Friday, November 30, 2007

I Scream

The other morning—let's say six-thirty-ish—June found our empty carton of Cherry Garcia from the night before.

For the next five minutes, she was very happy, using the dirty spoon to scrape gummy ice cream residue from the sides of the container, gleefully licking it off, and eventually, smearing stale chocolate all over her face.

For the following five (ten? twenty?) minutes, she was bitterly miserable. "Can I have ice cream for breakfast?" No. "Please?" No. "Ple-e-e-e-ase?" No. "But I want ice cream for breakfast!" No. "Ple-e-e-e-e-e-ase can I have ice cream for breakfast! I want it! I WANT it!" No. "Ple-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ase.........!"

Parenting before coffee—it ain't nothing nice.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Human Hairdo Project: The Devilock

I'm not really up to speed on the Danzig/devilock scene, but I believe we're talking about something like this, yes?

Question:* Are there any stipulations about what goes on with the rest of the head, or can one mix and match the devilock with other styles as one sees fit? A devilock/mullet combo? ("Satan in the front, party in the back...")

* Comment: I'm thinking you've got to be really committed to your look to stick with the devilock—that thing dangling between your eyes all the time? Are there any studies linking devilocks to nearsightedness or other visual impairments? (If not, some eager-young-Bible-Belt-opthamologist-with-a-name-to-make better get crackin': "Devilocks are blinding our children to the light of the sun and the light of Our Lord!")

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"It's Not a Racist Thing..."

I was at the playground the other day, eavesdropping as I'm prone to do (be careful what you say around me), and I heard the following exchange between a mother (chicly dressed in an array of earthtones; Italian though currently residing in Manhattan with her chicly dressed American husband and their two small, chicly dressed children; visiting New Orleans for the Thanksgiving holiday to support the city and experience local cultcha) and a grandmother (belly ring and an abundant gold coiffe; a prime example of local cultcha):
Grandma: "So, where are you all staying?"

Mama (with a thick Italian accent): "In the French Quarter."

Grandma: "Oh, you might not want to go down there this weekend. It's the Bayou Classic, a big football game, and there'll be about fifty thousand black people down there, and they've all got guns. It's not a racist thing. It's just they're real enthusiastic. I work in the Quarter, but I won't work down there this weekend."

Mama (confused): "But... we sleep there."
I have two reactions when I hear such exchanges. On the one hand, the poor lady had the same poison poured in her ear when she was too young to know what's what, and in her messed-up way, she's just trying to offer a visitor some friendly advice. On the other hand, what the fu...? Stop saying that!*

Does anyone actually think they're a racist? The big R-line always seems to be drawn just beyond whatever not-racist territory the not-a-racist has staked out.

* It didn't help that the whole conversation occurred within earshot of her mixed-race granddaughter.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Greater Rose Hill Baptist Church

Benefit for Bob

On the night of Nov. 3, my friend and former co-worker* Bob Strong was robbed and shot in the face on St. Charles Ave. He survived but has been hospitalized in serious condition and will require extensive reconstructive surgery. Previously, I've chosen not speak of it here. (It's just too awful. How anyone can do this to anybody, I don't know, but how anyone could do this to Bob—it's just inconceivable.) But now there's a way we can help.

This Sunday, December 2, from 3 to 8 pm, La Crêpe Nanou is hosting a fundraiser. The street in front of the restaurant (the 1400 block of Prytania) will be blocked off. Other local businesses will be participating:
Dick and Jenny's
Cafe Degas
St. James Cheese Company
The Kingpin
The Wineseller
La Provence
and others...
There will be live music:
Alex Chilton
The String Beans
David Doucet (from Beausoleil)
Susan Cowsill
and a silent auction.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Crêpe Nanou or the Wine Seller (and probably from the other participating businesses, as well).

* We worked countless nights together behind the bar at Crêpe Nanou; he taught me much of what I know about how to make a drink; and he's one of the sweetest, funniest people I've had the luck to cross paths with.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Seven Things

I'm it. Seven things you may not know about me:
  1. I'm partial to small funky fish: anchovies, sardines, and the like (as food stuffs, though I'm sure they're quite fine in other regards as well).
  2. I prefer dark meat.
  3. I once spent the better part of a summer sitting in our driveway in Virginia, wearing welding goggles, using a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's light into a burning hot speck and—over the course of countless hours—burn a picture of a pine tree by a lake into a 1x12 board. (My mom hung it in the upstairs hallway, where it remains today.)
  4. I don't like roller coasters.
  5. I grew up saying "route" so it rhymed with "grout" (as did everyone else in my neck of the woods).
  6. I love peanut butter but am often indifferent to peanut butter based sweets.
  7. As a younger lad, I was prone to elaborate boho-thrift affectations and once purchased an old raincoat that I wore inside out because I liked its lining.
I choose not to tag anyone else, (a) because I fear that an unchecked exponential pyramid expansion of meme-tagging would quickly hobble the world's digital networks and end civilization as we know it, and (b) because I'm tired and don't wanna. (Does that give me bad bloggy karma?)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Happy gorging. Catch you on the flipside (of our respective perhaps-not-actually-tryptophan induced slumbers).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the Real Deal

I See a Ikea

During our Katrina-induced furniture shortage we came to rely heavily on the offerings of Ikea. We're not the only ones.

Having become intimately familiar with their wares, Sarah and I now spot Ikea items all the time in the settings of commercials, sit-coms, and movies (and even, on one delightful occasion, in the interior of a Battlestar Galactica spaceship).

Do you think any actual people shop at the L.A. Ikea or is it all just prop masters and set designers?*

* Maybe we can start a drinking game: for every Ikea-sighting, a shot of aquavit. (Although the Ikea-item-frequency really probably isn't all that high. So you'd have to watch a lot of TV. And it would probably take a really long time. And you'd probably never even work up a low-grade buzz, and after a while you'd get hungry and grumpy and sick of all the really crappy commercials you're watching, and who really gives a damn where they buy their stupid furniture for their stupid sets, and I don't know what the hell this that I'm drinking, but somebody should tell the damn Swedes that a little bit of caraway goes a long way and who the hell puts dill in liquor...? Yeah, skip that.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I managed to snap one of my own before the carnie-lady told me I couldn't. (Santa doesn't permit them.) I like mine better. (In your face, carnie-lady!).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Human Hairdo Project: Male Pattern Punkness

I find it impossible to resist a warning like "don't get any smart ideas about drawing a balding guy with a mohawk", so here you go:

Of course, any self-respecting hairdo needs a catchy name. I'll throw a couple of contenders into the ring:
The Less-Hawk — Get it? "Mo'", "Less"?

The Bald Eagle — Get it? "Hawk", "Eagle"?

The Sling Is Slung

"[S]ix to eight weeks" turned out to be two.* As of this morning's doctor visit, June's sling is slung, and she once again has the full use of her four rambunctious little limbs. Though the doctor said she shouldn't play tackle football for a couple of weeks.**

Fortunately it wasn't before we got this absolutely hilarious mall-Santa photo (the sling really makes it):

June, Santa, and Louise. Photograph by the nameless daughter of the vaguely carnie-ish family who ran the mall-Santa photo operation (and who also, incidentally, displayed an impressive/disconcerting array of pro-Harry Lee memorabilia next to the cash register).

Now we're all just wondering, will she resume sucking her thumb? (My money's on "most definitely!")

* That's a big margin of error, don't you think? (Not that I'm complaining.) Maybe they should work for the Army Corps.

** Which puts a damper on our Thanksgiving plans: me and the gals watching a few college games, knocking back some brews, tossing around the pigskin at half-time...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Really, Not Threatening at All

So I met Ian MacKaye last night. It's funny meeting someone who was a central figure in my sixteen-year-old world—an emblematic but impossibly remote** voicing of my own teen angst. But now we've all got a couple of decades on us, and he's just a wry, genial friend-of-a-friend in a cold-ass warehouse in Mid-City.

* I was way into Minor Threat during my aforementioned punk phase. "Can't keep up! Can't keep up! Can't keep up! Out... of... step... with the world!"

** Impossibly remote to me anyway. I was the lone outpost of East Coast hardcore in the sleepy vales of Possum Holler.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Worried Girl Blues

The gals often like a song or two at bedtime. The other night I sang them the Carter Family's version of "Worried Man Blues". This prompted a lengthy series of questions:*
  • "What's a link [of chain]?"
  • "What's a judge?"
  • "What's a fine?"
  • "What's the R.C. Mountain line?"
Also a series of speculations as to why the singer was sentenced to twenty-one years of labor on the railroad:
Louise: "I think he broke the track." (Plausible, in its innocent way.)

June: "I think he broke a door." (Less plausible, in its innocent way.)
It's never too early to start them on the bitter, scary lessons of old-time country music. That'll rear 'em good.**

* We've had similar conversations before.

** I bet they'll think twice before breaking a door or a railroad track.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Six-Year-Old Theology

"Heaven is yuck. There are dead people up there."


Speaking of rats, the other day I saw a man bludgeoning a rat with a large stick in the middle of our street. He'd been sanding a nearby house and was dressed from head to foot in pure white, his face swaddled in a white sheet. It gave the ugly scene an exotic quality, like some incomprehensible ritual violence splashed on the front page of the International section.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

You are right, sir. I've been remiss in my hair-duties. (Hairdo-ties?) It's back to the drawing board for me. But in the meantime, allow me to a post an already-done-did drawing including some distinctive hair:

You may remember this gal from her previous description (or her previous depiction). She's sporting a sort of mohawk/mullet combo. (With devilock overtones, perhaps? No, too far.)


Sunday, November 11, 2007


Done Been Did

My dear NYT:
Skateboarding Rolls Out of the Suburbs
Haven't we covered this territory? Gray Lady, I scoop you again. When will you ever learn?

(And what did I say? "Is the New York Times about to kill it with a large glossy article...?" Hmm? Hmm?)

Something Old, Something New

Well, we passed a major milestone this week in the post-Katrina recovery of our little home-sweet-home. The antiques came back.

Prior to the storm, the ground floor of our house was full of old family furniture that had passed through the generations into my possession. They were well-worn but beautiful. But when I first returned after the storm, they looked like this:

A few days later, they left the house looking like this:

(Note the stray pieces duct-taped on in grocery bags.) Now they look like this:*

I still haven't wrapped my head around it.** It's wonderful.

* My deepest thanks go to those who made it possible. (You know who you are.)

** And a single photograph doesn't do justice to the resurrection. (There are quite a few pieces.) I'll have to post more.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sunday Sundown Bruiser Family Jubilee

Bruisers, Circle Bar, November 11

The world needs more multi-generational drinking opportunities.* My fellow Bruisers and I are aiming to fix that.

Come down to the Circle Bar this Sunday for our first ever Sunday Sundown Bruiser Family Jubilee. Bring Grandma. Bring the kids.** We might even get it together to have free hot dogs. (Though don't hold me to that. I never promised you a rose garden.)

Things kick off at five-ish-ish and persist until some indeterminate later time, allowing you to plunk yourself down in bed that evening at a very reasonable hour and wake up Monday morning well-rested and only slightly hungover. Beautiful, yes?

* The booze is optional. Chit-chatting, mingling, and periodically screaming "whoo-hoo!" are required.

** Ours will be there. They'll need someone to play with. We'll whip 'em all up into a juicebox-fueled frenzy, then spin 'em around in a pint-sized honky-tonk mosh pit. Good fun.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's easier with minions.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bullsh*t: Post-Mortem

Nothing says "funny" like the long-winded analysis of a silly little throw-away game, so...

The correct answers:
(A) Minesweeper
(D) Dent
(F) John Maynard Smith
(H) Beets

The winner: a tie between Red Rocket and Beth, each with three correct answers. Congratulations! (And you both apparently know me better than my pseudonymous mother who only got two.)

Ready to get math-y with it? Guesses per choice:
(A) Minesweeper: 3
(B) Pinkie toe: 0
(C) Chaka Khan: 7
(D) Dent: 5
(E) Snake bite: 4
(F) John Maynard Smith: 2
(G) Trivial Pursuit: 2
(H) Beets: 4

Most obvious truth: (D) Dent
Most obvious lie: (B) Pinkie toe

Trickiest truth: (F) John Maynard Smith
Trickiest lie: (C) Chaka Khan
(The Chaka Khan was good. That fooled all y'all.) And, of course, the fascinating autobiographical backstories:
(A) Minesweeper: I became a total Minesweeper bad ass during the extensive downtime on my first NYC temp job at a currency trading floor.

(B) Pinkie toe: We did have a scythe, and I did muck around with it, though (mercifully) I never cut off my toe.

(C) Chaka Khan: Never seen her, but once I did sit across the aisle from Chubby Checker in economy class on a flight from I-don't-remember-where to I-don't-remember-where.

(D) Dent: Top back right. I noticed it in my teens around the same time as the onset of my "punk stage" and it caused me some anxiety: "If I get a Mohawk, that's going to look like totally weird." (The Mohawk, by the way, was purely hypothetical.)

(E) Snake bite: We did have snakes around, and I did muck around with them, though (mercifully) I never got bit.

(F) John Maynard Smith: I was eight. My father was teaching in the same department at the University of Sussex. I'd seen him briefly once before on the local television station. I thought I'd just encountered a major celebrity.

(G) Trivial Pursuit: I sometimes think I should be good at Trivial Pursuit (and occasionally I convince myself that I am good at it), but really I'm not. (The pop culture, in particular, kills me.)

(H) Beets: I like them.
Feel enlightened? (And stay tuned for tomorrow's subtextual analysis and its startling implications for post-Chaka-Khanian semiotics.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Poor Sh-Boo-Boo!

Number two daughter took a spill off the playground slide and incurred (what we now know to be) a broken clavicle. Poor lil' punkin'. Now she has an amazingly elaborate sling which she'll wear for the next six to eight weeks. (Six to eight weeks! God help us!)

She was such a trooper. (I think we were more traumatized.) Perhaps the saddest part—it's her thumb-sucking arm.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rat on a Wire

It's not uncommon around here to see rats scurrying across telephone wires and through the trees, just like squirrels. (Two traipsed overhead the other night as we embarked on our trick-or-treating expedition. Is that some kind of omen?) Each time I see it, I immediately and compulsively launch into a paraphrase of the Leonard Cohen song: "Like a rat on a wire... like a drunk in a midnight choir...

Do they do that where you are?
Vera, Halloween
Vera, Halloween

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pride in Yer Ride (or A Car of One's Own)

I've discovered I really like to clean my car.* I've usually driven practical little jellybeans or impractical jalopies, and they just didn't seem worth vigorous attention. But now I have a bright, shiny future-mobile, and all that's changed. I find myself giving it the full work-over with surprising regularity: vacuum, wash, wax, wipe it down, hand dry, shine the rims...

Plus the T.C.L Car Wash on a Friday afternoon is such a deeply entertaining place to be—angle parked beneath the "NO LOUD BASS" signs, a whole long row of (almost exclusively) men obsessively tweaking out that perfect glint** for the weekend—mute male bonding at its finest.

* I'm secretly a neat person, but I share all other corners of my life with not-quite-so-neat people ranging from my lovely-but-slightly-slovenly wife (just a teeny bit, hon!) to my vibrantly entropic children. This is the one place that's fully my own. "No crumbs!"

** Though I confess, I'm not that good at it yet (as my streaks and water-spots will testify). But I studiously watch my neighbors, and I'm learning.
elevator to dentist
June (in the elevator on the way to the dentist for the first time).