Saturday, December 29, 2007


Fruit basket and Mary

Friday, December 28, 2007


Scruffy 'n' Sassy

Clearly, I have a photo-fetish for chain-link fences.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


You don't see many pay phones these days.

Click, Click, Click

The holidays are a fine thing, but they stuff the brain with food and wine and make the words go slow.

They also give me lots of out-n'-about daylight hours to point-and-click the pretty pictures. So let's dedicate the next couple-of-days-ish to a photo-binge—kids, inanimate objects, buildings in extreme disrepair, the usual suspects (punctuated by whatever verbal effluvia might gurgle up from my phlegmatic left hemisphere). Click, click, click.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home for the Holidays

Today is our first Christmas back in the house since the storm, or more precisely, since Christmas '04. That's a long frickin' time. Good, good.

* This doesn't count.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Les Brusiers: Thursday, Circle Bar, Happy Hour



Come drink, sing, and dance this Thursday at the Circle Bar, 6-8 pm. All hell will break loose.

Monday, December 17, 2007

State of the Neighborhood: Les Heaps du Mal

My comment of two-and-change years ago still holds true:
"It’s a curious fact of our present circumstances that the most obvious sign of progress in flooded out neighborhoods is piles of trash..."
As our neighborhood slowly scrabbles its way up through the middling percentages of occupancy, heaps still burst forth across front yards and sidewalks and onto streets, blooming like vile flowers* of slow-going recovery:


August–September, 2005


December, 2007

Each heap marks another turnaround, another long-awaited Road Home grant, another family that got sick to death of living in some generic apartment in Atlanta or Houston or wherever it is that doesn't have all the stuff that we miss like hell when we aren't here, another family that's decided they're going to make a go of it, gut that house, and start over.

When there's no more trash heaps, that's it, we're done. We'll be as recovered as we're going to get.

* Help! Is there a 19th century French poet in the house?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Slim Couture

Isn't the primary purpose of a blog to grouse about things? My grousing-quotient feels a bit low, so...

You know what I don't like? I don't like when clothing stores/catalogs change around their lineup every damned season and year. If I like the simple brown zip-up sweater I bought two years ago, but now I've worn the bejeezus out of it,* and it's got holes in the elbows, I want to to go back and buy the same sweater to replace it. But they no longer sell that sweater because that was Fall 2005, and they were working a minimalist-mod look with an earth-tone palette, and this is Fall 2007, and they're working eighties-throwback with vivid-neon, and the only zip-up sweater is fuchsia with leather shoulder pads and diagonal pockets.

I want my own personal clothing line. The palette would remain constant: black, brown, grey, and navy; a bit of white; some judicious dispensations of orange, red, green, yellow, and muted grey-aqua or crisp sky blue. (What else do you need?) There would be no epaulets or rhinestones or spangles or logos or pleats or arbitrary zippers or asymmetrical plackets or doodads of froo-fra of any sort. Everything would be plain and straight and simple and well-made and close-fitted and just as viable ten years from now as it is today. And the shelves would always be stocked with plenty of mid-charcoal grey socks.

Can somebody make that happen for me?

Grouse accomplit!

* Those who know me in the non-virtual world will know I tend to wear the bejeezus out of things.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Adult Tricycles

You know those adult tricycles, the same as a full-sized bicycle but with three wheels, often with a basket in the back? I dig 'em.*



Be forewarned, I plan to spend my old age doddering around town on one, glacially pedalling down backstreets—obliviously obstructing traffic—on my way to the neighborhood coffee shop where I'll chat the ear off the dour hipster baristas, absent-mindedly peruse the newspaper, and pinch the cheek of any passing baby (slightly freaking-out their nervous young mothers), before glacially pedalling home for my afternoon nap.

* I used to see one for sale and was deeply tempted, but it was too raggedy and too expensive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"What Are Those Saddles and Boots About?"

The life-lessons of country music include more than just alcohol, Jesus, and cocaine; or chains, judges, and fines.

The gals maintain an ever-rotating short list of favorite songs, determined by whatever mysterious whim-logic moves their fickle minds. And they like to demand these songs very loudly, with relentless persistence, from the back seat as we're driving around town.

Their current favorite is Willie Nelson's rendition of "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other".* They don't get it. (In response to the line "Say, what did you think those saddles and boots was about?" Louise asked, "What are those saddles and boots about?") To them, it's just a cowboy song. The nuanced gender politics will have to wait.

But I like to think that a bit of tolerance is burrowing into their young minds, that we, in our small way, are contributing to a new generation that won't mind "when a cowboy has feelings for men", that a rainbow-hued dawn will rise on those plains of West Texas, and gay cowboys everywhere will feel free to gallop right on out of that closet. Progress, one loudly demanded rendition at a time.

* #2 is The Smiths, "Bigmouth Strikes Again".

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Drawings-of-Stuff-Around-the-House-I-Feel-Like-Drawing: One of My Fourty-Four Demitasses*

The series continues:**



There were any number of fine demitasse-subjects to choose from, ranging from baroquely ornate, to bizarrely fantastical, to kitschy, to modern.

This one is an enduring favorite (though I have many favorites). It's teeny and delicate and Japanese*** (long-time readers will know that I'm a fool for old Japanese stuff) and the colors are exceptionally lovely (though you'd have a hard time telling that from the drawing).

* I've never counted them before. I was curious.

** Two posts separated by four months—we're really pushing the "series" envelope here.

*** I have several "Made in Japan" demitasses. Recently, I was given one stamped with "Made in Occupied Japan" (which I love, by the way). Hmm, isn't it enough to be occupied by a foreign army? Is is a nation really obligated to advertise that fact on their chinaware?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Charmed, I'm Sure

I walked into the men's room:
Voice from the stall: "Hello?"

Me: Um.*

Voice from the stall: "Hello?"

Me: Um.

Voice from the stall: "Hey, Tom, this is..."
Cellphones are confusing.**

* Is he talking to me? Is he in trouble? Maybe it's a medical emergency. Or maybe he needs toilet paper (in which case I'd rather not get involved, though I suppose...). Or maybe he's getting all Larry Craig on me. But in the work bathroom? Or...

** Loud cellphone conversations in public restroom stalls are gross. (Isn't that what texting is for?)

Another urban pastoral.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Babies Having Babies

June told us what she wants for Christmas:
"A baby."

"A baby doll?"

"No, a real baby... that eats and cries and sleeps."

"You want a baby sister?"

"No, my baby. All my own, not my family's."
Hmm, three weeks is kind of short notice. Anybody know a good adoption agency?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Human Hairdo Project: The Chaka Khan



This is what her hair looked like when she wasn't on the plane to Miami with me.

Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, let me rock you, let me rock you, Chaka Khan...

Mr. Me

I dreamt the other night that I gave myself a Mr. T-style Mohawk.* The result was not pleasing. This Hairdo Project is getting to me.

* There was something else going on too. The end of the world? I can't quite remember.

Louise and June, front yard