Friday, June 23, 2006

Now that's class (or: I am easily dazzled)

The AAN convention was held at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Little Rock. The Little Rock Peabody is a relatively new structure, and lacks the antediluvian grandeur of the original in Memphis. Still, our lodgings were altogether swank. The celebrated Peabody ducks swam serenely in the lobby, and the bellhops dressed like bellhops. I have never slept on a hotel mattress so comfortable.

One morning I left my toothbrush on the sink. I returned, later, to find that a Peabody staffer had swaddled it in a tiny bed made from a towel.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Out and proud

Seems like the gays are pretty marginalized in Arkansas, which is disappointing but, I suppose, unsurprising. Here is the sign for an HIV/AIDS agency in downtown Little Rock:

Stepping back a few paces, here is how big that sign looks from the sidewalk:

Makes me wonder why there is a sign at all. And remind me to tell you sometime about the Little Rock cabbie who refused to take my Isthmus coworker to a gay bar.
Slowly but surely

When I calculate proportions, I still do so the way Mrs. Lovell taught me in seventh-grade algebra: I write an equation with a variable, and then one under that, and then one under that. I am, you see, solving for the variable.

Just now, for example, I was trying to figure out how many gallons of gas a 327-mile road trip would consume, given that my truck gets 22 miles to the gallon. I wrote this:

327 mi/x = 22 mi/1 gal
327 = 22x
x = 327/22
x = 14.86 gal

I get the sense that sharper minds than mine can figure out what to divide by which without having to write columns of equations. But I never had much of a head for figures. After 22 years, am I permanently stuck in the seventh grade?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Light of publicity

Look, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Walter Biffle, is on the cover of the Charleston City Paper, sister publication to Isthmus. He is fucking shit up in re: Wal-Mart, and the City Paper wants people to know about it. His wife, wonderful Alison Piepmeier, also is quoted at length.

You can read his thoughts about all this on the blog he and Alison maintain.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two cities

Downtown Little Rock is in transition. It reminds me of downtown Nashville 25 years ago: There is a lovely redeveloped area, but also blight. I took these pictures across the street from each other:

Monday, June 19, 2006

New to the blogroll

Say hello, everyone, to my friend the fashion dean and rock 'n' roller extraordinaire Mike Cepress.
Hair and now

Last night I got home from Little Rock, where the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies held its annual convention. I'll have more to say about the city and the convention, but in the meantime, know that you can still buy a wig in downtown Little Rock. (An Ionic column presumably costs extra.)