First to read was Andrew W.M. Beierle .The impressively middle-initialed author read from his novel The Winter of Our Discotheque, set in New York City in the 1970s. The chapter he read from detailed the funeral of one of the novel's leads: overweight, middling TV and film star Dallas Eden. Far from solemn, the funeral was a romping parade of "half-baked and full-baked stars" and eulogies filled with fat jokes like, "He didn't have erogenous zones. He had erogenous regions." I hope my funeral is half as fun.
The next reader was Sheri Joseph . Outed last week by Soutern Voice as a "heterosexual author," Joseph nevertheless read from passages about a gay teen character named Paul from her novel Bear Me Safely Over. It was lovelier and sadder than I can do justice to here.
The final author to read was sex-advice columnist Michael Alvear , author of the hilarious and helpful Men Are Pigs, But We Love Bacon. Alvear's advice is funnier than that of the more famous Dan Savage. And unlike Savage, Alvear doesn't need to resort to meanness for his laughs. Reading from the chapter titled "How Your Dick Works; How to Work Your Dick," he discussed the gay obsession with large penises. He joked that the three great lies in gay life are "I'm bisexual, I go to bars for the music, and I have an eight-inch dick."
Alvear says that the widespread myth about the average erect penis being six inches in length derives from a study in which men self-reported their size. He pointed out that a recent penis-size study in which the measuring was supervised showed an average size of just over five inches. That study was done at U.C. San Francisco, of course.
Jackson-Grady High School: On Friday night, I did something that I haven't done since I was in high school. No, I didn't skip study hall and go to Taco Bell. I went to a high school football game. I saw the mighty Knights of Grady High School play the not quite as mighty (but hey, way to give it your all) Pirates of Pike County High School. Playing at the team's Midtown stadium, the speedy Grady put the game out of reach by the middle of the third quarter.
Despite their wilting team and dejected, near-silent fans, Pike County's cheerleaders never gave up. Not 10 seconds went by without one of them yelling, "Let's go P.C., c'mon," or "C'mon P.C., let's go." With cheers like, "Defense attack. Get that ball back," and "Run it. Run the ball. Run and score," they provided solid yet ultimately unheeded advice to their classmates on the field. And with "1-2-3-4, P-C-H. Pirates, We're here to fight," they even ventured into complex free verse. Helpful in the dim light, all of their cheers utilized the two-finger pointing technique previously reserved for flight-attendant safety demonstrations.
A loss on the field, perhaps. But it was certainly a moral victory.
Jackson-Garden Hills: Sunday afternoon's Garden Hills Ice Cream Social in Sunnybrook Park was (unless I'm completely forgetting one) the best neighborhood festival I've ever attended. Hell, it was better than most carnivals. They had pony rides, tattoos, music, pizza, a St. Bernard with a barrel hanging from his collar, and ice cream. Karate prodigies from the Imperatori Karate school were on hand (and feet) demonstrating stances and breaking boards. One kid in the audience kept saying, "Bless you" when they demonstrated, not understanding that karate students are supposed to make hissing noises when they exhale.
Several of the kids, and at least one adult who looked an awful lot like me, paid two tickets ($1) to visit the Garden Hills Ice Cream Social Hospital. The facility -- which, by the way, doesn't accept Blue Cross -- bandages children's heads and limbs, then covers the bandages with fake blood. Combined with the hair-coloring and face-painting at the festival, passersby can be forgiven for thinking that Garden Hills is populated by grotesque mutant children. They're not. They're just playful.
J.E.A.R.L.: Last Friday, Creative Loafing and The Earl co-hosted a bargain-priced rock show featuring CL Best of 2003 critic's picks The Hiss and Y-O-U. DJ-ing between sets was regular CL contributor DJ Ballz Deep, aka Tony Ware. I forget which one is his real name.
I stopped to chat with Ballz Deep, but it was very loud, so I couldn't hear him too well. I think he said something about ladies loving Beyonce. Playing before The Hiss, Y-O-U started its set with a cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" (aka the "I wanna fuck you like an animal" song). With their vintage suits and Kraftwerky postures, they were quite funny. Y-O-U is a great rock band though, so the humorous posturing never pushes the group over the edge into "annoying novelty band" land.
At one point, Y-O-U offered a deadpan shout-out to Brett Schieber . Schieber is relatively unknown in the Atlanta music community, yet he still managed to win four CL Readers' Pick awards (Best New Music Act, Best Rock Act, Best Singer/Songwriter, Best Folk Act). According to Schieber's website, he once scored a No. 7 hit in Lithuania. Perhaps CL has a much bigger Lithuanian following than any of us knew.
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