Friday, November 20, 2009

One last plug for Story Slam

I'll be reading some of my work tonight at Story Slam! Charlotte on Central Avenue, along with fellow writers John Hartness, Iesha Hoffman and Steve Stoeckel. You might know Steve as a member of the legendary Spongetones, but he's also a great writer.

I'm not sure how many pieces I'll be reading -- it depends on how the rest of the night goes, but I'm thinking two or three. I'm bringing a few columns and at least one piece that's not from the Observer. That piece requires a little music, and I'll have the great honor of having Steve serve as my backing band for that one. So if you don't like the story, at least the music will be good. And don't worry, I won't sing. You don't want to hear me sing.

There's beer, wine and soft drinks at the venue, plus a bunch of great restaurants within walking distance. Come early, have some dinner, make a night of it. Show starts at 8. The Story Slam! website has more details. Holler if you have any questions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Catch me at Story Slam! Charlotte

Shameless plug alert: I'm going to do a reading (along with authors John Hartness and Iesha Hoffman) on Friday at Story Slam! Charlotte, which is a very cool performance series that started a few months ago in an intimate little space on Central Avenue.

Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tix are $14. (FYI, John and Iesha are also reading Saturday night; I'm Friday only.)

I'll be reading a couple of columns and at least one other piece, and there might be a Special Mystery Guest. I've never done an event like this before. Probability of flop sweat on stage: About 80 percent. Come find out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A soldier and his dog

Maybe it's good that Veterans Day is cold and rainy here. It's a reminder that the men and women who fight for us have to do their jobs in the cold rain, and the brutal heat, and all the other conditions that God and man set upon them. Maybe a good tribute today would be just to stand outside for a minute or two and think about that.

I've read two fine Veterans Day pieces today -- David Perlmutt's story from our paper, and Nancy Nall's essay from her blog. But the thing that got me was a little video someone posted in Nancy's comments. Here's a soldier, home from Afghanistan, and the dog who was waiting for him.

Good dog.

Monday, November 02, 2009

"Firebird" vs. the Flaming Lips

As we've been writing stories about "Firebird" -- the sculpture being unveiled Tuesday at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art -- I kept thinking that it looked familiar. This morning, I figured it out.

Here's "Firebird":

And here's the cover to the Flaming Lips' 2002 album "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots":

I did a quick Google check and didn't see any connection... but anything that makes at least a few people think of the Flaming Lips makes Charlotte a little bit weirder. And that's a good thing.