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January 2019


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  string(2944) "Walking into Kevin Huynh's Suwanee lakefront home is like traveling back to 18th century. The odd style of the house, Kevin says, is "half-Victorian, half-Vietnamese." First of all, there's a framed, silk needlepoint titled The Fatherland depicting everyday farm life in Vietnam. It's a horizontal portrait spanning 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and is the central ornament of the living room. Right below it stands a statue of an angel in the Birth of Venus pose.

Stretching from floor to ceiling on the adjacent wall is a stone fireplace. On the fireplace's platform stand two marble carvings of dragons facing one another and a few young bamboo stalks. (These, however, were not purchased from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.) The view from the kitchen's wall-to-wall windows reveals the home's private dock resting on the lakeshore. The metal table set, painted white with two chairs and an umbrella, looks like it belongs at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

Creative Loafing: Why have you dubbed this home Victorian/Vietnamese?

Kevin Huynh: Well, it's Victorian because of all the gold and warm colors. It's got a darker feel than contemporary, which are mainly bright colors and silver. And it's Vietnamese because, even with all the Victorian elements in the house, there are also all these Asian elements. Upstairs, though you can't see them right now, there are four huge mirrors, which play into the Asian belief that evil can be warded off by reflecting it away. My mother loves mirrors, but she bought better-looking mirrors than those little ones that most Asian people use.

Who decorated the house? And where did you get all of your furniture?

My mother basically did all the decorating. When we bought it in February of 2001, the house already had all the colors she wanted. On top of that, she loved the fireplace because it's very original — most mantles are wooden, and the stones on this fireplace reach all the way to the ceiling. So, she just bought a few things to go with the color scheme, like real — and some fake — plants and the mirrors upstairs.

Tell me more about the needlepoint. It must have taken a very long time  to make.

Roughly translated from Vietnamese, it's called The Fatherland, but it's the same as what Americans know as the motherland. They're both silk stitchings we bought from Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. They were about a couple hundred each and both took a lot of work, and the prices depend on the amount of work put into them. These types of stitchings could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. They took about a month to ship them over here because they had to come by boat. The tiger one has got what I like to call "Asian coolness" because it's like the dragons and other mythic animals that are part of the Asian culture. It's my favorite; it's so detailed that you can see every single hair on its body.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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Stretching from floor to ceiling on the adjacent wall is a stone fireplace. On the fireplace's platform stand two marble carvings of dragons facing one another and a few young bamboo stalks. (These, however, were ''not'' purchased from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.) The view from the kitchen's wall-to-wall windows reveals the home's private dock resting on the lakeshore. The metal table set, painted white with two chairs and an umbrella, looks like it belongs at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

__''Creative Loafing'': Why have you dubbed this home Victorian/Vietnamese?__

__Kevin Huynh:__ Well, it's Victorian because of all the gold and warm colors. It's got a darker feel than contemporary, which are mainly bright colors and silver. And it's Vietnamese because, even with all the Victorian elements in the house, there are also all these Asian elements. Upstairs, though you can't see them right now, there are four huge mirrors, which play into the Asian belief that evil can be warded off by reflecting it away. My mother ''loves'' mirrors, but she bought better-looking mirrors than those little ones that most Asian people use.

__Who decorated the house? And where did you get all of your furniture?__

My mother basically did all the decorating. When we bought it in February of 2001, the house already had all the colors she wanted. On top of that, she loved the fireplace because it's very original -- most mantles are wooden, and the stones on this fireplace reach all the way to the ceiling. So, she just bought a few things to go with the color scheme, like real -- and some fake -- plants and the mirrors upstairs.

__Tell me more about the needlepoint. It must have taken a very long time  to make.__

Roughly translated from Vietnamese, it's called ''The Fatherland'', but it's the same as what Americans know as the motherland. They're both silk stitchings we bought from Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. They were about a couple hundred each and both took a lot of work, and the prices depend on the amount of work put into them. These types of stitchings could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. They took about a month to ship them over here because they had to come by boat. The tiger one has got what I like to call "Asian coolness" because it's like the dragons and other mythic animals that are part of the Asian culture. It's my favorite; it's so detailed that you can see every single hair on its body.

__[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]__
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Stretching from floor to ceiling on the adjacent wall is a stone fireplace. On the fireplace's platform stand two marble carvings of dragons facing one another and a few young bamboo stalks. (These, however, were not purchased from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.) The view from the kitchen's wall-to-wall windows reveals the home's private dock resting on the lakeshore. The metal table set, painted white with two chairs and an umbrella, looks like it belongs at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

Creative Loafing: Why have you dubbed this home Victorian/Vietnamese?

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Who decorated the house? And where did you get all of your furniture?

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cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 28, 2003 12:04 am EDT
Half-breed Suwanee lakefront home | more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 28, 2003 12:04 am EDT
image-1 | more...
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  string(1426) "Why would anyone voluntarily wander into the Georgia wilderness with a chiropractor and his dog named Gator? To walk with the Dog Hikers of Georgia, a club dedicated to active dogs and their owners. Each Sunday at 10 a.m., the club meets for a five-mile hike over the easy, yet undeveloped terrain near Lake Allatoona.

"It's the only club in Georgia where members can run, jump, swim, play and sniff each other's privates," says Dr. Dan Batchelor, the club's founder. The good doctor began the weekly walks in December 1993 after he could find no other hiking club that allowed pooches to tag along. Since then, the club has grown so popular that between 30 and 40 dogs meet each week to frolic in the wilds of north Georgia.

The hike takes about an hour-and-a-half, Batchelor says, and stops are scheduled to allow the dogs to paddle the waters of Allatoona. And because the pace is moderate, anyone who can walk a 15-minute mile will have no problem keeping up with Rover. Be sure to bring your own swim trunks because at the end of the trek, the humans tend to join the dogs in Allatoona. Batchelor describes the scene as "like watching wildebeest cross a river."



The Dog Hikers of Georgia meets Sundays at 10 a.m., rain or shine. Take I-75 north to the Red Top Mountain exit, exit 285. Follow the signs to the dam and park in the dam parking lot near the Batchelor Clinic van. 24-Hour Dog Hiker hotline 770-992-2362. "
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  string(1655) "       2003-08-28T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Nature calls August 28 2003   Ed Beeson 1223918 2003-08-28T04:04:00+00:00  Why would anyone voluntarily wander into the Georgia wilderness with a chiropractor and his dog named Gator? To walk with the Dog Hikers of Georgia, a club dedicated to active dogs and their owners. Each Sunday at 10 a.m., the club meets for a five-mile hike over the easy, yet undeveloped terrain near Lake Allatoona.

"It's the only club in Georgia where members can run, jump, swim, play and sniff each other's privates," says Dr. Dan Batchelor, the club's founder. The good doctor began the weekly walks in December 1993 after he could find no other hiking club that allowed pooches to tag along. Since then, the club has grown so popular that between 30 and 40 dogs meet each week to frolic in the wilds of north Georgia.

The hike takes about an hour-and-a-half, Batchelor says, and stops are scheduled to allow the dogs to paddle the waters of Allatoona. And because the pace is moderate, anyone who can walk a 15-minute mile will have no problem keeping up with Rover. Be sure to bring your own swim trunks because at the end of the trek, the humans tend to join the dogs in Allatoona. Batchelor describes the scene as "like watching wildebeest cross a river."



The Dog Hikers of Georgia meets Sundays at 10 a.m., rain or shine. Take I-75 north to the Red Top Mountain exit, exit 285. Follow the signs to the dam and park in the dam parking lot near the Batchelor Clinic van. 24-Hour Dog Hiker hotline 770-992-2362.              13012234 1243458                          Talk of the Town - Nature calls August 28 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 28, 2003 12:04 am EDT

Why would anyone voluntarily wander into the Georgia wilderness with a chiropractor and his dog named Gator? To walk with the Dog Hikers of Georgia, a club dedicated to active dogs and their owners. Each Sunday at 10 a.m., the club meets for a five-mile hike over the easy, yet undeveloped terrain near Lake Allatoona.

"It's the only club in Georgia where members can run, jump, swim, play and...

| more...

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Kevin Huynh's Suwanee lakefront home is like traveling back to 18th century. The odd style of the house, Kevin says, is "half-Victorian, half-Vietnamese." First of all, there's a framed, silk needlepoint titled The Fatherland depicting everyday farm life in Vietnam. It's a horizontal portrait spanning 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and is the central ornament of the living room. Right below it stands a statue of an angel in the Birth of Venus pose.

Stretching from floor to ceiling on the adjacent wall is a stone fireplace. On the fireplace's platform stand two marble carvings of dragons facing one another and a few young bamboo stalks. (These, however, were not purchased from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.) The view from the kitchen's wall-to-wall windows reveals the home's private dock resting on the lakeshore. The metal table set, painted white with two chairs and an umbrella, looks like it belongs at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

Creative Loafing: Why have you dubbed this home Victorian/Vietnamese?

Kevin Huynh: Well, it's Victorian because of all the gold and warm colors. It's got a darker feel than contemporary, which are mainly bright colors and silver. And it's Vietnamese because, even with all the Victorian elements in the house, there are also all these Asian elements. Upstairs, though you can't see them right now, there are four huge mirrors, which play into the Asian belief that evil can be warded off by reflecting it away. My mother loves mirrors, but she bought better-looking mirrors than those little ones that most Asian people use.

Who decorated the house? And where did you get all of your furniture?

My mother basically did all the decorating. When we bought it in February of 2001, the house already had all the colors she wanted. On top of that, she loved the fireplace because it's very original — most mantles are wooden, and the stones on this fireplace reach all the way to the ceiling. So, she just bought a few things to go with the color scheme, like real — and some fake — plants and the mirrors upstairs.

Tell me more about the needlepoint. It must have taken a very long time to make.

Roughly translated from Vietnamese, it's called The Fatherland, but it's the same as what Americans know as the motherland. They're both silk stitchings we bought from Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. They were about a couple hundred each and both took a lot of work, and the prices depend on the amount of work put into them. These types of stitchings could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. They took about a month to ship them over here because they had to come by boat. The tiger one has got what I like to call "Asian coolness" because it's like the dragons and other mythic animals that are part of the Asian culture. It's my favorite; it's so detailed that you can see every single hair on its body.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com"
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Kevin Huynh's Suwanee lakefront home is like traveling back to 18th century. The odd style of the house, Kevin says, is "half-Victorian, half-Vietnamese." First of all, there's a framed, silk needlepoint titled ''The Fatherland'' depicting everyday farm life in Vietnam. It's a horizontal portrait spanning 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and is the central ornament of the living room. Right below it stands a statue of an angel in the ''Birth of Venus'' pose.

Stretching from floor to ceiling on the adjacent wall is a stone fireplace. On the fireplace's platform stand two marble carvings of dragons facing one another and a few young bamboo stalks. (These, however, were ''not'' purchased from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.) The view from the kitchen's wall-to-wall windows reveals the home's private dock resting on the lakeshore. The metal table set, painted white with two chairs and an umbrella, looks like it belongs at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

__''Creative Loafing'': Why have you dubbed this home Victorian/Vietnamese?__

__Kevin Huynh:__ Well, it's Victorian because of all the gold and warm colors. It's got a darker feel than contemporary, which are mainly bright colors and silver. And it's Vietnamese because, even with all the Victorian elements in the house, there are also all these Asian elements. Upstairs, though you can't see them right now, there are four huge mirrors, which play into the Asian belief that evil can be warded off by reflecting it away. My mother ''loves'' mirrors, but she bought better-looking mirrors than those little ones that most Asian people use.

__Who decorated the house? And where did you get all of your furniture?__

My mother basically did all the decorating. When we bought it in February of 2001, the house already had all the colors she wanted. On top of that, she loved the fireplace because it's very original -- most mantles are wooden, and the stones on this fireplace reach all the way to the ceiling. So, she just bought a few things to go with the color scheme, like real -- and some fake -- plants and the mirrors upstairs.

__Tell me more about the needlepoint. It must have taken a very long time to make.__

Roughly translated from Vietnamese, it's called ''The Fatherland'', but it's the same as what Americans know as the motherland. They're both silk stitchings we bought from Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. They were about a couple hundred each and both took a lot of work, and the prices depend on the amount of work put into them. These types of stitchings could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. They took about a month to ship them over here because they had to come by boat. The tiger one has got what I like to call "Asian coolness" because it's like the dragons and other mythic animals that are part of the Asian culture. It's my favorite; it's so detailed that you can see every single hair on its body.

[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]"
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Kevin Huynh's Suwanee lakefront home is like traveling back to 18th century. The odd style of the house, Kevin says, is "half-Victorian, half-Vietnamese." First of all, there's a framed, silk needlepoint titled The Fatherland depicting everyday farm life in Vietnam. It's a horizontal portrait spanning 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and is the central ornament of the living room. Right below it stands a statue of an angel in the Birth of Venus pose.

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Creative Loafing: Why have you dubbed this home Victorian/Vietnamese?

Kevin Huynh: Well, it's Victorian because of all the gold and warm colors. It's got a darker feel than contemporary, which are mainly bright colors and silver. And it's Vietnamese because, even with all the Victorian elements in the house, there are also all these Asian elements. Upstairs, though you can't see them right now, there are four huge mirrors, which play into the Asian belief that evil can be warded off by reflecting it away. My mother loves mirrors, but she bought better-looking mirrors than those little ones that most Asian people use.

Who decorated the house? And where did you get all of your furniture?

My mother basically did all the decorating. When we bought it in February of 2001, the house already had all the colors she wanted. On top of that, she loved the fireplace because it's very original — most mantles are wooden, and the stones on this fireplace reach all the way to the ceiling. So, she just bought a few things to go with the color scheme, like real — and some fake — plants and the mirrors upstairs.

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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 21, 2003 12:04 am EDT
Half-breed Suwanee lakefront home | more...
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''Fernbank Celebrates Dinosaurs, Sat., Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fernbank Natural History Museum, 767 Clifton Road. More info: 404-929-6300. Tickets: 404-929-6400. [http://www.fernbank.edu/museum|www.fernbank.edu/museum.]''"
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This birthday bash is the third in a series of four family days that Fernbank has scheduled for 2003. Kids can lead mom and dad through a sight- and activity-packed day, from scavenger hunts to arts and crafts to petting Fernbank's own baby triceratops. "That Puppet Guy" Lee Bryan will lend his hand to perform a puppet show, Once Upon a Dinosaur. Inspired kids can then visit the Dinosaur Puppet Factory and create their own hand reptiles, courtesy of the Center of Puppetry Arts. Kids (and perhaps some adults) who show up in their best-looking dinosaur costumes will win prizes throughout the day. And a grand prize drawing will send some lucky kids howling home with beastly delight when they win a package of dinosaur toys, books and T-shirts from the gift shop.

Fernbank Celebrates Dinosaurs, Sat., Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fernbank Natural History Museum, 767 Clifton Road. More info: 404-929-6300. Tickets: 404-929-6400. www.fernbank.edu/museum.             13012171 1243340                          Talk of the Town - Can I keep him, mommy? August 21 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 21, 2003 12:04 am EDT
Fernbank kicks butt for one reason — they got dinosaurs! And not dinky pachycephalosaurs, either; Fernbank is home to the biggest, baddest beasties ever to walk and poo over the Earth. And now, it's time to party like it's 19,990,000 B.C. because Fernbank Celebrates Dinosaurs! This Saturday afternoon event commemorates the opening of Giants of the Mesozoic, the museum's permanent dinosaur... | more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 21, 2003 12:04 am EDT
...when all else fails | more...
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  string(4925) "New style on the street. Eyeglasses, most becoming. A possible trend? Not again.

It always happens. No sooner do I get a new pair of glasses than they're rendered obsolete by the next generation of spectacle couture. I never catch up.

This has been going on for decades, ever since second grade, when earnest peering from the back row of Mrs. McSweeny's homeroom clapped me into a pair of welding goggles. At least that was the feeling.

Those specs were every nearsighted child's nightmare. There must have been one factory producing the same model for the entire prepubescent population of Earth during the mid-1960s: heavy, dark plastic-on-the-top rims, clear on bottom, rivets the size of  railroad spikes. The only people still wearing them are British dons so wonkish they haven't left Oxbridge since the Profumo Scandal.

It was a long visual purgatory before the oblong wire frames of high school, which afforded relief both in fashion and avoirdupois. From there, the pace picked up: aviator-style eyewear, supplemented by tint-when-you're-outside lenses. Trouble was, they didn't un-tint fast enough when you came back in. People at my first post-collegiate job thought I was constantly stoned. God knows I should have been, typing legal briefs all day.

Then came the prescription sunglasses. Thick prescription sunglasses. Think: trying to be cool but failing. Think balding men with ponytails. I was a ringer for Gen. Wojciech Jaruszelski, the former president of Poland. At least he had a nifty uniform.

There have been other options since: Clark Kent horn rims; small, round West German terrorist frames (the terrorists themselves were tall and lanky); elemental hues from gunmetal to copper; and, up to the present day, a rimless titanium number you can allegedly twist into pretzel shape with impunity.

My response to that dubious optometristic claim is akin to the language student who, when a professor declared the nonexistence of a double positive in English with a negative meaning, mumbled, "Yeah, yeah."

But it must be admitted that the quantity of options pertaining to eyewear (whose purveyors will do anything not to refer to eyeglasses as eyeglasses) has grown exponentially. Do you want your lenses thin or extra-thin? How about the non-glare, non-stick, scratch-resistant coating that makes you wonder if you're ordering a frying pan?

And the cost. The cost! My first pair was $35. (The figure is emblazoned in memory because, when I lost them after only a week's use, my parents yelled, "Those glasses cost 35 dollars!") That's the sales tax on bills I get from the optometrist these days.

And while we're here, let's understand that the optometrist is the person who sells you eyeglasses. The ophthalmologist examines your eyes. The difference being, the latter can only announce you're going blind. The former can bankrupt you.

When you go to the optometrist's, the place is decorated with posters of young, sexy women wearing eyeglasses. They look so good with glasses, you wonder how they could look better without. The glasses, that is. (Shame on you.)

What are the qualifications for eyewear models? "Must be so attractive that the presence of a plastic and/or metal frame across the middle of the face will not detract from appearance."

Yet, when you look around the waiting room, there are no young, sexy customers. Most people there resemble me. Worse than me — what with all the squinting going on. Despite the claims of eyewear poster makers, there is little romance to be found in this field of endeavor. Few couples begin their love story with the line: "We met at the optometrist's."

And speaking of blind, I am now an  official candidate for bifocals. You discover this the day you find yourself throwing the newspaper on the floor in an effort to read. I have resisted such blatant evidence of encroaching middle age, but the eyecare industry is way ahead of me.

Because they don't call bifocals bifocals anymore (see "eyeglasses/eyewear"). Now they're called "transitional lenses." Sounds like something issued to you en route to the Great Beyond. Come to think of it, that's exactly what bifocals are. Damn those eye guys for their cosmic wisdom.

By now you're wondering, "Why doesn't this knucklehead just get contact lenses?" I've tried, and I've come to an accommodation with my eyes. I won't shove slivers of foreign matter into them, and they promise not to hurt like hell.

There have been a number of red herrings, too. Such as those literary, horizontal  black-frame eyeglasses that many young artistic types seem to wear. Oh no. I survived eight years of being a heavily riveted El Doofusmo. I wouldn't go back into big frames if a dozen optometrists held me down and offered a 50 percent discount.

Unless they called in one of those eyewear models. Praise be, I can see!

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is on view in Alpharetta."
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It always happens. No sooner do I get a new pair of glasses than they're rendered obsolete by the next generation of spectacle couture. I never catch up.

This has been going on for decades, ever since second grade, when earnest peering from the back row of Mrs. McSweeny's homeroom clapped me into a pair of welding goggles. At least that was the feeling.

Those specs were every nearsighted child's nightmare. There must have been one factory producing the same model for the entire prepubescent population of Earth during the mid-1960s: heavy, dark plastic-on-the-top rims, clear on bottom, rivets the size of  railroad spikes. The only people still wearing them are British dons so wonkish they haven't left Oxbridge since the Profumo Scandal.

It was a long visual purgatory before the oblong wire frames of high school, which afforded relief both in fashion and avoirdupois. From there, the pace picked up: aviator-style eyewear, supplemented by tint-when-you're-outside lenses. Trouble was, they didn't un-tint fast enough when you came back in. People at my first post-collegiate job thought I was constantly stoned. God knows I should have been, typing legal briefs all day.

Then came the prescription sunglasses. Thick prescription sunglasses. Think: trying to be cool but failing. Think balding men with ponytails. I was a ringer for Gen. Wojciech Jaruszelski, the former president of Poland. At least he had a nifty uniform.

There have been other options since: Clark Kent horn rims; small, round West German terrorist frames (the terrorists themselves were tall and lanky); elemental hues from gunmetal to copper; and, up to the present day, a rimless titanium number you can allegedly twist into pretzel shape with impunity.

My response to that dubious optometristic claim is akin to the language student who, when a professor declared the nonexistence of a double positive in English with a negative meaning, mumbled, "Yeah, yeah."

But it must be admitted that the quantity of options pertaining to eyewear (whose purveyors will do anything not to refer to eyeglasses as eyeglasses) has grown exponentially. Do you want your lenses thin or extra-thin? How about the non-glare, non-stick, scratch-resistant coating that makes you wonder if you're ordering a frying pan?

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And while we're here, let's understand that the optometrist is the person who sells you eyeglasses. The ophthalmologist examines your eyes. The difference being, the latter can only announce you're going blind. The former can bankrupt you.

When you go to the optometrist's, the place is decorated with posters of young, sexy women wearing eyeglasses. They look so good with glasses, you wonder how they could look better without. The glasses, that is. (Shame on you.)

What are the qualifications for eyewear models? "Must be so attractive that the presence of a plastic and/or metal frame across the middle of the face will not detract from appearance."

Yet, when you look around the waiting room, there are no young, sexy customers. Most people there resemble me. Worse than me -- what with all the squinting going on. Despite the claims of eyewear poster makers, there is little romance to be found in this field of endeavor. Few couples begin their love story with the line: "We met at the optometrist's."

And speaking of blind, I am now an  official candidate for bifocals. You discover this the day you find yourself throwing the newspaper on the floor in an effort to read. I have resisted such blatant evidence of encroaching middle age, but the eyecare industry is way ahead of me.

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

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It always happens. No sooner do I get a new pair of glasses than they're rendered obsolete by the next generation of spectacle couture. I never catch up.

This has been going on for decades, ever since second grade, when earnest peering from the back row of Mrs. McSweeny's homeroom clapped me into a pair of welding goggles. At least that was the feeling.

Those specs were every nearsighted child's nightmare. There must have been one factory producing the same model for the entire prepubescent population of Earth during the mid-1960s: heavy, dark plastic-on-the-top rims, clear on bottom, rivets the size of  railroad spikes. The only people still wearing them are British dons so wonkish they haven't left Oxbridge since the Profumo Scandal.

It was a long visual purgatory before the oblong wire frames of high school, which afforded relief both in fashion and avoirdupois. From there, the pace picked up: aviator-style eyewear, supplemented by tint-when-you're-outside lenses. Trouble was, they didn't un-tint fast enough when you came back in. People at my first post-collegiate job thought I was constantly stoned. God knows I should have been, typing legal briefs all day.

Then came the prescription sunglasses. Thick prescription sunglasses. Think: trying to be cool but failing. Think balding men with ponytails. I was a ringer for Gen. Wojciech Jaruszelski, the former president of Poland. At least he had a nifty uniform.

There have been other options since: Clark Kent horn rims; small, round West German terrorist frames (the terrorists themselves were tall and lanky); elemental hues from gunmetal to copper; and, up to the present day, a rimless titanium number you can allegedly twist into pretzel shape with impunity.

My response to that dubious optometristic claim is akin to the language student who, when a professor declared the nonexistence of a double positive in English with a negative meaning, mumbled, "Yeah, yeah."

But it must be admitted that the quantity of options pertaining to eyewear (whose purveyors will do anything not to refer to eyeglasses as eyeglasses) has grown exponentially. Do you want your lenses thin or extra-thin? How about the non-glare, non-stick, scratch-resistant coating that makes you wonder if you're ordering a frying pan?

And the cost. The cost! My first pair was $35. (The figure is emblazoned in memory because, when I lost them after only a week's use, my parents yelled, "Those glasses cost 35 dollars!") That's the sales tax on bills I get from the optometrist these days.

And while we're here, let's understand that the optometrist is the person who sells you eyeglasses. The ophthalmologist examines your eyes. The difference being, the latter can only announce you're going blind. The former can bankrupt you.

When you go to the optometrist's, the place is decorated with posters of young, sexy women wearing eyeglasses. They look so good with glasses, you wonder how they could look better without. The glasses, that is. (Shame on you.)

What are the qualifications for eyewear models? "Must be so attractive that the presence of a plastic and/or metal frame across the middle of the face will not detract from appearance."

Yet, when you look around the waiting room, there are no young, sexy customers. Most people there resemble me. Worse than me — what with all the squinting going on. Despite the claims of eyewear poster makers, there is little romance to be found in this field of endeavor. Few couples begin their love story with the line: "We met at the optometrist's."

And speaking of blind, I am now an  official candidate for bifocals. You discover this the day you find yourself throwing the newspaper on the floor in an effort to read. I have resisted such blatant evidence of encroaching middle age, but the eyecare industry is way ahead of me.

Because they don't call bifocals bifocals anymore (see "eyeglasses/eyewear"). Now they're called "transitional lenses." Sounds like something issued to you en route to the Great Beyond. Come to think of it, that's exactly what bifocals are. Damn those eye guys for their cosmic wisdom.

By now you're wondering, "Why doesn't this knucklehead just get contact lenses?" I've tried, and I've come to an accommodation with my eyes. I won't shove slivers of foreign matter into them, and they promise not to hurt like hell.

There have been a number of red herrings, too. Such as those literary, horizontal  black-frame eyeglasses that many young artistic types seem to wear. Oh no. I survived eight years of being a heavily riveted El Doofusmo. I wouldn't go back into big frames if a dozen optometrists held me down and offered a 50 percent discount.

Unless they called in one of those eyewear models. Praise be, I can see!

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is on view in Alpharetta.             13012172 1243342                          Talk of the Town - Oh, say can you see? August 21 2003 "
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I don't know when man and woman first jointly occupied a cave, but it wasn't long before someone said, "We have  to move."

"Whaddaya mean?" said primo cave  guy, picking on a mastodon rib while sprawled in his wooly-mammoth-upholstered easy chair.

"Og Junior needs his own sub-cave. And if you're going to hunt pterodactyls, I can't prepare a 27-foot-wingspan bird in a  10-by-12 kitchen."

"It's not a bird, it's a flying reptile."

"Well, it's not dinner unless I get more space."

As regards my spouse, the desire for change is a genetic trait. When she was but a tot, she had three pieces of furniture: a bed, a chair and a desk. Every weekend, she moved them around.

Me? Once I got out of the crib and in my own room, everything stayed put until the day I left for college. Since then, single and married, I've moved four times — always under protest. I loathe everything about moving: the echo of empty rooms; the  outline of packed-away picture frames on abandoned walls; seeing the contents of my entire life loaded onto a tiny truck piloted by two 5-o'clock-shadowed guys whose next stop involves a six-pack.

Plus, you have to get used to a new place. I know every creak, nail pop and weird sound effect in my house, and I accept them the way one would an eccentric great-aunt. If I move into another abode, my nerves will be flayed by a whole new clutch of oddities.

And you'll never find out about them before you buy — because purchasing a house is like dating. When we first meet, the prospective new domicile is on its best behavior. The yard's been de-mushroomed, a fresh gown of Sherwin-Williams shimmers in the dew.  Everything smells good and looks good. The psychotic aspects of the home's personality only emerge after  you're involved.

When I die, I've left explicit instructions that a large concrete mixer is to pull up to the house and entomb me in situ, preferably in front of the tube, my hands clenched in fists of rage (thanks, Don McLean) at the latest season of lousy programming. At least I won't have to move that very last time.

But meanwhile, after 10 years in the same cave, distaff wanderlust calls. I knew we were in trouble when she started watching a show called "House Hunters."

In this weekly saga, couples plod from home to home in search of new digs. The women always look hopeful, the men as if they've been bitten by a tsetse fly. My life partner finds this more dramatic than Sands of Iwo Jima playing on an  adjacent network.

It didn't take long. In exchange for restored access to the History Channel, I would agree to "look" at new houses. Not "buy." She knows better. That word would send me fleeing into the piney woods like an escapee from a Georgia chain gang. Male fear of commitment has a real problem with real estate.

Even mere house gazing is educational. During the decade elapsed since we first bought a home, many innovations have been wrought in residential building: 1) roof and trim materials are more durable; 2) construction techniques are more energy efficient; and  3) new houses are twice the price and half the size of the one we have.

Plus, there's no outdoors. "Zero lot lines" have perfected the demise of the yard, enabling builders to cram as many houses as possible into a subdivision. If you want to plant a flower, buy a flowerpot.

The building boom that continues to devour the great outdoors is fueled, in part, by what realtors call "executive homes." An executive home is something some rootless family is going to exist in for two years, tops, before they go on to the next job-transfer/ slice-of-Velveeta-life.

And the great thing about executive homes is that you can build them anywhere. Executive homes are found overhanging highways, clinging to silt-strewn hillsides, nestled against sewage treatment plants. Executive cave dwellers don't care where they live because they don't live anyplace longer than a fruit fly.

Of course, you can go too far the other way, too. We looked at one sub-D with the breathtaking vista of a rolling hills horse farm right across the road. A pair of colts gamboled along a long white fence, casting playful shadows in the late afternoon sun. If Seabiscuit died and went to horsie heaven, this was it.

"It's too good," I told the realtor.

"Pardon?"

"A horse farm? This is a Wal-Mart in two years. If you look up 'horse farm' in the

dictionary it reads: "A place, formerly home to horses, which is now a future site of another strip mall."

Wait a minute. Equine animals in search of a new home? A series idea is born:  "Horse Hunters."

Brought to you by Quaker Oats.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery is priced to move  in Alpharetta."
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__I don't know __when man and woman first jointly occupied a cave, but it wasn't long before someone said, "We have  to move."

"Whaddaya mean?" said primo cave  guy, picking on a mastodon rib while sprawled in his wooly-mammoth-upholstered easy chair.

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"It's not a bird, it's a flying reptile."

"Well, it's not dinner unless I get more space."

As regards my spouse, the desire for change is a genetic trait. When she was but a tot, she had three pieces of furniture: a bed, a chair and a desk. Every weekend, she moved them around.

Me? Once I got out of the crib and in my own room, everything stayed put until the day I left for college. Since then, single and married, I've moved four times -- always under protest. I loathe everything about moving: the echo of empty rooms; the  outline of packed-away picture frames on abandoned walls; seeing the contents of my entire life loaded onto a tiny truck piloted by two 5-o'clock-shadowed guys whose next stop involves a six-pack.

Plus, you have to get used to a new place. I know every creak, nail pop and weird sound effect in my house, and I accept them the way one would an eccentric great-aunt. If I move into another abode, my nerves will be flayed by a whole new clutch of oddities.

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But meanwhile, after 10 years in the same cave, distaff wanderlust calls. I knew we were in trouble when she started watching a show called "House Hunters."

In this weekly saga, couples plod from home to home in search of new digs. The women always look hopeful, the men as if they've been bitten by a tsetse fly. My life partner finds this more dramatic than ''Sands of Iwo Jima'' playing on an  adjacent network.

It didn't take long. In exchange for restored access to the History Channel, I would agree to "look" at new houses. Not "buy." She knows better. That word would send me fleeing into the piney woods like an escapee from a Georgia chain gang. Male fear of commitment has a real problem with real estate.

Even mere house gazing is educational. During the decade elapsed since we first bought a home, many innovations have been wrought in residential building: 1) roof and trim materials are more durable; 2) construction techniques are more energy efficient; and  3) new houses are twice the price and half the size of the one we have.

Plus, there's no outdoors. "Zero lot lines" have perfected the demise of the yard, enabling builders to cram as many houses as possible into a subdivision. If you want to plant a flower, buy a flowerpot.

The building boom that continues to devour the great outdoors is fueled, in part, by what realtors call "executive homes." An executive home is something some rootless family is going to exist in for two years, tops, before they go on to the next job-transfer/ slice-of-Velveeta-life.

And the great thing about executive homes is that you can build them anywhere. Executive homes are found overhanging highways, clinging to silt-strewn hillsides, nestled against sewage treatment plants. Executive cave dwellers don't care where they live because they don't live anyplace longer than a fruit fly.

Of course, you can go too far the other way, too. We looked at one sub-D with the breathtaking vista of a rolling hills horse farm right across the road. A pair of colts gamboled along a long white fence, casting playful shadows in the late afternoon sun. If Seabiscuit died and went to horsie heaven, this was it.

"It's too good," I told the realtor.

"Pardon?"

"A horse farm? This is a Wal-Mart in two years. If you look up 'horse farm' in the

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Wait a minute. Equine animals in search of a new home? A series idea is born:  "Horse Hunters."

Brought to you by Quaker Oats.

__[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]__
____
____
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I don't know when man and woman first jointly occupied a cave, but it wasn't long before someone said, "We have  to move."

"Whaddaya mean?" said primo cave  guy, picking on a mastodon rib while sprawled in his wooly-mammoth-upholstered easy chair.

"Og Junior needs his own sub-cave. And if you're going to hunt pterodactyls, I can't prepare a 27-foot-wingspan bird in a  10-by-12 kitchen."

"It's not a bird, it's a flying reptile."

"Well, it's not dinner unless I get more space."

As regards my spouse, the desire for change is a genetic trait. When she was but a tot, she had three pieces of furniture: a bed, a chair and a desk. Every weekend, she moved them around.

Me? Once I got out of the crib and in my own room, everything stayed put until the day I left for college. Since then, single and married, I've moved four times — always under protest. I loathe everything about moving: the echo of empty rooms; the  outline of packed-away picture frames on abandoned walls; seeing the contents of my entire life loaded onto a tiny truck piloted by two 5-o'clock-shadowed guys whose next stop involves a six-pack.

Plus, you have to get used to a new place. I know every creak, nail pop and weird sound effect in my house, and I accept them the way one would an eccentric great-aunt. If I move into another abode, my nerves will be flayed by a whole new clutch of oddities.

And you'll never find out about them before you buy — because purchasing a house is like dating. When we first meet, the prospective new domicile is on its best behavior. The yard's been de-mushroomed, a fresh gown of Sherwin-Williams shimmers in the dew.  Everything smells good and looks good. The psychotic aspects of the home's personality only emerge after  you're involved.

When I die, I've left explicit instructions that a large concrete mixer is to pull up to the house and entomb me in situ, preferably in front of the tube, my hands clenched in fists of rage (thanks, Don McLean) at the latest season of lousy programming. At least I won't have to move that very last time.

But meanwhile, after 10 years in the same cave, distaff wanderlust calls. I knew we were in trouble when she started watching a show called "House Hunters."

In this weekly saga, couples plod from home to home in search of new digs. The women always look hopeful, the men as if they've been bitten by a tsetse fly. My life partner finds this more dramatic than Sands of Iwo Jima playing on an  adjacent network.

It didn't take long. In exchange for restored access to the History Channel, I would agree to "look" at new houses. Not "buy." She knows better. That word would send me fleeing into the piney woods like an escapee from a Georgia chain gang. Male fear of commitment has a real problem with real estate.

Even mere house gazing is educational. During the decade elapsed since we first bought a home, many innovations have been wrought in residential building: 1) roof and trim materials are more durable; 2) construction techniques are more energy efficient; and  3) new houses are twice the price and half the size of the one we have.

Plus, there's no outdoors. "Zero lot lines" have perfected the demise of the yard, enabling builders to cram as many houses as possible into a subdivision. If you want to plant a flower, buy a flowerpot.

The building boom that continues to devour the great outdoors is fueled, in part, by what realtors call "executive homes." An executive home is something some rootless family is going to exist in for two years, tops, before they go on to the next job-transfer/ slice-of-Velveeta-life.

And the great thing about executive homes is that you can build them anywhere. Executive homes are found overhanging highways, clinging to silt-strewn hillsides, nestled against sewage treatment plants. Executive cave dwellers don't care where they live because they don't live anyplace longer than a fruit fly.

Of course, you can go too far the other way, too. We looked at one sub-D with the breathtaking vista of a rolling hills horse farm right across the road. A pair of colts gamboled along a long white fence, casting playful shadows in the late afternoon sun. If Seabiscuit died and went to horsie heaven, this was it.

"It's too good," I told the realtor.

"Pardon?"

"A horse farm? This is a Wal-Mart in two years. If you look up 'horse farm' in the

dictionary it reads: "A place, formerly home to horses, which is now a future site of another strip mall."

Wait a minute. Equine animals in search of a new home? A series idea is born:  "Horse Hunters."

Brought to you by Quaker Oats.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


Glen Slattery is priced to move  in Alpharetta.             13012113 1243225                          Talk of the Town - A moving tribute August 14 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 14, 2003 12:04 am EDT
Stop me before I pack again | more...
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Six rolling acres of untouched land in the lucrative East Atlanta area have developers dreaming of dollars as they try to satisfy the city's ever-increasing influx of new urbanites. But when they make offers on this acreage along Entrenchment Creek, the owner always turns them down. For more than eight years, Brian Harrison has been waging a quiet war against the gentrification by amassing lots behind his home in up-and-coming Ormewood Park. Visions of a community vegetable garden dance in his head as he fights two other major battles: kudzu and the taxman.

Creative Loafing: How long have you lived here?

Brian Harrison: I've been here 13 years now, things have changed. ... The new homes are a little closer than I'd like them to be.

When did you start buying the lots behind your house?

I got the first lots around '96, during the Olympics, next week I'm hoping to get some from my neighbors. All together, I've got 13 lots.

I've heard you're having trouble with the taxes on some of the newer lots?

I don't know which is worse — the taxman or the kudzu. On some of the older lots, I have an agriculture/ conservation tax status, which makes the taxes pretty low, but the other ones they denied my request for the conservation easement and want to charge me full price for a buildable lot. Now I have to make an appeal to the judge.

How high can the taxes get for some of the lots?

One of them is going to be a couple thousand dollars — it's the biggest vacant lot. That's why I'm working all the time, so I can pay my taxes.

What are some of the jobs you work to pay all the taxes?

I just got a daytime job at Oakland Cemetery working with the yard crew. It's a cycle: I'm working, mowing the lawn so the city can pay me, so that I can pay my taxes. Mostly I just run the weed eater all day, but when Maynard died, that was a big deal because the lawn crew also has to be the gravedigger crew.

Have you been able to grow much on the land?

It used to be all kudzu but I've been usin' Round Up and stuff. You have to do it a few years in a row to get it to go away. Now I have some little Christmas trees and some grapes and some blueberries and a whole assortment of different fruit trees.

You've also seen a lot of wildlife here?

I think when there was a black bear in the neighborhood, they said he'd probably come up the creek. I've also seen opossums, raccoons, hawks, falcons and turtles, frogs and rabbits.

Do you know a lot of your home's history?

I met the guy who grew up here in the 50s — he just drove up one day wantin' to see the old place.  It was his dad who planted the kudzu for the cows on his farm to eat. I invited him in and made him a burger.

What do you see ultimately happening to this space?

I might live here all my life, I don't think I'll find any place I like better — it's like a little piece of the country in the city.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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__Six rolling acres __of untouched land in the lucrative East Atlanta area have developers dreaming of dollars as they try to satisfy the city's ever-increasing influx of new urbanites. But when they make offers on this acreage along Entrenchment Creek, the owner always turns them down. For more than eight years, Brian Harrison has been waging a quiet war against the gentrification by amassing lots behind his home in up-and-coming Ormewood Park. Visions of a community vegetable garden dance in his head as he fights two other major battles: kudzu and the taxman.

__''Creative Loafing'': How long have you lived here?__

__Brian Harrison:__ I've been here 13 years now, things have changed. ... The new homes are a little closer than I'd like them to be.

__When did you start buying the lots behind your house?__

I got the first lots around '96, during the Olympics, next week I'm hoping to get some from my neighbors. All together, I've got 13 lots.

__I've heard you're having trouble with the taxes on some of the newer lots?__

I don't know which is worse -- the taxman or the kudzu. On some of the older lots, I have an agriculture/ conservation tax status, which makes the taxes pretty low, but the other ones they denied my request for the conservation easement and want to charge me full price for a buildable lot. Now I have to make an appeal to the judge.

__How high can the taxes get for some of the lots?__

One of them is going to be a couple thousand dollars -- it's the biggest vacant lot. That's why I'm working all the time, so I can pay my taxes.

__What are some of the jobs you work to pay all the taxes?__

I just got a daytime job at Oakland Cemetery working with the yard crew. It's a cycle: I'm working, mowing the lawn so the city can pay me, so that I can pay my taxes. Mostly I just run the weed eater all day, but when Maynard died, that was a big deal because the lawn crew also has to be the gravedigger crew.

__Have you been able to grow much on the land?__

It used to be all kudzu but I've been usin' Round Up and stuff. You have to do it a few years in a row to get it to go away. Now I have some little Christmas trees and some grapes and some blueberries and a whole assortment of different fruit trees.

__You've also seen a lot of wildlife here?__

I think when there was a black bear in the neighborhood, they said he'd probably come up the creek. I've also seen opossums, raccoons, hawks, falcons and turtles, frogs and rabbits.

__Do you know a lot of your home's history?__

I met the guy who grew up here in the 50s -- he just drove up one day wantin' to see the old place.  It was his dad who planted the kudzu for the cows on his farm to eat. I invited him in and made him a burger.

__What do you see ultimately__ happening to this space?

I might live here all my life, I don't think I'll find any place I like better -- it's like a little piece of the country in the city.

__[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]__
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Six rolling acres of untouched land in the lucrative East Atlanta area have developers dreaming of dollars as they try to satisfy the city's ever-increasing influx of new urbanites. But when they make offers on this acreage along Entrenchment Creek, the owner always turns them down. For more than eight years, Brian Harrison has been waging a quiet war against the gentrification by amassing lots behind his home in up-and-coming Ormewood Park. Visions of a community vegetable garden dance in his head as he fights two other major battles: kudzu and the taxman.

Creative Loafing: How long have you lived here?

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When did you start buying the lots behind your house?

I got the first lots around '96, during the Olympics, next week I'm hoping to get some from my neighbors. All together, I've got 13 lots.

I've heard you're having trouble with the taxes on some of the newer lots?

I don't know which is worse — the taxman or the kudzu. On some of the older lots, I have an agriculture/ conservation tax status, which makes the taxes pretty low, but the other ones they denied my request for the conservation easement and want to charge me full price for a buildable lot. Now I have to make an appeal to the judge.

How high can the taxes get for some of the lots?

One of them is going to be a couple thousand dollars — it's the biggest vacant lot. That's why I'm working all the time, so I can pay my taxes.

What are some of the jobs you work to pay all the taxes?

I just got a daytime job at Oakland Cemetery working with the yard crew. It's a cycle: I'm working, mowing the lawn so the city can pay me, so that I can pay my taxes. Mostly I just run the weed eater all day, but when Maynard died, that was a big deal because the lawn crew also has to be the gravedigger crew.

Have you been able to grow much on the land?

It used to be all kudzu but I've been usin' Round Up and stuff. You have to do it a few years in a row to get it to go away. Now I have some little Christmas trees and some grapes and some blueberries and a whole assortment of different fruit trees.

You've also seen a lot of wildlife here?

I think when there was a black bear in the neighborhood, they said he'd probably come up the creek. I've also seen opossums, raccoons, hawks, falcons and turtles, frogs and rabbits.

Do you know a lot of your home's history?

I met the guy who grew up here in the 50s — he just drove up one day wantin' to see the old place.  It was his dad who planted the kudzu for the cows on his farm to eat. I invited him in and made him a burger.

What do you see ultimately happening to this space?

I might live here all my life, I don't think I'll find any place I like better — it's like a little piece of the country in the city.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 14, 2003 12:04 am EDT
Ormewood farmer fights taxman | more...
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and of reading books to kids she is terribly fond. 
  So together with folks from the Screen Actors Guild 
  A children's literacy program she's hastened to build.  
  This Saturday, they'll read at the Starbucks you know, 
  And they hope that a gaggle of children will show 
  For what's sure to leave their little faces aglow.??
 So many books given by people who care, 
  But the fun and enticement doesn't stop there. 
  Parents love coffee, of this we are sure, 
  But cookies and milk will add to the allure. 
  And every last child's spirits will leap, 
  For a book of their own, all theirs just to keep, 
  to read to their parents before falling asleep. 

??
 
Booking It With the Mayor, Sat., Aug. 16, 1-3 p.m. Starbucks Coffee, 800 N. Highland Drive. 404-249-6268.             13012112 1243223                          Talk of the Town - Follow the mayor August 14 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 14, 2003 12:04 am EDT

Atlanta's Mayor Shirley is short and she's blond,
and of reading books to kids she is terribly fond.
So together with folks from the Screen Actors Guild
A children's literacy program she's hastened to build.
This Saturday, they'll read at the Starbucks you know,
And they hope that a gaggle of children will show
For what's sure to leave their little faces aglow.??
So many books...

| more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 14, 2003 12:04 am EDT
image-1 | more...

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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 7, 2003 12:04 am EDT
...when all else fails | more...
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"July is carpet-cleaning month!"

"No."

"You've won a cruise through the Appalachian foothills!"

"Not interested."

"Do you want a thicker, greener, lawn?"

"Actually, I want a thicker, greener retirement plan."

Ah, telemarketers. Jangling bane of  5-to-9 existence in after-work America, they bore into our dinner hour, our private lives and our fevered brains. Now, to general hosannas, the National Do Not Call Registry threatens telemarketers with extinction. Some 20 million strong and griping, registrants are promised an end to the ceaseless wiles of pitch-folk.

"Hi, how are you this evening?"

Always a telemarketing tip-off. No one I know — or am related to — is that polite.

The no-call website has several interesting features, such as the "privacy and security" section. This is a real concern, because the registry is a telemarketer's dream. A vast  stratum of PC users, with time so valuable they don't want it interrupted by mewling hucksters? What a juicy demographic!

Then there's the "En Espanol" section.  If you can read this part of the site, you've already got a perfect out. "No hablo ingles" will put los skids to the vast majority of  telemarketers, most of whom can barely speak English, much less a second language, without a script in front of them.

And that script has The Pause. Subtle but there, like the sound a safecracker hears when that last tumbler clicks into place. It's the point when the telemarketee can decline the service being offered.

Sometimes it's a service you already have — such as my lawn service. Once a month, they sprinkle 47 cents worth of chemicals on my third-of-an-acre and charge 35 bucks. If that isn't enough of a profit margin, they hit me up for "extended services" such as aeration. This means putting little holes in my lawn, dislodging countless dirt plugs the size of chihuahua waste, and charging 95 bucks.

It gets confusing. Most lawn care services — aggressive telemarketers all — have the word "green" in their title. To complicate matters further, I've hired and fired a half-dozen of them across the years — because my lawn still resembles a proving ground for Hellfire missiles.

So when GreenGro calls, are they my  current lawn service? Or is it GreenStuff, with GreenGro the company I used three companies back, in between GreenHornet and AlGreen? Doesn't matter. With all the rain, fire ants have taken over the lawn.

Be very careful when fielding phone calls from a bank. Is it some nuisance credit-card offer, or the lending institution that financed your home? Telling people who hold your mortgage to blow  it out their patootie is  not the way to go. So in the interests of caution, I try being civil to telemarketers.

But there was the evening, punctuated by numerous idiotic sales pitches, that I cracked like the makeup on a grinning dowager. A woman, her voice full of  enthusiasm, tried to explain the merits of donating my used car to a worthy cause.

I didn't even wait for The Pause.

"I am not interested in giving you my car. It's paid for, and it's the only one I have. And I need it to drive 12 miles round trip for a quart of milk because I live in a neighborhood that was recently a cow  pasture. Furthermore (Who ever uses  "furthermore" in a friendly way?), I resent your calling here this late. Take my name off your list and leave me alone!"

A few hours later, before turning in, I saw that the call had been picked up by my answering machine. Playback revealed the earnest pitch, followed by my Patrick Henry speech and a thunderous click.

The telemarketer, young, surely inexperienced (Was it her first day on the job?) had been stunned by the depth and breadth of my condemnation. After I rang off, her stressed breathing could be heard. And a brief indignant postscript, spoken to the non-corporeal me, indeed to all cranky householders whose abuse is ladled onto hapless telemarketers the world over.

"Well @!#& you!"

By now, I'm feeling regret — not to mention nostalgia — and the telemarketers aren't even gone yet. Because at my age, I don't get many personal phone calls. My old friends are married and reading bedtime stories, or divorced and back in the dating trenches. They don't have time to talk. Telemarketers, on the other hand, have all the time in the world. In a weird way, they validate my existence.

So do I really want to join the No  Call Registry? Do I want the telephonic silence that will be my lot in life each  night thereafter? Can I handle the quiet and isolation?

Even more to the point, do I want a thicker, greener carpet?

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


i>GreenGlen Slattery is dodging fire ants the size of chihuahuas in Alpharetta."
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"No."

"You've won a cruise through the Appalachian foothills!"

"Not interested."

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"Actually, I want a thicker, greener retirement plan."

Ah, telemarketers. Jangling bane of  5-to-9 existence in after-work America, they bore into our dinner hour, our private lives and our fevered brains. Now, to general hosannas, the National Do Not Call Registry threatens telemarketers with extinction. Some 20 million strong and griping, registrants are promised an end to the ceaseless wiles of pitch-folk.

"Hi, how are you this evening?"

Always a telemarketing tip-off. No one I know -- or am related to -- is that polite.

The no-call website has several interesting features, such as the "privacy and security" section. This is a real concern, because the registry is a telemarketer's dream. A vast  stratum of PC users, with time so valuable they don't want it interrupted by mewling hucksters? What a juicy demographic!

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Sometimes it's a service you already have -- such as my lawn service. Once a month, they sprinkle 47 cents worth of chemicals on my third-of-an-acre and charge 35 bucks. If that isn't enough of a profit margin, they hit me up for "extended services" such as aeration. This means putting little holes in my lawn, dislodging countless dirt plugs the size of chihuahua waste, and charging 95 bucks.

It gets confusing. Most lawn care services -- aggressive telemarketers all -- have the word "green" in their title. To complicate matters further, I've hired and fired a half-dozen of them across the years -- because my lawn still resembles a proving ground for Hellfire missiles.

So when GreenGro calls, are they my  current lawn service? Or is it GreenStuff, with GreenGro the company I used three companies back, in between GreenHornet and AlGreen? Doesn't matter. With all the rain, fire ants have taken over the lawn.

Be very careful when fielding phone calls from a bank. Is it some nuisance credit-card offer, or the lending institution that financed your home? Telling people who hold your mortgage to blow  it out their patootie is  not the way to go. So in the interests of caution, I try being civil to telemarketers.

But there was the evening, punctuated by numerous idiotic sales pitches, that I cracked like the makeup on a grinning dowager. A woman, her voice full of  enthusiasm, tried to explain the merits of donating my used car to a worthy cause.

I didn't even wait for The Pause.

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A few hours later, before turning in, I saw that the call had been picked up by my answering machine. Playback revealed the earnest pitch, followed by my Patrick Henry speech and a thunderous click.

The telemarketer, young, surely inexperienced (Was it her first day on the job?) had been stunned by the depth and breadth of my condemnation. After I rang off, her stressed breathing could be heard. And a brief indignant postscript, spoken to the non-corporeal me, indeed to all cranky householders whose abuse is ladled onto hapless telemarketers the world over.

"Well @!#& you!"

By now, I'm feeling regret -- not to mention nostalgia -- and the telemarketers aren't even gone yet. Because at my age, I don't get many personal phone calls. My old friends are married and reading bedtime stories, or divorced and back in the dating trenches. They don't have time to talk. Telemarketers, on the other hand, have all the time in the world. In a weird way, they validate my existence.

So do I really want to join the No  Call Registry? Do I want the telephonic silence that will be my lot in life each  night thereafter? Can I handle the quiet and isolation?

Even more to the point, do I want a thicker, greener carpet?

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


i>GreenGlen Slattery is dodging fire ants the size of chihuahuas in Alpharetta."
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  string(5055) "    Here's to pre-emptive nostalgia   2003-08-07T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - The telemarketer always rings twice August 07 2003   Glen Slattery 1223649 2003-08-07T04:04:00+00:00  

"July is carpet-cleaning month!"

"No."

"You've won a cruise through the Appalachian foothills!"

"Not interested."

"Do you want a thicker, greener, lawn?"

"Actually, I want a thicker, greener retirement plan."

Ah, telemarketers. Jangling bane of  5-to-9 existence in after-work America, they bore into our dinner hour, our private lives and our fevered brains. Now, to general hosannas, the National Do Not Call Registry threatens telemarketers with extinction. Some 20 million strong and griping, registrants are promised an end to the ceaseless wiles of pitch-folk.

"Hi, how are you this evening?"

Always a telemarketing tip-off. No one I know — or am related to — is that polite.

The no-call website has several interesting features, such as the "privacy and security" section. This is a real concern, because the registry is a telemarketer's dream. A vast  stratum of PC users, with time so valuable they don't want it interrupted by mewling hucksters? What a juicy demographic!

Then there's the "En Espanol" section.  If you can read this part of the site, you've already got a perfect out. "No hablo ingles" will put los skids to the vast majority of  telemarketers, most of whom can barely speak English, much less a second language, without a script in front of them.

And that script has The Pause. Subtle but there, like the sound a safecracker hears when that last tumbler clicks into place. It's the point when the telemarketee can decline the service being offered.

Sometimes it's a service you already have — such as my lawn service. Once a month, they sprinkle 47 cents worth of chemicals on my third-of-an-acre and charge 35 bucks. If that isn't enough of a profit margin, they hit me up for "extended services" such as aeration. This means putting little holes in my lawn, dislodging countless dirt plugs the size of chihuahua waste, and charging 95 bucks.

It gets confusing. Most lawn care services — aggressive telemarketers all — have the word "green" in their title. To complicate matters further, I've hired and fired a half-dozen of them across the years — because my lawn still resembles a proving ground for Hellfire missiles.

So when GreenGro calls, are they my  current lawn service? Or is it GreenStuff, with GreenGro the company I used three companies back, in between GreenHornet and AlGreen? Doesn't matter. With all the rain, fire ants have taken over the lawn.

Be very careful when fielding phone calls from a bank. Is it some nuisance credit-card offer, or the lending institution that financed your home? Telling people who hold your mortgage to blow  it out their patootie is  not the way to go. So in the interests of caution, I try being civil to telemarketers.

But there was the evening, punctuated by numerous idiotic sales pitches, that I cracked like the makeup on a grinning dowager. A woman, her voice full of  enthusiasm, tried to explain the merits of donating my used car to a worthy cause.

I didn't even wait for The Pause.

"I am not interested in giving you my car. It's paid for, and it's the only one I have. And I need it to drive 12 miles round trip for a quart of milk because I live in a neighborhood that was recently a cow  pasture. Furthermore (Who ever uses  "furthermore" in a friendly way?), I resent your calling here this late. Take my name off your list and leave me alone!"

A few hours later, before turning in, I saw that the call had been picked up by my answering machine. Playback revealed the earnest pitch, followed by my Patrick Henry speech and a thunderous click.

The telemarketer, young, surely inexperienced (Was it her first day on the job?) had been stunned by the depth and breadth of my condemnation. After I rang off, her stressed breathing could be heard. And a brief indignant postscript, spoken to the non-corporeal me, indeed to all cranky householders whose abuse is ladled onto hapless telemarketers the world over.

"Well @!#& you!"

By now, I'm feeling regret — not to mention nostalgia — and the telemarketers aren't even gone yet. Because at my age, I don't get many personal phone calls. My old friends are married and reading bedtime stories, or divorced and back in the dating trenches. They don't have time to talk. Telemarketers, on the other hand, have all the time in the world. In a weird way, they validate my existence.

So do I really want to join the No  Call Registry? Do I want the telephonic silence that will be my lot in life each  night thereafter? Can I handle the quiet and isolation?

Even more to the point, do I want a thicker, greener carpet?

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 7, 2003 12:04 am EDT
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 7, 2003 12:04 am EDT
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Talk of the Town

Thursday August 7, 2003 12:04 am EDT
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Talk of the Town

Thursday July 31, 2003 12:04 am EDT
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-- Via phone"
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Talk of the Town

Thursday July 31, 2003 12:04 am EDT
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No 25-cents-a-glass lemonade stand.  No cul-de-sac baseball. No banana-seat bicycles. No kids.

I'm looking down the main drag of the sub-D on a balmy summer morn, and there isn't a single tyke on a trike.

They've all been taken to camp — which one I couldn't tell you. Around here we have more camps than Stalin's Gulag Archipelago. Tap camp, music camp, art camp, fat camp, Van De Kamp's pork and beans.  Neighbors sent their kids to space camp. That's a bit radical — blasting your offspring, well, off.

I even saw a signs promoting a cheerleading camp for 3-to-5-year-olds. What do they cheer: potty training?

Why the fascination with camp? In an age when "quality time" is the modern mantra, when people are always leaving jobs "to spend more time with family" (a euphemism for getting canned), why are parents shipping their kids off to camp?

Because when school ends, the adults have these pint-sized aliens on their hands. Sure, the children have lived in the house, and occasionally dine there. But they're virtual strangers as far as general conversation goes. How can you get to know your kids when, all school year long, all you've done is haul them to dance lessons, soccer practice and the orthodontist? They're in the back seat, you're in front. Come summer, there isn't anything to say. So it's off to camp.

The Brits had it down to an imperial science. Take Winston Churchill's parents. First chance they got, they shipped him off to military school. Fifteen years later, the kid comes back a polished gentleman:

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Father."

"Indeed, my boy. Have you grown up?"

"Oh, yes sir."

"Measles, tantrums, acne — all done for?"

"Quite so."

"No attention deficit disorder, I trust. Ritalin won't be invented for another 70 years, you know."

"I'm simply ripping, Pater."

"Splendid. You're ready to be prime  minister."

Victorians such as the Churchills had a  no-nonsense attitude about childhood. It was an awkward, messy age to be ruthlessly repressed and/or ignored until the onset of adulthood. In America — in theory at least — we're far more sentimental about youth. We've got toy conglomerates and kiddie entertainment networks, Disneyland, Disney World and SpongeBob SquarePants, but we don't know what to do with actual kids. Hence camp.

How well I remember the day. I must have been 8 when my own parents asked me if I wanted to go to camp. I thought about it for perhaps a nanosecond. It would be far cozier to spend my summer reading Archie comic books, firing cap guns, ingesting pretzel rods and gallons of cherry-flavored Kool-Aid, and hanging out with my friends at any one of four candy stores — the apex of civilization — that existed within a 10-block radius of our house.

"I don't think I want to go."

"Too bad. Your grandparents already paid for it. You have to."

Why do adults even pretend it's a democracy?

And so I got sent up the river to Catholic day camp, a vast, pitiless outdoor experience dedicated to the sole purpose of making me ("Steeerike three. Yer out!") feel like an idiot. Except on days when it rained. Then it was a vast, pitiless indoor experience dedicated to ... You get the idea.

I hoped the place would be run by a wise, kind Bing Crosby-as-Father O'Malley type. Fact is, I don't recall any adults running anything. The entire operation seemed to be controlled by a gang of embryonic hooligans who resembled Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and the Dead End Kids.

Then there were the incessant activities: swimming, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, short trips, long trips, day trips, field trips. They never left a kid alone to think. My mother still recalls the day I came back from one ungodly bus voyage to Bear Mountain with my sneakers on the wrong feet.

Decades have evaporated, but I've always harbored resentment about that summer they railroaded me to camp. Umbrage was recently compounded by bafflement when, rummaging through an old box of stuff, I came across a letter penciled by my father in childhood to his parents. Postmarked from some weenie burg in upstate New York, it's a recitation of life in summer camp, circa 1942, along with frequent hints to come and get him out of there — now.

"You knew!" I spluttered to Dad. "You knew how lousy camp was!"

"Yeah, I guess I did."

"So why did you make me go?"

"Hey," he replied. "Who said life was going to be easy?"

Maybe that's the point of camp. That it's a harbinger of things to come. That during the course of our existence, we'll have to spend time with people we don't want to know, doing things we don't want to do.

White-collar office camp. Now there's a concept.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


i>Glen Slattery is hiding under his bunk in Alpharetta."
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__No 25-cents-a-glass __lemonade stand.  No cul-de-sac baseball. No banana-seat bicycles. No kids.

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I even saw a signs promoting a cheerleading camp for 3-to-5-year-olds. What do they cheer: potty training?

Why the fascination with camp? In an age when "quality time" is the modern mantra, when people are always leaving jobs "to spend more time with family" (a euphemism for getting canned), why are parents shipping their kids off to camp?

Because when school ends, the adults have these pint-sized aliens on their hands. Sure, the children have lived in the house, and occasionally dine there. But they're virtual strangers as far as general conversation goes. How can you get to know your kids when, all school year long, all you've done is haul them to dance lessons, soccer practice and the orthodontist? They're in the back seat, you're in front. Come summer, there isn't anything to say. So it's off to camp.

The Brits had it down to an imperial science. Take Winston Churchill's parents. First chance they got, they shipped him off to military school. Fifteen years later, the kid comes back a polished gentleman:

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Father."

"Indeed, my boy. Have you grown up?"

"Oh, yes sir."

"Measles, tantrums, acne -- all done for?"

"Quite so."

"No attention deficit disorder, I trust. Ritalin won't be invented for another 70 years, you know."

"I'm simply ripping, Pater."

"Splendid. You're ready to be prime  minister."

Victorians such as the Churchills had a  no-nonsense attitude about childhood. It was an awkward, messy age to be ruthlessly repressed and/or ignored until the onset of adulthood. In America -- in theory at least -- we're far more sentimental about youth. We've got toy conglomerates and kiddie entertainment networks, Disneyland, Disney World and SpongeBob SquarePants, but we don't know what to do with actual kids. Hence camp.

How well I remember the day. I must have been 8 when my own parents asked me if I wanted to go to camp. I thought about it for perhaps a nanosecond. It would be far cozier to spend my summer reading Archie comic books, firing cap guns, ingesting pretzel rods and gallons of cherry-flavored Kool-Aid, and hanging out with my friends at any one of four candy stores -- the apex of civilization -- that existed within a 10-block radius of our house.

"I don't think I want to go."

"Too bad. Your grandparents already paid for it. You have to."

Why do adults even pretend it's a democracy?

And so I got sent up the river to Catholic day camp, a vast, pitiless outdoor experience dedicated to the sole purpose of making me ("Steeerike three. Yer out!") feel like an idiot. Except on days when it rained. Then it was a vast, pitiless indoor experience dedicated to ... You get the idea.

I hoped the place would be run by a wise, kind Bing Crosby-as-Father O'Malley type. Fact is, I don't recall any adults running anything. The entire operation seemed to be controlled by a gang of embryonic hooligans who resembled Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and the Dead End Kids.

Then there were the incessant activities: swimming, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, short trips, long trips, day trips, field trips. They never left a kid alone to think. My mother still recalls the day I came back from one ungodly bus voyage to Bear Mountain with my sneakers on the wrong feet.

Decades have evaporated, but I've always harbored resentment about that summer they railroaded me to camp. Umbrage was recently compounded by bafflement when, rummaging through an old box of stuff, I came across a letter penciled by my father in childhood to his parents. Postmarked from some weenie burg in upstate New York, it's a recitation of life in summer camp, circa 1942, along with frequent hints to come and get him out of there -- now.

"You knew!" I spluttered to Dad. "You knew how lousy camp was!"

"Yeah, I guess I did."

"So why did you make me go?"

"Hey," he replied. "Who said life was going to be easy?"

Maybe that's the point of camp. That it's a harbinger of things to come. That during the course of our existence, we'll have to spend time with people we don't want to know, doing things we don't want to do.

White-collar office camp. Now there's a concept.

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


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  string(5056) "    No rest for the weenie   2003-07-31T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - The kiddie Archipelago July 31 2003   Glen Slattery 1223649 2003-07-31T04:04:00+00:00  

No 25-cents-a-glass lemonade stand.  No cul-de-sac baseball. No banana-seat bicycles. No kids.

I'm looking down the main drag of the sub-D on a balmy summer morn, and there isn't a single tyke on a trike.

They've all been taken to camp — which one I couldn't tell you. Around here we have more camps than Stalin's Gulag Archipelago. Tap camp, music camp, art camp, fat camp, Van De Kamp's pork and beans.  Neighbors sent their kids to space camp. That's a bit radical — blasting your offspring, well, off.

I even saw a signs promoting a cheerleading camp for 3-to-5-year-olds. What do they cheer: potty training?

Why the fascination with camp? In an age when "quality time" is the modern mantra, when people are always leaving jobs "to spend more time with family" (a euphemism for getting canned), why are parents shipping their kids off to camp?

Because when school ends, the adults have these pint-sized aliens on their hands. Sure, the children have lived in the house, and occasionally dine there. But they're virtual strangers as far as general conversation goes. How can you get to know your kids when, all school year long, all you've done is haul them to dance lessons, soccer practice and the orthodontist? They're in the back seat, you're in front. Come summer, there isn't anything to say. So it's off to camp.

The Brits had it down to an imperial science. Take Winston Churchill's parents. First chance they got, they shipped him off to military school. Fifteen years later, the kid comes back a polished gentleman:

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Father."

"Indeed, my boy. Have you grown up?"

"Oh, yes sir."

"Measles, tantrums, acne — all done for?"

"Quite so."

"No attention deficit disorder, I trust. Ritalin won't be invented for another 70 years, you know."

"I'm simply ripping, Pater."

"Splendid. You're ready to be prime  minister."

Victorians such as the Churchills had a  no-nonsense attitude about childhood. It was an awkward, messy age to be ruthlessly repressed and/or ignored until the onset of adulthood. In America — in theory at least — we're far more sentimental about youth. We've got toy conglomerates and kiddie entertainment networks, Disneyland, Disney World and SpongeBob SquarePants, but we don't know what to do with actual kids. Hence camp.

How well I remember the day. I must have been 8 when my own parents asked me if I wanted to go to camp. I thought about it for perhaps a nanosecond. It would be far cozier to spend my summer reading Archie comic books, firing cap guns, ingesting pretzel rods and gallons of cherry-flavored Kool-Aid, and hanging out with my friends at any one of four candy stores — the apex of civilization — that existed within a 10-block radius of our house.

"I don't think I want to go."

"Too bad. Your grandparents already paid for it. You have to."

Why do adults even pretend it's a democracy?

And so I got sent up the river to Catholic day camp, a vast, pitiless outdoor experience dedicated to the sole purpose of making me ("Steeerike three. Yer out!") feel like an idiot. Except on days when it rained. Then it was a vast, pitiless indoor experience dedicated to ... You get the idea.

I hoped the place would be run by a wise, kind Bing Crosby-as-Father O'Malley type. Fact is, I don't recall any adults running anything. The entire operation seemed to be controlled by a gang of embryonic hooligans who resembled Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and the Dead End Kids.

Then there were the incessant activities: swimming, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, short trips, long trips, day trips, field trips. They never left a kid alone to think. My mother still recalls the day I came back from one ungodly bus voyage to Bear Mountain with my sneakers on the wrong feet.

Decades have evaporated, but I've always harbored resentment about that summer they railroaded me to camp. Umbrage was recently compounded by bafflement when, rummaging through an old box of stuff, I came across a letter penciled by my father in childhood to his parents. Postmarked from some weenie burg in upstate New York, it's a recitation of life in summer camp, circa 1942, along with frequent hints to come and get him out of there — now.

"You knew!" I spluttered to Dad. "You knew how lousy camp was!"

"Yeah, I guess I did."

"So why did you make me go?"

"Hey," he replied. "Who said life was going to be easy?"

Maybe that's the point of camp. That it's a harbinger of things to come. That during the course of our existence, we'll have to spend time with people we don't want to know, doing things we don't want to do.

White-collar office camp. Now there's a concept.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com


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Talk of the Town

Thursday July 31, 2003 12:04 am EDT
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Jenkins' hobby of tree climbing attracted his friends and clients from his rock climbing days in Colorado. They wanted new objects to scale. His clients finally convinced him to start taking them along on his tree-climbing trips. With the sport's popularity growing, Jenkins founded a club for recreational climbers called Tree Climbers International.

He also operates a tree-climbing school in the Candler Park area. "Two 100-year-old white oak trees are our classrooms," he chuckles. He's taught at least 10,000 first-time climbers and hasn't had any injuries so far. There are other schools in Atlanta and around the world including Japan, Germany, France and Taiwan — all run by instructors Jenkins has trained.

The treeman also offers overnight camping trips, where clients are able to spend the night on hammocks hung on the treetops. Weather permitting, there's also the possibility of tree surfing, which is riding the winds of  the treetops.

Getting high never felt so good.


Tree Climbers International, 290 Arizona Ave. First and third Sundays of every month, 2-5 p.m. $12. 404-377-3150. www.treeclimbing.com."
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Jenkins' hobby of tree climbing attracted his friends and clients from his rock climbing days in Colorado. They wanted new objects to scale. His clients finally convinced him to start taking them along on his tree-climbing trips. With the sport's popularity growing, Jenkins founded a club for recreational climbers called Tree Climbers International.

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The treeman also offers overnight camping trips, where clients are able to spend the night on hammocks hung on the treetops. Weather permitting, there's also the possibility of tree surfing, which is riding the winds of  the treetops.

Getting high never felt so good.

____
''Tree Climbers International, 290 Arizona Ave. First and third Sundays of every month, 2-5 p.m. $12. 404-377-3150. www.treeclimbing.com.''"
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Jenkins' hobby of tree climbing attracted his friends and clients from his rock climbing days in Colorado. They wanted new objects to scale. His clients finally convinced him to start taking them along on his tree-climbing trips. With the sport's popularity growing, Jenkins founded a club for recreational climbers called Tree Climbers International.

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The treeman also offers overnight camping trips, where clients are able to spend the night on hammocks hung on the treetops. Weather permitting, there's also the possibility of tree surfing, which is riding the winds of  the treetops.

Getting high never felt so good.


Tree Climbers International, 290 Arizona Ave. First and third Sundays of every month, 2-5 p.m. $12. 404-377-3150. www.treeclimbing.com.             13011981 1242978                          Talk of the Town - Getting high July 31 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday July 31, 2003 12:04 am EDT

Many a mother cautioned her children about the dangers of getting high, but certified arborist Peter Jenkins has found a way to make it safe. By using safe equipment and trained instructors, Jenkins encourages adults to get high — in trees.

Jenkins' hobby of tree climbing attracted his friends and clients from his rock climbing days in Colorado. They wanted new objects to scale. His...

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