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THE MOVE: Plan Accordingly - May 2020

Hey, y’all! What’s the move?

05 The Move
Photo credit: Liliana Bakhtiari
NEIGHBORHOOD LOVE: Activist Liliana Bakhtiari and Argosy co-owner and manager Armando Celentano come through for EAV’s Branan Towers senior community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read how you can help.

Welcome to The Move, a column intended to help you beat the fight against basic, and, in 2020, likely without having to leave your house. Y’all can still have a balanced diet of disco and yoga, it will just be virtual yoga and a password protected Zoom disco. Warning of side effects: Bloated bank account from an entire year of concert cash yet to be burned. Anxiety over slow internet connections. Consume at your own risk.

Other than the obvious issues and catching my dog’s separation anxiety, there are pros to being on international shut-down. The club bathrooms have improved, assuming you cleaned your toilet recently. Brian Kemp memes went viral. No more group birthday dinners!

The underground isn’t always organized. Throw in a pandemic, and we’re talking a pop-up virtual rager that could slide in your feed at any hour. In the good ole days, The Move intended to get your calendars amped for what’s to come. But that was way back in Q1 of this year. Now that most of us would agree our lives can change at the drop of cough droplets, writing a futuristic events column...well maybe not. Instead, like a true cowgirl, she’s doing things in reverse. Here’s what she’s seen, virtually attended, watched, and created during COVID-19. If you read about an event you like, look ‘em up. They will probably have more parties. Plus, ways you can help good ppl doing some good sh*t.

A shoutout to the do-gooders, and how to join them:

The first call I make when I want to know how to be of service in the communities that need it most is to Activist and Community Leader Liliana Bakhtiari. Think your volunteer hours are impressive? Bakhtiari’s life commitment to public service is GOALS.

During the pandemic, Bakhtiari immediately activated help for Atlanta’s senior community asking for donations for Branan Towers, a high-rise for senior citizens in East Atlanta Village. You can drop off Branan Towers donations — food, cleaning supplies, art activities, puzzles, books, used/refurbished electronics, gift cards, and letters —  at the Argosy take-out table, Wednesday through Sunday, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Bakhtiari is also working as the Homeless Emergency Response Coordinator at Partners for HOME. Partners for HOME is a compassionate community innovating a robust approach to homelessness in Atlanta. They are currently working with local hotels to house the homeless who are high-risk for COVID-19. www.partnersforhome.org, @lilianaforAtlanta

Meal Bridge is an Atlanta-based mission to feed frontline healthcare workers, while simultaneously generating biz for local restaurants. But local restaurants aren’t hogging all the profits: “For every single meal you order from Osteria, Doc Chey’s, or Dragon Bowl for our brave healthcare professionals via The Meal Bridge, we will donate nine more meals to the Atlanta Community Food Bank that will allow them to feed hungry children, hardworking families, or struggling seniors.” Barely more than a month into the pandemic, 1,084 meals have been delivered to hospitals, thus raising enough to feed 9,756 food-insecure neighbors. www.themealbridge.com

The Atlanta Guys Dinner Group (#AGDG) is a group of guys who get together once a month to break bread, socialize, and give back to the Atlanta community. They created a pantry drive and are putting bags together for restaurant workers and others from the culinary industry who are currently without. They have also raised funds for Atlanta Family Meal and are collecting nonperishable items if you’re able to donate.

Funemployed? Become a Pet Listener:
Have a pet? I recently made an appointment with local animal communicator, Lauren Kinney. Animal communication uses telepathy, something Kinney says all humans are born with but lose once the verbal communication takes over, to chat with your furry roommates.

“I listen and learn about an animal’s joys and fears and get a better understanding of behavioral or medical issues.” — Kinney

Kinney had a convo with Poncey, my seven-year-old bulldog and codependent bestie, via phone. Kinney described Poncey as “The Dude” from one of my favorite Coen brothers’ movies, The Big Lebowski, meaning he’s extremely “chill.” This, along with everything else she noted about my only roommate, was spot on! Even if she just got lucky, the call lifted spirits in our tiny home. Kinney is currently talking to pets for FREE to gain accreditation hours. Yes, that’s a thing, apparently, if you are funemployed! www.petlistener.com

TWITCH.tv:
Are you even twitching yet, Karen? Twitch.tv, a social media platform originally intended for gamers, is now being used to stream events during coronavirus.

We asked Wussy Mag creator Jon Dean, “Why not just stick with Facebook or Zoom?” Dean responded, “It’s just the best quality for mixing live stream in from multiple sources with pre-recorded content.” Wussy Mag, with Southern Fried Queer Pride, streamed their event “Big Ass Telethon to End Metronormativity,” Saturday, April 25 on Twitch.tv. The telethon raised money for rural, queer artists and performers and featured my fav local drag performers Brigitte Bidet and Ella/saurus/REX. Nashville band Thelma & the Sleaze, international pop star Lance Bass, and Netflix comedians Fortune Feimster and Whitney Cummings all made appearances that likely wouldn’t have been possible pre shelter in place.

Look for more Atlanta-based events popping up on Twitch.tv, including regular entertainment from Mammal Gallery and a social distance happy hour hosted by Mary’s every Friday.
twitch.tv/endmetronormativity
twitch.tv/mammalgallery
twitch.tv/MarysAtlanta

You can still shop local:
A cure for the Amazon guilt is as overdue as rent during COVID-19. Of course, I didn’t know how to kick the addiction, so I called upon my favorite local she-can-make-anything engineer, Streetcat.media, for the 411 on how to stop playing with rainbow capitalism and actually buy local.

"Itching for your monthly Atlanta DIY fix?! We sure as heck are! Local internet-based artist + DIY community organizer, Streetcat.media, saves the day with the scoop on all things online in the Atlanta DIY scene in their latest blog, “Pandemania: an Anti-Rainbow Capitalism Manifesto.”

“In this manifesto, you will find lots of reasons and resources on how and why you should be investing in your local creative economy right now, especially in these uncertain national and state-wide economic times. Whether through building your own DIY skill set with video tutorials or buying art from a local artist’s website, now is an extremely rare and fruitful time to participate in and support your local DIY community online.” — Maggie Kane, owner, Streetcat.media. 

Shibori, Shibari — Let’s tie the whole thing off:
Getting crafty on The Move! Shibori is the ancient Japanese art of folding, tying, then dying fabric to create a tie-dye like pattern. I tried this technique during quarantine, only to learn RIT fabric dye for synthetics doesn’t actually dye polyester as promised. Friends who stuck with more absorbable fabs, like cotton, have dyed beautiful things. Try shibori with you, yourself, and you while staying home.

Shibari is the Japanese form of bondage art, aka kinbaku. So maybe I haven’t actually practiced tying up another human yet, but I am getting pretty stellar at macramé, which is just as knotty. I’ve learned so many twists and ties and have acquired enough rope to make the kink community jelly. Macramé is a solo project. If you have a quarantine partner, try for shibari.

WEED Rx:
I’d like to re-thank Kwanza Hall and all the Atlanta City Council members who unanimously voted to decriminalize under an ounce of grass in 2017. And with cops not having testing kits to analyze the difference between CBD/THC, there’s a good chance you can drop the paranoia in 2020. Lawd knows we need Mary Jane more than ever right now.

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CORONAVIRUS COSMETOLOGY: Shave your head! Photo credit: Selfie
  • Remember, marijuana containing more than .03 percent of THC is still illegal in Georgia. In the city of Atlanta, however, you will at worst get a $75 ticket for having under an ounce of THC on you. Enjoy confidently and responsibly.


CLUB QUARANTINE and other ways to dance during a pandemic:
The Move is always to dance. I even have a tattoo dedicated to the verb. Perhaps we can’t risk sharing sweat droplets with strangers right now, but social-distance dance parties are popping up everywhere.

It’s taken no time for the dance community to take the raves online during an international crisis. Artists from Toronto take their all-inclusive, queer dance party, Club Quarantine, online for the masses nightly using Zoom codes.

Party in your bathtub. Lose track of time. Don’t be self-conscious, wake your subconscious, without having to leave your house. Go ahead and get all dressed up, honey, bc you’ve got a website to get to!

LOCAL DANCE PARTIES via the internet:
Who misses foam, glitter, and dance raves more than me? Maybe DJ Kimber. Although we can’t share glitter, we can enjoy a full, live set from Kimber weekly! Check out Kimber’s virtual dance parties for Nonsense ATL via Zoom. Her last set was eight hours long! nonsenseatl.com

And before we can all go back to day raves at the Chosewood Ballroom, continue checking Ecstatic Dance Atlanta’s Facebook page as they stream Ecstatic Dance chapters from around the world. Get movin’ — that’s an order. 

P.S. Stop whining about getting your roots done and just shave your head. I did! CL



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