Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It was Inadvertently-Dress-the-Same-at-Work Day today. (Actually, I always dress the same—'cause that's just how I do—but others occasionally stumble onto my fashion turf.) When I showed Sarah this photograph, her response was, "Dorks. Did you get the same sandwich too?" To which my response was, "Yes..." (Now, if I can just amass my Like-Dressed Army, and then we'll all eat the same sandwiches, and then we'll take over the world, and then... Mwah ha hahhh!)

Baby's First Cocktail

I'm proud to say that June, age seven, made her first proper cocktails last night. (Made, not drank.) Manhattans. Two. Up. They were delicious.1

1 If I may be immodest, she had expert tutelage. Two parts bourbon. (In this case. Sometimes three. But tonight, two.) One part sweet vermouth. (She's fuzzy on the components and mostly calls everything "wine".) Stir until the outside of the shaker frosts over and makes ones fingers stick. Pour. (With the strainer handle nestled in the fork of the index and middle fingers. This is one of those details I never thought about until I taught to a seven-year-old to make a Manhattan. Key piece of info.) Cherry, of course. Sublime.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Words That Confuse Me Early in the Morning When I Haven’t Had Enough Coffee

I sometimes write stuff early in the morning (like now), when my brain isn’t fully sloshing in coffee (though I’m steadily working to correct the deficiency), and the part of my brain that keeps words nicely sorted, tidily mapped to the correct letter sequences, doesn’t work that well, is sort of squishy. And I find myself conflating1 various like-sounding word pairs.2 E.g.:
  • council/counsel
  • whose/who’s
  • hurtle/hurdle
There are others too. But I can’t think of them right now. (I almost typed “write now”.) ’Cause of the coffee thing.3

1 “Conflate”, that’s a tough one for this time of day.

2 What’s that word that means that? “Homonym”? I’ll remember after this second mug kicks in.

3 In addition to conflating (I think) homonyms (I think), I also sometimes agglomerate similar-ish words. For example, just now I agglomerated “aggregate” and “conglomerarate” into “agglomerate”. But then I spelled it wrong, and spell-check revealed that it is in fact a word though one whose existence I wasn’t consciously aware of before my accidental rediscovery.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I saw this guy (more or less, with some liberties granted for the casual sketchiness of the rendering) out front of that little corner store on Washington between Magazine and Tchoup. He was leaning on that newspaper machine like I don't think I've ever seen anybody lean on anything, like he'd been leaning on it for fifty years, like the sole reason for its existence was for him to lean on. (The extreme horizontalness of his torso, the jut of his hip, his expression of exhausted collapse...) ’Twas memorable.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stuff I See from My Balcony:1 Nature's Q-Tip

A couple of Hispanic guys were walking by.2 One of them stooped over to grab something. I was curious. I watched. It was a piece of grass.3 He stood up, started cleaning his ear with it, and they went on their way.

Wow, that's a cultural thing, right? (And the culture is country. What country I don't know, but some kind of country.) I can't imagine anyone I know using a piece of grass to clean their ear, but the way he did it it was like that's why there's grass—for the ear cleaning.

Ain't life grand?

1 It's time I formally acknowledge this as a series. I see all kinds of curious things from up here, my little window on the world. It's like TV, only much slower-paced but with super-high-definition and less commercials (plus lizards and the occasional hawk).

2 We have one of the few tri-racial neighborhoods in the city. Black and white are still the majority, but number of Hispanics has grown since the storm, mostly men, day laborers in cheap densely packed rentals.

3 With the recent epic rains, our yards all look like hay fields.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Louise, Commander's Palace: Well, well, well, well, well, well, well. My big little miss is ten. Ten. Two digits. One digit, and then another digit. Combined to make may her age. My, my, my, my, my, my, my. We celebrated in style. (And if you look carefully, you'll notice pierced ears. She didn't have those when she was nine.) Congratulations, darling.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Thunderbird

As a Friend

I'm on my balcony. And one of those little green lizards (pervasive here in N.O.) is making his way along the railing. And every few inches, he stops and puffs out his big red throat. And I don't see any little lady lizards around. And that little lateral-facing eye is staring right at me, and I'm starting to think maybe I'm the target of his courtship. How do I say I don't feel that way towards him, I like him as a friend. Awk-ward. (Wait. Crisis averted. He must have gotten the message, because he just hopped on to a nearby branch and scampered off into the leafy green beyond.1)

1 It pleases me that lizards can come and go to and from my balcony via the willow tree.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Early morning sketch-a-doodle: Suburban Cowboy

Thursday, July 07, 2011

To Paint a Mockingbird

Apparently I can only muster my serious "painterly" style of iDrawrin' for animals in silly get-ups:1


Mean mockingbird mama (in a prim pink hat)

We actually have a mean (though hat-less) mockingbird mama living in the jasmine in front of our house. I often see her perched on our fence, youngster-dinner in beak, looking a whole lot like this (again, except for the hat). Really, I think she actually scowls. And she and her hubby hate our cats. They dive bomb them and send them scurrying under our parked cars. This isn't entirely unfair. To cats, mockingbirds look like dinner with wings and a bad attitude.

1 I particlarly like painting the birds. Maybe I'll do some more.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Up and Away

It's generally acknowledged that modern air travel is a miserable, dehumanizing experience. Yeah, sure, but it's also pretty hilarious and chock full of parade-of-humanity wonderment. An enumeration:
  • The family on the Park 'n' Fly bus with the thick rural twangs and the brother and the grandma who videoed everything and the wide-baby who was amazed at everything. I asked the daddy if it was her first time flying. He said, "Yep. Mine too." (Family vacation. Las Vegas.)
  • A long but brisk security line full of excited kids, groggy parents, and women in notable hats.
  • Gaggles of upscale blonde southern women in white with silver accessories (except one who didn't get the memo and wore gold accessories instead).
  • Just generally, the amazing array of outfits people choose for their day of travel, from old-school dressy to reality show hooch to extreme to comfort-schlub to unclassifiably eccentric. (Though the variations are endless, two distinct philosophies are apparent: Look-Best vs. Be-Most-Comfortable. I must lean towards the former, because I'm regularly shocked by what some of the latter wear.)
  • Denver airport: surprisingly unfancy; mid-nineties-ish in it's food court offerings.
  • People have weird hobbies: some dude in some airport coffee kiosk with some 100-mile-extreme-such-n-such-run t-shirt. I suppose that's what folks do in places with underdeveloped drinking cultures.
  • It's often difficult to distinguish off-duty-military from gay. Buzz cuts, muscle tone, and cargo pants.
  • Seattle airport: dark, cool, rich, polyethnic.
  • Some people just can not wait for their assigned boarding group, are moved by some pathology to try to sneak in during 2 or when there's a big giant 3 on their ticket and they know they're going to get busted, shunted out of line to stand to the side, cowed, as all the legitimate Group 2-ers shoot them looks of scorn.
  • San Francisco airport: bright, cool, rich, polyethnic.
  • A man in one of those vented sailing shirts (de rigeur leisure wear for a certain slice of American maledom), to the steward, "So you're called stewards. That's a good name." what does that mean? Simultaneously chatty and aggressive.
  • Being shite-faced drunk on a plane ain't cool. (I know this from observation, not direct experience.)
  • Most stewards/stewardesses are ridiculously good at managing the general public who are often stressed and/or clueless and/or lost and/or nutty and/or shite-faced and often in serious need of some managing. (I did my time in the service industry. This is my professional opinion. These people are good.)
  • Having spent my time in the service biz, I love eavesdropping on their muttered gripes and back-room bitch-fests. (We're annoying. They've earned their gripes.)
Yeah, planes ain't great, but I reckon they're a damn sight better than horseback.1

1 I'm reading Lonesome Dove, which reinforces my opinion (and inspires my cowboy vernacular).

Monday, July 04, 2011

American Portraits

Happy Fourth, y'all. If you happen to be in Claremont, California today, stop in at the American Portraits exhibit in Memorial Park (curated by our darling Ms. T). It includes several photos by yours truly and also by m'boy (and fellow New Orleanian) Jonathan Traviesa, plus other fine works by other fine folks. Woot!

* I'm actually on the right coast (well, the left coast) but at the wrong end of it (the tippy-toppy northern one with all the trees and vampires). More on that later.