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Archive for June, 2010

Independence Day weekend activities around Birmingham

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Celebrate your independence or codependence all Independence Day weekend long, whether that weekend is 2 days, 3 days or even 5 days. Take a look at the multitude of holiday activities around the Birmingham area.

Thunder on the Mountain: Despite funding difficulties, the annual fireworks show atop Red Mountain appears to be a go, thanks to a last-minute $15,000 sponsorship by … the Alabama Education Association?! Look to the skies at 9 p.m. Sunday for Thunder on the Mountain, also airing live on Fox 6. The musical accompaniment will air on Cox radio stations: WZZK (104.7 FM), The Eagle (106.9 FM), The Buck (97.3 FM), WENN (101.9 FM),  JAMZ (95.7 FM), Kiss (98.7 FM) and Heaven WAGG (610 AM).

Video: Thunder on the Mountain, fireworks over Vulcan

I Love America Summer Celebration Series: Get a head start on the holiday fun Thursday at Wald Park [map] in Vestavia Hills. 6:30-7:30 p.m: free swim. 6:30-7:45: children’s activities by Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. 7: Pops in the Park, patriotic music by the Shades Mountain Baptist Church Orchestra. Around 8: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Free. For more information, see the flyer.

Jazz in the Park: Magic City Smooth Jazz kicks off its 5-week summer park tour with a performance on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Caldwell Park on Southside [map]. The free show features Keith Williams, Dee Lucas and Scrollworks. For more information, see the flyer.

UAB Summer Band: Annual free concert led by director Sue Samuels, featuring patriotic songs, traditional band music, pop tunes, Disney favorites, movie and Broadway themes and more. Free; raffle winner will conduct part of the performance, $2 for one ticket, $5 for three. 7:30-9 p.m. Sunday, leading up to the Thunder on the Mountain display. Bartow Arena lawn, 617 13th St. S. [map]. For more information, see the activeculture.info listing.

Video: UAB Summer Band performs Leonard Bernstein’s “Slava!”

Birmingham Barons: World Cup? Feh. Baseball! See the Barons play the Mississippi Braves at Regions Park in Hoover [map]. It’s a doubleheader on Thursday, starting at 5:05 p.m. Friday’s game starts at 7:05, while Saturday starts at 6:30; those games will have fireworks. Tickets are $7 to $12. For schedule and ticket purchase, visit the official site.

Independence Day Celebration in the Vineyards: Drive down U.S. 280 to Morgan Creek Vineyards for jazz and fireworks. 6-10 p.m. Saturday, with performance by Tekneek and wine tastings. $10. For more information, visit the site.

Helena concert and fireworks: Texas country performer Derryl Perry will be at the Helena Amphitheater [map] for the city’s holiday celebration. Fireworks follow the concert. Free, 6-9 p.m. Saturday. For more information, see the flyer.

Video: Derryl Perry

Turkey Creek Preserve hike and swim: Go for a short day hike with Southeastern Outings, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday. The trip through Turkey Creek Preserve will include time for a picnic lunch and swim. Hikers bring their own lunch, water, swimsuit, towel and river shoes or sneakers. Free. Departing from the Pinson Chevron, 6710 Ala. 79 [map]. For more information, see the activeculture.info listing.

Project Codename: Vulcan’s Underpants: Birmingham-based improv comedy troupe Extemporaneous Theatre Company will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Birmingham Festival Theatre, 1901 1/2 11th Ave. S. [map]. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; Thursday is pay what you can, with $5 minimum. For more information, visit the site.

Video: Extemporaneous Theatre Company performs
“Pick-Up Lines: Hooters.”

What will you be doing this holiday weekend?

she ain’t nothing but a gravedigger

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The terran capsules
carry explorers on a
journey to space dust.

• • •

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in how you look at it

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Two strangers each have
perfect vision, but see things
very differently.

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marching orders

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The little army
of ants runs on the desert
of the windowsill.

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four-door oven

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

The dashboard display
says 101 degrees,
but it feels hotter.

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the only tradition that counts

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Thousands of years of
tradition, yet on the spot
new ones come to pass.

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Lilith Fair cancels Birmingham stop?

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Toronto Globe and Mail is reporting that Lilith Fair has canceled several tour stops in the Southeast: West Palm Beach, Tampa, Dallas, Houston and Birmingham. We had reported in April that the music festival would play 36 cities during summer and fall, including a first-ever date in Birmingham on Aug. 12 at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.

Norah Jones was to play those dates, but her manager said those dates were canceled. The Birmingham date remains listed on Jones’ site and the Lilith Fair site.

Tour organizers had already canceled shows in Nashville and Phoenix because of poor ticket sales, but would not confirm the cancellation of the five cities reported.

Other performers still scheduled to perform at Lilith’s Birmingham stop include Brandi Carlile, Court Yard Hounds, Sarah McLachlan, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jill Scott and Sia.

We’ve contacted Lilith Fair directly and await a reply.

Update July 2: The Birmingham date has been canceled, along with nine other shows, announced July 1 on the website. “We are in the midst of one of the most challenging summer concert seasons with many tours being cancelled outright,” said Terry McBride, festival co-founder. Lilith Fair has no scheduled tour dates in the South. Tickets purchased online and by phone will be refunded automatically; all other refunds are available at point of purchase.

common causes in the 21st century

Friday, June 25th, 2010

An injustice. A
Facebook group. Now all they need
is to push back hard.

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defeat has set in

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The light is blinding.
Where to hide from misery
seeping deep within?

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groove thing

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

If you’re in it, you
don’t need it back. If you need
it back, keep groovin’.

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too much mercury

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Ice cream cone becomes
a hot drink. Panting dog bursts
into flames. Sun laughs.

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 17

Monday, June 21st, 2010

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  1. down the looking glass
    More movies will use
    3D as gimmick, but need
    2D beforehand.
  2. rock star knitting
    Electric needles
    shred leather yarn into a
    bitchin’ Afghan shawl.
  3. an hour here, an hour there
    Folks may gripe about
    springing forward, yet they fall
    back on time-wasters.
  4. vast improvements
    Big changes afoot.
    Everything old must make way
    for up and coming.
  5. march missteps
    The tango of spring
    and winter, as each fights to
    lead across the land.
  6. beyond the edge of midnight
    Prowl the city streets
    looking for action, looking
    for some distraction.
  7. ice and hardwood
    Balls and pucks, dribbles
    and dekes, madness arrives in
    many forms this month.
  8. printemps, salut
    With the arrival
    of spring, the nose itches and
    aches. Damn allergies.
  9. mother nature’s prerogative
    Why not sunny and
    warm, followed by snow and rain
    and chills? Seasons change.
  10. one cure
    Easier to fix
    health care than the cancer of
    partisan rancor.
  11. dirty dreams
    The garden will be
    lush with vegetation and
    sweat from planting hands.
  12. plan for spring cleaning
    Throw away every
    thing. Done. Now the house is as
    clean as it can be.
  13. internal barometer
    Spring demands penance
    through sneezes and sniffles. An
    allergy humbles.
  14. strangers no more
    Banishment of the
    unfamiliarity
    begins with hello.
  15. school spirits
    Each sip enhances
    and also suppresses new
    alcohol knowledge.
  16. the south: a primer
    Sweet tea, hey y’all, fried
    foods, slow drawl, warm greetings, hot
    summers, bless your heart.
  17. work station, early monday
    The hallway remains
    quiet, even as the drones
    file in for the week.
  18. people are
    People are funny,
    warm, mean, cryptic, loving, true,
    hateful, rude, human.
  19. cutting your losses
    Some would rather hold
    on to a losing hand than
    fold and shuffle up.
  20. the unexpected
    The end of a long
    day brings not relaxation
    but a renewed hope.
  21. the talkative introvert
    The shy will speak, the
    dead will rise, and blood will pour
    from heaven’s earhole.
  22. an iPad for an iPad
    Uploaded on the
    holy e-tablet are the
    1010 commandments.
  23. a rabbit’s tale
    Eggs to hide, baskets
    to deliver. A bunny’s
    work is never done.
  24. egg-pocalypse
    Each still-hidden egg,
    a ticking time bomb rotting
    in its hand-dyed shell.
  25. a coy season
    Spring sometimes likes to
    hide herself between winter
    and summer, too cute.
  26. life is a game show
    Questions get harder.
    The prizes, bigger. No help
    from the audience.
  27. that’s how rumors get ended
    People will talk, but
    then someone actually
    listens. Game over.
  28. a day of tasks
    Somehow, it always
    gets done. Leftover items
    seem to disappear.
  29. this modern life
    Robot slave who takes
    out the trash and feeds the dogs
    and raps: Where are you?
  30. putting made easier
    Virtual greens on
    widescreens lie in wait for crowds
    of upscale gawkers.
  31. on two wheels
    The land zips by, but
    with a tactile breath. Helmet
    on, feet pedaling.
  32. stuffy
    Pollen-encrusted
    world keeps the nostrils clenched and
    the oxygen scarce.
  33. the sweet tea brigade
    Gallons of sugar
    water soothe on hot days. And
    then, the kidney stones.
  34. the ides of april
    Beware, for the day
    comes at a steep cost to tax
    cheats and laggards, too.
  35. unqualified but unabated
    The advice is free,
    even if the adviser
    is making it up.
  36. a night on the town
    A quick wave, a long
    conversation, a crushing
    handshake, a deep nod.
  37. a slight sizzle
    The tell-tale texture
    of a perfectly prepared
    lamb chop. A cook knows.
  38. circles
    Your circle and my
    circle intersect without
    subtracting ourselves.
  39. craft on demand
    Fast, good or cheap, pick
    three. No, wait. Pick two. Or pick
    one, cross your fingers.
  40. the puppy episode
    A floppy-eared, four-
    legged visitor heads your
    way with slobber, barks.
  41. spare the earth, spoil the parasites
    Nonstop assault on
    Mother Earth: matricide or
    just plain suicide?
  42. the end of days
    The time comes in a
    relationship when all that’s
    left is small goodbyes.
  43. at first, i was afraid
    I was petrified.
    It took all the strength I had
    not to fall apart.
  44. porch song
    Gazing upon the
    long stretch of highway, bare feet
    tickled by the breeze.
  45. services out of town
    The trunk is lightly
    packed with belongings and grief.
    Time to pay respects.
  46. sunset from the summit
    Never felt so close
    yet so far from God’s design
    trapped in this ballroom.
  47. every place is bridgeport
    Past the strip mall lies
    the former Walmart and the
    row of used car lots.
  48. parade of smarts
    The brains took turns at
    the mike to divulge what the
    world will look like soon.
  49. crude retort
    The sugar white sands
    cannot escape the oily
    wrath of poisoned tides.
  50. river rampage
    Music City drowns
    beneath stormy onslaught. The
    river runs through it.
  51. unanswered questions
    How did I get here?
    What’s it all about? Is that
    all there is? Why me?
  52. the happiest of wags
    Space dog careens through
    the den, sending poor earth cat
    into a tizzy.
  53. a pint for courage
    One more tug of beer,
    a sip and a gulp. Ready
    for trouble, as such.
  54. advice and insults, free today
    You should look into
    mutual funds, you slimy,
    brainless, lame asshat.
  55. and then the room started spinning
    Before the lights went
    out, the faces closed in and
    the sweat came pouring.
  56. the taco truck
    The oven has holes
    for the cooks to peek out from
    while frying themselves.
  57. stunned but not stunned
    Even at its worst,
    there’s still room to be surprised
    at a brand new low.
  58. losing the signal
    At one point, loud and
    clear. But since the storm, the line
    crackles with static.
  59. sails unfurled
    The dock but a speck,
    the ocean swallows us as
    we surge through the waves.
  60. if it weren’t for the last minute
    Deadline is far off,
    no need to panic. Except
    when it sneaks up fast.
  61. the yardstick
    Do we measure our
    worth against the past, against
    others or don’t count?
  62. tomato invitation
    The vines stretch for more
    room, expecting fruit to burst
    forth any day now.
  63. insurgency
    Rules are issued. They
    rebel. Lines are drawn. They cross.
    Top down. They fight back.
  64. social creatures
    Hiding in a cave
    is no match for venturing
    out into the light.
  65. guessing game
    Thoughts unspoken give
    first clues to internal gaps
    in the narrative.
  66. rib tickler
    Meat really shouldn’t
    fall off the bones. Otherwise,
    you’re stuck with just bones.
  67. pooch parade
    Down the lane, packs of
    dogs march to the beat of a
    thousand wagging tails.
  68. the joy of hex
    Place a curse upon
    the object of your disaf-
    fection. Stir, stir, stir.
  69. rectangular input
    Moving from screen to
    screen, absorbing images
    and words and content.
  70. sentimental, at times
    The faded dusty
    photo reveals a moment
    of pure tenderness.
  71. doused in chlorine
    Bobbing along in
    the deep end, dodging divers
    in cannonball mode.
  72. lessons in comic form
    Don’t try to kick the
    football. Don’t try too hard at
    work. Dennis? Menace.
  73. after lost
    Castaways stuck on
    weird island. Only hope for
    rescue is dying.
  74. the thin line between light and dark
    The winds blow. The rains
    fall. The line snaps. Thus ends our
    civilization.
  75. mutually assured disaffection
    The trust died when she
    lost faith and he kept fighting
    their reality.
  76. influence
    The office nerd has
    no say in the product launch
    but knows good pizza.
  77. dark water
    Hurry, gotta beat
    the traffic to the beach, where
    the oil awaits.
  78. t-shirts for me
    I’m the realest bitch
    you know. No-drama zone. Honk
    if you love silence.
  79. steady on
    The compass needle
    spins with drunken lurches, but
    the course remains true.
  80. posthumous honor
    For those who died in
    service, our feeble thank yous
    must suffice for now.
  81. if goldfish voted
    Not sure why they try
    to sway your vote just 10 feet
    from the polling place.
  82. balls and strikes
    The pitch. Foul tip. The
    pitch. Ball one. The pitch. Strike two.
    The pitch. Out at first.
  83. dairy patrol
    What equinox? The
    real summer starts when the ice
    cream truck jingles forth.
  84. waves of grains
    Hundreds of miles from
    the beach, still finding sand in
    shoes and cars and bags.
  85. counting fireflies
    Flashing blips poke the
    darkness straining to get in
    sync with each other.
  86. the flow of notes
    The saxophonist
    blares out riff after smooth riff,
    shades on the whole time.
  87. there is only try
    The odd thing about
    second chances? They can help
    remove all regrets.
  88. your guess is as bad as mine
    How do we handle
    conflict? Smoothly. How do we
    keep going? Blind faith.
  89. polished to perception
    The best manuscripts
    artfully hide a series
    of drafts and rewrites.
  90. hooky
    Run free. Escape the
    corporate dungeons for a life
    richer in mischief.
  91. the modern ghost
    The modern ghost haunts
    not rundown shacks or scary
    graveyards. He brings dread.
  92. a festival forgotten
    The park once teemed with
    teens and old folks in chairs till
    the money ran out.
  93. about a radish
    The oddball in the
    salad bowl has something to
    say, if only asked.
  94. patriotic cloth
    The fabric of a
    nation isn’t measured in
    stitches but people.
  95. the longest days
    Sweat forms the moment
    grownups step out to check if
    the lawn needs water.
  96. the shortest nights
    Repeat location;
    the crickets and fireflies
    transmit them in code.
  97. a cloak of civility
    Must the default be
    attack and denigrate? Or
    can we listen, too?
  98. house call
    The patient is in
    her pajamas, with an un-
    prescribed ice cream float.
  99. american voodoo
    If it happened, we
    didn’t do it. If we did
    it, pure accident.
  100. the corners in life
    The corners are cloaked,
    with a fist or a tiger
    or a dream in wait.
  101. dueling virtuosos
    Violin and flute
    aren’t foes, but bad notes sound out
    a different tune.

• • •

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Graeme McDowell wins U.S. Open

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Video: Graeme McDowell receives the U.S. Open trophy.

Graeme McDowell, who played golf at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, won the U.S. Open tonight. The 30-year-old player finished with a 74, 284 for the tournament, making for McDowell’s first victory at a major championship.

graeme mcdowellHailing from Northern Ireland, McDowell played at UAB from 1998 to 2002, winning the Haskins Award for most outstanding collegiate player in 2002.

McDowell edged out France’s Gregory Harvet on the final hole at Pebble Beach to become the first European to win the U.S. Open since 1970.

Tiger Woods finished fourth.

the corners in life

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

The corners are cloaked,
with a fist or a tiger
or a dream in wait.

• • •

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american voodoo

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

If it happened, we
didn’t do it. If we did
it, pure accident.

• • •

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