An update on the Birds

Look at these guys! They are almost full grown birds already! I expect it will only be a couple of days now and they'll be gone forever. Fly little birds, Fly!

Weird Ohio

There are so many places here in Athens where time just doesn't seem to matter. I went here today for "breakfast" at 3 o'clockish. When you go into this joint, there really is hardly anything there to let you know that it is 2006. About the only thing that could give one a clue is the wrappers on some of the gum, candy bars, and mints they have next to the cash register. I love places like this, because they are total anachronisms, morphing and not caring about time in a good way. Click on the title of this post to go to their webpage. The Miller's have a business raising really good organic free-range chickens locally; i've bought 4 now at Seaman's (the local anachronistic grocery store...wonder if i can take pictures in there?? It's not as cool as Superior Foods on Highland in Atlanta was... no crystal chandeliers over the meat counters or anything... but still Seaman's is pretty cool and totally unupdated in 50 years or so) and roasted them at home.

I'd Like to Order Some More Travel Options, Please

Ok y'all, it is 2 pm on a Saturday, and i'm just getting up. Why you ask? No, I didn't go to a disco till sunup. No, I wasn't burning the candle at both ends. No, I was merely returning from a trip for work, and I didn't get to bed till, oh say 4:30 am or so. All I was doing was returning from Little Rock to Athens Ohio. Ok, it is almost 800 miles, not exactly close. But my meetings were done by 3 pm Friday, and if it had been 1938 or something, I could have gone to the train station and gotten on a train to St. Louis, then Indianapolis to Columbus. Or to Memphis, then to Nashville, Frankfort, and on to Athens. I could have had a nice dinner on the train, a drink or two and a card game with Richard from the office, and then slept in a berth, waking up at a normal morning hour and being in Athens, refreshed and ready for a day. In need of a shower no doubt, but ready at 8 am for a normal day. Instead, thanks to "progress," I have lost half a Saturday. Missed my Pilates class this morning and a few installments in the Athens Film Fest that happened this morning. Instead, I got to sit in the Little Rock airport for hours, then the DFW airport for hours, and then drive my last hour and a half from 2 till 3:30 in the morning, all because of a little weather, and the k-martification of air travel since 9/11. Sheesh. "Progress" is a bill of goods we've been sold for generations now, folks. I want passenger train travel back, and I want it back NOW, and I think General Motors and Firestone should have to pay for it. Diminishing options and choices in life are what "progress" sounds like to me, often. I'd gladly give up all the Blackberries and iPods of the world for a few options when it comes to travel. And much as i like my Beetle, i'd gladly drive it over a cliff if i had another way of getting around. Ok, going to have my breakfast now, at 3 pm.


Introducing my new Friend, Ms. Vaginal Creme Davis

Well boys and girls, I went to see Ms. Vaginal Creme Davis perform at Ohio University Friday night. It is kinda like Pride week here, with various events happening around (but no parade). There was also a dance party at Casa Neuva Cantina (love that place) last night, and a cookout this afternoon at a park just on the edge of town, neither of which i checked out. Ms. Davis was quite enough pride for me this year. This drag queen's claim to fame is that she was the emcee for like 30 seconds in the scene from Tales of the City in which Michael Mouse enters the underwear dance contest at The Endup. I can't remember her to save my life, but i certainly remember Michael's dance (it was to Never Can Say Goodbye). Well, she was VERY entertaining, and she brought a whole collection of experimental films and shorts that she's made with her comrades and accomplices over the span of her 25 year career. Some of them were very poignant and raw, in that community access tv channel kind of way. Click on the title of this post to link to her website. I wish she'd get those films on her website, some of them are so seriously twisted and hilarious in their social commentary. Two of them just killed me; one about Tom Cruise, another about Dr. Laura Schlessinger.


Running in a Race Today

Click on the title of this post to check out the Bobcat Blitz...a whole bunch of wholesome keggers and tailgating crap going on at OU today. At 11 am is the Gridiron Gallop, which i will be running in. I'm sure i will be the only non-teenager running! It's only a 5k, so it's not like it can kill me or anything. Half of the run is along the bike path i've been using, where it skirts the OU campus next to the Hocking River.


My Sister is Freaky!

And creepy too. Click on the title of this entry to get shivers up and down your spine.


Sam wants to talk to YOU

I check my blog stats frequently, and i can't believe people from all over the place are reading my blog. Argentina. Virginia. Florida. Canada. California. Oregon. Missouri. Illinois. Great Britain. The Netherlands. France. Spain. Australia. Santiago. Kalamazoo. San Francisco. Vancouver. Sydney. Mexico City. Unbelievable.

Well, I just wanted to say thanks; and, also, please let me know you stopped by to check out what is going on in my world by leaving a comment. I'd love to hear from you, and if you have an online diary like me, i'd love to check it out.

51 Madison Avenue... Athens, not New York

This is 51 Madison Avenue, Athens. It is a fabulous Frank Lloyd Wrightesque gem, nicely built in '68, beamed and tongue and groove construction EVERYWHERE, even at all the floors. It has a cool open riser stairs that go thru all levels, with a planter space at the bottom center that is perfect for a plant we already have. The kitchen and baths need some updating / moding-up, but overall it is perfect. It even has a bank of my dream house bunk rooms, all made out of wood, with one window, one door, and space just for a double-decker bunk and a closet. And it has the most interesting, cool, and original fireplace i've ever seen. It is so perfect perfect PERFECT! Steven even saw the pics online the other day and said make an offer on it if it looks good. It is our dream house. The only thing not perfect? Someone made a deal on it this morning. Thanks Carole. We're moving at the speed of molasses. Oh well, i guess it's not her fault. But goddamn it all to hell.

Hello my Little Chickadees!

A couple of the little Robin Chickadees hatched today! They look like little puffs of fuzz, hardly anything to them! They can barely move and hold their mouths open. I'm sure in another couple of days i'll be able to hear them squawking through the screen door. Aren't they just precious?

Rites of Passage

Well, yesterday when i went out to go to lunch, lookie what i found. Some crazy people in my office had too much time on their hands yesterday morning (while i was slaving away on my deadline!), and decided to turn Beezlebug into a ladybug, complete with antennae and eyelashes. Helen, I think, was the instigator (that's her in the picture). She has one too, just like Tricias, so i think that might have had something to do with her "idea." She's a sweetheart. Geez I feel so special!


In my email box tonight

Click on the title of this post for an engaging and creative mockumentary about climate change. I'm not as positive that a quick reversal is in our near future. Still, it is interesting, but all that silly patriotism heart-strings kinda soundtrack just makes me wanna puke.

Have any of you ever read Natural Capitalism or The Greening of America?


Another Incroyable Architecte

While i'm on the subject of talented classmates, click on the title of this post to link to Marianne Pascal's site, a Parisian architecte that i had the good fortune to become friends with while in graduate school at Tech. She and Dawn were really close, in a very girly way i guess, and i'm glad that i was often "one of the girls" with those two! She is incredibly talented and has a totally natural, modern quality to her work, whether a building or a drawing or one of her sculptural lamp "lumiere" creations. Just look at the stuff on her website -- it is all incroyable.

Steven and I went with Dawn and Preston and their son Cole to see her last summer in Paris. We got to go with her and her boyfriend Jurgen and his two girls Ava and Lou to her parents fabulous country house in the south. The whole week with those guys, and all of Marianne's family, her mother and father and sister and her great energetic little boys...well, it was really a treat. To not just visit France, but get to live with Marianne's French family for a few days...wow, it was incredible.

Geez, i dunno what is going on with me today...i think i'm having one of those days where i am just missing everything, and feel on the verge (of tears? of a breakthrough of my armadillo shell? of insanity? of what?). I can't believe Steven and i have been apart now for nearly 4 months, and i'm so glad it's nearly over with. Ok, sorry to be needy and lonely, that's enough posting for today!

Now Look Y'all, This Guy Is CREATIVE!

Well my goodness. Click on the title of this post to link to the website of Mark Tweed, a classmate of mine from Georgia Tech. We went through 4 years of undergraduate school together, and also a summer school studio session when we were freshmen (sophmores?) with the chain smoking and now deceased Frank Beckham... not to mention being roomates for a while at Casa Trabert with Jim and Bob too. Good times. Mark and I and Dawn were very close once upon a time (and Mark and Dawn spent a year in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, sans moi), but i haven't talked to him in i guess 6 years? 7 years? When was it that he came to Atlanta and we went out for martinis Dawn? Geez i can't believe it's been that long. Anyhoo, as i said, click on the title of this post, and check out Mark's company in Beverly Hills, and all the huge, energetic malls they've done. They really are cool, and i love those other office buildings too, especially the one with the brise-soleil with the circular opening pierced by a big ol searchlite beam. I can't believe what cool stuff Mark is doing...wait a minute, I can believe it. It's just fabulous. You have got a flair for the dramatic my friend, and it is doing good things for you! Now look Dawn, i'm thinking maybe you should arrange a little reunion?? Yeah, i know, i'll stop making suggestions now...

Great Ideas for Democracy

Joseph over at monotonous.net wrote a post today that has some incredibly excellent, simple, and decisive ideas for making our government work better overnight. His ideas would unsettle the status quo of entitlement--with a big bang--and set the creeping criminal tendencies of our elected pols like Tom Delay on its head! Check it out, click on the title of this post to see Joseph's 5 ideas... he clicks them off with the ease of writing a grocery list, but i think they show an incredible and creative depth of insight. I for one think they are great, and wish Howard Dean, for instance, could be as clear-headed and simply creative. My um, illustration?, of turning our government on it's head I found a little while ago on a great mod living and architecture blog site: www.landliving.com


Windy Hills Farm...

Windy Hills Farm is the name of the farm in which my office is situated. The largest building from the old dairy farm was converted to an office about 30 years ago, and has had many additions, alterations and improvements over the years. Anyhow, click on the title of this post to link to the website for everything else besides Hilferty & Associates. Gerry and his wife Jackie raise, train, and sell Paso Fino horses (which are a small, gentle breed). There are lots of pictures of the various buildings, all the horses, Gerry and Jackie, the dogs, the cats, etc. What a great environment--even if a bit surreal--for a design office. It is so nice going there every day.


Almost Normal, Citizen Dog, Darwin's Nightmare

What do these clever titles all have in common? Why they are all entries in the upcoming Athens International Film & Video Festival. I've read about Citizen Dog and Almost Normal, but never realized the director of Almost Normal went to OU, right here in Athens. Click on the title to read all about it. I can't believe this little town has such an astounding Film Fest. And I can walk to most of the venues. Can't wait.


Here's why they call it Robin's Egg Blue

I was telling my Mom and BC the other day on the phone that a bird has inhabited the awning on my front porch...brown belly, charcoal otherwise... but i wasn't sure what kind of bird it was. Mom suggested a Robin, and sure enough, i just looked in the nest and it is chock full of Robin's eggs. Everytime i open the front door or go to get the mail, the mama bird flies away, not too far, and then comes right back (i watch her out the window or thru the screen door). I'll have some chirping babies soon!


Hockhocking Adena Bikeway... Memorable Name, Eh?

Actually, ridiculous as that Bikeway name is, I can remember it by thinking of Adina on AbFab... it's almost the same spelling. Click on the title of this post to link to the great bike path i've been riding. It is a mere 1.5 blocks from my house and goes all along the Hocking river, about 270 degrees around Athens and through the Ohio University campus, then to The Plains, Chauncey, and Nelsonville. It's a beautiful ride paralleling the river, and the old pre-railroad canal for long portions.


Old Cornrow is in Trouble with the Po Po?

My former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, apparently, is in trouble with the Capitol Police for walking into her office without ID, and then ignoring security demanding that she stop at some check point charlie or something. What a surreal news story, from our world of fake news. My favorite part of this "news" story (I swear Jon Stewart is planting items like this in the "legitimate" journalism world!) is this:

"Black clergy and lawmakers came to the defense of the firebrand congresswoman on Monday. McKinney smiled as her supporters heaped praise on her leadership and her new look — her trademark cornrows replaced earlier this year by a curly brown afro."

And check that new look. You so crazy. I think I wanna have yo baby.

Not even in the Hillary days of $uper Dooper Doo$ have i read such BS! "Heaped praise on ...her new look... a curly brown afro" You have got to be kidding me. This is the news. And check out that photo. Why do all politicians cross this threshold?? Cynthia obviously has crossed into Rockstardom, at least in her mind and in the minds of her circle. I honestly have no idea why anybody would want to go into "public service" these days ...much less journalism.

I honestly like McKinney, and I'm glad she got her second chance, after Denise Majette was defeated by the Georgia Republican Machine... but really, is this your moment in the sun, Cynthia?

Here's the full story I saw today on Yahoo news. Enjoy:

U.S. Attorney Reviewing McKinney Case

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - U.S. Capitol Police on Monday sought an arrest warrant for Rep. Cynthia McKinney after she tangled with a uniformed officer last week. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein said he was reviewing the merits of the case.

"We are working with Capitol Hill police to fully understand and appreciate the incident," principal assistant U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

McKinney framed the matter in terms of race. "The issue is racial profiling," McKinney, who is black, told CNN.

Neither Phillips nor the police department would say what charge was being sought against the six-term Democrat or when any warrant for her arrest might be issued.

In a statement, Capitol Police said it "has referred its investigative findings to the U.S. attorney." Filing such an affidavit is the first step in obtaining an arrest warrant. Only if Wainstein approves the affidavit can Capitol Police officials ask a judge to issue the arrest warrant.

Wainstein could clear the way for a warrant. He also could turn the case over to a grand jury, even without a warrant, or he could decline to go forward with the case.

McKinney spokesman Coz Carson acknowledged the investigation.

"We're aware that the wheels are turning in Washington," Carson said. "We have no control over what they decide to do. We will make the appropriate statement and take the appropriate action once we know where they're going."

For her part, McKinney said she expects to represent her suburban Atlanta district for many years.

"Rest assured, I am doing the work they sent me to Washington to do. Nothing is going to keep me away from my responsibilities," McKinney told a crowd of supporters in Atlanta on Monday.

McKinney, 51, scuffled with a police officer on March 29 when she entered a House office building without her identifying lapel pin and did not stop when asked.

Several police sources said the officer, who was not identified, asked her three times to stop. When she kept going, he placed a hand somewhere on her and she hit him, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

McKinney issued a statement of regret for the incident but no apology. She and her lawyers have repeatedly declared that she was a victim of inappropriate touching and racism and said they were considering pursuing civil action against the officer.

She and her attorneys have refused to say whether she hit the officer as alleged. James Myart Jr., her lawyer, suggested in a CNN interview that McKinney had acted in self-defense.

Black clergy and lawmakers came to the defense of the firebrand congresswoman on Monday. McKinney smiled as her supporters heaped praise on her leadership and her new look — her trademark cornrows replaced earlier this year by a curly brown afro.

Her supporters tried to minimize the incident — which they called political, not criminal — but they also suggested it was an example of racial profiling. They called publicity surrounding the episode a distraction that is being used by "her enemies" to keep the congresswoman from performing her elected duties.

The Rev. Darrell D. Elligan, president of Concerned Black Clergy, called McKinney competent, courageous and committed.

"She has our support unconditionally," Elligan said. "She is not a threat to the security of our country."


Associated Press Writer Errin Haines contributed to this report from Atlanta.


On the Net:

Rep. Cynthia McKinney: http://www.house.gov/mckinney/

Concerned Black Clergy: http://www.concernedblackclergy.com

Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials: http://www.gabeo.org


Real Estate Unloaded. Check.

Well, we successfully sold one of the houses in ATL. We finished all the back and forth negotiation with Jack & Jill's (no kidding) agent, and ended at 12k less than our asking price. Quite respectable, I think. After 75 days or so on the market, I'm just glad it is over, and I'm sure Steven is too, since he had to deal with it WAY more than I did. All I had to do was bite my nails and sign some faxes. We're keeping the investment house in Atlanta (Steven's old house), since that may be our only chance to make any money in real estate in the coming years. Real estate in Athens appreciates a whopping 5% or so per year, if you are lucky. We made nearly 50% on our house sale in ATL, and we scarcely owned it for 3 years. And poor Steven, all this happened on THE day when his mom returned to China after her year-long stay with us. The first time I talked to him yesterday, he was on the way to the airport with JingXia, and I've never heard him so stressed out. Later, he sounded much better, even though Delta and China Airways had apparently already lost his Mom's luggage, and she was only in LA! She should be arriving in Haikou right about now...I'm sure Feng, Da, and Yenshuen will be glad to have her back for a while.

Well, I'm excited that we can finally step on the buy a house gas here, soon hopefully. I'm ready for Steven to quit Earthlink, pack up the house, and get up here. He can take some time off, and step on the find a job in Ohio gas, so we can figure out if we will indeed be able to live in Athens. I hope so! It's a cool little town.

As I told my friend Dawn in an earlier email, a lot is going on here today. This morning, the Athens Marathon and Half Marathon happened. Steven and I will hopefully be running the half next spring. I went for a bike ride with my friend from work, Liz, and most of the course for the Marathon was on the same bike path we were on, which is an old rail bed that snakes all around Athens, parallel to the Hocking River, and goes all the way to the next town to the north, Nelsonville. I'm so glad I got that fancy bike from Dawn and Preston's friend, and i'm so glad there is a rail-trail right at the end of my street. Everyone is outside today, it is really the first beautifully warm day of spring here. All the Frat and Sorority kids are out doing barbies and parties and whatever, people are working in their yards, running, biking, walking their dogs...now my little day of fun is coming to a close, so i can work on a freelance project tonight that was supposed to happen last year.
Fight the H8 in Your State