The Atlanta Soccer Village

Atlanta Soccer Village Detail 004

Back in the 1990s I stayed employed by moving between Atlanta’s tiny movie industry and a small design practice headed by Laura Heery, daughter of famous Atlanta architect George Heery.  Laura has always been ardent about architecture and urban design, and she was always able to find some truly fun design projects around Atlanta.  I’m always glad that I had the experience to work with her on some of these imaginative projects, even if few of them made it past the concept design stages (that’s the world of architecture).

In then Atlanta had a soccer team called the Atlanta Silverbacks.  I have no idea if they were any good, because I never went to a game. All I know is that we were thrown into an effort to design a soccer stadium that might be part of a larger complex that included Continue reading The Atlanta Soccer Village

Meeting Your Rennie Heroes

GARF represents at CONjuration

This past weekend I joined some friends at a small convention in Atlanta called “CONjuration” (ConjurationCon.com) whose magical theme gives fans of the Harry Potter universe a place to gather and share their love of J.K. Rowling’s works. This was the convention’s 5th year and its first time at the Atlanta Airport Hilton. It was my second time to attend this con and my first time to Continue reading Meeting Your Rennie Heroes

The Boy with the Rubber Guts

There’s a reason I don’t go to haunted houses anymore. It’s partly because I know how they work, but it’s mostly because I suspect there are other kids out there like the boy with the rubber guts.

In the 1980’s me and my friends went to plenty of haunted houses. My friends Dale and Daryl always turned their garage into a neighborhood haunted house, hanging sheets from the ceiling to make a maze – they loved it.

My Dad’s Masonic Lodge in Riverdale had a hugely successful haunted house that drew crowds from all over Atlanta.  There were always huge lines and the crowds grew longer as the night went on. I vividly remember that they had one room where you walked across a swinging bridge strung over a bottomless pit… inside a HOUSE no less!!! It was a simple yet terrifying and amazing Continue reading The Boy with the Rubber Guts

I Survived the 2018 Dragon Con Parade

This is a post about hygiene, playing cruel tricks on your friends, and the Dragon Con parade. Let’s begin with that last one.

This year marked the 13th year that our “cardboard stormtroopers” marched in the Dragon Con parade in one form or another. I had to skip last year’s march due to a nasty cold I contracted at Play On Con 2017, but this year I was back in the mix – albeit well out of shape and without a solid plan once the parade was over –  I have learned through experience that my body is in charge of things from that point Continue reading I Survived the 2018 Dragon Con Parade

Robby Hilliard Awarded 2018 Reinhardt Award

This weekend my friend Robby Hilliard was presented with the prestigious Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award, ostensibly for his service to Dragon Con’s Filk Track where he has served as Director, but also for his contributions to fandom in general. Robby is a ding-dang, top-notch, A#1 Nerd, and I’m glad to know him.

In case you got hung up on the word ‘Filk’ in the previous paragraph, all you need to know is that it’s a musical genre featuring lyrics with sci-fi/nerd-centric themes, and is associated with Continue reading Robby Hilliard Awarded 2018 Reinhardt Award

Saying Goodbye to The Bandit

My friend Katie Willard Troebs called me today and told me that Burt Reynolds was in heaven with JL, a legendary transportation captain we all knew and loved.  We lost JL nearly a year ago.  JL and his wife Cindy were longtime friends with Burt and have several hysterical tales of regular life incidents with him.  After Katie and I ended our call I began thinking back to the spring of 2010, when I was struck by a sudden, inexplicable nostalgia for the movie Smokey and the Bandit.

Sure, I enjoyed the movie when I was growing up, but I was more of a Star Wars kid which made it kind of odd that I suddenly felt compelled to track down a copy of the original soundtrack from the movie.  At that time I couldn’t find the album in an MP3 format, so I ordered an old CD from someone on eBay.  It was crazy, but the only deal I found was from some dude over in England.  That’s right, England.  When the package made it across the ocean I cut open the envelope only to discover that I had paid for Continue reading Saying Goodbye to The Bandit

Filk Banner Taken at Dragon Con

Update: the banner from the 2018 Dragon Con Filk track has been recovered.

This year the folks who run the Dragon Con Filk track suffered a most grievous loss. Some unknown person removed a handmade banner from their room.

Retiring Director Robby Hilliard’s wife Leigh provided me with the photo featured in this post.

As you can see it’s a one of a kind piece, made even more priceless by the fact that it was created by the late mother of one of the people who routinely volunteer for the Filk track. What a terrible feeling it must be to have her mother’s artwork Continue reading Filk Banner Taken at Dragon Con

26 Things Not to Touch at Dragon Con

After dancing dangerously close to telling Dragon Con to “get off my lawn” over the past few years I have turned a corner and am now finding joy in people who are new to the convention scene.  If I had only one piece of advice to give to these people it would be “stay hydrated”.  Adequate hydration is part of the formula for maintaining your body’s immune system, making it far less susceptible to illness and injury. My second piece of advice would be “don’t touch anything” from the following list.

#26 People

Duh. Don’t get near them. People are the number one cause of disease among humans. Look it up. I am correct about this. Just stay away from them. They will only sneeze on you, attempt to lick you, or break your heart. Generally they will attempt to do all three in that order.  People are as bad as they sound so get ready to hear an awful lot about them and the things they do in this article.

#25 Elevator Buttons

They’re round, they’re shiny, they light up when you push them, and they will take you back to your room so that you can change into your next costume. Guess what? Lots of people like to use these buttons. A whole lot.  Records indicate that a single button in the west bank of elevators in the Marriott Marquis was pressed 832,729 times between Continue reading 26 Things Not to Touch at Dragon Con

Focus on Zoran Veselic

On Wednesday my friend Denise mentioned that she’d been saddened to learn of the passing of a 1st AC she had worked with recently. She linked to a video (included below) and out of curiosity I clicked play. The man in the video looked kind of familiar and after the fourth or fifth time hearing the name “Zoran” I finally realized that I had actually worked with him on the feature Sweet Home Alabama.

Zoran joined our crew when production replaced our 1st AC on A camera.  It’s always an uncomfortable day when you lose a focus puller, and kind of bad Continue reading Focus on Zoran Veselic

Stone Mountain’s Secret Twin

I was driving home last week talking (hands free, mind you) to a friend over in Charleston who informed me that he was considering a getaway to Stone Mountain… in North Carolina. To a native Atlantan like me that last sentence didn’t make any sense because we all know that Stone Mountain is clearly Continue reading Stone Mountain’s Secret Twin