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Gonna put it in the want ads

30 Jan

Good reading: the classified section of the Great Speckled Bird archives.
Accused of “spreading sexist attitudes” through its classifieds section (“requesting young, hip, white, females to move in free of charge and do housewifely chores”), the Bird ditched the money-making sexist ads in 1970 and just offered the space for free.In this section there were a lot of requests for prison pen pals (A LOT), desperate family members seeking their hippie dropout kids, free cats and poetry, waterbeds and VW vans for sale, cheap macrame kits, fundraising pleas for various liberation movements and lesbian fairy tale publications, and really cryptic personal ads. We can only hope the intended recipients got the message. Continue reading

Let’s get literary

20 Apr

via GSU's Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection

What’s your favorite poem about Buckhead? Come on, everyone has one!

Looking for the Buckhead Boys” by James Dickey?

(Sample verse: “First in the heart/Of my blind spot are/The Buckhead Boys. If I can find them, even one/I’m home. And if I can find him catch him in or around/Buckhead, I’ll never die: it’s likely my youth will walk/Inside me like a king.”)

Buckhead Spring” by Clark Dean?

(Sample verse: “And a woman walks her goldendoodle alongside joggers who stride down sidewalks glistening,/while brightly colored buses lurch from their stops to join the sports cars and SUVs/that parade down Peachtree”)

“This Smells” by an elderly academic?

(Sample verse: “And I remember that ’56 Chevy/Barrelling down the valleys of Piedmont and Habersham/Down, careening one-eyed in to the trees down Roswell Road/Down our sainted and genuflecting Peachtrees”)

Happy National Poetry Month!

Previously: Buckhead Betties

Summer reading

9 Jul

GrandOperaHsAtlantaBoy, are you guys in for a treat! Guess what I just got in the mail? Highbrows, Hillbillies and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930, by Steve Goodson. I’m excited to get to the part about dime museums so maybe I can get some ideas for a little dime museum of my own. I think I am going to try to buy the Rose Mansion, that brick Victorian house on Peachtree across from Crawford Long, and open the dime museum there. Then I could also eat chicken, waffles, or game pie whenever I felt like it, on account of its proximity to Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles and the Shakespeare Tavern.

Would you guys pay a dime to see my treasures and some sort of hastily assembled freak show, with acts like “The Terrifying Girl Who Loses Her Temper All Too Quickly” and “The Well-Mannered Gentleman With The Astounding Ability To Prepare Over One Hundred Delicious Dishes With Only Mexicorn And Mayonnaise” and “Thomas Wheatley”?

Wait, according to my calculations, 10 cents in 1869 (the heyday of Atlanta’s dime museum scene) is equal to $1.60 today. Well, there goes my business model.

Best April Fool’s Day joke ever…

31 Mar

picture-31…comes from the DeKalb County Public Library.

Last minute addition to your evening – real-life Delilah!

3 Oct

Turn off your radios and go see the real thing! America’s #1 Nighttime Radio Host Delilah™ will be speaking at the Borders across from Phipps Plaza tonight (7 PM). She will be reading from her new book Love Matters: Remarkable Love Stories That Touch The Heart And Nourish The Soul. This is basically Chicken Soup for the Delilah Listener’s Soul, if you will – a collection of her favorite listener stories, 50 percent of which are about struggling single mothers and the other 50 percent are about military spouses. All set to the tune of Michael Bolton’s “Said I Loved You…But I Lied.”

I would like to know why I had to find out about this at 4:30 today from reader Niki instead of Baby Got Books whose job it is to tell us when high-profile book tours come to Atlanta.


29 Aug

Because you can never have too many posts on Hollis Gillespie (I count this fifth on Pecanne Log in the last six months), or the Decatur Book Festival for that matter, I thought that everyone who has succumbed to Gillespie’s girl-crushability, or just crushability will be excited to know that she will be womaning a kissing booth at Twain’s tomorrow night at 6 p.m. for the Writers Conference Happy Hour of the Decatur Book Festival.

In other Hollis news, her first book, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch is being turned into a TV series. And a legit TV series at that: Accoring to NPR this morning, Paramount has the rights to the books and has cast Laura Dern to play Hollis. I only hope Laura can live up to the job. I don’t have any other information on a timeline or channel to expect this, but I will try and keep an open ear/eye.

The Death Beat

26 Aug

This weekend the Decatur Book Festival returns. Last year I was left with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth after an unfortunate Kinky Friedman lecture, but after looking at this year’s lineup I am willing to give it a second chance.

One of the Writer’s Conference workshops that will take place on Friday will be hosted by our own award-winning obituary writer, Doyenne of the Death Beat, Kay Powell. The title for her talk, “Bye, Y’all”, which I am guessing will only be a sliver of the morbid hysterics that will ensue. Since I cannot relay any anecdotes or lists euphamisms for death yet, I am going to instead provide you with a taste of what is to come with a Kay Powell obituary.

Kay with her International Hall of Obituarists Award.

Kay with her International Hall of Obituarists Award.

A step into Don Salo’s basement was a step into a movie theater lobby draped in dark blue curtains and complete with a marquee, a ticket booth and a bar with a popcorn machine.

Part those deep blue curtains, plop down in one of the four theater seats or on the leather couch and choose among 400 movie DVDs and countless music CDs.

“It was all computerized,” said his friend Andy Smith of Buckhead who helped Mr. Salo build his high-tech media room. “You just push a button and the lights dim, the curtain opens, and the movie begins. If you were watching ‘Top Gun,’ you thought you were sitting on the top deck of the aircraft carrier.”

Mr. Salo, an IBM retiree who founded his own security- alarm business, favored action movies but included such sentimental favorites as “The Sound of Music” in his video library, too.

The home theater was just one of Mr. Salo’s toys that he shared with his friends and his son, Eric Salo, of Sandy Springs. He wanted others to enjoy their play, and in 1995 donated the money to install lights at the Riverwood High School athletic field. Taking it a step further, Mr. Salo qualified for a school bus driver’s license so he could drive his son’s baseball team around, Mr. Smith said.

“He was one of the cheapest guys I knew but also one of the most generous,” said his friend Frank Bellavia of Atlanta. “If it was for a friend or his family, he spared no expense. He was super frugal, but when one of his employee’s wife needed an operation they couldn’t afford, Don just gave him the money.”

The memorial service for Donald Roy Salo, 62, will be 2 p.m. Friday at H.M. Patterson & Son, Arlington Chapel. The body will be cremated. He died of a blood clot Aug. 15. He had just finished jogging and was in the driveway of his Sandy Springs residence sending a text message when he collapsed, said his sister, Nancy Clayton of Austin, Texas.

You can learn how to do THIS Friday, August 29th at 4 p.m. at Agnes Scott College.

Hollis Gillespie Book Release Party

28 Jul

I admit that I was cruising Atlanta Craigslist looking for something interesting, and I noticed the “local news and views” section. It’s totally lame and full of scammy pyramid schemes, but I actually found something useful amongst the crap! Apparently there is a Hollis Gillespie Launch Party and Book Signing on August 5 from 7 to 10 at Paris on Ponce. Just as any good fact checker should, I backed up this tidbit on her website. Her new book looks fabulous, and there is the added incentive of being at Paris on Ponce late at night! I never seem to be able to get there when it’s actually open… Anyways, I bet there will be local celebrities there, too, since everyone worth their salt in this town likes Hollis Gillespie.

The art of newspaper writing

24 Apr

Q: Which writer uses his newspaper job to pay the bills while he spends evenings mastering the craft of fiction writing?

A: The AJC cultural affairs reporter who wrote about archaeologists in the Oakland Cemetery (which would be a really great assignment if you needed fodder for a short story).

A few of the most stirring excerpts:

They bent to their tasks, brand-new tools bright against the red dirt. What would the uprooted trees at Oakland Cemetery reveal?

Fragments of pottery, or maybe a Minié ball that killed a long-ago soldier?

Perhaps remains of the soldier himself?

Oakland lay in the path of the tornado, which rose like a dark wave and crashed on downtown Atlanta. The tempest ripped the head off a stone angel as easily as a child would snatch the bloom off a tulip. It kicked over obelisks as if they were no more than Dixie cups.

The workers folded their tarp and carried it to a waiting pickup truck, their shadows a step behind in the late-morning sun. The truck started and headed toward Potter’s Field. There, a tree — dead, or dying — lay atop bodies. What would it reveal?

My online crush has returned!

18 Apr

And I didn’t even know it until this morning when I was bored at work and scrolling through old Pecanne Log posts. The Plug(!!!!) a.k.a. the greatest online zine possibly ever. About two years ago, Jay Carlson (the most adorable man I have ever met in my life) brought the endeavor to a halt out of fear that he had peaked and could not out-do himself further. Apparently he is back, and has been! My boredom at work has officially ceased now. I interviewed Jay for my zine, I Swallowed A Fly, that I put out in Athens forever and a few of years ago and it was one of the best interviews of my life. Sweet peppermint tea drinking Jay. I remember it like it was yesterday. Memories of the candy eating to find the best candy ever (and Jason loosing his mind) and interviews with surly grocery store employees are coming back to me in a flood. Great news!

Mag congrats

19 Mar

nationalmag.jpgGuess what? People can write in Georgia. Maybe some of you have heard of great man called Henry Grady who invented newspapers, Georgia Tech, and the Peabody Awards. And, to boot, he was from Atlanta.

However, not all good journalists in Georgia write for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I know, can you believe it? Some of them write for the Milton High School Squawk or the Marietta Daily Journal instead. But there are still others who write and run magazines and some of that poverty-stricken, dying breed just received recognition for their work last year.

The American Society of Magazine Editors announced its National Magazine Award 2007 finalists and a few happen to be from Atlanta or Georgia at large:

Under 100,000 circulation
The Georgia Review

100,000 to 250,000 circulation

Feature Writing
Atlanta: “You Have Thousands of Angels Around You,” by Paige Williams, October 2007.

I ask the ASME this: WHERE IS THOMAS WHEATLEY ON THIS LIST?!?! What about that story he wrote on Dasani water wearing bow ties? Does Creative Loafing even count as a magazine? What does “alternative weekly” mean, anyway? Is there an award for frequency of liveblogging? CL should definitely be up for one of those.

Still, congratulations and best of luck to the finalists, especially to Paste which might stand the best chance of winning an “Ellie” (“the magazine equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize”) in its category of all our hometown heroes, but still has to beat out the scrappy, motley crew of Mother Jones, Foreign Policy, and Radar.

Finders keepers, losers weepers

27 Jan

FOUND magazine will be stopping in Atlanta for its Spring Break Tour ’08. The event, transpiring at Criminal Records on Saturday, February 9 will include a performance by “freak prodigy” Brett Loudermilk, some readings by McSweeney’s guys Eli Horowitz and John Brandon, and magazine creator/founder Davy Rothbart revealing his latest and most favorite finds.

One of my former Athens roommates (when I lived next door to Mamalikey!) actually had a creation of his get found a long time ago while growing up in Michigan, a tape he made called A Collection of 10 Songs About Booties under the name Ypsilanti All Stars.

Tim’s song “The Booty Don’t Stop” became a giant hit through FOUND‘s distribution and use of the song, and he had to track them down because they were making piles of money and fame off of it. Seriously, Google “found the booty don’t stop” and you’ll find a video of Stephen Malkmus and Dave Eggers singing it and you’ll see that FOUND still sells the album on their website.

Unfortunately, my favorite song about booties – “Oh My God! Iss a Booty in Ma Face” – is not on the internet but I will gladly sing it for you in person sometime (“What is that thing all up under your waist?/Oh my god! Iss a booty in ma face!”). Tim still does many musical projects in Athens and his dad is now mayor of Ypsilanti.

Time TBA, Free, 466 Moreland Avenue

Graphic events

24 Jan

Tonight there’s a special screening of Persepolis at Landmark. Get passes wherever you usually pick up free screening passes. Probably Movies Worth Seeing. However, the film opens officially in Atlanta tomorrow, so it might be worth it to avoid all the anxiety of a free screening and just see it a day later for $8.

Here’s an interview with the kickass Marjane Sartrapi, author/illustrator/director of Persepolis. Sartrapi on her film being banned in Iran:

Oh, no. Of course it’s not going to be shown there. But, you know, it’s like everything else in Iran. They say something isn’t supposed to be seen, and then everybody sees it. It’s like how alcohol is forbidden, but everybody drinks. This is the way we are. As soon as we’re told not to do something, it’s all we want to do.

On Tuesday, February 5, SCAD hosts artist/illustrator Art Spiegelman for a free lecture. According to the SCAD website,

In this talk, Spiegelman will trace the history of cartoons from Hogarth to R. Crumb and will consider what he calls “forbidden images,” inspired by the commotion raised over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad in early 2007. He believes that in our post-literate culture the importance of the comic is on the rise, as “comics echo the way our brain works.”

7:30 PM, Free (as is parking), 1600 Peachtree Street

Both Spiegelman and Sartrapi‘s works can be found on the fantastic Pantheon Graphic Novel imprint, via your favorite independent bookstore.

Volume I of many

23 Jan

Tonight Baby Got Books and Wordsmiths Books host Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mix Tape, for the first installment of the Baby Got Books Reading Series. The Swear will be performing live as well.

Most importantly, there will be free drinks! And you can still get home in time for Project Runway to see one more perfectly talented designer get sent home while Ricky weeps into his mesh cap and stays on for yet another week.

Read BGB’s interview with Rob Sheffield here.

7:30 PM, Free, 141 E. Trinity Place, Decatur 30030

“The story behind those fabulous Vera Bradley bags!”

23 Jan

Yesterday I spotted my new favorite periodical. It’s called Southern Lady. This is the only magazine where a glazed fruit fudge cake recipe merits a cover story. They love words like “luncheon,” “fabulous,” and “tablescapes.” Behold some teasers from past covers of Southern Lady:

  • Behind the Scenes of Gone with the Wind
  • Paula Deen: Let’s Git Cookin’
  • Governor’s Mansions Across the South
  • Fabulous Fannie Flagg
  • 50 Fabulous Ideas for Fall
  • Fabulous Fall
  • Fabulous Outdoor Entertaining
  • Easy and Dazzling Entertaining
  • Easy Entertaining by the Bay
  • Flowerscapes
  • Tablescapes
  • Mix and Match Table Settings
  • Decorate with Style
  • Decorating Advice from the Experts
  • Visit with Rosalynn Carter
  • Visit with Dixie Carter
  • Amy Grant Up Close
  • An Interview with Vanna White
  • Host Spring Luncheons
  • A Luncheon to Remember
  • A Luncheon for the Bride
  • Continue reading

Name your own Paste

2 Nov

For probably a limited time, Decatur-based “signs of life in music, film, and culture” magazine Paste is offering a year’s subscription for whatever you’re willing to pay, à la Radiohead.

While they beg you to “Help us lose a lot of money!” there’s some sort of secret incentive to go over $19.95 – “In February, we will recognize those who pay the most (more than the subscription price) in the magazine.”

I hope it’s commemorative bricks on the walkway outside of Paste‘s trendy mixed-use HQ!!

In other Decatur-ish freebie-ish news, Decatur Metro blog has a detailed map with instructions for the city’s new wi-fi service. Apparently you have to have your laptop on the street to get access? Dangerous!

Weird women are the best kind

24 Sep

FREE this week in Atlanta:

Flannery O'Connor“The Prophet’s Country”: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Flannery O’Connor
Tuesday, September 25 and Wednesday, September 26
Emory University Libraries – Atlanta
For more info call (404) 727-7620 or visit the website.

Who remembers the first time you read Flannery O’Connor? Perhaps it’s something akin to when assholes read Ayn Rand for the first time. I was in an elite (at least we thought so) group of students in high school who were privileged to work on the school’s literary magazine, which meant we spent second period doing third period’s homework, reading our schoolmates’ ludicrous teenage poetry out loud, going to Hardee’s with the cross country team and the autistic kids in special ed, and pissing around. Sometimes our teacher would let us root around in the English book room and turn a blind eye when we loaded up our backpacks with old editions and books no longer in the curriculum. We went batshit crazy in there – you don’t set a bunch of lit nerds loose in a room full of musty books and expect them not to rob you blind. I found a 1962 volume of O’Connor’s two novels and short story collection A Good Man is Hard to Find. I’d read some short stories in past English (or “Language Arts”) classes and was curious by the illustration on the cover of a man driving an old car with a sign that said “Church of Christ Without Christ.” And I find that the older I get and the more complicated things like race, religion, and fear become to me, the more meaningful O’Connor’s writing is. Take advantage of Emory Libraries’ acquistion and exhibition of Flannery O’Connor’s letters to Betty Hester this fall.

Amy SedarisAmy Sedaris
Friday, September 28
Decatur Recreation Center – 231 Sycamore Street, Decatur
Presented by Wordsmiths Books
For more info see the website.

The last time I tried to catch Amy Sedaris in town (when she was reading from I Like You at the Decatur Library) the Feed and Seed Marching Abominable was performing for Sedaristas waiting anxiously in line with their various paraphanelia clutched closely to their chests and their life partners held even closer. Nothing augments a marching band’s volume like the interior of a concrete parking garage. In the end, I flaked out and didn’t see Amy Sedaris because I was in line right where the spillover room started and someone with bad B.O. and a pungent leather jacket had already beat me to the room. It just wasn’t worth it. I went home and watched the Strangers With Candy episode wherein Jerri and Laird are secretly dating. “I’ve recently learned something about self-respect – that I don’t have any.”

That all goes to say, follow Wordsmiths’ advice and get there early. Also check out Wordsmiths at 141 E. Trinity Place in Decatur – it’s sunny and beautiful, they have a good magazine collection, there’s good parking if you’re jetting over on your lunch break, and they’ll order anything for you.

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