One Monday morning in mid-November 2009, staffers from Southern Voice arrived to work to find the locks changed and a sign on the door saying that the paper's parent companies, Window Media and Unite Media, clo...
This is the time of year we eat a little less and exercise a little more. Summer clothes have less fabric so it’s harder to hide the effects of a french fry fetish. But as we curse our reflections in the mirror, the very basic reality is that we simply don’t live very healthy lifestyles.Turns out, watching four hours of TV every night will always take its toll on a body.
Take the generations before us. My mother, Millie Pete, walked up to two miles to school every morning, and two miles home every evening, throughout her childhood. My father walked about a half mile each way. They each grew up on a farm, which means most of the food they ate was grown by their own families.
Yes, I know there are people who live in Whole Foods, only after they have spent an ungodly amount of time in an expensive gym. But for the rest of us, it is not as simple as needing a slap on the butt and a “You can do it” pep talk. As a generation, we just aren't active people.
Last week was a pinnacle in my radio career. Vikki Locke invited me to speak at a “Women in Media” charity luncheon, and I was introduced by Mara Davis. I have listened to these two amazing women and looked up to them for years.
The opportunity to speak to my mentors along with a room full of women was an honor. What I said may not have been that encouraging, but it was the truth.
My speech was titled, “What Was Said to Me When the Microphone Was Off.” That topic could have kept me there all day. But I limited my speech to three of the most shocking statements that had been made to me during my career.
I came out to the customer care lady at the cable company. I’d called because I decided I wanted to watch “The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio,” and my cable box, confused that anyone would wish to see this film, froze up completely.
So I called the help number on my screen, and the representative addressed me by my husband’s name.
I said, “No, this is Topher, his husband. I’m authorized on the account.”
She replied, “Oh, yes, I see. You’re the other Mr. Payne. What can I do for you?”
Janet and Robert settled into their folding chairs under the tent of the House of Gay Human Oddities on Cheshire Bridge Road. It was late Saturday night, after midnight, and many gay men and a few women stopped to check it out on their way home from the clubs. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence collected the $5 entry fee.
A couple of carnival-style food stands were in front of the yellow tent, which glowed like a full moon on a foggy night. These weren’t the usual food trucks. Instead they sold take-out food from Robert’s favorite cheapies, like Arepa Mia, Bell Street Burritos, and Miss D’s New Orleans Pralines — all inside the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
Across the street, 11 mostly gay members of the Clean-up Cheshire Bridge Brigade (CCBB) demonstrated in support of gay City Council member Alex Wan. He would soon be introducing legislation to purge the road of “nonconforming” businesses — meaning sex venues — to make way for gentrification.
There are so many issues that divide women. Whether it’s abortion rights, the decision to be a mother or whether to work outside the home, women often find themselves on opposite sides of an issue.
But there is one topic that all women can relate to and support each other on, and that’s the matter of your period and the accidents that occur because of it.
If you are a woman reading this, an embarrassing moment has already come flooding back to your memory when you weren’t prepared for a visit from “Aunt Flo.” It happens every month for nearly half of your life; still somehow she can sneak up on you when you least expect it.
SCALIA: When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit gays from marrying? Was it always unconstitutional?
OLSON: When we as a culture determined that sexual orientation is a characteristic of individuals that they cannot control, and that that -
SCALIA: I see. When did that happen? When did that happen?
OLSON: There’s no specific date in time. This is an evolutionary cycle.
SCALIA: Well, how am I supposed to know how to decide a case, then, if you can’t give me a date when the Constitution changes.
Topher Payne goes to the Supreme Court in this week's Domestically Disturbed
I’m on a Delta flight from New York to Atlanta, awaiting takeoff. I have the aisle seat. In the middle, a baby-faced guy who I’m pretty sure is a Mormon, or at least he dresses like one.
At the window, a fiftyish businessman type, brandishing a copy of an Ann Coulter book called “Mugged.” Ugh. I just cannot stand Ann Coulter. That woman is not a conservative, she’s a provocateur. Ann Coulter is like one of those performance artists who work with body fluids — there’s no meaning behind the action, they just want everyone to notice their poop on a wall.
So already, I’m not a fan of Window Seat, as I watch him tapping out very important texts on his Blackberry.
If you see something, say something
I cannot remember exactly when it started — late July, maybe? But one night I looked up from my work at four in the morning and said, “Aw hell, it’s better if I just don’t sleep.” I got a few extra hours of tasks accomplished, the sun rose, and I went on about my day.
Sure, I guzzled like five pots of coffee, and I was a little weepy and reactionary by sunset— I had an argument with the dog that I’m pretty sure I lost — but overall I was pleased with the number of things which got checked off the to-do list.
I recognized that, just for a little while, I’d scheduled more tasks than could actually be accomplished during normal human waking hours, and I might have to sneak in an all-nighter here and there to stay on top of everything.