April 9, 2012

Robot apocalypse - two poems by New Orleans poets

At last year's Crescent City Classic, or the year before's, I'd seen a guy on the street writing commissioned poetry on the subject of your choice. I couldn't think of a topic until later in the evening, and he was gone by the time we returned. "Robot apocalypse" simply had to be realized in verse, so I was thrilled when we found a poet at around midnight last Friday while wandering around Frenchmen Street. At the time, he was busy writing wedding vows for a groom whose bachelor party was in full swing. I gave him the title and we bar hopped until he was finished.

Between bars, we saw another poet selling her wares. I had initially wanted to come up with a different theme but eventually realized that getting two different takes on the robot apocalypse would be ideal. So I did. His is colorful and liberating; hers is more wistful but still violent. He composed in a notepad first then typed it; she created as she typed (and so x-ed out in several locations).

robot-apocalypse.heth heth

ROBOT APOCALYPSE

Their mechanical arms
raising to the sky, in glory...
amongst the beeping of orange and blue lights
Yellow globes of color
as they communicate with a with a grey horizon-
the walls of the city scape covered
with dried concrete blood.

Their mechanical arms
indistinguishable from,
mechanical feet...
cranes meant to lift
motorized machine parts
swinging wide
covered in gore
under iron file skys

they are finally free.

heth
poetry corner
a horror filled night

robot-apocalypse.beatrice beatrice

Robot Apocalypses

Human skin
was a diety to them.
Elusive and tender.
They could never get
the shimmer and give
just right.
Despite having hearts
steel strong as super heroes,
hands that could crumble
mountains over oceans,
making islands
like human hands might sprinkle
feta on salad,
long after
the last man died
they still pined for the salt
the meandering grooves
that collected earth and stories
in warm soft hands
to be carried
everywhere.

xo Beatrice Bywater 4-6-12

posted by sstrader at 8:39 PM in Language & Literature , Where was I? | permalink | comments (1)

May 3, 2011

Where was I?

Some crazy bird graffiti from Cabbagetown:

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The weekend of the 15th was our second, tri-yearly cabin trip with friends. This visit took us to Morganton, GA with all members of the prior craziness plus new pals Eric and Perla and Mike. It was mostly decadent, as expected, but Sat morning I had a good run around the mountain where a gang of three dogs decided to join me in an impromptu pack. Girl Talk was, perhaps, overplayed. Sat nite ended late with a packed hot tub.

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The weekend of the 22nd was our 3rd annual Crescent City Classic trip to New Orleans. Due to the voodoo calculus that put Easter three weeks later than normal--making NOLA three weeks hotter than normal--our asses were quickly kicked by the 10k.

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Some crazy bird graffiti from New Orleans:

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Last weekend (the 30th) was the Xth annual Inman Park Festival at Dan and Alicia's. At the festival proper, Lisa bought me several prints of robots and rabbits (separately) from Mr. Hooper, and I bought her a painting warning of the evils of sunbathing from R. Land. To the frame shop!

posted by sstrader at 10:18 PM in Art , Where was I? | permalink | comments (0)

July 12, 2010

Barefoot!

On Saturday, I Marta-ed and walked to City Sports in Atlantic Station to purchase a pair of Vibram Bikila shoes:

vibram.city-sports

A year or so ago I'd read about the research done on running barefoot compared to using running shoes. Running shoes promote a gait that strikes with the heels and, though cushioned, transmits the force up to the knees. Running barefoot, or with minimal protection, your gait changes to land on the front of the foot, and the energy from impact is absorbed within the metatarsal bones. Since the introduction of running shoes in the 70s, the ratio of injuries has increase even though the shoes are intended to mitigate the chances.

I restarted jogging a couple of years ago after taking a break because of my herniated disc and foot drop. I've slowed down recently but plan on ramping back up with these neat new foot gloves. I wore them all of Saturday and, beyond the odd looks (especially from the club kids riding Marta on Saturday night), they were very comfortable. Good protection from rocks and such too.

As with the iPhone vs. no-iPhone question, I have entered another binary debate that's being played out in the market: minimal sole shoes vs. rocker bottom shoes. To be fair, I don't think anyone's suggesting that you run with those rocker shoes, but they do seem to fit into the principle of shoe-as-impact-protection.

[ updated 30 Jun 2012 ]

Found my Crescent City Classic number from a few months prior:

crescent-city-classic.9316

posted by sstrader at 12:37 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (2)

April 23, 2009

Where was I?

Two weekends ago, we went to New Orleans to meet up with Kevin and Chad and run the 31st annual Crescent City Classic 10k. For two weeks prior, I'd been slowly getting back to jogging with no ill effects from my herniated disc. The jog we did in Key West last September was enjoyable but left me somewhat debilitated the next few days. I didn't have any issues after the NOLA run, so I suspect the Key West problems were from hours of walking around. Noted. Our times were unimpressive--Lisa then me then Chad, 1:03 then 1:05 then 1:08?--but it was one of the easiest, most enjoyable routes I've been on. It was flat throughout with the course going through the Quarter, then an old neighborhood, and finally to City Park. Definitely will be a repeat event.

crescent-city-classic.9286

Other NOLA activities included drinking (wha?!?) and some of the best dining in a while. Plus, all the restaurants were new to us. Cochon's (Pig's?) Friday night (Lisa & I took a nap, overslept, and met them there 1/2 hour late), Jacques Imo's Saturday night (beautiful evening with a cozy table in the front window), and Elizabeth's to eat Praline Bacon for Sunday brunch (unfortunately, my Irish coffee had a couple of dead fruit flies at the bottom. blech!). Somewhere in there was lunch at Parasol's (a building touting absolutely no right angles) where we had our ears raped by the Loudest Girl In the World, wearing the most appropriate t-shirt in the world, stating simply: I am New Orleans. Also acquired were two necklaces purchased for the nieces from vendors in the Quarter. Afterwards was drinks at the famous Johnny White's.

kevin-and-lisa

^_^

#NOLA Rooster parade. on Twitpic

Last weekend was Allison and Matt's wedding in Santa Rosa, FL with Shelby and Robert. Four days of fun in the sun, except the sun kinda kept hidden. No matter. On the drive down, I discovered the Holy of Holies: a sode never before seen by civilized society. I give to you, Dr. Wham!

#santarosa Diet Dr. Wham. Really?! on Twitpic

Diet Dr. Wham. This magic elixir gave us the energy to shop for an absurd amount of food and drink when we arrived Friday. Very nice wine store (Sandestin Wine World?) with one of those fancy, robotic wine tasting machines: you purchase a card to use at the machine and it dispenses a tasting of your choice. We had big plans to return... but never did. Rest, then rehearsal dinner BBQ at the top floor of a neat-o, 3-story beach hour w/ elevator.

Saturday was beach and wedding. I started off with a jog--more nice, flat terrain. Beach was cool-then-cold and windy with the dreaded red flag (high hazard!) out. Then back to the condo and hanging out in the hot tub. It was wet, but did not make me sweat. The wedding was in a glen under a huge, moss-covered oak with the reception in a nearby tent. Perfect evening. We eventually made a quick jaunt (after getting lost) to some bar in Seaside, then back to the condo.

Post morning jog, much of Sunday was relaxing and watching crazy movies since the weather went gray. Oddest experience: everything we chatted about on the drive down appeared in some form or another later in the weekend via movies or Trivial Pursuit trivia questions. Weird. Best of the bunch: Roadhouse (!), The Fifth Element (natch), The Matrix (realizing how horrible (minus Monica Bellucci) the others were), and mostfuckingawesomeofall Zombie Strippers with--and I was quite astounded about this--an unexpectedly gorgeous Jenna Jameson. I would say that it takes zombies to stop her from looking like a skank, but even the womens were enraptured. Dinner at Stinky's was uncharacteristically fresh and unfried. Very good experience.

It was good to return on Monday and live the life of a four-day work-week.

[ updated 11 May 2009 ]

Too cheap to purchase the fotos from MarathonFoto.com so here're the screen caps:

crescent-city-classic.sds-1

crescent-city-classic.sds-2

crescent-city-classic.sds-3

crescent-city-classic.sds-4

posted by sstrader at 10:26 PM in Where was I? | permalink | comments (0)

December 6, 2008

Nerdcore Rising (4/5)

Saw it at the Plaza last night after Lisa spotted it yesterday afternoon [ website | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. I've been waiting for this to come out! Learned about nerdcore in August 2005 and we saw MC Frontalot at Drunken Unicorn back in May 2006.

Most insightful scenes were in New Orleans. First, they watch two black blues musicians on the street during one of the many periods of tour downtime. Interspersed are interviews and voice-overs with Frontalot and the band plus others (nerdcore musicians, Weird Al, Prince Paul, Jello Biafra...) discussing the history of white appropriation of black music. Well done. The second scene was after their New Orleans show. They played the alwaysfunny "I Heart Fags". Choice line:

I heart fags 'cause I am a San Franciscan,
If you're dissin' on my homos then a censure's what you're riskin'...

After the show, several young gays, male and female, came up to hug Frontalot. Their warmth and appreciation was wonderful and Fontalot commented later how outsiders are outsiders no matter the reason.

Many angry geeks were interviewed--insisting that "they" control the world and "jocks" better watch out--but there were genuinely honest and funny moments too. Lots of geek ts, best was a chick's that said "+1 Shirt of Smiting". The movie had a good range of commenters, it was awesome that the director got Prince Paul. There was much to enjoy, and many moments of just honesty and uncertainty. Purchase imminent.

posted by sstrader at 11:17 AM in Cinema , Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 2, 2008

new

[ updated 23 Jul 2014]

Years represent New Year's Eve year!

Our various New Year's celebrations (how come I can't remember more?!?):

  • 1998 (?) - Dinner with Lisa and my brother and his wife at South of France (closed)
  • 1999 - Millenium fun at Pricci, private room with around 15 friends
  • 2000 (?) - Romantic dinner at home
  • 2001 (?) - in New Orleans for a bowl game and craziness on the streets
  • 2002 - Big party at the Georgia Tech Conference Center with multiple DJs and craziness
  • 2003 - Big party at our pad
  • 2004 - Dinner at Nakato with friends
  • 2005 - Party at Stacey and Alby's
  • 2006 (?)
  • 2007 - Charleston, SC, dinner at Cyprus with Lisa

    [ updated 23 Jul 2014]

    Lisa found what we did in SC:

    Hotel: The King Charles Inn: http://kingcharlesinn.com/ Not "inexpensive" but worth it. We hung out in the pub every night, before we struck out for the evening and upon our return from the evening.

    Dinners: Two great dinners... We rang NYE in at Cypress; one of 3 sibling restaurants that all get great buzz (Blossom and Magnolias are the other two; Cypress is the newest): http://www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com/

    Another night was spent at 82 Queen: Nestled into an old home with a huge magnolia in the courtyard: http://www.82queen.com/

    Brunch before we left: Poogan's Porch, tucked away in a very quaint home: http://www.poogansporch.com/gallery/

  • 2008 - Palate and Feast with Shelby and Robert

[ updated 23 Jul 2014]

Later years:

posted by sstrader at 9:22 PM in Personal | permalink | comments (0)

November 8, 2005

Fast answers

At work, I sit near a couple of wackos who hourly ... minutely ... regurgitate the right-wing wackiness they apparently absorbed that morning on the way to work. Their discussions are long and loud and have a certitude that ignores any depth in the subject matter (e.g.: the recent riots in France prove that it's an inferior country to America, period).

Continue reading "Fast answers"
posted by sstrader at 11:47 PM in Politics | permalink | comments (8)

September 9, 2005

September 7, 2005

You are not forgotten

BoingBoing is doing a good job trying to keep up with the media chaos that is Katrina. Check out this IM transcript from the Astrodome. Fox News is down on the floor. I'm in dome, hiding in seats. They're allowing some media on the floor, not others. The situation seems very uncertain. Although I'd like to think that we should be able to know with certainty if there're unreasonable restrictions being put on the press, anyone who'd want to place those restrictions would want to work within a gray area--making it difficult to determine what to dismiss as merely rumor.

Continue reading "You are not forgotten"
posted by sstrader at 9:42 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

September 2, 2005

Obvious

And so today we get the backlash backlash: people bitching and tut-tuting about others' bitching. "I refuse to be one of the angry rabble" or "how dare they politicize this tragedy" and the such, quickly followed by "I'm going to be more constructive and less petty." As if the federal government's actions aren't based on political issues! The poor are blamed by those whose only responsibility is to help the suffering. That same group recommends sending money to a religious hypocrite who promotes assassination. The president, consistent with his philosophy of willful ignorance, insists that no one could anticipate this, then today praises the speed of Congress's actions. The Secretary of Homeland Security flatly refutes eyewitness reports that thousands were on the verge of dying. And the Speaker of the House suggests abandoning New Orleans.

If these aren't simple and obvious reasons to bitch, I'm not sure when it would ever be valid.

Continue reading "Obvious"
posted by sstrader at 6:25 PM in Politics | permalink | comments (1)

August 31, 2005

Political flood

bump dutifully points to an article over at Editor & Publisher questioning whether the White House is culpable for focusing more funds on Iraq and homeland security than on the New Orleans levees. The federal government set up SELA to prevent catastrophic flooding. This is only a more visceral effect of the egregious uselessness of Iraq. What quieter troubles are building as money is poured into Iraq? This has been discussed before, and the social trauma from the Republicans' fiscal ignorance in Iraq (hey, at least the Democrats attempt to throw money towards our society instead of away), ignoring their international and moral ignorance, can only be guessed at. Few could argue that the ROI of the Iraq war mitigates the billions lost to it.

And with this, I keep reading the defense "what do the Democrats offer instead?" Geesh, what wouldn't be better than what we have now? (Fukuyama has a more dispassionate assessment over at the NYT op-ed pages.)

Second question: are we equipped to handle this disaster with the few national guardsmen that are left here at home?

Continue reading "Political flood"
posted by sstrader at 12:19 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (1)

August 28, 2005

NO

I haven't been connected with news lately, and Lisa had told me earlier (~5) how serious the Katrina thing is. There's a Flickr group, and Wikipedia has an entry as does Wikinews, although they don't have a central page for it yet. The Flickr group had 51 photos when I checked it at 5--it's now up to 74.

We've had several trips to New Orleans over the years. The most memorable was the shortest: Saturday morning to Sunday morning with around 15 people from work. The tickets were cheap and the trip was a hurricane-infused blur. My first trip was a very uncomfortable one meeting Lisa's friends and their families for the first time. Yipes. I've been to JazzFest several times but have never been to Mardi Gras. I was worried that I was getting too old and enfeebled to party with the crazies no matter how many topless women were promised, but a different story may unfold. The last several years seems like they've had an upsurge of documentaries on the possible fate of New Orleans, so you couldn't call it unexpected. But as with other tragedies, expectations don't nullify the shock. We'll see what happens.

posted by sstrader at 11:35 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)