(from left: Stephanie Frasier, Will Pollock, Jill Camper & (seated) Nick Cooper)
(ATLANTA :: 23 March 2012) Us writer-types are notorious cocooners. We isolate and analyze, hewing to thought lines, parsing sentences, stretching syntax and linking semi-coherent thoughts to tell a story with which folks might identify.
We scare ourselves within the private confines of a looming deadline or project weight - with a screaming, nagging, fearful voice that only we hear. Yes, like a dog whistle, and it’s as loud as a police siren sometimes. We’re also taught to question conventional wisdom and turn over details for accuracy and truth.
Improv comedy, I’m delighted to say, is the polar opposite of the writer experience. (read the whole post)
Rest in peace, oh soda jerk: Coke Freestyle elevates individuals to instant mixologists by using a zesty touch-screen system to mix selections from over 100 choices into a custom beverage, all while delivering a geeky high-tech thrill.
Coke spokesperson Helen Tarleton certainly thinks so, calling it a "complete departure from a traditional fountain machine." (She even reports that a gal was caught on security camera fondly embracing and kissing the machine.)
Tarleton expects 500 new Freestyle machines to pop up soon in Southern California, Atlanta, Dallas and Salt Lake City
We decided to take Coke Freestyle for a test drive at a local McDonald's in Atlanta, where we came up with some crazy combinations using the machine's 100-plus flavor options.
While Freestyle's club soda can help cut the sweetness of some of the machine's more intense flavors, you are likely to go crazier with the combinations than you think -- and you're virtually guaranteed to forget whatever it is you put in your cup.
But we were able to document a few of our greatest hits for posterity: "Doogie Fanta, M.D." (Combination: Dr. Pepper, Vault Peach, Cherry Fanta)
"The Red Wolf Blitzer" (Vault Red Blitz, vanilla Diet Coke)
"Lima-berry" (Grape Fanta, Lime Dasani Sensations, Club Soda)
"Customers love them," says Stephen Cordell, McDonald's on Cheshire Bridge's first assistant manager, who seems like a proud father reporting that his two Freestyle machines connect via Wi-Fi to the Coke mothership every morning at 2 a.m. for software updates.
Freestyle feedback was largely positive. "Wow, this is cool" and "How neat" were thrown around McDonald's by customers while we were testing it out.
So go forth, soda geeks, but make sure to keep track of your mix for next time -- and keep some Tums handy for the inevitable sugar-stomachache.
And check out our video from our Coke Freestyle recon mission:
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!
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.
Sometimes I just can't take it... If you understand what Violent Affection Syndrome is, and see the following pictures, you'll know why I want to strangle Zach (at left) and Henry. Of course, said strangling is only in the metaphorical sense. But still. they are so cute it's just outrageous, lame and makes me cray-zee. Here's what I mean:
This is the perfect break from our icky political season. Cheers... More N&N VAS coming soon.
With love and gratitude to Reeno for sending this creepiest of images along. If I may say, the protest vote is starting to look more and more like a "Great Grandpaw Godzilla for President" campaign postcard!
(CHARLOTTESVILLE :: 11 August 2008) The color may have changed quite dramatically since my original post on the subject, but the crisis of conscience remains the same. So goes my driving life with the as-yet-unnamed, gently used 2005 BMW X3 - a capable if bland SUV that gets me to my point B pretty nicely, albeit a bit more wasteful on gas than I'd like.
But then, on a steamy summer day in Atlanta when I was off to the recycling center at Dekalb Farmer's Market, I realized the true spirit of being "green" (vs. baby-spew orange) is not defined by MPG alone. It's measured in how and what you do with your footprint.
I live within a half-mile of where I work. I walk there and other places. I combine errands to reduce emissions. I walk to my workouts. I try and drive evenly so as to not waste gas (that last one being extremely difficult in the third-world war zone driving scene that is Atlanta). I carpool. I have stopped driving to the airport altogether.
There's something else: I miss my stick shift. Big time. But the trade-off there, if there could be one, is that I know Gracie's new owner - and he's taking good care of her down in Savannah. He's promised me pictures of her, and when he sends them, I'll do a post about it. It's a cool story.
I knew it was just a matter of time before someone snatched up Gracie from the dealership. Back to being green. I continue to clamor for an SUV in the nice-ish luxury category that has not just low emissions - try ZERO. I anticipate that day because I'll be first in line. We need that. To be kind to the planet, to be off our addition to oil (both foreign and domestic) and to be the fabulous country we used to be. Maybe one of those snazzy new diesel engines would do the trick, too. I'm considering a 2009 X3 European delivery with a standard transmission - juice boxes be damned.
So, while you're considering the hybrid "badge of honor," or if you think being green is some sort of status symbol you wear for showmanship, think again. It's in the total picture of the person that really and truly makes a tree hugger.
Alas, I was counting on Basil as my "in" for Halloween, but it wasn't mean to be - at least not in this lifetime. He's now making another driver in metro Atlanta think hard about mileage... and about color.
(ATLANTA - 31 May 2008) :: OK, so I did my gay duty and went to see Sex And The Citymovie on its premiere night. Thanks to Thom for coming with.
The film was uproarious, vivid, full of couture, acted and written exceedingly well, and all expectations were surpassed... save for the hideous exception of a visible boom mic.
And not just in one scene - multiple times, and in such an overt way that you think some local loon is standing over the screen on a ladder, holding the long-arm mic, taunting you, teasing you for no apparent reason.
Please, New Line & WB, do us all a favor and fix this in post production somehow. Blame for this error stretches across multiple roles in this film, resting not only with the boom operator... but with the production crew, as well as the actors and director, for not catching it in the film's dailies.
Even so, this movie is so good that it'll wipe out this weekend's competition despite "the long arm of the sound" stepping in front of its cast. The film stays so true to the original series - in fact, elevates it so elegantly - that the mistakes turn out to be just, quite literally, blips on the screen.
And believe me when I tell you - this boom-mic story is intended as fair warning, not as spoiler. I wish I had been warned ahead of time myself.
WASHINGTON, DC—An 8,976-foot foul ball off the bat of Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman crashed through the U.S. Capitol Building rotunda Sunday afternoon, prompting both the Nationals and the opposing Pittsburgh Pirates to gasp, turn...
I bought a new car. I got a great deal on it. Since it was a loaner that had just come off its "temp" status, I snagged it for considerably less than list.
He's an SUV, and he gets an uber-crappy 14 miles to the gallon in the city. His name is Basil, named after the big boss in the Austin Powers movies. (For those of you playing at home, yes, he puts the "Grrrr" in swinger.) But for someone concerned about our dependency on foreign oil and saving the planet, those gas numbers royally suck. The car, however, doesn't - it's a Land Rover LR2, funky in its baby-spew orange and comfortable over Atlanta's obnoxious, lunar-surface city streets.
Still, my conscience is heavy. It's a second car to help me schlep a little easier, and navigate without bottoming out every five seconds on a shitty street like Juniper. (Chuck Benny is using Gracie for the time being.)
But no matter how elegant and agile, no matter how joyous Basil makes the jaunt from point A to B, I wish we had more choices in the luxury, small-scale SUV category that would be easier on the environment.
Until that time, and in light of this decision, I've shifted some habits that might help compensate. To wit:
-- Use Basil for recycling everything under the sun, including cardboard, glass, plastic and other household goods that the city ignores. -- Instead of driving to my workout sessions with Eric on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I walk to his place and work out there. -- Combine errands in a single outing and make sure to go easy on acceleration. -- Walk to the office. -- Do not involve myself in traffic. -- Walk more in midtown to restaurants and shops, where possible (already doing that).
I'm so jazzed by the idea of using a new diesel engine with fry oil that I believe "Basil" will be a temporary indulgence. It'll be fun while it lasts.
In the meantime, Atlanta roads look and feel a lot less like the moon. - WP
Many of you know of my longstanding issue with V.A.S., or "Violent Affection Syndrome," where you get so aggravated by someone being cute that you want to squeeze them until their eyeballs pop out. (VAS is never anything you'd ever really do, it's just a feeling/surge you get from, say, nieces and nephews.)
The affliction started with Penny's dog Petey, who was just so hideously ugly that he was, consequently, irresistibly cute -- hence the V.A.S. frustration. For example, you'll often hear me say: "that one is so cute, you just want to slap him/her." It's a natural reaction.
Henceforthwith, for those of you not in the know, V.A.S. has spawned another very important (and entirely popular) Web feature called "The Daily Slap," a section of BentBlog run by my pal Rob. Yesterday I did a "guest slap" of actor Seann William Scott, who, according to recent birthday boy Mattie "Thigh" Moore, turned up at a party with the same affable demeanor we all see in his movies. (SWS has got five flicks in development as of this writing.)
Thigh, pictured at left, with Seann on the right and Joanna Scholl as the "meat in the man sandwich." The photo was snapped at a GQ Fashion Show after party that had all the blogs buzzing. Thanks to Joanna for supplying the picture.
This came from Reeno today: Some people are like slinkies, They don’t really serve a purpose, But it still brings a smile to your face When you push them down the stairs. Sound logic can be so funny sometimes.