Wade on Birmingham

the wretched tale of retail

Saturday, December 16, 2017 by Wade Kwon

The mall is dying
a death by a thousand clicks
for online shopping.

• • •

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elfcare

Friday, December 15, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Santa’s workers bled
and toiled while breathing in
sawdust and benzene.

• • •

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a very special election

Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Wade Kwon

It’s shocking what a
few hundred thousand voters
can achieve as one.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 44

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Wade Kwon

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  1. fanfare for the working man
    No vacations, no
    rest. In this country, every
    day is Labor Day.
  2. wing it and smile
    Their plans were simply
    to hang out and see where the
    day and night take them.
  3. the day the dream died
    The only country
    they’ve ever known is sending
    them far, far away.
  4. a tiny step of faith
    It takes some courage
    to care. About someone else,
    a cause, a friendship.
  5. paintings and knickknacks around the block
    The artists set up
    shop in bodegas and bars
    and crowded storefronts.
  6. the reckoning
    Mother Nature came
    to collect on all debts, past,
    present and future.
  7. grizzly hug
    I hold her tightly
    so none of the affection
    slips away from us.
  8. peak anxiety
    Money woes, watching
    weight, spousal tiffs, work headaches
    and a wobbly faith.
  9. hurricant
    The depression limps
    closer. Even the storm is
    tired of raining.
  10. kids today
    With their selfies and
    their avocado toast and
    their vocal fry. Feh!
  11. abuse your illusion
    Are we taking steps
    to live our dreams or faking
    it as usual?
  12. should’ve ordered moscow mules
    A snowflake and a
    cuck walk into a bar. They
    gag on White Russians.
  13. hypocritical oaf
    He asked others to
    stop posting political
    junk. Then he does it.
  14. unending embrace
    I hold on tight to
    her with all the love I can
    muster. I hold on.
  15. the end of privacy
    Eventually,
    the hackers get our eighth grade
    diaries and rhymes.
  16. caravan of crazy
    Slowly winding up
    the interstate, yelling at
    each annoying jerk.
  17. hand in hand, step by step
    We take time to mark
    the little milestones as we
    share the path forward.
  18. woman’s best friend
    Her sidekick wanted
    nothing more than a few pats
    and full loyalty.
  19. shakacon
    Nerds would gather to
    discuss the finer points of
    picking up Klingons.
  20. unregulated monsters
    Supervisors looked
    with disdain at free spirits
    who slipped through somehow.
  21. keeping score by the decibel
    Shouts rang out up and
    down the street as each team’s fans
    groaned and cheered their fates.
  22. teach to the test
    Learn to fill in those
    bubbles in the allotted
    time or get left back.
  23. politicize everything
    Let no gesture go
    unremarked and no statement
    go undissected.
  24. before the notification bell
    An announcement on
    their relationship status
    was being crafted.
  25. be labor
    Each hopeful waited
    to put their time and their back
    into a day’s work.
  26. the check isn’t in the mail
    The mailbox was a
    yawning chasm of sordid
    promises, no hope.
  27. the instruction manual
    Out the birth canal
    and into the world and then
    into the cold ground.
  28. the incoherent stranger
    She came a’babblin’
    to the funeral service
    with pillows for shoes.
  29. the crank
    Once confined to the
    basement, the crabby gent ran
    for a Senate seat.
  30. loves horses and her boyfriend, too
    She’s a good girl, loves
    her mama. Loves Jesus and
    America, too.
  31. the cost of doing nothing
    While we bicker through
    the same arguments on the
    same issues, folks die.
  32. the nicer dollar store
    The nicer dollar
    store has better things on sale
    and fewer crime scenes.
  33. pearl power
    After 12 years, I
    still get a thrill when hitting
    the Publish button.
  34. a partner in prime
    We take on the day
    with no agenda other
    than to laugh out loud.
  35. going to unchurch
    Worship football. Pray
    to brunch. Honor thy binge watch
    and thy extra sleep.
  36. modern political discourse
    Angry tweet, then a
    gif meme, racist comments and
    whataboutism.
  37. co-bucket list
    Whatever we do,
    wherever we roam, we seek
    the funnest of fun.
  38. the coolest festival on earth
    He would sail down to
    Antarctica to sing to
    the penguins and seals.
  39. medium-distance relationship
    They traded sexts by
    erotic semaphore to
    let their freak flags fly.
  40. no quarters necessary
    Tap keys and grow plants
    and zap spaceships and rock hard
    and score lots of points.
  41. the healing power of puppers
    The world is toast. But
    at least I can look at dogs
    on the Internet.
  42. natty nuptials
    The bride wore a pearl
    strapless gown with beaded trim.
    The groom wore a tux.
  43. race track report
    The cars turned and turned
    and turned and turned and turned and
    turned and turned and turned.
  44. no more facades
    I want to be my
    best self and my worst self for
    the one I adore.
  45. to the bunkers
    Are there really good
    people still left in the world
    or are they hiding?
  46. movie night
    We sit close in the
    dark, hand in hand, eyes on the
    screen and each other.
  47. cupcake gigante
    In the small pan rose
    a small cake. A small knife spread
    a schmear of icing.
  48. months to live
    The doctor put down
    her charts and broke the bad news
    with a steady voice.
  49. country music staples
    Trucks, Jesus, women,
    beer, dogs, heartbreak, the outdoors,
    Mama ‘n’ Daddy.
  50. a rapist in the making
    He thought nothing of
    his many suggestive texts,
    his whispered come-ons.
  51. not too many followers
    My cult is a weird
    mishmash of clean eating and
    freaky solo sex.
  52. burn it all down
    Abusers always
    have a way of finding blame
    for all except them.
  53. boo all day every day
    Nothing is scary
    enough for Halloween when
    life is a horror.
  54. imaginary numbers
    How do we measure
    the unmeasurable? How
    do we count fairies?
  55. custom costume
    A sword and pointy
    ears and boxing gloves and a
    princess-y cone hat.
  56. at the moment before death
    Life is a series
    of dumb video clips that
    flash before your eyes.
  57. make america weird again
    We drink Mountain Dew
    screwdrivers for breakfast and
    eat breakfast at night.
  58. hard candy halloween
    A ghost tried to warn
    kids about the dangers of
    plaque and gum disease.
  59. the color of hate
    Terrorists come in
    all shades: white, white, white, white, white,
    white, white, white and white.
  60. that’s the way love goes
    The confusion that
    comes with budding amour grows
    my anxiety.
  61. the unfairer sex
    Men, with their grabby
    hands and lewd remarks and cruel
    attitude. Xwhy?
  62. the fortune teller’s creed
    Uncertainty breeds
    anxiety. Better to
    know bad news up front.
  63. sunset in the afternoon
    Night begins as soon
    as lunch is done, and the drive
    home slinks through pitch black.
  64. the biggest dragonfly ever
    A lone drone swoops through
    the park weaving through tall trees
    and dodging frisbees.
  65. when johnny comes limping home
    A nation sends its
    young to war, then leaves them to
    pick up their own pieces.
  66. when one become two
    We lie awake, side
    by side, wondering what the
    other wants in time.
  67. modest riches
    Bills paid, flat fixed, new
    toaster, new underwear, cash
    for fast food takeout.
  68. feed the trees
    The paperwork to
    reduce paperwork is held
    up by no paper.
  69. for god and country
    They risked it all for
    apple pie and the Amer-
    ican way of life.
  70. ode to a beard
    The scraggly friend who
    cleans up after meals, gives a
    tickler to faces.
  71. after goodbye
    The beating goes on,
    a solitary thump. The
    heart wants what it wants.
  72. tis better
    Love isn’t lost. It
    hides in the crevasses of
    the poor broken heart.
  73. the march of time
    Six more weeks till a
    new year. Six more hours till a
    new day. Keep trying.
  74. hushed skeletons
    Cruelty is silence
    smothering the victims of
    sexual violence.
  75. let us now praise infamous men
    They built careers on
    stellar reputations and
    silent survivors.
  76. hole foods
    I should eat more fresh
    vegetables, he thought as he
    munched on a doughnut.
  77. t-shirt curls
    Sometimes, the workout
    is getting into the right
    outfit to sweat in.
  78. vacancy
    The empty spaces
    in my heart used to hold some
    very dear partners.
  79. the perfect thanksgiving meal
    Buttered toast, popcorn,
    pretzel sticks, jelly beans and
    an ice cream sundae.
  80. agenda of entitlement
    Are we doing all
    we can to shame sexual
    assault survivors?
  81. all you can gorge
    Have we eaten all
    we can? Eat more. Have we thanked
    everyone? Thank more.
  82. black every day
    The middle class spent
    their last dollars on super
    bargains made abroad.
  83. shun local
    The old shopkeeper
    braced for the impending wave
    of no customers.
  84. garden raiders
    Vermin creep through the
    rows of tender seedlings in
    search of freebie food.
  85. wisdom of the crowd
    Sometimes the angry
    mob with pitchforks and torches
    is exactly right.
  86. sensible names for pets
    Constance, George, Wilma,
    Matthew, Irwin, Fran, Justine,
    Luther, Kate, Danny.
  87. let’s get rid of
    Nazis, gaslighters,
    colluders, sex predators,
    tax dodgers, bullies.
  88. an open secret
    Everyone in the
    office knew he was a cad
    but kept it private.
  89. a big eastern syndicate
    Christmas isn’t a
    season or a warm feeling.
    It’s raw consumption.
  90. trauma on the reg
    Every time she peeked
    online, she re-lived horrors
    from past and present.
  91. thirdhand
    They say you never
    get a second chance to make
    a first impression.
  92. demotivational speaker
    Inspirational
    quotes couldn’t match the murmur
    of cruel depression.
  93. and on earth peace and goodwill towards some
    That uncle on the
    Facebook won’t stop jabbering
    about foreigners.
  94. party before country
    We drank from the cup
    of wretched excess before
    dozing in the woods.
  95. you can’t spell iambic pentameter without i am me
    Can we find ourselves
    in a poem? Can we learn
    from these brief verses?
  96. shade to come
    The hot new color
    for next year is called Putrid
    Melancholy Brown.
  97. work harder not smarter
    Employees will keep
    their efforts at a work-life
    balance to themselves.
  98. never too early to campaign for votes
    In 3 days, this dumb
    election will be over
    and on to the next.
  99. blizzard alley
    Our flaky climate:
    It snows more often in the
    South than days gone by.
  100. never underestimate the power of
    Voters, but also
    money, corruption, lying
    and stupidity.
  101. in a pear coulis
    On the first day of
    Hanukkah, my rabbi gave
    to me … a latke.

• • •

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Wade's Daily Haiku | Photo: Steve Johnson (CC) http://bit.ly/23DJ3yF

Vote 2017: Alabama Senate special election results

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Video: Doug Jones’ victory speech on Tuesday in Birmingham

Hallelujah it’s over! Results from today’s special election for U.S. Senate in Alabama …

Vote 2017More election coverage in our Vote 2017 special report.

(Updating throughout the evening.)

The expected voter turnout statewide was 20 percent to 25 percent. The actual turnout was a whopping 40 percent.

Voter turnout - special Senate election 2017Chart: Voter turnout
Click for full-size version

 

Winner in red

Tweets

This just in on Twitter …

Facebook

Visit the Birmingham, Ala., page on Facebook.

• • •

More Vote 2017 coverage.

Vote 2017: Jones, Moore and a rapt nation awaits

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Video: NBC News report on the Alabama Senate race

No one could have predicted this.

Vote 2017What was once a sleepy December special election to fill a vacant Senate seat in a deep red state has turned into a national referendum on political parties, sexual harassment and the Trump agenda. Merry Christmas, Alabama.

It all started a month ago with a bombshell Washington Post report citing several Gadsden women approached as teenagers for dates while Roy Moore was in his early 30s. One woman accused him of sexual assault. Moore is the twice-elected, twice-removed Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice on the Republican ticket.

(Or maybe it all started when then-Gov. Bentley picked then-Attorney General Luther Strange in February to fill Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat after Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General.)

National media, pundits, celebrities and at least one late night talk show host have descended on this one-race ballot for 4 weeks. Money has flooded in, turning a surefire Republican victory into a free-for-all, complete with nonstop commercials, flyers, rallies, high-profile interlopers and poll after poll after poll.

Alabama has had an interesting fall.

Oh, and Doug Jones is running for the Democrats. Almost forgot.

At least in 12 hours, this will all be over (save for any voting machine malfunctions, calls for recount or nuclear war).

The polls are open: Voting takes place till 7 p.m. for this one race.

Q: Where do I vote?

A: Call Jefferson County: (205) 325-5550, Jefferson County (Bessemer only): (205) 481-4105, Shelby County: (205) 669-3913.

Or Search Your Polling Place on AlabamaVotes.gov.

Wade on Birmingham:
election results tonight

Remember, if you have problems at your polling place:

  • Notify a poll worker immediately.
  • Call the state attorney general at 1-800-831-8814 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday.
  • Call the secretary of state at 1-800-274-VOTE (8683) or visit StopVoterFraudNow.com.
  • And tell the probate court for Jefferson County (205-325-5203) or Shelby County (205-669-3713).
  • E-mail us at Vote2017[at]wadeonbirmingham.com.

Q: What can I expect to see on the ballot?

A: Here it is …

2017 general election senator sample ballot

Q: What if I need a ride to the polls?

A: Try Carpool Vote, a free service that matches volunteer drivers with voters who need a lift.

Let us know where and when you voted, and how many votes were cast before yours.

• • •

More Vote 2017 coverage.

Roy Moore, Doug Jones

never underestimate the power of

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Voters, but also
money, corruption, lying
and stupidity.

• • •

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The Birmingham channel: Ballers and brawlers

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Wade Kwon

A look at Birmingham in videos …

Trussville evangelist Karen Schatzline appears on a November episode of “Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural!” From Heaven Visit.

Just another Thanksgiving night at the Galleria (our vertical video of the week). From the AIO Entertainment.

Highlight reel for Sparkman senior guard Anthony A.J. Horton, filmed in Pelham. From Hoop Brothers.

Dashcam footage of the Bessemer Super Highway. From Real Karma.

Basketball: Birmingham-Southern at Roanoke in November. From Roanoke Athletics.

Football highlights: UAB at Florida in November. From ESPN Gainesville.

A glimpse of the Body Worlds Rx 2016 exhibit at McWane Science Center downtown (our other vertical video of the week). From Large Marge.

A fun outing in Birmingham, including a meal at Cracker Barrel. From Madeline Hart.

A simulation of the Bernards’ back yard. From Platinum Pools Texas.

Checking out the sites at Red Mountain Park. From Gowestusa.

Navigating the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest at Red Mountain Park. From Cristiano Fontes.

Miss USA Deshauna Barber speaks at the UAB Leadership Conference in October at the Hill Student Center. From Deshauna Barber.

Mexican band La Arrolladora Banda el Limón performs “Me va Pesar” in November at El Sol on Valley Avenue. From Cristy Bazan.

“Face the Nation” report from Birmingham on Senate candidate Roy Moore. From Face the Nation.

Steve Roberts performs “Red Mountain” at King’s Way Church in Irondale. From King’s Way Church.

Another virtual Birmingham. From Wise Era Trill TV.

A talkative peacock at the Birmingham Zoo. From Wesley Redinger.

Rapper Lisa K. performs “Anomaly.” From Lisa K. Music.

The gross toilet at Target (our other other vertical video of the week). From Large Marge.

Daphne Chamberlain, assistant history professor at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, talks on “The Jackson Movement and Birmingham,” at the 2017 Institute for College and University Teachers in June in Jackson. From Fannie Lou Hamer.

Birmingham hip-hop artist Rocki performs in November at WorkPlay in Lakeview (our other other other vertical video of the week). From Deavin Napoleon.

A 60m hurdles race at the CrossPlex in Five Points West. From Rashni Walker.

Playing at the Thunderbolts Five Star Exposure Tournament in November. From Rik Kinghorn.

Members of UAB’s Indian Cultural Association meets world traveler Abhishek Kumar Sharma in November. From Abhi: Around the World.

Hiking the Ridge and Valley Trail and Overlook Trail at Ruffner Mountain. From Gowestusa.

• • •

Send us links to your videos. | More videos on the Birmingham channel.

The Birmingham channel

blizzard alley

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Our flaky climate:
It snows more often in the
South than days gone by.

• • •

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#sundayread for December 10, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017 by Wade Kwon

stack of old books

Photo: Io. Lagana (CC)

My picks for #sundayread for December 10, 2017:

More posts from Wade this week:

The latest #sundayread tweets:

never too early to campaign for votes

Sunday, December 10, 2017 by Wade Kwon

In 3 days, this dumb
election will be over
and on to the next.

• • •

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work harder not smarter

Saturday, December 9, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Employees will keep
their efforts at a work-life
balance to themselves.

• • •

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shade to come

Friday, December 8, 2017 by Wade Kwon

The hot new color
for next year is called Putrid
Melancholy Brown.

• • •

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you can’t spell iambic pentameter without i am me

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Wade Kwon

Can we find ourselves
in a poem? Can we learn
from these brief verses?

• • •

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party before country

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by Wade Kwon

We drank from the cup
of wretched excess before
dozing in the woods.

• • •

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Wade's Daily Haiku