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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 24, 2004 12:04 am EDT
image-1 | more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 24, 2004 12:04 am EDT
Don't stand on cheap plastic patio furniture. Cheap plastic patio furniture is flawed. Cheap plastic patio furniture will make you bleed if it gets the chance. This happens all the time, but the cheap plastic patio furniture industry keeps it quiet. | more...
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  string(4690) "Everyone blubbers over a June bride, but who's minding the groom? An outbreak of marriage takes place across America this month; as usual, the male side of the cake is short on frosting.

Basically, a groom resembles a kidnap victim. You're crucial to the procedure, but there isn't much to do.

To truly comprehend the anonymous nature of groomdom, consider the jewelry factor. Every bride has a wedding ring that is unique, a thing of beauty subject to diligent search, selection (the "three Cs" of diamond acquisition are "cut, clarity, cuss at the bill"), design modification and, frequently, a World Bank loan.

Now consider the man's fing-a-ma-bob, downgraded to a "band," like shortwave radio. It's a plain, gold-colored washer. Every guy in history gets the same one.

Once a couple is cleared to taxi toward the altar, all planning falls to the prospective wife. Five minutes after I proposed, my fiancee whipped out a 536-page tome titled Modern Bride. It is to matrimony what Jane's Fighting Ships is to naval warfare.

Within it is a hoard of adverts for wedding gear: dresses, headpieces, gloves, veils, mantillas, belts, buckles and shoes. There are no prices, because this could induce latent male heart symptoms best left undiscovered until the honeymoon.

There are also articles with headlines such as, "100 Details You Can't Forget." I can't even remember my Social Security number.

Through inattention and sheer inertia, a man can get through much of the prenuptial planning process with little inconvenience to himself. If you've ever had dental work done under light anesthesia, the experience is similar.

By way of evidence, I submit the following transcript of a telephone conversation with the future Gnadigefrau Slattery, six months prior to our getting hitched:

She: And I was thinking about the bridesmaids' shoes.

Me: Mmm?

She: I mean, what color they should be?

Me: (clears throat)

She: Fuchsia would be nice, but not a real plum shade.

Me: Unnnh.

She: But not too pale, either. Nothing mauvy.

Me: Mmmm.

She: You know, the color of the dress I wore to my brother's wedding five years ago?

Me: Fmmph?

She: Well, just a little darker than the earrings I wore with that.

Me: Arrggh.

She: I guess you don't need to hear all this, do you?

Fact is, gentlemen, you do need to hear this. It's good training for what's to come. Because one thing I've learned about women — OK, the only thing I've learned about women — is that they often think out loud.

I also adjure guys to beware of the last-minute contretemps, the prenuptial argument enveloping all the anxieties and phobias that may simmer beneath the surface. Most guys don't see it coming.

My cousin didn't, although he did see an engagement ring hurled at his head the night of the wedding rehearsal. While a reconciliation was quickly implemented, the rest of the evening was spent pawing through dirty banquet hall dishes in search of the missing bling.

When my blowup came, I thought it would be about one of the big-ticket issues: commitment, love, a 401(k) plan.

Instead, it was about goldfish. Again, I refer to the transcripts:

She: And my cousin said she'd do all the table decorations.

Me: Sure.

She: We were thinking we'd have a glass bowl at each table, filled with water, with flowers floating on top.

Me: Right.

She: And along with the flowers, we could put a goldfish in each bowl.

This struck a disturbing chord of memory. A goldfish had been my very first pet. My grandparents brought it over on a snowy Christmas Eve when I was about 6. The trip left the fish in less than robust health, because it was doing the dead man's float by Christmas night.

My fiancee could not have known about this childhood trauma, so she was taken aback when I denounced the use of goldfish with all the righteous wrath of a televangelist. I pointed out that:

1) One of the goldfish would probably keel over during the wedding reception.

2) Some hungry relative might mistake a living party favor for sushi and eat one.

3) A kid in attendance would want to take the finned curiosities home and goldfish would be leaping out of cars along the interstate.

4) How would you like to be stuck in a bowl with eight people gawking at you?

Any one of those objections would have been enough to make my point. Deploying the entire quartet caused my affianced one to say, "Fine, fine!" The dreaded Double Fine is to marital discourse what a tornado warning is to meteorology. But we did make up.

And since marriage thrives on compromise, there were fish at the wedding reception. As an entree.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery is just fine, fine in Alpharetta."
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  string(4751) "__Everyone blubbers over __a June bride, but who's minding the groom? An outbreak of marriage takes place across America this month; as usual, the male side of the cake is short on frosting.

Basically, a groom resembles a kidnap victim. You're crucial to the procedure, but there isn't much to do.

To truly comprehend the anonymous nature of groomdom, consider the jewelry factor. Every bride has a wedding ring that is unique, a thing of beauty subject to diligent search, selection (the "three Cs" of diamond acquisition are "cut, clarity, cuss at the bill"), design modification and, frequently, a World Bank loan.

Now consider the man's fing-a-ma-bob, downgraded to a "band," like shortwave radio. It's a plain, gold-colored washer. Every guy in history gets the same one.

Once a couple is cleared to taxi toward the altar, all planning falls to the prospective wife. Five minutes after I proposed, my fiancee whipped out a 536-page tome titled ''Modern Bride''. It is to matrimony what ''Jane's Fighting Ships'' is to naval warfare.

Within it is a hoard of adverts for wedding gear: dresses, headpieces, gloves, veils, mantillas, belts, buckles and shoes. There are no prices, because this could induce latent male heart symptoms best left undiscovered until the honeymoon.

There are also articles with headlines such as, "100 Details You Can't Forget." I can't even remember my Social Security number.

Through inattention and sheer inertia, a man can get through much of the prenuptial planning process with little inconvenience to himself. If you've ever had dental work done under light anesthesia, the experience is similar.

By way of evidence, I submit the following transcript of a telephone conversation with the future Gnadigefrau Slattery, six months prior to our getting hitched:

She: And I was thinking about the bridesmaids' shoes.

Me: Mmm?

She: I mean, what color they should be?

Me: (clears throat)

She: Fuchsia would be nice, but not a real plum shade.

Me: Unnnh.

She: But not too pale, either. Nothing mauvy.

Me: Mmmm.

She: You know, the color of the dress I wore to my brother's wedding five years ago?

Me: Fmmph?

She: Well, just a little darker than the earrings I wore with that.

Me: Arrggh.

She: I guess you don't need to hear all this, do you?

Fact is, gentlemen, you do need to hear this. It's good training for what's to come. Because one thing I've learned about women -- OK, the only thing I've learned about women -- is that they often think out loud.

I also adjure guys to beware of the last-minute contretemps, the prenuptial argument enveloping all the anxieties and phobias that may simmer beneath the surface. Most guys don't see it coming.

My cousin didn't, although he did see an engagement ring hurled at his head the night of the wedding rehearsal. While a reconciliation was quickly implemented, the rest of the evening was spent pawing through dirty banquet hall dishes in search of the missing bling.

When my blowup came, I thought it would be about one of the big-ticket issues: commitment, love, a 401(k) plan.

Instead, it was about goldfish. Again, I refer to the transcripts:

She: And my cousin said she'd do all the table decorations.

Me: Sure.

She: We were thinking we'd have a glass bowl at each table, filled with water, with flowers floating on top.

Me: Right.

She: And along with the flowers, we could put a goldfish in each bowl.

This struck a disturbing chord of memory. A goldfish had been my very first pet. My grandparents brought it over on a snowy Christmas Eve when I was about 6. The trip left the fish in less than robust health, because it was doing the dead man's float by Christmas night.

My fiancee could not have known about this childhood trauma, so she was taken aback when I denounced the use of goldfish with all the righteous wrath of a televangelist. I pointed out that:

1) One of the goldfish would probably keel over during the wedding reception.

2) Some hungry relative might mistake a living party favor for sushi and eat one.

3) A kid in attendance would want to take the finned curiosities home and goldfish would be leaping out of cars along the interstate.

4) How would you like to be stuck in a bowl with eight people gawking at you?

Any one of those objections would have been enough to make my point. Deploying the entire quartet caused my affianced one to say, "Fine, fine!" The dreaded Double Fine is to marital discourse what a tornado warning is to meteorology. But we did make up.

And since marriage thrives on compromise, there were fish at the wedding reception. As an entree.

__[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]__
''''
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Basically, a groom resembles a kidnap victim. You're crucial to the procedure, but there isn't much to do.

To truly comprehend the anonymous nature of groomdom, consider the jewelry factor. Every bride has a wedding ring that is unique, a thing of beauty subject to diligent search, selection (the "three Cs" of diamond acquisition are "cut, clarity, cuss at the bill"), design modification and, frequently, a World Bank loan.

Now consider the man's fing-a-ma-bob, downgraded to a "band," like shortwave radio. It's a plain, gold-colored washer. Every guy in history gets the same one.

Once a couple is cleared to taxi toward the altar, all planning falls to the prospective wife. Five minutes after I proposed, my fiancee whipped out a 536-page tome titled Modern Bride. It is to matrimony what Jane's Fighting Ships is to naval warfare.

Within it is a hoard of adverts for wedding gear: dresses, headpieces, gloves, veils, mantillas, belts, buckles and shoes. There are no prices, because this could induce latent male heart symptoms best left undiscovered until the honeymoon.

There are also articles with headlines such as, "100 Details You Can't Forget." I can't even remember my Social Security number.

Through inattention and sheer inertia, a man can get through much of the prenuptial planning process with little inconvenience to himself. If you've ever had dental work done under light anesthesia, the experience is similar.

By way of evidence, I submit the following transcript of a telephone conversation with the future Gnadigefrau Slattery, six months prior to our getting hitched:

She: And I was thinking about the bridesmaids' shoes.

Me: Mmm?

She: I mean, what color they should be?

Me: (clears throat)

She: Fuchsia would be nice, but not a real plum shade.

Me: Unnnh.

She: But not too pale, either. Nothing mauvy.

Me: Mmmm.

She: You know, the color of the dress I wore to my brother's wedding five years ago?

Me: Fmmph?

She: Well, just a little darker than the earrings I wore with that.

Me: Arrggh.

She: I guess you don't need to hear all this, do you?

Fact is, gentlemen, you do need to hear this. It's good training for what's to come. Because one thing I've learned about women — OK, the only thing I've learned about women — is that they often think out loud.

I also adjure guys to beware of the last-minute contretemps, the prenuptial argument enveloping all the anxieties and phobias that may simmer beneath the surface. Most guys don't see it coming.

My cousin didn't, although he did see an engagement ring hurled at his head the night of the wedding rehearsal. While a reconciliation was quickly implemented, the rest of the evening was spent pawing through dirty banquet hall dishes in search of the missing bling.

When my blowup came, I thought it would be about one of the big-ticket issues: commitment, love, a 401(k) plan.

Instead, it was about goldfish. Again, I refer to the transcripts:

She: And my cousin said she'd do all the table decorations.

Me: Sure.

She: We were thinking we'd have a glass bowl at each table, filled with water, with flowers floating on top.

Me: Right.

She: And along with the flowers, we could put a goldfish in each bowl.

This struck a disturbing chord of memory. A goldfish had been my very first pet. My grandparents brought it over on a snowy Christmas Eve when I was about 6. The trip left the fish in less than robust health, because it was doing the dead man's float by Christmas night.

My fiancee could not have known about this childhood trauma, so she was taken aback when I denounced the use of goldfish with all the righteous wrath of a televangelist. I pointed out that:

1) One of the goldfish would probably keel over during the wedding reception.

2) Some hungry relative might mistake a living party favor for sushi and eat one.

3) A kid in attendance would want to take the finned curiosities home and goldfish would be leaping out of cars along the interstate.

4) How would you like to be stuck in a bowl with eight people gawking at you?

Any one of those objections would have been enough to make my point. Deploying the entire quartet caused my affianced one to say, "Fine, fine!" The dreaded Double Fine is to marital discourse what a tornado warning is to meteorology. But we did make up.

And since marriage thrives on compromise, there were fish at the wedding reception. As an entree.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery is just fine, fine in Alpharetta.             13014993 1248462                          Talk of the Town - Moon, June, goon June 24 2004 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 24, 2004 12:04 am EDT
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  string(4824) "Ronald Reagan and I got together every year during his administration. He'd be in a bomb-resistant limousine that owned the streets of New York while I was out on my lunch hour, trapped in a security dragnet that paralyzed all traffic.

The Gipper waved and I waved back, although it always took a few minutes to find him. Because presidential motorcades have two big flag-waving limos in the procession, presumably to fuddle a would-be assassin. It says something about my catlike powers of observation that I was always duped by the extra limo trick.

Even when you thought you were hailing the chief, you could never be sure. It looked like him through the bulletproof sliver of landau roof, but for all I know, it was a back-projected Reagan hologram.

Our exchange of waves became an annual tradition. I imagined the president looking over to the first lady and wondering, "Nancy, isn't that same doofus here every year?"

Occasion for these tete-a-tetes was the annual convocation of the U.N. General Assembly, a body that the 40th president dutifully addressed, even though he probably had about as much regard for the waffling, worldview United Nations as Knute Rockne did for sissy, quitter hypochondriacs.

My office in those days was right across the way, a fine venue if you enjoyed going on sudden holiday. Because the global organization attracted many disgruntled crackpots, who would gather en masse along Manhattan's First Avenue to hoot and jeer at the many disgruntled crackpot dictators gliding by in their glistening stretches.

On sunny days you hoped for a major donnybrook — the latest Haitian strongman was always good for an afternoon off — because the cops would tell us to close early on the chance our plate-glass window would be transformed into jagged-edge stardust.

But when the president of the United States came to town, things really clamped down. One year, several of us gathered at an office window to see if we could sneak a peek at Reagan's arrival. We cracked open a casemate to look across the avenue — straight into the binoculars of an agitated man in a black suit and shades, hollering into a walkie-talkie. Police arrived to shoo us from the window, forthwith.

But that was nothing compared to the Hunan Chicken Incident.

The product of a wondrous Chinese beanery near where I worked, it was as breathtakingly simple as it was magnificent in taste. After a decade in the Southland, I have yet to find its equal hereabouts.

Even now, my taste buds rumba in recollection: succulent slices of white meat in generous supply, topped by a spicy brown sauce, interspersed with tender shards of red peppers and crisp broccoli florets, married to a pint of white rice stickier than a county sheriff's digits.

There aren't many things worth shedding blood for, but back then I'd mess you up good if you got in the way of my Hunan chicken. It was something I could only afford on payday — a fortnightly occurrence that ranked as a minor religious experience during my days as a slightly impoverished boulevardier.

On this particular occasion, the eagle screamed when Reagan was in town. Experience taught that the lunch order would have to be called in for early delivery, before a presidential paramilitary cordon fell upon the neighborhood.

But as high noon came and went, I feared for the fate of my meal. A rolling blockade heralded Reagan regnant, but there was no call from the reception desk heralding any chicken. This spelled disaster. Not only was I lunchless, there was no way to get out and find another repast while the heat was on.

It was about 1:45 p.m. when the  receptionist rang to say, "You, uh, better come down here."

I adjourned to the lobby to find a Secret Serviceman, a New York City detective, two patrolmen and an anxious Chinese  deliveryman who was the focus of their undivided attention. Not to mention several pointed questions.

What was he doing on the block after it had been sealed? Who was he coming to see? Oh yeah, and what was in the bag?

What little English the man knew deserted him in the face of such official bonhomie. A Chinese-American colleague was found to interpret; turned out the intrepid deliverer was already on the street when the gendarmes sealed it. He was just going from one office building within the block to another — mine — at the time he came to the attention of law enforcement.

The lunch was taken out for public inspection, although fears that Secret Service agents would wrestle my chicken to the ground proved groundless. Later that afternoon, I went out and waved goodbye to the Gipper. But something was missing.

One of those cops took my fortune cookie.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery, who lives in Alpharetta, advises us that this column has no MSG."
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The Gipper waved and I waved back, although it always took a few minutes to find him. Because presidential motorcades have two big flag-waving limos in the procession, presumably to fuddle a would-be assassin. It says something about my catlike powers of observation that I was always duped by the extra limo trick.

Even when you thought you were hailing the chief, you could never be sure. It looked like him through the bulletproof sliver of landau roof, but for all I know, it was a back-projected Reagan hologram.

Our exchange of waves became an annual tradition. I imagined the president looking over to the first lady and wondering, "Nancy, isn't that same doofus here every year?"

Occasion for these tete-a-tetes was the annual convocation of the U.N. General Assembly, a body that the 40th president dutifully addressed, even though he probably had about as much regard for the waffling, worldview United Nations as Knute Rockne did for sissy, quitter hypochondriacs.

My office in those days was right across the way, a fine venue if you enjoyed going on sudden holiday. Because the global organization attracted many disgruntled crackpots, who would gather en masse along Manhattan's First Avenue to hoot and jeer at the many disgruntled crackpot dictators gliding by in their glistening stretches.

On sunny days you hoped for a major donnybrook -- the latest Haitian strongman was always good for an afternoon off -- because the cops would tell us to close early on the chance our plate-glass window would be transformed into jagged-edge stardust.

But when the president of the United States came to town, things really clamped down. One year, several of us gathered at an office window to see if we could sneak a peek at Reagan's arrival. We cracked open a casemate to look across the avenue -- straight into the binoculars of an agitated man in a black suit and shades, hollering into a walkie-talkie. Police arrived to shoo us from the window, forthwith.

But that was nothing compared to the Hunan Chicken Incident.

The product of a wondrous Chinese beanery near where I worked, it was as breathtakingly simple as it was magnificent in taste. After a decade in the Southland, I have yet to find its equal hereabouts.

Even now, my taste buds rumba in recollection: succulent slices of white meat in generous supply, topped by a spicy brown sauce, interspersed with tender shards of red peppers and crisp broccoli florets, married to a pint of white rice stickier than a county sheriff's digits.

There aren't many things worth shedding blood for, but back then I'd mess you up good if you got in the way of my Hunan chicken. It was something I could only afford on payday -- a fortnightly occurrence that ranked as a minor religious experience during my days as a slightly impoverished boulevardier.

On this particular occasion, the eagle screamed when Reagan was in town. Experience taught that the lunch order would have to be called in for early delivery, before a presidential paramilitary cordon fell upon the neighborhood.

But as high noon came and went, I feared for the fate of my meal. A rolling blockade heralded Reagan regnant, but there was no call from the reception desk heralding any chicken. This spelled disaster. Not only was I lunchless, there was no way to get out and find another repast while the heat was on.

It was about 1:45 p.m. when the  receptionist rang to say, "You, uh, better come down here."

I adjourned to the lobby to find a Secret Serviceman, a New York City detective, two patrolmen and an anxious Chinese  deliveryman who was the focus of their undivided attention. Not to mention several pointed questions.

What was he doing on the block after it had been sealed? Who was he coming to see? Oh yeah, and what was in the bag?

What little English the man knew deserted him in the face of such official bonhomie. A Chinese-American colleague was found to interpret; turned out the intrepid deliverer was already on the street when the gendarmes sealed it. He was just going from one office building within the block to another -- mine -- at the time he came to the attention of law enforcement.

The lunch was taken out for public inspection, although fears that Secret Service agents would wrestle my chicken to the ground proved groundless. Later that afternoon, I went out and waved goodbye to the Gipper. But something was missing.

One of those cops took my fortune cookie.

__[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]__
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The Gipper waved and I waved back, although it always took a few minutes to find him. Because presidential motorcades have two big flag-waving limos in the procession, presumably to fuddle a would-be assassin. It says something about my catlike powers of observation that I was always duped by the extra limo trick.

Even when you thought you were hailing the chief, you could never be sure. It looked like him through the bulletproof sliver of landau roof, but for all I know, it was a back-projected Reagan hologram.

Our exchange of waves became an annual tradition. I imagined the president looking over to the first lady and wondering, "Nancy, isn't that same doofus here every year?"

Occasion for these tete-a-tetes was the annual convocation of the U.N. General Assembly, a body that the 40th president dutifully addressed, even though he probably had about as much regard for the waffling, worldview United Nations as Knute Rockne did for sissy, quitter hypochondriacs.

My office in those days was right across the way, a fine venue if you enjoyed going on sudden holiday. Because the global organization attracted many disgruntled crackpots, who would gather en masse along Manhattan's First Avenue to hoot and jeer at the many disgruntled crackpot dictators gliding by in their glistening stretches.

On sunny days you hoped for a major donnybrook — the latest Haitian strongman was always good for an afternoon off — because the cops would tell us to close early on the chance our plate-glass window would be transformed into jagged-edge stardust.

But when the president of the United States came to town, things really clamped down. One year, several of us gathered at an office window to see if we could sneak a peek at Reagan's arrival. We cracked open a casemate to look across the avenue — straight into the binoculars of an agitated man in a black suit and shades, hollering into a walkie-talkie. Police arrived to shoo us from the window, forthwith.

But that was nothing compared to the Hunan Chicken Incident.

The product of a wondrous Chinese beanery near where I worked, it was as breathtakingly simple as it was magnificent in taste. After a decade in the Southland, I have yet to find its equal hereabouts.

Even now, my taste buds rumba in recollection: succulent slices of white meat in generous supply, topped by a spicy brown sauce, interspersed with tender shards of red peppers and crisp broccoli florets, married to a pint of white rice stickier than a county sheriff's digits.

There aren't many things worth shedding blood for, but back then I'd mess you up good if you got in the way of my Hunan chicken. It was something I could only afford on payday — a fortnightly occurrence that ranked as a minor religious experience during my days as a slightly impoverished boulevardier.

On this particular occasion, the eagle screamed when Reagan was in town. Experience taught that the lunch order would have to be called in for early delivery, before a presidential paramilitary cordon fell upon the neighborhood.

But as high noon came and went, I feared for the fate of my meal. A rolling blockade heralded Reagan regnant, but there was no call from the reception desk heralding any chicken. This spelled disaster. Not only was I lunchless, there was no way to get out and find another repast while the heat was on.

It was about 1:45 p.m. when the  receptionist rang to say, "You, uh, better come down here."

I adjourned to the lobby to find a Secret Serviceman, a New York City detective, two patrolmen and an anxious Chinese  deliveryman who was the focus of their undivided attention. Not to mention several pointed questions.

What was he doing on the block after it had been sealed? Who was he coming to see? Oh yeah, and what was in the bag?

What little English the man knew deserted him in the face of such official bonhomie. A Chinese-American colleague was found to interpret; turned out the intrepid deliverer was already on the street when the gendarmes sealed it. He was just going from one office building within the block to another — mine — at the time he came to the attention of law enforcement.

The lunch was taken out for public inspection, although fears that Secret Service agents would wrestle my chicken to the ground proved groundless. Later that afternoon, I went out and waved goodbye to the Gipper. But something was missing.

One of those cops took my fortune cookie.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery, who lives in Alpharetta, advises us that this column has no MSG.             13014931 1248346                          Talk of the Town - Lunch with the Gipper June 17 2004 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 17, 2004 12:04 am EDT
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 17, 2004 12:04 am EDT
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 17, 2004 12:04 am EDT
If you get hit in the face with a cartoon sledgehammer, stay calm and call a doctor. Then try to catch all of the little cartoon birdies that end up circling your head whenever something like that happens. They'll sell for a lot on eBay. | more...
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Creative Loafing: How do you like living in the middle of all the clubs?

I thought I would like it, but I'd rather live far away. It is too crowded. I would rather live, like, 30 to 40 minutes out of the city.

Mental note: possible AA candidate. Bottles of Belvedere, Moët, Cristal and expensive-ass wines sit on the kitchen counter.

So you're a drinker?

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I just like collecting things. My favorite is The Highlander sword.

How did you get into cutting hair?

I've been doing it for about 15 years. The barbershop was the hangout spot, so I figured if I'm going to hang out here, then I might as well learn how to do it.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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__''Creative Loafing:''__ __How do you like living in the middle of all the clubs?__

I thought I would like it, but I'd rather live far away. It is too crowded. I would rather live, like, 30 to 40 minutes out of the city.

''Mental note: possible AA candidate. Bottles of Belvedere, Moët, Cristal and expensive-ass wines sit on the kitchen counter.''

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No.

__So what's up with the Cristal if you don't drink? It runs about $300 a bottle.__

That's just a hook up. But maybe I'll have a night where I'll just think about drinking and I'll just pop a bottle.

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__Well, what about the dragon? I mean, it is kind of intimidating.__

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I just like collecting things. My favorite is ''The Highlander'' sword.

__How did you get into cutting hair?__

I've been doing it for about 15 years. The barbershop was the hangout spot, so I figured if I'm going to hang out here, then I might as well learn how to do it.

__[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]__
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No.

So what's up with the Cristal if you don't drink? It runs about $300 a bottle.

That's just a hook up. But maybe I'll have a night where I'll just think about drinking and I'll just pop a bottle.

What's the fascination with the fish?

It's relaxing: the sound of the water. Men also have fish because their women get on their nerves.

There's a 175-gallon tank in the bedroom filled with African cichlid, which are fish so mean they can take on man-eating piranhas. Maybe this is how he gets rid of those women who work his nerves.

Well, what about the dragon? I mean, it is kind of intimidating.

It faces the door because any negative energy that comes in the house, it wishes it away. In Thailand, animals are worshiped. If you look at it, it's not just a dragon, it's every animal: a fox, a bird, a snake, a lion, a goat, a fish.

And if that doesn't work, maybe Eddie's collection of a dozen or so swords will scare away the bad feng shui. His collection includes a Kill Bill-type sword, an Excalibur imitation, and one that looks exactly the Rock's in The Mummy.

Why all the swords?

I just like collecting things. My favorite is The Highlander sword.

How did you get into cutting hair?

I've been doing it for about 15 years. The barbershop was the hangout spot, so I figured if I'm going to hang out here, then I might as well learn how to do it.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
             13014935 1248351                          Talk of the Town - Sleeps with the fishes June 17 2004 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 17, 2004 12:04 am EDT
Buckhead bachelor loves his aquariums | more...
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  string(4502) " What will it take? What will it take to put you in this car today?

Because I want you to have this car.

And I can, you know. It's my car. I can do whatever I want with it. And right now, I want it gone.

I want to sell it, buy another car and do what I did with the old one. Spend the next decade getting hit, being mired in traffic, shelling out ad valorem tax to the boys in the Statehouse and, in general, enjoying all the rights and privileges that go with owning a rapidly depreciating — not to mention decelerating — asset.

It's a 1994 Honda Accord with 135,000 miles on the odometer. I enjoy it when people tell you miles are "on the odometer." Could some miles have accumulated elsewhere? In the glove box, perhaps? Or one of those fiendishly inaccessible places under the driver's seat where I drop loose change?

There's a selling point: More than $20,000 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are lost in the car. You just have to be a fearless explorer to find them. Indiana Jones and the Honda of Doom.

As to color, it's hunter green. A decade ago, this shade was fashionable for both vehicles and suburban living rooms. Now it causes people to think, "Yeech, that car must be 10 years old."

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to tell you the vehicle has been in, uh, a few minor mishaps. Actually, it's been bashed so many times, I was convinced a powerful electromagnet had been surreptitiously installed under the hood.

The first accident occurred less than 48 hours after I bought it brand new — my first new car. A Buckhead knucklehead in a twice-the-size SUV T-boned me coming out of a strip mall. Devastated, I called the insurance company.

"Oh, that's nothing," the claims person said. "I've had people who got hit five minutes after they bought the car. You know, they're excited, unfamiliar with the controls and ..." bango. New car smell and $3,175 worth of damage. All in one day.

Now I'd be lucky to get that amount for the car. This gladsome tiding came to me via the Kelly Blue Book. I don't know who Kelly is, but his book is the right color.  He (or she) really bummed me out with  the news.

And that's the "private party transaction "value , i.e., if I turned used car dealer and got some sucker, uh, interested party to buy the thing. The vehicle's trade-in value at a bona fide car dealership would probably buy a sack of groceries. Assuming, of course, that you don't eat meat.

I should have faced this sooner and bought a new car a couple of years ago. Because now we have two vehicles with enough total mileage to have reached the moon and get partway back. Both are in advanced states of decrepitude. Before long, both will have to be replaced.

We thought we were pretty smart for a while because everything was bought and paid for. Because not having one car payment is nice. Not having two car payments is outright ecstasy. But the automotive gods require sacrifice.

And that means visiting the car dealership, where swaggering weasel wisenheimers who scream at me on the radio — where at least I can turn them off — will trot out lines of dialogue unchanged since the dawn of the automotive age:

"I want to put you in this car!"

Yeah? I want to put you in a car, too. Preferably one with no brakes that's careening down a steep mountain road. Minus the guardrail.

"Let me talk to my manager."

They always have to call the manager. They can't stand, sit or belch without consulting the manager. Hitler, were he to visit an American car dealership, would say, "Du lieber Gott! Now that's totalitarianism."

The dealership is also like a funeral parlor. You know it's there. You know it's expensive. You don't want to go. But you wind up there just the same.

Think about it. Most bad life experiences involve a car. The nerve-jangling driver's test. The endless Soviet-style lines, delays and bureaucracy that go with getting a license. Lying mechanics and the bills they tell. Any wrecks you have along the way. And, of course, when you're dead, they slide you into the hearse for that last ride.

So you make the pearly gates, and some angelic factotum asks why you should be allowed in. You recount any good deeds you've done, recalling the people you helped along life's too-brief way.

And the angel riffles though the paperwork, sighs a deep sigh, and says:

"Let me talk to my manager."

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery lives in Alpharetta, an old Cherokee term for "hunter green.""
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  string(4544) "__ What will it take? __What will it take to put you in this car today?

Because I want you to have this car.

And I can, you know. It's my car. I can do whatever I want with it. And right now, I want it gone.

I want to sell it, buy another car and do what I did with the old one. Spend the next decade getting hit, being mired in traffic, shelling out ad valorem tax to the boys in the Statehouse and, in general, enjoying all the rights and privileges that go with owning a rapidly depreciating -- not to mention decelerating -- asset.

It's a 1994 Honda Accord with 135,000 miles on the odometer. I enjoy it when people tell you miles are "on the odometer." Could some miles have accumulated elsewhere? In the glove box, perhaps? Or one of those fiendishly inaccessible places under the driver's seat where I drop loose change?

There's a selling point: More than $20,000 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are lost in the car. You just have to be a fearless explorer to find them. Indiana Jones and the Honda of Doom.

As to color, it's hunter green. A decade ago, this shade was fashionable for both vehicles and suburban living rooms. Now it causes people to think, "Yeech, that car must be 10 years old."

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to tell you the vehicle has been in, uh, a few minor mishaps. Actually, it's been bashed so many times, I was convinced a powerful electromagnet had been surreptitiously installed under the hood.

The first accident occurred less than 48 hours after I bought it brand new -- my first new car. A Buckhead knucklehead in a twice-the-size SUV T-boned me coming out of a strip mall. Devastated, I called the insurance company.

"Oh, that's nothing," the claims person said. "I've had people who got hit five minutes after they bought the car. You know, they're excited, unfamiliar with the controls and ..." bango. New car smell and $3,175 worth of damage. All in one day.

Now I'd be lucky to get that amount for the car. This gladsome tiding came to me via the Kelly Blue Book. I don't know who Kelly is, but his book is the right color.  He (or she) really bummed me out with  the news.

And that's the "private party transaction "value , i.e., if I turned used car dealer and got some sucker, uh, interested party to buy the thing. The vehicle's trade-in value at a bona fide car dealership would probably buy a sack of groceries. Assuming, of course, that you don't eat meat.

I should have faced this sooner and bought a new car a couple of years ago. Because now we have two vehicles with enough total mileage to have reached the moon and get partway back. Both are in advanced states of decrepitude. Before long, both will have to be replaced.

We thought we were pretty smart for a while because everything was bought and paid for. Because not having one car payment is nice. Not having two car payments is outright ecstasy. But the automotive gods require sacrifice.

And that means visiting the car dealership, where swaggering weasel wisenheimers who scream at me on the radio -- where at least I can turn them off -- will trot out lines of dialogue unchanged since the dawn of the automotive age:

"I want to put you in this car!"

Yeah? I want to put you in a car, too. Preferably one with no brakes that's careening down a steep mountain road. Minus the guardrail.

"Let me talk to my manager."

They always have to call the manager. They can't stand, sit or belch without consulting the manager. Hitler, were he to visit an American car dealership, would say, "''Du lieber Gott''! Now that's totalitarianism."

The dealership is also like a funeral parlor. You know it's there. You know it's expensive. You don't want to go. But you wind up there just the same.

Think about it. Most bad life experiences involve a car. The nerve-jangling driver's test. The endless Soviet-style lines, delays and bureaucracy that go with getting a license. Lying mechanics and the bills they tell. Any wrecks you have along the way. And, of course, when you're dead, they slide you into the hearse for that last ride.

So you make the pearly gates, and some angelic factotum asks why you should be allowed in. You recount any good deeds you've done, recalling the people you helped along life's too-brief way.

And the angel riffles though the paperwork, sighs a deep sigh, and says:

"Let me talk to my manager."

__[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]__
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Because I want you to have this car.

And I can, you know. It's my car. I can do whatever I want with it. And right now, I want it gone.

I want to sell it, buy another car and do what I did with the old one. Spend the next decade getting hit, being mired in traffic, shelling out ad valorem tax to the boys in the Statehouse and, in general, enjoying all the rights and privileges that go with owning a rapidly depreciating — not to mention decelerating — asset.

It's a 1994 Honda Accord with 135,000 miles on the odometer. I enjoy it when people tell you miles are "on the odometer." Could some miles have accumulated elsewhere? In the glove box, perhaps? Or one of those fiendishly inaccessible places under the driver's seat where I drop loose change?

There's a selling point: More than $20,000 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are lost in the car. You just have to be a fearless explorer to find them. Indiana Jones and the Honda of Doom.

As to color, it's hunter green. A decade ago, this shade was fashionable for both vehicles and suburban living rooms. Now it causes people to think, "Yeech, that car must be 10 years old."

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to tell you the vehicle has been in, uh, a few minor mishaps. Actually, it's been bashed so many times, I was convinced a powerful electromagnet had been surreptitiously installed under the hood.

The first accident occurred less than 48 hours after I bought it brand new — my first new car. A Buckhead knucklehead in a twice-the-size SUV T-boned me coming out of a strip mall. Devastated, I called the insurance company.

"Oh, that's nothing," the claims person said. "I've had people who got hit five minutes after they bought the car. You know, they're excited, unfamiliar with the controls and ..." bango. New car smell and $3,175 worth of damage. All in one day.

Now I'd be lucky to get that amount for the car. This gladsome tiding came to me via the Kelly Blue Book. I don't know who Kelly is, but his book is the right color.  He (or she) really bummed me out with  the news.

And that's the "private party transaction "value , i.e., if I turned used car dealer and got some sucker, uh, interested party to buy the thing. The vehicle's trade-in value at a bona fide car dealership would probably buy a sack of groceries. Assuming, of course, that you don't eat meat.

I should have faced this sooner and bought a new car a couple of years ago. Because now we have two vehicles with enough total mileage to have reached the moon and get partway back. Both are in advanced states of decrepitude. Before long, both will have to be replaced.

We thought we were pretty smart for a while because everything was bought and paid for. Because not having one car payment is nice. Not having two car payments is outright ecstasy. But the automotive gods require sacrifice.

And that means visiting the car dealership, where swaggering weasel wisenheimers who scream at me on the radio — where at least I can turn them off — will trot out lines of dialogue unchanged since the dawn of the automotive age:

"I want to put you in this car!"

Yeah? I want to put you in a car, too. Preferably one with no brakes that's careening down a steep mountain road. Minus the guardrail.

"Let me talk to my manager."

They always have to call the manager. They can't stand, sit or belch without consulting the manager. Hitler, were he to visit an American car dealership, would say, "Du lieber Gott! Now that's totalitarianism."

The dealership is also like a funeral parlor. You know it's there. You know it's expensive. You don't want to go. But you wind up there just the same.

Think about it. Most bad life experiences involve a car. The nerve-jangling driver's test. The endless Soviet-style lines, delays and bureaucracy that go with getting a license. Lying mechanics and the bills they tell. Any wrecks you have along the way. And, of course, when you're dead, they slide you into the hearse for that last ride.

So you make the pearly gates, and some angelic factotum asks why you should be allowed in. You recount any good deeds you've done, recalling the people you helped along life's too-brief way.

And the angel riffles though the paperwork, sighs a deep sigh, and says:

"Let me talk to my manager."

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery lives in Alpharetta, an old Cherokee term for "hunter green."             13014870 1248232                          Talk of the Town - Indiana weasel June 10 2004 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday June 10, 2004 12:04 am EDT
And the Honda of Doom | more...
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  string(2895) "Real-estate agents  dream of Shawn Moseley's inexpensively built, two-story loft. His home's simplistic design allows for easy and affordable additions, which could translate into a high profit margin if he ever sells it. Moseley built the house as part of a Community Housing Resource Center project after studying different types of building material that deteriorate in Georgia's tropical climate.

Shawn: Things like carpet, roof shingles and asphalt don't last. So my house was built out of concrete and galvanized steel. A lot of people would look at my home and call it a house, but it's more like a foundation. Right now, its got concrete floors and those could easily be turned into hardwood floors. And I could pull out the toilet and some other things in the bathroom without a problem. I'll make the bathroom nice once I get a girlfriend. That's the cool thing about it. It was designed to be conducive to upgrading, and if I found a cooler set of windows, I could take out of the older windows and replace them.

Creative Loafing: What was your inspiration for the design? Is the house meant to foster a particular feeling you've experienced in music or literature?

The design for this house is based on early New York-style lofts. It's built to meet requirements. We built enough to make the city let me live here.

So, you were not thinking about playing music here initially? The open space seems like a good place to practice.

Well, I don't play a lot of music. Some of the bands I manage have considered recording music here, but it hasn't happened yet. This house was kind of a culmination of my time as an architect, I built it right after I finished studying architecture at Southern Polytechnic Institute. After graduating, I started looking for a place to live, and I contacted an architect friend of mine involved with the Community Housing Resource Center. They wanted to build some experimental, long-term, low-cost housing, so my friend and I sketched out the design. There were seven people involved with the build, and we finished the house in seven months.

Seven months? That's a quick build. 

Yeah, it didn't take long.

Did you meet your future neighbors during construction? Also, I have to ask since you live just off Boulevard, is this a rough area?

I think what's remarkable about this neighborhood is that nobody on this street gives a shit about what color you are. We all get along pretty well. Aside from an occasional police siren and fire engine, I rarely hear anything. On the weekends, I hear music coming from cars. It's loud and there's lots of bass, but that's OK because I play lots of treble.

So everyone gets along pretty well?

I had some friends visit during the build, and they ended up moving into the neighborhood. Most of the people in this community get along. We have barbecues and picnics together.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
"
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  string(2974) "__Real-estate agents __ dream of Shawn Moseley's inexpensively built, two-story loft. His home's simplistic design allows for easy and affordable additions, which could translate into a high profit margin if he ever sells it. Moseley built the house as part of a Community Housing Resource Center project after studying different types of building material that deteriorate in Georgia's tropical climate.

__Shawn:__ Things like carpet, roof shingles and asphalt don't last. So my house was built out of concrete and galvanized steel. A lot of people would look at my home and call it a house, but it's more like a foundation. Right now, its got concrete floors and those could easily be turned into hardwood floors. And I could pull out the toilet and some other things in the bathroom without a problem. I'll make the bathroom nice once I get a girlfriend. That's the cool thing about it. It was designed to be conducive to upgrading, and if I found a cooler set of windows, I could take out of the older windows and replace them.

__''Creative Loafing:''__ __What was your inspiration for the design? Is the house meant to foster a particular feeling you've experienced in music or literature?__

The design for this house is based on early New York-style lofts. It's built to meet requirements. We built enough to make the city let me live here.

__So, you were not thinking about playing music here initially? The open space seems like a good place to practice.__

Well, I don't play a lot of music. Some of the bands I manage have considered recording music here, but it hasn't happened yet. This house was kind of a culmination of my time as an architect, I built it right after I finished studying architecture at Southern Polytechnic Institute. After graduating, I started looking for a place to live, and I contacted an architect friend of mine involved with the Community Housing Resource Center. They wanted to build some experimental, long-term, low-cost housing, so my friend and I sketched out the design. There were seven people involved with the build, and we finished the house in seven months.

__Seven months? That's a quick build. __

Yeah, it didn't take long.

__Did you meet your future neighbors during construction? Also, I have to ask since you live just off Boulevard, is this a rough area?__

I think what's remarkable about this neighborhood is that nobody on this street gives a shit about what color you are. We all get along pretty well. Aside from an occasional police siren and fire engine, I rarely hear anything. On the weekends, I hear music coming from cars. It's loud and there's lots of bass, but that's OK because I play lots of treble.

__So everyone gets along pretty well?__

I had some friends visit during the build, and they ended up moving into the neighborhood. Most of the people in this community get along. We have barbecues and picnics together.

__[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]__
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Shawn: Things like carpet, roof shingles and asphalt don't last. So my house was built out of concrete and galvanized steel. A lot of people would look at my home and call it a house, but it's more like a foundation. Right now, its got concrete floors and those could easily be turned into hardwood floors. And I could pull out the toilet and some other things in the bathroom without a problem. I'll make the bathroom nice once I get a girlfriend. That's the cool thing about it. It was designed to be conducive to upgrading, and if I found a cooler set of windows, I could take out of the older windows and replace them.

Creative Loafing: What was your inspiration for the design? Is the house meant to foster a particular feeling you've experienced in music or literature?

The design for this house is based on early New York-style lofts. It's built to meet requirements. We built enough to make the city let me live here.

So, you were not thinking about playing music here initially? The open space seems like a good place to practice.

Well, I don't play a lot of music. Some of the bands I manage have considered recording music here, but it hasn't happened yet. This house was kind of a culmination of my time as an architect, I built it right after I finished studying architecture at Southern Polytechnic Institute. After graduating, I started looking for a place to live, and I contacted an architect friend of mine involved with the Community Housing Resource Center. They wanted to build some experimental, long-term, low-cost housing, so my friend and I sketched out the design. There were seven people involved with the build, and we finished the house in seven months.

Seven months? That's a quick build. 

Yeah, it didn't take long.

Did you meet your future neighbors during construction? Also, I have to ask since you live just off Boulevard, is this a rough area?

I think what's remarkable about this neighborhood is that nobody on this street gives a shit about what color you are. We all get along pretty well. Aside from an occasional police siren and fire engine, I rarely hear anything. On the weekends, I hear music coming from cars. It's loud and there's lots of bass, but that's OK because I play lots of treble.

So everyone gets along pretty well?

I had some friends visit during the build, and they ended up moving into the neighborhood. Most of the people in this community get along. We have barbecues and picnics together.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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Thursday June 10, 2004 12:04 am EDT
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Thursday June 10, 2004 12:04 am EDT
If you are attacked by a zombie, just remember: Duck, roll and shoot it in the head with your shotgun. That's a big reason we still have the Second Amendment ... zombie attacks. | more...
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  string(2798) "Just last week, I had the opportunity to visit Scotty Scottman himself, Scott Shapiro, the producer of 790 the Zone's "Mayhem in the AM," at his home on the outskirts of Inman Park. Nice place, nice neighborhood, but with potential rock-throwing skirmishes.

Creative Loafing: So walking up to your home, amazingly, you guys have taken your retaining wall and re-created a portion of the Green Monster from Fenway Park.

Scott: Just a concrete wall. Painted it green, yellow foul post, dimensions and distance to home plate. Adds a lot of character, I think. Can't really take credit for it, though. I mean, I could, but my roommates did it.

And after passing the faux Green Monster, guests round the corner and discover ...

The putting green. On Sunday afternoons, 85 degrees outside, there's nothing better to do than grab a putter, step right outside and have some fun. You can sit there for a couple hours. Just a lot of fun.

And the square turf on the porch is for pitching?

Absolutely. You gotta be multidimensional.

An all-around short game practice area.

We've got it all covered. No sand, but ...

But what are you going to do? Complain?

Right. It's all great. And my favorites: the big screen TV and, of course, TiVO. There's nothing better in the world than TiVO. The Braves game we're watching now, we wanna see that play again. Boom, there it is again! The greatest invention since sliced bread, you know, maybe even better than that.

I don't know. Sliced bread gives you nourishment; TiVO doesn't do that.

Speak for yourself.

Clearly you're a ridiculously committed sports fan as we watch the Braves game during this interview. Plus, sports memorabilia everywhere in your house.

Everything was basically accounted for when I moved in. My roommates again. All of the posters, the signs, the bobble head collection ... .

So you pretty much lucked into living in an environment that lends itself to your zealous fandom?

That is a fair statement. It's been a real good situation. You can walk to the Highlands. I am not an advocate of drinking and driving, so it's nice to be able to walk.

And speaking of locale, it's hard not to notice this large sign on your refrigerator that reads "30307: It's not just a ZIP code, it's a lifestyle."

It is a lifestyle. You know what, the longer I've lived here, the more I've come to realize it's definitely a lifestyle, a zest for life. And people that are even one ZIP code over, they just don't have that outlook, the happiness, that sense of being, that drive.

You've got to be careful. You'll start a little zip code war with your neighbors.

Oh, it's already on. We throw rocks at each other. I mean, I've never been hit, but it happens.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com

Mayhem in the AM is on 790AM weekday mornings, 6-10 a.m.
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__[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]__
____
__''Mayhem in the AM is on 790AM weekday mornings, 6-10 a.m.''__
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cityhomes@creativeloafing.com

Mayhem in the AM is on 790AM weekday mornings, 6-10 a.m.
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America is many things. The Land of Opportunity. A Shining City on a Hill.

Now it's One Big Shower Stall.

Not because of flooding or mold. But because Americans won't stop singing. Every time I turn on the tube, someone is belting out a tune.

It's Shower Stall Syndrome run amuck. We all think we sound great singing in the shower. Tile acoustics. Steam heat to moisten the vocal chords. Plus, you're naked. If those inhibitions aren't at a bare minimum by now, you must be Calvin Coolidge.

But behind the cloud of Lifebuoy suds, we all know, at least we should know, that we stink — talent-wise, that is. I mean, most people don't sing well. Or at least with enough panache to merit company.

For decades, it didn't matter. Since the invention of the shower stall, the gentleperson's agreement was simple: Sing all you want, but keep it behind the curtain.

Not anymore. Television, in its quest for inexpensive drama that brings high ratings, is pitting horrifically untalented people against each other and foisting them on the viewing public. "American Idol" is the apotheosis of this trend.

I remember thinking the first "American Idol" was kind of cute. Until I realized that these screaming polecats weren't going away. Like relatives who visit for the holidays — and then never leave.

The show's recently concluded season rippled through metro Atlanta because of the plucky young woman who made it to No. 2 in the finals. She hails from Snellville, where the civic saying, I am told, is "Everybody is somebody."

Could be a motto at the county  coroner's office.

Snellville folks are proud of their songstress and jammed the Georgia Dome, along with Gov. Sonny, to cheer her long-distance on the big night. For some, loyalty meant going the extra, quasi-ethical mile.

Such as the guy on the radio, before her defeat. A landsman of the contestant, he related how he tele-voted for her at least 100 times, and that a friend was working on an automatic-dialing thingamabob to generate even more "yes" calls for the hometown gal.

Actual artistic merit didn't seem to enter into it. And it wouldn't matter if a majority of people actually thought a contestant was good, so long as said aspirant received a slew of repeat votes. There's no sense, or belief, that innate ability is enough. Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

Who said that? Oh yeah, Mussolini. Shortly before they strung him upside down outside a Milan gas station.

So why is "American Idol" such a huge hit? One theory is that, with all the agita caused by global turmoil and terrorism, we seek escape. Personally, I'm less scared of Ayman al-Zawahiri's latest threat to turn the East Coast into infidel paste and more frightened by the umpteenth off-key demand that "A Hero Lies in You."

And why do so many people want to entertain? Why is America bursting with people determined to perform? Why is there such a surplus of people ready to do something we don't need at all, even as we experience an acute shortage of teachers, nurses and unindicted corporate CEOs?

Do they have this problem overseas? Is there a "Senegalese Idol"? Are millions of French teenagers lined up to declare "A Crepe Suzette Lies in Vous"? I don't know. I don't want to know.

Forgive the diatribe. It's been building for a long time, ever since junior high when a traveling troupe of singers visited for an assembly. They were called Up With People, and their big number was titled, not surprisingly, "Up With People."

They were young (though older than seventh-grade me), peppy and represented more ethnic groups than the U.N. General Assembly. They were supposed to convey the message that humankind is one big, happy — relentlessly happy — global family. Trouble was, Up With People stank, even if seeing them did get me out of an Earth science test.

This was just the beginning. Over the years it's become clear that, given the national penchant for fourth-rate performance, Americans need an audience far more than they do entertainment.

So I wonder: Can we, the nonperforming population, perform a public service by just sitting there and listening to the innumerable, untalented hambones desperate for mass approval? Could that be our gift to society?

Naaaah.

Make it stop. I just want the singing to stop. Or at least confined to a huge shower stall, accommodating several million people, installed somewhere in the Utah desert. Andy Warhol promised us each 15 minutes of fame. I'd trade mine for five minutes of silence.

So before the next season of "American Idol," I'm making my counter-programming suggestion to a rival network.

Shut Up With People.

Now that's a show.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery is Up With Alpharetta."
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Not anymore. Television, in its quest for inexpensive drama that brings high ratings, is pitting horrifically untalented people against each other and foisting them on the viewing public. "American Idol" is the apotheosis of this trend.

I remember thinking the first "American Idol" was kind of cute. Until I realized that these screaming polecats weren't going away. Like relatives who visit for the holidays -- and then never leave.

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Who said that? Oh yeah, Mussolini. Shortly before they strung him upside down outside a Milan gas station.

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Do they have this problem overseas? Is there a "Senegalese Idol"? Are millions of French teenagers lined up to declare "A Crepe Suzette Lies in Vous"? I don't know. I don't want to know.

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So I wonder: Can we, the nonperforming population, perform a public service by just sitting there and listening to the innumerable, untalented hambones desperate for mass approval? Could that be our gift to society?

Naaaah.

Make it stop. I just want the singing to stop. Or at least confined to a huge shower stall, accommodating several million people, installed somewhere in the Utah desert. Andy Warhol promised us each 15 minutes of fame. I'd trade mine for five minutes of silence.

So before the next season of "American Idol," I'm making my counter-programming suggestion to a rival network.

Shut Up With People.

Now that's a show.

__[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]__
____
____
''Glen Slattery is Up With Alpharetta.''"
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  string(5033) "    But someplace else, OK?   2004-06-03T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Gotta sing, gotta dance June 03 2004   Glen Slattery 1223649 2004-06-03T04:04:00+00:00  

America is many things. The Land of Opportunity. A Shining City on a Hill.

Now it's One Big Shower Stall.

Not because of flooding or mold. But because Americans won't stop singing. Every time I turn on the tube, someone is belting out a tune.

It's Shower Stall Syndrome run amuck. We all think we sound great singing in the shower. Tile acoustics. Steam heat to moisten the vocal chords. Plus, you're naked. If those inhibitions aren't at a bare minimum by now, you must be Calvin Coolidge.

But behind the cloud of Lifebuoy suds, we all know, at least we should know, that we stink — talent-wise, that is. I mean, most people don't sing well. Or at least with enough panache to merit company.

For decades, it didn't matter. Since the invention of the shower stall, the gentleperson's agreement was simple: Sing all you want, but keep it behind the curtain.

Not anymore. Television, in its quest for inexpensive drama that brings high ratings, is pitting horrifically untalented people against each other and foisting them on the viewing public. "American Idol" is the apotheosis of this trend.

I remember thinking the first "American Idol" was kind of cute. Until I realized that these screaming polecats weren't going away. Like relatives who visit for the holidays — and then never leave.

The show's recently concluded season rippled through metro Atlanta because of the plucky young woman who made it to No. 2 in the finals. She hails from Snellville, where the civic saying, I am told, is "Everybody is somebody."

Could be a motto at the county  coroner's office.

Snellville folks are proud of their songstress and jammed the Georgia Dome, along with Gov. Sonny, to cheer her long-distance on the big night. For some, loyalty meant going the extra, quasi-ethical mile.

Such as the guy on the radio, before her defeat. A landsman of the contestant, he related how he tele-voted for her at least 100 times, and that a friend was working on an automatic-dialing thingamabob to generate even more "yes" calls for the hometown gal.

Actual artistic merit didn't seem to enter into it. And it wouldn't matter if a majority of people actually thought a contestant was good, so long as said aspirant received a slew of repeat votes. There's no sense, or belief, that innate ability is enough. Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

Who said that? Oh yeah, Mussolini. Shortly before they strung him upside down outside a Milan gas station.

So why is "American Idol" such a huge hit? One theory is that, with all the agita caused by global turmoil and terrorism, we seek escape. Personally, I'm less scared of Ayman al-Zawahiri's latest threat to turn the East Coast into infidel paste and more frightened by the umpteenth off-key demand that "A Hero Lies in You."

And why do so many people want to entertain? Why is America bursting with people determined to perform? Why is there such a surplus of people ready to do something we don't need at all, even as we experience an acute shortage of teachers, nurses and unindicted corporate CEOs?

Do they have this problem overseas? Is there a "Senegalese Idol"? Are millions of French teenagers lined up to declare "A Crepe Suzette Lies in Vous"? I don't know. I don't want to know.

Forgive the diatribe. It's been building for a long time, ever since junior high when a traveling troupe of singers visited for an assembly. They were called Up With People, and their big number was titled, not surprisingly, "Up With People."

They were young (though older than seventh-grade me), peppy and represented more ethnic groups than the U.N. General Assembly. They were supposed to convey the message that humankind is one big, happy — relentlessly happy — global family. Trouble was, Up With People stank, even if seeing them did get me out of an Earth science test.

This was just the beginning. Over the years it's become clear that, given the national penchant for fourth-rate performance, Americans need an audience far more than they do entertainment.

So I wonder: Can we, the nonperforming population, perform a public service by just sitting there and listening to the innumerable, untalented hambones desperate for mass approval? Could that be our gift to society?

Naaaah.

Make it stop. I just want the singing to stop. Or at least confined to a huge shower stall, accommodating several million people, installed somewhere in the Utah desert. Andy Warhol promised us each 15 minutes of fame. I'd trade mine for five minutes of silence.

So before the next season of "American Idol," I'm making my counter-programming suggestion to a rival network.

Shut Up With People.

Now that's a show.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery is Up With Alpharetta.             13014804 1248106                          Talk of the Town - Gotta sing, gotta dance June 03 2004 "
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  string(4616) " Life is full of contradictory concepts. Fat-free hot dog. Low-carb beer. Bush administration.

Now this: "Storage facility garage sale."

Yes, the local catacomb harboring a metric ton of stuff I can neither fit into my home nor get the garbage man to take, offers a third way: the chance for us pack rats to sell it off.

It would seem to challenge the very foundation on which storage — a zillion-dollar business in the United States of Stuff — is based. Because no stuff equals no storage — and no dopes like me paying rent to keep stuff in storage.

Hey, if the storage barons want to commit commercial suicide and permit me to profit, who am I to stand in the way?

Besides, the whole storage unit thing creeps me out. Look at the people who rent them. Every serial killer fits the following profile: 1) childhood misfit; 2) adult loner; 3) keeps remains of victims in storage unit.

The last time we stopped by our unit, one night after work, the only vehicle there besides ours was a giant black SUV with blacked out windows and a festive "Fear This" license plate, accompanied by a big yellow smiley face on the back of the rearview mirror.

We decided to come back another time.

The excuse for our storage unit is this: It was acquired under duress when we were trying to sell the house. Although it can be argued that the phrases "when we were trying to sell the house" and "under duress" are redundant.

Because the first thing a Realtor says about your home is: "It's too crowded in here." So you hide half your belongings to show there's enough living space and that you live like Mahatma Gandhi.

Which brings us back to the storage sale. The management company went all out to promote the event, placing as many as one ad in the Goobertown Intelligencer, a freebie paper reaching half-a-subdivision where all the people are vacationing or foreclosed on.

The massive publicity campaign was backed up by an equal amount of signage, a placard the size of those nuisance postcards that fall out of magazines. "Garage Sale" it declaimed, in discreet lettering requiring a dedicated reader to use a jeweler's loupe.

Come sale Saturday, we got out of bed at a casual predawn hour favored by Welsh coal miners. Because if there's one thing garage sale browsers love, it's an early morning bargain. Another reason I've always been in debt.

Only a few storage  unit renters opted to participate in the sale, and one can imagine the thoughts of those who did not. "Hmmm, do I sleep in and then wake refreshed to enjoy a beautiful day? Or do I haul my carcass out of bed at 6 a.m. and schlep stuff around a stuffy, windowless box for five hours? Let's see ... ."

Despite the lack of sales outlets — or perhaps because of it — our household  did a brisk business hawking debris a  few bucks at time. The old chair fetched $10, the designer shower curtain $5.  And that wooden, well, whatever it was, went for $1.50. Before long, we had cleared $100.

As you'd expect, customers asked about price. Not for our stuff — that was marked. It was the storage units they were crazy about. Everyone wants to rent one. People are fascinated by storage. Americans may stink at saving money, but they love hoarding crap.

As for the sellers, I met one guy who regarded the entire storage unit phenomenon as an addictive curse. "I've got three of them," he muttered. "Once you're in, it's tough to get out." It was starting to resemble Godfather III, although I think our performances were better.

And the day did weave a curious, bric-a-bracky spell. Selling things, and obtaining hard cash for them, brings out the miser in you. So we had a cheap breakfast (thrifty alert: Publix features brewed-before-bleary-eyes coffee for 25 cents, not vastly different from the joe costing 600 percent more at Starbucks) and rode the caffeine/sugar high until noon, when abundant sunshine and low humidity chased everyone outdoors.

At which we packed up our Kansas City bankroll (one big bill surrounding a lot of little ones) and the storage concierge bid us adieu. Along with an invitation: "We hope you participate in our next garage sale this fall."

Great. My storage unit was almost empty. Now that they've hooked me with this Trader Vic shtick, I'll hoard junk all over again, just so I can sell more of it. And all my profit? It pays never-ending rent to the storage company.

I'm starting to think this zillion-dollar industry is in it for the money.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


i>Glen Slattery may have been a childhood misfit, but he resents any further comparisons.


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  string(4650) "__ Life is full __of contradictory concepts. Fat-free hot dog. Low-carb beer. Bush administration.

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Yes, the local catacomb harboring a metric ton of stuff I can neither fit into my home nor get the garbage man to take, offers a third way: the chance for us pack rats to sell it off.

It would seem to challenge the very foundation on which storage -- a zillion-dollar business in the United States of Stuff -- is based. Because no stuff equals no storage -- and no dopes like me paying rent to keep stuff in storage.

Hey, if the storage barons want to commit commercial suicide and permit me to profit, who am I to stand in the way?

Besides, the whole storage unit thing creeps me out. Look at the people who rent them. Every serial killer fits the following profile: 1) childhood misfit; 2) adult loner; 3) keeps remains of victims in storage unit.

The last time we stopped by our unit, one night after work, the only vehicle there besides ours was a giant black SUV with blacked out windows and a festive "Fear This" license plate, accompanied by a big yellow smiley face on the back of the rearview mirror.

We decided to come back another time.

The excuse for our storage unit is this: It was acquired under duress when we were trying to sell the house. Although it can be argued that the phrases "when we were trying to sell the house" and "under duress" are redundant.

Because the first thing a Realtor says about your home is: "It's too crowded in here." So you hide half your belongings to show there's enough living space and that you live like Mahatma Gandhi.

Which brings us back to the storage sale. The management company went all out to promote the event, placing as many as one ad in the ''Goobertown Intelligencer'', a freebie paper reaching half-a-subdivision where all the people are vacationing or foreclosed on.

The massive publicity campaign was backed up by an equal amount of signage, a placard the size of those nuisance postcards that fall out of magazines. "Garage Sale" it declaimed, in discreet lettering requiring a dedicated reader to use a jeweler's loupe.

Come sale Saturday, we got out of bed at a casual predawn hour favored by Welsh coal miners. Because if there's one thing garage sale browsers love, it's an early morning bargain. Another reason I've always been in debt.

Only a few storage  unit renters opted to participate in the sale, and one can imagine the thoughts of those who did not. "Hmmm, do I sleep in and then wake refreshed to enjoy a beautiful day? Or do I haul my carcass out of bed at 6 a.m. and schlep stuff around a stuffy, windowless box for five hours? Let's see ... ."

Despite the lack of sales outlets -- or perhaps because of it -- our household  did a brisk business hawking debris a  few bucks at time. The old chair fetched $10, the designer shower curtain $5.  And that wooden, well, whatever it was, went for $1.50. Before long, we had cleared $100.

As you'd expect, customers asked about price. Not for our stuff -- that was marked. It was the storage units they were crazy about. Everyone wants to rent one. People are fascinated by storage. Americans may stink at saving money, but they love hoarding crap.

As for the sellers, I met one guy who regarded the entire storage unit phenomenon as an addictive curse. "I've got three of them," he muttered. "Once you're in, it's tough to get out." It was starting to resemble ''Godfather III'', although I think our performances were better.

And the day did weave a curious, bric-a-bracky spell. Selling things, and obtaining hard cash for them, brings out the miser in you. So we had a cheap breakfast (thrifty alert: Publix features brewed-before-bleary-eyes coffee for 25 cents, not vastly different from the joe costing 600 percent more at Starbucks) and rode the caffeine/sugar high until noon, when abundant sunshine and low humidity chased everyone outdoors.

At which we packed up our Kansas City bankroll (one big bill surrounding a lot of little ones) and the storage concierge bid us adieu. Along with an invitation: "We hope you participate in our next garage sale this fall."

Great. My storage unit was almost empty. Now that they've hooked me with this Trader Vic shtick, I'll hoard junk all over again, just so I can sell more of it. And all my profit? It pays never-ending rent to the storage company.

I'm starting to think this zillion-dollar industry is in it for the money.

__[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]__


i>Glen Slattery may have been a childhood misfit, but he resents any further comparisons.____

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Now this: "Storage facility garage sale."

Yes, the local catacomb harboring a metric ton of stuff I can neither fit into my home nor get the garbage man to take, offers a third way: the chance for us pack rats to sell it off.

It would seem to challenge the very foundation on which storage — a zillion-dollar business in the United States of Stuff — is based. Because no stuff equals no storage — and no dopes like me paying rent to keep stuff in storage.

Hey, if the storage barons want to commit commercial suicide and permit me to profit, who am I to stand in the way?

Besides, the whole storage unit thing creeps me out. Look at the people who rent them. Every serial killer fits the following profile: 1) childhood misfit; 2) adult loner; 3) keeps remains of victims in storage unit.

The last time we stopped by our unit, one night after work, the only vehicle there besides ours was a giant black SUV with blacked out windows and a festive "Fear This" license plate, accompanied by a big yellow smiley face on the back of the rearview mirror.

We decided to come back another time.

The excuse for our storage unit is this: It was acquired under duress when we were trying to sell the house. Although it can be argued that the phrases "when we were trying to sell the house" and "under duress" are redundant.

Because the first thing a Realtor says about your home is: "It's too crowded in here." So you hide half your belongings to show there's enough living space and that you live like Mahatma Gandhi.

Which brings us back to the storage sale. The management company went all out to promote the event, placing as many as one ad in the Goobertown Intelligencer, a freebie paper reaching half-a-subdivision where all the people are vacationing or foreclosed on.

The massive publicity campaign was backed up by an equal amount of signage, a placard the size of those nuisance postcards that fall out of magazines. "Garage Sale" it declaimed, in discreet lettering requiring a dedicated reader to use a jeweler's loupe.

Come sale Saturday, we got out of bed at a casual predawn hour favored by Welsh coal miners. Because if there's one thing garage sale browsers love, it's an early morning bargain. Another reason I've always been in debt.

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Despite the lack of sales outlets — or perhaps because of it — our household  did a brisk business hawking debris a  few bucks at time. The old chair fetched $10, the designer shower curtain $5.  And that wooden, well, whatever it was, went for $1.50. Before long, we had cleared $100.

As you'd expect, customers asked about price. Not for our stuff — that was marked. It was the storage units they were crazy about. Everyone wants to rent one. People are fascinated by storage. Americans may stink at saving money, but they love hoarding crap.

As for the sellers, I met one guy who regarded the entire storage unit phenomenon as an addictive curse. "I've got three of them," he muttered. "Once you're in, it's tough to get out." It was starting to resemble Godfather III, although I think our performances were better.

And the day did weave a curious, bric-a-bracky spell. Selling things, and obtaining hard cash for them, brings out the miser in you. So we had a cheap breakfast (thrifty alert: Publix features brewed-before-bleary-eyes coffee for 25 cents, not vastly different from the joe costing 600 percent more at Starbucks) and rode the caffeine/sugar high until noon, when abundant sunshine and low humidity chased everyone outdoors.

At which we packed up our Kansas City bankroll (one big bill surrounding a lot of little ones) and the storage concierge bid us adieu. Along with an invitation: "We hope you participate in our next garage sale this fall."

Great. My storage unit was almost empty. Now that they've hooked me with this Trader Vic shtick, I'll hoard junk all over again, just so I can sell more of it. And all my profit? It pays never-ending rent to the storage company.

I'm starting to think this zillion-dollar industry is in it for the money.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


i>Glen Slattery may have been a childhood misfit, but he resents any further comparisons.


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Talk of the Town

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Creative Loafing: So,  why math?

David: Why do I teach it? I love it, I guess I was always good at it. I never thought I would be teaching it, but I started taking math courses in college and the next thing I knew, I almost had a degree in it.

How much do you talk about math in the house?

David: That'd be a better question for my wife. I can't help it. It gets the best of me sometimes. Every now and then, I'll get really excited about something and I'll come home and go on about that.

Do you like teaching at Salem?

David: Salem's a great place. It's a good school to get started teaching and it's a very nurturing place.

What time you have to get up to be at school at 8:30 a.m.?

David: To leave from here it takes about half an hour, so I need to be able to leave by 7 a.m. Any later than that and the traffic gets me.

In the guest room's bright green walls and open closet, we find that David is keeping a very lazy secret.

David: Since we really don't have too much closet space, I guess it's kinda my closet.

You have your shirts' sleeves already rolled up.

David: I hate having long sleeves. I guess it's the tight buttons on my wrists. It drives  me crazy.

On the wall next to David's closet is a picture of Christina's grandfather in front of a number-covered chalkboard.

David: Christina's grandfather is a math teacher.

Christina: He's got his sleeves rolled up, too.

Do you consider yourself a math nerd?

David: Yeah, no doubt.

Christina: He's definitely a math nerd. It's a good thing because he is really passionate about what he does

Are you a natural red?



David: Mostly. It depends  on the time of year, though,  'cause in the summer it gets a  lot more red.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like Doogie Howser?

David: Somebody used to always rub it in that I looked like Doogie Howser, um, I think it was three years ago, there was a ninth-grade girl who could never let it down.

Christina: It seems like less, though, as you get older, you know?

David: Of course now it's Chuckie's dad from "Rugrats" and the guy from Weezer.

But I bet Chuckie's dad doesn't know 31 digits of pi.



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__You have your shirts' sleeves already rolled up.__
____
____David: I hate having long sleeves. I guess it's the tight buttons on my wrists. It drives  me crazy.

''On the wall next to David's closet is a picture of Christina's grandfather in front of a number-covered chalkboard.''

__David:__ Christina's grandfather is a math teacher.

__Christina:__ He's got his sleeves rolled up, too.

__Do you consider yourself a math nerd?__

__David:__ Yeah, no doubt.

__Christina:__ He's definitely a math nerd. It's a good thing because he is really passionate about what he does

__Are you a natural red?__
____
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__David:__ Mostly. It depends  on the time of year, though,  'cause in the summer it gets a  lot more red.

__Has anyone ever told you that you look like Doogie Howser?__

__David:__ Somebody used to always rub it in that I looked like Doogie Howser, um, I think it was three years ago, there was a ninth-grade girl who could never let it down.

__Christina:__ It seems like less, though, as you get older, you know?

__David:__ Of course now it's Chuckie's dad from "Rugrats" and the guy from Weezer.

''But I bet Chuckie's dad doesn't know 31 digits of pi.''
''''
''''

__[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]__
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You have your shirts' sleeves already rolled up.

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On the wall next to David's closet is a picture of Christina's grandfather in front of a number-covered chalkboard.

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Do you consider yourself a math nerd?

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Are you a natural red?



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Has anyone ever told you that you look like Doogie Howser?

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Christina: It seems like less, though, as you get older, you know?

David: Of course now it's Chuckie's dad from "Rugrats" and the guy from Weezer.

But I bet Chuckie's dad doesn't know 31 digits of pi.



cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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Talk of the Town

Thursday May 20, 2004 12:04 am EDT
And there's a big slice in Valleybrook Estates | more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday May 20, 2004 12:04 am EDT
Bottled water is just water. Don't believe the hype. And once they're empty, those bottles could be thrown at your head. I'm just say'n ... that would hurt. | more...