Wednesday, August 31, 2005
We are in Memphis for another night. Tomorrow dear Annou will fly on to Virginia to stay with my folks (she doesn't need to be slogging around the Deep South for weeks on end). Our friend Maysey's family has been incredibly kind, offering use of their vacation home on Perdido Bay in Alabama for the next month (it was far enough east to avoid any substantial damage - it even has power!). We will be heading their tomorrow and meeting up with other refugee friends (Ana, Zack, Miranda, and Phillip).
We will be comfortable there (actually it's incredibly lovely), and it's a little over three hours east of New Orleans, so if they do start letting people back into the city any time in the next month, I will be able to get into town to assess our situation.
I just did the most Road Warrior thing I've ever done in my life. I filled up a pallet of gasoline cans to take with us because we've been hearing reports of gas scarcities further south. Now I've got to install the crossbow turret in the back of the car to shoot any biker punks that might try to steal it.
Until next time...
I tell you what, nothing says "party" like evacuating your devastated city and not being able to return for weeks or months. Whoo hoo! Well, at least we're alive and not on a roof.
I'm too tired, frazzled, and stupid right now to say more. We're fine. We're figuring out our next steps. Onward and upward.
I will simply say that most people are fundamentally decent and good. Disasters bring out the best in everyone, and we're deeply grateful for the concern and help of all the kind people we've dealt with.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The dining area of our motel is full of anxious refugees worrying about their homes, swapping bits of information, and trying to figure out when they'll get home and what they'll find. At this point, it's impossible to plan the next step. We're just holding tight, gathering information, keeping busy, and waiting.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Again, thank you.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Alright, so normally I stray away from passing along these silly Internet diversions (preferring, instead, to generate my own utterly ridiculous ways to waste time), but I'm bored so what the hell.
This is my output from the 3 Variable Funny Test. I am "Cutting Edge" (yes!) with a variable breakdown of:
Darkness: 91%Personally I think the vulgar quotient is way too low, but I'll accept it overall. It goes on to tell me:
Man, that is so right on. You know what I really love? Insulting very fat people with broken bones who are dancing. That shite is hilarious.
"Your humor's mostly innocent and off-the-cuff, but somehow there's something slightly menacing about you. Part of your humor is making people a little uncomfortable, even if the things you say aren't themselves confrontational. You probably have a very dry delivery, or are seriously over-the-top.
Your type is the most likely to appreciate a good insult and/or broken bone and/or very very fat person dancing.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU: David Letterman - John Belushi"
What's your humor style?
Via Harriet The Elf
We're eating pho on the West Bank. To my eye Louise looks remarkably like a skinny, blond June.
I like how, partially due to the vagaries of perspective and partially due to the truly astronomical size of my giant melon head, it looks like I could easily devour Louise as a light dessert once I'm done with my noodles.
It's a beautiful dream, isn't it?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
"You can cheat on your girlfriend. You can't cheat on your wife."
- One of my eight presentable, vaguely retro, short sleeve shirts.
- White, size-large, pocketless t-shirt (has to be large for tucking in).
- Dickies plain-front, khaki work pants.
- Plain, brown, leather belt.
- Grey socks.
- Plain, brown, leather work shoes.
- Black, size-medium, one pocket (for my sunglasses) t-shirt.
- Optionally (in cooler weather): one of my eight presentable, vaguely retro, short sleeve shirts.
- Pants or shorts (depending on climate and dressiness).
- Levi's 501s, dark blue OR
- Dickies plain-front, khaki work pants.
- One of my 3 pairs of vaguely retro, plaid shorts OR
- Dickies plain-front, khaki shorts.
- Plain, brown, leather belt.
- Grey socks.
- Black, lowtop Chuck Taylors.
- Dax Wave and Groom (I believe the target demographic for this product is elderly black men - I am neither elderly nor black, but it seems to work well enough for me).
- $9 wire-rimmed, rectangular aviators from Rite-Aid.
- Grey or brown v-neck sweater OR
- Plain, light-grey windbreaker OR
- Grey or brown v-neck sweater OR
- Plain, navy-blue jacket OR
- Optionally: Orange knit cap.
And as always, get off my back. You're weird too.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
"Do you think her nose is the result of evolution or Intelligent Design?"There were viable arguments on both sides. The case was made that it was simply a product of natural selection, with successive nose generations each adapting to their particular nasal habitat. But the counter-argument was also viable. Such an exceptionally dainty little nose could only be the product of a deliberate, intelligent agent.
In this particularly debate, Intelligent Design was victorious.
At least we can still be neighbors in Slimboville.
* Make sure to catch their new reality show , Cracker Packers Go to Town, this fall on Fox.
** Or something like that. We're actually a little confused.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
The wedding was a blast. Family and friends came from all over the country. We danced like fools late into the evening, sweating buckets (one of the highlights was seeing Annou shake it to N.W.A). At the end of the night Sarah and I drove away in our little Honda Civic, trailing dozens of white streamers, "Just Married" scrawled in giant letters all over the car.
The next day was very relaxed. We met up with everyone. People were tired and happy. Some folks were sticking around for a couple of days. Others were heading home. In the afternoon I drove our friend, Johnny, to a nearby hotel where he could catch the airport shuttle bus.
The hotel was particularly busy with dozens of gay men coming and going. As I pulled up to the curb to drop Johnny off, a buzz went threw the crowd, and everyone turned towards us. Suddenly they were all smiling, waving, hollering, and applauding. For a moment our groggy brains couldn't understand what was happening. Then the explanation dawned on us. Ah.
We smiled and waved back. Then I bid my darling Johnny adieu.
- Drinking really cold iced coffee on a really hot day.
- Drinking really hot coffee on a really hot day (yeah, you're weird too - get off my back).
- The rotting, sweet smell that pervades parts of Uptown on certain nights. I've heard several explanations for this. My favorite, and also the most plausible, is that it's sugar cane rotting in barges docked on the Mississippi.
- Still more Hansen's. "Cream of Coconut". As June would say, "yuuwwmm-eeeeee".
Monday, August 22, 2005
I once sat next to a person at a dinner party who had a booger in their mustache for the entire meal. It was quite upsetting. What made it even more upsetting was that the Bearer of the Booger-stache was a woman.
I don't think I'll be adding "Booger-'Stache Friday" to our list.
Note: Sorry, it's an ugly day on Slimbolala, but the "evil voices" made me do it. I'm going to Hell. See ya there.
We parted company. Louise and I moved through the remainder of the exhibit at brisk clip before heading out into the blazing summer sun.
Him: Yeah, uh, my wife is divorcing me. She just dropped the kids off this morning.
Me: Oh... I'm sorry.
Him: Yeah, she's cheating on me. She doesn't know that I know... I don't know why I need to tell people that, but I do. [laughs nervously]
Me: Wow, that's rough.
Him: Yeah, so hold on to what you've got. [more nervous laughter]
Me: O.K. I will.
Me: Well, good luck with that.
Friday, August 19, 2005
You all get to see plenty of photos of the ladies in my life but never all of us together. This just came in the mail today (thanks, Mary!). It was taken at the wedding of our friend (and the gals' daycare teacher), Sarah Jane. I like it. I'm posting it.
- The hot, white haze of early morning when the sun is still low.
- Driving with the windows down and the air-conditioning blasting.
- The moment when decorum is abandoned and you just sweat.
- The tremendous clouds.
- The storms.
- The steaming, funky smell of earth after it rains in the afternoon.
- The pool.
- Hansen's Sno-Bliz.
- Warm evenings with everyone out on the street.
- Things are slow.
- Things are quiet.
- It (eventually) ends.
- Formal Friday.
- Naked Friday.
- Tiara Friday.
- Mustache Friday.
- Bad Smell Friday.
- Poorly Coordinated Color Scheme Friday
- Itchy Friday.
- Food-As-Clothing Friday.
- Devo Friday.
- Goth Friday.
- Corset Friday.
- Plaid Friday.
- Hair Shirt Friday.
- Chainmail Friday.
- Underoos Friday.
- Spandex Friday.
- Trekkie Friday.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
"Well, your father hurt his foot so he was kind of gimp. I was going to shoot him, but I figured it would be too much trouble."
boom-boom-chak chak-a boom-boom-chak "... traffic moving smoothly to the Westbank..." boom-boom-chak chak-a boom-boom-chak "...heavy delays at the Highrise..." boom-boom-chak chak-a boom-boom-chak "... an accident at North Claiborne and Elysian Fields..." boom-boom-chak chak-a boom-boom-chak...The announcer, though, was just a regular, middle-aged, white traffic guy. The contrast was very funny.
Do you think he practices? Does he go home at night, drop in some fresh beats, and do a little traffic freestyle? Does he dress up? Does he talk trash about other traffic announcers ("Ain't nothin' but wack traffic MCs / Can't nobody announce the traffic like me")?
I like to think so.
Even if I doubt it.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I considered quieting her but decided not too. She wasn't actually bothering anyone, and I wasn't ready to give the Nancy Reagan talk to my 4 year old.
The tough kids on the corner did give us funny looks, though.
When he was younger he was at a party at somebody's house. The microwave at this house had a defective safety latch allowing it to be turned on while the microwave door was open. As a wacky party stunt, our acquaintance thought it would be funny to stick his head in the microwave and turn it on for a bit. He did so.
This, of course, leads to the question, was he dumb before the microwave, or did the microwave make him dumb? I'm guessing both. There's probably a feedback loop going on.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
We all have our "Mark Coolbeaks".* I've actually had several over the years. They say something about us, although I don't know exactly what it is. It undoubtedly has something to do with archetypes, ur-Egos, and weird grade school teachers. But it's O.K. They're there. We've got no say in it. It's just a part of who we are.
Who's your "Mark Coolbeak"?**
* There is a converse to this principal. We each have individuals to whom we are exceptionally allergic, our "Kimberly Stones" as it were.
** No, I don't actually want to know their real names - thank you very much. And if you say that I'm your "Mark Coolbeak" I'm going to cry.
Monday, August 15, 2005
And she has managed to combine these two linguistic passions into one exciting activity, clutching her beloved Go, Dog. Go! to her chest, toddling around the house, furrowing her brow, and chanting it's title over and over. But, since her verbal skills don't yet match her enthusiasm, the end result is a guttural "guh duh guh! guh duh guh!" It's very funny.
Oh, yeah. And she's started growling like a lion. It's also very funny.
* Wikipedia - Kaspar Hauser.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
"Car coversations are lovely."
Friday, August 12, 2005
I feel terrible, Billy. I wish it was something else. I wish it was Jam Band (actually I really wish it was European Techno), but it's not. I almost lied and said it was Jam Band just so I wouldn't let you down. I'm a fool, a durned fool. Always have been. Always will be. If my name was Charlie Pride I would change it to Charlie Shame. I'm utterly, hopelessly predictable.
Or am I?
If something is "predictable", wouldn't that would imply that people can, oh, let's say... predict it? Hmm? But let's look at the numbers:
Yeah, it's not looking so good. Is it? On the contrary, Country & Western and Eighties Glam-Metal tied for last place.
How can this be? I'll tell you how. You, in your craving for the novel and bizarre, have overlooked the most reasonable answer and instead chosen the freakish: the jam band, the techno, and, yes, even the polka (that one really was a red herring). And I, anticipitating your utterly predictable desire for the unpredictable, have made the most predictable answer also the correct one, thus being the most unpredictable of all. Hah, hah! It is not I who has been predictable. It is you. And it is not I who has disappointed you, but you who have disappointed me! Shame! Shame!
It's alright, though. I forgive you.
And congratulations, Ms. NOLA. You are the new reigning Queen of Slimboland (although, you might have a tough time getting the tiara back from "John").
Most of the improvements have been pragmatic and educational in nature. The one bit of frivolity, though, has been the purchase of a new iPod which came in the mail yesterday. This is all very exciting. However, as of yet we don't actually have the computer to feed the iPod, and blah, blah, blah. The upshot is that, for the moment, the iPod has no music. So, the iPod has no purpose. Right?
Wrong. Certainly the ability to store and play a massive array of songs is a nice feature, but let's be honest. What's it's real purpose? Status. Status. Status. Oh, yeah - distinctive white ear buds in place, walking down the street, head bopping to über-groovy tunes (real or imagined - it doesn't matter) - we are in the cool club. And you, my iPod-less friends, are in the drool club.
Don't worry, though. We can still hang out sometimes. Just not when any of our new iPod friends are around.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I will tell you three things about him. He:
- Is African-American.
- Is a police officer.
- Listens to a style of music one might not expect (I know this because he blasts it loudly from his vehicle).
What is the unexpected style of music he listens to?And so it won't be absolutely impossible, I'll make it multiple choice. Is it:
a) PolkaPlace your vote.
b) Eighties glam-metal.
c) Jam band: Phish, Dave Matthews, etc.
d) Country & Western
e) European techno.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
"ush ush ush ush second IP ush ush ush ush NIC ush ush ush ush ush ush ush ush. Yes?"Et cetera. I think we eventually arrived at some sort of agreement, but I'm really not sure.
"Um. I think so."
"ush ush ush ush dual NIC ush ush ush ush virtual IP ush ush ush ush."
"Right... I... think so. I'm sorry. Can you repeat that?"
"ush ush ush ush dual NIC ush ush ush ush..."
In the interest of furthering our acquaintance (and continuing our recent meat riff*), I would also be very happy to learn your meat-identities:
If you were a meat product what would you be?"Meat product" may be broadly defined as any food item composed principally of meat, processed or otherwise. Vegetarians may specify an appropriate meat-substitute.
I haven't figured out what I am yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I do.
I must confess that I'm a little worried about this question. There are two potential problems.
- People may be reluctant to publicly identify themselves with meat products.
- Lewd innuendos, intentional or otherwise, are nearly unavoidable.
Heh, heh. "Own our meat." Heh.
* I'm almost positive this is the first time in my life I've used the phrase "meat riff".
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I was, of course, already familiar with this general principal from growing up on a sheep farm (name the "breeders" but not the "meat"), but I hadn't anticipated its relevance to the plant kingdom.
Note - I should specify that it is my elder daughter who experienced this difficulty. Number Two Daughter might technically be able to name the beans, but they would all be named "Dah", and she would certainly feel no guilt while gleefully devouring them.
Monday, August 08, 2005
O.K. I'm back to normal now. All future geekiness will be appropriately suppressed.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
What are you?
* Sarah flatly rejected the suggestion that she was "sparkling water".
And there she is
Walking on air she is
Fairest of fair she is
See. We truly do live in the best of all possible worlds. Ahem.
If you have no idea what the hell is going on, don't despair. I tried to count and came up with at least six inside jokes / obscure references in this post. Oops, make that seven.
* If you live in rural Missippi and do "art" welding, you just might be a cracker packer.
Friday, August 05, 2005
It should be required listening for any producer, director, or actor making a movie set in New Orleans. Then we would no longer have to suffer through depictions of the city populated by citizens with utterly incongruous and erroneous Southern drawls.
* For those of you from the great beyond, this is a reference to the local greeting, "where y'at?" Yats are the old-school, white, historically working class residents of the city (although many yats have migrated to the suburbs and neighboring parishes, and the yat accent is not nearly as common as it once was in the city proper). The accent is not the least bit Southern. People often say it resembles a Northeastern accent which is closer to the mark, but even that's a stretch.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
- Everybody got it.
- Everybody who didn't get it is keeping their mouth shut.
- Nobody cares.
So you see, "gone" in beatnik slang means "really good" as in, "that Charlie Parker is one gone cat".* It's just like the way you or I would say "awesome", "rad", or "badass". Crazy, huh? But those were crazy times. Of course they were all so "hopped up" on "tea", "goofballs", and "bennies" that they barely knew what they were saying anyway.
Now, back to our joke. When the beatnik asks for some apple pie and the waitress says the apple pie is "gone", the beatnik thinks she's saying the apple pie is "really good", and hilarity ensues. Ha, ha! "Dig"?
Wait. Where's everybody going? I've got lots of other jokes I can explain. Come on, guys. Things were just getting fun.
* Of course, the beatnik is not actually calling Charlie Parker a cat. "Cat" is beatnik slang for "cool guy".
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
My contribution to Illustration Friday (subject: "Aging"). I'm really not sure why I chose to interpret the theme this way. I must have been feeling cheeky. Or grumpy. Or both. I suppose it depends on whether I was channeling my inner disrespectful-whippersnapper or my inner elderly-curmudgeon. Or both. Probably both. I forget.
I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself. Is that wrong? Probably.* Does that mean we have a winner? Yes. Congratulations, "John"! You are the new reigning Queen of Slimboland. As always, expect your sparkling tiara (and your very own Pickle Me Elmo) in the mail within 4-6 weeks.
* While I can't deny that this answer caused me to laugh very, very hard, I must acknowledge that it's decidedly crude and made my culturally sensitive Superego a wee bit jumpy. However, I have consulted our Slimbo-lawyers, and they assure me that when two diametrically opposed stereotypes are merged they actually cancel each other out, so it's all perfectly kosher (uh oh, am I allowed to say "kosher"?... I think so... jeez, this whole blogging thing is a cultural minefield... oh, no! I just said "jeez"... now I've blasphemed... ack!). Also, "John" in particular can make this sort of joke because he actually is a cracker, and, although he's not technically gay, he did go to Brown which is practically the same thing.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Read it. Then eat it. Need I say more?
Yes, I probably do. There are very few accurate depictions of New Orleans. Most just deal out a standard set of ragged clichés: the French Quarter, steamy nights, jazz, voodoo, gumbo, and intrigue. Even locals frequently revert to the same bag of tricks when talking about their city. The real, everyday New Orleans (with all of its own entirely genuine funk and appeal) simply never enters the picture.
Rob Walker is not from here, but he lived here for several years, and his affection for the city is obvious. He writes with interest and intelligence about the little details of life in this New Orleans. I might sometimes quibble with this or that particular assertion (and I passionately disagree with the claim that John Sinclair may be the coolest white man in New Orleans), but the city he describes is fundamentally the city I know and love.
If you're from elsewhere and are curious for a peek behind the facade or you're from here and just enjoy hearing your hometown smartly described, read it.
Then eat it.