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Holiday gift guide

iPad Mini

It’s a lean mean tablet machine and it’s the hottest tech toy in the country. It’s perhaps most comparable to the iPad with Retina display: it’s got most of the same bells and whistles, it’s just smaller and less expensive. If you haven’t jumped on the tablet bandwagon, now is a great time to start. $329 - $659 (varying storage capacity, wi-fi/cellular connectivity), www.apple.com

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Food Porn #13: Chicken dinner date with the mystery man

Food Porn

Robert had a longtime rule for himself. If he encountered a man to whom he was overwhelmingly attracted, he turned his back and fled as far and as fast as he could.

He learned in the past that such charismatic men made bad boyfriends, usually requiring constant attention. They were flirtatious with everyone and made Robert feel like a barely present shadow.

That situation came up at the last Food Porn Supper Club meeting. A man named Lee arrived late and introduced himself to Robert. He had black hair and blue eyes, and obviously hit the gym frequently.

Robert felt himself in the kind of awe that usually cued him to get up and leave. But that would be extremely unmannerly at a dinner he was hosting. So he avoided eye contact with Lee.

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Topher Payne: The best of what’s around

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

My grandmother on my mother’s side, the widowed commander of a brood of six children, was presented with the daily task of staying afloat on a very limited budget.

She rose to the challenge, stretching every morsel of food and inch of fabric to cover the demands of her family. Her resourcefulness truly shined every December, when she created low-cost alternatives to the usual holiday fare.

As a tribute to my late grandmother, my Mama still prepares her “unbaked fruit cake,” a sticky-sweet mishmash of condensed milk, vanilla wafers, and candied fruit, formed into a loaf and left to harden on the counter for several weeks.

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Best Bets 11.23 – 12.06

Best Bets

Friday, Nov. 23

The Santaland Diaries, an Atlanta theater tradition, brings gay humorist David Sedaris’ satire about working as a Macy’s elf back to the stage. Opens tonight, runs through Dec. 30 at Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.horizontheatre.com

Edie Cheezburger presents The Other Show, featuring Jasmine Antoinette, Justice Tyana Taylor, Miami Royale, Violet Chachki and special guest Arrianna Paris. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m., DJ Thomas Byrd spins pop and top 40 after. Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com

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Giving thanks: 15 reasons we are grateful for LGBT Atlanta

As we sit around the Thanksgiving table counting our blessings, we won't forget to put the best of life in LGBT Atlanta on our list. Sure, we live in a blue oasis in a red state. Sure, we're still fighting to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law and employment non-discrimination law, and same-sex marriage remains illegal here. Sure, the bars close earlier now than they once did.

But just like the relative that everyone always complains about but still fiercely loves and can't wait to see during the holidays, we can't imagine our lives without this city.

Here are 15 of the people, places and things that make us grateful to live in the undisputed LGBT Mecca of the South.

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GA Voice Pet of the Week: Naked

GA Voice's Pet of the Week

Each week we meet a new pet available for adoption at PAWS Atlanta.

All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, microchipped, on flea/tick and heartworm preventative and current on all age-appropriate vaccinations.

The shelter is open seven days a week. Visit in person or online to learn more about how you can adopt these or other pets.

If you adopt a pet featured as a GA Voice Pet of the Week, please let us know! We’d love to post a photo of you and your new furry family member.

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Topher Payne: In it to win it

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

It all started with SongPop. My husband, Preppy, found this iPhone app that’s sort of like what would happen if “Name That Tune” had a baby with a satellite radio — his areas of specialization were ‘80s Pop and One Hit Wonders.

I’d hear five notes of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” followed by a little victory chime, followed by a squeal of delight. When he played the game on the couch, I’d shout out possibilities without seeing the multiple choice answers. Nine times out of ten, my guess was Heart. Fun fact: 90 percent of all ‘80s Pop and One Hit Wonders sound like Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Anyhoo, eventually I signed myself up for SongPop, and my sister Shannon quickly followed suit. That’s when things turned ugly. My sister’s children are both in school now, which left her plenty of time to kick ass in fringe categories like Horror Movie Themes.

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Gay Democrat loses bid for Floyd County Commission

Gary Harrell

Gay Democrat Gary Harrell was unsuccessful today in his bid for a seat on the Floyd County Commission in Rome, Ga.

With all precincts reporting, unofficial results from the Rome Election Office show Harrell with 10,653 votes (34.58 percent) for the Post 2 seat, compared to 20,130 (65.33 percent) for Republican incumbent Garry E. Fricks.

Prior to the election, Harrell told GA Voice he did not think his sexual orientation had been an issue in the race. He said he was running on a platform of fresh ideas, supporting small businesses, balancing the county’s budget thoughtfully and using new green and clean technology to move Floyd County forward.