Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios VIP Experience Disappoints

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A performance by the Cirque du Soleil is almost always a life-altering experience for someone in the audience, and it’s little wonder that fans tend to nominate their very first show as their favorite. My first cirque was Alegria, back in the mid-1990s when the Grand Chapiteau was set up across the street from the Cheetah 3 strip club, and to this day the soundtrack from Alegria is the first thing I think of when I hear the word ‘Cirque’.

For my second show (I think it might have been Dralion) I bought tickets for my parents, treating them to the Tapis Rouge experience – a magical tent overflowing with music, food, and drink. You couldn’t turn around without bumping into a server carrying a tray laden with some incredible work of edible art, and to this day my mom remains convinced that the Cirque du Soleil is the only place where you can order “that drink made with grapefruit and vodka” (she’s not much of a drinker).

The Tapis Rouge wasn’t just about the food though, it truly was an “experience” in its own right – an expression of everything that is unique about Cirque, from the fabric lining the tent to the stage lighting and the festive decor of the space, to the playlist of songs from current and previous traveling shows. There was a Cirque store where you could purchase clothing, knickknacks, umbrellas, celebrated Venetian masks, and of course Continue reading

AT&T U-verse Cancels Popular Showcase Channel

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March has been really tough and tonight I thought that I would let my soul relax for a while by tuning into Channel 800 on our cable provider, AT&T U-Verse. Officially known as “U-Verse Showcase”, the channel featured gorgeous nature cinematography set to pleasant instrumentals – anything from herds of kangaroo sweeping majestically over whatever the heck it is the Aussies call “the plain”, to the painted American desert from dusk to dawn. Our family would sit watching it for an hour, mesmerized by the calming effect it gave us. Better yet, if you were paying for the HD package you could dial up Channel 1800 where you’d see the same videos, but in high definition (best seen on one of those enormous televisions, which we do not have). Now, if you haven’t noticed, I’m referring to these channels in the past tense because at the beginning of the March 2016, AT&T discontinued both  Continue reading

Should Hollis Gillespie Apologize for Comedygate?

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Hollis, Hollis, Hollis. I’m just now hearing about Comedygate. My friend, you are constantly getting into trouble. How many misadventures does this make since I’ve known you? Seventeen? My favorite is still the time that you were chased by a love struck garbage truck driver while you were glued to a purse filled with bees, but I guess this one’s pretty good too.

The message I received about Comedygate was excited and garbled and confusing as hell, so I clicked over to Paste Magazine and tracked down your article “A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Stand-up Comedian”.

Your article was nice and short. Pithy, like everything on the Internet these days. Remember when magazines expected writers to produce really long pieces so they could Continue reading

Chick-Fil-A Coleslaw Catastrophe

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On the way to lunch last Tuesday my friend Linda Simon made a passing reference to Chick-fil-a discontinuing their coleslaw, which seemed a rather odd thing to say since the very idea seemed preposterous. Since Linda is not generally known as a merry prankster I simply turned to her and shouted as loud as I could “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY’RE DISCONTINUING THEIR COLESLAW????”.

A few minutes later we were sitting at our local Continue reading

Remembering Tate Nichols

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In the early hours of Saturday morning word went out that our friend Tate Nichols had passed away in North Georgia, and my condolences go out to all of his loved ones. For those of us who have not seen Tate in recent years the news of his death has been a shock. In the “old school” Atlanta film circle it has been felt most keenly, especially by my friends in the art department, many of whom have worked side by side with Tate for Continue reading

One Sweet TomorrowMud Story

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My mom just told me a story that her friend Thelma passed along to her this morning, and I thought that I’d share it with you guys and maybe you could tell your friends. Thelma’s little church is just down the road from the location of TomorrowWorld, an amazing electronic dance music festival that came to the United States from Europe back in 2013. I remember when art director Sean Jennings Ryan first showed me this video of TomorrowLand… Continue reading

Atlanta Falcons Sphincter May Injure Necks

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Every time I see one of the local news stations run the animation of the retractable roof on the new Falcons stadium I cringe because it’s not a terribly elegant solution. It’s somewhat ironic that the supporters of the new stadium have gone to such great efforts to label the current football stadium as “tired and ugly”, and then went and picked something with such a massively dark roof, penetrated by such a small oculus – it’s a modern rendition of the Pantheon, without the elegant Roman engineering.  When city leaders and football chiefs explain how the stadium will “let the sun shine in” you get the impression that the experience will be like sitting in the Continue reading

Be Careful Using LED Replacement Lights in Enclosed Fixtures

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I’ve recently been helping my parents embrace the joy of replacing their beloved incandescent bulbs with LED equivalents. My biggest ally in this campaign has been the summer weather, as highs in the Southeastern United States have been consistently pushing above 90ºF (32ºC) for the past two months and show no signs of letting up any time soon. In an older, less well-insulated home it’s important to use every trick available to keep room temperatures low, and LEDs run so much cooler than incandescent lights that you can actually reach out and Continue reading

Growing Pains

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[See update at the end of this blog post] This past Sunday there was an Atlanta screening of the upcoming Marvel film Ant-Man, featuring comedic actor Paul Rudd in the lead role (YouTube clip).  I’m told that among the dignitaries in the audience was Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who, along with a number of our state legislators has been a major supporter of our state’s motion picture industry. Governor Deal has been especially outspoken about Georgia’s plans to continue growing its film industry, going so far as to Georgia Night in L.A. to thank studio executives who have shot in Georgia and to woo more who might consider filming here in the future.  It’s unlikely that anyone made a transcript of the Governor’s remarks to the gathered cast and crew of Ant-Man (because I haven’t heard them either), but I’ve been told that his Continue reading