Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Just the Facts, Ma'am

A brief logistical update:

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...

Happy Birthday, Annou!

It's my darling aunt's birthday today. I won't say which one (a lady never tells), but I will say it's a major one. Happy Birthday!

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

Detailed N.O. Information

The Times-Picayune feed I mentioned in my earlier post appears to be quiet for the moment (ever since they evacuated the building due to rising waters this morning). Erratic but detailed information is still available from the forums hosted by (look under "Local - 'Town Hall' Forums"). They are broken out by parish and neighborhood. You have to sift, but you can find a decent amount of specific information about particular neighborhoods.

An Awful Mess

We've avoided the worst, a situation in which there would have been destruction of an entirely different order of magnitude, but this really is awful mess. Huge parts of the city are up to their rooves in water. The stories of people downtown trapped in their attics or on their rooftops crying for help through the night are horrible. Major bridges and highways into and out of the city are damaged or knocked out. Power may be out for a month or more. This morning there are reports of additional levee breaks, and water in many parts of the city is rising, not receding (for anyone looking for detailed, neighborhood by neighborhood information, the Times-Picayune's breaking newsfeed,, is the best source I've found so far). Our neighborhood, Uptown, has, thus far, faired better than most. Of course, we still don't know how this will all play out.

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

Oh, Joy!

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and thoughts. We are profoundly relieved to see that the worst has not happened. Certainly, this story isn't over. It's an ugly storm. Obviously there's been substantial damage in some areas, and of course we're wondering how our home and belongings faired, but we have a city to return to. We've escaped the truly catastrophic devastation and loss of life that could have been. At this point, anything beyond that is just lagniappe.

Again, thank you.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oh, Crap!

We're in Memphis. We're fine.

Do whatever prayer-like thing you do for the city of New Orleans and all our neighbors in the path of this awful storm.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I'm sick of hurricanes. At least "Katrina" sounds like a nasty, Muscovite, femme fatale. Better than wimpy, ol' Dennis.

Wish us luck.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I Like My Jokes Like I Like My Chicken...

... clean, spontaneous, and dark.

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%
Spontaneity: 39%
Vulgar: 7%
Personally I think the vulgar quotient is way too low, but I'll accept it overall. It goes on to tell me:

"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"

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.

What's your humor style?

Via Harriet The Elf

It's a Bird! It's a Plane... No, Wait, Actually It's a Bird

This is a picture of a bird which Louise drew. I think it's bad ass.

Who's That Behind Those Foster Grants?

Our motto here at Slimbolala is "Your Wish Is My Command... Sometimes." A request has been made for a pic sans shades, and I'm happy to oblige. The trouble is that in our eight-bijillion photos there are remarkably few of me, and most of those involve me wearing goofy hats or shoving things up my nose or both (those are only available to elite Gold Club Slimbolala members). I did, however, manage to dig up this one from a ways back when Louise was just a wee little lass:

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.

Happy Tiara Friday!

If only every day was Tiara Friday... War would end. Famine and pestilence would be distant memories. Everything would be glittery and fabulous all the time.

It's a beautiful dream, isn't it?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Wisdom of Idiots

"Why don't you want to get married?"

"You can cheat on your girlfriend. You can't cheat on your wife."

A Compendium of My Ridiculously Obsessive Rules of Attire

I know what you've been thinking, "Hey, this blog doesn't completely suck. I wish I could dress just like Slimbolala." Well, now, with these handy guidelines you can!

  • 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).
    • Pants:
      - Levi's 501s, dark blue OR
      - Dickies plain-front, khaki work pants.
    • Shorts:
      - 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.
Cooler Weather:
  • Grey or brown v-neck sweater OR
  • Plain, light-grey windbreaker OR
  • Both.
Cold Weather:
  • Grey or brown v-neck sweater OR
  • Plain, navy-blue jacket OR
  • Both.
  • Optionally: Orange knit cap.
So there you have it. Now we can be wardrobe buddies! Oh, and I forgot to mention, on Fridays, always wear a mustache.

And as always, get off my back. You're weird too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Nasal Creationism

Yes, Sarah and I like to play the Plastic Surgery Guessing Game. This time around:
"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.

Via Con Dios, You Lovely Weirdos

Alas, "Hilary" and "John" are flying our Gulf Coast coop and moving to Beantown*. There they will pursue further studies in "Artsy Art" and "Artsy Robots of Death and Destruction"** respectively. The state of Mississippi is now an even sorrier place than it was before. We will miss them.

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

"Just Married"

Sarah and I got married on a hot Saturday Night in September. It was Labor Day weekend. It was also Southern Decadence weekend. Southern Decadence, in case you're wondering, is a giant, gay celebration hosted by our fair city, sometimes described as Gay Mardi Gras (which is kind of funny since regular Mardi Gras gets pretty darn gay).

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.

Things I Forgot to Mention About Things I Like About Summer In New Orleans

The list goes on:
  • 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

Shhhh... Hic

Sarah's very excited. She signed up for her first Library Science classes this morning: Shushing 101 and How To Stash a Flask of Booze Under Your Cardigan - Avanced Studies.

Speaking of Mustaches...

And speaking of "funny-awful"...

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.

Less Funny-Ha-Ha. More Funny-Awful.

Yesterday morning I took Louise to the zoo while the other ladies napped. It was early in the morning and there weren't many people there. After traipsing around for a while, working up a sweat, we decided to retreat to the nearly pitch-black, highly air-conditioned reptile exhibit for a break. As we were meandering along looking at primeval, scaly creatures a nearby father began chatting with me. He had two girls about the ages of mine, and he started with the usual stuff: names, ages, pre-schools, etc. The kids were standing nearby. Then, out of the blue:

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.

[uncomfortable silence]

Me: Well, good luck with that.

We parted company. Louise and I moved through the remainder of the exhibit at brisk clip before heading out into the blazing summer sun.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here!

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.

Things I Like About Summer in New Orleans

  1. The hot, white haze of early morning when the sun is still low.
  2. Driving with the windows down and the air-conditioning blasting.
  3. The moment when decorum is abandoned and you just sweat.
  4. The tremendous clouds.
  5. The storms.
  6. The steaming, funky smell of earth after it rains in the afternoon.
  7. The pool.
  8. Hansen's Sno-Bliz.
  9. Warm evenings with everyone out on the street.
  10. Things are slow.
  11. Things are quiet.
  12. It (eventually) ends.

Mustache Friday

In many work environments "casual" has become the norm. Consequently, the tradition of "Casual Fridays" becomes meaningless. I propose adopting a new Friday tradition. I have a few thoughts:
  • 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.
I'd love to hear yours.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Be Careful When You Marry A Farm Lady

"You all are doing alright?"

"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."

"Yo, That Traffic Is Mad Crazy!"

Flipping around the radio dial, recently, I settled on the hip hop station and heard the traffic being delivered over a heavy beat:
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


My contribution to Illustration Friday (topic: "wisdom"). Get it? Get it?

Little Fishy

Number One Daughter swam, really swam, for the first time today. It was very exciting. We celebrated with ice cream.

"I Am So High!"

I sometimes carry Louise on my shoulders while walking the dog around the block. One day, as I was doing this, I playfully gave a little jump, bouncing her up and down. We laughed. She said to do it again. I did it again. She said to jump higher. I jumped as high as I could. She laughed and began hollering, "I am so high! I am so high!" over and over as we walked along.

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.

Pizza: 1 Minute - Popcorn: 2 Minutes - Brains: 3.5 Minutes

We have an acquaintance who is not the smartest person in the world. This observably true. Also, he has related the following story.

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

Who's Your "Mark Coolbeak"?

In college I had a friend, "Mark Coolbeak" (all names have been changed to protect the annoying). He irritated everybody including all of my other friends. I certainly recognized that he was obnoxious, and yet, somehow, it didn't bother me that much. This is not because I'm an exceptionally tolerant or forgiving person in general. On the contrary, I'm rather picky about who I'm willing to spend my time with. It was "Mark's" particular form of obnoxiousness to which I was immune. I can't tell you why. It's simply true.

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

From the "My Daughter Talks Like Kaspar Hauser"* File

Number Two Daughter is suddenly showing an invigorated interest in language. She has thrown herself headfirst into the brave new world of talking, with words and phrases appearing almost daily. She has also become an enthusiastic consumer of books, her favorite at the moment being the timeless classic, Go, Dog. Go!

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

Friday, August 12, 2005

Shocking Exposé! Black People Listen to Country!

There are those among you who will be disappointed by the truth. And by me. It's probably not the first time. It certainly won't be the last. Both the truth and I are frequently disappointing, so you might as well get used to it. Yes, this man listens to Country & Western:

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").


As Sarah returns for more skoolin' our household has made a quantum technological leap forward. From millenial, Luddite neanderthals we have suddenly transformed into mid-Oughts, bleeding-edge chic-geeks: high speed, wireless, iBooks. If we were a commercial, the soundtrack would be European Techno.

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

Pop Quiz #4: The "It Takes All Sorts" Edition

Time for another one. This man frequents my coffeeshop.

I will tell you three things about him. He:

  1. Is African-American.
  2. Is a police officer.
  3. Listens to a style of music one might not expect (I know this because he blasts it loudly from his vehicle).
I will now ask you to guess the following.
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) Polka
b) Eighties glam-metal.
c) Jam band: Phish, Dave Matthews, etc.
d) Country & Western
e) European techno.
Place your vote.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"I'm Sorry. Can You Repeat That?"

This morning I had a twenty minute phone conversation with a coworker. It was filled with lots of technical jargon, but this did not present a problem. What was a problem was my coworker's profoundly thick accent. The conversation went a little something like this:
"ush ush ush ush second IP ush ush ush ush NIC ush ush ush ush ush ush ush ush. Yes?"

"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..."
Et cetera. I think we eventually arrived at some sort of agreement, but I'm really not sure.

If You Were a Meat Product What Would You Be?

Wow. I thoroughly enjoyed learning everyone's beverage-identities. Curiously (if not surprisingly), they all included either caffeine or booze (or, in some cases, both). It brings me great joy to be able to accurately categorize you as "Jumpies" (4), "Drunks" (4), and "Jumpy-Drunks" (2).

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.
  1. People may be reluctant to publicly identify themselves with meat products.
  2. Lewd innuendos, intentional or otherwise, are nearly unavoidable.
But I'm confident that our readership can rise above these minor obstacles. We're reasonable people. We're adults. Awkwardness or embarassment should simply not enter into the picture. We must acknowledge who we truly are. We must own our meat.

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

Things I've Learned From My Daughter

It becomes difficult to eat your green beans when you've individually named them.

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

Mr. Mapple

Mr. Mapple
Ate some scrapple
And felt a little ill.
He took a break,
Then ate some more
And felt much iller still.

The Blog, the Blog, the Blog is on Fire! We Don't Need No Water! Let the Mother#@!% Burn!

Sweet! We now have high speed (all previous blogging has been done via the low-grade magic of crappy ol' dial-up - and the occasional assistance of my kind employer). No longer, sonny boy. This shite is high tech! Whoo hoo!

O.K. I'm back to normal now. All future geekiness will be appropriately suppressed.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

If You Were a Beverage What Would You Be?

Last night the conversation, for whatever reason, turned to the question, "if you were a beverage what would you be?" Among the other participants there was a high-end, chilled vodka, a Jack and Coke, and two undecideds*. We were also able to identify two (non-present) acquaintances as milk and Malibu coconut-flavored rum respectively (I must confess that neither of these were intended as compliments). Initially, I couldn't decide what I was. We discussed it for a while. Then Chilled Vodka said, "Oh, you're coffee", and we all felt silly for not having thought of it immediately. I am unquestionably, undeniably coffee.

What are you?

* Sarah flatly rejected the suggestion that she was "sparkling water".

"John" Dear

Ask, and (sometimes) ye shall receive. All hail "John"*, Queen of Slimboland:

And there she is
Walking on air she is
Fairest of fair she is
Miss Slimbolala

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

You Might Be a "Cracker Packer" If...

You might be a "cracker packer" if you feed your Shih Tzu George Jones Country Gold Bite Size Dog Food:

Yes, folks, it's real! Thanks for the tip, Mr. Alex.

Makin' Groceries

I love Radio for the Blind! Every Friday afternoon two ladies read coupons from the newspaper, and it is supremely entertaining. The ladies are so cute and enthusiastic about coupons (they can't help but eagerly discuss menu options for the particularly good deals), and their accents are so profoundly New Orleans. It's the real, thick "yat"* accent that you don't hear anywhere else in the world.

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.

Tragic, Really


While I was walking the dog this morning, a guy tried to sell me a lock for my front door. Hmm, buying a lock from a sketchy street dude, what could possibly be bad about that?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"Dig It! Give Me Two Slices!"

So, nobody has requested an explanation for our beatnik joke. There are 3 possible reasons for this:
  1. Everybody got it.
  2. Everybody who didn't get it is keeping their mouth shut.
  3. Nobody cares.
I have no way of knowing what the true explanation is (although my money's on #3), but like the tiresome host of a lame party I will now graciously answer a question that nobody has asked.

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".

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

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.

"Cracker Packer"

Oh, Lord, forgive us. I knew I was opening a can of shameful nonsense when I kicked off that whole Coinage Contest thing, and it sure did get silly fast. We got a bushel of grade-A suggestions, and I was trying to decide which was my favorite, "John Dear" or "pinkneck" (screw that other site and their utterly nonsensical "existing definition" - bunch of crap... mutter... mutter...) when "John" dropped "cracker packer" on us.

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

Letters from New Orleans

Buy this book:

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.