Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holiday Fun in Philadelphia: The Masons and The Mutter Museum

Before getting back to Atlanta for the New Year, we spent a few days in Phily for a work-related event. While my sweetie was working on bringing home the bacon, I had a fun play day out in the city of brotherly lurve.

First on my list of things to do was get a much needed haircut. A search on Google found me Harry's Barber Shop. It was nearby, sounded like a solid place to get my hair's trimmed, and unlike "Cut" which had me thinking a salon with fewer words = higher price. So, off I walked in search of my barber. 1324 Locust St. should have been easy to find, but all I saw was The Arts Condominium, a swank new condo complex being made in a sweet art deco building. There were tenants, but the foyer was still getting carpeted. I almost left when I looked down at a sidewalk level window.

I got buzzed in and walked down into the basement level warren of hallways and doors below the foyer. Harry's was a complete time warp, and one that hadn't aged well. In a perfect world Harry's would have had all the vintage accouterments in perfect order. Here though, the couch was ripped up, the tile walls were cracking and the Formica counters were showing their age. But the barber chair's were vintage and so were the barbers. The younger may have been in his 50's and Harry looked like he was in his 70's. He was nice, social, and a little hard of hearing. His dad started cutting hair across the street in 1922 and Harry had been in his location since 1974, when the building was the Hotel Sylvania. I got just the cut I thought I would get, a straight razor cleanup and even my eybrows trimmed.

Next on my list, the Mason's! How could I not, with our hotel right next to The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. I was hoping they allowed photography and they did. The tour was great, the building beautiful, and the pictures turned out nicely.

* Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania - a photoset on Flickr

After that it was a trip the Mutter Museum. The items on display include:

* The plaster cast of the torso of world-famous Siamese Twins, Chang & Eng, and their conjoined livers
* Joseph Hyrtl's collection of skulls
* Preserved body of the "Soap Lady"
* Collection of 2,000 objects extracted from people's throats
* Cancerous growth removed from President Grover Cleveland
* Tallest skeleton on display in North America

Unfortunately, no pictures allowed. The place is both intriguing and nauseating, and makes one just happy to live in time of advanced medicine.

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Other pictures taken while on the road.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post-Christmas Trip: Philadelphia

I'm in the cradle of American democracy tonight, accompanying my wife on a business trip. When our trips revolve around her work, we have concluded that for me the attractions usually breakdown to 'Things Made to Look like Big Things" and "Anything Masonic".

The "big thing" in the trip was supposed to be the recreation of Noah's Ark on the I-68 in Maryland. But all that we saw was a bare framework of metal I-beams. I had thought about documenting the place for fans for such things, but at such an incomplete state it wasn't worth getting off the highway. Pastor Richard Greene had a vision in 1974 of the Rebuilding Of Noah's Ark. He hasn't much to show for it Fortunately, someone else took the picture for me.

Someone With WAY Too Much Time On Their Hands
Originally uploaded by jocieposse.

As for "Anything Masonic", our huge corner hotel room on Penn Square overlooks The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. Not even a half-block away. And there are public tour! Yes.

Plus, there is the Mutter Museum in Philly.

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When we drove through Lexington, KY in the afternoon, we passed the lovely sign for the Parkette Drive-In. By day it looks promising, and at night its a true thing of beauty. Gotta love the carhop on top. We also saw another great sign, that will keep until next post.

The Lexington, Kentucky Parkette Drive In
Originally uploaded by kthread.

Parkette Drive-In, Lexington KY
Originally uploaded by baikinange.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas House: Love This Place

Off to the in-laws for holiday. Enjoy.

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Christmas Lights on Monroe - a photoset on Flickr

Monday, December 18, 2006

Birthday: Take 2, An Evening With Young L. Ron

Two weeks after my birthday, I finally had the day that I wanted. The car's wheel falling off made it impossible to do the things my wife intended to do on the 4th. Today was my rain check.

Dinner was at Front Page News in Little 5 Points. A nice Gumbo Ya Ya (Chicken and Sausage Gumbo) was a favorite part of the meal. But the real fun was at Dad's Garage.

After a year of hearing about the NYC production and news of the Atlanta premier, we finally saw "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant. " Funny, from beginning to end. Not an easy task for an all-child cast. The kids were great. Unlike many shows where a lack of projection or singing range might break the scene, the roughness lent itself the "kiddy pageant" concept of the show. Sarah Gooding, who I had seen while working Atlanta Lyric's "Secret Garden", was enjoyably offputting as the omnipresent angel. She acts as narrator and participant in the story of L. Ron Hubbard. The rest of the kids are great, and I couldn't recommend this enough for fans of the irreverent.

Go to the show!
Go to the show!
Go to the show!

Due to sold-out shows, they have added some new dates.

I'll buy your ticket if you see it and don't enjoy it*


*offer void in Atlanta, but still go see the show.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pictures from the "Assemblation" show @ Eyedrum, Atlanta

<span class=Amandine Drouet - " assemblation="" atlanta="" height="375" width="500">

The large image above from the "Assemblation" show at Eyedrum doesn't play well with my sidelinks. I'll sacrifice good blog design because the artwork by Amandine Drouet deserves a decent-sized image. Blogger won't let me load images off my computer, which always looks better.

The show was a great one. Big, colorful, and cluttered. A full takeover of the exhibition spaces, mainly full of sculptures and 3-D pieces. My favorite pieces by Amandine Drouet, in contrast to most of the show, were the most subtle. White, illuminated sculptures resting on a nubby bedspread or suspended overhead. The pictures do more justice to the pieces than words could.

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The "Assemblation" Show @ Eyedrum Art Center, Atlanta - a photoset on Flickr

Saturday, December 16, 2006

APWBWGTTD (the Few, the Proud)

Attendance for the Atlanta People With Blogs who Get Together to Drink night was pretty low. Duane, Lori, Dave, RecoveringBaptist (and sweet wife) made it to Halo. After Mr. and Mrs, R. Baptist called it a night, a trip to the Vortex was made.

Flickr Pix of December's Blogger drinkfest.

Tots and dogs were eaten, drinks had, and a shiny, mirrorball-like jacket was spotted. Later, Mr. and Mrs. P'body showed before we called it a night.

Duane already blogged about it, and I'm agreeing with him. The night's not the same with just a few showing up. The fun is in the numbers and there were times when we were the biggest group in the bar. But 6 made it to Halo and only 4 continued on to The Vortex.

So, here my take on the situation... if one of these applies:

You are not an Atlanta person now,
You are not or have not attended any of the monthly drinking meetups,

... than you are failing to be one of the Atlanta People With Blogs who Get Together to Drink. If you are part of APWBWGTTD to get you readership up, I'm sure there are loads of other means to doing so. If you regret missing the meetings, blog saying so. We want to know. Parents, we know it's hard to go out with children, but there is always a reason to join us...

If you have reasons that keeps you from enjoying drinking and strong opinions from many sides, than why not find a group is more like that. If you aren't joining in the fun, why not remove yourself from the site feed? Or site moderators could do it as well. Opinions? If it's not "Atlanta People With Blogs who Get Together to Drink", the site should have a name change reflecting that. It's either time to get this ship back on track or abandon it all together.

If you are, or ever were, an APWBWGTTD that is wishing to get back in the swing of things, welcome back. We missed you and your ability to drink and laugh. I read the comments on Duane's blog, and some of your are itching to come out again, which is nice to hear.

That's my 2 cents. Cheers.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Quotes about Maturity, Museums & A Recipe for Turning to Drug Use

You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older
And now you're even older
And now you're even older
You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older
And now you're older still
- "Older", They Might Be Giants

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.
  - Kurt Vonnegut

Humor is a saving grace in the house.  That's why I love that my wife watches most of the Adult Swim shows with me. She'll keep me in good spirits as I turn into an old man.

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"Dublin also has several antique shops and gift stores as well as a beautiful Corner Lot Park, where you can see Pretty Peggy Pepper swinging."

From the Dublin (Texas) Dr Pepper Bottling Company FAQ Page.

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Just recently I read somewhere online about poppy tea.  Its a potent and easily made brew, decorative poppy plants from a florist can be turned into an opiate-filled drink.  A google search will show just how easy to make this at home.  The more I get into December; with a disappointing birthday, a still-undrivable car and the prospect of Christmas shopping, the more this tea is looking good to me.  Fear not, I will not be turning to concocting this drink at home,  but I am ready for this month to be over.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas? No Thanks.

I'm not feeling the spirit and I know I'm not the only one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I'm Glad I'm Older But...

... my birthday just sucked.

Monday was my birthday, and our week-old car coming apart just didn't start my 36th year off to a good start.  With the car out of commission, it meant my sweetie couldn't go shopping.  So, no car, no gifts and no cake. I'm happier being older then I ever was before, but Monday was a type of day that I'm glad doesn't happen offen.

The saga of the car continues to be phone tag between the dealership, State Farm and myself.  I feel like we will be stuck with some of the bill.  That's the way things happen.  When something bad happens, more usually follows.  I don't believe in the "bad things happen in 3's" idea.  Too arbitrary.  I'm just riding this thing out and happy that we had stocked up on beer.

So, until my sense of humor is fully recharged the following mystifying/reassuring lyrics from the Walkmen helps keep things in perspective.  The real beauty of the song is the piano, so give this song a listen (MP3) courtesy of music blog Mars Needs Guitars.

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"'We'Ve Been Had' by the Walkmen

Well I'm a modern guy I don't care much for the go-go
or the retro image I see so often telling me to
keep trying maybe you'll get here someday
keep up the working, ok
I close the book on them right there

I see myself change as the days change over
I hear the songs and the words don't change
I write them out of the book right there

We've been had, you say it's over
Sometimes I'm just happy I'm older
We've been had I know it's over
Somehow it got easy to laugh out loud..."

There are more lyrics, but I like this last line the best.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Wheel Fall Off, Car Go Boom

Is it too much to ask that our new used car's tires stay on?

Yes. Yes it is.