next Osama slipping by. duh. trade recipes while you’re on a break, cool?

volunteering: exercise your own image of philanthropy, however humble; don’t impose it as a “my way” philosophy on others, especially on a team. it’s counterproductive, flippant, careless and rude.

More to follow.

(Image courtesy of
Rogue Jew.)

Glimpse Of The Future?


October Blows In With A Cool Whisper

I got fall today in my nostrils.

Ryan White Funding At Risk For Georgia HIV & AIDS Agencies - Act Now!

(ATLANTA :: 25 September 2009) - Positive Impact, AID Atlanta and many other Atlanta- and Georgia-based organizations rely on funding from the Ryan White Care Act. And the deadline to extend and/or renew looms in a few days.

With Congress atwitter about the healthcare debate, many eyes are off the ball and we need to focus to make sure this funding is not interrupted.

I just left a voice message with Sen. Isakson’s office, and his page crashed when I tried to send the following e-mail:


The subject says it all, and you should make that an official topic in your pull-down menu. This is a HUGE deal for HIV agencies in the state of Georgia and it's not getting sufficient play - either in the media or from your public statements.”

Please take a moment to contact his office. Here’s his info:

Washington, DC Office
120 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3643/ Fax: (202) 228-0724

Georgia Office
One Overton Park, Suite 970
3625 Cumberland Boulevard
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 661-0999/Fax: (770) 661-0768

Sen. Isakson, give your constituents the chance to e-mail you directly about this and other important issues. SHAME ON YOU.

Last, since this is a national-funding program, no matter where you live it’s important to let your representatives in the House and Senate know that reauthorizing Ryan White funding is critical to HIV services everywhere. Click here to find out how to get contact info for your representatives.

Give ‘em hell!

# # #


Probably The Most Fun I've Had All Year

Not a Miley fan, but this video is hilarious.


'Gay Panic Offense': How About You Go Fight Crime And Keep Your GD Hands Off

Here is a video round-up of Eagle-raid-related protests. Go here for a link to the SoVo video page, or here for the ongoing news story. Also, Mike Alvear has a great (but scary) round-up of what happened on his blog.

If you’re so inclined, write a letter of complaint to the Mayor’s office of communications and then make a comment here about the reply you get.

Here’s the contact info:

Beverly L. Isom, Director of Communications
404.330.6558 office
404.886.2334 cell

Mayor Franklin has apparently played pretty dumb in responding to this aggressive action, so we need to hit them with protests.

A round of applause to Mike Alvear and Justin Ziegler and everyone else who spearheaded this City Hall protest - taking a stand in the torrential rain.

And then finally, a rally outside the bar:


Growing Older In Love... And Growing Out Of Pop Music

As new host of the New York Philharmonic’s weekly, nationally syndicated broadcast on WQXR radio, Alec Baldwin laments the current state of pop music with a nod to EI. Here’s an excerpt from the New York magazine piece:

“In his dressing room, where the radio is tuned to WQXR “all day long,” Baldwin makes no apologies for his anti–Top 40 feelings. It’s part of his growing up. “Popular music has an emotional-intelligence quotient that’s geared much toward younger people,” he explains. “It’s all about”—he flattens his voice to a disaffected teen monotone—“‘You left me. Why did you leave me? I still love you. I tried so hard to stop loving you.’ And it’s like, well, I relate to that, I just don’t want to think about that. When you’re younger, you want to wallow in it. When you get older, you still love the person, and wonder why they don’t love you. You just have other things to do.” Baldwin had a relentlessly troubled relationship to his now-ex-wife, Kim Basinger, of course. It hit the news when a most unfatherly voice mail he left for Ireland somehow came out.”

I’m still very much a fan of quality pop - especially when it paints a picture or a story that actually means something.

One From The Vault: The Always Sexy Jennifer Paige & 'Sober'

I stumbled across this on LastFM today. One of the better tracks on her debut CD, “Sober” is something I can really resonate with these days.


More Like 'They'll Be There' - Comprehensive MJ With A Capella Style


'Consternation' Is Actually 'Mitigated' By Spelling Out 'D-U-M-B C-O-N-T-E-S-T-A-N-T-S'


In HonoUr Of My Midwest Trip


A Funny Thing (And Some Cardio) Happened On The Way To Lockdown

(4 September 2009 :: CHARLOTTESVILLE) - I learned a new term while traveling on a catered passenger barge for Rob’s birthday in France.

Aside from needing (and getting) regular exercise to work off the ultra-rich, amazingly tasty French cuisine, one must also pass through what’s called a “lock” when one travels down a canal or other body where the water level changes. I guess being a city boy I never had a need to know that.

This month’s header capture, “Emergence,” could only have come to pass because of these canal locks. The guy in the picture was working his boat with this two other buddies, rising up as the lock sloshed and churned full with murky water. He had his hands resting on the side of the lock and was waiting for the boat to reach the required level to move on.

I grabbed my camera and shot their entry into the lock, which turned out to be a very interesting group of pictures to say the least. Then... I went for a run.

# # #

Is That A Sword In Your Pocket Or Are You Just (un)Happy To See Me?

Ambivalence - Although it walks and talks like a passive action, the result is vastly different.

“Ambivalence is one of the sharpest, deadliest weapons one can wield against a loved one.”


Coming Soon: 'Emergence'

As we slink away from summer, I thought a nice way to say good-bye would be next month’s header capture, “emergence,” a photo I snapped while in France.

Watch for it, along with a brief story, on Wednesday.

More stuff added then, too, including details on new SFM projects and ARTvision previews.

Stay tuned.


Crisis Of Mattering: I See (Spiritually) Dead People

(30 August 2009 - ATLANTA, GA) :: In my quest to get my book published and out in the national conversation, I have been reminded of a conceptual thread critical to my task: convincing men of all stripes that “mattering” is more important than almost anything we wrestle with.

I don’t mean the consensus view of mattering, mind you - “that issue matters to me” - I mean the way we feel, belong and love each other. And, more importantly, ourselves. (The latter informs the former.) I’ve recently seen the underbelly of mattering - bearing witness to a deeply flawed, emotional ghost of someone as opposed to his real, truer, higher self - and seeing that pointed lack motivated me to sort some of it out with this post.

Too often, I see people who simply forget that we have but one chance in this lifetime to “make it right” - and love, above all, should never be wrapped in (or cursed by) a shroud of ambivalence. Don’t seek the kindness of strangers when you yourself are a stranger to kindness. Walk with people, not through them. Carry your heart with the same grace you’d want it received.

Why? T.S. Elliott got it right:

"To be of importance to others is to be alive.”

In other words, who and what we are to each other - our inner and outer mattering - is tantamount to a peaceful coexistence. To understand. To connect. To stay. To evolve. Love is not a currency we spend or earn, it is a means and method through which we appreciate, know, realize.

So I sit at my desk knowing I’m an imperfect being living in an imperfect world, doing my part to make it a few clicks better every day. If we wake up to the truth of how we matter each day, joy will rise with us, and we’ll stop seeing ghosts.

Photo: “mattering,” France, August 2009, a spontaneous, unmanaged and unstaged split-screen composition featuring a happy Stuey in a window reflection.


Vote For Triscuit!

Vote for my DogSponsored by All American Pet Brands makers of premium dog food.

Travel Day in Europe

For more, go to the Euro Blog, “Wheels of Fortune & Adventure,” or go directly to my SmugMug gallery for pictures only.

View Larger Map

Europe Travel Blog Coming Soon

You know how I love to come up with snazzy titles:

“Wheels of Fortune & Adventure: A New Bimmer Beginning”

For more, go directly to the Euro Blog.

Many thanks to Heinz, Daniel (pictured here) and so many other BMW officials who welcomed me with open arms.


Get Your Jackson Pollock On


My Recent Facebook Rant And Other Corporate-greed Shenanigans

Fuck it, I wish our nation’s companies weren’t so fucking god damned greedy.

(Actually, I just wanted an excuse to swear and be able to justify it -- like I needed one.)

I was cussin’ in the same way after a recent news post about Novare Partners, a local company with whom I’ve had a beef for a number of years in its flagrant greed and disregard for what’s best for Atlanta. “For whom are we building in this city,” I asked back then. “For the people, or for the bank accounts of the suits?”

Turns out the bank accounts are not as fat as we thought they are - in fact, this company is being questioned as a “going concern.” Seriously? This is your legacy for our city?

Just because you CAN make a building, it doesn’t mean you should. Evidenced by the spectacular disaster that is Spire Midtown - its retail more than 50% vacant (sometimes more) and its interior spaces looking more like a Budget 8 Motel. Anyways, my set-up on Facebook, sparking a number of comments from my friends, included the following few-sentence editorial from yours truly:

“When you build shitty buildings, fuck up your retail spaces and allow a city to be mired by sameness... I say: you had it coming. (This is my version of "I Told You So.")

Then it reminded me of the Piedmont Park parking deck controversy, that was a soap opera starring a highly paid executive presiding over a no-bid contract and very little transparency in how they awarded it. Here’s the editorial I sent to the AJC:

The Garden, Parking Deck & Conservancy: Of Two Minds In Midtown

I’m following the debate over the Botanical Garden’s parking deck, as I hope many city residents are. The work of the Piedmont Park Conservancy has benefited me -- as an investor at Piedmont Crest, a new Park-side condominium development off of 12th street; as an ALTA player out of Piedmont Park Tennis Center; and as a frequent visitor to Park events such as Screen on the Green, the Dogwood Festival and the Dave Matthews Concert.

I am also a paid member of the Conservancy. Their work has, without question, brought this great park of ours forward – and has made it greener, cleaner and more full of life. We are the better for it.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I question the defensive and self-promoting editorial by Debbie McCown, the Conservancy’s Executive Director (“Conservancy openly takes park from blight to bright,” @issue, 22 August). This stuffy piece was the second of the one-two punch I read in the AJC, after a gaggle of attorneys wrote in defense of the Botanical Garden’s independence from city affairs and state Sunshine laws (“Plan will be a boon; Garden has nothing to hide,” 25 August 2007). Why are we rehashing this stuff?

Both McCown and Team McBeal are missing the point. We are on a slippery slope when we as a city give ourselves wholly over to the private sector. It’s one thing to source corporate assistance to help create a commercial thoroughfare such as the Midtown Mile; but quite another to give over a natural jewel such as Piedmont Park. Not only have our city planners ceded control of that treasured asset – we are, in many ways, relinquishing the spirit that our residents, our Mayor, our visitors and our city council members have worked so hard to build. As an activist, property owner, journalist and business manager here in Atlanta, I stand firmly behind Mike King’s plainly worded editorial (“Park groups should let sun shine in,” 17 August 2007). It asks, in simple language: Now that the Botanical Garden’s Grecian Army of lawyers has snake-charmed the presiding judge to toss many of the claims brought by Friends of Piedmont Park, just come clean.

Show us how you’ve awarded contracts, to whom, and why; disclose your finances and balance sheets; and give us less lip when we ask you to comply with Georgia’s Sunshine laws. You’re doing the city’s work, the people’s work, even if it’s not coming directly from City Hall. If you’ve given no-bid contracts to friends of the Conservancy, as is rumored, then I want to know about it. And so do a lot of other folks.

Doug Abramson, principal of Friends of Piedmont Park, the advocacy group leading the legal opposition to the parking deck, also says our great gains in beautification have come at a price.

“The Garden and the Conservancy do some good work in the Park, but when questioned about their decisions and their practices they respond that they have raised millions of dollars over the years and somehow that should insulate them from public scrutiny and accountability,” he says. “As stewards of our public park and as representatives of the City, they should act transparently and disclose how and where money is spent, and otherwise conduct their affairs publicly.”

Actually, the current parking arrangement works pretty well. Piedmont Park Tennis Center – one of the last units of the park still managed by the City of Atlanta, run expertly by Sharon Lester and her team – enjoys regular access off Park Drive to the modest yet ultimately convenient parking lot adjacent to Magnolia Hall and, yes, the Botanical Garden. We have managed with this arrangement because the unpretentious parking area provides a small, controllable yet effective resource when these great events happen (including our home tennis matches). My teammates and I use this lot frequently and do not want to see it torn up. Rather, it should be maintained and used as is. What about eco-friendly asphalt? Low-water landscaping? More restricted access? Other creative uses? This area could be a testing ground for new environmentally friendly landscaping products, but all we ever hear about is how this mammoth car deck is going to be our savior, an expansive car heaven that will alleviate Midtown’s parking woes.

Let’s also remember how royally the private sector can fumble the public ball. After mulling this issue, I kept having nightmare reminders of Iraq reconstruction getting handed over to the likes of Halliburton, Parsons Corp. and others -- only to have billions wasted. Do we need such a profound example of alleged no-bid private contracts gone awry? I don’t think so. Privatization, in some weird way, seems to absolve officials from the personal care and obligation that comes with public management. And since secrecy breeds skepticism and mistrust, here we are.

I write this, clearly, of two minds, because again, I know full well the benefits we’ve seen in the Park. I may be a Conservancy member, but remain a dissenting voice within, hoping the air around this project is cleared. But this nose-thumbing, redundant, “look what we’ve done for you lately” approach is maddening and makes me want to scream – and it should bring all Atlanta residents to their front porches, too, to do the same. McCown earned nearly $115,000 in annual salary in 2005, which has most certainly increased since then; in that year, the Conservancy paid more than $100,000 to an external PR firm. Are these needed expenditures or extravagant usage of donors’ generosity? And that’s only the stuff we know about.

Simply singing one’s own praises does not magically immunize you from public speculation – particularly when you have people in the city who enjoy the park set-up as is, and would rather not indulge the Botanical Garden’s desire to give their members in Alpharetta a more convenient place to park in the city. I use the tennis center proudly, along with its parking area, knowing the recently updated clubhouse and courts there are the last bastion of municipal-managerial excellence that the park has.

I am a traditionalist and would prefer to see the park’s car-management system kept the same while still have the park expanded and enhanced. However, if the parking deck is our savior, show us how. If any of our private partners must stand on a pedestal to claim grand success, and continue to move us forward in this great city of ours, let us peek behind your curtain so we’re all on the same page. Without that, it’s a mystery too great to accept.

I **definitely** would have swore a lot more if I thought it would have spurred them to print it. (They didn’t.)


How Will You Spend Your 'Dash'?

This poem by Linda Ellis - recited recently by Angela Harmon at Spiritual Living Center - makes a shit load of sense.

How will you spend your dash?

Recent life events have made me even more certain that the “dash” is precious and we should treat ourselves, and each other, as carefully and as kindly as we can.

We get one shot at this. Make it resonante.

The Dash Poem, by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

# # #

Treasuring People In Life Is Not Just 'Black or White'

(5 July 2009 - AUGUSTA, GA) Beneath the veils, white gloves and baby dangling, an artist moved through our pop-culture consciousness with a singular adeptness. As the long-version video shows, “Back or White” beautifully summarizes his conflict with and love of life... where he wanted to reject conventional perceptions but also show a longing for acceptance.

We are gearing up for a memorial for this man, this legend - no matter what your opinion of him, our world will be a lot less interesting without him.

And herein lies my point: We can’t wait for death to appreciate life. In his last 10 or so years, he was a lightening rod for lawsuits (some of them deserved), criticism and many, many aspersions. Much of his life drama played out publicly... and much if not all was self-created.

But amidst all of this, here’s the question: Why is everyone always a saint after they die? He wasn’t a saint, he didn’t walk on water. He was human... and a very talented one at that. We should work harder to celebrate life while we have it - instead of waiting to deliver a eulogy and wishing we had just one more moment in the waking world.

# # #

I Flipped For 'Flip'

Richard Blais does his thing at his new, hip and happening burger joint in West Midtown.

Thanks to Alison for such great company.

@richardblais doin' his specialty at Flip today. Awesome join... on Twitpic oh and PS: the onion rings are slap-yo-mamma good. on Twitpic

We Are One World. Freedom Will Come. Listen To Your People, Ahmadinejad


Sen. Black Earns Her Medal... Probably The Only One She Deserves


Of Respite & Calm: My Stopping Point On The AV200

Like I’ve said in my conversations with other riders, “Don’t send a photographer to do a cyclist’s job.”

Hence the lots of stopping to capture scenes while doing 70 miles over a two-day stretch. “Great Oaks,” the header capture for wp.com this month, was an outgrowth of that ride - and is a symbol of country kindness you don’t find anywhere else.

On my return leg, I stopped at this familiar location and a gal came out to as me if I was OK. “I’m fine, just taking a breather,” I said. Sounded like their family was getting ready to sit down to Sunday brunch.

Everyone should be required to spend a day on a bike touring the countryside. You get an immediate appreciation for your surroundings, and every once in a while, you are surprised by kindness.

Click here to see my entire 2009 header-capture gallery. Take a look here at all the photos from my AV200 ride.

# # #

On Censorship And Porn Consumption: An Essential F%$#^ing Survival Guide To Utah


For All The Partners & Families... Existing And Still To Come


Demystifying The Male Construct... Steve Harvey Style


Believing In Transparency And Digging The Nipples

Talking about the president’s nipples is TMI, but Wanda is as funny as ever here. Part one, at the Correspondents’ Dinner, complete with the slamming on Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. “How’s it goin’, Joe?”

The highlight of this clip by far is giving it to Sarah Palin for pulling out of her GOP event: “That’s not the way to practice abstinence-only sex education.”

And then, part two, complete with the joyously biting and pharmaceutically accurate slam on Rush and on Hannity: “I Can break Sean Hannity by making him sit in a middle seat.”

The image of The Queen of England downloading Lady Gaga is reason enough to watch both of these all the way through!


Happy (Or Yappy, In Triscuit's Case) Mother's Day

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

'Can I Cook, Or Can't I?'

Family Guy has a bold ode to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Awesome!


Brace Yourself... The Seat In Front Of You Can Be An Irritant To Your Co-flyer

I’ve decided to start a semi-regular feature on wp.com called “MANners,” in which I give random thoughts about life... observations about things that bug the shit out of me.

These musings are from a man, directed to men. Here’s a few to get started:

flying: do not, under any circumstances, use the seat in front of you to “brace” yourself in and our of your area. if you are unable to sit down unassisted you shouldn’t be flying.

retail: don’t offer words like “can I help you” and be doing something else, looking away from your customers. if you can’t be bothered to do your job well, do something else.

news: if your objective is to make the news in a grand-man style vs. simply reporting it, sign up with a movie studio. your entertaining prowess will be more appreciated there. otherwise, shut the hell up.

More to follow.

Emotionally Attached To A Tree? Rubbish.

That’s the best part - the tree didn’t
become rubbish.

But I was still heartbroken when I realized the huge oak in front of the house was dead beyond repair - so much so that I
shot photos and video of it being taken down. Like an obsessive fan watching the final swan song of a storied opera diva, I snapped probably 300 pictures of the thing singing its way down.

As if losing the tree wasn’t enough, a gaggle of honeybees had set up shop within the dead tree itself - causing the initial tear-down crew to retreat because two of the guys were allergic to bee stings (as in stretcher-and-hospital allergic). ((insert tough-guy joke here))

I immediately phoned the city and promptly received a call back from Ken Gillette, from Atlanta’s Office of Parks, who shared my worry about killing the bees. “I trap and release wasps in my own home,” he told me wistfully.

In the midst of the bee conundrum I was reminded of the Buddhist principals of not being attached to materials objects, which is a principle I think is healthy - although I tweak it a bit to add reverence to everyday things we interact with. This tree fits (fit, past tense) that bill perfectly, and she will be missed.

The urgency of the removal meant there wasn’t time to call a bee specialist because the tree was a hazard to the neighborhood. Ken had a legal obligation to remove the tree. I snapped neighbor Jim inspecting the remnants of the hive. Sad, particularly with the mysterious problem we still have with this particular species.

So out it, and they, came. But not before I
captured the whole thing, from beginning to end, with many types of cameras.

As the sawdust filled my nostrils my heart sank. Another tree will rise in its place, but still - the end of an era.

# # #


Bruce: Unsung Hero Of Family Guy


Major Redesign Coming May 1st

WP.com is going to look a lot different come May 1st... Watch for:

• New site design, navigation and cleaner font styles
• More streamlined connections to comments and trackback
• New photo albums
• Much, much more!

Stay tuned, and most of all, stay in touch and tell me how you like the new design!

On Earth Day, This Is A Step In A Good Direction

But what has taken us so long to call a spade a spade?


On Tax Day, Let's Reclaim 'Teabagging' As Sexual Innuendo

...and not phony outrage.

BTW? The Iraq war was the biggest and most irresponsible example of socialism and nation building in the history of our nation -- and we have nothing to show for it.

So on tax day, I offer this:


Rates Are Going Up All Over... Even Behind Bars

Prison Economy Spirals As Price Of Pack Of Cigarettes Surpasses Two Hand Jobs

Taking Terror Out Of The Terrier. Yeah, Good Luck With That


Back In The Day When Artistry Mattered... The Ice Goddess


SONY Ain't The Only Company Guilty Of Peddling Shit

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work

Lisa Borders Is Back In The Atlanta Mayoral Race... Thankfully


Build That Career Glenn. It's 9:12, Do You Know Where Hysteria Is?

Oh that’s right, here it is:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The 10/31 Project
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest


Let's Have An Election Do-over For April Fool's... Sort Of

US election prank widget
Who is your favorite president for 2008 - 2012? click with your mouse on Obama or Mc Cain.

Two Sequels For Which I Will Definitely Stand In Line

They have nothing to do with each other, and attract a disparate audience... but I’m very happy to hear that both “franchises” have sequels in the works.

The first, the new Star Trek prequel, has
already been greenlit for a second in the series -- proving that Paramount has enough faith in the buzz of J.J. Abrams’ forthcoming juggernaut that they’d approve a sequel before the receipts are in for this next installment (which is really a complete re-imaging of the entire brand).

You’ll forgive my excitement:

Some of the TNG-based Trek movies won me over - most notably, the dark and high-minded “First Contact” - so I’m excited for this new beginning, too.

In other sequel news, there’s the follow-up in the works to the remarkably long and equally funny
Sex and the City feature film, which is reportedly on the fasttrack... which would be a surprise given how long it took for the first one to get made. (Kim Cattrall may want to make another ice skating movie beforehand.)

We could use healthy doses of comedy, action, sex and human understanding that both films franchises bring to the table.

# # #

Best Birthday Wishes To Wayne Sun... Who Hosts A Mean Party


Happy Birthday To The Planet's Finest Hag

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A Writing Journey Often Besieged By Destination Anxiety

(BOSTON/ATLANTA :: 22 March 2009) Writing’s rocky road would be a hell of a lot easier to traverse if I had a clock to punch, regular hours to keep and a clearly defined path to the golden years.

It’d be boring as all hell, but at least I could fall back on the structure of it all.

But that’s not what I’m up to. At least not in this lifetime. As I’ve told many of my readers/friends/family members/stalking victims in the past - and to borrow a baseball metaphor - I’ve been slapping sharp singles to the outfield, with a few gappers, when what I really want is to blast a home run. Not just one that clears the fence, mind you... the type of bellowing bomb that shatters the windshield of the champagne-colored Town & Country in the baseball park’s parking lot. (Soccer mom, sorry... you deserve it for driving that bulbous mobile living room.)

This forthcoming homer, the first of many solid ideas, is my book on emotional intelligence for men, and it’s more than just to prove to myself that, Yes I can... it’s about the impact I know I can have, and to make the “cliched difference” in people’s lives that, let’s face it, won’t be a cliche if it actually sticks to the wall. When I download my idea from the ether and morph it into turnable pages, digestible prose and impeccably sourced, supported theory (the latter, hi, is for sure the slippery eel in an otherwise viewable zoo), I’ll be able to look back on my 9-to-5 days and chuckle. “When,” not “if.” When.

So on I trudge. I recently had the pleasure of meeting and listening to
Dennis Palumbo, psychotherapist to Hollywood’s writing royalty (as well as “paupers,” I guess you could say, staying with the metaphor) as their impassioned cheerleader; he’s a comfy suede recliner in a sea of Ikea chairs. He has the gusto, insight and inspiration that we writers, often impatiently, seek within ourselves, and which he delivers with an accessible, impish demeanor that perfectly embodies our erstwhile pursuit.

I shook his hand after his session at the
Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, an event I have promised to myself I’ll attend every year. I’ve also had the pleasure of starting his book, “Writing from the Inside Out,” which might as well be titled, “Living from the Inside Out,” as we writers are always sharing some glimpse of ourselves in the words we craft. Even the most mundane local news story contains a thread of who we are, or more accurately, how our identity shapes our stories.

I write the latter thought knowing the pitfalls (more like rancid catcalls) of bias in journalism; that all media has a left-leaning perspective... yadda yadda. But we tell our best stories when entrusted with the duty, the call, that our own experiences are to merely propel the truth upward rather than somehow manufacture a truth we seek to propel. Conflating liberalism with fairness and sound judgment is an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. Don’t go there.

So... back to the ballgame. I’m digging in at the plate, doing my practice swings... winking to Brandon in the stands, wiggling like Chuck Knoblach with one foot out of the batter’s box, staring down the opposition like Don Mattingly, waiting for the closer to bring the heat. It’s a balmy afternoon. The sun is beating down on the brim of my cap, illuminating a preview in my heart and mind of the next morning’s sports report highlighting the results:

“Veteran player does the purposeful home-run trot around the bases after the big swing goes yard.”

# # #


I Think Stewie Has Left A Few Other People Off The List


Help Me Raise $500 (Or More!) For This Year's Emory AIDS Ride

(ATLANTA :: 17 March 2009) Despite being scared shitless about “the unknown” of a long bike race, I’ve decided to take part in and sponsor the 2009 AIDS Vaccine 200 - a 200-mile bike ride benefiting Emory Vaccine Center right here in Atlanta.

Support the effort and sponsor my ride!

Why is this is a significant event? Emory’s is the “only university-based vaccine research center in the U.S. to have an AIDS vaccine candidate in clinical trials,” according to the EVC Web site. That distinguishes our great city by having such expert people working to lessen the effects of HIV - people like EVC scientist Harriet Robinson, Ph.D., who created EVC with her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Their vaccine candidate successfully prevented AIDS in monkeys.

So... I’m riding for many reasons. First, to support Emory’s hard work. Also, to get in better shape and try a new sport I have only a peripheral understanding of or involvement in. And finally, putting the “rubber on the road” and making a difference.

I think of all the great generosity folks showed for our ARTvision event this year, and I’m sure we can rally again to make this great organization some cashola!

To donate directly to my page,
click here, or e-mail me and I can send you donation information! Thanks in advance for your support.


'Still I'll Rise': Truth Abounds When Expressing Your True Colors

The movement toward peace and understanding is upon us. After the beating in Midtown and many other current events showing an acute need for healing, this is a beautiful and most-appropriate anthem.

There is a new conversation happening out there now. George and Ellen got into the act last fall:


The Lowest Common Denominator Seeks To Go Lower Still

Think we’re done with prejudice? Think again.

A man was
beaten in midtown last week for no other reason than his sexual orientation. “Are you gay?” two white men asked. When he replied, “Yes,” he got his ass kicked. Here’s some reaction:

To those two perpetrators, I say: get your shit together, because otherwise, you’re just taking up space. Also, get a better way to pass the time than to vomit your internalized fear onto other innocent people.

Green Building Should Be One Of Our Top Priorities

At long last... the three-video playlist of the HGTV episode of “Ground Breakers.”

Even a stodgy old girl like mine in midtown can get a successful boob job.

Without further ‘do, enjoy.


Strength In Numbers: Help Tip The Scales For A Better Future

(BOSTON :: 14 March 2009) - A tipping point is fast approaching.

Great change is always preceded by intense turmoil, and I believe we are at just the beginning of a vast reinvention of our global society. With the book proposal done (the book speaks directly to the “change factor” that we, ourselves, control) and the book-agent search officially on, I thought this Web site popped up at just the right time.

Take a look at
Worldwide Tipping Point, and how you can send energy to this cause. Quoting the site:

“Thomas Paine wrote during the time of the American Revolution, ‘we have it in our power to begin the world over again,’ and that is exactly what people living on this planet right here, right now have the opportunity to do!”

The Web site founder:

Log on and help tip the scales today. More to follow on this topic... Thanks to Brenda for passing it along.


New Stuff On The Way

...including new video clips and lots of other cool stuff.

Check back over the weekend!


A Stirring Oscar Speech, Two Groundbreaking Personalities

In this case, Harvey Milk’s legacy was beautifully done justice by Dustin Lance Black - who championed the amazing and sad story that took more than a decade to be adapted to the screen.

Here’s the soaring acceptance:


A Welcome Snowstorm In A Most Unlikely Place


Weatherman Says... It's Gonna Get Hot (& Buggy) Tonight

I’m making a reference to the old Jack Wagner song of the 80s here, but more to the point...

Rule No. 356-b of newscasting: don’t hire a gay weatherman in a dirty newsroom. It’s just a disaster waiting to happen.


My Great Thanks To All ARTvision Artists, Buyers And Cheerleaders

If you haven’t yet, please check out my “thank-you” page on the ARTvision Web site.

We raised $3,500 in all and still have one or two pieces that could potentially still sell.

Congratulations to all artists and buyers!

Can You Truly Follow Obama? In Tone & Substance, 'F' For Farcical

Granted, he had to follow a grand speech... But Jindal sounded like a wound-up doll with some sprockets missing.

Of course after
Chris Matthews’ groan, they gathered themselves up for this:

I like this iReport response:

But especially this:


Don't Worry, Be Happy... The Rotary Phone Is Gone

Rarely do we find a comedian who so perfectly captures the stupidity of people and the best way to mock them...


'Just Tax The Stupid People' Who Don't Watch Ab Fab

In my continuing efforts to turn Brandon on to Ab Fab, I submit the following:


Warning: Contents Have Shifted During Turbulence

(ATLANTA :: 24 February 2009) To all those sour, whiny bitches who think liberal-minded folks are reflexively following Obama because he’s a messiah, or that his recovery plan is a Robin Hood giveaway to the poor, or that we are blind sheep getting herded to slaughter, here’s my message.

Get the fuck over yourselves. Seriously.

I was asked to give Bush a chance in 2000. I did that. He failed. The most notable failure, of course, is his ridiculous invasion of Iraq and mismanagement of Afghanistan - two shitstorm doozies that continue to throw dookie on a fan that was submerged in it years ago. Where was the financial outrage then?

And then there’s Bush’s presiding over deregulation of the financial system, continuing the themes from the Clinton, Bush I and Reagan eras. We got the rich richer. The Bush’s nominations, minions and underlings were a particular source of twirling. Many of them in Justice came from Bible-chucking Liberty University, drawing from a pool of people he actually derided in secret meetings. Just ask
David Kuo, who did an exclusive book treatment in Time magazine.

“Evangelicals may share Bush's faith, but they would protect themselves--and their interests--better if they looked at him through the same coldly political lens with which he views them,” he writes. Barely anyone knows how sociopathic and opportunistic the Bush White House was with this particular group of people who elected him. Who helped put him in power, twice.

Now that we know “compassionate conservatism” is a sham, a farcical pretense, we need
serious answers to serious issues, and we need someone competent - with usage of complete sentences and a sense of reverence for the job - to oversee this enormous task we have ahead of us. And I trust Obama FAR more than I trust his predecessor, but more than that, the people out in the field who will be executing his orders.

Not all of Obama’s decisions have pleased me - far from it. Look for a post on civil liberties soon... it will surprise you. Even people on his team piss me off, and will continue to do so I’m sure over the next four years.

But this idea that Obama is the left’s “second coming” is just absolute horseshit. It is a waste of time my friends... Why not focus effort on holding the current government accountable rather than using labels to marginalize? We need to spend less effort deriding the
relief people feel (with approval of Obama running between 60 and 70 percent, although softening lately) and focus on solving our country’s woes. We’ll be better off. Seriously.

And make no mistake: Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Hannity and Rush’s perverted version of conservatism is what created the craving, the need frankly, for strong, authentic leadership. So, you are now witnessing the intense feelings of liberation that we, yes, finally have someone responsible at the helm. And it’s about goddamned time.

If our country is the overhead bin on an airplane long suffering in turbulence, we are now seeing the after effects of the shifting contents falling out. And it’ll take time to gather our belongings and deplane.

(Image borrowed from Steve Morris/AirTeamImages)

Apparently 'The Shining' Lives On

The ghosts of presidents (and children) past...

An Imperfect Union And Wild Freedom In The Nation's Capitol

(ATLANTA/D.C. :: 9 February 2009) While pressed against my fellow Americans waiting for entry to the gates into inauguration, I kept thinking of the Dickens classic quote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...”

That thread from “A Tale of Two Cities” felt pretty spot-on during the few days Brandon and I were there for the Presidential changeover. It was the “best of times” the night before the actual event, where we sat in DuPont Circle witnessing Kate Clinton conduct a “saging” of the White House - where she hired a shaman to do her ritual to cleanse the nation’s First Building from the muck that was in there for the past eight years. The place was overrun with metaphysical hippies burning bunches of sage, with the pungent waft of sooty smoke filling the air.

It was the best of times when we celebrated with Ted and Rolando later that evening, with lots of faces, new and old, came together to cook, eat, drink and socialize and celebrate the occasion. The mink coat got passed around one too many times I think, but hey - it’s not a party without mink passing.

The actual day of inauguration got off to a great start, where we woke up early and started our trek down to the Mall. I snapped “Tuesday Best,” my favorite picture of the entire few days while I was walking behind a girl in a pink outfit, dressed to the nines and ready to see the event, holding her parents’ hands and looking back at us with ultimate curiosity. She was pretty in pink to say the least.

But that nice moment led us to the security gates outside the mall, and it became apparent quickly that we were going to get stopped in our tracks. We ended up in the midst of a security checkpoint hell that had been so badly choked with thousands of people that the conditions were inhuman. We got so squeezed next to fellow inauguration-goers that there was literally no space between us. “Any more people in here, we’ll need a lubricant,” as Rob Reiner said in Postcards from the Edge. Conditions at this check point were outrageous (one woman fainted and was taken away in a folding table masquerading as a stretcher) and the security detail behaved like they had never put the event on before.

As my
Tweet from the scene explained: “inhuman, insane conditions at inauguration admittance. people mashing, fainting... gates look like Nazi Germany.” I don’t even remember how I got my arms free enough to make that Tweet in the first place.

Ted, Brandon and I got through security in about five hours - traveling literally about a half-block - only to get trapped in parade hell... not allowed to leave the perimeter of Pennsylvania Ave. As we initially crossed over, though, I shot a picture of the Capitol building through a coterie of fuzz, all of whom were looking extremely important but not doing much. All tolled, security for the parade was extreme overkill, with officers standing around trading recipes as the choked-off checkpoints reeled in desperate need of additional manpower.

Once we got through that frustrating few hours, the day made a turn for the better. The evening of inauguration we attended “Out for Equality,” the HRC event in D.C. that featured Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Rainwright, Cyndi Lauper and many more. Brandon and I parked ourselves up in the balcony, even elbowing a few huffy lesbians, in order to get some choice shots and video (to follow shortly) of the great event. Cyndi Lauper, although fighting with audio issues most of her set, was exceptional and showed the most personality. The bejeweled Rufus was good, as was Melissa - although I’m still grumbling that she didn’t perform “I Need To Wake Up,” the theme from “An Inconvenient Truth.” She missed an opportunity to frame the event with that important message, and also apparently missed the make-up desk, oy... looking uber au natural.

Bottom line? The few days in D.C. were an imperfect experience for an imperfect nation. And I’d certainly tolerate a bit of “the worst of times” in order to be part of the beginning of the best. Which is really what inauguration was about, anyway - ushering out shitty years in favor of a new hope, a new beginning and a fresh perspective. That feeling was palpable in the air, and amongst the people squeezed in next to me.

All that, and no lube. Happy

# # #

That F%^ing Ken Starr Is At It Again

...and there are a lot of folks standing up to him.

No matter whether you stand to lose from this decision or not,
be educated and stand up.


OMFG: I Will Line Up For This Snazzy Star Trek Like A Week Early


What's Your Pledge?

My pledge is to keep working on being more of a producer instead of only a consumer...

MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge

Seeing Past 'Immense' Differences For Love & Friendship

As I catch up on my e-mail, this came in from Jason. A real keeper.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Ted & Rolando Are The Best Hosts On The Planet

...and we had a front seat to history. As such:

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Change Afoot: WP.com Gets A Much-needed Update

After turning my attention to ARTvision 2008, I’m now ready to turn back to WP.com.

Here are some new features that will expand over the next months:

- Each month I’ll find a new quote to add to the sidebar. This month, a gem about whining from Lily Tomlin.

- A new tab, “REEL” will showcase related streaming video I’ve loaded to YouTube and other sites. Everything from “
Groundbreakers” to old-school stuff like the Skidmore lip sync will be at this tab.

- New Vault articles, including one from Art & Antiques and Sea Ray Living magazines.

- This month’s header capture is “Zenyard II,” the second in an ongoing series of photos from the outdoor environs of 844. The Japanese maple was turning last fall into its vibrant red and I shot it before the leaves fell. I decided to make “Zenyard” a series because we could all stand a little “moment of zen” (phrase borrowed from The Daily Show) in everyday life, right?

Make sure to check back often for
ARTvision updates, new book info, N&N pictures and much more.


Major Update To Follow Shortly

With ARTvision and the inauguration, I have been slammed with other projects!

A big update, with new writing clips, photos and videos, coming on Feb. 1.

Stay tuned!