Thursday, May 28, 2009
This says something loud about Macon music today. It can't get much cooler than local artist Al K!ng performing at the historical Grant's Lounge . . . oh wait, try Al K!ing's Galaga II on Grant's legendary stage. When the K!ng finally gets his due, this show is going to become a collectible bootleg. The Friday night live music event starts at 10 and also features Big Chad Famous.
He may be the K!ng, but here he is with the Queen of Candy's Land. Be there, you worms. And support live music in Macon.
I was there for the final game of co-ed rec softball league's number one team of the personality, the Macon Improvement Authority. This year it was more banner than Bad News Bears for the sophomore season of Coach Chris Horne's who's-who-of-home team. Tonight they took home a big booty of a trophy for closing out the season in second place. That's what Candy's Land is talking about!
Here’s one of her and Shuga D’s favorite dishes she created after over-shooting a box of pasta and ending up with large tangle of leftover noodles.
Chopped pecans (or walnuts, but since Shuga works in a candy factory that makes divinity and pecan logs, we keep them in stock.)
Prosciutto (or not)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small pat of butter
Salt and pepper
Make a goat cheese mixture with, salt and pepper, a little olive oil and zest from ½ the lemon. Toast pecans with a little olive oil and salt, set aside and save skillet to sauté arugula greens in butter, olive oil and juice from ½ the lemon. Add pasta (if cold, allow to re-heat) and a small ladle of water (use starchy pasta water if freshly cooked). Stir together until liquid heats through. Remove from heat. Toss in goat cheese mixture, pecans and torn shreds of proscuitto. Add zest and squeeze juice from the rest of the lemon on top. Eat it hot or chill for a summer pasta salad.
The website is an eco-friendly marketplace with well-tabbed section of green gifts under $25. Mom’s favorite is the recycled magazine vase (could that be because she is a magazine editor and loves the fact there is an elegant after-life for her work?), as well as any of the soy candle travel sets. If only Mother Earth had the commerical prowess of Oprah, she'd make them her favorite things!
And what better way to give, if you can take away a good feeling from it . . . and not feel so guilty for not recycling that nasty mayo container the other day.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Well, the current is changing. Two weeks ago she and Shuga D went on their first kayaking adventure, and Mom fell in love with the float. So, when Supermom (Sarah Gerwig-Moore) called her yesterday and asked if they were up for another trip, she and Shuga D were ready and waiting at the river banks.
For brothers Brian and Stephen Adams, it was the maiden voyage of their new business Ocmulgee Expeditions, a kayak and canoe outfit where you can book your own river adventure with their gear, guidance and put in/pick up transport. Because of the iffy weather (Waterworks won’t open when it’s cloudy – and probably should review that policy), yesterday’s expedition took place from Dame’s to Pope’s Ferry.
Ocmulgee Expeditions has a fleet of kayaks, canoes, tubes, paddles and life vests. They also have a bus for group transports. Basically, all you have to do is show up in your h20-friendly attire and sunscreen, and they take care of the rest.
The open-for-business official expeditions will begin the first weekend in June. Many of the trips will be from Waters Works to Spring Street and longer journeys from Pope’s Ferry to Water Works. If all goes well, Ocmulgee Expeditions would eventually like to offer trips through Bond Swamp (in the winter, although right now is limited to canoeing when hunting) and Walnut Creek (when the water is up).
If Mom could have bottled the fun they had yesterday, then that bottle was sure to be filled with Ocmulgee water. With a group that included the entire Gerwig-Moore family, Brad and Meagan Evans and Leslie and Mark Strozier, Ocmulgee Expeditions has already created some lasting memories, as well as a ripple effect among fun-seekers who have heard yesterday’s stories. Mom’s favorite moment was making it through the rough waters of Dames Ferry without woman-over-boarding. Shuga’s favorite moment was her facial expression when she realized there was no turning back!
Ocmulgee Expeditions will have their site www.OcmulgeeExpeditions.com afloat shortly. They are currently taking reservations for expeditions by calling 478.757.8226.
Thanks to Brainstorm Lab’s Mark Strozier for the photo!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
On this day, 66 years ago, a red-headed baby boy was born in a small house off Montpelier Avenue, here in Macon. He was the youngest of three boys, his big brothers being Blue and Phil, and he did his best to keep up with them, despite his acute asthma as a child. The Walden family made their home on a humble ranch off Ayers Road, where the three country brothers had stars in their eyes, girls on their minds, and eventually, a penchant for music that would become known as rhythm and blues . . . and would change their family's courses in life for generations to come.
The story has been told time and time again. Sometimes in different versions, depending on who you ask or what state the person telling it was in at the time. But one thing is for sure, the story rivals any Southern fable; even the silver screen wouldn't properly explain the truth that was lived by those who lived it.
The red-headed baby boy now has two grown daughters and a red-headed son of his own. His hair has never grayed and the creases in his face are the elegant kind that men get from smiling too much. He has a beautiful wife (the third time is the charm!) and a simple life, surrounded by gold and platinum records, museum worthy memorabilia, chicken feathers, treasures from the Bolingbroke dump, and most importantly, family pictures of a family who has been through it all and continues to love each other harder every aging day.
Today, Mom is looking forward to wrapping her arms around that man and telling her daddy how much she loves him and how grateful she is his rock and roll soul has survived this Earth for 66 years.
There is not enough space to write everything her daddy taught her, but a passionate spirit, heart of gold and the beauty of a simple man (or woman) is only the beginning . . .
He checks this blog everyday, so please post your comments wishing Alan Walden a very happy birthday.
Friday, May 22, 2009
By the way, BB, Mom wants to know, “Would you like a Jack and coke?”
She didn’t think so.
Candy Lou loves you!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, Mom’s Leadership Macon class focused on education. The day was spent taking the English and Math portion of the 8th grade CRCT test (Mom scored perfect on English; not so much on Math), riding on a yellow school bus, touring the old and new Central High School, eating a delicious lunch prepared by Hutching’s Career Center’s culinary program and listening to Bibb County School Board officials better explain the local public school system.
What struck Mom the most is when Superintendent Sharon Patterson discussed the number of economically disadvantaged children within the system. Not only does 73 percent of the entire school system population fall under this category, but there are some schools with a 97 percent poverty rate. These students qualify for free and reduced lunch provided by the school. And what these numbers mean, Patterson said, is many students return to school on Mondays hungry because when not in school, “They literally do not eat.”
She went on to explain that the impact of generation poverty versus social poverty is what further weighs down our school system. So what can we do to impact the level of generation poverty in our community? Change the course of a life, one child at a time. Give one child the gateway to work for something better in life. Once that door is opened, whether through a high school diploma, college degree, technological certification or job skills training, the generational path to poverty has been altered, possibly forever.
For Mom and her fellow mentors with the Mentors Project of Bibb County, a minimum of four hours a month with their protégés can accomplish this. There are over 200 children currently enrolled in the Mentors Project, and 95 percent of them receive free and reduced lunch. The majority of them are unmatched males, and the waiting list continues to swell. This summer, these students need mentors more than ever, so that they return to school this fall, their hunger didn’t take away from their thirst for knowledge.
A couple of years ago, Mom and her comrades in the Little Creative Crew (Texas T, Bright Blue and Honey Shot), helped coordinate a fundraiser for the Mentors Project with a photography show on the Macon Housing Authority's Pendleton Homes. Two protégés in the Mentors Project were armed with cameras (for the first time), and set out to make art out of the only place they have ever known as home. There are still several beautiful, double-matted and framed portraits left for sale. Send me a Candygram (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to find out more about purchasing one of them or how you can become a mentor. And if you are looking for a little inspiration in your day, check out the video that was created in conjunction with the photo exhibit. Turn it up, y'all.
Monday, May 18, 2009
On Wednesday, May 20, the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, along with the ultra-glam and exquisite Deonna Sage, hosts the first-ever night of Drag Queen Bingo. The fabulosity, which promises "frozen cosmos, frolick and freebies," as well as no cover charge and free drinks for the ladies, starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m.
As Time wrote in "How Drag Queens Took Over Bingo":
"One of the first things you learn at drag queen bingo is that if you can't take being picked on, you keep your mouth shut. Yes, this is bingo, the game of blue-haired grandmas and church-basement fundraisers, but a drag queen is a drag queen, and if in between N-36 and I-18 your table is being rowdy, she'll be rowdy right back . . ."
And you better believe that Mom and the girls are ready to declare their BINGO! Until then, enjoy this awe-inspiring photo of Miz Sage that Georgie Girl took at this year's 11th Hour Readers' Choice Awards.
For months, what’s been happening behind the papers plastered over the former Bert’s location on Cherry Street has remained a mystery. All we knew was Lemongrass: a Thai Bistro was coming soon. For Thai fans like Mom, whose mouth watered at the thoughts of tiny peppers, basil, coconut milk, curry, and of course, lemongrass, converging on Cherry Street, the prospect was almost too good to be true.
And then Mom and Shuga D went in for a preview on Friday night, and Mom, indeed, looked for chopsticks to pinch herself. Less is more with Lemongrass’ slick setting and design, which happens to be a favorite seating arrangement – long booth against the wall, bistro tables in between, chair seating on the other side, in addition to one, huge bar. What more can Mom and the girls ask for?
Well, Thai in a Glass will most likely be the answer. The new bistro’s signature drink is about as crisp as it comes, quickly through a straw on a hot summer day, and may just make Mom forget Jasmine tea all together. The coconut martini was also a frothy alter-aperitif, and Mom is just hoping happy hour specials are part of the Thai clock. Something special Mom does know is Lemongrass plans to be open late nights to accommodate the entertainment crowd. They will switch the full dinner menu to tapas, which is what theater and live music-goers have been wishing on for quite some time.
For those who love Ladda Thai in the Central Georgia sister city of Warner Vegas, you are going to love using less gas to Lemongrass, whose partner/menu mastermind happens to be the same proprietor. Glass noodle-packed spring rolls, spicy pork and garden-bounty basil rolls were just some of the Thai flavors Mom and Shuga D’s tastebuds partied with Friday night. But the real deal is Tuesday, when Lemongrass officially becomes the newest member of the downtown dining scene. Pucker up.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
We officially celebrated my full recovery yesterday at Macon's dog park, and I am looking forward to making the rounds again with Mom soon with my return to the public eye.
On behalf of all of us in Candy's Land, Mom and Shuga D want to especially thank the fine folks at Hudspeth Animal Hospital on Pio Nono Avenue. Although I am not going to miss my weekly visits as much as the staff is going to miss me, there is no doubt the emergency care and post-trauma treatment I received from Dr. Hudspeth, Dr. Giles, Gene (thanks for the boiled chicken!), Gayle and the rest of the medical team is the reason I am here today. Dr. Hudspeth called my recovery "nothing short of remarkable," citing my injuries as some of the worse he's seen in his veteran veteranarian career. I've got the scars to prove it, but I also still have four functioning paws and legs, and the hit-and-run nightmare is finally a part of our past. If anyone doubts a dog's will to live, then come and knock on my door and let Mom tell you my story of survival.
As if you can't tell by my tail wagging in this video.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Mom liked the CD enough to not only give it a glowing review, but she cleared her calendar to catch a performance of the new Macon crooner at the now defunct Jazzplex (RIP). After the review published, a bouquet of gorgeous Gerbera Daisies arrived at her office door. Not only had Mom become a fan of Mark Brooker, but she had made a new friend.
Fast forward to several years of laughter, tears, drink clinks, and as Al Green sings, times that are “good and bad, happy or sad,” Mom remains one of Mark B’s biggest believers. She can only imagine the look on her face when Mark told her he got a job in Phoenix and would be leaving town. Not only will there be a huge void in Macon’s music scene, but no one can hold a fashion candle to this sharp-dressed man!
But Mark’s leaving Mom with some memories. Dancing at her eighties prom birthday party together . . . The infamous chair jump at the MAGA ’08 afterparty . . . actually, she doesn’t remember it, but there is proof in the picture (and thank goodness Mark caught her!) . . . Strutting the runway together at the Cherry Blossom Fashion Show . . . Maceo Parker on Shuga D’s back porch during Falcons season . . . Watching the Crooner swoon when Honey Shot entered the picture . . . Going into the Mayor’s office together and jamming out to “Macon (It’s Good Enough for Me)” and leaving City Hall with a smile.
Tonight, Mom will say farewell (for now) to her dear friend. And she hopes you plan to be there to sing along.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
See beyond the belt buckle glitter of Nashvegas to the low lights and simple sides of the gum-smackin' city's biggest stars.
Thursday the Georgia Music Hall of Fame opens its latest exhibition "Nashville Portraits: Photography of Jim McGuire." Inspired by photographer Irving Penn's portraits of tradesmen in their work clothes, McGuire began what has become his acclaimed series of “Nashville Portraits” in1974. The series now includes more than 1,000 images of America's most influential singers, songwriters and musicians. The exhibit features 60 of the best photographs, including Georgia musicians Tut Taylor, Norman and Nancy Blake and Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee Chet Atkins. Mom, however, is super excited to see her favorite nine to fiver Dolly Parton's portrait, circa 1974, where her bell bottoms bloomed bigger than her . . . guitar.
McGuire will be on hand during the opening reception, which takes place from 6:30-8 p.m. It's free and open to the public, so show your support for the Georgia Music Hall of Fame by giving its latest exhibit a warm Macon "S-a-a-a-lute!"
After the opening, forget the Grand Ole Opry because the afterparty is at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom. In honor of the new exhibit, the GMHF hosts a stellar live music show featuring T. Graham Brown, Jimmy Hall and Austin songstress Toni Price (she played the wedding reception of Julia Roberts and Danny Moder!). The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and is a $5 cover for GMHF members and $10 for the rest. Put on your dancing shoes . . . or better yet, take them off and boogie barefoot.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Disclaimer: That's not Mom's face, but that is the before and after result of microderm.
This Saturday marked Mom's second whirl with microdermabrasion at the Vineville Salon. Mom is undergoing a series of three treatments to whip her skin into shape, or at least start the process of "freezing her face" as much as she can at 31, without the use of needles, chemicals or staples.
Since her first treatment, Mom has noticed several changes when mirroring, mirroring on the wall. She is using less pressed powder, even in the ever-lathering humidity. The t-zone glaze is more of a glimmer, with a lot less shine some pores tend to over-produce. In fact, it's more of a subtle glow of the happy skin kind. She has also noticed her face is firmer, but the skin softer, like a baby's butt without the bitty jiggle. And as far as a few of the fine lines, well, she can't find them anymore.
This second round was also easier in the aftermath. She wasn't as red and all signs of skin un-layering were long gone by the next morning.
So, we'll see how take two continues to face up. One thing for sure, Mom is sold on the process. If you'd like to see for yourself, send me a Candygram (email@example.com), and I’ll send you a coupon for a free microdermabrasion spot treatment, which can also be used for $25 discount on your first treatment (regularly $80) or 15% off your series of three (reg. $175). Just put “Spot” in the subject line. And get ready to forget your lines.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Mom is getting ready for her mom's arrival into town, and the whole house is a buzzin'. Their Mother's Day is going to be a walk in the park (among other things): Church at Centenary, Gospel Brunch in Washington Park, Luigi's Lunch with Shuga D and his Mama J, then the Stuck! Wrap Party for the evening. Mom's little sis may be taking Hollywood by its horns, but Mom is delighted she's taking their mom to her first movie-making after-party. Only in Macon, she keeps on preaching . . . Hope Mom's mom can keep up!
Of course, Mother's Day is more than three lines of thankfulness on a Hallmark card. What this Sunday comes down to is a moment when the world stops spinning long enough to reflect on a mother's touch . . . and where you feel it in your life.
It could be from rosebud babies tucked in tiny matchbooks to an inside smile when cutting open a pomegranate and hearing, "Look Jessica, look! See the pretty red seeds? You can eat them!" There are the mastered moments of public toilet hovering and flushing with your foot. The heightened sense of smelling gardenia or tea olive from a mile away. Or seeing a clump of mistletoe in a tree and wishing her rifle aim was as good as her mom's of Christmases past.
Then there are the lessons learned. The moments when that mother's touch catches you when you fall. Or sleeps on the floor beside you all night after your first horseback accident ends in a broken arm. Or when she assures you over and over that there will be a day you are glad you were the most under-developed girl in the class ("You'll still be eating what you want when everyone else is on diets!"). Or tells you that it will be okay . . . as she quietly packs the china, sharing the broken dream in the pattern she helped her oldest child select seven years before. Even though she knows how bad it hurts, she keeps her eyes dry for her daughter's sake, picks her up off the ground, puts the packing tape back in her hand and tells her to get to work. It only gets better because it can't get any worse. Mama was certainly right.
So, here's to the mothers of all mothers - past, present and future. And for a little fun, spread the news.
Pictured is Mom and her mom Elizabeth "Beppie" Lanier Rieg at the Plaza Hotel in NYC, circa. 1981.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
If you haven’t gotten your copy of Street Singers, Soul Shakers & Rebels with a Cause: Music from Macon, tomorrow might be a fine time to do it. The Woodruff House on Coleman Hill is hosting a book signing from 4 to 7 p.m. for not only the Macon music book, but for Benjy Griffith’s debut novel Whiskey Before Breakfast. Both Benjy and Mom’s dad Alan Walden will be on hand, among others, to lay down their John Hancocks inside the front covers. Wine, cheese and live music will be served.
Here’s a little under-the-cover trivia: Indigo Publishing and NewTown sponsored a contest to name the Macon music book. The winner got a free trip to NYC to see the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theatre. Mom had an idea for a name that came quickly from a margarita brain freeze, but she didn’t want to enter the contest under her own name because of family ties to the book. Needless to say, she may not have gotten credit for the naming rights but still got to reap the reward, making it the first time she ever saw the Allman Brothers Band outside the Georgia border.
If you happen to see my Granddaddy, tell him that Candy sends kisses! In fact, mention you saw this on Candy’s Land and have Papa Walden tell you the story about Johnny Jenkins in the tree . . . the uncensored version.
Above is an excerpt from Mom's favorite chapter - bookmark it.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Word got around that Mom's [unwavering] support of the CVB caught her some flack with a local morning deejay. Considering we don't know anyone in Candy's Land who takes time to listen his AM show, not a lot of love was lost. However, we did receive this funny Candygram that referenced Chris Krok's bone to pick.
The caption: "I'll get you my pretty . . . and your little dog, too!"
If Mom didn't hurry up and take this picture, my half-chihuahua self was about to go loco. What's next? A shot of tequila and a sack of Taco Bell? Actually, that's not a bad idea . . .
I'm beginning to wonder if we've Americanized Cinco de Mayo as much as the bowl of cheese dip. But like St. Patty's day, it seems to have worked well in boosting the economic impact of local bars everywhere, so why not just join the fun and get your sombrero on.
In honor of the Cinco celebration, the Hummingbird opens at 4 p.m. with happy hour specials on frozen margaritas, Mexican beer and tequila shots. There will also be games on the patio which will include a not-these-arms-of-mind nacho eating contest, limbo and of course, pinata bash. But what's got Mom thinking of rolling up her sleeves is the chili pepper challenge. She's got a thing (and strange tolerance) for all things spicy and swears she burnt her taste buds off years ago when she became highly addicted to hot sauce. Seriously, to this day she packs heat . . . in a bottle, in her purse, next to the hand sanitizer.
Wherever you get your Mexican jumping bean on, just remember to be safe, call a cab or Zingo, and buckle your seatbelt south of the border.
Monday, May 4, 2009
So, the cone isn't coming off until this week (paws crossed), so I didn't get to go to the beach. But Cherry B watched me and the rest of the crew and even gave me a make-over (or tested her cosmetics on me), much to the chagrin of Mom and Shuga D's receiving camera phone.
This weekend was a very much-needed, three-day get-away to St. Simons, one of several coastal Georgia jewels. Mom and Shuga joined his family for good times and honest R&R, so much so we won't go into the details because Mom made the decision to switch her always-on mode to officially off-duty. However, these are a few of her favorite things . . .
- Shrimp Salad, Coconut Cream Pie and Bagel with Lox (in that order) from the 4th of May: How could she not love the corner restaurant that shares its namesake with her baby brother Christian's day of birth? (By the way, shout out birthday boy CW! Your big sister sure thanks the day you were born and enjoyed the cake this evening.)
- Banana/Strawberry Daiquiri and Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Chutney from Mullet Bay Restaurant: The just right combo for enjoying the sweet life on the front porch with ideal weather and company.
- Vintage heels from Moondance: Mom felt like Cinderella when these too cute kittenish heels (circa 1950?) slipped on like her Fairy Godmother fashioned them. She was sold at only $22.
- Collecting seashells on the beach: Because there is no greater (free) pastime in collecting memories that can last a lifetime. And you can't help but slow down your pace as you search the tide.