Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Glitter Pop

Tonight I'll be attending Glitter Pop at the Red Chair. It's an amatuer drag show to benefit CHRIS Kids, a cause that I try to contribute to as often as possible. CHRIS Kids helps gay teenagers that are shunned by their families. Glitter Pop is sponsored by GA Tech Pride, and promises to be a fun show. Check out their website by clicking on the title of this posting. Delia and I got free VIP passes to the show for being co-sponsers. It should be interesting to hang out with my boss after hours, away from work.
After the show, I'll be going to Mary's in East Atlanta for a nightcap with an LA producer named Trevor and our favorite local entertainer, Dewberry. Trevor was in town today to film a "What Ever Happened to" show on the cast of last season's "Hell Kitchen" show. The film that he shot will appear on Fox.com sometime soon-- I'll let you know when (I have a "cameo", but Dewberry introduced me as the guy that's in charge of donations!).
It's probably not too soon to mention-- the Biscuit documentary that we filmed a few months ago will be airing on PBS this week-- April 5th at 7pm. I haven't seen it yet, but those that have said that I did have a couple of appearances as both a server and a patron of the restaurant. Check out www.therise ofthesouthernbiscuit.com for more info. Set your VCR's!
I hope everyone has a great weekend! Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wednesday Nights With Ruth

I started going to a Wednesday night class at my church a few weeks ago. I was never a huge fan of Sunday School as a kid, but I thought I'd give the adult version a try. I must say that I've really enjoyed it. The topics are different each week. Some of the topics have been: "The Church and Sexuality", "Homosexuals in the Church", "The Female Side of God", "Feminism", "Teenagers". I wasn't particulary drawn to some of these topics, but attended anyway. It's pretty amazing how much I took away from these discussions. The class is made up of a very diverse group of people: black, white, straight, gay, elderly, "young", democrats, republicans, widows, couples and single people. Yet, we tackled these subjects and gave our points of view and no one got upset. No one belittled each other. No one discarded anyones viewpoint.
The overwhelming revelation I have is how far society has come in the past 20-50 years. A black man tonight was talking about his childhood and relating stories of the black/white restrooms, water fountains, etc. Although I grew up in the South, I never witnessed anything like that. It's amazing to me that it wasn't all that long ago and the world was so different. An older white lady talked about her life- when most women did not work outside of the home. The ones that did were basically limited to being nurses, secretarys or teachers. The lady speaking is in her 70's-- she's an associate priest. I'm sure growing up that she couldn't even fathom the idea of a female being a member of the clergy, yet here she sits with that title today. In my own life, I can say that I'm at ease with being openly gay, and working for a company that is owned by an openly gay female. I don't believe that would've been possible 20 years ago. I'm happy to be living in this time when things are changing so quickly. I know there are still people living in supression, by it's gotten so much better in a short time and it can only keep getting better. I feel blessed that I've been welcomed into this church and that I get my mind challenged by the discussions. Walking a mile in someone else's shoes is the only way to ever understand where they are coming from. Hopefully others enjoy walking in my shoes once in a while, too.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Am Honest Days Work, For a Change!

Our Bakery Boy, Jay, has been out sick all week, so I was asked to fill in for him today. I wasn't prepared for the masses of people that wait in line for hours to get to eat at the Flying Biscuit! Most of them spend their waiting time in the Bakery- drinking coffee and picking out the desserts and getting souveniers. Although this was my day off, I really enjoyed working today. I got to work with Dewberry all day and I think we made a pretty good team. We both were able to chat up the crowd, keep the positive energy going and get our work done.
You wouldn't believe how many hot guys come to the Flying Biscuit on weekends! There was a line out the door, and each guy was hotter than the one before him! Besides all of the eye candy, I did get to see a good friend of mine. Jaime was there to celebrate her friend Carolyn's birthday. I haven't seen Jaime in a couple of years, but we picked up right where we left off. Another guest today was our former Executive Chef, Bob Garrett. He was only there for a few minutes, but it was great to see his smiling face again!
My new "Spring Line" of T-shirts was revealed today, too. I spent the morning tacking the new T-shirts up on the Bakery wall. I think they look great! I just hope they sell, because I bought enough of them to clothe a third world country! My favorite is the tan camoflouge (sp?). I've also got a brown shirt with orange trim (FB logo on the arm, for a change) that I really like. For Spring, I added some pastels~~ a lime green shirt and a pale lemon shirt, as well as a "vintage", thread-bare white T-shirt (it looks like it's been worn for decades, but that's the style these days!). If anyone is interested in purchasing any of these T's, let me know. They're only $15 each (plus tax). I'll post pictures of them once I get them all displayed on the Bakery wall.

"October Road"

OK-- here's the full report on the filming that took place yesterday in Candler Park. They were filming the pilot episode for a TV show named "October Road". Rumor had it that the stars of the show were Matthew McConaughey and Laura Prepon (she plays Donna on "That 70's Show"). I spent the morning on the sidewalk across the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of either of the stars, but to no avail. I talked to a blonde lady that was one of the stars, but I didn't recognize her. I later learned that it was Laura Prepon, but with the blonde hair I never would've recognized her. Damn-- I missed a photo op!
Later in the day, I talked to one of the members of the props dept. He came to the bakery to get change to fill the cash register in one of the scenes. I got to talking to him and asked if Matthew McConaughey was in the show and he said no, but he will be here next month to film a different show/movie. I asked who the stars of this show were and he started naming names. I wasn't familiar with a lot of them, and he had forgotten some of the names. He pulled out a"Crew Call" list, complete with all of the actor's names, character's names, hotel info, and info on each of the scenes being filmed. Greedy me asked if I could make a copy of the crew call list. I expected him to say no, but instead he gave me his copy and told me not to show it to anyone until after they had finished filming. I kept my word, but it was hard!
I didn't get to see Tom Berringer or Bill Bellamy. I guess they weren't in the "Pinellas Package Store" scenes, but I did get to meet Bryan Greenberg ("One Tree Hill", Boston Public", "Law & Order", "Providence") and Geoff Stults ("Wedding Crashers", "7th Heaven", "Las Vegas", "Joey"). In my true celebrity-camera-whore fashion, I got the guys to pose with me in the bakery between scenes. They were extremely nice. They even posed for a second picture with me after we discovered that the first one didn't come out too good.
When I went back to work this morning, there were no signs that anything had happened yesterday. The "Pinellas Package Store" signs were down and the Candler Park Market signs were back up. The tour buses were gone, as well as the fake ivy and fake fall trees that were lining the streets yesterday. It's all just a memory now, but one that I'm looking forward to reliving this Fall when "October Road" premieres! I wonder if the Crew Call List might be worth something some day?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action!

Candler Park is a beehive of activity this week! A production company is shooting the pilot for a new TV show in the heart of Candler Park this week. The filming will all be done inside and outside of the Candler Park Market, located across the street from my "office". The Market got a real makeover today! Their business signs were removed, and replaced with signs that read "Pinellas Package Store". Lots of ivy was added to the side of the building (to cover the stores name that's painted there). Even the restaurant next door got repainted today. Production crews have been all over the place for days, and the filming is set to take place tomorrow morning. It should be exciting. I don't know if any celebrities are starring in the show, but I guess there's a chance for another brush with greatness!
Speaking of celebrities-- I ran into Leslie Jordan at our Midtown store today. He's been in town for a couple of weeks doing his one-man-show ("Like a Dog on Linoleum", at the 14th Street Playhouse), but this was the first time that I've been able to meet up with him. He told me that he will be on "Will & Grace" tonight and, according to Leslie, it will be their best episode ever! I'll have to check it out- the guy is a riot!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Sequel?

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Arch

If you walk under the Arch while you are a freshman, legend has it that you will never graduate. History points to a UGA alumnus, Daniel Huntley Redfearn (Class of 1910), as the originator of the legend.

When Redfearn arrived in Athens from his home state of Florida, he only had with him a trunk, a suitcase, less than $200 in his wallet, and a fierce determination to graduate. As he approached the gateway to the campus on Broad Street, he vowed to himself he would not walk under the wrought-iron Arch until he had a diploma in hand.

Redfearn kept his word even when a freshman hazing ritual called for him to run with his classmates under the Arch in his underwear before the Georgia Tech football game (Redfearn ran with his classmates, but ran around the Arch).

One of Redfearn’s professors learned of Redfearn’s promise and announced it to his classes, starting the tradition--which became limited to freshmen--that holds to this day. Redfearn never forgot the inspiration he found in the Arch and provided in his will that $1,000, the original cost of the Arch, be used for its maintenance and care.

In 1858 UGA commissioned Athens Foundry to build a new wrought- iron gate and fence to replace the battered wood fence that surrounded the campus. The money for the project was raised by selling UGA’s original botanical gardens, located west of the campus.

The Arch was patterned after the one on Georgia’s Great Seal. The Arch itself represents the state constitution, and the three columns supporting it represent wisdom, justice, and moderation.

Originally, the Arch held heavy gates that were closed to secure the campus, but they disappeared sometime around 1885.

In 1946, two electric lights were added to the top of the Arch, and it was moved about six feet away from the street.

Now it is incorporated into the official UGA logo and its image can be found on just about anything from T-shirts to UGA staff business cards.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Unique Morning

How did you start your day today? Did you sleep a little late and rush through your morning routine? Did you catch every red light on the way to work? Did you stop by Starbucks and drop a weeks wages on a cup of Joe?
I did something way out of the norm this morning. I had two catering jobs today. The first one was delivered by 6:30am at Zoo Atlanta's Living Tree House. The second job was delivered at 8:30am to a business on Peachtree St. The first job went smoothly and I found that I had an hour to kill before I needed to head towards the second job. I had a mug of coffee in the car so I grabbed it and headed for a bench in Zoo Atlanta's Rain Forest. I sipped my coffee as the sun was rising, listening to the calls of exotic birds and hungry primates. What an awesome experience! I wish I could start every day off the same way. My only regret was not seeing Willie B. It was my first visit to the zoo since he passed away.

The Kids

Jaime and Ashley are in town this week for Spring Break. It's amazing how fast they are growing up. Jaime is 16 and Ashley is 11. Jaime just got his first car a couple of months ago, and he has been inspired to become a mechanic when he grows up. Ashley's life-long love affair with horses continues- she wants to be a horse vet when she grows up. After all that these kids have been put through, I believe that they have the strength to become anything they want to be.

The Birthday Season

The Birthday Season (also known as "Mom's Birthday") has finally come to an end. My mother loves to celebrate her birthday- she always has. Her birthday was March 2nd, and we got together and had supper at her house and she opened her gifts. For most people, that would be the end of the birthday celebration. Not Mom! The following weekend, we took her out to dinner at Ruth Chris's Steak House (nice restaurant, but way too over-priced for me to enjoy). OK, after 2 family get-togethers to celebrate the anniversary of her birth, you'd think that Mom would have declared her birthday complete. Not yet! She needed one more hurrah before making that declaration. As luck would have it, her sister and grand neice have birthdays on March 11th, so Mom was able to tag onto that party as well. We got together at my cousin's beautiful house in Roswell last weekend and had a full-family-birthday-blow-out! All living relatives in a 600 mile radius of Atlanta were in attendance to witness Aunt Jane turn 74, Mom turn 68 and Cat turn 21. It's been 4 days since that celebration and I haven't heard mention of any more birthday parties for Mom, so I guess it's official that her birthday season is finally over! :)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Metro

I lived downtown in the Metropolitan lofts for a few years when I was in my late 20's. I loved the area; I loved my neighbors; I loved my loft. It was convienant to everything, and I liked the feeling of being an urban dweller. In those days, downtown was pretty much a ghost town after 5pm and on weekends. All of the restaurants and stores were closed, except for Underground Atlanta. No one lived downtown, except for those of us in the Metro and those that lived in the William Oliver Building across the street. I worked the late shift, so I was often walking my dog down Peachtree Street and through Woodruff Park after midnight. Although there were many "Urban Outdoorsmen" (homeless), I came to know each of them by name. I never felt unsafe. Although to outsiders, this was just another city block with skyscrapers, the corner of Marietta and Peachtree was my front yard. This was my home and my neighborhood. This was my life and I loved it.
Fast forward to yesterday. I went out to supper in Downtown Atlanta last night. The brakes on my car are shot, so I decided to take MARTA to the Five Points station and then walk a few blocks to the Centinnial Park Embassey Suites. These were my old stomping grounds. I knew every step of it. There were a few changes- a new post office, a Quizno's, etc. But most everything was the way I left it 10 years ago. So why did I feel panicky? My heart beat a little faster, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was on the verge of a panic attack and I don't know why. Maybe it's because I didn't have my dog with me- or because I didn't recognize any faces? Maybe because I'm 10 years older now, or because I've lived in the safe and quiet suburbs for so long that the city streets have become alien to me. I don't know the reason, but I think it's all in my perception and I don't like the feeling.
I've fought for years over the perception of downtown Atlanta. I hear people say that they won't go to Underground because it's too dangerous, and I always disagree with them. But here I was, just steps from Underground and I'm feeling the same way.
On the way to the restaurant, I went through the park and searched for the brick with my name on it. I thought that maybe all would be well if I could just see the one piece of me that remained downtown. I looked for about 30 minutes and never found the brick. I know it was in section 17, at least it used to be there. But it wasn't there. After dinner, we walked through the park and searched again. This was really bothering me! At last, my brick was discovered. My little 2" x 6" piece of immortality. I've never been so relieved. I don't know what I imagined could've happened to my brick, anyway. But I breathed a little easier knowing that it was safe.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


My thoughts and prayers go out to my friend Mark tonight. Mark has been through an absolute Hell the past couple of weeks- I can't imagine being in his shoes. On February 20th, he found out that his father was missing. Search teams have been looking for him daily, leaving no stone unturned. Mark's father lived on a river, with a dock in the backyard. Blood was found on the dock, and a gun was found in the river nearby. It took two weeks, but they eventually found his body downstream yesterday. The coroner declared his death as a suicide.
I'm sure that Mark is relieved to finally have some closure, but I can't imagine the thoughts that must be running through his mind. I'm sure he would want one last conversation with his Dad- a chance to find out what he was thinking. Just last month, he was attending his father's wedding. A few weeks later, he's planning his father's funeral.
Life turns on a dime. It's unfair at times. None of us are gauranteed another day. We have it so good, and we don't even know it or appreciate it. We are so quick to judge each other without walking a mile in each other's shoes.
Hang in there, Mark. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Best of Atlanta

Here's a picture of me and the gang at Atlanta Magazine's "Best of Atlanta" party last month:

(Left to right-- Delia, Brian, Wayne, Spencer and Summer)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What's Wrong, Jimmy?


Tonight I attended the Taize service at St. John's Episcopal in College Park. Taize (pronounced Ta-zay) is a candlelit service- a meditative, quiet service accompanied by long moments of silence, puncutated by repetative chants/hymns accompanied by an accoustic band. It was a moving experience.

There were hundreds of candles illuminating the darkened church- candlelight reflected beautifully off of the stained glassed windows . It was a time to look outward and inward. A time to contemplate the past, present and future. A time to give thanks for the gifts in my life. A lot can take place in your mind when you're silent. A lot can be learned without hearing any other voice but your own.

"In every person lies a zone of solitude that no human intimacy can fill."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cook 'N' Jacks

Last thursday night I went to a bar named Cook 'N' Jacks in Scottsdale, Arizona for their karaoke show. Cook 'N' Jack's took over the spot briefly occupied by Harry's Strip Club.
The Jack is Jack Heistand, a retired interactive-video-software magnate, and Cook is entertainer Bobby Cook. They're aiming to reproduce the feel of a 1940s-50s supper club. The karaoke there is different from any other I've ever attended. To start with, the singers get to stand on an actual stage, complete with red velvet curtains behind and bright spotlights above. Also on the stage was a fullsized piano, a set of drums and a couple of back up singers to help the performers. Talented audience members got up on the stage and played the instruments while the singers were singing. The public is also invited to attend every night, and bring their own instruments with them. Getting on that stage and singing to the darkened house was a real experience- it was like being in a real band. I think this is the new wave of karaoke-- hopefully this trend will spread and karaoke as we know it will change forever.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mother's birthday is March 2nd. If you've ever met my Mom, you know why I love her so much. She's the sweetest woman in the world. She has been dealt a bad hand many times in her life, but she comes up shining at every turn. She taught me the hardest lesson of all- how to survive when the cards are stacked against you. She's my role model, my mentor, my rock and my Mommy! Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

New Link

I've added another Blog to my list of favorites-- check the list on the right --->>
Dewberry the Baker is written by my friend and co-worker Jeffery Dewberry. If his name and picture ring a bell, you might remember him from last years first installment of "Hell's Kitchen". Lots of exciting things have happened in Dewberry's life in the past year, and it's exciting to hear the updates. He told me about the Reality TV convention that's coming up in June. It's going to be held in Nashville (I think) and I hope it works out that I can go with him. I can't imagine how cool it will be to meet all of the reality stars that I've watched over the years. The funny thing is that Dewberry NEVER watches TV, so he won't recognize anyone unless they were on "Hell's Kitchen" with him! There's a link on his site to the Reality Convention- check it out, maybe you'll recognize some of the people that are scheduled to attend.