Thursday, October 29, 2009

Since We're Feeling Spooky, Let's Have a Kookie!


Today Mom was amongst community members rocking out to the CVB's new promotional video at their Annual Meeting. At her table was Lisa Love, executive director of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame (and the one who gave Mom her first real job). Lisa told Mom that she had to stop by the Georgia Music Hall of Fame gift shop on the way home and pick up dog biscuits for us mutts in Candy's Land.

Dog biscuits at the GMHF?! That's right. The B-52's frontman Fred Schneider has created his own pup treat line. His "Kookies" have gone to the dogs at the GMHF, and the best part of it all? ALL (100%!!!) proceeds from the sale of Kookies at the GMHF go to sustaining our cherished state music museum.

Flying sauces, alien heads and rockets are the shapes. Ingredients are natural and simple peanut butter, whole wheat flour, yogurt and rolled oats. That means you can eat them . . . if you're kooky and feeling spooky like the Rolybots' Justin Smith ;-)

We're loving Fred's Kookies here in Candy's Land. Much more than the time Mom had to fulfill the B-52's backstage rider in 2001 when she was searching all over Macon for organic goat cheese, organic roasted pumpkin seeds and organic veggie trays with spinach that better not be served on plastic . . . She's still scarred.

Rock (Lobster) on,

Candy Lou




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last Year's Thriller!

Here's last year's "Thriller" dance in fabulous downtown Macon. Look closely and you'll see Mom in a short purple dress, pink "bloomers" in place. This year's ensemble is vintage black velvet (if you please) courtesy of Papa Walden. Too bad Auntie George isn't hear to give Mom the dead-glam make-over. The L.A. zombies are lucky to have her!


Darkness Falls Across the Land . . .

Tonight was the last night of "Thriller" practice before the big dance and fourth year for the downtown Macon tradition. You'll never guess Mom's zombie guise, but she will be amongst the Michael-led dead dancing up a rigor mortis storm at the intersection of Cherry Street and Third on this Friday night, Halloween's eve, at 9 p.m. Many thanks to the 11th Hour for keeping the tradition alive and well among the living dead.

Now four years in the making, the first dance has been viewed almost 50,000 times since it posted!




All Hail Cesare!


Heads on beds. Fork in mouth. Drink in hand. We can thank downtown Macon proprietor Cesare Mammarella for contributing to all of the above. Mom was checking her checking account today. She couldn't help but notice a trend:

Breakfast: Dolce Vita
Lunch: Dolce Vita
Dinner: Dolce Vita
Aperitif: Dolce Vita
Coffee Break: Dolce Vita

Have you done the Dolce yet? Check out downtown Macon's latest nosh pit and Cesare's latest contribution to making Macon cooler, offering small plates, coffee, desserts and adult beverages. It's Mom's kind of eating . . . little this' and thats' to pick with most everything under $5.

Here's what the receipts are saying:

Breakfast: Bacon Maple Muffin with Raspberry Hazelnut Latte
Lunch: Avocado and Crab Salad or the Ruby Red Beet and Goat Cheese Salad ($5, y'all)
Soup: Chilled Almond (seriously rockin')
Tapas: Smoke salmon spread, edamame hummus, Southewestern bean and corn tacos, jalepeno hummus . . . I'll just stop there.
Sunday after too-fun Saturday: coffee with Bailey's

You can find them at 484 Cherry Street and opened seven days a week. Thanks again to Cesare for thinking big and bringing us small plates.

Pictured is the Beet and Goat Cheese Salad and such taken in Dolce Vita's new digs! Thanks to sweet Jackie for the amazing Sunday lunch so Mom's checking account can have a break!

Monday, October 19, 2009

So Fresh and So Clean


Despite the fact that the mutts far out-number the two-legged residents here in Candy's Land, Mom remains a neat freak. So it was only natural that her Atlanta-by-way-of-Paris amie gave Mom a variety pack of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day household products as part of her belated birthday gift.

Today, Mom came home from the office, and her house smelled like a fresh bowl of peas just snapped under the shade of a pecan tree. That's because Monday is housekeeping day and the Cleaning Queen Karen gave Mrs. Meyers a work-out with the "Snap Pea" scented glass and countertop cleaner.

The "aromatherapeutic" products come in an assortment of natural scents like basil, geranium and lemon verbena, so you can pick your scent to good, clean[ing] fun.

Doggy Bag: Easy Peezy Minestrone

Forget fluffing the sweaters, Mom went straight from summer to winter by breaking out the crockpot. Let the soup season officially begin! Tonight, it was slow-cooked Minestrone soup (well, Mom's version if not by exact Italian definition). Remember, she doesn't measure; she goes with her gut. Here's what she did:

Carton of organic veggie broth
BIG can of diced Italian tomatoes
Regular size can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
Jar of Pesto
2 zucchini
1/2 peeled white onion
can of Northern beans
Cup of pasta (we used mini wheels)
1/2 pack of thawed frozen chopped spinach
Parmesan cheese

Pour veggie broth, diced tomatoes and can of beans (don't drain) into crockpot. Add chopped onion and zucchni. Stir in pesto (we used about 3/4 of the jar) and spinach. Cook on low for about nine hours. Add dry pasta about 15 minutes before you're ready to turn it off. Serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top, crusty bread on the side and a glass of red wine within reach.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Candy Alert!


It's no secret that Mom is a sucker for a stray. But we're all pretty certain here in Candy's Land that the pup she found today on Clisby Place is no hobo, but a very well-loved pet that wondered from his home.

Mom and her "jolie amie" Jackie, who was in town for a visit, found the little guy at a dangerous intersection in Mom's neighborhood this afternoon. He's wearing a collar (no tag) and smells like he just had a fresh bath. There is no doubt in Mom's mind that he is a case of wrong place, right time for them to come across him and keep him safe until he is reunited. If you have any clue to the little dude we're calling Jack Black (or J.B.) for now, please send me a Candygram at maconcandy@gmail.com.

And remember, Candy Lou loves you!

Show Your Love for AC Pup


Than me, of course. But you have to admit, AC Pup gives me a run for my money. And if you vote for him all this week, he could win serious cash for the City of Macon Animal Shelter on his looks alone. Click here to go to the site where you can register and cast your vote on his baby picture that you see here. Just search AC among the contestants. Think about all of the great things AC could do for his friends in the shelter if he wins. Exercise your animal lovin' rights and vote everyday this week. Apparently, there is a Pomeranian who is like that chick from high school who is winning because it's a popularity contest. Let's take that cream puff down . . . Vote for the underdog. Vote now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Would You Like Fries with That?

You got to love John Folsom's Mac Attack-ed chains of McDonald's. On every Monday in October, three different McDonald's locations in Macon (Riverside Drive, Gray Highway and Pio Nono Ave.) are donating 15 percent of their proceeds to help Vineville Academy of the Arts build a fenced, fitness playground for the students.

Being a neighbor of Vineville Academy - our home just a stone's throw away - the Candy's Land family understands the need for a fence around their current playground - and to make it fitnessed-themed makes the McDonald's deal even sweeter than Grimace's grin!

So, on Mondays, order your Big Mac loud and proud. Super size your side of fries, and throw in an apple turnover, just because I think they live a lonely life at Mickey D's. As for Mom, nothing turns a Monday frown upside down like a cheeseburger Happy Meal. And as far as I am concerned, calories don't count when it's going to a good cause . . . Especially a FITNESS playground.




Fish and Chips, Southern Rock Style


What do the Brits know? Forget the chips, grits go better with fried fish with any darn day. Especially a Thursday at Grant's Lounge. If you've never had Cheryl Grant Louder's fried fish, I've got a dinner suggestion for tonight's rainy night in Georgia.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Un Petit Package


Sometimes, it's just the simplest of gestures that can warm a heart and ease an exhausting (rainy) day. Lately, Mom has been so busy that opening her mail has been at the lowest of priorities. But today, amongst the envelopes that needed opening, the magazines that need stockpiling and the junk mail that needs a shredder, there sat a tiny package.

It was from Mom's Aunt Fran, whose Lanier blood runs deep alongside her niece's, as they share the same passion for writing, animal loving and fellow Francophiling (i.e. love of all things French). Aunt Fran has a way of bestowing Mom the most special of treasures - the infamous 1920's parasol Mom sometimes carries to protect her fair skin, a collection of French children's literature, art, vintage postcards and anecdotes of life with animals, that range from obsessive compulsive chihuahuas to stray cats to fat goats named Butterbean.

So, even though after a long day and a brained drained, Mom opened the package. And in it, she found a vintage fleur-de-lis broach, a sachet of lavender and a precious, heartfelt card.

Just like say in all the fancy lotions and bubble baths, the scent of lavender is calming. Mom took in a deep breath of the beautiful scent, her heart swelled and sure enough, she relaxed.

It was truly the truest of gestures.

Merci beaucoup from the bottom of ma couer, ma chere Aunte Fran!




Sunday, October 11, 2009

Can I get an Amen for Second Sunday?


What a way to end a weekend! Mom and I were among the hundreds today enjoying a little jazz and soulful fellowship under a big blue sky in Washington Park. Thanks to all who came out and supported the growing tradition in the College Hill Corridor.

In addition to the kids getting together and splashing in the park, us pets are just as much of the mainstays - especially those of us who have grown to be BFFs through this fun, free event. Shout out to my little mini-me buddy Niles! And yes, people, my Mom was seen neglecting me as she walked around cradling one of Jeff Davis' piglets and whispering to it sweet nothings. It looks like her Fern-fantasies just may come true.

And by the way, thanks to all who made my day by saying, "That's the dog with the blog!" as I ran amok in the park.

Stay tuned for the next show. Next month. Same place. Same Sunday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Since it's Halloween and All . . .


Let's be scared of the true things that go bump in the night . . . or the AM, as in morning or radio station.

Mom is on deadline as editor of the next issue of Houston County Magazine. During the making of this issue, she attended a photo shoot - and a funeral - of the late Mayor of Warner Robins, Donald Walker.

While she paid her respects, there was a town crier who was twisting the knife into the gut of a community of family in friends in mourning.

Why, Mom and others ask, will those who give him the time of day realize this guy is no more of a showboat than "Speidi's" Spencer Pratt? When will they realize that this is a dude who will given his left acorn to live up to his shock jock fantasies? Who has his full intentions and stars in his eyes set on using our community as a stepping stone to a bigger market? And he has no fear or soul of leaving me and you behind, still smoldering, in the process?

If only Sherman and the Wicked Witch had a love child, they could have baptized him Chris Krok and it would all make sense (if that is his 'Chris'tian name) . . . But just like any "righteous" man who doth protest too much, the howls of his own skeletons stuffed in his Houston County closet are becoming more audible every day.

Stay tuned,

Candy Lou





Let the Spirits Move You


This week, Mom went on a mesmerizing preview of the Spirits in October Walking Tour of Riverside Cemetery. Along the way, she came across the "spirits" of several notorious Macon residents who relayed their personal history that led them to their final resting place. To say their accounts were chilling, would be an understatement. Mom got goosebumps alright, but she wasn't scared, she was in utter, total awe of the amazing people who came before her in her beloved hometown. Some of their stories were tragic. Some were folkloric. And others would have never known their story would be told for years to come. But all were monumental . . . and inspiring.

This tour is a must for Maconites. Go beyond Duane and Berry's grave and learn about other big players who made a difference in the song and soul of the South.

Tours take place from 6-7:30 p.m. October 22, 23, 29 and 30 with a special walking tour on Halloween. Tickets are $20 adults, $10 students ($25/15 on Oct. 31) Reservations are required and can be made by calling 478.742.5328 or e-mailing conservancy@riversidecemetery.com. The event is presented by the Cox Capitol Theatre, Historic Macon and the Historic Riverside Cemetery Conservancy.

And for an extra special treat, check out the photo of one of the "Spirits," Macon's own famed boxer Stribling Young, who left this earth far too young. Thanks to the fabulous Maryann Bates for the haunting image!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Arrested Development - Mom is Excited about College Football


The Lord allowed me to drink some more. He said what I am searchin for are the answers to all which are in front of me. The ultimate truth started to get blurry. For some strange reason it had to be. It was all a dream about Tennessee . . .

Okay, so Mom is a little clueless about football. In fact, it takes a patient man to watch any sporting event with her. But Mom is a little excited about Saturday. Not only is downtown Macon getting in on the game day action, but she actually knows which color to cheer for!

That's Shuga D's dad Mr. Jimmy on the cover of Sports Illustrated, October 30, 1967. The Dalton, Georgia high school football hero went on to play for UT, where he was named an All-American Defensive Back and still hangs in their hall of fame today. He later went on to play a little pro for the Atlanta Falcons (and believe it or not, I actually have my own Falcon sweatshirt that once belonged to my guard-dog angel, the late El Guapo).

So, even though Mom will be doing repairs on the Macon Little League ballpark as part of her Leadership Macon class project, Shuga will be seen smiling, bright and orange, at downtown Macon's Rally in the Alley. Tailgate starts at 10:30 a.m. in Mulberry Lane Alley. There will be live entertainment, games like Cornhole, giveaways, food, a beer truck, children's inflatables, a cool photo booth, souvenir mugs and of course, a big screen.

Just remember, you Bulldogs better be nice -- or you'll have to answer to me . . . grrr.

And I am still thirsty,

Candy Lou




Have a Jazzy Sabbath



I know Sunday is the day of rest, but Mom is going to be in working order since one of her new roles with the College Hill Alliance is to organize and operate the Second Sunday Brunch. Every second Sunday of the month, from noon to 2 p.m., you can find free live music in Washington Park, as well as a cash bar, boxed brunches from Michael's on Mulberry and plenty of picnics, pets, families and friends. Mom likes to call it a "communion of community, of sorts," and even though Second Sunday is now part of her job, you won't find her forfeiting the fellowship.

In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Armory Ballroom, but either way, expect cool temps and ever cooler grooves from the Jazz Association of Macon.

Pictured is last Second Sunday's performers, the ever-and-forever soulful Bo Ponder & Friends. Thanks to Binks Solomon for the great shots!

This One is for You, Caroline!


Mom has been so occupied lately, she is forgetting that I am the face of this dog blog, and that every now and then a girl needs her close up! So, here I am posing for Mom as we update our world of Candy's Land.

And Caroline, saddle up Hot Pink Stepper because Mom is looking forward to her first horseback ride on the beach very soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quick Bite


As you can see from this office eye view, with lunch on the go or at the desk a lot these days, Mom is grateful her Mercer Village neighbor Jittery Joe's has added sandwiches to the beverage offerings. Today, she thoroughly enjoyed the vege-friendly hummus sandwich, which was made with care behind the counter, wrapped in foil and stashed in a brown paper lunch sack for her to carry back to her College Hill Alliance office. Hummus, cheese, mustard and a fresh slice of tomato made it an ideal meal. All that a bag of chips, too, for under $6. Jittery Joe's is also offering chicken salad, turkey, ham and club sandwich choices. But with Mom already looking forward to her next hummus sandwich, that's the choice she recommends and wants to keep on the menu for a long time!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

So Where Were You?


Saying Mom is busy has been an over-used understatement. It's more like life's been a hurricane, and she's doing her best to ride out the storm. This week, she will reveal her calendar that has been keeping her crazy busy, but until then, here are some of the events of this past week that has her feeling like a reporter from the front lines of that hurricane, when most folks have evacuated.

This week, Mom attended her monthly Leadership Macon class. This one focused on tourism and the offerings of her beloved hometown. One of the most shocking things she learned that day were there were people in her class who have never stepped foot in the Cox Capitol Theatre. Or the CVB's Downtown Welcome Center. Or the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

And even though Mom was worn out from a full day of class and the work load of the week, her conscious was still obligated to attend the Music Matters benefit concert for the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, held at the Cox Capitol Theatre that Thursday night. The benefit live music showcase, put together by local Macon musicians featuring local Macon music acts Mag Tard, Roly-Bots and Chris Hicks, was the kick-off to additional concerts that will raise funds for the endangered Macon-based, state-funded institution. So where were you?

Once again, Macon's vibrant live music scene played to too many empty seats. Once again, the same people showed up, who support everything else. Once again, it was not enough. But once again, a hell of a show was still put on . . . and most of Macon missed out on it.

Major props to Dan Zook, Tom Ellington and all the good folks and creative talent that put their time into the show. Mom and Shuga made sure to pay top dollar (all $12 of it) to show their support (by the way, totally against guest lists at benefits), and she hopes other Macon music lovers showed their support by doing the same.

The next night was First Friday, and once again, Mom went straight from the duties of the day, heels and all, directly to the sidewalks of downtown to enjoy an evening of lively downtown community. At one point, she was stopped dead in her tracks by a young professional who claimed she was joking about going to First Friday at her [downtown, nonetheless] office because she had never been to one and didn't know "what it was she was supposed to do." Well, Mom didn't know if she wanted to slap the chick's forehead or hug her with pity, but instead she decided to "bless her heart" for what she didn't know and hopes she gave First Friday a good chance to show her a good time. And although folks filled the street and downtown was alive and well, Mom still wants to know, where were you?

Where were the folks from her Leadership Macon class who haven't set foot inside the Capitol? Where are the folks from the "north" side of town who haven't given First Friday a chance? Where were the hoards of college students? Where are those who say there is nothing to do in this town? Where are all the crabby online commentators who see our city for what it's not worth?

If you're not in the game, you don't have a right to complain. So, next time you the folks from Candy's Land, let us know that you are indeed here and having a good time alongside us.

32 and Thinking - Where Will Her Hair Go from Here?






From the top, celebrating birthdays: 28 with little brother; 29 with little bro (and Mad Libs); 30 with little sister at the 80's prom party; 31 with Shuga D at Sandi's wedding; 32 and another wonderful year with Shuga, about to take a hike in the mountains.

A lot's been going on in Candy's Land since my last post. The biggest news being Mom is an official year older, and if growing wiser is indicated by quiet celebrations with good friends and family, then she's getting there. Thanks to a near perfect weekend in the mountains, Mom didn't need and candles on her Cannelloni (courtesy of Mama G's), coconut cream pie (courtesy of Shuga D) or the big brick of fudge (courtesy of her family) that acted as birthday cakes throughout the weekend, as she told Shuga, she had everything she could ever wish for, right there in front of her, three decades and two years in the making.

After the peaceful retreat to the tip of the state, she later celebrated dockside, back home in Macon at the Fish and Pig. Nothing like being born in September that gives plenty of 'R' reason to order the oysters raw. Between hilarious cards, a liquid blue sari and a retro compact mirror that Mom can be reminded with a wink, "Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again," Mom's table of friends once again proved they make another year of life well worth it.

Fast forward through the first week of 32 and the wheels of Mom's mind are turning. Something about seeing "turning 30" growing further in your rear window that makes the reality of the "30-something" hit you like a brick wall (or you hitting the brick wall since you were so busy checking the rear view mirror). So what's pressing Mom's mind lately?

1. Changing her hair: Longer? Darker? Maybe a little bit of both? Rest assured, she has no interest in "the Kate," but she is scouring the mag pages trying to find something that is unique enough to make her own, as her short hair has served her well since her late 20-somethings. And no . . . "calmer" won't make the cut.

2. Writing a Memoir: Could she self-publish? Would people even care? Between starting on the "Cracker Queen" by Lauretta Hannon and recently seeing a surveillance video of an old high school acquaintance robbing a bank (the same bank he robbed and served time for several years before), Mom began to reflect on her own hi jinks, high points, low points and just down right oddities of growing up as the daughter of a Lynyrd Skynyrd music publisher, tripping her way through 14 years of conservative private school, finding her own secret rebellions, ranging from Ross Perot to bank robbers to marriage in suburbia, and one day finally realizing that all of the embarrassing things have been a beautiful thing . . . and a "normal" life will never be what she wants. As her uncle Phil once said, "My life has been Southern Gothic as hell," and Mom thinks a little bit of that may have trickled into her own.

3. The Clock: Two days after her birthday, Mom held the swaddled Sophia Joelle McKinney, who had just been born hours earlier, in her arms and welled with love, tears and the sudden conviction that there will be, one day, a family in her future. It was a horrifying and heart-swelling realization. But while babies have never dominated Mom's brain, something triggered last week with Sophie Jo that left a teeny, tiny tick-tock in the proverbial bio clock. Hello 32!