A Fine Dish

dish (v) to emit a ready flow of inconsequential talk... babble, blab, burble... chatter, dither... gab, lallygag... natter, patter, prattle, rattle on... yammer, yawp...also...chew the fat, shoot the breeze, sling the bull.... and (n) a container to serve food -or- the food contained in the dish ....(archaic slang) a hot mama

Location: Rock Creek Township, North Carolina, United States

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rain Forest

Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta featured the first heat wave of the season. Not to be deterred; there are just too many wonderful things to do and see there. One adventure my lovely sister-in-law Beth treated Helen and me to was an afternoon at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The gardens are both indoor and outdoor. Even the path from the parking lot gave a preview of multi-sensual delights. Among the shapes and colors of many common local flora were these gardenias. It seems to me that some of the most unassuming looking white flowers packed the biggest olfactory impact.

The outdoor gardens feature sculpture worked into the benches and landscape--lots of hands-on artwork. While this was fun, the real treasure was the rainforest exhibit. The entrance of the building features large terrariums housing a variety of jewellike and highly toxic South American tree frogs. The colors are phenomenal, slick greens, bold shiny blacks, reverberating reds, boundless blues.

The next step brings you into the exhibit itself. While the lobby features creatures behind glass, the next room is walking behind the glass itself. The rainforst floras are specific to their local conditions and the building replicates a variety of environments--high country, low country, valley, mountain, upper canopy, mid-canopy. Each room is temperature and humidity regulated and at intervals a hisss of mist is released over all.

(Clearly, for some people it was a bad hair day.)

Helen and I shared the camera and here is a small selection of what we walked among.

The most striking plant was in a room of its very own. This room was very thick with mist, the floor slick and the air full. I was actually concerned about bringing my camera in but when you take a peek, you'll understand why I did.

Looks carnivorous, don't you think?

One last impression that I got had to do with the thougtfulness of the professionals that put together these gardens. On the way to another building we saw a fountain that my skills just could not give justice to. The crown of this fountain is blown glass that caught and reflected the brilliance of the sun as the waterdrops did below. It is the centerpiece of a formal garden and retains the basic shape of a traditional fountain and yet also mirrors the wildness and exotic shapes of that alien plant that we just saw.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

American Idolaughtry

So if you come from 'round these parts, you know that this morning was the McClansVille homecoming party for local favorite....

Chris Daughtry.

The AI (American Idol, not Artificial Intellingence) Buzz has it that this guy is pretty nice. He's family oriented, he has lunch with school kids, he helps out with the PTA. Well let me tell you, well, it's true. And the community has really come out for him. What struck me the most walking around the field next to the near abandoned Mcleansville shopping plaza was how excited families were. How parents and young children had gathered together to wish Chris well. There were fathers pushing strollers and boosting children up on their shoulders. There was a contest to see who oldest fan was (it was a Fryar, not a Clapp). Parents and children, like those to your left, had planned on this get together, made a project of it.

The event balanced backwoods tacky and small town endearing. The Harley babes and the stretch suvs--a bit over the top. Chris made it to the stage as the Eastern High School band (in full uniform--Cassandra, you are a real sport!) played 'We Will Rock You.' For their trouble, Chris and his family 'walked the gauntlet' patting the young musicians backs and smiling into the wicket of camera phones in teeny boppers sweaty hands. (Oh my Gawd, Oh my Gawd! Tiffany, I got his picture!) Chris gave a short talk to the elementary age school children cordoned off in a tent on the far side of the field.

Back on stage Chris was allowed by contract to sing one song. He asked the crowd who had the Absent Element CD then sang a cut by request from a young fan. Incidentally, someone is doing really fun artwork with that band. A little edgy for the school kids, but very attractive to teens.

The hosts had solicited questions from the crowd. Chris shared such points of interest as he has two pets, a guinea pig and a bunny. They'll probably leave Mcleansville but will stay in Guilford County (Irving Park maybe?) He really liked meeting Billy Bob Thornton ("who?" asked a teen next to me. "Angelina Joli's ex-husband." "Who's that?" If she was a boy she would have known). Perhaps of greater interest to rock and Chris fans is it's an uh-uh on these guys but he intimated that there may be something brewing here.

(Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for an up and comer's success, but EDDIE! What are you doing?)

If things don't go so well in the music industry, apparently Chris does have some other expertise. In exchange for two tickets to the Greensboro Americal Idol concert tour performance, a lovely woman donated her hair to locks of love. I must say that Chris and his wife Deanna did a credible job of shearing.