Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"'Cause I Wearin' Panties!"

June is potty training, making the unsteady and occasionally alarming transition from diapers to big-girl underwear. This leads to conversations like the following:
"Why we goin' this way?"

"Because this is the way we're walking Penny."

"No! I wanna go da other way!"

"Boy, you sure are opinionated."

"Thas 'cause I wearin' panties!"

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why I Like Sundays

Everyone's either wearing church or Saints attire.*

* Both of which are acts of prayer.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yet Another Reason I'm Going to Hell

Blind, French and an accordion player

Norbert was blind, French and an accordion player. He played every Thursday night at the French restaurant where I worked for many years, he and Spike, the bass player. I bartended on Thursdays. They set up at the end of the bar, and I served them their complimentary meal and drink before we opened. We had a rapport.

He was a sour man but likeable in his way. The music was your expected stuff—Edith Piaf and such. He also played requests, and the crowd knew what to ask for; there was a set of regulars who came every week.

One Thursday, early in the evening, there was a slight lull, and I, thinking myself rather clever, shouted out "Send in the Clowns." I had no expectation he would actually play it. Certainly, he would know it was me and just mutter some barbed French epithet.

He did not know it was me. He did not mutter. He played it.

It was awful—a slow and gruesome dirge—"Send... in... the... clowns...," each note both tentative and incredibly long. I pictured clowns, shuffling in, each one sadder than the previous, sobbing quietly into their endless, brightly-colored handkerchiefs, pulled from their seemingly bottomless pockets. I thought of shouting, "No, stop! It's just me!" but the damage was done, and I remained silent.

The song—in time—ended. The tight wince around my eyes softened. The disconcerted and hushed crowd turned back to their conversations. The moment passed. All was forgotten.

Except by me. I have not forgotten. And this black mark shall never leave my soul.

Today's Moral—Be careful what you ask for.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Rejected Smurf Concepts

  • Junkie Smurf*
  • Skeezy Smurf
  • Morbid Smurf
  • Stalker Smurf
  • Hairy Smurf
  • Socially Awkward Smurf
  • Commie Smurf
  • Tranny Smurf
  • Fatty Smurf
  • Disco Smurf
* I almost did this as a Halloween costume one year. I'm kind of glad I didn't.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble, Gobble

Enjoy your blerma, but save some to-hibrazelle for California.

I have aspirations of attending three feasts today. Sarah says it's impossible, and we can only make two. No, Icarus! Do not fly so high. Surely your turkey wings will fail you, and you will plummet to your demise in a tryptophan-induced slumber. Eschew such brazen fantasies. Moderation is the way!

She's right, but a boy can dream. You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd...

I think this will be the first in a new and exciting tradition of marking all holidays with cryptic, utterly nonsensical posts.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Momma Would Be Proud

I'm the fifth Google-hit for "gay fashion tips."

My Lady Is a Good Lady...

...but she has one fatal flaw, a blind and dogmatic insistence on watching a movie right from the beginning or not at all.

Perhaps, you're thinking, "Watching a movie right from the beginning? That sounds pretty reasonable. How could that be so bad?" Allow me an example.

We were out—Sarah, Ana, and I—a fun evening on the town, and we wanted to see a movie—something light and fluffy. Best in Show was running, so we decided to see that. But we were late—not very late, mind you, but we'd missed the first couple of minutes of the movie. Sarah suggested we see something else. The only other option was Dancer in the Dark.

Best in Show, you will recall that, is a thoroughly entertaining little mockumentary about a dog show. It makes a person laugh. It qualifies as light and fluffy.

Dancer in the Dark, you will recall, is about a woman who is going blind. Various bad things happen, and in the final scene, she is hung. It is over seventeen hours long, and it is filmed by a homeless man with delirium tremens who Lars von Trier found on the streets of Copenhagen (it's more authentic that way). It does not qualify as light and fluffy.

When it finally ended, we stumbled out of the darkness with nauseous stomachs and bleary red eyes. It was very, very late and our fun evening on the town was very, very over. I briefly considered divorce proceedings but decided against it. She is, in other regards, a good lady.

"Did I Tell You About the Time I...?"

So what happens when I finally blog all my good stories? What will I talk about at dinner parties? As I see it, I've got three options:
  1. Repeat myself ad nauseum. I can just tell the same stories over and over. When I begin talking, people will roll their eyes and think to themselves, "Here he goes again with that fucking rooster story. Let it go, man. It's just poultry."
  2. Become freakishly silent. I will sit by myself in the corner, avoiding eye contact, ruing the day I started this blog.
  3. Take another long distance bus trip. That would provide me with sufficient fodder for a few more years.
Yeah, any of those should work.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Celebrities, Where Y'at?

I imagine some of you are familiar with Gawker Stalker, the feature (and original raison d'ĂȘtre) of the Gawker website. They post sightings of various celebrities sent in by readers which generally go something like "Saw Matthew and Sarah Jessica canoodling at the bagel shop on Wuzza Wuzza St. and Nth Ave. Damn they're short." or "I nearly walked into Angelina Jolie as she was leaving Le Bistro Hot Cha Cha. Her lips are terrifying in person."

Now that's all well and good if you're a member of the coastal cultural elite, but what about the rest of us? What about us provincials who aren't so amply blessed with fabulous and vapid people? Let me tell you something, Mr. Big Apple and Lil Miss La La Land. We've got celebrities too. Sure, they may be a little uglier. Perhaps their teeth aren't so white. They might have bad hair. But they're ours, and we're proud of them.

So why don't we have our own Gawker Stalker, our own litle slice of the celebrity-spotting pie. We'll give it some sort of cheesy name like Big Easy Big Shots or Celebrities, Where Y'at? and do the same thing with our local luminaries: "Saw Angela Hill in the frozen foods aisle at Dorignac's buying Lean Cuisines," or "I saw what's-his-name, the good-looking young weatherman my grandma has a crush on (and I don't have the heart to tell her he's gay), on the treadmill at the gym."

I once saw Frankie of Frankie and Johnnie's "talk to the special man" fame* walking through Dillard's at the Lakeside Shopping Center dressed head-to-toe in black with his fly wide open. I so-o-o-o totally would have posted that.

* You have to follow that link. It's been years since I saw one of those.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"996, 997, 998, 999.…"

Kids are weird (or, at least, this kid was weird). I once did a thousand jumping jacks for no better reason than I was bored.*

What'd you do?

* When I was done, I was no longer bored, but I was drunk with fatigue and could barely walk.

"You should see my best feature…"

I was in the locker room at the gym. From the next row over I heard, "You should see my best feature..." I thought to myself, "Hmm, where's that gonna go?" From the next row over I heard, " back." I thought to myself, "Okay, it's not going there, but what the hell is he talking about?" From the next row over I heard, "It looks really good on a pedestal." I thought to myself, "Really, what the hell is he talking about?" As I walked out, I saw him standing on a stool, shirtless and striking a full (and, to my eyes, incredibly goofy) body builder pose: body at a quarter profile, torso tilted back, fists pressed together, every muscle popping in a spectacle of freakish contouring. The other man watched him intently in the mirror.

Body building, what's up with that?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I had a good drink the other night, a Black-Coffee-with-a-Tepid-Toddy-Back. There are four things I liked about this drink.
  1. It had black coffee. I like anything with black coffee.
  2. It had a Tepid Toddy. I like anything with a Tepid Toddy. What? You've never heard of a Tepid Toddy? Oh, I suppose that might be because we invented (or at least christened) it on the spot. It's the poor but charming cousin of the Hot Toddy and consists of room-temperature bourbon, honey, and lemon.
  3. The Tepid Toddy was the back to the black coffee. I love the whole beverage back concept. You have Drinkable Item A. (We'll call it the primary). You have Drinkable Item B, the back. Elsewhere, each item may function as its own autonomous beverage, but here they are a unit, the primary and the back collectively forming a single drinking entity, a compound beverage, in which the back exists solely to complement (or possibly "chase") the primary, and together they form a whole greater than the sum of the parts.*
  4. It's really fun to say. Try it. Again. Louder. LOUDER!
Really, could there be a better drink?

And later we ate finger sandwiches pilfered from a private party. It was a good night.

* Some might object, "surely whiskey is the stronger stuff and consequently the primary." This is understandable but incorrect. Primacy is not inherent in the drinkable item; it is imposed by the intent of the drinker. A Tepid-Toddy-with-a-Black-Coffee-Back (T.T.W.A.B.C.B.) is its own distinct (and probably quite lovely) beverage, but that's not what we were drinking.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Like a Gumbo Pot...

We were at Campo's, the old-school, local appliance store. Our salesman was sporting that Southern man-coif that he picked up back in high school in 1976: parted down the center, hair-sprayed, feathered, gently swooping down over the ears. He had some good selling points:
  • Stackable washers and dryers are nice because they give you more room for something else. Like a beer fridge, for example. (He had a nervous habitual tick where he would pluck the front of his shirt out to keep it from clinging to his pronounced beer belly.)
  • He sold this set to his mama, and you know he wouldn't sell her anything but the best, because Lord help him if something goes wrong with it. He doesn't need that kind of aggravation.
  • His ex-wife (he didn't actually use the word "bitch," but the thought was so clear it was nearly audible) always used to make him rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, but she was completely wrong, because these new dishwashers are so effective that if the dishes aren't coated in food, the detergent will actually act on the dishes themselves and damage them.
  • This one is nearly silent. The one where he currently lives, he's moved into an apartment now, is so loud you can't even think. You don't want that.
  • The top rack is removable so you can wash really big items like a gumbo pot.
Good points. Good points.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hot Taco Tip*

So I've been conducting an incredibly erratic and unscientific sampling of the wares of various taco trucks around town. (How often does a city get a major new culinary culture essentially overnight? This requires research.) They're all good, unlike anything that existed in this town before the storm, but I just discovered my absolute new fave as we were driving out to Lowe's the other day.

I don't know what it's called (does it matter? they're all some minor variation on the word "taco"), but I can tell you where it is: the uptown, lakeside corner of the S. Claiborne and Eagle St. (across from the water processing station on the way out to Jeff Highway).

They have pork, beef, and chorizo (I think; there were language barriers). I've had them all (I think), and they're all excellent. The meat is fresh and perfectly seasoned, and they top it with hot, grilled onions and herbs, and the green sauce that comes in the little containers is very hot (they don't sell drinks, so you'll have to hit up the Spur across the street) and very delicious.

Stop by. And don't forget to tell 'em Slim sent you (though they will have no idea what you're saying and give you blank stares).

* Is it just me, or does this post-title somehow
sound horribly obscene?

Friday, November 10, 2006

I've been horribly remiss in my picture-posting lately (after all, the byline doesn't just say "Posts and Pointless Ephemera", does it? oh, no!), so I hereby un-remiss myself. A picture. From Halloween (in case you were wondering). Laugh, if you choose.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Love

So we're renting the back apartment in our friend Miranda's house. We're all coming and going at various times: Miranda, Sarah, the kids, and me. The other day the neighbor from across the street—a big, beefy oil-biz boy—started chatting with Miranda. "So you live there, right?"

"Yeah, I own the house."

"And… the other two?... with the kids?..."

"They're my friends. They're renting the back apartment."

"Oh, I thought maybe you all had a Big Love thing going on."*

"Uh... no."

I wish she hadn't been quite so quick to disillusion him. We could have gotten a really hilarious Three's Company-esque** plotline going.

* For those of you not so attuned to the pop cultcha, Big Love is an HBO show depicting the shenanigans of a polygamous Mormon family in Salt Lake City.

** The thing that always struck me (and sort of infuriated me) about Three's Company when I watched it as a kid was that there was never any resolution. The entire episode was just setting up a comedic situation, and then… closing credits roll. What the hell is that? Then, next episode, they're back to business as usual. How'd it get fixed? What happened in between? But maybe I should relax. Maybe I should reject the patriarchal, over-linear, phallo-centric dictates of the traditional sit-com form and learn to accept ambiguity: the unresolved conundra, the blurred gender roles, the interchangeable blonds, the mysterious life-force which is Larry. Perhaps I should finally recognize Three's Company as the nuanced deconstruction it truly is. Bravo, Jack! Bravo, Janet! Bravo, Crissy (and the other ones)! Take your thrones in the Pantheon of Po-Mo. Our debt to you is beyond measure.

Interior Paint, Exterior Paint, Trim, AC, Floors, Kitchen, Sinks, Lights, Gutters…

So, a little over a year ago, our house—a big, old Arts and Crafts beast—went from very nice (in a slightly shabby but dignified way) to full of water to a festering, toxic hell-hole to an empty shell in relatively short order. Then it sat around for a long time as we competed with some of the other two-hundred thousand flooded houses for the attention of our contractor. It wasn't a complete standstill—a roof, some plumbing, some wiring, a bit of carpentry, a little mold-remediation—but it was slow.... We would drive by, hoping maybe possibly to see a worker's truck, perhaps the front door open, a little activity. We were often disappointed.

But now the forces of light gallop forth. It's blazing: interior paint, exterior paint, trim, AC, floors, kitchen, sinks, lights, gutters… The front is a pickup truck parking lot. The doors are open from early in the morning until well after the sun goes down, and there's always a swarm of busy, industrious people coming and going. It's a sight to behold.

And our house will be more beautiful than it ever was. All the things we always wanted to do but never would have done, we now simply have to do. And you know what? Screw it.* We deserve it.

* Excuse my French, everybody in America.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Well, I'm back. For two days, I've been staring at subtle variations of shade between different sage greens. Did anything happen while I was gone...?

But seriously, folks, a banner week—no?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Queue the Simon and Garfunkel*

And exactly one year ago today, we returned from our sad exile to restart our lives in this raggedy old town. A whole year. Good golly.

(But seriously, that's it. No more anniversaries. No more maudlin sentimentality. Nothing but mullets and monkeys from now on. You have my word.)

* And I'm thinking the title of this post is hopelessly oblique, but maybe I'm wrong. Any takers?

Much-Much Busy-Busy

As a rule, I don't blog about not blogging, but rules are meant to be broken, so I will break the blogless silence and blog that the absence of activity here is do to the excess of activity elsewhere, specifically at our house, which is good, because, at times, there has been an absence of activity at our house, but now there is much-much and it is all very busy-busy, and we are in a whirl of paint samples and lighting choices, and this is good, because we used to live there and are looking forward to doing so again, and the samples will all be selected and the lights all chosen, and things will revert, and order will restore, and all will be lovely-lovely. Which is to say, stay tuned—more soon.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Slim Answers All

Watch out, because I'm about to get all Q & A super-ninja on your arse:
What makes a monkey evil?

Monkeys are evil by default. The more appropriate question would be, what occasionally makes monkeys good. The answer is unknown.

Where does an evil monkey's soul go after death?


What does "monkey business" really mean?

This idiom first appeared in the texts of Ancient Sumeria where monkeys often served as prostitutes. And I think you know what it means...

How did the phrase "monkey on my back" originate?

This idiom first appeared in the texts of Ancient Sumeria where substance abusers and others social outcasts were marked with a large scarlet monkey.

Is their a relation between string theory string beans and string cheese?

Add Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup and you have a delicious casserole.

Is there space and time in heaven?

The Earl of Oxford says:
"It is therefore evident that there is no place or void or time outside the heaven. For in every place, body can be present; and void is said to be that in which the presence of body, though not actual, is possible; and time is the number of movement. But in the absence of natural body there is no movement, and outside the heaven, as we have shown, body neither exists nor can come to exist. It is clear then that there is neither place, nor void, nor time, outside the heaven. Hence whatever is there, is of such a nature as not to occupy any place, nor does time age it; nor is there any change in any of the things which lie beyond the outermost motion...." On the Heavens, Bk. I, ch. 9.
So, um… yeah.

Do you believe in an ultimate truth persay (as related to the idea of limitless possibilities and even probabilities)?

All I really need to know I learned from Roger Miller:
You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd.
You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd.
You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd.
But you can be happy if you've a mind to.
And...... time. Rat-a-tat-tat-ta-da!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All in the Family

So our mild California-baiting in the comments of a recent post got me thinking: sure we're all different; we all have our spats and petty animosities, our grudges and misunderstandings. Sure we like to tease and poke fun and maybe grumble a bit, but deep down, deep down, we're not so different. Really, we're all just family.

California is that wealthy, slightly flaky aunt who flies in every other year for the holidays and brings great presents and a good bottle of wine but never eats the Turducken. Louisiana is that likeable uncle who always gets funny-drunk at family get-togethers and tells outrageous stories but, everyone suspects, also gets mean-drunk at home and maybe hits his wife, though no one says anything, and all the old ladies whisper, "it's a pity…."

What's your state?