Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Shopping carts, Langenstein's Supermarket, Uptown. (We seem to be hitting on a food theme with the last few photos—food and the places that sell it.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Snow balls

Monday, June 28, 2010


Monday, red beans and rice

Les Brusiers, All Ways Lounge, Wed. 8-10 p.m.



So it’s summer, it’s hotter than Beelzebub’s backside, ugliness continues to churn in the Gulf, and we could all use a break. Well consider yourself broke, because The Bruiser Family is riding into the All Ways Lounge this Wednesday for a “nice-and-early” show from 8 to 10 p.m., helping you celebrate being three fifths of the way through the week.* Yay! The weather might be hot, but the drinks’ll be cold. See you there.

* And nothing important happens on Thursday or Friday anyway, so it’s really practically nearly almost the weekend. And thanks to our patented “nice-and-early” time slot, even if Jason gives us palpitations (as he usually does) and walks in the door at 7:57 or so, it’s not like we do a sound check or anything, so we can still totally be started by, say, 8:23, which still allows plenty of time for all hell to break loose before everyone heads home for a nice reasonable bedtime.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Pretty, huh? (Pretty out of focus, har! That's okay, it's artsy. Artsy photos are allowed to be out of focus.)

Poetry Friday: Or Not

As mentioned, I'm reading this book, and I've got poetry on the brain (not necessarily good poetry, mind you, but poetry nonetheless). Let's declare this Poetry Friday and share. Here's mine:
A line of poetry is good, if iambs it does make.
A line of poetry is good, if rhymes it shan’t forsake.
If metaphor and simile, it casts about like seeds,
Up shall grow the finest poem, amongst the prosy weeds.
Or not.
(Ooh, a poem about poetry—the serpent eating it's tail, man, the serpent...) Happy Poetry Friday! Your turn.*

* The choice of subject is yours: a poem about poetry, about cyclical serpents, about why you don't like your toes, whatever.

My New Sketch/Notebook

Y’wanna see my new sketch/notebook? Y’wanna? Y’wanna?


“Pretty” flower, huh?

Nice, huh? This guy had one, and I saw it and said to myself, I want it! I want it! (I’m not particularly materialistic in the usual sense—as a kid, I often absent-mindedly accrued big allowance nest-eggs just because there wasn’t much I wanted to buy, and I still do the same today with my self-doled grown-up allowance*—but when I like a thing, I tend to really really like it with almost an fetishistic intensity.1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Qualities that make it lovely:
  • Lovely dimensions: not too big, not too small, perfectly totable. (A fondness for totability runs in the family.)
  • Lots and lots of pages—three-hundred if you’re counting. One doesn’t want to be stingy with the doodle-space.
  • A lovely supple cover.
  • Gridded paper. Ooh, I love gridded paper! Write this way. Turn it sideways. Write that way. Turn it upside down. Write that way. Plus its perfect for making silly tautological charts and graphs. (But, you say, all those crisscrossy lines mess up the pretty drawrings. Exactly. It’s good to have a place for the down-and-dirty doodlings, a place that’s specifically not for fancy final products. I’ve still got my big creamy line-free sketchbook for those.)
Now dontchya want one? Dontchya? Dontchya?

* I was going to call it my “adult allowance”, but that sounded wrong.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Do flowers have to be “pretty”? in a rainbows-and-unicorns-and-cuddly-kittens sort of way? I think this flower looks kind of freaky and far out—in an awesome sort of way.

Mmm, Ouroboros Pie...

Appropriately self-referentially, I Love Charts, the chart-loving blog whose chart-goofiness inspired my goofily self-referential chart, has now reposted it (the chart, that is).* The serpent eating its tail, man, the serpent eating its tail...** (Hmm, I wonder what that would look like on a chart:


Ack! Goofy self-referential references to the self-referentiality of a goofy self-referential chart! Head spinning! Too much nerdiness! Make it stop!***)

* Full disclosure: I sent them the link.

** I wasn’t aware that the tail-eating-serpent had a name. You’ll be happy to know it’s called an “ouroboros”.

*** I assume this post just cost me the few readers who hadn’t already jumped ship after my last nerd-flare-up. That’s okay, I have my chart-based humor to keep me company here on my Isle of Nerdy Solitude.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Apparently you won’t find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; you’ll find a pot of Blue Plate mayonnaise. Even better in my opinion. (That's the Blue Plate building and its iconic—if defunct—"BLUE PLATE" neon sign in the distance.) Many of my recent photo-posts have had light itself as their main subject, in particular the curious and appealing things it does early and late in the day as its rays slant sideways and the shadows stretch out. Back in my days of reading art history books, I remember lots of talk of the exceptional light in the south of France and how much it excited generations of artistes. To my eye, our light here has a similarly exceptional quality (hmm, warm southern coastal regions on the northern edges of a large reflective bodies of water, hmm), particularly on luminous mornings and early evenings. And particularly when the cumulonimbui surge up and around and hurl down sheets of rain and then draw away again, and the sun returns, and everything lights up like fire. And then maybe we get a rainbow. Like this one. (This was a particularly rare morning rainbow. They usually come late in the day).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Late afternoon

When Your Nose Itches

Folk wisdom I learned today:
When your nose itches, that means a fool wants to kiss you.
I'd never heard that one before. Had you? (I like the notion of myth-busters trying to disprove this. How would that work? 1: Hook every fool in the world up to a brain-scanning machine. 2: Wait until the subjects nose itches. 3: ....)

Monday, June 21, 2010


And another. (It's startling looking back at these photos from a few years ago, how much the girls have changed but also how much they're the same, how they already were very much what they are.)

Opsimath

Good word:
opsimath
n.
One who learns late in life.
Good sound. Good meaning. Good thing to be. Learned—not particularly early in life—from this very good book. Stephen Fry, in addition to being one of the funnier people alive, is damn smart, a damn good writer, and damn good at explaining things (qualities not typically associated with people who make careers walking around inside the little glowing tele-box).

Friday, June 18, 2010


Photos from the Crypt: Louise by the Mississippi River, 2005

Pie Chart of Each Color's Percentage of the Total Area of This Pie Chart


Meta, baby, meta! (Tautological, baby, tautological!)

Apologies to those readers who find this joke so crushingly nerdy/unfunny/meaningless that they're now deleting this blog from their bookmarks (99-100%), but for the few like-minded nerd-souls (0-1%), let's share a good laugh: Har har snort! Har har snort!

Inspired by some of the silly chart shenanigans over at I Love Charts (which if I recall correctly, I learned about from Mr. Shannon—much obliged).

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Flowers, Lafayette Cemetery No. 2

When Does That Happen?

So when does one of these giant underwater plumes—noxious slurries of oil and dispersants—bind with toxin-infused organic matter from the depths of the Gulf, gain consciousness and ooze onto land, wreaking havoc, feasting on gas stations and refineries, feeding its insatiable appetite for carbon-based fuels (ooh, an allegory!). When does that happen?*

* Yeah, I agree, I don’t want to watch that movie either. Though imagine how the crowds will cheer when, in its quest to reunite with its “daddy”-creator, the petro-blob finds its way to BP headquarters and embraces CEO Tony Hayward in an engulfing toxic “hug” (from which the executive can be heard gurgling his final words, “I'd like my life back... [glurb]”).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Early morning, Delilah and me

Emoter in Chief

How was the President’s speech last night?* Was he angry enough? Because I’ve been watching the news, and apparently if he gets angry enough, it’ll stop the leak.**

* I was busy doing more important things—like hanging out with a dear friend who's contemplating leaving the city, who feel's that Katrina was enough and this is too much. Talk about mad, sick, and sad.

** I confess I’m a little fuzzy on the science, but hundreds of talking heads can’t be wrong. How would that work?
"I want to know whose ass to kick."

"Angier, Mr. President! Angrier!"

"I want... to tear them a new one."

"Angier!"

"Fuck-you-you-fucking-fucks-how-could-you-be-so-fucking-stupid-because-although-I'm-no-fucking-oil-expert............"

"It’s working, Mr. President! It’s working!"
Though once his unflappable exterior was ruptured, we’d have the new problem of figuring out how to stop his gushing flow of curse-laden vitriol.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Late afternoon (perhaps you're noticing a trend: 1, 2)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Erl and Water

Of course, with the ongoing Debacle in the Gulf, there’s been a lot of (sometimes curse-laden) talk around here about oil, but in our regional vernacular, this is often rendered as “erl”: Erl is washing up here. Erl was sighted there. The top kill didn't stop the erl. The junk shot didn't stop the erl. Erl is destroying the jobs of thousands and robbing their children of a way of life that has existed here for generations. Etc.

Which reminds me of a joke,* told around here in my father’s youth. I’ll paraphrase:
Q: Why did the little yat** put the TV on the radiator?

A: To watch Milton Berle.
Get it? Boil/Berle? (Oil/erl.) Get it? Ha ha ha ha ha ha… ugh.

* Apparently, laughing in the face of calamity is an essential life skill down here. One can’t help but feeling mad, sick, and sad
they’re inevitable and appropriate responses—but an unrelenting diet of anger, nausea, and sorrow makes it mighty hard to get out of bed in the morning. Folks would have given up on this godforsaken city and this tenuous slice of less-than-land a long time ago (Yellow Jack, hurricanes, poverty, floods, pestilence, heat, crime, corruption... and cataclysmic environmental disasters) if they couldn’t take or make a joke, however dark (or, er, frivolously tangential and corny).

** Yeah, this one requires some contextual cultural knowledge. If you don’t know what dat “yat” is, den read dat link.

Late afternoon

Friday, June 11, 2010

RSfMS(wC)R: Mobster? Bookie...?


Newspaper man! Remember when "newspaper men" were all over the movies and televesion? when screens, big and little, showed large busy rooms full of cluttered desks and guys in ties and shirtsleeves smoking, typing, and swapping hard-bitten dialogue about this-or-that criminal caper. What happened to that? Oh, yeah—people stopped smoking in offices, stopped wearing ties, and stopped reading newspapers.

So what, if anything, has replaced this old tele-cinematic touchstone? Oh, yeah—depictions of whiny self-absorbed bloggers* getting hot-'n'-bothered about hit-counts. (I'm pretty sure Slimbolala: The Movie is going to get picked up by a major studio any day now.)

When are they going to make the first movie about crime-solving Twitterrers? (I joke, but you'll probably tell me it's already been done.)

* It amuses me that Blogger's spell-checker doesn't know the word "bloggers".

Photos from the Crypt: Blue pantry, 2002

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Airdrop

Dang, I'm two episodes behind on Treme, and I've got to wrangle my way back up to speed somehow. Just trying to keep pace week-to-week is complicated enough, what with getting over to the house of some HBO-enabled pal every Sunday at 9 p.m., which is a truly pain-in-the-butt time slot for the working-parents-of-young-kids amongst us. Cramming in back-episodes is even more of a head-scratcher.

It's an ode to our city, its culture, and its people, yes? And most of those people making all of that culture that's being dished up for the nation's viewing pleasure can't actually afford premium cable, right? There's only one legitimate solution:
HBO needs to airdrop DVDs of the show into the city every Sunday evening.
We can all step out in the street, reach up and snag a copy wafting down on the humid breeze, and watch it on our humble non-premium viewing consoles any time we choose—e.g. Monday, while doing our laundry and cooking our big pots of red beans and rice. Yeah, y'right.

Photos from the Crypt: Blue shoe, Revolution second line, 2002

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Late afternoon

Monday, June 07, 2010

See Above

Yeah, some folks have noticed my (near) absence of comment on the gushing torrent (that ain't no spill) of oil in the Gulf. It's because, to date, if I was going to say anything on the subject, it would be something along the lines of:
fuck-you-you-fucking-fucks-how-could-you-be-so-fucking-stupid-because-although-I'm-no-fucking-oil-expert-I-do-build-things-for-a-living-and-I-also-have-an-iota-of-common-sense-and-understand-the-basic-concept-that-your-tests-and-precautionary-countermeasures-should-be-in-proportion-to-the-risks-and-potential-negative-consequences-of-failure-and-when-the-potential-negative-consequence-is-that-you-destroy-the-whole-fucking-Gulf-of-Mexico-and-billions-of-organisms-living-there-and-the-livelihoods-of-thousands-and-thousands-of-people-throughout-the-region-and-turn-the-whole-place-into-a-cataclysmic-deadzone-for-years-and-decades-to-come-when-that's-the-potential-negative-consequence-then-your-tests-and-countermeasures-better-be-really-fucking-good-and-you'd-better-duplicate-and-triplicate-and-quad-whatever-the-fuck-icate-them-(and-if-you-don't-know-how-to-legitimately-mitigate-a-failure-then-you've-got-no-business-doing-the-fucking-thing-in-the-first-place)-but-you-didn't-do-that-because-you-all-are-some-sloppy-fucks-and-doing-all-that-was-expensive-and-you-just-thought-to-yourselves-what-could-happen?-what-are-the-chances?-and-besides-it's-all-legal-because-the-folks-regulating-you-say-it's-okay-and-honestly-you've-almost-got-a-point-with-last-one-because-really-you-all-are-the-oil-industry-and-everyone-expects-you-to-be-a-slimy-bunch-of-fucks-but-the-regulators-are-supposed-to-stop-you-from-being-as-slimy-as-you-want-to-be-but-the-regulators-were-just-rubber-fucking-stamping-the-whole-fucking-deal-because-the-regulators-have-been-drinking-the-same-anti-regulation-kool-aid-that-we-as-a-nation-have-collectively-been-swilling-for-the-past-three-decades-and-the-regulators-were-put-in-place-by-the-politicians-we-collectively-voted-for-who'd-also-been-swilling-that-same-kool-aid-and-now-we've-actually-gotten-exactly-what-we-asked-for-and-how-could-we-have-been-so-fucking-stupid-and-yeah-the-federal-response-has-sucked-but-we-expect-the-federal-response-to-suck-(especially-when-they-occur-down-this-way-because-apparently-we're-missing-from-Google-Maps-and-it-always-takes-them-at-least-a-week-or-fucking-two-to-figure-out-how-to-get-here)-so-that's-why-it's-so-important-stop-the-disasters-before-they-happen-and-all-in-all-I'm-just-really-mad-as-fuck-that-right-when-our-region-was-starting-to-get-back-on-its-feet-we-have-to-go-through-this-crap-all-over-again
But this is a family blog, and I thought I should say something more articulate and measured,* so I restrained myself. But you know what? That felt pretty good. And actually, it articulates pretty much exactly what I mean to say. And given the epic scale of this frak-up**, it's really quite measured—even understated. So I guess there it is. What do I have to say about the gushing torrent? See above.

* And also, this thing is a creepy post-modern disaster, not the classic man-v.-nature devastation of Katrina, which though undeniably awful was at least clearly what it was. This thing is insidious: the sun still shines, life goes on as usual (at least here in town, back from the coast a bit), but out there in the deep the toxic crud gushes forth unabated, spreading its tendrils into the unknowable future, potentially causing far worse long-term damage than any storm ever did.

** This blog will now revert to its usual PG rating, only using curses that are offensive in the alternate fictional universe of BSG.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Gas station

I'm Telling You

Having spent a lot of time in the past couple of years in the presence of some mighty fine middle school teachers, I've come to the conclusion that they should run the world. Because really, what does international politics resemble so much as the dysfunctional squabbles of a bunch of fraught pre-teens? I'm telling you, get a serious-business veteran teacher in there and those nations will be stacking up their nukes and quietly collaborating at their workstations in no time. Forget the baroque negotiations and strategic shenanigans. He/she will just deploy The Look—you know the one, the "You better get your business together or else..." look—and all those heads of state will be yes-sirring/ma'aming. I'm telling you...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Manly accoutrements and purple pencil. (Such is life in a house full of gals—the purple pencils are inescapable. But I'll survive.)